Email from James - July 18, 2011

I'm glad you got a kick out of me having to shave. I missed one day shaving this week on accident and I got a pretty good rough man look going. It was not good but thankfully we didn't get out too much. We had a lot of errands to run. Ya it's funny cause now the European Basketball Championships are going on so when we go out harvesting, guys will come out and just want us to hurry it up or join them and watch Lietuva play. They think we are nuts going out and trying to talk to people during the championship games. Unfortunately America lost in the quarter finals to Russia which is sad. The last games of the whole Euro Games will be in Lietuva. It's going to be nuts because they have been talking about it all year and they have built new stadiums in all of the major cities. Missionary work will be fun during that time.

I loved hearing about the hike you got to go on and the pics you sent. The first one is up side down when I open it up so that was kinda funny. I can't wait to get up into the beautiful mtns of Utah and going for hikes and runs. It will be great. I also think we should totally going on a camp trip together with Bro. Bean and Tanner after the missions. I thought that was so strange when you mentioned that cause home just feels like a far away dream sometimes and it has always just been mission.... mission....mission. :D 

So we had a fun week this week. Lots of fun things happened and we found some cool new investigators. We traveled down to Vilnius for a District Meeting since it is just us three here. We don't have District Meetings here since it is just us. We tried once and it was more of a joke. Just kinda like another longer companionship study. What was fun is on the way down, we took a train. I love trains so much cause they are so much faster than buses and they go through really pretty parts of Lietuva. So they randomly put us three in a compartment instead of out in the two seaters where everyone sits. We shut the door and it was just us three in there. We were acting like rich people, movie stars, and after the lady asked us if we wanted any tea or cofee, Harry Potter. Hahah we kept saying, "a chocolate frog for me please", or "we'll take the lot" haha. I will send a pic that we didn't realize til after, but it totally describes our companionship personalities of each one of us and what the transfers have been like together. We say it is going to be our acapella cd cover after the mission. We want to be in an acapella group together haha. 

Then there was amazing Rumšiškės. When we pulled in, all of my memories from last year just flew back and hit me in the face. I couldn't believe it was a year ago when I was last there. It blew my mind. I can remember last years Rumšiškės so clearly. So we got there and it was so fun to see all the members from all the other branches I know and served with. They were so happy to see me and we had fun joking around and what not. So all the branches acted out their plays infront of eatchother. Our skit was funny and we got to act out a part of ours where Elder Lindell and I are the older more experienced missionaries and we can't find someone to talk to but Elder Erickson talked to a guy very baldy in a funny lithuanian american accent and was able to get a guy to feel the spirit by his small testimony and elder lindell and I were amazed after. Hahahah it was fun. We acted it out infront of about 200 people. :D Everyone said they like it a lot.

So we learned some fun lithuanian traditional dances and had fun all dancing together. Then we ate and chatted and ofcourse they got some country music going so they could get all the american missionaries to do their "funny" dance. :D They really like it when the american missionaries dance. 

So here is a funny part of the day but I have to give background history. There is a senior couple who I just love to death name the Jacques. Well when I was in Klaipeda during the winter, they came to check our apt. I had a quote from Elvis and a pic was on it of him that I had on the wall. It's a really good missionary quote surprisingly. :D So sister Jacques was amazed at how I loved Elvis Presley so much and we talked forever about him and I told her about Grandma. I told her I knew how to dance like him and she wanted me to do dance but I said I wouldn't unless there was music.

So back to Rumšiškės. The Jacques are leaving in two weeks so this was their last big event of their mission. So while we are all dancing to ABBA, lithunians love ABBA for some reason, I did some sweet talking and got them to play Elvis Presley. All the missionaries automatically looked at me and smiled cause they know how much I love Elvis Presley. So I found Sister Jacques and she had the biggest smile on her face and I said I promised. She began laughing and said she had been waiting. So As everyone is dancing I bust out my Elvis moves and she hurry and grabbed her camera so she could get pics of me doing it. Well other people saw her commotion and ran over. Lets just say about 50 or more people were freaking out at me doing this Elvis Dance and singing along with the music. Hahaha. There is going to be over 100 pics of me going that on facebook after the mission hahaha. Sister Jacques said I got to live as Elvis for a bit with the youth girls screaming as I was doing it ahhaa. Ya they aren't going to let me live this down if I get transfered to the other cities. Hahaha it was so much fun and I loved seeing everyone. I can't wait to see them again and everyone in Vilnius says that they want me to come to Vinlius soon. :D That made me smile so big. 

Hahaha so there is my funw week. Ah missionary work is awesome and I love every minute of it. I am so glad that there are the coolest members here who love missionaries and  help us out so much in the work. I love Lietuva so much and the people live here. 

Thank you so much for always being there for me and all of the love and support. Before we know it, christmas will be here and we will be talking again but I won't dwell on the future. There is so much to be done now. It's funny how Elder Erickson says time seems so long ahead for him in the mission and that he has forever. I can't believe how fast time has gone and how far I have come. I can't wait to share with you all my stories and love for the people here. 

           I love you so much,


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