Christians in Indonesia are the most conflicted people I know. I love and respect them all. But they don't quite understand their own beliefs. We met a lady through proselyting who was confined to a wheelchair because of a broken shin who let us in to share a message about our church. She said the same thing that most Christian Indonesians say: "All churches are the same. They all lead to Jesus and salvation." Yet, when we invited her to attend our church, she said "Nope. I'm comfortable in my church. They get closest to the teachings of Jesus. Other churches don't." Ha ha! Gotta love it. She didn't receive our Kitab Mormon, but she said we can come back sometime. It's sad. But we've still been able to find some people who are willing to experiment on the word.
Like Pak F! I met him on the busway maybe 2 weeks ago, lent him a Kitab Mormon, and just this past week had time to meet up with him. He lives in East Jakarta so it was about a 2 hour ride out to his house, but he was totally open to our message. He's from Papua, and something fun about Papuans is that they all look like LeBron James' family. Dang, I wish I had a photo! This guy could pull it off that he was Bron's dad. Serious, Josh you should pray that you get your mission call to Papua New Guinea. Anyway, he received a baptismal commitment for the, and promised to come to church the next day. But the S before, he texted us and said "I will come to church. If you give me 50.000 Rupiah (about $5) for the transportation." Nooooo.... We explained that we couldn't do that, but that the Lord would bless his sacrifice if he came to church first. Needless to say, he didn't come. It's funny how most people believe in the scriptures and the miracles that happened in them, but don't believe that the same thing could happen to them if they have faith first. Maybe we ourselves do that sometimes.
Mas D came to church. But he left right after sacrament meeting. So did Brother E. We have an appointment with him. C was out of town again. And Ivan is, once again, the rock solid new member I know and love. This last week was kind of odd because every single one of the people we contacted on the streets or in the bus were Muslim, except for 3. The Muslim people are great and we always try to give them a chance to learn about the Gospel. But they always just think we're another church. And there are some crazy churches here. That's pretty much our purpose though: Invite. Can't do much to force them to receive the Gospel.
I just finished reading a book written by Elder Neal A. Maxwell just before he passed away, and he said some awesome things, but I picked this one to end my email this week. He said "If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves. No wonder so many mortals are strangers to themselves as they twist and turn to avoid facing their true identity." ... "We become so locked into the cadence of the cares of the world. We should be preparing to live forever in a celestial culture."
Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Seth Michael Barrus