Jeeps, Thunderstorms, and Eclipses

Hello everybody!

Another great week in Ilhabela. Topped it off with a great Sunday yesterday–spent the morning in division with a member who works in adventure tourism, speeding around the hills in town in his crazy off-roading Jeep to pick up investigators for church (imagine him leaning out the window of his decked-out Jeep yelling, “hey bro, let’s go to church! Get in!”). That was awesome. Three couples and a few other investigators came to the meeting, and they were (as always, in Ilhabela) super well-received and really enjoyed the meeting. Unfortunately, none of the couples is married so we’ve still got some work to do before they can be baptized.

We also visited two great less-active members this week–two guys who were baptized together about 5 years ago. I think our visits hit them pretty hard, and they both agreed to come to church and showed up together Sunday morning! That was awesome. And also they invited us to climb a mountain called Pico do Baepi with them next P-day, which frankly I have been dying to do since I got to Ilhabela but we’ll have to see if there will be enough time.

We came across the most beautiful view yet on our island yet, while we were tracking down an address on a road fittingly named Via Panorâmica. Unfortunately this LAN house doesn’t accept memory cards so I can’t send the pictures haha. Maybe later!

In answer to your questions, Mom: at church we don’t teach the Gospel Essentials class, a member named Margareth does. We just sit with the investigators and less-actives and participate, like in Sacrament meeting. There is a piano (keyboard) in the chapel as well, and a branch pianist! A first for my mission. So I don’t play the hymns here, except for yesterday when the pianist was on vacation and I filled in at the last minute. Luckily they were all hymns I knew how to play!

I’m emailing from Santos right now! Elder Timmons and I got here late last night. We were coming down to Santos for the mission conference on Wednesday anyway, and we came down with Elder Schwantes (who’s having his farewell lunch now) last night to help out with the transfer and the new arrivals tomorrow as well. Yesterday was a little crazy, to catch our bus we crossed the canal over to São Sebastião on the ferry in a thunderstorm! We taught a lesson to the man standing next to us while the boat was rocking like crazy and we were up to our ankles in water. On the bus ride, we also got to see a little bit of the lunar eclipse! A man had mentioned it in his talk, but didn’t say what time it would be, but I was looking out for it, so about 10:45 when we were just getting into Cubatão on our way to Santos I saw it! We three and a few other bus passengers we invited sat with our faces glued to the windows watching. Clouds covered it just as the moon disappeared fully. (Dad, that almost beats watching the Geminids from the airplane window!)

Okay well this is a really long email and somehow I’ve been sidetracked to lunar eclipses, so I’ll end here haha. This week was great! This next week will be even better! Arrivals, mission conference, and CONFERENCE!

Thanks for everything, love you all!
Élder Maughan

oops I almost forgot to mention the transfer hahah. Elder Timmons and I will stay in Ilhabela, and we’ll be in trio with Elder Arvidson! We won’t actually see him until Wednesday, but he’s really great and we’re excited to work with him.

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