Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Wanna come see my broken vacuum?"

This is one of those weeks where even though we kept busy... I feel like we didn't really do a lot. Taught some people, did some finding. Friday did service for some members in Bellevue. Saturday we went to a baptism the elders had. Sunday President and Sister Brown were at church for the confirmation. Pat and Joe (the miracle couple from last week) were at church again! Love them, they are the greatest! 

The subject line is from a little boy that ran up to us while we were outside knocking on doors. :) I wish everyone was so excited to invite us over! 

This week, we plan for Brooke's baptism next week! Ahh! 

Also, transfers are next week... so I'll email you on Tuesday and let you know what's up. Most likely I"ll stay here in Sandusky, and I HOPE I do or I"ll totally miss Brooke's baptism. Who knows though, they might ship me out somewhere else for my last six weeks. (Crazy that I'm down to the last six weeks!!!)

My brain also just isn't functioning right now, because our preparation day is becoming not a preparation day. There is an older couple we've been working with that is moving, and we've been telling them for WEEKS to let us come help them move, because last time they did it all by themselves. But of course they just called us this morning saying they need the help THIS afternoon, and it's going to take about 2-3 hours. The things we get ourselves into sometimes!! We easily could say nevermind... but my conscience wouldn't let me. :(

Scripture of the week is 2 Corinthians 4
"8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Love you all! Keep on keepin on!

Love, Sister Maughan

                      A couple of pictures from their trip to the zoo last week on p-day!
                                                              Abby with the flamingos!

Sister Green and Sister Maughan at the zoo!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

President Uchtdorf Brings Miracles

This week was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! All those hard times last week were just Heavenly Father saying... just wait for it. It will come.

So fun surprise for all of you (unless you've talked to my mom really recently and she told you), President Uchtdorf came to speak to us last Thursday!! It was a last minute mission conference, so we all got together at Kirtland, and he and his wife spoke to us for about an hour and a half total. WOW it was incredible to really see and hear them in person, not just from the TV. If his talk was going to be printed in the Ensign, it would be titled "Every Day is a New Independence Day." He talked about how we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily, we can wake up with a fresh start, none of the mistakes from yesterday weighing us down. She talked a lot about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and how that is HUGE blessing in our every day lives. Ahhh the feeling I had being there with them, and ALL the missionaries. Just makes your heart happy. Plus, added bonus was we drove down with Sister Archibald and Sister Richards, so we got to hang out with them!

Another huge miracle this week was Saturday night we planned to stop by someone we'd tracted into a few weeks ago. Sister Ashby was still here, and we'd left him a Book of Mormon, and he told us to give him a few weeks to read and come back. So we went back, and he let us right in. One of the first questions he asked was "When are your services?" :) We answered a few of his questions, and then explained that we wanted to share the Restoration with them, and he invited his wife to come listen in. Long story short, they CAME TO CHURCH THE NEXT DAY. We are really excited to keep working with them! 
Sunday, not only did they come, but we had two other investigators at church. I've never had that many come in one day my whole mission, besides when the whole Backer family came back in Strongsville. It's great to know that Heavenly Father is taking care of these people, preparing these people, and He's in charge of it all. We just go where he puts us, and trust that everything will work out how it needs to. Heavenly Father is amazing!

We had quite a few other miracles/tender mercies this week, I wish I had time to share them all with you. I'm so grateful to be a witness to all of God's miracles. Though I have no idea what the outcome of these miracles will be in the long run, I am so grateful for what they teach me, and that Heavenly Father allows me to be a part of them. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! We are going to the zoo today, so hopefully I"ll have some fun pics to send next Wednesday.

Love, Sister Maughan

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Keep on keepin' on

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great 4th of July! Isn't it weird that the title of that holiday is 
just the date that it's on? 

The big news this week is Brooke and Tim got married!!!!! Who knew that I'd get to go to a wedding on my mission? :) It was a lot of work, (we spent almost all day Friday and Saturday either at the church or at her house helping get everything ready for the reception, cleaning, etc), but it of course was so worth it! It was also a great missionary opportunity- so many people who never would have set foot in our church spent a good two to three hours there! Brooke and Tim and the kids were all just so happy. Plus, we got a lot of leftovers from the dinner to take home with us, so bonus! :D

Sunday was a pretty average day. One of our newer investigators came to church!! Then we spent most of the day in Bellevue, and not much happened. Two of our appointments cancelled, and most of our plans had already fallen through. The GPS took us WAY in the wrong direction for one address we were trying to find, so we drove through the long row of fields out in the country for a while trying to figure out where we were really supposed to be. We did have dinner with a family, and they fed us Sauerkraut (yes mom I ate it, and yes I actually liked it! Maybe just because it reminded me of home ). 

Monday, we had interviews with President in Lorain. And... pretty much nothing happened after that. Woot.

Yesterday, let's just say it was rough. No one really wants to talk to us on holidays when they're with their families.(I know, it doesn't make any sense). We actually talked about doing weekly planning in the morning, because this Thursday we have a mission conference and won't be able to do it then. But President during interviews was like "get out there, go to the parades, go talk to people!" So we made the most of it, though most of it was rejection. :/ Walked to the Parade in the morning, I still get anxiety contacting in large crowds, even though I've been on my mission my whole life. We just passed out cards, ran into some members and chatted with them for a minute, then walked back home. We did have a fun small miracle, because one of our neighbors was walking home at the same time as us, so we got to talk to her for a whole 15 minutes! We could tell she didn't want to talk religion, so we just chatted with her for the first few minutes, and then she ended up asking us tons of questions about who we are and what we do. I'd say that is a success!

The rest of the day, we helped some of our members scrape the side of their house so they can repaint it. Had dinner at another members' home, and they bought us sparklers to celebrate! Night time... probably one of the hardest nights of my mission. We were walking again, and on our way home we stopped by a less active and let her be our mom for a minute while we complained to her about how hard our day had been and she told us we were doing a good job. Ended the night by watching the fireworks through our upstairs window, through the trees! Happy Fourth of July to us! :) 

Thank goodness for the gospel. These hard days/weeks/months/years... are still hard. They are still dang hard. Yet with the gospel, you have something more. It's called HOPE.  Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with a surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." 

I also have been thinking a lot about Ether 12:27 27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." As we come unto Christ, our weaknesses are made very apparent. That in turn puts us between a rock and a hard place (I literally don't know what that analogy means, but it sounds nice so I"ll use it.). It brings us down to our knees, and makes us realize we are not as high up and mighty as we thought we were. But I love the purpose behind it. We are here to be made humble, so that our weaknesses can become strengths. Those weaknesses, would remain just that- weaknesses, unless we come unto Christ and allow him to mold and shape us into something much stronger.

So yes, life is hard. Yes, there are days when I'm ready to call it quits and wonder why in the world I even try. But I am not here to give up. I'm here to give it my best, and let the Lord take care of the rest. 

That's why I'm grateful for every day of my mission. 

Alright, I've noveled you out of your minds by now, thanks for listening and for being my therapy. I love you all literally more than I could ever say, and know your prayers have been the reason I've been able to stick it out these last few days. As Sister Green and I often say lately. "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." 

Love, Sister Abby Maughan

Abby with Brooke, their investigator 
that got married at the church this week! Hooray!! 

Abby and Sister Green celebrating the 4th of July with sparklers!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"It's always Winter, but never Christmas...."

Hey there! One more week down on this Ohio Roller Coaster ride. I'd say it was a pretty average week for missionary life. I'll give you the highlights :)

Thursday we had a lesson with a referral from I LOVE this story because of what it taught me. When I first got into this area, Sister Ashby I went tracting (surprise!). We knocked on every door on this one street over a few days, found one family that we still see every once in awhile, and that was about the end of it. When we go tracting, I often pray for the people that didn't allow us to come back to really look at the website we left them with on the card, for their hearts to soften over time, etc. One of those things I pray for and never really expected to know the real results. Until now! This referral came in from that same street, saying they'd talked to missionaries not too long ago (me and Sister Ashby!) and were now interested in learning more. It was Heavenly Father's way of reminding me that He answers prayers, even ones I don't think about having answered! 

We got ANOTHER referral that day, which is super unusual for us. Except that one sent us on a wild goose chase, we can't find the address and the phone number doesn't work either. The address took us to a Baptist church, so we walked in and asked the people there if they knew anything. :) After that, we headed to North Olmstead for exchanges!

So Friday we were in North Olmstead all day, I got to hang out with Sister Bussell and teach a couple of their investigators with her. Still weirds me out being there sometimes, since that's where I was going on exchanges a year ago too, just with different sisters! 

Sunday, was pretty stellar, for various reasons.:) A less active family that we've been working with came to church, plus I had another surprise visitor there! After church, we were walking around Norwalk and the Catholic church was playing Harry Potter music with their bells. We spent the night in Bellevue again, getting to know some of the families there. I love them already! It was definitely a tender mercy day. 

We also spent most of the day in Bellevue yesterday, getting to know some of the members. 
One had us over for dinner, and the other was building a playground when we stopped by, so we ended up helping set some of it up. Love them all!

This weekend is Brooke's wedding, I"ll make sure to send some pics next week!

Love you all, have an amazing week!

Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. The subject line is just because that song has been stuck in my head lately. It's a good one :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Don't mind us, we're just persevering!" - Sister Green

My subject lines may always be Sister Green quotes from now on, I quite enjoy them. This one was said to the cars driving by while knocking on doors in the warm rain in Milan at 8:30 at night.

Wow, was this week long or was this week LONG?! I can't believe I haven't even told you about dropping Sister Ashby off, that seemed like a lifetime ago!

That's where we will start this week though. :) Last Wednesday, we drove all the way to Kirtland (90 minutes.. through crazy Cleveland traffic. Don't worry mom, I was careful and we lived!) to transfer Sister Ashby to her new companion. And there were SO many missionaries there! Tons of them were there because they were going home, plus there were a handful called to train new missionaries. Plus all of those missionaries' companions that were either getting transferred or getting new companions. So I got to see Sister Barnes, and Sister Archibald, plus tons of other sisters and elders that have either been in my zone or district. Of course us sisters all went out to Panera for lunch after! :) 

The next few days went pretty well. It's nice already knowing Sister Green, so we don't have to go through that "getting to know/adjusting to your new companion" phase every one else does. We just get to work. The people we are teaching are doing so great! One of them even had a friend over when we were there to teach, and that friend came to church with them on Sunday! 

Saturday was... well let's just say that the best part of my day was eating ice cream for dinner. We had a handful of set appointments with new people we'd tracted into... and they all weren't home when we came by. Then our back up plans weren't home either. So we were just walking around, because that's what you do when you don't know what else to do. Plus, I'm pretty sure it was 90 something degrees outside. :) My legs were SO SORE that night. We talked to the other missionaries later though, and that's how their Saturday went too! 

It's also been fun trying to figure out the Bellevue area now that we are covering that. We went there Thursday night to try to contact some of the people the elders were working with, but none of them were home. So we ended up going back last night, and got in touch with a lot of them! 

I say this every week, I'll say it again... there's SO much more I could tell you about, but that's about the gist of it. We're just enjoying life here in Sandusky, rolling along the roller coaster. I know that in our lives, we don't always see the results of our actions, and we don't always understand what is going on or why things are happening. This week I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures. "I know that (God) loveth his children, nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things." 1 Nephi 11:17. Choose to remember that there is a loving Father in Heaven who knows you inside and out and loves you always.

I love you all! 

Sister Maughan 

p.s. Did I mention that we are combined with the Lorain ward now for District Meeting, so Sister Archibald is in my district??!

Sister Ashby, Sister Green and sister Maughan --
"getting a birthday cake drink at this place called Sheri's. 
The members here rant and rave about it all the time, so we had to try it out!"

This is what Abby said about the following two pictures!! --
"Our last Preparation Day together, we all bought Ohio t-shirts! 
There's a small back story to Sister Green's :) 
There is a member we do service for every Saturday morning,
 because she broke her ankle and can't move around a lot.
 Once when we were over there, she was talking to us about how 
Ohio people are known as the "Buckeyes" or how Ohio is the Buckeye state. 
"And you know what a Buckeye is? A worthless nut! 
Only the squirrels can eat it!" 
Haha so pretty much we're all a bunch of crazies here in Ohio... 
so when we found this shirt we were laughing our heads off and HAD to buy it. 
Sadly there was only One , or we all would've gotten that one :)"

Sister Green, Sister Ashby and Sister Maughan in their Ohio shirts

Abby wrote --
 "Sis Green and I in Bellevue last night, 
with the forever fields in the background!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"I can walk in a straight line and have good thoughts"-Sis Green

Hi there! Sister Green actually said that sometime the week before, but I started saying it this week. Cause sometimes, it's good to remind yourself that at least you still know how to walk and can be positive. :) Haha Sister Green says random things all the time, I love it!

Transfer news is that Sister Green and I are staying together, and Sister Ashby is going to.. wait for it.. PERRYSBURG! The town that has my heart <3. She is actually going to be "shotgunning/whitewashing" the area with Sister Anderson. So I've been overwhelming her with info about all the people I love and want her to say hello to for me! The other news is that they took one set of elders out of our ward, so Sister Green and I are probably going to be taking over part of their area! I'm really excited!

Some things that happened this week.

We made brownie smores at 9:30 at night!

                                        Abby and Sister Green eating late night smores!

Drove the hour to Westlake for Zone Conference. Missionary friends, spiritual encouragement, good food=win! 

Followed up with someone we met last week, ended up talking to him on his back porch for 2 hours. He is really cool and we are hoping that we can continue to work with him! When we first found him tracting, he mentioned that he usually doesn't open the door to missionaries like us, but he thought we were his neighbors so he did. :) Everything happens for a reason!

Saturday we had planned a church tour with the elders, for investigators or members' friends or whoever wanted to come. No one came :/

Sunday we spent 3 hours tracting/contacting on the same street, because everyone there wants to talk to us! 

Yesterday morning we went running in the morning with a member on this beautiful bike trail! I'll have to take pics next time if we do it again. 

Now we have a whole other set of adventures for the next 6 weeks! I'm so grateful I still have this time to not only to learn and grow myself, but to share the light of the gospel with others! 

Love you! Talk to you next Wednesday!

Sister Maughan

p.s. The Ohio humidity/heat is BACK :P

                                                          District Picture (off centered!!)

A fun picture of Abby's tan lines on her feet.
(she will probably kill me for posting this!!  But I thought it was fun!)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This is what we do for fun.....

Hey there! Man, looking back on the week I can't say much happened, but I'm just happy anyways, so that's a plus! :) And happy June! (Fun side note, I come home three months from today!!)

Let's see... per usual we did lots of knocking on doors and talking to people outside. A lot of people ask us things like "what are you doing out on a night like this?" if it's bad weather or something. Sister Green every once in awhile will say, "This is what we do for fun." :)  Friday night, everyone's partying? We're tracting, that's how we spend our Friday nights!  

Something more unusual this week was that we did muchas service, aka CLEANING random strangers houses. 

Friday (happy birthday Kelsie!) we had ward coordination in the morning, and then we went with a set of the elders to help someone in the ward clean their new home before they move in. The whole house reeked of cigarette smoke, so we were wiping down everything with some solution to get rid of the smell. It was a party for sure, and I was actually sore the next day from standing and wiping down walls for so long!

Some day, I can't remember which, we were out tracting, and this older man was outside across the street doing some yard work. We walk up to him and I just say "Hi! Can we help you with anything?" He says, "Like what?" and then goes on to tell us that he's looking for some people to clean his home. His wife passed away a few years ago, and he's just let everything kind of settle and stay where it's at. He wants to finally get it organized and cleaned up. We told him we would love to help! So Monday morning, we brought a member of the church with us, and cleaned a strangers home for two hours. "This is what we do for fun on Monday mornings" I told Sister Green. :) 

Yesterday we were able to have a great lesson with Rob! We also finally saw Brooke with a member family named the Folds! They are both doing great, Brooke's just been super sick and busy, or her family has been sick. :( It's a little crazy, but things are still going well with wedding plans. Yesterday, we also brought a sister in the ward that's preparing to serve a mission out with us. We just followed up with potentials, and it actually went really well. She'll be a pro missionary.

Oh the life of a missionary. Sometimes I feel like I bore you to death, but I appreciate that you let me spill it out to all of you! You're all the best support group (can I call you a fan club? :) ) a sister could ever ask for!


Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. Transfers are next week, so I'll talk to you all again on Tuesday!

***Abby sent these pictures in a separate e mail.  This is what she wrote about them!

Last preparation day was the preparation day from heaven! <3 We drove to this adorable peninsula of Lake Erie called Marblehead, and it's just an adorable, little tourist "off the coast" town. Peaceful lake air, perfect weather. Ahhh exactly what I needed.
So here's some pics! We were supposed to meet the Elders at a members home there to go fishing in their pond, but the elders ended up being late. Which was a tender mercy, because we looked at the GPS to see what was close by, and LIGHTHOUSE came up. For obvious reasons (my mom!) I made us go there. So grateful we did, it was so pretty! We didn't get to go in the lighthouse cause they only took cash, but at least we got some good pics.

                                                         Beautiful view at Marblehead!!

The lighthouse at Marblehead 

Abby by the Lighthouse at Marblehead

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Finally Summer!

This is one of those weeks I don't really know what to tell you. Mostly, we did a lot of walking. School got out here on Friday. Friday to Monday was what they call the "Strawberry Festival" in Norwalk, so our area was a lot more crowded than normal! We just live down the street from where they were doing the festival, so we would walk and contact people going to or from. We also went into the midst of it and tried to hand out cards to EVERYBODY, which was really hard. Also, you just can't really teach people the gospel when there are 300 other people screaming and laughing and singing right next to them. We did get one person to agree to meet with us though, and he actually lives on a street we already tracted, but he must not have been home when we did. Little miracles, lots of planting seeds! 

Sunday we spent a few hours in Milan, and got POURED on. Haha we were trying to find a less active member, but we only had the apartment complex, not the apartment number. We were knocking on all the doors, and only had 2 left when it started DOWNPOURING. We really didn't want to go grab our umbrellas, so we just knocked on the doors and got soaking wet! The first door the guy actually came out in the rain to talk to us, and agreed to let us come back and share more. Then we knocked on his neighbors door, no answer, so we went home to eat dinner and dry off. By the end of dinner it had stopped raining, so we decided to walk around the Strawberry Festival again. On our way there, it started pouring again! We even had someone driving by stop in the middle of the road and offer us a ride haha. We didn't take it, though we probably should've cause it would've been a good opportunity to share the gospel! :) 

Other than that, I can't think of anything too exciting to report. Our investigator Rob is doing well still. Brooke and her family seem to be sliding down a little bit, we haven't been able to see them as often and they haven't been coming to church :( We are hoping it's just because she is busy with wedding plans, but it's been hard to know how to help them when we haven't seen them. 

Another week in mission life. In case anyone was wondering, I have 99 days left before I come home!!! I should probably celebrate with shaved ice or something :) We are apparently going fishing with the elders today at a town called Marblehead that's right by Lake Erie, so hopefully I'll have some fun pics to send next week.

Love you all!

Sister Maughan
hopefully I'll have some fun pics to send next week.
Love you all!
Sister Maughan

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shaved Ice and Ohio Barns

Just because that was the title of the pictures I sent, and I liked how random it was :)

HELLO out there! The thing about hanging out with humans is that one person can be incredibly happy (me- when I found out Victoria got baptized in Tallmadge. Then also Shaved Ice just makes your whole LIFE better, let alone the whole week), and the other can be incredibly sad (one of my companions has been sobbing the last few minutes after reading one of her emails :( ). This life is full of ups and downs, and we have to be here to support each other through all of it! 

Anyways, this week was pretty good. I got whatever Sister Green had, so we ended up taking some sleep breaks because either she or I could NOT function. To the outside people, it probably just looked like a cold, but it made us feel AWFUL. Survived it though, and now we both are working on getting our voices sounding normal again and getting over the after cough stuff. So far, Sister Ashby has stayed healthy, thank goodness!

As for missionary work. Brooke this week was actually down too, she had surgery again on Tuesday and this one was a lot harder. So we didn't get to see her until this past Monday, but she is still doing great! Gave us her wedding invitations, and it made me happy to see "The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints" written in bold on the front as where she is getting married! :) Haha I'm just now realizing I don't even know how much I've told you ALL about Brooke and her family, I may have just told a few of you. If you have questions... feel free to ask! 

Saturday was interesting. I hadn't been fully sick until that morning, but we were supposed to go help a member that had broken her foot with service that morning, so I had just prayed that I'd be able to feel good enough to help that day. Sure enough, I was able to help clean for the two hours we were there, and then as soon as we got home... I crashed. My head was so fuzzy, we were trying to do companion study and I just could not think! So we stayed in until a few hours later, when we had a set appointment with a potential investigator (who is now a new investigator. Yay!). Ate dinner at Wendys and I just went all fuzzy again, but I really didn't want to make us go back in. So we went and contacted a young couple we had met a few streets over. And stood outside for an hour and a half listening to them tell us why everything we believe in can't possibly be true, and nit picking every detail of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. :D Love those moments. We listened, we testified, though there was no listening on their part, and we went our merry way knowing we did the best we could. People like that always tend to strengthen my testimony, even though they are trying to tear it down. "Not today, Satan!"

Sunday we went to church, had lunch with all the missionaries and a member family after, and I wanted SO BAD to work after. So we went and knocked on two doors, and I just fell apart, and we had to come back home for a couple hours. I was able to work the rest of the night though, and then Monday I woke up feeling SO much better! Yay for being able to do missionary work like normal again! 

You're welcome for giving you a detailed description of my sick life. Haha, overall, this week has just been another week of learning, growing, crashing, getting back up, falling apart, and living life the way it was meant to be lived. I'd leave you with an inspirational quote I read from Thomas S Monson this morning... but I can't remember what it was! So go get on and find one that helps you! :) 

Love you all! Thanks as always for listening to my random Ohio stories. I love sharing them with you! 

Love, Sister Maughan

**Note from Abby's mom!
I had to include this with this blog post today.  
I know how happy Shaved Ice makes my sweet Abby!!  
So this is a HaPpY post!!!

Abby wrote - 
Shaved Ice= Tender Mercy of my mission. 
Like I said before, there are ZERO shaved ice shacks here in Ohio. 
Yet I get put in the one place there actually IS ONE!!!! 
Wahoo, thank you Heavenly Father :)

Sister Maughan, Sister Green and sister Ashby
enjoying some shaved ice!!  
Love those smiles!!

A beautiful Ohio Barn

Our beautiful Missionary, Sister Maughan with an Ohio barn!

Sister Ashby, Sister Green and Sister Maughan with an Ohio barn

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bubbles (insert bubble emoji here, if there is one)

Sometimes, all the time, mission life is a roller coaster! 

Since I talked to you last week, we went on exchanges with the sisters in North Olmstead. We hung out at their booth at a college campus for a couple hours, but no one was there because school's almost out or they were taking finals :( Then we helped someone clean/organize her house for about three hours. (We got bubbles out of it though! And cake :) ). Then went tracting, and drove the hour back home. 

Friday we had some awesome appointments with Brooke, a college student named Joey that just moved back home that's a member, and Rob. Saturday we saw Linda, and a handful of other people.

Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting (that was 30 minutes long! Ahh! I've become that kind of person?). Then we did a little bit of finding until we went to Skype the family and eat dinner with the Bringhursts. (Happy Mother's Day!) Later that night we found some cool people that said we could come teach them more. We also blew bubbles while we were walking from place to place :) 

Then Monday, Sister Green woke up with the flu. So we went to District Meeting, the two set appointments that we had, and basically stayed in most of Monday, and all day yesterday. During which Sister Ashby went to see Linda with a member, and Linda dropped us. Ugh, agency! We had planned SO WELL for that lesson (we were going to read 2 Nephi 2 with her and apply it to her needs), and I just felt that it was going to be the turning point for her, that she really would be able to receive her answer in that lesson. Then Sister Ashby comes home with the Book of Mormon, Bible, and pamphlets we gave Linda, along with a note from her, all left on her front porch :( But what do you do? You pray for her, you follow the spirit to know how to help her, and you move forward. 

So we continued to organize the area book and area map, clean the house, and cater to Sister Green, until we sat outside at sunset and blew more bubbles and talked to a few of our neighbors. 

Life is good, life is great, life is wonderful :) I often look back on the past week and think "what was it that Heavenly Father wanted me to learn from that?" Sometimes I can see the answer, sometimes it doesn't come until months later, and often I still have no idea. "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." (2 Nephi 2:24)

I love you all! Know that when things get hard, there is ALWAYS a reason. I know the Plan of Salvation is real, and that it gives us the perspective we need to get through this life... and the next! 

Love, Sister Maughan

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three heads are better than one :)

Hello! The first thing I'll let you know is the trio is going great! It's been interesting balancing/working it all out, but we are all really open with each other. We've seen tons of miracles in just the week that we've been together, and the spirit feels much stronger as we teach and testify. We keep joking that it feels like we've been together for months already!

So Wednesday, we picked up Sister Green at Westlake. She was coming from Strongsville, and I found out that they are putting elders in that area now. :( Not that I don't trust elders, but it will be weird knowing the Backer family won't have sisters anymore! 

It's been so fun having Sister Green coming from there though, we talk about Strongsville ALL THE TIME (it probably drives Sister Ashby crazy haha). When we got home, we did some tracting and were blessed to have someone let us right in. It was an older couple, and they aren't really willing to change, but it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father to let us practice teaching together for the first time.

We've done a LOT of knocking on doors the past 7 days, and it's actually been really good. Every day we meet at least one person who is willing to learn, or who has talked to missionaries already in the past. Most all of them set return appointments. Some of them don't answer the door when we go back for those appointments, but some of them do! Yesterday, we had 2 of our return appointments fall through, so we were about ready for the third to fall through as well. We were running late, walked up to his house (his name is Rob) and he was about to pull out of his driveway. "No, not again!" Haha but he actually saw us, stopped, got out of his car, and directed us to his front porch where he had set up chairs for us! He had gotten home late, thought he had missed us, and so was heading out again. We talked to him for about half an hour, and it went really well! 

There are SO many more little stories like that I could tell you this week. I love it! :)

Our investigator Brooke and her family are doing great. We were able to talk to her two sons and set the goal of having them baptized with their mom in a couple months! One of the sons even came to stake conference with her (mostly Brooke has been coming by herself), so that was a huge miracle. Especially because Stake Conference was all the way in Westlake, and it was broadcast from Salt Lake, so not super interactive for an 8 year old boy. 

We also set a baptismal goal with our investigator Linda. She is a huge tender mercy. We found her that first Sunday it was really warm, about a month ago. We hadn't been knocking on any doors, just talking to people outside, because EVERYONE was outside. I on a whim decided we should knock on this home, not really feeling all that inspired about it at all. And there was Linda, super willing to talk with us. She has a true desire to feel God again in her life, and is just so kind and fun to talk to! 

Those are the big miracles we've seen, though I'd love to say that ALL of the miracles we've seen are big. Each of them have reminded me that God really is in the details of this, that this is His work, not ours. We are here to be instruments in his hands. So when things work out the way we had planned, that's great. :) When they don't, we know He has something greater in store for us. I hope I can remember and continue to see the blessings that are all around us every day. 

Have a wonderful week, happy mothers day to all the moms out there! 

Love, Sister Maughan

                             ​​Abby introduces Sister Green, their new companion in their trio.  
                        She wrote --Sister Green is from Mapleton, Utah. She's been out for 
                 9 months, so I'm still the oldest mission year wise. Her b-day is January 31st                                           though (just like someone else I know! ---shout out to Carlee !! ) 
                                          So she's just a little bit older than me in real life :) 
                                                **I don't know why my mouth is open all the 
                                                     time lately when we take pics. Whatever. 

                                            Sister Maughan, Sister Ashby and Sister Green

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"In the mouth of two... or three witnesses shall every word be established."

Exciting news my friends and family! As of tomorrow, I will be serving in a trio! We had a hunch it would be happening, since the mission office called us Friday to see if they could put bunk beds in our apartment. They brought the bunk beds yesterday afternoon, and last night we got the transfer call saying Sister Green is coming to join Sister Ashby and I in Norwalk. It'll be interesting, learning how to balance everything out between us. More adventures in the Ohio Cleveland Mission every day, right?

As for this past week, we had some fun moments. My favorite happened Sunday afternoon. We were trying a former investigator in Milan, but they didn't answer. There was a young adult aged boy outside mowing the lawn, and his grandma was watching him from the front porch. We went up and talked to her for awhile until he got done mowing, and then he came up and wanted to talk as well. He is really trying to turn his life around and wants to start going to a church... and eventually get baptized. :) He told us all this without us saying anything haha. After we had talked for awhile and scheduled a return appointment, we were ready to head out, when he mentioned that he really wanted to get a Bible soon so he could read the Psalms. "Well, we have one for you!" was my reply. :) I gave him the copy I had in my bag, and his grandma was like "Your first bible! Write your name in it, write down her name in it since she gave it to you, and show it to all your grandkids years from now..." Haha they were pretty excited about it. :)

Yesterday, we were able to arrange a Priesthood blessing to our investigator Brooke. She is going in for surgery today on her mouth and has been really nervous about it. She said she felt so much better after the blessing, and she looked a lot lighter as well! I'm so grateful for the Priesthood!

Other than that, things have been pretty average here. The weather can't decide if it wants to be hot and humid or windy and cold. There are tons of people out and about to talk to. We heard Cedar Point opens this weekend, so the Sandusky ward area will be filled with visitors! Lots of good things to look forward to :)

Love you, have a good week!

Sister Maughan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

14 months out!

***Disclaimer from Abby's mom!!  --This letter was really written on April 19, 2017.  I have been able to keep up with posting these right on the day she writes them, but this week I have been extremely busy moving my elderly Aunt from one assisted living facility to another and I didn't even realize until today when I went to write Abby's e mail for next week, that I hadn't sent her letter out to her Ohio group, or done this blog post, so here I am a week late, but wanted to get it done before I get her new e mail for tomorrow!!  Enjoy!


That's right my friends, I feel like I've officially been on my mission my whole life! 14 months down (and they FLEW by. Really, they did!), four and a half more to go! 

As for the past week, it was the typical roller coaster of mission life I talk about almost every week. Lots and lots of knocking doors, talking to people outside. Lots of small miracles!

Friday night was a fun one. :) There's this family we tracted into probably my first week here, that told us we could come back. We really wanted to talk to the WHOLE family at the same time though, and every time we'd stop by, the wife was never home! So we'd try them again two days later, then 2 days after that, and so on. We got to know the family pretty well by the time we finally met the wife and were able to teach them! Friday night was the time though. They let us right in, Grandma, mom, and the whole crew were there... plus about 4 college aged friends of the older sons! Intimidating? Maybe a little... but HOW COOL IS THIS?! We had planned to teach the Restoration, but mom and grandma started asking us questions about life after death almost immediately after we got there, so we threw the lesson we had planned, followed the spirit, and taught the Plan of Salvation. Though it was a little chaotic with all the people, the spirit was there, and now there are about 9 more people in this world that know God's plan for them as individuals and as families! We came home (we were there the last hour of the night) and just crashed, and I literally said "Heavenly Father, what did you just have us do?!" I'm amazed by His willingness to trust us with things like this!

Easter went well, our investigator Brooke came to church! We had dinner with the Williamson family, that was more food than I've seen in awhile! :) The rest of the day was our finding people to share the REASON that we have Easter! I love finding on holidays! 

Which leads to a fun small miracle we had yesterday. We had ZERO plans for the day (those days are always a little frightening... and motivation level is usually low). Mornings are usually the hardest times to find things to do, but Sister Ashby thought to try a couple that we'd met last week. I was 99% sure they weren't going to be home, but the spirit told me we should try anyways. Went by... they weren't home. However, they live by another family we'd been working with that I had pretty much given up on. I told Sister Ashby we should go look at their house number so we could write it down for future missionaries to stop by, and we could also try them one more time. And what happens? They open the door, we are able to sit them all down (that's been the biggest struggle with them, is getting them all to focus and listen). The first question the wife asks us (they are a younger couple with three kids), "Why do people celebrate Easter?". We pull up the Easter video, and teach them about Jesus Christ, his life, death, and resurrection. We're able to testify of what that means to us, and what it can mean for them. We answered a few other simple but powerful questions she had about Jesus. It was a very peaceful moment, not one I think I can fully describe. To help someone even understand WHO Jesus Christ is and why He is important... it was amazing! 

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trade the experiences I have here for anything! I'm so excited to see what the next 4 and a half months bring! 

Here's my scripture for the week:
Doctrine and Covenants 64:33
33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

You never know what difference you are making in peoples lives. So go out there, do those little things! Change the world! 

Love, Sister Maughan

The following three pictures were taken on April 12th when Abby was able to go do TWO sessions in the Columbus, Ohio Temple.  She sure LOVES the temple! 

Left to right. Sister Ashby, Sister Maughan, Elder Ellsworth, 
Elder Scoresby, Elder Miller, Elder Schwartz.

Our beautiful Sister Maughan at the Columbus Temple

Sister Maughan and Sister Ashby at the Columbus Temple

Abby being a "Movie Star" missionary!!  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Happy Easter

Here's a short group email for the week! We got to go to the Columbus temple today, and were there from 11-3, plus 4 hours travel total, so that doesn't leave much time to email. SO WORTH IT! I am so grateful for the peace the temple brings into my life, if nothing else. Even just walking on the grounds gives you that feeling. God's love is truly powerful!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter! If you haven't yet, check out the Easter video(s) on about finding PEACE. They are such powerful messages in a world where that inner peace is almost impossible to find. So take the time to look them up! Do it (and you're cool ;) )

Love you all so much! I am so grateful for this Easter Season to remind us to focus on the Savior, and the knowledge we have that death is NOT the end! 

This week went well, I'll send you some pics when I email next week. Keep on keepin' on!

Love, Sister Maughan

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so"

Once again, I feel like this week was kind of a blur. General Conference was absolutely the highlight, and truly better than Christmas! We watched most of it at a member's home- the Williamson's. We went to the church for the Sunday morning session to help our recent convert spanish family get situated to watch it in the young men's room in Spanish. Thank goodness for technology, and ward members that know how to use it! 

I think the biggest impact conference honestly had on me was realizing that next time conference comes around, I'll be home! I'll have to be dealing with my own trials and challenges, instead of everyone elses. It was stressing me out a little, yet the talks brought me so much peace about the future, and so many insights on what I can do better NOW, while I'm still experiencing this incredible mission! I'm pretty sure Elder Costa is every missionary's best friend now... his talk was perfect! :) I also loved how simple and powerful President Monson's talk was. "We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children. If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study." I am so grateful I get to defend him every day as a true and living day prophet!

Friday we had a fun miracle happen. We had set up an appointment with someone in the morning, and she wasn't home when we stopped by. :( Luckily, we had talked to someone else in that area that had told us we could come back, so we tried her! It was one of those awkward moments when her son was outside playing, and she called him to come inside as we walked by to see her neighbor first, so we weren't sure if she was trying to avoid us... but we knocked on the door anyways! The little boy answered the door, and we heard the mom's voice in the background saying "We're busy". I just kept talking to the little boy, and then poked my head around the corned to make eye contact with the mom and ask her when we could come back. She was on the floor trying to fix her vacuum, and she said "How long does it take? And can you talk to me while I fix this?" Of course we can, and we can make it quick! We were able to talk to her about the Restoration, and though it was a little crazy with the boy running around and her fixing the vacuum, at the end she said she felt really good about what we shared and would love us to come back! 

Everything else this week was pretty average. Lots of finding people to talk to, lots of trying to contact less active members. Even though I've been out for a year, I still wake up every morning less than enthusiastic, and I still go to bed every night amazed by the miracles we see every day and wishing my mission would never end. God truly is in this work. Sometime's it's as simple as knocking on a neighbor's door when things fall through. Sometimes it's the conversation you have with a companion as you are walking down the street and no one wants to talk to you. There are things you learn every day here, whether your plans work out or not. 

Keep on keeping on my friends. I love you all, and thank you so much for your prayers and support! Whenever I get down, I think of how you are all cheering me on, and it helps me work a little harder, be a little bolder, and love a lot more! 

Sister Maughan

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Walking in Norwalk

Oh goodness this week has been a ride! Transfers are always stressful and emotional. They take a lot of patience with yourself and with your companion, and a LOT of prayer! The good news is, I arrived in one piece to the Sandusky ward! Our area covers a cute town called Norwalk, and that's where our apartment is and where we spend most of our time. The sisters have done a good job at building the area up, so we have a few amazing investigators! There is a cute family we are teaching (I think there last name is Fox?), and they are really progressing. The sister here before me was also fluent in spanish, so half of our investigators only speak spanish. :/ We aren't sure what we'll end up doing there, since our members that speak spanish are pretty busy! We've been joking/not really joking that we will hopefully have the gift of tongues soon! 

Sister Ashby is awesome, and she is from Cache Valley, Utah! Haha funny how that keeps happening to me! She is from Newton, and her personality is more quiet and reserved, but she's an amazing sister. 

We did a lot of service this week, and a lot of contacting former or potential investigators and tracting. Our church building is 30 minutes away! And we drive right past this AMAZING water park called "Calahari" (i probably slaughtered the spelling on that) every time we go to church. Plus, Cedar Point (roller coaster park, that has the largest/fastest/best roller coasters in the world) is also here in Sandusky. Basically, it's a rough place to be a mission, since we can't do any of those things on our missions! But now I have more of an excuse to come back and visit and have fun! ;) 

Other than that, I really can't saw I have too much to report. The biggest struggle for me has been adjusting to the culture of this area. I'm very used to being in the rich and more prideful areas of Ohio, and Norwalk is pretty humble! But as we always here "there is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone". I feel like I'll have lots of growing to do while I'm here, but there are good members and missionaries here that I know will help me through it! I'm excited to learn and come closer to my Savior while I am here, as well as help more of Heavenly Father's children to come closer to Him as well.

Love you all tons! talk to you next week!

Love, Sister Maughan

                                                           Sister Ashby and Sister Maughan