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, March 24, 2017

I think I am pretty funny...

Sabrina Jumping from a large land mover!

JUST KIDDING!!! I really do think I am quite funny, and Sister Church agrees 65% of the time, so I consider myself a winner! I actually have a lot more to say this week, so hold your horses people ;) Sometimes I fear that you are forgetting about me and just getting used to life without me, so I have decided I must keep you on your toes, because guess what?! I MISS YOU! Seriously I miss you all so much. But at the same time I am in the best place I possibly could be and I wouldn't give that up for anything. Missions are just a roller coaster! 

So I went on exchanges with sweet Sister Goff this week and my heavens above, that girl can light up a room by just walking in! She is so humble, yet at the same time she recognizes that her efforts are appreciated and accepted by the Lord, and with that combination she is powerful. We had an incredible miracle while we were on exchanges. We have this potential family we have been working with for quite some time and a few weeks ago we had to drop them because they simply weren't keeping commitments. Sister Goff and I were in their neighborhood so we stopped by their apartment and the wife, Lindsey, answered the door and just looked exhausted. Before I could even process my words I asked her if we could come back in an hour and help her clean her home. (The spirit is real!) Gratitude and relief filled her eyes and she accepted. We have been praying specifically for Lindsey's heart to be softened for so many weeks, and through service it finally was. We helped her to clean her home and bore powerful testimony to her and her husband before we left. They thanked us profusely and invited us to come back, so we will be seeing them this week!
Exchanges with Sister Goff and Bailey!
Also this is kind of a crazy, random miracle. We were knocking doors in this fun little neighborhood and we saw this huge, beautiful, old home. I swear it was probably 100 years old, so naturally that is the house we started with. As we were walking up to the door we heard a dog, but the reflection on the glass door made it so we couldn't see inside the home. When we got to the door we recognized that this thin glass door was the only thing between us and this HUGE, snarling, angry dog. The dog pounced at the door and Sister Church quickly put her foot against it to hold it in. We looked at each other and both offered up the quickest and most earnest silent prayer we ever have. As we were quietly and hurriedly discussing what to do the dog quit snarling, perked up its ears, turned around, and sauntered into the back room. Sister Church and I were speechless. We took another look at each other and took of in a dead sprint. We got back to the car just in time to hear the dog start barking and snarling again. I have no doubt that angels were protecting us, and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is aware of his missionaries.

Also this week... Pam, our recent convert, got to go to the temple! She signed up to go a few weeks ago, but the day before she totally backed out and called us and told us she wasn't going. We immediately went to her home and had a powerful lesson on Satan's lies and the influence of the adversary. It was incredible to see how much she changed from the beginning of the lesson to the end. She ended up going to the temple and said it was one of the most meaningful and memorable days of her life. She cannot wait to get her endowment in one short year! I know that the adversary is real, but the power of the Savior is so much stronger and sustaining. I am grateful that through the scriptures we can learn how to use the Savior's power and how to fight Satan!

So while we were visiting with Pam, talking about the adversary, and trying to help her to get to the temple, we were talking about how Heavenly Father sometimes allows us to be uncomfortable because He wants us to grow, and there is no growth in the comfort zone! As we were talking about this I got all excited and I said: "Pam, Heavenly Father is trying to help you grow! Like that plant!" And I pointed to the plant on her windowsill. Pam proceeded to look at the plant, then at me, then at the plant again and gave me this look of just disgust (haha which Pam loves to do because she loves to mess with us) then she yelled: "That plant is dead!" Hahahahaha. Sister Church and I proceeded to look at each other, then at the plant, then at the ground, then at Pam, then back at the ground, then all three of us busted into laughter. Hahaha I am such a dork. I know for a surety Heavenly Father was laughing with us though! 
Also this week we were out in the country and we pulled over on this dirt road to take a picture with a group of cows. (Side note: What do you call a group of cows? A flock? A pack? A herd? A fold? A squad?) Anyway, the second we got out of the car these cows started standing up, and I'm telling you, they were ready to fight. I have never gotten back into a car, put on a seat belt, and started driving so quick! Moral of the story is DON'T MESS WITH THE COWS. They aren't a fan of selfies...although they are UTTERly adorable! (Ok that one was painful...)

Spiritual thought:
In 2 Chronicles 15 a group of people are gathered together in Jerusalem and offer up a mighty sacrifice to the Lord. Along with this sacrifice 2 Chronicles15:12  reads "And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul." As I read this I thought about the sacred covenants we all have the privilege of making, and I specifically thought about baptism. Do we recognize that part of the covenant we made and that we make every Sunday as we partake of the sacrament, is to always remember the Savior, Jesus Christ, and in the same spirit, to SEEK him? The word seek means "to go in search of" or "to discover". How many times throughout our week do we SEEK the Savior? How many times throughout the week do we look for the hand of God, show gratitude for His tender mercies, or remind our families and loved ones that we LOVE them? Jesus Christ truly is the light and the life of our world, and of each of our lives, and we are promised that as we SEEK him - with all our hearts and with all our souls - that his light will enter into our lives and it will grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. (D&C 50:24) So this week I am going to make a more diligent and conscious effort to SEEKmy Savior and allow his light to illuminate my life. I hope you all do the same!
I love you more than cows love hay and more than Kearney natives love to drive tractors!
Sister Bengtzen 

Joy in the Journey!
Sister Robertson and I getting blown away!
So sometimes I look back to like a year ago and I realize...I knew absolutely nothing about a mission. Haha and I don't think you can ever really understand what on earth a mission is like until you go! Jakey and Abby and Dad, you'd probably agree. But my heavens it is hard, and wonderful, in every single way! Sometimes I wake up and still can't believe I am in Nebraska...of all the places. I am so grateful that the Lord has far greater plans than I do...I couldn't love this place and these people more. 

I hope y'all are enjoying Disneyland for like the 10th time this year! I swear it's like I leave and y'all go to Disneyland to celebrate. And then you go again and again! Haha or better yet, you decide to plan this killer trip to Peru and don't even tell me about it! (JABBY!) Rude. 
Haha but it's OK. I have corn fields... and cows. And I am so happy here :) 

So I brought Grandpa Bengtzen's history with me on my mission and I must admit it has been my saving grace the last couple of days. Reading through his journal entries from his mission is one of the coolest things, because I feel like I can relate to him, and in a weird way I feel like I know him, and that I am experiencing all of his experiences with him...just a few years later. Anyway, this week I was reading it and I swear I could have copied and pasted his words into my own journal for the day! He said something along the lines of..."We spent the day having doors slammed in our face, but days like that make no difference to a missionary." Haha so I suppose you could say it was a rough week. Lots of rejection, and sad moments, but at the same time it was an incredible week, full of a lot of love and a lot of reassurance from the Savior. A mission is a roller coaster to say the least. But there's so much joy in the journey. 


I found a guitar!

I went on my first exchange this week and I thought I was going to die! Haha poor Sister Robertson. I was so nervous. But she is the most incredible missionary and she spent the entire day teaching me! It was the windiest day of my life, and I could have sworn I was going to be blown away! But we survived. Anyway, we were able to see one of our recent converts named Mariah and just before the lesson Sister Robertson turned to me and told me she felt like we should talk about divine nature and the potential she has as a daughter of God. So we scratched the lesson plan and we followed the spirit! It was the most amazing lesson, exactly what Mariah needed, and she recognized it! But more than that, it was INCREDIBLE to see Sister Robertson recognize the spirit and follow its promptings, even though she didn't know anything about Mariah or her situation. The spirit truly is the teacher, and no matter who we are or where we are, when we are in the Lord's service, and when we are worthy, we can receive revelation to help His children. 

Ok and here's a miracle that literally occurred 10 minutes ago. We are currently sitting here in the Kearney library, and a man just walked up to us out of nowhere. He told us his name and that he needs help with his family history! He said he recognized  that we were from the church because of the light we carried with us, and he asked for the church address and our number. How sweet is that! It's cool that the Lord can use us as an instrument in His hands, even at the most unlikely times. 


One of our members gave us this killer referral the other day, so right when we left their house we skipped lunch and went to try them! The member told us, and I quote, "The husband is super interested, but his wife is pretty comfortable in her faith. She's sweet though! She won't kick you out." We knocked once on the door and the wife answered. She looked at us, then at our name tags, then slammed the door in our face. Hahahahaha. I guess the member was right...she didn't kick us out, she didn't even let us in! 

Oh and then as we were walking away there was this guy on the street and Sister Church said hello! (In her bubbly and happy way) The man looked straight at us and turned around and began walking the other way. Sister Church and I looked at each other and just busted up laughing! Haha people are my favorite! 

Spiritual Thought: 

I think all of us have weeks where our faith is tested. Where we question, where we worry, where we doubt. We are human! So it happens. And I think sometimes our tests of faith come in seeing some of the most elect leave the church, or in seeing great persecutions and contentions rise against the church. I know that there have been times, even just this week, where my faith has been tested in those exact ways...but I read a quote the other day that gave me great comfort and reminded me whose church this really is.

 "Please know that even though great storms of wind and waves beat upon the old ship (Zion), the Savior is on board and is able to rebuke the storm with His command 'Peace, be still.' Until then we must not fear, and we must have unwavering faith and know that 'even the wind and the sea obey him'." - Elder M. Russell Ballard 

This really is the Savior's church. The only true and living church on the face of the whole earth! And persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, and armies may assemble against it, but the truth will go forth. He will not forsake His church. He will not forsake us. And I know that with ever fiber of my soul. How lucky we are to be a part of His kingdom on earth. 

I love you all and I am so grateful for the truth of eternal families! 
I had to speak last minute on Sunday and I got to talk all about my INCREDIBLE family for 25 minutes straight. And I could not have been happier to do so. Know that you are my greatest blessings!! (Even though you go to Disneyland and Peru without me...) 



Sister Bengtzen 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

PURE joy!
Heyo! This week may have been the best week of my life! AHHHHH I swear my mission keeps getting better and better. You think it can't get better than it is, then BOOM! Heavenly Father proves you wrong! The church is so true. 


Pam Morrow is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! And she could not be happier. Saturday was a gift, to say the least. Pam has been going to church every Sunday for about 6 months, so the entire ward was thrilled when they found out that she was finally being baptized. They went above and beyond, making it as special as they could for her, and she was so grateful. But all the fluff and floof aside, the entire program was so emotional. We sang and we cried and we laughed. Pam cried most of the meeting and the spirit filled the entire church was beyond powerful, and very humbling. But I must say the most awe inspiring moment was when the actual ordinance took place. As Pam was buried, then lifted again out of the water the look on her face was indescribable. She could not move and she could hardly breathe, she was so overcome with joy. She looked as if her soul was jumping up and down inside. As she was helped out of the font we wrapped her in a towel and she smothered us with a hug. We held her and she cried. I have never seen someone so visibly affected by a baptism before. It was beyond words. Ahh I wish you all could have been there! She was so prepared, and she is so prepared! Prepared to keep the covenants she has made, and prepared to progress further in the gospel and to become more like her Savior. 

On Sunday as Pam was confirmed the light in her countenance shone for the entire ward to see. She said she felt a weight physically being lifted off her shoulders as she was given the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the Priesthood holders in the circle said they could feel her sink into the chair when that sacred gift was given. Pure joy filled the chapel that day and I felt like a Saint on my way to Zion as we sung the hymns and prayed together.
I think about all the miracles the Savior performed while He was on the earth, and at times I am envious of those that got to witness him raising the dead, or giving sight to the blind, but on Saturday I was humbly reminded that I have a front row seat to the greatest miracle He has ever performed, and forever will perform: changing hardened hearts and healing broken souls. I would never in a million years give up this opportunity to serve a mission. To serve my Savior. 

Now in addition to all of that, this week we found a family...a family of 4! We have been praying and fasting specifically for a family of 4 and on Saturday we received a referral from the Trail Center. We followed up last night and sure enough a FAMILY of 4! A mom, a dad, and 2 sons. (Ages 9 and 11) We taught them the Restoration and committed them to read and to pray and set a return appointment. After we had finished, the Father asked us if his family joined, would him and his wife have the opportunity to renew their vows to last for eternity. The spirit engulfed the room as we bore testimony of the truth and answered his questions. So please keep them in your prayers! The Sugroue family. 


Pam called us on Saturday morning super anxious about her baptism and almost in tears, so naturally we did what any good sister missionary would...we went to Panda express and bought her some chow mien and orange chicken. Haha she was real grateful! 

Also Pam LOVES animal print, so we wore animal print for her baptism. She was through the moon about it! 

Spiritual thought: 

In Matthew 4:1-9 Satan tempts Christ to use His God-given power in pursuit of fame, fortune, food, etc. His ultimate temptation is to get Christ to be selfish, to turn inward instead of outward, "IF thou be the Son of God..." 
Elder Bednar explains, "Satan's strategy, in essence, was to dare the Son of God to improperly demonstrate his God-given powers, to sacrifice meekness and modesty, and thereby betray who he was. Thus, Satan attempted repeatedly to attack Jesus' understanding of who He was and of His relationship with His Father." 
Just as Satan tempted Christ by enticing Him to forget who He was, he does the same to us! He strives to convince us to forget who we are...children of the Most High God! We have divine potential, nature, and worth. 
I love the first chapter of Moses because Moses gives us a great sure-fire example of how to KILL Satan's temptations. 
"And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son (or daughter) of God, in similitude of His Only Begotten...Get thee hence Satan, deceive me not." (Moses 1:13,16) 
So this week I encourage each of you to REMEMBER who you are and who you are becoming. When you feel temptation creeping in, recite this scripture in Moses and remind Satan that you know you are a child of God, and cast him out. 

I LOVE you all to all the small towns in Western Nebraska and back! 


Sister Bengtzen 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Welcome to CAR-KNEE

 Sabrina and her new companion Sister Church (and a really big potato)

Sabrina at Leadership conference
Alright y'all remember when we fantasized about my mission being full of corn and cows and hay. Well HAY! Here we are! Nine months in and we finally made it to real small town Nebraska! 
I am currently serving in both a family ward and the YSA branch out here and our area is HUGE. Like it takes hours and hours to drive the entire length or width of our area. So that's something really different, and really fun! Sister Church is absolutely amazing. Like no joke, we get along super well and I already know the next 6 weeks are gonna fly by faster than a mosquito running from a fly swatter. Which is a bummer. But we are going to see miracles and we are going to take Kearney by storm. 

The YSA branch has maybe 20 active members...which is a little different from your average Provo YSA ward...but they are all solid and they love sharing the gospel with their friends. We are really working to help it grow! The family ward is fairly big and their are a ton of incredible families in the ward, so I am excited to get to know them. All in all this is gonna be a real adventure. 

Sabrina, Jo Lind and her big potato


Our car has heated seats!!!! 

That is all...

Just kidding! There is one major miracle that I have been SO excited to share with you! So there is this lady that has been investigating for about 6 months here in Kearney and her name is Pam. Now here is some background about Pam. She is 58 and she has made some really rough decisions all of her life. 2 years ago all of those rough decisions gave her alcohol poisoning and she literally died. Long story short, she came back to life and all of her memory was gone. She doesn't remember her children, her ex-husbands, her friends, her mom, nothing. She has no idea what she's done in her life and she had to re-learn how to walk, talk, read, etc. etc. Now if that isn't crazy I don't know what is! Anyway, she is a completely different person today than she was. Her entire heart has changed and the gospel has played a HUGE part in that. I met her and instantaneously fell in love with her. She is the sweetest thing in the world! 
Well about 3 weeks or so ago she finally set a baptismal date. She committed to be baptized on March 25th! Which is happy! But as we were planning Sister Church and I both felt like that was too far away. She has been ready for so long, and waiting another month simply allows more time for the adversary to work and distract her. Why postpone the blessings? So we felt prompted to go over and to give her a mock baptismal interview. The last question basically asks the investigator if they are ready to make this sacred covenant with God. As we asked the question Pam confidently and happily responded. "Yes!" Jokingly (but not really jokingly) I told her she could be baptized this Saturday! And she said "ok." LIKE WHAT?! She said OK! So we are currently scrambling to plan her baptism and we could not be more excited about it. SHE IS SO READY! The entire ward is so excited and I just cannot wait to see how it all comes together. It's amazing how much love Heavenly Father can give you for complete strangers. He really does love us and know each of us perfectly. 


The other day we ran out of windshield washer fluid and so we went to the gas station to get some. All we could see were these huge bottles and so we were confused and started asking people if they sold any smaller. People kept looking at us weird! (WE CLEARLY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CARS) Anyway we bought the fluid, but didn't have a funnel, and didn't want to spill it all over the naturally Sister Church just dumped it on the window while I turned on the wipers ferociously fast. Not to worry...we eventually figured out how to pour it in and used the ENTIRE bottle. So there's that.
Sabrina, Sister Smith and Sister Church

Sabrina at leadership conference in Omaha
Spiritual thought: 

I feel like I learn so much every single day. It's incredible. But lately I have been thinking a lot about asking questions. One thing I love about the gospel is that we MUST ask questions. We MUST seek for truth and we MUST turn to God. Joseph Smith was the perfect example of this. Like James 1:5 teaches, he lacked wisdom, so he chose to ask of God. But like James 1:6 directs, he asked in faith, nothing wavering. 
Questions are good, questions are NECESSARY, but we must ask in faith...nothing wavering.  

“Questions are not just good, they are vital because the ensuing spiritual wrestle leads to answers, knowledge, revelation, … and greater faith.”  
-Sheri Dew

I encourage all of you who have questions to ASK them, but make sure you ASK of GOD. 

I love you all and I hope you have the greatest week yet! 


Sister Bengtzen