Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Final Blog Post from Abby's Mom!

This is one final blog post from Abby's mom!!  

My heart is so full right now.  We are just about 39 hours away from picking Abby up at the airport.  

I am pretty much a puddle of emotions.  

Abby's mission has been such a blessing to our family.  We have loved reading her e mails and sharing in her experiences.  

I am so proud of her for so many reasons.  I know the sacrifice she has made over the past 18+ months will bless the rest of her life.  

She has learned how to do hard things and she has learned to trust her Heavenly Father when things get rough.  She has experienced some of life's highest highs and lowest lows and yet she comes out smiling and thankful for the experience.  

She has constantly borne testimony of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She has also repeatedly testified that when things get tough, just hang on because you never know what Heavenly Father has waiting right around the corner for you.  So just hang on!  --She has lived this time and time again on her mission.  

If anyone reading this would like to attend her mission report, she will be speaking THIS Sunday, September 10th in our ward in Paradise at 9 a.m.  The church address is 155 East 9400 South in Paradise, Utah 84328

David and I thank everyone that has supported her in so many ways over these past 18 months so that she could serve this mission.  We appreciate your love and concern for her and the many prayers that have been offered in her behalf.  

You DID it Abby!!  

We are proud of you and love you so much.  It's going to be so great to have you back under the same roof with us and in our arms again.  

Love, Mom

Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant

Mission Accomplished !!


"Sometimes, you just want to give the Spirit a high-five”

That thought came from my own brain this time, not Sister Green's. Seriously though, it would be nice to be able to high-five the spirit sometimes. Don't worry, you'll know why in a minute.

WAHOO this week was so so great. I don't know why, nothing special happened really. I just loved it! 

Thursday morning we went to Berlin Heights and did some service for a member there, plus had a lesson with another member. We finished weekly planning, then went to Bellevue! Jo and Pat met us at the Coffelt's house, and we did a lesson with them on temples. I love teaching investigators in members' homes, the spirit is so special there. 

Friday was Zone Conference, got up bright and early to drive to Westlake. Our whole conference was centered on goals and planning, I loved it. They had all of us missionaries going home bear our testimonies at the end. :)  

Saturday we only had a few plans, but ended up staying pretty busy most of the day. Taught Cole and Donovan, we just read in the scriptures with them and it was fun! It's interesting trying to teach to a different age group, and re-learn how to say things/explain them to apply to what they are going through. Saturday night we stopped by a few people who were all home! 

Sunday was the day I wanted to high-five the spirit. :) We were in Bellevue again, and we tracted, tracted, tracted all day. I LOVED IT! I think my brain was just like "you are never going to do this again", so I was just soaking it all up. 

Anyways, so here's the story. Hopefully it'll make sense.
Awhile back when just Sister Ashby and I were here, we were not working the Bellevue area because there were Elders there. However, we had one lesson at the church with someone that lived in Bellevue, because she felt more comfortable with sisters than elders. She had seemed like a GOLDEN investigator and we were excited to keep working with her. But she dropped off the face of the earth, wouldn't answer our phone calls or text messages, didn't have contact with her member friends. Since we'd met at the church, we didn't know where she lived, just that she was in Bellevue. 
So ever since we've been working Bellevue, I've had it in the back of my mind we need to find her, but we've just never gotten around to it. Well Sunday night I realized this was my last chance. We went for a drive, and I told Heavenly Father "Help me find her." (we had a general idea of what group of streets she lived on, but there were about ten of them, and they are LONG streets. And we only had about 40 minutes of the night left). I just kept saying small prayers, and these random thoughts would come into my head like "this street. Stop there. Park here. Start knocking at this door and keep going towards this other street." I honestly felt like I was probably just making the whole thing up, because it just seemed so bizaare. But how else was I going to know if they were thoughts from the spirit besides following them?
Sister Green followed me the whole time, probably wondering what in the world I was doing and why I was being so picky about where we were tracting. 
Following the spirit brings miracles though. Sure enough, about 5 doors down from where I felt like we should start knocking, she came to the door. 
Enough said, right? We could've been anywhere at the time, I could've decided to turn a different way, or stop the house before her. Nope. Heavenly Father had other plans.
High-five! Team work :) 

Good miracle story to end on, right? I think so too! Ah I am going to miss doing this every day. YES, this has been the hardest thing I have ever ever done. There have been days I never wanted to get up, times I've been crying while we were knocking on doors because I was so miserable, times I wanted to get on the closest plane and never look back.
But Heavenly Father has other plans. He knows what's best for us. And I would NEVER trade the experiences I've had, especially the hard ones, for anything else. I wish I could explain it to you!  (The song "The Call" by Regina Spektor keeps coming to mind). I wish you could've been here with me and that you could know what I've learned and how I've come closer to the Savior here. 

But I also know it doesn't end here. This is just another transfer. Another new adventure, with different hard things. All because God's purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." It's up to us to trust that He knows how to accomplish that goal, that His plans are perfect. 

Thank you thank you all for listening, for loving, for praying. For being a friend and support when I felt like I was alone. I know you've all been placed in my life, and the lives of others for a reason. I LOVE YOU! 

Love, Sister Maughan


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's All About Your Heart

That Mindy Gledhill song has been stuck in my head this morning. :) Good one!

HELLO!!!!! This week has been pretty incredible, I've just been so full of JOY I feel like a weirdo! :) Haha oh being a missionary is quirky and the best.

Highlights of the week.
Remember that Headquarter referral we got awhile back, that actually looked at the passalong card Sister Ashby and I had given him and requested we come back? That helped me recognize my prayers had been answered? Well guess what, it happened again! We got a referral this week, showed up to the house, and I was like "Sister Ashby and I left a card on this door!!!" So that was a fun tender mercy. 

Saturday was Kirtland day! SO MUCH FUN! We left at 9:30, went and toured the visitors center. The spirit was so strong, and the sisters that gave the tour were definitely meant to be there for Pat and Jo. We decided to go to the John Johnson Farm too, which I've never been to. Got a little lost on our way to Hiram, so we took a lunch break at a place called Aladdin's. We eventually found it though, and it was fun to learn about the history there that I didn't even know about. 

                              Sister Maughan and Sister Green in Kirtland with Pat and Jo

We had another referral come in from New London, which is forever and a day away at the bottom of our area. I've literally never been there in the 6 months I've been in this area. Lucky for us, we had nothing to do Monday morning (no district meeting this week because of Zone Conference Friday), so we went to New London and did some finding there. It was so fun! We accidentally tracted into a cute member named Sister Rice who goes to the Ashland ward because it's closer, even though she's in our area. Then we met a guy named Rick who really needed someone to listen and lift him up. Didn't end up finding our referral (the address was no bueno), but we contacted her over the phone yesterday and are working on setting up something to see her. Oh and then on our way home from New London, we stopped at a cute restaurant Pat and Jo told us about that sells home-made ice cream- Yum!

And we've just been keeping busy. Had good lessons with our other investigators and members. We knock doors as much as we can, which wasn't at all yesterday, I felt bad :( I love it all right now! That country song "You're gonna miss this" keeps running through my head too, it's the worst haha.

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Talk to you again next Tuesday. I'll be able to tell you who Sister Green's new comp is going to be!!!!! 

Love, Sister Maughan

p.s. We didn't get to go to the temple with Brooke :( Her babysitter had to cancel last minute. They are planning to go again in a couple weeks! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"Keep Moving Forward"

I decided I love the beach. Last preparation day was so fun!

Abby's District picture  
From left to right - Elder Phillips, Sis Archibald, Sister Maughan, Sister Green, 
Elder Burton, Elder Walker (he's the one in the sand haha), Elder Hunt, 
Sister Chance, Elder Worthington, and Elder Kitchens.

And yes my friends, I've survived one extra week of my mission! Two more to go :) This week was pretty average though. 

Our usual crew of Brooke and her family, and Pat and Jo are still doing great. We are going to Kirtland with Pat and Jo this week, and also before I email you next Wednesday, we'll hopefully have gone to the temple with Brooke! I like taking road trips :) 

We started teaching someone again who has been taught by missionaries in the past last week. He seemed fairly sincere to find truth and to put in the effort. Went by yesterday... he spent the whole time showing us scriptures, trying to prove that we were wrong. I called him out on it, asking if he just wanted us to come over so he could prove we were wrong. He chose his words very carefully and said "I want you to prove to me that you're right." Oh people. No! That's not why we are here. We are not here to PROVE anything as missionaries. We are here to help YOU find out the truth for yourself. There's not a thing we can do to prove it to you. So that was a little a lot frustrating. 

We also picked up a new investigator that's still 19. When we met with him, he mentioned he and his friend want to start going back to church. Then when we were out knocking doors Monday (because one of our appointments cancelled), we tracted into the friend! Little tender mercies :) 

The eclipse was fun, huh? Ha we honestly didn't know hardly anything about it until Sunday. We were teaching a lesson when it was happening here. We obviously didn't see it, no fancy glasses or anything for us, but it seemed no one here really got a great view of it. The sky did get dark though! 

Mostly, we've just been staying busy, which is good! Plus, people keep giving us lots of treats lately, so I might gain a few pounds before I come home haha. 

This week our District Meeting was on setting goals.We were reading the section in Preach My Gospel, and part of it says, "when you fall short of a goal, evaluate your efforts and seek for ways to accomplish the goal. If needed, adjust your expectations." I pointed out that it doesn't say "IF you fall short. It says WHEN we fall short." Our goals in life are meant to make us stretch. So if they are good goals, we shouldn't be accomplishing them ALL the time, just most of the time. It reminded me of the movie Meet the Robinsons, how they all get excited when he fails at fixing the peanut butter and jelly tool. When we fail, we are able to learn, as long as we "keep moving forward." :) 

Thanks for all your prayers, support, and love! Have an amazing week! Keep Moving Forward!

Love, Sister Maughan

Abby's 3 Generation picture !!!
Sister Maughan (Grandma), Sister Archibald (Mom), Sister Chance (Granddaughter)!!
***In other words - Abby trained Sister Archibald, who trained Sister Chance! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

18 Months and Counting

Most sister missionaries would be going home right now... lucky me I still have a few weeks :) 

Ok, WOW so much happened this week. I'll let you know though that Satan is working hard to get me to just give up now that I'm so close to the end. SO many amazing miracles are around me, yet my mind has been focused on all the things that still aren't going well or are going wrong. I just have to say NOT TODAY SATAN like a million times a day, it's super annoying. :P Good thing he's not going to win! 

First of all, last Wednesday after we emailed, we tie-dyed (ha now I know how to spell it! I hope...) with Brooke and Cole. I'll send the few pics that we took, it was fun! 

                                               Tie-Dying shirts with Brooke and her boys!

We also had a really good lesson with good old Rob (remember him? It's been a while since I mentioned him, cause things have been moving really slowly with him). We brought a member, the member worked miracles, and Rob actually committed to coming to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Literally, I don't think I've ever been so excited about someone committing to come, just because he's been so stubborn about it haha.) Then we drove out to Bellevue and had a good lesson with the Brown family, love them! 

Thursday was PACKED to the max. Most of it would probably bore you to hear anyways, but it was insane having every second of the day from 6:30am to 9pm planned. Fun fact though is we drove to North Olmstead for exchanges with the sisters at night, and Sister Bussell chopped my hair for me! It feels SO much better, I love it! 

So Friday we were in North Olmstead with the sisters. I was with Sister Davis all day, she's awesome! Weird that this was my last exchange...

                                             Sisters Green, Bussell, Maughan and Davis!

Saturday, we did some planning, did service for a cute family we tracted into, had dinner with some members. Then met Pat and Jo at their house to drive with them to Lorain, for a baptism! Even more fun, it's someone Sister Archibald has been teaching! The spirit was so strong there, and Pat and Jo really enjoyed it.

Sunday Rob came to church, plus we got a ride with a less active, so she came too! :) 

Yesterday we went to Kirtland with Brooke, Cole, Donovan, and Bishop and Sister Perdue. I'm so grateful we can do things like that on our mission! 

                                                             Sister Green and Sister Maughan
                                           at the Kirtland Temple with Brooke, Cole, Donovan. 

Also, visiting the Newell K Whitney Store in Kirtland
Sister Green, Sister Maughan with Brooke and her boys!

Another week down. Sorry if my emails are getting boring, I think I'm just sick of writing them. Being able to talk to you all in person is going to be way better! :D 

Love you!!!!

Sister Maughan

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just Serve

Hi! Let's all take a minute to acknowledge that I will be IN UTAH 29 days from now. Whoa. Alright, now we can acknowledge that I only have 29 days to bless the people of the Ohio with my presence. Lucky them! :) 

This week.... Pat and Jo decided they've adopted us. (Sorry mom!) Haha we've been over there teaching a lot lately, plus they gave us a ride home from church, plus Jo fixed our bikes, plus they fed us dinner Monday. We're having dinner with them again tomorrow at a member's home, and Saturday we are taking them to a baptism Lorain is having. I'm surprised they aren't sick of us! 

Saturday we had interviews with President Brown (IDK why it was on a Saturday, that's the first time that happened). Last interview before my exit interview. Crazy stuff, we've hit the "last"s! 

So I got to see Sister Archibald and her trainee, Sister Chance. Did I mention that she was training?? I LOVE it, she's doing so good! I'm a "grandma"! :) 

Mostly this week, Sister Green and I have been realizing how odd our lives are. We meet random strangers on the street, they invite us over once either to serve them, to feed us, or to teach them, and we start seeing them on a regular basis and they become our best friends! That doesn't really happen to anyone else that I know of. It's pretty fun! 

Today we are doing tie-die (tye-dye? tie-dye?) with Brooke and the kids. And the next few days are CRAZY busy for us. I know time is going to fly by this week! At least until Sunday. 

Honestly, I can't think of anything else to tell you that wouldn't just be more random information. I will give you an assignment to go out and SERVE this week though! We've been learning a lot about it, and DOING a lot of it lately. Service is an amazing way to brighten people's days, and to follow the example of our Savior. Find little ways to do it- picking up a wrapper off the floor, holding open the door, smiling at someone, asking someone if they need help, and so many others. We find ourselves happier in the process.

Love you all! Go bless someone with you presence! :D

Love, Sister Maughan   

This is a picture that Abby sent.  It is from a few weeks ago when 
President and Sister Uchtdorf visited their mission.  
Abby is on the far left, 5th person in on the back row.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

B is for Baptism!!!

Hi! Here's the recap of the week, in chronological order. :)

Wednesday, since we stayed together we had the day to work! Went to Bellevue to serve at a place called Fish'n'Loaves (thanks Sis Rock for the tip!). It was SO FUN. It's a food bank, and this week they were doing basically a drive through farmers market. So the people would sign in, pull up in their cars with the trunks open, and we would fill their trunks with corn, potatoes, onions, peaches, and lots of other yummy veggies! The people were so kind and fun there. We stayed in Bellevue until dinner time, then finished our night out in Norwalk.

Thursday, we flip flopped how our day went, starting the day off in Norwalk and then going to Bellevue at night. I don't know how we fit everything in that day, looking at my schedule, it all overlapped and looks impossible. Somehow it all worked out though!

Friday was Brooke's baptism!!!! We basically spent the majority of the day at the church, because we had ward coordination in the morning, and then I had to start "My Plan" on the computer, so we just did it at the family history library. Had to go back early to set up for the baptism at night. Thank goodness our ward is so supportive and know what they are doing, because it went really smoothly. (I mean, if it was just me it probably wouldn't have, because I've never done this before!). Her family and a good amount of ward members came, the spirit was there, and she was happy! I don't remember if I told you that she chose to get baptized on her birthday, so that was fun too! 
Sunday Brooke got confirmed in sacrament meeting! Plus three of our investigators were at church (Pat and Jo of course, and Kimberly). 

Then night time, here's a fun story. There's this little store in Norwalk we go to every once in awhile, so we popped in last Wednesday after we emailed to see if we could find Brooke a b-day present. We've talked to the owner a few times, and he's joked about having us over for dinner. Well by the time we walked out Wednesday, we had a dinner appointment with him and his family! So Sunday evening we went over there, they are such a kind and fun family. He told us we're not allowed to convert them though. :) But they must have liked us, because they are feeding us again this week! The random things that only happen to you when you're a missionary. Love it!

Now it's finally August, and we're halfway through this week already. Where does the time go, honestly? Will someone slow it down, please? :D

Alright, well my brain hurts so I think we're going to stop there. Love you all! Remember that living the gospel brings true happiness. I've felt a joy you can't describe this past week. That joy makes all the hard more than worth it. 

Doctrine and Covenants 123:17
17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

Love you! 

Love, Sister Maughan

Pictures taken at Brooke's Baptism! 
Sister Green, Brooke and Sister Maughan! 
What a HAPPY Day!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last Transfer Letter!

Hola my friends and family! 

First things first, I'm staying here in Sandusky with Sister Green! Surprise, surprise right? Haha it was funny because I almost forget transfer calls were last night, until it hit about 9:30 and I realized "Oh, we should be getting a call." Usually if I'm getting transferred, I'm super stressed and waiting for the call ALL DAY. So it was nice to forget about it, and I'm STOKED to stay here! 

Brooke's baptism is THIS FRIDAY, so I would've missed it by like two days. Plus, I just LOVE these people. I remember coming to Sandusky not too excited, and now I can't imagine my mission without these people! 

So this week was interesting. We did end up helping those people move last Wednesday, and it was actually really fun! Ha we didn't get hardly ANY of our cleaning done... but hey people are more important. 

Friday was the next day that anything was different than normal. We had ward coordination in the morning, then we drove with Brooke to Lorain for her interview. Ended up being there awhile, and we were sort of on baby-sitting duty (shhh) while she was being interviewed. So we played basketball with her boys in the gym, in our skirts. It was great! Brooke is doing really well and is excited for her baptism! Please continue to keep her in your prayers, the adversary is still throwing things at her to make her life hard. :( She just keeps moving forward though!

Saturday morning we helped the same couple move again, and once again it was pretty fun! Hard work though, so we rewarded ourselves with ice cream after :) Wednesday we got shaved ice! 

Yesterday was probably my favorite day of this week. Did District Meeting in the morning, then say Pat and Joe with one of our members. Saw Brooke after that, did some tracting, then went to a ward activity for Pioneer Day. Because Pat and Joe came to the activity!! They were able to meet a few people, (not as many people introduced themselves as I would've liked... but I'll take what I can get.) and they seemed to have a good time. (p.s. they came to church AGAIN this week. It blows my mind.) 

That's about it. Thanks for listening :) Love you all!!!

Love, Sister Maughan

District Picture - left to right - 

Elder Worthington, Elder Hunt, Elder Scoresby, Elder Christiansen, 
Elder Kitchens, Elder Walker, 
Sister Richards, Sister Archibald, me, Sister Green. :)

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 mormon.org. 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