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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This week has been a whirlwind. Full of ups and downs and all sorts of other things. I will try and answer your questions, but it is hard to remember everything! First off thank you for the package Mama, I loved it and I needed it. It was such a tender mercy! 
So I will give you the update on the work. Right now our area is booming. It is the highest baptizing ward in the mission, which can be super overwhelming. We spend most of our days contacting potential investigators and less actives and we don't really knock doors. Our most effective form of finding people is just talking to everyone everywhere we are all the time, and biking.
Rocking the Bike Helmet
Which is fun, but also very hot and sweaty. There are a ton of refugees here, like I said, so we teach a lot of different people, and often they don't keep appointments, but we keep working. I apologize in advance if any of this is a repeat...I can't remember what I have or have not told you guys! 
Right now we are most excited about teaching this family. I think I told you last week that the Mama's name was Shanice, but we are such doinks and her name is actually Sharyce!
She is the mother of 7 crazy, but beautiful children, and she is so prepared. I guess Sister Smith and her comp taught her a few weeks back and then didn't see her for a while. We went to visit her and she told us she was reading the BOM with her kids every night, which is AMAZING. All 7 of them! We have taught her a few times since then and she has come to church twice. And we have tried our hardest to entertain the kids twice...which is a struggle like you already know. This week they got to go to primary though and they were so excited. They really enjoyed it and everyone seemed so happy! They were very welcomed because our ward is stellar! So all in all that was a good experience. She is set to be baptized July 9th with two of her kids, so we will see! Prayers prayers prayers! They could be the most amazing forever family! 

We are also teaching a man named Steven who is like 60 and hispanic. He is having trouble understanding why we are the only true church, so that is what we are working on, but he has a strong desire to know and I am sure he will get his answer. He has come to church several times and is also set for July 9th. More prayers! His wife drives him to church, but doesn't want to meet with us, so we are trying to find him some friends in the ward for him and his wife to have dinner with. 

Rita is another investigator and I think, if I remember right, she is from Liberia. She has two children and they are darling.
She works so much, so she hasn't come to church, but she wants to be baptized so badly. And she wants her children to be raised in the church. She is currently living with her boyfriend, and feels guilty about it, so we are working on either getting them married or helping her move out and move on. So pray for that! Funny story, we went over there to teach last night and the American Cup final game was on....OH MY GOODNESS TEMPTATIONS. It took everything in me to avert my gaze. I wanted to watch it so badly.....but blessings from obedience right? I sure hope so. Maybe let me know how it ended if you have the chance?  Haha 

We are teaching some other potentials right now, but those are the most solid and the ones we are most excited about. But of course we are excited about everyone we teach because this gospel is stinking true! And they need to come unto Christ. 
Also some other funny thoughts.... everyone here has no teeth and a dog and a church and football. Haha honestly it is the strangest place ever and I could not love it more. The members are incredible and they love us so, so much.
Octavius who calls me "silent GT"
One of our recent converts calls me "silent GT" which is rad. So let's hold on to that! And a lady in our ward looks exactly like Edna Mode. I kid you not. I am waiting for her to start wacking me with a newspaper and scream "Pull yourself together!" 

Also my comp doesn't know how to cut a pineapple, and we almost had bed bugs this week, and she steals all of my clothes. I think we are going to be great friends forever! 

Missions are the most interesting thing... I have never experienced anything quite like it and it is hard to put into words. One moment you are beyond happy and cannot imagine yourself anywhere else, the next you are discouraged and feel like you aren't helping anyone, then you're homesick and would die to have some of your Mama's cooking, then you're on some spiritual high because you got an answer to a prayer that you desperately needed, then you're confused and exhausted and the cycle starts all over again. But what is so incredible about it is that every night you drag yourself up the stairs, into your apartment, your legs sore, your head hurting, and you drop to your knees to pray. And while you pray you have the utmost confidence that you gave it everything you had. Then as you hear the words come out you are quickly reminded that it wasn't you at all, not even 1% of what you did was a result of you or your own abilities. The Lord carried you through, he led you to those you needed to see, he protected you and watched over you, he gave you the words to say, and the conviction to say it with. All you did was move your feet and open your mouth. And life is like that. Ups and downs all the time, some days suck, and some days rock, but when you rely on the Lord and understand that the Atonement is what keeps you going, then you are given the strength and the courage to continue. You just gotta keep moving your feet and opening your mouth. 
3 Nephi 18:25 "I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me that you might feel and see." 
Love you all!

Monday, June 20, 2016

(This is a picture of fireflies on a dirt road in Nebraska but not from Sabrina)

As you can see I am quite excited to inform you that fireflies exist. I saw them for the first time last night and I was oh so happy!!!! They look like little sparks jumping in the grass, jumping off the trees, jumping into the leaves. It is so magical. One of the coolest things I have seen since coming to Nebraska. 

So a little update. I am in Lincoln Nebraska! And I wouldn't exactly call it a big city Jakey....haha it is really weird. I am serving in the ghetto. Like straight up the ghetto. One of the sketchiest areas of the mission. So far I have taught refugees from Liberia, Iraq, Vietnam, and a slew of other places, also a gang member, the cutest black family, so guy from "da hood" of Mississippi, a hippie, and all sorts of other strange and hilarious humans. So it has definitely been different. Nothing like I have ever experienced before! That is for sure. But it is awesome. I come out of lessons wreaking of smoke, and everyone here has tattoos. Just imagine me in the ghetto!!! Does it not make you laugh?!?! Makes me laugh every single night. Seriously it is too funny. I am so small...and so white.
Daddy - Happy Father's Day yesterday! I missed you more than you know, and I hope it was wonderful. I'm glad you got those pictures. The guy that sent it to you is the best man I have ever met! So hopefully I will be seeing a lot of him and in turn you will be seeing a lot more of me! As for the questions. We are in wards here, and I serve in the Capital ward. We drive a tiny acura and there is no corn in sight...haha. . And I am RIGHT BY the stadium. Lots of cornhusker fans so that is fun. 
Holy smokes my time is running out so I will try to type as fast as I stinking can. 
My companion is Sister Smith and she is the most amazing human that ever walked planet earth. I kid you not. She is almost 22? I think and she is from Idaho! Yes we have oodles of connections, she is like best friends with the Swensons! And you must meet her parents sometime. I have no doubt they are incredible people. I already love them. But seriously Sister Smith works so hard and she has been like my lil Mama. She is helping me through this and I know that with her by my side I can do anything! She is my number one! She is confident and spunky and happy and bold and just what I needed. Plus President loves her, so we are going to be a power duo....eventually when I get the hang of all this. Missions are hard. I have never felt so inadequate or impatient with myself, but I realize that I am learning and that I have so so far to go. 
Goodness I miss you guys! So fun hearing about all you are doing though! And seeing pictures! I love the ripstick Daddy, haha and I love that you got to go hike Mt. Olympus! I am we best be doing that when I get home. 

So as far as my area goes...Lincoln is chopped up like a pie, so we cover one triangle of it. (The best triangle of it...because it is the ghetto!) People are humble here, so they are really willing to listen to the gospel. Which is really cool! Right now we are teaching a lady named Phoebe who I would classify as a crazy hippie, but she is really awesome. She loves church, and even went to girls camp! And she is working currently on trying to quit smoking and drinking coffee. Which is hard for her. She talks about "the strings" and "the rod and the staff" all the time which I dunno what that is...and she goes off on strange tangents in the middle of our lessons, haha but she has a big heart, and she really wants to come to Christ. 
We are also teaching this lady named Shanice who has 7 kids under the age of 11. We went to see her the other day and teach her the Restoration and she grabbed her B.O.M. and told us that she has been reading it every night with her kids! Like what?? That is incredible! She is so prepared and she has come to know for herself this church is true. She accepted baptism, and came to church with all 7 of her children on Sunday. Which is real nuts because it was stake conference. (Elder Dube from Zimbabwe spoke, and praise that! He was awesome!) Lemme just tell you, it is real hard trying to keep 7 children entertained during stake I have mad respect for all the Mom's in the world. I don't think anyone realizes what you do. 

We are also teaching Rita, who is from Liberia. She has two kids and is beautiful. We went over the other day to have a little Come to Jesus moment with her and she totally opened up. I guess Sister Smith had previously taught her the law of chastity and she said she would live it. Well, she told us she has been living with her boyfriend and that she told him she either wants to marry him or get him out of there because she refuses to be baptized in sin! She really does want to come to Christ and she even said she wants to raise her family in the church. That is remarkable!!! She has such faith and light. People are amazing!

So we were teaching this lady and two little girls this week and at the beginning they asked us where we were from and all that jazz so we chatted and I told them I was from Utah. Like 20 minutes later the little girl looked at me and asked if I spoke a different language. I told her no and she kinda blankly stared at me and said..."but you're from Utah!" It took everything inside me not to bust up laughing. 

I know that this week has been a whirlwind, and that I just gave you way too much information, but I want you to know that I am ok. And that things are hard but they are good. I hope you guys will be able to see the blessings you receive from me being out here on a mission, because I wouldn't be here if I didn't know that you were all being taken care of. I have learned more about the Atonement this week than I ever thought possible, and I can say with all honesty that I would not be here if it weren't for Christ and what he did for me, what he did for all of us. I mean I am in the ghetto! Preaching the good word to gang members and drug lords....haha and I would not still be here if I didn't have the power of the Atonement and if I wasn't 110% reliant on Christ. I'm giving this all to Him, because I cannot even attempt to do this on my own. In personal study I came upon a verse that I love, and that I will treasure for the rest of my life. D&C 123:17. I am learning not to focus on what I don't have control over, just to work my hardest and do my best and then see God's hand in the rest of it. We are so lucky to have this gospel. And I am so lucky to have you for a family. I miss you more every day, but I know that this is going to bless us! We have the best crew and lucky for us it is ETERNAL. I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2016


I cannot believe that my time here in the MTC is pretty much over. I guess that is one of the perks of speaking English..haha But in all honesty I have loved my time at the MTC and I am really grateful for all that I have learned and experienced while being here. 
 packages from home

Oh and before I forget shout out to Amelia Mae for getting her mission call to Paraguay! You will be INCREDIBLE! Also shout out to Megan Roberts because her birthday is tomorrow (you old woman...) and shout out to Aubsy because her womb day is next week! Oh and also a HUGE thank you to Briana for the package! And Grandma also! Brie your cookies were delicious...but Grandma takes the cake. She sent me a whole batch of her famous heaven sent squares of deliciousness and nothing compares to that. Needless to say my entire district loves my entire family! So thank you for being so amazing!!!! And Brie I hope everything is going well with Arthur! I cried looking at all those cute pictures! I hope some day my babies compare...(I know Jake's have no 

national donut day

Some highlights of the week:

- I spilled mustard on my skirt, but me being the prepared missionary I am carry around a tide pen, so I felt like a boss walking around with a clean skirt on while all the Elders who joined me in eating that delicious double bacon burger looked like dweebs with stains on their shirts. 
- I bought a shirt with the state of Nebraska on it. HOLA. Just wait till y'all see me wear it. You will be jealous. 
- Elder Bednar came and spoke to us on Tuesday, and my goodness it was one of the most incredible talks I have EVER heard in my life. I felt like he was talking directly at me. His address was entitled "one by one" and he talked all about how the Lord needs us to meet certain people at certain times, and how callings are just a means of getting us there. There is someone who needs all of us in each of our assigned mission, and our focus should be on finding a one. In 3 Nephi 11 and 3 Nephi 17 it talks about Christ letting the people feel his wounds "one by one" and Christ blessing the children "one by one". That is the character of Christ. He does things one by one, and invites each of us to come unto Him one by one. I know that he knows me personally, and I know without a doubt he knows the rest of you personally as well. He is in your life, you are A ONE! And I cannot wait to spend the next 18 months, and hopefully the rest of my life finding ones, and inviting them to come unto Christ. His talk really gave me perspective. There are people in Nebraska waiting for me, ones that only I can reach, and by gosh I am going to find them.
- Ok, but one of the best parts of the devotional was the fact that I got to sing in it! Because the MTC choir is like the coolest thing to be a part of. Anyway, what made it so remarkable is the fact that the song we sung was a song written by Elder Bednar guessed it..."One by One". And it was the debut performance of the song! (It'll be released in the New Era next month I think...) The spirit was overwhelming while we were singing, and overwhelming the entire meeting. It is incredible to sit and watch an apostle walk into a room and feel the change in spirit. It was a feeling I don't think I will ever be able to put into words, but I knew that the Lord was with him, and that he loved each of us and wanted us to feel Christ's love through him. He walked with such grace, and you could tell that his life has been devoted to finding ones, all over the world. I think sometimes we take for granted how much we are guided and directed by the prophets and apostles. They speak directly to us from God. That is something no other church has, or will ever have. 
- On a different note, because we went to choir we had to skip dinner on Tuesday, so I resorted to pizza pockets and a cliff bar in the room. Probably the worst meal I have ever had, and I already endured an entire year of that is saying something! Oh and the worst part about it was that the stinking pizza pockets
 were "boiling lava hot" (I hope at least Dad catches on to my hot pocket reference) so I felt like I was breathing fire after eating each one. UNREAL. 
District in stripes

I hope you all know that you are loved, and that miracles are happening in your life every single day. I guess since coming to the MTC I have become more sensitive to the miracles in my life, and I can promise you that there are many. God has not forsaken us, and he never will. 
District at the Temple
I LOVE YOU ALL! And the next time you hear from me I will be in Nebraska! OMAHECK!!! 
Wish me lots of luck, and know that you're in my prayers! 
I'm gonna find me some "ones"!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

One Week Down!

HEY Y'ALL! (Just practicing my Nebraskan...)

How are my people?! I hope everyone is doing well and that each of  you knows you are so loved, because you are! Also shout out to Jakey because I got your email. Shout out to Shae Mod because your birthday is this week! Woot! And shout out to the rest of the fam because I love you all WAY TOO MUCH. Oh and shout out to Bugs because I got your email and I think hammocking and playing the ukulele is a fantastic way to spend the summer.
Before I start telling you about my experiences here in the MTC there is one thing we gotta get out of the way first.... 
I heard my boy Steph got us through and that the Cavs are playing the Warriors in the final! Holla! (I really hope that is true and it wasn't just some sick joke the Elders played on me...)
Now that that is out of the way I figured it would be fun for me to tell you some of the highlights of the MTC. Although the first few days were a little rough, the experience has been so great, and I am so happy to be here and to be doing what I am doing! Life is so good! And it's better for everyone to focus on the positive.


- My companion's name is Sister Deppe and she is THE BEST. She is from Syracuse, Utah and has epilepsy...which scares me a little bit, but she is really independent and has a powerful testimony. My district is great and we have fun together and we work hard! They love video games and Dr. Who, and HATE to sometimes it is a stretch to relate to them! But we are finding things in common! And I genuinely do love them all! They are here for the right reasons and they want to be the best missionaries they possibly can.
 - I have a top bunk, which is rad, and I feel like a ninja every time I jump off of it, so that's pretty exciting. But last night I tried to jump off and slipped and face planted on the carpet. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a LONG

- One of the best parts of the MTC is exercise time. I found this group of Elders from Kirabess (not a clue how to spell that one) that are going to the Philippines, and a Tongan Sister going to Alabama. We started playing volleyball and it has gotten to be quite intense! Haha it is one of my favorite parts of the day! 

- THE SPIRIT HERE IS SO STRONG. And so powerful! Everyone is so happy and so encouraging. I swear the MTC motto is: "Just Make it to Sunday!" And that is pretty accurate, but the spirit makes even the toughest days some of the best days! 

- They have a baked potato bar in the cafeteria. PRAISE HEAVEN. I think they knew that I was coming because that is my jam. 

- Another one of the best things about the MTC is seeing people you know. I got to see Lucy Gouchnour, Elise Peterson, Maggie Wilkinson, Sophie Wilcox, Nick Wright, Dallas Damaron, and a slew of others. They definitely made me feel more at home and were an answer to prayers. 

- Also we had this dressing and grooming meeting on Sunday and this lady got up to speak and I swear on my life she was Dolly Parton. I could not even focus on what she was trying to say. Haha and then she went off on this rant about moonflowers...I was so confused.


I am real short on time, so I gotta wrap this up, but before I do I think it is only appropriate to share somethin' spiritual. 
Since coming to the MTC my testimony of prayer has sky rocketed. I know that the Lord answers every single prayer we give if we are sincere and truly intent. In my study a few days ago I came upon Matthew 6:8 which reads "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." And I know that that is true. I testify that Heavenly Father knows us all individually and personally and that he is aware of what we need. Often times he pours out blessings upon us even when we aren't looking for them or when we don't realize we need them. I have had so many little experiences here at the MTC that have solidified this knowledge. People I have met, messages that have been shared, even funny moments that have occurred have come at exactly the right time, and I know it is no coincidence. 
I am amazed at the incredible people who work here at the MTC, or who are called here to help us as missionaries. They have an instant love for the work and for each of us, and they are so inspiring. I wish I could tell each of them thank you for all they have done for me, but I'm sure the joy and peace they feel from being here is thanks enough. 
God is great. This truly is his work, and he is in every aspect of it. I never thought I would be feeling the spirit while doing laundry or be overwhelmed by it while taking out the trash, but I thought wrong! 

I love you all so much and I hope you are having the best week! Know that my prayers are with you! 


Sister Bengtzen

 1) My zone at the temple during our Sunday walk. Most of us are going to the states, and all of us are speaking English. All of them are super awesome and work hard! 
2) My comp (Sister Deppe) and I 
3) DONUTS. Best meal I have had yet  
4) My comp and I lookin' real good on the way to do laundry
5) The sisters in my District (aka the sisters I live with)