Monday, April 12, 2010

What is Londonderry?

I was recently talking to a friend of mine from France, kind of like a digital-age pen pal if you will, and the topic of my position in Relief Society came up. I explained roughly what Relief Society is, and what the ward was, and... well... the more I thought about it, the more I realized the uniqueness of my situation.

There are home wards, there are college wards, there are singles wards, and then there's Londonderry. I defy you to find another ward comparable to this one. If the LDS community is a unique and peculiar people in comparison to the world... I would have to say that the Londonderrians are a unique and peculiar people in comparison to the LDS community.

Heck, our ward doesn't even have a number. We're just known as 'Londonderry', on any official transcript or ward listing. My friend Erika and I also agreed on the term 'Island of Misfit Toys' yesterday.

We are not a huge group; I would say that there are at most 100 of us. Many other singles wards around the area number into the holy-crap region, when you start needing two RS presidencies, two EQ presidencies, etc, to make sure no one is forgotten. But despite our size, we've got everything.

There are those who have been there for years, and those who only stay for a few months. There are those who are barely of age to attend, and those who have been around for a while. RM's and preemies, engaged and anti-dating, tall and short, lifelong members and converts, Utes/Cougars/Aggies/indifferents, albino and Asian and Latino. I think we are yet in need of a black person? But those aren't all that common in Utah, so give us a break.

Each person has something that they bring to the group that no one else could bring. There is not a single person who has come - or will in the future come - who doesn't fit in here. Everything from cooking skills to blatant sarcastic comments, whatever talent you have, is shared there. No matter who you are, friends are to be found.

I moved home and away from my Logan college ward after spring semester of 2008. From there, I was ward hopping constantly. In any given month I'd go to multiple singles wards, my home ward, farewells, and occasionally just not go. Many wards were huge and cliquey - I would sit silently and never be acknowledged. Many wards were meat markets, where the only thing they wanted to know was whether or not I was single and if I would be interested in meeting Peter or Kevin or Joe...

Then my friend Mariesa invited me to her ward. I haven't tried any other place since.

Instantly, I was home. Within a few weeks, I had almost a second family. We did the most random of things... many of which were even of my own inspiration. Like Watermelon Carving.

It has been a year now since I have joined that ward. We've gone on vacations and trips together, celebrated holidays together, served others on many occasions and tackled each other on even more occasions - and no matter what, whenever tragedies or hard times arise, no one has ever been alone.

The best thing that a ward can possess is not to be found in numbers, or in organization. It's not going to be found in lesson structure or lines of authority. We're a singles ward. We don't have a youth program, we don't have children to work with. We don't have married couples or our own homes. Everyone is on the same page, in the same age group. Even those who move on, be that due to marriage, school, work, or just for a change of scene - you are still always a Londonderrian. We are organized, we are young, we are strong, and we are different.

The best thing to be found in a ward, is found here. We have a place of friends; we all are united, without lasting hard feelings toward one another. No one puts on an act here - anyone can just be themselves. We have a place where I can happily say I have been able to bring friends who might've been alone or struggling. So far, every one of them has found a place here. Everything from lifelong friends to eternal companions have been found here. We all have common goals, and we will leave no man behind. We have an unfailing support group and an open acceptance to everyone. I believe we have something very rare here.

This is what a ward should be. These are contributors to the stripling warriors of our day. Goofy, sarcastic, unique stripling warriors. And this, my friends... this is where I belong.

If you or someone you know lives in Salt Lake County and you need a place to go? You know who to talk to. That crazy girl with the camera.

Peace and blessin's ya'll!


Cheeseboy said...

Wow... maybe I would have considered a singles ward had I known one to be this cool.

As for numbers, I have lived in SL all my life (except mission) and never been in a ward where we even once got close to having to open up the gym. I love it that way. Everyone knows everyone and is so close.

Anyway, I am glad you found a place you belong.

Caitie said...

Love it!! Londonderry ward will always hold a special place in my heart. I love it so much and miss it like crazy! Thanks for posting this Linds :D -Caitie

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Oh, my goodness, I just love all the happy faces in these pictures! So much mugging for the camera! LOVE it!!

Hi! Just wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I really, really appreciate it!! I'm so glad you did, I got to come back here and see your fun pictures!! I'm your newest follower, cheers!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

What a beautiful thing you have found, and great that you recognize that. Awesome friends, and great post for them.

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