Brazil Brasilia Mission
Called to Serve
Elder Eric Maughan
July 2006 - July 2008

Letters from Eric
Eric's Photos
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Quick Information:

RETURNING HOME
Eric's itinerary has arrived! He will be flying into the Albany NY airport, arriving at 10:25 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. We're excited!!

Lots of new pictures today. Check them out here. (04/28/08)

Pouch Mail Address:
POUCH MAIL IS BEING DISCONTINUED FOR ALL MISSIONARIES SERVING IN BRAZIL. All mail must be sent directly to the mission office. (See Contact Information link)

Questions or comments?

E-mail me at family@maughan1.com.

(Excerpts from e-mail sent on 9/11/2006)

Hey guys!!

How are you doing? Turns out I'm in the mission field now, like you know. pretty awesome. We sent postcards from the mission home last week, but I doubt that you received it yet. So, anyway, I'm here safe and sound! I'm in Gama, and I would tell you where that is, except I don't know. So maybe you can find out and tell me. haha. It's about an hour outside of Brasilia, a fairly large city, and I'm in the East Sector, area A. There are 4 sectors, and they're all divided into quandrants, so it's nice and organized. I wouldn't call it an affluent area at all, and it's a crazy experience to walk through the cities here. I don't think I can really describe it, i'll have to send pictures. The houses are concrete/brick, and each has a large concrete wall and/or fence around it, so you stand outside the fence and clap until someone comes out to you. It's a different experience, for sure. The people here are really nice and really friendly. it's been almost a week, and I think only two people that we've met on the street have said they don't want us to come to their houses to share our message with them. That's not to say that they're at their houses when we get there, because a lot of the time they're not, so we spend an awful lot of the day walking around the city trying to find someone at home.

My trainer is Elder Fernandes, who is from Natal, Rio de Janeiro. He and I are really similar, both relatively quiet and laid back, and he's a great trainer. I would say the biggest difference between us is that he speaks português and I speak English, but no biggy. He knows some english words, especially from listening to American music, but no phrases, so we do all our communicating in portuguese. It's really cool. I can generally well, sometimes, understand more or less what's being said, although I have a harder time trying to put together phrases. I spent a lot of time this past week just following him around, trying to figure out what's going on. He has me give parts of the lesson and stuff like that, too, which is an adventure. I think it's neat when people see me struggle with the language during a lesson because it shows that the Gospel means enough to me to come to a foreign country and try to learn the language to share it. My plan for now is to try as hard as I can to learn it, but just be patient, because i'll learn eventually, and I feel like i'm making progress already. The only thing that can get frustrating is when I feel like I have all these ideas of what I want to say or what kind of missionary the Lord wants me to be, but I can't yet, because I don't really know the language. but I figure if it takes 6 months to learn the language, for every day I struggle I'll have 3 that I can speak Portuguese well, so I'll just be patient.

Hey, while i'm at it, let me clear up some rumors about Brasil: 1. Lunch is the big meal of the Day. this is a lie. Lunch is the ONLY meal of the day. Every day a family from the ward provides lunch, and the food is amazing. I think I'm in love with beans and rice (not even being sarcastic), then there's lasagna and pie that puts ya'lls yankee Lemon Meringue to shame, and that kind of stuff. Then sometime Elder Fernandes and I will stop by one of the 50 bakeries close by and pick up some amazing pasteries for the equivalent of 15 cents. And some fruit randomly, but that's our diet. sometimes members will feed us, too. I think they just go through the kitchen throwing things in the blender [Portuguese word for the day: liquidificador], but it's way good. Like 10 types of fruit, milk, sugar, rice, whatever else. 2. Brazilian kids always play soccer. Wait, turns out this is true. It's so cool. Just like the fenced-in bball courts we have in our cities, they have soccer courts here. And there are always younger kids playing in the street, with sock balls, bottles, anything. Elder Fernandes and I sometimes dribble coconuts to our appointments, which is harder than it sounds.

Life is good here! The work is going relatively well. All our investigators copped out on going to church yesterday, but the field is white here if you work hard. The other ward that meets in our building had a baptism yesterday, and we had a confirmation yesterday, too. It's pretty exciting. Well, i'm out, probably to go buy bananas. Or some other unrecognizable fruit. Love you guys, and be good, work hard, and have fun!! Elder Eric