24 June 2013

24 June 2013 - Coming Home on Friday, But I'm Not Done Yet

Elder Brennan A. Tekulve and the Mbaki family in South Africa,
on his last week of his mission
Good Morning Family!

This is actually the last e-mail I'll send from Africa. Wow! It still hasn't hit me that I'm almost home. It may not until I land in Houston. My previous life seems to be just a dream now.

Mission has been a blessing to me and I'm sure you'll hear all about it next Sunday. I  have mixed feelings of course... kind of like when I left. Did you know that the day I get home - 28 June - is two years later to the day than the day I left home?

I can't tell you anything about the previous week; it was all a blur to me. I'm sure these next four days will be similar. I'm not done yet though!

I have an appointment with a progressing investigator family tonight and several more appointments tomorrow. I don't know how I'm going to fit in enough time to pack, actually. Wednesday I will spend at the Mission Home. Thursday I may drive through Cape Town with some of the other Elders going home, waiting for my flight out at 8 PM. After a 10 or so hour flight to London there will be a 4 hour layover then another 11 or so hour flight to Houston. I'll have a lot of time to think and ponder about things.
See you in a few days! (I have been wanting to say that for a long time.)

-Elder Tekulve

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

17 June 2013 - Francis Family, Devil's Peak, Elder Bricknell coming

Hello family!
Me next to the marker for Devil's Peak

Unfortunately I am almost out of time for tonight, so I have to hurry. This week was very good. The highlight was visiting with a new family. I know them mostly by their first names but I think it's the Francis family. They are so excited to hear about the restored gospel. The father has quit drinking and is trying to quit smoking before we even met them, so he's on the way already.

Today most of our Zone climbed Devil's Peak so now I can say I've climbed "the big 3:" Lion's Head, Table Mountain, and Devil's Peak. It was a pretty difficult climb and the walk down was no picnic either. I'm pretty sure I can feel blisters right now. These shoes are so beaten up.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference with Elder Bricknell of the area seventy presiding. It should be exciting. He and his wife gave a talk to us at the MTC, nearly two years ago. And then it's my last full week in the field!! Are you as surprised as I am? It's not even real yet to me. I only have one more P-day. It gives me shivers.

Love you and I will talk to you in a week, then in 4 days!!!

-Elder Tekulve

10 June 2013 - Assistant to the President, Lion's Head Climb, Burger King

Me on Lion's Head with a part of Cape Town in the background
Hello family,
Quite a lot happened this week. As I said last week for 1 and a half days Elder Morris and I were temporary APs. We introduced 4 new Elders to the South Africa Cape Town Mission. Later in the week we did baptism interviews for a number of people in Fish Hoek and Meadowridge areas. That was a very spiritual experience, especially in the case of one sister I interviewed who had been meeting with the missionaries for 20 years now and was finally joining her husband in the Church.

Earlier today we climbed Lion's Head, a small mountain nearby Cape Town. It was from this landmark that the first missionaries in South Africa dedicated Africa for the preaching of the Gospel in the 1800s. The last part of the climb was literally almost a vertical climb up rocks and narrow footholds. It was very tiring. Then we went to the first Burger King in Africa that opened last month. It tasted exactly like I remember it.

The first Burger King in Africa

This week is a new week. 2 exchanges are planned. Last week just flew by and I imagine these next 2 will also. Take care. Show faith.
-Elder Tekulve

03 June 2013

03 June 2013 - Hail to the acting Assistants to the President

The size of the hail

Elder Morris and hail in Athlone
I only have a short time today again unfortunately due to complicated things about stats. Firstly it was a very cold, very wet weekend last 3 days and on some places it hailed! (That usually doesn't happen this far south.) See the 2 pictures attached. I also have only 3 more p-days after this! Holy cow. I'm sorry but it was an uneventful week as far as I can remember now.

Tomorrow though we get to be "acting" Assistant's to the President. There are 4 missionaries coming into Cape Town waiting for visas to clear. The APs are in East London so Elder Morris and I will be in Cape Town doing all of the orientation stuff for them. Yay.


-Elder Tekulve

27 May 2013 - Marvin, Brother Clifford, Making a Difference

Hello family,
This week we have visited with some great people. The first was Marvin, who we met 3 weeks ago and gave a copy of the Book of Mormon. We met him Wednesday and he had read all of 1st Nephi and understood it very well! We talked for 2 hours answering questions and discussing mostly how he can know the Book of Mormon is true. He is sincerely and diligently looking for the truth.

Another is Brother Clifford who has a strong desire to come back to church, but has some fears. We helped him to replace fear with faith and I am also very excited fro him. He is a very good man and has a desire to continue on not only to church but to the Temple. It is in teaching people like this that is why I love mission. You can't make this kind of difference in people's lives anywhere else.

Basically now I have one month left. I know it will pass by so fast (just like the last 23 months did). I am trying to make the best of it that I can!
-Elder Tekulve

20 May 2013

20 May 2013 - 4 New Investigators, Panchos' Mexican Restaurant

Hello everybody!

This week went by soo slowly. It was wild. But good things happened. We found 4 new investigators. 2 of them are from Zimbabwe and were so excited to hear about the Restoration. They were eager to read The Book of Mormon and accept a baptismal commitment without hesitation. I look forward to teaching them. The other 2 are a young family.

Elders in Fish Hoek dining at Panchos' Mexican Restaurant

Saturday we went to a place called Panchos', a Mexican restaurant. It was easily the best Mexican food I've had in South Africa. It is hard to find Mexican food here by the way. I had a great big burrito. It was square, though. And filled with nothing but beef with sauce and cheese on top.

I am thinking about what kinds of things I can get each of you as souvenirs. I already have decided and bought a lot of it, but I can't think of what Nik or Noah would like. Any suggestions? Maybe a lion's tooth key chain?
Well, have a great one. I really enjoyed talking with everyone on Skype and I will see you in June!

-Elder Tekulve

13 May 2013 - Transfers, Splits, Fish Hoek

(r-l) Elder Tekulve, his companion and two young men in the branch

Hello family,

It was really wonderful talking with you yesterday. I look forward to talking to you next in person!

Most of what went on this week I told you already. Also I don't have much time today. This week is transfers (my last before the END) but I don't know if I'm going or staying yet. I'm probably staying. On Wednesday we went on splits with some Young Men and it was great. We took a picture.

On Friday was another exchanges and I was in good old Fish Hoek again with Elder Burton from Wales. Last Monday I rolled my ankle a bit but it's mostly better now.

Well, gotta go. I love you and I know the Church is true!

-Elder Tekulve
Fish Hoek, South Africa

09 May 2013

06 May 2013 - Settlers of Catan, Teaching Lettie, Nik's Birthday

The Settlers of Catan game, a rare missionary treasure
This week sure went by fast. I think I've already told you about Zone Leader Council. Not much has happened since then, really. I went on exchanges with Elder Cranston from Australia and had a great time teaching and tracting. We taught Lettie last night which we haven't done in about two months because she's so busy. She is a very smart person and I really enjoy our discussions. We plan to go ice skating later today. That should be interesting... and also HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIKOLAAS! If you thought 19 was old... try 22. I'm 22?! When did that happen?
Mother's Day is this Sunday and it kind of snuck up on me so I don't know exactly what time I will be calling you on Skype. Just be logged on on Sunday morning and you'll see me.
Not much else to say. Talk to you (Mom and Dad and John and family) on Sunday.
-Elder Tekulve