Email from James - December 20, 2010

Su šventomis kalėdomis!
Wow, it is once again p-day. Conference made it come way way quickly. I will tell some funny stories from conference when you call. That is another weird thing to think about that it's Christmas already and that we get to talk on the phone. I'm so so excited for that day. One of the members, Lucy, who is an asian lady who speaks somewhat english and russian invited us over for dinner on Christmas day. She is so so nice. She has a daughter who is aobut 14 and she is way funny. Then we are going to make cookies and stuff and give them to all the bus drivers that have to work on Christmas. I'm so excited. We are going to take our packages up to the other elders aparmtent and then all have a christmas morming together. They have a dinky christmas tree, we don't so that is another reason why we want to go up there. I did get your two packages and the one from grandma from this last conference so it is all here. I'm excited to get more cd's and I guess from what you said you owe me more which will be way cool too. All the cd's I mentioned would be so awesome to have :D.
Yep, you are going to call at 11:30 utah time and we have until 10 or so to talk. Probably a little before but we will see. I checked the email I sent you and it is all correct so it will work. Just a little heads up, if the phone cuts out for some reason and hangs up, just call back. Elder Leishman's family's phone hung up and they never called him back cause they didn't know so he never got to say goodbye.
Yay, i'm so glad my package got there safely. I'm excited to hear from you about what you think of the gifts. The big one to the family is a way cool thing :D Make sure to keep it nice cause I will want to see it more when I get home. I opened up the Christmas package cause I know mom said she put stuff in their to hand out to kids and we found the riendeer things. Hahahah elder hilton and I are very entertained with those. We were making them jump over our cereal boxes. The kids, the only 6 kids in the whole branch ages 2-18, were all very entertained by them too. We were having contests and what not with them at church. It was way funny. I have a ton of them left. Thanks for sending them :D
We are having some big changes for the new year. Instead of having english class on tuesdays and thursdays, President Dance moved it to only Saturdays from 1-3. That's going to be a very big change for us and the students we teach. It will be nice cause saturdays always feel really long for me and i'm usually a lot more tired those days. It will give us a lot more teaching and finding time during the week. We are also not keeping track of new lessons we get. We are going to replace that with keeping track of how many acitve member lessons we get which I am way excited for. It will help the members get to know me a little better and for me to know them better. I love the branch here so much. It is way way small but that's helped me to get to know the members faster. I love them all so much. There is a guy named Viktor, hahaha like on Van Helsing, and he is the coolest guy. He speaks english, kinda, and russian, so i'm always asking him how to say things in Russian and what not. He is such a nice guy. Our church starts at 11 and goes to 2 and we have sacrament first. The branch president is so so cool. His name is Donatis Blinduruk. He is 24 I believe. He served a mission in Wisconsin. He is the coolest guy. He always drives us to all the conferences and what not in his sick black Volkswagen that he has worked on a ton. It has a way loud sound system and is way intense looking from the oustide. He speaks english well so we talk to him in english. He always dressed like eminem when he isn't in his suit so that's what I call him. :D
I'm so jealous that you got to go to a gym. Ugh, what I would give to go to a gym. I feel so lazy cause i'm too tired to work out and we have no weights or anything. I am getting somewhat better in the morning. It's way cold in our Apt. so I take a way cold shower right as I get up which makes things a lot more colder so it wakes me up and then I go work out. :D It's been working pretty good so far. My body has been getting on a better routine of waking up and really waking up at 6:30. It's probably because it knows it's about to go into an ice pit. :D hahahaha
Ya the weather here is cold.....cold.....cold. snow......cold....more snow....cold. ya the same every day. It's not a shocker anymore when we put on our way cold shoes by the door then look at the thermo outside and it says -17 and what not. Then we got out and it's like  a shock to the body. :D I love the Baltics, that's all I can say. Its ta best!
I hope mom gets feeling better. She emailed me and that didn't sound fun at all. I have been very lucky and haven't gotten sick at all. I stay all bundled up and run up the stairs to keep warm when we go in domes and we buy lots of mandorin oranges which are very very good. :D
Well that's all I got to say. I will tell you the rest on Saturday. hahah it feels so weird to say that. I'm so so excited to hear from all of you. Here's a little side note to Anna, I want to hear you sing that song from seminary :D That can be my christmas present haha. President Dance wants us, the missionaires, to bear our testimony in our mission language sometime during the conversation so you will be able to hear that. :D
I love you all so much and I will talk to you on Saturday. :D
                su miele,
                      Vyresnysis Sanfordas

December in Klaipeda

Email from James - December 13, 2010

Dear Dad, and family,
Haha this email made me laugh so hard. I loved it. Well that was good to know that it was a little warmer somehwere else in the world and not just here. :D I laughed cause I told Elder Hilton about how it was colder in Nebraska, we both laughed and said ya they have cars and better apt.'s. Then I read on and saw that you put they have cars and and wendy's. Oh how I miss wendys.. :D It snowed a ton this past week and weekend. We shoveled the parking lot at the church for english, then before church. So the snow is way high up on the edges. After church we came out and it was all covered with snow so it didn't even look like we did anything. hahah. Eh, I need the work out. I have set a new years resolution, that started today, that is starting early is that I need to work out every morning. I used to be good at that cause the apartments I was at had weights but the one we are at doesn't. So instead of weights, I curl our stool chairs. :D Elder Hilton thinks it's funny but it works. I feel more manly lifing up things too hahaha.

Hahaha  ya Elder Hilton and I just say now, we aren't passed our 8 month mark, cause time doesn't exist, it's just a measurement on the rising and setting of the sun that man has put. And in Lithuania the Sun does a little rise up the, then falls back down in about 6-7 hours so we haven't hit our 8 month mark yet. :D We then freak out at about how time does go by. They days just keep going and going and I look at my watch and then it's time to go home.  It's nuts. Our 9 month mark will be here so soon.

You, dad, have the coolest job in the world. I was just thinking as I was reading the email, I wonder if my dad has any new cool stories of his awesome job. And you did. That is so cool how you get to plan out what bands you want to play. I hope when I come home I get to see some of these bands in concert. :D That's cool to hear that your getting a bigger office. Then I laughed cause you get to be the mean boss and assign people to smaller cubicles. I just pictured the office seen and you are like Michael. That's way funny about how the work holds a bit of your pay check every month and then gives it back to you by christmas. I bet that's kinda nice to have at the end of the year and for christmas.

Ya I can't believe Christmas is next week. It just seemed like yesterday I was talking to you at the airport and I said, well talk to you at christmas. I love all the christmas decorations they have up and the american chirstmas music we hear at every store and at restaurants. Speaking of Restaurants. So about the Skandalas we went to last week. It was so so so so cool. IT was like going home. This place is an americanized restaurant. It was awesome. They had pics all over the wall like at Cili's and lots of Elvis stuff. They had a cool Elvis statue that I took a picture by that I will send. And, oh they were so good, I got RIBS. They were so so good. I hadn't had ribs in so long. They only thing that wasn't like america in that place, was large drinks and free refils. hahahah. but other than that it was amazing. We had a lot of fun going there.

That's way cool mom got a new camera for christmas, I am really enjoying mine. I have taken tons of pictures, mostly of random things during out extra hour of lunch. But also lots of sweet things too. I will send some more this email with my official chirstmas picture i'm sending to people in the mail. No not the poor durango. I hope you won't sell it cause I love that car. :D I do want a pic of it all around it. LIke my stickers and the front and random rooms of the house. Especially my room :D A full scale picture hahahaha.

Yay I just got a letter today from sister lonni. That was so nice of her. I'm going to send her a letter. She puts some pics of us when we worked on the yard way back. There is a picture of parker in it and he looks so little :D She is way nice of her to give me money and send a card. Give her a hug for me :D
So that's all the new news for today, I'm saving some funny stories to tell when I talk to you next week. Have an awesome week and stay safe. I love you all so so much and I can't wait to hear from you again.
        Su daug mielų,
            Vyresnysis Sanfordas

Email from James - December 6, 2010

Nu labas!
Wow it just felt like it was p-day yesterday. Time is flying by so so fast. Even more crazy today is exaclty my 8 month mark. AAAH! Elder Hilton and I always freak out at how fast time is flying by. Before I know it, my year mark is going to be here. Nothing too exciting happened this week. We were able to find two new lessons which was way fun. Elder Hilton and I are just rocking South Klaipeda. :D Funny part is those two new lessons were with older men who said they were too old to come to church. One of them was so funny, as we would share our message, he would put his hand on our hands and say may god bless you, thank you so much for coming, etc. It was hillarious. We gave him a book of mormon and he gave it a kiss :D. Oh I just love the fun things of Lithuania. I'm going to have stories for years after my mission :D I love it here so much. 

   So yes it has been snow, snow, harder snow, light snow, hail, slushy snow, rain ( today for about 20 minutes ) snow. The weather here is crazy. Every few minutes I look out the window and it's a blizzard then it stops then it snows more, then it hails, It's nutso. I will take some pictures for sure today around old town. We are going to a sort of Steak House called Scandalis, ahaha great name. I have never been there but aparently it is supposed to be really good. It's so cool, there is a river that runs through Old Town and it has way cool boats on it, but the river is frozen! I will take pics today, it looks so so cool. I love the camera so much by the way :D It is a way way awesome camera. But that's all I can really think of to tell about Klaipeda. Ya there is a ton of Russian speakers. I am pretty good at knowing how to pronounce the letters in Russian just by singing in the hymns. In church, cause there are so many russian speakers, we sing half of the hymns in Russian and half of them in Lithuania. The prayers and talks are half russian half lithuanian. It's crazy :D It will feel weird when I will be back in America and not have to think so hard to understand people in church.

      I loved the picture! Ya i'm the cool snowman of the family, it's like Jack Frost. Too bad I can't come and visit you through a snowman hahaha. Anna's teeth are looking way way good. I'm jealous, I wish my teeth were straighter, eh but two ginas ( very pretty girls ) said to themselves, while on the bus, that I was a very good looking boy :D Not too brag or nothing hahaha.

     That's way cool about how you and mom were able to go to the Larry Miller's house and eat there. I can imagine it would be way way huge. :D I'm going to come back and just be blown away by how big our house is. I have gotten so accustomed to being in 3 room apartments. I thought about the layout of our house and I was shocked at how big our house really is. I'm going to get lost my first couple of nights home. If you could, send some more pics of the house, like my room and the basement and the living room and stuff. Also of the Durango. People always ask about what my house looked like on the inside and what kind of car a durango was but I have no pics.

     So I laughed so hard when I was reading mom's email when she said about Anna's Cantratrice Choir thing because in the Birthday CD dad said Count the Trees and Anna got mad at him cause he said it wrong. So when I saw how it is really supposed to look like I laughed for a while.

    Ya there are people that live downstairs. We have a sepearate door that goes up the stairs that are on one of the pics I sent you that lead upstairs. The people that used to live in our apt. thing are on a mission at the Helsinki Temple. I like our apt. It's way nicer than the one in Kaunas except that it is way freezing cold all of the time so we are going to talk to the land lord and see if he can fix that. We have tea time every meal and at night so that keeps us warm. I love love love fruit tea here. It is so so good. Tell Parker I won't loose his cool picture. I didn't know mom sent it without you knowing. :D You'll have to let mom know what she can send and what she can't.

     So I promise this is the last thing that I'm going to have to buy, I need to get new gloves. The leather ones, plus the little warmer gloves I have together don't keep my hands warm. Donatis told me of a good place to get some gloves. I want to buy some that cover your whole 4 fingers like a mitten. I am going to look today at a cool store they have that he said has some. I'm hoping they won't be too pricey. I have been way spendy with stuff but I have everything I will need. There might be little things here and there like a new scarf for cheap but that's about it. Mom will have to send me one of those cool journals again. Not now but just for the future. I really like how it looks and how the pages have gold on them like the scriptures. I like it a lot. I have been writing in it so much. Oh also, if mom sends a letter, can you send one of the plastic temple recommend covers in it. Mine broke so I don't have a cover for it and i don't want it to get ruined with the snow. they don't have any here surprisingly.

      So I am reading the book of mormon over again in english instead of reading Jesus the Christ. I felt like I needed to better my learning and know more about the book of mormon. I found a cool english seminary book that goes along with the chapters in it and teaches more about it to strengthen my understanding and learn more from each chapter. It has been so so cool already. I am excited to read the book of mormon again because I have only read it once in english and once in lithuanian.

     Not too much longer til I get to talk to you. I will work out the times with Elder Hilton when you can call. I can't believe Christmas is almost here. That seemed like so far away when we would talk about that in the MTC. The Morrels ( the senior couple ) left this morning. I like them both so much. I called them last night to say goodbye. They live in Utah, I have their address somewhere. I told them my mom would probably want to stop by and they said you could anytime if you wanted. They are the coolest. :D

     When mom told me that about 220 people came to the Christmas party I was so amazed at how many people were there. We get excited if we get over 30 at church. The branch is trying to set up a party and they want to go to a concert thing but they need people to chip in money which is hard for most people in the branch. We are going to talk to pres. dance to see if we can go so we can help out with the money. I hope we can go cause then it would be so much fun. :D I love the branch here. There is a girl who is about 10 who always likes to read the liahona's with me. She is  so so funny. Thomas is the only young man here in Klaipeda, he is 18. He speaks english very well. We always joke around with him. After his next year of schooling, he wants to go on a mission. Hopefully Utah. :D

      Well I guess that is all for this week :D I love emailing from you everyweek and hearing about all the funny things that happen at home or just the normal things and knowing your doing alright. I love you all so much! Thanks so much for all you do for me. Tell everyone hi for me in the ward.
       до свидания ,
         Vyresnysis Sanfordas