Elder Seth Barrus

Elder Seth Barrus
Jakarta Indonesia Mission May2013-2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Final Stretch

Aryo's Baptism
Aryo got baptized! It felt like a "Best 2 Years" moment, really, getting to see one of my brothers make his first covenant with God at the tail end of my mission. I'm just glad after so many prayers and lessons and struggles, he decided in the end to make the right choice. Despite all our reminders, he still didn't bend his knees so it was like baptizing a plank of wood. :)  But it went well and he felt happy. Two of the sisters' investigators also got baptized and it made for a packed and exciting day. I just took a moment while everybody was milling and talking to step back and realize how far the Jakarta 1st ward has really come. I know it was nothing that the missionaries really did, it was all because of the Lord; but I took some joy in the fact that we took part in it.

Jakarta District (photobomb courtesy of Elder McCleary)
For those who want to serve missions: In your efforts to follow the guidelines in Preach My Gospel about talking to everyone, you will meet some interesting people. You will also meet some great people! This last week, we met people in busways and on the streets who: 

1. Organize Pokémon tournaments in Indonesia
2. Can read the Al-Quran in Arabic
4. Has claimed to see Jesus.

Also, one man missing an arm and another (a Batak) who just ate up the fact there's another testament of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Troff and I went on an exchange last week and after teaching Brother Antonius, we stopped by a table where a bunch of old men were playing chess. Elder Troff, being the chess master he is, went over and proceeded to play chess while I contacted the man's friends who were watching. For the record, he won once, lost twice. As I've been out longer, I've realized that we can be more creative than just asking where the Christians live. Or inviting them to English class. The Lord gives us a key of flexibility to use within our callings that we are expected to use. And it makes fulfilling our callings a lot more fun. :D

A mission has been the absolute best decision I've ever made in my entire life. I've changed because of it. I'm not the same Seth Barrus that I was before I left. To look back on myself 2 years ago is a bit embarrassing and funny. I realize it's all a part of the process of our lives, but I'm different now. I hope that I didn't simply go on a mission, but that I really tried to become a missionary. The people that I've met on my mission are people I feel like I knew in the pre-earth life. I hope that one day you all get to meet Ivan. And Aryo. And Brother Wintolo. And many, many others. 

Ultimately, the biggest lesson I've learned on my mission is love. Love of God comes first and foremost. But if a man truly loves God, love of His children cannot be overlooked, which means (in this case) loving someone enough to invite them to repent and be baptized. It's super easy to love those who you love you back. But the growth comes when you choose to love those who don't love you back. It makes me wonder just a little bit about how the Savior felt when He knew that there would be some of Heavenly Father's children who would not receive His Atonement. Yet He performed it anyway and we all will be eternally grateful. I testify that Jesus is our Savior. I know that He took upon Himself all of my weaknesses and imperfections and sins. I understand the repentance process now and will apply it continuously throughout my life. I understand part of the joy that God feels when a soul returns unto Him through repentance and baptism. I'm extremely grateful I still have one more week to give my all to God. :)

See you soon!

Elder Seth Barrus

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