Pripun kabaripun? (That's Javanese for "How are you?")
I'm just shooting off a quick email to say I am indeed alive after not emailing last Pday as a result of the mission tour with Elder Funk. We got to go on lots of splits with missionaries, the two of us picked up Elder and Sister Funk in a taxi, we attended District Conference in Surabaya, attended a zone conference in Surabaya, rode a train out to Solo and then attended the zone conference there, and just got home from a flight back to the populated land of Jakarta. Yep. I'm not sure how to explain it more abbreviated than that. But I can just say that I hope when I die, that Heavenly Father lets me watch this past week over again. The spirit that Elder Funk and President Donald bring is indescribable. Once I get a chance to actually sit down and pound out a true email, I'll include more details.
Salam kasih, (With love)
Elder Seth Barrus
(And here's this week's email.)
Well huh. I've never had to do a recap of two weeks in an email before. At least I don't think so. I think I'll just do a day by day recap. Here we go!
12th Dec - We flew to Surabaya with President and Sister Donald. We split with the Surabaya Zone Leaders for most the day. I went with Elder Blaser and taught 4 lessons while just proselyting around the church. President was caught up in traffic out in Sidoarjo, so he asked Elder Simanungkalit and I to go pick up Elder and Sister Funk at the airport. Talk about nerve wracking! We rode a taxi from the airport and got to sit knee to knee with a general authority. He mostly talked about his experiences when he was a missionary here in Indonesia.
13th & 14th Dec - District Conference in Surabaya. I split with my former companion, Elder Sutadiyono and caught up with each other about what's going on. He's having a great time in Surabaya, even though it's super hot. President Donald called a new district presidency, with Brother Kingwi as president, who was baptized by Elder Murphy's dad back in 1980. Small world,eh?
|While in Surabaya, I got to meet up with the first investigator I got to teach and baptize. |
You remember Lidya? She's still super active and awesome!
15th Dec - Surabaya Zone Conference. The missionaries from Manado flew down and I got to catch up with Elder Heiner. Sister Sperry and I translated for the entire meeting from English into Indonesian. We mostly focused on effective ways to find, how to teach more effectively, and why being exactly obedient is important. After the meeting, we all rode the 3 hours on a train from Surabaya to Solo. Twas the first time I've ever step foot in Central Jawa.
16th Dec - Solo Zone conference. Elder Simanungkalit took my place to translate so I got to focus a lot more on the meeting itself. Elder Funk is a soft spoken man, but invokes the spirit when he speaks. I was kind of hit in the face with some personal revelation I've been thinking about for a while. In the church, there are things that are true, and there are things that are expedient. Sometimes, as missionaries we focus too much on true things, but not necessarily needed. Like Joseph Smith was 14, lived in New York, his grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, things like that. And then there are things that are expedient, like he prayed to know which church to join and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him, and they need to be baptized to show their faith. I split with Elder Canfield after. He's one stud of a missionary.
|It was Elder Canfield's birthday during MLC. So Elder Heiner and I bought him a cake.|
17th Dec - Flew back to Jakarta after spending the day with the Zone Leaders in Solo.
18th Dec - Final Zone conference in Jakarta. I felt the spirit most strongly this last meeting. It's interesting how I followed the same meeting three times, but got different things out of it all three times. It's a testimony to me how the Lord truly teaches us according to our needs. Elder Funk left a blessing upon us that if we're faithful and do all the things asked of us, the Lord will open doors for us that weren't opened before. It was a little bit more detailed than that. But the spirit was very strong during that part.
Not to bore you all with that, but just so you know we weren't just having fun the last two weeks. Although we pretty much were... These last two weeks were very uplifting and inspiring to help me know what I need to do to be a better missionary.
These last 3 days, we went out Christmas caroling to some of the semi active members. And one of them came to church yesterday! Even though our busway bus broke down and started smoking out of the engine on the way out to Tanjung Priok, we had a great time spreading that Christmas spirit.
Last experience I want to share before signing off, yesterday I went out with Elder Prayitno just proselyting. We left right after church atand spent the whole day proselyting trying to share messages about Jesus Christ. We taught one lesson. About Jesus Christ. To a Muslim man. Ha ha! Needless to say, the citizens where we proselyted weren't too receptive to our message. But! On the ride home, on the last bus before we needed to get off, I sat next to and contacted a man who hadn't been to church in 4 months, had never heard of the Book of Mormon, and was excited to learn more sometime. It's a small miracle, but I know that the Lord works miracles among us usually after we first show our faith.
We've been sharing Christmas messages with people these last couple weeks, centered around the video that you can watch at www.mormon.org/ind/natal. Jesus Christ is the greatest gift our Heavenly Father could give to us as His children. I hope we don't just share about Him only at Christmas time, but all year round. He's applicable and needed every day of our lives. Hope everybody has a Selamat Hari Natal!! (Merry Christmas) See you soon when we skype!