Posted by: elderleach | July 2, 2010

Selling Cheeseburgers…?

It’s P-day again! Wow, that went by REALLY fast. This has been a pretty good week with some funny/inspiring moments all around. But first I must conduct some business: MOTHER, stop your worrying for heavens sake! You told me to tell you everything that happens on the mission and if you’re going to worry and get concerned over my welfare with the experiences I share, I suppose I may have to edit my letters ūüėČ I have hundreds of angels watching me, mother. Do not worry! I feel your prayers every day.

So yes, it has been a great week, but the latter part of this week I was thrown into a funk. But I’ll talk about that later…
First, wanna hear a funny story?
1. Crazy Lady
After P-day last week we were on our way grocery shopping at this store (similar to Safeway) called “Pick-N-Pay” when I decided I needed to check the balance on my mission card. I let Elder Austin go first, and as I waited, a lady walks up behind us, waiting, then pokes her head forward to read our name badges. When she saw what was written on them, she winced, dramatically twisted her lips and closed her eyes as if she tasted something sour. After asking her what her deal was (in a polite way, of course ;)) she said,
“Yeah, we’re on different bases, you and I…” Then she went off on how we were not preaching God’s word, but rather wasting His time. Nice try, lady. I bore my testimony to her and she¬†gave me that obnoxious sour-tasting look again and repeated, “Yeah, we’re definitely on different bases…”¬†
Annoyed, but still trying to be as Christ-like as possible, I asked, “What religion are you?” She paused for a¬†moment and then told us her branch of Christianity. My eyes¬†opened wide and I blurted out, “What are you talking about?! I have many friends of the denomination and there’s plenty of common ground!”
She once again¬†displayed her lovely Sour Patch Kids facial¬†contortion and responded emphatically with just a hint of¬†complete and total disgust, “But you have that BOOK!” After relating to us that Mormons are evil because her son is dating a Mormon girl and he apparently has the inside scoop on everything that occurs within our church, she then tried her best to convince us our parents forced us to go on our missions and will then force us to go to our “Mormon Schools” that will in turn force a career of the Church’s choosing upon our backs.
After listening to this lady’s obviously clear understanding of what occurs within our church, I decided to not only tell her everything she said was simply not true, but also changed the whole subject altogether. She offended me with her blatant disrespect on the Book of Mormon, so I asked her, “What were those on the other side of the world supposed to do while those on the Eastern Hemisphere were enjoying prophets and Bible writing?” She responded with no hesitation,
“The Holy Spirit brought them the word, that’s how!” Seeing this conversation was going nowhere in a hurry, I said to her, “Well, I don’t put a limit on how much of God’s word God can give His children.” She paused and said,
“There is no way you can change the evil in so many people’s hearts with just one Book…” She then walked past me and used the ATM…cutting in front of me.
Hmmm…well, I did what I could! And I was impressed with how patient I was with her ūüėČ
2. Selling Cheeseburgers Behind the Metal Gate
We decided to go knocking the next day to see if we could find a few people interested in what we have to share. 1 in about every 1,000 houses will typically let us if we proselyte in white areas, but we thought we’d give it a shot. We walked to a gated home and saw an older black man at the garage door (which was quite a distance from the gate at the end of the driveway). Elder Austin shouted, “Is anyone home?” The black man shook his head and, in a very thick Xhosa accent, said the owners were coming back from George, which is a town 50 km away.
We said “OK…well, have a nice day!” and walked away. With each step I felt more and more uneasy about not at least leaving a pamphlet for the guy in the driveway. We were almost to the car when I said, “Let’s go back and give that guy a pamphlet at least…” So we walked back and as we did, a large SUV drove by, passed us and then turned into the gated driveway! Of course, the SUV waited for the gate to open and then it went through. As the gate sat there open, my mind raced, “Ooh! I could just walk up to them now! There’s no metal gate between us!”
…then it started to close. I panicked, seriously thinking about darting past it and running up to the care…but felt that could be considered trespassing. Elder Austin and I waited until the gate closed and the people in the SUV emerged from their vehicle. Out came a very large, older man and a petite older woman. They looked at us and we waved to them from behind the gate.
They just continued to stare.
I exclaimed, “Hi! We’re missionaries from—” and then a lady from behind us on the street interupts and asks us for bread because she’s starving. I looked at her briefly, shook my head, and turned back to the older couple standing several feet away, bewildered¬†(I feel bad to this day for shaking my head at her!). I continued shouting through the gigantic gate, “Umm…we’re missionaries from the Church…” and then a huge flock of crow-like birds passes overhead, squaking their miniscule heads off. The old man put his hand up to his ear in a cupping shape to hear better while I proceed to shout utter nonsense amidst a persistent starving woman behind me and a diabolical gang of crows shouting at the top of their lungs above me. Eventually, the crows died down and the woman went to go beg somewhere else.
The first thing the old man says from his car is, “You’re selling cheeseburgers?”
I wanted to pound my head into the gate, but instead I said, in a much weaker and more exasperated tone, “I just wanted to give you something to read…” and I put my hand through the metal bars holding a pamphlet. He paused, then shook his head and said, “No thanks, you’re wasting your time,” and then walked away.
Disappointed, we walked back to the car thinking about all the ways the advesary tried to distract us from doing our work, then I felt bad for thinking that starving woman was doing work for the advesary and I repented ūüėČ Afterwards, though, we laughed about how noisy and distracting that approach was! Ahhh…I love missionary work! ūüėČ
I became a little discouraged towards the latter part of the week. No real reason in particular, I just felt very…down. I fasted and prayed all day yesterday, a full 24 hours. And boy did that clear up and dark clouds I might have had over my head. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so spiritually strong as I did yesterday when I fasted for a specific purpose and prayed with real intent. I know my testimony on fasting and prayer has grown!
All in all, family and friends, I am doing splendid here. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor and I know he loves his missionaries who proclaim glad tidings of great joy concerning the Restoration of the Gospel, a bringing back of lost truths to the Earth again. I love Him, I love His Son Jesus Christ, I love this work, I love these people, I love this country (believe it or not! ;)), I love the Book of Mormon (to death!), I love everything about the Gospel. I want everyone to feel what I feel and know what I know!
The fleas have died down and my health is superb. Stop worrying for me, mama, but please continue to pray for me. I need a lot of support. I have a long ways to go!
Ok family (and friends too!) here’s my weekly comittment to you: Invite the missionaries over for a brief visit/message. Missionaries love meeting new people and visiting with members…I’m understanding that much more so as a missionary myself than before! Please take them in and give them a few moments this week.
Also, read from the scriptures and pray every night. Report back! ūüėČ
I love you all dearly,

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission



  1. Awesome!

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