My first half a week in Darlington aka Darlo (which sounds so much more bogan than its actual name) has been lovely. I've had some crazy tender mercies from the Lord. I'll start with Sunday and go backwards because I can't hold it in any long!
The chapel is a two-story gig, a bit like the chapel in Hull. It's smaller though but the members are full of life and we have some characters in this ward indeed. You may hear about them later or see a piccy of one of them. So we had a tea appointment with the Bundy family yesterday arvo. They are a fairly young married couple. Brother Bundy aka Clyde is a Captain in the army so they live on the army base. Turns out he served his mission in Adelaide ...he knows Dad (he remembers him as the District President)...he reckons he went to our house in Nightcliff and he remembers seeing me (I would have been about 11). He knows and had a lot of lovely things to say about Aunty Jill and Uncle Chris. He knows loads of people in Darwin because he served up there and he served in Adelaide. He knows the Grangers and the Rochows and the Smiths etc etc. He then proceeded to bust out his 2 didgeridoos and boomerang and his mission photos. It was SO good to talk to him about Darwin. It was hilarious. We had a good old chat. I got a picture with him and his wife as well. Such a small world!
Also, a guy called Jared Lambe just got back from serving in Melbourne about 4 months ago. Turns out he knew everyone I knew who was serving there at the moment...AND he was also companions with Tom Bennallack at the start AND at the end of his mission. My world got so insignificantly small in a matter of minutes talking to him. CRAZY. We're going to his house to visit him and his family this week too. Shoutout to Tom B man!!!
AND THEN, I found out that my current Zone Leader Elder Mulgrew knows my mate James from Ireland because he's Irish. AND THEN, when I told him Madison (aka Sister Heal) and I stayed at James' house with his family in Ireland when we went to convention, he then said 'I literally live 2 minutes away from his house!' So my world is now the size of a grain of sand ladies and gents. See ya later!
Just kidding - so Darlington is a huge area (the town isn't that big but the area we have as missionaries covers a lot of other smaller towns and villages). One of them is Catterick, a big army base/hub. A lot of Fijians are here for the army. There's a family who come every now and then to church from Fiji, who are in the army. We went to visit them yesterday as well, and then we went by a potential investigator, who was a referral from elders in Scotland, also from Fiji. We're going to convert them all and start a Fijian branch in Darlington!
The ward is great. Supportive. They just had a recent change in Bishop and bishopric. The new bishop just asked us to teach primary from here on until who knows when. The previous bishop is moving to Preston and he has a big family. So we're stepping in to help :)
Ok, so I could go on for days about this place. The main event: THE INSANTIY WORKOUT.
Whoever hasn’t done it, don't ever. Ever. Try. Don't. It KILLS you. Sister Zurcher and I have a very strict exercise/eating regime going. We got the insanity work out from a member who does it in Leeds before we left. So we go to the chapel every 2nd morning and do it. Every other morning it's either yoga or running.I miss that sore feeling I used to get from the gym every day after I trained...but IT'S BACK. AND IT HURTS. I love it!
Alright...I didn't mean what I said about don't ever try it. I was just thinking about how I wanted to throw up this morning during it. Moment of weakness. We're going to be fitter than the army blokes around here soon! Haha…so that's our morning exercise for you all. The insanity work out. It is, indeed, insane. But SO good…even if you want to throw up afterwards…no worries.
Alright y'all, I'm outies. Thank you for the emails, the letters, the prayers, the EVERYTHING. I just love you!