30 July 2012

30 July 2012 - Endure to the End

Hello everybody.

It's the end of another 6 weeks again and I got transfer news last night. Elder Romney is going to Queenstown to be a Zone Leader for his last 12 weeks. I am staying in Fish Hoek and the area is combining from 2 areas to 1. My companions will be Elder Musimwa and Elder Mamaia. Elder Mamaia is going home in 2 weeks, a couple of weeks early, because of visa stuff so after that it will be just 2 missionaries left here in the Deep South.

Remember when I said this would be a busy week? I was wrong. On Wednesday I was with my old companion and current Zone Leader Elder Felshaw in Mowbray on exchanges. It was fun spending the day with him. There are a lot of Muslims in Mowbray and seeing that it's Ramadan it was interesting talking to many of them while tracting.
Missionary work in Fish Hoek is about to change. I'll talk to you next week. Until then, keep on enduring to the end. Mission has been the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and I'm only just half way through. My goal is to endure to the end.

Love, Elder Tekulve
Schindler's Lifts!

24 July 2012

24 July 2012 - Alicia, Alistair and Table Mountain

Elder Tekulve sitting on a ledge on top of Table Mountain.
Cape Town and the bay in the background
Hello Everybody,

Sorry I couldn't e-mail yesterday, there were problems with the internet shop. Luckily, now I can tell you about my trip to Table Mountain yesterday afternoon.

Before that the week was a bit slow, as usual. Currently we are teaching a small variety of about 3 investigators and 2 recent converts several times a week. One of those recent converts is Alicia who was just confirmed last Sunday. Our best progressing investigator is Alistair. His story is very interesting and I will outline it only briefly here: He and his wife housed the missionaries in flats behind their homes twenty years ago, and they grew to know them very well. He was acquainted with Elders and Sister missionaries and several Mission Presidents. At the invitation of one of them he visited Canada and Utah and liked his experience there. He is very knowledgeable of the Church in many different ways and often has many questions. He says that he is now searching harder than ever to know God and Jesus Christ. He is progressing well but is not quite at the stage of baptism yet. He wants to make sure he is completely ready.
Standing looking over the more rocky and mountainous southern
edge of the Mountain. Fish Hoek is not far from there.
Yesterday our Zone, the Cape South Zone, hiked up Table Mountain. The cable cars were closed but we were all going to hike anyway. The way up is about a 500m (1,640ft) vertical climb in a switchback pattern. There are flat stones forming stairs most of the way up. It took me an hour and a half which was about average for missionaries. The fastest was 45 or 50 minutes and the slowest was 2 hours and 10 or so minutes. At the top it is indeed very flat with the occasional boulder. We took a zone picture and then headed down. All in all it was a tough climb and I'm a bit achy today, but it was not as difficult as George Peak. Still, next time I think I'll take the cable car.

This coming week is also looking to be a busy week. Stay tuned.

-Elder Tekulve

16 July 2012

16 July 2012 - My Testimony

July is half over? It's just started!

The Future Elder Brennan Tekulve, age 11
(Photo by Suzanne Rackliffe)
Let's see what went on this week...

On Monday after P-day we visited a member family for dinner and went over how they can help with missionary work. We have been doing this with several members now and it seems to be working because the first family we did that with has invited two of their friends to church yesterday! It also helps that were are going over the chapters about missionary work in Teachings of George Albert Smith. Reading what he has to say there is very inspiring.

July 11 was Elder Romney's 21st birthday. He actually got presents from several members. I haven't heard of that happening before.  Also recently we've been using the movie Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration a lot in our teaching. It's a great movie that really helps people to know what kind of struggles the prophet and the early Church had to go through.

Well, we had planned to hike Table Mountain today, but 2 things went wrong. First, it's raining there and the rocky cliffs get very dangerous when they're wet. Second, our car won't start so we can't leave Fish Hoek.

That's about it for this week. Tell Noah I wish him luck with braces, Nik with luck on his driving, Mariah with her trip, John with his job, and Mom with her internship. You guys are busy.

I also want to say that I'm so glad for how much my testimony has grown in this past year. I've learned how to really apply myself in obedience and dedication. I've learned how to listen to the Spirit and receive answers to prayers. I've learned to love the words of the living apostles and prophets, and also to appreciate ward and stake leaders. I know that there is no surer way to happiness in this life than through obedience to the gospel.

-Elder Tekulve

09 July 2012

09 July 2012 - Zone Training, Castle of Good Hope

"Right this way, please..."
(Yes that really was a torture chamber)

Hello family and everyone else.

This week was a pretty neat week. Last Monday after e-mailing a couple of Elders and I went to the
Castle of Good Hope. It was built in the 1700's sometime... I didn't get much chance to read about its history because we only had about 45 minutes to look around.

On Wednesday was Zone Training, which is a shorter meeting that Zone Conference, but we still learned a lot about finding new investigators and we went over Elder Uchtdorf's talk
'The Merciful Obtain Mercy.'

On Sunday (yesterday) Alicia was baptized, and we had several other investigators there that I am very hopeful for.

Thank you for your e-mails and I will talk to you again next week.

-Elder Tekulve

The Gates to Castle of Good Hope, South Africa.
Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company
as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope
is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa
The outside walls of the Castle, the moat in the foreground.
In the distance is "Table Mountain" (left), and "Lion's Head" (right)

02 July 2012

02 July 2012 - One Year Anniversary in South Africa

The one year mark has passed. Can you believe it's been that long? I can't.  It seems like only yesterday I was at the airport in London wondering what the heck I was doing. Well, time marches on.

I am a lot more familiar with Fish Hoek even though the work is pretty slow here in town. In the last post there was a picture showing a Great White in the bay. Just last night I was in the spot that picture was taken. There's a little hut with binoculars for shark watching, and lots of very nice houses overlooking the ocean.

Standing, L to R:Elder Romney (District Leader), Elder Eddington, Elder Mamaia.
Sitting L to R: Elder Tekulve, Elder Jokonaya, Elder Musimwe.
Each Elder is standing behind his companion
The members here are very welcoming. They often invite us over for dinner and help with missionary work. Every week in Priesthood meeting we do a little missionary accountability thing about the work the members have done the past week.
I look forward to working here, hopefully for a long time.

Say hello to all the family visiting for me and tell them I enjoyed the pictures Dad sent.

-Elder Tekulve

Mowbray Chapel Brass Plaque

Mowbray Chapel - First Church owend property in Africa

Mowbray Chapel History