Blessed to be sharing the Gospel with the people of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota. Grateful for my Heavenly Father, His son Jesus Christ, a wonderful family and amazing friends.

Monday, December 19, 2016

 T'was the week before Christmas...

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the midwest, Sister Bengtzen was knocking, inviting others to get in their Sunday best!

The Book of Mormons were placed in each home with great care, in hopes that the Holy Ghost would soon testify there. 

Sister Collins in her snow boots, and Sister Bengtzen in her hat, had just begun tracting and everyone seemed to have a cat.

When all through Omaha the temperature dropped 50 degrees, but nothing, I repeat nothing could stop those sisters from getting on their knees! 

We taught and we testified and we studied and we sang, and we saw miracles and more miracles as the Christmas bells rang!

I can't remember the rest of the story....but I know God loves me and loves you, so enjoy the rest of this email and know I love you too!


Angela and Katie are doing so well! AHHH! We took them on a church tour this week and as we walked into the chapel the spirit grew stronger and stronger until it enveloped the entire room. Angela was in tears by the end and said the closing prayer, it was so powerful. Her daughter Katie came to church and she loved it. The fellowship she received was an answer to many prayers! As we were talking with her the other day she said something that struck me. She said since she has been reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and meeting with us that her world has literally gotten brighter. She said she goes to the grocery store and instead of focusing on all the negative in the world she sees the good in people and mercy of God. She has had a change of heart!! This whole experience reminded me of what Alma taught the people of Zarahemla: "Behold, he changed their hearts; he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the everlasting word..." (Alma 5:7) Great miracles are being wrought in her life and the life of her daughter because of her faith and her effort in exercising it. 

So there is a part-member family in our ward and they are from the Micronesian islands. The wife has been a member since she was young and the son was baptized at 9 years old. The husband has taken the missionary lessons several times, but has never committed to be baptized because he could not give up drinking. About a month and a half ago Sister Rook and I went over and did a Book of Mormon read with the mother and son. We told them to approach the reading with a question and a prayer. They did so and the son said the prayer, he asked that they might receive guidance on how to help his father come to the truth and have desires to be baptized. We opened to Alma 6 and read verse 6 "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God." They received their answer! The next day we fasted and we went over every night that week and prayed. And those prayers and that fasting has been answered! A few weeks ago Junior, the husband, had an experience that was very, very humbling. The next week he came to church and told us he is ready to change his life. We saw him that week and committed him to live the Word of Wisdom and be baptized on January 7th. This week we went over to their home and the spirit was there! In their home!! Junior was so happy, his countenance was full of light and he said he felt peace. Joy had just overcome him and it was like it was a completely different person! He is ready. The Lord truly answers mighty prayers, and loves his children. And fasting brings miracles! 


This week it got to -3 degrees F, -20 with wind chill. It sure felt like -1 billion degrees though! Our car windows got frozen shut and my toes are still numb. But onward ever onward! I have never been happier!

Sister Collins and I played pillow hockey in our apartment this week! (I was trying to be creative on helping her with homesickness...) I almost broke a lamp and dented the door. Key word: ALMOST. For the record I won. 10-6 

Spiritual thought:

 In Luke 2:10 it reads "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." I was reading that and thinking about that this morning and this overwhelming thought came over me. As missionaries, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have the blessing and opportunity of declaring good tidings of great joy to all people. We carry the same message as an angel of the Lord! We are commissioned to tell the world that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He sent his son to die for us, and take up his life again...for us. Jesus Christ, the son of God, is our Redeemer and our Savior. He lives. He wants us to be clean, to be happy, to be healed, and he has given us the Atonement to make all of that possible. We have a prophet to guide us and to guide our families. We can be together forever with those we love, and we can and will see our Father in Heaven and our Savior again someday. We know the truth. 
This Christmas I am grateful to be close to my Savior, grateful to be here in Nebraska of all the places, grateful for my eternal family, and so grateful for the good tidings of great joy which I get to share! 

I love you all and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! 

Love Sister Bengtzen

Monday, December 12, 2016

This is HIS work!

This week has been an INCREDIBLE one. I love being on a mission, I love being a missionary, I would not give it up for anything in the world! 
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!

Yesterday the Ritonya family came to church, well at least Lydia and Brad did, and they loved it! They want to come back!! And they want to bring their children. They both marveled at the feelings they felt, and were struck by how welcomed they were. It was so wonderful and so happy! It's been amazing to see how their understanding of who Christ is has grown, and in turn, how their desires to have a personal relationship with him has grown as well.

Angela also came to church and she stayed all 3 hours and participated. Plus she brought food and clothing to help feed anyone that was in need. SHE IS AMAZING. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing so many of his children to hear the restored gospel, but I truly believe she is ready right now! She is set for January 7th to be baptized with her 11 year old daughter and she loves so many things about the church, but more importantly she loves Christ and she is eager to come closer to him. She is a true joy! And a pure miracle. 

This week we also had two potential investigators (Louis and Dorrie) come to church and we are meeting with both of them this week. It was a trying week for me in a lot of ways, and I got REAL overwhelmed at one point, but I was reminded to take a step back and trust that this is the Lord's work, and He will take care of it. And of course He did. So many miracles, people are progressing, and lives are being touched! Including my own. I just love this work!  


There was this spider that was hanging from a light in our apartment and I killed it with my shoes, but I am not sure if I actually hit it or just scared it. Nevertheless, I looked to see if it was on my shoe and it wasn't! Then I saw this small speck slowly plummeting to the either way I think it is dead. Complete silence filled the room. Then out of nowhere Sister Collins just quotes scripture: "Great was the fall thereof." I about died. I guess you know you are a missionary when you understand that reference and think it's funny. 

I told one of our members that Sister Collins is an elite fisher(wo)man and that she has trophies all over our apartment. He really bought it. Haha poor Sister Collins...I think she thinks I am crazy but she is too sweet to tell me that. I LOVE HER! 

Spiritual thought: 

This week I have been studying hope and in my Book of Mormon reading I have been studying about the signs of Christ's birth and his death. The passages about Christ's death portray a strong sense of darkness and despair, and I cannot even imagine what it must've been like to be on eaerth when He was crucified. However, as I was reading this week, and thinking about hope, I came upon a verse that struck me. 3 Nephi 10:10 "And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned to joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer." Even though that was the darkest 3 days the world has ever known, the earth came together again, sadness was turned to joy, and mourning became praise and worship. How hopeful that is! No matter how dark or dismal or dreary this lonely world may seem there is always hope. Through the restored gospel we know that Christ will come again. All the wrongs of this world will be made right, and all the destruction and chaos will turn to peace and perfection. How grateful I am for my Savior and my Redeemer, who promises me hope, even when things seem hopeless. 

I love you all very, very much! Keep on keeping on! 

- Sister Bengtzen 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Welcome to SNOWmaha!

So guess what?? We had to drive to Iowa this week and it was the one day that is snowed! Haha good thing I am from Utah and can pretend that I know how to drive in the snow...
But in all honesty it was an adventure! But aside from the excitement of it, I had a really simple and wonderful experience. As we were passing a semi I felt a distinct impression to change lanes and did so. Miliseconds later the semi swerved and changed lanes, the driver had no idea we were there, and the situation could have turned deadly very quick. I am so grateful for the still small voice and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to lead me and to guide me even in the most simple tasks. Heavenly Father is so aware of us. 

Anywho, I have a new companion and this is her first area! Her name is Sister Collins and she is from Northern California. She is the sweetest and most prepared missionary to walk planet earth! No joke! She is so eager and excited to work and to study and to love! We are going to have a blast together and I just cannot wait. Cannot wait! We are still in Chalco Hills and the work is just moving forward. I know that Heavenly Father has prepared so many people that we have found and are finding and I am excited to continue inviting them to come closer to Christ. 


Kelly and Dave came to church yesterday and they were so grateful just to feel the peace and serenity that it brings. They already love Sister Collins and are excited to be taught be her! We are going to see them this week and help them increase their faith on the W.O.W. Man I love them. 

The Ritonya family is also doing well, they didn't come to church yesterday :( but we are working with them on that! We are going to teach them the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday and I am so excited because I know that it will answer so many questions that Lydia has! I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, and the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and wants me to be with those I love forever. I just want the whole world to know it! I guess it is a good thing I am on a mission! 

Also keep the Tinnells in your prayers, Shannon has surgery coming up and she needs the comfort and peace prayer can bring. 


This week we had a HUGE miracle! On Wednesday night after planning we received a phone call from a member of another ward with a referral! On Thursday we stopped by the referral's home and had the most incredible experience. Her name is Angela and she has an 11 year old daughter named Katie. We taught them the Restoration and Angela just began to cry. She kept saying she knew this is what her daughter needed and she knew it was truth. She said the man that referred her didn't mention anything about Joseph Smith or a prophet, and the fact that that could be true was so exciting to her! Her life seems to be in shambles right now, and things are chaotic, but she is so prepared. After she shared the message she expressed a sense of hope and even joy, and she was determined to move forward in faith because Heavenly Father really is aware of her. She accepted baptism on January 7th and her daughter did as well! She even said she worked with a Mormon and he has Sundays off, so she is going to ask for Sundays off as well! And all of this came about because someone had the courage to open his mouth! Ahh I love this gospel and people! 

Also this week Richard and Phyllis offered to feed us dinner and that is a miracle because hopefully we will be able to teach Richard a message! YAY! 


For Sister Collin's first real meal in the field we went to a sketchy drive thru Chinese restaurant that used to be a taco bell. It was good and we didn't even get sick! 

Also I got bit by a spider so I am expecting to be shooting webs no later than Wednesday...I will keep you updated. (It wasn't poisonous Mom, do not worry!) 

Spiritual Thought: 

So the reason we drove to Iowa this week was because the YW General President, Sister Oscarson, came to meet with all the sisters in the mission! Oh my heavens it was wonderful! So my spiritual thought comes from her. She shared a verse from the Bible that really impacted me and I would like to share it with all y'all. 
So a little context, this verse is the Lord's response to Sarah after she finds out she is going to have a son in her old age. When she first hears the promised blessing she laughs, thinking it is impossible, but the Lord's words are so simple and so powerful. Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" 
I have been thinking about that a lot this week. Sometimes the challenges we face and the hardships we are dealt seem too difficult to bear. Other times the hearts of those we are called to serve seem too hard to touch. And yet on other days our own will seems too hard to shake. This verse gives me great comfort in all those situations. When we rely on the Lord, when we trust Him, when we let him do his work and his will, then nothing is too hard. I know that to be true, and although I need to apply that more fully into my life I am grateful for the experience of a mission. My mission is helping me to see the Lord touch those hearts that are hard, overcome those trials that are hard, and shake MY will which is hard. This gospel is so good, so humbling, so powerful. 

I love you all very, very much! 

Keep on lighting the world like you light mine! 

Sister Bengtzen 

Friday, December 2, 2016

He is THE light
So Nebraska all the sudden got cold...what the heck?? 

 My Micronesian Mama

Kelly and Dave had a relapse, but that is OK because the Atonement is REAL. They have been busy because of Thanksgiving, so we will see them this week and I will have a better update for y'all next week. Before I left on my mission I saw it as such a sacrifice, 18 months away from my family and my friends and my life, and although those things are hard, I realize that it is a much greater blessing than any sacrifice I could imagine. But seeing how much Kelly and Dave are sacrificing and changing for this gospel is very humbling. I tend to get impatient when people don't keep commitments because I know just how much this gospel can change their lives and help them, but I need to recognize that for some it is a BIG change, and it requires time and a whole lot of patience. So that was a small miracle for me...recognizing that I need to be patient. I needed to be humbled. And I need to keep on loving and inviting. 

We met a family this week and they are incredible! The Ritonya family. The mother is form Peru! That's right Jakey... Lima. Peru. SAY WHAT?! They are so stellar. At first we talked to the mother and her heart was really hard, we asked her about her family and her life and she kept wondering why we even cared. But slowly she began to open up to us and we had like 15 small opportunities to testify of Jesus Christ and how families can be forever. Then she jokingly invited her whole family into the room to listen to our message and expected us to be all embarrassed or flabbergasted. Welp! Not us! We were stoked! We started with a prayer and the spirit just flooded in. We shared the message of the Restoration with their entire family and told them that this was the way that they could be together forever. It was so incredible to see each of their countenances change. We committed all of them to read the Book of Mormon and to pray together and individually. We are going back to see them tomorrow night with a member and I just cannot wait! 

Richard and Shannon and their kids are doing well! They didn't come to church yesterday because it was "too different" so we are going to see them this week and hopefully increase their faith and trust in Christ and in his restored gospel. I know they may not be ready right now, but we planted a seed, and someday I know it will be harvested. They are a wonderful family. They have such light, and I know someday they will recognize this is the only way to be together forever. 

Phyllis is feeding us Christmas dinner, so three cheers for that! I love her. SO MUCH! 

We haven't been able to see Jacob and Kortney because of the holiday, so hopefully we will see them this week and I will have an update for you next week. 

 Sabrina and Thanksgiving crew.


I had an allergic reaction to a corn stalk this week...I know that sounds kind of sad, but really I promise it was funny! Plus it's corn...and I am in Nebraska...

Spiritual thought: 

Ok so first I want to start with a scripture. Ether 4:12 "And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good...For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world." I don't know if any of you have had the chance to look at the new video the church released for Christmas this year, but if you haven't, drop everything you are doing and go to right this moment!! It is the best thing the church has ever done! Besides being Restored... 
Anyway, it is a Christmas initiative all focused on Christ being the light of the world, and as followers of him, we are a light to world as well. It gives us 25 different ways over 25 days that we can be a light to the world and invite others to come unto Christ. So go watch it, do it, share it! In an ever darkening world I am so grateful to know that the light in my life, Jesus Christ, is a light that can never be darkened. No matter how alone, or sad, or heartbroken, or unhappy I may feel I know that the Lord is with me. I know that his Atonement is there to help me. I know that there is something better. He is my light, He is THE light. 

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, even though I wasn't there :) 

Sister Bengtzen 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gratitude and Gravy...that's what it's all about!

Sabrina and Sister Rook

Y'all are never gonna believe this, but you should because this is Heavenly Father's work and he has power to do all things! Kelly and Dave committed to live the Word of Wisdom this week and gave us all of their cigarettes.!!! WOO HOO! When we went over on Tuesday to visit them we committed them to live it and the spirit was so strong. Dave described these feelings of just pure joy and eager excitement and we were able to help him recognize that that was the spirit. He was so thrilled that he was worthy enough to feel it. The following day two members of our ward went with us and gave each of them a priesthood blessing. The spirit was heavy as one of the members bore testimony of the power of the priesthood, and Kelly and Dave were so calm and simply happy. The feeling in their home has changed leaps and bounds since we first knocked on the door. They are preparing to be baptized in January! 

So the family we have been doing service for, Shannon and Richard Tinnell, and their two sons, came to church on Sunday! HUGE MIRACLE! One of the members that spoke mentioned a priesthood blessing and Shannon immediately turned to me and asked if she could receive one. So last night, we had a very sweet experience with our bishop and YM president as they gave both Shannon and Richard powerful blessings. They say they are "comfortable" with the church they attend, but they want to learn more. They need prayers. More than anyone I have ever known. So please send prayers their way. I know that they will recognize the blessings of the gospel if they just have faith and experiment upon the word....they are one of the most tight knit loving families I have ever met. They have gone through trial after trial together, and still they continue. They need this.

Ok, last but not least, Jacob and Kortney! Jacob came to church with our investigator Chris last week and we finally had the opportunity to teach them last night. We boldly testified of the Restoration and they accepted the invitation to be baptized. As we read Moroni's promise I could literally see the light in their eyes as they realized they could know this for themselves. That Heavenly Father didn't want us to just tell them what was right and what was wrong, but that they could personally ask him and receive an answer! They are the cutest younger couple...not married (yikes) but they have such faith. I can't wait to see their relationship with our Heavenly Father and Savior grow. 

Also Phyllis and Richard are doing swell. Richard still hasn't come to church yet, but he will get there! 


Here is a joke... 

Where was Noah when the lights went out? In d'ark

Hehe ok one more...

Did Eve ever have a date with Adam? No, it was an apple 

Spiritual Thought: 

I have been thinking a lot about gratitude this week, obviously because Thanksgiving is coming up! But I was reading about the Savior's ministry and something struck me. When Jesus Christ performed the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, the first thing he did was give thanks. (Matthew 15:36)
 He simply gave thanks. Thousands of people were hungry, he only had 7 loaves and 3 fishes, he was exhausted, his disciples were frustrated, and the first things he did was simply give thanks and trust in Heavenly Father to do the rest. Sometimes I am slow to give thanks....all the time I am slow to give thanks. I pray that I can learn to remember that, not only during this Thanksgiving season, but always. I pray the same for you. 

I hope all of you eat lots of turkey and stuffing and rolls and potatoes for me! Know that I love you and I am beyond grateful that Heavenly Father put you in my life. 

- Sister Bengtzen

P.S. We took Miguel to the trail center this week and passed him off to the Spanish Elders! They promised they would keep us updated. He is the BEST!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DUCK in cover!!!

Hello, hello! I am realizing that my emails are all over the place, so I am sorry about that. Sometimes I just get too excited to tell y'all about everything that is going on. I will try to organize it better this week!  


Kelly and Dave are incredible! They definitely have their struggles, but we are moving forward. They came to church yesterday and it was a really good meeting, as it always is! We went and visited them after church and we took a member of our ward with us. He shared with them his conversion story, and at the end of it everyone was silent, just sortof enjoying the spirit of the discussion, and then Kelly looked at this member and asked, "It felt like you were coming home didn't it?" He nodded, and she smiled real big. "That's how I feel," she said. "I know that I am coming home." OH THAT I WERE AN ANGEL. My heart almost burst. Please keep their family in your prayers. They are so close. I know they are gonna get there, they just need all the prayers they can get right now. 

Karl kindof dropped off planet earth for a few days, haha but we are working on seeing him this week, so I will keep you updated. Sharlo works 7 days on and 7 days off, and this is her week on, so it is harder to get in contact with them.

Our new investigator Chris Earls came to church this week, and he loved it! He even brought his brother in law Jacob! And get this...his friend lives in OUR apartment complex. Crazy miracle! We have another appointment with both of them on Tuesday and we are bringing a stellar member with us. They are eager to learn more. SO eager. 


MIGUEL!! I think this may be the biggest miracle of my entire mission thus far, no joke. Miguel is the most incredible investigator the world has ever known. And he has the most incredible here goes.
Every P-day we shop at Walmart, and a couple weeks ago the man who was greeting us stopped us at the door and started talking to us. He told us that we had a light with us, and that it was different, and he thanked us for walking with God and lifting others, including himself. He could only talk for a moment, because he was working, so we gave him our number, and waited eagerly for him to call. Well he didn't. So next week we made a point of finding him at Walmart and asking him why he hadn't! He said he wasn't sure whose number it was so he didn't want to call. (Excuses...) We told him it was ours, and again he promised he would call! And guess what...HE DID! We ended up meeting with him 3 times last week, answering questions, giving him a Book of Mormon, reading it with him, and inviting him to be baptized. Turns out his daughter's best friend is a member and he has always admired her and her family for what they believe and how they live. He has read the Book of Mormon every night since we gave him a copy, and he knows that it is the word of God. He even called us and asked us if we could take him to visit the temple and the Mormon trail center. WHO DOES THAT?! MIGUEL DOES. The sad part of the story is that he isn't in our area, and he wants to go to the Spanish ward, so we have to hand him over to the Spanish Elders :( BUT a miracle nonetheless! We are planning to take him to the trail center and to see the temple this week and pass him off to the Spanish Elders there. And we will keep in contact as they teach him, so I will keep you updated. He is the cutest little man from Panama, has backpacked all over Jerusalem, and just lives to serve. He truly is incredible. 

Also, Phyllis invited a friend to come to church yesterday, and we are going to start teaching her this week. After the meeting she asked me, "Why are there so many different churches, didn't Jesus Christ just make one?" OH my goodness...let's talk about a missionary's dream! She loved church and felt so welcomed, so hopefully she will become a new investigator!
Also, another one of our returning less active members brought her non member granddaughter to church and she LOVED young women's! We have an appointment to teach her this week as well, and we are excited! 


Sometimes knocking on doors gets pretty rough, so Sister Rook and I try to make it fun! Well, everyone in Nebraska has these tacky blow up decorations for the holidays...which is annoying...but this week I had a brilliant idea. We knocked on this man's door and when he answered I was imitating the blow up turkey in his front yard. This is basically how the conversation went:

Man: "What are you doing?"

Me: "I am imitating your turkey!"

Sister Rook: *suppressed giggles 

Me: "Aren't I funny, don't I look just like it?" 

Man: "No."

Sister Rook: *full on laughter 

[Insert awkward pause here]

Me: "Well we are your missionaries in the area!..."

Man: *slams door 

Also this week some of the Elders in our zone put a plastic duck underneath our car. I told them I used to live in Canada and a member of their ward told them that Canadians love naturally they gave me a huge plastic duck. I will send pictures. 

OH AND BEFORE I FORGET I GOT TO SEE SISTER SMITH THIS WEEK!!!! One of our STL's had her birthday on Monday so we had a little partay and she was there.  I love her so much!  

Spiritual thought: 

This morning I was reading in Helaman 5 about Nephi and Lehi and their experience in prison. As I was reading about the cloud of darkness that came over the people in the prison (Helaman 5:28) I starting thinking about darkness...what even is darkness? So naturally I looked it up in the dictionary. Darkness is defined as a lack of or the absence of light. Hmm...somethin' to think about eh? 
In Helaman 5:40 these people in the prison ask "What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?" In response to this question they are counseled in verse 41 to exercise their faith, to cry unto the Lord, and to repent. In other let the light of Christ in. Verses 42 and 43 shows the consequence of their righteous efforts. "And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry...yea and they did cry even until the cloud of darkness dispersed...and it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw the cloud of darkness was dispersed...they saw that they were encircled about, every soul, by a pillar of fire." 
I think so often the world in which we live seems overshadowed with darkness and just like those in prison, we ask, "What shall we do that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?" The answer? Let the light in. Mosiah 16:9 teaches "He is the light and the life of the world, yea a light that is endless, that can NEVER be darkened."  No matter how dark the world may seem, no matter how angry or upset or wicked people appear to be, remember that darkness is only an absence of light...and by letting in the light of Christ, it can be overcome. 

Love you all loads and loads! 

- Sister Bengtzen 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Corn pits and croutons
Sometimes weeks just fly by and all the sudden I am sitting here in front of the computer screen again and all the days are blurred together! Haha but my goodness I love this work, and there is nowhere else on planet earth I would rather be. Sister Rook and I have seen so many little miracles this week and we have just had a blast together. I don't think I have ever laughed harder at myself than in these past 3 weeks, and luckily Sister Rook is more than willing to laugh at me as well! Haha we are having too much fun. 

 Corn Pit on Halloween night.


So first off, Kelly and Dave are doing well. They have family in town this week, so they weren't able to come to church yesterday, but they asked us to come over to meet Kelly's sister Audrey who is a Jehovah's witness. We stopped by for a little while and were able to answer a ton of questions about the church and about missionary work and it was a great little visit. Dave said a prayer before we left and like always it was so heartfelt and sincere. I think Audrey was a little taken aback, and the spirit was strong. They are so happy. SO happy, and it has been incredible to see the gospel change their lives so much in such a short time. They are working towards being baptized probably in the second week of December. YAY! They are just eager, and ready. Keep them and their family in your prayers though, especially Dave's daughter Jasmine. They need it! 

Also, we went to see Karl this week and found out that he has a WIFE! Her name is Sharlo and she is wonderful. Just like Karl she has great faith in Jesus Christ and is looking for truth. We invited them to come to church next Sunday and they seemed excited! So woot woot! 

In addition to all that we found 2 new investigators this week. Their names are Chris and Fallon Earls. They are a cute couple living in an apartment just down the street from us. We were going to see one of the less active islander families in the same complex and he popped his head out of the door and asked if we believed in Christ. We told him yes! And then we proceeded to answer some of his questions and teach him and his wife the message of the Restoration. Both of them accepted Book of Mormons and an invitation to church next Sunday! They are so kind, and so genuine! While we were sharing the message Fallon stopped us and said, "huh, I have always wondered why they aren't prophets on the earth." TALK ABOUT PREPARED! Haha I am so excited to see them this week. They are ready to change, even if they don't know it yet! 

And last but not least, we were going about knocking doors, and offering to do service, when we met Richard! He said he's been going through a lot with his family right now so we asked if he could use some help. He asked if we could come back and clean up his yard and we said of course! So we raked like 56 bags of leaves and I am so sore....but after we did it we talked to his wife and she was SO grateful! We set up a time to have lunch with her on Wednesday and share the message of the Restoration. She is really excited and so are we! It is amazing to see how service softens people's hearts! 

Phyllis and Richard are doing well, they had a little bit of a leaking pipe issue this week, which we helped with, but they are doing swell! Phyllis really wants to invite Richard to come to church with her, so keep that in your prayers. She needs the courage!! 

Sabrina and Sister Rook on Halloween night


On Saturday there was this guy tailgating in his driveway with all his friends and family so we decided to join their party. And then on accident we literally joined their party! (But do not worry we didn't watch the game!)
We didn't have a dinner,  or any money, haha so he let us have some of his soup and cheese and cupcakes and some water. We ended up answering a ton of questions about Mormons and the guy that owned the home gave us his contact information and told us we could come back. He was so kind. His name is Eric! 

Dave asked what they call people from Utah, I told him Utahn and he thought I said crouton. So now he introduces us as "the beautiful Sister Rook" and "crouton" 

Also someone asked me if I was 15 this week....not funny. 

Sabrina and Sister Rook at YW in Excellence

Spiritual thought: 

I have been thinking a lot about happiness this week and I came upon this quote from President Monson that I just love. "The happy life grows upon us year by year, little by little, until at last we realize we have it. It is achieved in individuals, not by flights to the moon or Mars, but by a body of work done so well that we can life our heads with assurance and look the world in the eye...You don't find the happy life - you make it." 
Happiness isn't easy to achieve...but nothing worth having is. And just like everything good, everything that comes from God, it comes line upon line, precept upon precept. BUT the most wonderful thing I have learned about the gospel is that there is always room to be happier. There is always more truth to find. More service to give. More love to have! I am happy today, but I know that that happiness will grow as I continue loving, serving, searching, and experiencing. How lucky we are recognize what can make us happy now, and lead us to ETERNAL happiness in the future. 

I love you all. I really do! Have the best week. 

Sister Bengtzen 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween
minions everywhere

Ok, that joke was just a CATastrophe. 
Oh no! WITCH one was worse? 
I can't decide... BOOth are just bad.... 

Ok, I'm done. I can SCAREcely stand myself...
Hehe ok, for reals. I'm done. 

How are my favorite people?? I hope you all are doing well! I cannot believe it is already Halloween. We aren't allowed to proselyte tonight, so Sister Rook and I get to spend some time at a pumpkin patch with one of our members and her non member family. We cannot wait! 

This week has been a hoot! I love being on a mission, really I do! We have seen so many miracles and we have found so much joy in just getting out and doing the work. 

We met with Kelly and Dave this week and Kelly told us that she is ready and wants to be baptized. AHHHH!!!! Dave said he was still praying about us, but that he would let us know. Well the next day they took us out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and as we walked in Dave told us we were celebrating! We asked him what we were celebrating and he told us that he wants to be baptized! I think I fainted. Haha I really don't remember what happened the rest of the night, but Sister Rook and I were on cloud 309. They are trying to figure out some family stuff, so they aren't set for a date yet, but hopefully it will be before this transfer is up. They are so ready and so willing to change. Dave came to church yesterday with a clean shaven face and new clothes. He told us that he felt like he needed to clean up to come to church to show Heavenly Father he was ready to clean up his life. Kelly was so proud, and so excited. You could not wipe the smile off her face for anything! It's incredible how something so simple shows such a big change of heart. Man I love them! Keep them in your prayers because they need it. (Side note: I finally have pictures with them, haha so I will attach them!) 

Also Phyllis' husband Richard came to the Trunk or Treat with her! (I will also attach a picture of that) Oh my goodness he loved it! We had several less active members, non-members, and some investigators there, and it was a total success! Many of the less active members even came to church yesterday, and loved it! It was so happy. The spirit was very strong during the meeting, and I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to learn from and grow with so many incredible people. NEBRASKA IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD! And if anyone disagrees I will fight you, along with all the die hard Husker fans I have met, and you will not stand a chance...haha 

This week we also found a new investigator. It was around 8:30 one night and all of our plans fell through, so we drove to this street, pulled over, and said a very simple prayer. We told Heavenly Father that we were willing to go where he wanted us to go, and we asked to see a miracle. Not even two seconds after we were getting out of our car, Karl walked out of his garage and we taught him the Restoration. He said he is looking for truth and that He knows Heavenly Father sent us to him. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he has been reading it since, and he loves it! He has been out of town, but hopefully we will get to see him again this week with a member. He is just INCREDIBLE and so prepared. 


I think about a billion funny things happened this week, but I cannot remember any of I apologize.
But fun fact, I have completely gotten over my fear of spiders; however, I have developed a new fear. Crickets. They are all over the place here and I swear they are just waiting to attack me. 

Spiritual thought: 

So this week Sister Rook and I had to clean our car, which we are supposed to do every week, but we aren't very good at that! Haha. Anyway, we pulled up to the window, paid our $7, and sat back while the exterior of our car was shampooed, rinsed, and dried. As we were driving out of the car wash we noticed a whole row of coin-operated vacuums just waiting to be used. I turned around and looked at the interior of our was SO messy! I could not believe I hadn't noticed how much filth and grime had accumulated over the past few weeks. So Sister Rook and I pulled over and got out some of our precious quarters and started vacuuming. 
Well, as I was vacuuming I watched several cars pull into the car wash, get their car cleaned, and drive away. I was amazed at how many cars came in and out, and not a single one stopped to clean the interior of their car! I began to ponder upon this, but then the vacuum timer ran out, so I quickly refocused on the task at hand and we went on our way. However, as I was studying this morning I came upon a verse that took me back to that experience. Alma 60:23 counsels us that we should "remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also." I thought about all of those cars that pulled out of the car wash with a clean and shiny exterior but, most likely, a dirty interior. I thought about how comfortable I had become in such a dirty car, simply because I had gotten used to it. 
How often do we go through the motions, and spiritually "clean our cars" (go to church, partake of the sacrament, repent, etc.) but refuse to take the time to really inspect and clean out our interiors. How often do we focus on our outward appearance, on how happy and cohesive our family seems, on how beautiful and decorative our house may be, on how athletically inclined and scholastically accomplished our children are, or how shiny our car is? And in comparison, how often do we recognize the filth and grime that has piled up within us, the faults in our character that need cleaning! I know that I am guilty of that. SO guilty of that! There are some things that I have gotten so used to, so comfortable with, that I don't take the time to change them or to fix them. 
That verse in Alma reminds us that the quality of our life isn't based upon our outward appearance and cannot be improved by simply going through the motions of the gospel, but the quality of our lives depends upon the quality of our character, and our real intent in changing and becoming. As we strive to truly improve those things within ourselves, as we strive to deeply clean the "inward vessel", then the Lord promises us that our "outer vessel" will be cleansed also. As we try to become more like Christ, then our lives are happier, our joys are richer, and the quality of the way we live increases. Isn't it funny what the spirit can teach you as you are cleaning a dirty Ford Fusion? This week I challenge each of you (myself included) to pray for courage in recognizing the spiritual dirt and grime within you that you may have become comfortable with, then take a step of faith and start cleaning.

Love you all to the full moon and back!! 

- Sister Bengtzen 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wow this week has been a whirlwind, but it has been wonderful and I am so happy! I love this mission. I don't think I can put into words how much I love my mission. Words just don't do it justice.

Ok, so Kelly and Dave are just full of miracles. And y'all need to keep them in your prayers because they are so close! We went to see them this week, and we planned to just stop by quickly, because we were in the area and it was Kelly's birthday, but when we got inside that all changed! Dave sat us down and told us he attended a Lutheran church last Sunday, and he didn't feel the way he felt at the LDS church. He said he felt as if everything was scripted, and nothing was from the heart, and it made him confused. He told us that he is ready to take the lessons again and really decide if he wants to be baptized or not, because he knows that he has found God and that hearing from the missionaries and going to church helps his strengthen that relationship with God. It was incredible. Kelly had the biggest smile on her face and as I looked at her I was overcome with the realization of how much peace and relief she felt. Her eyes were full of gratitude and her countenance just shone. They had just ordered a pizza, and we didn't have a dinner, so they invited us to stay. We were able to read some of the Book of Mormon with them and they accepted the invitation to come to church. And they kept their commitment! Sunday morning rolled around and there they were, Books of Mormon in hand, all dressed up! The primary program was this week, and it could not have been more perfect. As the children testified so simply and profoundly the Holy Ghost was able to carry their message to the hearts of Kelly and Dave, and they were astonished. The joy on their faces was unmatched! And I could see their faith in Christ and his simple plan for them continuing to grow. We are meeting with them on Wednesday and they should be coming to the ward Trunk or Treat on Thursday!

Also Richard (Phyllis' husband) will be coming to the Trunk or Treat as well, so just pray that his heart will be soft.

We also had a less active islander family that we have been working with come to church on Sunday and they were so happy to be there. Plus the ward was thrilled to see them! So that was a wonderful miracle. The islander families here are so wonderful, their hearts are as big as the ocean, but they cannot seem to wake  up in time to come to church for the life of them! Haha but I know that I need to be patient with them, because sometimes it's hard for me to get  up and go to church too, and Heavenly Father is always patient with me.

Also we taught this crazy man named Don this week and he looked exactly like ZZTop. At first he was really not interested in hearing our message, but we started asking him about his family and his life and he softened up enough to let us share the Restoration. He used to be a roadie and toured with all these incredible bands, and I mentioned that he looked like ZZTop, so he proceeded to run into his house and get me this old Van Halen guitar pick because he sensed I appreciated good music if I knew who ZZTop was. I ABOUT DIED. So in return I gave him something much better, a copy of the Book of Mormon. He said he would read it and we plan to go back and see him this week. I pray that he will be able to feel the spirit and that he will recognize this as something he needs. He is such a kind man!  


This morning we drove past road kill and I said "Wow...that was a gutsy move." Hehehe I thought it was so funny. I am too funny.

Sabrina, Sister Rook and brand new Sister Missionary 

Spiritual thought:

So like I said, this week was the primary program, and it was incredible. The children testified so simply, yet every word they said carried the spirit so strongly. I was amazed at how profound and true every little phrase was, and it reminded me of the Savior's continual council for us to become like little children. This gospel is so simple, and sometimes we make it so much more difficult than it is supposed to be. So this week I want to leave all of you with my simple testimony. I know that Jesus Christ LIVES. I know that He LOVES. And I know that He wants each of us to be happy and to be sealed to HIM, to our Heavenly Father, and to those we love for time and all eternity, and this gospel makes all of that possible.

- Sister Bengtzen  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Borrowing bathrooms and basketball

Hello to my favorite humans! I hope this week has been wonderful for all of you, and that you guys know how much I am praying for you! You truly are what keeps me going...


Ok, so the less active we are working with, Phyllis, came to church yesterday! Woo hoo! And as soon as she walked in she eagerly searched out the bishop so that she could get a tithing slip. She looked me right in the eye and said "I'm gonna pay my tithing because I want to, not because I have to!" Haha she is so wonderful, and so excited to be coming back to church! As we sat on the pew with her she read the announcements in the program and about jumped out of her seat when she saw there was a ward Trunk or Treat coming up. She shoved the program in my face and said "We must invite Richard!!!" Her husband, Richard, who isn't a member, LOVES cars. He has this old car that he fixed up and takes to car shows every once in a while, and he even bought Halloween decorations for it this year! She was so excited to tell him about it so that he could come and meet members! And show off his cool car. So let's pray that he will come and that his heart will continue to be softened. He is such a good man, and I know that this gospel could bless him and it could bless his marriage! He will get there...I know it. 

Also this week we were helping one of the islanders in our ward do some service and one of our long lost former investigators walked in! Haha it was such a miracle! Sister Rook and I bolted to the door before he had even taken off his shoes and scheduled an appointment to meet with him. So we will be seeing him on Thursday morning! His name is Sammi and he is awesome. 

Oh and before I forget, Pueleen has been out of town for a little bit, but we are going to see her this Tuesday, and we are going to read the Book of Mormon with her! So we are excited about that.  

Also as for Kelly and Dave, Tim, Kelly's husband came home this week and she is just overjoyed! We are going to go meet him sometime this week and invite all of them to come to church with us on Sunday. I know the Lord has a plan for them, I just have to trust in his timing! Which sometimes can be really hard! 
Our version of Chicken and Waffles 


So I had to go the bathroom so bad this week, and we were far from our apartment, so we decided to stop at this member's home. Well I have never met said member, but when we knocked on the door this lady answered and I just assumed it was her. I sorta invited myself in because it was an emergency! Haha and I left Sister Rook in the front room to explain the situation. Well all is well, we say thank you, and we get back in the car. As soon as we close the door Sister Rook starts busting up laughing and I ask her what the heavens is so funny?! Well turns out they were not members and apparently the member family that used to live there moved. So I totally used some RANDOM human's bathroom. Sister Rook tried to share the gospel with them, haha but they were NOT interested. Very nice though! Kindof a creative and funny way to plant a seed...someday they will remember those two strange sisters that came to their home and asked to use the restroom, and they will know the church is true! Haha 

Also, we were driving by this park this week and we saw some man playing basketball! So I pulled over and thinking I was pretty athletic and accomplished I asked if I could take a shot. The guy was like, "I am NOT interested in your message, I have heard it before, and I don't want to hear it again. But if you make a free throw we'll say a prayer with you." Well I had just swished a stellar 3 pointer and so I was like no problem, I got this! I went up to the line, put my game face on, reset my feet, did my signature routine...and missed. Hahaha needless to say I was humbled and the guy laughed. We didn't end up teaching him anything, but I think we planted another seed! Someday he will also come to know the truth. 

On a spiritual note...

It's incredible how simple experiences can turn out to be profound turning points in the mission, in life, or in our eternal salvation I suppose. 

In Alma 37:6-7 it reads "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass...and the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes..." I have read this scripture probably hundreds of times, but this week those two short verses moved from my head to my heart. 

I have had trouble sleeping for about three weeks and on Friday I decided to take a different course of action and ask a member for a priesthood blessing. I opened up to him and asked for his assistance in pleading to my Father in Heaven for help and for peace. It was one of the most simple and powerful blessings I have ever received. It talked about the Atonement and promised me that if I had faith then I would be helped immediately, and gain a further understanding of what my Savior really did for me. Over the course of the past three days my perspective on the Atonement has deepened. In my studies yesterday I found myself weeping with gratitude for the love that my older brother has for me, and the fact that he understands the smallest of things...even the fact that I can't sleep. As I sat at my desk I was overwhelmed by the assurance that He was there with me, and that He knew me...and I knew Him. It was like someone flipped on a light switch and instantaneously my desires changed. My repentance has been more sincere, my love for investigators and strangers has grown, and my desire to testify to everyone of Christ has increased ten-fold. Plus I have slept better these past three days than I have in weeks! Something that seemed so small and simple in the moment has brought about a great change in me, and I am grateful for the power of the Priesthood and the patience my Father in Heaven has with me. 

I know that sometimes things are overwhelming and hard, but I promise that our Savior understands. I know that He is there to help us with the big things, but he is never hesitant to help us with even the littlest of things, as long as we are willing to take his hand. We don't have to endure anything we face alone, because He...already has. 


- Sister Bengtzen 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This just in: Tractor driver almost kills innocent cow

Alright y'all, you are never going to believe what happened. So we didn't get to email yesterday, obviously, and let me tell you why! Late Sunday night (long after Sister Rook and I had retired to bed) there was a man who was driving his tractor home to get it fixed. Because here in Nebraska tractors are everywhere. Well, he was driving on the normal street when all of the sudden there was a huge cow on the road. A COW! He didn't have very good headlights, so by the time he saw it he was way too close to slow down. He swerved in an attempt not to hit the poor animal, and ended up slamming right into an electricity pole. BOOM. The tractor was so heavy that it ended up knocking down 3 other power lines and the entire street lost electricity. That just so happened to be the street the library was on...haha so no power and no emailing! 

Just kidding. It was Columbus Day. Apparently that is a holiday and librarians are the only ones who celebrate it. 

This week was hard! I am not going to lie. But we still saw miracles and we still worked hard amongst all the tears and heartache. 

One miracle was that this less active member we are working with came to church! She has been going through some difficult challenges, especially the last few days, challenges that I can't even begin to describe in words, nor would I ever want to. Wellto the conclusion that going to church was the only way for her to find peace. She called us late Saturday night and asked if we could send someone over to give her a Priesthood blessing. She said that it gave her the strength and hope she needed, and that is why she came to church. It was the first time she has come in a VERY long time, and I know that Heavenly Father was so proud of her. People amaze me. And the Lord amazes me. Every single day. 

Another huge miracle this week was that we got to meet the husband of another less active we work with! His name is Richard and he is NOT a fan of missionaries or the church, and he is not a member. Well we offered to go do some service the other day and ended up raking leaves and building a deck with Richard. His heart was so softened as he saw our love and desire to help his wife Phyllis and we actually made a wonderful connection with him. He invited us to stay for dinner, and we did, and he invited us to say "grace" on the food, and we did! I am not sure what will come of it, but I am grateful that he is no longer resentful about the church. He has such a big heart and he is such a sweet man, and his cute wife needs all the support she can get! 

Kelly and Dave didn't attend church this week, and almost all of our other investigators dropped us. So we are in finding mode yet again! Haha we are always in finding mode...but that's the way it should be!

OH! You will not believe how kind people are here in Nebraska, like in all seriousness, no sarcasm. One of the members of our ward gave us the best gift I have ever received. 24 rolls of toilet paper. My eyes literally began to water with tears. Do you have any idea how expensive toilet paper can be?!?! Haha now instead of buying that this month we get chocolate milk powder and lucky charms! Ahh people are wonderful. 

On a spiritual note: 

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning and I came across Alma 48:15-16. It reads: "this was their faith, that...if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; and also that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them..." I thought about faith as I read this and what true faith really is. In this verse we learn that true faith is real trust. Trusting that if we keep the commandments God will direct us. He may direct us to flee, to get away from a bad situation or run from danger. He may direct us to prepare to fight, to stand up for what we believe, or face what is ahead with courage and strength. But above all we must trust that he will lead us to where we need to go, and remember that by doing so he will deliver us. All that we go through will be for our good, for our benefit. I am grateful for my faith, but more than that I am grateful that I daily have a chance to increase that faith, to grow and to learn. I am grateful that I can trust my Heavenly Father because I know that He is there, not just for me, but for all of His children. For all of you. Strive to have strengthen faith this week, and TRUST God. 

Love you all more than you will ever know! 

- Sister Bengtzen