Terribly funny story to start off with: Elder Murphy and I have been teaching our two investigators, John and Shinta, for about 2 1/2 weeks now. 2 days ago, we had the opportunity to teach John about how families can be together forever and the lesson was going so well! Before I get into it, I need to clarify: "Iblis" and "Istri" are two similar sounding words with completely different meanings. I said to John: "Saya perjanji bahwa anda bisa menjadi dengan iblis anda selamanya jika anda mengikuti Injil Yesus Kristus..." I almost kept going on, until I saw John get this slight grin on his face. It was one of those faces that I thought was "I feel the Spirit so strong, I'm starting to smile" faces when it actuality it was one of those "I don't quite think you understand what you just said" faces. I stopped and looked at Elder Murphy, who was already laughing his head off. When I asked "what?", he leaned over to me and said "You just promised that he could be with his devil forever if he followed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Iblis" means devil while "istri" means wife. At that point, all hope was lost for any semblance of a spiritual lesson as the three of us starting to laugh at my inability to speak Indo. Awesome.
Other than that, the language is coming really well! Elder Murphy and I are trying to add about 10-12 new words a day to our vocabulary. They hired a third new teacher just this last week. His name is Brother Rawle from Springville and it was a welcome transition because he speaks so flippin' fast! I'm hoping that it's good preparation for the actual mission. Especially since our district received some news this last week!! Apparently the MTC forgot about the Indonesian district (like we couldn't tell with the whole schedule mess up fiasco) and were wondering why we were scheduled to stay here for 9 weeks, while the Malays were scheduled for only 6. So last Thursday, they said our departure date is nowinstead of !! Ahh!! If anything, I feel bad for my companion, who set a goal to do 7000 pushups before he leaves the MTC. As of the latest release, he's doing 500 pushups a day to meet his goal. While his weak companion is currently up to about 30 a day. :) That being said, that kinda changes things as far as letters and packages go. I don't want anybody to have to pay 1,000,000 rupiah (about $100 USD) to send any packages. :) My new mailing address here at the MTC is:
Elder Seth Michael Barrus
2023 N. 900 E. Unit 811
Provo, UT 84602
Our zone is progressively shrinking. We added the Malagasy district about 2 weeks ago, but the Greek elders and sisters all left. They were all so awesome!! I wish I wrote about them more! They were all foreigners because Greece doesn't want any American missionaries in their country. It's kind of a pride thing. I wanna talk about two of them: Elder Mead was from England and we had some jolly good fun making fun of his accent as he made fun of ours. The other was Elder Martinez from Spain. This Elder was incredible! He only spoke Spanish before he came to the MTC, but he was learning Greek from English. So not only did he pick up the Greek language better than anyone in their district, he had to do it with extremely limited English! Let me illustrate how little he had: I can't remember what we were doing exactly, but Elder McCleary told Elder Martinez "Attaboy!" and Martinez didn't quite understand, so he replied back with "Cleary- you have a boy?? What do that mean?" Ooh! We had a good time with that. Another thing that made me chuckle was when we were all talking before Sacrament meeting one about where we thought we were going on our missions. We all kinda said weird places, but Elder Martinez said he wanted to go to Ohio because (quote) "I like the name. It just rolls off your mouth." We had some fun with that one!
Anywho, nothing really different has happened. Although for theDevotional, a man named Ted Gibbons came and acted like he was Williard Richards and he testified of Joseph Smith. It was really different from the standard devotional, but it really made me miss Nauvoo! I'm super jealous you guys get to go to Palmyra this year! I'm expecting quite a few pictures and stories when you go. :)
Tell Grandma Dottie happy birthday again for me! And tell Josh Semoga Sukses with those teeth of wisdom.
One quick spiritual note: I started reading the Book of Mormon again with an emphasis on our Savior's Atonement. It's been extremely humbling to see how much the Atonement has a role in everything we do! His hand is in your life if you look for it!
I love you all! Thanks again for the letters and kasih! Punya minggu baik sekali!