Tuesday, June 30, 2015

week #6 -Last letter from Jamaica!

730 days
104 weeks
24 months
17 transfers
9 companionships
5 areas
2 years
1 mission
Countless lives changed. 
The greatest change wrought being my own.

I love my mission.  My mission has changed my life because I now know the truth.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that it is only in and through him that we can be saved.  I know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and loves us more than we can comprehend.  I know that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know of the power of the Atonement.  I have seen it change the lives of those I have taught and I have felt the sweet peace it brings in my own life.  I know that our Heavenly Father is on our side and doing all He can to bring about the salvation of every single one of us, if we will but give up our own wills and choose to follow.  I know that all of this is true.  I know and I have chosen to follow to the best of my ability.  Nothing but my best will cut it, but I know that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, my best will be enough.  I hope and pray that I can make it. 

To anyone that thinks that we can repay the Lord through our acts, I will tell you that we cannot.  There is nothing that we can do of ourselves to be saved.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we are saved.  My mission has not been a sacrifice, but a great blessing to me. 

Strive to serve the Lord each day in your life and he will use you for the good of his children.  You do not have to be a missionary to share the gospel.  We can teach in word and deed each day, and with each little act of service we will become more and more like Christ.

Jamaica has been the perfect place for me.  There is nowhere else that could be better for me to learn all that I have.  I love my little island under the bunnin' Caribbean sun.  I love the people of Jamaica and I have been inspired by the faith of many of the members here.  I have learned much from them and made many good friends. 

I am sad to leave, but the next phase of life is calling.  I am excited to take the future by its' horns and begin my life. 

I love you all. I am grateful for all your many prayers and your support.
This is it from JA. 
Nuff Love Breddren. 

Elder Pullan signing off. 

See you all on Thursday!


Monday, June 22, 2015

weeks 4 & 5- Portmore

June 22, 2015

(I asked Daniel to share his thoughts on marriage and the state of the family as a unit of society in Jamaica.  Derek & I are speaking about marriage at youth conference on Thursday.)

My thoughts on marriage-

Marriage between a man and a woman creates the fundamental unit of society.  There is no better way to raise a nation than in the homes of its families.  If you try to find a better way to raise the next generation, you will fail.  Family and marriage has been established from the beginning.  It is ordained of God, and will ever be the only way to true happiness.

I have seen the effects of the deterioration of the family during my time here in Jamaica.  Jamaica displays a culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.  It began as slaves brought across the ocean from Africa.  They were later emancipated and Jamaica was nourished by England.  They gained their independence around fifty years ago.  Their roots have not been ones that foster marriage and family.  Although the majority of the island is Christian, the devil has his playground on the old "slave mentality" that was created.  Marriage and family was not a thing among the slaves, and it has not been a priority ever since. 

The Family Proclamation states in its second to last paragraph that nations will suffer through the deterioration of the family.  Come to Jamaica and you will see the affects of people not getting married. There are teenage girls all over the place with young children and no father around to take care of them. They become stuck in a downward spiral because they can't pursue an education and work and take care of the kids at the same time very well.  It is not just the mother that is affected, but the children suffer too. They grow up with no father and take on the same mentality of their parents. 
I do not speak for everyone in Jamaica, but the majority live like this. 

I know that as we follow the laws of God and are married and raise families as He has directed us, we will find joy and our communities and nations will receive His approval and be blessed. 

I am out of time. I will tell you about my week when I get home. 
I love you guys!

Love, Elder Pullan

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
June 15th, 2015 
Hey Fam,

This week has been great.  Stake Conference was yesterday in Spanish Town.  I was able to attend both the adult session on Saturday, and the Sunday session.  Elder Gammiet from the area presidency addressed us, along with Stake President Lieu and President Brown.  I got to see a lot of my friends from Boulevard and from Linstead.  I have been serving in the stake since the day it was created, so I knew a lot of the people there.   
Elder Sullivan and I have been doing good work and having a good time.  Portmore has been hot and mosquito infested as usual.
I am having some mixed feelings as my mission draws to a close.  I have loved my mission.  It has changed both me and the course of my life.  I now know that the Church is true.  I know that Christ is at the head of this organization, and that he called Joseph Smith through a miraculous vision in a sacred grove near 200 years ago.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I have seen these truths change lives time and time again.  The first life it changed has been my own.  I am so grateful for this.  I love my mission.  
The work marches forward as usual. I love you all. I will keep working hard to the very end.  
Nathan- Great job doing missionary work. That is fantastic. Keep it up!
Love, E. Pullan

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

week #3 -Portmore

Hey everyone, 

I had to put together photos from my whole mission and send them to the office so that they can put them in an exit video.  It took up all my time.  Sorry.  This week was good though.  The beach was nice. The work was great.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

It sounds like you are all doing great. I can't wait to see you all!

Love, E. Pullan

Monday, June 1, 2015

week #2 -Portmore

Hey everyone, 

I don't have a whole lot to say, so I will keep it short.

Everything was good this week.  We had Zone Meeting in Kingston on Wednesday.  We talked about reactivating those that are less active and finding new people.  That was my last Zone Meeting

On Saturday, we went back into Kingston and Elder Sullivan got his Patriarchal blessing. He was pretty excited to get it.  We did some teaching this week.  We have a lot of less- actives in our area, so they keep us pretty busy.

We are going to go and chill on the beach this p-day, so that will be fun. 

We have been extending the challenge of reading 6 pages of the Book of Mormon every day to people.  Many of the members in our branch have never read it all the way through.  If you have not, then do it!  6 pages a day will get you through in 100 days.  Do it and pray to know it is true.  I have done it myself and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. There is not a doubt in my mind about it.

I love you all. 
Tek Cyare.
Love, E. Pullan

Friday, May 29, 2015

week #1 -Portmore

Hey Fam,

Portmore has been great so far.  I has been so good to get out of the city.  I never left Kingston for six months straight.  Kingston was great, but I am glad to have some fresh air and a little room to breathe.  The rumors about Portmore are mostly true.  The heat is bad, however, there is always a breeze, so I think Kingston was worse.  The mosquitos on the other hand are worse than expected. They only come out in the evenings.  If you are anywhere near water, they are terrible.  If you stop moving you will have at least three on you in a matter of seconds.  People use dirty shirts, rags, and kerchiefs to "run" (or shoo) them.  It works well, but you have to keep waving your kerchief around the whole lesson. 
Portmore was built on a bog.  They filled it all in so that they could put a city here.  That is why there are so many mosquitoes.  Portmore is totally flat too - not a hill around.  It is great for biking.

Our area consists of ghetto to middle class residential.  It is huge compared to my last area. I enjoy the freedom and the fact that people are out on the streets all the time.  There are so many people to talk to. 

Elder Sullivan is from Yallahs.  He has been out for six months.  He is a great elder that loves to work hard, and believe me, we are working hard.  We will have this area looking like an area before I have to leave. 

We have a ton of great investigators, less actives and members here.  I already love them. 
I am going to enjoy Portmore.  Living with Elder Biddulph is great. I love that kid. 

I love you all!  Enjoy the SUMMER!
Love, Elder Pullan

Me and Elder Biddulph at the
Bob Marley Museum a few weeks back

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

week #23 -Kingston (no letter last week due to mother's day phone call)


This week has been really good.  The area seems to be building back up again, slow and steady.  I have worked hard this week and I feel good about the time I have spent in this area.  This area is a product of my blood sweat and tears, and the grace of the Lord.  Mostly the grace of the Lord.  I have worked hard here and am proud of the area.  It has come a long way.  When I got here to begin whitewashing, Elder McGregor and I had absolutely nothing to work with.  It now looks and feels like an area.  I never realized how much people care until I tell them I am leaving.  I have many great friends here.  I could not have done it without the help of my Heavenly Father.  This is his area, his work, and his children.  Not mine.  I am glad he allows me to help though. 

That is right.  I am leaving Kingston.  I will be going to Portmore on Wednesday to finish my mission.  I will be serving with Elder Sullivan (a Jamaican, 6 months out, from Yalluhs), and living with Elder Ashworth and BIDDULPH!  Haha.  I am so excited to live with Elder Biddulph again.  We lived together in Linstead for two transfers (12 weeks).  I really love that kid. 

Portmore is extremely hot.  There are a lot of mosquitos, and it is a lot like Kingston.  It is also supposed to be very flat.  That is all I have heard about it, so I will confirm these things to you next week.  It should be a great last area. 

On Thursday, we went and did some service for sis. M's cousin.  We helped a lot of guys dig out a hole for the foundation of part of the house they are going to add on to.  I was digging down in a pit when my hand ran up against either a small shard of glass or a very dull rock. More likely the glass.  It split the top of my middle finger on my left hand open deep.  There was a lot of blood.  I wrapped it in my bandana, we called the Zone Leaders, and twenty minutes later I found myself at the doctor getting three stitches.  That is right.  Only three.  It is not that bad.  Just deep.  It hasn't really been hurting me and is healing up just fine, so there is no need to worry.  All that will be left is another sweet scar. 

I got transfer calls on Saturday morning.  I was allowed to give a farewell testimony to the Boulevard ward.  After church, I spent some time getting contact info for people that I love here. 

This morning, we woke up at 4am and caught a ride with a member named David to Holywell (pronounced Holly-well) national reserve up in the blue mountains.  The sisters drove their own car.  We got up there  early and enjoyed a beautiful view of Kingston.  The vegetation and climate reminded me a lot of Seattle.  There was a nice cold bite in the air, and a short hike to a small waterfall.  Holywell was incredible.  It has been so long since I have been hiking in the mountains.  The air was cold.  Do you know how long it has been since I have felt cold?  It was amazing.  I did not want to come back down.  I will send some pix.  It was the best p-day of my mission. 

Yep Nathan.  7 weeks!  Mi soon see unno.  I have not seen any fish lately.  I will let you know if I do.  I have heard there are crocodiles in Portmore...
Nice job on your tests Lydia! That is great. Keep up the good work. 

I love you all.  Thanks for all of your prayers and support.  They keep me going.
Love, Elder Pullan

Sis. Bailey, Thompson, Rampersad,
Elder Pullan, Mecham, Evans and Beck 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

week #21 -kingston

Hey fam, 
This week was great.  
Our monday trip back to the fort was interesting.  It began with a lot of bike problems on the way to Parade (downtown kingston. look it up).  We met up with elder Davis and Johnson from the downtown there and caught a bus to Port Royal. There was not all that much out at Port Royal, so after looking around, we went to Fort Rocky.  We ran and jumped and threw flips just like I had planned on doing.  It was a lot of fun.  
Tuesday, we helped out the Project Sole people hand out shoes. We went with some other missionaries in the morning to Salvation army headquarters and loaded up the vans. Our first stop was down in Jones Town.  The bishop of the Constant Springs ward had no idea where he was going so we ended up taking a detour through Tivoli Gardens.  That was pretty exciting. The people who put on the project sole are all return missionaries, so it was fun to talk to them. Jones town was crazy. Unno tink unno know ghetto? Nah mon. People were yelling and pushing and scrounging for shoes the whole time. It was not very controlled. The next place was a lot better. It was a little school up near August Town. We handed them out inside of the school. It went a lot better. The guy that was filming the project was named Aaron.  He does freelance film and lives in Hawaii.  We had a great time talking together.  We are a lot alike. When the day was done, we all went to Chill-eat-o's for some Jamexican food.  It was great.  
Wednesday was Zone meeting.  We learned a lot more about how to bring the spirit in our initial contacts with people so that they will keep their appointments.  It was a good refresher.  I am sure it will help.  
We did more service for Sis. Hamilton on Thursday, and I went on a trade off with elder Beck on saturday.  
We had to drop a few investigators on Sunday because they did not come to church for the umpteenth time in a row.  It is always hard to do, but if they will not put forth the effort to learn and grow and progress, then they can't get anywhere.  We did have an investigator named Sis. A at church. She had a great time there. She made some friends and really enjoyed it. She is very prepared. I am excited for her. 
That is the week for you.
Your week sounded great Lydia! What a fun activity!
I love you all. 
Love, Elder Pullan