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