and the goat rescue!
An average day in my life-I wake up at six thirty and pray with the four elders in my apartment. Then I pray on my own. Then I get up, lean my mattress back up against the wall because we only have two bed frames (Elder Bateman and I just put our mattresses on the floor each night at bed time) and take a nice refreshing shower. When the water is working, we shower in the small stream of water that comes from a tube in the wall. On mornings like today, we fill large yellow containers with water and dump it on our heads. That's right. The water doesn't always function quite like it should. But its all good. Then I make pancakes or toast and eat apples or mangoes. I have had a couple mangoes that I have picked right off the tree. Good stuff. Gineps are pretty good too. Kind of sour and bitter. Tasty though. I iron my shirt and get dressed by eight, and then study on my own and then with my companion until ten. At ten we throw our stuff together and go teach. We ride all the way up through May Pen town and out across the bridge. We ride up and down through the rolling hills teaching our investigators.
My favorite investigator at this point is probably brother R. Brother R. is a 65+ yr. old jamaican. He has a really deep smokers voice and his insights, like his voice, are deep. He has a lot of character to him and a strong will to find the truth. He has been smoking the ganja since he was seven. We challenged him with the word of wisdom, and he has been clean for almost a week now. We have a lot of investigators, but most are reluctant to commit. Jamaicans seem to fear change. They want to do everything "On God's time", not realizing that if we are teaching them, its probably God's time. Their mindset is one of avoiding commitment and stress. They have no plans for the future and don't understand that God will not help them until they move.
Jamaica has many interesting challenges in bringing the work together. We are trying to find priesthood holders and men that could potentially hold the priesthood to build the church here. We work with a lot of less active people and look for people that can really lead the church. The church is weak and does not function quite like it should. We need more devoted members to help build it. It will come though. Now is Jamaicas time.
Around one we either call the dollar meal guy to drive to us with the big speakers on top of his car and give us cook shop food (chicken, rice and peas) for 100 dollars, or go to Juicies Patties, or make the long ride home to cook ramen, grilled cheese, or something fast. I am eating a little better now by the way, and it gets better every week. We then continue proselyting until 8 at night where we head back in and cook dinner. Maybe spaghetti, rice, ramen, fruit, toast, and tons of water. You have to drink constantly when at home to stay hydrated here.
When we get home, most days our clothes are DAMP with sweat. Like all the way through my inside collar, tie, and outside collar on my white shirts. I miss the cold. I then study, write in my journal, and draw until bed time. We move our fans from our study room back to the bedroom and lay our mattresses down on the floor. We pray with the four of us, say our personal prayers, sometimes talk for a while, then hit the sack to do it again the next day.
I have already learned so much on my mission. It has solidified my testimony of the Savior. I am learning how to be happy with nothing but the gospel and a people to serve. This requires surrendering my will to the Lord and giving my whole heart to the work. It isn't always easy, but it is the only way to be happy here. I love you guys. Enjoy the rest of your summer and know that I am doing well. Make sure to read your scriptures, study, and pray each night. And be grateful to be born an American. That is a blessing that you don't realize until you leave the states.
Love, Elder Pullan
By the way, I rescued a goat this week! I find it entertaining so I'll share.
So my goat rescue- I was teaching an old lady when we heard an eerie cry that sounded kind of like a small child getting beaten. That's what goats sound like. Something in between the sound that elmo might make if you kicked him in the face, and a small child crying. So the old lady starts getting worried. Her neighbors aren't home, and the "Goats are in trouble". So we run out the gate and around the fence and I end up having to go into the goat pen, which is made out of wood pallettes, old metal bed frames, and cut down trees. I go inside and have to pry the inside layer of one of the walls off because two goats are trapped behind it. When I do this, the big white goat that is on top of a smaller brown one still wouldn't move. He was apparently trying to smother the small brown goat. After some gentler coaxing in an attempt to get the white goat to get off the brown one, I reached in, grabbed it by the neck, and forced it out. Hooray for me. I rescued a goat. Just another experience to add to the bank. And the old lady was SOOO relieved and grateful when it was over. I couldn't help but to laugh at the randomness of the experience. Welcome to Jamaica.