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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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sacramento - Week 71

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).


COUNTDOWN: 2 DAYS


June 3, 2014

“This is the Testimony Last Which I Give of Him”
Hello everyone! 
I can't believe I'm being transferred home this week. How did that go by so fast?! There's been so much going on this week and so much I could say, but I've decided that I just want to take this opportunity to bear my testimony as a missionary, one last time. 
I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us individually. He wants the best for us and wants us to be happy. He gives us commandments so we can have that happiness. As we are obedient, we show Him that we love Him too, and we grow to become like Him. 
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. His atonement is all powerful and amazing. He lives, and He loves us.  
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The church of Jesus Christ has been restored and is here on the earth today. We have a living prophet. How blessed are we! 
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. There is a power that will come into your life the moment you read it, and your life will change for the better. 
I love this gospel. I love my Heavenly Father, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that we can return to live with them again. 
Life is beautiful! Remember to keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart!
Love, 
Sister Burchett

 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sacramento - Week 70

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).

COUNTDOWN: 10 DAYS


"Conference, Coloma, and California Summer"
May, 26, 2014

Hello Everyone!
This week, I need to recap 2 weeks worth of information in one email. Hopefully it won't be overload, and hopefully it will be entertaining. If not, at least it will be written down for posterity. 
2 weeks ago we had our Zone Conference. It was my last one. GASP. So, I had to make it a good one. They asked me to lead the music, and I was in charge of the choir number for our zone. So much fun! We sang an arrangement of "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" and the spirit was so strong. I just love missionaries! I love their willingness to step outside of their comfort zone (aka singing, for some of them) and step into a new experience. The beautiful thing that happens when missionaries do this is that they automatically invite the Savior's grace into their lives and miracles happen, even when it is something as simple as a musical number. 
I had to bear my departing testimony and because my name starts with "B" I had to go first. I was teasing President Skywalker that I was currently living in a lovely place called denial and that by forcing me to bear a "departing" testimony he was ruining that faux reality for me. Luckily, I love any opportunity to bear testimony of my Savior and how all things in life are possible and worth it because of Him, so it wasn't terrible. I actually enjoyed it. The only let down was all the people coming up and saying, "I can't believe you are going home!".
I just said, 'Then don't believe it. That's what I do!"
Haha. One of the Elders, Elder Smith, said to me, "Sister Burchett, are you really going home at the end of this transfer?"
I said, "Yes, Elder Smith. They're kicking me out."
He said, "That's going to make me very sad."
I told him he made my day. It's nice to be appreciated. Although, I have to write my lovely trainer in Australia and chastise her for spreading the nickname "Burchey" all over the mission. It's disconcerting having missionaries you have never met run up to you and yell "Burchey! It's so nice to meet you!" It gave me a good laugh though. 
Speaking of good laughs, President Skywalker was sitting next to me at lunch. I was talking to one of the other sisters when I heard, "Um, Sister Burchett, I think I lost my cucumber underneath you."
I lost it! I couldn't stop laughing. I said, "President, those are words I never though I would hear you say." 
The best moment of the whole day was the closing hymn. President and the Assistants had pulled in our giant "Believing, Bold, Baptizing" banner and put it at the front of the chapel. The problem was that when it came time for the closing hymn, you couldn't see me to lead the music. President said to just bring the podium down to the front, but then he asked all the missionaries to stand. I said quietly to myself, "Uh oh. I'm way too short."
I guess he heard me because he said, "Oh, here," and moved the hymn books off the pew, "just stand up here."
I looked at him and said, "Are you serious?" And he was. He gave me his hand and up I went. And then I lead a whole chapel full of missionaries in "Hark All Ye Nations" while standing on the pew.
Best. Moment. Ever.
Afterwards, Sister Minnick, the mission nurse came up to me and said, "I can just see you getting home and leading the Stake Choir! You're just beautiful inside and out!" It was so sweet. 
Running out of time already! AHHHH! Ok, hurrying up. Highlight reel. Last week I didn't get to email because I was at Coloma with President and Sister Skywalker. It was them and 6 sisters that came out with me and we just had a blast. Sister Jackson and I were the grand champions at Bocce Ball. We even beat President and Sister Skywalker. I had no idea how fun that game was! It was awesome. We also panned for Gold. I discovered that I would have been a terrible gold panner. I do not have the patience. I really enjoyed playing in the river though, and did find a few flecks of gold....also a rock which looks like gold, but I'm 99% sure it's just a rock….I did get really into it though! President Skywalker said, "I've never seen Sister Burchett so quiet!"
I laughed so hard I nearly fell in the river. 
So sorry that this letter is totally lame with no information about my investigators, but I am so out of time. I do just want to add one last thought. I just heard about the sudden death of a wonderful woman from home. My first thought was how grateful I am for the Savior. Because of Him and His sacrifice I know that death is not the end. We will all live again, and Because of His restored gospel we can be with the ones we love forever. What a blessing! What a gift! What a sacrifice! I love my Savior, and I hope that one day, I can be like Him. 
Love y'all!

Sister Burchett

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sacramento - Week 69

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).

COUNTDOWN: 17 DAYS


Hey, I'm alive. Just got back from Coloma and don't have much time. But it was a good time. I'll tell you more when I get to it, maybe today maybe next week. Love you!
Sister Burchett

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sacramento - Week 68

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).

COUNTDOWN: 24 DAYS


“And then my mind went blank…”
May 12, 2014

Hello!
It was so good to talk to all of you yesterday. For those of you who weren't involved in the video chat, I apologize. There just isn't a video chat website that can get ALL of the people I adore together in one place. I look forward to the Celestial Kingdom when we CAN all be together! 
I feel like I really have nothing to say, hence the title of my email. So, I'll just share a few thoughts I had in sacrament meeting yesterday. Both sacrament meetings talked a lot about families and our homes and how important they are to our spiritual growth and development. One speaker was quoting a general authority who said, "The home is the greatest laboratory of love." 

I loved that! 
All the basic skills of human life we learn in our homes. We learn to feed ourselves, to brush our teeth, get dressed, walk, run, climb, laugh, cry. Even more importantly, our homes and our families are where we learn the basic skills of our spiritual divine natures. We learn to forgive, to work, to teach, to listen, and to love. Heavenly Father was so inspired to place us here in families. What would we do without each other?! 
I'm so grateful for a home that was a laboratory of love. We are far from perfect, but there has never been any doubt that we love each other. 
Our families are extended in the gospel. We have a ward family that can help us through all the hard times of life. We take the things we have learned in our homes and apply them on a larger scale within our ward. And it just keeps going! Stakes, Missions, Areas, Regions, until we are all united as the Church of Jesus Christ and then as brothers and sisters, children of the Almighty God. Isn't it just amazing?! 
The purpose of this life is to learn to love the way our Heavenly Father and our Savior love. As we learn that, all the other attributes we have been sent here to develop fall into place. It all comes down to love. 
Life is beautiful and good! Enjoy every minute of it! Have a wonderful week! Smile on your face and song in your heart! 
Love, 
Sister Burchett


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sacramento - Week 67

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).

COUNTDOWN: 31 DAYS


“Something to Laugh About”
May 5, 2014

Hello one and all! 
This week flew by and even though I made notes of what I wanted to write about, I still feel like this letter is going to be a short one, but we'll see. 

This week was basically a whole lot of biking and sweating and people canceling their appointments. It happens. However, in every hard week there lies a miracle. 

We started teaching a family in Ripon! They are Ripon's first new investigators in......let's just say a really long while. The mom's name is Charlotte Web and she and her husband are from Hawaii. Her husband is stationed in South Carolina with the army right now, but will be home at the end of the month. We had our first lesson with Charlotte Web and her 3 children (8,5, and 3) on Saturday. I love teaching families because when children are involved, missionaries really think about teaching simply, which is what we are supposed to do with everyone anyways. It's been a great blessing on my mission to teach so many families with young children because my teaching simply skills have been kept up well. It was a new experience for the children because they haven't been raised with a Christian background at all. They knew who God was, but that was about it. Charlotte Web said that she really thought the Joseph Smith story made sense, and that the 8 year old, Fern, has been asking to go to church. They couldn't make it to church on Sunday, but hopefully they will commit to be there this week for Mother's Day. We're going to have a lesson this week on Jesus Christ - who He is and what He did for us and why we should follow him by being baptized, and then extend baptismal dates to Charlotte Web and Fern. It's exciting for Ripon! 
Lots of fun stories from street contacting people this week. Street contacting has become one of my favorite things to do as a missionary. You meet the most interesting people and truly grow to love your area because you feel like you know the people there. I contacted a young guy this week who was walking his dog. I started to tell him about mormon.org and the Restoration and he replied, "I'm an Atheist, sweetie."
I'm sure he thought that the fact that he didn't believe in God would really throw me, but I was much more bothered by the fact that he called me sweetie.....
We testified to him that God lives and loves us and challenged him to learn more. He declined, so I just said, "I know that God loves you, and that when you are ready to get to know Him, He will be right there ready for you. When you get to the point that you want to know if God is real, check out mormon.org, ok?"
I hope he does. 
Another guy we contacted while he was watering his lawn. He was also pretty young, probably 19, and when we asked him to check out mormon.org he said, "I've met you before. You used to come here all the time."
I knew I had never talked to this boy in my life, so I figured it was other missionaries, I said, "That was probably the sisters who were here before us."
He thought about it for a minute and then said, "Oh yeah. It was a skinnier blonde girl."
My companion was mortified but I started cracking up! This poor boy realized he had totally put his foot in his mouth and with a look of horror said, "Oh! No! That's not what I meant. I mean....you know...not that you guys aren't...the blonde one was just....uh....oh....sorry."
I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING! I was falling off my bike. After I regained my composure, I said, "Now you HAVE to check out the website." He agreed to do so. I'm still laughing about that one. At least he didn't call me sweetie. 
We taught a lot of families this week, which is always so fun. One of the kids told us, "Wow, you guys are hekka sweaty."
My companion was a little offended. I just said, "Thank you. Wanna know a secret? We're hekka smelly too." He thought I was funny, so mission accomplished. 
I just realized this email has basically just been funny stories. Well, it's been one of those weeks. These were the moments that kept me going when it got hard. I am convinced that when we simply choose to be happy, we can be, no matter the situation. God sends us plenty of things to laugh and smile about, we just have to choose to recognize them, and do it! 
I know my Savior lives! I am grateful for a wonderful, loving Father in Heaven who sent me to my amazing family and the best mom in the world. 
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. I don't know how you do it, but I am sure grateful that you do. Find something to laugh about this week! 

Love, 
Sister Burchett

Sacramento - Week 66

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).

COUNTDOWN: 38 DAYS


“Folsom and a Frenzy”
April 28, 2014

Hello one and all!
On to my week. Peppermint Patty and Marcie were baptized!!!!!! AND I got to go back to Folsom for the baptism. Let it be written in the chronicles of time that Mr. and Mrs. John Deere are the best people in the whole wide world for driving me all the way to Folsom from Manteca. I've prayed some serious blessings their way. It was amazing to be there with my girls on their special day. They have been waiting so long. The transformation in their family since we started working with them in February is nothing short of a miracle. Their grandpa, who was performing the baptism, came up to me and said, "Are you one of the missionaries that taught my granddaughters?"
I told him I was, and he said, "I've had to get knee replacements I've spent so much time down on them! Thank you."
I was laughing so hard I nearly cried. As usual, I wanted to cry, but I'm a little broken and so I just laugh instead. (Side note on that topic: An older lady in our ward, who is fantastic, told me this week "I used to never be able to cry either. It just means that currently you are truly happy and haven't found your emotions yet. Wait until you have kids and hit 35. You'll find them." Again, I laughed.) There is nothing better than seeing the blessings of the gospel change the life of a family and bring them closer to forever. 
This week in Northland and Ripon was CRAZY. Crazy awesome, but crazy nonetheless. It was a lot of administrative work correlating the two areas, but now that it's all over and everything is merged fairly well administratively, we can focus on ministering instead of administering, which we all know is the best part. We did find another amazing family to teach in Northland. Mrs. Crood is the mom and was found by street contacting. I am a big believer in the power of contacting! So many of our investigators have been found that way. The Croods have 5 kids. They are Catholic, but they really don’t like the Catholic Church. We had an appointment and only Mrs. Crood was able to be there to listen because her husband got called into work, but we had a powerful lesson with her about the Restoration of the gospel. She said that if she knew these things were true she would be baptized. We are going to extend a date this month to her when we meet this week. She was so excited as one of our member missionaries testified about their journey in finding out if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and how they gained their testimony. Oh how we missionaries need members! They really do make all the difference. 
Sorry this letter is a bit short. Much to do and say and very little time, so I'll just share what is most important, and that is my testimony:
I've been thinking about eternal families a lot this week with the Peanuts baptism and some of the dinners we have had with amazing members. Last night we ate with two older couples. The wives were best friends in high school and then the one married the other's brother and they became sisters-in-law.
One of them said, "She is my best friend! Except for my hubby. He's my bestest friend."
How wonderful it is that our relationships can be eternal! We can be with the people we love most FOREVER, and it's all because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that through His restored gospel our families can be together eternally. Though separated in this life, mortality will be but a blink of an eye compared to the forever we will spend in happiness with each other. Those who have left this mortal existence are not far from us. They are very involved in our lives and our praying and working for us because they want us to be with them again. Eternal life is a family affair, and so is the gospel of Jesus Christ! Isn't it just wonderful! 
Have an amazing week! Remember to serve when called upon, love freely, and keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Hopefully it's not "Deck the Halls" because I perpetually have "Fa la la la la la la la la" running through my head. Oh well. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ, right? Even in April. 
Love, 

Sister Burchett

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sacramento - Week 65

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).

COUNTDOWN: 45 DAYS


“Because of Him, I Can Do Double Duty”
April 21, 2014

Hello Everyone!
Well, it's that time again. Transfers! Sister Johnson is leaving to go to La Sierra (YES MY OLD AREA IN CARMICHAEL!) and I am so happy for her! I, meanwhile, am staying in Northland ward, but they are merging Northland and Ripon areas. So, the Assistants called to tell me that I will be put in charge of both areas and take on Sister O'Steen, who has been in Ripon with Sister Roberts, as my new (and final) companion. I am very excited to get a new area and keep my old one, but honestly a little bit intimidated with the task of merging two areas that are a distance apart and need lots of attention. Northland is booming, so she needs lots of love and time to see all of our investigators, and Ripon is in a bit of a lull, so she needs lots of love and time to find new investigators. How will we ever find time to both? I don't know, but God does, so everything will work out. He's good at His job, so that makes up for the fact that I am merely mediocre at mine. 
I hope everyone had a marvelous Easter! Ours was just wonderful. We had 6 investigators at church, and then went to the house we are currently in for lunch. Nothing is better than having a whole crowd of non-members voluntarily come into your house and not be able to leave without offending family! We got to share the Easter message "Because of Him" with them. If you haven't seen it, check it out. The message is for always, not just Easter.
We were able to bear testimony of the risen Savior, and of all that is possible in our lives and after this life because of Him. This morning, the Sister we are staying with told us how perfect it was for her family, and how touched they all told her they were after we had left. IS THE HOLY GHOST AWESOME OR WHAT! I am grateful everyday for the spirit, because He is what teaches and testifies, not me. 
Next, we dropped off dinner for the Dracula’s, one of our investigator families. The dad was in the hospital and the mom had been with him all day. We took them Easter dinner and candy for the kids. Harry Potter, the 10 year old, came to church by himself and he said he hadn't had anything for Easter that morning. Turns out he hadn't had breakfast either. He devoured my pack of "100 Calorie Chips Ahoy Crisps" and a pack of almonds, and was grateful, though irritated that I made him wait until after the sacrament. (flash forwards to parenting. How do they do it!) I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am. There has never been a question of whether or not breakfast will be there in the morning. The mom was so grateful when we stopped by with dinner. She looked exhausted and had the weight of a mom who can't give her children what she wants on her shoulders. I found comfort in knowing that Because of Him, because of our Savior's sacrifice, our burdens can be made light and miracles can happen. He who knows each sparrow is mindful of us, and will take care of us. 
We went to dinner at the Pimpernelle's. Brother Pimpernelle is less active. His wife, Sister Pimpernelle, is the most active person in the world. They are both lovely! They have a massive house out in the middle of nowhere that Sister Pimpernelle has decorated like an African safari, complete with statues of giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, and hippos spread across the lawn. It was way too much fun. Dinner wasn't quite ready when we arrived, so Sister Pimpernelle let me spend some quality time with her white baby grand. *insert me drooling a little bit here* It was gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! Brother Pimpernelle just about died laughing when I played Dixie. What can I say, I know where my heart will always belong. Sister Johnson and I performed this beautiful arrangement of I Believe in Christ set to the music of Ave Maria. Perfect Easter Hymn. We shared the Because of Him message with them and their non-member friend and invited Sister Pimpernelle to bear her testimony. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission as she testified of the Savior's atonement and the difference it had made in her life. The atonement is what has helped her to stay active when it meant going to church by herself every Sunday. She is who she is, and we are who we are, because of Him. 
We had two more less active lessons after dinner. We shared the Because of Him message with them and challenged them to make a list that night of what they have because of Jesus Christ. It's been amazing to hear about their experiences. WE TRULY HAVE AND ARE EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF HIM. 

I am so grateful for my Savior. I'd be toast without Him. I couldn't do anything without Him, although He would probably say that I try too hard to do things without Him. I admit I forget a lot how much I need Him. Too busy being a Martha and not being a Mary, I guess. But every single day I am grateful for what He did for me, for you, for everyone! He is the answer to every problem, the light at the end of every tunnel, and the calm in every storm. When we let Him help us, we become better, are made stronger, and can do all things! 
Have a wonderful week! 
Love, 
Sister Burchett

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sacramento - Week 64

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).

COUNTDOWN: 52 DAYS


“Hillbilly BBQ and a Baptism”
April 14, 2014

Hello one and all! 
Another week has come and gone and seriously just flown by. I don't know where it went! Sister Johnson and I have been so busy, and it is such a blessing. 
We have a baptism coming up this weekend! Mushu is getting baptized on Sunday night. I am so happy for him! His life story is completely ravaged with trials and crazy things any one of which I would think should be enough refiner's fire for one lifetime. He has such a strong testimony of the gospel and is one of the sweetest gentlest people I have ever met. Yesterday, he brought roses from his garden for our whole gospel principles class. I was looking at them on our table this morning and I just could not stop smiling. I love flowers. They always make me think of the scripture about considering the lilies of the field and how the Lord takes care of each one of us. 

We had dinner this week with a less active couple we found, the Dalmations. They asked us where we wanted to go for dinner, and I suggested this little hole in the wall BBQ joint I had seen while we were biking. It was called, "Billie Hill's Hillbilly BBQ". It was a blast! Throughout the course of an evening that was highlighted by ribs and fried snickers pie, we found out that Pongo and Perdita had joined the church in Hawaii. While there, they held Stake callings, were in bishoprics, and he was the high priest group leader. They moved here to California, and decided to just "take a break".
Insert the sound of Sister Burchett's heart breaking!!!!!!!!!!! It is my burning and solemn testimony that we can NEVER take a break from being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Keeping our covenants includes attending and being a full participator in church. I have seen the sad truth that if we are not moving towards the Lord, we are moving away from Him. There is no standing still, no sitting on the fence, and there are no breaks. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is a sacrifice. But IT IS WORTH IT. We can never be complacent in our discipleship. Doing so allows the weeds of doubt and discouragement to grow in our garden of testimony. It causes our seedlings of faith and revelation to wilt so slowly and imperceptibly that one day we will wake up and find ourselves in a drought, and not know how we got there. Satan is way too good at his job for us to ever be satisfied. 
On a lighter note, we finally met Inspector Gadget from behind the big, black door!!!!!! We met him and his family for the first time in person last night and will be returning to teach them this week. Inspector Gadget still insists that he does not and will not believe in God, but he has a good spirit about him and I know the spirit can touch his heart and the heart of his family. 
This week we were asked to participate in a Relief Society Activity and teach a 20 minute presentation on springing into action spiritually. Sister Johnson and I talked about one of my favorite acronyms: CPR.
CPR stands for Church, Prayer, and Reading. These are the things that give our spirit life. It was a neat experience to hear the different testimonies of the sisters on how they are trying to improve themselves in each of these areas. It made me think so much of General Conference. How many speakers testified that these three basic things make all the difference? I know that they do! If we are attending our church meetings, praying, and reading our scriptures, we are building a wall of protection from the adversary and a firm foundation on the Savior. It doesn't mean life will be easy, trial free, and a lovely spring jaunt through meadows of clover, but it does mean that we will know where to turn when we need help. It means we will have a better understanding of how to access the Savior's atonement. 
I know the Savior lives! What a blessing we have to celebrate his glorious resurrection this Easter Sunday. May we never forget his atoning sacrifice for each and every one of us. I pray we will all better use this gift that was bought with the highest price for each of us. Happy Easter, have a wonderful week!
Love, 
Sister Burchett 

Sacramento - Week 63

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).

COUNTDOWN: 59 DAYS


“A Tahitian Stole Our Bread”
April 7, 2014

Howdy Folks! 
First off, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! 21 is....pretty much the same as 20, except now, as my companion reminded me I'm out of "big birthdays" until I turn 30. And then, "You'll be REALLY over the hill." Thanks, Sister Johnson. It was the best birthday ever, mostly because I was so busy I forgot most of the day, just how I like it! And who gets to be so lucky as to have the prophet and apostles speak for her birthday? I truly am so blessed. Let's get to the recap of the week, shall we? 
First off, how amazing was General Conference?!!!! Some girls flip out for Bieber; I scream for Bednar. Some die for Prince Harry; I live for Elder Holland. There are those who swear by Tommy Hilfiger; I'd rather take Thomas Monson. I LOVE THESE CHURCH LEADERS! Every talk in conference was so inspiring and motivating and inspired. My notebook is full, and so is my heart. How blessed we are to have guidance from living prophets today. I especially loved the theme of standing up for what is right. The world is drifting (ok, plummeting, hurtling at violent speeds, and falling off a cliff) at rapid speeds from the doctrines of God, and we can't even hint that we are ok with it. We must stand strong, stand up, and stand for what is right. 

(Did you miss General Conference? Listen/watch it HERE)
We had at least 7 of our investigators at conference, and several more who were supposed to watch it at home who we are still following up with. What a blessing! The most interesting experience I had was with our investigator, Harry Potter. Harry is 10. He REALLY wanted to come to church, even though we explained that this Sunday was different and what conference was. He still wanted to come, and there is no way that I am going to tell someone not to come to church. So, Sister Johnson and I recruited the Primary President and came equipped with every conference activity for kids you can think of. During the second session, I basically entertained Harry. I remember thinking at one point, "Ok, I am so not getting anything out of this, and neither is he. Maybe we should just take the member and go outside and tell Book of Mormon stories. He'd get more out of that."
But then, Harry said, "What's a temple?"
Caught off guard I said, "What?"
Articulate, I know.
He said, "That apostle was talking about temples. What's a temple?"
So we talked about temples.
Later he asked, "So, can I be baptized? Where do you do it? Why?"
Even when his attention span was long gone and with 15 minutes left in the session he asked, "How much longer?" It was followed by, "Can I see where we get baptized now, or do I have to wait until Tuesday when I come to scouts?"
Reflecting on the whole experience, I can see the lesson that Heavenly Father was teaching me. He's good about that. He was teaching me that even the youngest children can benefit from General Conference and church in general. On my mission I have met many mothers who have gone less active because, "My kids aren't getting anything out of it, and I'm not either because I am dealing with them. We'll come back when they are older and can sit still."
Even though I spent my time listening to Harry Potter and not to what the speakers were saying, I still felt the spirit. I received revelation for myself and my investigators. I received answers for Harry, and He received answers too. It only strengthened my resolve that my children and I will ALWAYS go to church, no matter how hard it may seem. It made me think of an article a few Ensigns ago entitled, "On Sundays, we go to church". If we put forth the effort to be present, the Lord will bless us with His presence too. 
This week I taught my first lesson to a door. Don't worry. There was someone on the other side of the door. I'm old, not senile. You see, on the other side of this big black door is a 15 year old named Inspector Gadget. His mom is a referral we have been trying to contact, but each time we go, Inspector Gadget yells that she isn't there and he's not allowed to open the door when his parents aren't home.
Yesterday, I decided I was through walking away from that silly black door. So when Inspector Gadget said, "She's not here. Come back later."
I said, "That's ok. I was hoping we could talk with you instead."
Inspector Gadget said, "I'm not opening the door."
I said, "That's ok. How was your week?"
Sister Johnson and I concluded that he was so startled, he actually responded, because he didn't know what else to do. We kept talking. We found out that he doesn't know if he believes in God. In fact he said, "I don't believe in anything."
He said he's never needed God. He's always just taken care of things on his own, and after telling us how not interested he was I asked, "Inspector Gadget, if we come back and teach your Mom, will you at least sit down and listen to what we have to say?"
Silence from the big black door.
After about 30 seconds, Sister Johnson said, "Inspector Gadget, are you there?"
From the big black door came, "Yes....I don't know....maybe. I'm really not that interested, but maybe...." T
hen, we told him that even if he felt like he didn't need God now, we knew that he had a loving Father in Heaven who would be there for him when he did. We said goodbye and left a note for his Mom. She texted us last night. We're going over this week. I can't wait to meet the boy behind the big black door!
Explanation of email title this week: Last P-day we left our bread in the Spanish sisters' car. They were going to give it back to us on Thursday at our meeting, but had to leave early. They thought we would catch a ride with the other sisters, so left our bread on their car. We, however, were getting a ride with a member to an appointment.
So, the other sisters came out to their car and thought mana had fallen from heaven. They in turn gave our bread to Elders Smith and Mahaa. Through some detective work we pieced together this story, concluded the bread was lost, and laughed. Later that week, we got a miracle call from Elders Smith and Mahaa (from Tahiti). We listened to an ecstatic Elder Smith tell how he was asked to perform his first baptism. Then from the background we here Elder Mahaa say, "Hey, Northland! I have your bread! It's a miracle! I didn't eat it!"
After laughing hysterically we texted them to say they could keep it. They responded "This day just keep getting better!!!!!!!!!!!" And thus, a Tahitian inadvertently stole our bread. 
Other memorable moments from this week: A dog peed on me. That was a first. Luckily it was raining so I just let nature wash it away. A man stopped us on the street to say, "My grandpa wears your underpants! He goes on temple grounds and everything!"
I said, "Awesome, would you like to as well?!" He declined, but we gave him a pass along card. A Portuguese farrier told me I had beautiful eyes, and I got to talk cows with some owners of a dairy farm. In case you were wondering, the family owns two thousand head of Holstein. I told them when it comes to dairy cows, I'm partial to Jerseys. They too, accepted a pass along card. Isn't missionary work the best?! 
I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us. He loves us enough that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for us. I know that through Jesus Christ all our imperfections can become perfect and all our losses can be made up. I know we have living prophets and apostles today. God lives and He speaks. Isn't it a miracle! 
Have a wonderful week!
Love, 

Sister Burchett