Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Indonesia on Monday--the Final MTC Email

Seth with Elder Montgomery (his roommate at BYU)
Seth with Elder Geilman
"The District" GQ Version
Classroom at RainTree
Elder Murphy in front of Wyview apartment

Selamat Pagi everybody!
I hope you've had a nice peaceful week because we've had a pretty crazy one! We received our travel plans last Thursday. We fly from Salt Lake at about 9:50 PM to San Francisco, from there to Taiwan, and finally to Indonesia. I'll be calling home anywhere from about 7:00 to 9:30PM.  I wish I knew more specifics. :) Our Branch President handed us a stack of Pass-Along cards to give out in the airport too, and I can't wait to hand them out! I'm curious if Matt or Brandon ever did that. Anyone know? We thought we were going to take a van or a bus up to the airport, but instead we're taking Frontrunner from here to Salt Lake, and then Trax from there to the airport. 

This last week, we've been focusing on teaching our new Muslim investigator "Purwono" and it's been a huge learning experience for me because I've had the opportunity to try and teach him how much he needs Jesus Christ in his life as a Savior, not just as a prophet. It's really made me think about my purpose as missionary more and more: "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End." It's "Invite others to come to Christ." Even though the principles and doctrines of the Word of Wisdom, Joseph Smith, the Plan of Salvation, and keeping the commandments are important, if they don't have a belief of Jesus Christ, they cannot progress. He is central to everything we do. Those other principles help us have faith in Jesus Christ, but are not central to the message I'm sharing. I think I've shared this before, but Indonesian requires no conjugation of verbs. It's awesome! But in part because I can say "Yesus Kristus hidup!" and say these three things: Jesus Christ lived before, will live and love forever, but most importantly, he lives now. I'm sure it will only intensify once I get out, but my faith in Jesus Christ has grown so much!

For the Sunday night Devotional  we had the opportunity to hear a good brother from MTC Training speak and what he said really struck a chord in me. He said that that "the first couple moments with your investigators are essential in teaching." He explained that getting to know my investigators and those I teach on a personal level first is crucial in understanding the investigator's needs. It reminds me of a talk Elder Holland gave when he said "everything you'll need to know about an investigator can be found by looking into their eyes." The motto here is "Teach people, not lessons." But I never really understood quite what that meant because in Preach My Gospel, we have 5 lessons in Chapter 3 that we have to get across to our investigator before they qualify for baptism. He encouraged us to ask better questions to help understand where the investigator is coming from, such as "Do you intend to believe what we teach?", "What are your expectations in meeting with us?", and "What has been your experience with God before?" By asking those questions, we can mold the lesson to them. As I've tried to do that more effectively, I've gained a greater love and understanding of those I teach. I think it's a principle that we all could learn, no matter what stage of life we're in. Jesus himself asked questions of those who followed Him, making them look deep within themselves, then built off of what they understood, and then taught and used words when necessary.

(Kind of the only cool thing that's been happening have been the devotionals, so I'll write about those.) Sooo for Tuesday's Devotional, all the missionaries from the main campus combined with the missionaries from the West campus at the Marriot Center to hear Elder and Sister Arnold speak. It was like one huge ball of missionary firepower concentrated onto Jimmer's Court! Sister Arnold quoted D&C 123:17, saying that we need to "cheerfully do all things that lie within our power." Elder Arnold brought up 6 points on how to make your mission more successful in the Lord's eyes. He brought up as well that obedience to principles is what protects us as missionaries. As we're exactly obedient, the Lord will be able to work miracles through us.

So the reason I haven't told you about how much weight I've gained is because I haven't... gained. Since there isn't a scale at RainTree, we walked over to the gym on our Pday today to weigh ourselves and I am disappointed. I'm up to 184. And I was 179 going in. I seriously eat anything and everything 3 meals a day and haven't gained squat!! How did Matt do it?? Brother Rawle said he lost 40 pounds in Indonesia, so I was hoping to put on a little weight so I'm not a stick when I get back. Oh well.

I want to hear how teaching our neighbor Josh and his Grandma goes! I'm so excited for you all to get to experience something like that! :) I'll definitely be praying for you these next couple weeks. 

I love you all! I can't wait to talk to you!
-Elder Barrus

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