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