Sorry Mom…

So I just got back from a short trip to the Ver-O-Peso, which was super cool! It’s a huuge market that sells just about everything, by which I mean FISH and FRUIT, and it’s right on the Amazon, overlooking the river. It’s super pretty and a spectacular site, and I spent the whole time think, “Wow, Mom’s gonna kill me because I forgot to bring my camera.” Happy birthday Mom!

We didn’t have a batismo this week, but we have wedding and batismos next weekend! Pretty excited, even though I’m not going to be there… tomorrow I’ll be transferring to Bragança, which seems like a little hike away. I’m going to miss this ward here for sure though! Definitely been a fantastic first area. With such a strong ward! The chapel was packed once again this week, the members seem really excited to bring friends, and reactivate people who have strayed a bit. We’ve been having “Priesthood Trainings” (where Elder C and I basically just give pep talks to get the men in the ward stoked about missionary work) every week, which seems to be helping a lot. For sure this ward is gonna divide! I already asked the president if I can return to serve in the new ward Curuçamba after it gets formed. It’s possible! And would be pretty awesome.

I’m trying to think of anything else noteworthy that happened this week… we still haven’t made that chocolate ice creamish dessert yet… but for sure today! NOW we have everything we need, and we should have the time today. Plus we’ve already promised a handful of people we’ve give out samples… that’s some pressure. Promise I’ll take pictures Mom! Still working on that accent too. I talked to a member in the ward who recommended I practice talking with a pencil in my mouth. I thought he was joking at first, but no, apparently that helps. I’ll definitely have to try that, when no one is looking.

Well Happy Birthday Mom! And Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope everyone has a terrific week, love you bye!
Sincerely,
Élder Maughan

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Futebol > Football

Quick before I forget to answer your question again, yes I have a washing machine! I hang up my clothes to dry inside, since hanging them up outside is highly counter productive thanks to the rain.

Had another baptism this past saturday! The brother of P (the one you talked with on Natal) was interested in the church after going to the wedding of his brother, and after a couple months of teaching him he decided to get baptized! Also, the ward has a goal to divide this year, and all the members are working together to reach the goal! Everyone has been inviting friends to come to church, and the ward has really been growing! The transfers are the next week, and I certainly wouldn’t mind staying one more transfer here to help some more.

Portuguese is coming along slowly but surely! The past few weeks Elder C has been helping me with the accent, and it seems to be improving! We spend language study with me reading the Liahona (church magazine) aloud, and he listens for my accent. And also I like to write down any word that I read that I don’t recognize, so that works out well too! Got quite the list, that’s for sure.

Watched 3 seconds of the Super Bowl yesterday! A member was flipping though channels in the other part of the room last night, and stopped on the game for a moment. I had forgotten what American Football looked like, so that was kinda excited. Got even more excited/distracted (oops) when I put the game and the date together and realized it was the Super Bowl! But apparently American Football isn’t that cool here, so he continued flipping channels until he found a good soap opera. I guess it’s not the same anyway without the commercials.

Well have a great week, even if there’s no snow! And I’ll let you know if it snows here.

Love,
Élder Maughan

P.s. Christmas pic is kinda delayed, but better late than never! The other two pics are out baptisms from last week and this week.

Still Can’t Sightread

Hey family!

It’s been a bit hectic trying to find internet that’s working,
but I think we finally found it! Spent a good chunk of my internet
time loading though… think this might be a bit shorter of a letter,
sorry! Or maybe that’s a good thing for people who don’t like to read
my essays, haha.

We had another baptism yesterday before church! If I figure out
how to send pictures today I’ll attach the one of a family we’ve been
teaching. They still have to get married before that can be baptized,
but their 8 year old son told us this week that he wanted to get
baptized! So that was a really neat experience, I think that the
family was really excited about that. Kinda funny seeing an 8 year old
setting the example for his parents!

Also, I ended up playing the piano in two sacrament meeting
yesterday! Usually I don’t play, but in our meeting the man who plays
wasn’t there. Luckily I was able to play more or less all the songs.
Before the mission I learned “Should You Feel Inclined to Censure”
even though I don’t know why, because I don’t actually like that song
all that much. But turns out to be really helpful, because in
Portuguese they changed the lyrics and made it a sacrament song! And
apparently it’s a popular one too. Yesterday afternoon all the
missionaries in our zone gather together in one of the wards to invite
people from the streets to attend the meetings in that ward, which was
a fun experience! Then when we went in to attend sacrament meeting it
turned out that also had no one to play the piano. Definitely have to
work on my sightreading skills… but I was actually surprised – in one
of the songs I was able to add some left hand by the last 2 verses!
I’m going to give credit to some heavenly help with that, it’s really
nice knowing we can pray for help with really anything.

Also, another Elder gave me his Children’s songbook in Portuguese
yesterday! It’s old and falling about, but still has all the songs!
Flipping through that was a serious trip down memory lane. Now I can
finish learning “Baptism”, since my goal has been to play that at a
baptismal service before the end of my mission.

Also, no pics yet from cooking! But I made a pretty sweet Goiaba
flavored ice creamish thing, which I topped with some chocolate milk
mix (of course, has to have chocolate). By the way, if that sounds
fancy, just know that it’s super super easy to make, not too
impressive.

Well I hope everyone has a great week with lots of success in
whatever you’re doing. Love you all, take care!

Sincerely,
Elder Scott Maughan

Master Chef

Happy Monday! This week was awesome! Elder C and I have been seeing miracles after miracles. He’s a really, really great teacher and great missionary, definitely learning a ton from him. He’s also crazy and funny and really enthusiastic, so we have a pretty good time. We still break out into song rather frequently, I hope our neighbors don’t think we’re crazy.

So not sure if the Lord is preparing me to be a marriage counselor when I get home, or if it’s just prep for my own marriage, but we keep finding ourselves in interesting situations where we have to give couples advice or help them with their marriage. The gospel really does bless families!

Also, I’ve decided that while I’m spending 2 years in a place full of delicious foods (and especially fruits) I’m going to take advantage of this and learn to cook a bit! Picking up on ideas from other missionaries, I’ve already been making easy pancakes (I added chocolate milk mix too, turned out really good!), fruit smoothies, and creme (ice cream/puddingish thing). Elder C and I got a recipe from a lady in the ward this week that we’re going to try to make… it’s supposed to be some sort of chocolate ice creamish thing that is to die for. Will be quite the adventure!

Well I hope everyone has a fantastic week, thanks for reading my emails! Love you all!

Élder Maughan

Enya and Basshunter

Happy Martin Luther King Junior Day!

Ananindeua is celebrating MLK Day with 24 hours of rain apparently. But hey I guess that’s cool too!

Sunday (Domingo) is definitely our busiest day of the week. We generally wake up (sometimes earlier than normal), eat breakfast and shower real quick, then leave to pick up investigators to go to church with us. Sometimes we catch a bus to the chapel, which is a little far from where most our investigators live. After church we lunch, then visit people the rest of the day. But Sunday is like our Friday, since we have P-Day the next day, so it’s always a great feeling to arrive home Sunday night after a long week, knowing tomorrow we’ll get rest/sleep.

So my area didn’t have a baptism this week, but in other areas in our zone, 3 people got baptized to whom I taught the first lesson during splits! So I’m going to give myself some undeserved credit there. Also, one was a young women who actually asked that I baptize her, so I got to baptize someone Saturday! That is always such a great experience.

Oh, to explain the subject. This one really long street down which we often walk usually plays music through speakers on the telephone poles. And usually it’s in Portuguese, but sometimes it plays classic and old songs in English. This past week has been rather strange though. I’m not sure who is in charge of the music. I heard “Dota” by Basshunter (okay, which I realize is not English), and also “Wild Child” by Enya. I’m not sure how many people in this world know both those songs, but it’s probably not a very large number.

Pictures! One is me and Elder C. He makes me feel tall. But I think that I’m the shortest American to be called to serve in Belém – the rest are giants. Also the other is Elder B’s going away party, with a bunch of members (and investigators) from Curuçamba. That was our FHE night; turned out pretty well!

Well I hope everyone has a fantastic MLK day and an awesome week too. Love you all!

Sincerely,
Élder Maughan

Feliz Natal #2

Hey family!

So I’m sitting here in the Cyber in downtown Belém and on two other computers there are two men talking. After 5 minutes I finally realized they are talking in English, and I got really excited. Except they are very clearly from England, which is probably the reason it took so long to recognize the English.

Things are going really well here! I love my companion, Elder Chagas. He’s awesome, funny, enthusiastic, and a hard worker. He’s from Recife, and he’s been out 16 months. Also, he’s our district leader, so that adds a bit more excitement and variety to our days. I think we’re going to have some great success here in Paar/Curuçamba. We’ve already been seeing some small miracles everyday, running into people on the street that seem really interested, as well as running into members who we had been looking for. Also, we’ve been receiving some great references from the members here. The Bishop is really motivating everyone; he wants to divide the ward this year. Hopefully Elder Chagas and I can help him get off to a good start!

I was actually going to ask you if you could send me teaching supplies! Having things that investigators can actually see or do really helps with the lessons (especially when I’m at this stage of the whole speaking in Portuguese thing). Plus I think it makes it easier to teach kids and teenagers, which is something we’re going to be doing a bit more of soon.

We’ve gotten back in the Spirit of Christmas, because Elder Chagas brought DVDs of Joy to the World and the Christmas Devocional also, so we’ve been watching those. And he also loves to sing, so we randomly break out in hymns (so far mostly Christmas hymns). Except he sings in Portuguese while I sing in English, because I don’t know all the words in Portuguese. Working on that though! The past couple days The First Noel has been constantly stuck in my head. Not complaining! Also, he and I both received Christmas packages today, so looks like it’s going to be Christmas again tonight!

Well have a fanstastic week – love you all!

Sincerely,
Elder Maughan

Ring Out, Wild Fireworks

Happy New Year! Hope you aren’t too jealous that I was the first one to arrive in 2012.

Also, since Mom is probably wondering why there are no pictures today, the internet is in turtle mode, so I won’t be attaching/downloading anything today. Also, somehow the photos I took at Christmas are no longer on my camera… but don’t worry mom, they on the computer of Paulo and Sonia, so I’ll find them again!

Life is going pretty well in Ananindeua! And it’s going to continue going well here for at least another 6 weeks, cause I’m staying here for transfers. And I’m kinda excited about that! I love the ward, and I’ve been working, especially the last few weeks, with building my relationship with them (meaning, talking in Portuguese to them), so it will be nice to continue to work with them. Plus, I know the area really well now, so I’ll be able to lead my new companion around, who should be arriving tomorrow. Elder Bispo is headed to someplace I hadn’t heard of and I can’t pronounce, much less spell, but I think it’s not too too far so we’ll still get to see each other at conferences and such.

New Year’s Eve here was pretty crazy, that’s for sure. Everyone threw a party (which all started after our curfew, so we didn’t actually go to any of them). Just like Christmas, there was an absurd amount of food, which means a ton of leftovers, which means a meal at every appointment the next day, which means once again Elder Maughan won’t be hungry for a long while. Midnight was absolutely crazy. I realize we were supposed to be asleep, but that wasn’t even slightly possible. For 20-30 minutes there were nonstop explsions coming from every single house in the city (except ours) as EVERYONE set off fireworks. It was soo loud! I thought it was really really neat though. Elder Bispo was slightly disappointed, because, as he pointed out, everyone only bought the cheap fireworks that make more noise than fire, but I thought it was awesome nonetheless.

So tonight we’re going to hold a big FHE as Elder Bispo’s last lesson here. We’re going to talk about the temple, since there are a lot of new families that have been baptized in the past year and are (or should/will be) preparing to go there and get sealed. Definitely learned a lot about the importance of temples here on the mission! And especially about how much temples mean to the people here. And I thought 3 hours was far… the people here who attend the temple have to sacrifice so much, but then again “sacrafice brings forth the blessing of heaven”. Which, by the way, did not get translated in the Portugese version of that song. But anyway, we’re going to use that playdough you sent me to build temples as the activity! Pretty excited, not gonna lie.

Well have an awesome year! And week too. Love you all!
Sincerely,
Elder Maughan