Posted by: capetownelder | January 16, 2012

Case of the “Runny Tummy”

Well hello everyone! Though I can’t see or speak to any of you, I have felt particularly close to you this week as I was hooked up to an IV and a hospital bed being fed the classic yogurt and tapioca pudding! Apparently the word spread like wild fire, so I might as well confirm the fact that I was indeed in the hospital from Monday evening up until Thursday evening with a horrible stomach flu-like bug that knocked the socks off of me.

I first got quite ill Friday evening and experienced something Africans call “runny tummy” which is a very polite, less aggressive term for “diarrhea”. Now, there’s really a LOT of detail I COULD go into concerning this whole runny tummy deal, but suffice it to say when it was all said and done by the end of this week the number of times I got acquainted with the bathroom nearly reached the triple digits. That’s a lot of bathroom newspaper reading time! But, because missionaries can’t read newspapers I just used it for toilet paper.

I was pricked, prodded, stabbed and jabbed with an assortment of needles and other instruments to asses my unusual series of bowel movements and stomach pains. They put me on a variety of antibiotics and other “who know’s what” pills that, in the end, weren’t making a difference. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that I felt particularly helpless and low. I could hardly walk (aside from the fact I carried around that gigantic metal IV coat rack thing every 10 minutes to the toilet and it seemed to have the infinite capacity to run over my toes) and I didn’t feel like eating a thing. Well, I couldn’t even if I wanted to! It’d just come back up. The last full meal I had was on Friday, so I was pushing 1 week with no real food.

I received a call from my marvelous mission president, President Wood, and not only did he call to check up to see how I was doing, but he called to tell me he sent out a mass text message to the whole mission (121 elders) asking that they pray for my recovery. He said, “I did that because I felt it would stimulate your faith.” Within 24 hours of sending that text message, I was discharged from the hospital and although still weak and a tad cranky, I was healed from some terrible unknown bug; even to this day the doctors have no idea what it was that affected me so badly.

But now let me thank YOU for your prayers and faith, for truly that is what I know healed me when everything else wouldn’t work. The Lord watches over his missionaries and is mindful of their needs and the needs of their families. Thank you for your continued support and I can’t wait to see you all and thank you personally. Now I gotta get back to work! The people are waiting 🙂

With much love and appreciation,
Elder Matt Leach



  1. Thank goodness you are better Bob! You scared us all.

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