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!

Follow Me by Email

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sacramento - Week 11

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).

“And the babes shall be their leaders…”
Tuesday April 9, 2013

I'M TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!
My new planner for the transfer
My cartoon 
Yep, that's right. Sister Burchett with 11 weeks of missionary work under her belt and just barely out of training herself will be staying in Green Valley and training a brand new missionary. I am completely excited and completely and utterly terrified all at the same time. The biggest bummer is that I have to move out of the Doolittle’s. Sister Doolittle has to go out of town a lot this next transfer and so instead of us having to move out all the time, we are swapping houses with the Elders in Silva Valley
It's going to be weird because all of us will be living out of our areas and out of our zones and commuting to our areas. Plus, I have to give my room, my dog, and my mission parents to some smelly boys. Still, I know there is a plan in all of this and I am determined to be happy even though my heart is breaking. 
Sister Loli is opening to new areas, and training, and riding a bike. Lucky girl! That's a lot of work but she will be awesome. Sister Hale is going to Folsom to be with Sister Flemming, who came out the same time we did. 
My room done up for my Birthday
I move and pick up my trainee at the mission office tomorrow. She should be at the Salt Lake airport right about now! 
Mirror message for my Birthday from Sister Loli
On to the next big thing! Thanks for my birthday package! I am wearing my t-shirt right now. My birthday was so amazing. President and Sister Skywalker called and sang me happy birthday, the Doolittle’s made me a cake and gave me cards, Sister Loli heart attacked my desk and she and sister Hale gave me a card, a friend bought me flowers and a card, the missionaries all went out to lunch between conference sessions for my birthday and all in all it was an awesome way to celebrate two decades of life. (The grammar in this paragraph is terrible. Please, ignore it.) 
Side Note: Lisa Isaacson! I was making my new planner and guess who I saw in the May 2011 Ensign on page 41? Riley Cooney! I cracked up.
My redneck Birthday Card from Brother Doolittle
We got permission from President Skywalker to go out of zone and go shopping last week. It was great and I got some cute summer stuff from Ross. If you come across anymore of those apt. 9 t-shirts that I have two black ones of in any colors I'd love some more because I wear them all the time! 
My card, I love it!

After shopping, Sister Raphael took us out for Indian food. I just love Indian food. I could go for some more chicken tikka masala right now...
We had a miracle this week! We needed to visit one more recent convert/less active to meet our goal for the day. We had exhausted all of our back ups and had no idea who else to try. We pulled over on the side of the road to go through the area book when Sister Loli said, "Oh my goodness! Look whose house we are at right now!" We had pulled up right outside of Cinderella's house. She is a very less active who the sisters have been trying to see for over 6 months. She is never home! So, we took it for a sign and jumped out of the car and practically ran to the door. She was home! We set up a return appointment for this week and reminded her about conference. What a miracle! When we are doing our best to accomplish our goals, God will provide a way! 
We also got to go visit the Lions. She is a single mom with two sons, age 19 and age 13. The 13 year old, Simba, is in a wheelchair. We went and met with them and encouraged them to come back to church. Several of the deacons came and met Simba and talked to him about scouts. Then we sent the Zone Leaders over to talk to the older brother, Mufasa, about coming to the YSA ward. They had a great visit too and we hope to get them back into activity. 
In other mundane news, if you could order me some more contacts that would be great. I have like 2 pairs left which is supposed to last me 2 months but better safe than sorry.
Also, I think I need to buy a bike because President Skywalker just sent out an email saying he wanted missionaries to spend at least 1 day a week biking, but I have to double check with the APs because I don't know if that is possible with our area....I will let you know. 

Conference was amazing! I just loved it. So many great talks that I look forward to re-reading again in the conference issue. 
I think that is about it for this week. I am so completely scatterbrained because all I can think about is this brand new missionary who I am responsible for and how much I hope she loves Green Valley as much as I do. 
I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His restored church. We are part of a great missionary effort to prepare Heavenly Father's children to meet their Savior at His second coming. How great is our calling! We just have to be brave enough to have enough faith to take a step out of the darkness and into the light. The gospel makes bad men good and good men better. I know that is true! 

I love y'all! Have a wonderful week!

Me and my awesome
District Leader, Elder Morley

The Elders and Sisters from the
 El Dorado zone were at the temple!

Us and the Elders and Sisters from the El Dorado zone

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sacramento - Week 10

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).

“Happy Day After Easter!”
Monday April 1, 2013

My Mary Kay has come! God Bless the dearly departed Mary Kay for her excellence in business and cosmetics. Because of her, Sister missionaries everywhere look suitable for leaving their house and preaching the word of the Lord. 
Hello and Happy Day after Easter! It has been a very eventful week here in Green Valley so let me explain...no there is too much...let me sum up (name that movie!) 
Shortly after I emailed home on Monday we got the word that we had to make another temporary move. Boo! I sincerely believe that moving is one of life's most annoying ventures. Since Sister Doolittle is out of town we had to move in temporarily with our Bishop's family. They are awesome, but it was such a pain to move out right before transfers. We'll move home to the Doolittles on Friday but then some of us will be moving out for good on Wednesday. Quick turnarounds. They are part of missionary life. We are back how we started in Green Valley, wall to wall beds! 
In other news, a quick story about how you never know how you will affect people. I don't remember if I told this story but at the beginning of last transfer we were having district meeting and when we were done we walked outside and there was a man sitting in the foyer who looked very disheveled and was tattooed etc. The Elders started talking to him and found out that he was recently released from jail 3 days before and knew he had been baptized into the church when he was 8 and he was walking by and felt like he should come inside. None of us knew how to handle this type of situation, but luckily we Green Valley sisters live with someone who specializes in teaching people in jail and recently out of jail. So we called Brother Doolittle, the head of the prison ministry in this stake. He came and together with him we taught the man, Tarzan, a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and his divine potential. The spirit was so strong, but when Brother Doolittle went to pick him up for church he wasn't home and there was a sketchy man going through his trailer...SKETCHY!
So, for the past 8 weeks or so we've wondered whatever happened to Tarzan. This week we got a call from Brother Doolittle. He said that the prison had called because someone was requesting him. He went and it was Tarzan! He had been put back in jail for a parole violation and will be out in 30-90 days. He and Brother Doolittle talked for like an hour and Brother Doolittle said that Tarzan just kept talking about that lesson and how he felt the spirit and how grateful he was to us. Brother Doolittle has set up things with Tarzan’s bishop for when he gets home so the Elders can keep him on track and out of jail. For many people, truly changing is hard, but if they have the desire to change their lives, the atonement can make all the difference. 
We also had an awesome lesson with Barbie and Ken. I just love those kids! As they have tried to read scriptures as a family and to come to church consistently, they are happier and it is awesome to see! We had an amazing Easter lesson on the atonement of Jesus Christ with them this week. We watched the Mormon Message "None Were With Him". We talked about how Christ went through the atonement alone so that we never have to do anything alone in this life. 
(Watch it Here - None Were With Him )
This week with Daphne, we did service! We took our whole district to her house to overhaul her garden. It looks so nice now! She was so appreciative and opened up to the other missionaries a lot. Our district leader said to us, "Sisters, you just gotta dunk her! She's ready."
Sometimes, I want to punch Elders because I feel like they always tell us things that obviously, we know already. Why do they think we are spending all this time helping her with her testimony...so she can be baptized and be truly converted! Duh.
At the Temple with Daphne (middle) and our lovely ward
missionary Sister Edwards who drove us.
Haha Anyways, we took her to the temple on Saturday. They do this really cool thing for missionaries and their investigators every Saturday called a temple tour. They watch a few videos and then a guide takes you around the temple and stops and explains what goes on inside simply like, "You see these windows here? Behind these windows is a baptismal font....this is where we perform proxy baptisms for our dead ancestors so that people who didn't get to hear about the gospel and be baptized in this life can still receive those blessings..." She loved it! We talked to her afterwards and tried to commit her to a solid baptismal date, but she wasn't quite ready. She is praying about a date this week and hopefully we can get her feeling comfortable. She is ready to make that step; she just has to give herself permission. 

While we were waiting for the tour to start, I saw the ASL sisters with a Deaf member and investigator. I started signing with them and it was so fun to sign again! I felt rusty but they were nice enough not to tell me how terrible I was haha. My companions and Daphne were shocked at me signing, but I didn't care! Afterwards they were like, "Wow, did you really understand what was going on? What were you saying?" Sign Language is awesome.
Outside Porter Rockwell's
Great-Grandson's house
Did I tell you that Porter Rockwell's Great-Grandson lives near the Doolittle’s? Well he does, and he was referred to us. So, we walked up the giant hill to his house and...he wasn't home. We left him a note, but Sister Loli said he was tracted out and he knows the Sisters. He just isn't very interested...yet! 
(Read his short biography here - Orrin Porter Rockwell )

Me sticking a post-it note on Porter Rockwell's
Great-Grandson's door

Fun Side Note: On Friday we did our weekly planning. We got so stir crazy in the house that we had to get out so we finished our planning session at Fernando's a Mexican/El Salvadorean restaurant. I got a pupusa. Yummy! 
Easter Morning!!!
Easter was the best! Our members took such good care of us. We woke up in the morning and they’d made us Belgian Waffles. We also had Easter baskets and an Easter Egg hunt with their 14 year old Daughter. It was so much fun! After church we had lunch and went over to the Doolittle's. Sister Doolittle's cousin lives in the granny flat attached to the house. He made us an Easter basket full of chocolate. Brother Doolittle gave us an Easter card, but the funny thing was that it wasn't originally an Easter card. Sister Doolittle is out of town so instead of buying more cards, Brother Doolittle just wanted to use up some of the old cards they had around the house. So, he just took cards from other holidays and made them into Easter cards! I'll send a picture of ours. Words can't describe the splendor of a Thanksgiving card turned into an Easter card by Brother Doolittle haha.
Our Thanksgiving turned Easter card from Brother Doolittle.
He says it is from Sister Doolittle too, but she would cringe
if she saw this.....hahahaha!

Our gorgeous rubber boots ;)
He also played photographer for our Easter pictures. We took pictures in the flowers that are covering the back of the land. Here in Cali they call them "yellow paint". We had to wear boots because it was muddy from rain the night before. Brother Doolittle also showed us this giant mirror that someone painted "...for He is Risen" on and then leaned against their fence so you can see it from the road. No idea where it came from. Somebody in the middle of the night just put it out there.

I'll send a picture of that too. We had dinner with a member family. It was so yummy. We were late, but that was ok. They made lamb (name that movie!)
The weird He is Risen sign
They also gave us Easter baskets with nail polish and gum. My basket, of course, was hot pink because the wife says she will forever associate me with my hot pink coat. We finished off the night with another family. They tried to feed us more cake, but we couldn't do it! It was fun to share Easter messages with so many people throughout this week. Our Savior lives and that is AWESOME! 

Here is where I put in my plug for General Conference: 
I am so excited for General Conference! We were joking with some of the youth that they should pay attention because the conference talks of today are the Mormon Messages of tomorrow (they love Mormon Messages). It is always an awesome experience and it changes lives. I, of all people, should know that. 6 months ago, I had no idea that I would be serving my mission right now. I am so grateful for General Conference and for the opportunity to hear from Christ's prophet and apostles. 
Okey dokey. Now I'm gonna send some pictures. I love y'all and hope everyone has an awesome week that builds up to the best General Conference ever! 

Sister Burchett

The giant hill we had to walk this week.
We were so excited...

Finally going downhill!

Me and Jody (the Doolittle's dog)

The triad AKA the Tripanionship

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sacramento - Week 9

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).

“Mountains and Mira Loma”
Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello Family, Friends, and Secret Admirers (jk) 
First off, I did indeed get my Easter package and everyone loved their candy! The Gomms say thanks y'all! (I am slowly converting them to the truth) 

Ice House Lake
Last P-day we went to Ice House lake in the Sierras and had a picnic as a zone. It was AWESOME! The area was beautiful, the company was excellent, and we even placed a Book of Mormon with a man who was fishing. Sister Loli got to play in the snow for the first time. We had a huge snowball fight and even built a missionary snowman. The Doolittles, the Family we are staying with, drove us up there and another member from the Cameron Park ward brought his 15 passenger van and drove the Elders. We took Jody (the Doolittle's dog) too! 
Me and our missionary snowman who happened to wear
my name tag because I was the only one wearing a clippy
tag instead of a magnetic one haha.
Sister Hale and I with our awesome District Leader!
The zone in front of the waterfall
Me hugging a giant tree in the forest!
The whole zone at the lake!
Our Zone leaders truck

We also pranked the Zone Leaders car. We covered it in chocolate. At least it tasted good!
 That night, we went to "Mr. Ponderosa" at the high school. Two of the priests were in it. It's basically a pageant, but for the boys, and it's a fundraiser for Breast Cancer. We wanted to go and support our youth and they really wanted us to come so we did. It was a hoot! The awesome thing was though, that as we walked into the gym everyone was looking and pointing and the members were waving. It was so good for the youth to see that the missionaries support them and that we have FUN! They were pointing us out to their friends and both of the Priests in the pageant were so glad we were there. The youth in this stake are AMAZING! 

At Mr. Panderosa, one of the boys did a
Trombone jazz version of Carry on My
Wayward son for his talent!
One of the boys taught trick roping for his talent at
Mr. Panderosa and then his friend ran out dressed as a cow
with Cotton Eyed Joe playing over the speaker and he
lassoed him. It was so funny!

This week we have been continuing getting creative with our contacting. When you become desperate enough for investigators, you begin to stalk (in a very missionary like way) your part member families. The O family (because I can't spell their last name) owns a little cafe called the Cafe Mira Loma. The mom is less active and the dad isn't a member. After not being able to get a hold of them on the phone, we decided we were just going to stop by for lunch. We walked in and starting chatting with them. Thanks to these lovely things called missionary tags, they knew who we were. We were able to set up a return appointment with them and the food was great! We are going over to their house for dinner on my birthday, so hopefully Sister Burchett will get a new investigator to celebrate two decades of life. 
The mural at Mira Loma Cafe. AKA the closest I will get to
a beach on my mission.
We enjoyed the food there so much that we drug our whole district and the zone leaders there for lunch Thursday after district meeting. Talk about flooding the place with missionaries! After lunch all the missionaries came to our place to do service for the Doolittle’s neighbor. Our silly and unsuspecting zone leaders left their proselyting clothes laying out in our living room. A few days before they had toilet papered our car in the rain, which made such a mess. Sister Loli and I sensed an opportune moment to prank them back. Within a few minutes, each of the Elder's shirts was smelling lovely and overbearingly like my perfume and there was a smashed hardboiled egg in each of their pockets. When service was over, they went inside to change. We heard some gasps and then fled as they took the smashed hardboiled eggs out of their pockets and threw them at us. They couldn't really avoid smelling like a woman for the rest of the day though! I'm sure their retaliation will be swift, but transfers are coming soon and we wanted to go out with a bang. 
Our poor TP-ed Car
On that note, transfer call day is April 8th so I won't have P-Day then but I will have it on Tuesday the 9th. 
Wednesday some recent converts took us to the buffet at Red Hawk Casino for dinner. The food was great, but you should have seen the looks people gave us from the casino. Utter astonishment haha! Hopefully some of them rethought their decision to gamble! 

This week we also went a visited the Hop’s, a less active/part member family. They have 2 little girls. They married young after Sister Hop had their first daughter and haven't really been to church sense. Sister Hop has a strong testimony, but I think she is afraid to come to church because she thinks people will judge her for her mistakes. Our goal is to help her understand that A. that's what repentance and the atonement are for and B. everyone wants her back and church because they love her and she doesn't have to be afraid that people will judge her. We are coordinating with some other young families to fellowship them. They really need some friends and who better to become life long friends with than members of the church! 
Last night we went to dinner in Polluck Pines, a little town up in the mountains, for dinner with another part member family. They aren't in our area, but the wife (a member) requested sisters to come and visit her because she is from Australia, like sister Loli, and she felt like her husband (not a member) would connect better with sisters than he had with the Elders. If a member in your zone requests to be taught by sisters, the Zone leaders can give permission for you to teach them. So we went to their house and had ribs and bread pudding and chatted with them. It was a great visit and he really opened up to us. We are going to try and get up there again before transfers. (I hate transfers by the way. Just though y'all should know.) The best part was when we were leaving and the wife said, "Thank you for bringing the spirit into my home." 
Daphne came to church again yesterday and this time she stayed for most of Sunday school before she had to leave to go run errands and take care of her sick cat. She really enjoyed Sunday School and sang in sacrament meeting. Normally she just reads along with the hymns but doesn't sing aloud but this week she did! It sounds silly, but this is a milestone for her! She is really truly progressing and that makes us SO happy! We are going to try and commit her to a baptismal date this week and take her on a temple tour on Saturday. 
This morning we found out that Sister Doolittle's daughter who just had the baby is in the hospital. She drove herself to the ER and left her husband and their little boy and the baby at home. They think she needs gall bladder surgery (yuck). So Sister Doolittle is flying out to Minnesota to help out with the kids while she has surgery. She is supposed to be gone 10 days so we are hoping the mission won't make us move out while she is gone. THAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE HISTORY OF PAINS. Especially to make us leave home right before transfers. So pray for her daughter and pray for us. 
On Sunday we got to teach the Young Women about the Atonement. With the new curriculum, we really aren't teaching a lesson as much as we are leading a discussion. It was awesome! Come Follow Me is really preparing the youth to missionaries, whether full time or as a member. It is inspired! 
As Easter approaches, we should all remember the glorious gift that our Heavenly Father gave us in the atonement of His Son. Everything we believe as members of the church eventually comes back to the atonement, to the sacrifice our Savior made for each and every one of us. He died so that we could be forgiven and empowered and He lives to forgive and empower us each day of our lives. I know the atonement is real, and I am so grateful for it in my life! 
Have a wonderful week!                

Sister Burchett