Elder Sxxxxxxxx and I packed all our things up, hopped on the AirAsia airplane, and headed on over to our new city. Even though it took an hour and a half to find the church building, I'm positive we're going to like it here. Even if we have to ride angkots (minivans turned taxi-buses) everywhere. Tangerang really is a beautiful city---really green and really modern as well. There are two wards here and my companion and I are assigned to Tangerang 1. It's really weird too because there are a lot of returned missionaries in our ward, like Brother Mxxxxx, Elder Mxxxxxxxx (my district leader in Surabaya--remember, he's the one that got dengue fever?), and Elder Sxxxxxx. We're sharing our apartment with Elder Heiner (we were in the MTC together) from Oregon and Elder Sxxxxxx from Solo. As far as the work goes, there are a lot of potential investigators that were left by other missionaries. At the same time, our plan is to work as much as we can with the members in getting more referrals and reactivating less actives.
We met up with the Wxxxxxx family our first night there and they're pretty great! Sister Axxxx, the mother, is a member from Solo, and she married a Muslim man who is cool, but pretty set on being Muslim. They have a son, Elder Wxxxxx, serving a mission right now and he was in the same MTC as my companion, Elder Sxxxxxxxx. I know that he felt the spirit while we met with the family, but for whatever reason, Brother Wxxxxxxx is holding onto his Islam identity while his family follows the church. We're going to keep meeting with them and see what would prevent him from joining his family in enjoying all of the gifts and privileges of the Gospel.
I hope you all have a great Christmas! There's a quote from President Hinckley that I really like and hope we all apply during this season and in our lives:
"'Mormonism' is a religion of refinement. It reasons that every man has within him God-possibilities, that salvation is essentially development. It argues that every man is potentially a great man. And through an inspired system, it offers the most extensive facilities in all the world for every man to discover himself and his possibilities, to so live that he can stand on the summit of his life and look back upon a trail of accomplishment and not a slough of wasted energies... Happy will be the man or woman who has tapped some hidden resource and given it voice. To such a character will come the sweet satisfying feeling of strengthening power, of having done something that has made life a little nobler. God has generously blessed us all with talent... Catch the silent thrill of growth!"
Selamat Hari Natal!!! (Merry Christmas)
Elder Seth Michael Barrus