Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ivan got baptized!

Elder Sutarno and I were pretty much just gearing up for Ivan's baptism most of the week.  I've never felt more ready for an investigator to get baptized than Ivan. He showed up 30 minutes late after he was supposed to get baptized because of traffic, but the program still went on and he had one of the nicest baptisms I've been able to take part of. He bent his knees! While we were changing, he said "I'm born again!!" He was confirmed yesterday in church, Elder and Sister Subandriyo invited us to their house for lunch, and then President Donald invited all missionaries in Jakarta to bring one or two of our investigators to their house for a little testimony meeting. And then later tonight, Brother Bryan Rondonuwu, our Ward Mission Leader and former Zone Leader in Surabaya, invited us to his house for family home evening. The ward is really coming alive in supporting Ivan and hopefully this is what sparks more concentrated effort in bringing more souls to know this great Gospel. 

Ivan's Baptism
I really wish you could all meet Ivan. He's hilarious!

Mission Leadership Conference

We had another stirring round of MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) and ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) last week and President really wanted us to focus on working with members and having more faith. He says he gets emails every week from missionaries asking "How can I.... find more investigators, get more baptisms, work more with members, etc." and almost always his answer is "Have more faith!" So we did. Just before Ivan's baptism, we had some down time without any set appointments, but if we went too far, we would risk getting back to Ivan's baptism late. So we decided to go out in faith! We were praying that the Lord would lead us to one person who would want to hear our message in time to get back for Ivan's baptism. We got off the bus, walked down a few streets, trying to find somebody to talk to, and the first person we talked to was from Medan, a Christian, and they let us in to hear our message. To others, it may seem like just a coincidence. But I've long since learned that there are no more coincidences or "hunches" in missionary work. It's all the work of the Lord.

Indonesian people are the funniest people on the planet. Last Saturday, there was a BYU-Hawaii alumni meeting at the Jakarta Selatan church (about an hour before Ivan's baptism) which meant I got to meet many members I knew from old areas. The bishop's wife from Tangerang came up to me and after talking a little bit, she said "You've gotten skinnier!" It's apparently kosher for Indonesian people to greet others by commenting on their weight. Because right after that, another member came up to me from Tangerang and said "You've gotten fatter!" (The truth is, I've stayed at 87 kilos for the last 6 months or so. So ha! They're both wrong.) Other than others commenting about how much I delight in fatness, this past week was awesome! 

We met a man who claimed to be from the Jehovah's Witness faith last week on the busway. He didn't give us his number or address, so we just gave him a card. He called us up and asked if we could meet sometime. The first time we met, it seemed like he was pretty set on setting us straight. But by the end, he was willing to pray. His name is Kenas. He texted us last Friday asking if we could come back on Monday morning at 7:30. We just met him this morning and he was so... changed. He said he prayed and hadn't gotten an answer yet, but he'll keep trying. But I could see a different light in him that wasn't there last week. Everything we talked about today was just free flowing truth. He doesn't want to commit to baptism yet, but it was a great way to start a PDay!

Happy Birthday Micah! Only a couple more years and you'll be out here doing this whole missionary thing yourself. :) Hope you enjoy being 11!

Thank you all for your prayers and own dedication to this Gospel. Great happiness awaits us as we give our personal will to God.

Elder Seth Michael Barrus

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