Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, January 27, 2014

God is good. Very good. (Allah baik. Sangat baik.)

Selamat pagi semuanya-

There were a ton of things that happened last week that I will remember for the rest of my life. Or at least I wrote them in my journal, so there's a chance right? There's no possibility I can write it all in one letter, but I'll include what I think is important and hopefully it's not so boring for you to read back home, or wher'er you may be. 

Last week was awesome because we had 2 solid investigators tell us to "jangan pernah kembali ke rumah ini." Or "never come back to this house." One of them told us to come by and retrieve the Book of Mormon and Restoration film, because she is Catholic, her parents died Catholic, and she will forever stay Catholic. It kind of was a downer. Sometimes people's free agency is the most frustrating thing to missionary work. But as a result of us trying to be humble, the Lord blessed us with different opportunities than we were expecting. 

We met with Brother Wxxxxxxx and taught about the Holy Ghost and it's role in guiding us to truth. Went well. But no major improvements yet, although they've started to pray together as a family. (In the Christian way).

There's a sister here in the Tangerang Ward that is engaged to a Muslim man. His name is Mas Bxxxxxx. He's come to church before we showed up in Tangerang, and even met with missionaries, but the Elders before us made the innocent mistake of mentioning we have a living prophet on the earth today. Aaand that made him back off because according to him, Mohammad was the "seal of the prophets". Can't be anymore. So he stopped coming to church and it's been tough to get ahold of him ever since. We asked his fiancee, Sister Dhian, if we could just come over to her house while he's there and we could just talk. Turned out to be a really great lesson! We shared about the Plan of Salvation and it was really interesting to see that the Mormon Plan of Happiness is eerily similar to the Muslim theology of life after death. Before a final judgement into one of the levels of heaven, they believe all spirits go to another world to await the judgement. It's called "Alam Roh". We put 2 and 2 together and became like a modern day Ammon teaching King Lamoni because his "Alam Roh" is exactly like what we call "dunia roh" or "spirit world". The only difference is the whole Paradise and Prison thing. Sister Dhian is a stalwart member who comes from an incredible family, and so before getting married to him, she wants him baptized. It'll just take a little time. 

For some strange reason, we're not finding a lot of success with Christians. So another solid investigator we have is Mas Txx. He is the boyfriend of another sister member here. He originally was Buddhist and from Tangerang, but went to a couple of Christian churches when he was in Australia. He's come to church multiple times, and yesterday, we finished up the Plan of Salvation. It's been really really really fun and satisfying to teach the Plan in such a simple and clear way so he can understand. Like when we taught that the Resurrection is not quite Reincarnation. If it was Reincarnation, when would God's plan end? How would we progress and become like Him? We had hoped to invite him to be baptized, but decided to wait. At the end of the lesson he said "Your Church is less extreme than the churches I went to in Australia. Yours makes sense. But give me time." So we will. :) 

God is preparing His children to be taught the Gospel. I know that's true in Tangerang. In a city of 4 million people, (totally made that number up) there's gotta be a few who want to know the truth. Our modern day Prophet President Monson said in last conference: "We are inclined to become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting the heavenly virtue of patience is required. The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. Shall I Falter or Shall I Finish?" We'll find them. Elder Sutadiyono and I have the faith to do so. We just need to be patient as we work hard. 

Last week was kinda rough, but I've learned that usually in my mission, the worst weeks are usually (or sometimes eventually) followed up with a great week. We're gonna keep trying.

I hope everyone is doing great! Selamat Hari Imlek this Friday! (Happy Chinese New Year)

Dengan kasih,

The Stronger the wind, the stronger the Trees,
Elder Seth Michael Barrus

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