An Eagle Scout is Always Prepared

Dear Family,

Happy End of February to you also! Life here in Abaetetuba has been great. And yes it’s been noticeably hotter this past week, but that’s okay! On the bright side, we didn’t get as much rain, so it’s all good. [To check out the weather in Abaetetuba, where the RealFeel temp is usually over 100ºF, click on the header above (anything green will work) and see the temperature in the sidebar.]

Yup so as you already know Elder O was transferred (to Paar, my first area) and Elder D S came to Abaetetuba. You might actually already have a picture of him, he was in my district in Santarém also! He’s a really great missionary, with great ideas and a great attitude, so I know he’ll help out a ton with the Branch here. Elder R and I were also excited to have at least one more transfer together! The 4 of us get along great at home, so from the looks of it, this will be a rather successful and fun next few weeks.

I’m excited to be staying here, I’m really hoping I’ll be here when the new chapel is dedicated. It’s looking really beautiful, except I’m a photo slacker and I haven’t taken any photos… I’ll fix that this week. The members of the branch seem rather excited also! The attendance has been rising in the Sunday meetings, as well as activities during the week. Each Wednesday night there’s an integration night, with a short message and a game/activity afterwards. Usually we missionaries always end up doing at least one of those, but that’s alright, I enjoy it! I’ve learned that as a missionary, I always have to have a message prepared, a talk prepared, a game prepared, and a dvd in the bag. It keeps us on our toes!

Also got the 2 packages, thanks so much! So I was going to keep them closed until my birthday… but it only took about 2 hours for the ants to discover the boxes, and the only safe place where the ants don’t go is the fridge, so I had to open them to save the sweets. Also, the Brasil Post Service opened up the wrapped presents, (they took away my fun! haha jk) but I don’t think they took anything out.

Yup I’m still playing the keyboard at church, which has turned out to be one of the highlights of each week. Yesterday, a less active family that we’ve been teaching came to church, and I knew that the mom’s favorite hymn was “Sunshine in the Soul” so I made that our intermediate hymn. It was such a great feeling when I looked up during the hymn to see her standing and singing, she seemed very joyful. I could really feel the Spirit that way. Also, looks like we’re going to start piano lessons soon, since all the youth here have been asking to learn to play. So I’m looking forward to that too!

Well thanks again for the emails and the support, I love you all so much! Take care, until next month!

Com amor,
Elder Scott Maughan

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The Vengabus is Coming!

Good day!

Last week mom asked me about packing advice I’d give to other missionaries coming to Belém, and I said I would think about it during the week. I remembered that I had said that while I was showering this morning… but that gave me a few hours to think! So things that I brought/Mom packed that have been rather helpful were the athletic insoles for the shoes (we walk a lot, and lots of missionaries have knee pains), lots of good deodorant (I’m still using the Old Spice I’ve brought! despite high offers from other missionaries wanting to buy them), lots of good stomach ache/diarrhea medicine (I actually haven’t used much personally, but I’ve given more than half away to others), a flashlight (in many areas the lights go out often, especially during certain times of the year), photos of the family and home (to share with members/investigators/missionaries), lots of GBs of storage (lots of videos, songs, and articles/books are passed from missionary to missionary), and DVDs (in the temple store you can buy Church films, but DVDs of Mormon Messages and other Church short films come in very handy here, especially because almost no one has access to the internet). Here you can buy good flip flops, and little hymnbooks, and umbrellas. Also, if you know how to play the piano even just a little bit, learn hymns! Almost every ward/branch here (that I’ve seen) depends on the missionaries to have music. So even just the right hand is a welcome improvement!

Okay I hope that that was at least a little bit informative. Life is good in Abaetetuba! No one knows when the new church will be dedicated, but it looks like it will be the end of the next month. We’ll see!

This weekend/week is Carnaval, so all the youth and a good chunk of the members have fled from city to avoid all the craziness and noise and people in the streets and wickedness… so attendance was a little low, but lots of investigators came to church which was great! The youth are at the first EFY of Belém, pretty cool! I made a fool out of myself teaching them the Vengabus dance, which they all thought was pretty hilarious. Haha oh EFY, good times!

Also, rumor has it that I leave Brazil on July 30th…

Love you all, thanks so much for the love and support as well. Have a wonderful week, until next Monday!
Love,
Elder Maughan

This Letter Needs No Title!

So we managed to fit 9 missionaries in the small car of Elder M. Here's a few of us!

So we managed to fit 9 missionaries in the small car of Elder M. Here’s a few of us!

Dearest Family,

Happy February! Also, happy belated birthday Dad! Hope it was a great one.

Thanks for all the questions, Mom! Let me try to give some packing advice… No need to bring mission books, we received Preach My Gospel in both languages when I got the CTM. But the mini PMG comes in very handy, it’s great for weekly zone meetings and for splits. Speaking of zone meetings and splits, a backpack is just the right size for carrying everything you need. Wow I can’t remember the name of the type of bag I brought with me on the mission [it was just a lightweight rolling suitcase], but that one is great for transfers. Deodorant was a good idea. And it seems like anything else you can buy here in Brazil. Shoot, I can’t remember anything else helpful to say! I promise I’ll try to think of more advice during the week.

So all the days here are pretty much the same as in other areas, except for Sundays! Sundays are always awesome. First, because we have Church in the morning. These past few weeks we’ve been succeeding in bringing investigators to church, and church is always better when there are investigators there. After church, we eat A TON at lunch, and then we go on visits with the members! And it’s always a ton of members that want to go on splits with us. Yesterday we had to split up: Elder Romero led a group of 4 and I led a group of 4, and we got to teach some really great, spiritual lessons, with the members helping so much. I’ve never seen a ward where the members fight to go on visits with the missionaries. So that’s a good sign that this ward is pretty awesome!

Well sorry, I’m already out of time! Fastest hour ever. But thanks so much for the candy! All the young men and young women of the ward thank you, actually. I usually end up eating almost none of it, but that’s totally fine by me.

Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all so much, take care and have an incredible week!
Elder Scott Maughan

Scott's zone in Abaetetuba. (Photo courtesy of Elder O's mom!)

Scott’s zone in Abaetetuba. (Photo courtesy of Elder O’s mom!)