Wednesday, December 17, 2014

week #2 -Kingston

Hey Fam,

This week has been an interesting one.  Mission Christmas happened this week and I would like to thank you all for the presents.  It has made for an awesome Chrismas!  I have been enjoying a plethora of candy and treats ever since Thursday.  So, Thank you all for the treats.  I am enjoying them.  The homemade cookies are wonderful, and I have been rocking my new gym shorts every night since.  Thanks guys.  Merry Christmas!

So, this week...  This week started with a couple of Family nights on Monday night. We shared a message about Jesus Christ and His purpose in coming to the earth. We wrapped up and with me having a draw-off with one of the family members while the teenage son played guitar. He is incredible at guitar, so it was fun to hear. We will be seeing the same family tonight!

On Tuesday, the Mo-Bay (Montego Bay elders) were in Kingston for some meetings, so they spent the morning going around with us.  Elder McGregor and I went on splits with them. We walked around, talking to people for most of the time, so it was good.  We have been doing a lot of that lately because we are whitewashing (trying to find investigators). 

Wednesday, Elder McGregor caught a ride with one of the Kingston Zone Leaders to go to his uncle's funeral.  I spent half the day with the other Kingston Zone Leader, Elder Adams. We had no solid appointments that day, so we walked around and talked to people. It gets rough sometimes. 

Thursday was Zone Conference and mission Christmas. Elder Martinez of the Seventy was there. We got to hear from him. He is an amazing teacher. He teaches with such simplicity. We talked a lot about setting goals for the new year, enjoying the present and doing better in the future, and helping others come into the gospel so that they can feel included and welcome. After Zone Conference ended, we had a wonderful Christmas program. A lot of the Elders and Sisters in our the Kingston and Spanish Town zones (the zones in attendance) played instruments and sang songs. The talent displayed was incredible. I don't know how we got such great talent in such a small mission. We then went to another room and had a Christmas meal of rice and peas, chicken, ham, macaroni salad, and dessert of ice cream and cake. The meal was prepared by a few of the members. After that, we cleared up, and President Brown put on his Christmas hat and began to hand out presents. The office couple had wrapped every single package that came in, so we all enjoyed unwrapping our gifts and reading letters. When things wrapped up, us elders from Boulevard rode to the Bishop's house and had a meeting with him discussing the ward. 

Friday was a long day. We super-planned for the week in the morning, and then headed out in the afternoon.  We had solid appointments planned for every hour, and EVERY SINGLE ONE FELL THROUGH.  So it was another day of riding around and talking to people. 
The ward had its Christmas party on Saturday, and we were invited to attend.  We elders played soccer in the falling rain in our proselyting clothes (suit and tie) with some Jamaicans for over an hour.  It was a lot of fun, but I wrecked my pair of shoes… Don't worry, it is one of the older ones. I think I will make it through the rest of my mission. 

Sunday was good. We were actually able to see some people. That was a relief. 
Last night, we pulled all of the mattresses into the same room of the house and had a sleep over. Our house consists of me, Elder McGregor, Elder Guereirro, and Elder Davidsen. Elder G and I had a great time telling stories while the other two passed out.  Haha.  It was great.

I am hoping that this week is a little more productive than the last, but things are improving. I can't complain. The only thing I can do is work hard and be patient. Things are going to take off soon. 

I am glad that you enjoyed the Christmas carols.  I thought you would. 

The things that we put on our Who is Jesus Christ Wall in Linstead was anything related to Him.  Nothing too picky.  We had everything from His purpose, to deep doctrine of how the atonement works, to the origins of His Name-Titles, to instances that show his character. We had it all organized around a lot of different pictures of Him, each one relating to a different topic, like; the atonement, the priesthood, His miracles, His character, etc. 
Anything you can find about Jesus Christ that isnt common knowledge that really doesnt deserve to be stated went on the wall. 

I would make a nice statement for you on Christlike attributes, but I fear that time is running short. Just remember Matt. 5:48, and John 14:8-10 ( If you have seen me you have seen the Father. I think that is the right reference.) Christ shows us and provides for us the way back to the Father. He is the only way. Our goal should be to become as He and our Father is. Perfect. 

I love you all. I hope that you are having a great Christmas season! Please, take some time to focus on the past year and pick out what you are going to do better in the next. Focus on Christ. He is our Heavenly Father's greatest gift to us. In Him lies eternal life. He is the Gift.  I know this to be true. 

Love, Elder Pullan

Elder Packer- I love this guy!


Missionary Christmas!

Me & Elder McGregor with our new haircuts

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

week #1 - Kingston

Hello everyone!

Kingston.  There is so much to say and so little time.  Oh well.  I will do my best. 
So, Kingston.  Kingston is divided into two sections.  There is the Uptown and the Downtown.  The Downtown is the on the south side of the island. That is where the hardest ghettos are.  I don't know if you have heard the names, but places like Trench Town and Tivoli Gardens are all in downtown.  They are not in my area (unfortunately), but I will get to go on trade offs there!  I live in the uptown.  The further north you go in Kingston, the nicer things get.  Most of the nice places here, you probably would not recognize as nice if you went around with me.  It takes a couple of months here in JA in order to see things the way we see them.  That is why I don't try to explain things too hard to understand to you all.  You can't understand.  It can't be explained.  Only experienced.  I live a little ways off Dunrobin Blvd in upper Kingston.  My area covers places like Pembroke Hall, Maverly (pronouced Marvely), 3 oaks, and Glendale.  I have a lot of decent residential and a little bit of ghetto in my area. 

Kinston has a very different feel to it from the rest of the island.  It has a city feel to it.  It is almost like America.  Sort of.  People here work during the days, and when they come in at night, they lock themselves away in their houses.  Life here feels a little faster moving than other areas of JA.  People have things to do, and a result, less time to talk.  This makes missionary work hard.  People don't talk as much here.  We have been working hard though.  We have to put a lot of focus on our members and the things we already have in order to expand.  We are taking over the area from the sisters that used to serve here.  They were able to show us around a bit and help us to get a feel for the area on Wednesday and Thursday.  I really love Kingston.  I don't know what it is, but I feel a special connection with the city.  I feel like I already know some of the people I have met here… 

I have a couple experiences to share from the week.  One was one of those "how did I ever end up here?" moments.  Sometimes, on the mission, you stop to take in your surroundings, and it hits you.  How did I ever end up here?  I had one of those moments while in Maverly the other day.  The people in the commmunity were having an urban soccer competition.  There were huge tower speakers set up, a dj, and a lot of people out to watch.  There I stood.  I am sure one of the only Americans to witness something like that in years.  Haha.  I love those moments where you realize you could really have this experience no other way.  It is such a great opportunity to be here. 

I had another great experience on Sunday . I think it is the best thing I have ever done...
So a member family in my area recently had a baby.  The baby was born three months premature.  He lived only four days.  He passed away yesterday.  Saturday night, right at the end of the night, we had gone over to help the family move into a new house.  We went back after church on Sunday (once we heard about the death). We saw upon our arrival that there were a lot of other ward members already there.  We were able to share a thought from the scriptures, then we were asked to administer a blessing by the priesthood authority.   The Priesthood is the power of God, manifest through man.  He allows men in the church to hold the authority to use his power to help others.  The power is not ours.     It is all Gods.  I was voice for the blessing of the mother.  I have never been so strongly lead by the spirit.  The words simply came to me as I talked.  I was able to say exactly what the Lord wanted me to say.  Some things I remember from the blessing is that the passing of her child is God's will, and I also gave a blessing of strength so that this trial can bring their family closer together rather than tear them apart.  The spirit was so strong.  I am grateful that I was able to be an instrument in God's hands to bless His children . That is what  is all about.  That is what makes this whole mission thing worth it. It was amazing.  It just builds my testimony of the fact that this is true. 

My companion, Elder McGregor, is great. I don't have my camera cord, so pictures are going to have to wait. Sorry. Next week. 

I love you all. Take care of yourselves!
Love, Elder Pullan

Monday, December 1, 2014

week #29 - Linstead (and a transfer!)

Hey fam!

Happy Thanksgiving!  My week has been really good. It is weird to be on my last week in Linstead.  I have been here to for so long and made so many good friends.  I am going to miss them.  I am getting transferred to Boulevard, Kingston.  I will be opening up a new area there with Elder McGregor.  I am really excited to get started.  It is such a privilege to be able to open up a new area.  Not many missionaries get that opportunity.  Elder McGregor is Jamaican, so I am going to be the ONLY white guy.  That will be a little different.  I am really looking forward to it.  I have not yet had the opportunity to serve with a Jamaican companion.  I have heard he is really cool.  He was serving with Elder Biddulph in Negril for the past few transfers. 

Transfers will be on Wednesday.  I am excited to go and get on to something new.  It should be interesting. 

I had the opportunity to teach in Zone Meeting last week.  My lesson went really well.  The whole thing was lead by the spirit, so it was really powerful.  Everyone was able to learn a lot.  I started off by calling up three missionaries and asking them about the "Standards of Excellence".  I asked them if they were keeping them.  The answer was "no" in every case. (The Standards of Excellence are mission goals we all want to achieve, but they are pretty lofty).  I then asked them if they were doing their best.  The answer was "yes".  I then had Elder Jernigan walk over and slap a "NOT ENOUGH" sign on their chest and announced to everyone that "their best was not enough."  I slapped one on my own chest and let everyone know that our best is not enough.  Then we moved into talking about the enabling power of the atonement, and how we can be enough.  I was able to teach well.  The spirit was strong. It went really well.  I am grateful that we were all able to learn from it.

I got the Thanksgiving package!  Thanks mom.  We really enjoyed it.
For Thanksgiving, we made our own dinner of fried chicken, instant potatoes and stuffing, and cake.  It was really good.  I made the fried chicken myself.  It was a success.  I was happy.  We all wore our thanksgiving hats you sent.  I am running out of time, but I will send pix next week.

I hope you are all well. Enjoy the snow for me. I am jealous. 
I love you all!
Love, E. Pullan