Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fahrenheit 81

Looking at the weather today as stated on my computer, and judging by the weather outside, it's a solid 81 degrees and slightly cloudy. In spite of all the pollution, it feels good. Sorry to hear about the 30 degree weather and snow.... :) I'll try not to enjoy the weather here too much.

Mission Leadership Conference this past week was a different experience. Instead of just showing up ready to take notes and take in the revelations that came from President Donald, Elder Simanungkalit and I had to prepare a presentation ourselves on how to make facebook a more effective tool. It went well, but the most inspiring thing to me was how President Donald answered a prayer I've been asking for these last 18 months. In preparation for my mission, I was told to study and ponder to more fully understand the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I've always known that only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can someone have full access to the cleansing and redeeming power of the Atonement, I just have always struggled at how to best communicate those thoughts to someone I've met on the street or an investigator. We had a chance to apply what he told us in a lesson with a guy named Purwanto later that night. He's from Borneo, but is Hindu. He already came to Brother Erwin's baptism a few weeks ago, so it was easy to bring that part up again. We asked him if he knew what was going on and he didn't. So we asked him if he knew what sin was. We then asked a few more follow up questions like "How do you feel when you sin? How would you feel to have those feelings washed away? Can a sinful man enter Heaven? Then how can we all enter into heaven?" We then explained that the power to cleanse sins has been restored to Joseph Smith and asked if he would get baptized when he knew it was all true. He accepted and is willing to be baptized on the 7th of December, if he doesn't go to Germany. It was humbling and exciting to finally get an answer to something I've been searching for the last 18 months. 

18 months. 6 months left. Well it's weird when you put it that way. I just say I'm going home next year and that makes it feel like I have plenty of time to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. :) I know! It was sooo great meeting up with Elder Murphy again. He's gotten a lot skinnier, but still the same guy I love. He's serving in Solo with Elder Canfield. Such a power combo there. :) 

We had a sad experience in meeting with a really not active member. His name is Gatsu and he was baptized in Malang, but moved to Jakarta 3 years ago. He's well off and because of that, he has quite a few friends. But these friends aren't too great. He hasn't met with missionaries in a long time, so we asked if he had a Kitab Mormon still. He didn't because these friends came over and burned it saying it was from the devil. We invited him back to church to partake of the sacrament, but he said he just drinks wine in his room whenever the Holy Ghost tells him to. There were a few other things he said that just made me want to cry in my heart. Even though he's a ways off from the strait and narrow, it reminded me of the importance of our friends. Which way do we face? If we find other friends who are willing to face towards the Lord, we'll be much better off than trying to satiate the endless appetite of the world. 

This last week, we had the opportunity to meet with Elder and Sister Gibbons, Elder and Sister Tanner, and Elder and Sister Funk at the Saharjo Church. They talked about so many wonderful things, but one thing Elder John Tanner said was "We as missionaries need to Re-Present the Savior when we teach. We are quite literally substitute teachers for Him." And I've known this since Elder Funk came last year and met the missionaries, but it was emphasized again how much he loves Indonesia. Sure he lives in Hong Kong and has been a mission president in India, but the spirit I felt while he testified of his love for the people of Indonesia is something that can't be denied. We did have a neat meeting with them all. And President Donald asked me to lead the meeting. That was weird leading a meeting in English. I messed up twice. :) English is a hard language...

Well, hope everybody has a great week. :) 

Elder Seth Barrus

Service Project (Picture courtesy of Sister Sheffield's blog)

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