Tuesday, April 29, 2014

week #17 - Montego Bay & an Easter Letter from Pres. Brown

Hey fam,

This week we worked very hard.  We did a lot of good finding and working with members in order to get referrals.  We have gotten some good referrals out of members, and are going to begin working with all those who just got back from the temple trip to the Dominican Republic.  Aside from referrals, we spent a lot of time in Westgate, one of the extremely wealthy areas in Montego Bay.  It is generally very hard to find people there, but the Lord provided for us.  We were able to talk to quite a few people up there and are still trying to set up appointments with them.  One exciting prospect is Bro. W.  We found Bro. W in Westgate two days ago.  We talked with him for a while and he invited us to come over and share our message.  We will be going over tonight with Allison to teach him for the first time.  He has a nice house, I assume a family, and is kind and well educated.  Things are beginning to turn over here.  It took a renewed commitment, but through very hard work, things are happening. 

Tuesday, we spent the whole entire day finding.  It was a great testimony builder for me.  As we walked up into Westgate Hills, we found several people who were outside and willing to talk.  Contrast this with almost every other time we have been up there.  There is NEVER anyone outside, and even fewer willing to talk.

I am beginning to see for myself that miracles only come through consecration. It is as Elder Cornish said at a meeting in Sav (Savannah La Mer) months ago.  "Obedience will not qualify us for a miracle. Consecration will."  The Lord requires us to do all we can, but when we do, he covers the rest. I would challenge you to pray and find a friend to extend the gospel to.

We also got Prince baptized this week.  It was great to see him take that step.  He is going to make a great addition to the branch.  He is old enough to head out on his mission in one years time.  He has a strong testimony and is going to do great.  He came to his own baptism late.  You tell people 8:30 so that they will show up by nine, but by the time things are going, it is 9:30.  Welcome to Jamaica.

We are still trying to link with a lot of people that we found over the past week, but everything is beginning to pick up here. 

P day today. We are going to grab our machets and hike into a gully that Elder Hall and I found while searching for a shortcut into Rose Mount.  The gully is cool, shaded by trees, and full of huge briars and nasty decaying thorns and vines.  It is a sweet place. 

Here is some exciting news- There will soon be a stake in Jamaica!  The first stake will be organized in Spanish Town on June 7th & 8th.

Nathan- I miss you too! I will be back soon though. 
Some jamaican for you- when you want someone to bring you something, you say "carry come" (cyarry cohm).
I love you all. Thanks for the advice again dad. Thanks all for the support!


Pres Brown sent this letter to the missionaries and members in Jamaica for Easter 2014-

Elders and Sisters,

This season is a special opportunity for us to embrace again the reality of a living Christ.  He is risen, from the dark tomb of a rich man to the royal courts of the celestial realms.  To His unmistakable presence in our lives.  "He lives. He lies who once was dead. He lives the ever living head."

 He lived a life of poverty some would say, humble birth, humble occupation and certainly he grew up with humble parents ( Mathew 13: 55). He suffered the anguish, pains and sicknesses of every human being that ever lived or would ever live in this world and other worlds of an unfathomable number (Alma 7: 11-14; Moses 1:33) .  He, the one perfect son of the everlasting Father experienced what he never deserved or earned.  He really lived for us.  Acquainted with grief, sorrows and pain, the Son of God lived. ( Isaiah 53:3)

In all His life he did not experience the thrills of mortal pleasures and riches.  He choose the better part: to live for others.  Then came the night of sincerity and utmost integrity. The night this mortal God had to face His divine destiny.  He might have said:  Can I do what I said I would do?  "Here am I send me", said almost a millennia ago. Can I do what I promised my Father, what I promise my brothers and sisters?

My Father isn't here and it hurts- remove the cup- I cannot, no I cannot....but I must.
Three times he plead, "remove this Cup, nevertheless...".

He for whom there was no back up plan, followed through on his promise and fulfilled the central act in the whole plan of salvation.  His suffering in the garden, which was rudely interrupted by the betrayer, had to be completed on the cross.  The one indication we have that His suffering there could have been even more intense than in the garden was this pain riddled plea: " My God My God, why has thou forsaken me".  He was separated from His Father and for those long hours, hung alone. (Matthew 27:46)

At the end, through the compassion of a rich man he was placed in a tomb meant for royalty.  Almost a contradiction of his entire life and yet fitting.  He would emerge A king, A God who overcame all.   He would emerge from that tomb having conquered all.   He who really lived and who really died, lived again, making it possible for all to so live (Helaman 14:15).

Many of those closest to him abandoned him, lost faith, forgot the many references made of his death and resurrection. Even on the morning of His Glorious resurrection the angels declared that he was no longer in the tomb and that he lived.  Those who heard the angels only heard one part of that message: " he is not here". They ran back bearing a half truth.  The full message was: "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is RISEN: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.."

It is true today as back then. The devil and those who serve him promote this evil propaganda.  He is not here.  He is dead.  He is gone.(2 Nephi 28; Alma 30)

Through the glorious restoration, God the Father as he has done at least four times before declared: 
"This is My beloved Son HEAR HIM". The Saviour and redeemer stood before the boy prophet Joseph Smith in the flesh.  The resurrected Lord taught this young man what he needed to do to proclaim to the World this glorious message. As Light chases away darkness, let us declare as did Jospeh:

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"

May we this Easter season consider not how our Saviour died, but how He lived.  May we internalize the strength of His character, the power of His sacrifice, the love of His heart.  I humbly submit my life to Him as a token payment on a debt I would never be able to repay.  I know He lived, and I know he lives for he Lives within my heart, my life, my family and He lives in this church, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sister Brown and I also want you to know how much we love and appreciate each of you.

Kevin Brown

Monday, April 21, 2014

week #16 - Montego Bay

Hey fam,  
Easter weekend sounded very nice. I won't tell you too much about Easter here because you should be receiving more information on it soon... I will leave you to figure out the how. Just be patient. 
My Easter was rather on the uneventful side. Easter is a holiday here. A real holiday. Kids have been out of school from Thursday, and are out today. All businesses have been closed since Friday, and there is hardly anyone out on the streets. I hate holidays here because generally no one wants to see us. The average jamaican holiday consists of either sitting around at home and doing nothing, making good food, or going to the beach. On every major holiday, all businesses close down for the whole day. We are not really sure if we are going to be able to do our shopping today. Wish us luck. 
Easter has been a great time to reflect on the atonement and resurrection of the savior. I like dad's thoughts on how the completed atonement and his resurrection are a joyful act. The pain he suffered is incomprehensible. He had done nothing to deserve what he was given. The act made even him, the literal Son of God beg three times that it might be taken from him. But because of his duty and his perfection, he drank the bitter cup and completed the work that he had been foreordained to do. This one act, central to human history, has allowed each and every one of us to find joy. We would be forever lost without it. I testify to you that the cleansing power of the atonement is very real. It allows every one of us to take our weak, inadequate selves, and become strong. I love my Savior for what he has done for us. I hope that you all took the time to study and reflect during this beautiful Easter season. 
Prince was not baptized this week due to a miscommunication in the interview. Prince's patois is thick and fast, and he sometimes has trouble expressing himself. All that is done now, and we are shooting to get him baptized this Sunday. Soon come. Prince is very ready for this step and we are excited for him. 
Some of the events of the week include traveling through the fire swamp, and fighting and ROUS.  (A reference to the movie, "The Princess Bride" and the Rodents Of Unusual Size).  On Wednesday, we hiked through the gully bottom on our shortcut trail to salem. There were several unattended piles of burning trash in the gully that created a fire swamp effect. The gully is where much of the trash gets washed to and builds up. Its pretty grimy down there. You never know what you will find. This particular occasion, we found two large pigs and a litter of piglets. As we approached, the mother began to grunt and snort and get protective. We made some quick maneuvers and stayed out of the way as best we could. She didn't charge, but it was none the less, entertaining. At the journeys conclusion, we figured that the fire and the ROUS's are real, but the lightning sand is a myth. 
Otherwise, the week has been slow. Lots of finding and people that don't want to see us on their holiday. We have a lot more finding to do this week. Our teaching pool is weak. Much to do. 
I love you all. Continue to work hard and enjoy this lovely spring season!
Love, Elder Pullan 
The fire swamp!
Flat Stanley...
and Ethan

getting their hair cut!

Monday, April 14, 2014

week #15 - Montego Bay

Hello everyone,

It sounds like you all had a fantastic week! I bet the kids were so surprised. I really enjoyed hearing from all of you.

I am really jealous that you got to go to the Getty Villa. Yes, I remember it. I would honestly rather go there than Disneyland for sure. But Disneyland sounds fun too, I guess.

The weeks fly by here. This week, we got in a lot of productive lessons. One of our investigators, Prince, should be getting baptized on Sunday. It is really interesting to me that those that are truly ready for the gospel convert themselves.  Many that we work hard with don't make it, and yet there are those who simply get it, and we don't have to do much more than simply teach the lessons. It ends up working out great. 

A lot of the members are leaving in a week to go to the temple in the Dominican Republic. It will be a great experience for them. I am excited to see the increased strength in the ward after they get back. We will have more sealed and endowed members, and the youth will get the chance to do baptisms. 

President Brown has put a huge emphasis on people getting to the temple lately. The church growth is slowly increasing here. The church will be strong here one day soon. 

I don't have a whole lot of time this week due to Flat Stanley and being locked out of the church on account of a jammed lock, so I need to wrap things up. I will write more next week. I love you guys!  Take care and enjoy your week back at work!

Love, Daniel


Note:  Nathan's class read the book "Flat Stanley".  It's about a boy who gets squished flat on accident and in one of the chapters, he gets mailed in an envelope to a friend.  Nathan's class each mailed a "Flat Stanley" to someone they know who doesn't live in Heber.  That person was supposed to take Flat Stanley with them on some adventures and write about them.  Nathan sent his Flat Stanley to Jamaica and Daniel wrote a letter this week to Nathan's class and included pictures of Flat Stanley's adventures in Jamaica.  (Daniel drew his own Flat Stanley since Nathan's hasn't arrived in Montego Bay yet.)

Hi! My name is Elder Pullan. I live in Montego Bay, Jamaica, as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Flat stanley got to spend the week here with me. We had a great time!

Our morning started with teaching our land lady, Jennifer. Stanley had some great thoughts that he shared.

Stanley really enjoyed the heat and the beautiful views of the ocean. Montego Bay is on the north coast of  Jamaica, so we are really close to the beach. There are a lot of hills here. There are fruit trees too! Jamaica is beautiful. 

Stanley got to meet Allison later in the day. He really liked her. She helped us teach her.  Stanley got to try some of the lasagna we made up at Allison's that night. His friend Ethan was amazed by how great the lasagna was. Lasagna is not Jamaican food, but it is delicious. 

Stanley got to spend some time in the gully with Elder Hall and I later in the week. The gully is a jungle. Stanley helped Elder Hall chase a pig off of the path in the gully. 

I had a really great week with Stanley. I hope you all liked learning about Jamaica!

Thanks guys,
Love, Elder Pullan

Elder Hall in the gully chasing a Pig!

Flat Stanley in the gully with Elder Pullan

Ethan - showing surprise at Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley eating lasagna in Jamaica

Flat Stanley with landlady Jennifer

Monday, April 7, 2014

week # 14 - Montego Bay

Hey Fam,

This week has been great! Conference was awesome. I hope that you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. There really was something in there for everyone, but you won't get it if you sleep through it. Lesson learned. Advice for matthew- Dont sleep through it. Simple and proved true every time. 

I already wrote Rachel on what I got out of conference, so I will just copy it over from her letter to yours for the sake of time. 

"Conference was great. I loved Elder Holland's talk right at the beginning. The theme that I got out of Conference was- Batten down the hatches and prepare for hell. There was a talk about dealing with persecution in every single session. I have the feeling that it is going to get bad real soon, and we are going to be the ones who have to stand strong in the storm. The other theme I got out of it was exact obedience, and time management. All of our efforts must be focused on that which yields good fruit, whether that is becoming influential so that we can fight for the faith on a large scale, caring for our families and friends and taking care of those cherished relationships, or building our testimony. There is no time to be wasted in this short life. Every minute must be spent adding to the person that you will ultimately become. That is my conference insight for you. I am interested about the themes you got out of it too. I am sure it was different from mine because we all gain insights through revelation that applies specifically to us."

We got a lot of good investigators out to conference. I hope that they were all able to feel of the truth of the messages shared. I can add my testimony that all that was shared truly is inspired of God. It was profound, needed, and each individual draws something totally different from conference. Now the key is to apply it. Conference does nothing for us if we do not act on that which we have learned. So, begin praying for missionary opportunities! And make sure that you are ALL studying your scriptures daily, praying morning and night, and attending church. Continue to build your faith. It is of incredible importance at these times. Remember, this is an endurance race, not a sprint.

This week must be spring break for you guys! I bet you will have a wonderful time at grandma's. Tell her hi for me. 

I am really jealous that you get to go to the Getty. I love the Getty. That is an incredible place. Make sure to draw a picture for me if they still have the area where you can draw a sculpture. I could wander the Getty for days without tiring. I will have to make a trip back one day. 

Now have a great day in sunny California! I bet it is nice and warm there. Probably not quite like mo bay, but warm all the same. You will have to send me some pix from spring break! I love you all! Take care everyone!
Love, Elder Pullan


Daniel wrote this in his letter to Rachel:  I don't know if mentioned that I was proposed to last week by a chubby middle- aged woman.  It was crazy!   It is definitely not just me that gets proposed to. I may get it slightly more frequently because I am a decent looking guy, but if you are white, it will happen. Jamaicans love white skin. Instead of tanning, they try to stay as light as possible. The browner the better for them. It is odd in contrast to our "get tan" attitude. They also are well aware of the fact that life is far easier in our wonderful country, and would like to get up to america or canada one day.


Hey Nathan, thanks for the reminder about flat stanley. I will make sure to do that for sure. 
I have around 450 days left on my mission right now. It will fly by though. I am glad you are doing so well!
How is your patois coming? can you chat yet?
Unu haffi practice if unu waan fi chat right. It'a tek some wuhk my yute.
Unu gwaan fi git it dough. 
Thanks for the email nathan!
Love, Daniel
Wid love, from JA (jamaica) to you