Email from James - May 16, 2011

Dear Family,
Talk about greatest few days of my life. Ok let me gather my thoughts. There is so much to tell and I may have to re-write some more next week if I forget anything.
So first things first, I got transfered. :D Elder Hyer and I took a cool train to the beautiful city I am now in. That was a lot of fun. Right now, I am in the blessed city of Šiauliai. It is so awesome here. The people are so much more different then in Klaipeda. I love Klaipeda so so much but here the people will stop and listen to what you are saying. Plus, I have set much harder personal goals for myselft in contacting so that has probably helped a lot too. Ever since we talked on the phone, in a way my fire for missionary work has been so much stronger. I love it. But we contacted for a little bit and I got 5 numbers already which is way intense. We have a lot of meeting everday and we have so many investigators so we aren't spendning all day walking around and geting no where. This place is just so wonderful! I already got to know the members so so well. We had our District Conference on Sunday so we all took a bus down there and on the way I talked to a lot of them and showed them pics of the family and they just loved it. They are so faithful here and always tell us about who they have talked to about the gospel. I will tell you more about the members here but they are so great. We have 5 people with baptismal dates for next month and they are just wonderful. I have already gotten the chance to teach them and get to become such good friends with them :D Plus, we are having a baptism this Saturday and the guy that is getting baptized is an older man and  him and I talked for a while at District Conference. He said he was happy I am in Šiauliai (pronounced sh-e-ow-L- ai). So this weekend is going to be wonderful. The church, I will have to take a pic, is on the bottom of a apt. building and it sticks out so it's half of an apt. building on top and the bottom looks like a mini church. It's weird. We don't have a baptismal font so all of the baptisms are done in a lake right by the church. It's actually quite pretty. :D I will send pics. I'm just so extatic to be here!
So for the companionship. I am with Elder Lindell who is 2 transfers ahead of me and we are....... TRAINING! How fun is that?! We have already been getting so close. The new missionary's name is Elder Erikson and he is from Colorado. He is so so funny and we all are having so much fun working together. Elder Lindell was trained by Elder Hatch too so we always joke about our first days in the field. Elder Hatch trained him then I came in right after that. We are like mission brothers haha. We have been having so much fun helping Elder Erikson with teacing and speaking and what not. It's been fun to watch him with the shell shock of a new country, actually hearing the language, the culture, everything. The first few days there was no hot water throughout the city cause they were testing the water so we had to boil some then put it in a pot then shower with that with freezing cold water :D Our apt. is super small, especially for three people but we manage. We aren't inside ever for that long because of all the people we meet with. So when we contact, sometimes I am by myself talking to people and then sometimes Elder Erikson is with me so it's fun. :D I am excited for this transfer so so much. :D
District Conference was so good but what was so much better was seeing everyone! The Kaunas branch was just blown away when I talked to all of them. They were like, "  WOW, You talk so much better now!" hahaha I just talked and talked and talked and oh it was fun to know what they were saying and be able to speak quickly back to them. As of lately my language skills have just been crazy. The Lord has been helping me so so much. It's been wonderful. Everyone from klaipeda, more so the youth, ran up and said, " WHY AREN'T YOU IN KLAIPEDA!!!!?" hahah Gintara who is 14 and the funniest girl said that and I said cause president Dance said so and she said in her dramatic tone that I just love, why didn't you just say no. hahah. I miss the Klaiepda branch so so much but now i'm in blessed in Šiauliai. Algirdas, the kid that I am really good friends with in Kaunas, came up and we just chated the whole time. I sat by him in conference. I am so close to his mom and dad too so they just swarmed me and we just chatted for so so long. His mom is so so sweet. She just talked and talked and said how much they want me to serve back in Kaunas so badly. Oh you guys don't know how sweet they are too me. She blew me a kiss over and over when she saw me signing with the other missionaries before we started conference. She really wants to meet you mom. She asked about if you guys were going to come over after my mission was over and what not. She is such a wonderful lady. Here name is Ala and the husband is Antanas. They are so so cool and they thought it was so cool how I could speak so so much better. :D It was just a blast to talk to everyone a lot better, pretty much. I will send some pics cause I got a pic with Algirdas and Ala and Antanas. They said they just wanted to kidnap me and take me over for lunch cause we stayed over night in Kaunas for a meeting we had with President Dance for training today. It was fun, we sang with the sisters after we ate on Laives Aleja. We had a lot of elders and then the two sisters and we sang hymns in Lithuania. Not too many people stopped to listen but the spirit was so so strong and it was a real cool experience. Then I went out and contacted for the rest of the night with Elder Leishman. We had fun being together. We are still way close and we had fun laughing about all of our funny stories. It was funny cause he is serving with Elder Hilton and we stayed at their apt. so I got to be with both of my old comps. We had fun laughing about all the funny stories and what not. haha.  
Before I forget, here is my address:

A/D 56
76001 Šiauliai

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