Email from James - November 29, 2010

Labas Šeima ( not Žeima :D) close though,
   So I got mom's package the day before transfers, so no worries mom, I have it. Thanks so much for that journal, I really like how it looks and everything. I have been writing in it tons to keep it updated. It snowed on thurdsday and some more on friday. Winter is definitely here and it is how do you say, fun. hahaha. When we go outside, our hands go numb in 15 seconds if we don't have our gloves on. We wear our sweet Newsies hats now which was I don't like wearing but I have grown to enjoy them now. I had to buy one but I found a cheap one that looks pretty sweet. I will send a pic of it.
So transfer udates, did you guess if I would leave? Well if you did you guessed right. I'm in KLAIPĖDA. :D and guess who I am with.... ELDER HILTON. We have been having fun working together these past few days. Klaipėda is right against the coats of the Baltic Sea so a lot of people work on the docks. I love it here already, not so much the freezing cold, but I do love it her. The branch president drives the missionaries around for conferences and stuff. We pay him, cause he doesn't have a job right now, he is in school, but he came and picked me up from Kaunas, and then I was off to Klaipėda. He is way cool. He is married and has a beautiful little daughter. Algirdas, the cool 17 year old kid who I am good friends with in the branch had me call him the night before I left. He sounded way sad and he was like, " you can't go. I'm going to miss you. Who is going to clown around with me." They don't have a clown around word in Lithuania but it's pretty much like what he meant. I told him I would see him again at Roumšiškas and what not. He was so funny how sad he was about it. Lolitta called me to and wished me good luck. Kaunas is awesome. Elder Leishman was a little bummed we wouldn't be comps anymore but we are planning on hanging after the mission. He wants me to room with him at the Y which would be way awesome.
My first two nights with Elder Hilton, btw he was with me in the MTC incase you didn't remember. After Donatis, the branch president, dropped us off at where we stay, we went into the house where we live. We live on the second floor of a house and it is way cool inside, I will send pics of that too. It's really cold in there but we are hoping the heating will turn up a bit. There is a dog that is on the side of the house named, Bobsas, and he flipped out when I first came. There is just a little metal gate blocking him and he can almost jump over it. That night Elder Hilton was petting it and it was acting nice so I put my hand out to pet it. It smelled me hand then bit me way hard but didn't break the skin so I lived hahaha. It doesn't freak out when I come home. It randomly barks but not like it did when I first got there. I will buy it doggy treats and try to befriend it lol. So after we went to the bus station to pick up Elder Manning and his new trainee. We got them then jumped on a bus to go to their apt. I asked the new elder where he was from, he had a crazy accent and said he was from scotland. There was a rumor going around that possibly one of the new elders was from scotland coming here. It was so hard not to laugh cause he would say the craziest things with a ridiculous accent. Elder Manning was laughing his head off. It was funny. So we dropped off their stuff then split until dinner, we were going to meet up at Can Can pizza for our " Thanksgiving Dinner" hahaha. So Elder Hilton and I went contacting while the other two went and helped an older lady in the branch. Elder Hilton and I were flipping out about how funny the new elder was and how sweet district meetings would be lol. So after we meet up for our dinner. hahaha Pica for Thanksgiving, that was a first. As they sat down with us, Elder Nelson, the new elder, sat down and said in an american accent, I'm sorry guys, i'm not really from Scotland. We laughed so hard about it cause he really got us going with it. So we ate dinner and then taught a lesson with a girl investigator with the other elders. There isn't enough male members here to go with us for lessons so the missionaries usually teach together here. There is just us 4 in Klaipeda. Then we went home as it kept snowing outside.
The next day we went and harvested and tried to find some less actives. We go harvesting pretty much the whole day cause it is so so cold outside. There was a crazy russian lady who was trying to get us to come into her home but she was way drunk. Then after lunch we were able to meet with a way cool older couple. The invited us in and said they knew all about Jesus and God and what not. We asked if we could share a short message with them about our Church and the Book of Mormon but the woman said we didn't need to. So not to offound them, we just chatted with them while eating Mandorin Oranges. They were so so nice to us. As we talked, we would slip in principles from the Plan of Salvation, following the example of Ammon :D It was so so much fun. Elder Leishman and I didn't even have one new lesson the whole transfer. Then we had a fun lesson with some members and sang primary songs which one of the ladys there thought was hillarious. The other elders came too so we were all there.
The next day, OH MY GOSH WAS SO AMAZING. We went out in the morning to find another less active home. They weren't home so we just harvested the dome. A nice lady let us in to her home. We kept it short cause antother guy wasn't home but we taught her about Jospeh Smith and God and the Book of Mormon. She was so so receptive. I can tell you how much God has truly helped me grown and learn this language. I didn't even think about the langauge as I spoke. I just said the things I wanted to say and it came. Dad it was so so awesome. The spirit was so so strong. I was so pumped after the lesson. It really boosed my confidence up. So we gave her a book of mormon and got her phone number so we could meet again with her. After that, literally 15 minutes later, another lady let us into her home and we taught a very powerful lesson with her. She accepted a book of momron and agreed to meet again. TWO LESSONS BEFORE LUNCH TIME. It was a true miracle. We had already doubled the numbers I got in a whole transfer. I know there are people out there waiting to hear our message. It was so amazing. After we were both so happy and were marveling at how much we had both grown and learned since the MTC. It was a blast. Then we had lunch and then right before meeting up with the other elders for a lesson, we found yet another lesson. THREE NEW LESSONS IN ONE DAY.  It was so so amazing. Oh I can't wait to tell you about it over the phone. I loved every second of it and the lord truly has helped me so much with the language.
It has been fun being in an area with a new missionary. It allows us to see how we used to be and where we are now. Elder Hilton and I always reflect on how we used to be in the MTC and how we are now. We have grown so much. It's humbling to watch Elder Nelson struggle with talking and stuff. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch him grown and learn. I love it. I have heared so much just these past few days that we speak beautifully and way well. It's awesome. I know the Lord has truly heard my prayers.
So on Sunday, I had to speak. The branch is very very small. About 20 people. That gave me an even bigger drive to find more people. I want the chapel to be full. My talk went way well. I felt cool cause a lot of the branch only speaks russian, so there was a lady in the back of the room who would translate what I said from Lithuanian to Russian. Then we went to the youth class where Thomas, a way cool 18 year old kid, and Maggie and Gintara who are 12. Then we had preisthood which was in Russian so that was interesting. It sounded like a way good lesson and I still felt the Spririt. :D
That's all that's new up until today. It is way cold but I love the work and being here and enjoying the work. Elder Hilton and I are having a blast serving together. We have tea time every meal and night cause it's warm and the fruit tea here is so so good. I'm totally drinking it more when i'm home. So here's my new address where you can send mail and stuff. Dad, can you put it on facebook, preferably on the side blue thing so it will stay there so everyone can see it. it is:

A/D 408
94-198 Klaipeda 10

I can't wait to get the package and hear from you. I love you all so much. BTW parker you can get black olives here :D It's crazy, I will be able to talk on the phone with you so soon. Tell Austin congrats on his mission call. Wow Africa. I will send some pics with this. :D
         Su daug mielų,
            V. Sanfordas

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