Email from James - July 4, 2011

Sveikas Tetė,

Haha no 4th of July won't be the same as it is in america. I still remember last year when I was with Elder Hatch and that morning we went out onto the balcony of our apt. and sang the national anthem. We have had some pretty epic prayers saying how blessed beautiful the country of America is and how we are truly blessed to be born from that nation and what not. :D oh I love America, you have no idea. We are going to go to McD's and then go bowling to celebrate and then tonight i'm going to make some rootbeer with some root beer extract some older missionaries left behind :D Lithuania has a big holiday on the 6th which is the day that Mindaugas was crowned King of Lithuania so they are very close. It's funny it is on the 6th because that is zone conference this week so that will be fun with travels and everything. So President and Sister Dance are officially out of the mission. It was so sad the morning of July 1st. We talked about all of the great things President Dance does and how great of a man he is and how he always does everything to make sure he is lifiting up a missionary. I may or may not have had some tears come :D Him and sister Dance have become like my second parents. They are so special to me. President Dance has helped me out so much. When we you look on his facebook, he may not update when they are going to be having their homecoming cause he says he never updates it so you may just have to email him and ask. That would be so cool if you could go see them. I would be so super jealous. :D So we had a miracle and whenever you have a miracle you have to call into the mission president and tell him about it. So I got voted to do it this time. So I did and it clicked right then that President Dance probably wouldn't be answering. I then heard a deep voice say, hello this is president Boswell. I sayed, Hello president boswell, this is elder sanford from lithuania. I told him why I was calling and told him about a really cool meeting we had with one of our investigators who is soooo prepared. Her husband isn't too religious and isn't interested in meeting with us but he has no problem with us meeting with her. So President Boswell instructed us on how we need to really try and get the husband to come meet with us so that then they can be together. It was..... interesting. He sounds like a pretty cool president but, ugh, president dance acts so much more diferently and.. ugh I can't explain it. We were kinda shooken up by it and how he was but we just kept reassuring ourselves it was his first day in the field and he was just tired. I have faith he will be cool,... i pray :D It will be a different change but Baltic Missionaries are the best and I know the Lord only call Baltic Presidents to the Baltics. :D We are way excited for Zone Conference.

I bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting too. :D What a coincidence. I bore my testimony about the power of the Holy Ghost. I told how we talk to so many people who are a lot older than us and they usually say we are younger than they are, we don't have a family or children, we haven't been through the trials of life, how could we know what they need or what is truly from God. I said it is true about all of those things except for the last one. We DO know what is true. Whenever I get a chance to bear my testimony, or when I study the scriptures, or something my companion teaches, I can feel the power of the Spirit testifying of it's truthfulness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. 
I really have been learning so much about the power of the Holy Ghost in my Bible reading. I am in the Book of Acts and it has been wonderful. I noticed at how once the apostles and the members of the church receives the spirit, their teaching and their acts are so much more different. Peter testifies with boldness and it states a lot in the epistle he is "filled with the spirit" when he teaches. I got so pumped up during those parts and they did so many miracles. They testified to people who were ready to kill them but they had no fear. They feared God more than man. It really got me excited and energized to go out and start "crying repentance to this generation". I learned a lot too about how important it is to pay your FULL and HONEST tithe from story of  Ananias and Sapphira in the beginning chapters of Acts. I have been getting so much out of reading the Book of Acts. I love it so much. I look forward every morning to personal study more and more. 

Our awesome investigator, Kęstutis, came to church and he has a date for the 23rd. He is being very serious about it this time and I know he is going to be baptized on that day. He told us he is working a lot now so he can buy a car so he can have no problem to go to church every sunday and he is looking for a house and then a wife to raise a family in the church. He is so so awesome. He has been meeting with missionaries for about 5 to 6 years and this was the most responsible thing we had ever heard him say. We had a huge big group hug after sacrament meeting :D Ah I love that guy so much. He always tells us he loves us. :D Smiles all around. Haha

So the "miracle call meeting" I mentioned was really cool. This girl we met with has a young daughter and she is married but the husband isn't interested in meeting like I said. We met with her once and this last meeting was truly a miracle. We weren't sure how serious she would be about finding out if the Book of Mormon is true of if the gospel is true. We were mistaken, she had read from the very beginning, including the introduction and all that before the pictures all the way to 1 nefio 15. Wow, we were blown away. She also read through the Joseph Smith pamphlent and really liked it. She said she really likes this Book and feels really good when she reads it. She really wants to find out if it is true. She says she prays every time she reads it. We had a great lesson and we set a baptismal date for her on Aug. 13. She is going out of town til the 21st but she said she would keep reading and praying. She wants to meet when she gets back. What really personally hit me was that the area she lives in was where I felt we should go a few weeks ago. I had been praying and asking Heavenly Father where to go and as I looked at the map on the wall, the area she lives in stuch right out at me adn I said let's go there. That was a really powerful testimony to me of the power fo the Holy Ghost and that God does lead us to the elect and the prepared. Things for me personally have been changing more and more in the past while with my testimony of the Gospel. I see more the reality of the power of the gospel. It's been amazing. I can't explain it over email but I can't wait to share my testimony and what I have been learning and growing into when I return home. 

Another one of our investigators has been in the hospital for the past few weeks. Whenver we would try to call him, his brother would answer and we would talk to him for a bit. This investigator has been such a great guy. He is way solid and he came to church twice and did everything we said he would do and we set a date for him to be baptized and he really wanted to do it. So he had been in the hospital for the past three weeks. At church, when he came once, I sat by him and I got to talk to him for a while. He is such a great guy and I really wanted to get to know him better. He was a little more quite but he wasn't starting to really open up more around us which was awesome and we saw so much good that was going to come out of him. So this past thursday, we called and his brother answered. He said his brother didn't survive the bleeding and he passed away. We couldn't believe it. It really made us sad because he was one of our most solid investigators and then he died. It put quite a damper on the day but we kept our faith up because we knew he was in a great place and probably was continuing the lessons we finished with him. :) It really made me see how important it is to help everyone here who will listen, because we dont' know when their time to go will be. I won't ever forget him. 

We found some more great people and have a lot of great lessons set up. It has been raining a ton and we have gotten our shares of Lithuanian showers. We got drenched :D I loved the picture of Parker. He is getting so so big. I can't believe it. I will let you know on monday what the new mission president is like. He didn't email today so our anxiouty, i can't remember how to spell that, was killed. :D 
    I love you all so much and mom, you are the greatest mission mom I could ever have. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all the love, prayers, and support you give me. I can truly feel them as I serve in this beautiful country that I love. This is a hard mission. but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Tell everyone else at home hi for me. 
            Su daug meilų visada ir per amžius iš tavo sunaus,

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