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Friday, December 25, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Dear Family & Friends,

I've literally drafted this email 3 times because I can't find the words for everything that's happened this week exactly right. This week has been one of the craziest weeks of my mission, if not the craziest! I have so may things to write about, but if I start it will just go on forever so I'll try my best to sum everything up.

We had the opportunity to teach so many people this past week and that just makes the bad times worth it. It's so incredible to feel the
spirit testifying through you. We were able to teach the first lesson, the restoration so many times this week and my testimony is continuing to grow of Joseph Smith. Every single time I recite his account of the First Vision it always brings the spirit and there is absolutely no denying that he saw our Loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I even think of Joseph's own words when he says, "I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it"

We had a Temple Conference last week and got to go and do a session with President & Sister Jardine. It was an amazing feeling to be in the Temple with other missionaries. I'm just so grateful we have a Temple in our mission and have the opportunity to go!

Tuesday I turned 20 and the morning started out great! We woke up and got ready-when I got out of the shower Sister Hickman had decorated our room...she's seriously the best! I started reading the letters and emails I had received and just started to cry-happy tears! My heart was just so full of gratitude. Heavenly Father has blessed me with so many good people in my life and I just can't explain how grateful I am. We went to volunteer at the food bank in down-town Sacramento that morning and we parked our car then got out and put our bags in the trunk. We were in the food bank for about half an hour when we got a call from our vehicle coordinator saying the police had called and someone had broken into our car! The Elders were volunteering with us so we told them what had happened and they came out to our car with us. Our window was shattered and we started looking through the car and realized nothing was gone? We were so confused! Then we popped the
trunk and realized our bags were gone!! As a missionary, your whole entire life is in that bag! Our iPads, our wallets & credit cards! It was awful. Then these random guys across the street were like "oh yeah we watched this guy with orange hair steal your bags!" I wanted to say, "okay well why the heck didn't you stop them??" But whatever. Then I realized that my Book of Mormon was in my bag & I was literally so devastated. That was honestly my most prized mission possession. I started that Book of Mormon back in June and had finished it last week. I had spent hours and hours of personal study in that Book of Mormon. I had never read the Book of Mormon so in depth before and had written so
many quotes in there. My heart broke!! I basically wanted to break down and cry, then I realized how many pictures I had on my iPad that were gone forever! We called a member to call our parents to cancel our credit cards. Then we waited at our car for 2 hours for our vehicle coordinator so he could come pick up the car. We got replies from our parents through the members and the only thing Sister Hickmans parents were worried about were how she would get on her flight home without her drivers license and the only thing my parents were worried about is what time I'd be skyping them for Christmas!! Then our vehicle coordinator got there and gave us his car to drive back to the mission office. On the ride back to the office Sister Hickman and I had a good reflection on the whole day. We started to cry, we got a taste of what most of the world goes through during Christmas time. How we had nothing, no money, no family or friends in a place we didn't know...but this is how most of the world is. Most people don't have family or friends or money to make their Christmas special. We talked
about how truly blessed we are, we talked about how loving our parents are...we just had the iPad's stolen that they had bought us and all they cared about is when the next time they would see their daughters would be. It was really a touching car ride back as we were both in tears, talking about how grateful we are for the family we have. How grateful we are for each other and how truly blessed we both are. It was a good lesson learned, sometimes Heavenly Father has to humble you to teach you a lesson.

That night at dinner the members decorated their kitchen with birthday streamers & balloons. I started tearing up as we walked in. It had seriously been the worst day, but I guess sister Hickman had given them money to decorate. I am so grateful for Sister Hickman and her kindness towards me. She takes good care of me and I'm grateful to be serving with her right now! We've just have been through so much together this week and I'm grateful we have each other.

Anyway I'm sorry this email is so long, thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes & kind emails. My heart has been so full this
week. I am so grateful for this season, how it is hard being away from family, and it's hard being rejected all the time! But this has been my favorite Christmas season as I'm learning so many lessons that I can apply to the rest of my life. I am grateful for the trials Heavenly Father gives us to make us better people through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Lord gives us trials for us to learn and grow. Sometimes you need to be compelled to be humble ;) This Christmas will be one I'll hold dear in my heart forever as its taught me how incredibly blessed I am. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and remember our Savior Jesus Christ in all that you do.

Merry Christmas
Love always,
Sister Sobotka


PS - Sorry have no pictures since the iPad's were stolen:( Here's the only pic I have of me on my birthday at the end of the
craziest day ever!


 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Hello Everybody,

It was a good crazy week in Rancho Cordova! I am trying to remember everything that happened, it's just been crazy. Last Tuesday we had a miracle happen! We were out visiting some less active people that the Relief Society President had asked us to see and we ran into a guy named Tommy who was outside one of the houses. He happened to be a less active member who had just been through a ton in his life. Sister Hickman started testifying to him of The Book of Mormon and he agreed to meet with us and to learn more about the gospel. He fell away when he was a teenager, but he just has been going through a lot lately and felt it was time to kind of turn his life around. We got to meet with him later in the week and he is just a really good guy. I’m just so grateful the spirit led us to that place to be there at that time.

This week we had the opportunity to go see the Live Nativity that the Folsom Stake(last area) put on. It was amazing!! It was way better than that live nativity up in alpine we always go to (lol no offense). The spirit was so strong there and I was just tearing up. I've realized that I'm acting more and more like my Mom since I've been on my mission. hahah in a good way;) The nativity was such a good reminder to me of how the Savior was born in the most humble of circumstances yet he is the Son of God! We sang, "Joy to the world" this week at one of our ward Christmas parties and the line "let every heart prepare Him room" has really stood out to me this week. During the Christmas season how everyone is extremely busy I hope you all find room in your heart to remember the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for all of us. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!

The rest of the week went well. We literally went to 5 ward Christmas parties, it was a good chance to meet all the ward members! Ah I’m so lost here, but I’m trying to figure everything out. I still love being with Sister Hickman. She's such a hard worker and good example to me. We've been biking this week and it's been really fun just talking to everyone. I'm just so happy to be serving my Heavenly Father. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Love,
Sister Sobotka 


 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hashtag Blessed

Hey everyone,

It was a good first week in Rancho Cordova!! Okay I'll give you a
quick run through about everything here. Okay so my companion is
Sister Hickman! She's from Tulsa, Oklahoma & is 21 years old. She's probably one of the hardest working people I've ever met & that's not even an exaggeration! She's pretty funny & reminds me so much of my cousin Lauren so it's really fun!! I think she's stressed out covering another Ward but I'm just happy to be here with her haha!

My new area is kinda ghetto, but not too ghetto! There are some
sketchy part like scary apartments but for the most part it's pretty
nice. The wards I cover are the Rossmoor Ward & the Goethe (pronounced like gatey) Park Ward. The Rossmoor Ward has a ton of old people & I would say that Goethe has more young-ish families.

Sister Hickman goes running every morning so I've been trying it out & oh my gosh I'm so outta shape!! Haha it's so embarrassing. We ran like a mile the first day & my legs were literally sore for the next 4 days!! Hahaha #Pray4me but its all good ;)

We are teaching a few people! One guy, named Lee is just super solid. He was referred to Sister Hickman & her past comp a few weeks ago & they've been teaching him every Tuesday & Thursday! He is a doctor & just an all around good guy. He has a good friend that's a member but the member lives out of the mission, but he still comes to the lessons! Anyway lee hasn't came to church yet because he has been on call the past few weeks but hopefully he can make it soon. He has so much potential & real desire to become a member! So yeah that's really exciting!

It's been a crazy week trying to get to know everyone & everything
around here, but I'm so grateful to be serving here at this time. I'm
grateful I get to be here with Sister Hickman & to learn from her. I'm grateful for the birth of our Savior & this Christmas season. I'm so grateful that we have a Savior & because of him we can return to live with our loving Heavenly Father There is so much to be grateful for & my heart is full of gratitude. I hope you all take the chance to look around & recognize how much Heavenly Father loves you & how much he has blessed you with.

Have a good week! CTR

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Real Intent

Hey guys,

Shot out to Nick Gladwell!!!!

So yeah this week was pretty good! Here are the highlights: Sister
Erickson was super sick:( the poor thing!! We found out Rex is indeed a member (yay kinda) hahah & we had zone conference yesterday with Elder Hamula from the First Quorum of the 70.

Tuesday Sister Erickson was so sick, I felt really bad. It's the worst
when your companion is sick! Because you want to help them as much as you can, but there's nothing you can do. I guess that's probably how Heavenly Father felt when his Son was preforming the Atonement. I think that's one of the hardest things about missionary work! There are so many people you want to help, but you can't. Yeah that's hard.

Anywhoo...the rest of the week went pretty well! One day we were just driving down the street and we saw this GIANT balloon floating above Rex's house and we were just kinda like hey what the heck is that? So we went over that day to talk to him about the word of wisdom (because of the mysterious scent of weed in his house) and it was a giant beach ball in his pine tree?? He told us that his son, Wayne, (who's like 55+) climbed all the way up this tree to decorate it? So yeah apparently it's just decoration hahaha!

Sunday was Oak Ridge Ward's primary program. Ah it was so cute! It's so special to see kids of such a young age bearing their testimony of Jesus Christ. And there were a ton of non members there. Then during Sunday School we had our “Power of the everyday missionary class" and Sister Stone was there, we talked about fears of doing missionary work and she just broke down and started crying and said how she is really trying to help this family (the Sorensons who we've taught before) but she is really close friends with them and she doesn't want to push them too far. It made me feel bad because I had been complaining in my head
how the members need to do more missionary work haha but then I really realized that it's hard for them! It was cool to see her perspective.

Yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to hear from Elder &
Sister Hamula. They were so good! We talked a lot about “Real Intent". We were asked to study the whole Book of Moroni before the conference. It's funny how many times I've read Moroni 10:3-5 on my mission, but haven't really payed much attention to what "Real Intent" means. I've thought about how many times I've prayed and thought I wasn't receiving answers and then I realized I wasn't praying with real intent!
 

I read this quote from President Eyring, "praying with real intent
includes a willingness to obey whatever instructions come from the
Lord: The young Joseph Smith showed us how to pray that way. He
believed in the promise he read in the book of James. He went to the grove with faith that his prayer would be answered. He wanted to know which church to join. He was submissive enough to be ready to do whatever he was told to do. So he prayed, as we must, already committed to obey" It made me realize that Heavenly Father will answer my prayers, but I just have to have a willing heart and be ready to act on any answer I receive, even if it isn't the answer I want to hear;)

Anyway sorry this is super long again. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Choose the right & read your scriptures!

Love always,
Sister Sobotka


Sister Sobotka, Rex and Sister Erickson

Monday, November 9, 2015

It's Getting Cold Here!

Hey fam,

This week has been great! Okay so remember Rex, the 80 something year
old I talked about a few weeks ago? Ok so we went and visited him this
week & we walked into his house & it smelled horrible! Like straight
up weed. It reminded me of the good old days in Carmichael ha! We were
so confused because like why would this sweet 80 year old man be
getting high? So yeah we are still confused about that, but
anyway...we taught him the restoration  & we found out that he might
be a member!! But we can't find his records anywhere? So our ward
clerk is calling salt lake today to try & find them! But the good
thing is, Rex & his son, Wayne, came to church!! Ah we were so
excited!

This week I've thought about how my whole mission I kept waiting for
this "golden investigator" & how I have this mindset where one day I'm
just going to magically find this family who has been waiting to hear
about the gospel, but I'm missing the miracles that happen right in
front of me. I've been thinking about Rex, how we just tracted into
him one day & how he called us back, how he wanted to change his life
& start coming back to church & how that's a huge miracle in itself!
Even if he is a member, it's so cool that now is the time he wants to
start changing & coming back to church! He's such a sweet old man &
I'm so happy Heavenly Father lead Sister Kauvaka & I to his door
months ago in July.

Things are going well with Sister Erickson, she's such a sweetie. We
made a new Ward Mission Plan for the Oak Ridge Ward & sister Allen,
(aka the best Ward missionary ever) had them made into these cute
magnets! So we've been going over to every members house and
committing them to do one of the 6 things on there for 1 month. It's
been going pretty well so far! The members here are such good people,
they just need to step up their missionary game-pretty sure we all do.

Dad, I learned how to fill up air in car tires!! Sister Erickson is
just so pro at life. She is knows about a ton how to live and just how
to do useful things, she's kinda like a mom :) haha it's getting so
cold here! Ah I am going to the biggest wimp back in Utah!

Anyway I love you all & hope you have a wonderful week! Remember to
choose the right and read your scriptures.

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Sister Erickson and Sister Sobotka

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Happy Hump Day!

Happy Monday Everyone!

9 MONTHS WHAT! I can't believe I hit 9 months this week. I'm half way
done with my mission?! I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this.
Mixed emotions for sure, but I’m definitely so happy I decided to
serve a mission! I was thinking about the time I spent biking in
Carmichael & how I wanted to throw my bike off the apartment
balcony...I've come a long way;) hahaha

Sooo this week has been a week of changes! I know last week I said I
would still be with Sister Starnes, but some changes happened & I have
a new companion! It was sad to see Sister Starnes go:( I learned a lot
from her & even started saying "y'all" on accident hahaha super
embarrassing! But I am now companions with Sister Erickson, k so she's
my first Caucasian companion, & she's my first companion from Utah!
But get this...she's a convert! She is literally from Sandy, Utah and
missionaries just happened to knock on her door one day! Hahah crazy
huh? She got baptized when she was 21, & now she's 29!! A whole 10
years older than me! But she is such a sweet heart. She is so kind &
just has a good heart. She's the only member in her family of 5 & man
I just really look up to her.  I know I've said this before, but one
of my fav parts of being a missionary is getting to know other
missionaries & hear how they were raised & their whole story of
deciding to come on a mission. Some people have gone through some hard
things to get here & I just admire those missionaries! I love having a
companion, at times it is really hard & you just want to be alone for
an hour! But I have learned important lessons from every companion, I
have a testimony that transfers really do come from the Lord & He
knows exactly what he's doing.

The rest of the week was pretty chill. We got to go to both Silva
Valley Ward trunk or treat & Oak Ridge wards trunk or treat. A bunch
of families brought their friends which was way cool! We got to talk
to a bunch of them.

On Saturday we helped a boy in our Ward with his eagle project & it
was this huge project of ripping out a billion and a half bushes at
his Highschool & then planing more in a shape of a "V" for vista high.
But it was a HUGE project that literally took all day. I felt bad for
him. Secretly happy I'm not a boy & never had to do an Eagle Scout
project hahaha.

For Halloween we had to be in at 6 & we had a meeting with our zone.
it was a good meeting, we just talked about the importance of the
sacrament. And we should ALWAYS remember our Savior, Jesus Christ &
all that he has done for us.

Anyway, I hope you all have a good week & ALWAYS remember Jesus
Christ. Oh and choose the right & read your scriptures.

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Pics:

1. HAPPY HUMP DAY WOOT WOOT
2. Shots of chocolate milk for 9 months down
3. Sister Erickson and me at the Temple






 

Tender Mercies

Dearest family & friends,

Okay so last p-day I was thinking, "I'm just gonna make up a bunch of crazy stuff for next weeks email & see if anyone believes it!" but a ton of crazy stuff actually happened this week so I don't even need to make anything up:) haha!

Wednesday we got a call from this guy we tracted into a few months ago, Rex! He's like 80 something and could barley hear us but we left him with our card & a Book of Mormon & didn't really think much of it. Then on Wednesday when he called us he told us he wanted to come to church this Sunday! We had stake conference so we gave him all the information & he asked if we could get him a ride so we did! In the Folsom stake they have this really awesome meeting before the Sunday session of stake conference for all the new members & returning less actives & investigators! So we had Rex come to that & he said he loved it! It was awesome because a bunch of new members bore their testimonies about the church & how much their lives have changed since they joined. It was really cool & the spirit was incredibly strong. Ah it's so amazing to see people completely change their lives & apply the atonement & become new people. Anyway we hope to teach Rex this week:)

On Saturday we got a call from this random guy asking what time church was and where the church was in El Dorado Hills! We asked him how he got our number & he said he wasn't a member but was recently in Salt Lake & decided to check out temple square & met the missionaries there & got out number online! We told him it was stake conference this weekend, and then he told us he lived in Folsom (aka not our area) haha so we gave him the sisters in folsoms number. I think this was just a way for the Lord to show me, hey there are people being prepared everywhere :) I was just so excited!

Also on Saturday we got to go to a baptism in the El Dorado Stake! Shaye (17 year old girl in Silva Valley Ward) gave us a ride & guess what! We ran out of gas on the way there!!! Hahah, but luckily we ran out right in front of the gas station! (Tender mercy from the Lord;) ) but we still had to get out & push the car a little bit! Haha just imagine these two missionaries in their skirts pushing a car to the gas station. It was actually pretty funny. Anyway we made it to the baptism on time & everything went smoothly:)

Like I mentioned before, we had stake conference this weekend & it was awesome! They talked a lot about looking for the good in the world. This past week I was looking through my journal & there is a place for me to write "miracles" that have happened & I barely had written any & I started thinking, "well nothing miraculous has happened lately" but I then I was like, hey I need to fill up this part in my journal, so I started noticing all the miracles that happen every single day!! I guess it's just really all about perspective :) one of my fav scriptures is 1 Nephi 1:20 where it says, "...the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance"  then in psalms 145:9, "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all His works"
The tender mercies of the Lord are literally all over, you just have to stop & look for them Elder Bednar said, "We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live." & I just love that:) I think I've learned to look at all the simple beauty recently & have just realized how good God is!

I'm sorry this email is about 5 years long! It has been just a great week. I am so grateful to be out here serving my Heavenly Father:) I hope you all take time to stop & look for the Lords tender mercies in your life

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Pics:
1. Sister Starnes & I at the Sacramento temple
2. The new Folsom zone
3. Sister Starnes & I giving a Book of Mormon to a llama
4. I tried to find something in my bag to eat the other day & found these delicious Reese's






Wednesday, October 21, 2015

6 Months in EDH

Hi fam & friends:)

We received transfer calls this weekend & guess what! I'm stayin in El Dorado Hills for another 6 weeks & I couldn't be happier :) I'm also staying companions with sister Starnes! I love this area & I love being here at this time. It's crazy that at the end of this transfer I will have spent a total of 6 months here!

Anywhoo...since yesterday wasn't p-day sister Starnes & I decided to do something different so we pulled out our bikes & started riding around, & let me tell ya, they don't call it El Dorado HILLS for nothing!! Hahah after about 2 hours we were sick of that so that idea ended pretty quickly hahah!

We also got to volunteer at the Oak Ridge High School football game again this week & sold popcorn & it was so much fun! I just love the youth in our wards:) we got to talk to a ton of people & the youth in our Ward introduced us to a ton of their friends! I love doing stuff with the youth but I have to come to the realization that I'm not in their age group anymore &I’m just this nerdy sister missionary trying to be cool, hahaha! On Sunday it was the "Youth Program" which is basically like the primary program but for all the youth & 3 sweet 15 year old girls in our Ward (Abby,Chloe, & Marryann) brought 2 of their non member friends to church! Ah I'm just so impressed with the youth here :)

Anyway the rest of the week went great & I’m so happy to be here in El Dorado Hills. I'm learning so much about myself. I think sometimes I get discouraged because we don't have a ton of investigators to teach, but I have to just remind myself of the missionary purpose that says, "invite others to come unto Christ" & that includes active members! I'm so grateful for the members here. I know some are really trying to share the gospel with their friends & I really look up to them for that!

I hope you all have a great week & remember to read your scriptures! Elder Richard G Scott said in his very last General Conference address: "Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"

Hope you all choose to have a good week & choose the right!

Happy 13th birthday Andrew! Mom I can't believe you have 4 teenagers now! Hahah

Also shout out to Lauren, Annie, Bonnie, Tara & Neil for the sweetest package!! Hashtag blessed

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Monday, October 12, 2015

Just Serve

Dear everyone,

It was another good week in California! I'm just gonna keep this short
this week, because I just honestly don't feel like writing hahaha.
Last Monday we went on this bike ride with the sisters in the zone for
pday so that was pretty fun. We went around Lake Natoma & I pretty
much almost died 214 times. Haaa I'm so outta shape. This week we did
a lot of service! But it's way cool because all the people in the area
are recognizing us volunteering at like every event the city puts on!
We helped volunteer at this elementary school Halloween festival thing
& it was way fun & a ton of parents thanked us for helping.

We had exchanges this week & I got to go to Folsom with Sister Briggs.
I just really look up to Sister Briggs. She's just a genuinely good
person who loves the gospel & everyone around her. The exchange was
really fun & I always learn a lot from exchanges! I think one of my
fav things about being a missionary is getting to know the other
missionaries! It's so interesting to hear how people grew up & how
they decided to serve a mission.

Basically that's all I got for this week! We have transfer calls this
week so I'm pretty nervous to see what will happen. I love this area &
my companion & I am so blessed to be serving here at this time!

Choose to make it a good week!

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Pics:
1-us with a fire truck
2-this sweet little girl drew the cutest picture of me hahaha













Monday, October 5, 2015

Waffles and Apostles

Dear family & friends,

Okay first off, wasn't General Conference the best? Yesterday sister
Starnes & I were talking about how after General Conference you get
that kinda feeling that you get on Christmas after you open all your
presents & then you just get that sad feeling & think, "now I've got
to wait a whole year for this to happen again" haha good thing we only
have to wait 6 months for General Conference;)

Anywhoo... This week has been so much fun! We met this super sweet
lady tracting this week. She has a home in Florida & lives there 6
months out of the year & she explained that in Florida she lives
across the street from some members of the church & she said she
recognized how well they treated everyone & how the man of the house
got sick last year & people from their Ward brought meals over every
night. She said she watched as women in the Ward got out of their cars
every night with crying kids in the car to take this family a meal.
While she was telling us about this I started to cry. Those women in
Florida probably had no idea the influence they had on this woman!
They had no clue that they were planting seeds in this lady's heart. I
thought of my mom not only because of all the meals she has taken to
people, but also on the receiving end, when she had her heart attack &
open heart surgery & how grateful I was for the women in the Ward who
brought over meals to our family. I am so grateful for the women in
the church, for the good things they do, all over the world! I
absolutely loved Elder Nelson & Elder Hollands talk about the huge
roll of mothers & women. Anyway, the woman we tracted into leaves for
Florida this week but we told her there are missionaries in Florida so
we sent off the referral!

The rest of the week was filled with service! We had an awesome
service activity to help out with Oak Ridge High Schools homecoming
football game! We got to work the concession stand & it was so much
fun!! We got to talk to so many people about the church & it was just
great publicity haha. Then Saturday night the Sisters in the zone got
to volunteer at a 5K race. It was like a glow in the dark race & we
got tons of glow sticks. We basically just pointed people where to go
& cheered them on.

Saturday we watched General Conference with the Gladwell family,
Sister Gladwell is so sweet & had doughnuts & orange juice & fruit out
for us! I am so grateful for the amazing families who take such good
care of us missionaries. Then Sunday we watched conference with the
Martins & they had this big waffle breakfast for us! How nice huh?
Such good people:) The 3 new apostles seem like amazing men & it was
fun to get to hear from them. Elder Stevenson is in my favorite Mormon
message, "leave the party" so I was excited to hear he is one of the
new apostles!

Well yeah that was basically my week. I had too many fav General
conference talks, but I especially loved Elder Holland's talk. I only
cried 219 tears during his talk. Hahah but for real, I am so grateful
for the living prophets and apostles we have today. What a blessing it
is to have these amazing leaders to help guide and direct our lives. I
love how a lot of the talks were on how the the gospel is simple & we
try to make it complicated. I remember at the beginning of my mission
when Elder Bednar came & spoke to the the mission & said, "when people
hear the word, 'doctrine' they start to freak out and think it's deep
complex material, but it actually the plain and simple truths found in
the gospel of Jesus Christ"

Hope you all have an amazing week & apply the things you learned from
conference into your life & act on the impressions you have:) LOVE
YOU.

Love always,
Sister Ashley Sobotka

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fill your life with meaningful service

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty good. Sad to hear about the passing of Elder Scott:( it's so crazy we will be sustaining 3 new apostles! Our Ward mission leader legit thinks Mitt Romney will be one of them...hahaha bless his heart.

We did a lot of service this week at the thrift shop and the good old folks home :) which is always fun. We found a nasty wig at the thrift shop and took turns taking pictures with it on! (I'll send pictures later) hahaha but that was pretty hilarious, I may or may not have lice. Haha jk.

Saturday night was the General Women's Conference, it gave me that spiritual boost I needed! I absolutely LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk. I love the way he told his story. Something I've learned on my mission is how to be happy. I know I've said this in past emails, but this is the happiest I've ever been in my life and it's the hardest thing I've done in my life! True happiness really does come from serving others. President Uchtdorf said one way to be happy is to fill your life with meaningful things. I've realized while I'm on my mission, my entire life, 24-7, is filled with meaningful things! My absolute favorite quote is by President Hinckley says, "generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others."

If you want to be happy, then serve:) the closing song we sang at women's conference really stood out to me...it says,

2. Go forth with love to tell the world
The joy of families--
That we may be with those we love
Thru all eternity.
Go forth to serve and do your best
With no thought of reward;
Then you shall know the boundless joy
Of serving Christ, the Lord.

That was my spiritual insight of the week;) ha! Dontchya just love President Uchtdorf? Brother Martin says he has a man crush on him! Hahaha

Anyway the rest of the week went good. One day we went to the park and drew Mormon pictures on the side walk with chalk & wrote mormon.org so hopefully someone will see that & check it out:) we came back the next day & someone had crossed out the 2nd "m" so it said moron.org rude huh?

Anyway thanks for all the emails & letters. I'm so grateful for all of you in my life. You guys are da best!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK! & enjoy General Conference!!!

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Pics
1. sister Starnes & I
2. A real life pic of us Tracting (thx for the pic elders)
3. Our zone lunch @ Buffalo Wild Wings
4. My 16th birthday


Monday, September 21, 2015

Good People of El Dorado Hills

Oh hey!

First of all, can you believe it's been a whole year since I received my
call to Sacramento?! Ah I am so happy to be here and the time is just flying
by.

It's been another lovely week in El Dorado Hills! Ok just gonna be
completely honest and say not a lot happened this week. Hahah! But, it
was still a great week! We had interviews with President & Sister
Jardine this week which is always good. We talked about what it means
to me a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I know, I talk about how amazing this area is all the time, but
it seriously has the best people. I am just blown away at how many
good people there are. It makes me happy to see how strong the people
in the church are all over the world.

We had dinner with the Ales family this past week and I just
absolutely love this family. They are so down to earth and just
genuinely good people. I think one of my favorite parts of being a
missionary is going to families houses for dinner, you get to see how
other people live and meet so many cool families. If ya think about it,
it's such an amazing opportunity to serve a mission.

This past week I've been thinking a lot about how people say missions
are a "sacrifice" (this is super embarrassing because my whole
farewell talk was about how a mission is a sacrifice hahah) but it's
truly such a privilege to be serving my Heavenly Father for 18 months
of my life. When will I ever get the chance to not worry about school,
or money or anything except doing the Lords work 24-7 ever again?

On Saturday we helped with the "Folsom Community Day of Service" we
helped pick up tons of bags for a food drive! It was so much fun and so
many people were there. We filled our entire car full of food! We
were even on the news for it since our car was the fullest! Just tryin
to be famous.

Anyway things are going really well with Sister Starnes! We have been
able to visit a lot of less actives this week and try to help build
their faith:) We are also committing all the member families to invite
someone to the trunk or treat Ward activity!

Well that's about all I have to report on! But also...HAPPY 18
BIRTHDAY TAYLOR!!!!!! Omg I can't believe you're 18 years old. I hope
you're having a fun senior year:)

Love,
Sister Sobotka

Sister Sobotka with her companion Sister Starnes

Monday, September 14, 2015

Have I Done Any Good?

Good Morning :)

I just feel like I have so much to write this week but, I'll try to keep it short.

I just first want to start off saying that I love being a Missionary. I know I just sound like the biggest nerd ever saying that but ah I just love having this privilege of sharing my testimony everyday.

So I gave a talk in church yesterday & guess what!!!! I still hate public speaking :)) haha I don't know if I'll ever not be nervous when I'm giving a talk. But I don't think it went horrifically terrible! Sister Starnes & I were both asked to speak, & we got the call Saturday night! Ha!

This past week has just been really good. I absolutely love Sister Starnes! She is always so happy and positive. She makes it so easy to get stuff done since she's always so optimistic :) I really love working with her!

Last night we had an amazing lesson with the Sorenson boys! It was at the Stones home & all the Stone boys were there!!! Ah they remind me SO MUCH of Taylor, McKay, and Andrew. We played ping pong with them & man it just made me miss my little brothers so much. Then we had the lesson. The Sorenson boys have been taught one of the lessons, but hadn't been taught the first lesson yet so we got to teach the Restoration. The spirit was so strong during the lesson and Kyle told us he would start praying about a date for baptism :) it's amazing how you can feel the spirit testifying of truth while you're teaching. They are seriously the cutest sweetest little boys. Also, their Grandma was there as well & you could tell she really felt the spirit! We asked her to read the Book of Mormon & she said it would be an honor!! So some great things are happening with them:)

Also I forgot to write about this, but a few weeks ago Sister Kauvaka & I were out visiting some less active members and we got kind of "lost" but we saw this moving truck outside of a house & I remember having a district meeting at the beginning of my mission & my district leader said, "if you ever see a moving truck, stop what you're doing and help" so that's what we did! We got out and asked these two girls if they needed help and they accepted:) so we called some elders and helped them move to these apartment in the elders (APs) area. I was so happy we were able to help. I wrote down their address & sent the referral to the Assistants. Then last night the Assistants texted us & said they went & met the girls & they are super interested in learning about the church & accepted to hear the lessons :) AHH a miracle!

Well everything else is going great! I am so happy out here. I honestly love every minute of being a missionary. I love getting to meet new people & share this amazing message with everyone (I know I sound so cheesy) but this is sincere:) even though I'm getting fat I still love being out here. Haha! It's such a privilege getting to serve my Heavenly Father for 18 months of my life. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I absolutely love how Heavenly Father has created this amazing plan for us to return to live with him again. How we can change and repent and become better people everyday.

I hope you all choose to have a great week this week & remember everything your Savior has done for you. I know I've talked about this before, but I really love the hymn “Have I done any good" especially the 2nd verse where it says:  "There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying, 'sometime I'll try,' but go and do something today."  Heavenly Father puts opportunities to do good right in our way! But it's our responsibilities to act on those. I hope you all look for those opportunities every single day and help those around you.

I love you!! Choose to make it a good week:)

Love,
Sister Sobotka

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Transfer Week

Hi Guys,

Transfers were this week & I am staying here in El Dorado Hills,
but I’m getting a new companion! Sister Starnes!!!! She's seriously the
cutest, sweetest thing!

So President Jardine changed how we do transfers. On Saturday night we receive
a call from the Zone Leaders & all they tell us is if we are staying
or leaving. So the Zone Leaders told me I would be staying & told Sis
Kauvaka she would be leaving! Then on Monday morning everyone who is
being transferred meets at the mission office and we sit in the chapel
& President Jardine pulls up our picture on a big screen & announces
who our new companion will be! Isn't that nerve racking?!!? But, this
transfer the AP's messed something up and accidentally sent out an
email on Sunday night to the whole mission & we found out who our
companions were going to be! Haha so by the time we all got to the
meeting on Monday everyone already knew what was happening. Hahaha!
It was really fun to be with all the other missionaries. Anyway it was
super sad to say goodbye to Sis Kauvaka :( she is such a great
missionary & helped me learn how to work hard!

I was so nervous about this transfer, but I got the cutest companion
ever!!!! Let me tell you about her. Her name is Sister Starnes &
she's from North Carolina! She's 22 & she's is this sweet little
southern girl. She says "ya'll" & is just your typical southern
sweetheart! Ah I wish you could all meet her:) we already get along so
well & I'm just super excited for this transfer!!

This past week has been really good. Dad, you're going to be super mad
at me because I already cracked my iPad screen:((( I know I'm the
worst!!!! So I set my iPad down in the back seat of the car & then put
my bag on top of it...then when we got home I got out of the car &
yanked my bag out & the iPad went flying across the drive way:'( (rt
if you cried) but don't worry it's just a small crack.

Also this week we got to go to an Oak Ridge high school volleyball
game because one of the McGill girls plays for them! It was super
fun!! Ha it felt weird to be at a high school sporting event. Then we
got to go to the Folsom Symphony concert thing because Sister Martin
(lady we live with) was preforming & it was this big outside concert &
we got to talk to a ton of people about the church!

Anyway the rest of the week went really good:) our missionary class in
Sunday school is going soo great!!! Things are starting to happen here
& I'm just super pumped to be here with sister Starnes. I'm just so
grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we need❤️
I hope you all had a wonderful week & choose the right & read your
scriptures & remember to love everyone!!!

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Power of the Everyday Missionary

Hey friends & family:)

I love being a missionary!

It has been such a great week. Okay so not a TON happened this week, but the McGills came to sacrament meeting!!! HOLLA! That was definitely the highlight of the week:) hopefully we will get to meet with them again this week!

This week I've realized how much I take for granted, especially that I know I have a loving Heavenly Father. There are so many people who don't even know they have a LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. I read Alma 30 this week & I love love love verse 44 where it says, "all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth and all the things that are upon the face of it, yes and it's motion, yea and also the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

I've just been thinking about this verse a lot lately. We went on a walk with these less active members in our Ward in the evening & the sun was setting & it just felt amazing outside. Summer evenings witness to me that there is a God:) we went to a park & shared a short message with them & it just felt so good to sit in the green grass!! (Ha I sound like my mom right now) anyway I'm just grateful for the knowledge I have that there is a loving Heavenly Father who truly cares about each and everyone of us:) how lucky are we??

In our Oak Ridge Ward we need some serious help with missionary work! Haha so Bro Andersen(our Ward mission leader) and Sis Allen(Ward missionary) and Sis Kauvaka & I decided to start a Sunday school class called "The Power of the Everyday Missionary" it's basically 8 weeks & 10 couples from the Ward that the bishopric chooses come to our class & we read the book "The Power of the Everyday Missionary" by Clayton Christenson...okay this is super important for all you people who are at home, you all NEED to read it! We got permission from our mission president to read it so we can help teach the class & it is so amazing!! It's a short book, but it's an awesome read & I learned sooo much!! I know all of you have opportunities to share the gospel all the time;) even if you live in utah! Joseph Smith even said, "After all has been said, the GREATEST and MOST IMPORTANT duty is to preach the gospel" So you all need to get on that;) anyway the class went great yesterday and the members are excited to do missionary work. Sister Allen taught the class yesterday & started off by letting everyone know the last baptism in this Ward was over 2 years ago!!! & the Ward has had a total of 3 baptisms in the last 5 years. Hahaha so everyone is determined to change that:)

Well the rest of the week was great! I can't even believe I hit my 7 month mark? It seems like o just hit 6. But ah I am so happy I decided to serve a mission. I absolutely love it here!! Transfer calls are this week so I'm kinda nervous to see what will happen!! Everything is goin great:) I think my fav part about serving in this area is the youth!! There are so many awesome kids in these wards & I love getting to know them. It makes me miss my little siblings at home.

Anyway I hope you all have an awesome week of school & studying & homework:) heheh & keep the McGills in your prayers!!!!

Love always,
Sister Sobotka

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pray for the McGill Family

Hi everybody!

This week was such a great week!!!! (K I feel like I start out all my emails like that hah) but it really was a great week:) also I wanna apologize for making my emails so long and boring haha I'll try and shorten this one up! so this past Thursday was like the best day ever! A lady in our Ward called and asked us if we would teach seminary on Thursday morning & of course we said yes. Early morning seminary starts at 6:00am sooo we woke up around 5! I have a new found respect for early morning seminary students!! Haha that was my first time ever going to early morning seminary, but it was way cool to see how many kids wake up that early for seminary! There were 16 kids in our class (they were juniors and seniors) we just talked about the plan of salvation. I think it went pretty well!

Then we had zone conference at 8 in East Sac! It was about a 45 minute drive there & we were the last missionaries there!!! I was so embarrassed hahah & Sister Marston (the vehicle coordinating senior missionary) could just tell I was so flustered & stressed & she said, "I can just tell you need a hug" hahah what a sweet old lady<3 then we had zone conference until 3. It was super good!! We talked about finding basically the whole time, which was really good because we are struggling to find people. The mission goal is 711 convert baptisms this year & we are at 268. Anyway, basically zone conference was amazing & we talked about having charity for a big part of it. Our mission has been really focused on having charity lately. Which is really good, everyone could always use some more charity:)

Thursday night we had dinner with the McGills!! Ok so they are just the sweetest family out there! Idk I'll give you a quick run through of them: we got a referral from missionaries in another stake saying to go visit them, because a member in their Ward is really close friends with them. And we went and visited them and brought them a peach pie & they invited us to dinner. Okay yeah back to dinner, so we walk in & guess what we are having...SPAGHETTI!! I just new it was going to be a good night hahahah. Then we sat down and started talking with them, so I asked them if they even knew what missionaries did and they had no idea! So we explained what we did & basically explained the whole religion! Ha! Then their daughter (17) was like, "yeah a lot of people think we are Mormon because we don't date until we are 16, & we dress modestly & we don't get tattoos & we only have 1 piercing in our ears" & I was just so excited! Anyway the rest of the dinner went awesome! Their dad wasn't there because he was on a business trip, but apparently he has read the whole Book of Mormon & loved it!!!! Then the 3 daughters were like, "yeah he has shared some of the stuff he has read & it just makes perfect sense" (I was just screaming on the inside right then) then we challenged them to read it & they all said they would!! We only brought over 3 book of Mormons (worst missionary award I know) and there were 5 people at dinner (the mom, the 3 daughters & one of the daughters husband) & they asked if they could each have their own! So we taught them the restoration & testified with all of hearts the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon & the spirit was so strong :) they said they couldn't come to church this week since one of their daughters has a volleyball tournament, but they would definitely come next week! Anyway the dinner went awesome & we are so excited to continue teaching the McGill family. I realized Heavenly Father is preparing people everywhere. I read Alma 26 this week & I Love this chapter. Especially verse 27, where it says, "now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and BEAR WITH PATIENCE THINE AFFLICTIONS AND I WILL GIVE UNTO SUCCESS" I've come to realize that everything is in the Lord timing:) not our own. We just need to be patient and the Lord will give us success!

Other than that the rest of the week went pretty well! We taught young women's in the Silva Valley Ward on Sunday & it was so much fun to be around such amazing young women! We talked about the importance of doing missionary work. The lesson went really well & the girls were so willing to participate! Then we had the opportunity to teach Sunday School in the Oak Ridge Ward to 3 young women. Abby, Chloe & Paige! They're so cute!!:) The youth in this area are so awesome!! I am really impressed at how strong their testimonies are and how kind they are to everyone.

I hope you all have a fun week:) good luck to Taylor McKay Andrew & Lindsey for starting school this week!! Make it a good year kiddies<3 be nice to everyone & read your scriptures & say your prayers!!

I love you! PRAY FOR THE MCGILL FAMILY


Love,
Sister Sobotka



Young Women of the Silva Valley Ward

Early Morning Seminary Class

Zone Conference

Monday, August 10, 2015

Amazing what a little peach pie and some faith can do!

Hi family & friends:)

Okay so this week has probably been the best week of my mission so far! So I've been studying this talk, "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence Corbridge for the past week and I just feel like a brand new person. Ok soooo last week I started getting so discouraged that we had nobody to teach & then I started studying this talk & I realized how selfish I have been acting! I can't really explain how everything clicked for me this week, but it did! I realized the only way to truly truly be happy on your mission is if you surrender your own will. But the rest of this email might be boring for most of you! Hahah so if you want to just read some funny good stuff here it is:

So Sister Wentzel (in the Silva Valley Ward) invited us over to make peach pie this week to deliver to people we are teaching! So we went over & got to chat with her & make some delicious peach pie:) then we went & delivered it to this family we want to start teaching & they were sooo nice!! They invited us in & and the dad said he has read the whole Book of Mormon & loved it!!! So they invited us to dinner this next week:) it's amazing what a little peach pie & some faith can do;) hahaha so we will keep ya posted on that.

Okay also get this...yesterday at church Sister Kauvaka and I sat in like the gluten free section in sacrament & I guess they forgot to bring gluten free bread to church & so the bishop got up & said, "sooo we don't have any gluten free bread today, but we have gluten free chocolate chip cookies so that's what we are having for sacrament" hahahah isn't that cool??? Hahahah it was a good sacrament:)

Also I just wanna say that I love these 2 wards. I am seriously so blessed to be serving here. I am really amazed at how awesome the members are here. This week the Gladwell family invited their neighbors over to have dessert & I just love the Gladwell family so much! They are so missionary minded! And also they just remind me of my own family at home. I am so grateful for the families who help out with missionary work:)

Alright here's the rest of my email:
I went on exchanges with Sister Hickman this week & it was so much fun. Okay so when I first got transferred into this zone I was terrified of Sister Hickman! She is a go getter & knows how to get things done. I was a little nervous to go on exchanges with her, but I LOVED it! I got to go to her area (Folsom)& ride bikes:) -I actually miss riding bikes a little tiny bit hehe. Anyway she's from Tulsa Oklahoma & has been out for a little over a year. So we went to lunch & she sat me down and we had a huge conversation about the fourth missionary talk! She said it changed her whole mission. She explained that at one point in her mission she just wasn't happy, she wasn't teaching anyone & she felt like she wasn't making a difference! She said all she cares about is getting baptisms & getting good numbers & when she wasn't getting baptisms she got so angry. She said she wanted to change but didn't know how. She said she had talked to other missionaries about it and one Elder said, "you need to use the atonement and change" and she was like "I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS" & the Elder said, "you get on your knees and plead with God" and she's like, "that's it?" & he said, "you have to want it more than anything" so she said she did that & totally changed. Anyway sorry random story...but in the talk it talks about how to become a better missionary and how success isn't measured by becoming a "great missionary" because using the term "great missionary" is used to compare to other missionaries, but it's on if you want to become a SERVANT of the Lord.

Anyway, on exchanges we were riding our bikes and we were just talking to everyone we saw so we rode through a park and started talking to this guy and I thought he looked pretty familiar and we asked if he had talked with missionaries before and he said he had 2 months ago in Carmichael!!! I knew I had talked with him before! But he said he would come to church on Sunday & he gave us his number & we passed him off to the elders that live in Folsom!! That was super cool because what are the odds I would ever see that guy again, and I was on exchanges only for 24 hours & I just happened to run into him & his kids?!! There's no such thing as coincidences:) the rest of the exchange went really well & I just really loved being with Sister Hickman. She is a missionary I really look up to. We are a lot alike & I'm so grateful I get to serve with her. After exchanges we came over to the Martins (where I live) and had lunch with the sisters in the zone & then took a 20 minute nap by the pool hahaha

On Friday we had zone training all about the fourth missionary talk. We read John 21. It was a really awesome zone training & I have really changed my whole perspective on missionary work this week & I have been so much more happy!! I read the talk "the first and great commandment" by Elder Jeffrery R Holland & it is SO GOOD! (Read if ya have time) and it just talks about how if we truly love our Heavenly Father we will be loyal to him in every stage of our life. I love when he says, "My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all--“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty."

Okay so this email is gettin really long & I'm pretty sure 87% of you have stopped reading by this point, but basically I realized that the only way you can truly serve the Lord is if you put your whole heart into it, that you want nothing more than to truly serve and please the Lord. I love this quote from the talk,
"In the end, your heart and your will is all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have. If you give your time, two years, and your strength, you give only that which He grants to you with each beat of your heart and each breath that you draw. If you dedicate your gifts and talents, you only return to Him what He already has given to you. If you pay tithing you only return to Him a tenth of what he has already given to you. Everything that you have to give to the Lord, has its origin in Him, except one thing: your will. He does not have your heart, nor your mind, unless you give them to Him. It is the only gift you have to offer that He does not already have. And so when you give yourself, you truly give everything to Him."

Anyway, it was a really great week & I've changed my attitude about missionary work:) I love being out here & I truly love serving the Lord. Even if we don't have a bunch of investigators or tons of baptisms I am so happy to be serving my Heavenly Father. What a privilege!! :)


Love always,
Sister Sobotka


Sister Sobotka and Kauvaka with Sister Wentzel

Taking a quick power nap by the pool

Driving in the mission car with Sister Kauvaka

Monday, August 3, 2015

Attitude is Everything/Almost hit a deer



It was another good week in the mission field:) So this week I totally recommitted myself to working super hard this transfer! Sister Kauvaka and I have been exactly obedient and have been really pushing ourselves! So last week we met a family of 4 and we went by to go see them saturday night and we knew hey we're home but then they didn't answer:( so we texted the mom and reminded her about church on Sunday! So we prayed super hard they would be there...then about 10 minutes before church started we got a text from her saying, "the day after you 2 sweet ladies came over our old pastor called us and invited us to go back to our old church! We know this was a sign from God that we shouldn't try out your church" and I just got so frustrated and started to cry. Anyway that was pretty devastating but I'm positive the Lord is still preparing people in our area! This past week we've been putting more information from the area books into our iPads and I realized there has only been 1 baptism in the Oak Ridge Ward in 5 years!!! Crazy right? But we are seriously putting in all our trust and faith in the Lord that we will be able to find more people to teach:) I've really realized that attitude is EVERYTHING! Everything is so much easier if you just decide to be happy:) 2 of The Sorenson boys came to church yesterday, the oldest one cut his leg open Saturday night so he couldn't come:( but he got some gnarly stitches!! But I love the Sorenson boys. Probably one of the cutest families I've met in my life! We are still waiting for the Stone dad (member in our Ward) to get home so we can continue teaching them the lessons!

oh my gosh I ALMOST a hit a deer the other night!!! I just screamed and let go of the wheel (idk I had a freak out) hahahah and Sister Kauvaka grabbed the wheel and was just laughing her head off, but it was so freaky! Lol she said, "why did you let go of the wheel?" And I just didn't really know what to say except the Carrie underwood song, "Jesus Take The Wheel" lolol but don't worry I didn't kill any Deer! The only bad thing was that the dumb tiwi went off and yelled, "AGGRESSIVE DRIVING!"

Our zone is totally different this transfer! I really love the sisters in the zone. Sister Hickman, Sister Briggs & sister Kauvaka! A bunch of missionaries went home this past week and a bunch of new missionaries came In! We have 2 greenie elders in the zone and I think they're adapting well haha idk. President Jardine said after next transfer 47% of the missionaries in the mission will have been out less than 4.5 months??! Crazy huh? I guess summer is when they have a huge turn over of missionaries.

Last night we had dinner with the Martins (the members we live with) and I just love them so much. They are like my mission grandparents. They are the kindest people! We had mashed potatoes and steak and asparagus...it was seriously like having Sunday dinner at home:) (dad your mashed potatoes are still better) being around the martins and their extended family makes me miss my family so much! But I am so grateful for them in having us live with them❤️ I really look up the the Martins.

Yesterday at church I was getting so discouraged and frustrated that we have no one to teach. I guess our zone is the lowest baptizing zone in the mission!!! it's just different because everyone here has a lot of money and doesn't think they need religion! But, then we had a lesson in relief society on being happy for the success of others haha! #Chastised I realized I just need to do the best I can and continue working hard and good things will come! Miracles only come after the trial of your faith right? :) we got together as a zone the other night and talked about how important it is to have a positive attitude while serving here! I really LOVE serving in the El Dorado Hills area!! I'm so happy to be here and the members here are amazing, we just need the work to pick up! But other than that, I love being a missionary! I love this gospel & the opportunity I have to share it with others.

I hope you all have a wonderful week:)))

Love,
Sister Sobotka

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

6 Months Down

Hey Everyone!

6 months down!!!! Crazy right? I'm already 1/3 done?! Time is seriously flying by!

It's been a super good, long, week:) so we had transfer calls this week and Sister Kauvaka and I are both staying here in El Dorado Hills! YAY!! So I was pretty excited about that. On Saturday night we got together as a zone at an investigators house and got transfer calls. Our Zone Leaders are super fun and had "Dundies" (if you've seen the TV Show The Office you know what the Dundies are) haha and we all got awards for the transfer! I got "I'm happy even when I'm mad" award hahaha because no one in my zone has ever seen me get mad! Hahaha crazy right? But this transfer has been so much fun. I love this zone and the opportunity I had to serve around these amazing missionaries! It's super sad to see some of them go:'(

Ok so the most embarrassing thing happened this week! So everyone I come in contact with asks where my name "Sobotka" comes from so this lady asked me that this week and I said "it's from the Czech Republic" and then we just kept talking about my mission and how everything has been going and she was talking to me super slow like I was 5 years old...so I was super confused and then she asked how long I've been out and I said 6 months and she said, "wow your English is sooo good" hahaha sooo she thought I was from the Czech Republic!

Anyway the rest of the week went pretty well! We added a few new investigators which is super exciting! One family who are friends with another family in our ward. We met with the mom and just told her what we do as missionaries and she was really interested and said we could come back in 2 weeks and teach her and her family the lessons! So we were super happy about that:) her and her family attend the "Rolling Hills Church" which basically EVERYONE in this area goes to. It's like this huge rock concert church?? I didn't even knew those existed #UtahProbz lolol I would say Rolling Hills is where 90% of the people around here go to church. Basically everyone we talk to say, "oh we already go to Rolling Hills" :(( the other night we went to a lady's house we tracted into a few weeks ago to invite her to the Pioneer Day BBQ & she was super nice....at first. She invited us into her house and gave us water and told us how she goes to Rolling Hills. Then she told us about how her family is super important to her and how her dad hates Mormons then she just wanted to start bashing with us!! She was just throwing all this stuff down & I just don't do well with contention! Soo I just bore my testimony, she invited us to come to Rolling Hills but we can't miss our wards on Sunday.

Rolling Hills has been a big thing this week. But last night we went to go see a family we tracted into the other day and they totally let us in and explained how they had been going to Rolling Hills, but they just felt it was missing something...(probz the spirit and doctrine) and they said they would come to church with us this Sunday!! It's a family with a mom, dad & 2 teenage boys!!! And they said we could come by and teach them the lessons this week!! So sister Kauvaka and I are just super pumped!!

On Sunday the 3 Sorenson boys came to church! So that was also super exciting:) the oldest one is 14 and it was his first time coming to church!! He went to efy a few weeks ago and loved it:) so good things are happening here in El Dorado Hills.

Anyway I hope you all have a great week! CTR
Love,
Sister Sobotka

Sister Sobotka and Kauvaka at the Sacramento temple

The Folsom Zone

The Dundie Award "I'm Happy even when I'm Mad"

Monday, July 20, 2015

My most prized possession is my Testimony

Hi Everyone!

        So it's been another good week in the mission field! Monday we had dinner at our Bishops house and they invited 3 other families over for family home evening! One family got baptized last year and they were wondering how they should do a family home evening so the bishop and his wife decided to have them over to have FHE:) also another family that just moved into the Ward came and the wife isn't a member! The bishop and his family are such good people and are always reaching out to people. This week we did a lot of service projects, on Tuesday we helped a family in our Ward rip out their deck and that was just a big project but it was pretty fun and they bought the Zone Costco Pizza for lunch so that was pretty nice of them.
       On Wednesday we went to this older widowed lady's home for dinner. She reminded me so much of my great grandma Paul:) she was super sassy but super fun to have dinner with. Something that really stood out to me was on her fridge she had a saying that said, "my most prized possession is my testimony" and I just loved that. That this 80 something year old lady really treasured her testimony. And how I treasure my testimony and I love that I have the opportunity to share my testimony every single day!
       On Thursday we had district meeting and talked about how to be bold with the people we are teaching aka my biggest weakness! Haha but I'm working on it:) then we went to lunch with our zone at some Chinese place. Then Sister Kauvaka and I volunteered at this old folks home and played Uno with a bunch of old people, they are hilarious! I told them my favorite movie was Sound of Music and then a bunch of them started belting some Sound of Music songs haha it was pretty funny! That night we had a Ward Correlation meeting with the Ward Mission Leader and the Ward Missionaries. We just got a new Ward Mission Leader and he is awesome! We got together and talked about new ways to get the members more pumped about doing missionary work. The Silva Valley Ward is different because the whole Ward boundaries are in a gated community, where you aren't allowed to knock on any doors and no one is ever outside, the only way you can talk to people is through members! We have such an awesome ward, but they just need to be reminded it's their responsibility as members of this Church to be sharing the Gospel with everyone! So we are really excited to be working with him and coming up with new ideas:)
          Friday we tracted like all day with Shaye. We went and tried to visit all the potential investigators in our area book, but 98% are never home. I swear nobody is home in the summer! At least in this area. But we did add a new investigator, Chris. Then we went to the park to try and find some people to teach and there is this sick skate park there so we started talkin to all the skater kids, and invited them all to the big stake party for the 24 of July! And they all said they would be there, then we showed them the "because he lives" and talked about how much their Heavenly Father and Savior love them. It was a really cool lesson because all the kids just stopped skating and came over to listen to us. Sister Kauvaka, Shaye, and I all bore our testimonies and I realized how sad it is that so many kids don't even know they have a loving Heavenly Father. But we invited them all to come to church:) then I asked if I could borrow one of their skate boards and basically did a bunch of sick tricks for them!! Hahaha and I didn't even fall down:)))
         Anyway I hope you're all having an awesome week and having a fun summer! We got some new referrals this weekend so hopefully we will have some more people to teach this next week! Also HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I LOVE YOU!

Love,
Sister Sobotka

Sister Sobotka and Sister Kauvaka Sharing the Gospel with Skateboarders

Sister Sobotka and Sister Kauvaka Sharing the Gospel with Skateboarders

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fat Kitty City

Heyyyyy family & friends

This week has been another awesome week in the Sacramento Mission. Oh yeah happy 7-11 I hope you all got free slurpees because we didn't because there is no 7-11 in our zone!!! Anyway...this week we have been tracting like crazy and just tryin to find some people to teach! Most people are really nice while tracting but have their "own religion" :(

On Tuesday we went to this place “Slide Belt" it's this LDS guys company that he started and it's just basically these cool belts & they give away 2 free ones to every missionary! So we went over there because a lady in our Ward works there & then she took us out to lunch at Chipotle so that was super nice of her! Then we went and tried to visit every single former investigator but basically no one was home:( then we tracted into this one guy who just wanted to argue everything about the Book of Mormon! He said his best friend is a member & he has tried to read the Book of Mormon but he says it doesn't match up with the bible & I didn't want to have any contention so I just listened to him, but my companion just started arguing with stuff him and they got all heated haha but I just said we weren't there to argue and tried to calm things down. That just got me a little discouraged, I don't understand why people have to act so rudely :( but then the next morning I read the talk by Jeffrey R Holland "The Cost--and Blessings--of Discipleship" and it talks about how we should always stand up for our beliefs even when it's hard.

On Wednesday we got trained on our Area Book App thingy on the iPad...basically we have to take both of area books and enter every single paper into the area book app! & it takes forever!!! & we have 2 area books! Most missionaries aren't very excited or happy about this haha & the app is just super confusing & overwhelming, but I'm sure it will all work out:)

Our Ward mission leader, Brother Anderson taught us how to make Italian soda lol I'm learning how to be a great bar tender. Hehe. Ohhh on Friday we went to this NASTY cat place to volunteer...it's called "fat kitty city" & it's basically this huge cat sanctuary! There are over 200 cats there and our zone leaders signed us up to volunteer there...we picked up cat poop for like 2 hours!!! It was sooo disgusting, just imagine all these nasty cats walking around trying to touch you and ew it was just so nast. So yeah sister Kauvaka & I probably won't be going there again any time soon.

Sister Kauvaka's parents sent her an iPod this week so we have just been jammin out in the car! (To church music of course) most the songs are pretty lame like 90's seminary music or something, but there is one song I love! It's like an upbeat version of "have I done any good in the world today" & I really just love this hymn, I especially love the 2nd verse where it says, "There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying sometime I'll try, but go and do something today" I've realized that there really are opportunities to do good right in our way every single day & Heavenly Father puts those opportunities there for a reason & it's our job to do something :)

I hope you are all havin a fun summer & gettin super tan for me. I love you, choose the right.

Sister Sobotka


Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Hi Family & Friends! HAPPY 4TH

This week has been so much fun!  We have been doing a ton of service projects and volunteering around the community! We volunteered at the Folsom rodeo for 2 nights this week which was soo much fun! We got to talk to a bunch of people and watch the rodeo, definitely made me miss home but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! On the 4th we volunteered at a 10K run in Folsom which was super fun, we just handed out water and cheered people on. We had zone training on the 4th as well, sister Kauvaka and I were late to zone training and guess who was there...President Jardine hahah oopsies! But zone training was really good. Elder Wright and Elder West are my Zone Leaders and they do an amazing job teaching and bringing the spirit. We talked about 1 Nephi chapter 17. This is one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon where Nephi is commanded to build a ship and he seriously just puts all of his trust in the Lord. I love verse 9 where he recognizes his calling to build a ship, but doesn't try and go build it by himself, but asks the Lord how he should do it. We related it back to missionary work how we know we are called to preach the gospel, but we should always ask the Lord for help and remember that it is His work and we need to do it His way:) to put our trust in him and realize, THE LORD ALWAYS PROVIDES A WAY:) President and Sister Jardine brought lunch to the training so that was really nice of them to do. I really love my zone, there are only 10 missionaries in my zone, I think it's more fun to have a small zone. After our training the whole zone went around busy places in our area and street contacted, it was really fun but WAY HOT! Our car said 113, so after a few hours of that we went to get ice cream! A member owns the Baskin Robbins we went to so we all got free ice cream! The members here are awesome. After that we had preparation day! President Jardine didn't want us out proselyting at night on the 4th so we just went to a church building and played games with the zone!

Anyway it has been a really fun productive week! We were able to add a new family to our teaching pool! They have been to church a few times in another stake, but are super interested! They have 3 daughters and one is engaged to a Denver Broncos player, so we got to meet him...I think his name is Peyton Manning? Lol can't remember though? Hehe

Yesterday at church the funniest thing happened, so it was fast and testimony meeting and some guy just totally broke the pulpit hahahahahah! Like it was just all crooked and messed up for the rest of the meeting and the Bishop got up to close the meeting and he just started laughing, it was pretty funny!

Anyway I hope you all had a fun, safe Fourth of July. We are so blessed to live in such a a beautiful country!! Even if the laws are changing and things are getting pretty crazy we are so blessed to have this Gospel and the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose. I am so grateful and blessed to be raised in the United States. I realized I'm a big baby when it comes to singing the Star Spangled Banner at rodeos hahaha I definitely teared up and got the chills. I've realized how significant it is that Joseph Smith and his family were in New York living in a country with religious freedoms and everyone had different religions that sparked Joseph's question of which church to join. It's amazing to see how the Lord works and how he has a much bigger plan for each and everyone of us! And the Lord is in everything we do! Hope you all have a great week and choose the right

Love Sister Sobotka


Sister Sobotka and Shaye Bastian (Member in El Dorado Hills)

Sister Kauvaka and Sister Sobotka

Monday, June 29, 2015

My New Area



This week has been pretty good! We have been going around meeting all the members in both wards and trying to get them really pumped about missionary work!

On Tuesday it was Elder Wrights birthday (my Zone Leader) so we had a birthday party for him and we got a big giant pizookie from BJ’s! So that was pretty fun!

I got to meet the Sorensen family this week...the mom is a member-she hasn't been active since she was young- but her husband and kids aren't members! They have 3 boys who have been coming to church and they are the cutest little boys I have ever met in my life!! They are 14,12,&9 they are really good friends with another family in our ward (the Stones) and the 14 year old went to efy last week and loved it! But they don't want to take lessons without the Stones being there and the Stones don't get back until the end of July! But they have been reading the Book of Mormon every night as a family:) I can definitely see big things happening with their family so keep them in your prayers:)

On Saturday we got to attend a guy named Max's baptism! (He's has getting baptized into another ward) It's seriously amazing the spirit you can feel at a baptism! Max looked so happy after he was baptized:) I love being a missionary, I love seeing people change and how happy they can be through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Well I hope you all know that I love this Gospel so much! I love being on a mission! Hope you all have a great week & choose the right:)

Love Sister Sobotka


Sister Sobotka and Sister Kauvaka




Sister Sobotka's District


Sister Sobotka's Zone