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, October 18, 2017

Put Christ FIRST!
Missions are the most incredible thing, but man they fly by so fast! SO FAST! I cannot believe it is the middle of October...and I cannot believe it is Monday again! But alas here we are....

Miracles:

This week was another incredible week! We worked SO hard and saw a lot of miracles. It's so cool to be able to see investigators PROGRESS! I think those are the greatest kinds of miracles on a mission.

So updates...

We saw Kim on Saturday and had the most incredible lesson with her. Walking in we had no clue what we were going to teach, so we plead for the spirit to be with us, and then sat in her living room and began to talk for a bit. All of the sudden she started asking all of these questions about what happens after we die and what life was like before we came to earth and yada yada yada. Sister Preator and I both looked at each other then looked at Kim and then started teaching the Plan of Salvation as if on cue! It was the most powerful Plan of Salvation I have ever taught on my mission, and I don't think I realized why it was until towards the end of the lesson. As we began to teach about the spirit world Kim opened up to us about how two of her sisters have passed away from cancer. As soon as she said that I felt their presence and realized that they were there with us! I was wondering why this little room felt so full. We have been praying as a mission and as a companionship to find people whose ancestors are prepared to hear the Gospel, and I have no doubt that Kim is an answer to that prayer. I know her sisters are waiting, and I pray that she will have the courage to step forward and follow the Savior's voice. I love her so much. So, so much. I am so grateful that even though we did not know what she needed when we first walked in, Heavenly Father did, and the spirit directed us to say what needed to be said.
Sadly, she didn't come to church on Sunday :( But she will come around! I have faith!

As for Robert and Kayla we had an AWESOME lesson with them about following the prophet at one of our members homes this week. Our member invited them over for dinner and we were able to come along with! Free food and the spirit...what could be better?? Nothing! It was a special night. We watched this video about Joseph Smith and committed Robert and Kayla to pray to know if he was a prophet. Robert looked at us and said, "Well I already know he was. I know he was. But I will keep praying!"
AHH I love him!! He has such a sincere heart and desire to learn.
Sadly, they didn't come to church either, which was a bummer. We aren't sure exactly what has been going on the past two days, but something is fishy, so keep them in your prayers! The adversary works hardest on those who have the most potential for Eternal Happiness!

 Also this week we found the most incredible new investigators. They are a family from Sudan and the parents names' are Christina and Sam. We taught them the Restoration and they both had the most incredible reaction to the first vision. I have never seen two people more visibly affected! Christina cried and Sam would not stop smiling for anything. It was so sweet. It is so incredible to know that there are good people out there, who desire to come closer to Jesus Christ, and who are open to feeling the spirit. I love this work!!!


Funnies:

This week we had a yellow jacket in our apartment so naturally Sister Preator caught it in a cup and let it loose on our balcony. Her grand idea was to open the screen door, vigorously shake the cup, and then shut it real fast. Well in part she succeeded, the bee flew out quickly, but then she got nervous and THREW THE CUP! She just chucked it! And it busted into pieces. Hahaha I have not laughed that hard in a long time. I took a picture to document it, so enjoy the attachment!


Spiritual thought:

I was pondering upon Lehi's vision of the tree of life the other day and the most interesting thought came to me. When you read 1 Ne. 8 Lehi describes what he sees and how he sees it...I never realized that the first thing he saw was the tree, and then the surroundings. I think this says so much about the way Lehi lived his life. He saw Christ first. One of my favorite scriptures is D&C 6:36. The Savior pleads with us to "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." I think that is one of the most difficult things to do, to put the Savior first, especially in our thoughts. I believe that is a life long pursuit, but every day we can be better. So I urge each of you to try and put Christ first this week in your thoughts. When things get frustrating, difficult, or dreary, look to Him. He truly is the light of the world and I promise if you are seeking Him you will have nothing to doubt and no need to fear.

I love y'all!
Have the greatest week yet!

xoxo,

Sister Bengtzen


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


It's fall y'all!

Hello hello! Fall has finally arrived here in the good ole NE and I am so excited! I finally got to pull out my sweaters. WOO HOO! It was 60 degrees today and after about 5 minutes outside Sister Preator decided it was now Winter...haha Texas girls...what are you gonna do?? I sure love her though...so I guess I will keep her around. 

Sunday timed picture!
So I'll be quick, but what a week of miracles! 

Miracles:

First off, we had this incredible lesson at the Trail Center with this lady we had never met before. She was a referral from some sisters who gave her a tour at the TC almost a year ago! We felt prompted to follow up with her and now she is an investigator! Her name is Kim and Mama you would LOVE her! She just reminds me of you :) She has been through more than anyone I know, and she is still going through it all, but she has great faith and just keeps swimming. Anyway, the lesson was AMAZING and the spirit so strong, and then we walked her out to her car... It turns out someone broke into her car and stole her purse and everything in it while we were in having our lesson. Of all the cars in the parking lot it just had to be hers!! She fell apart right there in the parking lot then got up and drove off without saying anything else. It was horrible. We ended up going to see her yesterday and to be honest, we didn't have much hope, but we actually saw her and had a lesson! We talked to her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He understands all that she is going through. We also testified of the light that comes into our lives when we read the Book of Mormon and how it truly testifies of Jesus Christ. She committed herself to read it that night and committed to come to church next week and to meet with us on Tuesday. So all in all it was a roller coaster of a week with her, but things are going well now! She has A LOT of drama in her life, so keep her in your prayers. 
Sabrina and Sister Mecham on splits in the rain!

Also Robert and Kayla and Layla and Jayla all came to church on Sunday and stayed all 3 hours. They absolutely LOVED it and cannot wait to start coming every Sunday! The ward swallowed them up and so far they are going to dinner at a member's home with us tomorrow, having FHE with a family next Monday, and Layla and Jayla are preparing to be in the Primary Program coming up! Robert even got up and bore his testimony and said he is "here to stay!" The spirit was so strong as he spoke and everything that came out of his mouth was straight from his heart. It was just a miracle! Seeing him up there made me so happy, and I thought about how happy parents must be when they see their children learn about the gospel and gain a testimony for themselves. What a joy that must be! And then I thought about how Heavenly Father joys in us when we come to recognize what is true for ourselves. He must love being a Father! Anyway, we had to push Robert and Kayla's wedding and baptism date back to the 11h of November :( but they are still progressing so well toward it! We taught the WOW this week and they accepted it no problem. What a miracle! Tithing is this week, so continue to pray for them! 
Sunday Selfie
Funnies: 

We went to see one of our members in the hospital this week and as we were leaving she grabbed each of us by the hand and said, "I just want you to go home and find the love of your life, and send me a wedding invitation...that is all I want in life." Haha and she was being so serious! Sometimes I wonder if she is Betty White...if not I am sure she is her long lost twin! 

Spiritual thought: 

I just have a quick quote to share with y'all this week and it's a short one. 
"Love is what you go through together." - James Thurber
If I have learned one thing on my mission, it is that the Savior has perfect love for ALL of us, and I know that is because He has been through everything we have WITH us. I love my Savior. I love His work. I love His gospel. And I know He truly lives. 

I love you all and I hope this week is the best one yet!

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

The miracles of General Conference!
What a weekend! I love General Conference. What a blessing it is to sit and listen to the words of the Savior from His living prophets and apostles.

The miracle I wanted to share this week has everything to do with General Conference because when it comes, who doesn't see miracles?? Our investigators Robert and Kayla and of course their daughters Jayla and Layla were able to come watch the Sunday Morning session of General Conference with us at one of our member's homes. They rolled up all dressed in their church clothes with Books of Mormon in hand. My heart just sang! The spirit was so strong as we entered our members' home and prepared to be taught. During the session Robert and Kayla sat on the couch intently listening, hand in hand. At one point Robert even jumped up and placed his phone right next to the TV so he could record one of the talks! (We later explained that he could get all of them online in just a few short days...haha) But it was just so sweet to see a family so excited to learn from prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time. Robert and Kayla are just GOOD people. And as the scriptures teach, "There are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel..." (D&C 35:12) So please just keep them in your prayers so that they can truly receive the fullness of the Gospel on October 28th!
Sabrina and Sister Preator with Whitney before she moved to Georgia.
As far as our other investigators go...we have three that are progressing very well!
One is a mother of 3 who is expecting her 4th very soon, and she is incredible! Her name is Trina and she is just eager to learn. She has read the Book of Mormon every day this week and we are going to set her for baptism when we see her on Thursday! She just wants to do what Heavenly Father wants her to do, and she has the most real intent of anyone I have met!
Our other progressing investigators are Jennifer and her mom Kathy. That is another miracle. Sisters have been teaching Jennifer for a while, and she knows it is true, she has just had a hard time overcoming her Catholic roots! We have been praying for her mother Kathy to join our lessons in hopes that it might help Jennifer and this week she did! Jennifer is probably in her 30's and Kathy in her 60's. But they are an awesome family! We are doing a scripture study with them tonight at a member's home, so we are so excited for that! They will hopefully be set for baptism after this week too.
Dress up?
Food coma?
Funnies:

Sister Preator wanted to experiment with my makeup and she got a little carried away...so please enjoy the attached pictures. Also just to redeem myself from my last email about DQ I am attaching a picture of this fancy salad we made this week. WOO HOO! (I strategically hid the hunk of raw cookie dough, so you could not see it in the picture...)


Spiritual thought:

I have been pondering on General Conference this morning and again, I cannot truly express how grateful I am for it. Something I noticed in particular this session was the focus on the Family Proclamation, and how important the family truly is! I have a horrible memory, and I forgot my notes, but my favorite quote was "Salvation is a personal matter, Exaltation is a family matter." I have been mulling that over in my mind again and again and my heart is so full. I have been taken back to a training Sister Gardner gave us a few weeks ago and something she said has rung clear in my heart. "I can testify that we do better together." These last few weeks have been hard on my family. But how grateful I am that we are in this together, that we are a family. I can too testify alongside Sister Gardner that we do better together. I love my family. Heaven would not be heaven without them! And I am grateful that my Loving Heavenly Father has placed families at the center of His eternal plan. I love this gospel. I love this work. I love my Savior.

Talk to you soon!

xoxo,
Sister Bengtzen
My new mill is OLD MILL!

Hello! 
Last week was transfers, so I am now in a new ward with a new companion! The Old Mill ward in Omaha is my new home and Sister Preator is my companion! She is INCREDIBLE and we have been having a blast together!! She is from Texas, North Dallas to be exact, and she is going home with me. It's like heaven sent us to each other or something...haha we have just been seeing miracle after miracle and we are dreading the fact that our companionship will only be for a short time! 
I can't wait for y'all to meet her though. She is as Texas as you can get and I love her for it. 
Sabrina and her New companion Sister Preator!

The Old Mill ward is definitely a change, but it is a good change! It's quite a large ward and covers a HUGE demographic of people. Blah, blah, blah that's boring...let me get to the good stuff!

Miracles: 

So we have this incredible couple that is investigating the church and their names are Robert and Kayla! They have two daughters named Layla and Jayla, so I get them all confused like every day, but that's ok! I think they understand my confusion..haha! Anyway, the other night we had a lesson with them and they invited 3 of their extended family members to join! We asked Kayla a question, I don't even remember what we asked, but her response was something I will never forget. She said, "My goal is to go into that temple, with my family. We are going to that temple. I hear you feel like you are in heaven when you are inside, and I am ready to feel heaven." How incredible is that?? They have only been investigating for a little while and already they have caught the vision. It's all about the family! The only road block we have is that they aren't yet married :( But we are working on it! So hopefully a wedding and a baptism will take place in the near future! I have ALWAYS wanted to have a wedding and a baptism...dreams come true! 


Another huge miracle occurred with another one of our investigators named Jennifer. I had never met her, but while we were planning I felt super prompted to share Elder Holland's "Like a Broken Vessel" with her. During our lesson we watched the short video and she was visibly overcome! She kept saying, "He was speaking right to me!" And he was. It was so incredible to see how the spirit could work through me to help someone I had never even met before. It goes to show that this really is His work and not mine! 

Oh and now for my favorite miracle of the week! One night all of our appointments fell through, so we prayed, and Sister Preator felt very strongly that we should go see the Wahls, a LA family in our ward. We stopped by and none of them were home, EXCEPT their nonmember friend living with them! And her name is Whitney. We ended up having like a 10 minute conversation with her and invited her to come to the Trail Center with us the next day. She said YES! SO we were able to take a tour with her and the spirit was so powerful. She committed to pray and read and I have faith she will! She moves back to Georgia in like 3 days :( but it was so cool to see how perfect Heavenly Father's timing is, and how aware He is of His children. He knew where we needed to be that night and exactly who we needed to see. I love being a missionary! 

Sisters at the Zoo
Funnies: 

So Sister Preator and I made the decision this week to be healthier missionaries. This is how the conversation went: 
 
SB - "We should try and eat healthier this transfer." 
SP - "Oh yes! I agree. Let's do it." 

10 minutes later 
SB - "I am kindof hungry..."
SP - "There's a DQ just up the street, and they just got this brand new brownie bite blizzard." 
SB - "I AM SO DOWN!" 

Welp...we tried! Haha 
Nothing fishy here!

Spiritual thought: 

In my Book of Mormon reading this morning I came across a verse in Mosiah that resonated deeply in my heart. I feel like there have been a lot of times in my life where I have been unsure and even somewhat fearful of the future. There are days where I look at the world and I think how on earth am I supposed to raise children here? There are days where I see the horrors of pornography and the destruction it causes to families and I think where on earth am I going to find an eternal companion who will not succumb to this temptation? And there are days when I hear about the mass destruction and disasters around the world and I think how can I find joy in a world like this? How can anyone? 

In Mosiah 5:3 it reads, "We...through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have GREAT VIEWS of that which is to come..." 

I know that is only a sentence, but it pierced my heart with truth. We don't need to fear, we don't need to worry, we don't need to have these questions! Why? Because we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Through the goodness of God and the witness of the Holy Ghost we can have HOPE. Heavenly Father didn't send us here to be afraid, but He sent us here to learn, to grow, and to keep His commandments regardless of the circumstances we are in. I am so grateful for my mission and for the testimony that I have gained of my Savior because I KNOW that I don't have to fear. I know that I can someday be a wife and a mother, raise a family in this world, and find joy! I am so grateful for parents who had the courage to do what was right, and for the example of so many others who have done the same. I pray that I can find those who are afraid and with the help of the Savior hush their fears and lead them to a far better land of promise. I LOVE this work. I love this Gospel. I LOVE my Savior. And I leave this with you all in His name. Amen. 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

P.S. Sister Preator and I conquered the zoo in the rain this morning.

He Will Always Be GRANDPA
First off, I want you all to know that I love you. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Brie, Maggie, Jakey, Abby, Aubsy, Bugs, I love you. I love you more than simple words on a keyboard can express. 

As my little trio was driving to the library this morning we were listening to my flash drive and a song came on that I have heard many times. But today it struck me differently. The chorus seemed to, as Joseph Smith said, "enter with great force into every feeling of my heart." So I thought I would share it with all of you. The song is referencing the Savior, and I feel as if this week, these few sentences describe in perfect detail how I have felt: 

"When my strength is weak, I can feel you carry me
In the darkness left for blind, I can feel your hand in mine
And your whisper heals my soul
And I plead with all I know
Don't let go
Don't let go
Don't let go." 

I think one of the hardest trials that we face in this mortal life is physical death. And the world's view on what comes after varies so widely. But I am so grateful to know that I have been given the truth. I know what Heavenly Father's plan is and I know what really happens after we die. I got the news on Wednesday morning that Grandpa passed away. President Gardner, one of the most incredible men I have ever met in my life, drove to Lincoln to meet with me and tell me in person. I cried for a really long time...I am still crying...but it's not an empty cry. It's a cry full of mourning, and grieving yes, but it's also a cry full of hope and of gratitude because I know the plan! And I know this is not the end. I think the hardest thing is that I can't be there with all of you. But I know that I am where I am needed and that Heavenly Father knows His children. I know that the Savior is with all of you and that you are all under his care. When we are weak he carries us, when we are blind he leads us, when we are broken he heals us, and he will NEVER let go. I have been pleading this week for open eyes and an open heart, to see and feel Grandpa here with me.  And those prayers have been answered. I wanted to share just a few experiences that I have had, because I want you all to know that he  is still with us. That he is watching over us. My prayer is that your eyes and your hearts will also be opened to seeing and feeling Grandpa with you, because I know he is there. 


We are teaching this man from South Sudan and his name is Thomas. We found him last week and it turns out he is a former investigator and was almost baptized. We have seen him every day this week and he is preparing to be baptized on the 7th of October. During one of our visits Thomas seemed particularly distressed and we asked him what was wrong. He told us that that very day his aunt had passed away from cancer. My heart ached as I watched this grown man weep, and I marveled to myself about how incredible Heavenly Father's timing truly is. I showed Thomas a picture of our family and bore my testimony about how families can be together forever through Jesus Christ. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about how grateful I truly am for this knowledge. After I was finished Thomas' eyes met mine and I smiled. He looked at me quizzically and said, "You must know that this is true...4 days since he passed and you are smiling...you have the truth." And he is right! We do have the truth! I felt as if Grandpa was with me in that moment, reminding me of what I know, and helping me to see this man through Heavenly Father's eyes. 


Another experience I had this week has to do with our recent convert Cheyenne. We were able to have dinner with her in a member's home on Friday and we taught about eternal marriage. The couple we ate with bore the most powerful testimony about preparing for eternal marriage and the blessings that come from it. After they finished the spirit was strong and I felt prompted to share about Grandpa. I was able to talk about how Grandma and Grandpa were sealed in the temple  and that because they were sealed by the power and authority of God their marriage was never going to end, even though he has passed on. Again my eyes filled with tears as I felt Grandpa there with me. I am so grateful for temples and grateful to know that families are FOREVER. The sealing power is real, and NOTHING can break that bond. Cheyenne was overcome as we spoke and just filled with light. She comes from a hard family situation, and wants so badly for her family to be different. I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ she can have an eternal family, just like ours. 


There have been so many other instances this week where I have had my eyes and heart opened to see Grandpa. I know without a doubt that he is with me, and with all of us. He truly is our BIGGEST fan! He is cheering us on even louder than he's cheering for his UTES! And that's a big deal.

I have taken so much comfort in the scriptures this week, and there is one in particular that I have been eager to share with my people. It's found in Mosiah 16:7-9 and it reads, 

"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grace hath NO victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the life and the light of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened,; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." 

Because of Jesus Christ we have no need to fear. He has overcome this, and I testify that we WILL be with Grandpa again. He will be the same Grandpa that we all know and love, and I cannot wait for that day. 

I love you all and I know that the Savior is with you. Don't let go. 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is REAL!

Sabrina, Sister Nuemberger and new friends

I think all of us have moments in our lives when the gospel becomes real. Sometimes it is a combination of small moments that eventually open our eyes to this all encompassing eternal truth, and sometimes it's a big event that seems to tear us away from the world just long enough to recognize how thin the veil really is. I have been blessed on my mission to have both of these experiences, and I feel like this week that statement has especially rung true. THE GOSPEL IS REAL and JESUS CHRIST LIVES. 

I just want to share a couple of quick experiences and then I will get on my way! 

First off, we have this investigator named Ameerah and she is 16. Sister Neuberger found her a few weeks ago, but she has kindof fallen of the map since then. Well, this week Sister Neuberger stopped by her home on exchanges and she was actually there! She set up a return appointment and we ended up going to see her with our recent convert Cheyenne, who attends the same high school. As we began our lesson we talked about how the gospel has blessed our lives and then asked our recent convert Cheyenne to bear her testimony. The moment she opened her mouth it felt as if the entire world around us stopped spinning. Her testimony was so simple, but the spirit that accompanied it was Celestial. And it all started with, "The moment I started learning about the church I fell in love." How incredible is that?! Our sweet investigator began to cry and we ended up committing her to be baptized just moments later. It was the most surreal yet REAL experience and I was so grateful to be able to witness these two young girls feel the reality of Jesus Christ and His teachings. This work never ceases to fill my heart and soul! 
Sabrina and companions with investigator Gloria
Another experience we had this week has to do with a man by the name of David. We went to visit Georgina at the AA House, but she was not home, so we started to speak with a potential we have there that's name is David. He told us about some of the things he has been through in his life and how the adversary has attacked him recently. As we began to testify he asked us if we could sit and stay for a moment. We of course accepted the invitation and ended up having an incredible lesson with him! He talked about how he has never felt worthy of God's love, and has always been afraid of his wrath! It was the most liberating experience to be able to "burst his fetters" and tell him that Heavenly Father is a loving God! He truly is our Father! As we shared this truth David's countenance changed and he smiled. And smiled and smiled! It was as if a weight as big as a semi truck had been lifted off of his chest. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray and he said he would. 
Go Big RED

On a funny note, just yesterday we met this man from South Sudan and he told us he was a professional soccer player on Real Madrid. I think he was lying, but I got a picture with him just in case! He told me I was courageous like a lion and we are going back to teach him the Restoration tonight, so wish us luck! His name is Thomas. I will attach the picture! 
Sushi

I just want all of you to know that I know that Jesus Christ lives. My mission is to testify of him and declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. (3 Nephi 5:13) I know that He is the way, that He loves us, that He is with us. I know that life can be difficult, but the veil truly is thin, and this is all for a greater purpose. We can do ALL things through our Savior, Jesus Christ! I testify this is His work and His church, and I say these things in His name. Amen.

Xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How grateful I am for the word of God!
Sabrina in the hospital with her companions.

I know I always say "this week was a whirlwind!" but let me tell you, this week was a HURRICANE! I was out of the game for like 4 days because of this gnarly infection, and I think poor Sister Neuberger and Sister Uffens really thought I was going to die. But thanks to modern medicine, an awesome OBGYN, and some incredibly patient caretakers I am alive and well! 

Miracles: 
Zone Conference
This week we had an incredible miracle with our investigator Georgina. She is currently living at the Alcoholics Anonymous house here in Lincoln and has gone through an incredible change in her life and her heart! Sister Neuberger found her a few weeks ago and for the past little while she hasn't been progressing well...but this week that all changed because she started reading the Book of Mormon! Ahh I cannot even begin to explain the power that it has brought into her life. She is so much more aware of the spirit and it's influence and she has been given great strength and determination to fight the adversary through it's words! It never ceases to amaze me how influential the word of God is in changing the hearts of those I serve, and in changing my heart as well! We saw Georgina last night and she just opened up to us about how reading the Book of Mormon has made her so excited to come to church. She can hardly wait for Sunday! And that is a miracle. So as always, keep this sweet girl in your prayers! 

Also this week we had this cool little miracle with a girl named Selena. We were stopping by to see one of our investigators who wasn't home :( but we felt prompted to go and talk to this crew of young adults sitting in the back of this pick up truck listening to horrible music. So picture this: three little sister missionaries in braids and dresses walking up to this group of people totally captivated by the world and drowning in the adversary's tactics...it was an adventure for sure! Anyway, we started to teach one of the guys the Restoration and one of the girls interrupted us and told us she was baptized when she was 8 in Washington and that her mother was a really active member. She went to seminary, did baptisms for the dead, the whole shebang! And yet, her life now is a complete mess. She made some poor choices and quickly fell away. As she was talking to us she began to open up about how she really wants to start going to church again, and that she wants her family to have a faith in Jesus Christ because she knows it helped her. And she realized all of this by herself! I don't think we even said a word until the end of the conversation! We ended up giving her a copy of the Book of Mormon and inviting her to read. She said she would and she gave us her phone number! She has light in her eyes and I have full faith that is where Heavenly Father needed us to be. He is SO aware of His children. 
Sabrina carries a big stick!
Funnies: 

So I know I am super dramatic about this whole infection business, but as I look back on it, it was actually quite funny. After a trip to the ER on Sunday and the OBGYN on Monday Sister Gardner said, "Well at least it can't get any worse!" Sister Neuberger and Sister Uffens quickly and gratefully concurred and I moaned in agreement, but then I woke up on Tuesday and it got so much worse! Haha I threw up everything in my system and it was not pretty. But we made it through! Just a note to all my close family and friends: My body does NOT react well to medication, so do not let me take anything crazy EVER.


Spiritual Thought: 

Ok I have been so excited to share this! I was reading in Mosiah 1 this morning and I discovered this principle that I loved taught so perfectly in just 1 verse! In Mosiah 1:4 it reads: "For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates...he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God..." So in essence...Lehi, one of the greatest and most noble men of God that has ever lived, needed the help of the scriptures to teach his children the ways of the Lord! He could NOT do it without them, and neither can we. The scriptures are crucial in our gospel progression, especially in teaching our children and grandchildren. 
I want to invite all of you to take your scripture study a little bit more seriously. These are the words of the Lord! And these are the teachings of Eternal life. I know that all of us face challenges in our families, but I know that the word of God can help, so use it! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so grateful for the impact it has had on my life and on the lives of these people here in Nebraska that I love! This really is the Lord's work! 
Sabrina and entire mission with President Russell M Nelson.

I love you all! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen  

Monday, August 21, 2017

These are days NEVER to be forgotten

Sabrina throwing up the U! at Corn Husker's stadium
A mission is just one big roller coaster...and this week was sure proof of that. The lowest of lows, but also the highest of highs! Anyway, I don't have much time, but I do want to share some of the experience our mission had with President Nelson! The President Nelson! He came to visit our mission on Saturday and it was a GLORIOUS day! So I pray the spirit will guide my little fingers to type quick and to say all the things I want so badly to say! But if this doesn't make any sense, just be patient with me, and know that it was incredible!! 
 Sister Smith's last Day!


Ok, so first off, our mission has been memorizing "The Living Christ" for the past month or so in preparation for President Nelson to come. On Saturday morning all 200 missionaries throughout the whole mission drove into Omaha and gathered together in the Papillion Stake Center to hear his words. One of the members in Omaha offered to take a professional picture of all of us with President and Sister Nelson, so we all lined up in the gym on risers and on chairs and waited eagerly for the Nelsons to arrive. When they walked in we began to recite "The Living Christ" and the spirit was powerful. The moment I say President Nelson I was overcome with emotion so strong my words ceased and my eyes began to overflow. It was as if the Savior himself stepped foot into that room. I was overwhelmed and reassured that Jesus Christ knows me and He loves me, but I was astounded by the reality that I knew Him. I recognized Him. I felt Him. I don't even think there are words to describe how I felt, but it was some mixture of peace, respect, comfort, love, dignity, and gratitude. And it was real! I pray I never forget that moment. As we finished reciting "The Living Christ" the entire room was silent. President Nelson looked at all of us, and with his wife's arm in his he said, "What a perfect gift." We quickly proceeded to take a picture and moments later I was standing face to face with the President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. I shook his mighty, yet gentle hand and as I looked into his eyes I saw the Savior in him and I felt worthy, I felt clean, and I felt loved. Those few moments seemed to last for an eternity, and I pray that the memory really will. 

Sabrina and Sister Nueberger 

During the meeting Elder and Sister Carpenter addressed us, Elder and Sister Anderson addressed us, and President and Sister Nelson addressed us. It was the fastest 3 hours of my whole life! And before I knew it we were singing the closing song! And then he was gone. I think what stuck out most to me from the entire meeting was that President Nelson is not perfect, neither is his wife. None of those authorities are! But they are still powerful servants, trying their best, and dedicating their lives to living what the Savior taught and still teaches. President and Sister Nelson were hilarious! They were telling jokes like it was their job and it just cracked me up. I have such a testimony that he is called of God. I know that he holds the priesthood authority and I sustain him and the other leaders of the church as well. What an incredible time we live in! 

There's this quote from Oliver Cowdery at the end of Joseph Smith History and I feel like it just encompasses the feelings of my heart, better than anything else does.... "These [are] days never to be forgotten--to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven..." These really are days that I will never forget. Missions are so special, so sacred and such a gift! I would not give this up for anything!! 

I love you all and I pray that you have a wonderful week filled with miracles, service, and LOVE from ABOVE! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

P.S. When we leave our apartment every morning we take the elevator because it is the easiest way to get to the basement car garage...well this morning Sister Neuberger walked up to the elevator and knocked on it and waited for someone to answer. Hahahahaha then she looked at me and was like "Oh! Shoot! It's an elevator!" I guess you know you are a real life missionary when that happens...#missionarylife #you'vemadeit 

P.P.S. Apparently there is a solar eclipse today....I wonder why nobody has been talking about it? I mean you think it would be a big deal or something? Let's just pray that nobody fries their eyeballs out!  

"We have some killer jams!"

Time is flying...sometimes I wish I could just push pause. These memories, these experiences, they are all going by WAY too fast. But how grateful I am to be in the service of my King. I would not give this mission up for the world. 


Miracles: 

Sabrina, Sister Nueberger and Will the Rapper.

So we were able to take Will the Rapper to the Trail Center this week and it was absolutely incredible. Sis. Neuberger gave him a FANTASTIC tour and let me tell you, I am so blessed to have a companion that served there for so long! The tour really was awesome, but the part that really struck Will was walking around the cemetery and the temple grounds after we finished. We asked him how he felt in the TC and he said the moment he walked in he felt at ease, like he could let his guard down, even if only for a moment. We helped him to recognize that those were the feelings of the spirit and he was just overcome with joy. As we were walking through the grounds he asked if he could touch the temple. We said "Of course!" and walked over to the golden doors. It was the most interesting thing to watch Will struggle to touch the temple. He would hover over the handle, just centimeters from touching it, then sharply turn and walk away. Then he would flip around, square up his shoulders, walk back to the door, and do the same thing. While this internal wrestle was occurring the most peculiar and miraculous thing happened. The temple President walked out of the doors! He looked at us, then at Will, and with a smile on his face he put out his hand and said.."Hi, I'm Don." I thought Will's eyes might just pop out of his head! He shook his hand and they spoke briefly, then the President left and walked to his car and Will continued to stare longingly at the temple doors. The President came back and again looked at Will for some time and said, "You know, I think Heavenly Father would want you to touch it," then with those words the President opened the door and walked inside. Will sat there for about a minute, but it seemed like 10, then very slowly he walked to the temple doors, lifted his hand, and brushed the surface with his fingertips. The moment his hand met the gold the spirit flooded the entire scene. And Sister Neuberger and I were without words. I have never seen anyone recognize so readily the sacredness of the temple. I have never seen anyone treat the house of the Lord in that way, and it was humbling. There are moments you will never forget, and then there are moments you will ALWAYS remember. That was a moment I will ALWAYS remember. 


Also this week we were able to have an incredible church tour with our RS President and our investigator Gloria. Gloria said she simply felt at home at the church and she felt like she needed to come and see what it was all about. Our RS President invited her to come to church and it was so powerful! And SHE CAME! And SHE LOVED IT! We are going to see her again tomorrow, so please keep Gloria and her grandson Jojo in your prayers. 

Also just last night we were walking to our car and our path collided with this kid named Lucas. We began to teach him the Restoration and ended up walking about a mile with him. As we neared his house he stopped and turned to us and said.."I think I need to read this book." We hadn't even invited him to take a copy of the Book of Mormon yet! He was so eager and seemed so hungry for truth. We are going to see him next week, and I have high hopes for him! So pray for him too.


Funnies: 

Ok, let me just set the scene for you. Sister Bengtzen and Amelia (our 19 year old member) in the front seat of Amelia's bright red Dodge Charger... Will the Rapper and Sister Neuberger sitting in the backseat, seatbelts on. 

Will: "Yo, can we turn on some tunes?" 
Me: "Yeah, absolutely! We have some killer jams!" *Turns up the volume and EFY Music begins to blast from the speakers.
Sister Neuberger: "Ahh I love this song!!"
Me: "Oh, I know! This is such a good one!" *Sister missionaries and Amelia begin to sing along
Will: "You have got to be joking me..." 

And that is how we rolled to Omaha and back! An hour and a half round trip! 


Spiritual Thought: 


In my studies today I came upon this scripture in Hebrews 7:19 "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did..." I was thinking about this verse and I was thinking about what it meant by a better hope and a the Living Christ came into my mind. In the last paragraph it talks about how Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, and so I rephrased this scripture in my mind. "For the law made nothing perfect, but Jesus Christ did..." I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is our better hope and through Him the situations and circumstances we face, and someday our own lives, will be made perfect in Him. In D&C 25:10 we are directed to lay aside the things of this world and seek for things of a better. In other words we are commanded to lay aside the things of this world and seek for Jesus Christ. I challenge all of you to seek for Jesus Christ in all that you do. And I know that if ye seek, ye shall find. 

I love you and think of you often. Have a wonderful week! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 


Let the Book of Mormon speak for itself!

It's Monday yet again! I think weeks have gotten shorter in the last month. If somebody told me that weeks are now 4 days instead of 7 I would not even have trouble believing it. My calendar is a liar! Anyway, Lincoln is just about as crazy as ever! And Sister Neub and I are having a blast. 
Sister's 
Miracles: 

So this week we had another lesson with Will and it was an INCREDIBLE miracle! We had an awesome training at our last leadership council about letting the Book of Mormon speak for itself, so that is what we did! Each of us prayed individually and then we individually flipped open to a random page of the Book of Mormon and read. We gave Will a highlighter and after about 10 minutes he looked up at us with wide eyes and said, "Did you plan this??? Did you plan the chapter I was going to read???" We told him we weren't quite sure how that would have been possible, haha and assured him that we did not. He looked down at his page, then back at us, and then back at his page and simply said: "interesting...." We all then shared what we read and when we got to Will Sister Neub and I were eager to hear what he had to say. He read Ether 15, which is like the most random chapter, but verse 19 just pierced his heart. It talked about how the spirit ceased to strive with the Jaredites and Satan had great power over their hearts. He told us that he knew that Heavenly Father was talking about him. Satan has great power over his heart and he needs to change. It was the coolest thing because we have been telling Will that for weeks, but he finally felt it for himself! And that was 1000000000x more powerful. 

Also this week we found the most incredible new investigator on exchanges! I was out finding with Sister Church (and can I just say that was a whole other miracle in and of itself, I LOVE THAT GIRL!) and we were trying a former in a trailer park. While we were walking back to our car we saw this woman outside grilling so we walked up to her. As we were walking towards her she looked at us kindof funny and then asked us if we wanted some of her meat. Haha that was such a strange question, but she was cooking BBQ chicken and man it looked SO good, and I am a sucker for some good BBQ chicken. But still we said no, and told her that we were the sister missionaries in the area! We ended up talking to her for about 20 minutes and the spirit was so strong. She is a JW and she ended up opening up to us about some of the things that are going on in her life right now. We shared a scripture with her and all of the sudden she was in tears. She asked us to come back and she told us that she clearly wasn't in the right religion if we were at her door. How incredible it was to see someone with so much faith, so quick! She felt the spirit and she recognized it and trusted in it! Her name is Katievia and I think she has a family, so pray for her! 


Funnies: 
Sabrina and Sister Church on exchanges

This week someone asked me if I was 22!!!! I looked at them for a solid 30 seconds and I think a tear rolled down my cheek. The rest of the conversation didn't go so well, but still! Things are looking up! 


Spiritual thought: 

I think sometimes we all make the gospel too complicated, and I know sometimes I look back at my day and I think about all of the things that I could've done better. But I feel like this quote from President Eyring simply puts it all into perspective. "All He asks of you is to give your best effort and your WHOLE heart." So in the words of Sister Neuberger, "Be like Nike and just do it!"


I LOVE YOU ALL! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 


HAY there, Will the Rapper is back!

cannot believe it is already the last day of July! TIME IS FLYING! But how grateful I am for every single day I have been given to be one of the Lord's full time servants! My mission is something I will never be able to fully thank my Father in Heaven for, but I am sure He knows that. It is amazing to think of how much He loves me, and to be able to see first-hand how much He loves all of those around me. I know I probably talk about it a lot, but I think the greatest miracle I have seen this week is Heavenly Father's love and the effect it can have on hard hearts! 


Miracles: 

Will the Rapper is back at it again! We lost contact with him for a few weeks (and let me tell ya, that is a whole other story) but he reached out to us again this last week and incredible things have happened since then! On Thursday we received a text from him saying "I need Jesus." So we told him boldly that the Savior was willing to help Him, but that He needed to make serious changes in his life. We met with him and it was so powerful. I have never felt or seen Heavenly Father reach out so far to one of his children so lost, confused, and afraid. It's like Will is fighting this battle inside his heart and his head. He feels something, but he is afraid to change, to know the truth, and to become something better than he is. He doesn't know anything different than what he has grown up with, and he definitely didn't grow up knowing Heavenly Father. My heart just aches for him, watching this battle take place, but I know that it is for his good. I wish he could see the angles in front of him, behind him, and round about him, that are fighting for his glory! But then again I wish all of us could see that. He read Mosiah 27 and has a desire to keep reading the Book of Mormon, so that in and of itself is a miracle. He has a long road, but I KNOW that if he chooses to take it, he will change generations. Please pray for him! 

Also, Renee had a rough week and her baptism has been postponed. We are working with her to overcome some concerns and challenges, but I know Heavenly Father has a plan for her and her sweet daughters and we are not going to give up. We don't give up on anyone because Christ never gives up on us! 

Also we had a cool little miracle with a recent convert/less active family this week! The couple had been living together for quite some time without being married, so we committed them to be married! We read the "Proclamation to the Family" with them and it was so cool to see their hearts change. I know that they have been wanting to get married, and that money has been a big issue, but I do believe that reading the proclamation in faith increased their urgency!  And the miracle of it all is that they got married! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!! So please enjoy the attached pictures of Brother and Sister Gray :) 
Sabrina, Sister Nueberger and the Gray family

Funnies: 

Ok, so while we were in our lesson with Will it was SO intense and the spirit was working so hard on him. Sister Neuberger was testifying and mid testimony she looked at Will's feet, then back at him, then back at his feet and paused. Then, with the most serious and intent look on her face she said, "Will, you are wearing Nike's, just do it." Everyone was silent and the spirit was strong. Then all of the sudden will busted up laughing and said, "That was SO lame." Hahahahahahaha I about fell off my chair. I thought it was pretty good! And I think the spirit guided the joke, so Will is lame! 

Standing in a corn field

Sandal tan1

Spiritual thought: 

I read this incredible talk in my studies this morning and it is found in the July 2017 Ensign. It was written by Elder Robert C. Gay and it is entitled "Put the Savior First".  There was this quote in it that I love, and just in case you have not realized by now, I am a quote-aholic! I love them! And I think quotes are often a way Heavenly Father reaches out and teaches me. I digress... Elder Gay said:

"The Lord...expects more of us than words. He expects our personal ministry despite discomfort or personal rejection. He expects us to go into the highways and the byways of people's lives and bring them to the Sacred Grove and to Gethsemane and Calvary." 

I think that has been a theme in my mission lately...the work of discipleship is so much more than teaching or testifying, it is doing and becoming! Just as Elder Gay said we are asked to bring people to the Sacred Grove, to Gethsemane, and Calvary, but how can we do that if we have not been there ourselves? Simply put, we cannot! So not only does it require us reaching out to others, but it requires us reaching out to God. I think about Will and I know that he needs to experience Gethsemane and Calvary this week, and I hope that Sister Neuberger and I, and those we bring with us will have the ability to take him there, through Jesus Christ. 

I love this work and I testify that it is true and it is real! 

I love you all, to the moon and stars, and sun and back! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen