Elder Greengrass (Adam's first companion) sent us this letter:
Dear Mama & Tata Heald
As today is Thanksgiving (for all of you in America at least), I thought it would be nice to write you a letter giving thanks for Elder Heald and also giving you an insight into his mission and his development as a person from my point of view.
Before I do that, I will quickly introduce myself: My name is Mitchell Greengrass. (Elder Greengrass). I was born and raised in the south of England, which is quite cool as I know that Elder Heald’s Dad is from Manchester (Elder Heald likes to do impressions of British accents a lot, but they always sound quite northern, so I can definitely hear the Manchester accent). I am 20 years old. I have now been on a mission for 6 months and Elder Heald is my second companion. He is a wonderful piano player. Back home, I sang classically, so occasionally we are able to play a hymn or 2 together, which is awesome. He has told me that you are all very musical, which is sweet!
The first time that I met Elder Heald, he was wearing his huge ‘Apostle’ glasses. He had a bald head and was acting like the biggest greeny. (If you have ever seen ‘The Best 2 Years’, Elder Heald was Elder Calhoon) But after a few days, I began to understand Elder Heald’s sence of humour and I realized that all of that was a big joke. (Sometimes, he kills me, haha!) He definitely taught me not to judge a book by its cover.
As soon as Elder Heald got to the area (Mdantsane 3rd ward...) he fell in love with it, and the people fell in love with him. His personality and sense of humour helped him to immediately connect with the people that he met. He was and is an incredibly charismatic person which allows him to develop relationships with people fast.
The first few shopping trips were interesting. When Elder Heald told you that he only ate toast, jam and juice, he wasn’t lying. That was literally ALL he ate (apart from dinner appointments). That was ok for the first little while until he started to realize that jam and toast for 2 years would suck. Mam Heald, you will be happy to know that he repented and changed his ways. He now eats a good range of fruit, veg, meat and carbs (like bread, pasta, rice etc). He has hugely cut down on his juice intake and now drinks water (What?! Yea, he really drinks the water, haha). But I am very proud of him for the change that he made to his eating.
Elder Heald also told me that before mission he was awful at waking up. You will be surprised to know that he wakes up pretty much at 6:30 now. So it’s safe to say that a lot of the little things have changed, but in all honesty, Elder Heald was incredibly prepared from the start. He has taught me far more than I could ever teach him. Something that I especially love about him is his thirst for, and retention of knowledge. He is like a walking library. He has inspired me and changed me to be better. He even showed me his insights book, which is apparently an idea from his Dad (I have adopted it myself, so thank you!).
It is always good when we need to share a scripture about something, or a spiritual thought, because I will just turn to him and he is already at the prefect scripture. Elder Heald has also made it his goal to learn Xhosa and speak it fluently. His clicks (c, x, and q) are Perfect! And every day he is learning new words and phrases. I genuinely think that he can do it. He’s a crazy fast learner.
Elder Heald has a wonderfully courageous, obedient, and diligent heart. He is always striving to be better. He really loves the people and they really REALLY love him. He often tells me that he would serve his whole mission in Mdantsane if he could. He is a joy to be around because he loves to joke, but he also works incredibly hard.
Myself and Elder Heald are very different people and we look at the world in very different ways sometimes, but I have learned invaluable things from my time with him and I love him very much. I am grateful to you both for raising such an awesome missionary. He has, does, and will continue to touch the lives of many people, members, missionaries and companions to come and all of this is possible because of your loving and nurturing role as his parents. Thank you.
All of my love,