Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, December 30, 2013

Selamat Tahun Baru (Happy New Year)

The Tangerang District celebrating Christmas.

The time in between Christmas and New Year's was always fun for me back home to hang out with family, friends, and others while enjoying the break from school. I think it's about twice as cool out on the mission. Unless everyone is sick... Ha ha! We had a great Christmas last week! All of the missionaries from West Java were invited to the mission home first, and then to an English Member's home in Jakarta for some real American "bule" food. Fun stuff. No snow or Santa or anything, but a closeness with the Savior. I think that's the best kind of present I could ask for. And skyping with the family. That was a pretty great present too. 

Last week was weird. I was sick from Monday til Wednesday, and then out of the kindness of my heart, I think I gave the same sickness to Elder Sxxxxxxxxxxxxx. He was sick from Wednesday til yesterday, and now Elder Sxxxxxx is sick. Yep. It's weird how things work here in Indonesia. (No worries mom, I just took Vitamin D, C, and ibuprofen) but the Indonesians just walked on down to the local pharmacy and got some medicine for themselves. 

In spite of all the illness, we still managed to teach a couple times. We taught a less active family. (Do you remember Elder Mxxxxxxxx? He was my first DL in Surabaya. It's his family. His mom didn't even know he'd had dengue fever until he came home. Oops.) We taught from Elder Packer's talk from last conference how simply reading and pondering the scriptures will protect us from the evil influences of the world. When Sister Mxxxxxxxx closed with prayer she started crying and thanking the Lord for the 'inspired' message the missionaries had shared. Really touched me. I hope we as active members aren't taking things like prayer, scripture study, and church for granted. These things give us power and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. 

As far as investigators go, we have one 19 year old dude, his name is Mas Txx. (Remember in Medan, they say 'bang' but in Jawa they say 'mas' in reference to young men.) He's currently attending college and his mom is super supportive of him coming to Gereja Yesus Kristus (church). We're meeting up with him tomorrow to follow up, so next week I'll let you know how things are with him. 

Tangerang is entirely an angkot area. It's too large to be a biking area. Although, President told us at Christmas that he might use the leftover mission money to buy bikes for the Tang elders. Which would be nice because there are some areas close by the house where we have to walk for an hour to get to because there aren't any angkots that run through that area. I'll let you know. I'm feeling a bit stuffed up still, but perfectly well enough to go out and teach. Tangerang is colder than Medan. But just because it rains more. When the sun is out, it gets downright hot. The apt is a nice little place. We have AC in the bedroom and an actual bathtub, but no hot water. Still haven't had that since my first week in Jakarta. It's a nice, little expensive place. :) 

Angkot--a converted minivan

I did get the CD's! I totally forgot to mention that! Thank you so much for them! And also the cookies 'n cream bars! It was a testimony to me that you still love me. :) I also got the big butcher paper Christmas card from the ward. That was a nice surprise! Did they do that for all the River Oaks missionaries?

The work will always continue! But it only continues as members and missionaries have faith. Something that was quoted in last Conference by Elder Dube was that "faith is always pointed toward the future. The past is to be learned from, but not lived in." With the new year coming up, let's all have a little bit more faith than we had last year, a little more love, and be a little bit more obedient. As we do so, we invite Heaven's power. Selamat Tahun Baru!

Elder Barrus

Wow. It's about 30 times faster to send pictures. So I'll send a bunch today. This is me at "Air Tejun 2 warna" (or waterfall of 2 colors.) The colors? White and blue. Ha ha! But it was really pretty and cool. We hiked for maybe 1.5 hours to get there. No worries, I didn't actually dive in.

Elder Mxxxxxxxx and I helped bail out his
family's home in Medan after it was flooded.

Elder Mxxxxxxx and I with three young men from Medan 
who will be leaving on their missions in February. 
We taught their mission prep classes on Sundays.    

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