Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Whirlwind Week

The whirlwind known as "the week of mission wide zone conferences" is fast coming to a close. We left from Jakarta last Tuesday morning at 4:30 am for Solo and just returned to Jakarta last night at about 9:00 pm. Sooooo here's the rundown by day:
Garuda Indonesia Airplane
Tuesday: Flew with President and Sister Donald plus the Sister Trainers on a Garuda Indonesia flight (which actually won the award for the best cabin crew worldwide in 2014. Pretty cool eh?) to Solo where President started doing interviews and the rest of us ate, proselyted, and then played futsal near the church. After that, we played a game of basketball with a few of the Elders and a team of random Indonesians who were actually really good. We stayed at Elder Murphy's and Elder Canfield's house (remember them?) and then attended the conference the following day. 

Solo Zone Conference January 2015
Wednesday: The conference itself was awesome! Elder Simanungkalit and I gave a presentation (complete with a powerpoint showing lightsabers coming out of our daily planners) about how detailed goal setting and effective planning will help us achieve the mission standards of excellence. We took 30 minutes from our training to role play a daily planning session, which was about as exciting as watching grass grow. But hopefully, taking time to do something like that showed to the missionaries the importance of it. Elder and Sister Lewis taught about the importance of family history in retaining new members. (Side note: their grandson plays basketball for Woods Cross. Remember who coaches there now? Yep. Coach Walkenhurst. Small world.) We took a 4 hour train ride to Surabaya as soon as the conference was over. 
Surabaya + Manado Zone Conference January 2015

Thursday: Same thing as Tuesday. Got to see Elder Heiner, Elder Blaser, Elder Headrick, Elder McCleary and others. We played basketball at the church before playing futsal. 

Friday: Surabaya + Manado zone conference. With a little variation, it was the same as Solo. President asked, "What is your vision?", because our vision affects the goals we set, and is the motivating factor behind all the little things we do as missionaries. He also taught that "where there is no covenant, there is no ordinance". Our own obedience to the covenants we make through ordinances will determine the amount of guidance and blessings we receive as a result of making those covenants. After the meeting, I went with Elder Martineau and President Donald to teach one of his investigators and a less active member. It was raining pretty hard by the end of that, so President called for an emergency McDonald's run before dropping us off at the house. Ha ha! I love President Donald!
Elder Getter and Elder Headrick in Malang

Saturday: We got to spend the whole day on splits finally doing missionary work! I went with Elder Headrick. And I don't think I've ever said anything about him, but he is a hero in my eyes. He teaches well, contacts all the time, uplifts and loves his fellow missionaries, and he stands firm for obedience. And he's full of integrity. Every worthy quality you want in a person, you can find in him. We spent the day teaching a less active, waiting for the pouring rain to stop, and then taught a long time investigator whose name is Yudha. We watched the restoration film with him and then asked if he had ever prayed to know if Joseph was a true prophet. He said no. Without even thinking twice, Elder Headrick got onto his knees, I just followed suit, and we asked if he would ask God right then if Joseph Smith was His prophet. After going over the prayer pattern, and after I prayed to show an example, Yudha offered such a sincere prayer. And after he prayed, we didn't say anything, until he said himself, "I feel good." He accepted a baptismal date for the 14th of February. It was a really cool experience I'll never forget. I can't really do it justice in writing. After English class, I ran into Lidya again. She's cool and doing great! After a quick interview with Elder Headrick, we found a place that sells an old favorite of mine: pisang keju. Good stuff. :)

Pisang Keju (Grilled bananas topped with cheese and chocolate sprinkles)
Sunday: We went to church in Surabaya Barat with Elder Sutadiyono (remember him?) The church over there is really serene. I attached a picture below. Again, I'm serving in the most beautiful place in the world. The Williams invited us over before our flight took off for some quality Bule food. 

Church in Surabaya Barat

Elder and Sister Williams--great mission couple!
Yeppers. While I'm thinking about it, here's some additional highlights:
  • I gave out a Book of Mormon to a Malaysian man who knew about Mormons from Donnie and Marie Osmond. He was a Muslim man. His wife was wearing the hijab and all, but he was still interested in learning. 
  • There were about 30 or 40 people all preparing to "naik haji" or go on their pilgrimage to Mecca on our flight from Surabaya to Jakarta. I've never felt safer. :) (The Air Asia flight that crashed December 28th originated in Surabaya.)
Well, I think that's about it for this week. Aleks is getting baptized next Sunday and so we'll be gearing up for that. :)  He just called this morning saying his mom and dad are both coming. Yay!

Elder Seth Barrus

Indeed. Thank goodness for Sister Donald. She is an amazing woman. And hilarious! You would think that a mission president's wife would be all spiritual and full of scriptural knowledge (which she is) but she's also soooo funny! She reminds me a lot of Becca in her mannerisms. 

C'mon mom. Ironing my shirt has been a whole mission thing. Since we don't have a dryer, we have to iron our shirts after hanging them out to dry. Even here in Senopati where we have a dryer, I still iron them out of habit. 

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