Email from James - January 9, 2012

Hey dad,
Hopefully this letter will get to you. I don't know why the last letter didn't get sent. It was a long email and so I resent it and I hope it gets to you.
That's way funny that you got some snow on saturday because it started to snow here on saturday too. A lot actually. It just kept coming down and down and wouldn't stop. I had great fears that the winter was beginning and that the great battle was about to begin. It kinda felt like in the second Lord of the Rings movie where they are beginning the battle at the castle thing and the music begins and you can tell on Aragorn's face that it will be a hard fight but he rounds up his shoulders and fights. Ha ya that's how I would describe my feelings for that day. But, it warmed up a bit and now most of the snow is melted again. It is still way cold and bleak looking outside with the gray blanket of clouds but the snow is gone.
That's really cool you got to eat at President Homer's house with President Price. It's always way cool to be in the same room as a general authority and have the oportunity to be instructed by them. They are true servants of God. You can feel it when you are around them and I am blown away by how well they know their scriptures. When President Clayton came, an elder asked a question and without even a pause, he said, " well let's open up our scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants yadadad." It was crazy how well they know their scriptures. It makes me a little worried because I don't know my scriptures that well and I still haven't read through the new testament or the doctrine of convenants, but I am trying. I am beyond thankful someone used up their time to make the Bible Dictionary and the Topical Guide. :D I can zip through that way quick and find scriptures. I will have a lot of time to study the scriptures for the rest of my life which is very exciting for me because their is so much to learn from them. It's a life long pursuit that I am sure I won't ever be able to complete but I hope I can get close.
I totally am 110% in support of your new goal to be home with the family. That is a very honorable and worthy goal that not many families here have the opportunity of having. It's not that they have busy jobs or their lives are way busy, it's that most of the families are broken and their isn't a good dad or husband to come home after work to give the family some love and protection. I am so thankful that I have you as a great dad. You have been used as a great example for service, forgetting yourself, loving the Lord, being an example to me through my life and on my mission, being a great father and husband, and so many other great things. I can't wait til we are home and we can have conversations about gospel stuff and life more. I regret not taking those chances when I was home. Talking about gospel stuff or life wasn't that important to me, but now I am so thankful it is. It has taken a whole new meaning on my life and has a lot greater importance. I am so beyond grateful for my mission. Words can't describe how happy I am to be on a mission and to have this foundation that will bless my life forever. Thank you so much for being the great example that I needed to see to shape me into who I am becoming today. I shared some of my goals in the last email. They have been going pretty well. I have been working out every day except for sundays. It was a little hard to start and some days when I'm really tired, it's very hard to work-out but I actually want to keep this goal. I have seen great affects from it. I feel a lot better through the whole day and I am getting stronger. The Book of Mormon and D&C reading got a little slacked but I am renewing my desire to keep it going and setting goals to keep that strong.
Here's a copy from my email about one of our great investigators saule.
Saulė- I think personally this week for the question of what did I do to acheive the missionary and branch baptismal goal was our work with Saule. We have been working with her so hard and she has made so much progress in just one weeks time. She was very open with us when she knew that we saw her smoking after she told us she hadn't smoked in about 3 months. The spirit was a lot more stronger in our lessons with her and we could see and feel that she was repenting. I am very excited to ask her those questions you gave us. As we told you in our lesson this past week, the spirit was way strong and she has opened up way more to us, which I didn't think was possible. Her and Vladas have set the goal to quite smoking together. It has been wonderful to see. Vladas bore his testimony in church which was huge! We met with them sunday night and he said he was starting to think about not bearing his testimony but that he felt like he should. We are keeping a constant contact with Saule and Vladas to check up on their smoking and keeping that constant contact so we can know how they are doing spiritually. We gave their daughter, Gabriella, some of the bible and book of mormon cartoon stories and she loves them. They all read and study those together. Vladas and Saule are praying together. I couldn't be any happier from how I have seen them changed. Saule's baptismal date is for the 4 of February. It has been wonderful for me to be her so long to get that bond with her and saule so there is that trust. I feel I can be completely open with them and they said they feel they can tell us what they are feeling or what is hard for them. They told us that we were both from God just by how much we have helped them. When Saule first came to Šiauliai, way back in the summer time, she wasn't even interested in the gospel, and now, she wants to be baptized. People's hearts can change.
Romas has been out of town in Switzerland with his family so we won't be able to meet with him til next week.
That made me laugh about how people are arguing about who's team I will be one. What are the team's so far? Make sure they are serious about having me run because I really want to when I get back. I have been working out so I will be ready to get back into training fo the race. You totally got to run it. It's way fun and it's one of those experiences you got to try. Not many people say they ran a marathon like ragnar. :D
So I got an email from the lady from Bingham and she said that she can't send me those forms through email. I will copy what she said to me.

 James,We do not have the capability to email transcripts.  I need you to give me the name and addresses of the Universities for which you are applying, we will mail them directly to the admissions offices, that is part of the official transcript process for admissions.  Also, give me your date of birth and the year you graduated. If you would like us to mail an unofficial copy of your transcripts home we can do that just give me the address. Thanks,Robyn SmithRegistrar OfficeBingham High
      So you will have to get me the address of the schools that we are applying for. I think you can do both email and physical address of the colleges. I will need the addresses for BYU, Utah Valley University (UVU), SLCC and I was also thinking about Uof U too. :D Thanks for helping me out so much. It really means a lot. I am way excited to go into college and begin my whole new adventure. I am going to work way hard.
I didn't tell you on the phone about one of the exciting things I wanted to talk about. So we are going to go to Nauvoo? Wow I was way thrilled to hear about that. That is going to be so much fun and I can't wait. Some of my companions have been there and they say it is amazing. I want to go to the Nauvoo temple way badly. Oh I can't wait for that trip. Two thumbs up for that idea to go to Nauvoo and I am sure I will live if the hotel has a pool or not. :D That made me laugh hearing Anna and Parker ask if there will be a pool. Ha I remember flipping out if there wasn't a pool at the hotel. haha.
Nothing much really to report about this last week. It was a little slow but still lots of fun. I love being here and I can't believe how fast times just goes and goes. It gives me the extra drive to keep working harder and harder and to keep improving my skills constantly because I still have so much I can improve on. I love you so much and I can't wait to hear back from you. 
             Love always,

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