I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been called to serve in the Sacramento California Mission! This is my blog where you can follow my adventures for the next 18 months (January, 2013-June, 2014)
Did you know that Sacramento was the original place of the California Gold Rush? I'm so excited! See ya'll in 18 months, I'm going for spiritual Gold!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 2 - MTC

Italic Print is additional explanation
Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:24 AM

Hello y'all!
I got the camera in the mail yesterday! Thank you! It appears to work fine, so next Pday (which will probably be in Sactown, CRAZY) I will be able to send some pictures. If my comp has her camera now I might be able to send some today but I'm not sure if she does or not. 

Oh yeah, we got our travel plans. We leave here Tuesday at 8 and then our flight out of SLC is at like 11:30ish. We get to California at like 12:30 their time. Our Mission Pres told us to bring an overnight bag because we will spending our first night in an apartment near the mission home so we'll see how all that goes down when we get there. The MTC made me the travel leader for our group of 17 missionaries, which basically means I'm in charge of making sure they all get there safe and sound with their luggage. Party on! I do love being in charge, although, I have no idea whose idea it was to put the Queen of Southwest in charge of a flight on Delta airlines. 
James - Happy Birthday Baby! I have a present going in the mail for you today so you should get it sometime in the next 18 months.
Ok so this week, we got some new investigators, and then they took them ALL away! Because they will be transitioning English speaking missionaries over to 12 days at the end of this month, they cut our TRC teaching from two weeks to one week. So This weekend they were just like "Sorry, no more TRC for you." We didn't even get to say goodbye! We had finally made progress with Eric, our Bible basher, and I wanted to see my wonderful less active Carol again, but alas they are no more for my MTC experience. How rude. I really loved them. Our teacher said it's just like you getting transferred in the field, so I better get used to it. 
We also got moved classroom buildings this week. Because of all the new missionaries coming in, they were moving around the districts. My district was lucky enough to be the only district moved from 4M (the newly renovated and nicest classroom building on campus) to 11 M (the oldest, smallest, most rundown building on campus with teeny tiny flip up desks and nowhere to put all your material. It's like a hot musty closet with a tv.) How we got so lucky, I do not know. I think it was a way of God humbling us and teaching us in His almighty way to be grateful for what we do have - like a classroom inside instead of out in the freezing cold and snow. 
But if that wasn't trial enough, they took away my favorite teacher ever - Brother Johnson, or Bro J as we call him not to his face - and gave us a new teacher - Brother Heaton. Brother Heaton is super nice, but he just teaches differently and I just loved Bro J. Confession of the natural Sarah (which is the enemy to Sister Burchett), if he had been a couple inches taller, I would have totally dated him in my former life. So maybe this was God's way of saying, geez Sister Burchett, get your head out of the clouds and into the scriptures. I can see BYU Broadcasting from my dorm window, and hear the bells from campus, so it's hard to remember I'm a missionary for a few fleeting seconds sometimes. But that's ok, I love it!
I got to be a host for new sister missionaries yesterday. We basically escort them around when they first get here and help them get moved into their residence, their books picked up, and to their classroom. So much fun! We had 666 new missionaries (what a lucky group, I know) and 270 of them were sisters. Each week it is getting bigger. By April there will be 6,000 missionaries at the MTC as opposed to the normal 2,500. Because of this, missionaries are 6 to a room. We got two new roommates yesterday. We have said hello and goodnight to them so I couldn't tell you anything about them and probably won't really ever know anything because we will only see them as we climb into bed. 
Now for the really good news: On Tuesday, the man himself, my favorite tell it like it is pulpit pounder Jeffrey R. Holland (Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) came to speak to us! I nearly died of excitement. He came to give the Tuesday night devotional and to rededicate 3 of the newly renovated buildings here on campus. He talked about a lot of things and I'm a dummy who left her journal in her room but here are the things that I remember that stick out:
"Every missionary today is expected to come home with at least one convert, and it had better be you! There is no reason in time or all eternity why you shouldn't come home from your mission completely converted. Preach My Gospel was designed to convert you, and then you can go out and convert other people. There is no excuse for an inactive return missionary. I hear about these missionaries coming home and getting tattoos and their hair in braids. Well, let me just tell you this. I am not unbiased about this. I am not even remotely neutral. In fact, I'm mildly unbalanced. If you're on your way to do something like that when you get home from your mission, you better hope you don't meet me in a dark alley. I'll go crazy."
"Missionaries should not be on their missions thinking about 'when I get back to real life...' This IS real life! This is as real as it gets! This is the salvation of souls!"
"When the Sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger (Prophets in the Book of Mormon) preached, the people were astonished. Do you know what astonished means? It means to speak with Thunder. So go out and astonish someone. This doesn't mean that you are dramatic or loud or overbearing. It means you have a testimony of this gospel in the very marrow of your bones and the depths of your soul, so when you share it, it's like thunder to the people who hear it. So go astonish someone."
"I don't know what you did in the councils in Heaven or how you got your spot in line to come to earth and be a missionary at this time, but I have to say, there may be a more exciting time in the history or future of the church to be a missionary, but I don't know when that is. You are part of the surging of God's church into the 21st century. You must be the best missionaries we have ever had. You remember Alma, Ammon, the sons of Mosiah? (Prophets in the Book of Mormon) You must be better than them. Peter, Paul? You must be better than they ever were. I have this belief, this theory if you will, that every prophet, priest, and teacher, in every dispensation before this pressed on the way they did and kept going even though they knew that they would ultimately fail, that the people would become wicked and reject the truth, because they knew you wouldn't. They knew that this time, in the final dispensation, you would not fail. You would succeed as the servants of Christ have never succeeded before." 
He then rededicated the buildings and in the dedicatory prayer it was so cool. He first asked the Lord to rededicate us as missionaries for His cause and bless us to be the very best and to live up to His expectations for us. He called down the angels of heaven to guard the windows, walls, furnishings, and gates of the MTC. He blessed the MTC that no act of violence would ever occur here. That no one would ever come to harm our missionaries. That no weapons would ever enter the gate. That the angels would protect the Lord's servants here. So, if you ever need a safe place to go, the MTC has an army of angels all around us so it's a safe bet. And now, everywhere I go, I think about the angels standing near us and protecting God's soldiers as they prepare for battle. Freaking sweet! 
I got several letters this week, but it was so cool I got one from Sandra Poirier who is the woman from General Conference. She wrote me the most beautiful letter about her conversion and testimony. I feel the spirit every time I read it. (Sandra Poirier a woman who was sitting behind Sarah at General Conference when they announced the change in age requirements for missionaries. Sarah was overcome with emotion and Sandra handed her a tissue and asked her if she was crying because she could go. Sandra told Sarah she had been converted by the Sister Missionaries and then gave Sarah her address and told Sarah to contact her. She promised to write Sarah while she was on her mission.)
Ok, well for the rest of this week things are speeding up and winding down at the same time. We have In-Field training tomorrow, where we have been told they teach us everything we haven't learned in class about being a missionary. Then Saturday we have class, Sunday we church and fireside and departure devotional. Monday morning our Elders leave so we sisters will be by ourselves. Then we leave Tuesday morning. It is so crazy to think that my time here is almost over, but I am SO ready to get to Sacramento already. 
I love all of you and I'm grateful for the letters and the packages. Hope the snow is gone and everybody is doing well. I miss you, but I love being a missionary and God has some big plans in store for me. He hasn't told me what they are yet, but what's new. He's big on leaps of faith. 
Sister Burchett

P.S. I don't care what you put on the blog and what you don't. If I'm having a crappy week, feel free to tell the world. It happens, and that's the reality of missionary work. I'm not over concerned about my privacy. Never been an issue for me, but you know that! 

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