Wednesday, August 16, 2017

18 Months and Counting

Most sister missionaries would be going home right now... lucky me I still have a few weeks :) 

Ok, WOW so much happened this week. I'll let you know though that Satan is working hard to get me to just give up now that I'm so close to the end. SO many amazing miracles are around me, yet my mind has been focused on all the things that still aren't going well or are going wrong. I just have to say NOT TODAY SATAN like a million times a day, it's super annoying. :P Good thing he's not going to win! 

First of all, last Wednesday after we emailed, we tie-dyed (ha now I know how to spell it! I hope...) with Brooke and Cole. I'll send the few pics that we took, it was fun! 

                                               Tie-Dying shirts with Brooke and her boys!

We also had a really good lesson with good old Rob (remember him? It's been a while since I mentioned him, cause things have been moving really slowly with him). We brought a member, the member worked miracles, and Rob actually committed to coming to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Literally, I don't think I've ever been so excited about someone committing to come, just because he's been so stubborn about it haha.) Then we drove out to Bellevue and had a good lesson with the Brown family, love them! 

Thursday was PACKED to the max. Most of it would probably bore you to hear anyways, but it was insane having every second of the day from 6:30am to 9pm planned. Fun fact though is we drove to North Olmstead for exchanges with the sisters at night, and Sister Bussell chopped my hair for me! It feels SO much better, I love it! 

So Friday we were in North Olmstead with the sisters. I was with Sister Davis all day, she's awesome! Weird that this was my last exchange...

                                             Sisters Green, Bussell, Maughan and Davis!

Saturday, we did some planning, did service for a cute family we tracted into, had dinner with some members. Then met Pat and Jo at their house to drive with them to Lorain, for a baptism! Even more fun, it's someone Sister Archibald has been teaching! The spirit was so strong there, and Pat and Jo really enjoyed it.

Sunday Rob came to church, plus we got a ride with a less active, so she came too! :) 

Yesterday we went to Kirtland with Brooke, Cole, Donovan, and Bishop and Sister Perdue. I'm so grateful we can do things like that on our mission! 

                                                             Sister Green and Sister Maughan
                                           at the Kirtland Temple with Brooke, Cole, Donovan. 

Also, visiting the Newell K Whitney Store in Kirtland
Sister Green, Sister Maughan with Brooke and her boys!

Another week down. Sorry if my emails are getting boring, I think I'm just sick of writing them. Being able to talk to you all in person is going to be way better! :D 

Love you!!!!

Sister Maughan

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just Serve

Hi! Let's all take a minute to acknowledge that I will be IN UTAH 29 days from now. Whoa. Alright, now we can acknowledge that I only have 29 days to bless the people of the Ohio with my presence. Lucky them! :) 

This week.... Pat and Jo decided they've adopted us. (Sorry mom!) Haha we've been over there teaching a lot lately, plus they gave us a ride home from church, plus Jo fixed our bikes, plus they fed us dinner Monday. We're having dinner with them again tomorrow at a member's home, and Saturday we are taking them to a baptism Lorain is having. I'm surprised they aren't sick of us! 

Saturday we had interviews with President Brown (IDK why it was on a Saturday, that's the first time that happened). Last interview before my exit interview. Crazy stuff, we've hit the "last"s! 

So I got to see Sister Archibald and her trainee, Sister Chance. Did I mention that she was training?? I LOVE it, she's doing so good! I'm a "grandma"! :) 

Mostly this week, Sister Green and I have been realizing how odd our lives are. We meet random strangers on the street, they invite us over once either to serve them, to feed us, or to teach them, and we start seeing them on a regular basis and they become our best friends! That doesn't really happen to anyone else that I know of. It's pretty fun! 

Today we are doing tie-die (tye-dye? tie-dye?) with Brooke and the kids. And the next few days are CRAZY busy for us. I know time is going to fly by this week! At least until Sunday. 

Honestly, I can't think of anything else to tell you that wouldn't just be more random information. I will give you an assignment to go out and SERVE this week though! We've been learning a lot about it, and DOING a lot of it lately. Service is an amazing way to brighten people's days, and to follow the example of our Savior. Find little ways to do it- picking up a wrapper off the floor, holding open the door, smiling at someone, asking someone if they need help, and so many others. We find ourselves happier in the process.

Love you all! Go bless someone with you presence! :D

Love, Sister Maughan   

This is a picture that Abby sent.  It is from a few weeks ago when 
President and Sister Uchtdorf visited their mission.  
Abby is on the far left, 5th person in on the back row.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

B is for Baptism!!!

Hi! Here's the recap of the week, in chronological order. :)

Wednesday, since we stayed together we had the day to work! Went to Bellevue to serve at a place called Fish'n'Loaves (thanks Sis Rock for the tip!). It was SO FUN. It's a food bank, and this week they were doing basically a drive through farmers market. So the people would sign in, pull up in their cars with the trunks open, and we would fill their trunks with corn, potatoes, onions, peaches, and lots of other yummy veggies! The people were so kind and fun there. We stayed in Bellevue until dinner time, then finished our night out in Norwalk.

Thursday, we flip flopped how our day went, starting the day off in Norwalk and then going to Bellevue at night. I don't know how we fit everything in that day, looking at my schedule, it all overlapped and looks impossible. Somehow it all worked out though!

Friday was Brooke's baptism!!!! We basically spent the majority of the day at the church, because we had ward coordination in the morning, and then I had to start "My Plan" on the computer, so we just did it at the family history library. Had to go back early to set up for the baptism at night. Thank goodness our ward is so supportive and know what they are doing, because it went really smoothly. (I mean, if it was just me it probably wouldn't have, because I've never done this before!). Her family and a good amount of ward members came, the spirit was there, and she was happy! I don't remember if I told you that she chose to get baptized on her birthday, so that was fun too! 
Sunday Brooke got confirmed in sacrament meeting! Plus three of our investigators were at church (Pat and Jo of course, and Kimberly). 

Then night time, here's a fun story. There's this little store in Norwalk we go to every once in awhile, so we popped in last Wednesday after we emailed to see if we could find Brooke a b-day present. We've talked to the owner a few times, and he's joked about having us over for dinner. Well by the time we walked out Wednesday, we had a dinner appointment with him and his family! So Sunday evening we went over there, they are such a kind and fun family. He told us we're not allowed to convert them though. :) But they must have liked us, because they are feeding us again this week! The random things that only happen to you when you're a missionary. Love it!

Now it's finally August, and we're halfway through this week already. Where does the time go, honestly? Will someone slow it down, please? :D

Alright, well my brain hurts so I think we're going to stop there. Love you all! Remember that living the gospel brings true happiness. I've felt a joy you can't describe this past week. That joy makes all the hard more than worth it. 

Doctrine and Covenants 123:17
17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

Love you! 

Love, Sister Maughan

Pictures taken at Brooke's Baptism! 
Sister Green, Brooke and Sister Maughan! 
What a HAPPY Day!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last Transfer Letter!

Hola my friends and family! 

First things first, I'm staying here in Sandusky with Sister Green! Surprise, surprise right? Haha it was funny because I almost forget transfer calls were last night, until it hit about 9:30 and I realized "Oh, we should be getting a call." Usually if I'm getting transferred, I'm super stressed and waiting for the call ALL DAY. So it was nice to forget about it, and I'm STOKED to stay here! 

Brooke's baptism is THIS FRIDAY, so I would've missed it by like two days. Plus, I just LOVE these people. I remember coming to Sandusky not too excited, and now I can't imagine my mission without these people! 

So this week was interesting. We did end up helping those people move last Wednesday, and it was actually really fun! Ha we didn't get hardly ANY of our cleaning done... but hey people are more important. 

Friday was the next day that anything was different than normal. We had ward coordination in the morning, then we drove with Brooke to Lorain for her interview. Ended up being there awhile, and we were sort of on baby-sitting duty (shhh) while she was being interviewed. So we played basketball with her boys in the gym, in our skirts. It was great! Brooke is doing really well and is excited for her baptism! Please continue to keep her in your prayers, the adversary is still throwing things at her to make her life hard. :( She just keeps moving forward though!

Saturday morning we helped the same couple move again, and once again it was pretty fun! Hard work though, so we rewarded ourselves with ice cream after :) Wednesday we got shaved ice! 

Yesterday was probably my favorite day of this week. Did District Meeting in the morning, then say Pat and Joe with one of our members. Saw Brooke after that, did some tracting, then went to a ward activity for Pioneer Day. Because Pat and Joe came to the activity!! They were able to meet a few people, (not as many people introduced themselves as I would've liked... but I'll take what I can get.) and they seemed to have a good time. (p.s. they came to church AGAIN this week. It blows my mind.) 

That's about it. Thanks for listening :) Love you all!!!

Love, Sister Maughan

District Picture - left to right - 

Elder Worthington, Elder Hunt, Elder Scoresby, Elder Christiansen, 
Elder Kitchens, Elder Walker, 
Sister Richards, Sister Archibald, me, Sister Green. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Wanna come see my broken vacuum?"

This is one of those weeks where even though we kept busy... I feel like we didn't really do a lot. Taught some people, did some finding. Friday did service for some members in Bellevue. Saturday we went to a baptism the elders had. Sunday President and Sister Brown were at church for the confirmation. Pat and Joe (the miracle couple from last week) were at church again! Love them, they are the greatest! 

The subject line is from a little boy that ran up to us while we were outside knocking on doors. :) I wish everyone was so excited to invite us over! 

This week, we plan for Brooke's baptism next week! Ahh! 

Also, transfers are next week... so I'll email you on Tuesday and let you know what's up. Most likely I"ll stay here in Sandusky, and I HOPE I do or I"ll totally miss Brooke's baptism. Who knows though, they might ship me out somewhere else for my last six weeks. (Crazy that I'm down to the last six weeks!!!)

My brain also just isn't functioning right now, because our preparation day is becoming not a preparation day. There is an older couple we've been working with that is moving, and we've been telling them for WEEKS to let us come help them move, because last time they did it all by themselves. But of course they just called us this morning saying they need the help THIS afternoon, and it's going to take about 2-3 hours. The things we get ourselves into sometimes!! We easily could say nevermind... but my conscience wouldn't let me. :(

Scripture of the week is 2 Corinthians 4
"8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Love you all! Keep on keepin on!

Love, Sister Maughan

                      A couple of pictures from their trip to the zoo last week on p-day!
                                                              Abby with the flamingos!

Sister Green and Sister Maughan at the zoo!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

President Uchtdorf Brings Miracles

This week was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! All those hard times last week were just Heavenly Father saying... just wait for it. It will come.

So fun surprise for all of you (unless you've talked to my mom really recently and she told you), President Uchtdorf came to speak to us last Thursday!! It was a last minute mission conference, so we all got together at Kirtland, and he and his wife spoke to us for about an hour and a half total. WOW it was incredible to really see and hear them in person, not just from the TV. If his talk was going to be printed in the Ensign, it would be titled "Every Day is a New Independence Day." He talked about how we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily, we can wake up with a fresh start, none of the mistakes from yesterday weighing us down. She talked a lot about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and how that is HUGE blessing in our every day lives. Ahhh the feeling I had being there with them, and ALL the missionaries. Just makes your heart happy. Plus, added bonus was we drove down with Sister Archibald and Sister Richards, so we got to hang out with them!

Another huge miracle this week was Saturday night we planned to stop by someone we'd tracted into a few weeks ago. Sister Ashby was still here, and we'd left him a Book of Mormon, and he told us to give him a few weeks to read and come back. So we went back, and he let us right in. One of the first questions he asked was "When are your services?" :) We answered a few of his questions, and then explained that we wanted to share the Restoration with them, and he invited his wife to come listen in. Long story short, they CAME TO CHURCH THE NEXT DAY. We are really excited to keep working with them! 
Sunday, not only did they come, but we had two other investigators at church. I've never had that many come in one day my whole mission, besides when the whole Backer family came back in Strongsville. It's great to know that Heavenly Father is taking care of these people, preparing these people, and He's in charge of it all. We just go where he puts us, and trust that everything will work out how it needs to. Heavenly Father is amazing!

We had quite a few other miracles/tender mercies this week, I wish I had time to share them all with you. I'm so grateful to be a witness to all of God's miracles. Though I have no idea what the outcome of these miracles will be in the long run, I am so grateful for what they teach me, and that Heavenly Father allows me to be a part of them. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! We are going to the zoo today, so hopefully I"ll have some fun pics to send next Wednesday.

Love, Sister Maughan

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Keep on keepin' on

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great 4th of July! Isn't it weird that the title of that holiday is 
just the date that it's on? 

The big news this week is Brooke and Tim got married!!!!! Who knew that I'd get to go to a wedding on my mission? :) It was a lot of work, (we spent almost all day Friday and Saturday either at the church or at her house helping get everything ready for the reception, cleaning, etc), but it of course was so worth it! It was also a great missionary opportunity- so many people who never would have set foot in our church spent a good two to three hours there! Brooke and Tim and the kids were all just so happy. Plus, we got a lot of leftovers from the dinner to take home with us, so bonus! :D

Sunday was a pretty average day. One of our newer investigators came to church!! Then we spent most of the day in Bellevue, and not much happened. Two of our appointments cancelled, and most of our plans had already fallen through. The GPS took us WAY in the wrong direction for one address we were trying to find, so we drove through the long row of fields out in the country for a while trying to figure out where we were really supposed to be. We did have dinner with a family, and they fed us Sauerkraut (yes mom I ate it, and yes I actually liked it! Maybe just because it reminded me of home ). 

Monday, we had interviews with President in Lorain. And... pretty much nothing happened after that. Woot.

Yesterday, let's just say it was rough. No one really wants to talk to us on holidays when they're with their families.(I know, it doesn't make any sense). We actually talked about doing weekly planning in the morning, because this Thursday we have a mission conference and won't be able to do it then. But President during interviews was like "get out there, go to the parades, go talk to people!" So we made the most of it, though most of it was rejection. :/ Walked to the Parade in the morning, I still get anxiety contacting in large crowds, even though I've been on my mission my whole life. We just passed out cards, ran into some members and chatted with them for a minute, then walked back home. We did have a fun small miracle, because one of our neighbors was walking home at the same time as us, so we got to talk to her for a whole 15 minutes! We could tell she didn't want to talk religion, so we just chatted with her for the first few minutes, and then she ended up asking us tons of questions about who we are and what we do. I'd say that is a success!

The rest of the day, we helped some of our members scrape the side of their house so they can repaint it. Had dinner at another members' home, and they bought us sparklers to celebrate! Night time... probably one of the hardest nights of my mission. We were walking again, and on our way home we stopped by a less active and let her be our mom for a minute while we complained to her about how hard our day had been and she told us we were doing a good job. Ended the night by watching the fireworks through our upstairs window, through the trees! Happy Fourth of July to us! :) 

Thank goodness for the gospel. These hard days/weeks/months/years... are still hard. They are still dang hard. Yet with the gospel, you have something more. It's called HOPE.  Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with a surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." 

I also have been thinking a lot about Ether 12:27 27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." As we come unto Christ, our weaknesses are made very apparent. That in turn puts us between a rock and a hard place (I literally don't know what that analogy means, but it sounds nice so I"ll use it.). It brings us down to our knees, and makes us realize we are not as high up and mighty as we thought we were. But I love the purpose behind it. We are here to be made humble, so that our weaknesses can become strengths. Those weaknesses, would remain just that- weaknesses, unless we come unto Christ and allow him to mold and shape us into something much stronger.

So yes, life is hard. Yes, there are days when I'm ready to call it quits and wonder why in the world I even try. But I am not here to give up. I'm here to give it my best, and let the Lord take care of the rest. 

That's why I'm grateful for every day of my mission. 

Alright, I've noveled you out of your minds by now, thanks for listening and for being my therapy. I love you all literally more than I could ever say, and know your prayers have been the reason I've been able to stick it out these last few days. As Sister Green and I often say lately. "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." 

Love, Sister Abby Maughan

Abby with Brooke, their investigator 
that got married at the church this week! Hooray!! 

Abby and Sister Green celebrating the 4th of July with sparklers!!