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, January 20, 2014

Sacramento - Week 51

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 Thus My Brain is Fried…”
January 14, 2014

Hello one and all! 
I'm sorry to say that my email will be short. But I am happy to say that I hope it will be powerful! 

Now, it is short because this week was so long and exhausting that my brain is completely and utterly fried. I can't even remember what I had for lunch today! This is a lesson to me that I need to be better at keeping track of what I want to write home about during the week. I used to be so good at it, but have slacked in my old age. New Year's Goal for Progression? I think yes! 
Today we added a new family of investigators! Mickey and Minnie Mouse are very spiritual people who have been church shopping for quite sometime and haven't found what they are looking for. We taught them about the Restoration and they were very intrigued. They committed to come to church on Sunday, and we are praying that they feel like they are on the right path to finding what they are looking for. I LOVE when people are honestly seeking. It opens their hearts to the spirit and miracles happen. 
I was blessed to be able to lead Primary in singing time on Sunday. Some might not find it a blessing, but I just adore it. Let me tell you why! I look at these Primary children and I see the individuals that are being prepared to fight in these last days. Everyone always talks about a "chosen generation" but they always forget to say what exactly they are chosen for. They are chosen to fight! They are chosen to stand! They are chosen to WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK! They are chosen to prepare a world that is falling ever more quickly into the pits of doom for the return of the Prince of Peace. How awesome and daunting is that?!
I think of the hymn "True to the Faith". It says, "Shall we shrink or shun the fight? NO!" 
It's a unique opportunity as a missionary to teach the primary children how to share the gospel at such a young age, and to bare them my testimony through the songs we sing. The children were learning "He Sent His Son". What a beautiful testimony of the Savior! The song is basically a question and answer session with Heavenly Father. It teaches of the beauty and power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. There is great power in Primary, if we will just take advantage of the simple doctrines taught there. 
One of those simple doctrines is service. I remember a primary song that says, "When we're helping, we're happy, and we sing as we go!" Sunday night I saw this principle in action. You see, the stake made a little goof this month and forgot to make the new building cleaning assignments. So, on Sunday night the building hadn't been cleaned for 3 weeks and there was a funeral the next day. Missionaries to the rescue! An emergency service project was assembled and I found myself in my favorite dress cleaning the church bathrooms and, in the words of Maria to Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music:
Captain: My children have been running around Salzburg wearing nothing but old drapes?!!
Maria: And having a wonderful time!
Sister Ward and I sang (bathrooms have such fun acoustics) and laughed and cleaned while the other missionaries vacuumed and washed windows. It was a great time! When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God. But, God's service to us is the spirit and the joy we feel when we are laboring for our fellow men. When we're helping, we're happy! 
So lend a helping hand, and sing a little song this week. And when you see the Primary kids on Sunday, high five them and say "You ready to go to work?" Have fun and get it done! 


Sister Burchett

Sacramento - Week 50

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).

“We Need Rain!”
January 7, 2014

Howdy folks! 
Well, since we just emailed on Thursday, I don't feel like I have that much to share! I will share a fun bit of LDS History with you that I learned today (and if my facts are scrambled, I freely apologize and admit I did not take notes because I was playing with a puppy so this is pure memory bank going here) and some thoughts I had about all of it. If you aren't in the mood for a history lesson you can skip to the bold print :) 
Sister Ward and I just got back from....Mormon Island! Well, technically from Red Bank because Mormon Island is still underwater, but let me back up and explain. My fantastic "California Family", the Doolittle’s, took us out to Folsom lake. Sister Doolittle and Christopher Robin are living history missionaries. They act as docents and wear period dress and share history about the famous church sites in the area. Basically, they go out and have a lot of fun with history. Ask me if I'm a little bit jealous in the most righteous way? Most definitely. Things like this are a playground for history nerds like me. 
Why, you might ask, were we at a lake, seeing as missionaries aren't allowed on or in the water? Well, the water's all gone! We are in the middle of a terrible, awful, drought here in Northern California. The lake here in Folsom is so dry that the remains of the old settlements are being uncovered as the water recedes. The area was flooded when a dam was built in 1955. A news crew (my people!) did a story on the uncovered settlement and now people from all over are flocking to explore. So, what is Mormon Island? 
For those of you that don't know, the LDS church had a very big part in the settlement of Northern California and in the Gold Rush. The saints were newly settled in Utah, and the prophet Brigham Young told members of the Church in California, many of them who arrived with the Mormon Battalion, to stay and work in California to earn money to help support the members in Salt Lake. Mormons were present when gold was found at Sutter's Mill. We learn the exact date gold was found from their journals! (If anyone just felt the guilty pangs of bad journal keeping, don't worry. You're not alone in that canoe. We'll paddle along together.) 

Mormon Island was a settlement of these Californian Saints. Because of its location where many rivers intersect, gold was everywhere! These men and women were striking it rich! They built a thriving town with stagecoaches running from Sacramento and were prospering when the prophet called them back to Utah. In the words of Sister Doolittle, "They left for something more precious than gold. They left to return to their families."
Mormon Island was taken over by a lot of not-so-Mormon settlers. The settlement itself eventually burnt to the ground. With the receding waters, today we can see the remains of Red Bank which was like a suburb to Mormon Island, the outskirts of town. Downtown Mormon Island is still under about 70ft of water. 
It was so amazing to see the things that people were finding! You could still see some of the old foundations of buildings, roads, and trenches. It was amazing to think about the people who lived and loved there so many years ago. With Christopher Robin dressed in buckskin garbs and Sister Doolittle dressed from bonnet to petticoats, it was so fun to see the people gather around to learn about the past. Brother Doolittle even stopped by for a few minutes and we got to catch up. 

So, I had this surreal moment as I stood there listening, surrounded by so many people that I love. I looked out across the lake, which looks so small compared to what it normally is, out across the hills and the remnants of this community, and I thought about how fragile, precious, and short our lives really are. We are given this one brief moment here on earth. We come here to learn and grow and to take it one day at a time, not knowing what lies ahead. Everything we have ever known can change in an instant. I thought about all those people. As they played and laughed and worked and built homes, I bet they never thought that one day all that would be left of their life would be some stones, a few nails, some broken pieces of porcelain. It puts in perspective what matters most, and how we really need to live in the moment. What is truly precious to us? Is it possessions or people? Is it worth putting off time spent together today until a tomorrow that could never come? 

Every moment, every instant can be made precious, can be made sacred. Through our interactions with the people we love, everyday places can become holy ground. We can't foresee the future. We can only plan for it, and then live in the present. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and faith in Him means faith in His timing. Luckily for us, God is perfect in every way. His timing is perfect, and His plan is unique and personal for each of us. Sometimes, in His infinite wisdom He sends storm cloud our way. We feel like the storm is breaking us down, but really He is building us up into what He wants us to be, what we NEED to be. There's a song that has become one of my favorites called, "Rock and Redeemer" by The Browns and one of the verses says:
I see storm clouds in the distance
I hear thunder on the way
But I don't fear the weather coming 
Cause I know to the master this is just another day 

When I need a shelter
He's my Rock and Redeemer
He's my hope and my healer 
I can run to Him
Let the wind start blowing 
I am safe in His keeping 
He's my Rock and Redeemer 
He's my everything
Isn't it comforting to know that through the storms of life, we have a captain at the helm who knows exactly how to navigate and can say, in His time, "Peace, be still". 

So love living life today and every day! Press forward with faith and learn to love the storm clouds in the distance. When God sends us storm clouds, it's because we need the rain! 


Sister Burchett

Sacramento - Week 49

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).

“Reflections on a Year of Glorious Missionary Life”
January 2, 2014

Well, it's official. Today marks my one year mission birthday. Where did the time go?!
In honor of that tremendous event, this letter will be a brief Christmas recap for those of you I didn't get to Skype with on Christmas day, and then some of my thoughts as I've reflected on all the things I've experienced and learned since I reported to the Missionary Training Center a year ago. 
All in all, Christmas was phenomenal, as was the whole month of December! It was such a blessing to be a part of the season where we celebrate Christ's birth. Being able to stand and testify of Him 24/7 and remind people how blessed we are because of His birth made every day sweet (even when I had the stomach flu and had to stay in bed for a few days, it just meant extra time to read my scriptures and be grateful for all the blessing we did have!) 

I was so blessed to see 2 baptisms in December, both investigators I had committed to dates before being transferred to Folsom. Little Mermaid's baptism was so wonderful! Her story is a miracle. Her mother is less active and has been since she was a teenager. They moved in next door to a young married couple who just happened to be our ward missionaries! They offered to take Little Mermaid to church and through her encouragement and example, her mom and two younger brothers started to come too. After 3 weeks Little Mermaid told her mom, "I want to be baptized! Can the missionaries come over and teach me?”
And we didn't even have to pay her to say it ;) We began teaching her with her mom and her brothers and on December 14th Little Mermaid was baptized. When she came up out of the water, she just squealed and giggled with pure joy! It was beautiful and wonderful and heaven smiled on everyone there. 

The second baptism was also an answer to many prayers. Sister Ward and I were having lunch at Subway, and as we sat down with our sandwiches the cell phone buzzed. I saw a text from one of the Assistants and it said, "Sister Burchett, Hermana Clontz wanted me to let you know that Rapunzel will be baptized tomorrow. Good work!"
It's a good thing we were the only people in the restaurant because I'm 99% certain I screamed. Let me explain this one. It all starts about 2 years ago. The Elders in La Sierra met Rapunzel and began teaching her. Rapunzel is from Nicaragua and moved to the states when she was a teenager. She committed to baptism, but her boyfriend was living with her and so he had to move out before she could be baptized.
The Elders dropped her and said to pick her up in a few months. At the beginning of 2013, the sister missionaries picked Rapunzel up and taught her again, but Rapunzel still wasn't ready and she dropped the sister missionaries. A few months later new sisters picked her up and taught her AGAIN. This time she committed to baptism but backed out about an hour before her baptismal interview. She said her brother told her if she was Mormon, she couldn't be Catholic anymore....And that was where the teaching record ended when Sister Kagie and I went to see Rapunzel again.
We met with her and taught her and she seemed more prepared than ever to be baptized. The boyfriend was ancient history, several things were happening in her family that had softened her heart and she was progressing well. But there was something wrong. Every time we taught her I could feel it and Sister Kagie did too. It was the weirdest feeling because everything was going the way it should and yet we didn't feel like it was. Rapunzel committed to a baptismal date, and yet I still felt like there was something missing. One night, I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed. I couldn't sleep, and so I really was just dilly-dallying trying to get my brain to calm down. I washed my face, brushed my hair....pretty sure I brushed my teeth twice, filed my nails. Finally I just sat on the edge of the bathtub and prayed.
I prayed about Rapunzel like I had so many times before and all of a sudden I knew exactly what she needed! I ran out in the bedroom and jumped on Sister Kagie (who was dead to the world asleep). "RAPUNZEL NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT IN SPANISH!" I'm sure this is what every sister missionary wants to wake up to. Poor Sister Kagie was so confused, so I told her to go back to bed and I would explain in the morning. You see, what the spirit told me was that since she had always been an English investigator, no one had ever thought to have her taught in Spanish, but Spanish was her first language! For her to truly understand what the gospel means, she needed to hear it in her native tongue. 
And so, with great joy that we knew what she needed, but great sadness that we had to pass her off, we turned Rapunzel over to the Spanish Sisters. When we gave them her teaching record, I promised them that if they would teach her, she would be baptized. All I asked was that they please let us know when she was, because we loved her so much. And so, on New Year's Eve, Rapunzel was baptized! Sister Kagie and I didn't get to go to the baptism because of new rules about returning for baptisms, but hopefully we get emailed some pictures soon! 
We capped off the season with a trip to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with a recent convert family in the ward. It was wonderful to be there as a ward family in the House of the Lord. I was handing in my recommend at the front desk when I looked up to see a familiar face! My dear friend, Christopher Robin, was there! We got to chat for a few minutes, and I couldn't help but think about how amazing and great our joy will be when we are all reunited in the next life. Those who are far from us are much closer than we think. They are watching over us and praying for us. They know us and are doing their best to help us be with them again. 
Christmas day was great! We spent the morning at our house opening gifts and just feeling ridiculously blessed. Our member we live with made us breakfast. Then we went to our Ward Mission Leader. Brother Munster's, house to Skype home. We ran to our investigator’s house for a lesson and card games. Then it was off to another family’s for Christmas lunch and a lesson with their non-member friend who is an Egyptian Christian. The lesson was fantastic and we are meeting again on Sunday. He is so excited to learn more! We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and it made me grateful, again. for the birth of our Savior. What a wonderful holiday! 

The Past Year: 
When I think about 2013, I am filled with so many memories and flooded with feelings of love. When I think about the person I was on January 2, 2013 and the person I am today, January 2, 2014, I am amazed at how I can still be so very much myself and yet be so completely different! I feel like God has taken me and helped me enhance all my good traits and chipped away at the bad, all the while teaching me new things and blessing me with glimpses of the person I can be, opening my eyes to sides of myself that I didn't even know were there. 
I am so very aware now of my own wonderful nothingness. I am weak and "prone to wander" and headstrong and prideful and so very human in every way. Then there is our Heavenly Father and our Savior, who are so full of strength, steadiness, meekness, and humility. I have come to such a more profound knowledge of Their goodness and mercy, Their willingness to forgive, Their arms that are ever open to all of us. 

One of the most amazing experiences I've had as a missionary is to be teaching someone about the gospel and know that the person talking isn't me at all, and then to realize that what is coming from my mouth isn't just for them. So many times the message from the Spirit is equally as much for me! Teaching about repentance reminds me of my own sins and imperfections and my own need for the atonement in my life and daily repentance. Teaching about covenants reminds me of the covenants I have made and the duty I have to keep and magnify them. Teaching about eternal marriage reminds me how blessed I am to have a family that has been sealed together, and how much I want that for myself one day. 
Serving the Lord and being welcomed into the lives of so many people has taught me to count my blessings. I HAVE BEEN SO SPOILED! We had an experience with our investigator family. We had a very cold spell a few weeks ago, and they couldn't afford to buy coats for their 4 children who had completely outgrown their old ones. The kids walked to school, and so they just doubled up on jackets. But it was still SO cold. We were over for a lesson and the Mom said to the 6 year old, "Tell the sisters what you go to wake up for last night."
I was cursing my inability to not cry as he told us "A coat!"
They told us the story of how they heard a knock at the door and opened it to find 4 brand new coats waiting for them. They ran upstairs and woke the kids to come down and see. They were so excited that they slept in their coats! As the kids modeled their new winter wear for us, the mom and dad said, "We don't know who it was, but if you find out, tell them thank you for us."
They couldn't even express how grateful they were. They just sat there and looked at their 4 children, wearing coats, with glistening eyes, and my heart was so full I thought it might explode! I have been so blessed. Even in the hardest of times, I have always had a coat. How many things have I taken for granted in my life? SO MANY! How much do I REALLY need? Not a lot at all. Just the gospel, loved ones, food to eat, water drink, something to wear, and a roof over my head. And I don't even need a roof. I know a kid who can make me a teepee! I also thought about service and what a blessing it is to the giver and the receiver. No wonder Christ tells us so many times to be a servant, to serve like He did. 
My mission has taught me that I am so very far from perfection. Aren't we all! The beautiful thing is that we aren't expected to be perfect now. We are expected to try our very best every day, and then wake up and try again tomorrow. In His infinite wisdom, our Heavenly Father has given us the opportunity to fall and get back up again over and over and over. The falling isn't what matters to Him, through the atonement of His Son, He promises to "remember no more" our oopsies, uh ohs, and hiccups. What matters is that we get back up. We are learning how to endure, how to press on, how to be exalted. 
Most importantly, this past year I have learned to love more deeply than I could have ever imagined. I know I've tried to explain before the amazing sensation of meeting someone for the first time and loving them SO deeply almost instantaneously. It is a miracle. Love is a miracle. Love is a gift from our Father in Heaven. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and no matter how hard we work at it, we can never gain it on our own. Charity is given, and so we should plead with our Father in Heaven that we may be filled with that love. I think God wants us to learn to love with everything that our human capacity can, so that we will be prepared to experience God-like love in the eternities. How amazing and incomprehensible must that feel like! 
I am so grateful for this past year. I'm grateful for this new year and the chance I have to be a new person every day. I'm grateful for a lifetime of lessons learned, and people loved. Most of all, I am grateful for my testimony of this gospel. It's true! It's all true! And that's the greatest miracle of all. 
Happy New Year! Make it a great one! Save a soul, even if it's your own. 

Sister Burchett

Sacramento - Week 47/48

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).

December 17, 2013

Hey sorry haven't had time to email today will try and email later this week. We are Skyping at 10 am my time so noon your time ok? love you much!!!!!!

December 25, 2013

We were able to Skype with Sarah. It was nice to actually see her face! She looked good and seems really happy. She was shocked by how everyone had changed. She was most freaked out by James’ “Man Voice” that has slowly been coming in this past year. Grandma was able to come over for a few minutes and speak with her as well.
We are all so grateful for the opportunity to speak with her and express our thanks to the Lord for keeping her safe while she is away from us and to all those who continue to support her in her mission!
Happy Holidays,
The Burchett Family

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sacramento - Week 46

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 Now For an Original Christmas Song or Two”
December 9, 2013

In the tradition of the holidays and because I am myself and come up with quirky things like this, we proudly present "I'll Skype Home for Christmas" (to the tune of I'll Be Home for Christmas):

I'll Skype home for Christmas
You can count on that
Gather the kids, the relatives, the doggies, and the cats, 
Christmas Eve will find me, 
In the Sac-town sun, 
But I'll Skype home for Christmas
And we'll have lots of fun!

I'll Skype home for Christmas
Prepare to see my face
It's like I'm there, except I'm here, in a different place, 
Christmas day will find me, 
In a member's home, 
Don't worry 'bout this Christmas
Cause I won't be alone. 

I'll Skype home for Christmas
Promise me, no tears, 
Just be glad, that I'm a girl, I could be gone 2 years, 
I only miss one Christmas 
Please do not be sad
I'll serve the Lord this Christmas 
This year I wear a badge....

(Refrain) It's a missionary Christmas
The best I'll ever have!

So hopefully that brought a laugh or two or seven and yes, it is the Christmas season, and yes I WILL talk to you soon. I can't believe that Christmas is already upon us, but I am so happy that it is here! I love the Christmas season because of the Spirit of Christmas which is really the Spirit of Christ. All the wonders of the season turn my thought to our Savior, to the remarkable gift that our Heavenly Father has given us of His son. I can't begin to comprehend the love that made the atonement of Jesus Christ possible. You have the love our Heavenly Father, allowing His Only Begotten to suffer in agony and pain and thereby putting Himself, the perfect Father, through sorrow as well. What Father doesn't want to protect and shield their children from hurt?
Surely so did our Heavenly Father, but He , being perfect, had a perfect knowledge of what must occur to satisfy the demands of justice so that He could show the rest of us imperfect children mercy. Then we have the love of our brother, Jesus Christ, who willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice. I can't start to number all the pains, sicknesses, sins, and sorrows in my life that He suffered for me alone. Now multiply that by every person who has ever lived upon the earth. He experienced everything. Not a single person was left out, excluded, forgotten. Every sheep was numbered, known, and loved. 
When I think of Christmas, I also think of the love of Joseph and Mary.
Joseph, who had to have the faith to believe that Mary WAS the mother of the Messiah. Can you imagine the moment when Joseph held the newborn baby Jesus in his arms and realized with all the pressure of a new father that he had been chosen to raise in righteousness the Savior of the World? The moment when He knew that this child was not his own, but Almighty God's, and still was entrusted to his keeping and care?
I think of Mary. She held her Savior in her arms in the form of her firstborn son. She felt all the love of a new mother, and all the awe of child of God who had looked forward to the coming of the promised Messiah, and here He was, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger because there was no room for Him, the King of Kings, in all the inns of Bethlehem.
Mary and Joseph would watch in awe as Jesus grew from infant to boyhood to manhood and grew in the knowledge of His calling as Savior and Redeemer. Mary would watch as He was lifted up on the cross, maybe not fully comprehending that the gut wrenching anguish she was feeling, her son had experienced in the garden. Have you ever thought what thoughts may have crossed the Savior's mind as He looked down from the cross knowing the torment His mother was feeling? Perhaps this is what He reflected on as He said to her, pointing to John, "Woman, behold thy son". He loved her and wanted her to continue to be loved and cared for after He was gone. 

I could go on and on! Think of the love of the shepherds, the wise men, Mary and Martha, Lazarus, the apostles, every disciple, and every person that was healed or witnessed His miracles. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ, and the spirit of Christ is the spirit of love. He commands us "As I have loved you, love one another." 
We witnessed the most beautiful Christmas miracle yesterday. We have been working with a less active man named Ratatouille. For the longest time, nobody could get in to see him. Then, finally, the sister missionaries got him to answer his door. Since then it has been nobody but us who could see him. He always says he feels the love and support and he knows he needs to come back to church, but he never moves forward. We could tell that what he was really lacking was faith that he could return, that the Savior really wanted Him back that he COULD repent and be welcomed home. Yesterday, we had an appointment with Ratatouille, and he agreed to let us bring our High Priest's Group Leader and his wife along with us. We had a marvelous visit, and Ratatouille seemed happier than he had in a long time. We committed him to watch the Christmas Devotional. After the devotional, we received this text message from Ratatouille: 
"I watched the Christmas devotional at 5pm and I was so touched by the Spirit that the tears just keep flowing. Additionally I feel so loved and cared for by you wonderful missionaries. I haven't felt the spirit of the Lord like this for many months, if not years. Thank you for blessing my life. You brought the Spirit of the Lord into my home today. I will be forever grateful for that. I'm just so full of tears. I know the Lord has the power to heal."
When I read that message, my heart was filled with such love and gratitude. Love for Roger and for the Savior and our Heavenly Father. Gratitude for the power of the Spirit and the chance to serve as an instrument. I said a prayer of thanks and hopefully, we'll see Ratatouille at church on Sunday. 
We had another neat miracle yesterday at church. I noticed two college aged girls walk in at the back of the chapel in jeans and t-shirts. I introduced myself and invited them to sit with us. As we talked, I learned that they had an assignment from their anthropology class to visit a church and write about their experience. We got to answer so many questions and convinced them to stay for Sunday School. They loved it and the members were so great and welcoming. They all testified naturally and simply and the spirit was incredibly strong. And so they stayed for Relief Society. At the end of Relief Society, one of them turned to me and said, "I always get really bad anxiety visiting new places and being in crowds, especially in churches. But I don't feel anxious at all here. It just feels nice. I like it."
I testified to her that what she was feeling was the spirit. We got their information to pass on to the YSA Elders. What started as an assignment from a college class turned into an incredible spiritual experience. May the Lord bless that anthropology professor wherever they are! 
We had another little miracle here on Saturday. It snowed. It lasted about 10 minutes and didn't stick, but snow is so rare in Folsom that we still ran outside and relished in it. 
Another miracle was at our Relief Society Christmas party. Sister Ward and I had been out delivering invitations to less actives and part-member families and several of them came! The best moment was when a sister came up to us and said, "Have you met that woman over there?"
When we said no, she said, "Well, she said she found an invitation in her door and so she came. Go introduce yourselves!"
We racked our brains to remember which houses we had left invitations in the doors of. Turns out she was a non-member from a part-member family! She had a great time and now we are going to visit her. 
Our investigator invited us to the women's Christmas party at her church, Lakeside. They are known for being pretty Anti-Mormon so we were a little nervous, but all was well and it was good PR for the missionaries. There is a great article about interfaith involvement in this month's Ensign. Look it up!
We got to give training to the quorum and class presidencies for Young Men and Young Women's on Saturday on Hastening the Work. It went so well and each class and quorum committed to have a baptism next year. That's 6 baptisms, half of our goal for the ward next year. The youth are the best missionaries in the church, and these youth can do it! All my life, I have heard leaders say "You are a chosen generation" but nobody ever says exactly what we were chosen for. Well, youth of Zion, listen up.
We aren't chosen in that we get to sit back and have everybody say how great we are and get to waltz into heaven because we were here when the Savior came.
The beautiful thing is that we can fight this fight with love. We can fight it with the spirit of Christmas - the spirit of Christ! 
I know that Christ lives. I know He loves us. I know His church is here on the earth today. I know He will come again. He came first as a baby in Bethlehem. He will come again in glory and majesty, the resurrected Lord and Savior of mankind. 
Have a wonderful week!

And now I'll send you off with an original rendition of a "Sacramento California Missionary's Silent Night":
Silent Night, 
Holy Night, 
All is calm, 
As we bike, 
In Texas and Idaho the weather is wild, 
But here in Cali it's really quite mild, 
As we bring God's children His peace, 
Bring God's children His peace. 


Sister Burchett

Sacramento - Week 45

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).

“Didn't We Just Do This?”
December 2, 2013

The weirdest thing about having your P-day on Thanksgiving is that 3 days later you have another one on Monday! So this will basically be a recap of Thanksgiving plus a few little miracles we saw in the interim. 
Thanksgiving was great. It started with our ward's Turkey Bowl. The missionaries all came. The Elders played and Sister Ward and I sipped hot chocolate and enjoyed the show. It was hilarious. Closest thing to watching football we will get this season. We had a lot of non-members there too, so we got to mix and mingle and nurse several bloody noses. Nothing like having a gospel conversation while trying to stop someone from bleeding. "Head down like you're praying. Great. Do you pray by the way? You should. God loves to hear from you because He is our loving Heavenly Father...."
We ate a super yummy dinner with one of our members' parents' house and her parents happened to be in the 5th ward so we also ate with Elder Seaman and Elder Hemingway. It was lots of fun and our member's less active sister was there so we got to finally make contact. She never opens the door for us, so that in itself was a Thanksgiving miracle. 
After the Pie Fight
Afterwards we stopped by the Munster's and the Frankenstein's. I have never eaten so much pie. Everywhere we went they fed us pie. I was exploding! And then I realized that this is just the beginning of a season in which I will be fed way too much pie. And so I put on my loose fitting clothes and soldier on. 
Elder Seaman and I, who do you think won the fight?
Returning from the pie tangent, we went to the Frankenstein's and Sister Frankenstein's parents were there and in town. It was so fun to talk with them. They kept thanking us for teaching their family and for everything we've done and I just kept telling them "It's not us." It really has nothing to do with us. Everything has to do with the Lord and His work. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ NEVER forget about us. They are always mindful of us, but they won't force us to do what's right. They guide us and give us every opportunity to return to the right path. When we are ready to make that choice, they are waiting with open arms to receive us. Sister Ward and I are lucky and blessed enough to be used as an instrument to help them return. It's so not about us, but I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father lets us be a part of it. 
Since Thanksgiving was an all day P-day, we met at the church that evening to play sports. During a spirited game of "Zombies", I accidentally opened a door on my companion's toe....it might be broken. In my defense, she was barefoot and accident prone. It wasn't her best plan. Luckily we are good enough friends that she didn't take it personally....we've had lots of fun making up stories for how it happened….

"We were tracting and they tried to shut the door on us!"
"We were biking and a coyote attacked us!"
"Sister Ward got really angry at me one evening and tried to kick me in the head. She forgot how hard headed I am and....." 

The evening ended with a slightly unplanned pie fight. Everyone was covered in pumpkin pie, and after such an amazing day off, we were ready to go back to work!
Saturday was a day of miracles. Several of the part member families we have been trying to see let us in! And we set up return appointments! It was amazing! It really is the season of miracles. We are in the midst of planning an epic caroling blitz. We are working with ward members to carol to their less active and non-member neighbors. We have a bag of goodies with a joy to the world pass along card and an invite to all the upcoming Christmas activities. Who can resist treats and Christmas carols?! No one! We foresee great success. I just love Christmas. 
Sunday we got to visit the Young Women and the High Priests to talk about missionary work. One of the High Priests said something that really stuck out to me. He said, "Sometimes I read the Book of Mormon and I think, how could they be so dense?! It's all written out for them and the prophet was telling them exactly what to do and they didn't do it! I don't want to look back at this time in my life and think, 'why was I so dense?!'" It's so true! We really don't want to look back on this life and kick ourselves, do we? We want to look back and see that we did everything we were asked to do to the best of our ability. President Monson keeps saying, "Now is the time!" Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now! Now is the time to participate in the great work of salvation for God's children. 
Have a wonderful week! Remember the reason for the season! 
Sister Burchett