Posted by: capetownelder | July 11, 2011

Grumpy, Dopey and Sleepy

**This is a letter from last week, July 4th**

Remember that wonderful film called “Groundhog Day” that featured Bill Murray as a weatherman who experiences February 2nd over…and over…and over again? Well, no I am not in Namibia and yes I am still waiting.

Each morning for the past 2 1/2 weeks I have been waking up on the floor with a thin mattress below me and exotic bugs snuggling next to my hairy legs for warmth during this harsh Cape winter (ever since a third elder came to join us a couple weeks ago, I gave him the bed and took the floor. I did it begrudgingly though, so I don’t think it counts as Christlike…). I have proceeded to petition the Lord for my Namibian visa, and each time the answer has been, “wait a little longer”. I will then mumble a bit of Utah-Mormon profanities (ie “dang”, “fetch”, “flip”, “crap”, etc) as I make my way to the bathroom to behold my pitiful state of affairs in the mirror.

“There is something you need to accomplish here, Elder Leach,” I will tell myself. “But what is it?” Good question! But I will not answer it until I get to Namibia, so please…”wait” 🙂

Can you just imagine: three elders going door to door, taking turns delivering a section of the lesson, occasionally tripping on eachother’s toes not knowing who will speak next.

It goes something like this: I would say “So the Book of—oh sorry, were you going to say something?”

“No! No, go ahead,” the other elder would respond.

“No, really, say it,” I will persist.

“No seriously, you can go ahead,”

Something along those lines. We practically have to do rock, paper, scissors to figure out who will speak next. We typically bring another member from the Church along with us, so that will often mean 4 people crowded in a small shack. I just think about eternity and how this will just be a minor blip in the grand scheme of things. I agree with my new mission president, President Wood, when he asked me how my experience has been so far with three elders in one boarding.

“Let me guess,” he said. “Brutal? Mind-numbingly painful? Exhausting?”

“You said it, not me!” I responded. I’m glad he has a good sense of humor about it.

At one point later this week I became so incredibly tired. I could hardly keep my head up. We were in a lesson and I was sitting on a very comfortable couch. As soon as I got warm, my eyelids became heavy. Elder Umeh, the third elder from Nigeria, was teaching and before I knew it, Elder Howard was speaking! “How disjointed,” I thought. “Just a second ago Elder Umeh was speaking!” Then it hit me: I had been sleeping.

What’s worse, I realized I had gotten away with it! So, I nodded my head like I had been listening the whole time, opened my scriptures and bowed my head like I was reading, but really it was an excuse to make them think I was reading, but I was really sleeping. I opened my eyes again and the room was silent. I slowly lifted my head and saw the investigator shuffling scripture pages as if looking for something. “Whew,” I thought. “I wasn’t caught!” But, of course, my conscious got the best of me and I sat up straight to pay attention.

Family, friends, loved ones…this wait is a tough one, but I’m not the only one. 5 other missionaries are here in Cape Town waiting for news. President Wood called for a special fast within the Cape Town region on Saturday night that all missionaries would be able to make it to Namibia soon. I am thankful for that and have faith that I will get there in the Lord’s time.

For now, I must wait! I love you all and hope everything is A-OK back at home. Enjoy summer, because it’s a cold winter here in Cape Town!

Love,

Elder Leach

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