Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

mom's note - Happy Birthday to our Kayleigh today!  It's Leap Year Day and her 5th birthday  I can't believe she is 20 but I am so proud that she is happily serving as a Sister Missionary in Lithuania.  She wrote that she didn't get our package yet.  It must have arrived at the mission home in Latvia after the 22nd when the mission president traveled to Lithuania. Her companion, Sister Bestenlehner did it up great for her by making signs and breakfast (notice her spelling :) and sharing presents.  They were going bowling later in the day and I am sure her MTC buddies  will add some celebration to her day.  
Today another sister missionary that went to American Fork High left the MTC to fly to the Baltic Mission.  Kayleigh mentions her in this email and she will soon have the card I sent with Sister Griffin and hopefully get her package from the mission home.  She will just get to keep celebrating her birthday all week as that is what we do most years anyway when it isn't on the calendar! 
This morning our family went out on the front porch and sang "Happy Birthday" up to the sky to her.  We came back in and discovered this fun phenominun of the morning sun coming through the window from the other side of the house.  It was our little gift from heaven.  Oh, I love my girl!   


Our "gift" from Heaven

Oh man, it has been an awesome week to say the least! Wow, so much has happened. So last Monday we spent most of the day with the senior couple, Elder and Sister Nuttall.
Eating ice cream at famous sopranos
They are so great. Then on Tuesday we had Zone Conference, and it was the best thing ever! President Harding and Sister Harding are truly called of God, and they gave us such great guidance. We are focusing on teaching repentance and baptizing converts as part of the world wide missionary conference. It really just got me pumped and energized to get out there and spread the good news of the gospel! 
All of us at Zone Conference

All the Sister Missionaries

Just me and my MTC Elders
We were also able to meet with a less active who had come to church on Sunday, so we were grateful for that opportunity.
Then we did some cool contacting Wednesday 
A fun bendrab that we got to knock in, those hallways keep things interesting!

and Thursday because we wanted to go to the outskirts of our area, to the unknown, to find people who don't come across missionaries as often. It was super cool to see some country side and cute little summer homes out in the distance of the city. We were also knocking in a dome, and an little bob gave me a light tap on the cheek because she did not want us there. She kicked us out pretty quick after hearing we were there to talk about Christ, but all is well. We just kept on proselyting :)
Then we went to service on Friday
Us at service with our coffee :)
and worked with this cool teen who was interested in why we were there. We met with our investigator who really wants to quit smoking but is having a really hard time as he is very addicted. We are praying for guidance on how to help him.
On Saturday.... Sister Bestenlehner and I received the call that we are TRAINING! Oh man, we are super excited!!! Sister Griffith is coming our way! We get a trio and are super stoked. It will be an awesome transfer! We get to be in our same area, which is where I was trained! So we are happy. We will just squish her in with us :) We will be picking her upWednesday and are so excited!!!!!!!!
Today we are headed to go bowling, Sister Best made me Jerman pancakes this morning for my birthday, so she is awesome.
Cute Sister Best for my birthday!
But we are doing super great, super excited for missionary work here in Lithuania.
The sun is coming out more, it is sunny today!! I know that Christ lives today to comfort us and help us. His atonement works in our lives if we ask for it and allow it and are willing to change. I received a lot of peace from partaking of the sacrament yesterday. What a privilege each week it is to receive forgiveness from that ordinance if we repent. When we are sincere, it is if we are cleansed through baptism again. How incredible that is! I am so thankful for that opportunity. 
I love you all! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Have an awesome week!
Su meile, Sese Dzerman

Fun selfies
Another fun selfie
On the bus with my sisters!

Leap Year Birthday!

Kayleigh had her 5th Birthday and turned 20 in Lithuania serving as a Sister Missionary.    Sister Bestenlehner made her some birthday signs and made her German pancakes for breakfast.  After emailing home, they got to go out to eat and then go bowling with both districts there in Vilnius.  
She said the sun shone her!

Eating out for my Birthday!!!
      ​The big number 5! I look like I am 5 too :)
​Best birthday ever! We all went bowling, 14 missionaries.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Awesome week!

Laba Diena!
We had a super great week-lots of amazing things happened! We got to teach our investigator twice this week, so that was super cool. He doesn't have a baptismal date, but he is reading from the Book of Mormon, asking questions, and praying. We had a lesson on Sabbath Day Observance, and he came to church for the first time yesterday in so long!!!! It was the greatest day ever. The spirit is such an important part of missionary work because it is all of it! I am so thankful for the Lord sending His spirit to help His children. We also met with a girl from Belarussia, she is super cool. We hope to give her to the Russian Elders this week. We met with another investigator who lives in the other sisters' area. Lithuanian is her third language, so we will see how that goes.
But church yesterday was awesome! Besides our investigator coming, we had a less active come who I had never met before. She stayed all three hours and so did our less active family. It was so awesome. And a member that hasn't come in a while was there. It was really sweet. I love church!
We were also able to do service again this week, which is always fun. 
Our member got set apart as a missionary this week! He went to the MTC on Thursday! It was so exciting. We haven't sent off a missionary from our branch in a while, so it was so cool. He is a pretty recent convert too. It was truly amazing.
I know that this is God's work. He loves us each so much! He is our Father and we are His children. He will always answer our prayers and give us good gifts because He loves us so much. Love you all and have a spectacular week!
 Love Sese Dzerman

Sister Best and I "Heart Attacked" a door.
~email from companion Sister Halli Bestenlehner - Hello this is sister jermans companion. my name is sister bestenlehner. I just wanted to email you and tell you how much i love your daughter. She is such an amazing missionary. She helps me become better each day. She is so humble and always is looking to improve. You don't need to worry about her at all. She also is so good at talking with everyone. Thank you for sharing your daughter so i could and many others learn from her and her example. I hope that you have a great week.

~in her letter home she wrote - My companion is wonderful. She is such a great example to me and she is an amazing missionary!

Gotta love the selfies
Playing volleyball with all the missionaries.

Volleyball is so much fun and it was great to wear pants!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Photos from February

Everything is Awesome!
Me with all my elders from the MTC at Zone Training.  Elder Jones, Elder Frazer (2nd from left) in the back replacing Elder Wiley, Elder Hassell, Lyon, Waters and Seegmiller.
A pretty sunrise - we don't see too many!
Celebrating pancake day at District meeting!  Feb 9

Me with Elder Hassell

Practicing the guitar

Sister Neeley and Argyle are leaving soon
We love service!

Service in Action
Eating cake for Sister Brown's birthday after service :

We tried on some clothes for P-day
Our exchange all together :)

Happy February!

Wow, time is just flying by!
Everything here is going just awesome, we had a pretty sweet week! We got to teach a few lessons, so that was super fun. We taught english class to one member and three nonmembers about the plan of salvation.
I love that plan so much and how it applies to each of us because of Christ's atonement. I love that it is our plan of happiness. We also taught a cool nigerian about the plan of salvation and another older Lithuanian lady the restoration. I sure do love teaching!
          In a taxi going to a lesson
We get to pass all of these people off to other missionaries, but it has been really fun. We were also able to meet with a less active family this week. The entire family sat in on the lesson for the first time since I have been here in Lithuania! Wow, it was so cool. Usually just the mom will meet with us, so it was really great. They all came to church yesterday as a family. We are so happy with their progress!!! It was also really fun to celebrate Day of Love as they call it here in Lithuania. It makes it fun because everyone is super nice to everyone at church and brings cute little goodies. I really like that holiday :) We should all love everyone everyday!
I know that Christ showed the greatest amount of love when He gave His life for each one of us. He loves us each beyond comprehension. Love you all
Love Sese Dzerman

Selfie with Sister Best

from Sister Bestenlehner - 
 I became pretty down when two of our lessons fell through on the same day. Usually I am fine and move on but that day it became harder. I was in a state where I just felt sad. This went on for a an hour or so until a prompting came to me to count my blessings. I thought of my companion who was smiling at me because we had just had a weird contact, a sun that we hadn't seen in a few weeks, and different things. It didn't make the feeling leave offically but it felt like the lord was lifting this burden so that it was eaiser to carry. 

 P-day Bowling !
Bowling Fun for P-day
Sisters Jerman, Brown and Bestenlehner
Sister Jerman and Sister Best
Sister Jerman and Elder Lyon from MTC
Lyon, Best, Jerman and Waters

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Sesuos - Jerman, Madison, Brown, and Bestenlehner
Hello, it's been a great week in Vilnius! We did lots of wonderful things and have stayed busy. It is crazy how fast time is flying. We were able to go bowling last week with both of the districts here in Vilnius, and that was super fun. Then on Wednesday we served at the food bank again, packaging coffee.
Vilnius Sisters serve at the food bank  . . . packaging coffee!

But it was great to be able to serve them. We also had zone training on Thursday where we learned a lot of great stuff about the gospel and about how to be better missionaries. I want to strive to be more obedient to the Lord's commandments and use every second I have out here to serve Him. After that, I went on exchanges with Sister Madison, my old companion! That was pretty awesome to be together again and learn from her great example. 
Then on Saturday we helped the elders in a lesson with a great woman. She is working to quit coffee, but we know that the Lord will help her. We are slowly working with our investigator, but are thinking we should pass him to the elders. He doesn't have a baptismal date because he needs more time to learn about the gospel. We need to see if he has true desires to know that the Book of Mormon is true. Real conversion comes from reading that book everyday. I have really seen the difference it makes in my own life.
The weather has been so awesome-it is so happy. I can't believe how warm it is and how much the sun is shining. Everything is awesome in Lithuania. We are talking to lots of great people, and the church members are so great.
I know that the Lord loves all of His children and individually knows each one. He sorrows when we are in pain and glories when we are righteous. True happiness comes from faith and repentance, from Jesus Christ. The gospel is such a blessing to each of us. I love you all so much. Have a great week!
Love Sese Dzerman!

written by her companion, Sister Bestenlehner - 
This week was miracles times ten. One day we had two lessons in one. Now if anyone knows in this part of the world that is really good. We had a lesson with a members family member. Now we have been trying to meet with him for a few months but he finally had time. As we talked the spirit filled the room. it was as thick as the fog is here(which i might add is really fun to walk in but not to drive luckily i don't drive:)) In the lesson we asked the member to teach about Joseph Smith. He did amazing, especially because his language held no boundaries compared to ours. At the end of the lesson i had to especially rely on the spirit to know what to ask. i can't explain how much the spirit is the teacher. I have learned how it can guide us to do the lords work and be his hands. I could feel the spirit talk through me as i could speak the language without hardly any flaws. I was convinced that i was not speaking. i can't even remember what we said just the feeling. Right after that lesson we had to take a taxi to make it for our next lesson across the city. that was a stressful taxi ride because one we only had ten minutes to get there and we only had eight euros and one cent. We were praying like crazy to make it there. The whole time we were about to abandoned ship but a small whispering told us to go a little further. when the taxi got to where it was suppose to go can you guess how much it cost?!?!?! Yeah you guessed it eight euros and one cent. It was a miracle from god. there was no way that that ride would have been so less money but god provided a way. 

written by her last companion, Sister Madison -  Also i forgot to share last week that Sister Brown and I got separated! Of course it was right after the district meeting reminder about staying with your companion at all times. We were bus contacting on a large busy bus, and i got up to get off, looked around, and couldn't see sis brown anywhere! After a few seconds of frantic searching i hopped off the bus thinking that she must have already gotten off. I called our district leader like "uhh Elder downs... i lost my companion" and it was so weird just being alone in Lithuania! But then i hopped on a bus to hopefully meet her at our apartment and then i saw the other sisters! so I recruited them in my search for sis brown. After riding the bus a couple stops further we spotted her and everything was okay haha. That was the first and i'm hoping last time i lose a companion.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fabulous February!

On the bus together
Labas Rytas!
We had such a great week- it was really awesome. Sister Bestenlehner and I were able to do a lot of knocking, and that is always super fun. It is always cool to see who will open the door-an old Russian bob or someone that is not a bob :) We met some pretty great people. One nice lady let us in and gave us her grapes out of her fridge. She was super sweet to us, not interested in the gospel, but such a good person.
We found part of Dome Land!
The weather has been amazing. Pretty much all of the snow has melted, and it looks so different here! There is green grass somehow, and no more white stuff. It feels a lot warmer outside, so I am loving that! We got a lot of rain :)
We were able to visit past a couple of less actives this week, which is always really cool to do. Part of a less active family came to church and has been doing really well. We are happy to see progress with them. 
On Saturday we got to do service as a district, my first time doing official service on the mission! It was so strange to be in pants-it has been so long.
We did service as a district!
We got to go to the food bank, and they assigned us to repackage and stack coffee. We were kind of hesitant, but that is what they needed done. They don't usually have coffee, but this had been stolen and retrieved at the border. So they brought it there. It was fun to be together and serve.
Here is what we did-packaging and
On Sunday, Sister Bestenlehner and I got to talk to the YW about deleting negative thoughts in our mind and focusing on our true identity and divine nature as children of God. It was so fun to be back there with the YW. I love that program- such good memories. They learn such essantial things that have truly helped me and blessed my life.
We were given an investigator from the sisters- one I had with Sister Madison. He has kind of disappeared, so we hope to be able to meet with him and help him with his smoking addiction. 
I am grateful for this time i have to serve. The Lord has taught me so much about His atonement and doing His will. I am grateful that I can change and become better every day. God wants us to feel His love and not fear. Simple to come unto Him. We can do this and change into better people than we were yesterday. God is always there. We can use the atonement everyday. 
I love you all. Have a wonderful week!
Love Sese Dzerman!
Us eating at Take Way
Sister Brown making caramel apples at the church
Celebrating Elder Karlinzy's birthday, who went to the store for us when we took this pic
Our fridge full of produce
Crazy fruits, one was unedible
Me on the bus