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, February 3, 2013

Sacramento - Week 1

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, January 28, 2013  11:31 AM

Good morning!

First off, I just love it here!


After I sent my last email we went to the temple. The assistants drove us up to the temple (which is on a hill overlooking a valley and a river and is absolutely gorgeous. As you come up the hill, they play a special recording in the car of epic music and a quote from President Hinckley about the temple and the great work we are called to do as missionaries. It was so epic!

Then we went to the mission home and had a little chat with President and Sister Skywalker. Then we ate a huge dinner of delicious food homemade by Sister Skywalker and had a testimony meeting. It was awesome! 

That night, we spent the night at one of the counselors, President and Sister Sebastion, house. I walked in and saw a baby grand piano and a big cabinet full of music. Sister Sebastion saw me eyeing it and said, "Feel free to play if you want. My husband plays so we have everything you could possible ever want to play here." So, that's what I did for the rest of the night, sit and play that baby grand. President Sebastion walked in and sang while I played, and some of the other sisters sang too. We had a lot of fun.

The next morning we had more training, and we committed to the mission's Book of Mormon challenge which is to read the Book of Mormon in 6 months and underline every time it talks about Christ, Christ is speaking, Christ is referenced etc.
L to R: Sarah Burchett, Sister Loli, Sister Hales

Next we went to meet our trainers.. It was really cool how they do it in this mission because you walk into the chapel while all the trainers are singing Called to Serve. Then they call you up one by one and have you open basically a second mission call which has your trainer's name and the area you will be serving in. I am serving with.....Sister Loli and Sister Hales in the Green Valley Ward in the El Dorado Stake!
Sister Hales is a greenie from Abilene like me. We are training in trios because there are so many new sisters. Our trainer, Sister Loli, is from Australia and is Samoan. She is so much fun and a really great trainer! We are in the Green Valley Ward which is in the hills and a little more rural than the city, which I love! We used to cover two wards, but they split our area so now we just cover Green Valley which is in Cameron Park, California. We love the Green Valley ward, but all of our investigators were in Bass Lake (the other ward) so we had to hand them over to the other sisters and now we are starting from scratch. Lots of work, but a great opportunity to get members involved in finding efforts.
We live with the members here, the Doolittle's. They are the bomb.com! They live out more in the country (kind of like a subdivision but the houses are like multiple acre lots). It's beautiful! Our room is upstairs and we have a balcony that looks out on the mountains. They have a dog and cats and goats and chickens so it's pretty much like home. Brother Doolittle is like church legend because he was called on a mission to Jerusalem! He was the first person to baptize with proper authority in the river Jordan since John the Baptist. He is always telling us about Jewish traditions, speaking hebrew, etc. He's hob knobbed with prophets and apostles and now he is called as a special jail minister here in California. He goes into the jails and teaches the inmates. We haven't gotten to meet his wife yet because she is out of town. Since she's gone, we can't sleep there so we are staying with some other members. They are great, but we are ready to move home to the Doolittle's and actually unpack. Right now we are living out of suitcases. Sister Doolittle is with her daughter cause she is having a baby but she should be back at the end of this week and we can move back home into our lovely bedroom with the balcony. We live in their son's old room which they've turned into a room for us. He is on a mission in North Carolina and will be done about the same time I am.
Buzz Lightyear: The most excited 8 year old ever!
He is the youngest of 5 and his Mom said that
when he woke up on Sunday she heard him say,
"FINALLY! My day has come!"
We have been super busy since I got here. Running around meeting members and non-members. The members here are awesome and have embraced us with open arms. Our ward missionaries are great too. One of them is the sweetest older lady. Her husband is blind so whenever we go over there they have me play piano. I sang at a baptism yesterday for Buzz Lightyear, one of the cutest little 8 year olds ever, and he was probably the most excited human to be baptized in years. He was about to burst! We got to teach seminary this morning to the Seniors which was awesome. We are teaching Seminary again on Friday and Young Women's on week after next.
Sister Hales and Sister Burchett
We went tracting for the first time the other day. We've decided it isn't the most effective way to find people, but it was a good experience to have anyways. We got a return appointment with one woman (we'll see if it happens) and then a lot of slammed doors! The key to tracting is to make it fun. When they slam the door we just yell "Have a nice day!" through the door and smile.
Yesterday we had testimony meeting because our stake conference is Sunday. We all bore testimony of missionary work (and wore matching red sweaters) and that the work is hastening and we need the members' help to be a part of it. They all seemed really motivated so hopefully we will be able to find some people. We have a few appointments this week with part member families that hopefully will turn into new investigators.
One of my favorite families here joined the church in August or September and they are great! They have two kids like 11 and 9 or something like that. The parents, are so funny! We are working with them on things like Family Home Evening and preparing to go to the temple etc. Their neighbors are how they started investigating and we just love them too. They are a hoot. We were over there the other night and the family came over with leftover birthday cake and they all started feeding us. We love our morning glory (morning work outs) because the members here are relentlessly nice and feed us all the time!
The church is true! There are miracles everyday. God is hastening his work and has great things in store for the church. I read a great article on lds.org about the hastening of the work and how all of the church programs for youth are coming together and working together with the age change (as if by chance, but we all know that there's no such thing as coincidence). We just have to have faith and get with the program. It's HIS work so we better do it HIS way!
I love you! I'm going to try and send some pictures now. We'll see if it works....

MTC Pictures: 
Sister Jackson
Sister Ward
Sister Kim

Our welcome at the Mission Office
My Coat Tag!!!

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