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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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sacramento - Week 28

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).

“Tree and Bush”
Monday August 5, 2013

No, folks. This week we aren't talking about tree and bush couples in which one half of the couple is significantly taller/shorter than the other half. Nope we are talking about spiritual growth. Do you remember that talk by Elder Christofferson in General Conference a few years ago where he quotes Hugh B. Brown's story about the currant bush? 

It goes a little like this: 
Basically there is this currant bush that has grown into a tree and is crossing over a fence. The gardener comes and cuts it down to size. The currant bush is upset because it was growing so well and was a great big tree, but the gardener says, "I'm the gardener here. I don't want you to be a tree. I want you to be a currant bush." 
This week I feel like the Lord has been sending me the same message. At the beginning of the week I was trying so hard to fight it. I kept feeling like, "Lord, I'm such a tall tree. Why in the world would you cut me down? I was growing so fast and so tall and I was going to cross that fence and spread even more."
 But the Lord said, "I'm the gardener here. I don't want you to be a tree. I want you to be a bush."
To which I initially replied, "Well, I'm the human being here and I don't want to be a bush."
To which the Lord said, "But I am your Savior and Redeemer. This is MY work. Not yours. I want you to be a bush, because you are no use to me as a tree. I NEED you to be a bush. So just be a bush already, please."
So I learned a lot about humbling myself before the Lord and accepting His will. Many times in our lives we will be called upon to be bushes. Sometimes that's because we have made ourselves into trees and forgotten who really gave us the growth, but most times I think it's just because our Heavenly Father and our Savior love us enough to keep cutting us and trimming us and shaping us. Lots of times we are a bush, but we're a little too fluffy or a little too scrawny or our branches are tangled. Sometimes, we need to be cut back so that other bushes can grow too. That's more of what I experienced. It was great that I was a tree, but the Lord wants us all to grow. If there a just a few big trees amongst a lot of bushes, the bushes won't get any sunlight. We all need the light to grow. I'm grateful that no matter the case, the Lord loves us enough to chasten us. He's not just cutting us down; He's trimming us back so we can grow into something better. 

Amidst all this botany, I got a letter from Mary Poppins. She is doing so well. Her letter was just what I needed. She told me that she got to go to the temple and walk around. She said, "I didn't get to go inside yet, but the sheer power of that place is amazing. It's great to know it's the one place the devil can't go." I know that's true. The temple is heaven on earth and how blessed we are to have it. 
Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!
Thanks everyone for the awesome family reunion package! I loved it! Sister Vaughan and I love the crowns from Medieval Times and I adore the earrings Steph sent. I'm trying to find a cool way to display the fish. I think I've come up with something....I'll send a picture if it works out. 
I got to experience a miracles this week with our investigator Rapunzel. She had a baptism date and interview scheduled before I got here, but then she backed out last minute. We hadn't been able to see her the whole transfer, but we had showed up at the apartment complex where we were going to contact some potentials right as what appeared to be a drug sell was going on right out front. We decided to pray and see what we should do, if we should still try to contact these people or if we should just move on to the next complex. When we finished praying, we both looked at each other and said, "Rapunzel." So off we went.
We showed up right as she was pulling into the driveway. We found out her father-in-law had just passed away and she was in a tizzy trying to get things ready for the funeral. We asked if we could help her and she put us to work making flower arrangements for the tables. We talked with her and she just opened completely up about how depressed she had been feeling and how when she saw our car she knew everything was going to be all right because her friends the Mormon girls were here and they would be able to comfort her. We were able to testify to her about the comfort she can receive through the atonement, and it was all so fresh from when I had the same experience a few days before. Heavenly Father knows each of us so well, and when we listen to the Spirit and rely on our Savior's atonement we can be instruments for bringing about such great good in the lives of our brothers and sisters. How awesome is that! 
The Von-Trapp’s just got back from visiting their son in Oregon and the Alaskan Cruise for their 20th wedding anniversary. (P.S. Mom and Dad we should do this sometime before the immediate family grows more and it gets expensive.) They brought Sister Vaughan and I back jewelry made from these stones they call "Northern Lights". The stone is dark and shimmery and kind of takes on the shade of whatever color you are wearing. We were driving home and wearing our necklaces and I saw the most beautiful sunset. It just made me grateful for all of Heavenly Father's creations. He gave us so much to experience, so much to bring us awe and inspire us from the Northern lights to a sunset. He truly loves us and wants us to be happy! 
And that's why it's ok to be bushes. Because if He wants us to be bushes, you can bet it's because it will make us happy, so then we can want to be bushes too and press forward with faith. 
I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is real and available to all of us. I know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to access that atonement so we can live with Him again. 
Sister Burchett - A Happy Bush
We had Doctor's appointments in Roseville
this week because we were sick so we got
to leave the mission.
I had to do a breathing treatment for my cough,
but I'm all good now!

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