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