26 December 2011

26 December 2011 - Christmas in South Africa

Did you know Jingle Bells has 2 verses? I didn't.

Me with Grandma and Grandpa Westover's gifts. Thank you!
Because of circumstances in the area, Saturday we were to be back in the flat by 6, and Christmas day, besides a lunch appointment and calling home, we also had nothing to do. I am not used to so much free time. It will be the same thing again this weekend, New Years Eve and Day. Apparently "everyone and their stepmother and their second cousin" go to the beach here in Port Alfred on New Years Eve. This town is a holiday town and starting about a week ago it just exploded. Lots of people from Joburg or other places have vacation homes in Port Alfred that they spend December in. And then even more come to just spend time at the beach or visit their grandparents.
Um, I used up everything I was going to tell you when I called home. More events that are planned is that we are going to cut the grass at the Police Station in the Nemato location. The Station Commander was very happy to hear that I could also teach some of the officers to use a computer. No one uses petrol (gasoline) push mowers here. They either use electric mowers or more often than not petrol grass cutters.

More confusing word switches:
SMS = text message
Boot = trunk
Biscuit = cookie
chips = french fries
braai = barbeque grill
robots = traffic lights
cooldrink = soda
panel beaters = mechanics
garage = gas station
bakkie = pickup truck
flat/boarding? = apartment
The list goes on...

Until next week, have a happy New Years! We'll just be sitting around in our flat.

Helaman 14: 2, 3, 5, 8
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.

19 December 2011

19 December 2011 - A Week Before Christmas

Hello family and Merry Christmas everyone!

Us, the Robinsons, and the Zone Leaders at Elder Bagenzi's
farewell lunch at Italian restaurant Guido's
I think I'll take Dad's advice and leave what happened this past week for when I call my family. Should be fun, and you'll have something to look forward to on Christmas!

But in summary this week was another exchange with Elder Bangerter. Sunday was also very interesting. SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) has produced a short documentary about the Church and it was broadcast on Sunday morning at 9. Unfortunately that's when church starts. What we ended up doing was watching that in the church building at 9, then having Sacrament Meeting at 10.

After that we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. The documentary was very informative, especially to a couple that was visiting for the first time that Sunday, the Moore's. And then of course the Christmas Devotional was inspiring. I had never heard of the book The Mansion before but now I want to read it.

Well, this was kind of an uneventful week but next week we'll have Christmas to talk about! If you ask questions I have more things to talk about...

"...the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."

12 December 2011

12 December 2011 - Elder Tlathi from Port Alfred

Me and my first and second companions,
Elders Barker (L) and Felshaw (R)
Crazy week!
In East London was a tri-zone conference on Tuesday combined with a Christmas program. It was lots of fun but our car overheated (again) while driving back to the flat we were staying at in East London. This time we discovered the radiator had a crack in it. We were stuck. Long story short it was Thursday night before we got back to Port Alfred, and that's the longest I've ever been away. But it was fun to be able to see the setting apart and farewell of the first Elder to ever come out of Port Alfred.

Elder Tlathi participated in the Christmas program with us and left for the airport on Thursday. He is going to the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. 

Elder Bagenzi from Tanzania (left), who is going home
at the end of this month, and Elder Tlathi from Port Alfred,
South Africa, who is going to his mission the next day.

While there in EL I got the Thanksgiving package my mom sent and I would love to thank her for that.

Here in our area, of the many families we met a couple of weeks ago some are starting to progress. Many know of the truthfulness of our message. Now the hard part is helping them understand what that means. And getting them to come to Church. It seems like as soon as they decide they want to come, Satan works overtime and puts small distractions in their way. The power goes out, my brother took my car, got called in to work, got sick. It's almost certain something will happen. But we still try and try our best. I can tell there's lots of potential in Port Alfred. All it needs is time and consistent effort.

-Elder Tekulve

2 Peter 1: 3-10

3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

05 December 2011

05 December 2011 - Xhosa Culture and the 11th Article of Faith

November is over! Already?!

December is very very big here in South Africa, because it's also in summer. I'm told people generally celebrate Christmas and New Years on the beach.

In response to my mom's e-mail I did get the Halloween package. That's all so far. We have another package probably waiting at the post office for us but currently we are in East London again.

Why are we in East London? A combined tri-Zone Conference and Christmas party. I am very excited to get to see Elder Barker, my first companion again.

I'm sorry I'm taking so few pictures! I was going to take more, then I took an arrow to the knee.

I think I can take this opportunity to talk about what I know about a part of traditional Xhosa culture so far. Just about everyone is Christian but they also believe in a form of ancestor worship. There are traditional ceremonies that sometimes involve slaughtering a cow or goat. Also the brewing of homemade traditional beer is often involved. They pour it on the ground for the ancestors, you see. If someone has a dream about ancestors they go to a sangoma, called in English a witch doctor or traditional healer, and they say what the ancestors want. Usually it's beer and expensive liquor. For example, if some bees make a hive on your door, it means your ancestors need beer. They say the consequences of not performing these traditional rituals can involve angry ancestors causing sickness or even death.

Frankly I don't see how they see Christianity and the traditional things can work together.  But we have the 11th Article of Faith.

Click here to read all 13 Articles of Faith
#11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
Love you all, but I'm out of time!

-Elder Tekulve

Ether 12:27
27. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

28 November 2011

28 November 2011 - A Still, Small Voice

Transfer news!
Nothing is happening!

I'm staying here in Port Alfred with Elder Felshaw for the next 6 weeks. That makes 6 months in my first area! This transfer ends on January 2nd so I am staying here through Christmas. I heard it gets pretty crazy in the Christmas season down here. I also got one package from Mom, but haven't opened it yet! Whatever it is, I'm sure it's great. Thank you!

L to R: Sister and Elder Robinson, me, Elder Felshaw,
Elder and Sister Smith, Elder and Sister LaPray
(who live in Texas near Beaumont),
and Sister and Elder Fower
But now it's the Thanksgiving season. Because Thanksgiving isn't a South African holiday we didn't take time out of our day to celebrate but after the day was over we paid a quick visit to the Robinsons and the many other senior couples that were visiting for Thanksgiving. We had some leftovers and took a picture.

We continue to have much success in finding families. One in particular I have high hopes for is the Marais family. Both the mother and father are police officers, and they are working hard to raise their young daughter to be morally straight in a crooked world. They don't smoke, drink, or swear. The parents can't always go to church because they are busy with work but the daughter always goes to church even if she does so alone. They even sometimes hold family Bible study! This particularly surprised and impressed me.

Others that I have high hopes for are the Doyi family, of whom the father is a police officer, and the Matika family (father also a police officer). When we were teaching the Matika family there was some kind of church meeting in the next door house's garage. You could hear the singing and clapping, and when a man started shouting and crying into a microphone it struck me how poetically appropriate the situation was. The world will shout and yell, but the voice of God is a still, small voice. In one house I-don't-know-what was being preached through a microphone, in the other the truth was being taught and expounded in a quiet living room.

I am very glad I can have this experience. It truly is unique and challenging. But because it is challenging, it is strengthening. If a balloon never stretches, it will remain small forever.

-Elder Tekulve

PS- I check e-mail at 2 or 3 Monday morning from your point of view, so get them in before then if you want me to reply that week.

21 November 2011

21 November 2011 - East London - Christmas Party

Did I mention how fast time is going along? Probably about a million times.

President Robinson, Me, Elder Felshaw,
and President Wood at the Christmas party
First off I'd like to make a correction. In one of my earlier e-mails I said ubuntu is a Xhosa word. This is incorrect, it is actually a Zulu word.

Right now I'm in East London again for a zone P-day activity. We went on a tour of the Mercedes-Benz factory here in EL! Is is the best automobile manufacturing factory in the world in 2010 and from 2009 to today it is the best in Africa, Europe, or America. So it's pretty famous I guess. Sorry, but cameras weren't allowed. Unfortunately, there was a bug in the system and all automation stopped shortly before we started the tour. So we toured a mostly abandoned factory, and almost all of the robots and conveyors were still. Nevertheless, there were one or two arms still doing their job and even that was extremely impressive. I'm sure you've all seen these factories and robot arms and assembly lines on TV and such but seeing them in person is very different. I hope to come back sometime.
Elders Felshaw and Tekulve
in the Port Alfred Marina
Last Saturday was the Branch Christmas party. In November?! Yes, pretty much everyone leaves during December to visit family so we hold the Christmas party now. It was pretty standard. There was games for the kids (seeing about 15 African children fall over trying to do a three-legged race was hilarious), a braai (barbeque), and a Primary program. The Mission President Mark Wood was there visiting for the weekend.

There's a member named Brother Hola here, he's pretty funny. There are pigs and chickens in his yard. One day Elder Felshaw asked "where did you get all these piglets Brother Hola?" he replied in all seriousness, "from my pig." Later: "Who takes care of all these little chickens Brother Hola?","their mother does."

Reading this here it seems like all I do is go to parties and tour factories, but I assure you I work very hard 7 days a week. :)

Good luck with whatever it is you're doing!

-Elder Tekulve

Numbers 27: 18 - 23

18) And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;
19) And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
20) And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
21) And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
22) And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
23) And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
5th Article of Faith
also note the sustaining before the congregation

5) We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

14 November 2011

14 November 2011 - Grahamstown

Left to right: Elder Felshaw from Seattle, Washington;
Elder Bagenzi from Tanzania; Elder Tekulve from Humble, Texas;
Elder Bangerter from Pocatello, Idaho.
Is November half over already? Scary...

I'm just going to go over my notes and write things as they appear in order.
A funny story from Elder Felshaw: a member in one of the wards he served in was at a funeral. The "man of honor" wasn't a member but all the guests and his friends were. The preacher was doing his preacher thing and he said "Raise your hand if you want to be saved!" No one raised their hand. He looked confused for a second then just continued.

On Tuesday our car broke down. A radiator hose was spitting water on the engine. We were able to get it to a mechanic but it was too dangerous to drive after that. They didn't have a replacement hose that day but would the next day. So in the meantime we just walked around our neighborhood and introduced ourselves to our neighbors. We got the whole spectrum of responses. One that was and is still very promising is an instructor at the local air school who lives right across the street from us.

Chevy Spark dashboard.
It was like we were driving around in an X-wing
On Wednesday we still didn't have a car because they still didn't have a replacement hose. Luckily they lent us a courtesy car, a tiny Chevy Spark. Despite its name it is not an electric car.

On Saturday Elders Bagenzi, Bangerter, Felshaw, and I went to Grahamstown. Elders Bagenzi and Bangerter are our Zone Leaders in the East London Zone (a city in South Africa, not London, England). It is the first time I've been there in Grahamstown. We had a half-zone meeting that was very instructive then went to lunch. At the restaurant one thing they served was ostrich steak. I would have gotten one, but they were all out of ostrich...

My p-day is Monday. We have to drop off our washing either at a laundromat or at one of the members houses, pick up post, do e-mailing, go shopping for the week, stop at an ATM, wash the car, and clean the flat. And that's just a normal p-day. Sometimes we have more to do. All in all we have very very little time for play unlike Elder Cline.

I hope you're all having lots of fun,

-Elder Tekulve

"No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

-Joseph Smith,  (History of the Church, 4:540)

07 November 2011

07 November 2011 - Teaching Full Families, Police Officers

Port Alfred Township, South Africa
Good Afternoon! Or whatever time it is where you are.

I'm sorry to say it but it was another same-old week. Vivian had to attend a family funeral so his baptism is now the 12th.

A lot of the people we're teaching are full families, somewhat rare here. In fact, 4 or 5 of them have police officers for one or both parents. It is Elder Felshaw's observation that police officers make very faithful strong members.


They aren't interested, but we did find a family that had been visited by Elders in the 1970s. Actually I am very interested to hear from Judd what South Africa was like around about 1994.
That's a worm. A really big worm.
I was afraid it would be able to bite me

I forgot to tell you last week but I did get Dad's package. Thanks for the tissues, they're a bit expensive here. And boxed bacon was interesting as well...I always love hearing what's happening at home, especially pictures. So keep on e-mailing, even if mine aren't too interesting!

-Elder Tekulve

PS- Sorry about any typos in this message; there is no spell check on this computer.

John 18:28
28. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

The Judgement Hall is part of the house of Pilate, a Gentile. As the Passover was near, leaven or bread containing leaven in any home made it ceremonially unclean. Even entering such would make a Jew unfit to eat the Passover. The Pharisees and Sanhedrin were eager to crucify their God after an illegal trial, but were afraid to go near any leaven and thus break the law.

Sunset in Port Alfred, South Africa

01 November 2011

31 October 2011 - Halloween - Conference - Tim Tam

Of course, they don't have Halloween in Africa. I'll sure be missing watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The second half of General Conference was yesterday. I was surprised the only talk Elder Holland gave was in the Priesthood session. Usually he talks a lot. But it was great nonetheless. A lot of it seemed to be focused on investigators or those who are not members of our church. I liked Elder Bennett, Elder Cornish, Elder Callister, and of course President Monson's addresses.  The first convert baptism in Port Alfred since April will be this Saturday the 5th. Remember Vivian? He is already inviting his friends to church.  I think that's it... I need to take more notes during the week. On a parting note: Tim Tams are a chocolate-covered biscuit (cookie) from Australia. They can only be found in a certain import store in East London and they are amazing. Amazing.

Boesmansriviermond, South Africa
-Elder Tekulve

Me and my dad on the day I was baptized

Our friend the spider is....
about as long as my index finger

Tim Tam!

Doctrine and Covenants 101: 16

16) Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine ahands; be still and know that I am God.

24 October 2011

24 October 2011 - Exactly Where I Need To Be

What happened this week? Almost nothing worth writing home about. I don't even have any pictures.

Things are going along very well with Elder Felshaw. We work together well.

On Wednesday there was Zone Conference. In the various lessons and training I came to realize that the Lord knows me and is mindful of my situation. I have been put exactly where I need to be, both for my own growth and for the uplifting of others. A mission truly is an unparalleled growing and learning experience.

I am glad to hear someone else in my ward is on a mission now as well. Say hello to Holly for me.
Elder Barker and the Clan



Helaman 13: 25 - 29
Describes our day perfectly.

25 And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.
26 Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.
27 But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth—and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet.
28 Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him.
29 O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?

17 October 2011

17 October 2011 - Transfer News, Gambit, Conference Part 2

Transfer news!

Elders Fenshaw, Tekulve and Robinson
I'm still in Port Alfred. Elder Barker is leaving and going to the Mdantsane 1st Ward. Mdantsane is a "township" of millions near East London. From Mdantsane 3rd Ward, my new companion is Elder Felshaw from Seattle, Washington. He has been out for 13 months. I have to introduce him to the area and it's hard being the one to remember and schedule everything. 

DLAs - Impala Herd

On Monday after e-mailing the Robinsons took us to a small game reserve outside of town. In the course of an hour and a half we saw mostly Impala and other related DLAs (deer-like animals), but also some zebra, wildebeests, and a peacock. The highlight of the trip was Gambit, the friendly giraffe.

Gambit the Friendly Giraffe
Unlike the other giraffes he is not shy at all. In fact, the driver was telling us about a group who camped out there the other day and had to put a fence around the camp to keep Gambit from bothering them all night. In addition, no matter how good aloe is for your skin, never let anyone convince you to eat it. The pictures from the game drive are of Gambit, a herd of impala, and a view of the Kowie river from the reserve.

 The Kowie River from the Game Reserve
 Yesterday (Sunday the 16th of October) we saw the Saturday session of General Conference. Conference is like Christmas to Elders, even to me. I couldn't say which was my favorite, but I loved all the stories about President Monson or Hinckley or Kimball. President Monson was also his usual amazing self. I think Nik should pay extra attention to Elder Holland's talk at the beginning of the Priesthood session as well as President Monson's at the end (everyone should watch that one!) and Elder Perry's talk on Saturday afternoon. I took 9 A5-size pages of notes just that day and I intend to use them.

-Elder Tekulve

PS- If LadyM is reading this, she can give the address of the blog to the forum.

President Thomas L. Monson

President Spencer W. Kimball

President Gordon B. Hinkley

 Mosiah 14:2 - 6

 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.
 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
 6 All we, like asheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

10 October 2011

10 October 2011 - Investigator Vivian

Another slow week. Not even one picture this week. A few kind of interesting things happened though.  Firstly, one of our members is addicted to eating dirt. Yes, just clumps of regular dirt. She says it's for the iron. I tried some. It tasted like dirt.

There's an investigator that's doing very well. His name is Vivian and he reads the Book of Mormon every day. He is basically a spiritual sponge. When we borrowed him the October 2010 General Conference DVDs he watched 6 hours of it in 24 hours. He has since finished it all and has expressed desire to re watch it. His baptism is tentatively scheduled for next month.

Chapatis Bread wraps (click here for recipe)
I got both the packages from Mom and Grandma and Grandpa. On the same day! Thanks for all the snacks! Also Elder Barker knows the girl who sings track 6 on the EFY 2011 CD.
On Thursday Elder Barker made a Namibian meal called chipatas (probably spelled wrong). It's like sloppy joes in a fried tortilla with green peppers. It was pretty good.

This week will be exciting! In only a few hours Elder Barker and I are going with the senior couple the Robinsons to a nearby game drive. Expect pictures next week. And in case you haven't been keeping track it's transfer week again. This week either Elder Barker is moving, I'm moving, or (not as likely) we're both staying here. We'll know tonight. Exciting!
October 2011 Liahona / Ensign

Let's see, what else... This month's Liahona/Ensign is amazing! It's all about the Book of Mormon. I've just had the time to flip through it so far but that is also exciting!

Tell the Elders in Idaho Falls I said "hi".

-Elder Tekulve

1 John 2:3 - 5

3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

03 October 2011

03 October 2011 - Conference Part 1

LDS Conference Center - Salt Lake City, Utah
Another week!

Honestly not much happened this week. Because of the time difference General Conference airs from 6 to 8 PM, then from 10 PM to midnight, so I didn't get to watch that except for the Elder Holland's first talk in the Priesthood Session which I watched after the fact in a short visit with the Robinsons. Nikolaas take note! The time we'll get to watch the whole Conference is in the church building on Sunday the 16th and then again the next Sunday. We're splitting it over two weeks because it is very difficult for some members here to get to church. It's pretty funny because way back when I would never like to watch Conference, then shortly before I left I kind of enjoyed it, and now I'm like CONFERENCE YEAH! It honestly is very exciting to all the Elders.
Jeffrey R. Holland - LDS Apostle

In church we heard about the new temples. Big news was a temple in Congo, another one in Provo (!), and right here in Durban, South Africa (!!). That's about twice as close as the Johannesburg temple is from here. [See this link for the temple announcements]

Last week I forgot to wish John a happy birthday, and also happy birthday in advance to Dad!

I've started reading a book in the missionary library called Our Search For Happiness by Elder M. Russel Ballard. [available on Amazon.com here ] It's a great book to show to your nonmember friends because it is specifically written to increase people's understanding of our faith. So maybe Joa can read it. :).   I also invite anyone else from the big wide internet reading this to read that book as well. I'm not sure where you will find it, but it's a superb introduction to "Mormonism".

But really Conference is the only interesting thing that happened this week.

Small random fact: You've probably head of Ubuntu. It is actually a Xhosa word meaning 'humanity' and suggests unity.

[File Note: Ubuntu is also a name given to a computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software. It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu ("humanity towards others").  It's free here.]

Some have asked about Christmas gifts. I'm not sure if there's anything in particular that I would like. Of course there's my usual Christmas mainstay of salted roasted peanuts (still in the shell. I eat it all). Hot chocolate mix is something I like that is very expensive here. As I've said before Chex Mix is delicious.  You can surprise me, but stay within the rules. We'll see what happens or if I think of anything between now and then. Remember that it takes 20 days or more for packages to get here, so have it sent by the 1st [of December].

Kenton-On-Sea, South Africa

Only one picture this week. A scenic shot of the nearby town of Kenton-On-Sea.

2 Nephi 26: 6 - 11

6. Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

 7. Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

 8. Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

 9. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

 10. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

 11. For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

26 September 2011

26 September 2011 - Alfonate's Baptism

Alfonate (in colorful sweater
with family), was baptized
Hello family (and everyone else)!

I didn't take many notes this week, so I'll have to roll back the mental clock a bit to remember what happened. A week ago seems like both a long and short time ago. It's weird.

First of all, I saw my first baptism here. Not a convert baptism, an 8-year-old baptism. Especially special was that it was the first baptism I myself have performed. You can really feel the Priesthood power working through you as you say those words. The baptismal font is a circular portable water tank in the backyard of the chapel, which itself is a rented store. Alfonate is extremely short, even for an African child. The top of his head was under my shirt pocket. You can see him and his family in [this] picture, ...the [group] picture was taken right after the baptism. There is one investigator in the crowd, and it's also a good cross section of the Port Alfred Branch. This is about half the active ward. At the far left are the Branch President Robinson and his wife. In front of me in the blue and white shirt is Sam, who is going on a mission to Ghana in December. 2 heads to my right is Brother Canny, who comes fellowshipping with us almost every day. He is very selfless and dedicated. And to his right is my companion Elder Barker.
LDS Branch members in Port Alfred, South Africa
Elder Brennan Tekulve is 2nd from right

Friday we had an interesting experience as well. We knocked on a door and was let in by who we found out to be a priest in the Old Apostolic church. He just let us in to be polite, and we weren't really getting anywhere. Then, Elder Barker saw on the table a printout of 'How Firm a Foundation' and closer inspection revealed the LDS Church logo. It turns out he has and uses about half of our hymnbook at his church. His daughter printed them out from the internet for him. Most he didn't know, so we explained the history behind 'Come, Come Ye Saints' and even sung 'Joseph Smith's First Prayer' for him. By the end he said he would tell everyone he met Elders from the church where those hymns came from, and he said it was an honor to meet us. He mentioned that he wouldn't join our church, but I know that whenever he sings or practices those songs, he'll think of us.

Kids waiting in line at the
Port Alfred Soup Kitchen [file photo]
The Book of Mormon
in Swahili
We are also doing a lot more service lately, like playing the piano and talking at a frail care home and volunteering at the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen.
If you still haven't watched the short movie called "Upon My Holy Day" on the first disc of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History DVD then I highly recommend you do that with your family. It's a great message and explanation of the Sabbath Day.

The Zone Conference. It's small, but I'm behind Sister Wood
 in the red dress. 3 Zones, about a third of the mission, were there.

We continue to meet new and interesting people here in Port Alfred. I continue to experience firsthand the power of prayer and the wonderful guidance of the Holy Ghost. Practically daily we run into just the right situation, or randomly turn to just the right scripture. Truly the Lord is with us.
Port Alfred from nearby Station Hill
Elder Judd Cline, 1993 in
Johannesburg South Africa [file photo]

'Hi' to Elder Judd Cline and thanks for the pictures [taken during his mission in Johanesburg, South Africa]

-Elder Tekulve

 the riveting NICOLAS CAGE: THE MOVIE,

2 Nephi 4: 34-35
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
 35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.