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