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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 14th, 2015 - LAST MTC Letter from Hermana Bentley

Hallo!

I. am. sooooo excited to leave for New Jersey next week! I leave on Monday at 4:35 AM! Whoo! That's gonna be fun:) My plane doesn't leave until 10:10 though...so I'll probably call you guys somewhere between 5:30 and 9:30!! And then I can talk to you for a couple of hours!!! If you are awake. Hopefully you will be. If not, I'll leave a beautiful message for you all to hear on our home phone. And then I'll call later. But yeah, I thought that I would be scared to go teach real people, but I'm actually really excited! It'll be good:)

I'm going to miss my district here. They have become such good and close friends. We actually plan to meet up after our missions. One of the hermanas actually has a boyfriend/fiancee in whom she will probably marry soon after. I plan on going to her wedding. Hopefully that all works out!!

So. I have taken a ton of pictures, but it turns out I need an SD card reader thingy, so I might need to go get one...I think I'll do that. So you might not get pictures until next week.

So I haven't been teaching very many people this week, but when I do...I actually enjoy it a lot. My Spanish is coming, but I ain't a genius or anything. I taught a lesson on splits cuz my companion has been sick the past week. Hermana Mansell and I taught one of our teachers roleplaying a man named Abraham. We taught the first lesson, and when we told him about Joseph Smith, I felt so right in my heart. It didn't matter that my Spanish wasn't very good. But I gave the first vision in Spanish to him! My companion said that it sounded awesome! I'm not a robot, yay!! I really am so excited to help people come to know their God, and His love for them!

Heavenly Father has so much love for all of us, so much that He made a way for all of us to know His will, and how to be happy in this life, and forever after that! Some people may shy away from the gospel when it gets hard in life, but the gospel is meant to strengthen us, especially when it gets hard. God will never give up on us, and to receive that happiness that he has waiting for us we must never give up on Him! He's sending me to help people find their personal way home. What if it seems impossible to find Him again? Satan will tell us it is impossible, that it's not worth it, that it's not real. Satan knows that this is SO real, and worth it, and God made a specific way for each of us so that THIS is definitely possible. Just gotta have that faith. And hope/trust in God. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is real, and good, and it has become delicious to my soul. So I invite all to come to Christ, and to love Him and to live the gospel. It is soooo good!! In Jesus' name, Amen. I love ya'll! Do good and take notice of anything that's funny, cuz it makes life that much more interesting. As do all the fun, crazy, awkward moments:)

Love, Hermana Bentley

Letter from Home - January 14th, 2015

Querida Hermana,

Hey, I may not have written on Tuesday, but at least I'm getting your letter written early today! This may be the last one while you are at the MTC. Are you excited to go to New Jersey??? You are in for some great experiences; and I want to read about them. Hey, we will get to hear from you at the airport! Be sure and let me know about what time so I can be ready.

Where do I start? Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference with our visiting General Authority, Elder Summerhays. It was unlike any conference we've had before. Saturday night was conducted like a huge Family Home Evening. We could feel the Spirit strongly. Sunday morning conference was basically calling people up to speak. Of course, one always gets that feeling that maybe it could be you. But I was able to just sit and enjoy each testimony. The Spirit was also very strong in that meeting. One of the speakers is a girl that works at Maceys and her last name is Crossly. She was going to get married, but then she decided to go on a mission.

Saturday morning I attended the first Symphony rehearsal of the year. But I couldn't play--which was hard for me. Larry chose some great music for our concert in May. I've played it all before but I have to sit out until my finger heals. BTW, it's scabbed up. I leave it uncovered while I'm home. But I bandage it up when I leave because I don't want people to get grossed out looking at it. lol It's still pretty painful. It's interesting to watch and feel as it heals. Sometimes it hurts so intensely. Sometimes it itches. It's very tender and always there is a dull ache. It's kind of like a testimony about the miracle of the body that God created.

Friday night Dad and I went out to dinner with Uncle Ty and Aunt Malinda. We ate at Texas Road House. Afterwards we went and watched Tyson play basketball for Liahona School. He did really well on defensive. The guys that he guarded couldn't get the ball because Tyson kept them away from it. He sure is tall! Aunt Malinda and I had a great time talking, of course. That's a great talent that we have! LOL

It's been fun watching Marci. She loves to play Peek-a-Boo. Yesterday she stood up but left her head on the ground like she was upside-down. It was so cute. But before we could get our cameras out, she was through. I showed her a picture of you on my computer and she smiled. So I'm sure she remembers you.

Other than that, my elementary school orchestras are doing well. We're preparing for the big Monster Concert that will be in April. I'm teaching one viola student, and he's doing exceptionally well. He plays with more confidence in the school orchestra.

I've been watching a lot of movies while I wait for this finger to heal. I love you and pray for you. I know you are doing exactly what the Lord wants. I look forward to reading your email!

Love, Mom

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 7th, 2015 Letter from Hermana Bentley

Dear Fam,

This day marks my one month anniversary! And I'm starting to get a hang of this stuff:) I still get a little nervous before every lesson, but the Lord helps us according to our trust and preparation. I try to study Spanish in the time that I'm supposed to, but somehow I either don't use it well, or companion study robs me of it. So this week I'm making a goal of using my time more wisely!

You guys seem to be getting sick consistently! I don't blame you though, this is the sick season. In fact, as of yesterday we are not allowed to shake hands or hug anyone at the CCM/MTC. I have a little cough, but I'm trying to drink lots of water (not doing too good of a job, but I'm better than I used to be). I hope you eat lots of citrus and get better and not be sickos anymore;)

So, fun new thing to mention. Apparently my habit of sleep talking has not diminished. And my roommates range between finding me funny, to finding me creepy. For example, last night my companion was telling a haunted house story to those who were awake, and whenever she'd pause I'd say, "that's really, really cool." over and over. So they tried to have a conversation with me. I think I got angry at some point, cuz I told all my roomies to "shut up! I can hear you laughing! Go to sleep!" I was starting to wake up cuz of my anger, cuz I could remember telling them to shut up, and I can remember I was really mad, but I can't remember why I was mad. I don't remember saying anything else, but my companions tell me I was saying other stuff. Hermana Smith told me that a couple of nights ago I said in my sleep, "No hablo espanol!" I'm glad the Spanish is starting to stick:)

Oh! I forgot to tell you guys last time, but on the last Sunday of the year we had two special guests come to the MTC for our devotional. David Archuleta and Rick Elliot!!! It was so cool! Elliot did some real cool stuff on the organ for us, and my favorite was when he did a fun song with his feet! David Archuleta talked to us and sang us a few songs. His voice is sooo good!!!

I love it when you guys send me pictures! I print out a few and pin them to my wall. It helps when days get a little hard. I have a few pictures, but I need to get a converter thing to put them on the computer and I haven't gotten that. Yet. I miss all of my little nieces and nephews! So when I see pictures of them my heart melts. This one time I had a random thought of Marci when she plays with her lips to make sound, and my eyes started to water! Luckily all the other hermanas were focused on studying and I could compose myself. But I miss all my little ones!

Mi espanol is mejor. No puedo hablar mucho, pero mis palabras estan bueno. Tengo un testimonio de Jesucristo y su Expiacion. Los bediciones del Evangelio son real. Jose Smith restaurado (restored, I can't remember the right ending) la Iglesia de Jesucristo, la iglesia mismo que Cristo tenia. Mis espanol no es perfecto, pero Dios ayudame cada dia! En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Translation: My Spanish is better. I can not talk much, but my words are good. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement . The blessings of the gospel are real. Joseph Smith restored (restored, I can't remember the right ending) the Church of Jesus Christ , the church as Christ had. My Spanish is not perfect, but God help me every day ! In the name of Jesus Christ , amen .

Take care! I love you all! Hermana Bentley

Letter from Home - 1/7/15

Wow! Is it Wednesday already??? I've got to remember that Tuesday is the day to write your email! Yeah, we are sickies alright. It seems like I can't get up and get going. First, my leg, then I get the flu or whatever it is, then last Saturday I chopped off my finger while I was making salad. How many salads have I made in my lifetime? It was actually only the fleshy part of the middle finger on my left hand. It wouldn't quit bleeding so we had to go to the ER. They cauterized it to stop the bleeding. I was not allowed to bump it or get it wet. So I sit on the couch. ho, hum! I can't play my violin, organ, nor piano. Nor cello and viola! It's hard to have a cut finger!

Today was grand opening of Sprouts. It's a health food grocery store. I had fun shopping their good deals this morning. Yesterday was my first time this year teaching orchestra. It went pretty well even though I didn't do any playing. Monday I had a private viola student. I was able to play a little without using my 2nd finger. I just moved my 3rd finger back and forth. We had a good family night and listened to Elder Packer give a talk entitled, "The Choice". It was about choosing righteousness and eternal life or choosing wickedness and misery.

Sunday I stayed home from church because of my finger. You would think it's just a little thing--but it's a big deal! I heard that Dad and David bore their testimony and that testimony meeting was really good. Dad loves it when he can attend our ward sacrament meeting. He won't be able to for awhile because of rehearsals after the broadcast for a couple of months. Stake conference is next Sunday and they had to get another organist because of my "injury".

Saturday was the big injury day. I was cutting cucumber and with that Cutco knife of Steven's, I cleanly sliced a little over 1/8 inch. I called the boys, Henry and Trevor down to help me. Dad was not home and didn't take his phone. So they were trying to help me. I put a paper towel over the wound and put pressure. So when I did that, it wouldn't bleed. But whenever I took off the pressure, the blood just flowed out. So Dad came home and went to Walgreens. We tried putting a gauze bandage, but it immediately filled up with blood. So Dad took me to ER. They were very wonderful and it was quick-no waiting. I thought it was funny that they asked me if I had received the "waste-your-time flu shot". LOL At night we had our traditional pizza and movie night. We watched a cleaned-up version of "Liar, Liar" with Jim Carry. It still had a few bad parts. I can only imagine what the un-clean version is like! It has a good moral, though, about telling the truth. Friday Dad and I took Marie and Todd out to Chuck-a-Rama for Todd's birthday--even though it was way back on December 3rd. LOL We had a lot of fun. Aurella was soooo cute! I should start taking pictures.

Thursday, I slept allll day long. I really felt like I needed my rest. Wednesday, at midnight Dad and I cooked breakfast for Henry and his friends. Next time I am definitely buying frozen waffles that you pop in the toaster! We got a puzzle to put together, but I think I only put three pieces in the whole puzzle. It was a hit at Henry's New Year's party. Beth really likes to do puzzles, too! Yesterday, Beth invited Abrielle and Nathan over to play with Marci. We had fun. Nathan is potty-trained! So on February 1st we are having a Grandma sleepover with Abrielle and Nathan. We will have to watch Groundhog Day. Maybe. I need to make sure it is kid-friendly. LOL I got to hold Valerie. She even smiled for me.

Well, you get the news a week late. Next time I will write on Tuesday, then you will get current news.

I love you sooooo much. I'm very proud of you for working so hard learning all you need to learn. I loved reading your Spanish. It was good. Tambien, tango un testimonio de Jesucristo. El vive y es muy cerca a nosotros. Su iglesia, La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias es la iglesia verdadera! Estoy muy animado a servir por Jesucristo y que Usted sirve tambien! Estoy muy agradacido por un profeta, El Presidente Monson!

Translation: Also, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. He lives and is very close to us. His church , The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church ! I am very encouraged by Jesus Christ and serve you serve too! I am grateful for a prophet , President Monson!

Have a great week!
Love, Mom

Sunday, January 4, 2015

December 31st, 2014

Howdy ya'll!

You know, I've woken up past six only one or two times in the past three weeks. I usually wake up around 5:30-45. Crazy, but my companion likes to get up earlier, so we do!

Christmas at the MTC was pretty good:) Elder Nelson came to speak to us! That was a wonderful talk. There was a Christmas talent show, and I was in it! I accompanied one of the other hermanas in my district. She plays french horn, and she sounded awesome! We came up with the arrangement in an hour, so I feel pretty proud of us:) I don't know quite how we did it, but we managed to have a ton of free time on Christmas. I almost felt bored...but then we continued to do more activities. And we watched a movie, Ephraim's Rescue. It was awesome, and they gave us a treat for it:) I got Milk Duds! Yum!

About that investigator that thinks I'm weird; He's been feeling the Spirit, and he wants to read the Book of Mormon! He ordered it online, so it's coming now. Hopefully he gets it today or tomorrow... anyway, he told Hermana Mennenga and I that he was happy to see us and his life has been happier of late! He says he thinks it is because of us. I hope that as he reads the Book of Mormon he will come closer to his Father in Heaven! Our last lesson went great! And, as is tradition, somehow, I managed to have another awkward moment. Psh. Oh well, my companion thinks it's funny:P Today is New Year's Eve! We're supposed to go to bed on time though, so no midnight party. I think...anyway today we got eight new people in our branch (YAAAAY!!!)! This means we get to have our own Sacrament meeting this Sunday!! We got four new elders and four new sisters. I'm excited to meet them tonight!

I love ya'll, and as soon as I figure out this whole camera to computer thing I'll send you some pictures!

Love, Hermana Bentley