Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

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

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