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

Letters from Eric
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Quick Information:

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!!

Check out LOTS of new photos here. (06/03/08)

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

(excerpts from an e-mail sent June 3, 2008)

Hey family!

How are things? I’ll tell you what, things are going really well here in Posse. Yesterday we went to see the prophet, and it was maybe the best day of my life. I’ll give you the rundown:
We left on Sunday night (that overnight bus-ride that I always talk about. I really enjoy it, actually), and got to Brasilia the wee hours of the morning on Monday. With nothing better to do, we went to Cruzeiro, where Elder Coelho (my companion a year and a half ago) is now working. It was so much fun to see him again and talk about the mission and everything. Then we grabbed the area book and looked at everyone I taught a year ago when I was there a year ago, and did a division and Elder Coelho and I went and taught them. So much fun. First off, it’s awesome to walk with one of your best friends in the mission, and a companion 18 month ago. We opened an area in Miracema when we both had 6 months in the mission, and it was fun to walk around when we both have 23. A little different. Anyway, that was a blast.

After that, we got a little nervous because the bus drivers in Brasilia chose yesterday to go on strike, so we weren’t sure how we would get from Cruzeiro to the place where the prophet would speak, but we ran into the RS President from Posse and her family at a nearby all-you-can-eat buffet, and they gave us a ride there. Close call.

The prophet spoke to us at the Marina Hall, an auditorium on the lake shore in Brasilia that seats 7,000. I don’t know how many people there were in total, but I know that there were a lot of chairs set up outside, and I heard that they were expecting around 10,000. From Posse, we rented a bus that seats 45, and another 10 people went in their cars, which was a pretty good turn-out. There were people from all over Brazil, and some people traveled 24 hours or more.

The speakers at the family night were Elder and Sister Nelson and President Monson. Sister Nelson spoke first, and spoke about a phrase she had heard: “not even once.” She encouraged us to apply this to our lives, strive to miss our tithing, etc ”not even once.” Very interesting. Then Elder Nelson spoke a lot about the importance of families, and gave advice specifically to men, then women, then children. Some highlights were the quote we’ve all heard before: “the best thing a man can do for his children is show them that he loves their mom,” and he pointed out to kids that they must honor their parents so that their kids one day honor them.
The Prophet then spoke, and it was rather incredible. He talked about how there is a time and a season for everything, a time to laugh, cry, etc (Ecclesiastes 3), and then said “And I add one more [a prophet can do that, you know. He didn’t say that, but I was thinking it]: A time to chose.” He said that we chose what will be our destiny, etc, and then told us four things to chose: to listen, learn, labor, and love. [unfortunately, the poetic imagery of ‘l’’l’’l’’l’ in English turns into a jumbled cacophony of ‘o’’a’’t’’a’ in portugese, but what can you do? ]. We should listen to our leaders and the Spirit, learn through study and in the best books (which, he said, are the scriptures), labor, because it’s not enough to just dream, or wish, but we have to work, too, and love, because that’s the great commandment. He also said that we should study the life of Christ to be able to be more like Him, and also study the lives of great leaders of the church, because there were such great examples, too. And that was it. It was really awesome. He spoke in English, with a translator at his side, which was nice, because I heard it twice, haha. Anyway, quite the experience.

But that was only half of the fun. The other half is in the fact that the members of the church from all over Brasilia were there, and I’ve been here for a while, so I know a few of them, and I ran into a bunch of people that I knew. I gained a testimony of D&C 18:15-16, the whole part about how great shall be your joy. Oh, man. I ran into people from every area, including Miracema, which is quite a ways away. I took a few pictures that I sent, too. There’s one with Maiza, Anice, and Marcilio, whom we baptized in Valparaiso. After I had left, they baptized a few more of their friends and relatives, and brought everyone to see the prophet. While I was there, for two months they weren’t sure if they wanted to be baptized or not, and to see them all there, dressed up, Marcilio in a suit (that nametag, by the way, says “Elder Maughan”), was incredible. There were a bunch of other people I ran into, too, and I think I sent you a picture of me and Naiara. When I got there to do her interview, she didn’t want to be baptized. After a 90 minute interview she was, and then she told me yesterday that she’s got one more year to finish up law school, but she’s going to put it off to go on a mission in January. It’s a good thing I’m a tough guy, because if I weren’t I’d have broken down crying in the middle of everyone, and that would have been embarrassing. It was a close call, though.

Anyway, that’s the good news from Brasilia. Here in Posse, my new companion is Elder da Silva, from the state of São Paulo. So I’ll be finishing up my mission with a grand total of 1 American companion. Elder da Silva’s a really good guy, and we’re having a great time here. We’re working like crazy, too, don’t think that I’m getting too trunky to work. You’re wrong!

Alright, that’s the news that’s fit to print. I was so happy last night I didn’t know what to do with myself. You work your tail off for 2 years, suffering like never before, and then you run into someone you helped out and see how their lives have changed, and it makes you want to go back and do it all over again. It’s amazing. Thanks for everything! Love you guys!
Life is good!