Posted by: capetownelder | January 2, 2012

Bringing Christmas to Otjomuise

Hello family and friends! Sorry about no e-mail last week…there just wasn’t enough time! But boy did I enjoy my holidays here in Namibia. There’s a wonderful Angolan family we stayed with to have Christmas dinner (a goat I saw get slaughtered, mind you!) and make our phone calls. I called on their Skype and was able to speak to my sisters, my brothers in law and my parents! Alu even came along and got to say hello to my family.

On Christmas Eve we did a couple really fun things. First, my mom sent me a package with lots of little candies and toys to give to the township kids, so Elder McDonald and I along with Elder Khanyile, Elder Zarbock and Alu went around the poorest of poor townships in our area called Otjomuise (I dare you to pronounce that! :)) to pass the items out. Oh my word, this was the Africa I had envisioned. Now, never would an American child appreciate living in a tin shack in 100º weather, but these children are just jubilant as ever with what little they have.

We trekked up and down the dusty hills of Otjomuise searching out little kids who would like a Christmas they may not get otherwise. It was funny how when we’d find one, many would follow since kids usually travel in groups. We handed them whistles, gum, pez dispensers (they were really confused as to what those were!) and other little toys. Even the older kids happily received what little we gave them and the smiles on each mother’s face was priceless. This was truly such an uplifting moment for me.

Later that evening we went to a single woman’s home to cut down a small bush in here yard so we could make her a Christmas tree (yes, we had her permission :)) and you should have seen her face! Elder McDonald and I thought it wrong that someone should not only spend a Christmas alone, but also without a Christmas tree. After stringing the lights, we left to go do some zone caroling with all the elders and the senior couple. This went down as my single most favorite Christmas Eve of all time, and I doubt anything could beat it!

Well, it’s transfer week this week and Elder McDonald’s visa is just about done, so he’ll likely be leaving me and I’ll get either a new companion or spend this next transfer with a branch missionary since no new visas have been approved. Oh, Namibia! The drama continues… 🙂

I love you all! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and will enjoy the new year ahead,

Elder Leach



  1. Reading your letter was a great way to start the New Year! Such a warm hearted Mom you have for thinking of the children where you are and sending delightful treats for them to enjoy. Way to go “Mom”! No wonder you are the open, kind hearted and joyful person you are today because of your Mom’s example. And then there was the singing and tree (hmmm…no photos of your falling into this one!) Glad that you were able to “Skype” with your family at Christmas…such world changing inventions! Wishing you continued Joy in your mission…Happy New Year from Port Orchard.

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