Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hujan (Rain)

Selamat Pagi Semuanya-
If I didn't know the word for rain before, I sure do now. Hujan. All of last week, it was absolutely beautiful clear and sunny during the day, and then there was "hujan" like crazy around 6 o' clock till the end of the night. Elder Broberg and I were woefully unprepared for most of the days. Like last Wednesday where we biked out to teach a less active, Sister Desni, and then tried to make it to Sister Ezra's house before it rained.  We got dumped on and were soaking wet by the time we arrived there. It was still kinda raining, but Sister Ezra wanted to come with us to teach one of our investigators, Agus. So Broberg and I hopped onto her "becak" (bay-chalk) (google that) and went to teach A. Still in the rain. I don't know how I would have reacted if I wasn't a missionary. But knowing we were going out to teach someone about the most precious thing in our life made the rain seem small in comparison. We followed up on his reading and asked if he prayed to Heavenly Father and in essence, he replied that he knows the Book of Mormon supports the Bible and is the word of God. In all honesty, hearing that response that he knows it's true, made up for any discomfort we felt getting to his house. Sometimes being a missionary is just that awesome. 

It does help to have a comp who's crazy optimistic and positive the whole time though. Elder Broberg is a stud of a missionary. In every aspect of the work, he's truly Christlike. Any time we meet with anyone, even if they like us or not, he shows his love for them. In situations where I would get frustrated or irritated at something, he keeps his cool and is always so positive. I've never heard him say anything negative about anything ever. I'm super blessed to be working with him right now in Medan!

How was Conference everyone? I hope you all felt the Spirit, found an answer to a question, or found something to bless your life because that's what Conference is for. Because we have to wait for the Indonesian translation to come out, we don't get to watch conference until this Sunday. Since we have a mission couple here in Medan now, we actually get to watch it in English! I'm pretty stoked about that. We have a goal this week to invite everyone we teach to bring a question to Conference and then promise them that it will be answered.

Fun experience last Saturday too: we met with an Ibu R a few weeks back who expressed interest in learning a little bit about our church. She invited us over to her house last Saturday and so we just expected maybe her and her husband. But when we called her to make sure we could still come over, she kept saying, "We're waiting". She was right. We showed up at the house and saw from the doorway about 15 olderish people all sitting on her couches just relaxing. They all had just finished their Sabbath Day worship and now were relaxing the rest of the day because they were... Seventh Day Adventists. Hooboy. One of the paks asked us to explain why our church was different. We could have gone so many routes, but for whatever reason (I'm thinking the Spirit or something) we started explaining about Prophets, how that's always been how God speaks to His children, and that there's a prophet on the earth today. They seemed surprised and I thought they would become legitimately interested in what we had to say. Then they just started going off about how we were all sinners because we worship on Sunday instead of the Old Testament sabbath, which was on Saturday. We tried explaining that's why there's a prophet so that things not explicitly written in the bible could be cleared up. They just kinda went off though and couldn't give up the fact that the Sabbath is on Saturday. Made me think of what Jesus said to the Pharisees when he said they "strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel". I don't quite understand how a person can build an entire church around one basic principle of the Gospel. It makes me grateful for the testimony I have that the fulness of Christ's church is again on the Earth, with all truth and ordinances.

I haven't seen Conference yet, but I want to quote something Elder Oaks said from last Conference. He said that "Jesus affirmed that keeping His commandments would require His followers to leave what He called 'that which is highly esteemed of men'." Like when Jesus called the fishermen to become fishers of men, and they "straightaway left their nets and followed Him", what worldly thing do we need to leave behind to become a more devoted follower of Christ?
I love you all and hope you reflect on the Conference messages again and again. Santai saja!

Elder Barrus

And now to answer some questions:

1. Our apartment is actually kind of a duplex deal where the renters live in one half of the house, and we live in the other, gated and walled off part. I'll send pictures next week. Our bathroom door broke off its hinges so we just kinda prop the door up against the door frame and tell everyone we're showering. Fun, huh? 

2. No AC. But we do have a couple fans that we have facing towards us when we sleep and study. 

3. Food in Medan is more American. Sort of. In the sense that they love to eat pig and pork products and love to fry everything. You can also find more places to eat weird stuff. Like dog, fish heads, and quail eggs. We usually eat masakan padang which is a plain kinda meal with rice, vegetables, this yellow sauce, and our choice of fried chicken, quail eggs, fish, potatoes, tahu, chicken intestines or heart, or grilled chicken. I might actually gain weight here!

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