Monday, December 5, 2016

Becoming Converted

Hi everyone!
Just another fabulous week over here in Klaipeda!! Wow I really can't express all of my gratitude and joy right now. I love being and serving here. I love my Lord and God and their infinite amount of love and mercy. I could not be happier because of them.
So this week was really great. We started on preparation day with a Thanksgiving celebration with Elder and Sister Suisse. Then Victoria had her baptismal interview and passed just great! That night we went knocking and got into a lesson! He turned out to be a hard core almost there Jehovah's witness, but it was an experience that really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Jehovah Witness's are great at doing that :)
On Tuesday and Wednesday we got to do a lot of knocking. The Lord is truly preparing His children even here in Klaipeda to accept His gospel. We just have to do His work in His time and in His way. On Thursday we had zone training in Vilnius and lots of traveling. We talked a lot about knocking on doors :)
On Friday, miracles happened. We met that morning with Victoria to talk about the sabbath day and fasting. She was really excited to fast and pay offerings. In the lesson we asked her about her decision to be baptized and how she had received her answer that the church was true. We asked her if she had prayed and asked God. Her response was this, "I prayed and asked Him like you told me too, but it is not like a got a huge YES or had a dream come from God. I wasn't looking for anything or any church when you found me. You just talked to me and invited me to church. So I came to church and met with you. I always felt really good there and reading the Book of Mormon. I asked God, and I am not waiting for a big answer. I just have good feelings here and know it is from God. I know it is true." She taught me a lot about listening to the spirit. I was taught that we don't need huge signs and answers from God. He speaks to us in a still small voice and fills our hearts with goodness. That is God. She was prepared and taught by the spirit. Lilija was able to help us in that lesson and then stay for a lesson with Marius. He is a 20 year old man from Klaipeda who has been meeting with us for some time now. On Sunday we committed him to baptism and this week a miracle happened. He went home that night and finally prayed and tried asking God about the gospel. He received an answer directly from God and wants to be baptized even earlier. He knows this is the true church. Wow, that is all we have to do. It really is that simple; we just have to pray and ask God and He will answer us. He will give us good feelings in our heart. He will love us and does love us. He answers every prayer. It was incredible; Marius has completely changed. We had a lesson on tithing and he for sure committed to pay. We discussed how he could be baptized by the end of December. He is so excited. After the baptism he asked how someone becomes a missionary. What? No one has ever asked me that one before. He just really wants to serve God, and we are going to help him do just that :) He has quit drinking green tea and is own his way. Both of their examples showed me how simple this gospel is. Ask God and act. That is all it takes. I learned that as we come to understand our relationship with God-that we are His children-then prayer will become a natural and instinctive thing for us to do (Bible Dictionary). Prayer is an incredible blessing. We cleaned the font that day and got the programs ready for tomorrow.
On Saturday we filled up the font and had the baptism. So many members came and showed so much love to Victoria. It was a little scary for her because she is pretty shy, but she had the biggest smile on her face the whole time. It warmed me heart to see the love of everyone. The spirit was so strong. Brother Peciulis baptized her in english. She looked like an angel after. She is so cute. When we walked back afterwards, I asked her if she was scared at all. She paused and said, "I am not scared anymore." It was so good to hear. God is a God of peace and not of fear. She was truly washed of her sins, and it was a joyful moment. But the sacrament for us each week is just as joyful! We are washed clean of our sins. We are baptized every week if we worthily partake of it. We can reutrn to live with God as completely clean sons and daughters of Him. We do this every week!!! We are still doing it :) On Sunday, Victoria received the gift of the holy ghost. It was a beautiful ordinance. She said afterward that she couldn't describe the feeling. There was no words. She just feels good. Who wouldn't want that? It has been a great experience watching her change and become confident in God. Our relationship with Him is so important. She truly has blossomed coming to know her Savior and her Father. That is why I love the Book of Mormon, that is why I love God, that is why I love the atonement of Christ. Because we can change every single day. Repentance is conversion. It is a change of heart and mind, becoming converted to the Lord. I love Him. 
Have a wonderful week!
Love Sese Dzerman

extra note to her Dad .....Contacts are going great, especially with the Christmas season :) I love this time of year. Yeah, Victoria commited to December 3rd, Grandma's bday, back in November and has been solid ever since. She is making great progress still learning and loving being at church. We are so happy for her. Her family lives near Madrid, Dad! In a city called Mirties or something. She has already looked up church buildings there and the temple of course. She is really solid and loves church. We love her so much. She prays in spanish too, actually she said the prayer in spanish this past Sunday at church! it was great, and I thought of you. I wish I could remember my spanish, but she speaks great english :) Things are going great with her. I felt like I was sent here to Klaipeda to find her. I feel so blessed. We are working with Marius before the end of hte month too, it is really exciting. I love misionary work, it will be so hard to leave.

This is the email sent out from the mission home to the missionaries in the Baltic Mission.  

Victoria, a 29-year-old student from Spain currently living in Klaipeda, entered the waters of baptism this past Saturday and was confirmed Sunday. She grew up in a Catholic family and is here for a study program until the Summer. She was initially contacted by missionaries on the bus. She mentioned after that she couldn't explain the amount of love that she felt from Heavenly Father as she was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church.

Several baptismal dates were reported for soon-to-be converts in the past week from three different zones. Hearts are softened by the Spirit in this special season.. let's keep it up!
We'll see you this week for Christmas Devotional! --

Please prepare by prayerfully acting upon the Savior’s invitation:

"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (3 Nephi 12:16). "

This is a šakotis, a traditional Lithuanian cake that is like dry waffle batter but really good

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