Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Weak and the Simple

In Amos, we read of a famine, not a famine of food or of water, but a famine of "hearing the word of God." Yes, I know this scripture is talking about the Great Apostasy soon after the Apostles died, but this prophecy was fulfilled in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. We have had 0 Kitab Mormons in the office from last Monday till now, and there are missionaries who have been calling me and Elder Wintolo asking where their Books of Salvation are. Turns out, the man in charge here in Senopati has been a bit behind in ordering them. A big shipment of 1900 has finally made it to Singapore and is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on the February 13, but until then, I feel like my words mean nothing, since investigators and people I meet on the street have nothing to try. If anything else, it makes me appreciate the missionaries back in the 70's who didn't even have a Book of Mormon translated into Indonesian, Yet, people still joined the church and are active to this day. Other than that, we had a sweet week last week!

Transfers! Elder Simanungkalit left for Jogjakarta last Tuesday morning, and my new companion is Elder Wintolo! I like working with him. :) Besides the fact his father is the one and only Brother Wintolo, he has a pure desire to serve the people. He himself used to be Muslim, following his dad's beliefs, but at the age of 17 decided to make a change. It's a cool conversion story maybe sometime I'll share. 

We met a lot of cool new investigators last week. I really feel like we were led the entire week. We met people on busways who hadn't been to church in years because they didn't feel it was right. We met people who had never heard of the Book of Mormon but are willing to learn more. There were just miracles all around I wish I could include here. But I'll just share a few. The first one is Pak AXXXXX. When I called him up last week, (he's a former investigator) he said he was reading a pamphlet from another church and was really confused. He remembered something from them Mormons, so he started searching his house for his Kitab Mormon. Right at that moment, we called and made an appointment. I've stopped believing in "coincidences" as a servant of the Lord. Every action we make, as long as we're trying to follow the Spirit, will in some way give another an opportunity to receive the Gospel. 

Elder Welch in his farewell dinner last week (also with Sister Sperry and Sister Olsen, and the Lucherini's) talked about the importance of maximizing the opportunity people get to receive the Gospel. Last Saturday, while we were doing our personal study, President Donald came into our house and said "Hey, Elder Holland is talking to you right now." We followed him into his house and got to watch that devotional. He said a lot of great things (he always makes your heart burn a little, no?) but one thing that stuck out to me was "It's not necessarily that important what we teach or deliver to our students (or investigators) but how we teach it." 

Aleks is doing okay. His dad is in Melbourne right now, but his mom contacted President Donald and, very cordially, explained how when he gets back from Australia, they will come over to President's house to talk. Not sure when exactly that will be yet. But we're still praying for him. Thanks for putting his name on the prayer list, mom. 

Two new investigators came to church for the first time, their names are Axxxxx and Wxxxxx. It's an uncle and his nephew. Right after Gospel Principles class, Uncle Wxxxxx went outside for a smoke break. And when he came back in, our priesthood quorum was talking about free agency, and the example they were using: Smoking. Oops. I explained quickly about it and said we would talk about it later. He wants to stop. :) I attached a photo below. Agxxxx's moustache is awesome. 

Elder Martinez said last conference, "As we open our mouths and share the Gospel we become 'His under shepherds charged with nourishing the sheep of His pasture and the lambs of His fold'; we become the weak and the simple fishers of men." Something I've been thinking about this last week was, "Why would I want to become weak and simple?" I found my answer in D&C 1:23 and 35:13-15 which essentially says "the weak and unlearned are called to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit. They shall fight manfully for me." What I learned is that those who already know or think they know what to do aren't humble enough to seek God's power, but would rather rely upon themselves for success or victory. The weak and simple rely upon God. And thus are more effective stewards. 

Sampai berjumpa (good-bye)

Elder Barrus


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