Monday, April 27, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Letter from HOME

Dear Vickie, We have had a lot of rain the past few days. I'm so thankful for our winter without snow, and I dared to thank Heavenly Father for the mild winter and beautiful weather. Now we are having a lot of rain, and I thank Heavenly Father for sending the rain so that we can have water throughout the summer. He certainly is a merciful God. However, I feel so bad for the huge earthquake in Napal. The last death count I read was just under 2000. So much grief, and I wonder when it is our turn for the great earthquake that we are preparing for.

I'm very grateful for your service on your mission. You are a light to those around you. I glean that light through your emails. We need to recognize our strength and build upon it. Start where we are. Rely on the Lord. We can't get there on our own. We need intelligence and strength and realize we need the Lord to get where we'd like to be.

Let's see what happened this week. Monday we had family night. It's so strange to have such a few amount of people in attendance. Tuesday was a busy day for me. One of my Orchestras had an assembly concert and an evening concert. The Principal got up at the end and said that she closed her eyes and it sounded not like an elementary school orchestra--but much better. My students were so excited to hear that. I'm so proud of my students because they have worked so hard by practicing and coming to rehearsals.

Wednesday was Aurella's first birthday. We went to Todd's sister's house and celebrated. She is such a big girl.

Thursday was the first rehearsal for stake choir for conference that will be happening the end of May. So I'm playing the piano. We're singing a special arrangement of the hymn, High On A Mountain Top. The theme of the conference will be the Restoration.

Friday night we went out with Jake and Shayla to Chili's. Then we came back and played Spades (I think that is the name of the game.) It was pretty fun. Henry, Trevor and Wilford watched the kids. Marie and Todd brought Aurella over. Aurella was so quiet until her parents came home. Then she was the loudest baby I've ever heard. I think she is laughing. Anyway, I loved watching her and visiting with Jake and Shay and Marie and Todd. When Abrielle came she just talked and talked and went on and on. She just had so much to tell me. She sure is a loving girl. I saw her today and loved giving her big hugs!

Saturday we had the big dress rehearsal for our Symphony concert for next Saturday. Saturday evening we had International Soup Night at the Ward House. I made Manhatten Clam Chowder. It's not really International, but I figured because you can see the Manhatten skyline from your window, it would work. It was pretty spicy, but it was good. I won the award of having the prettiest soup. lol

Today was regular church day. The speakers were a new couple in the ward. Dad taught the Priesthood lesson. We had the yearly "camp" meeting after the block of meetings. We're still waiting to find out how much we need to pay for the boys. It's stacking up to be a pretty busy summer. The boys have camp and youth conference and EFY, and Henry will be getting a job and getting his mission papers in, and Dad has the Tab Choir tour. BTW, he's going to New York. But I will be surprised if you get to see each other. If you do get to see each other, I'm going to wish I had made the sacrifice and gone on the tour!

Dad got a calling in the Tab Choir. He's now one of the Tenor Librarians. They had retirements last Sunday and some of Dad's good friends retired from the Choir. It's getting more emotional for him as his time gets closer. Still he has 5-6 years left.

Well, I guess that's all. My testimony of Jesus Christ is burning brightly. I know he lives and because of his qualities of Godhood, he is very intimately aware of each of us and our desires. We can become works of art that God chisels. You know I love you very much! I look forward to your letter tomorrow morning or so.

Love, Mom

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday, April 20th, 2015 - Letter from Hermana Bentley

Wow! I literally just got soaked outside! We had to park a little farther from the library and my companion says that this gets worse! Oof! My beautiful Guatemalan bag got wet! Oh. And everything that I said in my last letter is true, except for the fact that my zone leaders joked us, and apparently I get to stay here in Kearny and kill Sister Stevens. :) I was a little mad at first because I had done some packing on Monday morning. Luckily though I was gonna finish packing after a zone BBQ. And there is where I found out about that! Gr.

Our new district this transfer is SO flippin' awesome!! Our district leader, Elder Warnock, is super awesome! I wish I could've had Jake and Steven with me in our first district meeting this transfer. I think they would've laughed haha! This guy has dry humor like no other. Everyone else in our district is super awesome too! I'm excited to work with them all:)

I really don't think that I will be losing any sort of weight on my mission. A sign that hispanics love you, is feeding you. Last Saturday was one of those days. Oof. We started off with the lovely and elderly Alvarados, who went and bought a pizza just for us. Then right after we went and saw a Peruvian member and she fed us good! Afterwards, I had to be careful with my burps cuz I was afraid I'd chuck it all up! We had another visit with a member after her. But don't worry. We had talked to him the night before not to give us ANY food. For we surely would have died. But the rest of the day went well. Actually, we got juked twice. But, we got to go visit sweet Dulce. And something that I've been having a hard time with is contacting people. I see someone, and I think, "okay."... and then nothing happens. We just walk on, and I feel a little guilty. But I've decided something! I'm going to try to be a boss contacter by the end of my mission. So I had to start somewhere. We contacted two people that day! Which doesn't seem like much, but that was awesome to me! One turned into a street lesson and now we have an appointment with her Wednesday. One guy we should've contacted passed by and both of us said, "Hi, how are you?" About 10-20 feet after we passed him I realized something. So without thinking I turned around and called, "I'M GOOD! THANKS!" He jumped, and we all thought that was funny. We should've gone back and shared something cuz that was a good ice breaker, but I was lame and kept walking. Oh well. Shake it off.

You know what's crazy? The first day out of training we were teaching a less active and her husband, who is not a member. We were teaching the restoration, and her husband, Mauricio, was participating really well! Near the end, I felt the Spirit, just felt like I should be bold. It was the most amazing feeling. So I asked him when he knows this is true if he would be baptized. He said yeah. So then I asked him if it was okay if we taught him everything we know and help him to find out if this is true. He said yeah. It also sounds like he wants us to read the Book of Mormon with him. So that's what we're doing tonight. Power of the Spirit. Can't do God's work without that member of the Godhead. I'll update on that in a few weeks.

I can't pretend that this isn't hard. But this is the best thing ever. I love it, and I'm a different person because of it. I remember the lyrics to a song I really love to listen to:)

"He loves me, more than I could tell you, you should see, what He's done with me, Hey hey hey hey He's made me new. All His strength, I can handle anything in Jesus' name, you should see the change hey hey hey hey He's made me new."

I testify that this is the work of the Lord, and as we share it and live it, we are purified by the pure love of Christ. It's good to have a testimony, but it's better to be converted.

Love ya'll:) Hermana Bentley



Monday, April 20th, 2015 - Letter from HOME

Dear Vickie,
I can hardly wait to hear where you were transferred to. I know you're not supposed to end with a preposition, but I'm not perfect, you know! lol Friday I was the recipient of a root canal at the dentist. My eye tooth on the right side was totally dead. I asked the dentist if it could have anything to do with the fact that my right eye was leaking all the time. He said that it very well could. So at the end he was going to give me a prescription for pain medicine. I told him I already had Henry's. He gave me a prescription for anti-biotics. Since my eye was involved--and it had been for months--I decided to take them.

Saturday, I was in such pain--but not from my tooth. My hip and leg were really acting up. So I didn't go to Symphony. I was supposed to go to a double bridal shower (Daisha Chavez and Kortnee Whitehead) but I stayed home. There was a stake ice cream social that night, but once again, I really didn't feel well enough to go.

Sunday, I went to church. My leg and hip felt a little better. But I was soooo tired. Dad said it was because of getting the root canal. Sandra and Craig Peterson spoke. Their talks were amazing; but I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. Same thing in the other meetings--great lessons, but I was extremely sleepy.

We had our Monster Concert with the elementary school orchestras on Wednesday night. It's a lot of work, but well worth the effort. The kids love playing in such a big group. There are hundreds of little instrumentalists playing.

Tuesday night we had a recital for my one and only student--besides Henry. It was cute.

Monday Aunt Malinda and I traveled home from Arizona where we had Grandfather's 85th birthday parties. The adults, Uncle Ty and Aunt Malinda, Uncle Roy and Aunt Jeanne, Me, Grandfather and Alba, Chelsea, Megan and Bonny and Geller went out Friday night, we met at a park on Saturday with all the grandkids and great-grandkids--all who could make it. It was so fun seeing everyone. We missed those who couldn't come. Sunday was Grandfather's actual birthday. Alba fixed an amazingly beautiful spaghetti dinner. Robert and family, and Steven came. Henry was with me on the trip so he was there too. Of course, Aunt Malinda was there since we came home together. We had such a great weekend. The trip home went so quickly because Aunt Malinda and I just talked our way home. It was better than having a movie or book on CD!

Well, I'd better get this off to you. I love you and hope you have a great week. You are always in our prayers. Love, Mom

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - Letter from Hermana Bentley

Me voy!!!

Transfers are tomorrow and I'm being taken away from Kearny! I feel pretty sad about this. All these people here are in my heart and I'm gonna miss 'em. And I also am not going to be killing Sister Stevens. I'm really sad about that too...she's so awesome! But the Lord has a work for me to do, and this area doesn't need Sister Bentley right now!

Yesterday my companion and I went to the care center to visit an older spanish lady, Dulce. She seriously is so sweet and we love to come visit her and sing and share a little scripture with her. Last Thursday we had tried to go and visit her, but she refused to let us sing, talk, or even give her a hug. So we sadly went away, with her kindof mad at the world (she's been in this care center for 10 years and feels very lonely). We decided to try her again. We came in, and she just had the biggest sweetest smile for us. We talked with her and I just had this feeling that I wanted her to know that we really did love her and that we do really love to sit and visit with her. We sang to her a couple of hymns, and then talked about the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was sooo strong and the feeling of love was strong too. Sometimes my companion will just stop and look at me to say something, and she did so in this visit. I had no idea what to say, so I just said the first thing that came to mind. I told her that we loved to just come and be in her presence, cuz we do. I don't remember much else of what I said, I think I bore my testimony of the Spirit. Then it was time for us to sing two more songs and then go. As I looked at Dulce, I realized that I didn't want to leave, i just wanted to stay here with her and ask her about her life. And then sing and sing. We sang two songs. and then I was like, "Dos mas! dos mas!" So we sang two more. And my companion saw two songs and we didn't know which one to sing, so we decided to sing both. Finally we said the prayer, and got up to go. This sweet woman can't walk, and is confined to a chair or bed for all her time now. Before we knew what she was doing, she had shakily gotten up from her wheelchair and stood and tried to take a couple of steps. It looked like she was going to try to walk us to the door of her room! But she just stood up for us cuz we were leaving. I was so overwhelmed! We hugged and kissed her cheek and helped her to sit back down. So, we left, with much love. I just want to take her home!

That was an amazing experience. Really interesting that that was the last time that I would be seeing her. At least for now. I don't really know what else to say. I just see all the trials that all these people go through, like the Cuevas, Tania, Martha, Samantha...all these strong people who are going through the hardest things and we get to be the representatives of Christ who go to comfort, serve, teach, and love them just as Christ would. I get to have the honor of serving and loving these people; with that love, comes the pain of when they make wrong choices, the happiness when they are making good choices, and still seeing all they are going through. But the joy that comes from Heavenly Father and His Plan of Happiness, and Christ through His Atonement. It just makes everything unbelievably good and perfect. All will be made right through Christ. We just gotta work and believe. More like work to believe. I know Christ lives and that we may be made perfect through His Everlasting Atonement. So let's work and laugh and live!

Love you all! Hermana Bentley

Yo y mi companera enjoying the day! (We're volunteers)

Sunday, April 12, 2015 - Letter from Home

Dear Vickie,

I'm writing you on Grandfather's birthday at his house in Mesa. Alba fixed a delicious dinner and Robert and family and Steven and Aunt Malinda and Henry and I ate with Grandfather and Alba. He is officially 85. The funny thing is that his age backwards is my age--58. Isn't that interesting. I wonder how that happened??? Last night Henry and I went to sleep at Robert and Bridget's. Henry went right to sleep. Robert and Bridget and I were staying up talking. It was so funny. I had just said that I had set some goals and was doing so well. Robert said, "Let me hear about your goals." In the next breath he was snoring! haha Bridget and I ended up enjoying each other's company before we finally went to sleep. Breena gave a talk in Primary. Robert went up to help her and I was standing by Aiden. His little feelings are so tender and he began crying. So I took him out. So I didn't actually get to hear her talk. But I looked through the little window and saw how beautiful she was standing up there giving her talk.

Saturday we had Grandfather's big birthday party at the park. It was perfect weather. We had so much fun eating and talking and playing basketball and the little kids played on the playground. We decided we wanted to continue getting together every April 12th or nearby that date to celebrate Grandfather's birthday. Megan came all the way from California. It was so fun to see everyone. Henry and I and Robert and his family were there. Megan and her son, Geller; Jenny and her husband, Ben and their little girl Aubrie, Bonny and hubby, Ben; Jaron, Nathan, Sophie, Sion, Camilla. Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Roy and Royce and Cody. Aunt Malinda, Uncle Ty, Tonya, Maelie, Kason and Sadie, Alexa and Tyson, and Chelsea. There, I just took roll. lol

Friday night we went on our date to Sweet Tomato. Megan and Bonny joined us. Henry and I traveled all day on Friday.

Thursday night Henry went to the Madrigal party and helped get the new Madrigals out of bed. He pulled an all-nighter, so I drove all the way.

Sorry about last Monday. I had DUP and couldn't be on-line when you were there. But at least my letter will be waiting for you when you get on. We will be on the road when you write your letter tomorrow morning.

I'm so thankful you are serving the Lord on a mission. The Lord is happy with you and the work you are doing. I know Jesus Christ lives and guides his church.

Until next week. I love you very much! Love, Mom

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - 4/6/15

Happy Birthday to Jesus!

So, back before the mission, I sometimes would drive pretty scary. :) Here, you have to drive in such tight circumstances that when I get home, I'll be an even scarier driver, but at least I'll know what I'll be doing. :):)

The great thing about being a Spanish missionary in the US is that I don't only get one type of Spanish, but Latinos from all the different countries! The down side to that is there is 3 or 4 different kinds of people that make it really hard to understand because of their accents! Like Argentina people. All their ya's are sha's. And not only me, but both of my trainers too have the hardest time understanding Columbianos! And Dominicans use a lot of informal Spanish, so a quarter of what they're saying goes out the other ear. But they are so funny. And I love them all, I'll just have to be okay with not knowing exactly what they're saying...that could be bad...

This week I had a lesson in which the Spirit was definitely not present, and it was the most awkward lesson that we have ever had. Apparently we were supposed to stay there for the whole evening and eat with them and then teach. So we did. This is with Martha and her husband, Diego, who was active in the church for two years, about 15-30 years ago. Things were kinda slow, but then we ate dinner (which was AMAZING! It was some Easter dish that the Catholics do). Then the husband poured himself some beer, and we immediately felt super awkward (but Martha didn't! She's keeping her commitment to live the Word of Wisdom!). And then Martha starts asking some questions about the Word of Wisdom, which made it more awkward. But we did the best we could to answer questions, and then we got ready to teach the lesson; we actually changed the whole lesson plan cuz of how drastically the circumstances changed. But. Then a friend came in to visit with Martha and her husband. I could tell she must've been a good friend, but there was something off. We taught about prophets and how we receive revelation from God through them. Honestly, neither of us felt the Spirit there the whole time, except for one moment. That was when we showed them pictures of the prophet and the apostles. I could feel the Spirit in that moment. I didn't say much in that lesson. I had no idea what to say. But I learned from that lesson that I can't teach if the Spirit isn't there. I'm so grateful for the sweet feelings that come from the Spirit. I treasure those moments when I teach by the power of the Holy Ghost.

My companion has the most awesome music. Totally mission appropriate and some of them are so fun to listen to! There's this one song that Sister Stevens and I love jam out to (when no one is around:)). I can't remember the name right now, but when I get home I'm going to dance to it with one of my neices and nephews!

I love you all very much:) Have an awesome week! Love, Hermana Bentley

at a wedding taking silly pictures with one of the ninas

Chilling with my companion at lunch:)

Having fun at the sister training meeting:)

Letter from Home - Monday, April 6th, 2015

In answer to your question about if I know Spanish: I know a lot of Spanish. Because I don't get much practice, I get a headache trying to speak it. But I still know quite a bit. In fact, I get compliments when I speak it. Your old Ma knows something!

Sorry about today! Steven is here for the week and had to talk this morning. Then I was late for DUP; so I hurried and got there late. So I missed you online. I was so sad. But I loved getting all those pictures! Plus reading your emails. I thought maybe I could send you a letter snail mail. We'll see. I'm pretty much worn out from having Abrielle and Nathan here for a Grandma sleepover on Saturday night. It ended up being a Grandma weekend with sleepover. I'm bushed! But I sure love having them over. It's just good that the younger girls have the babies!

I will not be able to be online with you two Mondays out of the month--except for the summer months because of DUP meetings. I'm sad about that because Monday mornings are the highlight of my week. But I do need to pay attention to my responsibilities. I'm hoping to get my email written on Sunday night. That way at least you'll get something from me.

I saw Alexa on Saturday night at the Ladies night and I was excited to hear that she writes you. I'm so glad that she keeps in touch. We had fun at Leatherby's. Aunt Jeanne and Lynnae were there and all of Aunt Malinda's daughters. But Marie wasn't--not sure why she wasn't. Of course, Beth was in Texas and you in New Jersey.

Henry got all four wisdom teeth out. But he didn't have any pain nor did he swell up. The whole procedure took a half your. Now I have a prescription of pain killers in my purse that I don't need! I'm so thankful for the Lord's blessings and miracles. Trevor's arm is still swollen a little. But there is not pain except in one small area. I'm allowing him to not take piano lessons for the month of April so that his wrist can heal. We have dental appointments for Wednesday. So I think we'll get Trevor's wisdom teeth pulled and I already have the pain killers just in case.

I love you soooo much. I'm so glad the Lord is helping you on your mission. We are constantly praying for you.

Love, Mom

Letter from Hermana Bentley - 3/31/15

Sorry, this letter is gonna be short:/

So we received news that we are gonna get IPads! woo hoo! I'm pretty excited for that:) Only a few select missions get to have them, and we were on the list, so I feel extremely grateful. Just gotta wait a couple of months I think.

Yesterday we had a meeting for all the sisters in the mission. It was fun:) we learned a little bit about how to get along better with our companions. And since there were no elders around, we learned how to do Hawaiian "movements" (no dancing allowed;) It was good to get together with all the sisters, we're kind of a minority...we also got to learn how to do some simple cooking tricks that will be convenient for the mission. Like making these little pastries that are quick and simple, cuz that's what we need!

We had the women's conference, in which we had a couple of less actives come to! We were so excited to see them there! And then one of them came to church without being prompted to, so we were pretty happy about that too!

There's a new video that's out now, called BecauseHelives. This is a fantastic conversation starter and we'll be handing out cards and hopefully a lot of people will want to know more from the video!

I love you all very much and I hope you have such a good week:) Love, Hermana Bentley

Letter from Home - Monday, March 30th, 2015

Dear Vickie, This morning has been so busy. Not only did I have Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, but Trevor was sick this morning. So I gave him some grape juice and I helped him to bed. Anyway, I made a smoothie and had him crawl upstairs. I gave him some and went to DUP. When I came back he was on the recliner and was feeling better. I'm pretty sure he didn't have hardly anything to eat yesterday. I was so busy yesterday that I didn't make sure he was eating and drinking. So today I'm making sure he gets what he needs.

Anyway, we had a good fast and testimony meeting yesterday. We had a combined meeting and Brother Sorensen taught about Family History. I'm on the stake committee for the sock hop, so we had a meeting. Dinner was scarcely attended. Only Dad and I ate dinner. It was late because of my meeting; so Henry went to bed because he had an early day. Dad had gone to Mo Tab earlier in the day because he wanted to make sure he sang in Conference so you can see him. He's been really sick, but he felt well enough to at least attend. He sat on the side lines. Today he is feeling much better. I told him to take it easy so he can attend the mandatory rehearsal tomorrow

You can tell I haven't been writing in my journal because I'm thinking back through the week. Just the usual stuff happened--orchestra and lessons. I taught a music class of 2nd graders about the instruments in Orchestra. They were all excited! Saturday night was our Solo and Ensemble Concerto Concert. It was such a good concert. CJ Madsen, who won national reflections of the PTA, played with us. He is amazing!

Well, I'd better get this off so you have something to read. Remember, that I love you soooo much. More important your Heavenly Father loves you. Love, Mom

Monday, March 23, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - Monday, March 23, 2015

This week we got juked a lot. But we also had a wedding of one of our less actives, which will make it possible for her to become active again! Next step? Coming to church, haha. The food was awesome, except I accidently dished myself some cow stomache. yuck. No me gusta. My companion started to talk to this guy who randomly decided to walk into the church, and it turns out this person was the ward mission leader for one of the elders from Utah. Small world. Also, somehow I made a deal with him that the next time I met him if I didn't remember his name, I would get a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. How do I keep on doing this? Oh well. His name is Jasiel. Ha-see-el. Whoop.

I forgot to mention, the Saturday before that, an awesome member named Pepe took my companion and I out to lunch at a Peruvian restaurant. I ALMOST DIED!!!!! I love the food there, but he made us get two PERUVIAN SIZED meals. My body hated me for a good two hours. And then I died. But then I had to come back to life because then we had another cita with another member who was having a hard time. We met her at a pizza place, and she fed us pizza. I felt a little bad, I couldn't finish the one slice she gave me. Oof.

We keep on meeting with Martha, and she is probably our investigator that is SOOO ready for baptism, but she is having a hard time receiving her "answer". I love her so much, and I feel like she knows this church is true, and she wants to join it, but she wants to be sure. She told us she wants to have a testimony like ours. So we talked to her about how the Spirit works, and how we need to have faith, and that we don't need to know everything. We read some of the Book of Mormon with her and she's really interested in it. Finally we were talking about her praying to know. She always prays to Heavenly Father saying, "Please show me the way that you want me to go." but we keep trying to help her know that it's best to directly ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. We actually knelt down with her to pray to know. My heart broke as she prayed. She plead with Heavenly Father, and told Him to let her know if the Book of Mormon was true. She waited. She wasn't recognizing anything and so she started to cry and plead with Him to let her know what we were saying is true. When she closed in Christ's name we comforted her, and Sister Steven's said something that I didn't understand, but it seemed to help Martha. Later, after the lesson (it went 2 and a half hours!) my companion let me know that Martha wants a dream or vision of some kind, and so we'll have to help her realize that the still small voice is what she needs to learn to recognize. In an earlier lesson this week, we asked her some inspired questions. She believes that we are representatives of Christ. I don't have much more time, but I have such a huge testimony of the Spirit of God and how He is always waiting there to help us, but we must humble ourselves, and ask for Heavenly Father's help. In Jesus' name, amen.

I love you all, have a fantastic week! Love, Hermana Bentley

Letter from Home - Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Vickie,

Today is Aunt Jeanne's birthday. Let's see... she must be about 34 by now. haha

Yesterday was Kaylee's missionary non-farewell talk. It was very good. Her sister, Mandy sang and did a beautiful job. I accompanied for her. Abby was the youth speaker. I can't remember her last name; but her brother is Mateo. She was really good also. Peter Fairbrother also spoke and did so well. The meeting was so good.

Saturday was Symphony plus all the practicing I did with the solos for the concert next week. I slept/rested the rest of the day. Friday night dad and I went out with Paul and Sue to a yummy Mexican restaurant over in Sandy.

Tuesday and Thursday was my regular orchestra classes. I went out with my girlfriends on Thursday for lunch. Also I went visiting teaching to Kaylene Whitelock. We also went Friday visiting teaching to Shauna Pace, and today we're going to go see Helema. Our visits kind of got strung out this month.

I got to talk to Steven yesterday. He called and said that his work group will probably be moving to Washington to work in about 2 or 3 weeks. Wilford is now working on a regular shift at his new job. He got his first paycheck. He's looking to buy a car.

I'm going to try and attach a picture of Henry and his prom date. His vest doesn't match her dress. But he tried to get it right.

Marie is over her terrible headaches. She went to the doctor even though her headaches were already clearing up because she had already made the appointment. He said it was probably a sinus infection that was causing the headaches.

Valerie is also feeling much better. I'm going to try and attach a picture of her, too. I don't think she was feeling too well in this picture.

I look forward to reading your letter today. I love you so much! Love, Mom

Henry and his prom date

Sick Valerie with RSV

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - 03/16/15

I turned 19 and a half yesterday! It was fun. I felt, like, a little bit older. So that was fun. Anyway. We had a training meeting on Tuesday and that. was. awesome!! We were taught by an Elder Stroud, who teaches the institute here. He taught us about Baptism of Fire and of the Holy Ghost. Whoa. I thanked him afterwards. It was just something so special and there was a burning feeling inside my chest. Many members of the church are baptized, but they are not baptized by the fire of the Holy Ghost. In confirmation, the words, "Receive the Holy Ghost" aren't a passive pronouncement. They mean that that person now has the ability to receive the Holy Ghost continually. But we gotta keep the commandentments, pray, read the scriptures, do what we know to be right in order to have the Spirit. It isn't just given to us. We need to make ourselves worthy. We need to have more than a testimony. We need to be converted and there comes that baptism of fire. I thought to myself, how do I do that? I love this quote, and I can't remember if it was from a general authority or from Elder Stroud:

"We need to discuss behavior only to the degree that we identify the behavioral problem, and then find the doctrine that addresses that behavior, and teach it." So I'm applying that to my teaching this week! But honestly, it is teaching the doctrines that corrects not so awesome behavior. If we try to talk about correcting behavior, more likely the not so awesome behavior will increase. So it's just best to teach the doctrine of Christ, for more often than not, members who are less active simply do not have a perfect understanding of the doctrine. I say that with love and the Spirit.

I feel that I am loving the mission more and more every day! Sister Stevens has only ten weeks left and we are doin' awesome! And my Spanish is doin' better every day! I was called on in Gospel Doctrine by the teacher to give an answer and an elder near me immediately said, do you understand that? and they all looked like I had no idea what he had even asked me. But surprisingly enough, I understood it pretty all right and answered the best I could in my interesting Spanishness. I think my favorite part of progressively learning Spanish is that EVERYONE-missionaries and natives- look so surprised when I talk!

Something that I'm learning from Sister Stevens is how to love the people and the missionary work. Me gusta. I'm so glad that I have the privilege to go talk to people and help them see Christ as their hope!

I love you all, and I'm am so happy when I get to hear from you! I love the letters, and knowing what's going on in your lives. My dear family, I'm so glad i have you for eternity. I miss you and i love you, but i am here so that these people might also have eternal life. Love ya'll!

Hermana Bentley

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Letter from Home - Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Vickie,

For the first time, I wrote in my journal every day this week! Yea!!! So now I have information that may enhance my email this week. I'll start with Monday. I usually go backwards because I'm trying to remember the things I did. But now I don't have to think much because it's all written in the journal.

Last Monday I went to see my boss at Jordan School District. I thought I wouldn't be able to teach orchestra next year because I will be going to Texas to help Beth out when she has her baby. But Mary Ann, my boss, said to ask the other teachers to substitute for me. I think I already found a sub. I saw one of the other teachers in the temple on Tuesday and she said that she needs a sub for November. So I guess we'll try to work that one out.

Tuesday I went to the temple in the evening and had a very nice time at a chapel session that Bishop Hawkins asked us to come to. During the endowment session I was able to see the other new movie that I hadn't seen before. Each of those new movies brings out different things to think about. Anyway, I had a good time attending the temple.

Wednesday I practiced with Tonya. I played the violin and she sang. One of her friends played the piano. That night I made a Japanese dish that tasted pretty good. I'm trying to use up this jar of pickled ginger that Beth and David had bought when they were here. They used it to make sushi--which they love! I don't really get off on sushi. So I've been looking for recipes to use up this pickled ginger. There aren't many-I can tell you that! I made a lemon bundt cake just in case we needed something. But everything turned out fine. Thursday I found out that Marie has been really sick with headaches. So I juiced her some grapefruit juice from the fruit that we brought back from Grandfather's house and took it down to her. She said that it really made her feel better and the juice was so much better than the juice you buy in the stores. Thursday night I went to Daughters of the Utah Pioneers camp meeting. We had a lesson on Matthew McCune, pioneer. It was all very interesting. I could write more--but since he's not related I'll just leave it at that. Diane Tree gave the lesson. She's such a good teacher.

Friday I took another pitcher of grapefruit juice to Marie and visited a little while. I hope her headaches go away soon. Friday night, Dad and I went to Archibald's for dinner with a coupon for $10 off a $30 meal. We love their food. Then we went and saw the new movie Cinderella. It was really good. They gave out magic wands at the end. So we gave Dad's magic wand to Abrielle. I'm going to send mine to Breena. If I don't get it sent I'll take it to her in April. But hopefully I'll be a good enough sender to get it off this week!

Saturday we had Symphony. We are getting ready for our Solo and Ensemble Concerto night on the 28th. We didn't realize that it was the same night as the Women's Broadcast. So we will repent and pay attention to that in the future. I am accompanying many of the solos and ensembles. So I'm practicing a lot on the piano. I need to practice my violin music also--but can't get to it. You know me, always over-doing it on time commitments! I really have been doing better. I have taken Aunt Malinda's advice and have learned how to say, "I'm booked for that day." I've even learned to say, "No". I have actually used that word once or twice in the last little while when people have asked me to do things. Gasp!!!

Saturday night was Pie night (3.14 Pi) get it? So the Elders Quorum planned a night where everyone brought a pie. Dad took an apple pie from Costco. Cavet Eaton brought a rabbit pie. Somebody brought a pizza pie. I didn't go because I was worn out from all the practicing that day. I stayed home and did the budget. Dad and Trevor went and had a great time eating pie. They brought a couple of pieces home plus Melanie Turner sent a piece of her pie for me to eat. It was lemon meringue. Henry went to prom with Alison Blankenship?-I can't remember her last name. But Henry took her to the Roof atop the Joseph Smith building. Very nice and very expensive. But it's prom--what can I say. He did have his $100 that I insist upon before even thinking about those kinds of expensive dates. So Dad and I weren't in the hole too badly. His date had a gorgeous dress on. She happily told me that she bought it at DI for $9.00! I love that girl! haha Henry brought his "group" over to the house after the dance. They all looked so nice.

Well, I'd better get this email sent so you will have something to read from your dear old mom. I hope you were able to buy the clothes you need. Also, I hope the missionary work is going well. You are always in our prayers.

Love, Mom

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - March 9th, 2015

Wow! Tomorrow I'll have been on the mission for three months!

Transfers were on Tuesday and I was super afraid of losing my companion, Sister Mortensen! But I shook off that fear and put on some faith! My new companion is Sister Stevens! She's super funny and awesome!! I don't know what it is about her, but she helps me so much to calm down, cuz I get stressed a lot actually.

This week has been fun, and I'm starting to really enjoy going and teaching according to the Spirit. Saturday was super fun, we had 5 lessons, which is the most that I've had in a day:) The people that we meet with are so awesome! We've been meeting with a lot of less actives and they seem so willing to listen to us, and we got a couple to come to church with us yesterday! I have so much faith that they're going to become active again, and I excited for that!

One of our investigators, Martha, is progressing slowly, but surely. We've taught her a lot, but we are going to read with her parts of the Book of Mormon, just to help her really get into there. She's like my latino mom:) I just want to sit and talk to her for a long time! but we're only supposed to keep our visits at the most to 45 minutes. We met with her on Friday and we tried to leave after an HOUR AND A HALF, but it we couldn't end it! I don't know how to end a cita hardly at all! Sister Stevens said that there were a couple of times where it seemed like we would be able to close the conversation and leave, but then Martha would just bring up another thing! The latinos are so loving. But it's really hard to leave! Especially since it's easy to offend. We'll make it happen though! Somehow.

Spanish is going pretty alright. I'm speaing more in citas, and they're understanding me! It's awesome! I even forgot the word for cita. I asked my companion yesterday. It's appointment. It's just so weird. But fun! The Gift of Tongues is working within me and I am ever so grateful!

Jesus is the Christ, and He knows exactly how each of us feel! We just gotta access that power of the Atonement, by repenting and being baptized, constantly taking the Sacrament and keeping the commandments of God. If we're not keeping those commandments, of course we're gonna feel rebellious! By not obeying the commandments, we are subject more to Satan. And that stinks. So keep them commandments! I love you all, and Heavenly Father loves you more and is behind you the whole way!

Love ya! Hermana Bentley

 This is my new companion Sister Stevens! She's super awesome!!

Letter from Home - Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Vickie, I had a wonderful visit with Steven as I took him down to Wickenburg, AZ for his job. Then I went to Robert's and stayed and attended church, then to Grandfather and Alba's and had a nice dinner and stayed the night. Monday morning we checked the brakes on the van and I looked at the weather report and thought it would be OK to go through Flagstaff. Not so. We drove and it got slower and slower. People were sliding off the side of the road. But I stayed in the 10 mph line of cars. Finally, the freeway was totally stopped for maybe an hour. The snow was really deep. Trevor and I (thank goodness I made him go with me) stopped and got lunch at Wendy's when we finally go into Flagstaff. Then we continued on our trek home. The roads were clear when we got off of the Flagstaff mountain. So we drove to Kanab. It was barely snowing. We stopped for dinner, filled the gas tank and got prepared to drive through the night so Trevor could get to school. About two miles out of Kanab we hit a blizzard so strong that we couldn't even see the road, let alone how awful it is to drive with snowflakes hitting the lights as you go along. So we carefully turned around and headed back to civilization and stayed the night at a hotel. The next day we got going after breakfast and drove home. We had to go slow several times because of other snow storms that seemed to hit us in waves. We got to Nephi and stopped for lunch. I finally tried that JC Mickelson restaurant that has advertisements for miles in advance. I've seen those billboards for years--even decades and never have stopped. It was really good food and very fresh. There's a train that goes around the restaurant above our heads that is cool to watch.

Oh well, we were glad to finally get home Tuesday afternoon at 3:30. I had called and cancelled both of my orchestra classes and excused Trevor from school earlier.

Wednesday Henry got 5 cavities filled at the dentist. He also needs to have his wisdom teeth removed. Fun, fun!

Thursday, Trevor played in his piano recital and did very well. I enjoy listening to his musicianship. He definitely has a talent for music expression.

Friday, we went out with the Turners.

Oh yeah, Aunt Malinda said I missed putting her in last week's email. We had gone out to lunch. We hardly ever get a good chance to just talk. So we had a great time eating at Kneaders. We need to do that more often. We need Aunt Jeanne to join us.

Saturday, we had a good rehearsal at Symphony. We are doing some pretty high class music. We have a pianist soloing with us doing a Rachmananoff Concerto. Our concert is March 28th--which I put 2 and 2 together yesterday--it is the same night as the General Women's Conference. Bad planning! We'll go ahead with the concert. But we'll meet afterwards and watch a recording of the Conference.

Sunday, Brother Chavez' daughter, Shayla Jenkins and her husband spoke in church. It was very good on doing missionary work. I really think the best way to find people to teach is by visiting the members with a good message and then asking for names from the members. Anyway, we are trying to do our missionary work!

Well, I guess I better get this sent. I made scrambled eggs and grapefruit juice from Grandfather's grapefruits for breakfast. Then I made some banana bread. It's in the oven baking and we will probably have it for family night tonight. So I'm on my way to a good day.

My cousin, Rae, said that there is a missionary, Preston Childers, that is in your mission that probably went out the same time as you did. He went to Bingham HS. Maybe you know him. Preston Childers is in her stake.

We love you sooooo much and pray for you often. I hope you're not keeping your companion awake with your sleep talking. haha We thought that was so funny! Have a great week! Love, Mom

Letter from Hermana Bentley - March 2nd, 2015

Wheesh.

Goodness gracious, this week has been HARD! Some of them people in Kearny are facing some hard trials! And some of our investigators are not answering us. But none the less, we will continue to work hard. It's getting difficult for them and us, but that must mean that something good is coming! All your prayers are sooooo appreciated!

As for our investigator Oscar, I'll have to let you know when he gets baptized. I found out a week or two ago that he's been investigating the Church for some 30 years! We asked him in a cita last Monday if he had ever prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Can you believe it? He has not. So we are putting their family on some serious medicine called, "read the flippin' book". But they still have a desire, which is super awesome! Everyone needs to at least have a desire in order to grow in this gospel!

A couple of days ago my companion and I were literally running to a cita cuz we were really late. We were going to go by this Dominican lady, when she stopped us and asked us if we were missionaries. We told her that we were. She was shaking so bad the poor girl! She straight out told us that she needed help. My companion was really afraid, but she kindly asked this girl questions, and we sat her down and helped her to calm down. We had just been at a member's house, and they gave us chocolate soda crackers, and so I gave her some, and we just kept talking to her. We called our other cita and canceled, and we saw them the next day. While my companion was doing that (cuz I can't understand Spanish on the phone to save my life) I sat with this girl and tried to speak and comfort her. Ugh. I am so bad at talking to people. My companion really does most of the talking, and I feel awkward and stumble in my words whenever I do speak. I just can't seem to get those words out. So. It was okay though, cuz my companion came back and we were able to fix a cita con ella.

We met with a mother and her daughter yesterday. The daughter has severe depression and has to be on medication. She recently got some new medication and has been adjusting to it. She's not doing so well. She shaved her head, plucked all her eyelashes, and her eyebrows were almost not there. We talked to her and her mom, and for a moment the mom left the room and we could talk to Sherry( the daughter) alone. All of her faith and hope is gone. She was very sharp about it, the poor girl. When we realized that the Spirit could not teach her, we simply let her know that we still love her, and care about her. She appreciated that. Her mom (who's name is also Sherry), still wants to come back, and that is difficult for her between work and her daughter. Thank goodness she has awesome visiting teachers! They called us to be updated, and they're going to go be a support for her! I'm so happy about that! For real, I think if I only got one thing from my mission, it would be that I will be a super awesome visiting teacher!

So I just ate some cow stomach for lunch. We were at a member's house who have been wanting to cook for us. I was okay, until started to mix my rice and sauce together. Then I saw a good strip of cow stomach. I kinda gasped and looked at my companion and she gave me a stern look and mouthed "eat your food!" I tried, but every time I looked at it I flipped out a little on the inside. It's okay though, I got through! Okay one more thing. I have to have a back up trainer. This next transfer my trainer is leaving because she has been called to be a sister training leader! She is so perfect for the job, seriously, she's amazing and she's helped me so much! But I'm still sad that she can't stay to finish training me. I'm nervous though, cuz that means that I'm kinda leading my area for the next transfer. It's okay though, cuz my future companion knows this area pretty well anyway. And it's truly the Lord that directs this whole thing. So I'm gonna replace that fear with some faith:)

I love ya'll, have a fantastic week, alright? Love, Hermana Bentley

Letter from Home - Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Dear Vickie, I'm writing this in sunny Arizona. Well, it's not sunny today. It's rainy and snowy up North. I'm still going to try to travel through Flagstaff, though. Maybe. This week... I got my visiting teaching done. I practiced with Tonya for her solo in church. I will be playing the violin solo that goes with her vocal solo. I can't remember the name of the piece. But I've played it before when Marie sang it in her ward. It's about the Savior. The violin part is very difficult, so I hope I can play it with band-aids on my fingers. Oh yeah, I cut my fourth finger on my left hand while using that chopper. It just nicked it, but it hurts a lot and impedes my violin playing. But I can play with cotton balls and band-aides. Funny, huh? Beth and David and Marci left on Wednesday. It was really hard for me that day and I cried and sat around. I finally just got up and started getting things done. I still miss them and hope that everything goes well for them in Texas. They have news, but I'll let them tell you. They went to Mesa/Phoenix first to see everybody. Marie and Todd went also. It sounds like they all had a great time, except David got sick and was throwing up. Beth was already being naceous (however you spell that word.). But that has to do with her news for you. I think David has sympathy pains for Beth a lot. He MUST love her. LOL I'm still waiting to hear how Marci fared on the trip and Bella, the cat. Thursday I had a meeting for my calling on the Stake Activities Committee. We are planning an ice cream party and dance in the 50's style. Planning for 250 is a lot different than planning for 10. haha Friday Dad and I went out for lunch because he's been having this big choir convention/performances all this week. We went to Golden Corral. I definitely love lunch more than dinner at that restaurant! Then we came back home and watched Chariots of Fire on the TV. I don't remember the movie being so slow-moving. But it sure was. But Dad and I had fun sitting together and watching it. Saturday the Symphony had auditions for the solo and ensemble concert coming up. Right afterwards Trevor and Steven and I left for Wickenburg. We got Steven to his place about 10:00 pm. Then Trevor and I made it to Robert's just after midnight. Robert's house has been the place for company lately. Beth and David stayed there and Marie and Todd visited. So I slept on their comfy couch and Trevor slept on the blow-up mattress that David and Beth had slept on previously. We went to church with them in the morning. Then Trevor and I headed over to Grandfather and Alba's. They were at church, but we sat in the car and enjoyed the smell of orange blossoms. It occurred to me that this was a blessing from Heavenly Father. I have tried to be in Mesa during orange blossom season every year. Finally, I get that blessing. It was so peaceful, and that is my favorite smell! They got home at 4:30 and Robert and Bridget and Steven came and we ate a yummy dinner that Alba had prepared. It was like Cafe Rio. She made her own salad bowls out of tortillas that she baked in bowl molds. We had fun visiting afterwards. Then Robert and fam and Steven all left to go home. Dad and Alba and I stayed up way past my bedtime. There was just so much to talk about. We finally got to bed about 11:00. I was going to leave at 6:00 this morning. But I needed my brakes checked because they were acting funny. They're good. Not unsafe, just annoying. So now I just wanted to make sure I got this email written to you, and now we are going to brave the roads up North. Other family news: Wilford is enjoying his new job. But he definitely wants to buy a car. Commute time is two hours a day. It cuts into his free time. Henry took a date to Dad's Tab concert on Saturday night. He's planning how to ask his friend girl to Prom. We got his packet for language and he's working on it. He had a interview to begin his papers for his mission! Yeah!!! Robert's interviewing for a better Chiro job. We are praying for him. I love you so much. We are praying for Ingres, Martha and Oscar. I hope Oscar was able to be baptized, and I hope wedding plans are moving along well for Ingres. Also, I hope Martha's testimony is increasing and that she has the desire to be baptized soon. Love, Mom

Friday, February 27, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - 2/23/15

Hola mis amores:)

This week has been full of miracles! Never underestimate the power of prayer! We have been more specific in our prayers, and the Lord has blessed us for it! We found two new investigators and both of them are on date for baptism! Every time we meet with a new investigator for the first lesson, we always invite them to be baptized. First we share the message of the Restoration, and invite them to be baptized when they know that our message is true. The first investigator, Carlos, is a friend to one of our recent converts,Tino, and was present when we were reviewing the restoration of the gospel with Tino. We got a call a couple of days later saying that Carlos had felt something at that lesson, and wants to be baptized! So we are teaching him now:) The second investigator is a former, but she's just been gone visiting her mother. So we invited her to come to church and be baptized in a month and all and she's excited for it! Golden, I tell you! Almost too good:) and we actually found out there is kind of an obstacle for her. She's not married to the guy she's living with. So. Now we also have a wedding to plan:) Hopefully all will go well with that!

We also had a fireside with the members in our ward. Only people from Kearny came though! Probably because we made it a point to call the people in our area and inform them of it. They all have family mission plans and we are going to follow up on them and hopefully be able to get some more referrals!! The work is moving forward, and this area is booming! The Lord has blessed us so much!

Oof. Missionary work takes a lot out of me, so I'm always grateful for P-days! Always something to improve on, always something to be grateful for. Like how dry it is in Utah! We don't get a ton of terrible snow, but last Saturday we got some:) and my poor Californian companion had to drive in it. I'm not much help, cuz I can't help laughing when we start losing control. :P

Something interesting about the streets around here, is that the speed limit is always 25 mph. So when I went on an exchange, we were driving on a 40 road, and I was like, whoa I'm going too fast! Then I just thought about 90th that's right in front of our neighborhood. Good ol' New Jersey!

I love ya'll!

Love, Hermana Bentley

PS Oh! And Oscar did not get baptized on Friday:( We were not able to meet with their family for over a week! But we are meeting with Oscar tonight, and we're going to help him with any concerns he has. We will also help him see how much baptism can bless him and his family's progression to being eternal:)

Letter from Hermana Bentley - February 17, 2015

Sooo, yesterday was a holiday so the computers in the libraries were all unavailable. But...

Happy Valentine's Day en tarde! That day was actually a little awkward for us missionaries...but it's coolio.

This past week has been fairly interesting. We found a few new investigators, and they are SO ready! And one of our investigators, Martha/Hna. Ojeda is feeling more and more the truth of our message. It was amazing what she said to us the yesterday! She has been really confused with all the different truths and churches, and she told us that we are the ones that she feels different about! Her answer is becoming clearer and clearer and she knows it. I just want her to know immediately!! But patience is a virtue and she is doing her best. I love that lady!

Wednesday night I felt so sorry for my companion. We had eaten at a less active's home and apparently the food didn't fit well for her stomache, because in the middle of the night she felt sick and threw up. Luckily it was only once for her. But I felt even more sorry for her, cuz I was the one that woke her up and made her realize that she was sick! She told me that in her dream, she was hearing me talk and she woke up and looked over at my bed and I was sitting up, reciting the first vision in Spanish over and over. So she was like, "Hermana Bentley, what are you doing?" and I apparently said, "I'm just practicing." She told me that right now was not a good time and that I should save that for language study. So I laid back down. She tried to go back to sleep, but that was when she realized that she felt really sick. When she came back from the bathroom, I was sitting up in my bed again with my eyes open and everything. Hermana Mortensen said that that was kinda scary cuz my eyes were open, but hollow cuz I wasn't concious. So, poor girl, she was weak and ready to go to bed when my sleeping self decides to strike up a conversation. She told me I said, "You know, I was just thinking about the difference in believing and knowing..." she was like auuugggghhhh go to sleep! So she had to listen to me gab off while feeling all that nausea. The next day she felt better, and now she's doing awesome.

Last Friday was not my favorite cuz I was backing up my companion with the car. I don't know why I never thought that this was a dumb idea, but usually I will put myself between our car and any other cars that are behind us so that when she comes back I can simply tap on the back and she'll stop. Unfortunately, though, she was on a small hill of ice and she took her foot off the brake for two seconds and I tapped, but too late cuz my leg was pinched between the two cars! And I yelled out cuz it hurt and I thought that that would be a good thing to do when my leg is like that. So she quickly pulled forward a little, and I limped to my seat in the front, and when I got over my first initial shock, I felt my leg and there was a slight dent in there, but now there's only a bruise and my leg is healing great! I gotta go now but I love ya'll and miracles continue to happen! pray for Oscar Guerrero please, he's getting baptized on Friday and he's feeling a little nervous!

Hermana Bentley

Monday, February 16, 2015

Letter from Home - Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Vickie,

Another storm? I just noticed that Boston has received huge snow deposits. I looked at a video and it was amazing how deep the snow is over there! Fortunately--unfortunately for you--we are having unseasonably warm weather. haha But, then, you are one of my kids who loves cold weather, right??? Kind of makes you want to live in Arizona. hehe

We had a nice Sunday. The Relief Society presidency was changed. Cindy Minson, Kelly Danice, and Jenn McIllece are the new presidency. I went over to play for the Care Center.

Saturday was Valentine's Day. I made that yummy carrot cake because Beth really wanted me to do that. I played all of Symphony. But I put 1/4 of a cotton ball and a bigger bandaid. It was big, but I could play for the most part without pain.

Friday, Dad and I went out to Archibald's for dinner. Whatever I get over there, I really love. They are a good restaurant. BTW, I sent your Valentine package, but in order to get it there by Valentine's Day, it would have cost almost $55!!! So I opted for the 9-11 day rate for much, much cheaper. You should have it this week. Enjoy, but don't get sick! I actually made sugar cookies and decorated them. They are in the Pringle's can so they won't get crumbly. Then a bunch of other stuff I thought you would like including that music book you wanted. You're welcome! I love you, too! LOL Oh, yeah, Dad and I went to The Orange Peel after Archibald's. They make all kinds of smoothies without sugar. In fact, Dad and I requested they put in Stevia. Shayla told us about it.

Thursday, I went to Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Camp meeting. We heard some very interesting pioneer histories by Diane Tree.

Wednesday--nada.

Tuesday, we had Abrielle and Nathan over for Nathan's first ever Grandma sleep-over. We watched movies and ate yummy stuff and stayed up way later than we were used to. I wish I could have Breena and Joshua over somehow. Maybe we can figure that out. Main requirement is potty-training must be accomplished before sleeping at a Grandma sleepover! lol

Monday, David taught the family night lesson. He's a very good teacher. It was on family and couple councils.

General family news: Dad is still busy with the choir and work. He went to the doctor and his diabetes is worse. The doctor suggested he try the Paleo diet. So we are doing our best to try that diet. It's mostly meat with vegetables. No grains nor sugar. We are definitely not perfect; but it's a process, right?

David and Beth are packing up a little each day. My lonesome is already starting to hurt. I'm going to miss them--but especially that cute little Marci! I think Trevor won't know what to do without being able to carry her around and babysit her.

Wilford's last day at work is the 19th. So we are going to celebrate his birthday with a breakfast on the 21st--his birthday. I was hoping to have Marie's birthday party Saturday night because she and Todd are going down to Mesa with Beth and David and will be gone on her birthday--the 26th. I'm waiting to hear from Marie, though, after she talks to Todd. It would be a fun Saturday to have breakfast together, then party until dinner, then go out for Marie's birthday.

Trevor and Wilford have been playing a lot of computer games because a new game just came out this last week.

Henry and the Madrigals did Singing Valentine's on Friday. He had so much fun.

This morning I was praying and thinking about what to pray for each of my children. Some of my kids I knew just what to ask for in their behalf. But some, I wasn't sure. So I prayed that Heavenly Father would bless so and so without asking for anything specific. I appreciate when my children talk to me or come to see me and let me know what's going on in their lives. I really feel a void when I don't hear from one or more of them. I thought how that's very much like praying to Heavenly Father. He must feel a void when someone forgets about Him or when someone feels they don't need him. Especially when He knows just how to bless their lives--but holds back because of free agency. I think occasionally we go thinking we can do it all--independent of help from above.

But Helaman made it perfectly clear that we cannot be independent in this life (Helaman 5:12). In fact, he called Jesus Christ a rock. He said that we had to rely on Jesus Christ, the rock. Hard times will come our way--it's a given. But we can avoid being dragged down during those hard times if we will depend upon Christ.

Well, I hope you and each of your siblings will remember to pray to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to realize that they can't do it without their help. I also hope that when I pray for my kids, I will know specifically what to ask Heavenly Father. Mothers really like to be in touch with each child--if only just to listen to them and then, to pray for them.

I love you muchisimo!

Love, Mom

Letter from Hermana Bentley - 2/9/15

I can't remember everything that I want to say! So this might just splurge out...

Every thursday we go on a "car fast" and so we walked everywhere that day. SUPER DUPER COLD!!!!!!! I bought a KitKat to remind myself that there were still good things in the world...and plus my companion was about to die of cold so we went into a convenience store. We taught a recent convert that day and he served us dinner. The dinner was quite interesting. My companion had a chunk of fish in there with the bones and scales still in there! And then I looked at mine. It was actually pretty cool. My chunk of fish actually still had the full tail on there! I meant to keep the skeleton of the tail (it was full and intact!!) but as we were teaching, someone cleaned it up:( I almost ate a couple of fish scales, but I felt them and pulled them out.

The story of the Ojedas continues to be inspiring! We officially invited Hno. Ojeda to come back and be active in the church. His answer was awesome! My companion says she has never had such a positive response to that question. He says that he will do whatever he can to come back. He said that he has been blessed with a good financial situation, but has neglected the things of God. So he's determined. I seriously am so proud of him! Mi companera y yo took Hna. Ojeda on a tour of the church to help her feel more comfortable with coming to church. It was kinda crazy, cuz a member totally overloaded her with all these details about everything/deeper doctrine, but she's okay! She came to church on Sunday and she really liked it! Plus Saturday night she invited us over and we were able to teach her about diezmo:) I believed she is one of those prepared ones!

The gift of tongues is growing within me as I focus on what people are saying. During lessons and conversations, I can get the gist of what we're saying and sometimes I even participate! I also can talk better. Yesterday my companion said my prayer was great, that I didn't have grammatical errors like I usually do! Step up for me:) It's kinda funny though, cuz I don't think that people really know what to say to me, so they greet my companion excitedly and then they turn to me and say, "Como esta su espanol?" or in accented English, "how is your Spanish?" At first, I was like, "poco a poco!" But it's kinda embarrassing to me now cuz I simply just say, "Esta mejor que ayer..." It's like they expect me to be picking it up pretty good by now. But I'm pretty sure that some of the members just don't know what to say to me... yesterday was a good day of communication with the people in the ward though! My companion and I taught this Sunday school class the Plan of Salvation. Mostly my companion talked and I drew on the board. She gave me a couple of opportunities to speak, and I looked like a deer in the headlights the first time, but the second time I took it and talked a little. I was a little bit scrambled, but I think I helped them a little. Oh by the way it was in English cuz the teenagers prefer that. And we were more comfortable with that. Poco a poco.

On Tuesday we had a zone meeting and I got to sing a number with another elder. We sang super awesome! And another brilliant piano player kind of elder played the guitar for us. It was a beautiful song about going and doing the Lord's work with faith:) I was a little surprised at my music ability cuz halfway in the song I went on a wrong note, but the note sounded good, and somehow I was able to sing the rest of the phrase in harmony and I got back on track for the rest of the song...scary, but thanks to Heavenly Father for helping me through that!

I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week!

Oh! And I went to Ellis Island and that was super fun! I saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance and a whole bunch of fun historic stuff! Especially the building that everybody used to have to go through to become part of the US.

Love, Hermana Bentley

this is me and my companion, Hermana Mortensen! Super awesome person!!

Letter from Home - Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Dear Vickie,

I just found out that we have more relatives that are from New Jersey. Phillip Packer was born in Pensaucken, Camden, New Jersey. It's in the Southern part of the state. His father, Phillip, died in Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey.

Well, on to the news. I have three students that I teach. A viola student on Monday, Henry takes voice lessons on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In return he massages my back and legs. Boy, does he find sore spots. I didn't realize I was so sore!!! Melanie is taking piano on Friday. That's in addition to my orchestra classes on Tuesday and Thursday morning and afternoon. So that's fun.

Today I went to church. But I left before the end because of my cough. At least I got to take the sacrament. Kaylee sang in church today and did an awesome job! Jacob and Shay and family returned from Arizona last night and said it was the best vacation they've ever had. Shayla hated to leave--yet another thing we have in common. Today they brought my van back and we exchanged our cars back. I'm so glad to get my van back. Jacob really liked the van, though! I made a pie today. Now that you're gone, I have to keep up the baking! Not as good as you are.

Yesterday I tried to play at Symphony. I had a band-aide on my finger to kind of give it some cushion. After about 20 minutes while playing on my thin E string, I gave up. It was hurting too bad. It was red and puffy. Next week I'll bring a cotton ball and a larger band-aide. After Symphony I went over to Bart Robbins and rehearsed for playing at the Care Center--which we did today.

Friday, Dad and I went to eat at Johnny Carino's. Then we went to the movies and saw Big Hero 6. It was a really good movie.

Thursday night I went to Melanie's for a Tupperware party. I haven't been to one of those for decades. I had fun and bought some stuff that I needed. I hope we don't go broke. haha

Wednesday and Tuesday I didn't do much except regular stuff.

Monday was Groundhog Day and we watched that movie for FHE. That was fun.

Dad's still doing extra rehearsals for the Tab Choir getting ready for the big choral convention coming up. He's been working hard at his job trying to get reports done and fixing computer programing and such. He was a perfect host today and stayed downstairs and visited with Jake and Shayla instead of going upstairs to take a nap. I was proud of him.

Wilford got a new job as a telephone tech. He starts in a couple of weeks while he winds down at his job at Smith's. The new job is full-time--which is what he wanted. He has to go to Magna every day now--well, starting in a couple weeks.

Henry has been keeping up in school. He is really busy with church callings. He was gone most of the day today. Yesterday he was gone all afternoon at a girl's birthday party.

Trevor is doing well in American School. He got his first exam back on Saturday and got 97%. Yesterday he had Michael Peterson and Mah-mood here playing computer games.

David and Beth are getting their things together in preparation to pack. Marci is so cute. She also has discovered the joy of laying on the floor and rolling around. She "talks". Of course, we can't understand what she is saying. But she makes talking noises. She still loves to get into the garbage. She has more teeth. Don't ask me how many.

Well, I guess that's all the news. I hope your first investigator, Brian, is doing well in his search for truth. Also, I'm so excited for the baptism of Oscar Guerrero and hope the rest of the family will desire baptism. Also, I was so happy to hear the surprise that Hno. Ojeda was already a member. Did Hna. Ojeda accept to be baptized? I hope so. I am praying for them to feel the Spirit and desire to belong to Christ's church.

I'm so proud of you and your service in your mission. I read your blessing today and felt so happy that you can be spreading the joy that you have in your heart and that shows on your face. I feel so blessed to have you as my daughter. I have choice children. Thank you for your testimony. I love you and hope you have a wonderful week.

BTW, I guess your house is still standing after the two winter storms blew through. LOL We are having unseasonably warm weather here.

Te amo muchisimo, Mom

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - February 2nd, 2015

Dearest Family,

This week was crazy learning time for me and my heart! Because my companion was asked to attend an important mission meeting, I was left with a new companion for the day, and I led my area. Worst. Day. Of my mission. But huge growing experience. I have never been really good at talking to people with seeing how they are doing, and so I've always feared the day that I would have to lead a companionship. That day came last Thursday. The lesson happened the way that I had feared. But we didn't die and their house didn't explode, and thank goodness for my temporary companion (funnily enough, her name is Hermana Mortensen too). I felt really bad for myself that day, and I was tempted to call home and say that I couldn't do this. But I knew that God would never give me those thoughts, and I knew that He has a plan for His children and there was no doubt that I am part of that plan. Entonces, I went home and talked to Heavenly Father with all my heart. And He is here with me every step of the way. I'm going to go help and pray for His children all day; I have fear inside, but I know in whom I have trusted. My faith in my Father in Heaven is so much more than what a doubt could ever do. Don't forget that. Ever. I say that in Jesus' name, Amen.

The area that I'm working in is called Kearny. Newark is the next city over and has the highest crime rate in the nation. So just sit on that for a minute;) So it turns out that no sisters can serve in Newark because it is too dangerous. Kearny is the most dangerous place that sisters can serve in in this mission, which honestly some places seem sketchy, but I haven't felt threatened ever. The people that we talk to are so awesome! Well, there's one person I wanted to slap, but I won't worry about that.

We have one person set for baptismal date, and I can't remember if I told you, but his name is Oscar Guerrero Sr. Super awesome guy! He's come to church two weeks in a row! And his wife is a less active member, but she's gonna get Sundays off and their son Oscar Jr. was baptized like two months ago and he's got the Aaronic priesthood now and he's gonna baptize his father! They have such a beautiful family and are so kind! They also have a daughter who is a less active, but we are working with her too. She is just as kind as her family. Then we have another family called the Ojedas. The mother is a strong Catholic, but we've been teaching her and she is praying to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet and if the Book of Mormon is true. The son is a recent convert who is actually struggling right now. But then a miracle. We were meeting with Hno. y Hna. Ojeda, thinking that we were teaching two investigators. Then Hno. Ojeda went out of the room for a second and while he was gone we invited Hna. Ojeda to be baptized. He came back in and his wife expressed to him that we had just asked her to be baptized. He replied that he wasn't surprised, seeing as that was how he was baptized. WHAAAT?????? Apparently 35 years ago in Ecuador he was baptized and was active for two years! We think that he might even have the Melchezidek priesthood! He's wanted to come back, but was afraid. He hasn't been able to come to church because of his work. But he supports his family in looking into the church. What a huge miracle and blessing!!

So I just had to shpeal on that. Miracles DO happen!

So, I don't have very much time, so I will post some pictures (finally!) Love ya'll!

Love, Hermana Bentley



Letter from Home - February 1st, 2015

Dear Vickie,

Dad and I are eager to hear how you fared in the big storm last week. Dad kept close track of the storm on the tv and weather reports. So we think you came out pretty well. But today I noticed another storm coming from the West that is suppose to hit the northeast again. You'd better get all those people converted and righteous so the weather will calm down!! ;-)

Well, here's the low-down for the week:

Monday I went and played the piano at Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers. I love going there because they make such a fuss over me and each other. I never get to stay for the luncheons, though, because I always have to leave early to pick up Trevor at school. My piano playing went fine-even with nine fingers and an occasional slip-up of the cut finger. I taught my viola student in the afternoon.

Tuesday and Thursday I taught my usual Orchestra classes.

Wednesday I went to the temple in the morning and did initiatory work. I had a good time because there was a couple of friends there that work in the temple. Yes, my friends work in the temple! I'm the one who had babies into my 40's, so I've got awhile before I can join them. When Trevor reaches 18, then I can be called to work in the temple. That will be exciting if it comes my way! FYI, I would never do anything different. I love all my kids--even the ones I am raising at the Grandma speed! Beth watched Abrielle and Nathan that night. I guess we all watched them. They're pretty fun. We were really looking forward to Grandma sleepover on Thursday night, but...

Thursday, I woke up and noticed my eye was looking a little worse. Beth said I had pink eye. There has been a discharge for a few weeks. I've just been waiting for it to blow over. Anyway, I texted Shayla and told her the bad news. Since they had vacation plans starting Saturday, they decided to not have the kids come over. It was probably for the best because I wasn't feeling well.

Friday: Today was Grandma's birthday. I thought of her all day. I still miss her a lot. I took Trevor to his piano lesson to Shayla's. I waited out in the car. Shayla came out and said that my eye didn't look bad. Then I recognized that I hadn't had any discharge from my eye that day. That was pretty strange. Anyway, we traded cars because they were taking the van to Arizona. I really, REALLY like driving my car, but that would have been a tight fit to have three kids in the back of their car. So I loaned them the van. When I got home I put 2+2 together and realized why my eye was doing better. I had asked Dad on Thursday night to give me a Priesthood blessing. I was basically told that I need to counsel with the Lord about my health problems and other things I was told. I texted Shayla and told her. It makes me so thankful to Heavenly Father for his love for me.

Saturday, I conducted the Symphony for rehearsal. After about an hour-and-a-half, I couldn't conduct any more. My hip and back hurt so much and my arms were about to give out. So I asked one of the violas to conduct. She did a great job. Then after I rested one song, I conducted the last one. I used to be able to do that for three hours straight! Henry is doing well playing percussion. We came home and David and Beth told me they were moving back to Texas. Such a heart break for me. They didn't know exactly when, but they thought March. Today they told me they are thinking this month. So we won't have little Marci to brighten our days with her smile. We won't have David and Beth to cook us their delicious meals. Plus, I will miss all the visiting we have done. I guess I can't hoard them! Tami and John love them, too. Besides, David and Beth think Utah is too cold. Go figure! Anyway, it was Beth's birthday, so we went to Olive Garden and met Todd and Marie and Aurella. We had to wait over an hour. But we had a lot to talk about. We finally got in and, of course, the food was delicious. Afterwards, we came home and played a game. I played too, but I don't remember what the game was--something about shadows and neutrals. Everyone coached me through the game. Something like Rook and Skip-Bo are along my speed.

Today my cough was so bad I stayed home from church. I was released from choir director and called as choir pianist. Bart Robbins is the choir director again. Brother Chavez told me it was because they needed me to play piano--not because I did a bad job as choir director. LOL I really appreciated the ward choir people who came and sang. We sang really well, plus we had a lot of people come. But I am happy to be behind the piano again. I washed the pots and pans tonight and my scab came off my cut finger. It looks pretty healed over. But I can feel a round ridge under the skin. Plus it is still very tender!

I didn't get that music book sent that you asked for. I went to Amazon and it is out of print. There was one available, and it cost $99.99. I only paid $35 for ours. I'm a little hesitant to send that book because I don't want to lose it. Give me a minute, though, and I will probably convince myself to send it. Heck, maybe I'll sell it for $100!!! jk

Dad is doing well. This week he was on-call for work. I think he told me that this month the Tab Choir will begin rehearsing on Tuesdays as well as Thursdays to get ready for a convention coming up.

You know what? You never told me what part of New Jersey you are serving in! I'm guessing it's in Newark, but I'm not sure. Let me know so I can look it up on Googlemaps.com.

Wilford is still looking to move out. He's thinking of looking for a job in Arizona. I reminded him of the heat. So we'll see. If he does move down there, he will be able to hobb-nobb with Grandfather and Alba. Plus, I'm sure he and Robert and family will have fun. Tonight Dad and Trevor and I had devotional because Henry had already gone to sleep. This is how it's going to be when everyone moves out and Henry goes on a mission!!! It's a little scary for me to have it so quiet; and I hope I don't get lonely. I guess I'll survive. I'll have to get busy cleaning and organizing and decorating. haha -- me decorating!?

Henry is getting ready for an audition. It's tomorrow for his Musical Theater class. I gave him a couple of voice lessons--but he is so nervous. I told him to be positive. His voice is doing great! I'll have to let you know next week how he did. He's singing part of "To Dream The Impossible Dream". I'll be praying for him! He's also getting ready for Sweethearts. A girl asked him out. I can't remember her name.

Trevor is doing well with American School. He is keeping up his half-day at Elk Ridge. He got an A- in Seminary! So I'm pretty proud of him.

I love you and pray for you daily. I know you are pleasing the Lord and making New Jersey a brighter and happier place with your cheerful attitude and your wonderful personality and your message about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Con Mucho Carino, Mom

Monday, January 26, 2015

Letter from Hermana Bentley - January 26th, 2015

Wow. Apparently there is a huge snow storm coming in tonight and we might be grounded from our cars. But. That's beside the point.

Yesterday was my first day at church and it was all in Spanish. So I caught a few phrases that people said, but all in all I really didn't know what people were saying. And that was weird. I got to play the piano for Relief Society though! Using my talents for the Lord! Whoo! Two of our recent converts got the Aaronic Priesthood!! One is a young man named Oscar, and his father is the one who has a date for baptism. And his dad came to church so that was super exciting! So did his sister! During Sacrament meeting I sat by another recent convert named Tino. He has so much faith, and he really knows the importance of the gospel. He was in intense pain because of his back (he's getting surgery for it), but he really wanted to get to church. He can't read, so either his girlfriend has to read to him or we do. The other recent convert, Angel (ahn-hel), also received the priesthood yesterday. So happy for those two! Now both their houses have the priesthood there!

We need to get more investigators, so we will do lessons, but we will strive to focus a little more on finding people. I still have a hard time talking to people, so I just need to get up my faith courage and do the Lord's work! The Lord always makes a way for His children!

I love you all and hope that your week will be warmer than mine:P I love the Lord and the way that He has set up His gospel. He loves us, and He sent us here in families so that we could learn and grow in a loving atmosphere! I am so grateful for our family and I am so stoked for eternity with you cuz it's gonna be a blast!! Don't forget the Lord, nor the blessings He has given you and me:) Love ya'll!!

Let's go help some people!!

Love, Hermana Bentley

PS Sorry no pictures, I seriously forgot my camera!!

January 25th, 2015 - Letter from Home

Dear Vickie,

I hope your first week went by really well and that you and your new companion feel comfortable together. I have to admit that I've been thinking a lot about you this week--hoping that it's been exciting for you. I just heard that you and all the Northeast United States are in for a "Noreaster". You'll have to let me know how that goes. Meanwhile, here in Utah we are having above average temperatures. Dad is nervous about the sap returning to our apricot tree early; so he wants to get out there and prune the tree this week.

Yesterday in church we heard from Sean Turner who spoke about the importance of getting your education. His wife was also supposed to speak, but she got sick. So the Bishop called four people to come up and give their testimonies of getting an education. It was Colby Hawkins, Sister Canals, Sister Eaton and Harmony Beck. They were all so inspiring. It makes me want to go back to school. But there are other ways to get an education for people like me. Actually we should always be learning new things. A few years ago I made the goal of completing my violin performance degree, then getting a Master's degree in music conducting, then going for my PhD in Musical Theory and Composition. Wouldn't you know it, I was given the opportunity to play a very difficult solo in the Symphony and was able to take lessons from a violinist in the Utah Symphony. It came off very well. Then I was called as the conductor of the ward choir. During that time the Lord blessed me to compose music for the choir and other things. So the Lord leads us along to accomplish things--maybe not the way we planned. Last night was a youth fireside. Henry wanted to play the piano for the hymns, but in the end didn't feel quite comfortable. So I ended up playing. It was a really good fireside that introduced the theme of YM/YW about Mosiah 4:2. Key word: Embark. I was very inspired by the whole evening.

Saturday we had Marci's first birthday party. Beth made a blue cake that Marci could dig in with her hands. She didn't dig in until her parents showed her how. What a clean little princess! Funny thing is her poop was blue. LOL That was in the afternoon. In the evening the women--Shayla, Marie, Beth, Tonya, Aunt Malinda and I went to Las Glorias for dinner and to talk. We left all the kids with the Men at home where they ate pizza and played board/card games. Everyone had a nice time.

Friday night Dad and I went to Applebee's with my coupon. Then we came home and made a cake together. It was fun, and the cake was so delicious. Beth wants me to make it for her birthday this coming Saturday. It was a carrot cake with carrots, pineapple, pecans, walnuts and coconut in it. Then when the cake came out of the oven, I poured a buttermilk glaze over the 3 layers. After they cooled I frosted it with cream cheese frosting. Yummm!!! If you remember you'll have to ask me to make one when you get home. Maybe for your 21st birthday!

Henry and Trevor had Monday and Friday off of school. Monday was Martin Luther King Day and Friday was the end of the quarter. So today Henry is excited to start two new classes. Trevor has the same schedule. I warned him that they might change him to the other seminary teacher for the next two quarters. He wants to stay with his same teacher, I think. Anyway, Trevor went on the Klondike campout. It was held at the Heber Girls Camp. He said he was cold the whole time. Our snow pants were too little for him so I gave them away. Poor guy. He was not happy.

I babysat Abrielle and Nathan Wednesday night. We had a good time and on Thursday night we are going to have a Grandma Sleepover with both of them because Nathan has now qualified for that fun event. Jacob and Shayla are going to Arizona for a family vacation this next Saturday and they are taking my van. I reluctantly said they could because they have so many kids to fit in their little car. I guess I can sacrifice for a week. LOL I will drive around their black car. Maybe I will look cool in it.

Well, I'm not sure when your P-Day is because I was expecting it on Mondays; but I got an email from you on Wednesday. So we'll see this week what happens. At least I got this email out just in case you see it on Monday. Aunt Laura's birthday was yesterday and Dad and I sent her a package of Whitman's chocolates. I almost kept it for myself! (not really) Tuesday is Joshua's birthday. He will be 4! I think I already sent his card and gift. Then, of course, Bethie is Saturday. I hope you have a wonderful week--in spite of the cold weather and 2 feet of snow expected to fall! I'm sure you'll survive. I have a lot of faith that Heavenly Father will take care of you. Who knows, it might be the time the missionaries get to help other people out. I love you soooo much! Love, Mom

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 21st, 2015 Letter from Hermana Bentley

Hola ya'll,

New Jersey is pretty neat! I love my mission president and his wife, President and Sister Taggart! They are so kind and have helped me to feel alright! They met all of us new missionaries at the airport, and then we all drove to a busy part of a city called Newark. An assistant to the Pres drove us there, and told us that were going sinking. I asked, "Syncing?" and another girl in the car said, "No! Singing!" I was like, oh okay, that's cool. But really, in a way we were about to sink. So we all got there and made sure that everyone had a companion, and stood in a circle. We all started to sing, and then after a couple of lines of singing Called To Serve, suddenly everyone started to run away into the city! I was so thrown off! My companion was sprinting away across the street! So I ran after her and we stopped as we waited for a light to turn green for us. Then she told me what we were gonna do. We were street contacting! And we went up to random people and talked about the gospel and gave them a pass along card. As we passed a bus stop, there was a man who called to us, "Goldilocks!" I waved a hello back to him and kept walking. There was another man that we talked to who I could hardly understand what he was saying because his New Jersey accent was so thick! He believed in the Koran, and I think he was telling us about how the Book of Mormon was of the devil, and he was already three feet away from us, and started to come closer and closer. My companion said that we didn't have very much time and that we had to go, but the man kept talking. So she started to walk away, and I kinda just stood there, wanting to say something that might help him to want to read the Book of Mormon...but I realized that this man wasn't going to listen, he didn't intend to listen, and so

I gotta go love ya'll! Hermana Bentley

Okay, sorry, I had to get off the computer for a moment...we use the computers at the Kearny Library.

So this guy wasn't gonna listen to us, so we said bye and walked away. The next guy we talked to was actually Spanish speaking, so I talked to him a little bit and my companion didn't speak very much Spanish so that was a little weird for me. But he was nice and took our card. Mer. I introduced ourselves, and then said that we had a message of Jesus Christ and then...my mind was going, so all I could say was, "Entonces, empezamos..." I was striving to think of what to say, but he took our card and said something that sounded like he understood. So I hope that all went well:P But yeah. We talked to three other neat people, and one kinda odd lady. It was fun:) I will do better at that though!

The next day I got my companion and her name is Hermana Mortensen. She's really nice and I'm excited to go work with her! We visited with a couple of people yesterday, and one of them committed to baptism! I'm so excited for them! The other person is a woman named Betty and she's baptized, and she committed to preparing for the temple! Miracles happen here, it's amazing! For the past three weeks New Jersey has had a baptism each week! Two of those people walked into the church and said they wanted to be baptized! So missionaries are teaching them, and the work is moving forward! I haven't said much, but I am trying to do my best so that when I teach tonight, and for the rest of my mission, I can help people come closer to Christ and their Loving Father in Heaven.

I am still adjusting to missionary life (what the hey, this is my second day!), and it feels a little hard right now, but I know that will some faith and hope, all with be right within Christ:)

Hope ya'll have a fantastic week!

Love,

Hermana Bentley