Monday, October 7, 2013

Week #12 in May Pen

Hey fam, wagwaan?

This week went well.  Conference was awesome.  It's the only time that we as missionaries get to watch TV, so we made sure to enjoy it.  We all splurged and bought a box of american sugar cereal to eat during conference.   The talks offered a lot of good advice.  One recurring theme I saw was building an enduring testimony.   In our world today, we all need to be doing the gospel basics that keep us safe. These include daily scripture study, prayer, church attendance, going to the temple, striving to keep our covenants, repentance, and seeking to apply the gospel to our lives.   By doing these things, we can, like lifting weights, build our testimony.   We need to be doing these things to make it.   If you are not in the habit of doing these things, start now!    As Elder Nelson said, "you are never too young to learn, you are never too old to change."  I would encourage all to do these things so that when trials and temptations come, they can stay strong.

As for the rest of my week? Elder Barber and I found a man who I had taught the restoration discussion to and talked to for a while two or three weeks ago.   He had told me about how he doesn't have the money to get his young daughter to school and back.   He also told me about how his father was killed by a "bad-mon" when he was seven years old.   He said his father was robbed by one of his own friends, and then shot because "dead mon tell no tales".   Jamaica is no joke.   This man, like most in Jamaica, is unmarried.   He seemed interested in the gospel as I taught him, but I neglected to get his phone number, and he disappeared.   A couple of nights ago we were on our bikes and he called out to us as we were passing.   Luckily we stopped.   We began to talk to him and he told us that he studied the restoration pamphlet and that it makes sense.   He told us "Joseph Smith is a prophet.   It's true".   We were a little taken back, but happy to see another one of the ways that God prepares his children for the gospel.   We went back to teach him a couple of nights later.   We were in the middle of discussing his feelings and questions about the restoration when a car pulled down the gravel lane.   We were sitting out on the incomplete foundation of a house in this big family compound when he saw it.   Without warning, he took off at a full sprint and disappeared.   Some big guys got out of the car and talked to us for a bit.   They were nice enough guys, but not the type you want to have against you.   I think he owes them money or something.   It was an interesting night.   We haven't been able to hunt him back down yet, but  I will keep you updated. 

I will be staying in May Pen for at least another transfer.   We are getting two more missionaries in May Pen, so my area will probably get shifted, but I am glad to stay.   The play pen really is a cool place. Elder Barber leaves today to serve in Freeport, Bahamas.   The Bahamas are supposed to be really Americanized.   Lucky!  I will be serving with Elder Faux.   I have only seen him a couple of times, but he is supposed to be a cool guy and a great missionary.  I will be in a tri-panionship tomorrow, and Elder Faux will come sometime on Wednesday.   I have loved serving with Elder Barber.   I have learned a lot from him and I am sad to see him go.   It's all part of the mission though.

One thing that we don't really get back in utah is lightning storms.   Here in jamaica, it isn't rare to have cooler days of grey skies and lightning.   No rain, just lightning flashing in the distance all day long.   This week I learned the difference between a lightning spark and a lightning bolt.   The gigantic flash of light that lit the coconut tree on fire and left my ears shell shocked two weeks ago: that's a bolt.  The small "tck" sound and spark I saw ten feet from me while walking over on sunny side: that's a spark. It was a little scary to see it so close.   Immediately after, loud thunder sounded right over our heads.   Are sparks as cool as bolts?  Sadly, no.   Could they kill me?   Probably.  Just another day in beautiful Jamaica.

Jamaica is a land surrounded by sky.  The clouds and sunsets are always beautiful here.   The sky seems so much bigger than back home, and the depth to it seems to surround you.   The sun sits high in the sky each day.   Almost directly above your head. If you look up at noon, you can't see it.  You would have to lay on your back to find it.  You can always feel it there though.   It's constant presence leaves a burning sensation on your skin some days.   The landscape is tropical and beautiful.   When it rains here, the colors get deeper, and stand out against the dark grey sky.   It really is an incredible place.

It seems so strange to me that it is snowing back home.  I totally forgot about seasons.  It is supposed to get a little colder in the winter, and there is always more rain in the fall, but other than that, the only way to tell the seasons apart is by the fruit you can get for cheap.  Mangoes and guava are now out of season.  You can still find guinep all over and we are starting to see a lot of June plum.  A June plum is tough with a rough peel and a spiky core.  You can buy them on the street for thirty dollars and have the vendor peel it for you.  It is a sour, slightly bitter fruit with an odd sort of cinnamon taste to it.  I can only say that I am a fan.

I went on a trade off with President Brown on Wednesday.  I was with Elder Whitlock too, so it was like a double trade off.  We had to quickly re-schedule our day to make it a little more effective, and then try out hardest to make it work.  I loved teaching with President Brown.  He is an amazing teacher.  He is so bold in teaching people, but you know that he really cares about them too.  Boldness is something you have to figure out here.  If you don't simplify things, say things boldly and lay things out in black and white, they will make no impact.  This boldness always has to be balanced with love though.  It has been interesting learning to teach better here.  It is an ongoing process.

Tell mom that it's awesome she met Elder Whitlock's mom.  Elder Whitlock is a great elder.  He actually went to college with my friend, Braedon Cook, for awhile.  So we have that connection too.

The mission is going well.   I feel totally adjusted and at home here now.   I love you guys and thank everyone for their support.

Till next week.  Likkle mo' (little more, goodbye)

Elder Pullan

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