Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Selamat Hari Imlek dan Banjir (Chinese New Years Day and Flooding)

Happy Chinese New Year everybody!

Fun week last week because even though the flood didn't directly impact our area in Tangerang, there were still some spots hit pretty hard. Like 2 meters high. Crazy stuff. People have been saying a flood like this only happens once every 5 years, but has now happened for 2 consecutive years. It's truly the last days.

We received some relief supplies from Jakarta last week, which included some rice, hygiene kits, baby milk, floor mats, diapers, and the usual flood relief stuff, and hauled it all into a big military truck which took us and the supplies to north Tangerang, where the flooding is. Yup. The Church is pretty awesome when it comes to natural disasters.

We finally met up with Mas Txx after taking a 3 week break! His phone's been messed up where he can only call or text other people, but can't receive texts or phone calls from them. But we contacted his mom who said for us to come over to the waroeng and teach him last Saturday. It's usually pretty nervewracking meeting up with an investigator you haven't contacted in a long time, but immediately after we started, the fear was gone. He knows it's all true. He reads the Kitab Mormon every day and "gets goosebumps" everytime he reads it. He told us with pride as well that he had been baptized by immersion already... Elder Sxxxxxxxx and I looked at each other wondering who was going to answer that one. Instead of saying his baptism was wrong, we opened up to Acts 8:19-20 and explained how a baptism has to be done by the authority of God, as well as followed by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost in order for it to be complete. I showed him my own priesthood line (Thanks dad and mom) and he was silent for a second. But then said "Oh. I understand now. I need to be baptized by this authority huh?" Yes! Good question! He's going to come to church this Sunday and hopefully be baptized a couple of weeks after. 

We met with Mas Bxxxxxxx again and followed up on the Plan of Salvation. The Muslim idea of life after death is eerily similar to the Mormon belief. Mas Bambang told us at the day of final judgement, there will be a "Juruselamat" or a "Savior" who will resurrect us all from the dead and allow us to enter "Kerajaan Allah" or "God's kingdom." I felt the spirit so strong as we testified to him that the Savior he's looking for, is really Jesus Christ. We coupled the lesson with a quick introduction on how to pray, how we aren't supposed to pray to Jesus Christ, we pray to Allah, but we're asked to close in his name, as an intermediator. And he accepted the invitation to try it right then and there! Great prayer, but didn't close in Christ's name because I think he's been told since he was little, "this Savior is not Jesus Christ" over and over again that he has come to believe it. We invited him to pray afterwards personally later that night to know for himself, to ask Allah if Jesus Christ is Mas Bxxxxxx's Savior too. The lesson really built my testimony to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Without Him, we would be subject to the ultimate consequences of our sins. I know that our Redeemer lives! 

Last quick story: We met 2 people on the angkot, Mas Nxx and Mbak Ixxxx, who invited us over to share the Plan of Salvation. After feeling the spirit really strong, Mas Nxx said learning about this was like a "Pemulihan" or a "restoration" of knowledge. After explaining how he accepted this in the Premortal Realm, we also explained how next time we meet, we'll talk about how Christ's church has been restored too. Fun experience. 

Elder David McConkie said in last conference: "You must stand as an independent witness of the things you teach and not just be an echo of the words in a manual or the thoughts of others." Pretty ironic then that I'm quoting him word for word, but as we're truly converted to this Gospel, we'll stand as an independent witness, no longer relying on the testimonies of others. 

Maju terus eh?
Elder Seth Barrus

Banjir! It was pretty bad the last few days, so when we got there the water level
 had already receded. (Is that a word?) No swimming involved. No worries. 
This is the tent we put all the relief supplies in. 
That right there is some water. In a box. 
Elder Sxxxxxxxxxxx and I standing outside of said tent. 
Imlek! Which is Indonesian for the Chinese New Year. For Pday, we went to a mall and watched these
Chinese performers hop around in a big ol dragon costume on these pillars. Pretty talented. They asked for small donations after so this is me placing some rupiahs in the dragon's mouth. No hand severing happened.

This is President Eko's family. He's a counselor in the stake presidency.Great family!

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