Tuesday, November 25, 2014

week #28 -Linstead

Hey fam!

My week has been great.  Elder Jernigan and I have been working really hard.  I don't have too much longer in Linstead, but I am doing what I can.  I won't know where I am going until Saturday though, so I will let you know when I find out.

This week, Elder Jernigan and I set up a Bible study at a local school.  We invited a bunch of the community members and church members and studied the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.  It was pretty good.  There is always room for improvement, but who am I to complain for the first time?

I have been asked to teach 15 minutes on the enabling power of the atonement in Zone Meeting  this next wednesday.  I am really looking forward to it.  Elder Bednar gave a great talk on the subject called "the atonement and our journey through mortality" if you want to study it.
I will give you all the rundown though.  When Jesus was on the earth, he suffered and died for our sins.  Every one knows that.  Jesus also suffered all of our pains, sicknesses and infirmities (Alma 7:11).  According to President David O. McKay, "the purpose of the gospel is to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature."

So we each need to go from bad to good (through repentance) and good to better. We know the atonement helps us to go from bad to good. What assistance do we have to get from good to better?  

We find this principle in Mosiah 3:19. We are told that we must overcome the natural man, AND become a saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

There are two parts to this process. Everyone seems to be familiar with the cleansing power of the atonement, that overcomes the effects of sin.  This is called the Redeeming Power.  There is a power available for us for the other side too though!
To help you see it- this is the process of life,

              I                                   I
Redeeming Power         Enabling Power
   (Repentance)                   (Grace)

The Enabling Power of the atonement comes because Christ suffered all of our pains and sicknesses and infirmities, not just the punishment for our sins. It is the power that helps good men and women become better. 

We are able to access this power as we humble ourselves before God and pray for his help.  When we seek his help humbly, and then do all we can to change our situation, this power kicks in to make us more than we can be on our own.  This Enabling Power is also known as grace.  This is the power that enables us to do things beyond our natural ability.  This is the power that helps us to endure through rough times and fulfill all of our callings. 

I hope I have done an ok job at explaining it.  My thoughts are still a little scattered, but I hope that you can understand. If you don't, reading Elder David A. Bednar's talk should clarify!
I know that it is true though.  Understanding this power will bring a whole new level of Heavenly help and progression into our lives.  I would encourage you all to do some study on it. 
There is my sermon for the day.  I hope you all get it.  There may be some slight information gaps (stuff I know and you probably should to understand), but I don't have any more time to go and fix them. You know how that goes. 

Oh well. This week was great. I am doing good.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tell the extended fam hi for me.
Love, Elder Pullan

Me and Moomy
one of my favorites...


Monday, November 17, 2014

week #27 - Linstead

Hey Fam!

I have been here in Linstead for a VERY long time.  Transfer calls will be on the 29th of November, so that is when I will find out.  There is a 99% chance I will be going.  I am excited to see where.
I have really enjoyed serving with Elder Jernigan.  He has helped me to focus some of my ambition and progress the work a lot better.  My training him was no mistake.  I will be sad to leave the companionship in a few weeks time. 

Last Monday evening, we went over to Sis. Rattigan's home for family night.  Upon arriving, we found that Tuesday was "Hat Day" at the school they go to.  We immediately offered our services and spent the next while cutting and gluing with the kids.  It was a lot of fun.  The hats were a success.  I will send a picture. 

At our house, we have started a wall on which we tape facts related to the question, "Who is Jesus Christ?".  We have really enjoyed beginning to compile facts on every aspect of His character.  He taught beautifully.  His teachings are far deeper than any philosopher or man that has ever lived. He clearly states time after time that He is the Son of God.  Jesus Christ was no mere historical figure.  His birth has been the central figure by which we judge our years.  Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or the most wicked man that has ever lived, leading away millions into a false religion.  The only way to know these spiritual truths for ourselves is through reading, pondering, praying to our Father in heaven and asking him, and through doing His will so that you can see the blessings that come.  Answers will come by the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost will come most times as feelings in our hearts and thoughts and impressions in our mind.  They are subtle, but powerful.  Pay attention to them.  Learn to recognize them.  As you do you will find that you cannot be misled. 

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has helped me to become the man I am today.  I am so grateful for the support and love I receive from my Heavenly Father each day.  I know it is true. 
Remember- "This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).  The better you understand our brother, Jesus Christ, the better you will understand our Father.  The better you understand the both of them, the better you will understand your purpose in life.  I would encourage you all to give it a study.  I know that it will help you all to build your faith.

As for the rest of the week, the other missionaries had a baptism on Sunday.  It was great to see. The man that got baptized' name is Alexis.  He was a little nervous before it, but felt great afterward.  He looked so happy.  It was cool to see. 

I don't think anything else happened this week of note.  I have been really busy.  Working hard.  I am doing well though. 

Nathan- When you tell someone you are going to call them here, you say "mi a link ya." 
Lydia- They don't celebrate halloween or thanksgiving here.  It is kind of depressing, but good at the same time, because you don't even think about them. 
Dad- Usane Bolt actually was not that tall. He seemed about as tall as me. He was a lot smaller than I thought he would be. 

I love you all!
Love, Elder Pullan

Monday, November 10, 2014

week #26 -Linstead

Hello Fam!

This week was really good.  We did not find a whole lot of what some might call success, but we were able to teach some good lessons, have the spirit with us, and uplift those around us.  I call that success. 

Nelly's funeral was on Saturday.  It took place at a Baptist church down on church road.  It was a very interesting experience.  The church had an electric organ, a decent choir, a groovy organist who never stopped bobbing his head the whole service, and a very loud pastor.  It was cool to see the way that some people worship.  I was able to see some of the "good feelings" that these people liked during the service, but one thing was missing.  The spirit.  The spirit was not present in the service.  It lacked that quiet warm peace you feel as the sacrament is passed.  It lacked the teaching-learning environment that we all need so much.  I sat through the pastor's sermon as he yelled about two verses from Revelations and managed not to learn a single thing.  This pastor managed to spend twenty minutes on two verses and repeat himself over and over using different verbage.  It was ridiculous. Nothing gained.  Nothing learned.  That is why everyone needs the fullness of the gospel. People seek light and truth, and many times they end up somewhere where they can feel small bits of it (like in the baptist church), but never find the joy and depth that Christ's true church has.  I know that our church is true.  Not just from growing in it, but from praying, asking God, gaining my own answers, and of course, having it all backed by experience.  I know that keeping God's commandments brings happiness.  I hope that all will take the time to figure it out for themselves.  Nothing can bring more happiness.

Another story of the week- Elder Jernigan and I went over to Sis. Rattigan's house. Her mother was there. I am pretty good friends with her mom. Her mom is a sweet old lady who loves to talk to us, and is always funny to talk to.  I call her "moomy".  I talked to moomy for a bit, then she looked me in the eye and said "I wish that I was younger so that you could marry me".  I turned and began to laugh.  I really didn't know what to say.  I ended up going with, "I guess its not going to work out moomy".  Haha.  I love moony.  I have met so many great people here.

That is my week for you.  I love you all.  I am doing great. 

Take care,
Elder Pullan

Monday, November 3, 2014

week #25 -Linstead

Hello everyone! 

Not too much happened this week. We spent the week teaching investigators, seeing members, and attending Zone Meeting in Spanish Town.  We discussed how to invite people to church so that they will feel comfortable with coming.  It was really good.  Attending church is one of the keys to people finding out that it its true for themselves, so it is extremely important that we get them there.  One thing that really helps is to explain everything that happens at church to them so that they aren't apprehensive or surprised by anything, and also accompanying them there so that they have a friend.  Their conversion to the gospel is purely spiritual, but they still need to feel comfortable, loved, and welcomed at church.  That is the way it should be.  So make sure you are reaching out to those you may not know at church and looking to help them.  There is so much good that we can do in this world, and we may not always see the results of the good we do.  The gratitude of the receiver and the blessings we get remain though.

So, you know how everyone joked about me teaching Usane Bolt on my mission before I left?  I didn't get to teach him this week, but I did get to shake his hand.  On Sunday, we were out in Dee Side teaching some people.  Dee Side is close to some of the huge Tru-juice orange fields.  We heard that the family that owns Tru-Juice was "racing", and that Usane Bolt was there.  We walked to our next appointment along the interval so the we could see the race.  It turned out the they had built a temporary track through the orange fields and were racing their ATV's around it for fun.  

As we walked past, a girl we know called out to us and asked if we wanted to go and meet the family. (I would attempt to spell the family's name, but I have only heard jamaicans say it, so I have no idea how it is spelled).  I assumed she had a connection with the family, so we began to walk towards the house with her.  We quickly found out that she had absolutely no connection with the family, but was hoping that we could talk to them because we are white.  We decided not to pass up a good finding opportunity and continued on towards the house.  We walked up the driveway and were able to talk with the guy who set up the course for a bit.  Afterwards, we walked up and introduced ourselves to the family.  We talked about their ATV's a bit and the mother immediately offered to let us ride, and showed she was serious by saying "Get them some helmets".  That's right.  I had.  To pass up.  A ride on a high powered ATV.  Along a private course through an orange field.  With the sons of one of the wealthiest families in JA. And maybe Usane Bolt… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Auuuuuuuuuuuuugh.  It still pains me.  Mission rules.
We did get to talk a bit more with the mother about the business until she got a call. Conversation ended so we decided to get out of their hair. Afterall, it wasn't really a public event they were hosting. We walked up and shook the hands of the brothers, and Usane Bolt before we left. Then we went to our meal appointment.

The Richards family fed us some good turkey neck, rice and peas to break our fast on. It made the whole day a bit better since once again, none of our investigators came to church.
Thats my week for you. I love it here. No better place than JA.

I love you all. Tek cyare.
Love, Elder Pullan

PS- nice costumes Nathan and Lydia!  You look great. Happy Halloween!
Matthew- I need a pic of the suit of armor!