Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Get Thee Hence!

Zone Conference in Surabaya
We finished the last of the Zone Conferences, the last one held here in Jakarta. It went well. I went on a split with Elder Kyle and taught Brother Budi about family history and the temple, and he asked Sister Lely his wife, "Do we have that in our church?" Noooope. He came to church yesterday to hear my talk, and said he enjoyed it. We're still working with him. Elder Kyle's a great man. I will tell stories to my grandchildren about him. 

Phew. So much happened last week. I almost forgot to say we have a fifth member of the team here in the office. Elder Lovelock from Australia came into the mission field last Tuesday and got his assignment to serve in Tangerang and immediately went there the following day. Meaning there was an awkward 9 Elders trying to use 8 bikes there in the two wards. So because it's easier to have a three-some in Jakarta than in Tangerang, President Donald moved Elder D McCleary here to the office to work with me and Elder Wintolo for his last 3 weeks. The rivalry has been rekindled. Ha ha! Just kidding. We've had fun politely trash talking each other (Riverton High School vs West Jordan High School) and talking about the mission. 

Elder McCleary and Elder Wintolo walking to a member appointment
That's a first on my mission. I've never been called Satan before. The Sister Trainers have an investigator, who is Muslim and has been to church a few times wearing her hajib (head cover), and is essentially on the fence of being baptized. Last night she came by Senopati to be taught by the sisters while we were taking statistics and after asked to meet with all of us, including the office Elders. She was really closed off at the start of her learning with the sisters, including not shaking hands with men outside her own family, but being the naturally friendly missionaries we are, we tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible by smiling and talking with her. Well. There was one time she came to church and was finally willing to shake my hand and smile back. But apparently I didn't smile at her that day and ask how she was doing. So she went home, conjured up thoughts about how I was the adversary, and stopped reading the Book of Mormon because of it. She confessed yesterday it was all too fast judgement and apologized. She's great! I've repented of my satanic ways and have now committed to smiling even more and shaking her hand every time she comes to church. She's awesome!

Traffic jam!
Every year, delegates and leaders from all over Africa and Asia gather in one country and hold a council about how to improve each other's economies and relations. This was the 60 year anniversary of the "Asia-Africa Convention" and it was held in Jakarta this time. We use the busway mostly to get around the city, especially on some of the main roads, like Jalan Sudirman, so when they announced that they would be totally closing some of these main roads during major parts of the day, we got stuck. Luckily, we planned well enough where we were already teaching and finishing a lesson when they were closing and opening the roads again, so it didn't affect us too much. But it was a fun atmosphere the last couple days. 

The Bishopric somehow took note how I've only got 360 hours left on my mission, so they assigned me as the second speaker for yesterday's sacrament meeting and the sister before me took her allotted time of 10 minutes and then sat down. Leaving a solid 30 minutes for me to fill. I don't know if the youth speaker didn't show up or what, but I enjoyed it. Although I don't know if I could do that in English. My topic was, "What do I need to do to gain eternal life?" Much like the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked. James Talmage explained how selling all we have to follow the Master may not be the universal remedy for spiritual inactivity and true discipleship, but each of us need to ask the question on a daily basis "What is it that I lack?" There's two verses from Acts 17:27-28 I've been thinking about a lot: "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring." Why would we be so brave to challenge people to ask God if these things are true if we knew it was all wrong? Anyone who seeks will find because we are His offspring. He's not some professor who avoids his students so he won't be bothered with dumb questions he already knows the answers to. But rather like a caring parent who answers his child's questions and honest searching because he loves him. People get so locked into thinking there has to be proof in the scriptures of what we believe (and there is) but it doesn't work like that. Ask God himself. Because He doesn't want us to just have knowledge, but to have experience

Nxxxxxxx feels like he's still searching, and that's OK. He'll get baptized someday. Axxx is all ready to be baptized next week. Again, he's got more swag than any investigator on my mission but also one of the greatest testimonies. :) 

Yep. There was a ton more that happened. Buuut I'm only allotted so much time to tell you about it. :) Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Barrus

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