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