Monday, September 26, 2016

Another Day

Well hello everyone! One more week down, and it was an interesting one as always!

Monday, after preparation day ALL of our plans fell through for the night in like 20 minutes. We randomly decided to text one of our less active members to see if we could come see her later that week, and she said "can you come right now?" HUGE tender mercy, because we literally had nothing else to do! 

Tuesday was Zone Conference! It's nice because they do it at our church, so we don't have to get up any earlier to make it there on time :) We talked about the usual health/cars/phones and such, watched a HILARIOUS video the church put out about driving in parking lots (it's probably only funny to missionaries though... because we have nothing else to laugh at haha). Then we got into the spiritual stuff... mostly about how we not only need to commit our investigators to do things that strengthen their faith, but EVERYONE we talk to. We also focused on how those invitations, and the promises we extend to help people be motivated to keep those, NEED to be done by direction of the spirit. If we are doing it just to do it, we may as well not be there at all! I love promising people blessings of living the gospel, because I KNOW that the gospel really will help them accomplish those things!

We also had an interesting situation Tuesday night. There is an investigator who has been coming to church for years, but will only let us teach him once a month. He usually picks a topic for us to discuss, but let us choose this time. We know that the thing that helps people most, no matter WHAT they are going through, is reading the Book of Mormon and praying. So that's what we talked about it... and he didn't really want to hear it :) He didn't yell or anything, but it kind of felt like one of those "guilty taketh the truth to be hard" moments, and we didn't really know what to do. Oh people are so fun! 

Wednesday our day was PACKED we barely had time to breathe. Miracle of miracles, only one of our appointments fell through though, and the rest of them went really well! Haha our last lesson of the night we had invited a couple members to come to, and it ended up being them talking most of the time and we were just there to invite the spirit. :) That happens quite often out here actually. Ohio people are talkers, but sometimes it's for the better!

Friday, we got to paint nails at the nursing home again. 

Saturday was the day long waited for- the General Women's Session! Our morning was pretty good, a member took us out to eat at Panera :) We talked to quite a few people during the day, then headed over to the church. Our stake was asked to all come together at the church and watch it, so they had an ice cream social at 7 so we could mingle and get to know each other before. I LOVED the feeling of unity that came as we watched that session, not just with those sisters, but throughout the whole world! Especially during the last song, when we were all asked to sing together. I just knew that as many women that possibly could were singing those same lyrics at almost the exact same time across the nations. It reminded me that this gospel IS true, that there are people all over who know it without a doubt, and who are striving their best to live it and share it with those around them. Isn't it amazing? 

Also, those talks and the music were so inspired. I know I received direct answers to some of my prayers, and I can't wait to go back and re-study and learn more. These people truly are servants of God. 

Well I love you all! I hope you are all preparing to watch conference this weekend! Sister Strand and I learned that gratitude is one of the ways we can prepare to receive revelation, so say some gratitude prayers this week. I promise that as you do, Heavenly Father will help you find the answers you need to solve some of life's toughest questions and get through the hardest trials. This gospel is true, and I love it!

Transfers are coming up, so I'll talk to you all next Tuesday. All we know for sure is that neither of us are training (those calls would've come last night). Likely Sister Strand will head out and I'll get a new comp, but we'll have to see.


Sister Maughan

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rise Above It

Hola! This is probably going to be pretty random, gear up for it :)

One day, we had lessons for EVERY key indicator! (If you're not a missionary and don't know what that means... you can ask another returned missionary.) Basically though, it means we talked to a variety of people- members, less actives and non-members all on the same day! Doesn't always happen. Except something I've realized about Perrysburg I hadn't though about, is living here really is like living in Utah. The church is 5 minutes away, there are about 50 if not more active members that live in walking distance of us. We see members every day! That didn't happen in Strongsville.

The rest of the week I had a cold :(. Makes me act a little loopy, but it wasn't bad enough for us to stay in, so we went out! 

We were able to talk to a lady through her screen door for about half an hour, and she said we brightened her whole morning. I love people! We also helped BroLo (Brother Long, I cant' remember if I've mentioned him before, he's hilarious!) rake leaves. Then he came to a lesson with us! Also went to the church one day to say hi to BroLo playing basketball with a bunch of non-members. The church has an open gym every Tuesday and Thursday night for anyone to come play basketball, and there's usually 15 people there, only 2 or 3 of them members. Such a cool missionary opportunity, so we went and watched for awhile and talked to one of the wives that was watching also. There's missionary opportunities everywhere!

SATURDAY, was basically the weirdest day of ever. Actually that's not true, but it was weird. We woke up and it was pouring rain (but what else is new for Ohio?) But 3 hours later... it was still pouring rain. Which is no bueno, because it was the fair, and we were supposed to be helping with the booth our ward was doing on family history. We stopped by in the morning, in the pouring rain, and basically no one was at the fair anyways. We left and talked to a few people in the nursing homes (nursing homes in rain storms are tender mercies!) and had lunch. And it was STILL raining. So the whole fair got closed, and we had 4 extra hours of our day we had no plans! Yay. It actually ended up being really good though, we saw some people we otherwise wouldn't have, and I think they really needed uplifted that day. 

That night was INCREDIBLE. The Elders had a baptism! And one of our investigators came to see it! Everything went really smoothly, and the spirit was so strong. I was able to play the piano for it, prelude and hymns and such, and it was so cool to be a part of it all. One of the talks mentioned how when Jesus Christ was baptized, Heavenly Father was "well pleased" with Him... and how the same thing is true when anyone gets baptized! Heavenly Father is so proud of them and is there congratulating them and promising He will help them. 

Quote of the week: "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it
is usually through another person that he meets our needs." 

Love you! Who's excited for the general women's session this Saturday, I know I am!

Sister Maughan

Monday, September 12, 2016

"Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."

Hi there! Lucky for all of you, you're hearing two days earlier from me this week than you probably should've. It's on a sad note, because we were supposed to be going to Kirtland with an investigator today. All was well, until she didn't show up to stake conference yesterday, then texted us last night and said she's going through a hard time and needs some space. Oh the ups and downs of missionary work! You love these people so much and just KNOW what will help them, and agency gets in the 
way a lot more of the time than it should. 

On a more positive note, this week was FULL of miracles! It started with last Monday/Sunday night. We went to visit our investigator (the one who prayed for us to come help us eat his pie :) ) on Sunday night, and Sister Strand out of the blue invited him to our Labor Day Breakfast at the church the next morning. And he came! It was kind of awkward at first, but once we got sitting down to eat the members welcomed him and introduced themselves, and he said he was really glad he came! There were actually a handful of non-members there, which is great! One of the simplest yet most important ways to do missionary work is just to invite people to events like that and let them feel and see who we are! 

Tuesday- I got to hang out with my BFF Sister Gibbs in Bowling Green! Haha we were both so excited to work with each other again, and it ended up being exactly what I needed to kind of refocus. A cute older lady everyone calls "Grandma Pat" fed us dinner, and then we walked around BGSU and handed out Book of Mormons! The college kids are AWESOME, so friendly, and a lot of them are searching for something more in their life. Plus, we just fit right in with all of them, so approaching people is a lot less awkward. Haha then that night we helped an older lady spread mulch around her flower garden, her name was Sister Olsen and she was so fun! She gave us root-beer floats when we were done :) Service really is the best!

Then the next day we went to JAMBA JUICE! BGSU has a very limited store, but they have one!!!! Basically, that's probably why I was so ecstatically happy for the next few days. I heart Jamba!
This week was Stake Conference, and it went really well. They did a special meeting for the investigators/recent converts Sunday morning that we went to, and the spirit was really strong. It seemed to answer a lot of concerns our investigator had that was there with his wife, and helped us as missionaries a lot too! 

Alright, the last thing I wanted to share with you this week is just a scripture I found in my studies. Mosiah 3:19... it's one I've read LOTS of times, but haven't thought about it for awhile. I'm studying patience right now (haha I told Grandma Pat that, she said that was a BAD idea, the Lord loves teaching us patience when we pray for it :) ) and this is one of the scriptures I found. 

19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I love that it talks about being as a little child! Sometimes it's so hard to just TRUST that everything is going to work out and that there's a higher power taking good care of us. But that's how we conquer Satan, it's how we get through the hard times. We listen to the spirit and we trust and do what we're told :) It always works! 

Thanks for letting me ramble a little this week, there's always so much more I could tell you! I love you all, thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, and know I think about and pray for you all as well!

Love, Sister Maughan

***Here are the pictures Abby talked about sending last week, but couldn't get them to send on the Family History computer they used last week.  She wrote --- "Minions (from last week), JAMBA JUICE, and some random pics that have a story. We were trying to find some former investigators that lived in this trailer park, so we parked at the front of the trailer park and decided to walk. Well of course they lived ALL the way in the back (it was a pretty big trailer park)... and then when we got to the number where it was supposed to be- there was NO TRAILER! Just the stairs. So we knocked on the invisible door. The sad thing was we couldn't even tract around there because there was a sign that basically said don't do it or you'll get yelled at. Oh well! 

Sister Maughan teaching every "creature" the gospel ! 

Sister Strand and Sister Maughan on a wild goose chase in a trailer park.

Sister Maughan knocking on the invisible door of the 
invisible trailer they were trying to find !

Sister Gibbs and Sister Maughan are reunited and went to Jamba Juice !!  

Those are some happy faces right there !  

So good to see these two together again ! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Time is Going Too Fast

 This week was really good! I don't think I've mentioned that we're working with an investigator in the Toledo ward (because she doesn't get along with the elders haha) and she is doing really well! We set a baptismal date with her for October and are going to Kirtland with her next Monday! She's been taught everything already, so we're just reviewing with her and helping her build her testimony so she feels ready on her baptism day. We saw her twice this week, once at the Toledo bishop's house. We watched the video "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" on the church's website, and talked about God's plan for us, and how agency plays a HUGE role in that plan. It went really well!

Our other investigators are doing well, moving slowly but surely. We had zone training meeting this week, where we get together with all the other missionaries and discuss how we can help missionary work move forward. Our focus right now is actually helping the MEMBERS get excited to do missionary work. Which is hard, I know I didn't really want to do it before I came out on my mission. We're just focusing on inviting members to come teach with us, and hopefully build that desire to do their own missionary work. So our investigators are going to get to meet a lot of new people :) It's awesome!

The weather has been super nice here the past few days- feels like FALL!!!! So we've just been spending a lot of time walking around-parks, busy streets, etc trying to talk to people. Nothing great has really happened because of it yet, but it does make missionary work more fun! Haha one day we actually were just walking through a bunch of parking lots, because we decided to walk from one neighborhood to another one, and the only way to get there was through a bunch of stores! That's where the minion pictures will come in if I remember to send them :) 

I think that's about it for this week. This area is moving slowly, but at least it's moving. I think Sister Strand and I have a lot to learn about ourselves right now, so we're having to work really hard to find new people, and to help the one's we have. It's been AMAZING. The weirdest thing is I"ll likely only have 5 more weeks with her. And SO much is happening in those 5 weeks! We're going to Kirtland next Monday, we have stake conference that next weekend. We'll have Zone Conference soon after that, where president and sister brown come and talk to all of us. Then the general womens session (YAY!) and GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Time is going by so fast I can't handle it. 

Favorite quote of the week: "May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day-whether to make this choice or that choice- if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice." (President Monson).

I KNOW that President Monson is a prophet of God today. How else would he know exactly what we all need to hear today? 

Basically, I'm just really excited for conference.

Love you all, have a great week!

Sister Maughan