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Thursday, September 1, 2011

LDS sister missionary dies in New York car accident

Sister Vanessa Bentley is a 22-year-old missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lisbon, New York. Sister Bentley is the fifth of seven children of Steve and Debbie Bentley of Tucson, Arizona. She was the third to serve in mission, her two brothers both served mission in Ecuador.

Sister Bentley was killed last Tuesday, August 30,2011 in a two-car collision on state Route 37 in the town of Lisbon in upstate New York.According. Sister Bentley's companion, sister Natalie Love from Hemet, California and the driver of the other car involved, Nora McDonald of Madrid, N.Y. were also injured from the collision but not considered life-threatening.

According to the news, the police report that the accident occurred when the car of two missionaries from the Utica New York Mission attempted to make a left-hand turn, the vehicle other hit the passenger's side directly where sister Bentley was sitting.

Scott Trotter, the spokesman of the LDS Church said that Sister Bentley had been serving as a missionary for 13 months at the time of the accident. "Our sympathy and prayers go out to all those affected by this accident, We pray that the Spirit the Lord will bring comfort, peace and healing to all." brother Trotter said.

Sister Benley's father said "She sort of stuck out in our family, She was blonde; the rest of us have dark hair." "an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile, and a real people." he added. Her grandmother, Eva Bentley said she will always remember her as "a real fun person... she loves people and people loved her.... She was loving her mission, even when people rejected her in the mission, she would say that she was just preparing them for the next missionaries who would come along." 

She was a former high school basketball player and worked for the BYU audio-visual department while she attended college.

"She was a really fan person, always upbeat and obsessed with painting her nails and could eat an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting." says Angela Rowberry, Vanessa's roommate at BYU for three years. She said Vanessa was studying to be an elementary school teacher, and "was really good at it. She'd practicing reading stories to us and make us do all these dances she wanted to teach her kids. She was going to be a great teacher."

Rowberry says she remembers watching Vanessa wrestle with the decision of wether or not to go on a mission. "She had been talking about it for a long time, but when the time came to make the decision she considered it very carefully for a long time," she said. "But when she got the call, she could'nt wait to get out there. She loved the Lord, and she was excited to serve him."

And she was doing it well, Steve Bentley said. "Her mission president told us that she was a great missionary -- humble, obedient and hard-working," he said. "She did everything she was asked to do, willingly. We just have assume that Heavenly Father was in charge of this last transfer."

Note: Pictures are from Bentley family given to Deseret News

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  1. she will continue her mission in the spirit world.

  2. Yes, you are right... she was just transferred to her next area...