Monday, December 30, 2013

Feeling in Your Heart

Hello you fantastic people!

How was your Christmas? I hope you were able to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year! I truly love Christmas and it's even more amazing that Norway loves Christmas even more than I do. Sayeth whaaaaaaat?

Anyways, it was a good relaxing week. Due to the fact Norway gets like 3 weeks off from everything to celebrate Christmas, finding was super challenging. We were not allowed to go tracting and lots of people were gone. SO this week was spent with the members and getting to know them better.

Christmas Eve, Sister Johnson and I were at the Åsheims. They invited another member named Jørgen and we had a lovely time. Had an American Turkey dinner and talked about Norwegian slowtv, handball, and geneology mainly. There were points in the evening where Sister Johnson and I were asked about our past lives (aka what we did before the mission) but we seemed to always go back to those topics. When the Åsheims and Jørgen were opening presents, we expected to not open anything since we were waiting for Christmas morning. But we were given each a present from the Åsheims and Jørgen. So kind! We got to be part of the Norwegian tradition of opening presents of Christmas eve :)

Christmas morning, oh boy oh boy oh boy! We got spoiled good! The ward gave us so many presents! Most of it was chocolate, but it was so joyful that the members went out of their way to give us a little something. We opened our presents from our families, took lots of pictures, and then we went out to do some work. We went caroling to less-actives with the elders which was super fun. Then we all went over to the Horgmos for dinner. We had a Norwegian Christmas dinner (Yum!), played games, and got to Skype our families!! So good to see their happy smiling faces :)

Also we had Mission conference on Saturday! Well, only two zones could join together, but it was still great! I got to see Elder Vause and Elder Rice from my MTC group! We got fed spiritually and had a fun talent show with some super fun games. After all that fun bit, we wrapped up in the chapel. The best part was when President said, "I won't be able to look at Sister Buhler the same way again." Don't worry, he meant that in a good way. I think. I did hand rhythms and clogging in the talent show if that helps clear up things. I have a video of Sister Johnson and I performing our song.

Besides that, we had a cool experience happen on Friday with an inactive. Most inactives in this ward DO NOT want ANYTHING  to do with the church. But we got a call asking to deliver some food to an inactive named Anne. We come over and Anne answers the door. She was so grateful to receive the food and we stayed to chat with her. She's been so lonely and she really loved talking with us. She wants us to come and see her more and do some service for her! It was just really wonderful to hear that she's open to the church again. We will be working with her a lot hopefully.

Yes, lots of things happened. It'll be 2014 real soon and I feel that this is gonna be a fantastic year! Hope you will take the time to reflect on this year and take advantage of the new year to become a little better.

Merry belated Christmas and may the new year bring you lots of great experiences!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Celebrating the Light of the World

This week was a bit disappointing, but it was a good learning week. 

We were able to meet with one of our investigators named Hanne (how Norwegians spell Hannah). She has been reading from the Book of Mormon, but she believes that the Bible is all that she needs to learn about Christ. We read 2 Nephi 32 together and Hanne really liked it. She kept rereading verses while we discussed the Holy Ghost with her. We bore our testimonies that the Book of Mormon helps us to gain even more knowledge of Jesus Christ and promised her that as long as she kept reading, she would also come to know that. She understands that she does need to keep reading and she says she will read a little everyday. We won't be able to meet with her until after the new year, but I don't doubt that she will read. She is a great example to me about keeping your word.

Sadly we couldn't meet with anyone else this week. Semhar, our investigator who came to church last Sunday has been busy with the holidays and lots of other things. One the nice side though, she sent us a text saying that we're in her prayers. Which means that she is praying! There's always good in every situation.

We had some difficulty with finding because people don't really wanna stop and chat when they have Christmas shopping to get done... We did manage to an appointment THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. THAT IS INCREDIBLE. The week of Christmas is a week long party so we were expecting to be able to meet with anyone because of that. But nope, this one man named Kim wants to meet with us!

And one last cool surprise: A former investigator that the sister before my companion and I came here came to church on Sunday. His name is Sylvester. He's a very funny old man who is very religious. In our investigator class, we challenged him to baptism. He said he would keep trying. He is still trying to receive his confirmation to be baptized. 

So even though we didn't have many lessons or find many potentials, there were still some great surprises this week. 

A quick scripture thought: We have the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Christ's birth this week. I would like to challenge you to read Alma 7 and to remember that we celebrate Christ's birth because of His life. As was said by one of the general authorities, "There would be no Christmas without Easter." 
Also John 8:12 is a good one to read as well :)

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!
God Jul!!

Sister Buhler

Monday, December 16, 2013

Keeps on Getting Better

Hallo Mennesker!!

It's been a pretty good week with some amazing things that occured here and there.

Tuesday instead of doing an hour and a half of contacting like we had planned, we ended up contacting for four hours. WHOA. But it didn't feel long probably because it was super fun. We talked with all kinds of people. Almost right off the bat we met these two guys from Amnesty International (supports human rights) named Robert and Jo... (He's from Portugal and I couldn't catch the last bit). We had a great discussion with them about how we were sent to Norway and what we do as missionaries. They both are going to be moving sometime next month, but it was still fun talking with them. We saw them throughout the day and we'd wave hello as we passed each other.
Some of the people we met:
- Robin Williams (Not, but this guy's laugh and personality totally reminded me of Robin Williams. He had a lot of questions about what happens after this life and Søster Johnson was having a great discussion with him. Sadly though he didn't want to give us his number so we gave him ours in case he still wants to know)
-Rudolph (Not really his name, but he wore a bright red coat and was super cheerful. He didn't have a whole lot of time but he apparently likes missionaries and we gave him our contact card)
-Ole (a young man who is interested in knwoing what this life is about and how he can improve his life. We exchanged numbers (oh yeah!) but were not able to schedule a time with him. Bummer. But don't you fret because we shall find a time to meet with him!)
-This one old man... This is just a funny story. So we're walking and this old man is walking towards us. I stop him and say that we're talking with people about Christmas and he gets super happy. Then Søster J starts talking and the old man starts saying words I have no idea what they meant and Søster J's eyes pop out. She quickly bid him farewell and I asked what just happened. She said that the old man was like, "I'd love to have you come over for Christmas. You're very pretty girls and I would like to get cozy with you." WHOA. WHOA. WHOA...whoa. Not happening. But it's still pretty funny.
There were many other people we got to talk with but that was a lot of writing. Sorry, but I want to be able to include more of what happened this week.
I also had the chance to meet Paola who is a less-active that the sisters have been working with. She is from Chile and has a two year old son named Adrian. She's super sweet and welcoming. She cooked us dinner after we had dinner with the Biskop. So two dinners one hour apart. It was brutal but worth it.

Wednesday an epic battle almost happened. We had two appointments fall through so we went to work on our Family History ad at the church. An hour later we are getting ready to leave and it's dark (it gets dark by 3:30pm now). We see two dark figures by the doors and we are FREAKED OUT. We were frozen with fear of not knowing what to do because there was two people INSIDE the church building. I seriuosly almost went ninja but then I realized it was the elders. As they walked towards us we all were like, "I think we were all ready to go ninja." Good times.

Thursday something kind of cool happened. We all (the elders included) had dinner with the Jacobsen family. Brother and Sister Jacobsen are active members but their kids don't want anything to do with the church. The last dinner we had with them, the kids did not want to eat with us. But something different happened this time. When we got there, the eldest son, Aldan, answered the door. He said both his parents were still out but would be there soon. We go into the living room to wait and Aldan calls down his brother Alexander. We ended up having a conversation about where we are from and where they have been in the states. When Brother Jacobsen came in with dinner (it was pizza. Never thought I would have that but OH MAH GOODNESS IT WAS DELICIOUS) both Aldan and Alexander wanted to still talk with us so we all ate together. Later on, the daughter comes home (I wasn't able to catch her name) but she just joins us and starts talking with Søster J. It was a fun and surprising evening.

Friday we had a wonderful lesson with Serge our try-back. When we got there we forgot that there might not be a lady when we arrived and we said a little prayer that there would be a wife so this could still be a lesson. We go up to the door and Serge's wife answers. HALLELUJAH! We had a great Restoration lesson with Serge and his wife (never caught her name). When we handed them each a Book of Mormon (we brought one Russian and one in Norwegian since Serge said that He's Russian last time we saw him) and the wife started looking through it and reading the title page and introduction. Serge has some concerns because he thinks the Book of Mormon conflicts with the Bible. We did our best to explain but he still had them. He still wants us to come back again though because he enjoys talking with us. We were able to schedule for the 27th and get his number!

On Saturday we had a lesson with Semhar. It was so wonderful!! We had Maria Borge come with us on the teach. She and Semhar hit it off so well. We also learned that Maria was an orthadox before she joined the church. Semhar is an orthadox. It was super awesome that they have that connection. We had planned to tech about the Atonement but it ended up becoming a lesson about the power of the Book of Mormon. Semhar has been reading but she struggled to see how it could apply to her. Both Maria and I shared personal experiences about how the Book of Mormon helped us in our lives and Sister Johnson taught how the Book o fMormon helps us to strengthen our relationship with God. At the end of the lesson Semhar was excited to read in the Book of Mormon! Also, we invited her to church and she said she would come!

Sunday morning was the longest. Well not really, but waiting for Semhar felt long. Relief Society was starting but she hadn't come yet. We waited by the doors for the longest 15 minutes of my life. We sent Semhar a text asking if she was still coming and she replied Yes with a smiley face. Good sign of course. AND IT CAME TO PASS that Semhar arrived. The members were wonderful with introducing themselves to Semhar throughout church and overall Semhar enjoyed how she felt. She had a lot of questions but she just knew she had to soak in all in. She's golden. After sacrament was over, she had to run but we gave her hugs and said we'll meet up this week.MY FIRST INVESTIGATOR AT CHURCH!!! So exciting!!!

And quick little story for a spiritual thought: Last Monday I went to exchange my coat because the one I had bought wasn't warm. It was more rain coat than winter coat. I picked a warmer coat that was 2000 Kroner and when I went up to the lady who was helping me exhange, she said that the tag was wrong and the coat was actually 3000 kroner. Instead of just saying, "tough luck/too bad" the lady takes off 1000 kroner from the price so I only have to pay 700 kroner. She was super kind to be that understanding for me. This huge act of kindess reminded me of how merciful Jesus Christ is. We often expect life to be fun and easy but then something happens that demands much more from us than we thought. We feel panic and stress. But Jesus Christ comes to us and helps us receive the strength we need through His atoning sacrifice. He paid the price of sin so all that we have to do is be willing to turn back towards Him and repent.

That's all for now folks. Have a fantastic week!!

Got some yummy Norwegian goods!!!
Soster Johnson loving the Christmas Milk
Winter Wonderland!
Decorating for Christmas!
Got some snow!!! Merry Early Christmas everyone!
Scraping ice off the car...Good times

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Hello wonderful people!

This week: much growth, buried alive, and much danger!

This week we've been able to meet with a wonderful young lady named Semhar. We met her while contacting on the street and she lives by the church building. When we first met her last monday, she spilled her soul to us. I couldn't understand everything, but I could understand she's had many hardships with her family and feel how broken she was. We told her about how our message can help her heal from those hardships and help her have some constant she can hold herself to. We gave her a Book of Mormon and briefly explained what it was. We were able to schedule another time with her last week to talk more about the Book of Mormon and asked her to start reading it.

On Tuesday we met this lady named Helga again. The first time we met her she kept telling us there's no living prophet on the earth today. We gave her an Articles of Faith card. When we saw her again, the first thing she said, "I prayed to Jesus and asked Him to meet you again." Of course I thought this was excellent but then she continued, "so I could tell you that God's Kingdom will not be on American soil." Yeah. We kept talking and she really wanted to learn more, but refused to at the same time. She'd ask us a question, we'd start answer, then she'd say no I don't want to know. But she kept asking questions. Who knows, maybe she'll pray again to meet us, but she will first need to find out if she REALLY wants her questions answered.
Also, we met Joe. When we were walking, he came from the opposite direction. We stopped him and Sister Johnson talked with him. He then turns to me and asks in English, "What do you believe?" I didn't know what was already said and had no idea what to say but I opened my mouth. Words came out. After I finished, I had not idea what I said but Joe then asked when we can meet. HOLY GUACAMOLE. It was a great experience for me to confirm that the Holy Ghost does help you know what to say in the every moment you need it.

We met again with Semhar on Thursday and gave her the first lesson. She really liked it. After we closed with a prayer, Semhar gave us cookies that she made for us! So sweet! We had a nice little chat while we ate delicious shortbread cookies.

Friday, we had a cool find happen. While we were out bonking, there was this lady and she tried to trick us by speaking English (psh silly). When she wouldn't listen to us anymore, we asked if she knew anyone who would be interested. She pointed to her neighbor diagonally from her. When we go over there, a man answers the door and when we said where we were from, he invited us inside to his entryhall to talk. He was very curious about the Book of Mormon and was super friendly to talk to. He was very suprised by my and Sister Johnson's Norwegian skills which was a nice little confidence  booster. We had to run to a dinner appointment, but we got an appointment to try this Friday.

Last night we had Jul i Toner. A huge Christmas Concert that the ward puts on every year. Over 500 people came and 200 were nonmembers. Awesome! We got to talk with some folks which was great, but none wanted to pick a time to meet with us. Not so awesome, but we're getting there.

So to explain the Narnia/buried alive bit, it snowed. A LOT. I've slipped a few times on the ice and I would disappear in the snow. Good stuff.

Sorry for the short update and lack of pictures again. I will work on taking more pictures this week for you!!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, December 2, 2013

That moment when...

Lots of fun moments happened throughout this week!

So Tuesday had some cool things happen. Sister Johnson had me choose where to go. With each change of direction, I'd pick a street, and then people would just ignore us. I was feeling a bit dumb. We came to a fork in the road (not literally of course) and I yet again picked a street. Then we met Wanna. She told us she is going through many challenges now. She's lost her job, getting a divorce, and is trying to find a place to live before she's kicked out of her home. We told her we had a message that we had a message about how Christ could help her. She was very interested and wanted to get a Book of Mormon in Thai. We were able to schedule an appointment on Friday with her!

Shortly after we turned the corner, we met a man named Tarric from Turkey. He was very happy that he could speak English with us. He loves God very much and belives He always helps everyone. He had to run to school, but we were able to give him our number and schedule to meet on Sunday!

In the evening we went out bonking for about 2 hours. All the people that answered their door kept saying, "Sorry, now is not a good time." To which we replied, "Is there another day that would be better?" And then they say, "Don't come back" and shut the door. Good stuff man. 

We then came upon our last door. A lady answers and we tell her that we have another testament of Jesus Christ and she invites us in to tell her more. HOLY COW IT WAS AMAZING.

We had a legit lesson, prayers and the whole shabang, with Hanne (that's her name, In case you cannot tell, I'm still super stoked that we found her!). We scheduled a return appointment on friday, had a fun chat while we got bundled up again, and said your farewells.

Wednesday, we went up to Hamar for a district meeting and service day. We helped a less-active named Anne (the kindest and sassiest lady I've ever met) whose from England. We started the process of painting her entry hall and bathroom.

Thursday was homeless day. Don't worry, we didn't get kicked out of our place. We just didn't have the car all day. We took it into the shop and it was in there for longer then we had expected. So instead of going out to visit less-actives, we did some research on public transportation and had weekly planning. When we got the car back, it was a very joyful reunion.

And oh boy Friday. We had many appoitments and they came through for once! First, we went to see Gloria who is an investigator Sister Johnson taught before I came. We had a first lesson with her again since it was awhile since she met with us. It quickly turned into an arguement about prophets and the Book of Mormon. She kept saying that the Bible is the most correct book and that we don't need a prophet. She also kept asking, "How can you believe that he was a prophet?" We told her that we read the Book of Mormon and prayed to God to ask if it was true. We knew it to be true so we have come to know the Joesph Smith was a prophet of God. But she refuses to read the Book of Mormon. After we ended with a pray, she was super friendly with us and we said goodbye.

But don't be sad because our other appointments went spectacular! We met again with Hanne. She's so postive and really wanting to learn! She's the best!! At first, she wasn't open to the idea of a prophet but by the end of the lesson, she was open to the idea and even better, she said she'll pray to know if there is a prophet on the earth today. We won't be able to met until the 20th because it's getting crazy with Christmas coming up, but she's coming to the stake Christmas concert on the 8th!!

We then had a dinner appointment with a member Sister Borge. She's so sweet and has an incredible testimony and conversion story. In a nutshell, when she was little, she remembered that the missionaries bonked on her door but her parents wouldn't let them in. Later on when she was living on her own, the missionaries bonked on her door and her let them in on the condition that they would leave when she said so. But when she heard their message about Christ and the meaning of this life, she felt a hole in her heart starting to be filled. A few months later she was baptized. Later her husband and children were baptized. Her husband died last year, but all her children are all very active in the church. She is an amazing example to her family!

We then went to a try-back we had with a woman named Elli. We had a quick lesson about the Book of Mormon with her, gave her a copy, and because she is traveling for the holidays, we exchanged numbers so we could stay in touch to plan another appointment. She believes in the good in all people and loves service. Also, she now has a grandchild! So cute! Random I know, but hey children are adorable.
We got lost looking for Wanna's house and tried to call her. She forgot it was Friday, and told us to come in the morning.

Saturday we were able to meet with Wanna. She was sick but still wanted us to come in and teach her. She is so eager to learn more about Christ. When we handed the Thai Book of Mormon to her, the biggest smile came over her face. She started reading through and looking at the pictures while asking us questions about Christ. It melted my heart to see her strong desire to know Christ. We taught her how to pray and she prayed with us! At first she was very nervous and asked us to write out the outline for her. She asked if it was OK to pray in Thai and we gave her the OK. I couldn't understand the whole thing, but somehow I was able to understand that she was thankful that we talked with her, thankful for her family, and thankful that she is getting to learn more about God and Christ. It was really cool that I was able to understand that little bit.

Whoa. Well, I hope you all enjoy long letters. Also hope I haven't damaged your vision.

It's officially the beginning of the Christmas season! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, so you all better enjoy it!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, November 25, 2013

Daily Thanksgiving

Pretty fun week with lots of good stuff happening!

Last Tuesday was my first legit District meeting which was sweet. My district leader is Eldste Hill and he's pretty great. We talked about the importance of repentance and practiced teaching The Gospel of Christ with an emphasis on repentance which was really good. My companion, Søster Johnson, had me talk about repentance which was a bit intimidating for me to give the emphasized part of the lesson but it went better than I expected. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful trainer and companion who helps me to expand my comfort zone with the language little by litte. Like it says in Alma 37:6 "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass..."
We had a dinner appoinment with the Elders at the Biskop's hus Tuesday night. It was really wonderful to get to know the Biskop better, He truly is a fantastic person with a steadfast testimony in this gospel. I'm stoked to work with him in this marvelous work.
After dinner, we went to an appointment we had with a potential named Cecelie. Unfortunately she was working over time and her kids were home alone. We left our contact card with them and are still praying that she will call us to let us come. If we don't hear from her by tomorrow, we will probably swing by if it feels right.

Wednesday was a hopping around day. We visited a less-active named Melinda and helped clean her house. I found out that she is a gamer and sci-fi fan so I got to be a little geeky with her. Fun stuff. We shared a message with her about the restoration and she shared some of her testimony with us. She has a hard time coming out to church because her wrists have been acting really funky where she cannot grip things for long periods of time and she lives a ways from the church building. We're trying to help find ways to help her come back to church.
After we visited Melinda, we went to vist another less-active, Sister Hansen. She wasn't feeling super good so our visit was short. We shared a quick message of prayer and she looked really glad to hear our message. She was very thoughtful of me and made sure she spoke slow and defined words so I could understand what she was saying. Such a sweet lady!
We then drove to visit a potential named Glory. She was home and explained that she had broken her phone so she wasn't avoiding our calls. We asked when we could visit and she said, just come on over in the afternoon, don't worry about calling. Sweet! So we are going to stop by this week.
We had dinner with the Åsheim family. Fun story: I'm related to them! Through marriage. So Bonnie (Sis. Åsheims)'s brother married my dad's cousin Rosanne. It's a small world afterall!! Anyways, it was a fun dinner getting to know the Åsheims better. They're very big in missioanry work and we talked about different ideas for the work and what they could do to help us. They have some friedns they are working with and we helped give them ideas.
After dinner, we went visiting teaching to see a less-active named Franceska. She's a young, artsy, and super sweet gal! She was very understanding and helped me to feel comfortable even though I had little to no clue of what was being said.
Phew! Busy but an excellent day!

We had some really good contacts the rest of the week. We talked with a man named Alban (he reminded me of Tom Hardy, the actor) about our relationship with God and invited him to pray to God. We talked with a Swedish woman nameed Eba who believes in trying things out for herself and has a scientific way of thinking. At the beginning of our conversation, she didn't believe in God, but by the end she became open to it. Oh yeah! She wouldn't give us her number so we gave her ours.

And one quick story: Sunday we went tracting and we came to this one house. A man answered the door and we introduced ourselves. After saying some of our beliefs, we asked if we could come in briefly to explain more about the Book of Mormon. He let us in. Woo hoo!! But since it was just him, we couldn't be in there for very long. I understood that he and Søster Johnson were talking about the background of what the Book of Mormon is about. It was really cool to observe how at first he sat as far from us as possible and very stiff like but the longer we talked, he sat closer and became more comfortable. He kept picking up the Book of Mormon and looking through it as we talked. We gave him a Book of Mormon, found out his name is Espen, and planned an appointment on December 14th when he gets back from a family vacation in Brazil.
It was my first time that someone let us in to talk with them!! IT WAS AMAZING!!

Hope you all are doing well!!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Fun in the snow!!!

Bonnie and Tron who took us sightseeing!!!

Inside the church ruins!

Some countryside of Romerike

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jeg elsker Norge!!!

Hallo Folk!!

So I'm in Norway now. Not gonna lie, it is the BEST place ever. So it's been pretty crazy the last week but lots of fun stuff has been happening as well.

Last Monday was when we took off to Norway. We took the Frontrunner to the airport and I sat next to a man named Jose. He's a member and we had a lovely conversation about his kids and job, my BYU life, and how Spanish has affectionate names (Jose's is Pépé). We made it to the airport safely, got checked in and taken care of. The flight from SLC to Dalles was good.
The Dalles Airport is so cool. IT'S LIKE DISNEYLAND!! There was this little train we took from our terminal to get to our transfer terminal. Happy music was playing the entire time as well. You just cannot go wrong with happy music on rides.
The plane we flew on from Dalles to London was FANCY. There was a personal screen for each seat and the elders discovered we could chat with each other on them. We many quoted movies and talked about... random things. I tried to catch some z's but I think the excitement of going to Norway kept me up.
London was a brief stop. Well, by brief like a 3-4 hour layover. So not enough time to go sightseeing much, but we were all pretty tired to move.
When we arrived in Norway, everyone kept saying, "Guess what? We're in Norway." It was so cool to see Norway as we were flying over it!!
We went to go pick up our luggage and... mine didn't come. Two other elders (Elder Taylor and Elder Reber) each had a bag missing. they got left behind in London. BUT I was prepared in my carry-on and our luggage flew over for us to get them the next morning. But man, that was kinda scary not having all my luggage there and not knowing what was happening.
We arrived at the mission home. Two words: It's adorable!! My mission president, President Evans, and his wife greeted us, we ate our first home cooked meal in ages, and we had a little testimony meeting. We found out where our first areas are and who our new companions are! Don't worry, I'll get there. We got our bedding which is AMAZING. I love it. It's truly wonderful. Really, I kid you not.
The next morning (11/13) we ate breakfast, had our orientation, President Evans interviewed each of us, ate lunch, and were off to our areas. It was a bittersweet moment to say goodbye to my MTC district. Lots of meaningful handshakes were given and us sisters gave out tons of hugs.

So my first area is called Romerike. It's just east of Oslo. When President Evans interviewed me he said that I'm one of the first sisters to come here. This area hasn't had a baptism for a really long time (and you best believe that's gonna change!) and that the best resource I have here is to work with the members to find people. The Romerike ward puts on this HUGE Christmas concert every year and apparently lots of non-members attend it. I'm excited for that!
My new companion and trainer is Søster Johnson. Oh mah goodness, she is just fantastic!! She's super energetic, loves to smile, and you can feel her love for this work. I'm so excited and grateful that she is my trainer!!
After we dropped off my luggage at the apartment (super nice by the way), we went contacting. On the street. In Norwegian. Good stuff. I was able to say, "Hi, excuse me. We two come from the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and then Søster Johnson would take over. Not much luck, but we did have some nice conversations with some people. We spent the rest of the night helping the elders get to their new apartment.

The Romerike ward is so wonderful! They welcomed the new missionaries so warmly and kept saying how excited they were to have us. I'm excited to get to know this ward better and to work with them.

So letting you all know I've arrived safely in Norway, and I've hit the ground running.

Life truly is good and the churh is true!

Last MTC supper

Sister Larsen and Sister Larsen! They were in my BYU freshman ward
Chocolate my companion got for me
My new study area
 my apartment (living room)
My trainer, Søster Johnson and the Elders (Elder Nielson and Elder Garrard)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Last week in the MTC! And Hitch has changed my perspective (Read to find out why)

I've already been in the MTC for five weeks? Seriously, I'm just going to blink and then it's like, "You'll be done by next week." Sayeth whaaaaaat?

So let's get down to business: Last Tuesday (10/29) we had a wonderful devotional by Elder Carlos B. Godoy of the Seventy. He shared his conversion story to illustrate these points: 1) We are called to teach ALL, 2) Not to judge anyone, 3) Involve the members so investigators can have a safe conversion (fulfill the spiritual part and have the social aspect of the gospel), 4) Assist the less active and 5) Baptizing one leads to saving generations of thousands. In a nutshell, his conversion story started when he went with his sister's friend to a church activity as a teenager. He was attracted to how happy the members were and told the sister missionaries (oh yeah!) that he'd like to learn more. A few months later he was baptized, but became inactive because he didn't have much support from the ward. A year later he went to a youth conference, met his wife at the dance, and her support along with her friends helped bring him back to the church and continuing being a faithful member to this day. He even had the opportunity to act as the sealer for the son of one of the sister missionaries that taught him. How fantastic is that 1) he got to perform an ordinance for the one that helped to bring the gospel into his life and 2) for that sister to see how far that one teenage boy has come since she taught him. This gospel is truly amazing.

On Wednesday (10/30), I got to host the new missionaries! I helped this one sister from Vancouver, Canada and it took a little longer to help her because she was international. I also got to host a sister going to Mexico, and a sister from North Carolina going to Paris France. It was pretty cool to go full circle from when I first reported to now hosting new missionaries. It was super fun but MAN. After awhile, carrying all that luggage is EXHAUSTING. I got in a excellent workout that day.

Halloween was... good. Yeah, let't call it that. I attempted to dress up as Mushu (the dragon from Mulan) by dressing in his colors. It was fun to attempt dressing up! We didn't have a teacher in the morning, but our district was so good about it. We played a verb game where we practice conjugating verbs in all their forms before the other person can write it all down. It gets pretty intense. Trust me. In the afternoon we played another game called "pang" (how Norwegians say "bang") where the teacher says a word in English and you have to say the word then "pang" to "kill" the other person. We usually turn it into a Western Showdown. Later on in the day, the Danish missionaries had some fake mustaches and accessories sent by someone's mom and we had a fun mini Halloween party.

Friday (11/1) was our last gym time with the Danish missionaries. We had an excellent game of volleyball with many excellent plays. I apparently break dance as I play volleyball. Seriously, I have a problem with multitasking that I need to work on. At one point in the game, I lost my balance, caught myself with my leg extending back and somehow spun in a perfect circle. The game paused so everyone could watch my fantastic break dance. Yeah.
**During personal study, Sister Maxwell (going to Sweden) made a marvelous connection: Missionary work is like the movie "Hitch."  In the movie, Will Smith's character says once the girl says yes to you asking her on a date, you don't have to worry about impressing her anymore. She said yes when she could have said no. So now just be your awesome self and hope she accepts you. Same with missionary work. Once a person says yes to let you teach them, you don't have to worry about impressing them no more. They said yes when they very well could have said no. So now, just teach your awesome message and hope they'll accept it. Another connection is the 90%/10% thing. In the movie, you lean in 90% but let the girl have that 10% to decide whether or not she wants to kiss. With missionary work, we do 90% of the work. We teach the lessons, provide the investigators with what they need, and let them have that 10% to decide if they want to be baptized. How awesome is that connection?

We also got our travel plans! But we still haven't heard about our visas so we're all hoping and praying that we get to travel together. As of now, we go from Utah to Texas to London to Norway. It's going to be a long but epic day of traveling.

Our lessons with Marita and Frederik have been going well. With Marita, she has come to church with us, prayed out loud with us, and has even stopped doing homework on Sunday to keep the Sabbath day holy. But she still struggles to believe in God because she can't see him.
With Frederik, he finally believes in God and Jesus Christ! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he thought it was interesting how there's three degrees of glory. We are introducing the commandments to him/ Last time, we helped to establish that commandments are laws God gives us to help protect us and give us blessings throughout out lives. He always thought they were just lame rules that hold people back but by the end, he liked about we taught that commandments can bless those who obey them.

And I have finished creating bookmarks for everyone! It was super fun to see everyone smile when they saw their pictures and smile even bigger after reading the note on the back. This is the spiritual message I would like to leave for you all: no matter how small the act of service, it can bring a smile to someone's face. Remember Mosiah 2:17 (When ye are in the service or your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."

Take care everyone!

sisters on halloween. The one of me is my attempt of dressing up like Mushu

Halloween with the Danes

bookmarks I made for the Danes and a group shot of the Danes for Halloween

So Elder Vause wanted a picture of Rapunzel
Elder Edwards and Elder Vause remind me of Mike and Sulley so I drew on for the comedy duo
and the last one is a baby bat that was outside our door yesterday morning. His name is George Bartok Junior.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dancing in the rain

Hi hi folk! How is everyone doing? I hope all is fantastic!

Last Tuesday I got to sing in the choir while my companions for the devotional. We sang, "Consider The Lilies." BEAUTIFUL song worth looking up on the Youtube if you haven't heard it before. Apparently I was seen on TV... Bleh. The elders from our zone keep teasing us sisters about it and calling us famous people. They make life entertaining for sure.
The speaker was Lynn B. Robbins of the Seventy. It was about mainly finding people and the importance of having faith in Heavenly Father to open your mouth. The right words you need to say will come. Good stuff.

Our lessons with Frederik and Marita have been progressing. All of us have been learning something new with every lesson. Our last lesson with Frederik was pretty rough. When we ask him questions, he always replies, "I don't know" or "maybe" so finally we asked him what he wanted from us. He got defensive and said we were suppose to know because we're the missionaries and went off in an angry rant. It was pretty scary. So we apologized for pushing him too much and started over as best we could. After the lesson, Brother Bartholomew had us read from Preach My Gospel about how investigators don't know what they want. Most of them don't know what they're looking for, until they have found it in the gospel. We learned that we were too focused on connecting with Frederik that we were not teaching him. It was a good eye opener experience.
Our last lesson with Marita was great on the other hand. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and how families can be together forever. She thought it was interesting how in our gospel, there are three degrees of heaven and she liked how the option of heaven was more merciful. We invited her to come to church with us and she said she would! She even said a prayer with us! It's so wonderful to see her progress!

During gym time we usually always play volleyball. It's just super fun getting to play silly. When I rotate to the front, I usually have a taunt dance battle with the person across from me. I do Bollywood dance moves and throw in some Michael Jackson once in awhile. Looks like all that wii dance time is paying off.

Our TRC visit this week was fascinating. The first was a couple from Norway! We taught them about tender mercies. They were an adorable couple that now live in Centerville, UT. The other was bestemor again and she brought a friend. Her name was Nel and she is from Norway. She told us her conversion story which was AWESOME. She was taught by the missionaries for 15 months before she was baptized. She said what finally convinced her was an experience similar to Joseph Smith. No, she didn't have a vision like him. But she felt Him reach out to her to let her know that she should be baptized. And she chose to do so. How awesome is that?!

One last little story before sharing my spiritual note: The week my oregonian accent was made fun of. Utah people don't say their ts so they say "mounian, founain, layon" and so on. Elder Taylor, in my district, is from Orem and he tried to get me to say mountain without the t. It was the hardest thing for me to do. I just saying "mountain" and finally had to pause, think REALLY hard about it, and say "mounain" REALLY slow. So now Elder Taylor taunts me by singing a little song:
"Climbing up the mounain, to look for the founain, fur a drink." Sadly, it's a catchy song.

So the spiritual though I'd like to share is Mathew 6:33. This week has helped me to reconfirm the truth of that scripture. When you put God first in your life and do all you can to please Him, He takes care of you and all your worries. He knows life is challenging and He will help you. You just have to choose to let Him do so. As said in the movie Kung Fu Panda, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today is a gift: that is why it is called the present." Live and learn from the past so you can make the most of each day. That way you know whatever the future's mysteries hold, it will be happy ones.

Have a wonderful week!

 The group we met at the temple. Most of them are from Tahiti and they were so fun!
The missionaries from our zone going to Denmark. They leave this monday (11/4) :(
 this is why my blog post is called dancing in the rain. For personal fitness last night we went for a run. In the rain. I couldn't keep up so instead I did dance moves as I went around the MTC. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 3: Full of Surprises

Guess who came to speak at our devotional last week? Can you guess? Here's a clue for you: It was one of the twelve apostles.... Ok, it was Dallin H. Oaks. HOW COOL IS THAT? He and Sister Oaks talked about the importance of developing Heavenly Father's love for everyone and serving as Christ would. I would tell you more if I were able to take notes but I wasn't. I was way too absorbed by the talks. And the shock, but mainly how fantastic those talks were.

We have a new investigator along with Marita. His name is Frederik, 26, working on his master's degree in business, and works for an oil company. He used to be Christian but doesn't go to church anymore and he found the missionaries while on vacation and asked to ask with us. Pretty cool right? As we were getting to know him a little better, I felt a connection with him. I don't know why yet, but I feel that the two of us are very similar. I'm really excited to see how he will progress.

We are making some progress with Marita. At first, she struggled to accept the idea that there is a God. She's read the Bible for school and learned about the different religions but religion has never played a role in her life. We shared some scriptures with her about the Book of Mormon while I shared a personal experience with her. Our main goal was to teach her that God lets us know He's there is numerous ways as reminders that He is there. We challenged her to try to pray out loud and she said she would. Here's hoping!

In class... Well, lots of fun things have been going on. The other district's teacher has been sick so we combine the two Norwegian districts together a lot. Brother Bartholomew enjoys teasing the other elders and they enjoy giving him a difficult time. It's quite hilarious to watch. Oh, we also learned a funny story about him. When you say "fireants" when Brother Bartholomew is in the room, he gives you the most evil glare I have ever seen. Since he's such a jolly person it felt so strange to see him that angry. It was like we walked into the Twilight zone for 15 minutes. The longest 15 minutes of my life. Even when all of that happened, it just made me love and appreciate how fun and caring our teachers are. I really do have th greatest teachers ever. They're the best!

We had our first visit to the TRC (Teaching Resource Center). Our two volunteers were fantastic! One was Sister Kelly and she gave us yummy cookies while giving us compliments like a tsunami wave. They just kept on coming (the complimetns. Not the cookies. Sadly.)! The other we call "bestmor" which means grandma. She is from Norway and served a mission in England. She was super sweet. At first, I was so nervous to go into the TRC since I had no idea what to expect. They just told us to prepare a lesson. We never taught our lesson, but we did get to talk in Norwegian which was cool. I keep surprising myself with how fast I'm learning Norwegian. I keep thinking I'm doing so bad, but then I realize, "Hey, I can actually have a conversation!" It's a great feeling.

For those of you who know how much I love Disney, you'll be happy to hear that  I'm living up to my Disney guru title. This week the Elders asked me to write down the lyircs for "I'll Make A Man Out Of You," "A Girl Worth Fighting For," and "Part of Your World." Then we all busted out singing into not only Disney but other songs too. We sang some country (Rascal Flatts, Zach Brown Band, Keith Urban, etc.), classics (Journey, Bon Jovi, Queen, etc.) and so on. Sister Robbins hadn't heard of Bohemian Rhapsody before so the elders and I held a mini Queen concert for her. It was pretty fantastic. Also, last night the sisters and I back in our dorms had a pretty awesome Disney karaoke session. Oh yeah!

That about wraps it up for the week. Hope you all have a stupendous day!

Take care,
Sister Buhler

 Our Norwegian Districts
Last Day with Sister Frampton, Eldste Bodine, and Eldste Reber

And here is the drawing y'all have been waiting for. The Ninjornans - Ninja Mormons!

The following are companionship pictures of the elders

The review game!

 Our district at the temple

 Elders being silly...
My friend, Peterson shimai (sister in Japanese) from my Japanese class at BYU!
With Elder Ashton! He's Zach's from from Pasco!!!