Posted by: capetownelder | September 26, 2011

Putting on the Whole Armor of God

G’day family and friends! Hope all is safe and well wherever you are.
This week was a…well, ok, first of all, I made a vow to my family that I would always give a good report, but also an honest one. So with that being said, it was a great week mixed with a dash of challenges and “fiery darts of the adversary”. These people of Namibia are wonderful, gracious people and I am honored to work with them to help Heavenly Father’s vision of bringing to pass the “immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39) to all of His beloved children.
We’ve been working with a young man…let’s call him Tony…come back to church and find his way after an alcohol problem and related prison sentence. This is not an easy thing for two 20-somethings to do considering all I ever majored in back home was making creative little weather forecasts for the enjoyment of my high school audience. Tony made some great steps forward and came to church for a couple weeks and his non-member brother even showed progression and desire to turn his life around and follow the Savior.
Yesterday, we noticed Tony wasn’t at church. My companion, Elder Chatora, and I went to his home and found his brother, *Philip*, squatting on the ground outside with one hand scratching his head and the other holding his lips. He was looking at the dirt and rocks below, obviously very much troubled with something. I hesitated, as he didn’t see us coming around the back of the home.
“Should we go?” I whispered to Elder Chatora. “He hasn’t noticed us yet…”
“Yeah, let’s do it.” he said.
We walked up to Philip, but he didn’t budge. “Hi, Philip,” I began. He mumbled a “hello”, but never looked up. I could tell his lip was badly cut and bleeding. Before we had time to talk to Philip any more, Tony came stumbling around the corner with bloodshot eyes.
My heart dropped. How devastating it was to see Tony and Philip in the state they were in. Tony asked us why we were at his home and became mildly aggressive and impatient. It was a hopeless feeling, knowing at that time there was little we could actually do. What made it even more painful, the Spirit clearly directed that we leave.
That experienced weighed on my mind for a great portion of the day.  Elder Chatora and many past companions have always counseled me by saying, “Elder, don’t let it show! Don’t let it show that this is bothering you.” Oh! How hard it is to hide deeply personal feelings, choke it back and put on a smiling countenance! What a difficult thing to expect, that such events must be kept in the back of the mind while looking forward with an eye single to God’s glory. Although difficult, I said a prayer in my heart for Tony and Philip and felt a determination to help them, with the guidance of the Spirit, through this difficult patch in their lives.
This scripture came to me throughout the day yesterday. It’s in Ephesians          6: 10-18 and talks about putting on the whole armor of God. Verses 11 and 12 talk about how we’re not here fighting a battle of flesh and blood…we are fighting “the prince of darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places”. As a missionary, I’ve always had that wish…that I could just draw out my sword and smite the evil influences of Satan left and right and have it be the end of temptation and the end of adversity. But then my mind reflects back on the whole purpose of God’s plan: He loves Tony and Philip. He loves them both dearly. Yes, Satan did throw some fiery darts at a moment in which their armor was weak, but wounds can be healed!
I have an unshakable testimony of the power of the Atonement. People can change, hearts can soften and children can turn their hearts to their fathers, even as did the prodigal son, through the sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten Son. It is difficult to witness people suffering from the evils of this world, but through this mission experience I can testify that we are not left alone! We have the armor needed to wage this spiritual war, we just need to put it on. So that is what I will continue to do, and in the process, help others realize how rewarding and how life-saving God’s armor really is.
I love you all! Be strong,
Love,
Elder Leach
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Responses

  1. Thank you for your message today. I missed church yesterday as well, but due to different circumstances, and your letter was just what I needed. Blessing.


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