Email from James - December 5, 2011

Surprisingly, I really wish it would snow here. For the past few weeks, all it has been is depressing cold rain rain rain. It's not so cheerful especially when it's December. Which is way crazy how it is already December. Where has the time gone? I love it because we have been listening to Christmas music, which I absolutely love. I had president chomskis by me the Josh Groban Noel cd down in Vilnius and then I payed him back. Oh man, that cd is so so good. I love my Josh Groban. I defenitely call next trip to a Josh Groban concert when I'm back , with mom. And then Anna and I can go to Tim Mcgraw or Toby Keith. :D hhahah So funny story, last Wednesday we had our zone conference with Pres. Lawrence. It was intense and we talked about the tribes of Israel. I will tell about it later. So for some reason, the zone leaders said we had to go down to Vilnius to stay with elders there and then travel up to Kaunas. So on tuesday night, we went down to Vilnius. Elder Manning and Elder Nelson stayed with other elder and I went to stay with Elder Hengst, Elder Hilton, both of whom were in the MTC with me, and Elder Hyer, whom I was with in Klaipeda. So when I was with Elder Hyer back in Klaipeda, he said he was going to make me like country after the mission. I used to always make fun of country and how terrible music it was. So when we got on the bus and started going back to their apt., I looked at Elder Hyer and said, " well, my friend, the Lord has heard your cries and has softened my heart." He looked at me and said, " what do you mean?" I said, " Boiy, I am a country music man." Hahaha he made his funny little squel happy sound and flipped out. He couldn't believe his ears hahha. It made me laugh so hard. Elder Hilton was way surprised because I used to always bash on country in the MTC. Oh it was funny, you would have had to be there. 

So conference, I can't type it but the way I act out how conference was, is I put my hand by my head and make a blowing up noise and show my brain exploading. That's how I described conference. Elder Lawrence's wife knows her scriptures. Man, she went on forever about the Lost Tribes of Israel and all of this deep doctrine. It was intense and I wasn't too happy because we had to get up at 4 to get to Kaunas so I was way tired when I wanted to be fully awake. I learned to much though. She talked about how special and how important our mission is, especially in the Baltics. Her and Elder Lawrence said how only some of the best missionaries get called her. They told us that once this mission and russia and the higher scandinavian countries were opened, the church noticed a great work opening up. People have always wondered where the lost tribes are. Well, Sister Lawrence told us that when people here started getting their patriarhcal ( ya totally killed the spelling) blessing, the members were from the lost tribes. I couldn't believe it. It made me love this mission even more and made me think how great the work is here. I took a lot of notes and now I really want to study the Old Testament when I am home. It was a really good conference.

So I learned even more so that I hope I never have to be a bishop or a stake president. Ugh, President Chomskis and I, because I am the first counselor, had to talk about Vladas, a less active kid who is doing really good now but his girlfriend, is one of our investigators, and they aren't really living according to the Law of Chastity. Oh it was depressing. I don't know how you do it. So much drama with the whole family because some leader said this... and another said that... oh it was soo fun. I really admire that you are able to be a bishop. I don't think I will ever be one but I look up to you so much for being able to have so much love for the members and always being there to help everyone and me and still have a smile on your face. Pres. Lawrence talked a lot about repentance and said how when you bishop, the lord gives you the power of memory loss. He said he would see people sitting in the audience, but he couldn't even remember what they had done. He only rememberd how loved and how good of a person they are. He only saw the change that the person was making for the better and their worth in God's eyes.

I can print off emails. I printed off all of the talks that you gave and other random things I have printed off. There is a really nice library by our apt., literally right next to it, and it's way nice on the inside. They have a really  nice printer and the comps, even though they aren't apple, are way good. I can't wait to see pics of the house and off the durango. :D I haven't seen those in so so long. I barely even remember it. It has fadded from my eyes. You could send some through the email of the car and of the house but still send the pics in a letter because when their are the actual pic, it's much better quality. 

Transfers will be next week. I'm not sure what will happen when Elder Manning goes home. We don't really talk about it :D. We are only getting a new sister missionary so no new missionaries are coming in. Elder Nelson is my other comp, so I am in a threesome with Elder Manning. We have thought and it will be interesting to see what happens because Elder Leishman is going home too. I pray and pray that I won't leave ┼áiauliai. I love the members here so much and Skaiste, the member with the little baby boy, and Antti, her husband, invited us over for chirstmas so that would be a lot of fun. We went over to their house last night with pres. chomskis for his "birthday dinner" and had a lot of fun. I just entertained little Matti the whole time. Hahah Skaiste said I have to come back after the mission to play with Matti because he will miss me a ton. I love that little boy. Haha. I will have to get a pick with him. With Antti,  he speaks russian and really good british english. When he speaks english, you would think he is from England but he's not. With him at church, I have to translate for him. Your brain hurts trying to translate from an old language into english. It gets your head going though. 

Ugh I am so tired all of the time. I have such a hard time waking up in the morning. It kills me because I can't go running or do something in the morning to wake me up. When Elder Manning is taking a shower, I just callapse on the floor or the couch and pass out. It's way bad because then I get in the shower and then in studies I am so tired and can't concentrate. I have tried working out or something but pushups is no fun when it's that early. I found one work out that is good which kinda keeps me awake. I just lay on the hard wood floor, which is the only floor in our apt, carpet doesn't exist here, and I just roll around to keep me awake. Ha. Any suggestions? You would think by now I would be used to getting up but I learned it was from all of my running in the morning I could get up that early. I can't wait to have the freedom of going running again. It will be so nice. :D 

So next week we will be finding out when we can do calls for christmas. Weird. Something to get you excited, I have thought a lot about what I want to do as a carrear and I think I have found it. We were all talking together about jobs and my whole mission I never really thought of one and now, with such little time left, I was getting a little worried. But as we were talking, Elder Manning said he could see me working as this carrear and I had such a good feeling about it for some reason. At first I kinda laughed at the idea of me being one but as I thought about it more and more, it felt like the right carrear for me. So be excited :D Also, not getting trunky or anything but I just want to be sure. When do registration for colleges start. If it is possible I would love to start school in the summer. I talked with some of the other elders and they said it's easier to get in some colleges when you register for the summer. I have been thinking about BYU or UVU but let me know becasue I don't want to put those off until the last minute. Let me know about all of the colleges. Some Elders were saying I should start asking you about that stuff now. Weird huh? hahaha. I can't wait to start college.

I hope everything is going well with you and always know that I love you so much,
           Love,
             James

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