Posted by: capetownelder | July 11, 2011

A Lesson Learned, A Lesson Still Learning

Well howdy dooh dah day everyone! I bet you’re all REEEALLLY excited to hear about the news this week, huh?
 
…I am still in Cape Town. 😉 Yes, I am still here. Almost every day this week the phone would ring and my heart would skip a few extra beats, only to turn out to be nothing but missionary business from investigators or members. What a brutal wait!
 
On Wednesday morning, when calls about Visas apparently come, I locked myself in the bathroom, knelt down on the cold, hard tile floor and offered up one of the longest, heartfelt prayers I have ever offered. “Please!” I said, nearly out loud. “I’m tired of sleeping on the floor, I’m tired of sharing the bed I DO have with fleas, and I would just like to go to Namibia.” Then, a sentence came out of my mouth that came without warning: “But Thy will be done…”
 
I then felt good. Just really, really good. Unfortunately I mistook that as a confirmation that I would receive the call that day. How exciting! I was even so bold as to thank my Father in Heaven for answering so quickly and hobbled over to my suitcase (which I am still living out of by the way) because my legs had fallen asleep due to the length of my prayer and the small size of the room. “What should I pack first?” I thought. Then I had this odd feeling.
 
“You’re such a spazz,” I thought I heard the Spirit say to me (the Spirit speaks in my language sometimes ;)). “That’s why I’m sometimes afraid of giving you good feelings, because you seem to interpret them the wrong way, causing added disappointment to your already stressed life!”
 
That’s when it occurred to me that I didn’t necessarily ask the Spirit to reveal to me the exact day my Visa would be approved, I just prayed for strength to endure the wait. A tad disappointed, I sat on my bed. I thought to myself, “We ask those whom we teach to pray SPECIFICALLY if the Book of Mormon is true, not to pray asking the Lord if we as missionaries are good people. You must be specific, Elder Leach!”
 
Ok, I thought. I’ll be more specific. I got back up, locked myself in the bathroom again, knelt down on the floor in a more comfortable position and asked, “Lord, wilt thou give me some sort of sign when I will be leaving this place? Will I leave today? Will I leave this week?” To my utter dismay, I felt nothing. Nada. Zip. I then felt constrained from saying anything further. You know what happens to those who ask for signs, Elder Leach I remember thinking.
 
But shortly thereafter, I felt that peace again. Family and friends, you may be getting bored from all the talk of me waiting to go to Namibia and so forth. You may even want to hear more about the investigators we are teaching. But I felt it important to say today that…well, I learned a very profound lesson this week. Actually more than one lesson: 1) Prayers are always answered in the Lord’s way and in the Lord’s time, 2) Heavenly Father loves hugs, and therefore will envelope me in his arms during difficult times, but that doesn’t mean my trial is over!, 3) I must bloom where I am planted. As if my wait here is some sort of torturous event with no real purpose in the end! The Lord has enough foresight to know what’s good for me!
 
Well, that’s it. I will continue to wait. I have felt very close to Heavenly Father lately, and for that I am thankful. It has taken an experience like this to feel the Spirit of God like I never have before and to know how powerful prayer really is. I could talk about prayer and experiences with it all day, but this internet cafe is expensive and I can’t afford the time. But let’s talk after my mission! Then we can discuss the wonderful power invested in a simple, heartfelt prayer from child to parent.
 
I love you all so much! Thanks for your prayers and support. Stay well,

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission
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