Email from James - May 23, 2011

Hey everyone,

That worried me a lot hearing about how Anna has Diabeties. I really hope she is ok. You hear of things happening to other missionaries families and it's hard to imagine what that must feel like to be away from them and not being able to do anything, but now I know. It sounds like she is doing better now though which makes me very relieved. What type of diabeties does she have? Ofcourse I don't really know the differences between them so you might have to explain. I will make sure to keep her in my prayers. Let her know that I love her and give her a hug for me :) That's way cool you got to give a blessing to that little baby boy. 

So this we had a good hard working week this week. We had some dropped lessons but then found more while out harvesting. I was amazed cause that never happened in Klaipeda. People are just so nice here cause a lot of them will stop and listen to what we have to say. There were a lot of things that happened and I can't remember all of them, but I wrote them down in my journal. Post mission stories I guess. :D The baptism was alright. Don't consider it that I had a baptism cause I was only in a few lessons and they were just check up/ make sure everything is ready for the baptism. I don't know if you know but here in the Baltic Mission, Pres. Dance doesn't want missionaries to baptize, he wants the members too, so missionaries never baptize their investigators, not that I really mind :D. We were a little upset because we called a lot of the members to come a few days before the baptism and they said they would come but only 5 of them showed up and none of our investigators showed up either. We were a little disapointed with that but we still had a good time. We had the baptism at the lake near the church cause we don't have a baptismal font so that was kinda different. It was a beautiful day so it looked really nice outside for it all. There were some teenage girls sitting on a bench by the lake we were at and I can't imagine what they thought with us being there and some older man being baptized. haha. It was good though. I got lots of pics. After, the guy that got baptized sorta bore his testimony I guess. hahaha he is a very funny man and he always complains how the schools aren't good about teaching kids how to behave and how parents need to be betters yadadada. When we have lesson with him, we will ask, so why would scripture study help us in our every day lives, or something similar and he somehow gets off on talking about how bad kids are or how the schools don't do a good job of teaching. And he won't stop talking once he gets going. SO the "testimony" went sort of that way but it started with a story when he was young in the Soviet Union and how it was hard etc. and I thought he would connect it but he didn't haha. Then he went to how bad schools are etc. He did mention once how the book of mormon was a very good and correct book haha. The branch president asked about his testimony of the church or something then he made a few comments but kept going on about his thoughts of the schools. It was interesting haha. Then yesterday in church, we got to be in the circle, well it was us 3 missionaries and the branch president, for when he received the holy ghost. That was pretty cool. A returned missionary from way back came with his wife and his parents and his brother so it was fun to have americans with us in church. I had to speak so I gave my talk about the holy ghost. It went pretty well I thought. I spoke for about 20 minutes cause elder erickson just bore his testimony so there was a lot of time left. The brother and the dad of the family served in France so they were going there after lithuanian. I told them about how you served there and he asked when and I said, "eithy something" and he laughed and said oh ya I definitely didn't know your dad. haha. He was a lot older but the brother has been back a few years.  The mom of the missionary was so so nice to us. She just talked about how cool it was we could speak and how great the members were then she gave us a bag of taffy and some beef jerkey. That was so nice of her to do that. She said, " I just know how your mothers feel and I know they would want someone to give you a little something like I did when my son was on a mission." Oh utah mormon mothers are just the greatest. It felt a little weird just to see how they acted and it hit me that that was how all members act in Utah. I'm going to have a major shell shock when I get home cause it felt weird how they were so bumbly and way super super nice. hahaha ya for East European cutlures killing my inner soul haha. They were really nice though. After church, we, with the branch president who is hillarious here, did clerk work stuff. Oh man that took so so long and we have to do that every sunday with him. Ya, let's just say now I really never want to be a bishop or a clerk now haha. the Branch President is way cool. He served in England and is a funny guy. He looks a little like Uncle Todd with the shaved head and he says the funniest things. We are already becoming way good friends.

Other than that nothing really much to tell. We have a lot to do everyday which is super great. Elder Erickson is just awesome and he speaks like a champ even though he says he can't. It's been a lot of fun helping him and what not. Him and I have sort of the same personalities so we always laugh at random things and Elder Lindell is more serious so he just laughs in a funny judgmental way but not being serious. They are both great though :D We are having a lot of fun serving together. This week is technically the third week of the transfer so it's pretty much half way over. In two weeks we are going to be having the major missionary conference in Riga so I'm way excited for that. The members here think I should marry a lithuanian girl and live here in lithuania. I'm pretty sure I have a mojor cavity on one of the back of my teeth. It has been hurting a little since last December and so when I drink cold drinks it hurts a ton but I don't want to go to a dentist here so that will be fun to take care of when I get home. I floss every day and brush after every meal so I'm surprised I even have one. hmmm but that's all I can remember. The days just kinda go by when you have a lot of lesson so I forget what things happened on certain days so it's kinda all a blur really. haha. It rained today and I was hoping we would finally play some b-ball with the members who want to play but I guess next week. Šiauliai is super super small so there's not too much to see but I love it here a lot. There is a big walking alley thing that has all these shops lining it which is really cool. It's very clean and there's a beautiful church

Well I love you all so so much and look forward to hearing from you again next week. Keep me updated on how Anna is doing and I hope you will get to sleep in a real bed. :D I know what it is like to have to sleep on chairs or couches so that's never fun (Random exchanges and what not). Thank you so much for all you do for me and I really can't thank you enough for all that you do. I will send pics next week of what our apt. looks like and of the baptism, I forgot my camera so otherwise I would have done it. :D 

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