Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai! (Happy Chinese New Year)

Aleks in his traditional Polish costume (and Seth in a hat with a Chinese braid) 
The Chinese population is big enough in Indonesia that last Thursday was a national holiday, complete with fireworks, lots of oranges, drunk Chinese men on the busway, red lanterns, and streamers everywhere. I've been picking up a little Mandarin as I've been here. I can now say "Please, sit down." And "Please, open the door." in Mandarin. Yep. I'd say I'm pretty much fluent. One of our investigators, who is from Chinese descent, raised his hand in Priesthood quorum and asked if we had a Valentines activity last week, why we didn't have a Chinese New Year activity this week. Great question. But I did attach a photo from when we taught Aleks last week. Apparently it was culture day at his school, so he's all dressed in his Polish gear, and I'm wearing one of those Chinese hats with a long black braid in the back. 

One of the blessings of being in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission is that our mission is too big for us to split with the zone leaders or other missionaries that often, meaning that we can still work our area, which is really really nice. Especially on the last leg of the mission (don't say it Mom). I'm grateful for the opportunity to still teach and see some of God's choicest children progress towards him. Like Axxx. That man is choice. We're emailing a bit later today because we went and taught him earlier this afternoon about repentance. It made me think how crucial forgiveness is in our own repentance process. While we're asking for forgiveness of our sins to God, we should be asking forgiveness from others we may have hurt by our actions. Axxx still has a lot of questions he wants answered before he's baptized, but he came to church rocking a yellow and red plaid shirt, complete with unripped jeans, and no shades. It's a step up from last week. :) 

Nxxxxxxxx is doing well. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ last week probably more completely and more thoroughly than we've ever taught before and invited him to be baptized again. He then told us "I feel like you guys are like the sowers in Jesus' parable. You've already done your part to sow a seed in me. If the seed is good and from God, He will do his part and it will grow in me." Ha ha! He eats up the Gospel! He just needs to exercise his faith and act. New investigators also came to church: Axxxxx, Axxx, and Sxxxxx. Wish I had time to tell you about them. Axxxxxxx is sooo wonderful. He's right on track to be baptized on the 8th of March. There was a baptism yesterday of two Batak sisters taught by the sister trainers and that I think will kick off a couple of weeks in a row of  Jakarta First Ward convert baptisms. Huzzah!

Mission Leadership Conference at the Mission Home
Mission Leadership Conference was cool. :) We talked a lot about becoming a full purpose missionary. Elder Wintolo and I gave a presentation comparing the aspects of missionary work to the Tree of Life vision from 1 Nephi 8. 

I was told of a Chinese proverb last week that goes along with something I've been thinking about Ether 12:4-6 for awhile. It's about a big hall with a stone floor and a beautiful statue. The stone floor complained to the owner of the hall "People just step on me all day to go see the beautiful statue. Why wasn't I molded into a statue?" The owner then replied "You and the statue were made from the same stone. But you weren't willing to go through the pressures of chiseling, the trials of waiting, and the hardships that precede the beautiful statue." We all are made from the same "stuff" of eternity, as President Uchtdorf said. But our willingness to pass through trials of our faith will determine our eternal destiny. We have to be willing to endure the trials and hardships of mortality if we ever have hopes of becoming like God. 

Elder Seth Barrus

Elders Wintolo, Jones, Barrus, Norris and Troff with Sister Donald

Farewell lunch with Elder Norris, who is headed home to Australia

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