Monday, February 24, 2014

week #8 - Montego Bay

Hello everyone,

Just another week in beautiful Montego Bay! We finally made it over to the Wall of the Dead last monday. Only to find that each of the dons had been painted over with blue paint.  I guess it was an effort to draw the community's attention away from the thug life, but it was still disappointing. 

We went into Canterbury to seek out a less active member. Canterbury is a rat's nest. There is one way in, a bridge that spans a deep gully. When you cross the bridge, you enter a large empty concrete pad. From there, small foot paths wind up between canyons of zinc fences into the hills. It was easy to see why the cops have so much trouble with canterbury.

As far as teaching goes this week, we did have a few good lessons with June. June has been progressing towards baptism for a long time. She is waiting to receive a confirmation from the spirit that this is the way that our Heavenly Father would have her go. We have been praying hard for her. We had a lesson with her where a few members bore testimony of their baptism to her. It all went very well. We are excited for her. Baptism soon come. Hopefully.

This week has been pretty average. Nothing really sticks out that I feel that I need to say. I have enjoyed walking up and down Mount Salem in the blistering hot sun each day. I may be being slightly sarcastic, but Jamaica really is a unique and beautiful place.

Thanks fam. I love you guys. 
Keep up the good work. Good luck with the plays this week. 

Love, Elder Pullan

Me in Canterbury

The Bay

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week #7 - Montego Bay

Hey Fam,

This week was another good one in Montego Bay.  I recieved my birthday package!  Thanks for all of the stuff. I have enjoyed having a couple extra things to snack on, a new tie, some toy cars, new books, new ink pens (I was about due for some), and some letters to read. Thanks for the money and ramen grandma and grandpa! If there is anything I am forgetting, I apologize. I am grateful for all those that were thinking of me though. 

My birthday was a good relaxing day. Romario disappeared so we did not get to go see the wall of the dead. We are planning on it today though. Don't worry, we will get there eventually. I did not get floured on my birthday. I think Bird (Romario) was going to, but like I said, he disappeared. I am not too disappointed though. I got floured on Elder Fowkes birthday by accident back in October. It is not the best experience. Just a strange tradition. 

As far as what we teach- We teach the basic doctrines of the church. Mainly, the first three lessons in Preach my Gospel. These are; the restoration, the plan of salvation, and the gospel of Christ. The principles are put forth in a way that they connect well. If you want to know what I teach, just pick up Preach My Gospel. Teaching is a lot of fun. You really have to focus on relating what you teach to the investigator, inluding them in the discussion, keeping things on track, and making sure they understand. It takes a lot of work. We are focusing a lot on working with members to get referrals, and then teaching their friends with them. That is the most effective way to do missionary work.

The branch here is extremely unified. You can tell that everyone is great friends with each other. Church is a little different here. Rather than running home as fast as you can when church is over, people just hang around at the chuch and socialize for hours. Church activities will end up going past midnight, although we have to get home by 9:30. The unity of the branch is great. I think that we could use more of that back home. 

We work a lot with the potential missionaries. We take them out with us, give them good teaching experience, and try to motivate them to get their papers in soon. Elder Hall and I work mostly with Romario and Jerome. They are great guys. They are close on their papers and should be out soon. 

Mom- I bet you are keeping pretty busy with piano festival. I don't know how you do it each year. It is a lot of work.
Grandma and grandpa- Your trip to Panama looked amazing. I am sure you enjoyed the ocean and the warm carribean climate for a while.
Dad- Thanks for the email. You are always full of good advice. Thanks for being my dad.
Lydia-Thanks for the treats in the package!
Nathan- I love the cars you sent me. They are awesome!
Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone.

Elder Pullan

The District
Massive Jamaican Moth (4" head to tail)

Sunset -from the church parking lot

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week #6 - Montego Bay

Hello Everyone,

I would write more, but we spent half our email time today breaking the jammed door knob off the clerk office door with a screwdriver and other odds and ends.  Good times.

To sum up my week, it has been good old missionary work to the max.  We have been working a lot with Romario and trying to get him out to teach with us as much as possible.

Our plans for today- We are going to go see the wall of the dead (finally).  And, I have not been floured. Yet.  Soon come I fear.   I have not received the birthday box yet. Things take a long time to make their way over to mo bay.  Soon come. 

Last Monday, Elder Hall and I bought pizza stuff and we went up to Allisons.  We had a fun night making pizza and had a good family night lesson with the fam.  It made for a fun P-Day. 

To answer mom's questions:  We email at the church in the clerk's office.  There is only one computer here, so we go early so that the other elders can use it later on.  We do not go door to door proselyting. Every house has locked gates and barbed fences.  At best we gate call.  But we do not do that often. Tracting in general is ineffective and we are specifically told not to do it (unless the spirit directs otherwise).

Last week added up to some frustrating people, and Bible bash with jdub, and a few too many ignorant racist jamaicans.  We get so much crap for being white.  You would not believe some of the stuff we hear.  It made for not the best week, but this last one was good.  We have some investigators that are actually progressing, and everything is going well.  Transfer calls were Saturday.  I will be with Elder Hall for another one. 

All is well here. I love you guys. I will send some pix if I have time.
I am really sad that I am missing the Olympics. It is about time that they put slopestyle in as an event.
Lydia- Great job with the spelling bee. That is really impressive!

Elder Pullan
Beautiful Mo Bay

Monday, February 3, 2014

Montego Bay - week #5

Hello everyone,

I have too many messages to read this week. Wow. 

Well, my week was uneventful. It was one of the rougher ones of the mission, but now I am on to bigger better things. 

Last Monday, Elder Hall, Jerome, Remario, and I walked to freeport. I was a long walk, but the view was beautiful. I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the big tourist resorts have now blocked off the beach, so no, we were not actually able to see what we had gone their for. After that, we hitchhiked in the back of a flatbed truck back to the main road with a bunch of jamaicans. It is a common thing here, but us white guys did get some weird looks doing it. It was entertaining. 

Today, we are going to go to the wall of the dead. We didn't have time to get over there last week, so no pix yet.

I really wish I had more to tell you about. We did not have a whole lot of progress with any of our investigators this week. Just more Word of Wisdom problems coming out. Not uncommon here in Jamaica.

We went teaching with Allison a couple of times this week.
We also took Romario and Jerome out a couple of times.
We had an entertaining Law of Chastity lesson with an 18 year old kid last night. Allison, Jerome and Romario were all there too. Details don't seem necessary, but to sum things up, the kid we were teaching seemed more worried about getting AIDS than anything else. If the law of chastity keeps you from getting AIDS, I can't argue. Just another wonderful reason to follow it. 

Church this week was good. We had a great fast and testimony meeting. Montego Bay has a very, very strong branch. I love serving here. The city is a very unique place.

Elder Hall is a funny guy. He is a bit of a goofball, but is a good missionary. He is from Alberta Canada and is a great companion. He is teaching me how to serve others better. He is good at that. 

Matthew- The play looks like it was awesome. I am glad you were able to do it. I am sure you did a great job. And you are going to play rugby? That will be a lot of fun. You will be good at that.
Lydia- People speak the same language here as they did in May Pen. It is just little different in the city. It is not too much of a change though.
Nathan- Yes general. W'appen? una gwaan fi sen' me some valentines dee presents? Me gwaan weet fi dem. Tanks.
Dad and mom- Thanks for the help and support. I love you guys.

I love you guys!
Take care.
Love, Elder Pullan

Back of the flatbed truck

Jerome, Romario and our investigator Davain - on our way to Freeport

Oh, Jamaica!