Email from James - September 15, 2010

Labas Visiems!
       Training was so so good! We got a lot of good ideas of how to teach and how to teach with boldness. It was really good. We stayed in Kaunas and the Elders from Klaipeda and Šauliai came down. We had to two Elders from Sauliai stay with us. I got to see one of the new elders. It made me happy to see him struggle with Lithuanian :D hahah jk. I still struggle but it made me realize how much I have learned. At church last sunday I noticed I had learned a lot. The first counselor pulled me aside and had me translate for Elder Morrel. Elder Morrel is the senior Elder with his wife. They don't speak a word of Lithuanian. So I had to translate for Elder Morrel and the first counselor. It was really cool!

      I have been reading the Lithuanian Book of Mormon a lot alot more. I read about 8 pages a day. President Dance and I set a goal for me to finish it by next month. I'm in Alma. It's so cool to see how much I can understand. I love reading it cause I read it out loud to practice pronunciation. It's a blast. I will have to record me reading so you can hear what it sounds like. :D

     Vernal sounded like a lot of fun! I miss doing the slick rock trails in Moab. We will have to do that when I get back. Parker is still quite the rock climber still. That's awesome! Tell him to keep it up! :D There's no places for him to climb if he came here. lol speaking of coming here. Elder Geibler, and elder who finished his mission with Elder porter, his parents came to pick him up. Apparently you can do that! On the leaving missionaries letter they have times for when the parents can come to the mission home the day they are there and you can do whatever after that lol. Just thought you should know but I figure it's kinda a lot of money and what not. Plus I think the coming down the airport stairs at the airport is a very cool missionary returning way to come home :D

     Wow parker is already off track. Time flies! I can't wait to see some of Anna's plays at Bingham when I get back. I can see her being some big time actress when I get home. :D In english class we were talking about our favorite movies and one of the girls said hers was twilight and I told her about how Anna loves twilight. I showed them pics of my family when we taught about how families can be together forever and they thought she was cute. Along with mom. 

     Man, you really messed up your finger if it's still hurting. Thankfully I haven't gotten hurt. We have lots of trips and what not on the cobblestone in Old Town but other than that nothing else:D I hope it gets better though. 

     I am glad you told me about the U.S. Open. I love hearing about sports and what not. Wow Federar lost. Crazy but i'm glad Nadal took a U.S. open. The big news among the missionaries here, especially with Elder Leishman because he goes to the Y and loves the football team, is about how BYU is going independant. :D Funny story about sports.

     So this past weekend was the world basketball championships. Lithuania is crazy about Basketball. Like there were flags all over with " mes lausime" we will win. Basketball is huge here surpirsingly. But over the weekend, Lietuva played USA and everyone was going crazy! All the bars were crowded and the square in Old Town was full of thousands of people to watch the game on a huge screen. USA won but everyone was still cheering Lietuva and what not. That was on Friday. On saturday, Lietuva played Serbia for 3rd. It was even more crazy. After every shot, if Lietuva would make one, they would go crazy and clap a ton. We would watch the game for a second to see how Lietuva was doing. The won and oh my gosh all of Lietuva celebrated. That night, we had to go to the train station to pick up the Elders who were going to stay with us. Elder Morrel thankfully gave us a ride. So the drive would have normally taken at least 10 min. IT TOOK 45 MINUTES TO GET HOME! Everyone was dancing in the street. Waving flags out of the cars, dancing on cars, drinking beer and vodka like there was no tomorrow, running in the road, every car was honking their horns, everyone was singing lietuvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, it was crazy! ahahah we were laughing so hard. Some drunk guy was in the middle of the road pointing at cars to honk. Guys had their pants off and waving them over their heads. ahaha it was such a crazy night. The only took 3rd but it was like they had won. :D I definitely won't forget that night.

     Your job is so cool. Everyone thinks you have the coolest job and that i'm a rich kid. ahaha. I just laugh and say my dad does a very good job and all of the tasks he has and does them on time. Definitely don't quit your job cause I need the college benefit when I get back lol. I want to see pics of the office. Have you sent off the pics?

      So food here is so good. We don't eat at members houses. But some famous food here is Keiv's, they are amazing here, Sepilinai, way yummy too, cold beet soup is alright, the juice here is by far the best, potatoes are so good here too cause they eat a lot of those. But for food we have to make our own. One of my favorite missionaries meals is Stop Your Heart. Oh it's so so good. It's Vilnuis Mayo but it's not like mayo, Chopped up grilled Salami and chicken, taco spice, cheese, and pasta all mixed together. I am so making it when I get home. I make crepes for breakfast sometimes. i love crepes with Nutella and jam. I have made chicken quesos popular here. the food here is so so good. Chocolate here is so so good too. I haven't had any chocolate with vodka in it yet. But every missionary has that happen at least a few times in their mission on accident. :D lol When we go shopping, we go up to Maxima, like walmart, and then take the bus back to our place. We have to walk a little and climb up the 8th floor to our apartment.

       So in answering to Mom's email:  I did get her letters and I am planning on writing this week. I have been reading the Book of Mormon as much as I can cause I really want to finish it. I am excited to get hers and anna's letters. I wrote spencer a letter last week with some pics of me from the mission so he should be getting those soon. 

      The heating here is fine. They have heating things in our apartments plus I will just eat potatoes and then wear a hoody and climb in my sweet sleeping bag and all will be well. No worries mom :D. My testimony will keep me warm at night. :D Boots I probably won't get. You don't really need them here cause they clean off most of the sidewalks and plus they cost a lot and just take up weight. I promise I will be fine. As long as your are true and faithful and obey God's commandemnts, I will be safe.

      I forgot to get elder porter's address so I will email it on monday. He doesn't go back to school til January so you would be able to talk to him. I don't know his dad's name.

     I love you all so much and I can feel your prayers as I work harder and harder. I love it here so much and i love the people even more. I enjoy being a missionary so much. Being a missionary is the coolest job to have and I'm going to be so sad when it's over. But that's not for a while :D

     Stay safe and I can't wait to hear from you.
            Su meile,
                  Vyresnysis Sanfordas 

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