Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri!

(This letter is the one Seth sent on August 12, 2013)

Bagaimana kabar anda semuanya!

Last week was probably the slowest week for missionary work in my entire three months of missionary service. Muslims are awesome! They finished up their fasting month last week with the beginning of a weeklong celebration called "Lebaran". It's where every single person returns home to the "land of their inheritance", wherever that is, and hangs out with their family. It's kind of a mix between Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and New Year. Christmas because of the family thing, Thanksgiving because they eat like crazy (especially after fasting for a month!), Halloween because there's this event on the first day of "Idul Fitri" where all the little kids can go outside, door to door, or just on the street, and people will hand them money, small amounts, like a Rp 2.000 or 5.000 at the most, but after about 20 people, it adds up, and New Year because on Wednesday (the day before Idul Fitri) everybody stays up super late, banging drums, lighting off fireworks, socializing together, and eating. Super cool holiday for Indonesians! 

But really slow week for missionary work since everyone was gone and didn't want us to come over. So we ended up biking an hour and a half to Sidoarjo and eating with a few people there. One was a member of the Sidoarjo unit, and another was a man's family named Pak Aji, who always comes to the English Class on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Surabaya. I tried this weird, but delicious, fruit called "pencit". It's a small, unripe mango that is picked off a tree, is kinda green, and tastes really sour. But it's weirdly delicious. That's pretty much how last week went. :)

Elder Hendro is my hero. We biked back from Sidoarjo one day and my bike has been making these super weird noises lately. So we flipped my bike upside down and took the back tire off when all the gears on the back fell off one by one. Dah.... It's time for my moment of regret: Dad, I wish I would have listened and watched you more to learn how to fix and handle bikes better. Luckily, Elder Hendro is a pro at bike care. After tinkering around with a few spare tires and other gears, we finally found a combination that worked with my bike! Because of that and also his continuing patience with me learning the language. 

I feel like I hit a plateau as far as language goes. I can understand most of what is said in Sacrament meeting. But I taught Priesthood meeting afterwards and couldn't understand their input that they had on the lesson. They still carried the lesson for me about missionary work, and I hope everyone was edified, but I feel like I'm starting to plateau. Which means there's only one cure: work and prayer! It's amazing how many problems and bad feelings can be overcome by the simple combination of Prayer and Work. It reminds me of something President Hinckley said one time. He said something like "When I have a question on my mind, I almost always go to the Lord in prayer. After my prayer, I stand up and get to work!" 

It's drilled into our heads as missionaries that we can't measure our success by how many baptisms we get. But the fact we have a baptism on Sunday for Lidya is a nice little thing for me to look forward to! We've been teaching others, and it's been fun to see their small spiritual progression, but it's super cool to see someone who embraces the truth whole heartedly as soon as she found it! I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of teaching her and helping her progress towards her first covenant with God. 

Love you all! Saya berdoa setiap hari untuk anda dan saya harap bahwa anda tahu berapa banyak saya mengasihi anda dan juga kerja ini! Dan juga berapa banyak saya suka ikan!

Elder Barrus

Apartment Inspection (passed!)  (Picture courtesy of Elder and Sister Anderson)

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