Email from James - Monday, June 14, 2010

Hey ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok so much to tell lol.

First, I'm serving in Kaunas! My companion is Elder Hatch. He is way cool. We are the only two elders in Kaunas. The sisters make up one region of Kaunas and we make up all the rest of Kaunas. We have a huge area to cover. It's really pretty here. Mostly in Center which has a very long walkway with stores on the side. We proselyte there a lot. We mostly do harvesting, knocking on doors, at the flats. I'm going to start taking pics, they were pretty freaky at first but now i'm used to them. They were made when the russians were here. They are very old. Lithuanians are very energy effecient so the lights are never on so it's pretty dark and creepy looking.

Ok, first, mom please don't worry. lol Dad you'll probably read this first so you can hide it lol.
So Kaunas is the roughest city in Lietuva. Everyone here knows us and really hate us. Like everyone lol. Everyday, something crazy always happens. It's great. I have been recording everynight about what happens so I will probably send them both out today. I used the second one already.

I will tell you some stories lol:  Ok so last Saturday, we went to this scary region called Šilainiai. I dubbed that day, "I hate Missionary day." We got flipped off so many times. Some little kid was screaming at us, " hey poopo heads, we hate you here." We went to talk to this guy who was playing with his daughter and we said "laba diena" (good day) and he said "go - off" We talked to another guy and he said he wasn't interested so we asked if he knew of anyone who would be interested and he said he would never refer someone to us. lol. We get glared at and people say crude things about us. haha this guy was drunk and he said in very poor english, " your crazy your crazy". 

Some guy who had a bead cross necklace was way nice to us and let us on to the bus. We got on and stood in the middle of the bus. Some kids got on and glared at us. The guy with the cross ran over to them and said, " I saw you staring at them like that, they are good people." As he walked back the kid said something to him and the guy went back and smacked the kid. The kid got up to start something but the people made him sit down. We got off the bus at our stop and the guy and the kid did too. I didn't see the kid so the guy said hey and I turned around to say hi and Elder hatched yelled for me to get in the Apt. building. We ran in there before the kid got to the guy and us. It would have gotten bad. The kid maced the guy and ran off but he was ok. We went up the elevator and looked out. He was ok thankfully. 

When we were harvesting, the guy opened the door and I began talking to him and then he started laughing and slammed the door lol. The way we get into the flats, i will take a pic, there is a metal code pad that locks the bottom door. I have become a pro at it, but you have to look for the buttons that are worn the most then push them in to unlock the door. It's quite fun. I have way more funny stories i will send on the tapes.

OK good notes lol. We got 3 investigators on one day. We met a way nice couple who were in about there fifties. I love them. they weren't able to come to church this sunday. But we are hoping to teach them this sunday. I taught a guy named Duwei. He is asian and speaks english. He is way cool. I didn't have to speak this last sunday but i'm speaking June 27. The branch is way cool. They all have a hard time saying my name lol. This young girl who is about 17 says my name as Sanfonandas. lol. they were all really nice. Alai and her family always invite us over to eat. they love having missionaries over and she never stops smiling. Every week we go over to Mykolas, he is quite old, and eat way good food and read a chapter in the book of mormon. He is way nice. It's sad he say his dad get shot right in front of him my the Russians. This little boy, Aistas, who i absolotuely love, plays with me all the time when I see him. He is so so cute. He is about 3. I talked to this guy in a smaller but so beautiful region of, Šančiai. He complemented me on my Lietuviškai and asked, " Are you from Salt Lake City?" lol. He was really nice to us. 

The area there is so so beatiful. I'm going to start carrying around my camera more. There was a way cool graveyard there. We didn't get to go to it but we will soon. But the area was small cottage home and it was like being in a world war II movie. It was so cool and the people were so nice to us. They were really interested in what we had to say to them. The flats around our home, they don't like us lol. The sun come up at 3:30 in the morning. I sleep through it though cause i'm exhuasted. lol. Our flat is very nice. They don't use dryers here so when our towels dry after washing them, they are pretty rough. I still barely know the language but i'm trying hard. It's a lot to cover. oi pa. I am a pro at door approaches/ contacting. This is about as far as I get before the slam the door, yell at us, call us something, walk away, don't even look at us, or some new way i haven't seen yet lol:

"Laba diena. Mes Misionarai esime iš Jėzaus Kristaus Bažnyčia. Mes stengima kalbeti apie Jezu Kristu ir tikejimas su zmonems."
"Good day. we are missionaries from Jesus Christ's Church. We are trying to talk about Jesus Christ and Faith with people."

Yesterday I talked to a lady for a while. She was really cute.

This is definitely a very hard mission. I can see a lot why the Lord has sent me here. It is the best day when I can make a Lithuanian smile back at me. I alwasy keep a smile on my face because they people never smile. It's a very rough culture. I love it though. I feel a lot for the early saints in being persecuted because I am going through a lot what they have been going through now. I feel more closer to my Savior because he was mocked and everyone hated him. I can't describe how badly I feel for these people. Please pray for them. I can't describe how hard their life is. I really want to hit myself for the stupid things I complained over. They are nothing compared to what most of the people here have to go through. They live very poorly and  the policija really don't care if crime is going on.I wish a lot of people could come live out here for a few months. It has really been a humbling experience for me and I haven't even been here a full week. I love this place. No matter what i'm called, I love these people.
Kaunas is awesome. I call it the Bronx of Lietuva. :D

I love you all so much.

Here is my address:

A/D 286
44004 Kaunas

I can't wait to hear from all you :D definitely put that on the website :D


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