Bonjerno ( or however you spell the italian way to say hello )
So hey family guess what? I'm married. Her name is Ema and she is a very pretty girl. Haha. You're probably so confused and are just thinking oh no, our son is married on a mission. haha. Let me explain. It's making me laugh just thinking about it. So on sundays, sometimes the missionaries come and help in primary to help the kids stay settled down because they can get a little crazy but they look up to the missionaries. It's so much fun and we sing songs in lithuanian and have fun lessons. So this girl, Ema, was sitting by me and her and her friend where asking about where I was from and what I knew how to say in french and other languages and just being silly little girls. So as we are singing and doing activites, Ema hooks her arm around mine and says that I am her new husband and that I wasn't allowed to leave until she said so. So during the whole class she would run up and do an activity and then come and put her arm around mine and brag to everyone I was her new husband. The teachers, who are our way good friends because we teach them, laughed and looked really confused. I said I didn't plan the wedding. hahaha. Ema is hillarious. So after church, I was standing with some of the youth in a circle and just chatting and she runs up and stands in the middle of everyone and announces she loves me and that I am her husband. Hahaha everyone couldn't stop laughing. So heres the funny part, she's 7. Hahaha. Apparently she has told that to another missionary who is here so everyone asked what about the other elder. She said she said I'm her husband. I jokingly asked what about Elder Rich, my comp, and she looked at him and said, " he's funny". ha. She is so cute and just a little flirt. I will have to get a pic with her so you can see her.
I really liked what you said about missionary work. It is so true and that is why I hope I get put into more missionary service "callings" after the mission and for the rest of my life. Like you said, whatever calling, it is a form of missionary work. That's what is so great about this church. I am so grateful for my mission because it has given me a good base for me to build on and to stay strong after when I'm not a full-time missionary. It will be so great to put what I have learned into my life from what I have grown and learn in my mission here. It truly is my "life MTC". Ha Ha I'm so glad I have a free extra day in the field because of the leap year.
There isn't really much to tell about this past week. The weather kept acting like it was turning to spring early because it rained/snowed so everything started melting and I was so happy. But then yesterday and all last night it snowed like crazy. This winter has been way nice compared to last years. Ugh, I hope I never have to experience a winter like that again. Elder Hilton and I have good laughs about that winter. I don't know if I told you but he is in my district. He was one of the elder with me in the MTC and I served with him in Klaipeda. We went on exchanges this past week and it was a lot of fun. He is a great elder and we have changed so much over these two years. Here's a clip from the email that I sent to president boswell of a neat lesson we had while on exchanges:
Elder Hilton and I also had another great lesson that day with a less active family. They haven't come to church for some time but one of the daughters is very acctive in coming to family home evening. We had a lesson about testimonies and how we get them and the importance of strengthening them every day. It was a wonderful lesson and I know that we could all feel the spirit. Laima, the daughter who actively comes to family home evening, asked if we could give her a blessing because she was sick. I was blessed to be the one to give her the blessing. The spirit was so strong in the room as the words came to my mind what to say and bless her with. At the end of the blessing, her mom was in tears and said that they needed to come back to church. This sunday they came to church and stayed for all three hours. What a wonderful result and blessing.
Here's another story but a funny story that happened this past week. I sat by a guy on the bus and I just started talking to him about just normal things. At first he didn't really want to talk but then he said how hard it is to live here because he doesn't have a job and then he said, " I think it is the same all over the world, even in America." I joked about how nice it was that someone thinks it's hard to live in america too and that it's not just the golden place where life is easy. Haha. Then he laughed and lightened up. We had a great conversation and we talked about music and he said he loves Elvis Presley. :D I told him we have to be friends now. haha. He said he couldn't remember one song so he sang the words that he could remember in a funny euorpean accent and it was "don't be cruel" so I started singing where he left off and he laughed and said I sound just like him. :D So we both got a taste of some elvis. Mine was just european version. ha. I'm proabably the only elder who can say I sang elvis presley with another lithuanian on the bus.
You're telling me time is going fast. It's so crazy an my mind can't grasp where the time went and how quickly it went by. This week is the last week of the transfer and the next week will be the beginning of my last tranfer. It's gross. But time has to come for all of us to move on and begin our next "mission". I am truly excited to see all of you but I also don't want to leave the people I love here. It's so heart wrenching when you come to have another "family" on the other side of the world where you came to on your mission. And like how I had to leave my family in america, which was hard to do, now I will have to go through that all over again. Except this time there isn't a two year dead line.
I love you all so much and I will be excited to hear from you again. I love you all so much and tell mom to hold in there. I am praying for her everynight.
Elder James Sanford