Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life is a Blur!

So... this was one of those weeks. One of those weeks that I honestly don't remember. I don't know what it is about the mission, but I swear that you get short term memory loss. I don't even remember what I ate for dinner yesterday...

Anyway it was a special Korean holiday this last week! So Korea basically became a ghost town, and it still is a ghost down for about 2 more days. It is 추석 (Chu-seok), Korea's Thanksgiving. Because of the lack of people on the streets and at home, we had a two day long mission conference in 송파 (Song-pa) at the mission home. It was super fun and super full of the spirit. We did this activity where all 149 missionaries went to Olympic Park where the Olympics were held in Korea,  split into groups and played a Korean traditional game to celebrate the holiday. As we were playing, we invited Koreans who were walking by to play with us. Let me just say, we got some of the funniest looks ever. Six foreigners playing a traditional Korean game in the middle of Olympic park, saying Korean words loudly whenever they were excited or whenever they were losing. We got to talk to a lot of people because of this, and it was SO FUN. Then we all met back up, the whole mission, in the middle of the park and sang Korea's National Anthem. So many Koreans stopped to take pictures and videos. It was so cool. :) Also I got to wear my 한복 (han-bok) to the missionary conference. So many sisters and elders wore their traditional Korean clothes. So fun. :)

Yesterday after church, we went to visit this sister who is in a nursing home. She asked for a blessing from the elders, so our whole district went to visit her and sang "A Child's Prayer" for her in Korean. Then one of the elders (yes, an American elder) gave her a blessing, all in Korean. When giving blessings in Korean, they have to use a certain form of the language that we don't ever use. Kind of like scripture language. Korean has different levels of language depending on who you are talking to, which is why it is so hard. For instance, if talking in sacrament or to someone elderly or in a formal situation, all of your verbs end in 입니다  (imnida). But if you are talking to someone your age or just in a informal situation, you end verbs in 에요 (eyo).  And there is another one for kids and  one for queens and kings, and another one that you use when praying to God and so on. Anyway, he was giving the blessing using scripture language, and the spirit was SO strong. My testimony of the priesthood has seriously skyrocketed since I have been on a mission. And it is so amazing to me, that the spirit works so strongly that it tells priesthood holders exactly what to say during a blessing, in a language that is not their own native language. I can't even explain how strong the spirit was, and it was an incredible experience. I am so glad that I got to be there for it. :)

Almost every day the phrase "I love being a missionary" goes through my head, and I am so thankful to have this experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. :)

Sorry this email is a bit on the shorter end!

Love you all so much, and miss you always!

Sister Maughan

Monday, September 21, 2015


This week was a week full of miracles. We couldn't see the miracles happening until last night when we were planning and looking back through our stats for the week. Holy cow, the Lord truly blessed us. :)

So for district meeting on Wednesday, we talked a lot about relying on the spirit at all times. I especially thought about proselyting and how important it is to have the spirit with you. Well, proselyting, talking to people on the street or on buses or on trains, is seriously the HARDEST thing for me to do. Of all the things we have to do as missionaries, proselyting, for me, is the hardest and the scariest. But we had a lot of extra time this week we needed to fill, so we decided to proselyte it up. I am not the biggest fan of just setting aside 2 hours to go proselyte, but we agreed that we need to find new investigators, so that is what we did on a few different days. And we tried to proselyte with the spirit.

We went to a huge park in Incheon, and started trying to talk to people there. We saw this family, and this little boy probably 2 years old was wobbling around with sunglasses on... it was seriously adorable! He came up to us and looked at us, and his face lit up with joy that I have never seen on a child's face before. SO CUTE. We said hello to the family and they went on their way with the little boy, giving us no time to introduce ourselves or our message. As we continued on, I kept thinking "should we go find that family again?" So I prayed in my heart and told God that if I saw them again, I would talk to them. And I left it up to Him to place them in our path. Well, about 5 minutes later, we saw the family from a distance and went on a mad run to chase them as sneakily and not creepily as possible. Well, we were cut off by a large group of elementary school kids. But we ended up talking to the elementary school kids about English class and they were so shocked  because they actually got to talk to foreigners. Their teachers were watching happily from behind us, probably thinking, "See kids, English is important." So we might not have talked to the family, but the kids were cool and they seemed interested. We tried to follow the spirit, and I felt like God was helping us the whole way.

Also, some of our investigators gave us a REFERRAL. This never happens. We were SO HAPPY. They gave us an English interest referral, but it was so good. We teach these two little 11 year old girls English for 30 minutes, and then the gospel for 30 minutes. Their friend wanted to learn with them so they brought her with and she really liked us and wants to continue meeting with us. And when we went into the gospel portion, she immediately folded her arms into prayer mode, and the two other little girls asked her to pray. She reluctantly said yes, and they helped her pray to open the lesson. CUTEST thing ever. They had already explained the whole program to her for us. So cute and so nice.

Then on Sunday after church, one of our members asked us to go visit a less active with her. We of course agreed, and we ended up visiting 2 less actives and another member with her. This upped our lesson count for the week from 6 to 9. We were so excited because 9 is the second  highest amount of lessons per week that I have taught on my mission. And visiting people with a member present is so successful! :) She did most of the talking and fellowshipping. We just shared a message and made sure the less active/member felt our love. When we turned in our stats for the week to our district leader, the elders told us to stop making them look bad haha. I am not one to focus on stats, but just by looking at them this week I could see how much the Lord truly helped us. I don't know what we did to deserve miracle after miracle, but I cannot thank the Lord enough. His hand was so evident in the work this week, and I am so thankful for His constant help. I am so glad I am a missionary. :)

Love, Sister Maughan

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blindfolded Birthday and Stars

Not very many missionaries are lucky enough to have their birthday on Pday. But I was. And it was one of the most memorable and fun birthdays of all time. :) After we emailed home for the week, the sisters blindfolded me and took me to the nearest train station. They made me walk down stairs and escalators without being able to see. I was honestly totally embarrassed and humiliated, but I wanted to make it a memorable birthday so I just went with it. I mean we already get stared at as foreigners enough in Korea... I can't imagine the stares we got when there were 3 white American girls walking around the station, leading their friend around who is wearing a blind fold (actually, one of those masks you put over your eyes to go to sleep). But hey, you only get to celebrate your 20th birthday in Korea once. On one of the trains, I heard an older Korean lady ask if I needed to sit down. The other sisters just told the lady no and that it was okay. I have to admit I would've given the sisters a death glare if I could have seen where they were at. ;) They all just laughed afterwards. You see, Koreans get plastic surgery on their eyes so much, that the lady just thought that I had had plastic surgery and needed to sit down. But no, I was just blindfolded on train. Ha-ha anyway, the blindfolded journey continued for about an hour in all. We walked around the city for a minute and ended up in an elevator. I heard the elevator say we were on the 8th floor of a building. We stepped out and they took the blindfold off me. We were at Ashley's Grill and Buffet! :) And the other sisters from our zone were on their way. So fun! Ashley's is as close to American food as you can get in Korea. It was seriously so fun. And at the end of the day, the sisters told me the only one who stared at me when I was blindfolded for a long amount of time was the 1 other foreigner that they saw. Ha-ha
 oh boy, this birthday won't be soon forgotten. :)

Last night we got to see the stars! For me, this was the first time I have seen them in over 10 months. We went to our ward mission leaders house for dinner. And he lives in a house. Yes, a HOUSE. Not an apartment building. This is a rarity in Korea, and the house probably costed something in  the million dollar range.  He lives in a house up in the country away from the city. When we walked out of his house, we looked up and saw STARS.  I mean the light pollution from the city was still blocking most of the stars out, but we could see about 10 really clear ones. And all the sudden, the world didn't seem so large anymore. The stars that I saw in Korea were the same stars I saw in Utah, or so it seemed. When you look up at the stars, just remember that I can see them from here too. You can see the stars from anywhere in the world. And the stars don't look any different in Korea than they looked in Utah. It is kind of cheesy to think of it that way, but that is honestly how I felt when I saw the stars. :)

I remember looking up at the stars at home. I would lay on the trampoline, wrapped in a blanket, looking at the sky and all of its beauty. I would watch shooting stars with their long sparkling tails fly across the sky.  It always made me stare in awe at the creations of our Heavenly Father. The Lord, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created absolutely everything on this earth. He created each of the stars. He created you and me. He created the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea. He created the trees and the flowers. He created everything. There are so many people on this earth, each one that has been made and created by the Master Designer. And the thing is, so many of these people don't know who their Creator is. And that is why I am here, spreading the gospel in this amazing country of Korea. Everyone on the earth deserves to know why they are here, and who created them. It is probably one of the hardest things you could ever do, but missionary work is definitely the most rewarding thing I have ever done. With love always, Sister Maughan.
Sometimes you are just a blind missionary.

Sometimes your friends take a selfie with you without knowing it. :)
We had a party!

Our district at our ward mission leaders house.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gift of Tongues

So at the beginning of the week I wasn't feeling so great about my Korean. The language is a constant battle and one moment I will feel super great about it, the next moment I feel like I have hit a wall and can't speak anything. The beginning of the week, I felt like I had hit a wall. I was trying to speak Korean. I was pressing the pedal in the car, but it wasn't moving. It was a struggle.

But then, on Sunday everything changed! :) We had been asked to teach gospel doctrine class. I was freaking out because I didn't feel prepared and the topic was super hard. We were teaching about the Abrahamic Covenant. First of all, I didn't even know exactly what that was. I knew that Abraham was promised lots of kids and stuff, but I didn't know much more than that. Since I didn't really understand it in English, I had no idea how to explain it in Korean. We spent a lot of Saturday preparing for the lesson, translating it and trying to figure out what to say and what questions to ask. In our gospel doctrine class, we have about 4 investigators who regularly attend, and a few recent converts. I was SO nervous. I was planning to go over the lesson again during relief society, but then I got asked to translate for an American sister who was visiting. (Fun fact- the American was from MANTUA. Yes, that one town we pass on the way to Wellsville...) That made me freak out even more because I don't have the language skills to translate everything. I warned her that I wouldn't be able to translate everything, but she was super nice and appreciative anyway. I wasn't able to translate word for word or anything, but I could summarize what the sisters were talking about and at least help her understand the topic and discussion. It was a surprise to myself. :)

Then we taught Gospel Doctrine. We focused specifically on covenants and what they are and what covenants we make at baptism. When we were getting close to the end of our lesson, Sister Sweetnam and I looked at our watches. We had 20 minutes left. I was panicking inside because I knew that meant we had to improvise for 20 minutes. So we improvised. We completely relied on the spirit for not only what to say, but how to say it in Korean. I was about to ask the question, "Why do we need covenants?" right as my companion asked the very same question. It opened up a discussion that led to bearing testimonies from a lot of the members in the classroom. I was able to bear my testimony about the covenant we make in the temple to become eternal families. It was so good and the spirit was so strong.

After we finished our lesson, our ward mission leader got up and asked both me and Sister Sweetnam how long we had been in Korea. I said 8 months, she said 4 months. He told us that in the entire lesson that we taught, we didn't say anything wrong or awkward or that they couldn't understand. He basically told us our Korean was perfect. I can promise you, that our Korean was not perfect. I pretty much translated the whole lesson since I have been her longer, but I can promise you that it was not perfect. There were mistakes. But Koreans never tell us that our Korean is perfect. The elders (who have all been here longer than me) came up to us afterwards and kept telling us what an honor it was to have gotten complimented that way.

Our Korean wasn't perfect though. The spirit just carried the message perfectly to those who were hearing. I have a true testimony that the Lord will always provide a way for us to carry out His work, no matter how hard it may seem. Korean is a struggle, but when we rely completely on the spirit for what to say, we can't make mistakes. Because the spirit will carry God's perfect message to those who are ready to hear.

Well its my birthday so I am off to celebrate! :) The other sisters are blindfolding me and taking me somewhere. They planned it all out. It should be fun... though the fact that they are blindfolding me makes me a little nervous haha.

Love you all and miss you always! Happy Founders Day to you Wellsvillians!

Love, Sister Maughan               Sister Maughan and her companion Sister Sweetnam on Daysha's bday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bathhouse and the Bible!

So last Monday we went to a bathhouse for P-day. It's a culture thing, so we are allowed to go to them on P-days. But it was one of my favorite P-day activities so far. :) Not many missionaries get to say they got to go to what was pretty much a hot tub on their mission. And there was a sauna too. So fun. Yesterday was Sister Sutton's birthday (she is in the other companionship that lives with us), and she liked the bathhouse so much last week that she wanted to go again for her birthday. So we are going again today. Whoot whoot! :) After spending a few hours in a bathhouse you feel so soft.. it is seriously the best.

So recently, I started reading the Bible from the beginning. When we proselyte, we always say "We read the Book of Mormon with the Bible." But I have to admit, I was lacking in Bible reading. So I decided that in order to not be a hypocrite, I am reading the Bible, starting in the Old Testament. I finished Genesis today! The 12 tribes of Israel has been super interesting to read about. I have met people here from quite a few of the 12 tribes. Since I am in a different part of the world, there are different tribes here. It is so cool. As Mormons, I swear that we always bear testimony of the Book of Mormon, but we never bear testimony of the things you can learn from the Bible. The Book of Mormon will always be #1 in my heart, but I seriously love the Bible too. I know that they complete each other, and that is why we have both of them. :)

Love you all! Miss you!

Love, Sister Maughan