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, July 17, 2017


The week of a MILLION miracles!


Wow we have seen SO MANY miracles this week! I don't want to overwhelm y'all, but I am going to share as many as I can! 


Miracles:

This week I went on exchanges with the one and only Sister Frehner and we saw the coolest miracle! I love Sister Frehner, she is so real, and it's so fun to be a missionary with her because she tells you how it is! Anyway, we worked so hard all day and didn't find anyone! But, at the very end of the night, like 8:30 pm, our hard work paid off and this is what happened! We went to see a potential who wasn't home and as we were leaving I felt prompted to turn around and go talk to a lady outside on her back porch. Sister Frehner was willing and ready, so we went where the spirit directed. We ended up talking to this sweet lady for about 30 minutes, sharing the Restoration, and committing her to read and pray. She listened so intently to our message and with great conviction in her voice said, "I know that God sent you here." We were able to testify of the feelings of the spirit and how we were prompted to return even though we were leaving. She was so grateful that we came back and even ended up saying the closing prayer to our meeting. Her name was Jodi. Well just two days later Sister Neuberger and I returned to her home to see her and she excitedly told us that she had read the introduction page, all of the testimonies, and the first chapter of the Book of Mormon. She said that after she read she prayed harder than she ever had in her life and that the next morning her daughter called her and shared with her an incredible miracle wrought in her life by God, and that miracle had happened the same night that she had prayed! Jodi was ecstatic as she recognized that that was an answer to her prayer! She went on to describe the feelings she felt as she read and prayed and we were able to help her see that that was the spirit. It's so incredible to see how Heavenly Father puts us in the path of those that are prepared if we are willing and we are ready! I know that as we work hard we are blessed.

Also this week we had the best plans for Monday night...a church tour, and a lesson with a stellar investigator. Well all of it fell through, so naturally we jumped on our bikes and went finding! We were biking down this street next to a Burger King around 7:30 pm and Sister Neuberger all of the sudden slammed on her brakes right in front of me. Well me and all of my coordinated limbs almost went flying over the handlebars, but I managed to screech to a halt and ask her what the heck was up. She was kinda giggling and she pointed to this guy in the Burger Kind parking lot. "He's rapping!" She said. And he was, full on rapping, in the parking lot! SO...I decided we should talk to him. Well let me tell you! He was probably the most prepared homie I have EVER met. We went inside Burger King and taught him a 45 minute lesson and he ate it up. He pulled out his notebook, took notes, and asked the best questions. He recognized that he was in his own personal apostasy and kept asking what he needed to do to get out of it. It was incredible! His name is Will and he is honestly one of the coolest guys I have ever met. A little tough on the outside, actually kindof terrifying, but a big teddy bear on the inside! We had to pass him off to the YSA elders to teach him because he is YSA aged :( But seriously what a miracle! I know that when we talk to everyone Heavenly Father trusts us and He puts those that are prepared in our way. 

And also! Renee and her daughters came to church again yesterday and Renee is progressing so well! She is reading the Book of Mormon almost every day, praying to know if it is true, and finally opening up to us. She keeps recognizing more and more instances in her present day life and past life where the spirit has spoken to her and she has such a desire to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We are overcoming some major hurdles right now, but she is set to be baptized the 29th of July. So keep her in your prayers! 

And this week our investigator Jimmy came to church and LOVED it. He stayed all three hours and showed up in this HUGE baby blue suit and cowboy boots. Haha it was awesome. The ward loved him! 

Oh and we had this incredible lesson with our investigator Josephine and the spirit was so powerful. We committed her to pray right then and there and ask Heavenly Father a question, then to flip open the Book of Mormon and read and find an answer. Heavenly Father answers prayers! I know He does. The Book of Mormon was speaking directly to Jojo and she felt it. I have never done anything like that before, so it was a leap of faith on all of our parts, but I know that miracles are wrought by faith! 


Funnies: 

As we were rolling up to Renee's house the other day Bird and Blessen came running down the sidewalk yelling "Dem white people are here! Dem white people are here!" Haha it was so funny. I have no doubt that all of the neighborhood heard, and I am not even mad. At least we are well known! 


Also please enjoy the attached pictures because apparently I cannot be normal to save my life! I swear Mom...I try!!! 


Spiritual thought: 

This week I was reading 2 Nephi 25 and verse 26 stood out to me. It's a verse that I have read a lot, but a specific phrase stuck out in my mind as I pondered upon it this time. "And we TALK of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." I don't think we realize how sancitfying and redeeming it is for us and for those around us to simply talk of Christ. I know that before my mission Jesus Christ was not in my every day conversation, but I have promised that from here on out He will be. I am so grateful for the time I have had on my mission to simply talk of Christ, to come to know Him, and to come to know others through Him. I am so grateful for the conversations I have had with my family about Jesus Christ, about His gospel, and about His light. I know that those are conversations I treasure and I pray that there will be many more of them to come. 
I challenge all of you this week to talk of Christ, every chance you can. Make him a part of every day, and you will be blessed! 

I love you all! SO MUCH! 

Hi my name is....

 Sabrina and random Semi-pro football player?



Miracles: 

This week I had an incredible miracle with sweet Sister Banks on exchanges! We were out finding in this neighborhood and saw two cute little girls sitting out on a porch. We said hello and asked if we could speak to their mother. Their mom, Renee, was inside and at first was hesitant to let us in, but we promised her powerful blessings if she would listen to our message and she let us in!!! We ended up teaching her the Restoration and she loved it. The spirit was strong as we testified of the Book of Mormon and promised she would feel greater peace in her life if she followed the Savior. Renee and her two daughters (Bird and Blessen) ended up coming to church yesterday and they absolutely loved it! It was incredible to see how Heavenly Father put us in the perfect place at the perfect time, and gave us the words to say to pierce Renee's heart! 

Funnies: 

So this is a list of our current potential investigators: 
Demario
Cadilac
Diamond
Precious
Yam
Angel
Lona
Latoya
Shantielle
Latisha
Tamisha
Jimmy 

I LOVE LINCOLN 

Also this week we were teaching Renee and her semi-pro football playing friend walked in...so naturally I asked for a picture. Please enjoy the attached picture of me and my new friend Tony.


Spiritual thought: 

I think as members of Jesus Christ's church we sometimes get overwhelmed with all that we are asked to do. And it seems that during the hardest times of our lives we are asked to do more, give more, and be more. I know that there have been so many times on my mission where I have been overwhelmed and I have felt like I cannot do any more, my plate is too full, I cannot handle another task. I was reading Elder Palmer's talk from this last General Conference yesterday and this quote stood out to me with great force. 

" My dear brothers and sisters, now anytime you feel you are being asked to do something hard... think of the Lord beholding you, loving you, and inviting you to let it go and follow Him. And thank Him for loving you enough to invite you to do more." 

I know that the Savior only asks so much of us because He loves us. 
So if things seem difficult keep going. If you get tired of walking, run! 

I love you all and hope you have the best week! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 


Friday, July 7, 2017

Lincoln and Jello and Love

Sabrina and Sister Neuberger in Lincoln

So you'll never believe it! But I am back in the Capital Ward in Lincoln, NE!!!! The exact same ward that I was trained in just about a year ago!!!!!!!! Isn't that incredible?! DREAMS COME TRUE! But really...this is like my home away from home. I love this place. And the icing on the cake is that my companion is Sister Neuberger. She is INCREDIBLE! She just came out of the trail center and she is from Midway, UT. She is a powerful teacher and is just ready to work, so we are having a lot of fun together already.

Miracles:

So this week has been kind of like a tornado. We have no idea what we are doing, but we are sure trying! The missionaries that just left the area were two of the most incredible missionaries in the mission, so there are some awesome individuals we get to now work with, and everything is as organized as it could be. The only issue is Sister Neuberger and I have NO sense of direction and we have never met any of these humans before...so it is just a blast. Haha but we are trying our best!

This week we had this incredible lesson with a lady named Gloria and we taught her all about our relationship with Heavenly Father and prayer. We committed her to pray with us at the end of the lesson, but she declined. Both Sister Neuberger and I, and the other missionaries that we were with, bore our testimonies of the power of prayer and slowly Gloria's heart softened. She began to cry and opened up to us about her life and some of the darkest, deepest challenges she was facing. The spirit was strong, and after some time, we committed her again to say the closing prayer and she did. It was the most powerful prayer, and the room felt as if it had been electrified by the presence of the Holy Ghost. She committed to take a tour of the church building with us next week, and we are excited to invite her to come and worship our Savior and our Father with us.

Also, just yesterday, we met this young mother named Josephine. She was out on her porch and we taught her the Restoration briefly. As we began, she started to cry, and told us that she knew Heavenly Father must love her and must be aware of her because He sent us to her. The spirit again was so strong and we were able to invite her to read and pray and meet with us again.
Sabrina, Sister Neuberger and the other Sister's in the apt bldg.
Funnies:

This week we were out finding and we walked into this apartment complex and there was this lady just drinking and smoking and being her merry self, if ya know what I mean, and she was overly excited that we had come by. She looked at Sister Neuberger for a good two minutes, then walked into her apartment, and came back out with a Tupperware container with some weird rainbow substance inside.She thrust it into Sister Neuberger's hands and yelled, "HEY! Isn't this craaazzzzy, my boyfriend made this jello and it looks JUST like you!" I could not even attempt to keep a straight face. I just busted up laughing and we left immediately! Haha I LOVE LINCOLN. 


Spiritual thought:

I think the overwhelming truth that I have learned this week is that Heavenly Father's love is the most powerful thing we can share with others. In every interaction we have had, every lesson we have taught, and even in our church meetings, the focus was love, and how powerful it is to tell people that we love them, and that Heavenly Father loves them. I have been able to see that in action this week and I am so grateful to know that MY Father loves ME. I in turn love Him, and I know that is only because I understand how He feels about me. "We love Him, because He first loved us." (John 4:19) I just want you all to know that I love you. But more importantly, and more than my mortal words can express, I know that Heavenly Father loves you. That love is unchanging and unending, simply put, it is always there.How grateful I am for that love!
Have the best week and enjoy the 4th of July!!
xoxo, 
Sister Bengtzen

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What happens in Walmart stays in Walmart

Sunset Kearney
Bobsy, so glad you are home safe! I am expecting pictures sometime...so get on that ;) Bugs I swear if you don't stop growing I will lose my marbles. Also Jake and Abby you look as adorable as ever. Thank you for your prayers! I feel them!

Miracles: 
Kenna (not her little girl)
So we have been working with our investigator Kenna for quite some time, and this week something remarkable happened! She has been wanting to be baptized for a few weeks, but her mother just isn't supportive and it has thrown a serious wedge into their relationship.  We decided on Thursday to fast and pray specifically that her mother's heart might be softened. We had an awesome lesson with her on Friday and she committed to pray about a specific date to be baptized. Today while we were grocery shopping we received a text from her and it said "Do you think July 22nd would be an ok day to be baptized?" To which we immediately responded "Absolutely!" She then proceeded to tell us that she talked to her parents and they aren't exactly on board with it, but they said they would come to her baptism, and she has decided to be baptized on July 22nd!!! I hope our fellow Walmart shoppers enjoyed my reaction because I was FREAKING OUT! Haha. What an incredible testimony to me of how Heavenly Father hears our prayers and how fasting really does bring down the powers of heaven. 

Also this week we haven't heard much from Brad, which is a bummer, but I am hoping it is just because he is busy with his new job! I really do know that Heavenly Father led us to him, and I am confident that he will continue to learn more about the gospel. 

Oh and on a side note, our recent convert Stacey is going on Trek this week, and she is SO excited! Haha I think when she first heard about the fact that we dress up as pioneers and walk for days she was a little hesitant, but she has jumped right in and I can't wait to hear about the experience she has. Also she gave a talk in church on Sunday and it was so sweet! As she spoke tears filled her eyes and it was evident that the words she was saying were directly from her heart. It is such a gift to see someone change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I am so grateful to have a front row seat to that miracle each and every day. 


Funnies: 
Only in Nebraska!

Sister Meik tried to tackle me the other night because I told her she would not succeed even if she tried. Well I was right, she highly underestimated my ability to climb furniture and leap long distances. I made it through unscathed. 

Also earlier today I was sharing the message of the Restoration with this guy in front of our house and in the middle of me asking him a question Sister Meik started to giggle. I quickly glanced at her, with a scowl on my face I'm sure, and then I started to giggle too. It is a pretty stormy day here in Kearney, and because of all the static electricity in the air, both Sister Meik's and my hair was standing straight up. ( I don't know anything about science...so I am not sure if I can attribute it to static electricity...but that made me sound intelligent so I am going with it! Haha) 


Spiritual Thought: 
Field is white....

I think as we try to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout our lives, it is inevitable that the adversary will attack us at every chance he gets. I think one way he tries to reach us is by telling us that we aren't good enough, or throwing this lie of "perfection" in our faces. Telling us that we need to be better than we are, and that no matter how hard we try, if we make mistakes we simply are not good enough. I read this quote the other day and it is so simple, but so profound, and it opened my eyes to this lie of perfection that Satan was trying to tell me.

 "Remember that repentance is NOT the backup plan. Repentance is the plan of happiness for EVERY person." 

I am so guilty of forgetting that. Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son to the earth so that we could repent. So that we could progress, change, and become more like Him. I am so grateful for a knowledge of Heavenly Father's Plan. I am grateful to know that I can change, that I can become better, that I can progress, but that I don't have to be perfect. 


I love you all and I hope you have a stellar week! 

xoxo, 
Sister Bengtzen 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Savior is more important, isn't He?
Pioneers
Hey team! Time is just flying and the work is hopping! I love, love, love, love my mission and I am so grateful to be here! 

Miracles: 

Ok, so I have told y'all a little bit about Brad but I am just going to start at the beginning for sake of this miracle!  About 3 weeks ago, we met our investigator Brad while he was playing the guitar on his porch, and at first when we saw him he acted quite strange and kind of shocked.  Well this week we were finally able to have our second lesson with him and it went really well! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and read the introduction with him and took a short church tour. At the end we again invited him to read and pray and to attend church. About 3 days later we received a call from him and he began to pour his heart out to us. He told us that he was sorry for how taken aback he was when we first met him, but that there was a reason for it. Four years ago he had a dream and in that dream he saw Sister Meik and myself vividly, and has remembered our faces ever since. He said the most remarkable part of all was that the first thing we shared with him was the story of a boy, who saw visions and had dreams, and communicated with God. He has always felt like God has led him through his dreams, but no one has ever believed him, and so he is hesitant to tell others. He told us that the story of Joseph Smith pierced his heart and so he read half of the Book of Mormon, in ONE NIGHT! And on our phone call he promised us he would read the rest by our next meeting. The rest of the Book of Mormon!!! We asked if he had the chance to pray about it yet and he said he did, and that it was a sweet experience. He is excited to tell us more about it in person. Throughout the entire conversation my mouth was gaping open and I wanted to cry and scream and sing and faint all at the same time! Haha, the spirit was so strong and it was so evident that Heavenly Father had led us to him, and that he is ready. There are so many blessings that come when we talk to everyone and when we follow the promptings of the spirit! In the moment I felt that Heavenly Father trusted me...and I cannot think of any knowledge that could make me happier. 

Also this week we also had a cool miracle with one of our members. We had dinner with them on Monday night and they gave us a referral, so we stopped by her house. It turns out her husband had just left her and they were getting evicted from their home, so she was a complete wreck. I had just watched this video from Elder Holland earlier during P-day, and I felt like I needed to show it to her. As she watched it tears filled her eyes and she just exclaimed, "God knows me!" We were able to leave her with a Book of Mormon and go back and do some service for her. I was so grateful for an inspired member in that moment, who led us to someone who need Heavenly Father and His love. He is in the details! 

Funnies: 
 Sabrina and Sister Gardner rocking the red!
 Sabrina and President Gardner looking Straight out of  Nebraska!

District Baseball 

Last night Sister Meik was driving and she we had quite the traumatic experience. She was telling me all about her studies and she was talking like a mile a minute when all of the sudden this rabbit ran across the street and slipped right under the tire of the car going the opposite direction. It got smashed right in front of us! And Sister Meik went silent. After about 3 minutes she looked over at me and in the quietest voice said, "That was my first experience with sudden death..." Haha I could not help but laugh! She is so sweet and innocent. I LOVE HER! 

Also we dressed up like pioneers this week, because that is what we Mormons do apparently, and helped out at this museum here in Kearney! Well long story short, some lady asked me if she could interview me for a news story and I looked at her and said, "Well apparently I've never been on live television before.." Haha we both started laughing and we were able to give her a card. And I was on the news! Woo hoo! Look out Ellen. Here. I. Come. 
Sabrina being interviewed for Nebraska TV

Spiritual thought: 

I feel like I get to this point in my email and I look back on my week and think about all of the things Heavenly Father has taught me. So I really do feel like this is more for me than it is for any of you, but thank you for being patient with me. This week I have been really overwhelmed thinking about all of my weaknesses and shortcomings and faults. I think we all go through days and weeks like that, which is good, because that means we are human! But I was reading a conference talk during one of my studies the other day and the spirit whispered something to me. It said, "The Savior is more important, isn't He?" And I must admit it caught me off guard. Well of course I thought! He is the most important. And then, slowly, what I was being taught came to light. I think sometimes I am so busy worrying about what I am doing wrong to allow the Savior to make things right. Sometimes I am so caught up in my own weaknesses that I forget to look to the Savior for strength. The Savior is more important! More important than my flaws or my mistakes or my weaknesses. I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven, grateful that He saw enough value in me to send a Savior to the earth. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He can make more of us than we could ever make of ourselves. 

I love you all! 
Happy June!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

xoxo, 
Sister Bengtzen 
Coffee in the chapel!

Hey funky bunch! It's your favorite missionary Sister Bengtzen! I wish I could say that this week we had shake n' bake chicken...but we didn't. We had lots of Pizza....Ewww. (Wow you had better get that reference or I will be so sad...I know I am out of date, but still I think I am so funny...) 

You know that pirate ship ride at lagoon where you go up and down and up and down and you feel like you're going to be sick? Yeah that is kindof what our week was like...but it's OK! Weeks like this come...and they go! And we learn and grow through all of the ups and downs and become stronger because of them. 

Miracles: 

So I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Sekona again (she is the Tongan missionary from California) and oh my goodness...that girl. We have a riot whenever we are together, so Tuesday was a day for the books! We both went like a thousand miles an hour and found 2 new investigators and talked to like 50 people and just worked hard! It was the most exhausting day, but we both went to bed with the biggest smiles on our faces. Our new investigators Lyle and Jessica seems so solid, and we are excited to help them progress, so we will see what this week brings! 

Also our investigator James, from Gibbon, came to church on Sunday! It was such a miracle! Our YSA has maybe 20 active members, so everyone was SUPER excited to have a visitor there. The branch just wrapped their arms around him and it was so sweet to see. James has been through a lot, and he is quite rough around the edges, but our members just loved him regardless. It reminded me of the scripture in Matthew 25:40 "Insasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." You could feel the love of the Savior just pouring out in every interaction with him, and I was so grateful. People are so good. 



Sabrina, Sister Meik and Sister Church

OH AND GET THIS! Stacey went to the temple on Saturday to do baptisms for the dead for the first time and we got to go with her. It was so happy! And Sister Church got to come AND one of the members I got super close with in Lincoln showed up at the temple to surprise me!!!!!!! Talk about tender mercies and miracles all over the place! Stacey got to do family names and the spirit was so strong as we watched her perform the ordinances. We are so blessed to have a temple in this mission...it is such a wonderful reminder of why we are here. It really helps me just let go of the world for a few minutes and hang on to eternity. 

Funnies: 

So our investigator James, who came to church this week, got a ride from one of our cute YSA girls! He got in the car and the first thing he asked her was if they could stop at a gas station and get some coffee. This poor girl had no idea what to do! So she said yes. Hahahaha so James showed up to church with a fresh cup of coffee and a big old smile on his face. He has a lot to work on...but he really loved church and is excited to come back! 

Spiritual Thought: 

So like I said this week has just been hard. Hard is such an un-descriptive word. But I don't have the energy to think of another one. I think one of the most difficult things I have experienced on my mission is seeing people I love struggle - whether that be spiritually, physically, or emotionally - and knowing that there isn't anything I can do about it. The other night I was just pouring my heart out to God and this question came to mind. It was as if the Savior was directly speaking to me, and He asked, "Are you confident that I am there to take care of those you love, even when you can't be?" It took me back for a second as I thought about it. But after a few moments I confidently said yes. I am. And it was an ah-ha moment for me. Not that it took away my pain, or my sorrow, or the struggles of those I love, but it reminded me what I already know about my Savior and about my Father. I am so grateful for my testimony of Jesus Christ because I know that He isn't just there to comfort and console me in my afflictions and my hardships, but He is there for all of those that I love. The scripture in D&C 84:88 has become very real for me. He is on our right hand and our left and his angels are round about us to bear us up, and the same is true for all of those that we love. 

This is the work of God. This is His church on the earth today. This is a fallen world, but with Him we can hope for something better. 

I love you all and I am praying for you nightly. 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 




Fisher's of Men!?!
Sabrina by the lake

Hey team! Today will be quick because I don't have a bunch of time! Mama & Daddy - I got my eyes all fixed and they got me some sweet new contacts that are soft lenses and they will be great for the next 7 months! Seriously I can see EVERYTHING! Haha I have been reading every single sign and Sister Meik is sorta sick of hearing me say "I CAN READ THAT!!!!" The contacts I used to wear require several appointments and just a lot of time, so I will get that all fixed when I get back :) But for now we are in good shape, so thank you thank you thank you for setting that appointment up and taking care of me! I paid the copay with my card, so if you have any questions just give Sister Gardner a call and she can contact me! But I feel like a grown up and everything is good! Wahoo!!! 
Sabrina with cool sunglasses
Miracles: 

We saw Kenna this week and she is doing so well, she came to us with some intense questions but we turned her to the Book of Mormon and to prayer and she really took hold of that. We also committed her to go to church with her questions and she said she would. She went to church on Sunday and called us after so excited and said, "so many things clicked today!" She was able to talk to the Branch President for a time and that was a HUGE blessing and she attended all 3 hours of church! I know that she was greatly blessed for doing so, and I know that Heavenly Father is eager and willing to answer her questions, just like He is eager and willing to answer all of our questions! So thank you for your prayers! She really is doing well!
Also this week we met 2 new investigators! Brad and James. They both live in Gibbon, NE which is like 25 minutes from us. And they are so prepared! Brad is in his 40's and has been divorced and has gone through quite a rough go. He moved to Gibbon to get away from the crowd and we met him sitting on his porch jamming on the guitar! James is in his 20's and he has been through even rougher things! He was adopted at age 12 and has been all over the country. He has no other place to live, so that's why he is in Gibbon. They are two totally different individuals with completely opposite backstories, but they both readily received Books of Mormon and were excited to learn more. It's cool to see how the gospel truly is for EVERYONE! 
Also STACEY IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK!!!! WOOOOOOOO! And Sister Church gets to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYAYA!


Funnies: 
Sabrina in Omaha with some of her fav sister missionaries

So today we went to this lake with some other sisters and all of these people were out fishing. We started talking to one of them and he asked us if we were out fishing? Me, thinking I was clever quoting scripture said, "No, we are just fishing for men!" Hahahaha he looked at me so strange. And that is NOT what I meant. I am by no means out in Nebraska to get a boyfriend...but it's fine. I am sure Heavenly Father thought it was funny.  


Spiritual Thought: 

So this week I was thinking about all of the things I have tried to plan in my life. I feel like I had this plan since I was little about where I was gonna go to college and that plan sure changed. I feel like serving a mission was never really in my plan, but clearly that changed! And I also feel like I had this plan of how my mission was going to go, but that has also changed. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father's plan is better than mine, and that He knows better than I! I found this scripture in Proverbs that teaches this truth so simply. "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9) I am grateful to know that God has a plan and I am grateful I get to share that with others every day. 


I sure love you all and I hope you have a wild time on all of your adventures this week!!! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

ONE YEAR older and wiser too!




Hey team! Can you believe it is already almost JUNE?! I cannot...I still want to know what happened to April? 


Miracles: 

So Stacey is going to Girl's Camp this week and she is through the roof excited! I am so jealous, I wish I could go! Haha but I know that she will have a wonderful experience and I am so grateful for the programs the church has to help each of us along our way.

Also we committed Kenna last week to invite her Mom to a lesson and she did! So her mother came to our lesson this week and it was awesome. We answered so many of her questions and the spirit was strong. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she said she would, but she refused to accept the invitation to pray :( But we will keep working with her. I have great faith that the word of God will soften her heart and lead her to ask if it is really true. But the miracle of it all is that Kenna's mom gave her permission to continue taking the lessons! And Kenna is thrilled. She has incredible faith. Her family and friends have approached her again and again and again with Anti-Mormon material and she has confronted it prayerfully and patiently every single time. Her testimony is so strong and she has great resilience, so keep praying for that girl! 

Also this week I went on exchanges with Sister McPhee, a brand new missionary! We had the weirdest lesson of my life with this guy who kept saying Jesus and Peter and Paul were all part of a gang...but she just testified like mad and the spirit was there! It was so cool! And we have a return appointment! So that is exciting! 


Spiritual Thought: 

This week I was studying about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. So many people we run into every day talk about how they can worship God anywhere: at home, at school, or in the wilderness! Why do they need to go to church? 
Well I was pondering upon that and I ended up reading the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:12-19. In a sense all of us are like the 10 lepers. The Savior suffered for ALL of us and is willing to heal us ALL, just as he healed ALL the 10 lepers. Now I imagine the 9 lepers who didn't return to the Savior...I'm sure they were grateful! I am sure they yelled "hey thanks!!!" as they ran down the dirt road. And I am sure they spoke highly of their healer, and in a sense I think that's similar to most of the Christian world. But what's the difference between the 9 lepers and the 1? The 1 came back, fell at the Savior's feet and thanked Him PERSONALLY. That's what we have the opportunity to do at church every single Sunday. We partake of the sacrament, and by so doing we renew our covenants, thanking our Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven PERSONALLY for all they have done.

So here's the quote for the week: "It is far better to follow the Creator than the crowd." - Elder Sabin. Choose to be the 1! 

I love you all loads and loads and loads! (of laundry that I still need to do....oops!)

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen 

Thursday, May 25, 2017


A day for the eternities!


Last P-day together Sabrina and Sister Church

Wow, I cannot believe school is already ending again...and Bobsy is all grown up and graduating! Holy Toledos! (Side note: what is a Toledo?) Y'all better cheer extra loud when she walks across that stage because you know I will be cheering all the way from Kearney!!! Man everything seems crazy with y'all and I am happy for you! Keep on keeping on! 


So this week has been INCREDIBLE and there is so much to share, so hold onto your seats people! 

Miracles:

 Sabrina and Sister Church with Stacey at her baptism

Stacey got baptized on Wednesday!!! It was such an incredible day, I wish you all could've been there. She was so excited and the spirit was so strong. The ward was extremely supportive and it felt as if our little Relief Society room was going to burst at the seams. There were so many people there to love her and encourage her and I know that was true for both sides of the veil. She is a special girl and I know that she will save generations with her faithfulness. Before the program even began we sat waiting and I just listened to everyone happily chattering and giggling and I saw the light in Stacey's face and I just thought to myself, "this is what the gospel is all about." I am so grateful for the simple and profound moments that Heavenly Father has allowed me to have on my mission where the veil has been thin and the truth has been clear. My heart is just brimming with joy! But I must admit the sweetest part of the whole baptism was when Stacey stood to bear her testimony. She spoke with incredible power and authority and testified boldly that she KNEW this was Jesus Christ's church. She said she had prayed for weeks for her father and her brother to come and support her and unbeknownst to the rest of us they were there, in the crowd, beaming as she spoke. I know that Heavenly Father softened their hearts and I know that they were touched by the spirit. 

Another miracle that occurred at Stacey's baptism has nothing to do with Stacey, but everything to do with Kiara, her best friend! We were teaching her a few weeks ago, but she dropped us because she got busy and her mom is very against the church. We have been praying and fasting for her mother's heart to be softened and prayers sure are answered. After the baptism Kiara walked up to us and she looked at us with intense emotion on her face and said,  "My mom has given me her blessing to be baptized, and I think I am ready." I think my mouth dropped wide open! I could hardly believe what was happening. It was like I was on cloud 9 and someone showed me a secret staircase to cloud 10! God is the God of miracles, and so many occurred that day! It really was a day for the eternities! 

In other news, our investigator Kenna who was set to be baptized for this Saturday had a HUGE fight with her mother about the church and her mother is very disgruntled and resentful about her baptism. So Kenna's baptism is postponed for now, but I know Heavenly Father has the power to soften hearts, he did it for Kiara so He can do it for Kenna too! But please keep her in your prayers. Kenna really, really wants this and she is so ready. 
Sabrina with her new comp Sister Meik celebrating Sister Meik's b-day!


Funnies: 

So it rained a TON this week and here in Nebraska it doesn't rain cats and dogs...but it rains toads and frogs! LIKE NO JOKE! There were at least 17 toads and frogs in our window well one morning and they kept hurling themselves at the windows while we were studying. I am convinced they were trying to get in the house because they smelled the cinnamon cake I was making, but Sister Church and Sister Meik were convinced they were trying to escape certain death. So naturally we went into the garage and got a shovel and a rake and scooped them out. Well none of the dang frogs were being cooperative so we only saved 2! But the scriptures teach us that even saving one soul is great in the sight of God, so we felt accomplished. BUT THEN we went back that night and all of them were gone [insert eerie music here]. So I don't know where any of them went...and I am terrified they are going to end up in my shower any day now...


Spiritual thought: 

So Stacey was confirmed a member yesterday and Pam Morrow (our recent convert) bore her testimony. So it was a great meeting to say the least! But something Pam said really touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you all. But here's a little backstory first. About 3 years ago Pam suffered from acute alcohol poisoning and actually died for about 3 minutes. When she woke up she had lost ALL of her memory and had to re-learn everything...who her kids were, how to talk, how to eat, etc. So she has had quite a journey. But she said something so profound and it humbled me to the dust. 

She said, "A while ago I got really sick and couldn't walk for some time, but Heavenly Father blessed me with a cane, and I have the faith that someday I will walk without it."

I think as we go about our lives we are so quick to see the trials we face and the challenges we must overcome and we forget to see the little tender mercies of the Lord. Although Pam has been through so much more than I could even imagine she recognizes the small tender mercies of the Lord and she has HOPE that things will improve. I think about Nephi and how in the very first verse of the very first book of the Book of Mormon he states, "having seen MANY afflictions in the course of my days,NEVERTHELESS, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days...I make a record of my proceedings..." (1 Nephi 1:1) I challenge all of you this week to see the silver lining and to look for the tender mercies of the Lord as you face your day to day trials. And I will do the same! I have a firm testimony that God is more involved in our lives than we think He is, and I am so grateful for His outstretched hand. 

I love you all and I hope this week is a great one! 

xoxo, 
Sister Bengtzen 
BOLD and PERSISTENT or meek and lowly?

It was so incredible to see you all yesterday! Seriously I still can't wipe the smile off my face!! I am on cloud 900! Jabby, I am proud of both of you for just digging in and working hard in school and in work! I admire you so much and I hope you know that. I think Heavenly Father knew you both had to serve missions before me...or else I could not have done this! So thank you for your example in all things. Aubsy your friends look darling! And thank you for all the pictures you send me all the time, and your stinkin' cute emails! They always make me smile. I am excited to meet all these humans in Provo someday soon! Bugs I seriously cannot believe the little giant that you are. HOLY COW. And how different your voice is, but I will get over it. Quit growing up! Haha. Thanks for all the laughs though, they help a lot! Mama you look so good! I hope you had the best Mother's Day and that the fam spoiled the heck out of you! I am so grateful for you and I would not still be out here if it wasn't for your prayers! So thank you. DADDY! You look happy too! I am glad work is good and that you are taking care of everyone like always. Thank you for just being our family's rock. 
Please send my love to everyone else! I SURE MISS MY PEOPLE!!! 

So this week was a crazy one. We probably spent the better part of 12 hours in the car! I swear I could drive from Kearney to Omaha with my eyes closed...but that probably wouldn't be a good idea because the Big Rig drivers out here are off their rockers! And it's never a good idea to drive with your eyes closed....

Miracles: 

Our investigator Stacey is getting baptized on Wednesday! Man it has been a crazy road, and I think we have rescheduled her baptism at least 4 times, but Wednesday is the day! She is the sweetest girl, and it has been such a blessing to see her grow closer to Jesus Christ over the past few months. She is facing a lot of opposition from her family, and none of them are coming to the baptism, so it has been hard, but she is so sure of her Savior. I just wish you could see her light and hear her testimony! We taught her the law of tithing last week and at the end of the lesson she committed to live it. The next day she texted us and told us she had a miracle to share with us! She said she had been praying to know if she really should be baptized and if all the things we were teaching her (mainly tithing) were true. She said she committed in prayer to her Heavenly Father to live the law of tithing, if He would help her know the truth, and she did so with REAL intent. Her graduation party is coming up and she has been very worried about money, so she said learning the law of tithing kind of stressed her out even more, but still she said that prayer and made that promise to her Heavenly Father. Well the day after she did that she went to the bank to take out some money for her graduation party and she said she had made all the calculations and knew exactly how much was in her account. When she got there she realized that there was $60 dollars more in her account than there was supposed to be!!! She was so excited she texted us right away and told us she knows that that money was from God, and now she has enough to pay tithing and to pay for her graduation party! How cool is that?! There's a girl who has faith and is living the Doctrine of Christ! 

Also this week I was on exchanges with cute Sister Robertson and we were tracting in a trailer park! Because that's where all the miracles happen. Well we knocked on this lady's door and she didn't speak a lick of English. All she spoke was Spanish. So I sure tried my best and somehow we ended up in her trailer teaching her the Restoration and talking about Jesus Christ. I really do have a testimony that the spirit can bring all things to your remembrance because all of the sudden all of these Spanish vocabulary words came to my mind. I know that I totally trashed the conjugations and I am not sure if she understood anything that I was saying, but the spirit was there. This sweet lady, Paulina, ended up taking a Book of Mormon in Spanish and committed to read and pray. So please pray that someone who speaks Spanish will move out to Kearney soon!! Haha 

Also our investigator Kenna, who lives in a teeny tiny town about an hour from Kearney, accepted a baptismal date this week! She is preparing to be baptized on May 27th! She is also facing a lot of opposition from her family, but she is so close to the Savior, and she knows this is what He wants her to do. She said she was reading about Jesus Christ's ministry the other day and she noticed how at the beginning He was not welcome in His own town. However, later in His ministry He returned and taught His own people. After recounting this story, Kenna looked at us with tear filled eyes and said, my town just is ready yet (meaning her family), so I will give them time and someday I will come back and help them see the truth. Seriously I cannot believe the people that Heavenly Father has allowed me to come in contact with. I really am so blessed. 


Funnies: 

So my heart is breaking because Sister Church is leaving on Wednesday :( however, I just found out who my new companion is! And she is the sweetest thing ever!!! But get this...I have been praying for a companion who is BOLD and persistent, because that is something I need to work on. Well my sweet new companion's name is Sister Meik (pronounced like "meek") and lemme tell you, that's exactly who she is! Hahahaha I think Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor. But I am so excited! 
...Maybe I have been praying for the wrong thing....haha 

Spiritual thought: 

I have just been thinking about moms a lot this week, and I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for my own Mama and all that she has done for me. I wish I could express it in words, but as Elder Holland would say, "My heart is richer than my tongue". I don't think any of us can really express how grateful we are for our moms and for all that they do. But I think this quote, again from Elder Holland, is a good starting point: "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." The hardest part about serving a mission, at least for me, is being away from those that I love so much, and especially being away from my Mama. There are so many days I wish I could just hear her voice or feel her hugs, and I just feel like there is a big hole in my heart. But how grateful I am for her loving guidance, her sweet words, and her selfless sacrifices that have helped me to know who my Savior really is. I wouldn't be out here on a mission if it wasn't for her, and I will eternally be grateful that my Heavenly Father sent me to her. So hold your moms extra close today and every day! And Jakey, Bugs, Aubs, give Mama an extra big hug for me and tell her that I love her. Because I do! Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all the incredible moms I know! The world is a better place because of you. 

I love you all!!!
Have the best week! 

xoxo, 

Sister Bengtzen


Monday, May 8, 2017

DEER!





Miracles:

So this week our investigator Stacey (who is 18) has been facing a ton of opposition from her parents and from her friends, even the other friend that has been taking the lessons with her! But she has been reading the Book of Mormon every single day and reading multiple chapters a day and she has found so much strength in doing so! She is so solid and I am seriously so in awe of how the Savior has been in every detail of her life, and how she has so readily allowed him in. She will be baptized on Saturday May 20th and she CANNOT wait! So please, please, please keep her in your prayers as she faces these next few weeks, because we know they are going to be brutal! But also wonderful.

Also this week we got a call from a member in Broken Bow (a little town about an hour from us) and one of the members in the branch out there had a friend that was prepared to be taught! We are the closest missionaries to Broken Bow, so we have been traveling out there and teaching this sweet girl! She is 20 and her name is Kenna, and her heart is just chalk full of the most fertile soil the world has ever known! (Wow I think Alma would appreciate that reference). We invited her to be baptized and she simply said "Well of course I will be baptized if the Lord tells me to, why would I do anything less?" Haha sometimes I think we make the gospel so complicated, but Kenna seems to get it! Just like Nephi taught, we must go and what the Lord has commanded! So keep her in your prayers too!


Funnies:

So the other night we were driving back to Kearney from Broken Bow and it was REAL dark, so we had our brights on. Sister Church was driving and all of the sudden she slammed on the breaks and yelled "DEER!!" We were on exchanges, so all 4 of us sisters about had a heart attack and began frantically searching for this deer we were about to hit. After a few seconds I realized there wasn't a deer on the road, so I looked at Sister Church and she was just staring out her side window. "Where is this deer?!?" I said. She looked at me like I was a moron and said, "it's over there in the grass." "Well why the heck did you stop then?!" "Because I wanted to look at it."
Hahahahahaha that girl. Apparently there aren't very many deer in Arizona, so this whole thing is a foreign concept to her. Moral of the story is that we are all alive...including the deer.


Spiritual thought:

I don't have a ton of time, but I just wanted to share with you a quick scripture that I really love and have been pondering upon this week!

1 Nephi 1:1-Moroni 10:34

Just kidding! That's the whole Book of Mormon! Hahaha I kill myself. And Sister Church thinks I am funny too.


Love you all. Have the best week.

xoxo,

Friday, May 5, 2017

April snow showers bring FROZEN grass and flowers!


Miracles: 

Speaking of Heavenly Father being in the details of our lives....we had the coolest miracle this week! And I really do KNOW that Heavenly Father is in the details of the lives of His children here in Kearney. So I went on an exchange with Sister Farmer this week (who is from Kamas by the way, and appreciates Oakley ALMOST as much as I do) and I felt prompted to go see a potential who lives a wee bit outta town, so we did, and she dropped us. :( But we were determined to find out why God had sent us there, so we started talking to everyone. There was this guy outside working on his car, so naturally we went and talked to him. It turns out he is a less active member! And his wife isn't a member. His less active parents (Jack and Marilyn) were also there visiting, so we were able to go inside and talk with them. It turns out this couple were converts to the church, and were SEALED. They had a falling out with some members in a nearby ward and haven't been to church since. And here's the craziest part of the miracle! Jack and Marilyn just barely moved to Central City, and live just a few blocks away from where Sister Farmer and Sister Robertson live! The Lord is so aware of His children! As we were talking to Jack and Marilyn we found out Jack was going in for hip surgery in the morning, and that's why he was in Kearney. We felt prompted to ask him if he wanted a priesthood blessing and he gladly accepted the invitation! So Friday night we were able to go to his hotel and give him a priesthood blessing with two members of our ward, and it was such a sweet, spirit filled experience. Sister Farmer got all of his information and they are going to try and see him hopefully this week. What a miracle! 

Also because of Stake Conference President and Sister Gardner were here for the weekend! And they got to go out teaching with us. This is what he said about it in his email to us missionaries: 

"This last week I was able to go on a few teaching appointments with our missionaries. In one of those lessons, we were teaching two teenage youth [Kiara and Stacey] that are progressing but are still looking to receive an answer to their prayers. The missionaries taught a beautiful lesson on the apostasy in a members home. At the perfect point in the lesson, the member bore a powerful testimony of the feelings he had when he was investigating the Church. The Spirit filled the room. I asked these two youth, "What did you feel while he was telling you his experience?" Both immediately shared they felt a peaceful feeling come over them that they said was powerful. I helped them identify that feeling as the Holy Ghost, witnessing to them that this was true.
The missionaries invited them to pray and ask Heavenly Father if this was true and they both agreed. Not wanting them to forget the feelings of the Spirit that they were feeling, I asked them if they would get down on their knees right then and ask Heavenly Father if it was true. All of us knelt down and both of these sweet young woman prayed in succession and asked God if it was true."
 And holy smokes the spirit was so strong! Both Kiara and Stacey prayed and it was such a cool experience to visibly see their faith grow. I know they will receive answers, and I am so grateful for the guidance of President Gardner.

He went on to say:
" In the second lesson, we visited a couple in their 60's.[Our investigators Terri and Lee]
Unfortunately, they had not read any of the Book of Mormon since the missionaries had last taught them. These great missionaries went right on with their plan to read the Book of Mormon with them. As we read a chapter of the Book of Mormon together, I noticed that this good brother had a very difficult time reading. Even with his reading glasses on, he could hardly read the fine print of our small copies of the Book of Mormon.
Following our reading, the missionaries asked again, if they would read the Book of Mormon. They said yes, but i was not convinced because it was difficult for this man to see. I asked them if they had a smart phone or IPAD. We loaded the Book of Mormon App on the IPAD and showed him how he could let it read to him. The expression on his face was like a young child on Christmas morning. He could not only see the larger print but could have it read to him. I am confident that he will read/listen to the Book of Mormon before the missionaries next visit."
 Ahh I wish you could have all seen Lee's face, it was so sweet! I really do believe, along with President, that they will read the Book of Mormon and pray!

What a treat it was for them to spend a few nights with us, and how grateful I am for their guidance and love! 


Funnies: 

IT SNOWED yesterday! Not cool. Actually it was terribly cool, that was the issue! Haha but nevertheless we saw miracles and it was kind of a fun, unexpected surprise. 

Also I tried to tell a joke in my Zone Training Meeting this week and NO BODY LAUGHED! Hahaha but it's OK because I laughed at myself and still thought it was funny, so my pride wasn't that wounded. 


 Spiritual thought: 

Alright so the BEST part about Stake Conference (besides the Gardner's of course) was Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy! He came to speak to the good ole' Kearney Stake and my heavens, he is an incredible man that has been through so much. All the experiences and thoughts he shared were impactful, but there was one quote I loved the most. He said, "There is never a convenient time to serve, you either live by convenience, or by covenant." I really do believe that is true. The Lord asks us to put his priorities first, not our own, and that can be so difficult. But the promised blessings are never ending. Literally. I think about what the Savior said to his apostles as he ministered in Jerusalem. "Lovest thou me, more than these?" Do we love the Savior more than we love our time, our to do list, OUR priorities? He puts us first, always has, and always will. We are His work and His glory. So shouldn't we strive to put Him first as well? I urge each of you to do that this week. To refocus your lives on the Savior and on His gospel, and I promise great blessings will come. Choose to live by covenant, not convenience. 

I LOVE YOU ALL! 

xoxo, 
Sister Bengtzen 

P.S. Enjoy the pictures of the snow