Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ciao Ciao‏

Allora. I don't even really know what's going on. I have been in Italy for 17 months and now they're making me leave! As I've gotten to my last couple weeks in the last transfer, it's been weird because I've felt almost unimportant - I don't like it hahaha. Sorella Taylor and I are leaving, and both Sorella Bradford and Sorella Openshaw will be training. So...out with the old and in with the new I guess! It'll be really good and there will be a new energy in the work here in Roma 3 which is will need, since a lot of all of our work has kinda been dwindling lately. Sadly. It happens.
Yes, the work. I am going to miss thinking about my investigators and their needs all the time. I will still be thinking about them from thousands of kilometers away, but there is something really cool about being entitled to receive inspiration to help them. That missionary mantle. I know I probably didn't appreciate it as much as I should've, and I know I will miss it a lot. I will miss these people so much. Even if Dario didn't get baptized in the end, and now he is actually pretty much an ex-investigator (yeah...not what ANY of us were expecting...), even if Daniele from Bari is still not baptized, or Giuseppe from Mistretta...I know that I've made a difference for these people. I know that they will remember me. And I know that I will remember them.
I LOVE MY MISSION. Italy is a special place. Yep, there may be a new pope for the Catholic church now, but there is also a temple being built in Roma. There are now 8 stakes in the country. The work is growing. Pretty soon Mormonism will be bigger than Catholicism!!!!!!!!!!! Ok...we'll see. BUT, I feel so priviledged to have been a part of the Italian missionary force. I love this country with all of it's problems. I love Bari. I love Mistretta. I love Roma. I love the people. I love the food. I love the mare. I love the church. I love the temple that's not finished yet. I love missionary work. I love it all. I'm excited to see my family in America, but I already can't wait to come back and visit my Italian family someday. :)
Ci vediamo a prestissimo!
Vi voglio tanto bene.
Love, Sorella Sobeck

Helping Hands last Saturday

Bench work

Dexter's family let us come to his house FINALLY

Famiglia Cadena


Daniela I and Sharon - such a great family

So...trains getting cancelled and having to wait Santa Maria delle Mole...late at night


Meat pie....delicious


Corso d'Inglese last time!

Dario and Vincenzo


We went alllllll the time

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Last week????????????‏

Well I don't know how in the world that happened, but it did. I have arrived to the point of my last week in the mission field. WHAT HAPPENED!?!?! 

I know I've said it a million times in my emails, but I'm so grateful for my mission. It has not been the easiest of experiences we could say, but I'm grateful. I've learned so much, and I guess after this week the test is going to be applying these lessons that I've learned to the rest of the life. C'รจ la faccio!!!

This week was a good one! We've seen a LOT of miracles with Dario :) He hasn't smoked now for a whole week, and he quit drinking coffee. Continue to pray for him to be strong because I know its helping him to have the strength, and he needs it!

Roma 3 is on fire! We have 3 out of the 6 missionaries in our ward who are finishing our missions next week, so its been incredible to see these successes right at the end. This past week Anthony got baptized!!!! He is from the Filippines and is a 29 year-old fireball of energy who we all love!!! I love having 6 missionaries in the ward because when one companionship sees these miracles of baptism it's like we were all able to contribute to helping that person :) We all love Austin and we all love Anthony, and we have a couple baptisms scheduled for this Sunday as well and it's just a big team effort! And the biggest player is GOD! I've definitely learned that on my mission - the missionaries are just the instruments of bringing people into the true church of Jesus Christ. But it's all part of Heavenly Father's plan, and the spirit converts and not us. It's important to remember that and stay humble when we are lucky enough to see success.

Someone tried reading my nametag last week who cannot really read, and he called me Sorella Suffering. Hahahaha I laughed really hard. Thanks random person!

I am actually on scambio right now and am in Ladispoli with my dear friend Sorella Comollo! It's been fun to be with her the past couple days and we're going back to Roma after internet to switch back. After being in Mistretta together for 3 transfers we know each other pretty well, but it was awhile ago now and so it's been really cool to see how we've grown a lot and also how we still teach well together. 

Ok I'm out of time. I have one more pday so there will be one more email probably to tell you all about the last week of miracles that I'll have! Vi voglio bene e buona settimana!!

Love, Sorella Sobeck

FHE with Vescovo's family

Austin's baptism!!!!

Love these 2 :) Sharon and Ranny

Some missionaries who came for the bap

Pday with Roma 2 sorelle (Teichert, Omer, and Rosato)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

I love to see the temple!

Oh hey all. This week went by pretty fast, and it ended up in a very raining pday spent with the Roma 2 sorelle. We had fun even in the rain :) And last pday Slla Bradford and I went to go see the temple site and it's getting bigger! It should be done in 2014, though I don't know which part of the year it will be. I can't wait to come back and see it all done someday!

Some interesting stuff this week. We had to pass an investigator to the anziani because he was way too attached to Sorella Sobeck. That was hard, and uncomfortable. Man. It's really lame that this problem has to get in the way of people's progress in the gospel. Not a fan.

Remember a couple weeks ago that we had received a referral from Roma 1 of a lady from Peru, we met up with her and then found out she was a member of the church already? She came to church with us on Sunday! She lives far away, and with all of the transportation it took her a total of 2 hours to get to church with about 5 different modes of transportation - travel bus, metro, bus, trenino, walking (we picked her up and went with her the last 2 together so she could find it, because the Roma 3 church is kind of hidden). Gives a whole new perspective as I've met these people of the importance of coming to church every Sunday. People sacrifice SO MUCH. It's something I've never had to do, living 2 minutes from the church my whole life and then going to BYU. I love these people for their diligence.

Sunday there were supposed to be 2 baptisms after church. But I learned again how much Satan DOESN'T WANT THIS. He does everything he can to stop baptism. Unfortunately he had some success this Sunday. The Anziani have been teaching Stephen, who is from Ghana. We all saw him on Saturday at the church and he was great and happy. That night at 10pm he called the anziani, telling them that his brother was in Italy, had called him, found out he was getting baptized the NEXT DAY, and fed him a bunch of lies about our church including that we are not Christian. It really scared Stephen, so much that he didn't even come to church on Sunday. It has been really hard on all of us. Sunday in church was rough and we said several prayers together with the 6 missionaries in our ward for help for him and for the anziani. Today I know they're in communication with Stephen still, but he is very confused and we don't know what's going to happen. It was also a day when Satan was probably rejoicing, becuase many investigators didn't come to church who said they were, members were sick, plans fell through, etc.

On a happier note, Austin DID get baptized. I love Africans!!! On Monday the 4 sorelle went to lunch with Austin and also with Dexter (the Filippino who got baptized in August before I got to Roma) and Austin is legit. He feels so good after being baptized. And I found out that day that he felt really sick on Sunday and wouldn't have come to church that day to rest, except that it was his baptism day and he had made a promise with God so he came. :) THOSE are the prepared people!!!!!!!!! Ready to ACT.

Dario is also legit! We fasted together with him for fast Sunday, and he came to church and to the baptism. He wants to get baptized on the 17th! He just needs to quite smoking, so we are working really hard with him this week to help him finally quit forever. Pray for him! If he's not going to be ready for the 17th I know he will be ready soon after, and I'm sooo happy for him :)

We've had some cool experiences at the African camp lately too. David is awesome, we taught him the PLan of Salvation yesterday and we all felt so good. Last week he brought a friend to the lesson too and we re-taught the Restoration to this guy, Oscar, and it was so awesome. I love teaching people :)

I love Filippini. Period. Hahaha. Making good friends with them.

We found a really old inactive lady who is slightly crazy. She is 83 and has no teeth. So when we were there she decided to put her dentures in her mouth and commenced to growl with them in. Yep. Good times!!

I love gelato, I love pizza, I love pasta. I love Italy! I am officially legal to be here until February 2014 becuase I got my new permesso card. But sadly I will not be here that much longer. I will eat as much gelato, pizza, pasta, and everything else that I can in the meantime!

Vi voglio bene!
Love, Sorella Sobeck

P.S. - No time for pictures, EXCEPT for a couple with Gaetanina, the 83 year old with no teeth who is hilarious. Here are pictures of her first with no teeth, and then with her teeth growling at us hahahaha. Love it!

Hannah - I got your letter and I laughed so hard. Oh my goodness - real life hahaha.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Alright everyone, things are good. It's been a week of relearning lessons that I've already learned and already had faded from my memory a little bit. It's been a tougher week as we lost all of our baptismal dates within 2 days of each other (for various reasons), and we've also dropped the significant majority of our investigators (but also we keep in mind that we hadn't seen most of them anyways in a long time, so it was more housekeeping). We do have our few progressing investigators, and we are working on increasing that pool and also getting more potentials. It's been a humbling week as I've had to remind myself many times that this is not MY work, but it is the LORD'S work. The mission is also full of self-evaluation and I've had to reflect a lot - am I really doing my best? Last transfer - ENDURE!!!!!! I love the mission and how much each person can really grow.

It's pretty exciting news that Roma 3 has 2 baptisms this Sunday! The anziani and the other sorelle each have someone getting baptized - Steven (from Ghana) and Austin (from NIgeria). We love Africans! We are very excited for these 2 guys, who we all know and love, and even though we are sad that Daniel was supposed to get baptized on Sunday but will not be joining the party, we are so excited anyways!!!

Last week was a great week with Daniela. After the great lesson last week also with her son Alessandro who also wants to get baptized, we also found out that she is not married to the man she lives with and therefore cannot get baptized yet. However, she still really wants to so I think it will be a good motivation for her to make that step of marriage. She also came to church for her first time this Sunday!!! :) :) It took a lot of organization on all ends, but she was able to come and she loved it!!! She was glowing the whole time and I know she felt the spirit. :) Church really is an incredible place to really FEEL.

Yesterday we had a cool day and we found 2 new investigators. One was David, who has been to church 2 times already and we finally were able to make an appointment with him. And when we went to the refugee camp where Monday, Doris, Ike, and Blessing all live to teach David there, we met this other guy named Moses and asked if he wanted to come listen too. We weren't expecting him to come, but then he followed us up the stairs and joined our lesson! They're both great. David really is awesome, and he has the desire to learn and to keep coming to church because he likes it :) When we pulled out the Book of Mormon in the lesson, Moses also recognized it and then put it together that we are Mormons and that he has been taught by missionaries before (a long time ago in Africa), and it made him really happy that we are from that same church. The gospel is true in all the world!

It's crazy that they're splitting so many mission. THe work is growing :)

I love this work! I'm grateful for the wonderful people I've met here. Roma is a wonderful place and this mission is really where I'm supposed to be.

Happy week to everyone! Can't believe it's almost MARCH 2013!! Vi voglio bene.

Love, Sorella Sobeck

Hannah - I just realized that its your mission email that was still on the list...oops! Well, I get home in a few weeks - March 22nd I think. So we'll be hearing from each other!
Ana - I got your letter and send off a reply. Hope it gets there before I do!


Crazy inactives we find who make life happy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Object Lessons are of the Devil!

Oh hey, so the mission tour was really great, we got some inspired council from Elder Richards, and he flat out told us to stop using object lessons in was a little shocking, but a little funny at the same time. He is VERY knowledgable of the scriptures and shared many great ones with us to help us to be more effective and diligent in missionary work. He also talked a little bit about how serving a mission really is for ourselves...we need to convert ourselves.

Everyone probably knows by now that the Pope resigned and I have been surprised to really not hear too much about it, but I'm sure its bigger than what I've heard. We've asked some people about it and have gotten interesting answers. We have an investigator who is a member of the Ba'ai (I cannot remember how to spell it!) faith and one of their prophecies is that when there is a black Pope it is a fulfilled prophecy that the Catholic church will die. One of the possible pope candidates is black! So weird.

Some INSANE things have happened this week. I'll tell you about Friday.
We did weekly planning in the morning and we had a couple appointments for the evening set up. Alessio, an English course student, called US and wanted to see us in the evening and said he was bringing a friend with him! Sweeeet miracle! We had Daniel scheduled for after. We're on the metro and Daniel calls to cancel on us...but we still had Alessio and his friend which was exciting. It turned out to be a difficult lesson, neither of them are interesting in learning about our church really, but they were really combatattive (is that a word?) and were trying to argue with us and convert us Cathlic. We were at Termini and this little cafe/bar place, and after they left we just sat there for a couple minutes, we talked out what happened, we were a little frustrated. It happens. And we didn't have any appointments after, and it was getting late anyways, and we were really hungry, so we decided to cheer us up that we would go eat some McDonalds (I'll probably never want to eat that again back in America!). We literally walk 10 feet from our table, and we see a guy and girl at a table, clasping hands and PRAYING together. We HAD to talk to them. So we waited til they finished (Slla Bradford pretended like she was making a phone call haha), and then we walked over to them to tell how wonderful we thought it was that they were praying. They asked us to sit down! They are Romanian, and are brother and sister - she lives here in Roma and he lives in Spain, but they speak English, so we listened to this guy talk to us for like half an hour about FAITH. It was seriously incredible. He knew we were Mormon, and said he had wanted to talk to the missionaries in Spain before but they had never stopped him (even when he would slow down on purpose and pretend to tie his!). We just got a gold referral for Spain!!! And the sister wants to meet with us too! That definitely cheered us up for sure. So then we went to McDonald's anyways. We start eating and this young boy sits down across from us and gives the most disgusted look at his sandwich because it had onions in it hahaha. He came with us the whole trenino ride to our street from Termini, talking with him for about an hour in English. He studies Chinese too! Also while we were waiting for the trenino with this kid, another guy who is half Norwegian and half Afghan asked us to watch this bag for him while he left - then he came back with a coke hahaha. It was just a hilarious night - started out rough but ended fantastic!

Some other really cool stuff that happened this week. I KNOW that Heavenly Father guides the paths of his missionaries! Even when you think you're lost and you wasted time going a longer way or you just walk the wrong way for a second, it puts you in the right place at the right moment. On Sunday night we were doing such...we took the longer route unintentionally and a girl walking by us said "Sisters!". She's from Mexico and couldn't find the church and wants to come and lives in our area. Perfect.

We had also gotten a referral from Roma 1, and we thought it was just a contact. We called her and made an appointment, she wanted a BoM in Spanish (she's from Peru), we meet with her at Termini the day after we called her and as she was speaking to us almost all in Spanish (which i can now understand some of!), we find out she is a baptized member of the church, has been in Italy for 3 years but didn't know where the church was until she met the Roma 1 missionaries and now she's going to come to our ward in Roma 3!

All these things happening....I love members of the church and FINDING them randomly! Things don't happen by accident!

We also have a 10 year old boy who wants to get baptized :) We are teaching Daniela, and she has 4 kids. The oldest one, Alessandro, is adorable, and he said a prayer for us the other day and he said that he can't wait to be baptized Mormon :) :) I hope I get to see it, but they all have to come to church the next 3 weeks in a row in order to be able to be baptized for the date we set with them. Vediamo. Speriamo bene! I love Daniela's family!!!!!!!!!!

It's been a long week but a really good week. I look forward to seeing what awesome things happen this week!

Vi voglio bene!!

Love, Sorella Sobeck

Hahaha Slla Taylor


Ann and Bok Bok

Love this family

Butt pear

We find random Mormon families on Pday


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


What a crazy week! Started out last pday of going to the bone church. Yep, in the basement of this church where a bunch of monks were buried, another monk (living...don't worry) wanted to arrange all their bones in some sort of artsy arrangements. For the things I've studied and the things I actually like, this has been the coolest church I've EVER seen. Call me weird, but seeing thousands upon thousands of bones down there arranged all cool-like was sweet. From my love of anatomy, I had lots of fun naming all the bones I saw :) Followed that up by going to the Trevy Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona...I love Roma :)

THe next day involved waking up early for transfers...Slla Bradford came up from Sicilia (Ragusa) and she's great. She is almost as tall as me, which is awesome after having 3 companions in a row who are 5' 2"...she was born in Pennyslvania but has lived allll over the world - Norway, France, Germany, Tanzania, and Singapore. DOes she speak all these languages? Yep. It's so intense! Being in her 4th transfer she speaks Italian so well and its wonderful! She has a fun and crazy personality and we have already cried many times together from laughing so hard. THe fact that she lost a night of sleep coming up on that all night bus from Sicilia has helped the funny factor too hahaha.

It's also been sooo much fun to have Slla Winward back in ROma 3 for this week!!! She dropped off Slla Camp, who is now "dead" and she has been in a trio with much fun seriously. I have 3 of my companions in my house right now. I feel so powerful in 3 and I've never had that experience, so having a few days of extra power and that we could take down anyone on the street has been fun :)

Some cool experiences of the week.
Gave away a Book of Mormon to an African couple on an extremely crowded bus the other day, and gave them as a referral to Sicilia where they live. I love giving referrals! Their names are Bless and Gift. From the Ivory Coast. Legit.
On Saturday we all went way out of Roma to this place called Isola dei Liri so visit a member family, and I talked to this young girl on the bus ride for like an hour and a about a million questions she asked haha. Those are always fun conversations and I enjoyed it.
Had an FHE with Doris and Monday, and then after with Blessing on Sunday night. Ike came part way through and he was praising my African food eating abilities. Which is ridiculous, becuase I don't like fufu, but it means they like you. We asked him what he's going to do when I leave and he said "OH. When Sobeck leaves, I will die that day. I must prevent it at all costs." HAHA I was busting up. Those Africans are so great!
Dexter's birthday was yesterday, so all the sisters and some of the Filippini all went out for lunch to a Filippino restaurant and it was DELICIOUS.
Lots of LAF-ing (Less Active Finding) as Slla Bradford invented. We've gotten lots of cancelled appointments and plans in the past few days so we've been getting to know Roma a bit better! Yesterday we got caught in a huge rain/thunder/lightening store, and good thing we had umbrellas and good thing I was wearing my ugly boots, but we got super wet still haha. Wind. I sadly lost A glove later too at Termini and don't know how that happened.
Hilarious experiences doing house to find new people to teach. We went to look for an inactive and we did house in the whole building. Once half they were all jerks but it was hilarious! The other half we got like 5 passbacks and talked to some cool people. I like doing house becuase you NEVER know what it going to happen behind every door.

Our investigators are doing alright - its been a slower week with them so I don't have much updates. We are trying to help 2 people quit smoking which is an interesting experience. It all depends on them and if they really want to do it. As a missionary we really have to try and help people resolve things, but not do it for them at all. It's a difficult balance to find sometimes - helping them act and giving them the tools to do it, but having the faith in them that they actually WILL do it...and then not getting heart-broken if they don't. Story of the mission. What will I do when I don't have to worry about everyone else's problems like this?

I love the Roma 3 ward. THe members are so great and welcoming and I really feel like a part of them. It's nice :)

Tomorrow we have Zone Conference, but its not Zone Conference. It's a mission tour and thats why its so early in the transfer and why in Roma we have pday today instead of tomorrow. Elder Kent F. Richards from the Europe area presidency is coming and we're all pretty excited to meet him tomorrow.


Sorella Sobeck

Slle Winward, Bradford, and io at a waterfall at Isola dei Liri. TRIO!

Filippino lunch for Dexter's birthday! 

Smushed in the car


DDM - schlaken banen??

La Pieta'


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Last transfer calls.

I am changing companions for my last transfer. We got calls on Saturday and Slla Christianson is leaving and going to my home of Bari Poggiofranco! Sooo excited. Then Slla Openshaw is going to be with Slla Taylor (so we'll all still be in the same house just not comps), and my new companion is Slla Bradford. She's just going into her 4th transfer, so another young one, but it will be good to get a new collega to keep the change going and to remember to stay focused for these last 6 weeks. It's kinda freakin me out, and sometimes I will admit it is very hard to keep my mind is possible and I WILL do it. :) I'm so very happy to be staying in Roma 3 though because I LOVE IT HERE. :)

This past week we've gone to visit different members and have had some good experiences with them. I love visiting members and hearing their testimonies and how they found the church. A cool thing about Italy is that most of these people are first-generation...they found the church themselves and now they're raising their families in the church. It's not like Utah and California where so many people have pioneer ancestory from the I love hearing everyone's stories about how they found the missionaries.

Daniel is doing so good! He came to church on Sunday. He is being hit on all fronts by Satan - he lost his documents, doesn't really have a house, not much work if any, etc. So coming to church on Sunday was really hard for him, because he was pretty much ashamed, but he promised us he would come this week. Daniel is a man of his word too. So when we called him during Sunday school and he wasn't there yet, he said he was waiting for the bus and I was soooo happy. We had a lesson with him after church and he said it was so hard for him to hard that he knelt down this morning and asked God for strength to come to church. I had major chills when he said that. He was so happy during sacrament meeting and afterwards we gave him the quit smoking plan which made him even happier. Man. And then he told us how much meeting us has changed his life and though the gospel was important to him before now everything has more meaning and is more important. Pretty much the words every missionary dreams about hearing from their investigators. We were soooo happy afterwards haha.

On Saturday we went to the Caritas again (the Catholic place that feeds homeless people) for service with some members of the ward. You meet some crazies there, but there are some really legit people who just don't have work or money right now. I met another Nigerian who has been in Roma for 8 years and knew the missionaries 8 years ago and has been to church and everything. But he had gone back to Nigeria and lost contact with them. His name is John and I enjoyed talking with him. People have incredible stories of legitimate survival. My companion, Slla Openshaw, also got proposed to by a Romanian man telling her that he would wait for her until the end of her mission and then would be her 2 children by the end of next year...yep.

Sadly Michele didn't get baptized on Sunday. Last week for his baptismal interview he didn't understand tithing, so it has to be postponed, and my testimony that baptismal dates are so important for progression has increased even he still wants to get baptized but is struggling a bit. We had an FHE with Michele and Dario and the other sorelle with a member family and it went well. It was especially legit when Dario started quoting the Book of Mormon out of nowhere in the response to a question.

Yesterday was the busiest day of the busiest. We saw 2 members and had 3 lessons and also English course. Living in Roma...thats ridiculous haha. The members took up the whole day and thank goodness they gave us rides or we couldn't have done it. But our lessons - one was with an ex-simp we found int he area book and we had a little 20 minute lessons with her, then another 20 minute lesson with Alessio, who came to ENglish course for the first time last Thursday and started asking me a bunch of questions afterwards, and then HE called US to meet with us before corso on Tuesday...miracle! He's only 26 and such a curious kid. I love that! It's so exciting at the beginning states of investigator's journey with the church, becuase you just never know whats going to happen...interested or not? Will he/she progress or not? Will they pray and recognize an answer and ACT on it or not? We never know...its fun :) Someone gave us a Book of Mormon back this week and told us they were Catholic and not interested...example of NOT. Daniel is trying to quit smoking so he can live the Word of Wisdom and obey the commandments and get baptized...example of YES.

Life is good. Tonight the sisters from Cagliari are coming over becuase Slla Camp goes home this week and Slla Winward is staying with us ALL WEEK!!!!!!!! I am soooo excited to see my old collega again and have her in Roma 3 for the week.

Hope everyone has a good week and stays happy! Vi voglio bene!

Love, Sorella Sobeck

Good picture to remember Opi by