Monday, June 27, 2016

"Tell everybody I'm on my way" name that song/movie

Oh goodness I don't even know where to start this week... because I literally feel like nothing happened. :) This week was SO LONG. And really fast... cause that always makes sense.

Hmm... Tuesday we had a fun miracle happen. As has been normal the past few weeks, all of our appointments had fallen through, so we moved on to our backup plans. I wasn't really sure if we should go stop at this home, since we had NEVER met her and her husband always said she was sleeping no matter what time of day we went over there. We basically didn't have anything else to do though, so we went and knocked on her door- and she let us right in! We talked to her about her family, and the Cavs game (we've talked to EVERYBODY about the Cavs game. That's all they want to talk about. Or the HUGE parade that happened in Cleveland this past week. Ohio definitely has a good fan base for sports.) and were there for about an hour! She is really sick and can't move around very much, so now I really do believe she might have been sleeping every time we stopped by! Haha.

Friday night was probably the next interesting day. Sister Graff came with us to teach our Spanish speaking friends, but they wouldn't answer the door even though we could hear them inside! So we just kept knocking :). They finally opened and said it wasn't a good time (cause they were having a party) and the ones that told us to come weren't there. Weirdos. So we went and talked to the Backer family for a little bit. Also, Sister Henderson has this weird thing where she likes to laminate bugs, and Sister Graff really wanted one, so we may or may not have taken a 5 minute break to find Cicadas and put tape around them... 

Did I tell you about the Cicadas here? I don't feel like I have! I"ll send some pictures and an explanation on a separate email, then if for some reason I did tell you you don't have to open that one :)

***Inserting the e mail and pics Abby sent about Cicadas !!!

"Haha I can't remember if I sent these to you already so sorry if you hear this twice.
These are my new fear. I've never been a huge fan of bugs, but these things are TERRIFYING. They only come out of the ground every 17 years (and of course it had to be the year I'm here!) and they come out in full force! All the little black dots on that tree are cicadas, and there are definitely a lot more where that came from! They live in that little white/gray thing, then shed that skin when they turn into the thing with wings (it's probably really blurry but it's the best I've got!). They make a constant humming, whirring noise so you hear that basically everywhere you go when you walk around. 
Basically, I'm not a fan and am excited for next summer when they WON"T be here. We should not visit Ohio 17 years from now :)"

Yesterday, Sunday, was probably my favorite day this week. Church is ALWAYS good to uplift my spirits! I love just sitting there and listening, and being reminded that ALL these experiences are happening for a reason. One thing I've definitely been reminded of  (again) this week is where the root of my testimony is: God is our loving Heavenly Father. That is one thing I know for sure. He loves us, and He is watching over us every second of the day. So even though I have no idea why all these weird things are happening, why all our appointments are cancelling, and why almost every day we have to figure out where in the world we are supposed to be and what we should be doing... I know Heavenly Father has something for me to learn from all of this. 
There's your spiritual uplift-ment (if that's not a word it is now) for the day. :) 

Love you, hope you all had an amazing week and I hope to hear from you soon! 

Sister Maughan

*****Note from Abby's Mom ! --I had to include this in here.  These two paragraphs are from the letter that Abby wrote to me.  They show what amazing insights she is gaining.  We are so proud of her and thankful for her desire to serve.  We had our big family reunion on the Maughan side of the family this past weekend so her letters that we wrote had a lot of things about what we did.  I was worried it was going to make her homesick.  This is what she wrote ----

“Missions are a whole lot like the plan of salvation. We leave our parents and everything we "know" about how life normally is, and we get put into a brand new situation where we are tried and tested to the max. But we know we are here to learn and to grow, and that one day we'll be able to see our family again! Our missions are our home away from home, just like this earth life is not really our home either.  Long story short, I do miss home, but what I love the most is that I know you all are doing okay and that you're having fun! I truly have this time of my life to consecrate it to Heavenly Father, and because of that I will always love being here on my mission. It's exactly where I need to be, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Last night, Sister Martin came to a teaching appointment with us that cancelled, and so we took her to meet a few of our investigators. I suddenly realized that I love these people so much! No one else in this church knows them- except Sister Henderson, Sister Gibbs, myself, and most importantly Heavenly Father. For whatever reason, He sent US to them. Sure, they might not all be interested in the church right now- but the experiences I've had getting to know them all have changed my life for the better. It's not something I can describe, but I'm just SO grateful that Heavenly Father guided His servants to send me to this area.
Missions are pretty great!”

Picture Abby sent this week of her Zone ! 

If you guessed, the Subject line for Abby's e mail is from the movie "Brother Bear"  
For the heck of it, I looked up the lyrics for the song.  
I think this is what Abby is feeling right now on her mission journey !!  

Tell everybody I'm on my way
New friends and new places to see
With blue skies ahead, yes I'm on my way
And there's no where else that I'd rather be

Tell everybody I'm on my way
And I'm loving every step I take
With the sun beatin' down, yes I'm on my way
And I can't keep this smile off my face

'Cause there's nothing like seein' each other again
No matter what the distance between
And the stories that we tell will make you smile
Oh it really lifts my heart

So tell 'em all I'm on my way
New friends and new places to see
And to sleep under the stars, who could ask for more
With the moon keeping watch over me

Not the snow not the rain can change my mind
The sun will come out wait and see
And the feeling of the wind in your face can lift your heart
Oh, there's no where I would rather be

'Cause I'm on my way now
Well and true, I'm on my way now

I'm on my way now
I'm on my way now
I'm on my way now

Tell everybody I'm on my way
And I just can't wait to be there
With blue skies ahead yes I'm on my way
And nothing but good times to share

So, tell everybody I'm on my way
And I just can't wait to be home
With the sun beatin' down yes I'm on my way
And nothing but good times to show

I'm on my way

Yes, I'm on my way

Monday, June 20, 2016

"All in a days work"

This week went by SOOOOO fast! I honestly can't believe it's Preparation Day already. I don't even feel like I really need it (except the fact that I DO need to do laundry...). I think we just had so much fun this week I don't even need a "break". :)

So Tuesday, was Zone Conference. We successfully got a little lost AGAIN on our way to the stake center. Don't worry, I'll figure it out one day (probably the day I get transferred out of the stake haha). It was SUCH a good meeting though. We set a goal as a Zone to be TENACIOUS! I'm super excited. (There's a whole talk in this month's Ensign about it- go read it!) Basically, it means we get to weird people out even more than we already do, but give the spirit an opportunity to touch their hearts the moment we meet them! It's awesome. I also played Lead Kindly Light while Sister Cox and Sister Riffy sang for a special musical number, so that was fun! 

Oh and did I ever tell you we have a "mission song"? It's basically Armies of Helaman (how awesome is that Lehman family? ;) ), but we added our own Ohio mission lyrics to it. I'll have to write them down and send them sometime, it's pretty cool. Our zone recorded it at Zone Conference to put on a CD for everyone when they go home... not sure how good it will sound (since there was like 20 Elders to 4 Sisters!). 

After Zone Conference Tuesday we went on a walk/lesson with the Koberlings in the Brecksville Metroparks. It was SO beautiful! If any of you come to Ohio, definitely check out the Metroparks!

Wednesday the only really exciting thing was one of our investigators took us out to eat at a way delicious Pizza place. 

Friday- we were in North Olmstead on exchanges! I love North Olmstead! So in the morning, we helped a family move for a few hours. The Sisters have been working with the mom for a couple months now, and they're moving :(. I think they have 7 kids, and they are all hilarious! We had all four of us there to help, then two of the Elders came to help move all the heavy stuff. Then they ordered us all pizza! After that Sister Riffy and I went and taught a couple older guys (they're brothers) about the Plan of Salvation while they were working on their house! They asked a lot of really good questions (the sisters have talked to one of them before) and it went really well, even though they were drilling and hammering and such most of the time. :)

Then we had another missionary party at the church haha. Sister Larsen and Sister Ure (the senior Sisters that took us to Kirtland) few all four of us and the two Elders as well. Once again, sorry that my life revolves around food sometimes :)
The rest of the days were just random and normal. There were hours when we didn't talk to anyone, there were hours when we saw three or four people in a row. Yesterday, we knocked on a door, they looked at us, and told us to come back on Friday. What? We had barely given them a passalong card... AND they only spoke Spanish. Haha it was the weirdest thing ever and as soon as he closed the door we just started laughing SO hard! We have no idea if he's really going to be there Friday or not, but I'm really excited to find out! 

So yah. There's some random stories from my week. Hope you enjoyed them, and we'll talk to you again next week! 

Sister Maughan

p.s. Want to know the best news ever? The Fourth of July is on a Monday, a PREPARATION DAY! So we're planning a missionary barbecue. :)

    "This is Aniko! (Ah-nee-co). 
She's the one who lets us mow her lawn! Love her!" 
(Abby, Aniko and Sister Henderson).

Monday, June 13, 2016

How to tell if you are a successful missionary... :)

Hi again! This week was ROUGH, in that we really did NOT get to teach very many people. However, at the end of the day, I ALWAYS felt good about what we had done- hence the subject line. More on that later. :)

So. We averaged about one lesson a day this week. Since transfers, I feel like we just started back at square one for some reason. All of our lessons would fall through, then our backups would fall through, and we would just have no idea what to do. Once we just took a stress break and got some ice cream at a cute shop down the street from us called Handels. SO YUMMY we are definitely going there more often. Other times we'd have to drive somewhere far away- so our miles are still not looking so good- just because they were the only people we could think of seeing! Except then that would fall through, so it was hard not to get discouraged.

Tuesday, something fun did happen though! Sister Henderson did a highlight on one of our investigators hair! It was awesome, and thankfully our investigator liked it! :) She's taking us out to eat this Wednesday! (Sorry that my life revolves around food. Food is just great.)
Then the next notable thing that happened was Friday- we had two of the Young Women from our Stake with us from 8 in the morning until 6:30 at night. Thursday night I was sooo worried about it, because once again I knew a lot would be riding on me. And I also just really didn't want them to have a bad experience- because missions are HARD and going for one day doesn't always help you know that it's worth it :) You have to stick if out, then the blessings come... and then you forget ALL about the bad. It's really cool how it works like that.

However, Thursday night while I was just stressing- Heavenly Father reminded me about the plan of salvation :) This was less than 24 hours of these girls lives. He's been molding them their whole life (and all eternity), so He wasn't going to let one day just drag them down. I found comfort in knowing that HE at least knew them, and for some reason he wanted us to spend this tiny speck of time on earth together for a reason. So we got up the next day, and I was ready to go!

Probably one of our most productive days actually! The morning was shaky, we just knocked on doors ALL morning and the only one that answered talked to us for about 30 seconds. So we decided to make some cookies and take them to a few of the less actives in our neighborhood that we hadn't talked to for a while. And as we were making cookies, we realized we didn't have any eggs! (since I"m a pro at hardboiling eggs now and the only ones we had were hardboiled.) SO we took an impromptu lunch break (to Taco Bell. I think I've eaten there once in my before mission life. Now I've eaten there twice in the past month!) and a trip to the grocery store. :) Haha you honestly just have to roll with whatever needs to happen in mission life. We did eventually get our cookies out to the people though, so that's good! We also did some service for people (I"m still a pro lawnmower). I think overall, the young women had a good experience, and I know I had fun- so that's good! :)

                                   Sister Henderson, Mini missionaries - Becca and Leah 
                                                 and Sister Maughan making cookies !!  

That's pretty much it. So just an overall recap of what I learned this week. Everything happens for a reason. So when we're doing the very best we can, when we've done all we can, and it's STILL not working out- it doesn't mean God hates us or that we are unworthy. Maybe it's just happening (everything we do as missionaries depends on the agency of others, which we can't control). Maybe God wants us to slow down (those ice cream breaks helped me rewind and refocus). Or maybe He has a different lesson for us to learn, that we might not recognize until later down the road. 

So how do you tell if you are a successful missionary? By doing everything you can, and then letting Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ take care of you all along the way.

This gospel is so true! There is NO WAY I could've stayed so happy and upbeat this week without it. It's truly a plan of HAPPINESS (and not just enduring to the end, but enjoying to the end! ;) )

Love you all! Thanks for you prayers and support!

Sister Maughan

Playing volleyball on p-day with the missionaries in her Zone !! 
That's her right there front and center in the orange shirt !!  

Monday, June 6, 2016

HELLO !!!!

My new companion! Her name is Sister Henderson, she's from Provo and she is AWESOME! She used to work at Jamba Juice, and her favorite color is gray- those two details alone would've made us pretty good friends. :) (***For those of you who don't know ---Abby worked at Jamba Juice before her mission, and her favorite color is also gray !!!)  ---She's an awesome missionary and has been SO patient with me as I'm trying to figure out what we need to be doing- since she literally doesn't know any of the people in this area. We've had lots of fun experiences so far and I know it's going to be a great transfer!

Sister Maughan, Amanda (a recent convert), 
and Sister Henderson  (Abby's new companion!!) 

Week 1 of the new transfer and changes and I honestly just feel like it's been one of the best weeks ever! I've had lots of adventures :)

Transfer day- last Wednesday. Met my nuevo companion, Sister Henderson- she is hilarious and I love her! She's been in an area called Bowling Green for the first 6 months of her mission, so this is her second area. We went out to eat at Panera with all the sisters (probably like 9 of us, one of the sisters were in a trio for a few hours). Except I am now the designated driver. Which is a problem, cause I haven't driven in 3 almost 4 months. And I have no idea where Panera was. So we kind of got lost and drove all the way to Lake Erie and back before we found it! Haha the lake really isn't that far away, but it was still far enough away from Panera that we wasted a few miles.

And that's only where the driving adventure begins! I plug in our home address to Dad's GPS and it's all fine and dandy. Except either it was taking us on a totally different route or we'd just keep missing our turns, because we somehow ended up in DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND! Yep :) Luckily, Sister Henderson had a GPS in her suitcase, so we stopped at this sketchy gas station in Cleveland, she ran and grabbed her GPS out of the trunk and we were back on our way home. We drove across this really weird bridge that had like Egyptian carvings in it! Cleveland is really weird...

So that was an adventure for sure! :)

The rest of the day we just did a lot of stop bys and introduced her to people, drove around a lot. The weirdest thing was just me having to make all the decisions- because she literally has no idea who anyone is or where we are! I was really stressed out about it a lot, and I've made a TON of mistakes- but Sister Henderson is so good at just laughing stuff off and moving forward. I love it! Long story short, we ended up going 100 miles that day... not good. :)

So the next random thing I have to tell you happened Saturday. We were helping this lady clean out her garage, and I pick up this big black container and open it. As I'm opening she says "Oh, that's my husband." I close the lid really fast! Sister Henderson and I both raise our eyebrows at each other like "WHAT IN THE WORLD?". So a few minutes later Sister Henderson opens it again, and we realize there's an urn inside this container that has this lady's husband's ashes in it! Just hanging out in her garage. Haha her husband was really mean to her, so she doesn't want his ashes in the house- so she "keeps him in the garage cause that's where he belongs." Oh goodness!

Then Saturday we went to a Bible Study some of our investigators were in charge of and talked about prayer, and we did a "prayer circle". So each person was assigned something to pray for, and we all just said a prayer right after the other. Oh I love the people of Ohio! It was a really good Bible Study though! 

We also saw the Backer Family Saturday night! It was fun to introduce Sister Henderson to them, and we were able to teach them about faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (AKA the Gospel of Jesus Christ.) We also talked about setting a baptismal date for the whole family with them, so that will be exciting! They are awesome!

Yesterday was FINALLY Sunday (for some reason time slows WAY down at the first of transfers like this. Every day felt like a week, and Sister Henderson and I kept thinking it was Saturday... until it finally was Saturday.) I LOVE fast Sundays out here on the mission, because you get to hear the testimonies of so many ward members, and a lot of them are converts to the church. All week, we missionaries basically feel like we're the only ones that believe the things we do sometimes, because most of the people we talk to don't. So fast Sundays are just a good reminder that this gospel really DOES work, and missionary work really works, and usually it just gives me the motivation I need to keep doing my best!

And the past few days, I've really learned that. That it's okay to make mistakes. I literally am doing the best I know how, and that's no where NEAR perfect- because I've never done this before! So I get to learn as I go, and through all the change I'm coming even closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I really can't explain why I'm happy, because there were a lot of things that didn't go smoothly this week. But all of them are just swallowed up in the fact that I know Heavenly Father loves all of His children. (1 Nephi 11:17)

Love you all, thank you so much for your prayer in my behalf this week- they've been answered and are continuing to be. Know you are all in my thoughts and prayers as well!

Love, Sister Maughan

Sister Gibbs and Sister Maughan on one of their 
last days together enjoying some ice cream at Honey Hut !!

Abby sent this picture this week she wrote - 
"Honey Hut is this DELICIOUS ice cream place! 
I want to live there and eat ice cream all day!" 

This is kind of a random picture, but kind of cool.
It is the road, all made of bricks that is in front of Honey Hut.