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 (Wow you had better get that reference or I will be so sad...I know I am out of date, but still I think I am so funny...)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.
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.
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!
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.