Dear family and friends,
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! They were definitely felt here in Abaetetuba. I celebrated my birthday in Belém, attending an awesome mission conference with Elder Godoy of the Seventy. Besides being really funny and animated as he speaks, he is incredibly bright and spiritual, and has a few great ideas for how we can have more success as missionaries in Belém. Elder R and I have already been putting a few of those points in practice, and in just a few days we’ve been blessed with more success in our work. This past week, 2 families we’ve been teaching accepted the invitation to get married and be baptized. Lots of miracles already are appearing! The general authorities of the Church really are inspired, that’s for sure.
It was also nice to see all the other missionaries, old companions, and friends at the mission conference. And, of course, new missionaries that I hadn’t ever met, thanks to my long stay in Oriximiná/Santarém (“Oi! Are you new on the mission?” OR “You’re Elder Maughan? My mom loves your blog!”). Also, Sister Scisci knew that it was my birthday, so she had everyone sing to me after the conference. Yup, a Seventy sang happy birthday to me! Coolest present ever.
Before I forget, let me answer your question about the bugs. In our apartment, we are rather lucky. While there sure are plenty of ants (where there is food, there are always ants) we don’t have any flies or very many mosquitoes, probably because we are on the 3rd floor. We’ve only seen a few large spiders, and a few lizards. It’s a nice apartment, far from the street, secure, and without too many worries. Pictures coming next week! But there are some places in the city where, at night, you can’t stand still while teaching or contacting, because it’s a constant fight against the mosquitoes… but that’s okay! It’s a good icebreaker. And don’t worry mom, I haven’t gotten dengue yet! Knock on wood…
Saturday was also Elder R’s birthday [Scott’s was on Friday], so the members threw a party for us! It was a supposed to be a “surprise”, but since the members aren’t very good at keeping secrets ;-), I “accidentally” gave them the party decorations that mom had sent me. It turned out really well! Tons of cake, we 4 missionaries have been eating cake leftovers for breakfast and dinner for 2 days now. But it was really nice of the members, we really appreciated their love and support for us.
Well, with the photos, that should be plenty of words for today. Thanks so much again for all the love, I love all of you also! Have a wonderful week, até mais!