Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, June 16, 2014

Selamat Hari Ayah! (Happy Father's Day)

Selamat Hari Ayah all you fathers out there! It's not celebrated here in Indonesia, but that doesn't take away the celebrating going on in my head. Thanks for all you dads do. Especially my own dad! Love you dad!

This last week was crazy!! We planned on going on splits with the Tangerang District, but they called Tuesday night saying Elder Honda was throwing up and it probably wouldn't be a good idea to come down that week. So we ended up going to Bekasi and doing a split with this elder: 


His name is Elder Tufaga and he is from Hawaii. He was trained by one of my fellow MTC colleagues, Elder Kyle, and his Indonesian is already great! He weighs about 230 pounds so he definitely slept on the bottom bunk. Schnikies! I look little next to him. And white. But he's a great elder! We taught this preacher from another church and he testified so well that the preacher actually received a Kitab Mormon. It was a fun split! 

While Elder Suryono and I were in Bekasi, we got a phone call from Elder James in Bandung saying that President James wanted their investigator baptized this Sunday, instead of waiting a week. So we hopped on a bus the next day, and after a 3 hour bus ride, arrived in "the Paris of Jawa"- Bandung! We did splits with Elder James and his companion, Elder Pxxxxxxxx. I went with Elder Pxxxxxxxx. (You still remember Axxx from Medan? Yep. Same guy.) It was fun! Elder James has the elders down there doing some great work. And my companion is from Bandung and hopefully when he goes home, he'll be able to help further the work. 

                                                            This is us after English class.

Gross story of the week. Last night Elder Suryono and I were going to an investigator's house. He lives close to some apartment buildings that are being built, but lives in a little shack. It had rained pretty hard that day, flooding the field leading towards his house. We took a roundabout way so we wouldn't be walking in water. It was kinda dark and with the whole "open sewers" thing here in Indonesia, it's also hard to tell the difference between sewers and rivers if there's any flooding. I took one wrong step with my left foot and sunk about shin-deep into some awesome muck. I pulled my leg out and the smell wafted up into our noses. I'm kinda used to the smell after serving in Medan, but  Elder Suryono has a weak stomach. He almost threw up... Our investigator wasn't there, so after quickly hosing off, we took a taxi home and showered immediately. The mission life is Awesome! 

Bang Txxxxxxx is from Medan. He's met with missionaries before, but for whatever reason, stopped meeting with them. We called him up last week, gave him another Kitab Mormon, and he came to church yesterday! The first time we met him, he was completely against being baptized, because he said he's already been baptized in another church. But after church yesterday, we met with him and he said "If it's really what the Lord wants me to do, I'll do it. But I'll need to study first." Sweet! 

Elder Seth Michael Barrus
Me, Elder Suryono, the AP's,a new member, and an investigator, went roaming around Jakarta last week for PDay. We rode this double decker bus. it was fun! 

Elder James found this Mexican restaurant in Bandung called Perky Pedro's. It had legitimate Mexican food! 

                                                  Doing my best 'garuda' (eagle) impression. 

Here's a fun photo of someone that Grandma, Grandpa, Tad and Michelle would recognize:

                      Her name is Libby Sproats. And she is from West Lafayette, Indiana. Small world!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eye of the Eiger

This last week was pretty great! The church is phasing out missionaries wearing backpacks and requiring shoulder bags instead. In fact, here in the mission, all the missionaries who arrived after September 2013 have to have shoulder bags. I feel weird telling other missionaries what to do without doing it myself, so I bought a shoulder bag. Check it out! It's from a company called "Eiger", hence the cool title of this email. :)

After Zone Training Meeting, Elder Suryono and I headed on out to Bekasi for a baptismal interview for Elder Costner's investigator. Elder Johnson, and Elder Costner and I have all served in Medan and Elder Sxxxxx (Txxxxx, remember him?) is from Medan. It was fun! The interview went well and he will be baptized next week. 

After Mission Leader Conference, we held ZTM. We got to teach all of the other districts what we learned from President Donald. We have so many investigators in our zone that have baptismal commitments and President wants us to make sure we're doing everything we can to help them get baptized. He also wants us to be more bold in inviting people to be baptized so we can "sift through the nations".

We also went on splits with the AP's and I got to go with Elder Collett and learned so much from him. He teaches with such clarity and power. I hope I can teach like him some day. We tried to give every investigator we taught a baptismal commitment and it helped me see who we should focus on more. 2 investigators straight up said "not yet" and the other, Brother Exxxx just wants to make sure he can stop smoking first. 

Cool! I've heard of Elder Mulia. I never met him, but I heard from other missionaries who served with him. That sounds really fun! (We invited his parents over for dinner after we found out they live 5 minutes away from us.) We'll have to do the same thing once I get back. :) Did you get to practice any of your Indonesian with them? All the old timey members in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, know them because they do the translations for General Conference. Good family. Super small world. Especially in the Indonesian Jakarta mission world. That's too bad you couldn't meet with Elder Murphy's mom.

Ooh, yeah I could use another journal. I'm just using a regular notebook right now, but a nicer journal would be appreciated. :) No need for hymn arrangements. I've got a couple in Senopati I've not yet used. Oh! I actually got to play for the Primary in the Jakarta 2nd Ward yesterday. Soooo much fun! Even though they've never even seen snow, you should have seen how excited they were to sing "Once There Was A Snowman." Ha ha!

Last thing--we taught a less active member, Brother Txxxxx, last week and he was baptized when he was a student in Fresno, California. Didn't you live in Fresno? Do you know a President Bob Smith? That's who baptized him. He was the stake president at the time. He's cool! Add him to the prayer list. He's less active because something's messed up with his internal clock where he only can't go to sleep at 4 am. And so he sleeps in and can't come to church. He's got a son, Bxxxx, who isn't baptized yet and goes to college in Seattle in September, so we're focusing on him.

That's about it for this week's letter. Hope everyone is doing well and has a great week! 

Elder Barrus

Note from Sharon:  I asked Seth what he wanted me to send for his birthday. This is what he requested:
Hmm.... Fruit snacks
Jelly Belly's. 
A temple.
People who want to be baptized.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Selamat June!

Selamat pagi everybody! This last week was full of fun experiences. Elder Suryono and I hopped on a train over to Bogor to do a split with the District Leader and his companion. I like to call him Elder McCleary. Here's a picture:

 It was fun to catch up with him and relish about the glory days of when West Jordan beat Riverton. It was a fun split! He's a great missionary and will do awesome work in Bogor. 

I feel bad for not sending any pictures the last couple weeks, so I'm making up for it this week by sending some more. After coming home from Bogor, we went to a wedding at the Jakarta church for Elder Subandriyo's son, Ezra, and his fiance. It was fun because Elder Subandriyo was one of the first church leaders here in Indonesia. He's been great in working with the government here getting the word out about our church. 

​As for our own investigators go, we have the awesome opportunity to meet and teach Pak Dxxx this last week. Or Doctor Dxxx, I should say. He's an optometrist from Manado who came down to Jakarta for some extra training this last month. He's done a ton of humanitarian work with Elder and Sister Lucherini, in helping with the flood and other projects. He came to church yesterday and also came to a "cottage meeting" that President Donald and the AP's put on at the mission home where a bunch of investigators and new members gathered together to watch "The Restoration" and hear each other's testimonies. The Spirit was really strong! Brother Dxxx goes home to Manado next Sunday, so we're praying that the elders up there are able to continue meeting with him. He's really big about "by their fruits ye shall know them." The Church in Manado gets a lot of bad press just because no one actually knows about it. But Doctor Dxxx is telling all his friends and family back home to give the church a chance and to learn about it. He's willing to try it and see if this is the path the Lord wants him to take. Oh and that's my companion to the left. He's short. Shorter than Elder Hendro, my trainer. Ha ha! But he's hilarious and works hard. 

The Lord is truly hastening his work in Jawa Barat (West Java)! Remember Tangerang? They have a whole family of four that will be baptized this next Sunday! As we do our part to listen, to be humble, listen, and follow the Holy Ghost, we will be lead to those who are searching for the truth. D&C 100:4.

Selamat June!
Elder Barrus 

                               Me in typical Jakarta. Super rich apartments next to super poor shacks.

                                         "Share the gospel with all creatures" including goats.