Email from James - March 7, 2011

Svieka šeima mano, kurią myliu.

Oh yes you realize that also today is my 11 month mark! I literaly look at it and realize how short the time we have here is. I can't tell you how fast time has gone. It doesn't even feel like I have been gone for that long. I have really been amping it up on the studying of Lithuanian and it has been increasing so much. The members are very impressed cause I ask them questions about hard gramatical stuff and they give me a funny look that í'm using that :D. I love this language and talking to people. There are days now where I don't even think in english. We watched some of the PMG dvd's where they pray in english and I can't even imagine praying in english haha. It sounds funny but I haven't said a prayer in english since the MTC. So have patience with me if I need help saying a prayer in english when i'm home. Parker can teach me how to pray again when i'm home :D

I wrote tanner a letter today. I got a letter from him last week and it was way fun hearing from him. I may punch him when he gets home because of how high his numbers are for every week, hahaha, but it was fun writing to him. He sounds like he is doing really well and really loving brasil. I can't wait to hear back from him. It is way nice being able to stay in an area for longer periods of time. You get to know the members well, especially here cause there aren't that many, and you get to know the area better.

Hahah ya cheaper pankakes when I get home. I will have no money so i'm going to need cheap food when i'm home. :D I can't wait to see your work that you do with all the adds. I bet the Ford stuff looks way sweet.

The weather here has been heating up finally which makes me so happy. I am tired of the cold and ice. Ofcourse when I say heating up, I mean it's not in the negatives but to me, it feels a lot warmer. :D I can't wait for spring to come. Lithuania is so beatiful in the spring in summer. It's so green and nice. It's going to be funny when I pass my year mark, ugh, next month and I will be able to say, oh I was in Kaunas at this point yadada.

The do get Ensigns here. I grapped the cool edition of the temple one in Lithuania. The don't get New Era's in Lithuania but they get Liahonas. They are fun to read. They have all the magazines in Russian but all I can do is read it and I have no clue what it means. :D The members laugh when i'm reading the magazine and they ask if I understand it and I say nope and keep reading :) So ya if you could send some New Era's that would be awesome. OH and the cd. It's not the peace like a river one I want by motab unless you already got it then that's cool too. But the one I really like by MOTAB is Come Thou Fount. It looks like a western theme on the cover and the music on it is way intense by motab. They have cool versions of some hymns on it. :D

Haha yes the package is here safe and sound. I think the reason the package got quicker is because of the snow. :D but who knows, I have the velveta mac and cheese left and i'm too scared to eat it. I have one other mac and cheese left so I might eat that this week. Oh it's like heaven. :D We made calzones yesterday and oh they were so so good. Thanks so much for the recipe mom. We were very satisfied after :D

Hahah if they had a Rosetta Stone in Lithuania, It would be so funny to see you learn it. :D

so now i'm at the library and on the key board they have keys with russian on it so I can show you what all your names would look like in Russian.

Jack Sanford: Джак Санфорд
Julie Sanford: Джюлэ Санфорд
Anna Sanford: Ана Санфорд
Parker Sanford: Паркер Санфорд

Now ve ar a bveutiful Ruschian family :D ( hahah russian accent)

So we have two new investigators. One is a hillarious crazy older man we knocked into to. He had been taught by the missionaries a long time ago and is just about the funniest guy ever. The other is a really nice guy who comes to english. We have lessons set up with both of them so I hope they go well. They guy from english is more interested in meeting with us to practice more english ( we provide a private english lesson with people in our class if we want, but we talk about our church after) so I hope he will want to learn more about the church.

Also, so this is pushing it especially after last week. So there is a really cool one of a kind Book shop here in Klaipeda and they sell sweet Bibles in Lithuania. They have one that is a smaller size but is so so nice and I would really love to have that. It's written a lot nicer and the it has tabs and has a way nice cool cover on it. I want to get it before I leave Klaipeda cause I won't be coming back by the look of things. I am hoping I will be here for one last transfer so I will have time. But it's kinda pricey but it would be so worth buying cause I like how nice it is and how the pages are set up on it. It's 320 LTs and that would be asking for a lot but you said to ask if I needed to get something and this would be really special to me. We can talk about it next email but that would really mean a lot to me if I could get it.

This week, I am so happy about it, we have lessons set up for every day of the week! :D
This week is going to fly by like it was nothing. I am so excited and I am hoping we will find some new investis on the way. The time clocks change here too but i'm not sure what day. We are no longer only harvesting or being out til 8 at night. We are going back to the normal schedule of working til 9 so we will be out longer now. I'm hoping with that extra time, we can find more people. I really want some solid investigators.

Elder Hyer and I have been having so much fun working together. I had him teach in sunday school yesterday which he did so good on. I sat next to him to help him say things. I had him teach a first lesson cause he needs to really work on that and he did an awesome job. I saw that it boosted his confidence up a lot. We practice teaching eatchother and he laughs when he gets frustrated but he keeps going at it cause he knows he needs to learn the language. We even practice knocking on doors and good door aproaches for companion study. He got a good laugh at that. He said," I thought I was done with that at the MTC". haha. He's a fun elder and it's crazy this is our 4th week in this transfer. Time goes faster and faster every day and as the language becomes more and more clearer. The lord has truly blessed me so much.

I love you all so much and thank you so so so so much for the prayers and all the support. I thank God everday for the wonderful family I am in and for all that we have. We are so truly blessed. Before you know it we will be talking on the phone again :D

   Su daug mielų,
        Džemsas Sanfordas

Email from James - February 28, 2011

Alo family,

I just am loving this transfer! Elder Hyer and I are having so much fun working together and I have learned a lot from him. You say he can learn a lot from me, but I am learning a lot from him. He is such a great missionary. This week will be our third week and it makes me sad how fast time goes by. I have noticed how much I trully know Lithuanian by working with Elder Hyer. I help him with the language cause he struggles with it. It has helped me learn Lithuanian a ton cause I have to speak more in lessons and what not so that has been fun. Something crazy, next monday will be my 11 month mark and then after this month flies by, I will be at my year mark!!! How crazy is that!!!! It literally feels like I was just in the MTC. I never thought it could be true when missionaries say that the time flies by.

So I got Mom's package. Thanks so much for the recipes and the ensign mom. I love the CD. If you get the chance, could you possible get the Peace like a River cd by MOTAB. That one has some way cool songs on it and if you see anything with BYU men's choir that would be awesome. I like their songs. A little heads up, I could see mom getting me this, there is a cd called Army of Helaman and it has some shirts of missionaries on it and it's like a 2 cd thing. Dont' bother getting that. The cd is really bad lol. :D Elder Manning got it for a package and we had a good laugh at it. Also, if you could, could you send some New Era's. I think I like those more cause they have cool missionary stuff and their aren't so seriouse like ensigns. We have some here and I just love reading them. They have a lot of great things in them that I like more than the Ensigns. Ensigns still seem a little to grown up for me haha.

So not too much happened this week. I challenged a guy we had been teaching for a few weeks to baptism. He is 69 and a way cool guy, kinda out of it though, the one I told you about. So when I challenged him, he laughed and said why, he has already been baptized. We have taught authority with him over and over and he says he understands and believes it. So we figured we would accept baptism but he didn't .He said he was too old and doesn't need to be more religious. We are going to wait a little bit to go back and teach him. So that was about our week. We went to a small town outside of Klaipeda to go to a school. One of our english class students asked if we could go to her school and come to their after school english class. She said the teacher thought it would be cool to have Americans there. So we went. It was alot of fun and the kids loved having us there and they were somewhat interested in what we do as missinoaries. haha. We are going to go back again in March. I love it out there. It's a way small town and there are no domes anywhere. I love it here. These past few weeks, I have just been feeling so happy all the time and I can't explain how it started but I love it. I love being a missionary and time is going by way way too fast. I love the people here so much and my wonderful Lietuva. :D I am going to cry so hard when I have to leave here, especially Klaipeda. I just love this city so much. My mission means more and more to me everyday and I wouldn't have been able to learn as much as I have learned now if I didn't go on a mission. The language has just been flying and it makes time go faster and faster when I don't have to even think in english. When I call elder hengst, who was in the MTC with me, we always talk in only lithuanian and we laugh cause we are speaking and in the MTC we had the hardest time ;D

So that's pretty much it from this week. I hope all is well at home. Nate got his mission call and he is going to the Honduras, Tegucigalpa mission which is so awesome to hear. He leaves in June.

Well family, I love you so much and before you know it, we will be talking on the phone again and I will be past my year mark. AAAAAAAAAAAH! Thank you so much for all you do for me. I owe you so much
       Su daug daug mielu,
             Vyresnysis Sanfordas

P.S. I have the russian alphabet down. I can now sing, write, and read in Russian.
James Sanford  Джймес Санфорд!  Haha I love it.

Email from James - February 21, 2011

Dear Family,

Transfer Updates! Well Elder Manning is no longer with Elder Nelson, the new missionary. He went to Vilnius to be the Zone Leader. Elder Nelson is still here in Klaipeda with Elder Hengst who was in the MTC with me. Elder Hilton isn't my comp anymore. I am still in Klaipeda but i'm with Elder Hyer now. He is such an awesome elder. I was hoping I would be comps with him. We are already loving being together. He is way funny and we work so well together. He struggles with the language so he wants me to help him a lot with the language. So I guess you can say I am sorta the Senior Companion but not really. Ha. He's so great though. He has such a great attitude about everything. At church, Pres. Blinduruk said we had two new missionaries, elder hyer kinda stood up and waved and everyone chuckled. Then Pres. B said they would have elder hyer come up first to bear his testimony and then elder hengst. Elder Hyer didn't move and was just looking around. He looked at me and I pointed to go up there. He got up slowly and said what do I do? haha I told him to just bear his testimony. :D He laughed about it after. President and Sister Dance were here for church too so we got to hear them speak. They came over to the other elder's apt. too after church and we all ate together. It was fun! This transfer is going to be way awesome. He wants to go running with me too when it starts warming up soon. Everyone here knows me as the runner/sportsy guy so whenever people say if we are comps, they want me to get them in shape. :D

Nothing really too exciting to report other thant the transfer. We have been teaching this older man who is easily distracted so teaching is always a joke. haha. He feeds us everytime we come over which is nice. As far as progressing, it's a slow process and sometimes I wonder if he even remembers after :D He's great though. We have had a lot of the cool youth in our english class come to activities lik Family Night and what not which is way good. It has been really cold this week so that hasn't been too fun but I get used to it.

I'm sorry this email might be kinda boring. Nothing that exciting happened this week except for transfers and stuff that really wouldn't make sense if I told it to you. I am way happy to still be here in Klaipeda. It's such a great are and the branch is just awesome. I love them to death. I think this has been my favorite area even more so than Kaunas. I just feel really close here. Hahah I just really have nothing more to say. I pray this next week will have some new investigators so I can have something more exciting to say. Just know that I truly am loving it here and being a missionary is awesome! I am excited to see pictures of Parker's new hamster and it's way crazy that Anna is almost sixteen. At times, as missionaries, you just feel like the world is just at pause at home and when we return the world will start moving again so when I hear crazy news it makes me realize things won't be the same at home :D Oh funny thing, at Maxima, by the theater, they have the posters for movies. Oh my gosh they already have posters for the new Pirates movie! I just kept saying with Elder Hyer jokingly reasuring ourselves that everything will be ok, " Eternal perspective, Eternal perspective":D I will be very excited to see that when I am home. :D

I will be excited to hear from you next week. I love you all so so much and thank you so much for all you do for me. Tell everyone hi for me back home!

             Su daug mielu,
                    Elder James Sanford

Photos from Klaipeda - February 2011

Elder Sanford (back row, left), Elder Hilton (back row, right) 
and the english class they teach in Klaipeda.

The celsius thermometer in Klaipeda. Minus 15 degrees C.

James was excited to get a package from home with Mac-n-Cheese.

Email from James - February 14, 2011

Sviekas Dad and everyone,
Well as I emailed last week, you kinda know how the week was. We thankfully got to leave Vilnius on wednesday so we were happy about that. On the bus ride home, which takes about 5 hours to fully do to Klaipeda, I just slept the whole way cause I was way tired from having to sleep on a coach for a couple of days. I really want to show you Vilnius after my mission. Its a way huge city and looks really cool at night with all the cathedrals and all the buildings are all lit up. I love it there. I really want to serve there in the summer cause the streets are just packed with people when it's warm and that makes contacting lots of fun. :D I was able to do it for a few days last summer when I would have to stay there and I just loved it.
I got the package and I literally felt like a pirate opening that box up. It felt like it was a treasure chest cause right as I saw all the Mac and Cheese, I was literally the happiest elder alive. I had a box last week and I never thought in my whole life I would miss Macn Cheese so much. It tasted like Heaven. I will send a funny picture I took. Elder Hilton doesn't like Macn Cheese so he just laughed as I would take a bite and say how amazing it is everytime. Your going to find I will be really funny when I'm home cause we always talk about how amazing it will be to have wendy's, arby's, taco bell, spaghetios, macn cheese, etc again :D I love love love the spirit soundtrack too. Oh it is so so good to hear again. I'm way exctied to get mom's other package with the recipe books. I will make sure to treat them very special.
Hahah I laughed about Austin's farewell and how one of the deacons read the talk from General Conference. I would have probably started laughing if I was there. :D It's crazy how fast time has flied cause it feels like you just barely told me when Austin got his call and when his talk was and now he just gave it. BTW last monday was my 10 month mark. Crazy!! Before I know it, it will be 11 months.
Ya Anna sent a picture of the hamster. It's a little hard to see cause the pic is blurryish and the hamster is in the ball. I bet Parker and Anna just love that thing. It has been a real long time since we had a hamster. Good ol Hammie. :D hahah I love all the names you have for it. I will throw in a name. Hmmm I like Dovilinute. :D hahaha it's like little dovile which is a girls name in Lithuanian. You would have to here how to corectly pronounce how to say the name. I hope the hamster will still be around when I get home. That would be way funny to see :D
Grandma mentioned how Grandpa was already working on the sequel of his first book and that you are working on the cover with him for it. I'm way excited to read the books after my mission. It will be cool cause í'm the star :D hahaha. Definitely get a copy for me. You should tell him that he needs to go to Lithuania in the book. :D
I'm not sure if President Dance would let us see the handbook or not. He would probably say we don't need to worry about seeing it and we just need to focus on PMG and the standard works. lol. I think it would be way cool to see what they say about missionary work. You will have to send bits from it.
I think that is so cool how you have pics of me on your display thing. Hopefully with my pics, we are getting more succes there :D hahaha. I will try to take more pics of us doing work. It's kinda hard to do but I have taken some pretty cool ones :D Today is a very very cold day. I took a pic of the thermo outside this morning and it was -17C. BRRRR. It looks like a beautiful clear sunny day but whenever that happens, that always means it's going to be freezing outside. I will send a pic of some of our English Class. Not everyone was there today but most of them where. I love the english class here so much! We tooks pics with them cause this could possibly be Elder Hilton's last week here. Transfers are this wednesday so we are pretty anxious to hear what will happen. :D I will let you know the exciting news next week. Another funny thing, the branch president, Donatis, printed each of us out a page of the Russian Alphabet and how to say each character so we can sing hymns in russian and know how to read so we are all going to try and have it memorized by this sunday then Donatis will quiz us hahaha. I'm excited!

Give everyone a big hug for me and tell them I love them. BTW Happy Valentine's day!!! :D
          su daug mielu,
                Dzemsas Sanfordas