Oksana Ursuļana was 17 when she first saw Jesus in a dream. Though she had not grown up in a religious home, recurring visions over the next 10 years convinced her she should be baptized—though she didn’t know into which church.
One day she typed “visions of Jesus” into a Google search and read about Joseph Smith. Unconvinced, Oksana closed the page, but she soon opened it again to investigate further. Though she found criticism of the Book of Mormon and the Church online, she requested a free Book of Mormon to read for herself. In April 2013 the nearest missionaries traveled from Jelgava to Bauska, where Oksana was living with her partner, Jānis, and their six-year-old son, Edgars.
Oksana told the missionaries right away about her desire to be baptized. They were thrilled but told her she and Jānis would need to be legally married first.
Jānis, however, distrusted churches and warned Oksana against the missionaries. Undeterred, Oksana started attending church without Jānis. Because buses didn’t run to Jelgava, where the nearest group met on Sundays, Oksana and Edgars spent weekends at her sister’s home in order to attend church. “The members of the Church welcomed me with open arms,” Oksana remembered, adding that they helped teach her both in person in her home and over Skype. Jānis still refused to meet with the missionaries. “I prayed to God that Jānis’s heart would be softened,” Oksana recalled. “Heavenly Father listened to my prayers, and Jānis came.”
At their first meeting, the missionaries talked about the law of chastity and explained why it was important for Oksana and Jānis to marry. “I didn’t want to marry or separate,” Jānis remembered thinking, “but I didn’t really want to lose my son, whom I really love.” Oksana continued to pray for Jānis, and they began reading the Book of Mormon together. “Thanks to the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel, our relationship improved,” Oksana said. Jānis, too, noticed a change. “I felt strongly that God cared for me,” he said, “and realized that I was on the right track.”
On September 20, 2013, Oksana and Jānis were married and then baptized in a river. “I have not for a moment regretted my choice, because I know it is right,” said Jānis. For the next year and a half, they saved money to go to the temple. “We also kept all the commandments so that we could be worthy to visit the Lord’s house,” said Oksana. Being sealed together was a high point for the family. “An unforgettable moment,” Oksana said. “The best day of my life.”