Monday, May 25, 2015


안녕하세요! Hello everyone! This week was such a good week. There were so many "I am so glad I am a missionary"  moments, and it made me love being here even more. So on Saturday, we were invited to a celebration for a 1 year old baby in our ward. In Korea, a baby's 1st birthday is a huge deal. Almost like a wedding. So they had the party at this huge party house which was also a giant buffet. The mother and father of the baby wore their traditional Korean clothes. They showed us a video of the baby's first year of life, and gave us more food than we could possibly handle. It was quite the adventure. As part of the traditional celebration, the baby has to pick up 1 of 6 objects that will predict what they will be in life. Before the baby picks, everyone puts their guesses in a box. One of the elders, Elder Eads, guessed that the baby would pick the object that means he will become an entertainer. Well, Elder Eads was right. The baby picked up the object that said he will become an entertainer. So because Elder Eads guessed right, he got a prize. They gave him a gift wrapped box of ginger root tea. It was super cool to be part of the celebration though. I love seeing and being a part of Korean culture. :)

Yesterday, we had an experience that made me laugh harder than I have in a while. So I wanted to know how warm it would be outside, so I opened the window and stuck my head out. When I looked outside, a group of Korean boys probably about Brady's age were standing across the lot playing games. When they saw me stick my head out, they all turned and looked at me. "Foreigner!" they yelled and pointed at me. I always laugh when this happens, because it happens a lot. I pretended that I didn't see them, and that I had no idea what they said. I then shut the glass and walked inside. As I walked back and forth inside our house, I saw the boys still looking in the window, clearly shocked to see a foreigner. So I had an idea. I ran into our study room and wrote the Korean word for "hello" (안녕하세요) on a piece of paper in bold letters. I then taped it up inside the window, and went to another window so that I could see their reaction. They all began tapping each other on the shoulders and pointing at the window. They were obviously completely stunned. They proceeded to point in shock for a while, when one got his phone out to take a picture. He wanted a good picture, so he stuck his phone through the fence that is in front of our house, trying to be sneaky. The rest of the boys snuck behind a car and got their phones out too, trying to get pictures without being seen. I wish I could explain how funny it was to see this, but I seriously could not stop laughing. I am sure that they all went home and said, "Mom, you'll never guess what happened to us today."

So one lesson that I have learned this week is how important it is too remember to look back at the progress we have already made. Yesterday they asked me to say the closing prayer in Relief Society. This ward remembers me when I first got to country, able to only speak a tiny tiny bit of Korean. Most of the Relief Society sisters have not heard me pray in Korean since January or February. When they asked me to say the closing prayer I of course agreed. As soon as I finished my prayer and said "Amen" all of the sisters turned to me and started freaking out at my Korean. "You're Korean is so good!" "When did you learn all of that?" I have to admit, I was probably bright red from blushing, but oh so appreciative that they noticed my progress.

Sometimes we forget to see how far we have come. But when we remember, we can truly see the progress we have made. Korean isn't exactly easy, and I often find myself frustrated that I am not better at it than I am. I see younger missionaries who absorb things so quickly, and I wonder why it takes me so long to remember one word. But then I remember where I started. I remember being able to understand nothing. I can talk to people on the streets now. I can bear my testimony effectively and actually teach principles by myself in Korean. While my every day conversation vocabulary may be lacking, God has given me what I need to be a missionary. I know that God gives us the language in the amounts that we need to fulfill His plan. Sometimes I wish I could speak more effectively, but I just have to look at how far I have come, and remember that everything is in God's timing. I study every day, I work hard to do my part. He will do the rest. :)

Well that is about it for today. Happy Birthday Buddha. (It's the big Guy's birthday today so there are decorations all over Korea, and we are visiting some Buddhist temples later). :)

Love you all! :)

Love, Sister Maughan

Monday, May 18, 2015


This last week was so busy that I seriously cannot think of a name for it. But it was super good, too. :) Because we are so busy, time is legitimately flying! I feel like just yesterday I was skyping home and emailing again. But it has been a week and here I am! :)

So we met with a former investigator this week, and holy cow I adore her. She is mostly English interest, so we are teaching her English for 30 minutes, and the gospel for 30 minutes. That is our mission's English program. She has taught herself English almost entirely. Her English is pretty good, especially considering she only teaches herself. She has heard some bad things about our church, as seemingly every one in Korea has, and told us she doesn't really have much gospel interest, but is willing to listen to our message. So, we taught her for the first time on Tuesday. She told me that she wants to learn English because her daughters know English but her husband doesn't, so she thinks it would be funny to be able to talk about her husband with her daughters, in front of her husband without him understanding. So funny. ;) She is an artist and travels all around the world to display her art, which is another reason she wants to learn English. She makes a ton of money from her art. She is not afraid to be herself, either. She perms her hair and cuts it short because she loves African American hair, and she wants it. She is hilarious, too. Oh I seriously love her. When we taught her the gospel though, she seemed to have more interest than she told us. She had a lot of questions and seemed to want to understand. Though for right now, she is only an English investigator, I think she has the potential to become a gospel investigator as well. :) Miracles are just happening all over the place! :)

Also, we got to got to Seoul this week to see the BYU wind symphony orchestra. We had special permission to leave the mission and go to the Seoul mission to see it. We brought a potential investigator with us, this super cute girl that comes to our English class. It was so good! :) And I got to see my MTC district elders and sisters from the Seoul mission... we were such good friends at the MTC and it was so hard to say goodbye four months ago. Seeing them was a super pleasant surprise! :)

So today I was reading an article called "Palmyra" in the June 2015 Liahona. If you haven't read it yet... I super highly suggest it. Maybe it was just because I needed to read it today, but it was powerful. This article is about Joseph Smith's life leading up to the First Vision. And let me just say, it was all but easy. He was persecuted from the time he was young. The author of the article, Matthew S. Holland (president of Utah Valley University) said a very powerful thing at the end, and I want to share it with you. This talk was given to missionaries at the MTC, but I think it can apply to all of us. Sorry, it is kind of long. ;)

"So, if now or on some future day, you look around and see that other perhaps less devoted acquaintances are succeeding in their jobs when you just lost yours; if major illness puts you on your back just at the moment critical tasks of service seem to come calling; if a call to a prominent position goes to someone else; if a missionary companion seems to learn the language faster; if well-meaning efforts still somehow lead to disaster with a fellow ward member, a neighbor, or an investigator; if news from home brings word of financial setback or mortal tragedy you can do nothing about; or if, day after day, you simply feel like a bland and beaten back-ground player in a gospel drama that really seems made for the happiness of others, just know this: many such things were the lot of Joseph Smith himself at the very moment he was being led to the stage of the single most transcendent thing to happen on the earth since the events of Golgotha and the Garden Tomb nearly 2,000 years earlier."

...Trials are going to happen. They happen to all of us. They happened to Joseph Smith. They happened to Jesus Christ. They will happen to our friends and to our family. Sometimes there is seriously nothing we can do but endure. But that is exactly what Joseph Smith did. Despite the sicknesses he had as a kid, the constant moving as he was growing up and lack of financial stability, the hardships he endured, the devil himself trying to stop him in the Sacred Grove just before he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ... he endured. It was not easy, and I am sure he would not want to go back and endure those trials again. But, I am also sure that he appreciates those trials. I am sure that if he had the chance to go back and take away those trials in his life, he probably would not take them away. He learned and grew from them, and they sculpted him into the incredible latter-day prophet he was.

And this is how God sculpts us as well.

저는 우리의 어려움을 통해 우리가 하나님에게서  힘을 받을 수 있다 는 것을 알고있습니다.  I know that through our challenges we can receive strength from God.

Love you all and I hope your week is incredible! :)

Love, Sister Maughan :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Solo Career!

So I sung a solo for a baptism this last week... but as fast as my solo career began it abruptly ended. I am not a singer. I sing for fun when I drive and I sing when I wash dishes but I am not meant to sing in front of people. I definitely learned that lesson this week. ;) A little girl in our ward was baptized this last Saturday, and the missionaries were in charge of the special musical number. The elders for whatever reason, thought that I could sing well. Ha ha. This is a lie. So Sister Jeong played the piano, and for one of the verses I had to sing a solo. We sung "I Feel My Savior's Love" in Korean. We practiced it quite a few times before, and while I am not the best singer ever, I felt like it would be okay. I might not have a beautiful voice, but I could hit the notes smoothly and reading Korean is pretty easy. So I agreed to do the solo. Right before we went up to sing, I could feel myself getting nervous. I just brushed off the nervousness and told myself that every time I did piano solos, I got nervous before too, but they turned out okay. Ha ha... singing doesn't quite work the same way. The thing is, when you are nervous to play the piano, as soon as you touch the keys, you focus on the music and tune everyone out. When you sing, it shows in your voice within the first note.  So, my first note was off and shaky, and as soon as I began I knew it would be rough. "Butchered it," I thought as I failed the first note. I could feel my face turn bright red, and my voice continued to shake as I sung. "Well, now they know I am nervous," I thought as my face became hot. As I sang my last note, I jumped for joy inside. I definitely sounded horrible. ...But I survived the solo and I can now look back and laugh at my failed solo. And I learned that I am not a singer, so that is a good thing to know. :)

Transfer calls were this week. I am staying in 안산 for 6 more weeks! I am pretty sure this will be my last transfer here though.

So we have seen so many miracles lately! Last Monday, we were at the church fixing our sticker board with the elders, when suddenly this man and lady just walked into the church. They had heard that we teach English one-on-one and were interested. So we sat them down and discussed the program with them (30 minutes English 30 minutes gospel) and they might become investigators here soon. Then a lady at English class expressed interest in why we don't have a cross on our church. The conversation turned into questions about the Plan of Salvation. We gave her a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and told her to call us if she wants to know more. She will continue to come to English class, so I think she has potential to turn into an investigator as well. :)
Also, we met with a 15 year old girl to talk about our English program too. Her English interest brought her to us, but when we told her we would be teaching her the gospel for 30 minutes too, she seemed interested in hearing more. English is truly blessing us!

I know that the Lord is preparing hearts all over the place. :)

My time is running out fast today, but I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to Skype home today! Seeing the family was so good! 40 minutes to Skype didn't seem long enough... but I know that the Lord gives us that time as a gift, and we must appreciate what we have. :)

I have been studying Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel this week. I was studying Charity and Love, when I had a thought that brought the spirit to testify in my heart. If we love Christ, we love God's children. If we love God's children, we want to serve them. If we love Christ, we want to obey Him. So basically, if we truly become followers and true lovers of Christ... how can we mess up? If we truly love Him, we will love God's children, and we will want to obey every commandment. What we do in our lives is an expression of our love (or lack of love) to Christ. We have agency, we can choose how much love we choose to show. But I know that when we choose to love others and show that love to others, we can also feel Christ's love for them, and Christ's love for us. Service and love brings a joy that can be felt in no other way. When we have genuine charity, our desire to do good grows. Also, " suffereth long..." What does this mean? I learned that this means that no matter what others do to us, we must sacrifice and put any contention we may feel away. We must do as Christ would. We cannot retaliate or be angry back, we just have to move on and continue loving them. It is not always easy to love everyone. People are human, they make mistakes, they say things we don't want to hear... But we can suffer long, and we will be blessed when we show love and charity. When we try to follow Christ, we cannot fail.

I wish I could write more, as always. My thoughts are always kind of scattered when I write home every week. Filtering is hard ha-ha. ;)

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM!!! I love you so much and miss you like crazy. I don't know what I would do without you, and it was so good to see your face today (and of course everyone else's too). :)

I love all of you and miss you as always! :)

Love, Sister Maughan

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I don't know how it happened... but I have been on my mission for 6 months as of tomorrow. I don't feel like it has been 6 months, but it has! 12 months left! :)

So this week, Ansan had this crazy street festival. People from all over the world came to do performances and acts... there was SO MANY PEOPLE at the festival. So we took advantage of the thousands of people, and we decided to English sticker board. Sticker boarding is when we have a large board that asks a question on it. We give people stickers as they walk by and ask them to put a sticker on the board, answering our question. So we had a board that said "Why do you want to learn English?" The answers were things like "because of school tests" "because my mom is making me" "because of work" "because English is fun". Two of the elders held the board, two of the elders gave out stickers with me and Sister Jeong. We ended up handing out around 1000 stickers, which means that we talked to 1000 people in 2 days. It was SO FUN! In the process of talking to people, we handed out a TON of English flyers for our free English class. We teach free English every Wednesday. People in Korea really want to learn English, so it is easy to find people who are willing to come to a free English class. And when you give them a sticker to stick on a board, and a chance to talk to white foreigners who speak Korean, they get really excited. :) We also got to laugh quite a bit at the elders because middle school Korean girls find American men really attractive. So they asked the elders if they would take pictures with them. The elders ended up taking probably 30 pictures with Korean middle school girls. So funny. :) The cool thing was, while we were at the festival, we got to catch glimpses of traditional Korean dances and performances. We are missionaries so we couldn't watch any of them, but we talked to people and got to see some of the Korean traditional dances as we talked to people. It was a once in a life time experience, and it was SO COOL.

We also had zone conference this week. As a zone, we hiked a mountain with President and Sister Morrise, and we received training's on the way up. There were a couple of places we stopped at in the mountains, and while we stopped there Sister Morrise and President Morrise, or the APs would train us. It was super fun. :) I also got a lot of prayers answered through zone conference. One sister in particular made a comment that will forever change me. I appreciated her comment so much that after zone conference I couldn't help but thank her for helping me open my eyes and see things the way she did. She is actually a greenie right now, so she hasn't been in Korea long. But her testimony... it was incredible. So what exactly did she say?

We were talking about trials on the mission. She said something along the lines of, "We are meant to walk as Jesus walked right? We are supposed to follow His example. Well, He suffered in Gethsemane. He was spit on, beat up, rejected.... Are we not supposed to have trials too? Are we not supposed to experience our own Gethsemane? If we truly want to follow Him, we must experience trials too."

How true is this comment? When she said it, the spirit filled the room so strongly. Are we not supposed to experience our own Gethsemane? If  we didn't experience trials, we wouldn't entirely be following Christ. Because we experience trials, it shows that we are following Christ. We are walking in His footsteps. We might not experience the pain and suffering He did. We won't experience anything close to it.  But, because we are following Him, we will experience some pain and we will suffer sometimes. Trials make us grow. They make us stronger. Without them, we wouldn't progress. If we want to follow Christ, we will experience trials. But that is part of God's plan, and through our trials we become even stronger followers of Christ.

사랑해요! I love you all! Can't wait to talk to the family next Sunday!

Love, Sister Maughan