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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Change is the only constant!
Sister Orton, Sister Collins, Sabrina, Sister Bryson 

This week has been unlike any other. To be honest it has been the hardest week of my mission. But that's ok. I am hanging in there. There's nothing I can't do without Christ. And he is carrying me through. I love the scripture D&C 88:6. It has given me so much comfort this week. "He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things..." No matter how low I feel, or how dark things seem, Christ has descended below it all, and he will lift me up.

Me and Sister Bryson taking a picture before we go e-mail cause we forgot to take pictures!

So there's been another change! Haha because that is the only constant. A sister in the mission had to go home this week, so there was a sister (Sister Orton) left without a companion. So long, long story short...Sister Bryson and I are here in Chalco Hills for about a week then Sister Collins and I will be here for a week then Sister Bryson and I, then Sister Collins and I. On alternating weeks they will be with the Sister Orton in her area so she has a companion and both areas can remain open! So it's confusing and unique and unorthodox but it works and it's an adventure!

New Missionary training group
But the good news is that we had an incredible miracle with an investigator couple we are teaching this week! Their names are Ron and Mary. They came to church and Mary was SO upset after. She wanted to know what people's testimonies and stories had to do with her and God. She was so contentious, but we simply bore testimony and the promise in D&C 100:5 came to pass. We were not confounded before her. We saw them last night after church and discerned that Mary wasn't even reading the Book of Mormon or praying. We committed her to do so and to give God her full effort to know the truth and to understand. At first she asked why? And in response we called upon the powers of heaven and asked her a question that certainly didn't come from us, but from the spirit. "What would have happened if Jesus Christ wouldn't have given his full effort?" She was silent. Absolutely silent. So together we read the first chapter and she knelt and prayed right there. Her prayer was so sincere and I know it was because the spirit was there. I am so grateful that we are not in this alone. The spirit is the real teacher and I recognize that more and more every day.

I gotta run but I love you all! Thanks for your prayers and your love.

 New Missionary training with President Gardner


Sister Bengtzen

P.S. So about my hair. I needed a haircut, but I was wearing my glasses, so the lady cutting my hair asked me to take them off so they wouldn't interfere. Well fun fact...I AM BLIND. Anyway, I was talking to her about the gospel, and wasn't paying very good attention to what she was doing, and I couldn't see, so she cut off like 7 inches. But that's ok! It grows back. And she accepted a Book of Mormon. So it was all worth it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

And then there were THREE!

So... our dynamic duo is now a triple threat. Look out Chalco Hills, we comin' for you! 

Sister Bryson (more widely known as Lauren through the streets of Holladay, Utah) is now Sister Collins' and my new companion! Which means we are in a trio!! Haha and they are both brand new missionaries, so the greenie fire is burning real bright! They have so much energy and enthusiasm for the work, which makes it much more enjoyable as we tackle the frigid wasteland that is currently Omaha, Nebraska. Just wish us a lot of luck and send us a lot of prayers because we are going to need them! 

I don't have much time so I will be quick. 


We finally set Kellie and Dave and Jazmyn for a date!!! They are preparing to be baptized on February 11th, but the no smoking thing is really hard. So please, please keep them in your prayers. We have a goal and we are going to get them there! Slowly but surely they are progressing and they will make it. 

So our investigator Junior Ehmes is set for the 4th of February, and my goodness, miracles upon miracles upon miracles! Heavenly Father knows he needs this now, and he's doing everything he can to help him get there. This week there was supposed to be this huge ice storm, so on Sunday all of the three wards that meet in our building were combined for sacrament meeting at 9. We didn't hear about it until late Saturday night so we were in a rush to try and notify everyone. Well Junior would not answer his phone or his door, so we were just heartbroken. He has worked so hard to set a date, and we knew that if he didn't come to church he couldn't be baptized the 4th. Well miracles are REAL. Sister Ehmes happened to check her email that Saturday night, which she never does, and she got an email from our Stake President telling everyone about the change. So just as we were about the get seated for sacrament meeting we saw Junior and Sister Ehmes walk in all dressed and showered and even with tithing slips in their hands! I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT. I am so grateful this work is his and not mine, his ways are so much greater than mine! 

Also this week we found a new investigator and her name is Anja and she is from Germany. She pulled into her driveway as we were knocking on another door and so naturally we ran up and talked to her. We got her a German Book of Mormon and she has already read like 3 chapters and she is praying about it. She even committed to come to church, and she hasn't been to church since she has been in America! She is so wonderful...and blunt. I love her. 


So Sister Collins started driving this week, which means I get the passenger seat... If any of y'all know the person who designs Ford Fusions send me their address because I need to give them a piece of my mind! The passenger seat is at least 7 inches lower than the drivers and I cannot see over the dang dash board! But it's OK because I am intuitive and we have an old pillow we don't use. In a way it's kind of like a win-win because I get a really cushiony seat and I feel extra tall. 

Also, we got grounded because of this whole "ice storm Jupiter" mumbo jumbo and a member was very concerned that we might starve, so she gave us a bottle of cheese whiz. 

Spiritual thought: 

This week I was reading in Ether and there were two verses that really stuck out to me, and gave me a different perspective. That always happens! I love the scriptures. 

Ether 2:24-25 

"Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come." 

Christ is fully aware of every trial he sends our way, but he also has prepared and is preparing us to face them. He will not let us drown if we reach out to him, like the apostle Peter as he walked on water. He knows what is coming our way and if we turn to him we will be prepared, and we shall not fear. 

I love this gospel. I love being on a mission. I love all of you. 
Have the best week! 

Sister Bengtzen 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CAUTION: Toothpaste expires

First off, I love you all. I really do. Thank you for all of your support and your love and just who you are! I wouldn't be here without you and all y'all do!


Ok first off we had the most incredible lesson with Dave and Kellie about forgiveness and our Bishop came along. After we left Dave went into his room, knelt, and prayed for the man that caused him his brain injury, by name. It's like he is an entirely different person. Confusion and frustration are slowly being replaced with understanding, peace, and hope. We haven't set them for a date yet, but they are getting there!

Also this week we went to go see a potential investigator named Karl and his brother-in-law Tony answered the door. We asked if Karl was home and he said no, so we explained who we were and then told him to have Karl give us a call. Well the minute we walked off the porch I knew the conversation was not over, and I felt such guilt. We walked down the street, visited with another potential for a minute, then I felt the spirit practically pull me back up to Karl's doorstep. Satan's lies raced through my head telling me that this brother-in-law was going to be annoyed or angry, but before I knew it we were knocking on the door again. Heavenly Father truly prepared this man. We were able to teach him about the Restoration, give him a Book of Mormon, and invite him to be baptized! And he said yes!! He lives in another area, so we are going to give him as a referral. What a testimony to me that Heavenly Father truly is patient with us when we make mistakes, and if we listen He will prepare a way for us to improve and try again.

Also this week our new investigator named Ron came to church! We went over to his home last night to ask him what he thought about church and it was the most incredible discussion. I have no clue what I asked, but Ron began to bear this powerful testimony about how he felt a burden literally lifted off of his shoulders when he walked into the church building. He said he felt great peace, and he is starting to recognize that that feeling is from God. His wife, who is also investigating, was sitting on the couch with us and she could hardly believe what she was hearing. She could see that this experience had truly touched her husband's heart, and she knew that it had to be something special. We committed both of them to pray about the Book of Mormon that night and to come to church next Sunday, and they accepted. It's amazing how Heavenly Father blesses his children when they do what he has asked them to. Ron truly pleased Heavenly Father when he came to church, and he recognized that! Ahh missionary work is the best thing EVER.


I started brushing my teeth the other day with this new bottle of toothpaste that I found in the closet and it was the worst thing I have ever tasted. I spit it out and looked at the bottle then realized that it was expired. I didn't even know that was a thing!! So fair warning, toothpaste expires.

Spiritual thought:

This week has been full of a lot of ups and downs and a load of rejection, but there was a verse that I read in my personal study that kind of put it all into perspective. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints isn't the most popular thing in the world...and sometimes it's hard to face the evils and mockery of the world every single day. But we don't need to be worried or ashamed, because our lives are in greater hands.

"But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him (her), although he (she) shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him (her), for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil." - 3 Nephi 21:10

If we choose God, then so be it with the ways of the world! His ways are eternal, and our afflictions will be consecrated to us for our gain. He has promised to heal us, and to protect us, if we choose him. Our lives are in his hands. And that applies to all those who are faithful and serve him. I am so grateful for that eternal perspective, and even though it's hard to always live what we believe I know that it is worth it. Keep on keeping on!

Sister Bengtzen

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 started with a BANG! Literally...
Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already 2017. That's insane... I was in bed by 10:30pm that night, then some crazy hooligan lit a firework RIGHT outside our window and I thought we were going to die. So that was my New Years experience...quite literally started with a bang.

Anywho! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying all of your adventures. It looks like you are having way too much fun to be honest! Haha but that makes me so happy! Maggie and Ben's wedding looked beautiful and she looked INCREDIBLE! But I must say Matthew and George take the cake...they always do. THEY ARE SO STINKING CUTE! (Also Bobs sent me a picture of George with a mouth full of I suppose they literally take the cake as well as figuratively.


This week we got to go to the Trail Center with Kellie and Dave and Jazmyn and it was the best! Sister Rook gave us a tour which was way too much fun! The tour itself was so spiritual. Kellie said that she felt goose-bumps the entire time and she has never had an experience like that before. We testified that that was the spirit speaking to her and she just smiled and told us she knew that. There's a point on the tour where you stand and look out this big window at the cemetery and temple across the street. It's so sacred because it is the cemetery where the saints that passed away in Winter Quarters were buried, and it is also hallowed ground because the temple is built right next to it. As we looked out the window I was overwhelmed with such gratitude for the temple, and the gift that it is. It truly is the only place we can lock out the world and feel the unhindered presence of the spirit and our Savior. I am so grateful to be serving a mission with a temple so close. Kellie ate up every word Sister Rook said about the temple. She asked questions and she just marveled in the beauty of it. It was such a great lesson. They all came to church on Sunday and they are doing well! We are going to set them for baptism this week so keep that in your prayers.

Also Junior came to church on Sunday and he was so happy to be there. I wish I could describe how different he is, but I just cannot put it into words. It's incredible what the Atonement can do in our lives if we are willing to let it in.

We also saw our investigators Jacob and Kortney this week and committed them to come to church. They said they had plans, but committed to come next Sunday...well get this! About 5 minutes into sacrament meeting on Sunday the doors open and in walks Jacob, Kortney, and two former investigators that we dropped like a month ago. ALL TOGETHER! I about fell of the pew when I saw them walk in. They said they loved being there and we are planning to see them this week, so just pray that their hearts are softened and that they are really ready to change. I know this gospel can help them, and they need it.


Ok, so there is this fancy gadget-gizmo they put in cars these days that I have never before utilized.

They call it cruise control. Sister Collins enlightened me this past week and OH. MY. GOODNESS. My life will never be the same.

Also Grandma Gwinnup sent me this black turtle neck and Mama sent me this beanie and when I wear them together I look like a NINJA!!! Am I right?! (picture attached)

Spiritual thought:

Last night all of our plans fell through, so Sister Collins and I hopped in our car and said a mighty prayer. We prayed to be guided specifically to the individual or family that needed us at that moment and for their name to come to our minds. Sister Collins felt impressed to go see our investigator Angela Jankowski, so we heeded the prompting. As she invited us into her home she told us that she had pulled up not even 3 minutes earlier, and that she had a rough day. She proceeded to cry and tell us everything that happened. I could not believe it. It seems like everything that could go wrong in her life is going wrong. We asked her if we could share a scripture and Helaman 5:12 came to mind. As we read it Angela's countenance changed and a look of determination came across her face. After we had testified Angela looked at both of us and said that she wasn't going to let anything take her away from Christ again. She knows that he is on her side, and if she stands firm he will carry her through. She has such great faith! As I read that scripture a small peace of head knowledge sunk deeper into my heart. Life is hard, not the gospel. If we truly have our foundation built on Christ it does not matter the challenges we face. His Atonement covers all. Alone we cannot handle the storms and winds the adversary brings, but with Christ we can. I know that to be true, and I am so grateful that I am learning every single day to strengthen my foundation in Christ.

Love you all times infinity and a billion beyond!

Sister Bengtzen

2 Night Stay in Fort Collins?

So as you will see from the attached pictures we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas night in a fantastic homemade fort complete with packing tape and bed sheets. Since my companion's name is Sister Collins and she reluctantly agreed to allow crazy me to build a fort, I thought it fitting to name it after her. Thus we had a two-night stay in Fort Collins! Did you know there is a real Fort Collins? It's in Colorado or something...I dunno. Nevertheless it was awesome.

HELLO! Talking to all of you on Christmas was the best Christmas gift I could have EVER asked for! You all look so happy and so healthy and so grown up. Thank you for being you and for helping and supporting me out here. I am so grateful that I have a family like you to love and to look after me and to help me someday to return to live with Heavenly Father. I hope all of you were able to focus on Christ this Christmas and remember the real reason we celebrate it. We don't just celebrate the birth of a holy infant, but the life and the sacrifice of our Redeemer and Our Savior...Jesus Christ. Some of the most sacred experiences I have ever had have occurred in just these past few weeks and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has gave me the opportunity to spend Christmas doing his work and in his vineyard. There is nothing like Christmas in the mission field and I loved it! I still love it. The best part is that I get to continue spreading those good tidings of great joy all year long, and I am so happy. So, so happy!

So this week was a week full of miracles and a week full of joy! And Christmas! Haha


About a week and a half ago we had a lesson with our investigators Kellie and Dave. (Fun fact I found out last week that I have been spelling Kellie's name wrong for 3 months. Nice going Sister Bengtzen! Haha heavens above I am such a mere mortal...) Anyway, we began to teach them about relying on Christ and trusting in His timing and His will and it was a great lesson. They were preparing to leave for court the next day to fight for custody of Dave's daughter Jasmine, and they were very stressed and worried. The lesson we prepared was fitting, but the spirit made it clear that there was something more that needed to be taught. I opened my mouth and out come a powerful testimony of the strength in relying on Christ and giving our burdens to him. It was overwhelming and I have no idea what I said! But I do remember that I made Dave a promise through the spirit that if he prepared to be baptized and did all he could to give his burden to Christ that he would receive custody of his daughter. We fasted and prayed fervently on the day of court and the Lord wrought a mighty miracle for the Lonas family! Dave won custody of Jasmine and she gets here today! She has been attending church with some of her family members and has been eager to be baptized for about 2 years. She recently turned 8 and is so excited to prepare for baptism with her father and her grandmother. They have been meeting with missionaries for years and years and I know that Heavenly Father truly has a plan for them, and that it is all in his timing. They are all together, and are ready to be baptized, as a family!...and someday to be sealed for time and all eternity. I can hardly contain my joy! Heavenly Father's plan is so much greater than mine or theirs!!

Also on Christmas night we were able to see Angela and Katie and we had the most powerful lesson with them. Probably one of the most powerful lessons I have been a part of on my mission. We talked all about Christ and his birth and his life and it was the perfect way to end our Christmas night. Sadly they are moving to a different area, but they are still preparing to get baptized and I know Heavenly Father is mindful of them and will send them where they need to be!

On Christmas Day we had church and Phyllis' husband Richard came!! HE CAME! It was so wonderful. Slowly his heart is softening...very slowly..haha but I know that someday he will accept it. Turns out his brother and sister in law are out serving an LDS mission right now! How cool is that?? I want to meet them someday.

All in all Christmas was wonderful and Christmas Eve was wonderful and I just don't have time to express all my joy and share all the miracles, but someday soon you will all hear about it!


We had Zone Conference this week and I dressed up as a's a real long story, but lemme tell ya...I make a killer Grandma. This senior couple serving here thinks I should pursue acting! So who knows what my future holds...

Also my Mama sent me a tension band for Christmas and I used it this morning and I think I used it wrong...haha my shoulders are so sore.

Spiritual thought:

So on Christmas night Sister Collins and I got stranded in our car for a minute, but it turned out to be one of the most insightful study sessions I have had on my mission. I read Mosiah 3 and was overwhelmed by the enormity and enduring love of the Atonement. I don't think it is ever something I will fully comprehend, but I am grateful that the Lord allows me to learn line upon line and precept upon precept. As I read I was especially struck by verse 7. "And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold blood cometh from every pore..." This week we have been studying and teaching a lot about addiction and overcoming addictions, and at times I feel so inadequate because I don't exactly understand those temptations and pains feel like. However, as I read this verse something became very clear to me. Christ has felt the pain of addiction and temptation, and because he has felt it he not only knows how to help them, but he knows how to help me help them. He knows what they need and through the spirit he can help me to share what needs to be shared. The Atonement enables us to do things that we cannot do on our own, and I know that to be true. I know that on my own I cannot help these people, I cannot teach, I cannot testify. But with Christ I can. I urge each of you this week to remember the Atonement and it's enabling power, and recognize those things you cannot do on your own, but that you CAN do with Christ. Plead more earnestly for his help. He is always there, and he WILL help you. I can promise you that.

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful and exciting New Years!

All my love,

Sister Bengtzen