Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Final Blog Post from Abby's Mom!

This is one final blog post from Abby's mom!!  

My heart is so full right now.  We are just about 39 hours away from picking Abby up at the airport.  

I am pretty much a puddle of emotions.  

Abby's mission has been such a blessing to our family.  We have loved reading her e mails and sharing in her experiences.  

I am so proud of her for so many reasons.  I know the sacrifice she has made over the past 18+ months will bless the rest of her life.  

She has learned how to do hard things and she has learned to trust her Heavenly Father when things get rough.  She has experienced some of life's highest highs and lowest lows and yet she comes out smiling and thankful for the experience.  

She has constantly borne testimony of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She has also repeatedly testified that when things get tough, just hang on because you never know what Heavenly Father has waiting right around the corner for you.  So just hang on!  --She has lived this time and time again on her mission.  

If anyone reading this would like to attend her mission report, she will be speaking THIS Sunday, September 10th in our ward in Paradise at 9 a.m.  The church address is 155 East 9400 South in Paradise, Utah 84328

David and I thank everyone that has supported her in so many ways over these past 18 months so that she could serve this mission.  We appreciate your love and concern for her and the many prayers that have been offered in her behalf.  

You DID it Abby!!  

We are proud of you and love you so much.  It's going to be so great to have you back under the same roof with us and in our arms again.  

Love, Mom

Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant

Mission Accomplished !!


"Sometimes, you just want to give the Spirit a high-five”

That thought came from my own brain this time, not Sister Green's. Seriously though, it would be nice to be able to high-five the spirit sometimes. Don't worry, you'll know why in a minute.

WAHOO this week was so so great. I don't know why, nothing special happened really. I just loved it! 

Thursday morning we went to Berlin Heights and did some service for a member there, plus had a lesson with another member. We finished weekly planning, then went to Bellevue! Jo and Pat met us at the Coffelt's house, and we did a lesson with them on temples. I love teaching investigators in members' homes, the spirit is so special there. 

Friday was Zone Conference, got up bright and early to drive to Westlake. Our whole conference was centered on goals and planning, I loved it. They had all of us missionaries going home bear our testimonies at the end. :)  

Saturday we only had a few plans, but ended up staying pretty busy most of the day. Taught Cole and Donovan, we just read in the scriptures with them and it was fun! It's interesting trying to teach to a different age group, and re-learn how to say things/explain them to apply to what they are going through. Saturday night we stopped by a few people who were all home! 

Sunday was the day I wanted to high-five the spirit. :) We were in Bellevue again, and we tracted, tracted, tracted all day. I LOVED IT! I think my brain was just like "you are never going to do this again", so I was just soaking it all up. 

Anyways, so here's the story. Hopefully it'll make sense.
Awhile back when just Sister Ashby and I were here, we were not working the Bellevue area because there were Elders there. However, we had one lesson at the church with someone that lived in Bellevue, because she felt more comfortable with sisters than elders. She had seemed like a GOLDEN investigator and we were excited to keep working with her. But she dropped off the face of the earth, wouldn't answer our phone calls or text messages, didn't have contact with her member friends. Since we'd met at the church, we didn't know where she lived, just that she was in Bellevue. 
So ever since we've been working Bellevue, I've had it in the back of my mind we need to find her, but we've just never gotten around to it. Well Sunday night I realized this was my last chance. We went for a drive, and I told Heavenly Father "Help me find her." (we had a general idea of what group of streets she lived on, but there were about ten of them, and they are LONG streets. And we only had about 40 minutes of the night left). I just kept saying small prayers, and these random thoughts would come into my head like "this street. Stop there. Park here. Start knocking at this door and keep going towards this other street." I honestly felt like I was probably just making the whole thing up, because it just seemed so bizaare. But how else was I going to know if they were thoughts from the spirit besides following them?
Sister Green followed me the whole time, probably wondering what in the world I was doing and why I was being so picky about where we were tracting. 
Following the spirit brings miracles though. Sure enough, about 5 doors down from where I felt like we should start knocking, she came to the door. 
Enough said, right? We could've been anywhere at the time, I could've decided to turn a different way, or stop the house before her. Nope. Heavenly Father had other plans.
High-five! Team work :) 

Good miracle story to end on, right? I think so too! Ah I am going to miss doing this every day. YES, this has been the hardest thing I have ever ever done. There have been days I never wanted to get up, times I've been crying while we were knocking on doors because I was so miserable, times I wanted to get on the closest plane and never look back.
But Heavenly Father has other plans. He knows what's best for us. And I would NEVER trade the experiences I've had, especially the hard ones, for anything else. I wish I could explain it to you!  (The song "The Call" by Regina Spektor keeps coming to mind). I wish you could've been here with me and that you could know what I've learned and how I've come closer to the Savior here. 

But I also know it doesn't end here. This is just another transfer. Another new adventure, with different hard things. All because God's purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." It's up to us to trust that He knows how to accomplish that goal, that His plans are perfect. 

Thank you thank you all for listening, for loving, for praying. For being a friend and support when I felt like I was alone. I know you've all been placed in my life, and the lives of others for a reason. I LOVE YOU! 

Love, Sister Maughan


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's All About Your Heart

That Mindy Gledhill song has been stuck in my head this morning. :) Good one!

HELLO!!!!! This week has been pretty incredible, I've just been so full of JOY I feel like a weirdo! :) Haha oh being a missionary is quirky and the best.

Highlights of the week.
Remember that Headquarter referral we got awhile back, that actually looked at the passalong card Sister Ashby and I had given him and requested we come back? That helped me recognize my prayers had been answered? Well guess what, it happened again! We got a referral this week, showed up to the house, and I was like "Sister Ashby and I left a card on this door!!!" So that was a fun tender mercy. 

Saturday was Kirtland day! SO MUCH FUN! We left at 9:30, went and toured the visitors center. The spirit was so strong, and the sisters that gave the tour were definitely meant to be there for Pat and Jo. We decided to go to the John Johnson Farm too, which I've never been to. Got a little lost on our way to Hiram, so we took a lunch break at a place called Aladdin's. We eventually found it though, and it was fun to learn about the history there that I didn't even know about. 

                              Sister Maughan and Sister Green in Kirtland with Pat and Jo

We had another referral come in from New London, which is forever and a day away at the bottom of our area. I've literally never been there in the 6 months I've been in this area. Lucky for us, we had nothing to do Monday morning (no district meeting this week because of Zone Conference Friday), so we went to New London and did some finding there. It was so fun! We accidentally tracted into a cute member named Sister Rice who goes to the Ashland ward because it's closer, even though she's in our area. Then we met a guy named Rick who really needed someone to listen and lift him up. Didn't end up finding our referral (the address was no bueno), but we contacted her over the phone yesterday and are working on setting up something to see her. Oh and then on our way home from New London, we stopped at a cute restaurant Pat and Jo told us about that sells home-made ice cream- Yum!

And we've just been keeping busy. Had good lessons with our other investigators and members. We knock doors as much as we can, which wasn't at all yesterday, I felt bad :( I love it all right now! That country song "You're gonna miss this" keeps running through my head too, it's the worst haha.

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Talk to you again next Tuesday. I'll be able to tell you who Sister Green's new comp is going to be!!!!! 

Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. We didn't get to go to the temple with Brooke :( Her babysitter had to cancel last minute. They are planning to go again in a couple weeks! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"Keep Moving Forward"

I decided I love the beach. Last preparation day was so fun!

Abby's District picture  
From left to right - Elder Phillips, Sis Archibald, Sister Maughan, Sister Green, 
Elder Burton, Elder Walker (he's the one in the sand haha), Elder Hunt, 
Sister Chance, Elder Worthington, and Elder Kitchens.

And yes my friends, I've survived one extra week of my mission! Two more to go :) This week was pretty average though. 

Our usual crew of Brooke and her family, and Pat and Jo are still doing great. We are going to Kirtland with Pat and Jo this week, and also before I email you next Wednesday, we'll hopefully have gone to the temple with Brooke! I like taking road trips :) 

We started teaching someone again who has been taught by missionaries in the past last week. He seemed fairly sincere to find truth and to put in the effort. Went by yesterday... he spent the whole time showing us scriptures, trying to prove that we were wrong. I called him out on it, asking if he just wanted us to come over so he could prove we were wrong. He chose his words very carefully and said "I want you to prove to me that you're right." Oh people. No! That's not why we are here. We are not here to PROVE anything as missionaries. We are here to help YOU find out the truth for yourself. There's not a thing we can do to prove it to you. So that was a little a lot frustrating. 

We also picked up a new investigator that's still 19. When we met with him, he mentioned he and his friend want to start going back to church. Then when we were out knocking doors Monday (because one of our appointments cancelled), we tracted into the friend! Little tender mercies :) 

The eclipse was fun, huh? Ha we honestly didn't know hardly anything about it until Sunday. We were teaching a lesson when it was happening here. We obviously didn't see it, no fancy glasses or anything for us, but it seemed no one here really got a great view of it. The sky did get dark though! 

Mostly, we've just been staying busy, which is good! Plus, people keep giving us lots of treats lately, so I might gain a few pounds before I come home haha. 

This week our District Meeting was on setting goals.We were reading the section in Preach My Gospel, and part of it says, "when you fall short of a goal, evaluate your efforts and seek for ways to accomplish the goal. If needed, adjust your expectations." I pointed out that it doesn't say "IF you fall short. It says WHEN we fall short." Our goals in life are meant to make us stretch. So if they are good goals, we shouldn't be accomplishing them ALL the time, just most of the time. It reminded me of the movie Meet the Robinsons, how they all get excited when he fails at fixing the peanut butter and jelly tool. When we fail, we are able to learn, as long as we "keep moving forward." :) 

Thanks for all your prayers, support, and love! Have an amazing week! Keep Moving Forward!

Love, Sister Maughan

Abby's 3 Generation picture !!!
Sister Maughan (Grandma), Sister Archibald (Mom), Sister Chance (Granddaughter)!!
***In other words - Abby trained Sister Archibald, who trained Sister Chance! 

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!!