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!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"It's always Winter, but never Christmas...."

Hey there! One more week down on this Ohio Roller Coaster ride. I'd say it was a pretty average week for missionary life. I'll give you the highlights :)

Thursday we had a lesson with a referral from I LOVE this story because of what it taught me. When I first got into this area, Sister Ashby I went tracting (surprise!). We knocked on every door on this one street over a few days, found one family that we still see every once in awhile, and that was about the end of it. When we go tracting, I often pray for the people that didn't allow us to come back to really look at the website we left them with on the card, for their hearts to soften over time, etc. One of those things I pray for and never really expected to know the real results. Until now! This referral came in from that same street, saying they'd talked to missionaries not too long ago (me and Sister Ashby!) and were now interested in learning more. It was Heavenly Father's way of reminding me that He answers prayers, even ones I don't think about having answered! 

We got ANOTHER referral that day, which is super unusual for us. Except that one sent us on a wild goose chase, we can't find the address and the phone number doesn't work either. The address took us to a Baptist church, so we walked in and asked the people there if they knew anything. :) After that, we headed to North Olmstead for exchanges!

So Friday we were in North Olmstead all day, I got to hang out with Sister Bussell and teach a couple of their investigators with her. Still weirds me out being there sometimes, since that's where I was going on exchanges a year ago too, just with different sisters! 

Sunday, was pretty stellar, for various reasons.:) A less active family that we've been working with came to church, plus I had another surprise visitor there! After church, we were walking around Norwalk and the Catholic church was playing Harry Potter music with their bells. We spent the night in Bellevue again, getting to know some of the families there. I love them already! It was definitely a tender mercy day. 

We also spent most of the day in Bellevue yesterday, getting to know some of the members. 
One had us over for dinner, and the other was building a playground when we stopped by, so we ended up helping set some of it up. Love them all!

This weekend is Brooke's wedding, I"ll make sure to send some pics next week!

Love you all, have an amazing week!

Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. The subject line is just because that song has been stuck in my head lately. It's a good one :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Don't mind us, we're just persevering!" - Sister Green

My subject lines may always be Sister Green quotes from now on, I quite enjoy them. This one was said to the cars driving by while knocking on doors in the warm rain in Milan at 8:30 at night.

Wow, was this week long or was this week LONG?! I can't believe I haven't even told you about dropping Sister Ashby off, that seemed like a lifetime ago!

That's where we will start this week though. :) Last Wednesday, we drove all the way to Kirtland (90 minutes.. through crazy Cleveland traffic. Don't worry mom, I was careful and we lived!) to transfer Sister Ashby to her new companion. And there were SO many missionaries there! Tons of them were there because they were going home, plus there were a handful called to train new missionaries. Plus all of those missionaries' companions that were either getting transferred or getting new companions. So I got to see Sister Barnes, and Sister Archibald, plus tons of other sisters and elders that have either been in my zone or district. Of course us sisters all went out to Panera for lunch after! :) 

The next few days went pretty well. It's nice already knowing Sister Green, so we don't have to go through that "getting to know/adjusting to your new companion" phase every one else does. We just get to work. The people we are teaching are doing so great! One of them even had a friend over when we were there to teach, and that friend came to church with them on Sunday! 

Saturday was... well let's just say that the best part of my day was eating ice cream for dinner. We had a handful of set appointments with new people we'd tracted into... and they all weren't home when we came by. Then our back up plans weren't home either. So we were just walking around, because that's what you do when you don't know what else to do. Plus, I'm pretty sure it was 90 something degrees outside. :) My legs were SO SORE that night. We talked to the other missionaries later though, and that's how their Saturday went too! 

It's also been fun trying to figure out the Bellevue area now that we are covering that. We went there Thursday night to try to contact some of the people the elders were working with, but none of them were home. So we ended up going back last night, and got in touch with a lot of them! 

I say this every week, I'll say it again... there's SO much more I could tell you about, but that's about the gist of it. We're just enjoying life here in Sandusky, rolling along the roller coaster. I know that in our lives, we don't always see the results of our actions, and we don't always understand what is going on or why things are happening. This week I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures. "I know that (God) loveth his children, nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things." 1 Nephi 11:17. Choose to remember that there is a loving Father in Heaven who knows you inside and out and loves you always.

I love you all! 

Sister Maughan 

p.s. Did I mention that we are combined with the Lorain ward now for District Meeting, so Sister Archibald is in my district??!

Sister Ashby, Sister Green and sister Maughan --
"getting a birthday cake drink at this place called Sheri's. 
The members here rant and rave about it all the time, so we had to try it out!"

This is what Abby said about the following two pictures!! --
"Our last Preparation Day together, we all bought Ohio t-shirts! 
There's a small back story to Sister Green's :) 
There is a member we do service for every Saturday morning,
 because she broke her ankle and can't move around a lot.
 Once when we were over there, she was talking to us about how 
Ohio people are known as the "Buckeyes" or how Ohio is the Buckeye state. 
"And you know what a Buckeye is? A worthless nut! 
Only the squirrels can eat it!" 
Haha so pretty much we're all a bunch of crazies here in Ohio... 
so when we found this shirt we were laughing our heads off and HAD to buy it. 
Sadly there was only One , or we all would've gotten that one :)"

Sister Green, Sister Ashby and Sister Maughan in their Ohio shirts

Abby wrote --
 "Sis Green and I in Bellevue last night, 
with the forever fields in the background!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"I can walk in a straight line and have good thoughts"-Sis Green

Hi there! Sister Green actually said that sometime the week before, but I started saying it this week. Cause sometimes, it's good to remind yourself that at least you still know how to walk and can be positive. :) Haha Sister Green says random things all the time, I love it!

Transfer news is that Sister Green and I are staying together, and Sister Ashby is going to.. wait for it.. PERRYSBURG! The town that has my heart <3. She is actually going to be "shotgunning/whitewashing" the area with Sister Anderson. So I've been overwhelming her with info about all the people I love and want her to say hello to for me! The other news is that they took one set of elders out of our ward, so Sister Green and I are probably going to be taking over part of their area! I'm really excited!

Some things that happened this week.

We made brownie smores at 9:30 at night!

                                        Abby and Sister Green eating late night smores!

Drove the hour to Westlake for Zone Conference. Missionary friends, spiritual encouragement, good food=win! 

Followed up with someone we met last week, ended up talking to him on his back porch for 2 hours. He is really cool and we are hoping that we can continue to work with him! When we first found him tracting, he mentioned that he usually doesn't open the door to missionaries like us, but he thought we were his neighbors so he did. :) Everything happens for a reason!

Saturday we had planned a church tour with the elders, for investigators or members' friends or whoever wanted to come. No one came :/

Sunday we spent 3 hours tracting/contacting on the same street, because everyone there wants to talk to us! 

Yesterday morning we went running in the morning with a member on this beautiful bike trail! I'll have to take pics next time if we do it again. 

Now we have a whole other set of adventures for the next 6 weeks! I'm so grateful I still have this time to not only to learn and grow myself, but to share the light of the gospel with others! 

Love you! Talk to you next Wednesday!

Sister Maughan

p.s. The Ohio humidity/heat is BACK :P

                                                          District Picture (off centered!!)

A fun picture of Abby's tan lines on her feet.
(she will probably kill me for posting this!!  But I thought it was fun!)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This is what we do for fun.....

Hey there! Man, looking back on the week I can't say much happened, but I'm just happy anyways, so that's a plus! :) And happy June! (Fun side note, I come home three months from today!!)

Let's see... per usual we did lots of knocking on doors and talking to people outside. A lot of people ask us things like "what are you doing out on a night like this?" if it's bad weather or something. Sister Green every once in awhile will say, "This is what we do for fun." :)  Friday night, everyone's partying? We're tracting, that's how we spend our Friday nights!  

Something more unusual this week was that we did muchas service, aka CLEANING random strangers houses. 

Friday (happy birthday Kelsie!) we had ward coordination in the morning, and then we went with a set of the elders to help someone in the ward clean their new home before they move in. The whole house reeked of cigarette smoke, so we were wiping down everything with some solution to get rid of the smell. It was a party for sure, and I was actually sore the next day from standing and wiping down walls for so long!

Some day, I can't remember which, we were out tracting, and this older man was outside across the street doing some yard work. We walk up to him and I just say "Hi! Can we help you with anything?" He says, "Like what?" and then goes on to tell us that he's looking for some people to clean his home. His wife passed away a few years ago, and he's just let everything kind of settle and stay where it's at. He wants to finally get it organized and cleaned up. We told him we would love to help! So Monday morning, we brought a member of the church with us, and cleaned a strangers home for two hours. "This is what we do for fun on Monday mornings" I told Sister Green. :) 

Yesterday we were able to have a great lesson with Rob! We also finally saw Brooke with a member family named the Folds! They are both doing great, Brooke's just been super sick and busy, or her family has been sick. :( It's a little crazy, but things are still going well with wedding plans. Yesterday, we also brought a sister in the ward that's preparing to serve a mission out with us. We just followed up with potentials, and it actually went really well. She'll be a pro missionary.

Oh the life of a missionary. Sometimes I feel like I bore you to death, but I appreciate that you let me spill it out to all of you! You're all the best support group (can I call you a fan club? :) ) a sister could ever ask for!


Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. Transfers are next week, so I'll talk to you all again on Tuesday!

***Abby sent these pictures in a separate e mail.  This is what she wrote about them!

Last preparation day was the preparation day from heaven! <3 We drove to this adorable peninsula of Lake Erie called Marblehead, and it's just an adorable, little tourist "off the coast" town. Peaceful lake air, perfect weather. Ahhh exactly what I needed.
So here's some pics! We were supposed to meet the Elders at a members home there to go fishing in their pond, but the elders ended up being late. Which was a tender mercy, because we looked at the GPS to see what was close by, and LIGHTHOUSE came up. For obvious reasons (my mom!) I made us go there. So grateful we did, it was so pretty! We didn't get to go in the lighthouse cause they only took cash, but at least we got some good pics.

                                                         Beautiful view at Marblehead!!

The lighthouse at Marblehead 

Abby by the Lighthouse at Marblehead