Email From James - August 29, 2011

Sveikas Tete,

I would have to say this week was one of the greatest weeks in my whole entire mission. These past two weeks have been the most changing opportunities for me. Ah, it was just so great and there aren't even words to describe it. I will try my best to explain. :D

First off, I'm so glad that you were able to find a car. It looks great and I started laughing because it is the complete standard Mormon Van that everyone has. Haha but I love it and can't wait to be picked up in that car when I get back. That truly does sound like a blessing how you ended up finding that car. I love how the spirit works in small ways. I know that that was truly Heaven sent.

I think I get that same love of thunder and rain from you. I love rain storms so much and they are amazing here. I love it whenver it begins to rain and when it rains here in Lietuva, it REALLY rains. It's so beauitful and it's so great on those days when I forget to take my umbrella. ;D I hope when day I will be able to take you here. This country is so beautiful and I love everything about it so much. My love for this country, the language, and the people grows more and more everyday. I am so beyond blessed to be serving here. I caught myself wrighting a huge epiloge, ( can I use epiloge? eh who knows) but a long thing I wrote about how much I love lithuania and the people in my journal the other night. There are so many nights when I can't even sleep because I'm so excited to hurry and have the next day come so I can go out and talk in lithuanian and help someone. :D I know I am going to cry when I have to leave my home here.

So let my explain this past week. The week before I had my spew about working hard and becoming what the Lord wants me to become. Well I thought I had done that but that happened even more so this past week. I set a bunch of goals that would really stretch myself. I realized in study of Preach My Gospel and in the scriptures, we must, there's a word in english but I can't remember it, but it's like discuss or talk with God and make sure it is in line with His will. I looked back and asked myself, " Have I ever done that before in my mission?" I realized I hadn't really done that before and made the descision to do it. I did and had more impressions come into my head of how I could take those ideas even farther to help me become a better speaker and teacher in lithuanian and a better disciple of Christ. I now have such a strong testimony that God helps us when we rely on him and recognize our weaknesses. Wow, did blessings come. I started studying only in my lithaunian scriptures and Preach My Gospel and I don't find myself looking up words in the dictionary and I catch myself writing notes with words I don't even remember studying. I am flying through my Book of Mormon reading in lithuanian, which before was taking a while to get started. I am having REAL spiritual strengthening and building personal studies and am really seeing what it means to come unto Christ. I am seeing and feeling what it truly means to have a "mighty change of heart". I feel the spirit so strongly so much more than I ever have before. Thoughts and ideas come into my head so much stronger and faster when we are teaching.

An example of this was in my english class. I teach the second english class by myself. I love my class so much and we always have a lot of fun. I felt a strong spiritual impression to speak about Joseph Smith inline with how I received my testimony of the Gospel. Spiritual thoughts didn't seem like they really had much of an effect on my class, probably because they are mostly all teenage girls. So I began talking about how I received my testimony. They really listened and I got them to interact more in the lesson. Sure, they participate a ton during the language part but in the spiritual thought, not so much. But this time they did. I found myself having a harder time speaking english than lithuanian. hahaha. So in this spiritual thought I always give in lithuanian since they understand better than english even though they prefer me to teach it in english :D, the were all involved and were watching really closely at what I said. I told about Joseph Smith and taught about the First Vision. As I stated Joseph smith's own words about his vision, I could feel the spirit so strongly, there was no denying and I know that each one of them in that lesson felt it too. I could see it in their eyes. My language has improved so much in just a week. That is truly a miracle and a witness of the spiritual power of the gift of tongues.

That lesson in english class was such a powerful witness to me that God knew who I was, who knew I was and am willing to do whatever it takes to build His kingdom. I have a new vision of what it means to be a missionary and ultimately, a desciple of Christ. I am so blessed to be serving in Lithuania. I didn't even know where it was two years ago. I thank God so much every night that I was chosen to serve his children in the small country that not many people know about even exists. It brings the thought to my head of the scripture, " many are called, but few are chosen". I see more and more every day of why I chosen to serve here.

There was a lady in the elder's english class who asked if she could take a Book of Mormon. The elders tried to ask if we could meet with her after but she said we could talk at english if she had any questions. That same day, this last saturday, we went out harvesting. We prayed before leaving of where we should go and we felt we should go there. Our second door, we found that same lady. She let us in and we had a wonderful lesson. She said she had found out where those english classes were at. She doesn't like churches at all. She doesn't like priests and can't stand all the crosses. So she got over her fear and came to our church for english. She came in and noticed there were no crosses. There were no priests. In her own words, " there was really nice boys, not boys becoming priests, but sincere nice boys trying to talk about God with people. Priests never do that with anyone". She realized that this place was good. That we had sincere good desires, especially as she saw now how we go out and talk to people. :D She said she would read the Book of Mormon and then we could meet more.

Miracles happen everday. I know God is always ready and willing to reach out and bless. " His work and his glory is to bring to pass the imortality and eternal life of man". To me, that sounds like happiness. God wants us to be happy. Why would he not want to bless us with all he has. He promised if we are faithful and love him by keeping his commandments, " behold I say unto you, ye shall have eternal life". Which is the " greatest of all the gifts of God". Mom, Dad, Thank you so much for providing this great opportunity for me to serve a mission. I can't even imagine what my life would be like without it. I love looking at my name tag every morning and saying that I'm a missionary. It's such a great joy every day to put that name tag on and literally " bear the name of Chirst". I can't imagine what life used to be like without wearing the tag. It will feel like a hundred pounds to have to take it off at the end of my mission. Ugh, I don't even want to think about that day. :D If ever there is a person that doesn't want to serve a mission, they don't realize what they are missing. These literally are the Best Two Years!

Have a great week and I can't wait to hear from you next week. I love you all so so much.

Būkite taip kaip Nefis sake savo tevui ," ir buvo taip kad aš nefis sake savo tevui, as darysiu tai, ką Dievas įsake."

Su meilė visada ir per amzių amzius,
Vyresnysis Džemsas Senfordas

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