Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, July 29, 2013

Surat yang setiap minggu (Letters Every Week)

Selamat Pagi semuanya!
It certainly sounds like there were quite a few people who had an awesome time in New York! I hope you all wrote in your journal about that because what I'm learning is that as the days have started to run by, I slowly forget what I did the previous week, but going back through my journal helps me remember fun little details I otherwise would have forgotten. Journal writing is paling penting! 

Seriously though, the weeks are starting to fly by! Some days feel pretty long and tiring, but when I start focusing on the work and how happy the work is making me, it seems to fly by. :) Elder Mocodompis was finally released from the hospital last Friday, but because he was in there all last week, there were constantly new companionship exchanges that happened. On Monday, I got to teach with Elder Kyle in Surabaya Barat, Tuesday I was with Kyle in my area, and the rest of the week I was back with Hendro. But Murphy was switching in and out with Kyle, Hasibuan, and Hendro. Just a weird week. :) But a good one! 

Mom. If you had any worries about my safety in Indonesia, there's no need. These guys got my back. :) Haha! seriously though, we ran into these guys at the Park, walking around with AK-47's, and we just started talking. 

We got to teach Lidya about the Sabbath day and anything we teach her, she gobbles up. She had a really trying experience yesterday after she attended church where her parents faced her and started asking her a ton of questions about our church. There's a phrase that a lot of Indonesians say to me or others when they talk about our church, it's "itu sesat!" basically meaning that "it's a cult right?" or "oh, it's the fallen church." Lidya was so great because she stood up for her testimony in the face of her parents! She's still planning on being baptized August 18th and will go to the church unit in Sidoarjo every Sunday after she's baptized. She just works in Surabaya during the week and it's more convenient to teach her then. She's luar biasa! 

Her experience reminded me of a quote from President Spencer W. Kimball. He said "You have a testimony! It needs building and lifting and enlargening. Every time you bear it, it becomes strengthened. Just tell how you feel inside. That is a testimony. The moment you being preaching to others, your testimony has ended." So true! It doesn't need to be long, but I've come to learn that we need to share our testimony more with others. Either through what we say or what we do through acts of service or examples to others. The building and strengthening happens personally and quietly during personal study and worship and the testing and true enlargening happen during times of trial. 

Both her and Satria, our other baptismal investigator, came to church yesterday and both got to witness a baptism of an 8 year old son of another member. I really think that's going to be good for them. As far as other teaching goes, we're trying to make more of an effort to reach out to less active members here in Surabaya because there are a lot. :) I asked President Muliono for a list of names we could visit and he gave me 5 families to visit this week. I'm hoping that goes well! It's really tough to find new investigators and people we can teach. 

There's a terminology here called the "Fish and the Bobs". The Bobs are people, usually Muslim who we teach and talk to so that we can find and teach their Christian friends. The Fish are those we get to teach and usually progress. I've been struggling with a bit trying to be really careful talking to people about Christ because I want to tell them that He is their redeemer too, not just those that believe in Him. I was thinking about this topic one day when I came across a scripture in 1 Nephi 13:41 and it says "there is one God and one Shepherd over the whole earth." It doesn't matter if they're Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist. Every person will have to eventually decide if they're going to follow Christ or not. There is no other way because there's only 1 shepherd. I like that. :)

I also like that because we had the opportunity to teach a nice Muslim man, name is Mas Wahyu (funny tangent that "wahyu" in Indonesian means "revelation"). Anytime we teach a Muslim, we have to be really careful to only teach what they're interested in, and usually that's the family. We got to know him a little bit, he's 36, not married, is a product designer, and has a motorcycle. We know that because we got his information from the previous week's free motorcycle wash. We gave him "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" pamphlet and we read it together. He had some good questions and you could tell he was really engaged because he kept looking us in the eye and just seemed pretty interested. After we finished that up, he essentially asked "what else?" We took that as an "OK" to go ahead and teach a little bit more. He said that he had read the writings of Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, and even the Bible. I asked him if he's ever heard of the Book of Mormon. He replied "belum" or not yet. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, explained a little bit about it, gave him a Restoration pamphlet to read, and we had to leave because we had another appointment that night. I thought it was a tad ironic, but really cool, because we taught him just on his "porch" in front of his mom's house and just down the street were congregating Muslim worshippers at a mini-mosque. The whole time we're teaching him, there's this Islamic call to prayer and here we are teaching him about Jesus Christ. It was cool! He told us he wanted to meet again and we want to meet him again because he seemed like a light had been lit up inside of him.

Oh yeah! And last Saturday, we got to go fishing with the Members. That was cool. I didn't catch anything, but it was good for Satria and Lidya to be out interacting with members in a relaxed setting to see that we're not all crazy. :) Elder Hasibuan caught a couple and so did Elder Murphy but I can't tie a worm on a hook to save my life.

Last quick thought before I end. President Kimball also said that "forgiveness is the miraculous ingredient that assures harmony and love in the home or ward." Forgiveness in and of itself is a huge principle and there's a lot you can cover. But I've learned here to start focusing on the good of other people, especially my companion. Because I've also learned that it's the people we know best that we get most frustrated with. Most importantly though is that we have the same purpose. If we let small differences get in the way of the work, we can't be a successful companionship. I've grown to love Elder Hendro as a brother even though we're from two completely different backgrounds. We're all united in Christ.

Wadu. Long letter. The Gospel is always true! We aren't always perfect, and heaven knows how imperfect of a teacher I am, but the Gospel is always perfect if applied in every aspect.

Sampai minggu depan! Terus Maju!
Elder Barrus

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Pictures from Surabaya

Now that we're finished with the Hill Cumorah Pageant, I have time to post some more pictures from Indonesia
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Bromo--a volcano in Indonesia--a PDay Excursion
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Elder and Sister Anderson, senior missionary couple from Rexburg, Idaho
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Elder Barrus and Elder Murphy teaching English at Swastika College

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Teaching English at "Swastika Prima Entrepeneur College

Monday, July 22, 2013


(Note from Sharon: This letter is from last week. I'm a week behind.)

Selamat Sore setiap orang!
I'm writing this kinda late because we just got back from the most epic Zone Trip ever. But first: more important items that pertain to the Gospel. I told you about Pak Sugiamto before (I think) about how even though he's a forever investigator, he's still super cool! For our visit last week, we gave a brief overview of the Third Lesson from PMG and I felt like it really was guided by the Spirit. We both figured it had been a while since he's been invited to be baptized, so I began my course to invite him to baptism. I asked him if he wanted these blessings of being baptized. And he said yes! But! He said he's not ready because he "hasn't read the whole Kitab Mormon yet". His response reminded me of something Neil A. Anderson said in his April 2013 Conference talk: "We respect each person's choice and timing... A person's lack of interest need not diminish our bonds of friendship and love." I think this totally applies to him! And everyone! We can't force anybody into baptism. It's totally their choice, even if it is the true choice.

 Anyhow, we went on our way and didn't think anything about it, until Sunday rolled around and who should show up but him! It was really neat to see and talk with him! The theme in Sacrament Meeting was Temples and Elder Hasibuan was the last to speak and he did a fantastic job! Mostly because he speaks slow enough so that I can actually understand him, but also because he's a great teacher. His talk sparked a lot of questions in the next hour "Gospel Principles" class. Only problem was that the teacher was someone who can't understand Indonesian questions very well: me! Thankfully, Elder Hendro and Hasibuan helped me out a ton! And through the lesson too because I got to teach about a subject I can hardly teach in English: The Millenium. Needless to say, there was a lot of reading from the book, but I think it went well. That was definitely a tender mercy from the Lord this past week.
Also, Dad wanted to know a little bit about how a typical day goes. So I'll do that today! The four of us wake up at 6:30 every morning, eat, shower, lift, whatever until personal study at 8. At 9 until 11 we have companionship study. After that, I'm allotted an hour from 11 till 12 for bahasa study, which is much needed. After that, we usually eat, either out on the street, or in our apartment if it's the middle of Ramadhan, and head out! We usually schedule an appointment for 2 oclock, either Ibu Ema, Pak Sugiamto, sometimes sister Lidya, Satriya, or someone like that. In between appointments, and yah, we bike everywhere, we've made a goal to stop and talk to everyone who calls out and yells at me "Hey Mister!" or "hey Bule!" We've given out a couple pass along cards that way, but no referrals yet. Keep trying! It's definitely difficult, but I'm reminded of the scripture in D&C 18 where the Lord says that "The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God... If you were to labor ALL your days crying repentance unto this people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy!" I definitely feel like that's my motto right now. 

When we contact people, we usually get to know them a little bit and by doing that, we can usually tell what religion they are. If they're Muslim, we invite them to English class, tell them that we also believe in fasting, that families can be together forever, and if they have any Christian friends interested in our message. The answer for me has always been a polite no. But I keep telling myself I need to continue trying in order to find the one. At about 5 or 6, sometimes we have another appointment, or teach English class at 6 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and almost always after, we try to meet with one member family. The Branch here is awesome! But for some reason, they don't have a branch correlation meeting. So it's really difficult for us as missionaries to get help with investigators or receive referrals without going out ourselves. So we do!  We return home after that, hold our daily planning session at 9 until 9:30, shower, brush our teeth, floss (Dr Boseman can be happy about that) , pray and go to bed. Oh yeah, and dad- we do get to use a cell phone for missionary work purposes. :)
Everyone knows that my bahasa Indonesia is not yet great, but apparently, my English is pretty good because a Muslim sister who always comes to English class, Ima, got me, Elder Murphy, Hendro, and Hasibuan to come teach at her Entrepeneur College.  No joke, its name is "Swastika Prima Entrepreneur College." I'll send a picture later. Let me tell ya though, if you ever want to feel like a total rockstar, go teach English as a Bule in Indonesia. Seriously, we were trying to leave because we had District Meeting at noon, but everyone wanted a picture with us. Haha! It was awesome! Real quick, while teaching, Elder Murphy and I got asked a question that threw me off so bad. We were helping them know the difference between informal and formal questions, and they were asking us more informal questions. So I was expecting questions about my pets, family, and stuff like that, when one Muslim sister raised her hand and asked "How you feel about Indonesian women?" Ah man! It threw me off so bad! It took everything I had not to crack up laughing. Essentially, we both kinda avoided the question, said that all Indonesian people are great and that Indonesian women can cook really well. Yup.
Whoof. My apologies for the long email. But I want to tell you about BROMO!!! I hope this is cohesive because at 10:45 last night, we hopped into Elder and Sister Anderson's car and headed to Bromo! We made it to the bottom of the resort at about 3 am in the morning, took jeeps up to the pinnacle of the mountain and waited for the sunrise, which was supposed to be awesome. But instead, it was just flippin' cold and rainy. I never thought Indonesia could be this cold! But all the Indos made me eat my words that I wouldn't get cold. Dang. 

Anyway, because it was all misty and hazy and stuff, we didn't get to see the sunrise, so instead, we went to the next coolest thing there which was this volcano thingy that smelled like Yellowstone. We concluded our trip with probably the most beautiful and most epic hike into this waterfall!! I hope I have enough time to send pictures, but it was sooooo cool!!!! It started out pretty normal, little hiking there, crossing streams and stuff. My flip flops broke, so at about half way through, I was just going barefoot. Not too bad. :) But there was a point where we literally had to walk underneath some waterfalls. I put my batik shirt I had just bought for Rp50.000 over my backpack that had my camera in it. My shirt got soaked, but my stuff stayed dry. Points for me! We made it to the very end where there was this way wicked waterfall that dropped maybe 100 yards from the top of this green floral scenery. I'm sorry! I"m trying to paint as good of a picture as it was, but maybe you should just see the pictures. :) After that, we all went home, but I couldn't sleep at all since the roads in Indonesia are nuts and always bumper to bumper. So tonight might be the best sleep of my life! 

But going on the Zone Trip with all the Elders and SIsters in my zone made me appreciate the creations and things of this world. Yeah, we can plant seeds and cultivate and make sure it's given everything necessary to grow, but it really is a miracle that anything grows. I think that can be applied to life too. We can nourish, and plant seeds and cultivate and fertilize the ground as much as we want and give someone every opportunity to come closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, but we can't force them. That's their own choice. But that doesn't mean we don't try. That's why I'm so impressed with all the missionary work you're doingin Palmyra right now! I know the missionaries who receive your referrals will be exceptionally grateful! Even though they won't know you personally, God will know the effort it took to cultivate each one of His seeds. And you get to take part in that! There's my Alma 32 in a nutshell. I love you all! I love hearing your Palmyra stories and other things that are happening! Every aspect of missionary work is needed! Even if you aren't a full time missionary. Sampai Minggu Depan!

Elder Barrus
From a Surabaya Warnet

Surabaya Barat

Selamat Siang Keluarga! Bagaimana kabar anda?!

To start, I've told you about Lidya, our investigator who has a baptismal date for August, and we've been teaching her on and off. She was sick last week and wasn't able to attend church, so we met with her again and created a new commitment for her to be baptized August 25th. She accepted so now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that she'll come to church at least 3 times before that day!!
I've been meaning to tell you about a member in the branch here in Surabaya. Her name is Ibu Yeni and she was baptized just about 2 years ago. She was previously Muslim, and when she was baptized, her husband essentially disowned her and kicked her out of the house. She told me she was okay with that because she had found the truth. Whenever she shares her conversion story, I think about how much more she's had to sacrifice than me. I've been lucky enough to grow up in the Gospel, have awesome parents and friends and family to support me the whole way.

She's awesome!!! She always gives us referrals and invites us over to her house to try and teach her son, Satria. He's received lessons before and has been an investigator on and off for about 2 years. Elder Hendro and I set a goal to just be his friend because he won't want to come to church unless he feels comfortable. We've been doing that lately, and last week, we decided to invite him to baptism. It was a pretty scary thing considering that he's been invited before. But after teaching about faith and repentance, Elder Hendro gave him the choice. And he accepted!! It honestly just felt right, I'm sure you've had that feeling in Palmyra. It just felt right that we should be inviting him at that time. We are extremely blessed here in Surabaya!!

The reason I'm in Surabaya Barat right now is because the district leader here, Elder Mocodompis, is in the hospital with dengue fever. The sad thing is that he leaves his mission in 4 weeks! Bummer, huh! So right now it's me and Elder Kyle chilling on our P-Day. We have an appointment later tonight to go teach one of his investigators. Since Elder Hendro and Hasibuan were here in Barat yesterday, Elder Murphy and I got to go to church alone yesterday. There was a less-active that he had invited to church who hasn't come to church in 20 years and we picked her up and headed to Gereja. What I didn't quite understand from a phone call from Elder Hendro was that there were two Chinese ladies who were coming to church yesterday too! He wanted me to translate for them! It was weird because I translated into English for one lady, and then she translated into Cantonese to her friend. It was tough, but it was fun! They both had a looooot of questions after, so we took all of Gospel Principles to teach about the Restoration in English. It went really well! I had to keep it really simple since they didn't understand our "Mormon" vocab. But it was interesting, while I was teaching in such basic terms, I had this calm and peaceful, yet strong, feeling that what I was teaching was true. I know my bahasa Indonesia has been improving, but it was a nice confirmation to me that what I'm doing here is completely true with God's will. It also was a testimony to me of the simplicity of our message when it's taught through the Spirit. I've been humbled again and again that the ultimate teacher is the Spirit, not me. And I'm sure you've figured that out in Palmyra too.

Contacting here is really strange though! Murph and I went to the main park here in Surabaya to try and contact and some days we can't receive a telephone number to save our lives. But for some reason, last night we were able to talk and receive information from 7 people/families! It's just a testimony that as we're obedient and faithful all the time, even when times get rough and teaching opportunites are far and few in between, that God will bless our efforts eventually. Even if we didn't get any referrals, it felt right that I should be out trying to talk to people about the Gospel. It's my calling right now!

Es Kolapa Muda is the sweetest thing I've ever tasted. Serious. I think I could live off of that and nasi goreng the rest of my life. And as weird as this sounds, pig tongue tastes really really good. :) But cabe and sambal are probably the spiciest things I've ever tasted in my life. I want to make some for you when I get back in two years. Until then, you can google it. :) Crazy stuff.

Anywho, I love you all! I'm praying for all of you as I keep plugging along here in Indonesia! Saya tahu bahwa Allah akan membantu kita sewaktu kita tanya Dia untuk bantuan. Kita harus merasa rendah hati dan melayani orang lain. :) No matter what stage in life we are in, missionary work is applicable to each and every one of us! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Barrus

Monday, July 15, 2013

Surabaya Week 2

Selamat Siyang Semua Orang!
President and Sister Donald are both hebat!! They're both trying to hard to learn the language, and President Donald is already pretty good, but after they've been speaking in Indo for a while, their Australian accent slips in. It's awesome! They both said, and I quote "what lovely parents you have" in their Aussie accent and I couldn't argue with them! 

PLD itself was an incredible experience for me! It was held at the chapel here in Surabaya, so the Elders already here didn't have to travel very far, but the Sisters and Elders from the Malang district, Elders in Sidoarjo, and Elders from Manado had to come pretty darn far. The Elders in Manado only come once every other PLD and since President Donald wanted to meet with everyone, they came, even though the Elders there are all new and had been there a whole week. All the traveling Elders spent the night at our place, and even though we have wicked awesome air conditioning in our bedroom, it got a bit stuffy fitting 10 Elders in one bedroom. 

On Thursday, we all headed over to the Church for PLD at 9 in the morning. Our Zone Leaders, Elder Masangcay and Elder Rondononuwo, conducted and gave a few talks about how Priesthood Authority and Priesthood Power correlate. We can have all the Priesthood authority in the world, but if we aren't controlling that Authority by principles of righteousness, it's "amen to the Priesthood of that man." I got to introduce myself and give a short 5 minute testimony and it was the most intimidating thing of my life because over in the corner was Elder Coleman translating everything I said! Our AP's, Elders Yarkasi and Lee, talked about how we're supposed to be measuring our success as missionaries and how ultimately, it's our attitude that determines how successful we are going to be. Yes, working hard, being smart, getting baptisms, and teaching a lot may increase our joy, but in the end, (especially if you aren't getting any baptisms or teaching lessons) it's our attitude that determines who we are and how successful we will be. 

I think it's a principle that can be applied no matter where we are. With you being in Palmyra right now, it can apply to you too! Yah, it might be hot, sweaty, and sometimes boring or long, but if we have an attitude of optimism, it's amazing how fast it can spread. President Donald concluded the meeting by saying to dedicate our lives for these 2 years to the work. (D&C123:12-13) He encouraged us to find those "President Donalds" ready to receive the Gospel. He finished interviewing everybody and then we all played futsal for two hours at the neighboring futsal gym!
As far as teaching goes, Mbak Lidya was in Sidoarjo for the last week so we didn't get to teach her at all, but we found a new investigator from a member referral! Her name is Mbak Fenty! Whoa, sorry, let me go on a tangent here. In Indonesia, you call everybody by their title as their first name. If it's a young man, call them "mas", young woman: "mbak", older man: "pak", and older woman: "ibu". She had been an investigator before but for whatever reason, just kinda slipped out of the radar. So we get the opportunity to teach her! We taught about the Pemulihan last week and teach about Rencana Keselamatan tonight! Wish us luck!
Wait, Dad says there was an earthquake in Bandeh Aceh? If so, that's pretty far north from here right? So I didn't feel it, but we have had a ton of rain!! Last week, it rained for literally 3 days straight. Anytime we were preparing to go out for the day, it just started to pour! Other times, we'd be already outside, think we're fine and *wham!* a rainstorm comes out of nowhere. We were headed to go teach a life-long investigator, Pak Sugiamto, and it felt like I was swimming, both because I was sweating so bad and it was just dumping on us. My watch and backpack passed the water-proof test, but my socks, shoes, shirt, and body didn't. It's good for me right? I'm down to about 80 kilos (176 pounds). :) We eat a lot! But it's awfully difficult for me to keep it in. President Donald was saying that my stomach hasn't gotten used to the bacteria yet.
How was everyone's 4th of July? Did you get to spend it in a Walmart parking lot again in Ohio? :) Indonesia doesn't celebrate the 4th of July (for some reason) except for my companion and other Indonesians telling me an occasional "Happy Birthday to your country Elder!" That made it better. :) In other holiday news, Ramadan starts on Wednesday! There's the nicest Muslim Mbak that comes every week to English class and she was telling me and Elder Murphy a little bit about Ramadan. Starting Wednesday, they fast from 4 AM (pagi) until6 PM (sore). Elder Hendro was telling me while we are the grocery store to not eat in public during those times. So I stocked up on oatmeal, me(noodles), roti, mango juice, and nasi (rice)
Elder Hendro

Playing futsal

Wearing Grandpa Killian's tie

Cutting papaya up for PLD (Zone Conference)

The bathroom in Surabaya apartment. Left is the toilet--right is the "bak" or shower.
Good to hear that Palymra is treating you well! I would encourage you to definitely enjoy the weather. :) Something that's interesting that I haven't thought about before until it was brought up to me at church is that the Book of Mormon is the Lord's dealings with the people from America, and the Bible mostly from the Middle East, but why isn't there a record from Indonesia? And maybe there is and we just don't have it. But I didn't really have an answer to this "mas" who randomly came to church, but I could bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. There wasn't any convincing or scriptures that I could pull out to help me tell him that the Church is true. The only thing I could fall back on was my own personal testimony that it's true. Sometimes in life we'll be backed against a wall, face a trial, or have to answer someone about our church and the only thing we can fall back on is our own personal conviction that it's true. And that is the most powerful tool to use in times of need because it can't be refuted by others. It's your OWN.
Indonesian word for the day: "Pendamaian". Which means Atonement, or directly translated: "object worked by the hands of a man that brings peace". Everything that's unfair or cruel about life can be made clean, right, and true through the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hope you have a fantastic week and hope you know you're in my prayers too! :)
-Elder Barrus

Monday, July 1, 2013

"No Coincidences" From the City of 3 Mataharis (Suns)

Seth Barrus
4:08 AM (2 hours ago)
to me
Hello Family!
If my words seem to need grammatical correction, it's because I'm currently at a Warnet Cafe sending this and the keyboard keys are all jammed in. And everyone knows I"m a terrible speller anyways. :) This last week has been such a whirlwind, I don't know where to start! But we left the mission home last Tuesday in a taxi, left the airport at about 4 pm and arrived in Surabaya at about 6 where Elder and Sister Andersen picked us up. They're so great! They're trying so hard to learn the language, but I can only imagine how hard it is to pick up a fast paced language like this when you're that "un-young". We went back to our apartment in Surabaya, and I met my companion! He's a short little elder named Elder Hendro and he was baptized when he was 13. Incredible! It gets a tad difficult to communicate, but we both try our best, he has a ton of patience, and we both know that it'll improve my bahasa. Hopefully. :) 

But since that night, we've been working and sweating and teaching like missionaries do! Our current progressing investigator, Lidya, is a 23 year old woman from Sidoarjo and she's internalizing our lessons at an awesome pace! She's scheduled for baptism for the 4th of August, so keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming! Other than her, we're teaching mostly less actives and non-progressing investigators. It's a tough area because it's so huge and for people to come to church, it's maybe an hour ride. I love the people here though!
Super cool story for you: I was feeling a tad discouraged because all 3 of our appointments either canceled or weren't there when we showed up. And I couldn't understand anyone, I was sweating like crazy, and it seemed like no one wanted to hear from us. So we went to a local park and began proselyting. We contacted a few awesome Muslim people and invited them to Englsh class when I heard someone yelling "hey!" I turned around and it's this white dude! My first reaction is to bolt and run, but I stayed and started talking to him. His name is Evan and he's from Boston, Massachusetts visiting some friends here in Indonesia. He had NEVER heard about the Mormon church. Never! So I got to explain to him some key doctrinal differences. I talked about the Restoration, Priesthood Authority, a living prophet, the Book of Mormon, and ordinances again on the earth. He's super intelligent! He goes to his Christian church every Sunday, prays every night, and reads the Bible every day too. But he seemed really open to the message of the restoration. Luckily, I had my tiny English Book of Mormon in my backpack, (no coincidences), exchanged emails, and hopefully we keep in touch! 

I am a firm believer that he was an answer to prayer, "The Best Two Years" style. I needed the confidence that I know this Gospel, and with the Holy Ghost, anything is possible. And that there are a lot of people prepared to hear this great message of the Gospel! Like the people you've been able to witness accept the Gospel in your neighborhood, Tristan and his grandma, some people are just prepared. Other people, we have to work for. And it seems like these people are everywhere in Indonesia. And I"m okay with that. :) I am a firm believer in "tender mercies" now. The Lord will give us blessings out of the blue that are enough to keep us going sometimes. So long as we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.
President and Sister Groberg left last night and before they left, they gave me a happy birthday call! I've only known them for about a week and a half, but I've grown to love and respect them like my real Mission President!

Grandpa told me to write some things down that are different now, but might be normal later. I thought you might enjoy some of these:

*Cats running around everywhere. Bats flying around everywhere at night.
*Showering out of a "bak". It won't matter how many times I pour that first bucket of ice cold water on me, it will always be the most terrifying thng of my life.
*Food from the street. Never have I meant a prayer on my food as much as now in my life. :) But for some reason, if it's been sitting outside all day, it tastes better. I dunno.
*Geckos and ants everywhere in the apt. No rats yet. Dang...
*The little kids yelling "Hey Mister! What... is your... name??"
I'm running short on time, but I love you all! I hope Palmyra is awesome and that you have a ton of cool experiences! This is me being kinda jealous.But hope you have a great week! Allah selalu mengasihi anda! God always loves you!
-Elder Barrus