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!!