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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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sacramento - Week 56

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).



“Sometimes Courage Is…”
February 17, 2014

Hello lovely family! 
Thanks so much for the Valentine's goodies from several of you! They made my day. 
We had an awesome Valentine's Day at Zone Conference. The theme of the conference was "Go Baptize!" Somewhere one of you is thinking, "How original." In the words of Elder Russel M. Nelson, we "Do what missionaries have always done"! 
At conference our zone sang Abide With Me Tis Eventide.


I love this hymn because of the scriptures it is based upon. It tells the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. After hearing the news that Christ's body was no longer in the tomb and that He had risen, two disciples began the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of about 5 miles. As they spoke about Jesus, a man appeared and began to walk with them, asking them what they were talking about. The disciples told the man of Jesus, His teachings, miracle, death, and rumored resurrection. Little did they know, the disciples were speaking to Christ himself. The Savior concealed His identity from them as they walked. When they reached their homes, Christ acted like He would continue walking. The disciples, noting the late hour of the day, asked Him to stay the night and eat with them. He entered the home, and there Christ broke bread for the disciples. It was at that moment that the disciples, more than likely remembering the way He broke bread for them at the last supper, realized who it was that they were with. Here the living Christ sat with them, breaking bread for them as He had before. 
Then the Savior vanished. The two disciples sat astonished and began to try to reconcile what had happened with themselves. One said to the other, "Did not our hearts within us burn as He talked with us by the way?" It wasn't even the manifestation of the Savior himself that touched them, but it was the way their hearts burned within them. It wasn't seeing the Savior in the flesh that sealed their testimony that He had risen. It was the feelings they received from the Holy Ghost. 
It's that same way for us today! Our witness from the Spirit that something is true and good is just as powerful as having a perfect knowledge. The witness from the Spirit is more than enough. We don't need to see our Savior to know that He lives and the He loves us. We only need to feel the Holy Ghost speak to our hearts. We didn't walk with Him while He was here on the earth, but our testimony of Him can be just as strong as the people He taught and healed, because we are all the people He died for. Because He truly is our Savior, each of us has the right and the privilege to feel the Holy Ghost cause our hearts to burn within us. Isn't that just beautiful!
The title of this email is from one of my favorite Thomas S. Monson quotes, "Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'" We were asked to bring something that motivated us to Zone Conference and I took that quote. President Lewis loved it too. I love it because it gives me hope every day. Even the hardest days where I start to feel discouraged or think I am utterly failing at everything I have wanted to accomplish, I can remember that tomorrow is a new day. I have a Savior that loves me and will forgive me for my shortcomings. I can trust Him perfectly, and so I CAN have the courage to wake up in the morning and try again. 
This week we had a lot of ups and downs. Brother and Sister Frankenstein are struggling feeling confident in themselves and their ability to stay active. They are so afraid that they will fail and become less active again. I just want them to realize that they area doing SO well. They just need to take courage! Discouragement means "lack of courage" and it is the tool of the devil to keep us from doing what we need to do. We MUST have courage and try again every single tomorrow. So we keep praying for them and loving them, and I have faith they are going to be just fine. 
Awesome little miracle story to close. Our new investigator Queen Elsa spends every other weekend with her dad so we couldn't meet this weekend. She convinced him to bring her to church though! She could only stay for sacrament meeting, but it was so important for her to be there and it was all she wanted! We had a great follow up lesson with her about prayer. The last time we met, we taught her to pray and committed her to pray this week. We asked how it was going and she said she has been praying everyday and she loves it! She said she woke up late and said a quick prayer that she could make it to school on time, and she made it 30 seconds before the bell. She said, "It was a miracle! Prayer really works!" It was so fun to see her testimony growing. Small and simple things. That's what it's all about. We're hoping to put her on date this week! 
Hope everyone has a great week! Have courage! 
Love, 
Sister Burchett


Sacramento - Week 55

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).



“The Wall”
February 10, 2014

Hello one and all! 
Happy Early Valentine's Day! It's the month of love. I know somewhere someone is rolling their eyes at that statement, but let me defend Valentine's Day for a brief moment in the context of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
The Savior said that the first and greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord thy God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself’ (Matthew 22:37-39). We are commanded to love with perfect love! Are we always perfect at this? I know I'm not. So why not have a holiday that reminds us how important it is to love one another!
Sure. it's been commercialized and stereotyped and made (for some) a mushy-gushy ooey-gooey day of the year, but if we remember the true meaning of Valentine's Day, a time where we remember the perfect love of Christ and our goal to one day love as He does, it can be a beautiful time. So remind those you love how important they are to you, and remember the ultimate gift of love given from our Savior to us....His atonement! 
This week, it poured!
We were so grateful for the rain and it gave us a great opportunity to get creative. We looked like wet cats, and no one really wanted to talk to us, but we did have little miracles and a lot of good laughs! We met a woman named Ella Enchanted who told us that her granddaughter is dying of cancer and asked us to pray for her. We told her we would and explained about the prayer roll at the temple and she asked us to put her name there as well. We testified of Christ and prayed with her and we're going back to see her this week. 
We met another man named Gaston who enlightened us on how we all need to align our spirits and our energy in order to recognize truth. We taught him about the Holy Ghost and how it testifies to our spirits of truth. You really can turn anything into a gospel conversation. We invited him to our ward activity on Saturday night and we hope he comes.
We are having a huge game night and Sister Zenger and I have invited every person we meet. I keep telling everyone, "And if you bring but one non-member to your game night, how great shall be your joy!" We're excited to see who comes! 
We added a miracle new investigator this week. And by we, I actually mean our Mia Maid President, because it was all her! She has been coming out with us to lessons since November and has been seeing how amazing missionary work really is! We got a call from her this week saying that her friend wanted to learn more about the gospel, was coming to church on Sunday, and wanted to have a lesson with us on Saturday. Jaws dropped. We were so proud! And amazed! And grateful! And excited! I testify that sharing the gospel brings us such great joy! 
I was reading about Ammon this week and I have to say he is one of the greatest examples of joy in the scriptures! So many times he talks about how his heart was swollen with joy, so great was his joy, he was overpowered by his joy. At least twice we have recorded instances of Ammon passing out because he was so filled with joy! HOW GREAT JOY THAT MUST BE!!!!!!!!! The Book of Mormon teaches that "Men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). One easy way to joy is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our brothers and sisters. Missionary work is the "easy button" to joy.
Testify of truth = joy!       "That was easy!" 
The title of my email this week is referencing a video that our Bishop shared with us in Ward Council called "The Wall". It's a boy talking about trials and walls in our lives and how Christ overcomes them all. It's amazing! He says, "God makes a mess into a message, a test into a testimony." How true that is! In all things, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the answer. The Savior is THE way, THE truth, THE life. He is the one and only, and He loves us perfectly. I know this is true! 
Have a wonderful week and remember to love and have joy! 

Sister Burchett


Sacramento - Week 54

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).



“Singing in the Rain”
February 3, 2014

Hello!

Please pray for rain and snow in the mountains here in California. We need it! We are in a mega drought and have been fasting and praying for rain, but a few more prayers can't hurt!

We had an awesome week and did see a few rain showers. Of course, the day that Sister Zenger and I decided to bike, it rained! I hadn't ridden my bike in the rain before and it was such an adventure! Sister Zenger and I decided to sing any and all hymns that even remotely had to do with rain. All we could think of was "As the Dew Distills from Heaven" and we didn't even know that one. And so we switched to songs about Sunshine!
It was way too much fun.

Best news of the week....the Frankenstein’s had their baptismal interviews! We had the best lesson with their family where Brother Frankenstein practiced baptizing both the girls. It was amazing to see the whole family get excited and light up. Their 6 year old, was so excited he wanted to practice too! Then, when we had the closing prayer, Brother Frankenstein asked me to say it, but the six year old asked if he could. He said, "Heavenly Father, we're thankful that we could have the missionaries and J over. Please bless that we will be ok, that J will be ok, and that the missionaries will be ok.....and bless that we will all be ok. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was amazing. It was the first time he had prayed. I am so grateful to be a missionary and for this wonderful family who has changed my life. We're having a baptism in 2 weeks and the temple is next! How the gospel of Jesus Christ truly does bless families!

I heard from Mary Poppins a couple of weeks ago (my first convert). She is doing great! Her Husband is the Assistant Scoutmaster and she is a visiting teacher. She sounded so happy! I saw her missionaries at the temple and they said, "Mary Poppins says hi, and they are doing great!" There is nothing better than seeing someone stay strong. She is coming up on her year mark in May so hopefully they will be going to the temple shortly thereafter!

I heard the most touching story in Relief Society yesterday and I wanted to share it with all y'all. A woman in our ward had a son who had a really bad heart problem. By the time he was in his twenties he had had 2 heart transplants. He was married with 2 children. It came time for him to need another transplant, but he decided not to take it. He told his wife that he felt that he would be taking someone else's heart. He had already had 2 and had been lucky enough to meet her and have children, and now he felt like it was someone else's turn. So they just spent time together as a family until he passed away.

I was thinking about that story a lot and about sacrifice and the Savior's sacrifice for us. Christ always says, "Give ye to me". He wants everything. He wants our sins, our struggles, our sorrows, our joys, our families, our lives, and our hearts.

"Give ye to me". He wants to remove the hard things and share in the good things. He wants to be our friend. He sacrificed everything so that He could be! He can be our very best friend if we will turn to Him and let Him be. He asks that we change. He asks that we try to better tomorrow than we were today. He asks that we let yesterday change us for the better and then forget about it and move on. He wants us to be refined! How glorious is that?!!!! We can become something better, all because He sacrificed for us!

So take advantage of the sacrifice. Don't give up! Press forward in faith and remember the price has already been paid.

Love,

Sister Burchett

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sacramento - Week 52/53

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).



“Repent!”
January 28, 2014

Hello everyone!

The title of the email is really for me. I am trying to be better at time management so that when I get on the email I have time to write everyone I need to and still put together an email about my week. 

So, this week went like this:  
Transfers! I am staying in Folsom with Sister Zenger as my companion. She has been out about 7 months and we are just two peas in a pod. We have a bunch of fun together and are working really hard. It feels great! They say the key to missionary work is work. Work, work, work, there is no better substitute. It's true! When we are working diligently we feel our best and do our best. I love being out talking to people and teaching them about this awesome gospel. 
We had an amazing experience with our investigator Maleficent this week. Maleficent has had a lot of questions about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We had a great lesson with her on the importance of priesthood authority. We didn't think she was going to be able to make it to church on Sunday so we told the gospel principles teacher, who is one of our ward missionaries, to just teach whatever she wanted. When we headed to Sunday school, Maleficent showed up! She could only stay for Sunday school hour, but she was happy to be there.
So we get to class and the teacher shares the story of how she decided to just open the gospel principles manual and see where it opened to. It opened to baptism and she didn't want to teach that so she did it again....and it opened to baptism. And so she just ignored it and came up with her own lesson. Then she was in the shower on Sunday morning and was thinking about her lesson and the Spirit said, "Why do you ask my opinion if you don't want to listen?" So she went and kneeled and prayed and then let the manual open again. It opened to baptism. And so she taught on baptism. It was just what Maleficent needed! It was a miracle and a tender mercy. We have a lesson with Maleficent tonight so we will follow up with her then and see how she is feeling. We gave her a good homework assignment so we are excited. 
This week, I've been thinking a lot about repentance. What a miraculous gift we have been given from our Father in Heaven! In His loving kindness He sees us for what we are, mortals who mess up! He knew that, that's why He provided a Savior for us. And even though He knows we are perpetual sinners, making mistakes big and small each and every day, He loves us and knows our potential. He knows what repentance and life experience can make of us up. He knows we can be refined into something glorious, but that means we MUST go through the refiner's fire. 
In the words of Kenneth Cope, "You meet the Lord in the furnace, long time before you meet Him in the sky." In the furnace of affliction, we draw near to our Father in Heaven and our Savior, and They draw near to us. The hardest trials in life can become sacred experiences for us if we will use the gift of repentance and the Savior's atonement. Repentance means we change. We constantly try to be better. The path we walk may be bumpy and long, but it can become hallowed ground through the atonement of Jesus Christ. 
Hope you have a great week!

Love, 
Sister Burchett