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, 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 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

General Conference

Hey everyone! I don't have a ton of time today, so I will be quick. I hope you all enjoyed General Conference as much as I did...because MAN it was wonderful. We are so blessed. SO BLESSED. President Uchtdorf's talk on Saturday morning was one of my favorites and I was just amazed at the spiritual power that was manifest from the moment it began. We truly are living in the fullest of times, and we hold eternal and unchanging truths. What a gift and privilege we have been given, not only to have them, but to share them! There have been so many days where I have just been so overwhelmed with joy that I want to scream from every rooftop that the church is true and that God loves me and loves all of his children, and how grateful I am that I get to be out here in Nebraska proclaiming that very thing! Ahh missions...ahh life! Heavenly Father has such a plan. 


So Sister Rook and I were able to watch the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference at our ward mission leader's home with an investigator, and it was an incredible experience. The spirit was strong, and the messages were bold, but I think it was absolutely perfect for Jake. As I sat there watching I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and as I turned I saw tears streaming down Jake's cheeks. It was a wonder to literally see the spirit work within him and it brought such peace to my heart! I know that the prophets and apostles are inspired not only to help us as members of the church, but to inspire, strengthen, guide, direct, and bless the entire world. I am so grateful I got to see that first hand! Jake totally loved it and we are going to see him later this week! He is preparing to be baptized on the 22nd, so keep him in your prayers! 

We were planning to watch the Sunday afternoon session with Kelly and Dave but things fell through, so that was kinda sad, BUT she told us that she had been watching the sessions on her own at home. She said she felt as if some of the speakers were speaking directly to her heart and then she asked us if that sounded silly. My heart almost leaped out of my chest! Heavens no that isn't silly, that is the spirit! It was such a miracle to see Heavenly Father speak directly to her and for her to recognize it. How incredible to see her understanding and knowledge of the spirit sink from her head to her heart. She is so prepared! And Dave is slowly coming around as well. They need the gospel so bad, so please keep praying. 

We taught this former Jehovah's witness this week as well. Her name is Maggie. She is the kindest lady I have ever known! She let us right into her house and she just loved the message. She has realized her life has been pretty void without God, and she wants that to change. We get to go back and see her on Friday, so I am looking forward to that! 


The other night I convinced Sister Rook that I was a phenomenal cook and so she let me make dinner at home. Hahahahahaha it is probably something she will regret for the rest of her mission, and her life. I decided I was gonna go all iron chef because we had NO food and hardly any time, so I took everything I could find and mixed it all together. We ended up having pasta with  frozen vegetables mixed in, dino nuggets on top, and some weird sauce. I thought it tasted fine, but Sister Rook didn't exactly agree. She ate it though because she loves me and we literally had nothing else. Mama, I promise that when I get home I will take the time to help you make dinner because otherwise my future children will suffer. 

Spiritual Thought: 

Ahh I am out of time, but go back and listen to General Conference, because seriously it was so inspired! As I was listening to the talks the hymn "I Believe in Christ" began playing over and over again in my head. I know that it's a crazy world we are living in, and things are only going to get crazier, but I believe in Christ, so come what may. 



Sister Bengtzen ​