Monday, March 30, 2015

The Final Chapter

Hei Kjære Alle Sammen,

This is it. I'm getting my restaurant! No, but really I still cannot believe this is already my last Monday as a missionary here in Norway. Time has flown by way too fast but I must say, as clique as it sounds, but this seriously has been the best eighteen months. It's been full of many ups and downs but I would never ever trade in any of them. For this last email, I thought I would give a little summary of all my areas and enjoy going down memory lane (just a heads up, I forgot to grab my journal to help me remember names so these are the ones off the top of my head. There are probably WAY more names that I just for the life of me cannot remember. So please hold back the judging. Thank you):

Bishop: Biskop Pedersen
Ward Mission Leader: Kjell Horgmo then Paul Gardner
Companion: My trainer, Søster Zoe Johnson
Missionaries in the district: Eldster Hill, Hall, Garrard, Nielson, Årsnes, Jensen, and Vause
Member Buddies: Familien Rapp, Borge, Åsheim, Vollheim, Stolp, Amundsen, Paola, Karin Bjæring, Helene R., and honestly all of Romerike Menighet (Ward).
Investigators: Semhar, Shangar, Michelle and Thomas, Sergey and Family, and Hanne.

Bishop: Biskop Erik Paulsen
Ward Mission Leader: Benjamin Weggersen
Companions: Søster Hornback and Søster Rebecca Burns
Missionaries in the district: Elders Halvorsen, Whitmer, Skinner, Clarke, Hill, Palmer
Søstre Angerhofer, Shaw, and Roe along with Elder and Sister Bradford, the wonderful senior couple!

Member Buddies: Majken Weggersen, Mckenzie Family, Mali Fisvik, Dunn Family, Inger Helene Jørgensen, Helene, Arne and Verna Dahlø, Harold and Turid Hansen, Jan Peder Hegdal, Tore Mo, and Gjermund and Jolina Lingås, Joakim and Cheng/Lisa, Xin
Investigators: Omar (my convert!), Johnny, Sharifi, Hem and Shanti (got baptized!), Morten, and Susann.

Bishop: Biskop Muren
Ward Mission Leader: Mikael Amundsen then Benjamin Kerr
Companions: Søster Sam Olsen, Søster Sierra Chapman, and Søster Sydney House (my trainee).
Missionaries in the district: Elders- Duncan, Edwards, Clarke, Shanklin, Nilsson, Christensen, Garrard, and Hurst.
Søstre- Ausen, Harrison, and Angerhofer along with Elder and Sister Rasumussen - they are the sweetest!!
Member Buddies: Ceceline, Elin, Carlsen Family, Daniel, Emma and Sandra, Anders, Isaksen Family,
Investigators: Elisabeth, Ivan, Svein, Øyvind, Thor, Frederik (he was the Elders' but we really all got close with this guy, He's the best!),

Branch President: President Fred Olsen
Ward Mission Leader: President Olsen
Companions: Søster Heywood and Søster Neilson
Missionaries in the district: Elders Vause, Curtis, Collard, and Rui.
Member Buddies: Åse Marie, Bente, Eirik, Simon, Winnie, Liv, Ragnild... (the entire branch)
Investigators: Yan, Artur, Paul, Karlis and Antra,

Bishop: Biskop Gjevik
Ward Mission Leader: RObert Luke
Companions: SØster Muren and Søster Johannessen
Missionaries in the district: Elders Stookey, Dalton, Phipps, and Curtis. SIster Campbell and ELder and SIster Allphin - simply wonderful!!
Member Buddies: SImon, Bob, Bergs, Liv and Knut, Birgit, Vågnes,
Investigators: Roger, Kjell, Inger Anne, Amanda!

Yup, looking at this I really am missing a lot of names. Uff. This is why you keep a journal, your brain can only hold so much information.

But I've been so blessed to have been able to meet SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many wonderful people throughout my mission. They have taught me so much and helped me to become the person I am today. "Who can say if I've been changed for the better but, because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

It'll be weird going back to normal life again but like the Lord has helped me throughout my mission so He can help me with whatever the future holds in store for me. Onward ever onward!

Have a great week, you're a champion, and well see you on the other side!

Søster Hana Buhler

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Sprinting - The Final Countdown

Hei folkens!!

How did you all enjoy that solar eclipse last Friday? Yeah it was pretty legit. It was hiding behind some rain clouds but you could still slightly see it/feel the intensity of it. Good times.

Anyhoo, I'm pressed for time again (sorry >_<). Here are the highlights from last week:
-Famlien Løvstad
We took this magical bus ride through all the famous beautiful movie shots pretty much to go have dinner with teh Løvstads, a member family. They are the cutest people ever! They also have an adorable dog named Leah.

-OONSA (Out of Nowhere Sickness Attack)
Yeah, still don't quite know what happened. One moment I'm updating records in the areabook and then the next moment I can't see and can't walk..... The elders came over to give me a blessing and then I was out for the rest of the day. Whatever it was, it luckily only lasted til about 5pm the next day. I'm up and running now!

-New Companion, wait what?
We had a emergency transfer in Bergen. SIster Campbell and I switched areas so for my remaining days I have the awesome Søster Johannessen as my companion. Sweet.

-Lots of finding through areabook work
Since it had been awhile since anyone has called trhough the areabook, we decided to give it a try. One of the ladies we called, Sadie, said "You know, it's really funny you called. I have been thinking  lately I needed to come to church." WHOA. SO COOL. Sadie along with 6 other people are meeting up with us this week so that's pretty exciting!

-The real final New Companion 411: Søster Johannessen
From Seattle, Washington. Her dad is actually from Bergen and her mom is Canadian. One older half sister and a little brother. She was in drill, ASB, swim team and  voted as class clown in her high school senior class.

For a super quick spiritual thought: The Lord is truly looking out for us through other people. This week was brutal (besides the sick attack) and little by little, people showed me that kindness I really needed. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father helps me understand a little more every day how much He does love me personally.

Have a wonderful week and love you all!!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fremad, alltid Fremad.

Hei alle sammen!

Another solid week in the beautiful city of Bergen. It was actually sunny for almost en enitre week straight! SAYETH WHAT?? Don't get me wrong, I love me some good ol' refreshing rain. Occasionally though it's nice to get some sunshine :)

We got to visit with some awesome members who have been on the less active side for awhile. NOt gonna lie, it's kind of painful to remember that I don't have much time with these incredible people, but then I remember how much can happen in day so I keep on enjoying and treasuring these newly found friendships.

One exciting note is that we got a baptismal date with this man named Emmanuel! He's a student from Congo studying business. Man, he is seriously one cool guy who has the strongest desire to follow God. During our first visit, he kept talking about how important it is to be baptized by one holding authority. Golden? I think so. He picked his date for June 6th due to his work schedule being unpredictable right now. Once it settles down though, he wants to move it up. Cool beans.

A random tender mercy: yesterday after church, SIster Johannessen (another missionary here) and I had to grab some things from a classroom and we ran into SIster Leuchner. SHe had invited the other sisters to dinner after church and when she found out that my companion and I had not been invited to eat dinner after church, she was like, "What? Nope not allowed. You two are coming over as well." We had an incredibly wonderful time with the Leuchner family and it was fun getting in touch with my German roots (BTW the Leuchners are from East Germany) and attempt to speak what little German I remember from high school days :)

Spiritual Thought:
In my studies, I've been reading about Alma and his missionary work. He's always been one of my favourite Book of Mormon heroes. Today I read his conversion story and it never fails to get me right at the heart. Something I never caught before was after Alma receives the overwhelming joy of being forgiven and turning himself to Christ, it mentions that he received strength in his body again to stand back up. When we sincerely open and turn ourselves to Christ, His atonement enables us to do all. I've read and heard this many times but it really is true. Praises unto the Lord, we are never alone. The Savior always helps us back up over and over again. He's cheering us on. What joy it is that He truly is our Savior. Because of Him, we can keep going on.

Have a super duper week and remember who you are! Love each and every one of you :)

Take care,
Søster Buhler

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Short Update...

Hei folkens

I'm sorry for the short update but email time just goes by way too fast!! So this will be done in bullet point status:

- Got to see my friend Amanda! We're seeing her again this week :)
- Miracle: On Tuesday, a former investigator called me asking if she could come to church. On Sunday she texted me and asked if she could bring a friend. WHAT? Their names are Veronika and Benjamin. They both really enjoyed church and are excited about the YSA activities! Such a tender mercy to have gotten contact with them!
-I've come to love fresh air a lot over the past week. It's been said before but it truly is refreshing.

I'm sorry for the rush but know that I love you all and that I pray for you all every day.

Have a wonderful week!

Søster Buhler

Monday, March 2, 2015

....... Yup

Hei Folkens!!

Well it was a solid week of getting more white-washing and training business taken care of. I feel bad that I really don't have much to say for the week... Just that this week I have been able to learn, or re-learn I should say, about faith, trust, and pixie dust. What? I was going through my old study journals when I came across my very first study notes from when I first got to Norway. 

Faith is the having that determination that you will go and do something. Trust is relying on the Lord that He will keep His part of the promise as we show our faith through actions. Finally, pixie dust is the gift of the Holy Ghost. When you think about how incredible it is we are blessed with this gift as members, it truly is something magical. Heavenly Father knew that faith and trust alone would not be enough. We needed help. That is the magic of the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that, it gives us that last boost of strength to step out into the unknown. I once heard a quote that went along the lines of, when you step out into darkness, there are two options of what could happen: 1) You step onto solid ground or 2) You will learn to fly.

We will always have Heavenly Father's help available to us. We will also continue to either grow or weaken in our faith in trust everyday. It never stays at the same level so we are blessed with opportunities every day to continue growing in our faith and trust to enable us to use our "pixie dust" more.

Love you all and I hope each of you have a magical week :)

Take care,
Søster Buhler

Monday, February 23, 2015

There. and Back again: Bergen

 My new mission companion...Sister Muren!
 My giant troll buddy!
 I was at this view point in 2012!! Crazy!!
 Another troll buddy...gotta love them troll buddies!!!
My new district missionaries...Elder Phipps, Sister Johannessen, and Elder Dalton

Hei alle sammen!

Eg er i Bergen nå!!! Looks like I can keep on trying out that "Nynorsk" thing (Quick explanation - there's two Norwegian languages: Bokmål and Nynorsk. Everyone can understand Bokmål and studies that in school growing up here. Nynorsk... Well it's "new Norwegian." Yup) that I attempted to pick up in Ålesund. That's besides the point - ONTO this week's update:

Saying goodbye to everyone in Ålesund was incredibly heartbreaking. It truly is a special place with absolutely phenomenal people. Man, I am getting teary just thinking about it!

It feels very very VERY weird being here in Bergen. When we come into the city center, I keep thinking about when I was here in 2012. But I am getting over that pretty quickly because Bergen is, well, just a wonderful place. I am REALLY grateful that the busses announce their stops so it makes it easier to get around here. I'm still trying to get the swing of things but this white-washing thing is going alright so far. It's a strong push to help me sprint to the end for sure!

We had Zone Leader Training (Long story short - something happened with the traveling plans so the Bergen district wasn't able to make it out to where the ZLT was. So the zone leaders came to us) about Preach My Gospel. I was actually grateful to get two zlts about that because I really love Preach My Gospel! We also focused about the importance of using scriptures not only in lessons but while we are finding. The ZLs gave the idea of having a scripture for every principle we teach (total of 42). I have decided to take up the challenge and learn 42 scriptures! Woohoo!!

Church was a big shock for me. The only thing people asked me to do was introduce myself... What? I don't need to teach the Sunday lesson? No talk? No piano playing? What? I'll admit I was a bit on edge just in case if someone was like, "Hey can someone...." "I got it!!" But... that didn't happen. So weird. It was really nice how many people did come up to introduce themselves to me.

Also.... New Companion 411!!
Søster Caroline Muren is Norwegian! Born and raised in Oslo. Has one older brother (Markus MC) and one younger sister (Charlotte). She likes to be with family, friends, go to the movie theater, shop, and her favorite food is pizza (American of course!). She's been out since December and I'll be finishing up her training before I go home! I'm looking forward to get to know her better over the next few weeks!

Spiritual thought for the week... I am just really grateful for the Atonement. As the scriptures say in Alma 7:11-13, the Savior took upon Himself EVERYTHING we could ever experience. He did so in order to help us overcome all just as He did. I love the Lord so much and I am so grateful to know that He loves me today and always. He loves you and His enabling power is always available. USE IT. That's what it is there for.

Have a super duper week everyone!

Søster Buhler

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beggining of my last transfer...

Omar (my convert in Trondheim!)

Hei alle sammen!

It's so weird to think that this is my last transfer! And guess what? I'M MOVING! Yup, I will be serving in Bergen before I go home. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! But here are some highlights for the week:
  • -Sister Training Leaders Visit!
  • -Zone Leader Training: The Lion King
  • -Trondheim reunion: Omar
  • -Valentine's Day Branch Party!
  • -Baptismal Date with Stig!!!
  • -Spiritual Thought
  • -New Mailing Address (Last One!)

We had Sister Campbell (one of my MTC companions!) and Sister Hartley come and visit us this week! It was really wonderful to see them and we had a blast! I just always love and appreciate their tips and selvfølgelig hearing them share their testimonies. They are both incredible missionaries and I'm grateful to know them :)

We had Zone Leader Training in Trondheim which was super fun! It was Lion King themed!! DISNEY LOVE REPRESENT!! Anyhoo, it was specifically about how we are to help people remember who they are while we are finding (aka teaching to find). It never fails to blow my mind how much we can always learn and increase in our abilities!

While in Trondheim, I got to see my convert Omar! It was so good to see him!! He's doing well and still coming to church! Oh my heart! It's so good and comforting to see that he is doing well and staying firm in the faith!

Our branch and a Valentine's Day party and it was a success! Our investigator Paul was able to come and meet the members. They all had a really fun time and it really helped Paul feel more comfortable. Now he's not scared of coming to church! So good!

AH! I still cannot get over how incredible this teach was. We met with Stig and finished going through the restoration with him. He was just soaking up everything! We read in Moroni 10:3-5 and discussed about what having a sincere heart and real intent meant. We then asked him if he would be baptized when he found out the Book of Mormon is true. Silence. Stig is looking down at the Book of Mormon and is just quiet for a few minutes. When he looks up at us, he says in the most confirming voice,"yes." That moment was so powerful! We then invited him to be baptized on March 28 and again he replied in that same voice, "yes." He even marked the day in his phone's calendar! AH!!!! There really are people who are seeking truth and will act on it when they hear it!!

Spiritual Thought: Quote
I came across this quote during the week:
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life... it putself in our hands and hopes we've learnt something from yesterday." -John Wayne

The gospel is all about fulfilling our divine natures. We really are children of God and He wants us to enjoy all that He has. Something that I am learning the importance of is journal writing. Random? Yes, but this has helped me to record what I learned today so that tomorrow I wil remember what I learned from yesterdays past.

And here's my new mailing address:

St. Olavsvei 3B
5052 Bergen

Love you all and I hope you have a fanastic week! Don't forget to have an attitude of grattitude and to write in journals :)

Søster Buhler

Bente, one of the awesome recent converts!

​Sister Vega!! I knew her in Oslo! Now we're serving in the same mission!!
Sending some holiday greetings!
 Sister Neilson and Paul (our investigator)
 Ingeborg (Åse Marie's Daughter), Åse Marie, Me, and Sister Neilson :) 
 Group Party Pic!
I'm on a horse!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Book of Mormon

Hola mi amigos!

Look at your cat now back at mine, look at your cat now back to mine... Sorry we were talking Puss in Boots this morning randomly and I just remembered a trailor for that movie... ANYHOO, this week both a lot and a little happened at the same time but it was overall a solid week :)

Sister Neilson and I had two really powerful experiences this week. The first with our muslim friends and the second with a new investigator named Stig.

We come into the library and our two investigators had brought three friends with them. As we started talking and teaching about the restoration, the Spirit was there SO powerfully. When we mentioned Christ though, they went off on a tangent and it got contenious FAST. I felt prompted to just ask if they would want to find out if Christ is our Savior. They said no. After we ended on a good note, we left to go back to our apartment for our dinner break. Sister Neilson and I were utrolig heartbroken! Those men are our brothers and they were firm in not wanting to listen to us or learn. We grabbed our Books of Mormon and started reading in Alma 26 together.

These verses stuck out to me the most:
26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

This is just an incredible chapter that I highly recommend for personal studies this week! But after reading these verses I felt the Spirit sweep through me and help me boost me back up on my feet to head back out and find those who will listen.

Which leads us to Stig!

Stig is a man we contacted on the street. A few days later he texts us asking if we can meet up. WHAT? When I asked him why he wanted to meet with us, he shared that he felt good when he first met us and he wanted to learn what made us different. WHAT? We had such a powerful lesson about who God and Christ are and Stig REALLY wants to know what we're sharing is true! AH! So good!!

If there is anything I want you to get from this email is that I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. It changed and continues to change my life everyday. It was written by prophets of God in ancient times and translated by a prophet of God for our day TODAY. It is evidence that God continues to speak to us through living prophets. God loves us and He wants all His children to know of His plan and His gospel because that is the only way we can obtain everlasting joy in this life and in the life to come. I love the Heavenly Father, I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I cannot describe how much I love this gospel. It is true. I am grateful that I can have the opportunity everyday to share with all who will listen and act.

This week is going to be an incredible week for all of us. I can feel it!! Make the most of it and be sure to keep your eyes open for all the incredible things that are going to happen!!

Take care and lots of love,
Søster Buhler

Yummy cakes brought to us by our branch president Fred and Bente!!
 Beautiful morning with the new snow!
Eirik (who got baptized last November) made us some deilig mac n' cheese Norwegian style!! Bless his sweet soul!!

 On the bus traveling to a district meeting in Molde!
 Some cool street art that we always pass by on our way to Molde. It's pretty pretty right?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Abundantly Victorious

Hallo Alle Sammen!

Another beautiful and solid week here in the windy city of Ålesund! We were blessed with a suprise snow fall yesterday which is always spennede! Onto this week's highlights:

-Less Active Visits: Winnie, Lincoln, Ragnild, Simon, and Ciprian
-Updates with Paul!
-AP Workshop in Trondheim
-Birthday Surprise!
-On a random note: The Date (no not that kind)
-Spiritual Thought: Abundantly Victorious

This week ended up being a less active focus which is always a blast! Winnie is starting to get the Spirit back into her home as she's been reading the scriptures and praying again. Her sadness is becoming joy and it's just so good to see her smile grow each time we visit her!
Lincoln is a fellow American living here in Norway with his wife Kristina from the Ukraine. They live WAY out so we don't get to visit them very often but it was still so fun!
Ragnild was feeling super sick when we came over so we kept the visit really short so she could get back to bed. We shared a quick thought about what we had learned from personal studies that morning and we gave her a little notebook for her to use as a study journal. She was so surprised and happy to get that little present. She said that we came right at the time she needed us to be there. I hope she feels better soon!
When we went to visit Simon, he was babysitting his friend's kids. They were so adorable speaking Russian. What's really random is I can't speak any Russian but I could understand what the kids would be talking about. Random? Anyhoo, we had a good discussion about our gift of free agency while enjoying some home made Russian soup!
Ciprian is a less active that no one really knew about so we decided to try calling him. He answered and said we could meet up! We got to know one another better (He's originally from Romania, lived in Sweden for about 10 years, and has lived in Norway ever since. He's divorced and has one 12 year old daughter) and read together from Moroni 10.
Something that I've been noticing lately is how much these less actives are opening up more and more. Most of the less actives is not all would not even answer their phones before. Now they not only answer their phones but are meeting up with us! The Spirit is really working with people's hearts!

Paul is doing good! We got to read together with him and he's growing in his curiousity to hear about  what makes this church unique from other Christian churches. Right now, he's still hesitant about accepting to be baptized because he's worried about what his family will think. But he's still  wanting to meet up and since he does have that desire, I can see that potential inside of him :)

We had a really cool workshop about finding. For all you missionaries out there you're probably like, "We've heard this so much!" BUT IT WAS REALLY COOL. We focused on the importance of ACTUALLY talking with people. Before as a mission we had the habit of stopping people by saying, "Hi we're missionaries..." But we're throwing that out the window. These people can see our nametags so we're going to cut down to the chase - our purpose of inviting and helping others to come unto Christ. We did a lot of practicals of being observant to people/looking for clues and really listening to what people say. Ah! It was just so cool and I'm pumped!!
I also got to see some old faces from Trondheim which was precious! Ah my heart!

Yesterday was Liv's birthday so after church we went over to her house to deliever a cake and sing Happy Birthday! She loved it so much :)

Super Random note buuuuuut I'll just say it and move on: I got my release date of April 2nd. Yup. My release has a date now. AH. Ok, moving on now.

Spiritual Thought: This week I was reading in Romans 8. If you haven't read that chapter lately, I would highly recommend it. It's a power chapter for sure! Anyways, In this chapter, I came across a verse and in the footnote there was a word translated to "adundantly victorious." (Sorry for the technical difficulties but for some reason the webstie isn't loading :( sad day). Throughout my mission I have seen the power of the Atonement in my life and others. Because of our Savior's Atonement, it's WAY more than just possible to overcome hardships. We can always come off conqueor. ALWAYS.

Yeah it's a shorter update this week but that doesn't change the fact that each and every one of you are the greatest! Have a wonderful week, just keep swimming, hakuna matata, you can fly, and remember a dream is a wish your heart makes!

Søster Buhler

 last district picture before Eldste Rui (the one on the far left) leaves for his mission in Provo on Monday!
 Majken!!!! She's having her first baby in May!!! AAAAHHHH!!
This is Mali. She's so cool and a champion at knitting!! I miss her face so much!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning

Hei Dokker!

It's been a B-E-A-UTIFUL week here in Ålesund! Today, the sun is shining (which is good for you reptiles) and I'm just feeling like a... HAPPY SNOWMAN!! 
Ok all movie references aside, it really was a solid week with many little miracles :)

-Root Beer!
-New Investigators: Miloud, Åsman, and Paul
-Less Active Visits
-Spiritual thought: Psalms 56:3-4

Yes the root beer was random but it was still greatly appreciated! My sweet companion Søster Neilson asked her mom to send some root beer because I mentioned how much I miss it. Bless her sweet little heart!

We were blessed to find some new investigators this week! We met Miloud on the last Sunday, got an appointment with him on Tuesday, and he brought his friend Åsman with him. They both have a Muslim background and so we many talked to see how much they want to learn and if it would be safe for them to continue to meet with us which it is! They both have a lot of questions about what happens after we die and why so many people believe in Christ as someone more than a prophet. Excited to see where it goes from here!
Paul we met on the street and had a good street lesson with him about Jesus Christ. He's from the Congo originally and he's been in Norway for a couple of years now. We were able to meet with him again and teach him about the restoration. At first, you could see he was like, "Whoa! This is a lot to take it" but after we discussed about it he believes it is possible and wants to find out if it is really true! 

We are experiencing more and more less actives/inactives whose hearts are being softened and allowing us to come visit them! We were able to visit with Winnie again. She still is kind of hesitant around us but you can see that she's opening up herself a little more each time we visit :)

Liv was good but she is going through a hard time right now... her dad passed away two weeks ago and when we visited her on Wednesday, she told us that she found out her cousin died that morning. But then she was teaching US the importance of choosing to see things from a positive perspective and to rely on the Lord when we don't know the answers. She is so incredible!

We were able to visit a lady named Inger Aredall. She is super sweet and she fed us yummy soup because she saw it was super windy outside and thought we needed someting to warm us back up. Bless her sweet soul! She is still really positive and we'll be visiting her again! I feel that she's not letting us know about something... but that is what the spirit is for! Helping to discern people's needs!

We got to visit Simon who is a new convert on the less active side. He fed us some odd yet delicious food and he gave us food to go! People have been spoiling us with food! He doesn't come to church because it's not as high of a priority for him because he likes to hang out with his friends... but we had a really good discussion about how he can invite friends to come to church and who the Spirit helps us to know what to say :) 

We got contact with this one less active named Sara (back when Søster Heywood was still here) and she's back from her vacation! We saw her yesterday and are going to be meeting with her tomorrow! AND she's bringing a friend!!! WHAT!!!! So good!

So with Ingeborg:
She is Åse Marie's daughter and she hasn't been very positive about the church for a LONG time. We usually see her every Friday and say hi. This last Friday we got to have lunch together and she's opening up a lot more to us! Søster Neilson is just a sweetheart and Ingeborg gave us her number so we can text once in awhile! Åse Marie was so happy to hear how her daughter is starting to trust in us! The Lord is really helping to soften and prepare the hearts of people :)

Spiritual Thought!
This week I was reading about David in 1 Samuel. In Chapter 29, David and his fellow soliders learn that their people had been taken captive by their enemies. All of David's fellow soldiers begin to murmur and say it's hopeless. Inside of going with what his peers are doing, David motivates himself to turn to the Lord. Since I have began serving here in Ålesund, I've had to REALLY learn fast to do this myself because it is just my companion and I. We have other missionaries we can call for pump-ups but daily, it's just us. As I was thinking about this, I found this scripture in the cross references (Pslams 56:3-4): "In time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."
Fear is the absence of faith. With everything and anything that happens to us, we are presented with a choice- do we increase our faith or our fear?
When we choose to put out trust in God, despite our doubts, we will prevail because God ALWAYS prevails.

Love you all and I hope you have a super duper week!!

Take care,
Søster Buhler

We made snow angels. Couldn't resist!

Just another beautiful view here in Ålesund!

This is Peaches. She's our friendly neighborhood pet
About to open my eyes to the best surprise ever! (It was Eirik's first root beer!!)
This is Åse Marie. She's the best :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bergen Miracles

Yoohoo! Hei alle sammen!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I would love to begin by saying every crazy turn and twist of life as a purpose. Heavenly Father is super flink at having every single detail line up perfectly so the miracles that He wants us to see will happen. We had a zone conference this week with two of our mission zones (the West and the North zones) and HOLY GUACAMOLE incredible things happened.

The Highlights:
-Zone Conference with Elder Kopischke of the Europe Missionary Department
-Miracle of Splits: The Pinse man and Alexander
-When Two Lives Collide: Amanda and I (If you're short on time, read this one. This is the highlight of the highlights!)
-Spiritual Thought: Mosiah 23:20-22

We had the incredible opportunity to hear from Elder Kopischke. He was born and raised in Germany and has worked in the missionary department for many years. I don't quite know how to describe the experience I had at the conference... In preparing for this conference, I had not idea what to expect. When Elder Kopischke opened the conference though, he asked us to take a few minutes to write down a question or two we had. Tender Mercy from the Lord for me to have some last minute prep time. What followed after was such a mind-blowing experience! I filled up my note-taking notebook! I will be spending the first several weeks studying over the notes I took so "line upon line" or week after week, you will be able to hear about what we talked about at the conference!

The conference took place in Bergen and I was there for two and a half days which always ALWAYS means - GOING ON SPLITS! I was able to work help Sister Williams (who is serving in Trondheim, been out for about four months) and Sister Larsen (serving in Bergen and she's been out for almost two months). We had about an hour together before we needed to meet back up again to get situated for the night and so we went and "hit the pavement!"
We talked with this one old man who we later found out was a member of the Pinse church. He told us that he has met with many missionaries from all religions and så videre. To be honest, I had a REALLY hard time understanding his Bergen dialekt but Heavenly Father truly did bless each of us with the gift of tongues to keep the conversation going. By the end, he accepted to read the Book of Mormon and he gave us his address to visit him. So cool!
Later on we met this one kid named Alexander. He told us that he grew up Christian but struggles to believe in God now. We felt prompted to talk about prayer and how talking with God does help us develop an relationship. We asked if he would try praying right then and there and he said yes! You could tell he was nervous about it but it was so touching to hear his prayer! He didn't feel comfortable with giving us his number but we gave him a card and invited him to try praying again when he got home. He thanked us for the card and said he would coniute to practice saying prayers! 

When Two Lives Collide: Amanda and I
Quick backstory for this one: I have a pen pal named Amanda Fjell who lives in Bergen. We have been writing letters (like paper and stamp status) to each other for about six years now. In 2012, I got to visit her and meet her family, friends, and enjoy life as a Norwegian for about two weeks!
Before I left for Bergen, I got Amanda's number and I told her that I would be coming to Bergen for a few days! We were able to plan a time to meet up in the city center!
When we got off the light rail, the first person I see is Mona (one of Amanda's friends that was with us for pretty much the entire time I was staying with Amanda) and then I turn and see Amanda is walking up to her to give her a hug. I start walking up to them and was like, "Hey girls!" We all freaked out! It was so good to see them!! And Mona was just there and didn't know that I was here!! We found this one cafe that we could go in to get out of the wind and then we starting catching up with each other. We mainly focused on what I've been doing as a missionary which ended up leading into the first lesson (about the apostasy and restoration). Next thing I know, both Amanda and Mona want to get a Book of Mormon and they agreed to meet with the Bergen missionaries!! AND THEY BOTH SAID THEY'LL BRING FRIENDS NEXT TIME! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!! This happened four days ago and I am still so incredibly pumped about it!! It still is so incredibly to me how Heavenly Father really has arranged for everything to fall right into place so that 1) Amanda and I could meet in the first place, 2) I could introduce Amanda to the gospel through our letters, 3) Meet the people that mean the most to Amanda back in 2012, and just so many details! Just comes to show that there are no coincidences!

Spiritual Thought: Mosiah 23:20-22
"And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam. Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people."
I actually came across this scripture today during my personal studies. It was a personal reminder for me that yes, life is pretty good right now, but there's even greater things. Sometimes I struggle with pushing myself to see these great things happen so more often then less, Heavenly Father will give me a really good push in order to help my personal patience and faith to grow. Everything and anything we experience in this life is to push us in order to grow. This life is our olympic games afterall! 
Have a super duper week and remember - with great power comes great responsibility.
Take care!
Søster Buhler

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Dawn, New Day, New Light!

Hei alle sammen!!

It's been a wonderful solid week of seeing the work continue to move forward! Sad to say goodbye to Søster Heywood but I am still incredibly grateful for the time we could serve together here in Ålesund :) ANYHOO, before I start teary up I'll share what happened this week!

-Got to be a tourist last Pday!
-Met with Per Magner, a former investigator
-Distict Meeting in Molde!
-Taught Uncle Martin!
-Last minute hurdles for church...
-Power of Unity with church leaders
-Companion 411: Søster Haylee Neilson!
-Spiritual Thought: Power of Light

Really random, but since it was Søster Heywood's last Pday, she wanted to be a tourist and hit all the tourist attractions. One of them was this lookout point called Aksla which was awesome!

We got in contac with Per Magner after going through our areabook. He is really intrigued finding out how religion and science are actually very much connected. Super cool right?? It was a unique lesson that I really don't know how to explain... Just that the Spirit was strongly present helping to guide what we should say in order to actually let Per Magner be taught by the spirit. He commited to read several chapters in the Book of Mormon and we're meeting with him again this week!

 Had our monthly district meeting in Molde and it was fun to meet the brand new elder, Eldste Rui! He's from Norway and will actually be here for training and then go out to serve in the Provo Utah Mission! We had a great meeting about the importance of Church and brainstorming together how we can help our investigators/less actives come to church.

We were able to meet up with Uncle Martin (not his real name, just the nickname we call him) and have a powerful lesson about the restoration. He's heard a lot about Joseph Smith from his family that are members and on the internet which he brought up, but he sincerely wanted to know truth from myth. It was so great to see him feeling the Spirit and realizing truth. I love missionary work! 

So on Sunday morning, we were blessed with some last minute service opportunities in church: Give a talk, sing a musical number, and teach the sunday school lesson. It was a bit hectic BUT where there's a will, there's a way! And praises unto the Lord, we found a way to get all those things accomplished! We ended up teaching about service and big or small, there are unforgettable. We sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" på Norsk, and Søster Neilson gave a wonderful talk about the Book of Mormon!

After church, the branch president (Fred Olsen) and relief society president (Åse Marie Nedregård) came with us to visit a less active named Winnie. We visited her earlier in the week and she asked us to help her to recieve a blessing. She was able to not only receive a beautiful blessing but also a kjempe koslelig visit from her branch leaders. It felt incredible to feel how much love was in Winnie's home at that moment!

Companion 411: Søster Haylee Neilson!!
Been out on her mission for 4 months now and just finsihed her training! So in other words, I'm her mission papa! :D
Born and raised in California! Has 3 siblings (Older brother, Zach, an older sister, Aubrey, and a younger brother, Jared AKA Bear) and she's Swedish!! She LOVES Disneyland (Disney true love anyone? Yup!), going scuba diving, saw snow for the first time two weeks ago, loves Mexican food, and she's a wannabe Polynesian! :) We've already hitted it off (the Disney love connection was a HUGE part of it) and I am excited to get to know her better!

And for the Spiritual thought, I'm actually running out of time, but this one is brought to you by one of our FANTASTIC new converts: Isaiah 60:1-3. A few words with that: Never forget the light that is inside of you because "what's inside you is stronger than any spell."

Have a wonderful week and take care all you fantastic people!! :)

Søster Buhler

1. Christmas Gazebo!
2. Søster Heywood and I at midnight on New year's!
3. The beautiful sunrise of 2015

1. View from Askla!
2. Askla selfie!
3. Last time with Søster Heywood (på vei to the airport)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Baptism at the Baptist Church

Hei dokke!

It's a brand new year and it's a good life! Super short explaination about the tite- The Kristiansund elders told us how they were trying to find a place to baptize one of their investigators. They saw the Baptist church was open so they thought they'd try to ask. They got permission to use their baptismal font! So... there's gonna be a baptism at the Baptist church! Anyhoo, lots to talk about so I'll just cut to the chase:

-TRANSFERS: I'm getting a new ledsager!
-First Day of 2015: Miracle - Karlis og Antra
-Tender Mercy from the Lord: Omar
-Guess what? MORE MIRACLES! (Can't think of a short/cool way so sorry, buuut you'll have to read this section to find out why it's so miraculous!)
-Spiritual Thought from 1 Samuel

Yesterday was our moves call and Søster Heywood will be leaving to serve in Stavanger. We shed a few (Ok, more like a flood) of tears when we heard this. Mainly due to excitement for each other and sadness that they are breaking up a beautiful friendship. We've bonded so much over the last eight weeks together, but this friendship will be one to last for forever.
I will be serving with a Søster Haylee Nielsen. Don't know a whole lot about her but ou'll get the 411 next week!

New Year's day was a dead day. We were out by noon and...... nobody was out. We ended up walking outside of the city and finding more people out there and had a good faith walk to find people. As we were coming back, I thought we should try visiting some formers (Karlis and Antra who I met with when the Sister Training Leaders came). They were home! Both of them were super tired from the night before but they were so kind and welcoming. We were not there for too long (they REALLY needed to sleep, they kept dosing off. Poor things) but we were able to follow up with their Book of Mormon reading and they are in 1 Nephi 5! I was so happy that they are putting in the effort desite their crazy chef lives! We got an apointment with them for next week and I'm just so excited!

The little tender mercy: I called Trondheim to get a number for a member to help with translation and the sister was like, "Hey Omar was your convert right?"
"Yeah... Why do you ask?"
"Oh, he's right here. Do you want to talk with him?"
"Wait, what? Of course!"
Oh my goodness it was so fun to hear from Omar! He's doing good and he's just so happy. I love how happy he is now! My heart can't take the joy! They were having a ward activity which was why they were all together. Oh, It was just so good to hear how happy Omar is from himself!

Big Miracle day on Saturday!
Åse Marie planned to help us out the entire day and so we booked appointments back to back to back. The first one was with a former wwe found in the area book named Jean Claude. As he walks up to us, we see another man with him. Jean Claude tells us this is Daniel his roommate and he had invited him to come along. Uh, Ok! We did a how to begin teaching with them to find out about their beliefs and get to know them. Jean Claude grew up Catholic but is not active. Thinks that everyone is good as long as they are good. Daniel doesn't speak much English or Norwegian so Jean Claude did the translating for us. Daniel is from Congo and is a very strong Christian. We gave a short lesson about the Book of Mormon and gave them one to prepare for the next time when we talk about why we have it. Daniel was super excited and because he is Jean Claude's roommate, I think he'll help him get excited about it too.
We then met with this inactive member named Harold Hågensen who no one knew about. It was a miracle he had even showed up because apparently no one met with him before because he would never show up to appointments. He is such a sweet old man! He hasnt come to church for over 30 years and because of that, he's forgotten a lot. We ended up going through the Restoration with him because he expressed how concerned he was about not knowing which church is true. He has a questioning soul and just the look in his eyes were priceless. It was powerful to see in his eyes that he had found the truth. We invited him to read Moroni 10 and to pray and God if this church is true to which he promised he would.
That apointment ran late so we were hurrying to get going to the next one when someone knocks on the church door. I opened the door and this man comes in. Uh, what? We tell hi to make himself comfortable thinking it was our next appointment. Turns out, it was a potential that Søster Heywood and I talked to weeks ago. He saw the lights were on and thought why not? I went into the other room to call our next apointment to let him know we're running late. Søster Heywood and Åse Marie get to know him and this is what they told me what happened:
Åse Marie: Do you have a personal faith?
Chol (the potential): Yeah I grew up Christian but I'm not really attached to that. I'm kind of exploring other religions now.
Søster Heywood: So you're searching if there is a true church then?
Chol: Yeah, you could say that.
WHOA. Since we had to run to the other appointment, it was a short lesson with the Book of Mormon. We exchanged numbers and he said he's come to church! DOUBLE WHOA!
By the end of the day we had 3 new investigators (that last appointment ended up not coming, but hey the other appointments came through!) and 2 referrals contacted (Mo i Rana, another area gave us a referral). I love being a missionary!!!

To close, I would like to share what I learned from 1 Samuel during the week. In 1 Samuel 14-15 the Lord tells Samuel the prophet that Saul is no longer meant to be king. This was heartbreaking for Samuel to hear and throughout these chapters, he's mourning for Saul and how he didn't fulfill his potential. In chapter 16 the Lord comes to Samuel and says, "How ong wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons (1 Sam 16:1)."
When I first read that I had this thought come to my head, "Why do you cry about the past when the Lord has already planned and set things in motion for even better things to come?"
It was a subtle but powerful lesson for me as I begin this new year. 2014 was a great one and I'll admit I was sad that a lot of those good memories came to an end, BUT that doens't mean the good times are over. "Just when I start thinking it's as good as it can get, this crazy life does smething just to let me know I haven't seen anything yet." 
I hope we all are excited for the great times that await us in 2015. I don't know what will happen but I do know that my Heavenly Father has helped me get this far and He will help me to go even further.

Love you all and have a superb week!

Take care,
Søster Buhler