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!

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