Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Oh my goodness I'm in Ohio! (part 2)

****First things first !!  Abby said to pass the word along that even though transfers are happening tomorrow, she is staying in the same apartment, so she welcomes any and all letters !! 

Sister Abby Maughan 
1000 Vineyard Drive Apt. 201
Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147

Now here’s her letter for this week ! 





Sister Maughan and Sister Gibbs with Brad Wilcox.  He came to do a fireside 

there on Saturday May 28th.  Abby LOVED it !!  


How many life-changing events happen in the life of a missionary in one week? Basically a MILLION.

We had exchanges Wednesday, and it was exactly what I needed! I went to North Olmstead with Sister Ingo... and with Sister Loeza! Sister Loeza was in the MTC with me, so we've both been going through training and and adjusting to missionary life, so it was SO good to see her and hear her experiences. She was there because her companion is training again this transfer, and had to go to a meeting that Sister Loeza didn't need to go to. So she came to North Olmstead for the day. If (if that makes any sense :) ) Heavenly Father knew that we all needed just time to talk and learn from each other, so we got stuck in traffic A LOT that day. :) Another huge tender mercy was we were able to see Sister Ure and Sister Larsen- who are senior sisters serving in the North Olmstead area doing family history work. Sister Larsen came to Ohio about the same time I did, and some of her family actually lives in Hyrum. I even went to high school with some of her grandkids! She is just the sweetest little lady! 

But that turns into another tender mercy. So we were planning on going to Kirtland with the Backer family this Saturday, but in order to go we have to get someone to take us. We had tried about everyone we could think of, but no one could take us. So we continued to contact as many people as possible, all the way up until SATURDAY MORNING when we still didn't have a ride! And we were supposed to be leaving in 5 hours! We literally were just praying that we could find someone, because that's all we could do. That morning we went to mow Aniko's lawn ( I did it this time! First time I've ever ran a pushing lawnmower my friends. Cyber high-five!) and Sister Gibbs made some phone calls. I had the thought the night before to ask Sister Ure, since one of the Sister's we had asked a few weeks ago to take us to Kirtland when we went with Dennis gave us her number then. Long story short, Sister Ure and Sister Larsen agreed to take us, even though Saturday's are their preparations days! Seriously a huge sacrifice for them to make, but they were so perfect for the Backer family! It was SO hot at Kirtland (when it's hot in Ohio, it's HUMID) and the daughter ended up getting sick and we had to end the tour early, but they really enjoyed it! The dad even said he wants to come back and finish it sometime :) So good news there!



Sister Maughan, Sister Gibbs, and the Backer Family in Kirtland, Ohio


Sister Maughan, Sister Ure, Sister Larsen, and Sister Gibbs

Moving on, the BIGGEST news is obviously TRANSFERS! Sister Gibbs is headed off to Bowling Green to be a Sister Training Leader! She's going to do so great, but it's going to be SO weird to not have her here! We also found out that they are closing one of the Elder's areas in our district, so there will only be one set of elders and one set of sisters in our ward now! I'm so sad! :( 



Final picture of this mission district.  
Back row - Sister Gibbs, Sister Maughan, Elder Ellsworth and Elder Christiansen.
Front row - Elder Bettridge and Elder Brockbank.
(The ones in front are staying in the ward with me, the other two are both being transferred.)


My new companion is Sister Hemingway/Hemenway, I'm not positive. :) Actual transfers are tomorrow, so we'll all meet up at the Stake Center and switch around companions from there. So I'll have LOTS more info on her- and pics next week!

This whole week is going to bring a LOT of change, and it's really scary, but it's also really exciting! It amazes me how much trust Heavenly Father has in His missionaries! We're constantly changing things and meeting new people and adjusting to differences, and all the while we are helping those around us come closer to Him. This gospel truly helps EVERYONE, no matter who you are or where you came from and what trials you are going through.

Our day is pretty busy today, we're going to play sand volleyball with our zone one last time (since a TON of people are getting transferred. And our zone leader is actually going home tomorrow!). Then we have to spend a ton of time in our apartment so Sister Gibbs can pack up all her stuff. The plus side of that is I should have time to write lots of snail mail letters! :)

Hopefully that letter made somewhat sense, know I love you all and more importantly Heavenly Father loves you all!

CTR, Sister Maughan


A last picture of Sister Maughan and Sister Gibbs as companions, 
taken at the McDonalds where they shared a lot of ice cream cones for stress relief !!  
Love these two beautiful Sister Missionaries and I can't wait to see the good they do 
as they continue with their missions.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hello!

For some reason, I feel like this week was AMAZING looking back on it, though it honestly was super hard and I really don't remember being all that happy during it...

But some WAY fun things happened!

So first, we have our investigator family (that came to church mother's day). Monday we planned on seeing all of them at our Bishop's house and doing a Family Home Evening with all of them. Except just the mom showed up! HUGE change of plans, but we ended up just re-teaching the restoration and it ended up going so well. The Bishop's family just jumped right in and we all learned together, and Bishop was able to help her recognize how she feels the spirit. It was awesome! Then fast forward to Thursday night, we were doing another lesson at the Bishop's house, and thought the mom would just come, but the whole family ended up coming. :) It was kind of a rough lesson, since we had to change our plans last minute again, but our bishop is just awesome and really fills in when we can't seem to teach it in a way they can understand! Oh joys of missionary life. However, I've really learned that Heavenly Father watches over and loves all his children, and so one not so great lesson on our part is NOT going to ruin everything. (I'm pretty much still learning that actually. Curse my perfectionist brain haha). We are planning on going to Kirtland with them THIS Saturday and I'm so excited! Also, Brad Wilcox is coming this Saturday, so Saturday is basically going to be the best day ever! 

Tuesday night I was probably on cloud-9 (I don't even know what that means for sure but it sounds right.) We FINALLY were able to set up an appointment with our Spanish Amigos at a time a member that speaks spanish could come. They let us in to the apartment, and we all sat on the floor (they don't have any furniture yet, so their living room space is just carpet!) in a circle. It started out with just three of them there, but as time went on they slowly all trickled in from either their bedrooms or outside somewhere and joined in. :) Sister Graff just translated the whole lesson for us, and added her own insights (she just returned from her mission 9 months ago so she's a pro missionary) and the spirit was so strong! The spirit truly is a universal language, and that's not something I ever knew until that night. It just makes me wish I could remember my spanish skills, I literally can't remember anything from the four years I took it in high school. :) Oh and the way fun thing is we ask one of them to say the closing prayer, and they always help each other say it. That Tuesday night, they all were just chiming in telling the guy that was saying to make sure he told God thanks for the food and laundry and family. :) Then we went over there on Thursday night too, and the one praying couldn't remember how to end it, and we didn't have to say anything- one of his friends jumped in and helped. They are all just awesome!

So wow this was a novel, and that's only like half of what happened this week! I love it! Looking forward to another week (It's probably the last full week I'll be with Sister Gibbs! Also her Birthday is this Sunday, random fact.) 


Every day on the mission is hard, and every day is incredible. 

Love, Sister Maughan

Monday, May 16, 2016

Just another week in Ohio !

Had to start this blog off with this picture of Sister Maughan at the Kirtland Temple.  
She got to go there this week.  (See more pictures below !!)



This week was FUN! Which is great, because that's one of the companion goals we set this week. Goal accomplished!

First fun thing that happened, is that Wednesday we decided we were going to walk pretty much everywhere. Ended up literally being on our feet for about 3 and a half hours, because no one we talked to let us in to sit down haha :) We talked to a TON of people just on the streets though. You always get the "No thanks we're not interested" people, the people that will listen and take a card, the ones that tell us we're adorable and send us off with a "god bless you girls!" and then the ones that see us coming and pretend they needed to turn around so they don't have to talk to us. I love them all! A funny thing that happened was we walked all the way to our Spanish friends apartments, and they weren't home! :( And we'd even written out word for word what we wanted to say to them in Spanish. So we started walking back, and were passing the gas station when we hear someone say "Hey, hermanas!" We turn around, and ALL fifty (k there's only like 8 of them) of our spanish friends are packed inside this HUGE red van, waving at us! Haha we went over and gave them our written out dialogue, and we are meeting them tomorrow with a sister in our ward that speaks spanish! I'm way excited! 

Thursday was crazy, we had weekly planning (and went to get frozen yogurt again!), and saw Sheryl again. So far we've just been reading through the Book of Mormon with her, she'll read a chapter between appointments, we'll discuss it, read one with her, and then assign her the next one. The rest of our appointments fell through for the day, which was actually a tender mercy because we'd forgotten to plan in dinner. :) So we ate at Taco Bell! Then we had to head to Middleburg Heights to meet the North Olmstead sisters for exchanges! Which plot twist, both Sister Gibbs and I went to their area, so we basically had a big sleepover with the four of us. :) 


Sister Gibbs, Sister Maughan, Sister Ingo, and Sister Cox


So Thursday Sister Ingo and Sister Gibbs rode bikes, and Sister Cox and I got the car. We talked to SO many people. I love exchanges, because you learn SO much from just being somewhere different, seeing what the other sisters do the same or better. We had dinner at an Italian member's home, and we made homemade mini pizzas. Plus, the member used to work at a bakery, so we got angel food cake. I really love food. :)

Saturday, we can end on a more spiritual note! We went to KIRTLAND! We met with our investigator Dennis Tuesday night, and asked if he wanted to go to Kirtland sometime, and that sometime ended up being this Saturday. It was such an incredible experience, and the spirit there is so strong. I am so grateful to be in a mission where so many revelations were received for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There was a moment in the Newel K Whitney store, upstairs in the School of the Prophets, where I could just feel Heavenly Father's love for all his children so strongly. I KNOW that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly appeared to Joseph Smith all those years ago, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored gospel on the earth today.

Overall, this week I've just felt happier! Life has it's ups and downs, but this gospel stands still. 

Love you all!

Sister Maughan


Dennis, Amanda, Sister Gibbs, and Sister Maughan 
in front of the Newell K. Whitney store


The beautiful Kirtland Temple




 
Sister Maughan and Sister Gibbs at the Kirtland Temple. 
I love these girls so much and I'm so thankful they are such a great companionship ! 



Monday, May 9, 2016

Gift of tongues... :)

Oh the randomness of missions! We're going to go day by day even though it will probably bore you to death! :)

Monday, we ate dinner at the Koenneckes again! Red Cabbage and mashed potatoes and soup. That's all that was really eventful. :)

Tuesday, we met with that lady that randomly showed up to church last Sunday. She's an interesting soul, says she knows this is the true church, but doesn't pray... 

Wednesday we met with Dennis again at our Stake President's house. It was a really intense lesson, and I feel like we MIGHT have scared him off. I basically told him that Heavenly Father or God wants him to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He IS our savior, and that He is central to the great plan of happiness Heavenly Father has taught us about through the gospel. To someone who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ... could probably make it or break it for him :) We gave him a break this weekend and hopefully will be seeing him again tomorrow!
Also Wednesday, we went to visit our Spanish friends we met last week. He was downstairs, and after we talked to him (or attempted talking to him...) he pointed upstairs to his friends apartment and said "go talk to them!". So now we have about 8 Spanish speakers we are attempting to teach :)

Thursday some members had us over for Cinco de Mayo dinner! We just ate soft tacos, but they were super delicious! 


We went to a frozen yogurt place down the street called Cece's... SO GOOD! 



Friday, we stopped by our Arabic friends (the one's we taught with their preacher like a month ago) and gave them a Book of Mormon in Arabic! The mom seems interested, we think the dad is secretly :) I'm just excited because even though we can't teach them very well because of the language barrier, the Book of Mormon truly is how they can learn from the Spirit! Friday we also helped a lady that speaks Hungarian. 

So recap. This week we have met people that speak German, Arabic, Spanish, and Hungarian. If there are that many languages in Utah, I never knew about it! 

I actually don't feel very homesick (no offense to you haha!) at all. All of Sunday I was just so focused on that family that was coming to church, I kept forgetting that it was Mother's day! And it's crazy that it's already over! I literally don't understand missionary time, I say that too often, but it's just SO TRUE. I've been here for an eternity and a second, I want to be done and I never want to leave, I love being a missionary and it's the hardest thing EVER, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It's weird.

Know I'm doing well, that every day is hard, but every day I'm surrounded by miracles that remind me Heavenly Father is loving, that he knows us individually, and I am here for a reason. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary!


That's really about it for this week! Sorry it was pretty random, one day I'm going to have some awesome, inspirational story that will knock your socks off, but it's probably not today :)

Love ya, have a great week!

Sister Maughan


                                      Some signs that Spring has sprung where Abby is !!






Monday, May 2, 2016

Hello Everyone !

HELLO! It is a happy Monday! It's so weird how fast AND how slow they come around.

We got bikes this week :/ and I'm basically terrified to ride them. We don't have to ride bikes, but Sis Gibbs and I decided to get some so we can save on miles, plus it's easier to stop by people out on the street if we're riding by on bikes verses driving by them in a car. I just haven't ridden a bike in forever- I'm afraid I’m going to fall off! Haha I'm sure it'll be fine though, and who knows when we'll actually end up riding them.

Here's some random things that happened this week.


Malley's Chocolate! I bought a Buckeye candy today and it is DELICIOUS!


We taught one of our investigators at our bishops house, and it went really well! This investigator has a TON of questions that we don't know how to answer, so having the Bishop with us to help teach was perfect! The spirit was so strong, and we were able to testify that Jesus IS our savior and that by reading the Book of Mormon we can know for ourselves that that is true.  It's been super interesting to teach him, since he is Muslim and doesn't believe that Jesus Christ was anything more than a prophet. It's really put my testimony to the test, and because of that I've learned some INCREDIBLE things about Christ's Atonement. I can't even describe it.

Other than that, this week has been really random. One day all our plans fell through, so we just tracted for like 3 hours straight. And not anything too exciting came out of it. We just literally had nothing else to do, because if we drove anywhere else we would've ran out of miles for the month! We also had a day that was just really awkward. Missionary work is just awkward in general. We'll go knock on someone's door and they won't be home, and then we realize we have a phone call to make so we sit in front of their house in our car. And as we're on the phone they'll drive up, or come out of their house (so they really were home and just ignoring us haha). 

Also other random thing that happened yesterday before and during church. We met some Spanish speaking people a while ago, but haven't been able to contact them again. So Sunday we were in their area, and they were outside. So we went and talked to them (Sister Gibbs has a English to Spanish dictionary) and invited them to come to church! They said they would. So we spent the first few minutes of church trying to find someone who spoke Spanish, and waiting for them to show up. They never did, and we were super sad! We were really hoping one of our investigators would show up to church this week! But then, after Sunday School, the elders came up and were like "Is Sheryl your investigator"? We have NO idea who Sheryl is, so we tell them no. But guess what? Sheryl lives in our area, she met with the missionaries a long time ago and just showed up at church on her own! So now we have her contact information, and are going to see her this week! We never would've found her if she hadn't just come to church. That was a HUGE tender mercy from Heavenly Father!

Today we are going to the Koenneckes for dinner, some of their German friends will be there so I'm excited to see what they are going to feed us! Haha it's always something new with them. Except did I tell you one time we went over their they made GREEN CHICKEN?! That was so fun, cause I definitely know what that is! Theirs tasted a little different then yours, I think he used some different spices or something, but it still reminded me of home :)

Overall, it's just been an average week in the life of a missionary. Hope all is going well for you, love ya, and have an awesome week!

Love, Sister Maughan