Weddings bring blessing to everyone!

A flooded street where we were walking yesterday after a heavy rainstorm passed by. The whole street was like that! And the dog is a pretty typical sight here, there are tons of strays dogs everywhere.

A flooded street where we were walking yesterday after a heavy rainstorm passed by. The whole street was like that! And the dog is a pretty typical sight here, there are tons of strays dogs everywhere.

Dear family,

Congrats, Melissa and James! The pictures of the wedding and the graduation were fabulous, it’s great to see those happy faces, besides everyone also saying how happy you look together. Glad to hear that all went smoothly, and that it was a great weekend for everyone!

Scott's sister, Melissa, was married on Saturday. We missed Scott at the wedding, held in the Bountiful Temple, but he will be back from his mission in time for the reception in NY.

Scott’s sister, Melissa, was married on Saturday. We missed Scott at the wedding, held in the Bountiful Temple, but he will be back from his mission in time for the reception in NY.

And it was a good weekend for us here in Outeiro also! Especially starting with Friday. There’s a man that we’ve been teaching for a little while, who is super elect, he’s already reading D&C and everything and wants to be baptized. Unfortunately, he’s not legally married with his wife, and his wife doesn’t like us… or, I should say, she didn’t like us, but when we arrived there on Friday, she suddenly decided to sit down and listen (and not debate) with us, and in the end she agreed to come to church with us on Sunday, which she did! She told us that she had been thinking recently and realized that she had visited many churches but never felt really comfortable in any of them, and she felt that she should give the Church of Jesus Cristo a shot. And she seemed to enjoy church yesterday, which made us happy, and I think that her husband was the happiest of all of us! It’s great to see how people really can be prepared and changed. Now I’m even more fully convinced that angels are helping to prepare the way for the Church here in Outeiro.

Church also was great yesterday, lots of less-active members came, and we were able to bring lots of our investigators also! I was actually even surprised with the number of investigators that came (it’s not every week when you show up at 8:30 at an investigator’s house and she says “Let me just brush my hair real quick and we’ll go!”) and I think that the branch members were even more surprised than me! I guess it’s been a little while since there were visitors. But it was good to see the members exciting and interacting with the people we’ve been teaching, I’m hoping that we were able to win some more help and support from the member for that. So yeah, God blessed us tons this weekend! I think that I need more older siblings to get married while I’m here, that seems to be the secret…

Also, fun fact: we were looking through the area book this week and I found a lady who was taught in 2007 by an Elder Batty! Haha that was pretty exciting for me. I’m also starting to believe that it was here in Outeiro where he gained those 30 pounds… haha.

Well, I hope everyone has an incredible beginning of May! Love you all, thanks so much for everything you do for me. Until next week!

Com amor,
Elder Scott Maughan

A pic of Elder F and me with a pudding-ish dessert we got at zone conference.

A pic of Elder F and me with a pudding-ish dessert we got at zone conference.

Lots of Weddings!

"some members from our zone after playing some volleyball at the stake center last p-day. Sorry about the blinding sun..."

“Some members from our zone after playing some volleyball at the stake center last p-day. Sorry about the blinding sun…”

Good morning to my favorite, growing family!

Well, growing and shrinking, since we’re losing a Maughan but gaining a family member, haha. I hope that everyone had a great last week! Seems like it was a busy one for everyone, but that’s always good too.

This past week was good for us as well! We’ve been continuing our search for families, and we were able to find a few great couples. Unfortunately, it is very rare find a couple that is married, but that’s alright, we can help with that too! That actually is probably one of the biggest challenges here in Belém, but it’s been becoming a big easier here. There’s a Church member in the town hall here, and he helps out the whole mission with weddings. We’re hoping to do some weddings in the near future, to keep up with the trend in the Maughan family! If I can’t watch them there at home, I’ll just have to watch some here, right?

Other exciting happenings this past week… I did my first service project in a little while! Not sure why, but I really enjoy service projects, especially when it’s just lots of manual labor that doesn’t require too much brain power, so I can just exercise and do some pondering. This past week we cleaned the inside part of the roof in a house of less-active members. Way dirty, and way fun! We used brooms with long poles to knock down all sorts of dirt, dust, dead insects, and spider webs that we lodged between the roof tiles. So we got a bit dirty, especially considering that I was soaked in sweat so all that fell stuck to me… but that’s okay! Nothing that a good shower can’t fix.

Well, I’m very excited for Saturday and for Melissa and James Parker! Don’t worry, the purple tie is marked in the agenda, so I’ll be sure to remember! Can’t wait to see the pictures. Well have a very wonderful week, until next Monday!

Com amor,
Elder Maughan

"cleaning the roof of a house of inactive members. I got super dirty, haha it was pretty much raining dirt and spider webs on me. But it was a fun service project!"

“Cleaning the roof of a house of inactive members. I got super dirty, haha it was pretty much raining dirt and spider webs on me. But it was a fun service project!”

More about the Hill Branch

Good morning! I hope that everyone is having a spectacular day, even if it’s a bit cold where you are… I won’t lie, I’ll have to make a goal to never take snow/cold for granted again, haha. Loved the pictures of everyone! Glad to see my tux is being put to good use, haha.

So let me tell you more about the Outeiro Branch: It’s not too big, the attendance is more or less 50 members. The church building is just a rented house transformed into a chapel and a few other rooms (I’ll have to take a picture for you also). Once again there is no piano or teclado here, but that’s okay! Yup we are the only missionaries here in Outeiro; we have to take a bus or van across the bridge to get to the rest of the stake, just a half-hour away. There are just a handful of youth here, but they are very motivated and also have lots of desire to help us out! The members also help out lots, and we are making plans to work more with them, especially since a ward mission leader just got called!

Since there aren’t too many active family in this branch, we also eat lunch with some inactive families, which is a nice way to do some activation work. Although sometimes things don’t work out and we end up without lunch… but all’s well! Usually the members help us out when this happens, and if not, I get to practice my cooking skills! Which are definitely needing practice…

Last night we had a stake fireside about missionary work! It was really great and attendance was high and from what people said, the members really enjoyed it. Presidente and Sister Scisci came and spoke, the stake president spoke, some recent converts from the stake bore testimonies, and we missionaries sung a few special musical numbers, and I somehow became the stake pianista. The Spirit was really strong, and at the end there was a line of youth waiting to speak to the stake clerk to start their mission papers! Haha after a great conference about missionary work, this was a great addition.

Well, love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, until next Monday! Tchau tchau!

Com amor,
Elder Maughan

P.S. Jeremiah 16:16 “hill” = “outeiro”!

Elders Take the Cake

Scott and Elder F making macarrão nada that we made, which means literally "pasta nothing".

Scott and Elder F making macarrão nada, which means literally “pasta nothing”.

My favorite family,

Thanks for the emails! I hope everyone enjoyed conference as thoroughly as I did. I loved all the talks about missionary work! Of course. It’s always to nice to hear a few pump-up speeches from the general authorities. We watched the Saturday sessions in the secretary’s office in English, and the Sunday sessions with our investigators and the rest of the stake. Plus, the secretary’s office isn’t air conditioned, so there’s an advantage of watching in Portuguese!

We were excited to hear about the temple in Rio de Janeiro! It’s not Belém… but any temple in Brasil is great! I remember that during the dedicatory pray of the Templo de Manaus, Presidente Uchtdorf said that every time a temple is dedicated in Brazil, the power of the enemy is weakened in this country. So, believing in that promise from an Apostle, a temple in Rio will make the church that much stronger, even here in Belém. So that’s exciting! Also, one of the other missionaries here in the zone is from Rio, so he was pretty stoked about that. Do you think that they’ll be able to get it all ready before the Olympics? I hope so, that would be awesome!

So I finally sent a photo of Elder F! I have other photos of him from when I passed through his ward in Bragança, but this one is more up to date, obviously. Here were are making pasta, but in a way much more complicated than how I usually make it. He’s been teaching me a few tips about cooking, and also we´re mastering the art of making cake! By which I mean we throw ingredients together and (usually) it turns out well. Except we don’t have an oven… so we make it in the microwave, haha. Not sure if that’s a good idea… but it turns out tasty and well!

About the flat sheets question… even though I don’t exactly know what a flat sheet is, I sleep like this: one sheet covering the mattress, and another covering me, with a fan constantly pointed at me. It doesn’t ever get cold at night, so the sheet I use is more for comfort and for bug-defense. Also, since the fan is to my left, sometimes I put bug spray on the right side of my body, haha. Every apartment I’ve seen here also has a place to put a hammock; we have one hanging up, but we usually use that more to relax than to actually sleep at night.

Well, thanks for all the love and support! I hope everyone has a terrific week, until next second-day-at-the-market!

Com amor,
Elder Maughan

New Places, Old Faces!

Feliz Páscoa!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Mine here was good! Not too much celebrating, just ate tons of chocolate and BBQ. Eat tons of food is pretty much how we celebrate every holiday here, and I approve!

Life at the beach is nice here in Outeiro! So let me describe my area – yes it’s an island, and it seems rather big. There’s one main street that does a huge circle around the island, and there are vans that are always making that circle, so we only walk a lot when we want to. It would probably take 2 or 3 hours to walk that circle. There are certainly much more than 2,000 people here (thanks Wikipedia) but it’s not too urbanized. So there are lots of forest and trees here. The branch here is small, the attendance is more or less 50. But we’re here to help out the branch and the members here! And yes, one half of this island is all beach! This past whole weekend the streets near the beach were PACKED with people partying and blasting music. It sure seems like lots of people come from Belém to enjoy the beaches. Except the missionaries, who avoid getting even close to the beach on the weekend, haha.

My companion is Elder F, a short-term missionary from… Alegre Ward in Bragança! Yup, we already knew each other well! This is his second transfer here on the mission, and I’ve been trying to help him out a lot with studying and teaching, and we’ve been really enjoying it! It’s basically as if I were training him. So I’ve been learning so much with this, and in just one week he’s really improved, so it’s been a great experience for us both so far! We’re always joking and laughing and remembering funny experiences from Bragança, it was a great week with him!

About the packing… looks like now we’re allowed to use backpacks, but almost everyone just uses the small black bag during the day. You can buy these bags here in the mission office or in the CTM in São Paulo also. I use the belt around the waist, because the strap usually ends up dirtying my shirts. I carry my Livro de Mórmon in one hand, and in my bag I put pamphlets, my Bíblia, DVD with lots of videos, post it notes, and that little flashlight. I don’t really like to carry too much weight, but some Elderes like to carry lots of other things. So it’s up to your preference!

Well I hope that kinda answered some of your questions for today. Have a great week, and a great General Conference also! Até mais!

Com amor,
Elder Scott Maughan