Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Catch Up...In Alesund!!!

Hola Amigos!!

Whoa wrong language.... been listening to "Feliz Navidad" often which sometimes leads me to forget what language I'm suppose to be speaking.... so a redo:

Hei dokke!!

Last week was wonderful because, as you know, it was CHRISTMAS!! Need I say more? So to close.... I am totally kidding. Here are some highlights from last week:

-Met with Sara Z (a less active)
-Had our interviews with President Evans
-Christmas surprise deliverers!
-Christmas celebrations
-And yesterday's Christmas fest

We got miracle contact with Sara who had been away serving in the military and turns out just got back! We didn't have much time so we had a very nice get to know each other chat.

So we did interviews a bit differently this time. Due to it being the holiday season, we were not able to have our interviews in person. We did a techno remix and did it over the phone. It still was a very good interview. Actually uplifting because well it just feels incredible when people point out how much you've grown. 

Since nobody appreciates strangers talking to them on the streets and knocking on their doors, we decided to do investigator tracting - with cookies! We went all over the place delivering cookies to everyone. No really, everyone. We did not want to have any leftovers so when we gave all the investigators some, we gave cookies to people on the street, the bus driver, and gave some to the neighbors on the way home. Their faces were priceless. They did not expect to get free cookies but then they burst into a big smile and said, takk! Pretty great moments.

For Christmas it was a very simple but special day. On Christmas eve, Sister Heywood and I were in our apartment listening/performing to Christmas songs, drawing, catching up with the journal writing, and being our fun yet awkward selves. 
Christmas day we were with our superb member, Ase Marie. We got to watch Frozen in Norwegian!! Oh mah goodness, it's even more hilarious!! And of course the real highlight was skyping with the family!! It simple blows my mind that even though the there's a rather big pond separating us, we can still communicate. Technology blows my mind!

And finally, we had a little Christmas party with the missionaries in Trondheim and the Kristiansund Elders. Twas a joyful and joke-filled day! We had a talent show and wow we have some super cool talents! Sister Heywood and I did a parody of "In Summer" called "In Alesund" and just because you are awesome people, here are the words:

Tourists come, I can't believe where they come from,"Snakker du Norsk? English? Ummmm..." In Alesund.
Some cards in my hand, Books of Mormon from every land, probably getting appointments planned in Alesund!
Finally see the northern lights light up the winter sky, the alarm goes off, it was just a dream so then we cry,
But we can't wait to see, what today's gonna bring, just imagine the miracles that we're gonna see in Alesund!
(scat)
The "ja"s and the "nei"s are both so intense, put them together it just.... wait what?
(more scatting)
Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle, but us på gaten and we'll be - "nei takk".... Happy missionaries!!
When life gets rough we get a kebab from the stand, remembering that joy and trials go hand in hand!
Cause the font will be blue, I guess the fjord works too, when we get up and do, what good sisters do in Alesund!
"You're getting transfered" "Don't you dare!"
In Alesuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuund!!

.... Yup.

For a super short spiritual thought, this Christmas I was blessed with many service opportunities, both planned and unexpected. Even though Christmas this year was spent mainly with strangers, I was able to strengthen the personal knowledge I have that we are all children of God who may be fixer uppers but are all spectacular.

Love you all and we'll be talking in 2015!

Take care,
Sister Buhler



Monday, December 22, 2014

God Jul aka Merry Christmas!

Hallo Dåkker!

This is it! I'm gettin' my restaurant! Nah, not really (hope you got the reference) but this is it, Christmas is this week!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! This one will be a quick update due to the fact I get to Skype my family on Christmas (Yoo hoo, hi family!) but here's some very quick updates:

-Had a great day working with Åse Marie our Relief Society President visiting some members and spreading Christmas cheer.

-Met this really cool guy named Jostein! We ended up teaching him about the Restoration and giving him a Book of Mormon right there on his doorstep! The good news- He's open to meet again! The bad news - He studies in Trondheim and is here for the holidays... BUT good news again - he let us videresende his information to the missionaries up in Trondheim!

-Had Distrikts Møte i Molde! Great to see the elders in person instead of just talking on the phone. Got to share our favorite stories of Christ from the Bible which is always fun to hear about other's favorites :D

-We had our branch Nissefest on Friday! It was super cute and just a nice koselig time!

To close, I just want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas and say thank you. Yes I know I say this a lot but I am so unbelievably grateful to have you apart of my life. Thank you for your example, love, laughs and memories we've shared, and I hope you realy do know how incredible you are.

Love,
Søster Buhler

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Many are COLD but few are FROZEN

Hallo Dåkker!!

It's starting to get a bit chilly up in the northwest of Norway but that's all good! Things are starting to pick up in the Ålesund area! And OH MAH GOODNESS now I am coming to understand why this place is called "Miracle Sund!" Here are some updates from the past week!

-The Accordian Guy:Trygve
-Yan:The Awesome Progressor
-MIRACLE DAY
-A very very VERY belated Companion 411: Sister Heywood!
-Spiritual Thought: Our Heavenly Father

We went through our areabook and found this former investigator named Trygve. We gave him a call and he was so excited we called! We met up with him and oh boy this man LOVES three things a lot: 1) boats, 2) accordians, and 3) talking. He would get sidetracted VERY easily but we were able to help keep the focus and had a great lesson about the restoration! I am very grateful that Heavenly Father is helping me to just dive in with the lessons. Before I would be concerned that the investigators would think we didn't care if we didn't listen to what they were saying but I know that what we share with them is so important for them to know about. That is why I am here! Once the lesson picked up momentum, it was easily for Trygve to focus. Power of the spirit!

Yan is just awesome. Since he works all day on Sundays we decided that we needed to talk about the importance of Church with him so he can work it out to go. Sister Heywood and I were both worried that he would put up a fight with us because it is not cheap living in Norway but we both felt that this was important to address. When we were in the lesson, we told him about church and how it is another important step for him to take to come to learn that what we are teaching him is true. He surprised us by saying, "Well I am actually leaving next week to go home for Christmas but when I get back I will tell my supervisor I can't work on Sundays anymore so I can come to church. Would that be okay?" I almost fell out of my seat. Yan is just so incredibly recpetive to the spirit and he acts on it!! We were able to exchange emails with him and are planning to Skype with him while he's away which will be awesome. My goodness, Yan is just the best!

MIRACLE DAY:
(All the miracles that shall proceed in the following section all happened in the space of four hours.)
While making lunch on Saturday, I get a text. It's from a girl that Sister Heywood contacted on the bus about three weeks ago and she was like, "Hey! Sorry it's been awhile, things have been crazy busy. But how are you?" and we were like, "WHAAAT?" So we were able to get a potential's number. No biggie.
After lunch, we went to meet up with a potential named Aslami from Afghanistan. Had a POWERFUL restoration lesson with him in the library. He was very the Holy Ghost so strong and just couldn't stop smiling! He's such an adorable old man!
After that we felt we should contact over in a part of town we never went over to before. As we contacted, every person we stopped actually stopper and we had a great conversation with them. We met a tourist from Morocco who gave us his information to pass on to the missioanries there, Erstein who we gave a Mormons Bok to, and lots of others who even though in the end they didn't want to meet up, they told us thank you for what we are doing. One of my personal favorites was this contact named Bjørned. 
When we first stopped Bjørned, he gave off the impression, "Psh, are you guys serious?" But as we continued to talk about who God is and how we can develop faith in Him, Bjørned's countenace totally changed. Insteading of smirking, he grew more intrigued. He really did begin to glow. After a slight pause he asked, "Do you two really go around every day talking to people about that?" We replied yes to which he said, "What you two are doing is wonderful." Not going to lie, that got my teared up a bit.
We then got the impression to try this less active new convert (Øystein) who we haven't heard from for a LONG time. We walked to his apartment, the front door was locked. We tried ringing the doorbell, but no answer. It was weird because I was thinking, "Okay he's not home so we should go," but I felt like we needed to stay right there for a few minutes. After awhile we both felt like we needed to go and when we turned the corner, there was a man walking on the other side of the street. Sister Heywood looked at him and thought she knew him. I looked to see him turn the corner towards Øystein's apartment. I thought, what the heck? And we ran back. Turns out it was Øystein! He has been in a bad depression but when we were talking with him, he was smiling. Like the entire time we were talking. He talked about how things have been turning around for him. Also, since the last time the missionaries met with him (about 2 months ago), he has read the Book of Mormon two and a half times!! SAYETH WHAT? He says he's not quite ready to come to church until he gets cleared with his doctor but he can't wait to come to church again. He's such a sweet sweet person!
As we're walking away, I get a text from this super awesome potential named Arthur. He's been super busy with helping his dad at work that it's been a struggle to meet up with him the last two weeks. He texted me and said that he'd be in the city today if we watned to meet up. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? We of course said yes. Because he didn't have much time, we went to the first place we could find - the bus station. Not going to lie, I was worried it was going to be loud but it ended up being quiet. As we taught Arthur the restoration, he was just soaking it all in. When we commited him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about Joesph Smith, instead of being a usually "yeah yeah if I get around to it" he looks at the both of us and says, "Yes, I can promise you I will do that." WHOA. 
This all happened two days ago and I still cannot get over it!

And for the introduction for the new ledsager! Sister Heywood!!
Born in Ogden, raised in Morgan, Utah. Comes from a family of eight (Mom, Dad, Kyle(brother, 25), Kayli(sister, 23), her, Heather(sister, 16), Hayden(brother, 13), and Sarah (sister, 9).
She did theater and choir in high school! She was Cinderella in the musical "Cinderella" in her senior year!! (And yes, we break out into song. A lot)
Favorite food: sushi! Favorite color: probably light purple! Favorite Dsiney moive: Classic: Peter Pan and Newer: Princess and the Frog! And........ If she could be any mythical creature, she would be a mermaid :)
We are like two peas in a pod and hit it off right from the beginning. Everyday is quite hilarious!

So to close, I just want to bear my testimony about our Heavenly Father. Even though there are things we can always improve on, He is aware of our efforts. He appreciates our effort we put in to change and become better. Looking back on that incredible miracle day, I still feel like I did not deserve that. But Heavenly Father saw that I was trying to do my best and just sent me many miracles to remind me that I'm doing good. He really does hear our prayers and answers them. He loves us and I am thankful that every day He helps me to understand that a little more.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and week! Remember to keep smiling! It takes more effort to frown so why bother?

Love you all and take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, December 1, 2014

Little Things

Hello Family and Friends!

It's officially the most wonderful time of the year! Happy First of December!! The streets of Ålesund are getting all decorated which is wonderful and just jolly!! While the Christmas buzz is growing, people are getting busier with prepping for family visits or going to visit family. Been a tough week for finding and teaching, but luckily the world is my oyster and I got lots of blessings to be thankful for! Here are some highlights of the week:

-Decorated our branch windows
-Brand New Progressor: Yen Johnson
-Tea Party with Uncle Martin
-Adventure out to Vestnes
-Spiritual Thought: What We Know

Since the city was being decke dout, we thought we would decorate our windows for Christmas too! We had a little Relief Society craft night to make all the decorations and we made a former investigaot come and help us out! So cool! I did sadly forget to take pictures so that will be in next week's update.... My apologizes.

So Yen is so incredible! He met with the sisters earlier this year and for one reason or another, the missionaries lost contact with him. We called him up and he was still very interested in meeting with us. Where on earth do I even begin to describe Yen? Perhaps the beginning would be good:
Yen is from Shanghai and has been in Norway for about a year now studying engineering. Being from China, he didn't have a belief in God but since coming to Norway he's had some way cool experiences that he says he cannot call just coincidences. One for exmaple, he was doing laundry one day and there were two american pennies on his washer. One was dated 1993 (when he was born) and 2014. Within that same week he met the sisters. He took that to mean that God wanted him to talk with these two American missionaries. So amazing!
He is just so receptive to the spirit and is so eager to learn! When I texted him the next day to follow up he had already read the restoration pamphlet we gave him and started reading in the Book of Mormon!! So excited for him!!

Quick background story: Uncle Martin is a referral we got from Inger Anne Amundsen in Oslo (she was in Romerike my first area!). She told us that we could pop in and say hi for her and just ask if they'd want to learn more. We stopped by about a week ago and he was pretty excited to see us! He loves family history and really liked talking with us. We got each other's numbers and planned to meet up this past Friday.
So what happened on Friday - We come up to the door and as we walk in, he had his table set up for a tea party! It was super delicious and we were able to talk about the church. He did accept to learn more!! Inger was super excited to hear that as well :)

We went out to visit a less active family in Vestnes which is about an hour and 20 minutes away. GORGOUS drive on the bus by the way. Anyways, we visited Helene and her two kids Brigham and Logan. Helene is Norwegian and her exhusband is American (from Logan). When we got there, we found out that she has an American boyfriend named John (also from Logan). They are so adorable! They talked about how they are aware they are less active and just are struggling with finances right now. They both have strong testimonies and really wonderful! I hope things will be able to turn around for them soon.

During my studies this week I was reading in John 9. In this chapter, Christ heals a blind man and this man becomes one of the quickest and strongest converts ever! After he is healed, he gets taken to the Pharisees and they question him if he was really blind before. This former blind man was being attacked right after his incredible miracle. But one of the things he says that I love is in verse 25, "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner of no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was bling, now I see."

This man was aware of his lack of knowledge but that did not get in his way of what he knew. He not only shared his newly found testimony to the Pharisees but he defended it. What incredible faith! I know that this faith is possible for each one of us when we do the same - rely on what we know.

Have a wonderful week and kick off the best time of year! If you haven't done so, check out the new video "He is the Gift" on christmas.mormon.org
It's wonderful to me :)

Love you and take care everyone!
Søster Buhler

Our thanksgiving dinner!! Went a little crazy with the stuffing...
A beautiful sunrise in Ålesund!
Me and Sister Heywood! Before the buss trip




Monday, November 24, 2014

Kick it up a notch

Hey everybody!

Yeah først og fremst I am SO SORRY about last week's update and how it was a lack of updates really... We ended up having to run and didn't get a chance to come back to do more emails... Lame I know but I will do better with this one!

Anyhoo the interesting thing is there is actually not that many updates to give this week. We did have our week PACKED with appointments but every single one fell through. Not going to lie, that was really hard. But this week has taught me the importance of being diligent and has given me a chane to apply what President Uchtdorf talked about being grateful IN our circumstances. Yes it was hard at first when people called or texted us saying they couldn't meet, but looking back I am grateful that the Lord helped me to have an opportunity to step back up and keep going forward. Sure I stumbled quite a few times this week, but that is the beauty of the gospel - I know that Hevaenly Father loves me despite my mistakes and that through the Atonement, I always can get back up.

So every year before Christmas, the mission has a "Read-a-thon" to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Helaman 13-15, and 3 Nephi to prepare us for the Christmas season. Today in my personal studies I began reading in 3 Nephi. As I was reading about the people seeing the miracle of a night with no darkness and the new star appearing, it mentions in verse 22: "And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders they have seen..." Despite how big miracles can be, that does not at all make Satan go, "Oh gee, you got me God. I can't do anything to stop people to believe in you and Christ." NOPE. Instead, Satan works even more to try to reverse the process of people believing. But the verse continues:
"but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord."

This verse today taught me two things: 1) Satan is an example about being diligent. We should never give up or slack off because Satan does not. He's on the clock all the time and we should be as well. 2) The Lord's side is ALWAYS the winning side. Despite whatever Satan will do, the Lord is still looking out for each one of us and He will ALWAYS help us.

I know that the Lord is always by our side and He gives us those pep talks RIGHT when we need it most. I am grateful that I know my Savior and that everyday I get to know Him a little bit better. 

Love you all and I hope we will all remember to have an attitude of graditude!

Love,
Søster Buhler

Some Ålesund pics!


Me and my adopted daughter Sister Heywood!!
The sun setting at 2:45pm. Yup it happens



Monday, November 17, 2014

Jeg vet ikkje...

Well, that whole emergency transfer thing happened this week. And it's been AMAZING. Had a great ending to Nordstrand and Ålesund has been off to a wonderful start! Here are some of the highlights of the week:

Nordstrand:
-Met with Svein, Didrik (POWERFUL), Elisabeth, and Tobias (he's back!!)
-Zone Leader Training
-"Friends Never Say Goodbye"

Ålesund:
-Flying..... adventures
-Areabook Miracles!
-Spiritual Thought: Potential

Svein is continuing to progress really well. His life really has brightened up a lot since we began meeting with him! It truly is be small and simple means that the Lord helps His children to recognize how they need the gospel in their lives.
Didrik's lesson was INCREDIBLE. We had a member named Karolina come with us and she was really nervous about it since it was her first lesson being with the missionaries. Before we went it, we said a prayer asking for peace and the guidance we needed in order to help Didrik understand why he needs the Book of Mormon. As we opened up, Didrik began by saying how he read the Bible sections we gave him but he still did not feel convinced that he needed to read the Book of Mormon. I am still not quite sure how this happened, but suddenly both Sister House and I asked him some bold questions. Didrik finally opened and told us the reason he is scared to read the Book of Mormon is because the Bible tells about all these horrible things that happens to our relationship wiht God if we embrace false doctrine. He loves God and does not know what he would do if he lost that precious relationship. We all bore POWERFUL testimony about how the Book of Mormon only brings us closer to God and that God wants him to read it. After that, it was like we were all hit by a spirit tidal wave. IT WAS SO STRONG. After a good ten minutes of just soaking it in, we asked if Didrik felt that. He said yes and that he's had a feeling like this before, but never so strong. This work truly is incomplete without the Spirit. 

So this is REALLY awkward.... my time just dramatically cut down like A LOT so I have to end it here. But I just want you all to know that I love Ålesund and every day I grow to love this work more. No matter where you are, who you talk with, what you do, everything and everyone has INCREDIBLE potential. I haven't even been in Ålesund for a week but I can just feel this place is about to explode! I am so excited to see what the Lord will accomplish here.

I love you all and I hope you have a stupendous week!!

Love,
Søster Buhler

Monday, November 10, 2014

Surprise! My first emergency transfer!!!

New Address:
Hellegata 1
6004 Ålesund (There's a little "o" over the a)
Norge 


Hello!! 

Yup as the title probably has given away, I got a very surprising phone call on Saturday. I will be moving to an area called Ålesund. I'm going back north!! Not quite as north as Trondheim, but still in the North Zone. Sister House will continue to serve in Nordstrand but will temporarily be companions with Sister Angerhofer (one of the Sister Training Leaders) for about a week and a half until their new companions come. They will be covering the Nordstrand and Oslo Sisters areas until then so they will be busy, busy, busy!

Here are some highlights of the week:
- Found four new investigators! (Didrik, Lena, Carolina, and Severin)
- Zone Conference: Member Missionary Work
- FOUR PEOPLE CAME TO CHURCH
- Miracle Story: Olaf (No, he's not a snowman. He's actually American).
- Trondheim Update: Two of my investigators got baptized this past weekend!
- Closing: What I've learned in Nordstrand

Didrik and Lena we met while we were bonking/tracting, Carolina was a former, and Severin contacted us on the tram. Quick little summaries:
- Didrik is Norwegian, loves going to concerts, and about 25 years old. Doesn't really have a religion but he mostly relates himself to the Jehovah's Witnesses. He loves the bible with all his heart and is scared to read the Book of Mormon unless he finds something in the Bible that tells him he needs the Book of Mormon. 
- Lena is actually Randa's (the lady we taught back when Sister Chapman was still here) daughter. We went to try to visit with Randa and Lena asnwered the door. She said her mom wasn't home but invited us in to talk. We had a powerful teach about the Holy Ghost and that really clicked with her. We invited her to begin reading the Book of Mormon and pay attention to see if she gets those same feelings she had while talking with us.
- Carolina is about 27 and from Poland. She was dropped before just because the previous sisters had a difficult time getting ahold of her. We tried calling, she asnwered, and she agreed to meet up! She's a super strong Catholic and loves her faith. We've met with her two times now and she's shared that she feels something different about us and the Book of Mormon. Not a bad different, just doesn't know what it is. 
- And Severin. On our way home, this guy keeps staring at us and we were like...."What? Is this for real?" And then he asks us, "Are you Mormon Missionaries?" We ended up talking about how we got called to Norway and a bit about what we do. He agreed to meet up and we got to have a POWERFUL lesson about the Restoration. He had never thought about there being one true church before but he does want to find out if it is true. He's so cool!! 

Had a great Zone Conference with the East and Telemark zones. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces (Elders Taylor, Jensen, and Rice from my MTC group. Along with Sister Olsen my old companion) and meet some new people as well. The stake presidents have asked all the members to get a Preach My Gospel and begin studying it. We did lots of practicals about how we could introduce PMG to members and show them how to use it. What was really cool was right after the conference, we had a member dinner appointment and got to apply what we learned! It was an uplifting experience for all of us and I'm excited to have more visits like it.

Church. WOW IT WAS INTENSE. We had Boguslaw (our newer Polish investigator), Ivan, and Olaf (the miracle guy) come to all three meetings. I was trying to help introduce members to them while also trying to say goodbye to members throughout the meetings. Elisabeth was able to make it to Sacrament meeting too!! She was devastated when she learned that I will be leaving. Before we went in, we talked about it for a few minutes and throughout the meeting, we would turn to each other and be like, "I can't believe I'm/you're leaving!" Ahhhhhhh, sometimes (Ok not sometimes. More like always) it's REALLY hard to say goodbye. Luckily we'll be meeting up again tomorrow!

Miracle Story: While we were waiting to meet up with Øyvind at National Theater (our meetup point), this guy makes eye contact with us and as he's walking away, he holds the eye contact.... He then turns back around, walks up to us, and asks while pointing at my name badge, "What does that say in English?" After we answered, he proceeded to tell us a long but fascinating story. To summarize: He met with missionaries in Hawaii and was baptized this past summer. After making a HUGE career change, he decided to make a brand new start and move over to Norway. During this move he thought that he should try checking out the church and one of his old missionaries contacted him saying he should check the church out in Norway. Sure enough, about 2 days later, he saw us at National Theater. Coincident? I think not!

I just got the update that Sharifi and Hem back in Trondheim got baptized!!! Oh mah goodness I cannot explain how happy I was to hear that!! Just comes to show that no matter what happens, people continue to make progress and the Lord's work keeps moving forward :)

I feel a whole mix of different emotions, as does happen every time you move from an area I suppose. My goodness I have learned so much during my time here in Nordstrand. I would have to say that Nordstrand has been the turning point in my mission. It is where it finally clicked for me that: Heavenly Father loves me and is proud of me, I can speak Norwegian, big miracles happen, and something that I already knew but has definitely solidified is the testimony that we are not alone in this work. And of course I am super grateful for the time I have had together with Sister House. She truly is so wonderful and I know that she will keep on doing miraculous wonders here in the Nordstrand area. 

-District picture at the opera house
- Me and Cecilie (a super awesome YSA)
- Sister House doing her model walk by the water



 Oslo Fjord. No big deal
My name tag with the Oslo Fjord in the back
The graves lighted with candles, the camera does no justice for how beautiful it really was.


This is something I would always see on the way home. Thought it was way cool.
I drew my Romerike district as the cast of Frozen! (Me/Else, Årsnes/Kristoff, Jensen/Sven, Vause/Olaf, Johnson/Anne, and Hall/Hanes)



Monday, November 3, 2014

Arise

Hello!

Now that Halloween is over, the Christmas stuff is all coming out! IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME - Sorry, I will hold off with that. For now ;) 
It's been a solid week of finding here in the Nordstrand area. Here are some of the highlights:

-New investigators: Svein, Lena, Idris, and Boguslaw
-Splits with the Sister Training Leaders
-Halloween!
-Little Reunion: Sister House and Anya
-Sunday adventures: Spanish night
-Spiritual Thought: To rise

All the investigators we found this week are so incredible! Svein and Lena especially are powerful examples to me of people that are seeking the truth but just didn't know where they could find it. And now they have begun their journey and I am so excited for them!

On Friday we went on Splits with the Sister Training Leaders which was pretty fun! It ended up being cut short to to tings getting mixed around, but it was a solid day just the same.

Halloween was pretty fun! We went to the Institute dinner and had some fun with the YSA, what great people :) We got to judge costumes and eat some really good creepy looking food. I just love people's creavitity!!

So something exciting happened this week, Sister House got to meet up with an old friend named Anya. Anya was an exchange student in Park City and they got to enjoy some catching up. We also had a really good teach about the Book of Mormon and learning about God. She was excited to get a Book of Mormon and meeting up with us again! 

So yesterday we went out to try getting back in contact with this referral named Jacqueline (whose from Chile). She really is super sweet and we got to enjoy some small chit chat about how much we love the scriptures. She then told us some members (who are less-active) lived right across from her, and we were like, "Sayeth whaaat?" So, of course, we went to say hello to them while we were in the area. When the mom (Carolina, also from Chile) answered the door, she was so excited and hurried us in. We ended up having a great teach about testimony and how we receive one. Afterwards, she asked if we could come back again to have a Chilean dinner together, bless her sweet soul. 
And one of the best funny parts: Both Jacquelin and Carolina asked me if I was from South America. No matter how many times I hear that, it's still a knee slapper.

Spiritual Thought: I came across 2 Nephi 9 this week during studies. One of my all time favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is in this chapter, verse 7:

Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

Because of the Savior's Atonement, there is always the possibility to rise up. There are no last chances because the Atonement always allows us to receive new chances. It even blesses us with the enabling power to successfully achieve those chances we are blessed with.

Have a wonderful week and get ready to get into the full swing of the most wonderful time of the year!

Love,
Søster Buhler

Halloween decorations and food!! Ate some fingers and toes (breadsticks, I haven't gone cannibal).



Some costumes!

Garrett - a zombie astronaut 
Anders - Wolverine!
Sigrid - Red Riding Hood!

Dina - The Mad Hatter
Katerine - Lion queen
Elin - a skeleton (check out that awesome make-up!!)

  
  Rodrigo - Gladiator/Captain Moroni

 Me - Oh how I've missed my crazy hats


Monday, October 27, 2014

Spirit

We have been blessed with another solid week here in the Nordstrand area. Continuing to meet with some incredible people, having INCREDIBLE lessons packed with the spirit, and just loving every moment. I know I have said this before but seriously, being a missionary is an incredible experience.

Highlights for the week!
- Visited Anny Rødsand, a less active
- Wednesday- Powerful lessons with Svein, Øyvind, and Ivan
- Elisabeth: New Baptismal date!
- Dinner with the Carlsen family
- The Oslo Rap
- Church: Boguslaw and Elisabeth came!
- Light at the end of the tunnel: Ole Ander, new investigator
- Spiritual Thought: Become

We have visited Anny two times now and she is the sweetest thing. We always feeds us DELICIOUS food and she makes this incredible berry tea. Except for her and her daughter, her entire family has completely left the church. She does have a strong testimony and she always shares with us some powerful experiences about how she cannot deny that God has reached out to her to let her know what she has found is His true church and that she needs to stick with it. She also come to church this week! She is so great :)

Wednesday was an incredible teaching day. With each person we met, Sister House and I dove in and completely relied on the Lord to help us guide the lesson to what they needed to hear. Through the Spirit we helped Svein to recognize that God has been with him throughout his life, Øyvind to develop that desire that there is someone always looking out for him, and Ivan to realize that God's power is restored to bless his life. The Spirit truly does know the exact way that can reach people's hearts.

We met with Elisabeth on Friday and it was a powerful lesson about baptism. She began saying that she wanted to wait til the spring to be baptized because she feels she needs to be completely perfect and obedient to all of the commandments. Sister House and I then started sharing how much God knows what she is going through now and how the gift of the Holy Ghost is what helps us on your journey to become complete. While in the lesson, she picked the 11th of December. We then all got down on our knees to pray about it. After the prayer, each one of us had the biggest smile on our faces and felt so good. 

We also got invited to have dinner with the Carlsen family. They are the sweetest and most hilarious people! As we talked, Brother Carlsen shared his conversion story and both he and Sister Carlsen shared some of their hardships from when they first got married. Oh my goodness, they are such incredible parents and powerful examples of being diligent in the gospel. I love them so much!

So Saturday we had a ward talent show. There were some really great talents with dancing, singing, magic tricks, and story telling! The relief society asked if we (all the missionaries) could do something and we put together a little rap.... Which went like this:

Oslo menighet dere må gjøre dere klar,
Idag skal vi fortelle dere hvordan det er,
Som misjonærer i Oslo vi har det så godt,
Vi vil gjerne dele noe av det vi har fått.

Chorus: Oslo misjonærer er de beste som finnes,
Vi gå ut på gaten og spør folk hva de synes,
Om Guds plan for Hans barn åpenbart på ny,
Vi kommer til å bringe sannheten til denne by.

(The elders had a verse here but I forgot the paper to write it....)
repeat chorus

Så kom og bli med siden nå dere vet,
vi har det kjempe moro i vår menighet,
med klasser og Gudstjeneste - kvart på et,
Vi lover at du ikke vil angre på det. 

Yup. So moving on now.

At church we had a potential named Boguslaw take us by surprise. He didn't come to an appoinment we had earlier in the week but we still invited him to church. So when I walked in and saw him standing there I was like, "WHAT???" But of course, I was happy to see him there. Elisabeth took a great leap of faith. After she and Are (the member that referred her to us) had their really bad break up, she's been really scared to see Are at church. She came to sacrament meeting at the end and we slipped in right before the service started. During the meeting, I saw both Boguslaw and Elisabeth smiling and enjoying the spirit of the meeting. Afterwards, Sister House and I tried to slip out with Elisabeth quick so we could talk before she had to go, but then a member came up and started asking about her and Are. That got awkward REALLY quick. Afterwards, we went into a classroom and Elisabeth got to vent a bit. She's still very hurt but despite that and all the other things going on in her life, she has seen how much this gospel is changing her life for the better. She is so strong.

After church, Sister House and I went banking (Norwegian for tracting) for the first time together. What was really nice was all that day I was praying that the people we would talk with would be nice even if they wouldn't want to talk with us. And we met some really kind people. We had some good conversations with people about the Book of Mormon and living prophets. One thing that was really cool has on the last street we started going down, I see this insanely bright light at the end of the road. As we were getting closer to it, I was actually getting excited to try that house. When we finally got to it, we see these two 12 year old boys riding a lawnmower. It was priceless. One of them pointed that his dad was in the garage and we ended up talking with him for an hour about everything. His name is Ole Ander (Yup, very Norwegian name) and the short summary of our conversation was that he loves to learn and believes we need to be good to one another but he wonders what our actual purpose on earth is as people. He agreed to meet with us this Wednesday! 
The two boys (Ruben, Ole's son, and Joakim) were a bit distracting while we chatted, but they were hilarious. It was a great way to end the day :)

Now for the spiritual thought: Sister House got a letter from her cousin who is also serving a mission. In the letter, he shared a something that his mission president shared with him after he had been called to be a district leader, "You have not been called to these positions for who you are, but rather for who you can become." The same goes for everyone. Whether you are a student, worker, parent, whatever role/position you are currently in, our Heavenly Father knows there's something that you need to learn from that in order to help you become the person you are meant to be.

Thank you all for your love and support! I hope you all know that I send love and prayers your way every day :)

Take care and remember you are wonderful to me!

Love,
Søster Buhler

the first two are from a fantastic hike we went on as a district two weeks
the last one is me with the new companion/missionary - Sister House :)



The place where we hiked - before
My name tag and the halfway point on the hike
Sister Chapman and I from our Drammen road trip!




And...more pictures of me and my companion!






Monday, October 20, 2014

Awesome, Pure Awesome

Where on earth do I even begin? Oslo has been on FIRE with miracles. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!! But here are some highlights for the week:
- Farewells :(
- I'm officially a mom (aka trainer)!
- WE MET WITH ELISABETH.
- Wednesday night: Baptism!
- New Investigator: Andis
- Saturday: Street Stand "Meet the Mormons"
- The random call... on a Sunday night.
- The 411 on Sister House
- Spiritual Thought: "From time to time"
 
The week has had lots of exciting things happening left and right. I said goodbyes to Sisters Chapman (my previous companion), Johnson (my trainer), Harrison, Roe, Nance, Pyne, Thurgood, Hodgekiss, McArthur, Oldham, and Pitts (all of whom I've had the wonderful priviledge to serve with). It was sad to see them all go, but I know that they're off to continue on their incredible journeys. I wasn't here for their entire missions but I do know that each one of them has made an impact in the work here in Norway. They are all my heros :)
And now I have officially begun training! It's been a bit hectic with the baptism that happened on Wendesday night and getting the final preparations for the street stand on Saturday but it has been an incredible kick off. More on this as it develops!
Right after I picked up Sister House, we met with Elisabeth. OH MAH GOODNESS IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE HER! It has been about five weeks since we last saw her. She's had bad health problems but now she is doing so much better! We caught up with what has been going on with her and finding out where she stands with baptism. Due to the very long break we had, we ended up dropping her date for the 25th BUT she still wants to work towards getting baptized. We are meeting with her today to try and pick back up the momentum we had before. She truly is incredible and I just love her so much!
Wednesday night was the baptism of Tonje. It was so special because the missionaries who first found and taught her (Sister Pyne and Pitts) were able to be there and be apart of the program. It was such a great turnout too! Elisabeth and other investigators were also able to come. The spirit was just so powerful. 

We found a new investigator named Andis who we met last week from the last street stand we did. He is from Latvia, works as a network marketer, has an adorable 8 year old daughter named Kate, and he is just awesome! We went through the restoration with him. He has a belief that there is a higher power but he doesn't know if it is God of why he needs a Savior. As we read from the Book of Mormon and discussed the scriptures, you could see the Spirit really working through him. Have I mentioned how much I love being a missionary? It is so incredible!

On Saturday, we had our "Meet the Mormons" street stand. We had a little tent roof which was lucky because it was down pouring rain. I love contacting people in the rain! People get more curious as to why we go out in the rain/bad weather no matter what. Sister House was a contacting companion! Just 4 days in the land and she just dominated! We met tons of great people. One was a man who was visiting from England. He stopped to look at the Plan of Salvation poster we drew. I went up to talk with him and just taught him the plan right there. He was SO COOL! His name is Sonny and he's been trying to figure out what the purpose of life is all his life. We were able to get his contact information so the missionaries in England can meet up with him. Ah! I really hope our paths will cross again someday in the future.

So... On Sunday night we had something unique happen. We get home and start doing our daily planning when my phone rings. I don't know the number so I answer saying its the missionaries. I ended up having a thirty minute conversation with this man named David about how God still works through prophets today and how he wants to stop doing all the bad things he's doing now. I remember telling him how I know that is was no coincidence that he called us and that the first thing he could do to begin quitting with his addiction was to meet with us. He agreed to meet. He also..................... kind of............ asked me to marry him. Awkward?? I did my best to keep cool and got him to agree to meet at the  center in the city. So, we have an appointment with him this upcoming Tuesday. We shall see how that goes!

The 411 on Sister Syndey (Opera) House (Haha :P)!
Born in Houston, Texas and lived in Park City, Utah for the past 8 years. Her mom is from Texas and served a mission in Brazil, her dad is a convert from South Africa, and she has two little sisters (17 and 11). Her entire family loves playing volleyball and they are super tall! 
Sister House went to BYU and Utah State studying business marketing. Loves fashion, pasta, and.... me :) 

To close, I would like to share something that I learned from personal studies this morning. I was reading in 1 Nephi 17-18 about how Nephi builds the ship. Something that I never saw before was something from 1 Nephi 18:1 - "...And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship." For some reason, I had always assumed that Nephi got the revelation of how to build the ship all at once. When in reality, the Lord helped Nephi receive the knowledge little by little until he was ready to get all the knowledge. That is the same for us. Whether we are wanting instructions for what to do for investigators, students, co-workers, our future, whatever it may be, the instruction does come. The Lord truly is aware of each one of us and He knows what we can handle. Sometimes we feel like the Lord leaves us hanging, when in reality He is blessing us with an opportunity to use our agency to seek more knowledge. Our faith is tested by us having to find the answer to the five questions: Who? What? Where? Why? How? The Lord gives us just enough knowledge that we can still go forward to seek the remaining answers we need. I love the Lord and little by little I come to understand how much He loves each one of us.

I hope you each remember how incredible you are. Have a great week :)

Love,
Sister Buhler 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I love the little things

Hey!

We were blessed with another solid week. We had something huge almost everyday this week which made it a bit more special. It is super weird to think that Sister Chapman will be going home this week but I am grateful for the time that I have had to serve together with her. She's helped me learn a lot about the possibilty of miracles and she has helped to prep me for my training days that are soon to begin. Fun stuff! Well, here are the highlights of the week:

-Twinkle and her daughter Nina
-ELISABETH!!
-Zone Leader Training
-Train the trainer meeting
-Day Trip: Drammen!

On Monday night, since we have been out of contact with Twinkle for a bit we decided to try stopping by. Luckily she was home and invited us in! She's been preparing to go on a trip with her great aunt that they've been wanting to do for years and she finally got the plane ticket. While she's been busying with that, she feels like lots of things are working against her and her family. We ended up sharing the story about Alma and his people when they were in bondage and how the Lord didn't take away their burdens, but He blessed them with strength to bear them. We had a wonderful discussion about how the hard things in life are really what shape us. After we taught Twinkle, she asked us if we could talk with her daughter Nina. We were surprised but of course said we'd love to. Twinkle wants to help Nina to develop faith in God. While we chatted with Nina, she talked about how she does believe there is a higher power but she doesn't know exactly if it's God. We talked about how God is our Heavenly Father and like any relationship, in order to get to know someone you have to talk with them. It was really cool to see how things were clicking in her head and she commited to read Alma 32 and to try praying! Way cool experience!

With Elisabeth... WE FINALLY GOT CONTACT WITH HER!! The hospital got medicine for her and she's feeling so much better now. She wasn't able to come to church due to work, but we will be meeting with her this week and she is still eager to work towards her baptismal date!

We had Zone Leader Training about being powerful teachers. Elder Bednar is the mission's personal favorite so we watched lots of videos of Elder Bednar talking about how we can be teachers that help students to be agents. It was a strong focus of chapter 10 in Preach My Gospel about Teaching Skills which is always nice to get a refresh. Seriously, no matter how many times I read from PMG, I find something new and just when I thought I loved it - I learn to love it more. 

I had a meeting with the other trainers to help prepare for the next chapter of our mission lives. President Evans opened the floor by asking what helped us most when we were being trained and then we discussed about what we hope to accomplish as trainers. It was really cool to see Sister Robbins, one of my MTC companions there at the meeting. We've made it this far and now, a year later, we'll be training! 

Sister Chapman got permission from president to visit one of her converts in Drammen and we went on a road trip to Drammen with the sister training leaders! It ended up being.... a bit crazy. Sister Chapman left with one of the Drammen sisters to go meet with Debby (the convert) while I was with Sister Aasen one of the sister training leaders and the other sisters took the car to drive the sisters to their appointment. Sister Aasen and I.... were kind of stranded at the train station so we made some calls to investigators and members to get the week set up. When the other sisters came, we learned that Debby had not shown up to the appointment. We later went and saw other members that Sister Chapman loves, but she was still heartbroken about Debby... But people are people and sometimes they decide to do things that don't make sense. Does it hurt? Oh yes. But it's moments like this where I am eternally grateful for the Savior and His Atonement. He has felt all the hurt we feel and conquered it. Because He did that, we'll be able to heal from and conquer all the pains of this life as well.

Running out of time, but I hope we all will remember to keep our heads up. Really, when you take a step back and look at life, you'll realize that the Lord has been helping you in your life more often than you realize. 

Have a super duper fantastic week!

Take care,
Sister Buhler