Posted by: elderleach | September 5, 2011

In the Attitude of Gratitude

Hello everyone! Hope all is well back at home. If I’m not mistaken, school either has started or is about to start! Crazy to think summer vacation is over and everyone is back studying and doing their various things in their various classes. Missionaries hardly get a holiday, let alone a 3 month-long one in the summer, but because missionary work is so fun, it seems like one celestial holiday after another!

This week has been busy, getting all the elders ready for transfers and what not. I am staying in Cape Town until further notice and I’m fine with that, though I’d like a little normality…understandably so. I haven’t had a normal companionship or official proselyting area since early June!

I have learned a very important lesson this week: being a missionary “in the attitude of gratitude”. During my studies in the middle of this week, I came across this scripture in Deuteronomy (long story as to how I got to this specific chapter and verses!) that seemed to pop out at me. I’ve inserted a few words in brackets to fit my situation and make it more personal for me:

Deuteronomy 8:2-5:

2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these [three months] in [South Africa], to ahumble thee, and to bprove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

 3 And he ahumbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with [cow lung, kidney and other township delicacies], which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that cman doth not live by [scary township food] only, but by every eword that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

 4 aThy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these [three months](Actually, my foot DID swell due to my infection, so I haven’t figured out where this verse applies quite yet…)

 5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man achasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.

 6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to awalk in his ways, and to fear him.

 7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a agood bland, a land of brooks of water, of cfountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;

 8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of aoil olive, and honey;

 9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig abrass.

 10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

 11 Beware that thou aforget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his bjudgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day.

I just thought it was interesting how wonderfully this applied to my situation! The Lord indeed has brought me “into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills…” It has been a blessing to receive such an extended stay in South Africa.

I then came across this verse in the Doctrine and Covenants section 112:

10 Be thou ahumble; and the Lord thy God shall blead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

 11 I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy alove be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name.

How often do we feel ungrateful with our current situation that we make our love partial. We sometimes make a selection of who receives our love the most. For instance, back in June it was easy for me to feel like I had more love for the people of Namibia than South Africa because that was the land I was told I was going to serve. My love became partial. Instead, I’ve had to learn that my love must “abound unto ALL men, and unto ALL who love [the Lord’s] name.”

These wonderful people in Cape Town are so religious and so willing to follow Christ. I feel it a pleasure to serve them and I await with anticipation what adventures and new people I will meet in the future. This is truly the Lord’s work and I feel immensely blessed.

I love you all…with an equal, not partial, love. 🙂

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission

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