Monday, March 28, 2016

Subject lines take too long to think abuot

Hello everyone! This week has been really awesome!
First, this Tuesday was Zone Conference! I think there are like 12 missionaries in our zone, maybe less. The conference was really good, we just talked a lot about how we can improve, how awesome we already are, etc, etc. :) 

Then right after Zone Conference, we did exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. For those of you who don't know cause I didn't really, it's basically where we just swap companions with another set of missionaries for the day. I was with Sister Cox, and we had so much fun! I just came back more motivated and ready to work hard!

Another exciting thing that happened is we got to teach someone on Friday with one of the recent converts in our ward. It went really well, (except for the fact that the lady's dogs were ALL over the place... I've never been licked so much in my life :p) Haha the people in Ohio LOVE their dogs. Literally, almost everyone has at least two or three that just live in their house with them like humans. I was telling Sister Gibbs, it would've been nice to have that information in my call packet so I could mentally prepare myself. "You are being called to a place where dogs will jump all over your lap and you will be required to just deal with it." :)

The most exciting thing that happened is... we had a baptism!!! We met this guy a few weeks ago, and he was just all for baptism, so the sooner the better right?
Haha ok, we honestly had nothing to do with it. His name is Brother Lurz, and he has been a work in progress for about 8 years! He's been coming to church every week for the last year, has had a calling for probably 6 months of that or more (even though he wasn't a member yet!), and really just was already a member and just hadn't been baptized yet. Him and his wife are so solid (she's a ward missionary and is in charge of planning our meals and stuff, so we talk to them a lot) and everyone, Sister Gibbs and I included, just loves them as soon as you meet them. (that sentence sounds weird but oh well)

So yah. Lot's of cool things happened this week! Hope all is well with you back home!

Sister Maughan

                                                               Twinning is Winning

Abby wrote -- Since we had exchanges Tuesday, Sister Gibbs and I deciding to match so we would still be "together". haha everyone at Zone Conference kept asking us if we planned to match... um duh! :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 3/4........basically I've been on my mission a WHOLE MONTH plus a few days !!

Hello everyone!!! So crazy that I've officially been out a whole month now! It seems both shorter and longer than that... time is SOOO weird on a mission! I love it!

So this week was really cool! It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father works in each of our lives, and it really has been the gradual and small tender mercies that help me each and every day. 

Tuesday this week was probably the most adventurous day! We have District Meeting at our church (it's in Seven Hills for those of you googling my area haha) every Tuesday, and this week our Zone Leaders came too! My district is just Sis Gibbs, me, and 4 other elders (Elder Christiansen-except they say it Chris-TEN-sen. it's weird. Then Elder Wall. And I don't actually remember the other two right now but I"ll get back to that. They're all pretty cool.) After out District Meeting, we went to lunch together in Cleveland at this place called "The Melt". Apparently it's pretty famous. Basically they just have crazy weird sandwiches, and they DEEP FRY the entire sandwich after they make it. Super delicious, though probably not the healthiest thing in the world. :) After that, we actually taught a lesson!!! I get so excited when that happens! And nervous... It's with this 20 year old kid named Taras, we met him reading his bible at Starbucks if I haven't mentioned him before. (And we were getting hot chocolate obviously... I feel like I did tell you this already. oh well). So yah we taught him at the library, and he agreed to meet with us EVERY TUESDAY from now on! So cool! He still seems a little skeptical about things for right now, but we are definitely going to change that. Also,Tuesday night we went to a Youth Bible Study... it was really good. We're planning on continuing to go to that too and hopefully peak some of the youth's interest in our church.
The next exciting thing happened Saturday, when we taught another lesson (What?!) in someone's home (again! so cool!). It was the person we met on Sassafrass and his mom (he's like 40, she's probably in her 60s). They are the kindest people ever. We taught them the Restoration, and once again they said they'd be interested in coming to church. I definitely am excited to continue meeting with them!

Other than that, there were lots of little miracles and blessing and tender mercies that happened this week that really just kept me moving forward. I'm learning to truly love the people here, and being here! "Slowly, but surely" was Sis Gibbs and our motto yesterday at church when everyone kept asking us questions. It's so true. God's timing is SO important, and if we can just put out trust in Him, life really does have it's way of working out, even if it's slower than we want. 

Being on the mission for a month has really just taught me the importance of doing the little things in our lives. Prayer really works. Going to church truly brings peace and blessings. Reading our scriptures is how we can learn. And serving others... that's truly where it all just ties together. There's a reason we have ALL these opportunities in our lives, and they really are just blessings in disguise. 

Thank you all so much for your love and support! I hope you are all doing well, and know that Heavenly Father is watching out for you! 

Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. Yesterday there was a fireside by a man named Paul Cardall, apparently he's a famous LDS piano player. He is SOO good! And his story is really incredible. You should look him up. :)

Sister Gibbs, Paul Cardall (pianist), and Abby

Sister Gibbs and Sister Maughan at the library e mailing home !! 
(I love and miss that cute face !!)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Warm weather is better :)

Haha IDK where that heading came from but I'm sticking to it.

This week has been super interesting crazy awesome and fun! And like always, I honestly can't tell you all of it, or remember all of it. Missionaries have tons to think about, be nice the ones in your home wards. :) Actually just be nice to all of them, cause they are awesome. 

Anyways, so the biggest thing that happened this week was we taught a lesson.... in Assyrian. Or Arabic. Not quite sure which. :) Haha so we tracted into this family one night, but they spoke really little English, but we got the gist that they were Christians, we were Christians, and we wanted to talk to them about Christ. They are so nice and just let us in and talked to us, which like hasn't happened before! Anyways, so we stopped by their house one night this week, and were teaching the mom- Sarah- a little bit by using pictures. Then she mentioned that her pastor that speaks both English and Assyrian was coming that night to teach, plus her siblings and their families, and invited us to come too! So we taught them all about the book of mormon, with their pastor translating for us the entire time. It was pretty hilarious! 

Another thing happened on Sassafrass road. Sister Gibbs and I are both pretty sassy, so when we drove by this road, we wanted to go back and take a picture by the sign. :) And tract there, obviously. So we did, and there was this guy out cleaning his truck, so we stopped and talked to him. We told him who we were, and kind of introduced the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, and invited him to come to church. He was really excited about it, and told us he really believes God sent us to him that day, because he had just been thinking about coming back to church. So that was cool. They didn't come this Sunday, but hopefully we can still work with them both this week and something good will come out of it! 

Basically, missionary work is weird, but it's cool. And like I said before, people in Ohio talk A LOT, if they are willing to talk to you. Also, there's a lot of random little ceramic geese on people's front porches here. And real geese and deer that walk around everywhere and think they own the place. There were seriously deer on someone's front porch the other day, just chillin. I thought Avon had a lot of deer... 

Anyways... it's been a good week of learning and trying and failing and trying again and just learning to trust in the people around me and more importantly the Lord. I've still got lots more learning to do, and I'm so excited to see what this week brings!!

Hope you are all doing well!
Sister Maughan

Sister Maughan and Sister Gibbs show a little Sass !!  

Abby found her road !!  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ohio, Cleveland Mission Map

This is a map of the different areas in the Ohio, Cleveland mission.  
Abby is currently serving in the Strongsville area, located just below Cleveland.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Oh my goodness, I'm in OHIO !!

***Note from Abby's Mom !!  Ok---I can't even tell you how happy we were to get this email, ---the first e mail from Ohio !!  I'm obviously not a very patient person, and I just wanted to hear from her and know she was alright.  If you are interested in her regular mailing address, drop me a note and I will be happy to give it to you.  ( This is some of what Abby wrote this week --

So much has happened I don't even know where to start. But I guess we'll start with Wednesday.  We got up at like 2:30 in the morning to throw our stuff together and be on the bus. Drove to the airport, ate breakfast, then got on my first airplane ride!

Once we got to Ohio  (wait what? I'm in Ohio?) The mission president and his wife picked us up and took us to their house. We basically just ate food and met everyone, and then went to bed (the sisters slept at the mission house that night.) IDK if I already told you, but there were 10 sisters and 6 elders that were all newbies, 4 of the sisters serving in Kirtland specifically.
Anyways, the next day we went to Kirtland, which was so cool! It was a great way to start out the mission. We walked through the Kirtland temple and went to the David Whitmer store. (** I think she means the Newell K. Whitney Store).

So my new companion is Sister Gibbs! She's from Denver, Colorado and has been our for 6 months. We are in what they call the "Strongsville East" area, and it covers three cities: Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Brecksville. We are doing what is called "shotgunning" an area, which means that neither of us had been there before. There were Elders in the area before us, so they had a few things set up. But besides that, it's up to us to find new people to teach and meet everyone, cause both of us are new to this area. We ate dinner with some ward members that first night, met with a sort of recent convert at the library (he's been a member for 2 years but still likes to meet with the missionaries) and then went tracting. My brain was so overwhelmed I honestly can't even tell you how it was. I just know I was so grateful to go back to our apartment and have time to breathe again! 

Church on Sunday was amazing!! It was so good to be around members again and remember there are other people living this gospel besides missionaries. I’m so excited to meet them all and get to know them better.
Basically, it's been an INSANE first few days here, but I'm still learning a lot through these experiences. Thank you so much for your letters and prayers and thoughts, I can definitely feel them and I definitely need them! I miss you all lots!
Sister Maughan

Here are a few of the pictures Abby sent this week !  
A couple of them are from the MTC ---

MTC Branch President and his wife (The Hardmans), Brother and Sister Mullen (Counselors), Abby and Sis Barnes, Sister and Brother Baron (also counselors.)

Abby's MTC district

President and Sister Brown with Sister Maughan

Abby with her trainer, Sister Jordan Gibbs

Sister Maughan and Sister Gibbs cleaning their apartment

A couple of pictures of their apartment