Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Thursday, May 16, 2013

MTC Week One

Selamat Pagi Keluarga!
It's been a crazy week! I don't think I've ever worked as hard in my studies or had this many Spiritual experiences in my life for so short a time before. Seriously, it's like the Spirit is turned to "Max" all the time here in the MTC. I definitely miss everyone, but it really helps that my district is awesome! My companion is Elder Murphy from El Paso, Texas and he's an Irish Mexican with muscles the size of Texas. He's pretty much the best companion I've ever had. Sorry Josh. But whenever we teach Colin (our investigator) we teach with such unity and power! 

Even during that first day we taught Colin, and essentially just said "We know Church true. You can know truth. You know Jesus and Allah love you? We know He loves us. Will you pray?" That's literally how our entire first lesson went. We eventually learned to just ask Yes and No questions because if we tried to answer his questions, we had no idea what he was saying. :) It was pretty great. But we taught him for the last time yesterday and I'm gonna miss him. Even though we usually had no idea what he was telling us, I really grew to love and care for his wellbeing. 

But the language is really coming! I can testify that the gift of tongues is real. Anytime I testify of basic truths, the words just come to me. Anytime I heard that from other elders, I honestly had doubts that it would happen to me. But God is an unchangeable being and really does love ALL his missionaries! I've come to recognize now when I'm feeling the Spirit and when I'm not. And anytime I'm, not, I ask Elder M if we can say a quick prayer. Prayer (doa) is like a religion over here. (Oh wait, it really is. Duh.) We pray All the time. But every time we do, it invites the Spirit. And that's the most important thing.
My district has so much Kerengaya, that the other Elders in the MTC just can't handle it! ("Kerengaya" is Indonesian MTC slang for "swag". Josh would appreciate that one.) We work so well together, but we also have a lot of fun too! Elder Murphy is the pusat (center) of all our jokes, and being the Irish Mexican of the group, he can dish them out with some authority too! Elder McCleary is just a huge goofball. When we were playing basketball yesterday during gym time, he shouted "Menerima Ember!!" (I get buckets!) when he drained a threeball. Elder Blaser is like CJ Madsen jr. He's got perfect pitch and has really picked up the language fast! Elder Wood is pretty cool, and Elder Heiner is our district leader. Elder Kyle is just a work horse. Anytime we're at lunch, he's got his Indonesian dictionary learning new words and phrases. Elder Gil is a small Puerto Rican from Miami and has struggled some with the language (haven't we all?) but he makes up for it with his incredible Spirit! Sister Jibson and Sister Sheffield balance us out. Without them, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't learn nearly as much Indonesian. I really wish you all could come down to the MTC so you could meet them, but there's some rule against that. For some reason.
We had Elder Russell M. Nelson come to our devotional on Tuesday!! Our teachers said we were extremely lucky to have an Apostle from the Lord during our first week, and I definitely feel blessed! Something Sister Nelson said reminded me of what Dad said during the father's blessing he gave me. She said that not only will people and my family on earth be praying for missionaries, but the ancestors and family of the people I will teach are praying that I will find their relatives too! Elder Nelson gave such a great talk, and when I get back in two years, I'll give you the whole run down, but he said Having Character is more important than Being one. Sounds like John Wooden. He also said that he put his whole faith and trust in us when he gave his "Ask a Missionary" talk last Fall General Conference. And now, we have to step up and act the part in not only bringing nonbelievers to the truth, but helping members too. Dah, he said so many good things! I'll probably slip a few more things he said in in future emails.
We did indeed get ice cream on Wednesday. And Sundays. I'm sure Matt was wondering. And I've gained a whopping 1 pound since I've been here!! Aren't you proud?? I've been eating a ton! I just can't seem to gain any weight... It's not like we've been climbing mountains, exercising, or even walking to lose any weight. We've just been sitting in class all day!! Matt, I need help. :)
I've run into Elder Nathan Peters a couple of times! He's pretty much a native of Brazil now. He can speak Portuguese so well, it's ridiculous. And no, he hasn't gained any weight yet. He's still the yuppie I remember him to be. :) Which is good. He should get his reassignment soon and I'll let you know as soon as I know.
I've got some more exciting news!! Besides that we're moving into Raintree at the end of the month, but I'm running out of time, so I'll just tell you through written script. :)
Saya mengasihi semua! Dan saya tahu bahwa Allah mengasihi anda juga!!
Let me know any questions you have! :)
Love you all!
-Elder Barroos
I'd love to hear from individual family members too. :)

Mom's Note:  I just happened to be on the computer when I got Seth's email, so we sent a message or two back and forth. He said it's better to send snail mail or dear elder mail while he's in the MTC. He said he'd try to figure out how to attach pictures to an email and send some next week. So, looks like Thursday is PDay! 

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