Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Came Early!

And by that I mean, spiritually. No mom, your package hasn't arrived yet. And Sister Sheffield hasn't swung by Senopati either, so I haven't even gotten the new shaver you sent. But, this past weekend was Stake Conference for the West Jakarta Stake! It's the second time around for me in Jawa Barat, but this time, we had 2 special guests--Elder Funk and Elder Chang, who came to address all the members and missionaries. Elder Funk is from the Hong Kong presidency and has come to Indonesia before. And Elder Chang is from Malaysia. I can now say I'm fluent in Malaysian as well. It's pretty much the same language as Indonesian, just replace all the "you"s with "kamu" and "mobile" with "kereta" and you're fluent. I was asked to translate from Indonesian into English for the Sunday session for all the English speaking members. It's hard! Not to mention intimidating, since a general authority was listening in. I said this last time when Elder Funk came to visit Indonesia last January, but I can see and feel the joy and love he still has for the people of Indonesia.

The mission tour starts with district conference in Surabaya Friday and so I'm looking forward to being with and learning from him. Two of the people he baptized came up to the stand during the Saturday session and taught about the importance of true conversion to the Gospel in order to attain exaltation. After 41 years, these two good members are still active and strong in the faith. I told Ivan after the meeting that I expect him to have 13 children and 45 grandchildren when I come back 41 years from now. Ha ha! It was a spirit filled weekend to say the least. I'm not sure how things are going to work out for next week's email since next Monday will be the zone conference in Surabaya, but I'll let you know for sure how the mission tour went as soon as I can. 

Last week, we found and taught a new investigator. His name is Pak Erwin (don't get him confused with Brother Erwin from Jakarta Selatan. Even though they're both Batak.) We were supposed to have an appointment with him earlier this morning, but he wasn't home. But last week, after we taught him and were waiting for the bus to come by, a big fat dude with a goatee rode by on his motorbike, flipped his helmet up and asked in a thundering voice, "Are you guys the JW's???" Elder Simanungkalit and I looked at each other, shook our heads and said back "No! The Mormons!" The dude replied with a sound of disgust and drove off. I would just like the world to know that yes, I am a Mormon. And proud of it. Our choir is better than anybody else's in the world. Which is actually a thing of importance to other churches here.

Remember Pak Budi, Sister Lely's husband? We went over there last week, taught about the plan of salvation and the importance of the temple, and at the close of the lesson, we challenged him to kneel in prayer right then and ask God sincerely if the church is true. After a 30 second prayer, he opened his eyes and said "that's all." We didn't say anything and he then closed his eyes again and offered a silent prayer. For 15 minutes. We didn't know what to do other than just pray our hearts out that he was feeling the spirit as much as we were. At the close of that, he told us he felt he should stay with his old church, but that he was coming to Stake Conference this weekend. Hey, he wasn't even considering coming to church at all at the beginning of the lesson, so I count that as progress! He didn't end up coming to conference because his aunt died in Bogor... But we both think it's a turning point for him. 

The soon to be preachers from Nias were "busy" all of last week and so we didn't get a chance to follow up with them at all.... I was super bummed about that. But we'll keep trying to contact them and get a return appointment. 

Pak Barus was sick this last week and William was asked to go to his mom's church yesterday so we kind of layed a solid goose egg as far as progressing investigators go. But Aleks came to stake conference! We all wore suits to the meeting and I was graaaaateful because it was freezing in the stake conference building. I swear, it must've gotten down to 60 degrees in there. Aleks leaves for Bali this week and won't come back till the 27th or something because of his birthday, but he told us he will text us when he is going to talk with his parents about him getting baptized. He's already "of age" at that point, so he's going to go ahead and do it anyway in January, but he wants his parents to know about it. I promised him we'd pray and fast for him on that day. I don't think he's going to get kicked out of the house, but you never know how his parents are really going to react.

Elder Simanungkalit, Aleks, Elder Barrus

I attached a picture below with Brother Wintolo looking all studly in his suit and the tie Elder Sutadiyono and I gave him for his birthday back in April. Seeing that family all complete and active fills me with such joyness and goodness and happiness, I kind of get the sense of what D&C 18 is talking about. It's interesting in Indonesian because the translation reads "the worth of souls is expensive in the eyes of God". Heavenly Father considers us each the most expensive and worthwhile item he can spend his time and effort on. And because of that, he truly weeps when that person is broken or rebellious or unrepentant and rejoices when before mentioned person returns unto Him, repentant and willing to receive His gospel. I've been blessed with the opportunity to see both sides of the coin, with people I've had the chance to see baptized go inactive and lose out on those blessings as well as see others stay active and I get to see the light that comes into their life. This is the case with Derry. The amount of light that's coming into that young man's life is a testimony to me about the life changing effects of the Restored Gospel. I told him in kind of a "immediately to the point" way yesterday that he's come this far and experienced so many blessings, there's really no going back. Maju Terus dan jangan mundur! (Onward and do not back down!) I think it's true for us all, no matter how long we've been members. 

Hope you all have a great week! 
Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Barrus, Brother and Sister Wintolo
PS The package you mailed isn't here yet. Sister Sheffield should be coming by sometime this week and giving me the package you gave her. I'm getting excited for the razor!! 

I don't have a bug. I'm just not gaining weight. Not sure why. 

Tell Jeff Rollman hello for me as well as the rest of the BYUtv crew. I miss those guys. Tell Mike Olsen that he's pretty cool I guess. :) 

I don't know when I'll email next week. But for sure on Christmas I have 40 minutes to skype with you and the fam. So we'll catch up then. :) 

Not sure what this picture is. Maybe traffic in Jakarta?

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