Email from James - March 21, 2011

Hello from still cold Lietuva,
I'm glad you got to go see President Christensen at Stake Conference. He sounds really cool and I'm sure he gave way good talks. I am going to literally pass out when I go to a stake conference when I'm home cause there will be so many people. I will probably pass out just from seeing the ward. All the members in Lietuva don't even get halfway through the chapel. I am so accustomed to small numbers coming to church that my mind can't even grasp how many people come to church each sunday.
Wow, Anna's big 16 is finally here. That's really weird to think about how she's in highschool, driving, now she can date, ....kaistas.
So this has been a very hard but good week. So the beginning of the week, it was very depressing. We lost two investigators and no one was letting us in and it was starting to wear on us. Monday and tuesday were very depressing days, and that was going throughout us 4 missionaries. District Meeting made it worse cause we had nothing to talk about and we couldn't think of any spiritual things to really talk about cause we were so down about not having anything and not finding anyone. We were pretty low. We compared it to the scene in the First Lord of the Rings where Boromir is getting shot with the arrows at the end. That's pretty much how we were feeling. We got shot with an arrow. We fall but we get up and keep fighting then we get slammed with another arrow right to the chest. We struggle to keep fighting until the last arrows gives a deathly strick to the chest and as he did in the movie, flings his head back with a deathly groan and falls to his knees cause he can't go on. Ya... that was exactly how we were feeling. Until we noticed something. We have been watching PMG Dvds which show real missionaires teaching and stuff. Pres. Dance wanted us to watch the ones on planning. Before, I thought my plannings were...ok. Not great, but not bad. I took notes as we watched and I learned so much at how I can be better and build my faith and testimony in finding. In their daily and weekly planning, they are constantly accounting to the Lord. That hit me cause that is a Heavenly Law. I noticed I was accounting to the Lord at all. We would pray but I noticed that they weren't even that personal. So, we had a majorly different and very good weekly planning. I truly believe the best one I have ever had thus far on my mission. We set really good goals, not just weekly goals, but we have been setting goals to get throughout the day which has given a sort of challenge to each day instead of just watching the time go by til we can eat. It felt like we were really praying to God for Heavenly Help as we told what we had to work with, what we had, what we wanted to achieve, and how we needed His help to get there. It's been great. Unfortunately, the darn but great blessiong, free agency, takes a major part in missionary work so we haven't seen any fruits yet but we know they will come. It's really hard having faith here but I am learning more and more what it means to build my faith on a solid foundation and I can see i'm building my foundation for after my mission so I will be solid in the Faith. This is the last week of the transfer and I have a feeling it's going to be a real hooorah week. :D I have been sick these past few days, elder hyer a little too, so we haven't been going out as long. I really hope it goes away cause it's terrible being sick as a missionary. I have been drinking lots of herbal tea and praying that it will pass. I really hate being sick.
So other than that, nothing really new to report. I do want to ask something though. We used to have the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration movie here but we had to get rid of it cause it was burned. So we didn't legally own it. We loved watching it and it is such a faith builder. So I was wondering if you could get me a copy of the Jospeh Smith movie, the one they play at the memorial building. I know that they sell it now and I would love to have that movie so much. We used to watch it on lunch breaks and I also want to show it to our english class. If you could that would be so awesome. :D
Keep praying for the hearts to be softened here. We have also been praying, as it says in the scrips, for the people "who know not God". We really want to find people and especially me as my year mark is almost here. I have never had a solid investigator my whole mission and at times it really makes me sad. I try to keep a positive attitude about it and realize that it's in the Lords time and I just have to keep working but it makes me sad still. Thank you so much for putting my name into the temple and praying for me. It truly means a lot and it does help.
I love you all so much and I pray for you everyday. On a cool note, we are taking a ferry out to the peninsula where some cool sand dunes are and where we can go to the beach on the Baltic Ocean. It's pretty cold but we are going anyways cause we wanted to go last week but it started to rain and it was very cold. I am so excited cause I haven't been there yet. I will take lots of pics and show them to you. :D
      su daug meilu,
               V. Džemsas Sanfordas

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