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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Monday, September 2, 2013

Sacramento - Week 32

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).

“Friends of God”
September 2, 2013

Hello everyone! 
I promised that my letter this week would actually be organized. So, here we go. 
We had Zone Conference this week and it was, as usual, absolutely phenomenal. Sister Loli, Sister Abbott, and I sang ‘Lead Kindly Light’. We sang verses in English, Spanish, and Samoan and sang an A cappella trio with harmonies. It was so much fun! Also as is missionary tradition we talked about obedience. One thought I had was that if we are obedient because we love God, then we will love being obedient!
I've never been a rule breaker (at least I don't think so) but one thing that I struggle with is being obedient because I love the rules. I realized that there are a lot of rules that I follow 100% but I really hate following, like no holding babies and no baking cookies for Elders, even if it's their birthday. In Preach My Gospel it says that obedience means following the rules even when we don't understand them and doing it with a happy heart. So I found some room for improvement, but golly gee it's hard to be happy about baking restrictions and not holding babies! hahaha 
We have 3 investigators with a baptismal date! It feels like all of our hard work is finally paying off. Here's a little note about each of them and some of the miracles we saw with them this week. 

Tinker Bell - This is one of the craziest things that has happened to me on my mission so far. Tinker Bell is the woman we met because she saw my bike license plate and we ended up praying with her and setting up a return appointment. When we came to the door, she opened it and said, "Sisters, I don't wanna live anymore." She just broke down and cried hysterically and told us that she had been thinking about killing herself before we came over. She just fell into my arms and sobbed and sobbed. She felt entirely alone and abandoned and was so depressed.
I was holding her and thinking, "What in the world do I do?!"
And then I just felt the spirit say, "Do what you always do. Just love her."
So I held her. And after awhile she stopped crying and I was able to testify to her about how much God loves her and that He had sent us to her to tell her that, and that she was our sister and we loved her too. We watched Finding Faith in Christ and promised to come back. When we did, we taught her the Restoration and before we were even finished she said, "Can I be a Mormon? I really want to be." She has a date for Sept 28th and no matter what happens I know that she will be better because of her time with us.
I know the Lord leads us to where we need to be, and most of the time we don't even know He is doing it. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us infinitely, and we ARE brothers and sisters. We have to reach out and help and love each other. Love is something that we as humans desperately need and so many of us don't get that love. The awesome thing about love is that giving it doesn't cause it to decrease, but to increase exponentially. The more love you give, the more love you have to give to someone else. And then, love comes back to us! Love is our universal language and it's the language of heaven. Love is the language of God. 

Rapunzel - Rapunzel has almost been baptized twice. Each time something came up and she backed out. We were able to go and resolve her concerns (like "I thought I had to be married to be baptized!") and extend a new date to her for October 5th. She is so excited and wants to be baptized so badly. When we went over, her 3 year old grandson opened the door and yelled, "Grandma, it's for you!"
She yelled back, "Who is it?"
and he said, "Friends of God!"
Kids are so spot on. It was awesome and humbling all at the same time. I hope that when I get to heaven, the Lord will welcome me in and say, "Let her in! That's my friend."

Ms. Frizzle – Ms. Frizzle is from Jamaica. She was a referral from the Elders who offered to help her carry her bags home and started walking with her only to realize they had crossed the border into our area and had to give her to us. Sad for them but it's all Team Jesus as Hermana Emily Christensen would say. We challenged her to read the Book of Mormon and to be baptized and she said, "Yes, I would love to!"
The only problem is going to be getting her to church because she works practically 24/7 and especially on the weekends. But the Lord will provide a way and her faith will grow. That's the neat thing about faith. It's like a muscle. The more we work it, and push it, and stretch it, the stronger it becomes. 

I'm singing in a musical number on Sunday with our Bishop's daughter. We're singing, "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul", the same version that was sung at my farewell. I LOVE THAT SONG! For some reason, the words just speak right to my heart: 

Savior, Redeemer of My Soul,
Whose Mighty Hand hath made me whole, 
Whose wondrous power hath raised me up, 
And filled with sweet my bitter cup, 
What tongue my Gratitude can tell, 
Oh Gracious God of Israel

Never Can I repay thee Lord, 
But I can love thee, thy pure word, 
Hath it not been my one delight, 
My joy by day, my dream by night. 
Then let my lips proclaim it still, 
And all my life reflect thy will. 

O'rrule my acts to serve thine ends, 
Change frowning foes to smiling friends, 
Chasten my soul till I shall be, 
In perfect harmony with thee, 
Make me more worthy of thy love, 
And fit me for the life above. 

My favorite verse is the last one because it's our plea to the Lord. Please take our actions and help us make them for good. Help us love all the people around us. Change us. Refine us. Guide us and mold us and shape us until we are like thee, Lord. After all that thou hast done for us, help us to be just a little bit better, good enough so that we can return home. That's all we want, isn't it? To return home and to take as many of our brothers and sisters home with us as we can.
No empty chairs at God's table! Let's bring everybody home! Love y'all and have an amazing week! 
Sister Burchett

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