Posted by: elderleach | September 21, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round‏

Sorry to keep you waiting. This is Matt’s mom. I thought I posted this last week, but looks like I missed it, so there will be two new posts this week with pic’s!

Hello again, family and friends! Sheesh, this week has gone by fast. Incredibly fast, actually. I am no longer a believer in time. Back home, for me, time was something to be wasted, endured or enjoyed.
 
Here on mission, time is almost never exsistent, unless I am in the middle of teaching a lesson and I have an enormous amount of gas build up and my stomach is screaming at me or I start to doze off as my companion is teaching a lesson (true story! How embarassing… ;)). On the subject of time, however, I reached 100 days in South Africa yesterday (can you believe it?!) and felt pretty accomplished. In my journal, I always put: Day 41…Day 42…Day 43…etc, so that’s how I know I hit 100! My companion was shocked to learn I have been here that long. But I have a long way to go! 😉
 
This week was pretty slow to start, but once the wheels started turning we found monumental success. On Tuesday, we volunteered at a Primary School in township, teaching children ages 5-10 English through songs and games. It was so much fun!
 
There was one particular moment that stood out to me during this teaching process. Back home, I had many teaching opportunities: piano, seminary, broadcasting, elementary schools, junior high schools…and I loved every minute of it. But the hardest teaching experience I have had thus far has been teaching English to children who haven’t previously been taught a single word or phrase.
 
I was given a group of 5 Xhosa children to work with, singing songs such as: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”. This experience was tender, but frustrating at the same time. Their cute faces would display confusion when I asked them to point to their heads and they hesitantly pointed to their knees. I would patiently show them where their head was, but the moment I guided their little hands to their bald heads, tears began to form around their eyes and, in fear or disappointment, hung their heads.
 
Though the learning level was different for every child, by the end of our teaching opportunity with them they all learned the songs and were able to undersand the basics. Some caught on faster than others. Some became very discouraged and even left the room in screams and tears. Some worked through the tears, like this one boy I tended to focus on most in my group. Each time we reviewed the songs or English phrases, I would turn to him and his eyes would be full of tears, just about ready to let loose. But he kept going…he kept trying to learn and he never gave those tears a chance to make it to his cheeks and, eventually, the cold, hard ground.
 
It wasn’t until later this week that I realized how with things pertaining to the Gospel if nothing else, we are just like those children. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is basic, yet trying. Growing up, I tried to study the scriptures, but found it so difficult. There was a period of time when I just didn’t read, period. I don’t know if I truly could’ve said I was happy with that, it was just so much easier NOT to do those things. I think for all of us, if we just rely on the Spirit and the records we have in front of us, being the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon, things will become so much clearer and we can escape the pains of discouragement and fear.
 
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and yet shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11: 28-29)
 
I love you all! By the way, we are preparing for nine wonderful souls to be baptized by October 10th! Exciting times are ahead in Knysna.

Love,

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission
1. Outside of the School. It’s called: “Noluthando School” (“t” and “h” together is just a “t” sound!)
2. This really cool family in township: Shane and Samatha Ruiters (Ray-ters)
3. Their son Sean (pronounced “Seen”) in his…box!
4. The Primary School! Such wonderful kids
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