Monday, January 25, 2016

Let it Snow!

Here are all of the young missionaries before transfers happened and a few left us. Plus a member to the right of me.
Hello everyone!
We had an awesome week in Vilnius East! It is so fun to be back in my old area, I feel like I am coming home. It's kind of like I am being trained again, but I feel a lot more normal now :) It has been great to work in the same area, and Sister Bestenlehner is awesome. It will be a great transfer! We had a really good week.
We were able to meet with a less active who hasn't been to church in so long. We stopped by as a surprise, and she didn't want to talk but felt bad to send us back in the snow. So, we got in and had a lesson! She is super sweet, and we already love her. We hope that now we can meet some more with her and help her feel welcomed back into the church. It was truly a miracle. 
We also had a great english class this week! We taught three nonmembers english and also about the apostasy. We had a pretty interesting conversation as one of the students is from that little country by Greece where everyone is muslim. It was super cool. 
We have gotten a lot of snow this week, or at least it has been snowing quite a bit. I hear it will warm up to the 30's this week, so that is very exciting. We also got to watch the missionary world wide conference about repentance and baptism. It focused a lot on the spirit, and I realized how critical the spirit truly is in missionary work. The spirit is everything! We all need it everyday to do all that we need to. 
We got a new member in our district, a Russian speaking missionary who will be trained here! He played a funny trick on us his first day. He came up asking about our Book of Mormon, and we were like oh man, let us tell you about it! Then his other companion showed up, and we realized what was happening. Haha, it was pretty funny. 
I just want to testify of the Lord's atonement. It is truly an amazing thing how we can all change and become better. All the glory belongs to God. I really felt the gift of tongues and understanding help me in church this past week and in our lesson with the less active. Being away from the trainer has kind of kicked me into gear. I know God is helping me, and I see His hand everyday. I know we can use the atonement everyday in our lives not only to be cleansed from sin, but to receive help and guidance and strength. 
May we all have a wonderful week! Love you all.
Love Sese Dzerman

p.s. We are getting a lot of snow too. It was really pretty this morning with a lot of fog and snow coming down-all white. Vilnius is definelty the best place to serve; I love it.

So cool you went to Elder McCombie's homecoming. I sent home my Christmas package in McCall Gibb's package to him haha. 
Our old district

Then the last picture is me and Sister Bestenlenher in my old apartment, without working lights. So we bought some today :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy January! (#2)

​Today eating lunch with Sister Nuttall at an Italian restaurant
It was quite the great week! Lots of good things are happening!
We got transfer calls this morning actually, which is very new! I will be staying in Vilnius, but switching back to my old area in Vilnius East. I will be living in my old apartment again, where I showed up my first night here in Lithuania. I will be with Sister Bestenlehner! So I am leaving the trainer now. Us four sisters here in Vilnius just switched companions, so it will be pretty fun. 
This week was very exciting. I had exchanges with Sister Hubert. After I picked her up in Kaunas, we were going to drive back to Vilnius, but then I realized that I lost our phone! It was pretty crazy, but with help from the other sisters, they located the taxi and got it back. Then we had to stay the night in Kaunas because it was pretty late. But all was well! Heavenly Father was watching over us. It was a great experience.
Outside the cathedral with Sister Hubert
Inside the big white cathedral
​Inside the cathedral

​Pretty pictures of the sunrise as we were traveling from Kaunas back to Vilnius on the bus
Last night was one of the best nights ever. A member got his mission call! He is 25 years old and an awesome guy! President Harding drove his call down yesterday, and then he opened it last night. It was the coolest thing ever. His call came in 10 days and he leaves in 6 weeks to Scotland! The spirit was so strong when he read his call. We were all silent for quite a long time. He was converted three years ago and was recently reactivated. He is an amazing example, and we are all so excited. We will get to be here when he leaves, so that is exciting. 
We were able to meet with our investigator and try to help him overcome his smoking addiction. He has three weeks to do so in order to make his date. It will be pretty hard, but we have faith that Heavenly Father will help him. Because I am switching areas, I will hand them over to the other sisters. But I am excited to be concentrated on finding new investigators. Finding the people that are prepared to hear God's restored gospel. I know that He lives and loves each of us. He is the true source of joy and peace in this life. Through Christ's atonement, we can be strengthened each day to face our trials. We can happy now. I love you all so much!
Love Sese Dzerman
​This is my before picture of getting ready to go outside. 

All bundled up for going outside.  Gotta love the selfies
We made the cranberry salad, thanks mom!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy January!

We had a very awesome week in Vilnius! We got to eat mexican food at a restaurant, so that was super fun. Then the Nuttall's fed us salmon to celebrate the other sisters' year mark in Lithuania.  On Tuesday, we were able to teach English, which is always great. We played memory to help them learn vocabulary about God being our Heavenly Father. Sister Madison had to renew her visa, so that was also good. 
I got to go to Kaunas for exchanges with Sister Neeley.
On my exchange with Sister Neeley in Kaunas.
She is an awesome missionary, so I was able to learn a lot. We talked to people outside and practiced singing with the primary for their primary program. It was just with a cute 11 year old boy that did not want to sing :)
We tried to do some in action pictures of us walking.
Here we turned around too early, but it turned out cute :)
Then on Saturday we had a lesson with one of our investigators who is super awesome. The spirit was super strong, and it is amazing how much he loves the Book of Mormon and teachings from the prophets. He is struggling to quit smoking, but we are trying to help him. It has been super hard for him. But he received a priesthood blessing on Sunday and stayed for two hours of church for the first time. We are pretty excited! Mandy was also able to come to church but will be going on a trip soon, so we hope to meet with her again after she gets back at the end of the month.
Today we are having a waffle gathering at the church with the other missionaries. I am super excited for what this next week will bring! It has warmed up the last couple of days to 20 degrees, which has been so nice. It feels pretty warm, and I love it. I think it will drop down again this week, but all is well :) 
The trees are just so pretty. They all are so beautiful with frozen snow.
The pretty trees outside the church. Everywhere is super gorgeous like this.
Sister Madison's hair is frozen! We think it is from the moisture from our breaths that gets caught in our hair and then freezes :)
I love the Lord and am grateful for this opportunity to serve. This year is all I have to fully give Him everything, and I am very excited for what it will bring. I know that as we allow the atonement to work in our lives, our hearts can be changed. Mine was especially changed this past week with wanting to do the Lord's will completely and being where He wants me to be. It is amazing how the atonement can change our hearts- it really does work! It is one of the greatest gifts we have. I love you all so much. Have an awesome week! Love Sese Dzerman!

More pictures of food, but it is lithuanian! Stuffed zucchini, pretty good.
Mango, persimmons in milk is super good! 
These are the LIthuanian missionaries here in Vilnius, actually Elders Karlinzy and Nelson are missing. So only some of us.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year! (#2)

What a great week! We had probably the best week ever! We had lots of good lessons with people and celebrated the new year, sort of!
We are drinking Inka, the substitute for coffee. We gave some to our investigator and thought we should try some too. It is nasty. This was also on New Years Eve
Subway for New Years Eve! Super yum
To start off we made some delicious chinese food with our investigator, she is really cool! On New Years Eve we had to be inside for most of the day, but that was okay. We had tons of fun! We heard lots and lots of fireworks, so that was really fun. New Year Day we had a lesson and choir practice.  We still got up at 6:30, studied, then did weekly planning. After we delivered banana bread to two less actives who weren't home. Then we had dinner and went to the church to have a lesson with Giedre. She is the elder's investigator but we have been fellowshipping her. She is so great. It was the day before her baptism. She finally got baptized :) Then we had choir practice that night :) It was pretty awesome. 

Saturday, there was a baptism! We have been helping to fellowship this investigator, and she finally got baptized! She is so cool; it was the best day ever and a great way to start off the new year. We also had a lesson with our new investigator from the Elders, and he committed to baptism in February. We are hoping that him and our other investigator that we gave to the Elders can be baptized the same day. They both have to overcome smoking and drinking coffee, but I know that they can with the Lord's help. I love having lessons with him. He is so prepared and has such a strong testimony. 
This week has been pretty cold. It kind of makes me smile that we are all here living in such unbelievable weather, so it is kind of fun. Just can't believe that it is this cold. But because it is so crazy, I am loving it!
We were also able to visit a member family, and that was so great! We speak english with them because they are Russian. They have cute two daughters, and so we got to talk about why we came on missions. They both want to serve too. It was super great. I know that Heavenly Father is helping each of us. If we put our trust in Him, everything will work out no matter what. The spirit will lead us right!
I love you all so much! Have a super awesome week.
Love Sese Dzerman

p.s. to Dad - We spent our new years eve inside for most of the day, in the morning and part of the afternoon and night to keep us safe from drunk people. But on new years we met with a girl the day before her baptism to pump her up and keep her excited. She is awesome and was baptized Saturday.  We also had choir practice. Great day, we also knocked doors. For tracting we mostly just knock now because it is too cold to be outside walking and finding people. For new years they love their fireworks. THere are fireworks all year long, but they go ham on new years eve and day too. We heard a ton of them. THey all sound like gun shots and we can usually never see them because of the buildings, but they go off a ton. And all the boys run around, in the cold, throwing off fireworks too. We had a few go off by us, haha. It is pretty exciting.

Sister Madison's fun letter full of details:
This week was great and absolutely freezing!
1) yesterday was 40 degrees below freezing. okay so yeah that makes it sound a lot more dramatic but it was about -10 and let me tell ya, i wanted to die! Haha it's soooo cold. Apparently last winter was pretty mild so when i first got to Lithuania i was like "oh this isn't too bad", but yeah even the lithuanians are cold now! it's a legit winter this year. A certain phrase about a dead witch keeps coming to mind...
2) Lithuania hosted the first baptism of the year for the Baltic mission! One of the elders' investigators named Giedre got baptized on saturday. it was really touching because sister jerman and I have also been working with her to help prepare her and we got to hold the towel for her when she got out of the font and everything. It was a really special day and the spirit was very strong. We got a great turn-out from the branch for which we were thankful.
3) right before the baptism we set a little baptismal date of our own with our new-to-us investigator arunas!!! he's been hesitant to set a date due to word of wisdom and law of chastity concerns but he finally decided to show some faith and set a date for Feb 27. the spirit was really strong and He seemed really excited! We are super stoked to help him continue to prepare for baptism. unfortuantely rimantas, our other investigator with a date, is still struggling with with word of wisdom probs so we moved his date also to feb 27 and hope he continues to progress.
4) For New Years sister Jerman and I had to be in by 5 o clock. but right before that we ran to subway and got some delicious foot-longs, apple cider, and potato chips and sparklers. It felt like quite the feast! and then we were in hilarious mood that night so we made some funny home-videos with the sparklers we bought. Overall it was a great time. Oh and we also watched mormon messages and the famous "Johnny Lingo" movie. haha so classic. 
Well, my testimony is growing everyday. On sunday i was pondering during sacrament about what a great opportunity i have to just worry about the savior and his gospel. I love being able to focus on the most important things. anyways, missions are legit. everyone should go! love you all, happy new year!
sesuo madison
ps i hit my year-mark in lithuania tomorrow!

Saw cute sleds being pulled by some kids
Gingerbread House- Lithuania town-made by the Russian elders
Stuffed tomatoes, lithuanian recipe, so good!
Made and hung up snowflakes in the apartment of course!
Snowy view from our apartment
Pumpkin soup, also Lithuanian, also super good
This is how high the sun is at....
12:53 in the afternoon!!! But at least we can see it :)
Kiwi soup- kiwi with milk!
Some cool pictures of the frozen river here!! 
 Never seen this before! 
Oh man, it is pretty cold here to have this freeze over!