Email from James - May 30, 2011

Dear Dad,

I really enjoyed having the little chats with you too (James and his dad happened to be online and emailing at the same time the week prior). It's fun to think that I am talking with you all the way on the other side of the world. They truly do mean a lot. I'm glad to hear you miss me a lot too. :) I always wonder if you are relieved i'm gone to have a little break after how I used to act a lot when I was an "angry" teenager. Oh geez I sound old haha. I do have a lot of moments where I regret not taking those moments I had to be together instead of hanging with friends. Let's just say I am really looking forward to Family Nights! :D

It sounds like Anna is doing really well now that she is home. I'm glad to hear that. It will be interesting to see her give herself some shots. She sounds like she is already a pro at doing it all by herself. 

That's way cool to hear about the convert baptism and how the boy wants to have the preisthood and serve. I wish we had a young mens group here so badly. There are two guys who are young men age who are way awesome and we always meet with them, but they don't come to church that much. We help out their families with finances cause we are the "clerks" of the church. So we have to go with them to Maxima to buy food and what not on mondays or randomly during the week. They are great families and I love them a lot. They two guys, Vladas and Maximas, are way cool with me. I already got nicknames for them when I see them and they always laugh. I think I can really relate to them becasue they are willing to help us out with missionary work but the church just isn't that interesting to them and they pretty much are exactly how I used to be. I have seen a lot of reasons of why I am needed to be here in Šiauliai. I promise to tell them to you after the mission :D I would have to agree with you dad. It is a blessing to have served in harder areas leading up to here. Elder Erickson can't imagine when I told him how some areas were for me compared to here. He says it's way hectic serving here and so many people to meet with and talk to but for me, it's such a great blessing. :D He will have fun going to other areas of the mission, like Vilnius or Kauas or Klaipeda. ( hahah wich is the only areas to serve in Lithuania). I truly do love it here so much. I forgot to tell you I spoke in church two weeks ago, maybe I told you I can't remember. It was a lot of fun and the members really like my talk. The branch here is way small but they are so awesome. We had two of our investigators come to church so that was awesome to see. One of them, Regina, said she didn't like it and didn't want to come back, ahaha the other elder talked to her. I sat by the other one. His name is Andrus and he is the coolest guy. I like him so much. He speaks really fast and he has the coolest accent I am always trying to immitate. hahaha we call him Josh Groban cause he looks like him a little. I say he looks more like a cool priate. Speaking of Pirates, the new Pirates of the Carribean poster looks so so so so cool. They have them all over and I will be very excited to see that when I get home. hahaha. All the missionaries asked me how I handled it seeing the new pirates poster, cause everyone knows I love pirates or have seen my jack sparrow impression. :D

We got to do a lot of service with some of the members. A lot of the time was buying pipes and what not for a member who is fixing all of his mother in laws bathroom but the other one was we built a dog cage for one of the members. It was a lot of work and it took us 6 hours to do and we still aren't done. I will send some pics. We dug around a cement thing and then hammered away at some of the cement then sawed some wood and nailed them together then put up a metal fence and ya, it was a lot. We are going back this week to finish it which will be exciting. They had a cute little puppy dog that would always come over and we would play with it. They fed us after and we just had fun chatting with them and what not. She had a lot of kids at her house cause she has 3 daughters and then 4 other small kids where from her daughter who lives in england. 

School is out and or finishing up for some of the college students so now the crazy fun summer is about to begin here in Lietuva once again. I just love dealing with the groups of drunk teenagers, drunk men try to grab you and kill you or something funny like that, bumbs who won't leave you alone cause you won't give them money,crazy barely dressed teenage girls who try to sound cool by saying dumb english phrases but they don't really say them that well, bachelor or bachelorette parties, being kicked out of domes (literally), every house has a fence that you can't see so we open the door then a huge dog tries to kill us, men answeing doors in only their underwear ( and not the good kind), haha ya , missionary life if awesome in Lietuva ;D It's going to fly by before I even realize it. This time, I will know what people are saying. 

Yep, so next monday I will be in Riga, exactly a year ago I came into the field. I am way excited. We are having some guys from the quorum of the seventy come and speak to us so that will be cool. I'm way excited to see the elder from the MTC who are in Latvia. It will be a blast. We will also be able to see Elder Graham, who used to be a missionary in lithuania but now is in Riga as a Russian speaker as an assistant. Poor guy. haha :D He only 4 transfers til he goes home so he has to attempt to get some little russian before he goes home. He was really good at lithuanian. So now I know I am off the hook to becoming an Assistant. Yes!!!  I don't want to have to learn russian or serve in Latvia. I want to stay in Lithuania and continue learning lithuania. It's by far the prettiest languages of all the Baltic Mission lanaguages. I am also going on exchanges with Elder Falk who is a russian missionary in Vilnius. He is our "District/Zone leader" so he calls us nights and see how we are doing. We always have grand talks on the phone so he wanted to be with me for the exchange, so I get to go with him to Vilnius. :D I'm so excited. So I got quite a week ahead for me. 

I don't think I will think about the dentist thing cause it doesn't hurt too bad but if it does become a problem I will check it out. If I don't have to go to a dentist here, the better I will be. :D I may not survive a russian dentist haha. 

                              Love lots,

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