Email from James - March 19, 2012

Hey dad,
I had a way funny dream last night. I had just gotten home from my mission and you and I were walking around. I was in my suit and with my name tag on because I hadn't been released yet. It was thursday and I asked when I would be released. You said on sunday night. So I said, " ok, so I will just be a missionary till then, cool you have to be my companion til then." You laughed and started planning out how that would work with your job and everything. I aksed if you had any english book of mormons. You looked confused and asked why I needed some. I said, " so we can tell some people about the gospel. I'm still a missionary and I have never contaced people in english so it will be a lot of fun. While I still got time I want to use very second as a full time missionary." I got very excited and started looking for some book of mormons. You laughed and said I didn't need to but I said I really wanted to. We went out and I started talking to people. Some people were interested and then I talked to a group of guys and they spoke russian. I could tell what they were saying so I said in russian, which I know how to say, I don't understand russian but I speak lithuanian. They said in russian, " you speak lithuanian? How?" I laughed and said I lived there and I showed them my lithuanian name tag and they were impressed. We had a great conversation until I woke up. :D It was sweet. I even preach the gospel in my dreams.
So we went by mindaugas twice this week but he wasn't home so I left him a note. We will keep trying. He lives in a very nice apt. Like really really nice. We were blown away when we got there. There were nice cars all around and people asked us who we were trying to visit. I had fun and explained how I knew Mindaugas throught my friend in America. We got a few numbers while out there. I wrote in a book of mormon my testimony and put in a lot of detail why I love the book of  mormon and the gospel so much and how he can come to know the joy of the gospel as i do. I want him to be home so i can give it to him. :D
Tell Anna happy b-day for me. I will see her in a few weeks and i will ask you for some money so we can go out to eat. :D That is so cool that a limo came to pick her up from prom. I can't wait to see those pics.
I can't believe your time as a bishop is coming to an end. I still remember clearly when I found out about that and when you became a bishop. It's going to make me sad not having as a bishop. Well you'll still be a bishop but not with the keys of it to be over the ward. It's crazy how time flys by so quickly, trust me, I know quite well. haha. It will be really neat having you as the bishop who sent me out and then welcoming me back home. That will be an experience we won't forget. Not many people can say that they were the bishop when their son left and then came back.
We had some great lessons this week. Very powerful and I will tell you all about them in person because they are so much better told in person than over email. :D My fire for the work keeps getting stronger and stronger and I am amazed at how much the Lord is helping me change and becoming the melchezidek preisthood holder he wants me to become. I love being a memeber of this church and I can't even imagine what my life would be like without it. We are truly a blessed people.
So random but serious question, we talked about it a while ago and last week I did some look into it. I really want to get a new suit before I come home because mine are nasty and the ones they sell here are a great price and are very nice. I want to look good at the homecoming and every sunday after. I Looked at some of the suits they have here and there is a great store where a lot of missionaries buy their suits. They have some great ones that are about 250 dollars. It is a great suit and it is worth it to buy. Let me know what you think because there isn't too much time left to get one. :D
( Here's a clip of what I sent to president Boswell)
I love the analogy of running to the end because that is what I am doing as strong as I can. Another great running analogy is that at the last 50 meters of a race in cross country, our coaches taught us that that is when you run faster and put in all the energy you have left, so in a way, I feel like that is what I have been doing. These past few transfers, I feel I have changed a lot and the Lord is giving me great strength to become the missionary He wants me to be which will then bless me to be the melchezidek preisthood holder I need to be after the mission and beyond. I studied a lot from the Bible about what Christ said that he is fullfilling his father's will. Jospeh Smith taught a lot about that. That Christ was becoming as his father by doing what he saw his father did. He is fulfilling what his father commanded him to do so that he would become as him. That is what we are doing on this earth. The Lord set the example and gave us commandments on how we can become as he is. It all relies on us and on how we take the time we have to become as he is. One of my favorite lines of chirst is when he is among the preist and he said, " the son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the father do." We must do likewise to be able to enjoy his blessings and receive those promised blessings.
Family I love you so much. Sorry if this email is kinda boring but know that I love you with all my heart. I love my family here just as much :D. I love this work and gospel with my whole soul. I love how people can change if they give the Lord a chance to touch their hearts, like he has with mine. I have changed in such a short amount of time in god's eyes and I can't wait to see what I can do with his help in the last weeks of my mission and beyond. I never saw the great blessings we have in this gospel. I can't wait to be in the temple of god and to feel that great spirit that I miss and love. I have seen why temples are so important and such a great gift we have from our God.
I had a really touching experience at church. Sometimes we have to teach preisthood to the two priests we have. I am really good friends with them but in class, they act pretty bad. They say how boring it is and just play with their phones. It made me really sad that they couldn't see how much power they really have and how much good they cold do. One of the deacons is younger than the priest here and I could see he was following what the older one did because he was his example. After the lesson, I walked with the older teacher and talked with him one on one. We had a great conversation and i told him how much I love him and I know what it's like to be in his shoes, i was there. I told him how much of an affect for good he has on the younger deacon and how much good he can do. He is such a great guy and i know he has it in him to change. I won't go into details but I know he is going to be a lot better in lesons and really help us out more in lessons. I actually got him to agree to teach the next lesson for this sunday. :D After I laughed and thought about you and the poor leaders that had to deal with me and my attitude. :D I'm just following in your footsteps. A lot of who I am becoming is what I saw and learned from you.
        I love you so much and can't wait to hear from you next week.
                               - Elder James Sanford

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