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 4 February, 2008)

Hey guys!

How are things? Everything’s just fine here in Posse, where Carnival is in full swing (how exciting). Fortunately, we’re not exactly here to watch carnival, so it’s not a huge deal to us, although the music they play is really loud and obnoxious. Hey, what can you do?

Anyway, this week was an alright week- Elder Schendroski got sick for two days and I could only find young men to do a division with us on one day, so I spent a whole day at home, which was quite possibly the worst day of my mission. I read and studied and updated our area book the whole day. There was actually a minute where I had to break a rule and go to the pay phone to call up and cancel our lunch. I took off the missionary getup and went undercover, hat backwards and all, to try to disguise myself. After 19 months of having someone by your side, walking alone is quite possibly the weirdest feeling in the world. There’s nothing like it. But I was strong and made it through.

This week we had our trip to civilization to go to zone conference, which was an adventure. Among the highlights: hanging out with a few hippies at the bus station until midnight, sleeping maybe 3 hours of the 5 hour bus ride, and walking around Brasilia at 4:45 in the morning because there weren’t any buses that hour. It was actually kind of fun. Although we were rather tired by the end of the whole thing. The conference was good, President talked about how often we neglect the simple things that can be really helpful, like our area book, etc. It’s all stuff that we all know, but he reminded us to not forget about it, and I can tell that it’ll really help in our mission. We also talked about how to work well with the ward and stake leadership (not really applicable at the moment- we’re 4 hours from the nearest stake). One thing that I’ve learned might be a gift that I’ve got is the ability to put myself in others’ shoes. As missionaries, we often forget that the other members and leaders have lives and families, unlike us, but I think I’ve been halfway decent at avoiding that. Or at least trying.

Church yesterday was exciting, because during carnival the church in Brazil always has a conference, like youth conference, over the weekend. So almost the whole ward was there, and there were maybe 20 people at the branch yesterday- 5 visitors that we brought and only 2 other men, which made the sacrament kind of fun. We found a really great and humble family who lives close to the church, a man and his three children. They realize that the church is true and really like all the activities, and will be baptized this weekend. The family we were teaching wasn’t baptized, I’m not really sure why, but I keep thinking about the quote that mom used, that no amount of prayer, fasting, or effort will take away someone’s free agency. But if I could, I would. We’ll work with them and help them be baptized this week.

I got Grandma Maughan’s package, and we’re really enjoying the chocolate. The other 3 packages are somewhere in the mission; my goal is to get them before I go home. ;) Don’t worry, I’ll get them soon.

We didn’t get a chance to watch President Hinckley’s funeral, but I’m sure it was really great. I reread this week his talks in General Conference, and I really like him. He was really straightforward and helped us a lot. He’ll always be the prophet that I’ll remember as the prophet when I was a kid.

Alright, time to head out. Thanks for everything. I wasn’t able to get the cable for the coolpix, but I’m sure I can buy one around here if it doesn’t work. I’ll figure it out. If there’s anything I can do, let me know!

Love, Elder Maughan