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 mormon.org 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