Email From James - September 19, 2011

Well this week has been fun and very stressfull. Well as you already now, which is kinda funny because I didn't know that Pres. Boswell emailed home if someone becomes a District Leader. So yes I am the District Leader and am still in Šiauliai. In Šiauliai, it's just us three missionaries. So District Meetings can be a little interesting because we are together all of the time but I have hopes that they will be a great time to grow and learn from one another. Oi I will try to make sense in this email, I have a lot to think about and do so my mind is kinda joggled, so if some of it doesn't make sense, give me a break. ;)

So with me becoming the District Leader in Šiauliai, Elder Lindell had to leave, :( We had been together for 3 transfers straight, which is a pretty long time to serve with one companion, but technically we are in a threesome. I loved Elder Lindell a ton and learned so so much from him. He is such a great missionary and we worked really hard. He helped me change so much and he was such a great example to me. So he is in Kaunas now. We had a sad goodbye and wrote a great page in my friend book. :D So now it's still me and Elder Kezele and now Elder Manning is with us. He is a really funny elder and he is going to play as QB for Utah State when he goes home. He was in Klaipeda when I was there so we already know eachother really well. This transfer is a 7 week transfer so we will be together for a while. Elder Kezele and Elder Manning were in the same district in Šiauliai so they know eachother really well too, I fear too well :D They are great elders and I am so excited to serve with them but they are a little too goofy at times. I talked with them a little about it and am really trying to find a more show them then tell them way of how to help them, like Pres. Boswell told us new District Leaders. It has been on my mind this past week and I fear we are holding back so many great blessings the Lord could give us and also becoming the great missionaries we can be. I have been praying a lot about how I can help them and make our companionship even stronger.

Also with me becoming the District Leader, I am now the first counselor and branch accountant in the Šiauliai Branch. Oh it has been so great. ( sarcasm added :D) Let's just say I am getting a great taste of what you do dad and what accountants in the church have to do. It is really weird to sit near the front, in our little sacrament hall, instead of in the crowd. I wish we had more male members to fill this spot because that would look so much better than a missionary serving as a leader in the branch. But for now, I am. I had to watch and learn from what Elder Lindell would do but it didn't seem to hard to do but when you get your hands on the work, it is a whole new perspective. I have to do the MLS system and put in all the tithing the branch president and I get and then put in all the updates of what we had to help with during the week. Here in Šiauliai, we are always having to help members out with money so we have a lot to keep track of how much money we used during the week and I have to keep track of it. President Chomskis doesn't live in Šiauliai, he comes up on weekends for church, so I have to do the branch work during the week with the money. He writes out what will need to be done during the week with the branch money and who will need help them I have to go and do it. I also have to decide who whill speak in church and who will teach in preisthood, which is going to have to be me this sunday, yay. I don't think I have ever prayed so hard in my mission up until now. I am so blessed and excited to serve and I know that if I truly really on the Lord and serve as diligently and worthily as I can, I know that the Lord will help me and us as a companionship.

I don't want to sound selfish but please say a little special prayer for me this week. I have a lot to think about and a little extra help wouldn't be too bad :)

I loved that talk you made from last week. I really enjoyed it and I printed it out. It's funny, our sacrament meetings are dead silent and everyone has a catholic background so they know to be silent during the sacrament. I learned a lot from it though and I could feel your testimony so strong in it. I am so glad you found yoru testimony and the truch to be a member of this church. I don't know where my life would be without it.

That is really cool about Lauren getting the call to singapore. That is going to be quite a mission for her. I am way happy for her. Tell her congrats for me.

Haha I did hear about BYU loosing to U of U from Elder Manning and Elder Kezele. They got hurt pretty bad.

We have been really trying to find and meet with a lot of the less active members in Šiauliai but so far none of them have opened up to us. I really hope we can meet with some of them. We ran into the old Branch President of Šiauliai while walking to an area and we talked to him for a while. He is really nice. We meet with him before and had a great lesson with him. His wife isn't a member but is so nice to us and loves the missionries from the past. They are a great family and have two great kids. We asked if we could come by again sometime and he said anytime, that we are always welcome.
Other than those crazy new things that happened this past week, nothing much more. Just a lot to think about and take in but I will get used to it in a few weeks, hopfully. :D I am truly really happy and priviliged to be trusted with these great responsibilites. It is a great opportunity for me to grow and to learn. I now that God wants to me to learn and to grow from these new assignments and I am going to trust in him and rely fully on his help. I love this gospel and am so grateful to be involved in this great work and especially in the country of Lietuva. Thank you so much for the prayers, the love, and all the support you give me. It really means a lot and truly helps. I love you all so much.


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