26 March 2012

26 March 2012 - Two Zimbabwean Families, Transfers Coming to George

Hello family,

Firstly, transfer news. I know so far that every other Elder in George is leaving! Except for the Richins, though. I really expected that Elder Farley would be staying but I guess not. So the result is I have to introduce 3 Elders to George instead of 1. I don't yet know who my new companion will be or exactly who the new Elders are.
Buffels Drift
White Rhinoceros, South Africa
I promised to include pictures of the game drive. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries half an hour in! Before my batteries ran out, we saw the elephants (a long way off, no good pictures), the hippos, and some springboks. Afterwards we drove right by a white rhino, some giraffes, plus many more species of antelope such as the waterbuck, nyala, and an elam, which looks like a strange cross between a cow and an antelope. We also saw water buffalo. There were some Germans on the tour as well. Our truck broke down in the middle of the wilderness so it was also about an hour longer than planned. That Thursday I went to Spur (a restaurant similar to maybe Applebees) and had a nice steak for my birthday lunch. Friday President Wood visited for Elder Larrabee's last district meeting. All in all, it was a fun week.

Hippopotamuses, or is it Hippopotami?
I did get Grandma and Grandpa's packages, but not Mom's yet. Thank you for that. I also really enjoy Dad's genealogy charts.

Missionary work wise, a lot of progress is being made. Two Zimbabwean families are doing especially well. Just last night we all got together with another Zimbabwean family of recent converts and watched Finding Faith in Christ. The Spirit was strong as we testified of our message and shared the Doctrine of Christ. Gamuchirai wanted me to come to Zimbabwe to teach her kids!

Elder Chris Waddell
Member of the Seventy

As transfer day rolls around I think the same thing every transfer day. Elder Waddell last General Conference said it well: "[Our Father in Heaven] knows which mission president and companions and which members and investigators we need in order to become the missionary, the husband and father, and the priesthood holder we are capable of becoming." So if I see a potentially difficult situation coming up, I thank the Lord for that opportunity to grow.

Love you,
-Elder Tekulve

19 March 2012

19 March 2012 - Birthday-day, Pap and Fish

Happy Birthday family! (To me.)

The beach in Wilderness, South Africa
To answer your questions: I got a valentines day package about 2 weeks ago, thank you for that. Otherwise I have not received any.

I would like to thank everyone for their birthday wishes. The videos are very nice, even though I don't have sound right now. I would also like to thank Dad for the genealogical charts. I'll try to make something legible out of it! Haha.

Recently we have begun teaching a few families from Zimbabwe. With one of them I had a sit down dinner of pap and fish. We ate the normal Zimbabwean way. There were only 2 plates: one with pap and one with fish and veggies. To eat you just grab a bit of pap, roll it up in a ball, scoop up some fish and veggies and put the whole thing in your mouth. It was an experience. Also, even though I just met her, she gave me a hand painted Zimbabwean tapestry, made by her. It is very nice.

Pap – a porridge made from maize (corn) meal
 – is the staple food of southern Africa.

To Dad: 'Let's go' in Xhosa is 'siya humba'.

For my birthday today (well, we were planning to do it anyway) we will go North to Oudtshoorn to a game park called Buffalo Drift to do a 2 hour safari. The new couple the Richins will be coming with us. The Richins are great, they love the branch and the members already. Here's a cool fact: Sister Richins is President Spencer W. Kimball's granddaughter. On Thursday I will be having a nice birthday lunch with the district.

Well, I'm running out of time again. Next week I will have pictures of the drive and some scenery on the way to Oudtshoorn. It is a very nice drive.

-Elder Tekulve


12 March 2012 - Alma 5: 14-32

Elder Brennan Tekulve's Flat in George, South Africa
Alma 5: 14-32
14) And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
 15) Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
 16) I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
 17) Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
 18) Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
 19) I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?
 20) I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil?
 21) I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved; for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.
 22) And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?
 23) Behold will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness?
 24) Behold, my brethren, do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white?
 25) I say unto you, Nay; except ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning, or suppose that he is a liar from the beginning, ye cannot suppose that such can have place in the kingdom of heaven; but they shall be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil.
 26) And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
 27) Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
 28) Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
 29) Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
 30) And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
 31) Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!
 32) Yea, even wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it!

05 March 2012

05 March 2012 - Port Elizabeth, Humansdorp, Bike Riding, Popcorn

Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Hello everyone on the other side of the world,

This week on What I Learned In Africa: how to cut grass with a shovel!

Last Wednesday was our second trip into Port Elizabeth for Zone Conference. It's a 4-hour drive... I think that's the farthest distance in the mission from the Zone center. No special guests this transfer, but we had lots of good training on how to work with members and on prayer. On the way there we stopped for burgers in a town called Humansdorp. Just thought that was a funny name.
Humansdorp, South Africa

Well, you wanted every little detail so I'll just write down everything that comes to mind.

I had an ingrown toenail in kind of a weird spot (in the back of the toenail instead of in the corner). It got infected, the infection is gone now but it's still ingrown.

I know how to drive manual transmission now.

Our car broke down a week or so ago. The mechanic said the "clutch broke loose and sliced a hole in the gearbox." So I was riding bikes around Thembalethu for a few days. The first day was pretty hard for me, seeing as I haven't ridden a bike in 5 years, excepting our trip to Holland. Thankfully our car was fixed Friday but by the time I was getting used to biking.

The Senior Missionaries here in George, the Smiths, just got their visa to Namibia and left yesterday. They will be sorely missed. The Smith's are from Draper, Utah and came on their mission 1 or 2 months after I arrived. They're doing an 18 month mission so I'll see them when I get home. Elder Smith always has great stories to share, like how he started and ran an insulation business when he was 15. They now own several businesses together and are actually millionaires I think. You wouldn't think so meeting them. Their youngest son nicknamed Paco is currently on a mission in Johannesburg and they share his experiences with us. There is a new couple coming to George later this week. All I know about them is they are the Richins, from California, and they are "talented."
The George District watching paragliders
near the Map of Africa last P-day (Monday).
L to R: Elder Larrabee, Elder Farley,
Sister and Elder Smith, Elder Simpson

Elder Farley's brother-in-law is some kind of special forces sniper. He kills people for a living.

Did I tell you this is Elder Larrabee's last transfer? I'm killing my first companion! ('Dying' is a missionary term for going home. 'Killing' your companion means you are his last companion.) I wonder who my next companion will be...

I can now make popcorn in a pan. It's a lot cheaper.

Things that are expensive here: microwave popcorn, hot chocolate mix, hand sanitizer.
Well, I think that's it for now.

I haven't got any packages yet, but thank you for all the e-mail you send; I love every one.
Good luck in your efforts, you all sound busy.

-Elder Tekulve

Matthew 18:15
15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

27 February - Sister Keffers was baptized, Map of Africa

Good afternoon everyone back in America.

Map of Africa
I'm afraid not much happened this week, but the weather the past couple of weeks has been odd. Even though it's summer it's been pretty cold for a few days when it was cloudy and rainy.

Sister Keffers, the Branch Mission Leaders wife, got baptized last Saturday.

Other than that, sorry not much happened. However, just now we drove up to a semi-famous viewpoint called the "Map of Africa." So called because the Kaaimans River is shaped like the southern shore of Africa.

Well, I wish you all a good week.
-Elder Tekulve

D&C 53:2-3

2) Behold, I, the Lord, who was crucified for the sins of the world, give unto you a commandment that you shall forsake the world.
3) Take upon you mine ordination, even that of an elder, to preach faith and repentance and remission of sins, according to my word, and the reception of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands;