Monday, March 30, 2015

The Final Chapter

Hei Kjære Alle Sammen,

This is it. I'm getting my restaurant! No, but really I still cannot believe this is already my last Monday as a missionary here in Norway. Time has flown by way too fast but I must say, as clique as it sounds, but this seriously has been the best eighteen months. It's been full of many ups and downs but I would never ever trade in any of them. For this last email, I thought I would give a little summary of all my areas and enjoy going down memory lane (just a heads up, I forgot to grab my journal to help me remember names so these are the ones off the top of my head. There are probably WAY more names that I just for the life of me cannot remember. So please hold back the judging. Thank you):

Bishop: Biskop Pedersen
Ward Mission Leader: Kjell Horgmo then Paul Gardner
Companion: My trainer, Søster Zoe Johnson
Missionaries in the district: Eldster Hill, Hall, Garrard, Nielson, Årsnes, Jensen, and Vause
Member Buddies: Familien Rapp, Borge, Åsheim, Vollheim, Stolp, Amundsen, Paola, Karin Bjæring, Helene R., and honestly all of Romerike Menighet (Ward).
Investigators: Semhar, Shangar, Michelle and Thomas, Sergey and Family, and Hanne.

Bishop: Biskop Erik Paulsen
Ward Mission Leader: Benjamin Weggersen
Companions: Søster Hornback and Søster Rebecca Burns
Missionaries in the district: Elders Halvorsen, Whitmer, Skinner, Clarke, Hill, Palmer
Søstre Angerhofer, Shaw, and Roe along with Elder and Sister Bradford, the wonderful senior couple!

Member Buddies: Majken Weggersen, Mckenzie Family, Mali Fisvik, Dunn Family, Inger Helene Jørgensen, Helene, Arne and Verna Dahlø, Harold and Turid Hansen, Jan Peder Hegdal, Tore Mo, and Gjermund and Jolina Lingås, Joakim and Cheng/Lisa, Xin
Investigators: Omar (my convert!), Johnny, Sharifi, Hem and Shanti (got baptized!), Morten, and Susann.

Bishop: Biskop Muren
Ward Mission Leader: Mikael Amundsen then Benjamin Kerr
Companions: Søster Sam Olsen, Søster Sierra Chapman, and Søster Sydney House (my trainee).
Missionaries in the district: Elders- Duncan, Edwards, Clarke, Shanklin, Nilsson, Christensen, Garrard, and Hurst.
Søstre- Ausen, Harrison, and Angerhofer along with Elder and Sister Rasumussen - they are the sweetest!!
Member Buddies: Ceceline, Elin, Carlsen Family, Daniel, Emma and Sandra, Anders, Isaksen Family,
Investigators: Elisabeth, Ivan, Svein, Øyvind, Thor, Frederik (he was the Elders' but we really all got close with this guy, He's the best!),

Branch President: President Fred Olsen
Ward Mission Leader: President Olsen
Companions: Søster Heywood and Søster Neilson
Missionaries in the district: Elders Vause, Curtis, Collard, and Rui.
Member Buddies: Åse Marie, Bente, Eirik, Simon, Winnie, Liv, Ragnild... (the entire branch)
Investigators: Yan, Artur, Paul, Karlis and Antra,

Bishop: Biskop Gjevik
Ward Mission Leader: RObert Luke
Companions: SØster Muren and Søster Johannessen
Missionaries in the district: Elders Stookey, Dalton, Phipps, and Curtis. SIster Campbell and ELder and SIster Allphin - simply wonderful!!
Member Buddies: SImon, Bob, Bergs, Liv and Knut, Birgit, Vågnes,
Investigators: Roger, Kjell, Inger Anne, Amanda!

Yup, looking at this I really am missing a lot of names. Uff. This is why you keep a journal, your brain can only hold so much information.

But I've been so blessed to have been able to meet SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many wonderful people throughout my mission. They have taught me so much and helped me to become the person I am today. "Who can say if I've been changed for the better but, because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

It'll be weird going back to normal life again but like the Lord has helped me throughout my mission so He can help me with whatever the future holds in store for me. Onward ever onward!

Have a great week, you're a champion, and well see you on the other side!

Søster Hana Buhler

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Sprinting - The Final Countdown

Hei folkens!!

How did you all enjoy that solar eclipse last Friday? Yeah it was pretty legit. It was hiding behind some rain clouds but you could still slightly see it/feel the intensity of it. Good times.

Anyhoo, I'm pressed for time again (sorry >_<). Here are the highlights from last week:
-Famlien Løvstad
We took this magical bus ride through all the famous beautiful movie shots pretty much to go have dinner with teh Løvstads, a member family. They are the cutest people ever! They also have an adorable dog named Leah.

-OONSA (Out of Nowhere Sickness Attack)
Yeah, still don't quite know what happened. One moment I'm updating records in the areabook and then the next moment I can't see and can't walk..... The elders came over to give me a blessing and then I was out for the rest of the day. Whatever it was, it luckily only lasted til about 5pm the next day. I'm up and running now!

-New Companion, wait what?
We had a emergency transfer in Bergen. SIster Campbell and I switched areas so for my remaining days I have the awesome Søster Johannessen as my companion. Sweet.

-Lots of finding through areabook work
Since it had been awhile since anyone has called trhough the areabook, we decided to give it a try. One of the ladies we called, Sadie, said "You know, it's really funny you called. I have been thinking  lately I needed to come to church." WHOA. SO COOL. Sadie along with 6 other people are meeting up with us this week so that's pretty exciting!

-The real final New Companion 411: Søster Johannessen
From Seattle, Washington. Her dad is actually from Bergen and her mom is Canadian. One older half sister and a little brother. She was in drill, ASB, swim team and  voted as class clown in her high school senior class.

For a super quick spiritual thought: The Lord is truly looking out for us through other people. This week was brutal (besides the sick attack) and little by little, people showed me that kindness I really needed. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father helps me understand a little more every day how much He does love me personally.

Have a wonderful week and love you all!!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fremad, alltid Fremad.

Hei alle sammen!

Another solid week in the beautiful city of Bergen. It was actually sunny for almost en enitre week straight! SAYETH WHAT?? Don't get me wrong, I love me some good ol' refreshing rain. Occasionally though it's nice to get some sunshine :)

We got to visit with some awesome members who have been on the less active side for awhile. NOt gonna lie, it's kind of painful to remember that I don't have much time with these incredible people, but then I remember how much can happen in day so I keep on enjoying and treasuring these newly found friendships.

One exciting note is that we got a baptismal date with this man named Emmanuel! He's a student from Congo studying business. Man, he is seriously one cool guy who has the strongest desire to follow God. During our first visit, he kept talking about how important it is to be baptized by one holding authority. Golden? I think so. He picked his date for June 6th due to his work schedule being unpredictable right now. Once it settles down though, he wants to move it up. Cool beans.

A random tender mercy: yesterday after church, SIster Johannessen (another missionary here) and I had to grab some things from a classroom and we ran into SIster Leuchner. SHe had invited the other sisters to dinner after church and when she found out that my companion and I had not been invited to eat dinner after church, she was like, "What? Nope not allowed. You two are coming over as well." We had an incredibly wonderful time with the Leuchner family and it was fun getting in touch with my German roots (BTW the Leuchners are from East Germany) and attempt to speak what little German I remember from high school days :)

Spiritual Thought:
In my studies, I've been reading about Alma and his missionary work. He's always been one of my favourite Book of Mormon heroes. Today I read his conversion story and it never fails to get me right at the heart. Something I never caught before was after Alma receives the overwhelming joy of being forgiven and turning himself to Christ, it mentions that he received strength in his body again to stand back up. When we sincerely open and turn ourselves to Christ, His atonement enables us to do all. I've read and heard this many times but it really is true. Praises unto the Lord, we are never alone. The Savior always helps us back up over and over again. He's cheering us on. What joy it is that He truly is our Savior. Because of Him, we can keep going on.

Have a super duper week and remember who you are! Love each and every one of you :)

Take care,
Søster Buhler

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Short Update...

Hei folkens

I'm sorry for the short update but email time just goes by way too fast!! So this will be done in bullet point status:

- Got to see my friend Amanda! We're seeing her again this week :)
- Miracle: On Tuesday, a former investigator called me asking if she could come to church. On Sunday she texted me and asked if she could bring a friend. WHAT? Their names are Veronika and Benjamin. They both really enjoyed church and are excited about the YSA activities! Such a tender mercy to have gotten contact with them!
-I've come to love fresh air a lot over the past week. It's been said before but it truly is refreshing.

I'm sorry for the rush but know that I love you all and that I pray for you all every day.

Have a wonderful week!

Søster Buhler

Monday, March 2, 2015

....... Yup

Hei Folkens!!

Well it was a solid week of getting more white-washing and training business taken care of. I feel bad that I really don't have much to say for the week... Just that this week I have been able to learn, or re-learn I should say, about faith, trust, and pixie dust. What? I was going through my old study journals when I came across my very first study notes from when I first got to Norway. 

Faith is the having that determination that you will go and do something. Trust is relying on the Lord that He will keep His part of the promise as we show our faith through actions. Finally, pixie dust is the gift of the Holy Ghost. When you think about how incredible it is we are blessed with this gift as members, it truly is something magical. Heavenly Father knew that faith and trust alone would not be enough. We needed help. That is the magic of the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that, it gives us that last boost of strength to step out into the unknown. I once heard a quote that went along the lines of, when you step out into darkness, there are two options of what could happen: 1) You step onto solid ground or 2) You will learn to fly.

We will always have Heavenly Father's help available to us. We will also continue to either grow or weaken in our faith in trust everyday. It never stays at the same level so we are blessed with opportunities every day to continue growing in our faith and trust to enable us to use our "pixie dust" more.

Love you all and I hope each of you have a magical week :)

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, February 23, 2015

There. and Back again: Bergen

 My new mission companion...Sister Muren!
 My giant troll buddy!
 I was at this view point in 2012!! Crazy!!
 Another troll buddy...gotta love them troll buddies!!!
My new district missionaries...Elder Phipps, Sister Johannessen, and Elder Dalton

Hei alle sammen!

Eg er i Bergen nå!!! Looks like I can keep on trying out that "Nynorsk" thing (Quick explanation - there's two Norwegian languages: Bokmål and Nynorsk. Everyone can understand Bokmål and studies that in school growing up here. Nynorsk... Well it's "new Norwegian." Yup) that I attempted to pick up in Ålesund. That's besides the point - ONTO this week's update:

Saying goodbye to everyone in Ålesund was incredibly heartbreaking. It truly is a special place with absolutely phenomenal people. Man, I am getting teary just thinking about it!

It feels very very VERY weird being here in Bergen. When we come into the city center, I keep thinking about when I was here in 2012. But I am getting over that pretty quickly because Bergen is, well, just a wonderful place. I am REALLY grateful that the busses announce their stops so it makes it easier to get around here. I'm still trying to get the swing of things but this white-washing thing is going alright so far. It's a strong push to help me sprint to the end for sure!

We had Zone Leader Training (Long story short - something happened with the traveling plans so the Bergen district wasn't able to make it out to where the ZLT was. So the zone leaders came to us) about Preach My Gospel. I was actually grateful to get two zlts about that because I really love Preach My Gospel! We also focused about the importance of using scriptures not only in lessons but while we are finding. The ZLs gave the idea of having a scripture for every principle we teach (total of 42). I have decided to take up the challenge and learn 42 scriptures! Woohoo!!

Church was a big shock for me. The only thing people asked me to do was introduce myself... What? I don't need to teach the Sunday lesson? No talk? No piano playing? What? I'll admit I was a bit on edge just in case if someone was like, "Hey can someone...." "I got it!!" But... that didn't happen. So weird. It was really nice how many people did come up to introduce themselves to me.

Also.... New Companion 411!!
Søster Caroline Muren is Norwegian! Born and raised in Oslo. Has one older brother (Markus MC) and one younger sister (Charlotte). She likes to be with family, friends, go to the movie theater, shop, and her favorite food is pizza (American of course!). She's been out since December and I'll be finishing up her training before I go home! I'm looking forward to get to know her better over the next few weeks!

Spiritual thought for the week... I am just really grateful for the Atonement. As the scriptures say in Alma 7:11-13, the Savior took upon Himself EVERYTHING we could ever experience. He did so in order to help us overcome all just as He did. I love the Lord so much and I am so grateful to know that He loves me today and always. He loves you and His enabling power is always available. USE IT. That's what it is there for.

Have a super duper week everyone!

Søster Buhler

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beggining of my last transfer...

Omar (my convert in Trondheim!)

Hei alle sammen!

It's so weird to think that this is my last transfer! And guess what? I'M MOVING! Yup, I will be serving in Bergen before I go home. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! But here are some highlights for the week:
  • -Sister Training Leaders Visit!
  • -Zone Leader Training: The Lion King
  • -Trondheim reunion: Omar
  • -Valentine's Day Branch Party!
  • -Baptismal Date with Stig!!!
  • -Spiritual Thought
  • -New Mailing Address (Last One!)

We had Sister Campbell (one of my MTC companions!) and Sister Hartley come and visit us this week! It was really wonderful to see them and we had a blast! I just always love and appreciate their tips and selvfølgelig hearing them share their testimonies. They are both incredible missionaries and I'm grateful to know them :)

We had Zone Leader Training in Trondheim which was super fun! It was Lion King themed!! DISNEY LOVE REPRESENT!! Anyhoo, it was specifically about how we are to help people remember who they are while we are finding (aka teaching to find). It never fails to blow my mind how much we can always learn and increase in our abilities!

While in Trondheim, I got to see my convert Omar! It was so good to see him!! He's doing well and still coming to church! Oh my heart! It's so good and comforting to see that he is doing well and staying firm in the faith!

Our branch and a Valentine's Day party and it was a success! Our investigator Paul was able to come and meet the members. They all had a really fun time and it really helped Paul feel more comfortable. Now he's not scared of coming to church! So good!

AH! I still cannot get over how incredible this teach was. We met with Stig and finished going through the restoration with him. He was just soaking up everything! We read in Moroni 10:3-5 and discussed about what having a sincere heart and real intent meant. We then asked him if he would be baptized when he found out the Book of Mormon is true. Silence. Stig is looking down at the Book of Mormon and is just quiet for a few minutes. When he looks up at us, he says in the most confirming voice,"yes." That moment was so powerful! We then invited him to be baptized on March 28 and again he replied in that same voice, "yes." He even marked the day in his phone's calendar! AH!!!! There really are people who are seeking truth and will act on it when they hear it!!

Spiritual Thought: Quote
I came across this quote during the week:
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life... it putself in our hands and hopes we've learnt something from yesterday." -John Wayne

The gospel is all about fulfilling our divine natures. We really are children of God and He wants us to enjoy all that He has. Something that I am learning the importance of is journal writing. Random? Yes, but this has helped me to record what I learned today so that tomorrow I wil remember what I learned from yesterdays past.

And here's my new mailing address:

St. Olavsvei 3B
5052 Bergen

Love you all and I hope you have a fanastic week! Don't forget to have an attitude of grattitude and to write in journals :)

Søster Buhler

Bente, one of the awesome recent converts!

​Sister Vega!! I knew her in Oslo! Now we're serving in the same mission!!
Sending some holiday greetings!
 Sister Neilson and Paul (our investigator)
 Ingeborg (Åse Marie's Daughter), Åse Marie, Me, and Sister Neilson :) 
 Group Party Pic!
I'm on a horse!!