Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Wow. Can you believe it!? Two weeks already gone. That's like just over 1% of the whole mission! It's flying by so fast! hahaha Just kidding. The phrase, "the days are long but the weeks are fast" is a perfect description of the MTC. 
I'm surprised how amazing going to bed at 10:30 and waking up at 6:30 is! It's different from home in that every day I know I'm going to get 8 hours of sleep. At home I normally didn't even get that much. 
We've finally gotten into a stable schedule and all 16 hours are packed with things and it's still really hard to find any time for anything. Which is a good thing. I love it! one of my pet peeves is I hate wasting time, how great that I won't be wasting a minute for the next two years!  
It's so nice to have an hour each day dedicated to personal study, with no distractions, it has become a time where I can come closer to God through study. The rest of our day is usually dedicated to class discussions in what we call "thaiglish" (half thai, half english), companionship study, and language study. Speaking of language study... :) 
I LOVE this language! It's so cool! I feel like I know so much and we learn absurd amounts of thai everyday! Our zone is still only the Thais, that's what we call ourselves, so we're all so close! I feel like I've known everybody for forever!
Whenever I go anywhere, missionaries always ask with a super confused look on their face, "What language is THAT?" when they see our tags! It's really funny because everyone has the same face and it's priceless! Once a couple sisters asked us what language it was while we were in line for lunch. Elder Gage replied quickly, "It's reformed egyptian" (the same language the book of mormon was originally written in in case you didn't know) The sisters hesitated and I said we were translating for the church and working up in Salt Lake at Church Headquarters...:) We told them that we were kidding and we are going to thailand, but the language does look crazy enough to be reformed egyptian. haha  Sadly, we haven't started learning the script yet because it's more important for us to learn how to speak and listen than to read and write. All the teachers know that once we learn the script it multiplies your ability to learn more vocabulary, grammar, etc. So we're going to start learning script sometime this week! Once we do I'm going to start waking up early and TRY to read the Book of Mormon! I bet it'll take a couple hours to read the first verse but in Preach my Gospel it promises that if you read the Book of Mormon in your mission language your language abilities will improve dramatically. I can't wait until I can access that promise! But until then I am still studying my heart out. A couple days ago I made probably 75-100 flashcards and they're great! I already picked up more so I can make even more! 
Sometimes we get pretty anxious from sitting in a classroom for 10+ hours and so we really look forward to gym. :) I love playing 4-square!! Our zone takes it pretty seriously and it gets really intense some days. We're not allowed to dive so we don't get hurt. I think they have learned that from experience because if we were allowed to dive everyone in our zone would be on crutches... haha

Now that I've finished writing the large plates let me continue, but on my small plates.

I'm in the choir. It is the greatest thing about the MTC. Every time I sing with 2,000+ other "stripling warriors" I feel the Spirit so powerfully I can't describe it. Especially when we sing hymns like onward christian soldiers... Outside of choir we all sing as a group on sunday andtuesday night devotionals. Last night Elder Anderson came and spoke on love and sacrifice. After the meeting the thunderstorm was too bad for them to let us walk from the Marriot Center back to the MTC. So we sang hymns for a while until it calmed down outside. I wish you could all be there when we all sing together, it is so powerful that sometimes I stop singing and just listen and cry. My favorite part of every week is when we sing. And that's saying a lot, because I love every minute here. "for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." D&C 25:12
It was still pouring when we left and our "army" looked amazing as we walked back in the rain. Never before has it meant so much to me to walk in the rain. I think it was because I was soaked through my coat, I was walking with thousands of other missionaries, and I could always look down and see that special tag on my chest reminding me why I'm here. It was a little taste of what Thailand is going to be like. 
Something else I feel I have really learned is to not rely on my own abilities so much. I know that I used to be good at a few things and learned to be independent from that. But being here I've realized that I can't do ANYTHING without Him. I'm quite literally nothing. I've learned to give everything my all with faith that God will do the rest. Because my all isn't enough for anything we do out here. It's His work and I can't do it. The only thing I can do is be a tool in His hand. So I have to trust that He knows what is best for me so He can use me to fulfill His work. 
Last night Elder Anderson said, "learn to give up the word "I" for a while." I'm working on becoming completely selfless and trying follow in His footsteps as closely as I can.

I love you all and I'll write again next week! 
Love, Elder Osborn

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Wow, can you believe it!? I'm in the MTC. It still kind of freaks me out that I'm on a mission. I apologize for this email because I know it's going to be all over the place. Also, I apologize for spelling and grammar errors, again, I'm going for speed and quantity, not perfect english. We only get an hour every week for email and I have forty five minutes to write this so here we go!

That first day was crazy! They give you a little sticker that goes on your name tag so everybody knows that you're new here... Brilliant. Everyone always says,"Welcome to the MTC Elder!"  all day... some elders put their nametags on backwards and go around asking the new missionaries where they get their tags engraved and it's sad how many of them fall for it! They didn't give us any time the first day, I dropped off my bags and was taken straight to class, they had already started and were learning basic greetings and how to wai (the thailand version of bowing, you put your hands together and put them up to your face, higher for the level of person you are greeting, and lower when speaking to children. Really Cool!

Good thing I had already learned basic greetings so I wasn't behind from the first day. I described all of my previous study as taking the first step in a marathon... That is how insignificant my "head start" turned out to be. I met my companion during that first class. His name is Elder Gage. He is from Springville and is a really cool guy, ah excuse me, elder. Still working on never saying "guys". Its really hard. There are six of us in one room. Two members of the branch presidency have visited our residence and been really surprised that there are six of us in one room. We tell them that we've grown very close over the past few days. haha.

Everything in the MTC goes at a pace probably five times the speed of the outside world. The first real full day, we learned how to bear our testimonies about pretty much everything in the church. than prayer, than teaching to pray, etc... I feel like I know so much Thai it's crazy! But we know nothing compared to the other elders who are speaking laotian, they know soooooo much and they actually just left yesterday. They were amazing and I really looked up to them. Our language is the hardest language ever. I really do think that ours is the hardest, (although finnish probably defeats thai in difficulty). The amount of time I get every day for studying is so great! I'm learning so much every day and my testimony has been growing exponentially since I've gotten here. 

While I'm on the topic of Thai we've already taught 3 lessons to our first investigator. All in THAI!! He is buddhist, works with computers and has a disabled daughter named rainbow. We've been teaching him about his relationship to god because he doesn't feel like there's any purpose to life or any hope for him. We're going to give him a book of mormon tonight with some scriptures teaching that we need to have faith in christ and follow him. And that by following him we can receive blessings.

Lot's of people have said that the cafeteria food is horrible. No. It is cafeteria food but it's delicious! (as long as you get the right stuff) haha. We have this joke where some of the Elders in my room/district (the entire district is in the same room) yell, correction, speak loudly, in the cafeteria. "Hey Elder"! pretty much everybody turns around and it's super funny.  

Our zone is tiny. When we got here there were only 4 laotian elders and we have 17 of us going to thailand. So our zone is now only 17 missionaries. 7 sisters and 10 elders. On sunday president Jackson asked Elder Gage and I if we would be zone leaders!! Can you believe it?! day 4 and we're already zone leaders... 

We are the southeast asia branch. In a few weeks our zone will get missionaries going to cambodia and vietnam, and some elders speaking hmong and laotian going stateside too. than we'll have a normal zone of about 70 missionaries.

On sunday after the devotional, which was amazing but I'm not going to spend my time writing about it, we have the option to go to a few different videos. Our whole district decided to go to a recording of Elder Bednar's talk in the MTC a while back called "the character of Christ". It was one of the most amazing hours of my life.

It has completely changed my entire outlook on life and has given me a strong desire to be better in so many ways.

If there is anything you get from this letter/email, it is that you need to watch this if you can. I bet you could find it on somewhere. Really. It is so important to me that everyone who gets this can watch it. Honestly life changing.

Well seems I'm out of time, I'll try to write faster next week.

Love, Elder Christopher Osborn