Wow, I can’t believe how much more efficient we can be with a car! It is so good. Of course we miss out on some of the people that we would normally come in contact with by the way as we use public transportation and walk, but I feel like the pros certainly outweigh the cons. We feel really spoiled because we have two cars in this area because the zone leaders have one as well, but I saw a need with all the exchanges we do every week up north and so I simply asked. I think that will be a huge part of unlocking more of the work here in Darlington. We are teaching two main people right now, Martin who is about our age, and a middle aged man named Paul. They are both great, we have loved teaching them this week. I don’t know if you have heard about it, but there was a local news channel here that aired a piece this last week called, “Meet the Mormons.” I don’t know if you will be able to find it online at all. Anyway it features one of the Elders here when he was at the MTC and in the early days of his mission. Apparently in the words of our ward mission leader they make missions look like the worst possible thing someone could go through. Which may be true in some respects ha, but in reality it is one of the hardest things you could possibly do, and yet one of the most life changing. Going on a mission changes your own heart in so many ways as you see others around you change for the good. It’s amazing. Anyway this is the topic of the day most recently with our investigators as well as people we talk to in the street. No press is bad press right? Apparently on the program they talk about how we baptize dead bodies…so that has raised some interesting questions. Just more misconcceptions for us to clear up ha.
We have been faithfully sorting through all of the records of formers from the past elders in this area. Some of them go back to 2006! We have followed up on a few and have been seeing some miracles along the way. I called a number of one of them last night. It was this man who is a rugby player. Him and his wife were taught everything. I asked him about his experience with the missionaries in the past and how his life has been going recently. He said that him and his wife were content at the moment. I chatted with him for a little longer. He said it was funny we called because his nephew is leaving for a mission to Colombia next week. I was kind of shocked! Apparently his brother and his wife are members. His brother’s wife started meeting with the missionaries and was touched by the truth, and now their son is going on a mission. Two roads diverged in a wood…
We also had this crazy experience with this former named Elsie. The record said she had diabetes and had lost a leg from because of this. They had taught her for a while. So I called her and as soon as she found out who I was she said she wasn’t interested and hung up abruptly. We were in the middle of planning so I didn’t think much of it and we went on with our work. Pretty soon her number calls our phone. I answer and she says “Oh sorry, wrong number.” She calls again a few minutes later and hangs up as soon as I answer. She calls again, so I silence it. Calls again. I decide to answer one more time. She then starts frantically telling us how she needs to get to the bank in town before it closes. She told us she didn’t have any food in the house so she needed to get money out. She said her daughter said she would come two hours earlier but hadn’t showed up. So what’s a missionary to do? Of course we’ll help you Elsie. So we show up and apparently in between the last time the elders saw here, she had lost another leg and had suffered from a heart attack. She also has bright red hair. So she asks us to push her in her wheelchair to town which is about a 30 minute walk. Her wheel chair is also about a hundred pounds (weight not currency ha). Anyway we help this lady get her money and get a few things at Marks and Spencers and then she asks us to push her to a pub in town to wait for her boyfriend. Most bizarre experience of my mission life: Pushing a legless lady to town. Check.
So besides that we have done a lot ha. We went on exchange with the two sets of sisters up in the Newcastle. We went into trios with the four of them, so that was really fun being able to see how they both work together in both finding and teaching. They are great sisters and they had three baptisms up there this week! One of the sets is Chinese speaking, so it was so fun to be back in a uni area just for the day. I already miss the feel of uni! Darlington just isn’t the same pace. We got to see the angel of the North on our way up there and went across the bridge from Gateshead to Newcastle which was pretty cool. I still can’t get my camera to work at this library, but next week I’ll have pictures to you for sure! I hope. Otherwise everything is great and we are going on exchange with the South shields sisters this week, so I should be able to see the seaside! I am really excited for that!! Hope you all have fun in Tahoe…you should take a cardboard cutout of me to pose in all the pictures. That’s what families usually do right? Love you!
Love, Sister Zurcher