Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year!

Me in the snow
We had such a great week celebrating Christmas and Christ's birth! It was pretty full with lots to do! On On
On Wednesday we were able to attend family home evening with our Chinese investigator. She is super social and loves to come to everything. Then on Christmas Eve we were able to have all the missionaries sing Christmas hymns in Lithuanian in Old Towne. We got to pass out some mormon cards as we did it, so it was really cool.
​Here is some of us after Christmas caroling :)
We were inside that night and Christmas night, but we had such a great Christmas. We were able to deliver cookies to our neighbors and check out a cool Russian church Mass. Then it was so great to skype and see all of the family. It was pretty warm for most of the week, and now it is snowing which is really fun.
Snowy roads
We have been visiting some of our members that we are now assigned to, so that has been great. We were getting to know one family, and we learned that the dad served in the Provo Utah mission. One of his areas was the Mount Timpanogos Temple area, right by my house! That is so cool that he served in my home town, and now I am in his. We have been able to meet with a lot of people this week. The Lord is truly blessing the people here in Lithuania.
Last night we only had a little time left before we needed to go inside, but we knocked on a door and the couple invited us to come back over later in the week. Wow, that has never happened before! It was a great miracle. Even if they don't accept the gospel, they are miracles to us. We were also able to teach our Chinese investigator the Restoration, and it is all pretty new to her. But I know the Lord will bless her. I know that He will bless all of us. I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer. God is a God of miracles. Have a happy new year! Love you all.
Love Sese Dzerman

p.s.  Cool traditions consist of eating 12 dishes of food on Christmas eve. There can't be any meat, only fish. They love herring for Christmas. Then they don't wash the dishes till after Christmas day, which is a good way to do it. 

Guess what, a dude totally threw a snow ball at me last night. He was probably drunk, but it was cool. He just hit me in the back haha.
​Cepeliniai, our Christmas eve dinner. Potatoes with meat filling
​Here is our Christmas tree with the presents

Sleeping under the Christmas tree on Christmas eve
Christmas presents

Monday, December 21, 2015

Su Sventom Kaledom!

Here is our district before Sister Argyle left. Sister Brown is now with us
Merry Christmas!
This has to be the best time of the year! I love celebrating the birth of Christ and His life for us. It is such a great time to remember Him and Heavenly Father's gift to each of us.
We had a week full of lots of miracles. Our sort of investigator that I mentioned last time has committed to be baptized in January! He received an answer from the spirit that this is Jesus Christ's restored gospel. We had nothing to do with his conversion, he simply read the Book of Mormon and the spirit did the rest. He knows that this will help him so much and wanted to be baptized earlier but needs to quit smoking first. It truly has been a miracle. We are meeting with him tonight with the elders because he lives in their area. So it sounds like we will pass him over to them, but are grateful for the opportunity that we had to meet with him. We pray that he can quite smoking soon.
We also had a girl from China come to church yesterday. She is a student here and was interested in learning more. She even came to the branch Christmas party. She doesn't believe that God is an actual person because she has no religious background. But we hope to keep working with her because she is willing to come to everything. We know that if she also reads the Book of Mormon and feels the spirit that she will know of its truthfulness. These experiences just show me how powerful and essential the spirit is in our lives. I know that God is a God of miracles. 
The Branch Christmas party was very cool because it was done by the Lithuanians and not the missionaries :) Members put on cute plays about the importance of giving to others and remembering Christ. We were able to sing and also listen to the unexpected choir of older ladies sing too. Then we ate some delicious Lithuanian food, like chicken bone soup and potatoes and cheese bread and fruit.
This is at our Branch Christmas party. An investigator brought a choir for us, so she played the acordian while they sang. It was quite a treat.
We also had our Christmas Devotional with all the missionaries. We had a white elephant exchange, saw a picture slideshow of us all, and then learned about Christ. It was a great experience.
Here is our Christmas Conference picture

This picture is much better :) Our Christmas Devotional Conference
All of the sisters at the conference, Merry Christmas. The new sister is on the end, the last one by me. Her name is sister Hodson
They are doing some sort of pose - Sister Madison style :)

Santa Claus came too with the Assistants

 Afterwards, I traveled to Kaunas to be with Sister Hubert on exchange. It was so cool! We were able to meet with a recent convert, and she is so amazing! One of the coolest people ever. I loved hearing her conversion story and strong testimony of the gospel. She says she has changed so much because of the gospel. It was very inspiring. 
This week has just been super awesome. It's also been pretty humid. It is cool to walk outside without seeing any rain or snow, but getting soaked nonetheless. It's like walking through a mister all day long. Pretty cool.
I just want to testify of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves each of us. Because He does, He died for us and then rose from the dead. He overcame all of our trials and sins. He is the gift to each of us. I encourage us all to accept the gift and then give it to someone else. I know that He is our redeemer and the reason for Christmas. Su Sventom Kaledom! Love you all.
Love Sese Dzerman

Sister Madison wrote -  "Thank you for the christmas package! you'd be so proud of me- i was very obedient and didn't open any of the wrapped gifts, but i did already eat most of the candy. it just doesn't get better than christmas-tree shaped Reese's. And poor sister jerman is going without sugar for the time-being, so i'm also eating her candy as well hahaha. You might catch me on The Biggest Loser next season."

All the Lithuanian missionaries after a conference.

Here are some cool things, I don't know what they are

Here is the TV tower that we visited and went up. We ate dinner at the top

It is pretty tall :)

This is the view from our table

Here is the city

This is what we attempted to eat, but it was pretty gross. I think I prefer peanut butter and syrup on my waffle

Another picture of the city from the tv tower
Here is where the Christmas market and tree were
This is the market
It was right by the huge white cathedral
There was also this cool life size nativity
This is the cool decorated streets in old towne.
We made tongans! Top ramen noodles cooked in an egg with veggies and salami inside. And then two pieces of bread... pretty full of carbs
We ate chicken hearts! They taste just like chicken but have a weird texture
This is Rachel Merril's cousin who taught English in Vilnius. This is the Sunday before they left to go home.
We got stat dogs! It is french bread with a hole inside for the hot dog. Pretty good.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Days!

Merry Christmas from Lithuania!
We had a really cool week! We got transfer calls, but Sister Madison and I will stay where we are. I am super grateful for that! We actually have a new area, it is a lot smaller now because another area was added in Vilnius for a new companionship. But our apartment is now in our area, so that will be so nice! We got a new Elder from the Mtc here in Vilnius, so I am not the newby anymore. That is pretty weird but great. Elder Lyon and Waters joined us too, so now we have four from our MTC group in Vilnius. That is pretty fun! 
We were able to go to the TV tower, and it is so cool. It has some really cool history behind it. We went up the elevator and ate lunch at the top, which overlooks all of Vilnius. It is the prettiest view ever. The tables spin as you eat so we could see it all. We ate waffle sandwhiches, which I don't reccomend, but it was super fun. We also got the classic European cheese platter, so that was pretty awesome!
That night we saw the huge Christmas tree in Center. It is so cool, there was also a Chrsitmas market there. We looked around, it was super awesome. Lots of cool European stuff. 
We had a lesson at a member's house with our sort of investigator. To my dismay, she served us white bread with huge chunks of butter and pieces of salmon covering the whole thing! I thought I was going to die once again, but it wasn't that bad. It was exciting for sure! We were also able to eat chicken hearts, so that was really fun. They just taste like chicken but have a weird texture.
One day while we were contacting, I stopped a woman to tell her about the new Chirstmas video from the church, which is amazing, and after learning who I was, she gave me a big hug! She was a complete stranger! That was my first hug while contacting, it was great. It has been a lot of fun!
I know that Christ is the reason that we are all here. Because He was born and lived and died, we can all live again. His atonement gives each of us hope and life. May we all remember Him always. I love you so much. Love Sese Dzerman
Christmas tree and market.  We didn't know the bunny was there - Ha ha!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kebobs and Subway

This is in Old Town down the main street. Pretty star lights all the way down

This is the mall Acropolis with their cool lights and huge tree out front 

This last week was super awesome. We were able to teach english class again to a couple students who aren't members. We talked about the plan of salvation, so it was really cool. I really enjoy teaching that lesson in english :) We also had our Russian elders teach us some more Russian, so that is always pretty exciting. 
I was able to spend a couple days with Sister Hubert who is serving in Kaunas right now because our companions did exchanges with the other sisters. We contacted people on the streets and buses like most other days. We also got to knock a few domes, which is always super fun. You never know who could open the door. 
Wednesday night we were able to have a lesson with Rimantas. He isn't super interested yet in the gospel, but we taught part of the plan of salvation and hope that he will become more interested. The members here are great with missionary work.
On Saturday we got to attend another baptism! A cute 8 year old girl was baptized by her dad. It is such a cute family and so fun to see them there with their daughter. It was an amazing experience. I felt the spirit so strong and am so grateful that I could grow up in the gospel with my family.
That night we got to eat kebabs which I think are actually turkish burritos, but they are all over Europe. That is definitely a milestone because they can be pretty bad. But we got yummy ones. It is basically just beef and coleslaw in a tortilla.
We got kebabs! They are burritos filled with beef and coleslaw. They are usually pretty sketchy, but these ones were super good.
We also got subway this week which tasted so good.
Sister Hubert and I eating lunch at Subway :)

We had zone training through a skype call between all four cities this week. That was really fun to see everyone in their own little places across Lithuania.
This is our skype conference with the other missionaries in Lithuania. I am in the bottom screen :)
  All of us preaching the gospel to the Lithuanian people. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve. I know that we can all serve and make a difference where we are right now. We receive so many blessings from God each day and can always recognize His hand in our lives. I know that He is aware of each of us. If we have the faith and act according to His will, miracles can and will happen. The Savoir is resurrected and lives today. This is His one and only true gospel on the earth. I know that for sure. I love you all.
Love Sese Dzerman

Sister Hubert and Seaman stayed with us so we did face masks :) 
Sister Seamon, Madison, and me before Sister Seamon heads home

This is Mindaugas, us, and Eric on the right. They are super awesome
These are bandelas, probably the best kinds. They are just pastries, but they are so good. The left one has varsk (like cream) and bananas, the right is a sweet crossiant with caramel inside