Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week 16: I AM BLESSED!

Dear Family and Friends!
So this week went a lot better! My new companion and I are getting along A LOT better. Wednesday night we both opened up a lot and it really helped. It is hard for me to open up because I have trust issues and I worry that I will get hurt and things will come back and stab me just because of many past experiences with friends and dumb ex boyfriends so I struggle with that, but Wednesday was good and we had a delicious dinner at Culvers and talked a lot.
I thought this week was just another long week with nothing much really happened. We didn't have much luck with teaching people and no one would answer their door or even let us speak, but after looking back I did notice a lot more miracles than i thought. We have this investigator that has been investigating for more than a year now and he is really on and off about it all. He will come to church and really be progressing and then he will just disappear for a few weeks..usually more like a month. We will try and call him, show up at his house...nothing. So we will drop him because he doesn't seem ready yet, but then he will just randomly show up at church and ask to meet with us again. Robert lives with his fiance and they have two kids together. They are a really nice family, but they have got to get MARRIED! That is the biggest problem here in Wisconsin. Sometimes you find someone who is totally golden and the couple will be totally on board...then you always find out they aren't married and that is the brick wall everyone hits. It is really quite annoying and it is something that us missionaries just really don't understand at all! We asked one of the ladies we do service for about that because she isn't a member and she has lived with her "boyfriend"? ( It is weird to call them that when they are like 60...) for about 15 years. We asked why people don't get married here and she said it was because no one wants to inherit their "significant other's" debt". I think that is the dumbest thing ever and if you really love them that wouldn't matter enough to not get married. So that is just a struggle here and we are working on getting Robert and Samantha married sometime before I leave the area haha. Well Sis Barnes and I had dropped him and then Robert showed up at church last week and it was just so crazy. He wanted to meet with us a lot during the week and that went well. I am hoping this is the last time we had to drop him because he seems like he wants to change his life now. for sure. We had a stake picnic on Saturday and went very well. The Green Bay stake is all of Green Bay and pretty much everything above it all the way to Marquette, Michigan. It is a big area, but not too many people. Robert and Samantha did show up too so that was good, but we wish the members would fellowship them more. That is the big issue in our ward but things are being changed. We also got to play tennis and I was in HEAVEN! Tennis courts are everywhere here!
We also experienced an awesome miracle Sunday morning. We really needed to get some lessons for the week because we did really bad and we weren't going to make our goal. So we went to a neighborhood before church (1:00 church..hate it) and i said a prayer that we would be able to reach our goal of 4 for the day and that the people we talk to would have an open heart and at least listen to us. I had to really walk in faith with this because I hated tracting and I always freeze up when people open their door. We were able to reach our goal for the day and it was awesome! We got 4 lessons in 30 minutes! It really strengthened my faith and testimony and it really helped me know that God is there and He is watching our for all of us. If we just put our faith in Him and trust Him, good things will happen! I am so grateful for where I am in my life right now. I know that this mission will be so good for me and I will learn a lot from it. Heavenly Father has definitely been there for me and I know I couldn't have done anything without him. I am so grateful for my family and all they do for me and also Cody's family because they have taken me in and been so good to me. I am truly blessed to have Cody in my life. I know he needs me and I need him :) We are a great team together. My mission is hard, but I am doing well and growing up so much ( I know my siblings are excited for that haha) I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 
Love Sister Emily Sarah Eaton
Sister Olsen after Tennis..we were terribly sweaty and gross but still managed to look beautiful!

Week 15: July 21,2014

Hey Family and Friends,
So I have a new companion and it is so weird! I honestly don't like switching things up! Sister Barnes and I taught so well together and we really did get along for the most part. I could tell her things and she wouldn't judge me...and now I don't love that I have to start all over with someone else. I know it has to be done and it is part of a mission, but my new companion is not my most favorite apple on the tree. I am not going to lie, this week has been super discouraging and I just don't know what to do without Sister Barnes. I am still the junior companion, but Sister Olsen doesn't know her way in Green Bay so it is a challenge because I can't drive. We tried doing street contacting a lot this week and nothing really came of it. People of Green Bay have just become more rotten it seems like. It is hard for me to let go of how Sister Barnes and I did things and accept Sister Olsen's ways. I struggle with being patient with Sister Olsen, but I probably do better at hiding it all at times. She is just flat out annoying so please pray for me.
We were able to have a cool miracle happen yesterday though. Sister Barnes and I had an investigator that we decided to drop a while ago because he wasn't keeping his commitments and would never be home for the appointment we scheduled with him. Him and his fiance, Samantha, just didn't seem like they wanted the blessings that bad and so we didn't go back for a while. Then yesterday at church Robert and his two kids, Malika and Emercyn, show up and sit down by us. I was just really surprised and didn't know what to do. They only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but it was still good and his kids weren't as crazy and when they came last time. I was grateful that he was able to listen to the speakers a little bit and hopefully feel the spirit. We will be meeting with them tomorrow so hopefully they have a stronger desire to get back on the right path and be baptized soon. I hope this week turns out better than last week. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Hope the summer is going great!
Love Sister Emily Sarah Eaton

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week 14: How deep the Father's love for us

Hey Family and Friends,
I hope this week went well. I am very nervous for this next week because I will be sending Sister Barnes off back to South Jordan, Utah and I will be getting a new companion on Wednesday. I know it is part of a mission to switch around and stuff, but I just don't like it right now. I will be staying in Green Bay though and I actually do know who my new companion will be. Sister Olsen is from Las Vegas, Nevada and she was in my district these last few transfers so I already know her. We were actually talking about how it would be cool to be companions and now look where it has brought us. I am a little more relieved now though. I was super worried about not having a GPS and my companion wouldn't either, but I know she does so we are good. She is really nice and she teaches really well so I am happier now. 
This week I have really struggled with my anxiety because of all the changes going on soon. I have been stressed before, but this has been different. I feel a little bit better now since I know who I will be with, but I am just worried about down the road. Thank you Mom and Dad for the medicine you sent me this week. Hopefully that will help. This week I have focused a lot on the Atonement and how Christ suffered for us . I know that he has been through it all and he knows me and my challenges. I still can't comprehend how he bore all the pains and sins of the world, but I know he did and I know that through him we can return to Heavenly Father. There are 3 songs that Sister Barnes and I have really fell in love with this week. They are by my most favorite band, Owl City. Apparently they are a christian band haha. They talk about Christ and how He died for us and that He lives. It is hard to hold back those tears in the car as we listen to it. I will start laughing because I am crying, but the spirit is so strong with these songs and it really helps me remember Christ and that I am a representative of Him. You all should go find these songs. 1."Beautiful Times" 2."How Deep the Father's Love for Us" 3. "In Christ Alone (I Stand). I have tried to find the album at Walmart or Target, but they don't carry it sadly, but luckily an Elder in our ward gave us a mix cd and it had them on it. I really wish Cody could hear these songs because they are awesome and totally mission appropriate, but that is ok. Maybe with his new president he will change the music rules. Anyway, I love you all and I really appreciate all the love and support you give me. Thank you for everything!
Love Sister Emily Sarah Eaton

Green Bay Staduim

10 months down for Elder Taylor

3 months down for Sister Eaton 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Week 13: Expiration Dates

Hey Family and Friends,
Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and did something fun! As missionaries we can't do too much for the 4th, but we definitely were able to celebrate it in our own way :) So up here in Green Bay we all LOVE volleyball and we usually play it at least 2 times a week. Friday nights we always get together with other investigators and play volleyball so that is what we did for the 4th of July. This time though, it was just the missionaries and a  few members that organize the event. We all met at the church around 6:00 and started playing. I had jumped in the game and a few of the elders started to jokingly complain that they didn't want me on their team. I just laughed and started to play. The first serve came and I totally spiked it and made the first point. It was funny to look back and see their faces as they start to regret what they had said earlier. They all gave me a high five and gladly welcomed me on the team. haha elders are dumb sometimes. Then the coolest thing happened. So later I was in the back row in the corner and I wasn't really paying attention because the ball wasn't coming to me for a while. The ball suddenly flew towards me and I had the quickest reflexes and bumped it back. Then the gym seriously went silent as they all watched the ball to see where it would go. As I looked up I saw it head right toward the basketball hoop. I was thinking, "no way could this happen!" Sure enough it swished right into the basket! It definitely didn't count as a point because if it hits the basketball hoop it is out but man it was just such a magical feeling haha everyone jumped up and cheered. Elders were hugging each other and it was just the most hilarious thing. I was dying in the corner laughing and I just couldn't contain myself. It was a fun night and we saw a few fireworks as we drove home but then we had to go to bed.
The rest of the week went ok though. We did have one of our investigators drop us, but we weren't too upset with it. We just tried to keep our spirits high and keep going.
Sister Barnes will be leaving to go home soon and I am getting a little nervous and anxious. I am happy for her to be able to finish up her mission, but I am having a hard time wanting her to leave because I am nervous about my new companion and just the change in general. I have been having a little bit of anxiety and that makes me nervous also because of the small panic attack I had a few years ago. I am trying to breath and not be dramatic about it because it is probably nothing, but I am just nervous and I don't know how to calm it down. It is hard for me to listen to all the people and Sister Barnes talk about how she will be going home soon and everything. I have heard it about million times and it just makes me more nervous. I really don't like it being brought up, but I don't say anything because I don't want to sound selfish or anything. I am doing better though because yesterday we kind of just relaxed more because I needed to calm down and let myself breath. Stress is a normal part of being a missionary though so I know I just need to get through it.
On that note, I must tell you the rest of how the 4th went. It was just the most interesting day. So earlier before volleyball, at around lunch time we had a lunch appointment with a less active member. She is in interesting person and I have to try my hardest to be Christlike about her. Amber is a hoarder with food. She loves food storage which is great, but I don't think she is very aware of the expiration dates so meals with her get very interesting. She had us over for lunch and she had mentioned something about hash browns. We figured that would be safe so she started to bring out some food. Cottage cheese that had expired the day before which probably wasn't going to be too bad, some mushy fruit that she said she had had for a while in her pantry..? and she needed to get rid of. (Does fruit usually go in the pantry?) and then 2 left over dessert cups that expired...June 25, 2014. Lovely. Amber was in the kitchen preparing the "next course" as she said it so she didn't hear or see us and our reactions. I didn't take any of the fruit or cottage cheese, but I thought maybe the dessert cups would be ok. They looked fine ...I thought I examined one of them pretty well. I ripped pieces off and ate them slowly. I watched Sister Barnes attempt the mushy fruit. She gave a sour look and gulped it down. She grabbed the last dessert cup and examined it as well. As I swallowed my last bite she looks up at me with a hesitant look. "What?" She replies, "There's mold on these...". Oh dear...I had just ate one of those...We can't contain ourselves as we try not to laugh. Sister Barnes asked Amber for some napkins and got up and got a stack...we were going to need ALL of these.  I am so glad my cousin Stephanie had told me about what she did about all the fried chicken she would get in North Carolina so we put her theory to the test. Quickly, we wrapped the remaining's of the mushy fruit and cake into the napkins and placed them in Sister Barnes' purse before Amber walked back to the table with the 2nd course of food....We were dying inside as she had no idea.
Amber comes back with her hash brown casserole as she called it all mushed together in a container that she had just taken out of the microwave. Awesome. We thought she meant like freshly made hash browns...? We served ourselves and now we must eat with her sitting at the table with us. I take a bite...Cold. Oh wow. If it had been warmed up a little bit more it probably wouldn't have been that bad, but then again we don't know how old it was. I was looking at my watch at this time, counting down the minutes until we could be done with all these courses.
That was quite an adventure and I am glad I am still living to tell this story. haha sorry for such a long email. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Remember eat all your food before it expires and if you have something that expired PLEASE don't feed it to the missionaries! Throw it away! Thanks :)
Love Sister Emily Sarah Eaton
P.S. Milk can actually last a week after the expiration date! Found that out the hard way :p

 Pretty Wisconsin Sunset

"Mom when did you open a pub?"

playing with Sister Barnes hair

A true Murican

Monday, July 7, 2014

12 weeks: Kite festival

Hey everyone :)
This week was kind of crazy. We had such a fun Pday last week though. We went back to ride the "Zippin Pippin" and we were able to ride it just fine. It is similar to the White Roller Coaster at Lagoon, but much more "zippier" haha. We enjoyed it. We drove down to Broadway St. and looked at all their little shops there. A lot of interesting things. There was this Antique store that just had a lot of "stuff" haha nothing I would want, but then they had all these amazing vintage dresses and I was in heaven! I took a million pictures of them, but I won't make my sweet sister upload all of them so I will throw in a few. Anyway, then we found this candy shop and they had a lot of interesting and weird stuff there. I bought some Jelly Bellys because I miss those. We had a lesson with the 2 young girls who are 8 and wanted to be baptized. That went well, but unfortunately they didn't come to church this week so we had to drop their baptism date :( We are going to need to work harder this week since we don't have any baptisms set up anymore. Hopefully there is someone out there that had an open heart and has a desire to change their life for the better. Please pray for Sister Barnes and I as we go out this week to find new investigators.We also went to Target! and I was in Heaven once more. I missed that happy to find out that there is one about 2 miles from us :) 
We had exchanges this Tuesday night and Wednesday. That went alright. Those aren't my favorite, but at least I get to drive then. We did it kind of different this time though because of the tough situation at home with the member. Sister Barnes and I both slept over at the sister training leaders apartment and then just split up Wednesday. I went with Sister Arnold again. We get along for the most part, but she isn't my most favorite person. It was nice to get away from the member's home and to get a feel for an apartment. I have never had that opportunity to stay in one yet so I look forward to that someday.  Exchanges went well though.
Sister Barnes and I had our interviews early with President Cutler this last Friday to talk about what was going on with living with the member. He just wanted to know what was all happening. I was a little frustrated because I knew it was going to be one of those talks where you say everything that is happening and they are concerned for you, but then they tell you to just keep going and deal with it. That is what happened and so we won't be moving. I am really trying to be happy about it and try to find the blessing that will come from this though. It is a challenge for me so please pray that the living situation will get better because I am going to be here longer than Sister Barnes since she will be going home July 22. 
We also were able to volunteer for a kite festival! It was soo cool and I was dumb enough to not have my camera with me... :/ oops but the kites were amazing and it was just an amazing atmosphere. It was so fun for the family and I wish Utah had something like this. They actually have like Kite flying teams haha I could see Dad getting into that :p We got to do the face painting for all the kids. It was really fun and my artist really came out. Many kids wanted the Batman symbol and I was happy to do that. Instead of face paint though we used Crayola water color pencils and dipped them in water! I have never heard of that before and it worked really well and not as messy. It is really fun and Sister Barnes and I had fun practicing on our own arms.  We also were able to become good friends with some ladies there who painted also and one of the lady's little girl, Autumn. They were super nice and we had lots of fun painting things on each others faces. We didn't drill into religion with them, but I know we started a good relationship with them because they now know that Mormons are actually nice and can have fun. So hopefully that planted a seed :) Well I must go! I hope all of you are doing well! I love you all and will see you very soon!
Love Sister Emily Sarah Eaton

thought this was pretty funny. We went to a district meeting in a city called Shawano (Shawno) which is about 45 minutes from Green Bay and I guess Justin Beiber is running for sheriff there...that's a scary thought

HUGE spider in the shower. Sister Barnes had to kill it for me.