Monday, September 29, 2014

Broken Things

Hello everyone!
How are you doing? How has the week been? Even if you're telling your answers to your computer screens, I still appreciate the little time you took to do that :)
This week there isn't too much of an update to give but that's all good. You need to travel through some valleys in order to enjoy the views from mountaintops:
-Ivan: Still going strong.
-Updates with Elisabeth and Marcel
-Dinner with the Ivanov family
-Tobias: Awesome.
-Thursday: Miracles in the space of 30 minutes.
-Splits with the Sister Training Leaders
-Spiritual Thought: Broken Things
We got to meet with Ivan and our ward mission leader, Ben, came with. We talked about repentence and sin. In short, we talked about the different types/levels of sin and how Christ made it possible to overcome all sin. It is not an easy process, but it is a possible process. Ivan is just a sweet man who is struggling to forgive himself, but he's going on strong.
With Elisabeth we haven't been able to meet with her for two weeks now. She's been super sick and is not allowed to work. She sends us a few messages to let us know how she's doing but I just miss seeing her. She's so fantastic and is having a hard time realizing that. 
Marcel, it's clicking with him about the priesthood authority. He'll be moving to Italy in about 3 months and was telling us he would have to be baptized again. We showed him all the different church buildings thorughout the world and just hit it hard with how this church is Christ's unified church throughout the world. It's taking a bit more time with him for things to click, but hey we all have our own learning speeds.
We had dinner with the Ivanov family and they are SO WONDERFUL. Nick and Sharon are from England and both served missions. Their kids are super funny and sweet. I was just super entertained listening to British accents while eating curry for dinner and rice crispy treats for dessert. WHo knew you could travel around the world in the space of an hour?
Tobias is just awesome. He tried praying for the first time and began reading in the Book of Mormon. He said he hasn't felt anything life changing but he did feel OK with it all. We went through the plan of salvation with him and again, he mentioned how having a belief in God would help him feel more comfort in his life. He'll be gone next week because of høstferie (fall vacation) but he did ask us for several chapters to read while he's away. Awesome. Need I say more?
Thursday morning was pretty great. We had a teach with Tony at the bus station which ended up being a 15 minute lesson. He brought a friend who was just straight up rude (laughing at Tony while he prayed, not looking at us, using horrible diction), but they both had to run to catch a bus.  SInce we had time before our bus came, we did some contacting. We met a kid named Frederik and ending up teaching him about the Book of Mormon, giving him one, and got his number. We also met a woman named Maria from Brazil, taught about the Book of Mormon and Prophets and getting an appointment this week. So in the space of thirty minutes we had 3 other lessons, 1 contacted referral, and 1 new investigator. Legen...(wait for it).. DARY.
On Friday we went on splits with the Sister training leaders, Sister Ausen and Sister Harrison. I spent most of the day with Sister Ausen in her area. I got to meet some of their wonderful investigators and an adorable less active lady named Astrid. It was amazing how I had just met these people and I instantly just loved them. The essence of the gospel really is love!
And on Saturday, Elder Edwards and Elder Nilson's investigator Elin was baptized! I've had the lovely opportunity to chat with her at church and at the institute center often and she is just wonderful! I've only heard small parts of how much Elin has changed but it truly was incredible to see how far she's come because of the power of the Atonement.
To close, I would like to share with you the chorus of a song that Sister Chapman shared with me:
"Broken souls that need His mending, broken hearts for offering, could it be that God loves broken things?"
As I listened to this song, I started reflecting about how there are so many examples from nature that are testimonies of this. Broken clouds let the light in. Soil has to be broken to plant a seed. A caterpillar has to break it's cocoon in order to for it's transformation into a butterfly to be complete. I'm sure you can think of more, but I am convinced that God loves broken things. I'll be hitting my year mark this week and as I have reflected on the past year, I have seen how broken things do become beautiful things.
I love you all and I wish you the best!
Søster Buhler

1- ALice in Wonderland apartment we found!
2- Autumn leaves, aren't they pretty??
3- The B-E-A-U-TIFUL sunset we saw last night while out tracting

Monday, September 22, 2014

Your Best

Hei Folkens!

This has been another solid week of miracles. Plus some random-ness to keep me on the tops and have some laughs. For example, I've had 5 people on the street come up to me and speak Spanish... Also someone thought I was from the south of France... Yeah guess I have one of those faces?? Anyhoo, Here we go!
- Found five great new investigators
- Updates with Elisabeth, Marcel, and Ivan
- Miracle: Svein in Slottparken (the castle park)
- A former investigator... un-formerized?? 
- Philipinno Fest!
- Spiritual thought - from Zone Leader Training
We found Tobias, Twinkle and Harold, Virginia, and Ali (Yup, like Prince Ali, mighty is he, aliababwa!... Sorry, I couldn't resist).
Tobias is 19, born and raised in Norway. He's parents just went through a divorce and he just bought a Bible to start finding out if God is really there. We had an incredible first teach about the restoration with him and it was cool to see that spark of interest grow into a strong desire to know more about God and Jesus Christ.
Twinkle and Harold actually live down the road from us. We went tracting one night and had a great chat with Twinkle about faith and family history. She's from India and has a Methodist background. We met with her on Monday night and met her husband Harold (he's Norwegian). They asked us what was different about our church and well, we went through the restoration with them. We mainly talked about how God wants everyone to have truth and know it for themselves.
Virginia and Ali are both referrals from a member! So Sister Chapman served in Kristiansand and became very good friends with a member named Aida from the Philllipines. She came to visit a friend in Oslo (Virginia) and met another friend (Ali) at the train station when she arrived. 
Virginia is from the Phillipines and has lived in Norway for about 30 years. She's Catholic but not very active. Aida invited her to come to church and we were able to meet up afterwards to give her a Book of Mormon and explain what it is.
Ali is from Pakistan, grew up Muslim but he believes in Christ. We met him together with Aida and Virginia so he also got a Book of Mormon with a explaination.
Elisabeth hasn't been feeling very good this past week. But she continues praying and reading everyday. She tells us that she's been getting answers to prayers! 
Marcel is doing great. He is keeping up with his reading and praying. We went over prophets with him and the blessing of having living prophets which he liked.
Ivan was a bit confused with how we teach. He thought we only meet five times and then it's over so we re-explained our purpose as missionaries with him. He understood that we're here to help him gain understanding which he sounded grateful for, bless his soul.
Miracle: Svein
We had some time to contact before an appointment and we ended up in Slottparken. We stopped this man named Svein who at first didn't want to talk with us but, through the help of the Spirit, we said the right things and ended up talking with him for 30 minutes. He's had a lot happen to him the last few days and he's always struggled to believe if God is there because he relies on science. I really cannot remember what I said but by the end of the conversation, he told us that he does actually want to learn. It was so incredible to see how quickly the Holy Ghost worked with Svein's heart to open up more to us.
We contacted a former named Jan Ole who met with the missionaries a few months ago. He's researched other religions and as of now considers himself to be more Buddist. Super nice Norwegian man who travels around the world a lot for his business. We talked about Jesus Christ and read in Alma 7 together. It was a very simple but powerful lesson. He committed to read and pray to specifically know if Christ is his Savior. He also came to church on Sunday and liked it!
And.... We ended up going to a Phillipino party. Like I said before, Aida was visiting Virginia and they ended up throwing a birthday party we got invited to. THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD. They just kept saying, "eat more eat more, there's plenty" and oh boy I almost exploded. We ended up talking with a guy named Kristofer there about the church. Before we left, he asked if we could meet up to talk more sometime and I ended up getting his number. MIRACLE.
WE had zone leader training last week about giving our best. We watched this clip from a football movie (I think the movie is called Facing Giants). A football team does this drill called "the death crawl" where two players team up, one is carried on the other's back while the other player carries them to the 10 yard mark on their hands and feet, not allowed to have their knees touch the ground. The clip shows how the quaterback was på måte lacking faith that their team would do well. The coach calls him and another player over. The coach asks this quaterback (Brock) to do the death crawl to the 50 meter mark. Brock is uncertain if he could make it but the coach makes him promise to give his best. The coach also blindfolds Brock before he begins. As Brock is starting, the other players are making doubtful comments and the coach is going along with Brock giving him encouragement. As Brock is going, he starts getting tired and the coach starts getting more intense with him. Brock is screaming, "It hurts, I can't go further!" while the coach is screaming back, "Don't you quit on me! Show me your best! Give me your best!" Brock is moving slowly but keeps going forward til he just collaspes. The coach takes off his blindfold and Brock sees that he's in the endzone. 
I remember this clip everyday before I head out the door. It gets me so pumped and motivated to get to work. Whether it's today or later in the future, I hope you will be able to see this clip or even the movie. I love sport movies because they help me to remember that we have a lot more in us than we realize. We go forward with faith everyday to do things. Our Heavenly Father has given us the incredible gift of being able to act for ourselves. Use it and give your best. I did that this past week and have seen the miracles both big and small. Miracles don't just stop, they work according to our faith (Alma 37:40).
I hope you will all make this week a fantastic one.
With great power comes great resonsibilty.
Life is good and the church is true!
Søster Buhler

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miracles Happen! (A lot more than once in awhile because you believe)

Hey everyone!
Where on earth do I even begin? This week just has been INCREDIBLE. Why you ask? Because faith is a principle of action that is SO REAL. Here, I've got a few stories to share:
Hightlights of the week:
- Teaching on doorsteps in downpouring rain.
- Sara: The almost new investigator.
- Elisabeth is such a trooper and Marcel is keeping up his progress!
** Extra: A little summary of my new companion SIster Chapman (forgot to include this last week)

Last Monday was raining like cats and dogs (no, cats and dogs did not fall out of the sky. Although I did see more of them on the street then usual...)! Not sure if I have already said this BUT I love going banking (sorry, tracting) in the rain! I just feel like a champion and people take you more seriously because they ask, "What on earth are you doing out in the rain?" Then... you know, we talk about the gospel. We met this one lady named Nina. We talked about families and pretty much the entire first lesson. You could see that Nina felt the Spirit at the beginning but then that stupid Satan guy comes in and tells her, "You already have your faith" and she wouldn't let us come back. But we ended up teaching her at the door in the rain for twenty minutes. WE were pretty soked by this point and it was AWESOME.
Sara is a lady that I had met on the street and we were about to meet with her on Tuesday. She's from the Middle East and has seen terrible things in her life. Has a muslim background but wants to learn more about Christ. We had a great discussion about Christ and His atonement. She commited to read the Book of Mormon and pray to ask if Christ is her Savior. SHe had an appointment on Friday but had to cancel due to work which is why she technically doesn't count as a new investigator, but we'll meet with her som snart som mulig!
So Elisabeth, I just love her! We met with her on Tuesday and she was so heartbroken. Lots of hard things hit her at once and she was just confused how good things were going then suddenly it falling apart. We had a powerful talk about Satan and talked about Joseph Smith in the Liberty Jail. We reminded her of her faith in Christ that has helped her made it this far and that's how she'll keep on going forward. Afterwards Elisabeth felt much better and was smiling again. She really is so strong and has incredible faith!
Marcel got a baptismal date for Oktober 30th! We went through the restoration to check his testimony with Joseph Smith. WE asked if he would ask about the first vision and Marcel's like, "I don't need to pray. I've been having dreams and already know it's true." Sayeth whaaat? He's awesome! On Sunday after church he commited to keep the Sabbath Day holy and to read and pray everyday. He's a boss!
Now it's time for Miracle sunday:
SO it comes to 6pm on Sunday night and we did not have any new investigators. We had planned to get four for the week. Right before we went back out, we said a prayer asking for the faith to be bold in order to get these four new investigators we needed. Then we're up and out the door. 
While we're waiting to catch a bus, we split off to talk with people and get some teaches. Sister Chapman goes and talks with Tony from Albania and he becomes a new investigator! I go to talk with Karim from Gambia, teach him about Christ and His Atonement, then Karim's friend Piram comes up, I teach both of them about Prophets and dispensations, say a short prayer, and got a return apointment for Sunday. We got 3 new investigators in just 15 minutes!!! On the bus to our less-active appointment, Sister Chapman teaches Huy from the Philipinnes and I get an appointment with this cool guy named David. On the bus back home, Sister Chapman teaches Sriyma and she becomes a new investigator! 
PHEW! In the space of of two hours we got: four teaches, two referrals (one receieved, one contacted), four new investigators, and one less active visit. HOLY GUACAMOLE! I was so exhausted by the end of the night but at the same time felt like I was flying with joy. BEST. FEELING. EVER.
This is truly the Lord's work and we are the instruments that the Lord works through. Miracles really do happen when you believe they can happen. Faith, trust, and pixie dust (that last one can represent the Holy Ghost :D)!!
And a little information about the new companion: Sister Sierra Chapman!
Grew up in Alaska (same area where the movie "The Proposal" was filmed!) and her family currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Has four siblings (two brothers and two sisters), and is the third oldest. She went to BYU-I for a semester studying photography and she loves to sing. She actually wrote, produced, and sold a CD before her mission! How awesome is that??
Phew! Well.... as Porky Pig would say, "Abedeeabedeabede that's all folks!"
Have a fantastic week, love you all, and remember: play, laugh, grow!
Søster Buhler

Monday, September 8, 2014

One by One

This week was pretty good and this weekend.... Oh boy, how on earth do I explain. There really isn't a word I can use to explain so it's just stick with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But seriously, it was an opportunity that I absolutely loved and needed.

Highlights from the week:
- Elisabeth and Ivan are still going strong!
- We had a Sister's Conference on Saturday
- Stake Conference with Elder and Sister Bednar
- Mission Conference with Elder Bednar
- Got a new companion: Sister Chapman

So this week kind of suffered due to preparing for the conference galore this weekend but the good news is Ivan and Elisabeth are keeping their commitments of reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and they both came to the Stake conference! Sister Olsen and I sat with Elisabeth and Ivan came in before the meeting began and managed to get a seat in the back. We'll be meeting with Ivan to talk about the conference with him and, you know, teach him. Throughout the stake conference, I would look over at Elisabeth and it was so cool to see how her light was just glowing brighter and brighter. Ah! So great!

On Saturday we had all 30 sister missionaries come all together for one fantastic conference! The three sets of sister training leaders all did workshops (1. Language 2. Confidence! 3. Obedience and Time Management), fun activities (we painted our nails... well, I didn't. I just used stuff to soften my hands. Still feeling good!). and just had a blast! The overall goal was to have all the "old" sisters to share their wisdom with the "new" sisters.
This is random BUT: During the language workshop, we played a game doing different activities. One of the activities was acting out Disney movies in Norwegian and guessing what movie they were. And I just wanted to say - Even in Norwegian, I am a Disney champion!

And Sunday. HOLY GUACAMOLE. It was such a crazy cool reunion! I got to see every missionary I've ever served with and see members from Romerike and Trondheim! And it just warmed my heart that the members in Romerike remembered me and were just as excited to see me six months later. There were many hugs/handshakes that were exchanged and it was the best.

Stake conference was so good! We had the two stake presidents, stake relief society presidents, A seventy (I feel really terrible I can't remember his name.....), Sister and Elder Bednar speak. The Stake presidents talked about how we can hasten the Lord's work by remembering to do the personal things we need to do: read, pray, and partake of the sacrament. The relief society presidents talked about how amazing it is to see all the members of Norway today and how unified we are. The elder from the seventy gave an introduction for Elder Bednar and briefly share his testimony.
Can I just say that Elder and Sister Bednar are just adorable? They really are such a cute couple. Sister Bednar shared a story from when she taught first grade in Utah (so any of her students were members of the church) and how they had studied the five senses (see, touch, smell, feel, and taste). There was one day that they had a tasting party where everyone brought different foods to eat. There was one boy though, who wouldn't eat anything. Sister Bednar would continuously invite him to participate but he would say no. She finally pulls him over to the side and asked what was wrong. He said that his grandpa was getting an operation that same day and he was fasting for him. Children - we really can learn so much from them!
Elder Bednar then spoke. Seriously, it is so powerful to not just hear an apostle of the Lord speak but to be in the same room as one. He addressed the people who are not members of the church and went through the restoration lesson in the most powerful way. He was simple, direct, and bold. It was legendary. Afterwards, he addressed the members and told them to keep doing what you're doing - live the gospel and people will notice you're different. THAT'S how missionary work happens.

After an incredible two hour stake conference, we missionaries had the honor of having a three hour conference with Elder Bednar. It was such an incredible experience that all of us are still recovering from. I really cannot cover all that went down but I will share one special thing that happened to me: As this conference was approaching, I had been studying and seeking the questions I wanted to have prepared I was fully planning on just sitting back and letting all the other missionaries ask their questions. Elder Bednar asks us a question to begin: What did we learn from the three talks we studied? People began raising their hands to share and I had this strong impression telling me that I needed to share. I kept pushing it back but the next thing I knew, my hand went up, someone gave me a mic, and I was standing. I shared that in his talk, "Ask in Faith" he used the example of Joseph Smith and what led up to the first vision. He took a step back to observe what was happening around him which lead questions that built a desire to know which church should he join. Elder Bednar then asked me why do I think I noticed that. In that moment I was paralyzed that my personal favorite apostle just spoke directly to me. I said that observing is something I've always done because it helps me to remember the big picture. Elder Bednar thanked me then proceeded to talk about the importance of observing.

There is one doubt that those five hours of conference for us missionaries were packed with special moments for every individual missionary. Heavenly Father loves each one of us so perfectly that He is willing to plan extraordinary circumstances to help one of His children on a personal level.
Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one in the purpose of building each one of us up on a personal level. God has called President Thomas S. Monson to be a prophet for YOU. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for YOU. The Atonement is an infinite and eternal gift for YOU. Please use these and the other gifts that our Heavenly Father has given us. That's my commitment for the week and a lifetime.

I love each you all very much and I hope you have an incredible week whether it's up or down. Remember you are given the gift to act and are not meant to be acted upon.

Søster Buhler

1 - This was where the Stake conference was!
2 - Me and my trainer/"mom" Sister Johnson!
3 - The MTC group, almost one year later.

4 - and my ENTIRE Mission picture!

Monday, September 1, 2014


I am a bit shorter on time today due to some prepping that needs to be done for this week. Here are the highlights of the week:

-Transfers: I'm getting a new companion
- Make it rain: Most referrals I've ever gotten in one week!
- Progressors: Ivan, Marcel, and Elizabeth
- Stake Conference AND Missionary conference this Sunday with special guest: Elder David A. Bednar

Yesterday I learned that Sister Olsen will be leaving me to move to Skien and I will be with Sister Chapman. She was my Sister Training Leader when I was in Trondheim so I've been on splits with her! She's a sweetheart and I'm excited to be working with her. It's sad to say goodbye to my companions because we share so many great memories together. But it's never goodbye, only "see you later!"

So on Wednesday we're coming back from an appointment when we see Joseph, one of our potentials with three of his friends: Ricardo, Sophie, and Awa. We ended up teaching them about faith and how we help people to develop faith in Christ and come closer to them. After we said a prayer together, they each thanked us for ending their day on such a great note because they had a terrible day. 
Then on Sunday, Marcel comes to church and he brought two friends, Christian and Oliver. Marcel said he talked about us to these friends and they wanted to talk to us as well! HOW AWESOME IS THAT! We've got appointments set up with them this week and I'm stoked to teach them!

Ivan is just incredible. He takes notes during our lessons and is such a powerful example about faith - he ACTS. He's like a modern day Nephi. We went over the Restoration and prophets this week and his eyes just glow with excitement! I just love this man!
Marcel is doing great. He loves coming to church and he's praying about a baptismal date! The sad bit is that he'll be moving the Italy in three weeks, but he will be a great addition to whichever ward he moves into.
And Elizabeth, oh how I just love her so much. She shared with us how she's been praying and getting answers to her prayers this past week and it's awesome! Today we actually talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and she really is excited to receive it. And the ward just loves her! So great! Not sure if I have already mentioned this but her baptismal date got moved to Oktober 25th due to things that came up on the 27th. I'm hoping and praying that it will not get pushed back any further!!

AND FINALLY Stake Conference. So Elder David A. Bednar will be coming to speak to the Norway members this sunday and then afterwards the missionaries have a three hour conference with him. Not going to lie, I'M STOKED. Elder Bednar is my personal favorite and it is such an incredible opportunity to hear from one of Christ's living apostles today.

Short spiritual thought: An invitation to read the Bible Dictionary entry of "Faith" and then find one way to start applying something you read. It's a powerful entry. Read it. Learn it. Live it. 

Have a wonderful week packed with awesome!

Lots of love, 
Søster Buhler