Posted by: elderleach | February 7, 2011


Hoe gaan dit, family and friends? Err…ummm, or should I say Molweni! Yes, transfer time has arrived and yes, there are changes. After 4 solid months in the oven (otherwise known as Paarl), I was called by Elder Austin, who is an Assistant to the Mission President and my former mission father (trainer), and told I am to leave Paarl. Interestingly, my companion was informed he had to leave as well. He went to a hardcore (slightly scary ;)) township called Khayelitsha in Cape Town and I have been transfered back to the Eastern Cape where I started, except this time a little further away from Knysna, but closer to Port Elizabeth…20 minutes away to be exact! Yeah I was thinking the same thing: wow, that was a short stay in Cape Town! I didn’t even get to see it much!
I am in an area called Kwa Magxaki (the “x” is a click, remember! It’s the kind of click one makes when calling a horse from the side of your cheek…) and it is 100%, completely, wholly from A-Z…Xhosa township. I have been asked to finish training an Elder here named Elder Nkala from Zimbabwe. I was more than happy to, because I wanted more training experiences. He’s training me, however, because I have to learn how to get around one specific area called Zwide (zwee-day) and it’s the 3rd largest township in South Africa! My mission president pulled me aside before I boarded the plane on Tuesday and he said, “I just want you to know, Elder Leach, this is a VERY different experience. You’ll likely be the only white guy you see for the next several weeks!” Haha
Shoo, I don’t know how I’m gonna learn everyone’s clicky names and clicky streets, but the people are so great here I have very little in the way of concerns. I was just getting used to Afrikaans and now I have to do some last minute Xhosa studies. I know a little bit, but not enough. “Molo” is “Hello!” to one person, “Molweni!” is hello to more than one person. Hlalapansi (sit down), hamba (go!…pronounced am-ba), shoo shoo (hot!), enkosi (thank you)…little things like that 🙂
The weather here? GLORIOUS! Oh my word, a cool ocean breeze, thunderstorms, rain, lightning, constantly changing, but never too hot for too long…ahh! This must be my reward for spending 4 months in he…um, Paarl 😉 Truly though, I was sad to leave Paarl…I had so many mamas and good relationships there, and it’s sad to leave.
The church here is big. I’m in a ward, the Kwa Magxaki Ward is in the Port Elizabeth Stake. Most everyone here speaks English very well, though, and they FEED, FEED, FEED us like crazy! I’ve already had 4 meal appointments since I arrived on Wednesday.
The district here has 6 elders: Elder Rapitse is the district leader and he’s from Lesotho (pronounced Less-oo-too, not Less-oth-o), but he goes home in 5 weeks…he’s an old man in the mission field.
My friends and family, I just want you to know all is well. I’m not looking forward to the potential sheep head/intestines/chicken feed combo deal that the Xhosas love so much, but apparently in the culture if you eat it “you are a man!” Haha oh dear…
Elder Nkala and I are doing well…he’s very quiet and obedient which is quite the change from last transfer. He’s only been in the field 6 weeks, but he knows the area well. We’re going to do great! Let me share a scripture with you:
“And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world…” ~3 Nephi 18:25
I love you all! Wish me luck as I click my way through Kwa Magxaki!

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission



1. The Baptism on: Kenesha and Mailon Macappella (Kenesha is the taller one), and Lindelwa Ngcawe.
2. Lindelwa, Elder Barlow and I. Lindelwa’s parents are on the opposite side (I promise they’re not angry! It’s the sun haha)
3. Me and Elder Barlow with one of our favourite Xhosa families in Paarl. Hlumelo is the boy, Vielwa is his mother and I forgot his sisters name…



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