Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Selamat datang dari kota yang terkasih- Jakarta! (welcome from the beloved city!) It's a little bit more crowded, noisy, and different than Tangerang, or my other cities, but I'm certain I'll grow to love it just as much as my other cities. (Wow, if that doesn't sound missionary cliche, I'm not sure what does.) My companion is a super short elder from Bandung. His name is Elder Suryono and he goes home in August, so my job is to work with him in the Jawa Barat zone and keep him from trunking himself out. We live in the same house with Elder Litster and Elder Rogers really close to the church here. We'll be covering two "wards", and by that I mean the Jakarta 2nd ward, and the Jakarta 3rd ward, which is just the English speaking ward. We share the entire city with the AP's, the Sister Trainers, another set of sisters, and the elders in our house. Yep. It's great fun!

We ride angkots, buses, or the busway system. We haven't found a good housing complex to proselyte in yet, but we do get plenty of opportunities to talk to people in the buses. Like one time we were talking to this one guy (from Medan! woot!) about the Kitab Mormon, and this lady sprang to her feet from her chair and said "That book is false and not true!" We calmly explained that nope. It's not. But she was still pretty fervent in her quest of stopping us in "corrupting" this youth. By the end, the Medan guy wouldn't take the Book of Mormon, but wants to meet with the missionaries in Bekasi sometime. There are some weeeird people in Jakarta. But some great ones too! We went to Stake Conference this past weekend and heard lots of talks from lots of great people. Elder Suryono said that all the past conference themes have been about member missionary work. I'm a fan of that. :)
I'm at a new warnet and can't figure out how to send pictures. But I'll figure it out later and send some next week. 

They do have Memorial Day here, just on a different day. I forget when... I think August maybe?

Ha ha! Oh Sister Sheffield. Elder Suryono and I went over to the Lucherini's apartment with the sisters last night and it's so weird but great having sisters back in my district. My companion is hilarious! He was Elder Heiner's trainer back in Malang last year, and at that time, his English was awful. But now it's super great! I guess continuously training new missionaries does that to you. But he still says some funny stuff. Like when he said we should be careful we didn't go down to "H-E-double stick hockey". I'm excited to serve with him!

Oh! So I actually rummaged through my stuff at Senopati (the mission home) and found some extra shirts I had actually saved. I don't know the status of the package, but I don't think you need to worry about sending shirts anymore. Unless you already did. And if so, no worries. :) Just send the fruit snacks. :)

Yep. I chatted with Elder Wood at Stake Conference this last weekend, and Tangerang is a tough place to whitewash just because it's huge! And he did come from a paradise in Manado. The word on the street goes that they had some ridiculous number like 15 investigators with baptismal commitments up there in Christian land. But Tangerang is a great place. He'll be happy there.

New prayer list: add Pak Dxxxxx. He's a doctor from Manado who's come to church before and has a lot of potential. We're meeting with him tomorrow. 

Elder Seth Barrus

Monday, May 19, 2014

Perpindahan (Transfers!)

It was so great to skype with you all last week! No worries, it didn't make me trunky at all. :) Just good to see you all. Ha ha! And actually eventually talk back. (It took us 90 minutes to actually connect so we could see and hear each other. Finally just waited for one of the other elders to finish their call so Seth could borrow their headphones.)

It was kinda tough at the beginning, but the last 5 months in Tangerang has been really enjoyable. President Donald called up last week and said I'm moving to... Jakarta! My companion will be Elder Suryono from Bandung, who was actually Elder Heiner's trainer. My companion, Elder Sutadiyono, is moving to a quaint little village called Magelang in Jawa Tengah. Elder Sutadiyono and I have been companions for the last 7 months. Crazy long, but we've had so many fun memories and experiences together, it's gonna be weird to split with him. But he's gonna be a great missionary no matter where he moves! (I asked about the last names being so similar.) There's a Sutadiyono (my companion now) a Suryono (my future companion) and a Sadiyono (Elder Murphy's companion). They're not very creative with their names.

            So this is me saying goodbye to the lovely city of Tangerang. It's been quite the fun ride, Tangerang. 

We were definitely blessed this last full week to meet some new people that the new missionaries can work with. All 3 new investigators we met were Batak, a tribe from Medan. Ahh yeah! Each time, we approached their door, after asking where the Christians lived, and explained who we were and what our names are. Every time they see "Barrus" they get really excited and invite us in because "Barus" is a tribal name in the Batak Karo region, so they automatically assume I'm from their family. I've never been quite so grateful for my Barrus heritage before. Ha ha ha! 

Mas Hxxx can't yet commit to a baptismal date yet, but he still wants to learn with the new missionaries. He knows it's all true, but it just hasn't... clicked yet for him. Brother Wxxxxxxx just needs time. He'll come around one day. 

      You see some weeeeiird stuff in Indonesia. Elder Canfield and I were on a split last week and passed by this                          awesome Elvis Presley- like chicken. Ha ha! He's got quite the flop going on. 

Joseph Smith said ".. the time has gone by when (Mormonism) is looked upon as a transient matter, or a bubble on the wave, and it is now taking a deep hold in the hearts and affections of all those who are noble-minded enough to lay aside the prejudice of education, and investigate the subject with candor and honesty." We had an investigator text us last week saying his knowledge of the Gospel conflicted with the Book of Mormon, so he couldn't keep learning. This was even before we had a chance to follow up with him to see if he had even read and prayed about it. If anybody has a pure heart in searching for the truth, God promises to make the truth of it known to that man if he does his part. I testify that it's true!

Elder Seth Barrus

PS  Right! Package- so Elder Heiner's CTR Clothing white shirts have been incredible. It's like they're made out of titanium or something. Could you throw 1 or 2 of those shirts in the package? And fruit snacks. I can't find those anywhere. But I am moving to Jakarta and they say you can find anything in Jakarta. So we'll see. :) 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Note to Future Wife

Happy Cinco de Mayo! There is zero Mexican culture here in Tangerang, but there is this random Texan that sells Mexican food, so we're gonna go celebrate after we're done emailing. Woot! 

We got to experience a lot of Javanese culture this last week. You remember Mas Bxxxxxxxx? He married Sister Dxxxx in accordance with the government on a Thursday. Then in accordance with Jawa Culture,  they had a traditional Javanese wedding on Saturday. Which means lots of big hair, tons of makeup, swords hanging out the back of the guys' shirts, smashing of eggs, cleaning of feet, weird jawa dances, funky music, and lots of tofu and tempeh. It was sagat fun!

This is the Javanese wedding. Check out Sister Dhian's hair! Note to future wife- no need to go all out like this.

We also started this English class with the new program Sister Gong made in Hong Kong that uses mormonmessages and songs and starts and ends with a prayer. We're getting a lot of member support with this new program. Here's a picture! (It was after the wedding, hence the cool Jawa clothes.)

Mas Hxxxx didn't come to church because he's still a little afraid to talk to his boss and see if he can have Sundays off, but we had a great week with him last week. We watched the Joseph Smith film and he really liked it. We also had a fantastic lesson with Brother Wxxxxxx. We taught the Restoration in full, (even used some of Al-Quran to explain the relationship we have between God), and ended by giving a commitment to pray and come to church. He totally agreed to pray about it, but he kind of set us straight and said he'll come to church when he figures out it's all true. And with other investigators, I'd be kinda doubtful. But since Brother Wxxxxxx is really that kind of guy who will do what he says he will, I have total faith that he'll come one day. It was also his birthday last week, so we went to the Harvest and bought him a triple layer chocolate cake and surprised him. Only to find out he can't eat chocolate. It makes him throw up. Oops... 

Sounds like you had a blast with the other missionary moms! Sometimes we missionaries think that "missionary moms" is a cult, because you know things even before we do... Ha ha! That's fun that Elder Murphy's mom is coming up! Tell her that her son was my favorite companion in the MTC. And favorite white elder in Surabaya. And also my favorite Mexican in Medan. I love that man. 

To answer your questions:

1. I like Missionary Mall socks. My CTR Clothing socks are getting random holes in the toes. But the missionary mall ones are holding up great!
2. The best way to send audio of General Conference is on a flashdisk. But no worries, we've been downloading the talks on Elder Canfield's flashdrive lately and listening to them after we email. An Ensign magazine with all the talks would be just perfect. 
4. Right! Mother's Day. There's been no official word, but you can plan on skyping 9:00 am here Monday. If it changes, we'll be given permission to email again. But plan on that. :) And yes, rumor has it that we only get to skype for 30 minutes. (But we're having Zone Training Meeting this week, so should get the official word then.)

In Omni 1:26 we read that we should come unto Christ and offer our whole souls unto Him as an offering. We don't need to sacrifice goats or sheep anymore, but we are asked to sacrifice our whole souls as an offering. And as we do so, we'll find He will deepen our joys, expand our understanding, and strengthen our spirituality. 

Elder Seth Barrus