Posted by: elderleach | August 29, 2011

Knocking Doors and Having a Laughing Fit!‏

Well hello again! It’s transfer week this week and so far no news. It’s supposed to come later tonight or tomorrow, but I can pretty much bet I’m staying here in Cape Town. But who knows! Cape Town is such a lovely (but oh so difficult!) place to work. I wouldn’t mind to spend a little more time around here 🙂 I’d like to share an experience with you that may not be the most spiritually enlightening, but certainly the most destressing activity that occurred this week.
As many of you know, I am a happy soul. Or, at least I try to be. I have my moments as everyone does, but I try to stay optimistic and cheerful about life. Well, this week we’ve done a lot of door knocking, or tracting…my least favorite missionary activity, especially in rich upper class areas, but like the scripture says, “Knock and it shall be opened unto you”! I’ve been stressed at times, feeling the weight of many things on my shoulders, as most missionaries do at times during this service.
On this particular day, I was in a good mood…I think this was Thursday or Saturday…not sure, but whatever day it was, I just seemed to laugh at everything! I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I was so darn exhausted and tired from the actvities of the week that I was literally going looney because of it! You know how that is. You hit a certain point of exhaustion where the jokes you tell or the things you laugh at are really less than amusing, but to you it’s the funniest thing in the world!
Well, we went up to this door in a posh part of town and I knocked. The three of us missionaries kind of fought over who would stand closest to the door and then it opened, revealing a Xhosa momma! Oh, I was so excited. “Molo, mama!” I blurted out. She smiled and said “molo” or hello, back. We introduced ourselves and she said, “Oh yes, I have seen you guys before. You tried to teach me.”
“Well, we’re back!” I blurted out again. Elder Venetsanakos snorts a few blips of laughter and Elder Tshikare just stares at me. Later they said, “What kind of door approach is that?” Haha. She smiled again and we talked a little more about our message.
“Let me go grab a pamphlet from the car,” Elder Venetsanakos said at the end of our introduction, and he jogged a few steps back to the car.
“Is he your pastor?” she asked. Elder Tshikare and I smiled and he said,
“No, we’re all missionaries. He’s one of us. May we ask, why did you think he was our pastor?”
“Well,” she started. “He’s just so tall and looks so old!”
And that, my friends, is what set both Elder Tshikare and I off on a laughing fit at this woman’s doorstep. The more we laughed, though, she laughed! By the time Elder Venetsanakos got to the door, she was literally bending over with laughter and I was leaning on Elder Tshikare nearly crying because of how hard I was laughing.
“What in the world is going on?” he asked with a bewildered look on his face. “I leave for 30 seconds and you’re all practically on the floor laughing!”
We straighetend ourselves out and gave this woman a pamphlet. You should’ve seen her face! “I’d like to see you 3 again,” this mama said. And after a goodbye we made our way back to the car. “Sorry guys,” I said. “I really apologize for having a laughing fit on a potential investigator’s doorstep…I am so tired!”
We all chuckled to ourselves again, shook our heads and said, “Well, at least we got a return appointment!”
Now, I am not sharing this experience to make light of the Lord’s work. In fact, I don’t plan to be rolling on the floor with laughter at someone’s doorstep anytime soon, but after that experience the stress was gone and I felt more energy than I had before. These past weeks I haven’t laughed enough. This lady wasn’t as inviting at first, but it seemed we all needed a nice laugh to freshen things up.
I just love this work. What a wonderful opportunity it is to be the Lord’s representative here in His Vineyard. I have studied Jacob 5 lately and it has become such a personal chapter in the Book of Mormon for me. I know Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you and is so invested in your lives. While I work on this side of the world, don’t cease to spread the Gospel to all those whom you meet that are crying out for help. Meet with the missionaries where you are, listen to what they have to say, and act on the invitations they share. It comes from God!
Love you all!

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission

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