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!!


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 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:)))

Sister Sobotka