Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Missionary in Indonesia

(Seth recently sent us a package with a couple of snail mail letters--a fun Christmas treat!)

I don't know how this will turn out, but this is so you can have a small look into a day in the life of Elder Barrus, Mormon missionary in Medan.

6:25 am   Alarm goes off. Out of bed by 6:30. Pray.

7:00 am   Exercise. I crank out a whopping 25 pushups and 10 pullups today. Josh would be proud.

7:30 am   Shower. Iron shirt. Make and eat horse food, I mean, oatmeal.

8:00 am   Start Personal Study. Read from Preach My Gospel about "How to Begin Teaching" for 10 minutes, then spend the rest of the time reading from "True to the Faith", Al Kitab (The Bible), Kitab Mormon (The Book of Mormon), Doctrine and Covenants, and Gospel Principles about the Priesthood to prepare for my talk on Sunday.

9:00 am   Companionship Study. Usually, we sing, pray, read from the white handbook, recite memorized passages, and role play.

10:00 am  Elder and Sister Tucker asked us to come to their apartment and help set up their internet. After a 20 minute bike ride, we get there and wait for the technician.

11:00 am  The technician finally shows up and gives the Tuckers internet. It's expensive--about 450,000 Rupiah a month. We as young full time missionaries get Rp. 1,400,000 to live on every month.

12:30 pm  We have an appointment with Ibu Ixxxxx for 12:00, but we are a little late. She's great! She has a 2 year old daughter. She doesn't quite accept the Book of Mormon because she's never heard or read it. She wants to know the history first, so we give her a "Book of Mormon Stories" to read.

2:00 pm   Take an hour for lunch. We go to this place where we get Masakan Padon and immediately leave because we're meeting Jxxxxxxxx at 3.

3:00 pm   It's an hour bike ride out to Mondala, where a few investigators and members live. We teach Jxxxxxxx, a new member since March, about repentance and about finding a job. We teach his younger brother, Sxxxxxxxx, from "Book of Mormon Stories" about Nephi building a boat.

4:30 pm   We promised Sister Exxxxxxxxx that we could come to her house and eat kolak, this purple mush looking food with sweet potatoes and bananas in it. It's weird how my taste buds have changed since I got here in Indonesia. We talk for a little bit and I think, "Doesn't she have enough trials?" About a week ago, some drunk men threw a frisbee size rock through her roof, which scared her so she left and while she was gone, they stole her biggest pig. Last Sunday, her husband had a stroke and, for some reason, her family is blaming her for it. She is a modern day Job. It's a testimony to me that anyone who embraces this gospel fully can use it to overcome any trial or temptation. She's incredible! One of the young men in the ward, Exxxx, moved into her house last week and was pretty sick. I'm really grateful for that small vial of oil mom gave me in that MTC p ackage, because I've used it a lot here. Elder Sxxxxxxxxxx anointed him and I gave the blessing. I am humbled again and again by the situation the people here live in.

6:00 pm   It starts to rain a little by the time we leave, but not enough to justify putting rain jackets on. We want to meet with Axxxxxx, but he has another commitment, so we turn to our back-up plan--teaching a 17 year old girl we contacted a month ago. When we get there, we end up meeting with her whole family who all live in the back of a bengkel--a shop that fixes bikes and motorcycles. There's a fun part of the culture here in Medan. It's called "Mati Lampu" or "Power Outage". They occur almost daily, sometimes several times a day. It's pitch black inside their home, but they bring out a few candles and we make it work. Elder Sxxxxxxxxx leads the lesson and it's great! I'm hoping that the intentions they express during the lesson carry over to when we aren't there. They offer us tea, but we politely decline, and they are fine with that. We make a return appointment for Friday to see if they prayed about Joseph Smith and the Kitab Mormon.

8:00 pm  It's already dark by the time we leave so we get to use our fancy new bike lights for the hour ride back to the church where we meet up with Hxxxxxxxxx to start the New Member lessons. We bring 2 youth, Hxxxxx and Txxxxxxx, to help us teach the lesson about the Restoration. Hxxxxxx's great! He tells us about how he's trying to invite his friends to come and learn from the missionaries!

9:00 pm  We buy Nosi Goreng Telur from our usual spot for Rp 9,000 (about 90 cents US) and go home. We have this goal to plan and update the Area Book before we eat, so we pull out our planners, record stats, and area sheets from the day and plan for tomorrow. Then we eat.

Nasi Goreng Telur
10:00 pm  In Medan, we as missionaries send out a "Radio Osza" every night to members and investigators. It's usually just a quick thought from the scriptures. Tonight's is from 1 Nephi 19:23 "...for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning."

10:15 pm  Shower, brush teeth, floss (Dr. Boseman will be proud to hear that), pray.

10:30 pm  In bed.

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