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
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.