Monday, April 28, 2014
Hello all you wonderfully fantastic people!
How are you all doing? Have you been having good weather where you are? Oh my goodness I am just exploding with love at the moment. I apologize ahead in advance if this email is incredibly cheesy but I hope you just know how much I really do love and care about each one of you. I can never express in words how much I really do appreciate your support!
We are having transfers in week and... if the title hasn't given it away, I'M STAYING IN TRONDHEIM! All the sisters in my ENTIRE zone are staying. Elder Skinner (one of our zone leaders) will be leaving for Drammen and Elder Hill (he was my first district leader in the field) will be our new zone leader. We also have Elder Schultz coming up here so that's fun. The north zone is having a super chill transfer this time (no pun intended).
This week has been a good week. We were able to see some miracles this week, especially on Sunday when we got two new investigators! On Sunday we decided to try these two moms we had met while tracting. Before we tried knocking on their doors, we siad a prayer asking that we would be able to teach them or get an appointment with them if they couldn't talk. The first mom wasn't home but the second one was and she actually let us in! Her name is Susan and is a member of the Norsk Stav Kirke (the state church). She is seriously so sweet and open to learning! This week her parents will be visiting but we have a return appointment for next Tuesday!
The other new investigator we found is named Paul. He's from Tanzania, a student, and is a pentacostal. As we talked with him, I was honestly surprised how open he was. He really treasures his personal relationship with God and wants to be able to find the whole truth so he can keep on strengthening that relationship. We gave him Alma 32 to read and we're meeting up this Sunday!
We have been able to meet with our investigators Omar and Jonny now that they're back from påske feire which is wonderful. Omar came to Stake Conference on Sunday and liked how he felt there even thought he didn't understand everything. Jonny seriously loves the plan of salvation, and he is wanting to invite his friends so they can learn together! I'm excited that I am able to stay in Trondheim for another transfer to see where they go from here!
With studies this week, I have been focusing a lot on faith, charity and how the two are connected. I came across this scripture in Moroni 7:
32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.
When I read that phrase "the Lord God prepareth THE way" I was overwhelmed with the love Hevaenly Father had for me. He knows me perfectly and gives me the individual help I need to have faith in Christ. He doesn't just give me a way, He provides THE specific way I need to grow in my faith.
Again, you all truly are the best. Sending prayers your way and wishing you the best!
Have a wonderful week!
1 - car selfie with Angerhofer, Hornback, and Me
2- Our district going on a mini hike with Pelle (a member)
3- Me at a crossroads
1 - View from the top!
2- Me and the view! Go Asians!
3- Me and my companion Sister Hornback
1- Faviola (a member), Amailie, and me
2- I'm falling!!! (Note: No harm or accident came to pass during the process of this picture being taken)
3- Elders deep in thought (From left to right, Elders Skinner, Whitmer, Halverson, and Clarke)
1- sisters in front of an old WW2 bunker!
2- The Domkirke just down the street from me!
3- Forget-me-nots growing in the cemetry. I don't know about you, but I loved that connection.
Monday, April 21, 2014
So this week... In two words was hilarious and miraculous. Much like a seminary movie right?
Monday, we had some finding time and we went out with the goal to find a new investigator. About 30 minutes later, we pass an Irish pub and see this guy walking around. We stop to talk with him and he asks if we speak English. We learned that he came from France that day to help with a research project. We walked around with him as we talked about the restoration, what we do as missionaries, how we like Norway, and other small talk topics. We asked this guy for an appointment but he wanted to keep talking and find some place to get out of the rain. So we go into TGI Fridays. And we talked about the plan of salvation, his research project, and more small talk topics. When 9:30 came, we said we had to run. The man (finally found out his name at the end of the night. It was super French and I have no idea how to spell it so he dubbed himself as "Lawrence") asked if we could meet the next day and paid for our food. We booked it back through the huge rain storm back to our apartment, laughing the entire way.
Tuesday we cooked dinner with Lawrence at the church. We tried to keep the conversation about the Gospel in some way while Lawrence wanted to talk about other things. After we gave a brief explanation about the Book of Mormon, he was really confused with why we are so willingly to go out every day to face so much rejection. Sister Hornback and I bore our testimonies that we do this because we know it's true and want others to receive the joy we have received from it. He was still confused and we finally got it to him that in order for him to understand why we do what we do, you have to read the Book of Mormon. Right after that I could see that something just clicked in Lawrence's mind and he nodded in agreement.
After we cleaned up, it was about 9:00 so we had to go home but Lawrence wanted us to go with him to a bar. Yup, a bar. We just kept saying, no we have a curfew and we don't drink and Lawrence was like, "Oh come on, you can just drink water. You're only in Norway for a few more months." This went on for another 15 minutes and then finally we said our goodbyes. The whole time though I was holding back from laughing because I just kept thinking, "Holy cow this is something from a seminary video." Life really can have movie moments.
And one more story: So Sister Hornback taught me this theory for when we go tracting. In Norway they LOVE hearts and decorating their homes with them. The theory is: The more hearts a house has in the front, the more mean they will be. Usually we see like 2-4 hearts and people are generally polite but not interested. Friday we came to a house with 8 hearts. SIster Hornback was like, "Oh boy, brace yourself Sister Buhler" and I was just laughing along. I knock on the door, the lady opens the door, I say where we're from, and - I kid you not - she angrily sighs and slams the door. Sister Hornback and I (after saying "have a nice day" and walked away from the door) busted out laughing.
For the miraculous part for the week, we also found two new investigators Jonas and Bjørn. Both of them are agnostic but are wanting to find out if God really does exist. We met them on the street after a LONG day of people not being home and "nei takk" (no thanks). Jonas we met on Wednesday night and Jonas last night (Sunday). We will be meeting with them both this week and all of our investigators are coming back from Påske Feire!!
For the spiritual thought:
It combines things I got from studying both the scriptures and PMG this week. With it being Easter on Sunday, I chose to focus on the Atonement. As I was reading in John 20 when Mary and the apostles find the empty tomb, verse 7 stuck out to me: "And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself." This scripture reminded me of a talk that I heard a missionary give about Easter. He shared that in Israelite etiquette, when the master would throw his napkin on the table, that told the servant boy he could clean the table. But when the master folded or wrapped his napkin and placed it to the side, that told the servant boy that the master would return.
This tiny detail always touches me because it is a simple reminder that the Lord send us tiny messages to each of us to answer prayers, give guidance, and simply to let us know that He loves us.
I hope you were able to have a wonderful Easter Sunday, celebrating an event that really did change the world.
Have a great week!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Whoa. Where did that come from? That was probably me just missing that accent... Moving on now.
This week.... has been pretty calm. Our district has set a goal of finding 33 new investigators together by this Sunday. I believe we are up to 9 since Saturday. Sister Hornback and I have been spending a WHOLE lot of time focusing on finding new investigators last week and... we didn't find any. BUT we've found a ridiculous amount of potentials that actually planned an appointment with us for THIS week. Hence the title of this blog post, I'm highly curious, antsy, excited, nervous, and just pumped to see what happens this week.
Tuesday we had some students from a high school come for a tour of the church building. As a presentation, we taught the restoration to explain what it is we believe in. Right after, we had a Q&A session and the students were pretty involved. After that, we refreshments and half of the students ended up taking Books of Mormons! Cool beans right?!
Thursday all of the sisters (Sister Shaw, Sister Angerhofer, Sister Hornback, and I) went out to Peppes Pizza for lunch to celebrate! Sister Shaw hit her year mark, Sister Angerhofer and Sister Hornback hit their halfway mark, and...... wait for it....... I have hit my six months mark! Crazy right?? So that was a fun outing.
Saturday Trondheim ward had their first Easter Concert. An hour before the concert, we all went out to invite EVERYONE to come. I was the sign twirler. It was so fun! I actually got lots of thumbs up and waves from the people driving by and people of the bus! It was funny because later on in the day, I saw some of those same people and they did a double take when they saw me. Oh the simple joys, they're the best :)
Many of our investigators are traveling this week for Påske Ferie (Easter vacation). But we were able to meet with Johny/Jonny. We went over the plan of salvation which he really liked. He's just skeptical about Joseph Smith really being a prophet, but he knows that the only way he'll find out is to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and keep meeting with us. I can just see how much potential he has and it just blows my mind!
Our newest investigator, Omar, is doing really well. Our first meeting was just learning about his religious beliefs. He said he was atheist, but he actually does believe in God. He just says he's atheist because he doesn't have any religious traditions that he does. He's incredibly positive and we went over the Book of Mormon which he's actually excited to begin reading in. More on this as it develops. Now to Sister Buhler for the spiritual thought -
Thank you Sister Buhler. For the spiritual thought this week it will actually have two parts from this time forth - The scripture thought and a thought from Preach My Gospel. Elder Ballard gave every member the invitation to study from Preach my Gospel (PMG) and to share with missionaries what they learn. I've decided to accept and try this invitation. So here we go!
Scripture thought: 1 Nephi 3. Nephi is an incredible example of faith. This was something that I just seemed to have missed before: After Laman comes back from being nearly killed by Laban, "we were exceedingly sorrowful (verse 14." Every brother, INCLUDING Nephi was discouraged when the first attempt failed. BUT right in the next verse Nephi tells his brothers, "we will not return to our father... until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us." That is what makes Nephi such a powerful example. He knows there is always a way with the Lord. No matter how many times he gets pushed down, he still gets back up.
PMG Thought: From Chapter 2 "Effective Study" - Studying is simply an act of faith. We start with a desire to know something and then we take action by SEEKING after it. Faith is only belief if you don't act on that belief.
So for those who have a PMG, read it. Study it. Treasure it. For those who don't have a physical copy, there's a PDF on www.lds.org and do the same - read, study, treasure. I'd love to hear what you all learn!
Take care and have a wonderful week!
1) Eating Smoked Salmon pizza! Surprisingly delicious
2) Sister Hornback (my companion) displaying the pizza cutting tool of Norwegians
3) Selfie! Sister Shaw, me, Sister Angerhorfer, and Sister Hornback
1) This was a sign I painted for a easter concert we had! You can't see it well but we got drenched from tracting for three hours in the rain! Woo!
2) Finally the moment you've been waiting for, me and my new companion Sister Hornback
Monday, April 7, 2014
Can I just say how much I love each of you? You are all powerful examples to me and I am so blessed to even know you. I was so touched by those who actually took on the simple invitation of asking for service last week. Thank you everyone for the love and support you give me through your thoughts, words, and actions. You all are truly magnificent!
1) The cool evening sky on the way home after a day of tracting
This week... where do I begin? Let's just say that this week really helped me see just how connected we are as members of Heavenly Father's family.
We had a lesson with Johny on Tuesday. We met him at the bus stop for the church and he was able to find us no problem. But at the last minute he said he didn't want to meet in our church building. He said that he had begin reading in the Book of Mormon and that he had bad feelings reading it. SAYETH WHAT?? We calmly found an alternative place to talk. Johny had just read the introduction and the testimonies of the witnesses. He had difficulties believing that these people had seen angels and that was the cause of his bad feelings. We taught him the full Restoration and really focused on the role of angels in the restoration. We read Moroni's promise in the end of the Book of Mormon and oh boy the spirit was so strong! By the end of the lesson, Johny felt much better about reading and also praying about the Book of Mormon. The spirit truly is the teacher and I am simply the mediator.
One fun contacting story: We were walking around the older part of Trondheim. Most people gave us the "I'm not interested" and kept on walking. As we turned the corner, I see a young couple walking towards us. Like a good missionary, I went to stop to them and begin to talk when suddenly the guy exclaims, "I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!" I was... surprised by this unusual reaction. The guy (Loari? Lauri? A Finnish name) then explained to us that he was experiencing a "Mormon Month" meaning that he was being stopped by the missionaries A LOT. He was like, "Yeah I've heard it all, but you can talk to my friend here" and the girl (Essi) was like "Yes please! I would love to hear what your message is!" We mainly talked about what makes our church different from other churches. When we mentioned that we had a living prophet, Loauri jumped in and was like, "Wait you have a prophet? I didn't hear about that!" We ended up talking for 30 minutes and committing them to come to the Easter concert!! They were hilarious and yet so open to talk with us even though they were not religious.
Saturday was the other sisters', Sister Angerhofer and Sister Shaw, investigator Karoline's baptism. It was a beautiful service where you could strongly feel the spirit. As Karoline was changing, Sister Hornback played the piano. She transitioned into playing "Joesph Smith's First Prayer." As I listened to the soft piano, I simply thought "And this baptism today happened because of a humble boy's first prayer." Pretty amazing.
Last but certainly not least, General Conference happened this weekend. We had a huge gathering at the senior couple Elder and Sister Bradford's apartment with dinner and watching conference together. I can't quite explain how I feel about what I received from Conference. I can just bear my testimony that I know that the Lord does speak to us personally in every talk that was spoken and every song that was performed. Every question I went in with received an answer that I needed most. This gospel is a personal gospel because our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ know us personally and perfectly. President Thomas S. Monson is God's true living prophet on the earth and he's calling is to help us.
The title of this blog post is also in connection to my little thought for the week: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift: That is why it is called the present." General Conference has come and gone, the future is still unknown to what will happen, but we can use what we learned and received from conference. Every new day is a new present from our Heavenly Father. This week I will be reflecting on the notes I took from conference and do what my mission president has asked: Make goals to apply what I learned. I would like you all to do the same. The Lord gives us personal guidance and direction in every conference to help us go forward in faith to the future. Treasure the lessons and enjoy the presents we all receive daily.
Thank you all again for your love and support. You truly are the greatest!
1) The cool evening sky on the way home after a day of tracting
2) I made boller! Norwegian goodies :)
3) Seriously, Norway just has beautiful skies!