31 December 2012

31 December 2012 - Happy New Year! (Almost)

Happy New Year! (Almost)

Me and a cockatoo named Frankie
This week was Christmas (of course). Christmas here is a bit different than the United States. For example, there was a sign in a shopping center here that said 'Jesus is the reason we celebrate the season.' I got a package from the Humble Ward Young Women and thank them for that. I am wearing the tie they sent me right now. You guys didn't send me pictures of Christmas Day! And you had all week. Noah (the only sibling who e-mailed me!) sounded like he was having fun. On Christmas Day, as I said in my call home, I was on "The Mad Farm" all day. We had lunch and supper there but didn't spend much time outside as it was raining. I learned that they also have 2 owls in addition to the rest of the animals I listed. Was the Les Miserables movie more like the musical? I know there is another movie with Liam Neeson that I actually mentioned a couple of weeks ago, so is this a new one?
The New London Elders with the Steenbeeks on Christmas
We had a pretty neat visit with a couple named Anita and Johan. I don't know if that's the right spelling. But I think they're prepared to hear the Gospel. The Spirit was present and at one point Johan said he thinks there are graded parts to heaven like "a first-class suite and a middle class room and a third class cabin." We look forward to teaching The Plan of Salvation. :)
It's been a good week. The December lull is starting to lift and we are getting a bit busier. It was great talking to you, and good luck in 2013!

-Elder Tekulve
One of two owls at the Mad Farm
Liam Neeson in Les Miserables

25 December 2012

24 December 2012 - The Mad Farm, Christmas Caroling

Dear family and friends,

Elders in my District. L to R:
Madsen, Strauss, Gillespie, Tekulve

This week there were lots of fun Christmastime activities. On Monday we went to Sister Steenbeek's farm for a Ward Christmas Party. She rehabilitates animals and describes it as "The Mad Farm." As far as I could count there were 18 cats (!), 8 dogs, 3 mules, 2 donkeys, a handful of geese, an ostrich, 3 emus, 20 goats, 5 or so pigs, maybe 3 rabbits, countless chickens, a crow, a dove, a cockatoo, a rainbow lory, another type of green parrot, 2 grey crowned cranes, a turtle, and a swan. We're going back tomorrow for Christmas Day and I'll call you from there.
2 New London Ward Members at
The Mad Farm

Father Christmas giving gifts to the children.
It's certainly a lot hotter down here
than at the North Pole.
We also went caroling on Friday with some ward members, much to my dismay. It went smoothly enough, though.
On Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Strauss. It definitely gave me a great appreciation for the Elders in the walking area. It's starting to get pretty hot outside...
Merry Christmas and talk to you tomorrow!

Everyone who went caroling
-Elder Tekulve


17 December 2012

17 December 2012 - Mission Christmas Party, Sokhululeka, Gospel Principles

Hey, Christmas is next week!

The main highlight this week was the tri-Zone Conference and mission Christmas Party. That was on Wednesday and lasted all day. There were musical numbers by each zone (we sang "Oh Holy Night"), testimonies, training by President and Sister Wood, lunch and dinner, something like a white elephant gift exchange (I got a packet of cat food...), and as per SACTM (South Africa Cape Town Mission) tradition we got to watch a movie. Unfortunately it was a movie I've seen before; the same one I watched at the YSA movie night back in George. Like I said, I want to watch the movie with my family when I get home so I want it to be a surprise.

One other highlight of the week was an investigator that we met named Sokhululeka. She is very motivated to change and works hard at it. On Sunday she got a Gospel Principles manual to take home and by Tuesday she had finished half of it. You don't see that kind of commitment often.

East London 3rd is a good ward. It has some great Ward Missionaries and an awesome Bishop who gets things done and really connects with his ward. It's hard this time of the year because very many people only live here for work and go home to the rural areas in December. As a result most of our investigators have been lost until mid-January. That's okay though, we still do have people to teach and I'm having a great time.

-Elder Tekulve

14 December 2012

10 December 2012 - New City: New London

What was that sound? Oh yes, it was the time flying out the window.

Transfer news! I am now the District Leader in East London 3rd Ward. My companion is Elder Gillespie. His father is in the Air Force so he moves around a lot but he was born in Colorado. Elder Krieger's new companion is Elder Martin from Moscow, Idaho. Elder Martin and I switched places; he was Elder Gillespie's trainer. So I am the oldest in this 4-man district by at least a year.

Missionary work here is much the same as Fish Hoek. The principles are the same, but here we have a lot more appointments and people to teach. Some fall through but I've met some interesting people.
East London, South Africa, from the air
My camera is broken for good. I'll get a new one maybe next week as an early Christmas present. So no pictures today.
But here's an Old Testament fact: Shem outlived most of his posterity all the way down to Abraham. I don't have the numbers in front of me but that's something like his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson that he outlived. To put that in prespective, if Shakespeare lived as long as Shem he would still be alive today.
Shem lived to be 600 years old

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

-Elder Tekulve

03 December 2012

03 December 2012 - Brother Mike, Basson Family

Hi, I'm Elder Tekulve. Would you like a Book of Mormon?
It's December! Yay!

For P-day yesterday we went to Meadowridge to visit a convert named Brother Mike. He runs a catering business and the Mowbray and Meadowridge Elders are frequent customers. He is also a very nice and interesting person. He has an incredible testimony for only being baptized about 7 months.

In the evening on Monday we taught another powerful lesson with the Basson family. The Spirit was strong and even though they didn't understand it, they felt it. Other than that it was a pretty slow week...
Elder Tekulve in the kitchen at his flat

It looks like my camera is beyond repair, but I have a few pictures for you this week.

Old Testament trivia: Jewish tradition says that Shem, Noah's son, is Melchizedek. I personally believe this is true. He actually outlived Abraham. The Bible Dictionary seems to agree with me.

Love, Elder Tekulve