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.