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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Friday, February 15, 2013

Sacramento - Week 3

Due to the new security measures requested by the Mission leaders, the names of all investigators and people that Sarah comes into contact with will be replaced with the name of a well-known character from a children’s movie. This will keep the identities of people safe as well as make it easier to keep everyone straight. The name given is in NO WAY intended to reflect the personality, looks, or circumstances of the individual(s).

Monday, February 11, 2013 
Week 3 in California (Is that right? I think it is.)

Talofa! (That's hello in Samoan)
Nice to get emails from y'all. Glad everyone's lives are spinning on without me there. I told you they would. 

John - happy birthday on Saturday. There is something in the mail for you as of today so keep an eye out.
Also, when you register me for classes, I think I wanna take Samoan 101.
Other things I've realized I need:
Some more T-shirts. We do a lot of service.

Mongolian BBQ is like this, you get a bowl and put whatever raw noodles, vegetables, meat, etc. you want and pour whatever sauce you want on it (like soy sauce based sauces with peanut oil etc. They have a house sauce that I have no idea what it is but it is delicious.) Then you hand your bowl to the cook who throws it on this huge round grill thing and cooks it all. Then he puts it back in your bowl and hands it to you. You sit down and eat it with rice. Very tasty.
As far as money goes, we have a debit card. On the first of each month the mission puts money on it for us ($137 for sisters and $127 for elders).
Isaacson’s - shout out to all y'all. My mom said you are still reading my letters. Congratulations on not being bored to death yet. Lou, I think we are off in our letter mailing cycle (where I send you a letter but then right after I send it I get a letter from you) so I'll wait to write you again until you write me. This way we are back on track, and I get more mail. haha
So news from Green Valley this week: 
I have my first zone conference on Friday and Sister Skywalker called and asked me to sing for the conference. So, Sister Loli and I arranged a version of "Brightly Beams, Our Father's Mercy". I wrote an additional fourth verse for the conference:
Now His work is hastening forward 
And to us He gives the call
Till He says, "The work is finished."
We will give to Him our all.
And we'll keep the lights a'burning 
Sending gleams across the waves
And His fainting, struggling children 
We may rescue 
We must rescue
We will rescue 
We will save.
We'll try and video one of our practices and I'll send it home so you can see it. I really love what we came up with so hopefully it will go well.
Sister Hale has been sick all the past week with Bronchitis. This means we've been stuck at home a lot, but that's ok. The more she rests, the sooner she'll be better and the sooner we will be back to work.
We did a lot of service this week. We helped some of our investigators move apartments (to a new ward, which means they are no longer our investigators. Boo. They're dropping like flies. We've passed over 3 investigators to other missionaries since I've got here. It's majorly depressing, but at least they are still being taught. It doesn't matter who teaches them as long as they are taught.) during which I, in all my graceful glory, tripped on a curb and skinned both my knees. I'd send a picture, but I think that's gross and nobody cares to see that. I'm fine, just clumsy. 

While we were helping them move, we met their neighbor who described himself as "A moderate, Muslim, pacifist who accepts everyone". He told us that the church should start accepting the gays and letting them get married, and then we would have more success and curb appeal...We tried to explain that Christ is the one who makes that decision, because it's His church, but he just went off on a tangent about bacon. I just said, "Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone bonded over bacon? There would finally be world peace." And we got out of there. 

We also had a giant bonfire at the Doolittle's where we burned old documents for one of our investigators. We've gotten a lot done on her house. We plan on having it completely unpacked and cleaned before the next transfer at the end of this month.We had a miracle with her this week. She called us on Tuesday and asked if we could come over and talk to her. It was the first time we have taught her a lesson and done no service when we've gone over. Being in her house in my proselyting clothes and not sweat pants was a new experience. Anyways, she had a bad interaction/fight with one of her daughter's and her son-in-law and she asked us how to handle it in a Christ-like way! She also asked for some scriptures to help her. I could almost hear angels singing the Hallelujah chorus from the heavens! She was supposed to come to church yesterday, but her dog, ate something that did not agree with him and pooped all over her house, so she was dealing with that instead. We promised to pray for her dog, that his health might improve. She also called us last night to tell us that her dad's ghost (who normally just comes as a smell of cigarette smoke) came and pulled down the chandelier in her kitchen from the ceiling (WHAT?!). She has made great progress and has a very big heart, and we love her crazy and all.
Me and some burning documents
Speaking of crazies, we got a referral from a member in our ward, for his two crazy neighbors who are sisters from England. They are older ladies and one of them's dead husband's ghost came to visit (yep, apparently a lot of ghosts just chilling around here in Cali) and they were telling him about it and he set up an appointment for us to teach them the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday. If only these ghosts could be helpful and just go around telling people, "The Mormons are the ones with the truth. Be a Mormon!"
In other news, apparently I talk really fast. Who knew? (This is sarcasm, because pretty much anyone I've ever met knows this.) My district leader, Elder Seomanutafa, who is from Samoa and learning English, was talking to me on the phone. I was explaining something to him and he says, "Sister Burgess," because he can't exactly say Burchett, "you need to slow down. I can't understand you. It's like, my ears hear the words you saying, but my brain can't understand you because you talk SO fast." The irony was that his companion, Elder Knotts, who is from Payson, Utah and has spoken English his entire life, told me the same thing earlier that afternoon. For the sake of these poor Elders, I'll try to slow it down.
Sister Doolittle came home last night, so we finally moved home! It is so nice to be moved in and have a permanent place. I'll send some pictures of the digs.
Close up on the Doolittle's goats playing
Close up on the cute playset Brother Doolittle built,  I think I
enjoy playing on it as much as their grandkids do!

It has been a great week! One of the beautiful things about this gospel is when members catch the vision of missionary work. This is a missionary church! That is our focus and our purpose. We created our ward mission plan this week to help the members catch this vision:
1. Pray for an opportunity to have a member missionary moment
2. Mention that you're Mormon.
3. Bear Testimony
4. Invite
This is really very simple! Here's an example:
Co-worker - Hey do you want me to grab you a cup of coffee?
Member - Oh no thanks. I'm Mormon and we don't drink coffee. I always have plenty of energy without it.
Co-worker - really?
Member - Yeah, and I know that if you gave up coffee, it would be hard at first but then you would have more energy too.
Co-worker - Ha, well maybe I'll try it sometime.
Member - Haha, yeah. Actually, we are having a party at my church this weekend. It's gonna be a Hawaiian Luau with great food and games. You should come and bring the family.

Simple as that. A member missionary moment doesn't have to be big and scary. It's simple everyday conversation. So let's do it!
I'm gonna try and shoot some pictures over. The church is true. Being a missionary is AWESOME. Y'all should try it sometime (like right now. Have a member missionary moment!)
Sister Burchett
This is the first counselor in the Bishopric and his two sons.
We were at their house for dinner and in the middle of our
spiritual thought, one just started putting pillows on his
Dad, and then just laid down on top of him! The other was jealous
and then crept over for some fun too. They are one of my
favorite families. Every fourth Sunday, the youngest sits with us
because every other member of his family is on the stand
(Dad is in the Bishopric, Mom plays the organ, brother is the Bishop's
assistant runner boy, and the other brother blesses the Sacrament).
He loves us and we color coordinate on those Sundays just for fun!
A Valentine from one of the little girls in
our ward, and it was scented!


  1. Hi! I think it's Bridie I'm writing to? This is Mary--I was a reporter with Sarah. Could you please tell her I love her, and hi from me, and from all the other Coog Tube reporters? We miss her and we hope to send her something here soon, but I want her to know we are thinking of her!!! Thanks for posting--it's fun to read about her adventures.

    1. Will do and she will love to get something from you guys :D and your welcome, glad ya'll are enjoying hearing about her experiences as much as we are!