Kenya's Mission Photo

Kenya's Mission Photo

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10, 2016 - June 15th was SO much closer than July 27th!!

So it wouldn't be so long between my Blog updates if Sister Berntsen didn't take so long in between group emails.  
I'm not allowed to share our personal emails.  
She's threatened me with my life.

Kenya and her companion Taylor....
She loves being "Kenya and Taylor" again!

I will be posting 2 group emails and this first one is her most recent group email from

March 1, 2017:

Hello family!

I hope you have all been well! I appreciate so much all the emails, letters, pictures and videos you send me! Everything out here in Cleveland/Kirtland is great! The area I am serving in is basically right next to Cleveland, lots of diversity and VERY different than Utah Valley. But so much fun! I am also loving my companion Sister Talbot and grateful for the experiences we are having. 

This week we had a lesson with a recent convert in our area. We invited Karl and Joyce Anderson to come with us. Karl Anderson is known around here as "Mr. Kirtland". He is probably in his mid-late 70's and knows just about everything about Kirtland. He has written 2 books about Kirtland. "The Savior in Kirtland" and "Joseph Smith in Kirtland". He takes all the general authorities on tour here but he is the sweetest and most humble man I have met. He is the Kirtland Stake Patriarch and he is in our ward currently. 

Anyways, the lesson went great! We taught the recent convert about Patriarchal blessings. Brother Anderson shared with us an experience he had. He was going to give a blessing to a young man who obviously did not want the blessing and was rebellious. He wouldn't share his thoughts or feelings openly and Brother Anderson was scared to give this blessing. He pleaded that the Lord would help me give this blessing. 

As he began the blessing, no promptings came to his mind. No words, thoughts or impressions. He prayed 3 times for the words to come and finally, he heard a voice that said "I would surely hope that you would love him too, I do, I gave my life for him." 

After that, he said he repented and gained stronger love for this boy and gave him the blessing. 

To think that we are loved by someone enough that He gave His life for us. From this I learned that we must "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you" (3 Nephi 12:44) Why? Because the Savior does and we want to become more like Him. Whether its co-workers, friends or family. God asks us to love them even when it's hard to. 

How grateful I am to have a Savior who understands me, loves me, guides me and even died for me. Thank you for being a support and strength to me. I love you all! :) 

PS, the weather last week was in the 60's almost all week 

So in January, Kenya told us in an email that President Brown asked her to extend her mission one whole transfer!!  So instead of June 15th, she will be coming home July 27th!!  YES, to mom and dad, that's a LONG TIME, but we're so stinking proud of her.  It's the absolute busiest time in Kirtland, and although she wasn't very excited about it at first, she now realizes how lucky she is to be one of two sister missionaries asked to extend, and she knows it will be an amazing blessing!  

This is Kenya's group email from:

February 6th.  

Notice the way she sneaks in telling everyone about her extension:

Hello family and friends!

I know it's been awhile since I have sent a group email but I have been doing great! I have had one of the best transfers on my mission with Sister Henrie. We have found so many miracles in our area these past few weeks and I feel that the Lord really has provided all the success and miracles. But all good things must come to an end.. So my companion will be getting transferred this week. I will miss her but my new companion is someone I have come to know and love very well on my mission, so I'm very excited to have her as my new companion!

I have loved my mission so much! I can't imagine where my life would have been without it. I know that the Lord has shaped me into the person I am today. All I have learned, gained, experience has prepared me for so much more. There is nothing in the world that compares to being on the Lord's errand and being His mouthpiece. 

I am so grateful for the experiences that lie ahead for me and to have an extra 6 weeks than I had expected to do this work.

Thank you for your prayers, love and support! I couldn't be more grateful for all of you. I do pray for you everyday. Love you all!!

This past week we had to go to Cleveland on our preparation day so we made a stop at Downtown Cleveland and had some fun there :)

1. Lebron James.. Of course
2. Indians field (progressive field)
3. An Elder in our mission was asked to have his picture taken to be blown up in one of the busiest train stops in Cleveland

These two absolutely LOVE being companions, and Kenya has literally asked us to pray that they get to stay companions through another transfer, which will be the end or March.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

From the 2016 Brussels Bombings to Kirtland, Ohio

Remember the bombing in Brussels on March 27, 2016? The sister missionary that was badly hurt in the bombing, was called to Kenya's exact mission, and she was on her way to the Provo MTC on that horrible day!

On October 24th, Kenya's letter said, "PS. I went on exchanges with Sister Clain, the French Sister that was in the Brussels bombing yesterday, and it was so fun! She is the cutest, littlest thing! She is really humble and just really funny about everything, including the accident! I actually get to work very closely with her so It's fun!"

What a small world, and what an honor for Kenya to be able to serve with such a brave, valiant, and powerful Sister Missionary! 


Hi mommy! 

I am so so so sad for Melanie and her family.. They are such incredible people for reacting the way that they are. But I feel like it's usually like that with people in the Gospel. Just so strong, courageous and hopeful. That is what Jesus Christ does for us. He is the Mighty Healer and Comforter. I'm sorry that you have had to watch this and cry for them, it's never easy. But she is lucky to have such a great friend like you! I am very excited for you to sing at his funeral, and you HAVE to send me the video of the entire song! You will do BEAUTIFULLY! Let them know that they are in my thoughts and prayers. The plan of Salvation is so real, and we understand it more when we experience it, I think.. 

Sooooo, new on transfers........ I am getting transferred to an area called... LORAIN!! I will be FULL-PROSELYTING!!!! At first, President called me on Sunday, released me as a Sister Training leader and told me that my new companion and I will be opening a new area in Toledo.. I was TERRIFIED all day yesterday! Toledo has a reputation of being a very, very different place. Its a counrty place, the wards are spread everywhere, and it's basically you and your companion for miles.. And I am not a "to yourself" kind of person. So I was kind of freaking out about it, on top of the fact of opening a new area.. And it's funny because my whole mission I have always said "I will go full-pro anywhere BUT Toledo!" and then it happened. But then my district leader called last night and told me I will be going to the Cleveland stake which I am SOOOO excited about! I have heard great things about this area so it will be good! Kind of nervous about having Thanksgiving and Christmas this transfer but it will be a great adventure! All I want is for my companion and I to get along well! 

I said lots of goodbyes last night and will say a lot more tonight! We were serving at sites so a family from the ward came by and said goodbye, the recent convert dad and daughter that I was talking about last week came by and and said hi. And some other people that we see a lot came by and we talked. So it was fun! Definitely felt the love.. I cried a little about leaving this ward. It has really felt like my home. All yesterday I felt like I was leaving home all over again! But I will only be gone for 2 transfers so I'll be back in February. So not long, and I'm really excited! I wish i could put it all into words everything about it! But I don't have that much time! But I am very nervous and excited about going full-pros, I will learn a lot! 

My next Preparation Day will be Thanksgiving Day. 

Group Email from Sister Berntsen from November 7th

Family and friends,

Thank you for all the love and support! I am doing well here in Kirtland. Miracles are happening and God is way too good to us. 

We have been keeping busy here and so many good things are happening. We had a Veterans day program this week, which reminded me of my sweet Grandpa Mike. The spirit was so strong giving our appreciation and thanks to all who have served our country. The song "If you're reading this" by Tim McGraw was played in my head a few times this week. 

Lately, my companion and I have been inviting a 15 year old recent convert in our ward to come with us when we serve at the Visitors' center on Sundays. Yesterday, she came with us to be on teaching center and take tours and it was great! She has such a difficult life and continues to struggle with family and friend situations. Her father is in his mid 60's, and has M.S. But is still a wonderful guy who joined the church with her this past March. We are so blessed by the people we surround ourselves with. We are blessed with the laws and ordinances of the gospel like the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. They are God-given laws along with all the rest. 

I sometimes take for granted the amazing people I have been surrounded by my whole life, and yesterday I realized just how blessed I really am. I love you all sooo much and am so grateful for the love and support! I pray for you all daily. Sorry I am the worst at sending group emails... I proabably won't get any better at it... 

November 9th - Random Text from Visiting Stranger

My favorite stranger texted me these two photos yesterday saying, "We have some cute sister tour guides today! You should be proud of them!" I love days like this!! ❤️❤️❤️

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Sister Berntsen got a "shout out" from the amazing Brother Wynder!! Not to brag or make other descendants jealous, but Kenya's Morley bloodline comes through Issac Morley's youngest child, and ONLY son with his first wife Lucy. They named him Issac Morley, Jr.

Also, Lucy was his only wife through ALL of the persecution, fear and extermination orders from Kirtland to Nauvoo. She died before the call to go to Utah. She truly was the love of his life! ❤️❤️❤️

 .....Never mind that they were cousins....But they were married in Massachusetts wayyyyy before the"Mormons" got to them!


Monday, October 24, 2016

August 29th Group Email to the Berntsen Family

Picture on October 3, 2016, Kenya's Birthday, of her getting a hug and story from her Grandpa Berntsen!  H was so excited about her call to Ohio.

Three generation picture after Jack was ordained a Priest in July, 2016

Picture of Kenya's daddy with her Grandpa a few days before he passed away from Cancer

August 29, 2015 - Group Email to the Berntsen Family

Hello my sweet family,

Just wanted to send a quick email to you all. (don't have much of your emails though) I received the news of Grandpa's passing on Wednesday by my Visitors center director. It was hard news to take at such a stressful part of my mission, but I think I have been handling it well. This past week has been the hardest my whole mission, for multiple reasons and its just been tough not being able to be there with my family during this all. It breaks my heart to just sit back and imagine how you are all feeling, knowing that I can't be there for support or help.

I am truly going to miss my sweet Grandpa Mike. His slooow driving road trips, the pharmacy, his watery hot chocolate, and of course his love of out doors and his family. I remember one road trip to Moab, we took the trailer and had a fun weekend with some family. On our way home of course, Grandpa doesn't take any chances with his trailer so he went probably 45 on a 75 mile road and kept his hand out the window waving for EVERY car to pass him. Hard to believe I will actually miss that.

It breaks my heart that I can't be there for his funeral and be able to say goodbye to him one last time. But I know that this is where he wants me to be. I know that we may not all have the same beliefs on some things, but I do know with my whole heart that we will all see him, Grandma, Andy and Mac again. I have a firm testimony of eternal families. Even though we are all the craziest and some of the biggest pains in the butt, I am grateful for every one of you, and grateful to have you all as my eternal family.

I love you all and hope that you are all handling this tragic loss as best as you can. We have all dealt with it before. I just wanted to let you all know how much I love you and how much I miss you. I pray for everyone of you morning and night, I have felt prayers sent my way as well. I am grateful for the true gospel of Jesus Christ and grateful for you all. Give Grandpa one last kiss for me please.
#cancersucks #alzheimerssucks

Love, Sister Berntsen