Monday, July 25, 2016

Loving the Music of the Gospel

On our way up to Riga for training and conference
This week we were able to travel to Riga for a Leadership Training Conference and Council. It was quite the trip and experience, so much to learn and improve on! The spirit truly taught me the importance of love as a leader. I know that we are all leaders in our lives in our own distinct ways. People are always watching and observing us. I know that the best example of leading with love was Christ, and that is why He is the best example- because of His love. Charity is such a valuable and priceless quality for us to strive for. And it can totally be obtained! I also loved learning about the spirit and the great impact that it can have on each of us. Having the spirit should be a way of life, and that way of life is so happy :)
We were able to talk with Karolina about the baptismal covenants and the sacrament. I was taught so much! A member testified of how always remembering Christ and keeping His commmandments will alow us to always have His spirit to be with us. It truly is that simple. Serving others is also a huge part of our covenants with God, and that just blesses everyone involved :) Karolina was also able to help us in a lesson with a potential investigator, and she did awesome in testifying of the restored gospel. 
I was able to go on exchange with a sister this week and learned so much from her humble and faithful example. I know that life is not always easy, but it is so joyful as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit adds to that joy as we seek it every day through repentance. 
We were able to meet people who live in their sodas, or gardens a little outside of the city. Sunday night we were able to attend a concert at our church from the BYU Jazz symphony. It was quite a privilege to invite people to come listen to this group all the way from America! 
I know that Christ lives and that He smiles upon us everyday with love. Heavenly Father watches over us and blesses us. I love you all!
Love Sese Dzerman
The river in Riga as we are arriving:)

And heading home back to Vilnius


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hugs from Heaven for Mom

These are notes written by mom:

While running errands, I went to buy new garments at Deseret Book. The girl who started helping me to check out looked so familiar yet I didn't think I had ever talked to her before. 
I quizzed her about her name and told her I thought she might know one of my daughters and asked if she worked somewhere else in town but she said she just moved here. I told her again that she looked so familiar to me and she said that she just moved from her Hurricane after her mission. I asked her where she served her mission and she said Lithuania! Then it clicked! I didn't know Brianna Brown but I have heard of Sister Brown! I was so excited!
I'm sure I squealed as tears sprang to my eyes and chills ran down my arms and I gave her a big hug and told her who I was. She could not believe that I knew who she was but of course I had seen her in many pictures. It was so fun to talk to her for a few minutes and get some info.  The poor lady behind us had to wait a bit. Ha ha but she totally understood when she learned my daughter was still there and I hadn't seen her for year.
She said that yesterday she had met Elder Curtis' mom. That was funny to me as I met someone this morning who learned that my daughter was in Lithuania and said they knew an Elder Curtis from Alpine who is in Lithuania.  Fun times for Sister Brown to meet two missionary moms at work. 

Kayleigh's reply:
Oh my goodness! How cool!
That just makes me so happy and brings tears to my eyes :) How fun that you could see her and hug her! That is crazy that she is working there in American Fork, how awesome. Thanks for the cute picture. I am so happy that you could talk to her, that warms my heart :) Haha, what a small world for her to meet two missionary moms. I am sure Elder Kurtis's mom would love to meet up with you some time too haha. On Sunday I talked to oh boy a mom from the stake here with BYU jazz concert. The dad was troy but I forgot her name, I am sure she will look you up when they get back :) I love all the connections to you mom. I love you so much, Love sis kay!

Another hug for Mom:
Sister Streeter and Sesuo Dzerman

Oh my goodness, I came home from church and found a picture of you and Sister Streeter!  So fun! So amazing!  She is our stake Primary President and Zac and Amy know her kids.  I actually heard last week that a group from BYU was going to tour and perform in the Baltics and thought,"I should call BYU and make some connection, but I wouldn't know who and you probably wouldn't get to see them anyway."  I guess the main thing is you met them and hopefully others from BYU.  That would be so fun for them to see you missionaries!  She told me she gave you a hug!  Wow - a few weeks ago you met the couple from PG, but the Streeters are from our stake!  These are all "hugs from heaven" and then the bonus one for me which I wrote about in my other email.  :)  What a great week!  When I think about Lithuania, it seems so far away, but then someone sends me a picture and there you are!
Dad was looking up things about Lithuania, like the Legend of Lithuania and even that Lithuania is the only place that claims it has it's own smell.  I remember when you first arrived you wrote home about how it smelled like Lithuania.  Ha, ha.

Reply from Kayleigh:
Oh that is awesome, she already told you about it. We saw them Sunday night and will see them tonight in their second concert in center. We will be proselyting there. It was so fun to see her, I thought she looked familiar. All the conections are super crazy! It is so fun to always connect back to home-I love you all so much. I definitely love the smell of Lithuania :) Wow, you did get a lot done! Lots of new stuff in the house how fun. I for sure missed out on the canning! That is so cool he remembers, I can't picture him at the moment, but sounds familiar. Haha, so fun off to Iowa! Drive safely and love you tons! Say hi to the fam out there for me. Love you mom, Love sis Jerman

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Spirit of God (2nd baptism! )

Cleaning the font :)
It was such a miraculous week!! I just love this work so much :) 
On Monday we were able to visit a cute member family in our ward and share a fhe lesson about scripture study. We had the 10 year old boy brush his teeth with a ton of toothpaste because he "forgot" to do it all week long. He really did not enjoy doing that, but it was very cute to watch :) Brushing your teeth everyday, or reading your scriptures everyday, is a lot more beneficial and enjoyable than just once a week. It was cool to be able to talk about true daily scripture study in our lives. On Tuesday we were able to meet with Karolina to discuss family history. She is so excited to be able to travel to the temple next year. She is such an amazing example to me because of her great faith. She is truly converted and dedicated to serving the Lord, and it is just a testimony to me of how strong the spirit is. She allowed the spirit into her heart and is now taking off! It is such a privilege to witness. 
We were also able to meet with an investigator who is struggling with the word of wisdom. I am super grateful for this commandment from God because of how it prevents so many issues from our lives. She will have a hard time overcoming her addictions, but I know that with God all things are possible. 
On Thursday we met with a very cute family who has met with missionaries in the past. The parents lived in America, and they have three adorable kids. They were so gracious to feed us and allow us to teach a little lesson on service to their girls. They were so cute and loving. It was amazing to see the goodness of this Lithuanian family. There are so many good and loving people here!!!
On Friday we met with an investigator who has a lot of questions about the church. He is very intelectual and taught us that we should not just be reading the scriptures, but studying them. I really liked that aspect! We hope to be able to resolve his concerns through the spirit. On Saturday we prepared some last things for the baptism. We met with Karolina before the baptism and she was so ready! I felt the spirit so strongly. At the baptism there was a great amount of support and love from the members. Everyone was happy and talking and so welcoming to Karolina. Her conversion is directly to Heavenly Father, and it is proof to me that conversion is a miracle and happens from the spirit. The great amount of her faith strengthens mine. On Sunday it was a blessing to witness the gift of the holy ghost being confered. The spirit is such an amazing gift to each of us. That we can always have a member of the godhead with us to help and guide us if we let Him. The spirit is such a necessity everyday to be doing good and staying happy :) I am so grateful for this gift in my life. I know that the spirit will always lead us right and be there to comfort us in times of need. He is the strength of our daily conversion to the Lord. I love you all, have a great week!
Love Sese Dzerman

So I had sushi for my first time on my 1 year mark to celebrate :) Okay, it wasn't real sushi because there was only rice and avocado in the seaweed roll, so it tasted super yummy :) I would know ;)

Here we are eating the sushi :)

Outside our apartment window

Beautiful sunset of Lithuania :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

from Sister Leticia Griffin's email

Highlight of my week: EXCHANGES WITH SISTER JERMAN!!! I was companions with Sister Jerman my first two transfers and she is the sweetest! Her and I get along SO well! It was great to talk about our last transfers and remember all of the funny moments we had with each other. Plus, we had a very busy day full of lessons! We got to go with a Utah family to their relative's house here in Vilnius and teach their niece which was an interesting experience. Haha Utahans are everywhere!! We then taught two lessons together and committed them to baptism and they ACCEPTED!! TWO IN ONE DAY!! They will be Sister Jerman's investigators, but it was very humbling to be a part of their conversion process. Luckily I will get to see them at church. Teaching with Sister Jerman is so great! I am trying to do the same with my companionship right now. It might take a little time to get there, but I know it will happen!

God is Love

Laba Diena visiems!
This week was super great! On Tuesday we were able to meet with Karolina, who is amazing. It has been such a privilege to be able to work with her; we love her so much. We went over the baptismal questions with her, and she is so prepared. Her faith in Christ and His restored gospel truly strengthens my faith. I am grateful I have been able to watch her progress, although I know that the spirit brings true conversion and that conversion is a miracle. She is already preparing to go to the temple! She is very diligent in her Book of Mormon reading and always trying to do better. We are so excited for her baptism this Saturday. We were also able to meet with a friend of Karolina's who has begun to read the Book of Mormon too. We hope to help her progress towards gaining a testimony about God's true word on the earth today. On Wednesday we met with Danas to discuss the doctrine of Christ. His knowledge of the gospel is increasing also, which has been very cool to see. He is super excited to get a calling and to start serving. On Thursday I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Griffin! We went with a couple from America to visit their relatives here in Vilnius. We were able to share a short message on God and how nothing can ever keep us from His love.
"Met your daughter in Vilnius, Lithuania."  I received this in a text from Noel Gerulat who happens to be from Pleasant Grove, Utah.  She is traveling in Lithuania to meet a long lost loved one.  She wrote that she and her husband have a keen eye for missionaries.  She also said that after talking to them on the street, they invited them to their (non member) sister's home.  "We had to wait since the sister missionaries were so busy due to lessons and appointments."
FaceBook post - "Sunday at church in Vilnius with wonderful sister missionaries."  Sister Noel Gerulat wrote, "I am thankful for their service and beautiful testimonies." 
I truly know that His love is eternal and in every single day of our lives. No matter how hard life may seem, God loves us and expresses that love :) That night we were able to commit Karolina's friend to baptism! We know that the road won't be easy, but Heavenly Father works miracles! On Friday we visited some municipalities a little farther out of the city. We knocked on a few houses which was a new experience for me. Families are a new focus because they truly are so central to God's plan of happiness. Being sealed as a family is one of the greatest blessings we can have. Over the weekend we met a new investigator who has a lot of questions about the church. He received a Book of Mormon online and is interested in learning more. He even came to church, and agreed to meet again. Overall, I know that the spirit is so crucial in our lives. I love the guidance we can receive from Heavenly Father through the spirit if we are living worthy. This week I also personally learned the importance of the word of God. It truly has an effect on our daily lives. I know that when I diligently study the Book of Mormon seeking for knowledge and light, I can receive it and carry it with me throughout the day. Our days truly are lightened through the Book of Mormon. It is such a great gift to each of us :) It has been such an incredible experience seeing the Lord's work progress here in Lithuania. I marvel that I can be here and fall in love with it all. The future has so much in store if we put our faith in Christ! Heavenly Father has so much mercy for each of us as we come unto Him :) I love you all! Have an amazing week! 
Love Sese Dzerman

At Gedimino's Tower
Overlooking the city
Vilnius is super pretty
Such a great view.
The trail walking down.
The tower
Some cool statues :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Loving Lithuania

Hi Family and Friends!
It was another awesome week in Vilnius! We were able to help Sister Nuttal visit a member for visiting teaching. She is a new convert and has such an amazing testimony of the gospel. She is preparing for the temple trip to Finland this month along with the other members, and it was amazing to see her commitment to doing family history work. Being sealed together in the temple for all of eternity is such an incredible blessing we have through Jesus Christ's gospel. We were also able to continue teaching Danas the new convert lessons. His knowledge of the gospel and testimony of it has grown so much and is a testimony to me. We are excited to see where he will go with them. He is already such a light to the branch. This week we were able to meet with Karolina, our other investigator. We committed her to baptism on July 16th! She accepted and is so excited! She already has such a strong testimony of this gospel. It is amazing to learn from her steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. We are so happy to be able to be here and learn from the spirit and work with her as she prepares for baptism. I love the Lord so much and am so grateful for His mercy and love each day. I know that He is there and loves each one of us. 
Have an awesome week!
Happy Fourth of July at McDonalds
Love Sese Dzerman