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.