Posted by: elderleach | November 15, 2010

Elder Leach is a Father!

Well that’ll raise some eyebrows for sure 😉 Some missionaries on their missions will be termed as fathers, while every missionary is termed as a son. I was a son to my father (trainer) Elder Aaron Austin who, by the way, was called to be an Assistant to the President a few days ago as part of transfer news. I must say, to have been able to witness my first missionary companion see so much success within the past 6 months has been something pretty fun to behold.
 
Being a new, trained missionary from the months of June to August 2010 was difficult, but very rewarding. I had 2 trainers: Elder Austin from Utah and Elder Randriamalala from Madagascar. Fast forwarding a few months later and realizing a lot of missionaries would be flooding into the mission, I wondered what would happen next. Last week was transfer week and we can get news on Monday, Tuesday night or Wednesday morning as to what responsibilities we will have, who our new companions will be and/or where our new area to serve will be.
 
Elder Parry and I returned to the flat at 9:30 PM Tuesday night, knowing the phone could ring at any second now. The clock ticked and still no phone call. I went to bed even more worried, but still excited for what the future would have in store. I woke up at 6:30 the next morning, but I distinctly remember the birds weren’t chirping because they were as nervous as I was to find out the news. Butterflies swirled around my stomach that whole night and I realized the best thing to do was to take a shower, iron my clothes, etc, but with each passing minute I waited for the call…phone in hand!
 
8:00 personal studies came and went, as well as 9:00 companion studies. By 10:00, STILL no news. My hands got all sweaty, and my throat lost all moisture. 10:15 came and still no call. 10:20? Nothing. 10:25, I told Elder Parry, “Wow…I think we’re staying together another transfer!”
 
At 10:27 the phone rang and the display screen read, “President Probst”…my mission president! I could hardly speak when I answered, but I managed to squeak in a “Hello” and we talked a little bit about the area and if I would like to hear transfer news.
 
“Yes, that would be great,” I responded.
 
“Well, do you want a little more responsibility?” he asked.
 
“Um…sure…”
 
“I’d like to ask you to be a trainer for a brand new missionary stepping off the plane right now.”
 
I paused and took this in. In my mind I said, I’m going to be a father! but I told President, “I would love to!”
 
Turns out, Elder Parry was also asked to train a new missionary in Port Elizabeth, a place about 200 kilometers east of Knysna. My mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts, but I found it hard to take it all in as well. I didn’t know my companion’s name at the time because President still had to interview them, so I began to ask myself, “Will he be American? African? Malagasy? AHHH!”
 
Thursday morning we dropped off Elder Parry and Elder White, the district leader, at the mission home and there I met President Probst. He gave me one of those professional side hugs and then said, “Go in the home and find your son!” I walked towards the front door in grueling anticipation. Who would it be? I went up to an elder, shook his hand and said, “Hello! How are you?” He shyly responded, “Good…”
 
“Good,” I said. “Who’s your companion?” He looked down at my badge then looked up at me.
 
“I think you are,” he said. Aww shucks! Father and son meet for the first time, and he’s the first hand I shook in the mission home. His name is Elder Colton Balmforth from Salt Lake City, Utah (he’s American…yes! hehe, just kidding…but seriously ;)) and is a few inches taller than me, but pretty skinny. He has brown hair and brown eyes and types with two fingers just like me! 🙂
 
We’ve done a lot of tracting, finding and teaching in the past few days and we’re both a little exhausted, but excited nonetheless. I told him, “Elder Balmforth, I’m not the oldest missionary in the field as you know, so have patience with me!” Him, probably being one of the most patient people I’ve met on mission so far responded, “As long as you’re patient with me!”
 
All in all, what an exciting week! I’m still in Paarl and training a new missionary. Shucks, how wonderful. I’m training in 90-100 degree weather, though! It has been so hot and sticky the past few days and we’re dying slowly but surely here 😉 I’m sure I’ll have more to report on in next weeks letter, because I’ve written quite a bit so far. Please pray for my companion and I and we will in turn pray for you 🙂
 
Love,
 
Elder Matthew G. Leach, a Proud Mission Father
South Africa Cape Town Mission
 
P.S. Mosiah 4:15– “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another and serve one another”
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