Posted by: capetownelder | June 27, 2011

An Increase of Love

G’day family and friends! How grateful I am to have this opportunity to communicate with such wonderful beings of the outside world 😉 Some ask, “Don’t missionaries get a little tired of the daily routine? Surely you miss the days before your missionary service…” The answer to that is, for 18 years of my life I had to grow and learn from experiences that have ultimately made me the missionary I am today. I don’t miss a lot of the worldly aspects of life before my mission, but I find myself thinking about my family a lot. I don’t look at that as a bad thing, though. I intentionally think about them, because they are what constitute who I am today. As I have said over and over again, not being with my family is the only thing keeping this experience from being 100%. I love them with all my heart. I am indebted to them.

In case you are wondering, I and 5 other missionaries have still not entered Namibia. I guess there’s something threatening about my passport picture that is causing them to slow down the approval process (those black rimmed glasses ARE pretty scary!) but the good news is the mission president has flown all waiting missionaries to Cape Town in anticipation for the Visas to arrive this week, most likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. You have no idea how much I am anticipating that! 🙂

Missionary work has been great this week, though because I am constantly thinking about Namibia, it has been a rather slow week. A topic weighing on my mind is that of families, especially since that is Satan’s biggest target in the world today. I can’t imagine feeling an emptiness of love during my childhood or even adult years. I have reflected on the past and have come to the conclusion that my dad really loves my mom. 🙂 I mean, REALLY loves her. Growing up throughout the years I would witness the same scene: my dad comes in the door from work, drops his bags and hollers, “I’M HOME!”. When us kids were younger, we’d scurry to the front door and grab on to his legs and give him kisses, but as we grew older it was more of a, “Good for you, weirdo,” reaction.

So, when no one ran up to meet him at the door, he’d immediately scout out my mom’s location, embrace her, kiss her, tell her how much he loved her and begin a conversation of the day’s activities. The effect of a father’s love for a mother, and a mother’s love for a father, on a little child is enormous. I haven’t appreciated it until now: I can’t remember a day where I doubted if my dad loved my mom. I always knew because he always said so. I never doubted if I was loved because my mom and dad gave us too many hugs and kisses to doubt. Those constant reminders have helped model for me how I must love and treat God’s children around me.

Though my dad may say so, he is not perfect. As close to perfection my mother is, she isn’t perfect either. None of us kids are either, which may come as a big shocker 😉 We had issues just like every family, but what has kept us so close is the emphasis of love in the home. This week I have witnessed, on three separate occasions, wives complaining about their lazy, abusive and unsupportive husbands, rebellious children getting into drugs and gang violence and individuals attempting the unthinkable to get out of these situations. I don’t know why it must always lead to such dramatic conclusions, but almost always it’s because someone isn’t carrying their fair share of the weight, and the gospel is what puts everything in the balance.

I hope we can all learn to love a little more. I will certainly make a concerted effort to tell my mission companion I love him every day as well as share the message of God’s love for these His children in South Africa and Namibia, because many don’t know such divine truth. The Gospel, when dissected and analyzed, will result in one central message: Love. That is the motivation for God’s sending His Son to this wicked world (John 3:16-17) and for sending missionaries out to all corners of the Earth, among many, many other expressions of love He shows each day.

Thank you for your prayers! I love you all,

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission

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Responses

  1. Matt,

    I first started following you when you had your weather blog. Every once in a while I hope on your capetown blog to read how things are going.

    I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the gospel’s primary message. Love!

    Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your soul and mind and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. Its not easy to do but essentially by living this out we ultimately fullfill all of the other commandments. The world would be a much better place if we all understood what it was like to love our neighbor and love unconditionally and forgive.

    I also can relate to the story about your parents. I recently became a dad for the first time. My son is 4 months old and I look forward to coming in the door each day after work and giving both my wife and son a hug and kiss and hearing about their day. The love God showed by sending his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins is the perfect model of love. Also Jesus’ ministry on earth was all about love….Its not always easy to model but its what we should strive to attain in our own lives. Being married and having a family is a huge blessing but it also comes with responsability. I hope my wife and I can model Jesus’s love to our son. That’s my prayer.

    Thanks for the blog post. It was very uplifiting and a good reminder. I’m enjoying summer here in Seattle and hope some day to read weather posts from you again! 🙂


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