Monday, November 25, 2013


Well hello! 

Yet again, I don't know where to start.

Oh yeah. So our miracle friend, บ. โต้ง is still a miracle. He got baptized yesterday. I don't think I've ever met a more enthusiastic person in the Church. He loves the Lord, he loves faith, he loves repentance, he love baptism, he LOVES the holy ghost, and he thinks everything is sacred. On Saturday, Elder Hunsaker interviewed him, and after said that he was awesome, and that he had to stop brother tong from talking sometimes, cause he just starts going sometimes. After, he was so pumped that when the Sisters gave him their phone and asked him to give directions to the church to a new investigator who couldn't find it, he misunderstood and started asking this guy if he has faith in the Lord, or if he loves the gospel, and all this other stuff. It was hilarious!! When he got baptized yesterday, he didn't know which person he was supposed to be in the baptism picture, so he put his hand to the square and we had to help him do it right, then, when he went under his feet didn't stay put, so he just slid under like a banana. Afterwards, there was such a light in his eyes and he was so happy. He bore such a heartfelt testimony. Normally he says everything in the name of Jesus Christ Amen, but during his testimony he only said it once at the end. We're a little worried that one day a member will correct him and he'll go inactive. That kind of stuff happens all of the time here. People get offended so easily and throw their salvation out the window on a little comment of little or no consequence. So sad.

As of today, our mission has 98 baptisms in one month, by tonight, it'll be 99. We can say that this Bovember is really working. There are miracles all over thailand. Our district and zone have set records for baptisms this month. The Thailand mission has only had over 100 baptisms in a month 4 times. And we're gonna do it again. And the cool part, is we're setting the stage to keep doing it every month. 

It's so cool to see the work hastening in Thailand.

แสม is still doing so great. Now that he's a member he is being used almost every day to help all of the missionaries in Udorn teach. He loves to help teach and has such a powerful testimony that he is definitely going to play a role in the Church's growth in Udorn. I love that man!

So one story from this week:

We were contacting out in front of seven eleven at night, and I saw this kid walking into the alley right there. I ran after him, and asked him if he had ever been baptized. He said no. I  asked him if he wanted to get baptized after I explained what it was. He said yes. I told him we would have a baptism on Dec. 8th. I got his number, he insisted on writing my name, and he wrote down our appointment and asked what time we would have the baptism! He forgot his phone number so I was worried we would lose him, but I prayed through the next day that he would come. He came, and it turns out his best friend is an investigator with the sisters. We handed him over to them so they could learn together. They will get baptized on the 8th together (maybe the next week... I can't remember right now).

The sisters tell me that they're both doing so great and are so accepting and so excited. They would get baptized next sunday, but they're only 16, so they have to wait a bit. 

I would have never expected the spirit to cause me to run into a dark alley after a teenager. He would have never expected that going to seven eleven at a certain time turned out to be the turning point of his entire life.
These miracles are everywhere.

Elder Osborn

To Dad:

Okay! Sorry, I forgot to tell you what scripture I wanted. It's the one I shared last week on the email, Alma 29:9-10 . I really feel like this scripture defines my mission and I get teary eyed every time I read it. 

I have a story for you. Feel free to share it with others if you want.

Yesterday, we went as a district contacting at the biggest park in Udon. We go together on sunday nights with a few members and invite people to be baptized there because it's so busy at that time. I normally don't like to talk to Falangs - people who aren't thai - but Elder Wilko is super brave and started talking to an Australian man. The reason why I don't really like to talk to people who aren't thai is because everyone who comes here is usually here running away from the real world. So they are all very interesting people. This man told us that nobody can know of a surety anything. And that we didn't know what we were teaching was true. He spoke what would be considered "blasphemy" to us, imposing his theories on life and religion and not giving us time to even respond or bear pure witness and testimony. I left the conversation honestly so mad. It was a waste of time. I had thoughts of how that man has no hope and how when he passes on he'll realize what he's done with his life. I found myself analyzing our discussion for a while, finding all of the logical fallacies in his argument, all of the things I could have said to put it all back in his face. All of the parables and analogies I could have shared, all of the scriptures I could have used. And as I kept thinking about how I could have convinced him, I just got more and more frustrated with myself for not being able to say it right there, and it just made me more mad. I wanted to go back and bear my testimony to him that I know truth just like I know the sun will come up. I was in a horrible mood.

I finally caught myself and realized that I couldn't continue on inviting others to wash their sins away and be happier if I was in the middle of this inner battle of pride and contention. I sat down and did as Enos did and wrestled with God in mighty prayer. The members noticed and though something was wrong. Elder Hunsaker stood by and watched over me as I poured out my heart to God for him to bless that man, to help the people of Thailand come unto Him, and asked for forgiveness. I stood up and Elder Hunsaker and I went to get one last invite, with the hope that this next person would be prepared and ready for the gospel.

On the way back I continued my prayer on the bike ride. I asked God where the happiness that Alma 29:9 tells me I will have. I thought, "How many souls have I brought unto God?" I realized I had played a role with bringing a few people, and had brought one person unto Christ, from the first time we met him, to his baptism that day. I began to be filled with that joy that is promised as I remembered the little success that all the Prophets and missionaries had, and remembered the Savior's words, "And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." A mission isn't all flowers and baptisms. Every day is hard and most people don't care what you say, and many will mock you. But it is all worth it in the end because I know that I've brought a soul to Christ.

I love you dad. Thanks for giving me this opportunity and raising me so well.

Elder Osborn

This is Brother tong! What a champ!

More baptism pictures... I love Udon. The members are so great here.

Monday, November 18, 2013


So. I don't even know where to start.

I know. I'll start with a scripture.

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. 
And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

Yesterday this scripture realized itself in my life. This is how:

Yesterday was district conference, and everyone from the district came to Udorn for the meeting. We had a area 70 and President Senior. The meeting was so special to me. To be able to see so many of the saints in Thailand meeting together in one place. When Christ told us that where two or three saints meet together, there will His Spirit be also, he was so right. I could definitely feel His Spirit in all of the meetings and His love for these people. After the meeting in the morning we taught a couple lessons and then had Brother แสม's baptism. He asked for one of the members to baptize him and it was so special for me to stand in the room and watch him make the most important decision of his life. A couple people have said that he is going to be the future branch president. I hope so. I love him so much and am so proud of him. 

After his baptism we went to the hospital and gave a blessing to a member there. We then went to one of the funeral ceremonies of another member's father. His father had been in a motorcycle accident just a few days ago. He told us that when people say, "life is short", it means a lot more than those three words. He said that one minute he was on the phone with his dad asking him when he was gonna be home cause he had food ready, and 20 minutes later he got a call from the hospital saying his dad was gone. He told us to love our families while we have them, cause it could be any minute when everything changes. He asked me to stop crying because it was making everyone else cry. Today, during another meeting of the funeral, he invited us and a few members to come sing at the funeral, (which was a buddhist funeral, his dad loved the gospel but was Buddhist and so it was at the wat.), he asked us to sing with him, "God be with you 'til we meet again", "Each life that touches ours for good," and "Nearer, My God, to Thee." Before we sang he asked me how I'm always so positive, I told him it was something you have to train yourself to do. He told me it was just in my blood and that he wishes he could be more positive. But right after that he said something I didn't expect from a young saint in Thailand who had just lost his father. "Death is just part of the Plan. It is the hardest part of the plan, and we all have to experience it in some way in our life. But I know that because of the Plan I can see him again." So much hope from such a humble man! Before we sang he asked me again not to cry so we wouldn't all cry while we sang. We were in the Wat and there is no special spirit in a Buddhist Wat. But when we sang together these hymns I could feel the spirit, and I know that the hundreds of people listening could feel it too. I could see it in their eyes.

After the first funeral ceremony last night we went to the park to look at the Loy Kratong, or ลอย กระทง, or the lantern festival. I learned yesterday where the floating lanterns on Tangled came from. Thailand. Of course. There were hundreds of lanterns floating on the water and thousands floating in the sky. So beautiful. I'm starting to feel like Thailand is just my long lost home. Like I've finally come home.

Yesterday I also learned of the power of the fast. Only as a Missionary do you ever fast for one purpose, and that purpose is to help others. I have seen the power and faith that comes from a true and honest fast and the miracles that are born from it.

Remember that guy who we ran into last week. Well he's doing awesome. We went to go pick him up to go to church yesterday but his dad said he had already left. We were kind of bummed out cause he wasn't there. We got to the church to find him eating and socializing with the members already. What a champ!!

I think yesterday was the greatest day of my life. :)

I love you all! 

Elder Christopher Osborn


Oh, and just in case your still reading with me, I'm in Alma 17

 So they also put this giant rubber duck in the lake for loy gratong too!!! bahahahaha

 Driving out to gumpawapi. Thailand is so beautiful!!

 Another picture of thailand............ :)

This is my first baptism. brother sam. he's the one on the left. with the bleached hair. hahaha love him!!

 This is the brother who we visited in the hospital. Such a sweetheart.

 We tried to take a picture, but I look like a complete goon........ but those aren't stars in the sky. :)

 And another beautiful one....

So pretty! Totally blows tangled out of the water!!

 These are some random military guys who walked up to us yesterday and asked us who we were and what we were doing here. We said we were missionaries and that we were enjoying loy gratong. They already had a camera guy ready to take a picture with us when we turned around so I gave them my camera too!! bahaha, then one of them points at these girls who walked up and asked us if they were beautiful, we dodged the question and I was very careful not to touch them as they snuck into our picture.... punks. 

Bahahahaha Sister Phelps and Sister Her totally photo bombed that pic!!! Oh, and look at those guys' guns.... I was a little scared at first, but then we invited them to go to sacrament meeting and go to english class and they turned out to be pretty cool. :)

And this is the view from my desk this morning. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Missionary Arrival Video

Here is a video of Elder Osborn arriving in Thailand!

You can hear him laugh basically throughout the whole video. :)



55555 I love typing in thai.

1. that 5 thing is a thai thing, it's how they write hahahaha :)

2. Thailand is hilarious. The people are hilarious. My companions are hilarious. Only problem. I'm not hilarious....:(

3. เเสม is getting married today!!! So he can get baptized on sunday. :) You have no idea how happy I am about that.

4. Yesterday was awesome. I had the wonderful opportunity of being the pianist for sacrament meeting for the first time.

5. Also yesterday we asked one of our investigators during church where his grandma went. He said she went outside to go sleep. We found her on the sidewalk outside the church on a mat with an umbrella sleeping... hahaha  ซ จัน had just decided that she was tired and was going to go sleep. We told her that she only had to come for two hours, then she could sleep for the rest of the day. 

6. On Thursday we had a zone training. I guess this new way of inviting is the new way of the mission. That is what the entire mission leadership conference was about. Baptism. We've also started hearing that other missions are starting to do this too. Also we're starting by teaching the commandments so people can get their concerns out of the way earlier and develop faith through seeing the blessings that come from keeping the commandments. Brilliant!

President says this is the hastening of the work in it's time.

7. This new baptizing focus is beautiful. We had five baptisms in Udon on Saturday. That is almost unheard of for Thailand! And on friday, after doing our inviting, or what we call sifting, finding those who are prepared for the gospel, we were biking back to the church and pulled up to this random guy walking. We started talking to him. Turns out he is Christian, but was wearing พระ on a necklace, (พระ is basically Buddhist idol worship. I really don't know how else to explain it.) He told us he had had a vision, where a light came down from heaven on his head. I don't know exactly what he saw or experienced or what, but we told him that he had been prepared by God to receive our message. He didn't have a phone number, and we didn't want to lose this guy, ( Oh, and he wanted to get baptized) so we walked back to his house with him to find out where it is. On the way we taught the word of wisdom. We ate dinner with him at his restaurant so we could talk with him more. Turns out he has a book of mormon too...

 Who is this guy?!!!

We invited him to the baptism the next morning and picked him up. We taught him a more in depth lesson on the word of wisdom after that. Then on sunday morning we went and picked him up to come to church. He looked so good!!! We had only met him 36 hours earlier but he had shaved, cleaned up a ton, had been keeping the word of wisdom and just..... looked better. He kind of looked like a thug before but now he looked... I can't think of any other word than good right now. So cool to see the gospel already changing a man. We have a date set up for the 24th of november for him.

He loved church and we're gonna meet with him again today and teach him some more commandments.

8. There was an emergency transfer, so in a strange mix of splits and transfers, Elder Batey ended up sleeping over at our house! So great to see him. And Elder Adams who moved into our zone but went up to Nong Khai met a guy while traveling who lives in Udon and wants to get baptized. We met with him on Saturday and taught him the word of wisdom too. He's gonna keep it and he is really excited to get baptized. We showed him the font and how special baptism is. :) We're going to meet with him again on wednesday.

9. We were inviting at an outdoor mall. I was talking to this group of people when this guy, wearing a uniform, but not really a security guard, came up to me and starting telling me basically that I can't do that here. I honestly didn't understand what he was saying but I could tell what he was telling me. Maybe the gift of interpretation of tongues or something. :)    I told him I couldn't understand him, and he changed his sentence a couple times until I at last recognized exactly what he was telling me. He told me to go do what I'm doing somewhere else. So I invited him to be baptized. Sadly he didn't want to though. I wonder why? :) 5555555

10. I ate chicken intestine yesterday.

11. We gave another blessing at the hospital on friday.

12. On tuesday Elder Wilko interviewed tons of people for baptism, so I got to sit in the hall for hours. But I did make good use of that time! I memorized the entire first vision in thai for the first time. Including how to write it.
ข้าพเจ้าเห็นลำแสงอยู่เหนือรืสษาข้าพเจ้าพอดี เหนือ .... Oh.... well, I was going to write it, but it takes like ten times longer to type it than to write it. Maybe another time. 555555

 - Elder Christopher James Osborn

เอ็ลเดอร์ คริสโตเฟอร์ เจมส์ ออสบอร์น

PS. I'm starting Alma 14 tomorrow.  If you're reading with me.

This is us with brother wasana. He's hilarious. 

And this is the drawing of the plan of salvation that elder wilko and i drew while we were brainstorming how to teach it to the entire english class. I think this is best way possible to teach a whole bunch of buddhist people about it. JK. We taught it way better than this, but it was funny either way.

Sorry there aren't more pictures. Give me some Ideas!! Plus I'm not allowed to take pictures of religious things, so all of the legit buddhist stuff I can't sent cool pics to you.... But please give me some ideas! 

Love, Elder Osborn

Monday, November 4, 2013


Below are pictures from Elder Wilko's mom. 
FHE in Udorn.

 Helping members and an investigator harvest rice! Sam, the investigator, is to Elder Osborn's left.

 Baptism of Sister Yim.

At a Halloween party!



I hope this doesn't freak anyone out, but I almost died this week, twice. haha.

Story number one:

So Elder Wilko and I were out at one of the malls contacting people. We were talking to this guy who was selling fruit when out of nowhere this tree near us started to fall over. At first I was just confused why this tree was moving so much and branches were falling off of it, cause there's never any wind here... But we both realized it at the same time and the guy we were talking to was facing the other way. We pulled him out of the way and took a few steps back. And then just watched this tree collapse right next to us. bahaha.

The only problem. During the commotion the guy booked it. So we didn't get to tell him about baptism. Within 20 minutes the tree was gone, they had cut it up so fast and just hauled it away! So Thailand.

2nd story:

We, us and the zone leaders who live in our house too, went to gumpawapi for a day to do some contacting so they could get a baptism this month. While we were street contacting I almost got hit by a speeding car passing a truck. I lived, but the car was like a foot from me going probably 35.

So. I think I have referenced it, but our mission is turning things around right now. And it's really cool to be training right when all of this is going down. Thailand hasn't exactly been the most productive mission, and it was even bad enough that when missionaries would be successful and get lots of baptisms, other Elders would judge them, saying they're baptism hungry. Last year there were 600 baptisms in thailand, but the growth of the church here was - 4%..... So president Senior is pushing this new idea. 

We are a baptizing mission. This month we have a really serious goal of having every single companionship get a baptism. We're calling it bovember, (baptism + november = bovember....) hahaha  But it's even intense enough that if a companionship gets a baptism, they give their investigators with a baptismal date to other missionaries who look like they won't get a baptism this month. We've already given away one investigator and are giving another away later today. We haven't gotten our baptism yet, but เเสม is awesome and may even get baptized this sunday!

So you're probably thinking that this is ridiculous, we're putting so much focus on baptism right? That's not our purpose. Our purpose is to bring souls to Christ.

But baptism is one of the greatest blessings we have on earth. We can literally wash away our sins. Especially in Thailand where everyone is Buddhist, that is a beautiful blessing. They can't get rid of their sins, they just tell us that they go to the wat and tham buun, basically do some kind of rite that negates their sins and mistakes... But when we tell them they can wash all of their sins away they are very interested in that idea and are willing to do anything to do it. It's beautiful to watch the change in people as they prepare for baptism and how happy they are once they receive the Holy Ghost. And we've been promised that when we focus on baptism, other aspects of the work will get better too. It's amazing to see these promises be fulfilled within hours. So while we were in gumpawapi the zone leaders promised the elders there that when they put their focus on baptism other aspects of missionary would would increase, they specifically promised in less active work. Within an hour of our day of inviting people to be baptized, the gumpawapi elders found a less active Melchizedek priesthood holder that had been less active for almost 10 years! That's amazing! Gumpawapi only has 30 people at church every week so priesthood is so important here.

As for me receiving blessings from focusing on baptism, I've been blessed with the language. I was really frustrated, cause people are always talking to me and I can never understand them. But on Wednesday Elder Gilley went on splits with me. We went to a park, and, still near eachother, contacted by ourselves. So much more effective. Plus it forced me to speak thai and understand thai cause I didn't have a buddy right next to me to answer them when I couldn't. I talked to six teenagers first. It was brutal, I couldn't understand them, they could kind of understand me, it was a rough few minutes. haha

But over the past few days I've been getting better. On Saturday, by myself, (I want to clarify that we're not breaking any rules, we're allowed to contact people like this :)  ), I got five people with a baptismal date in half an hour. You never know how many of them will actually meet with us and make it to membership in the church, but I was pretty happy. Last night, with some of the ward mission leaders and other friends and members and เเสม also we went contacting at a park for an hour and a half. We did splits with the members so we could talk to as many people as possible. A very simple contacting idea.

Basically in Thai we'd say, and don't be surprised or stunned by this, it sounds better in thai than in english and it is how the APs and the President are pushing our contacting style, something along the lines of:

Hi! Pull out a picture of a guy getting baptized. 
Have you ever seen this picture before?
  I haven't.
This is baptism, it's how we wash our sins away. Have you ever washed your sins away?
Well you can! When you get baptized you will be clean of sin. Will you be baptized this month on the 24th?
At the church on soy jintakham.
   I'm Buddhist. 
Anybody can be baptized, but we can't teach you everything about it in one time. Here's our number. Can I have yours and we can meet again and you can learn more about baptism?
Exchange numbers
I know that baptism is real and you can be clean of your sins.

That's it. I could probably say it fancier, but in Thai you don't need to. A conversation like this isn't abrupt or rude in any way, so I don't have to be talented or skilled in speaking to teach them. That's it. A basic street contact. (It's been helping my Thai so much, especially in understanding others.I had an entire conversation about random stuff last night with a member, in complete thai!!) It's cool because when we do that you can see the Holy Ghost working in them. Some people are all over it! Others straight up say no. Others you can see them wanting to say yes for a reason they don't realize, but say no. But when we contact like this and give them a choice from the beginning it really gives the Holy Ghost a chance to testify and help them make a decision.
Our zone leaders started teaching me this just a few days after I got here, and about now this concept is growing and I've heard that the entire mission is going to be trained on it in a couple weeks. Wow. 

And this bovember idea is just the beginning. In my opinion President is trying to get everyone a baptism to show the missionaries that they can get them. Then we will grow each month, getting a baptism every month, then two. Who knows! But it's so cool to see the work accelerating right when I got here. 

Just to clarify, we're not ignoring the rest of the work, like recent convert and less active work. We're still doing all of the same work in those areas, just putting additional focus on Baptism so we can get more members and priesthood holders to get a temple! These people want a temple. In the church in Udorn almost every single piece of art is a picture of a temple. :)  They want one so bad. And getting one is our mission's overarching goal.

In more temporal terms--

After this we are going to a cake buffet. haha of course they'd have one here.

I'm getting pretty good at standing up on my bike no handed too. haha.

Saying "so what the crap" instead of sawwaddii khrap while we bike is hilarious and the people's reactions are varying. It keeps us happy.

Thai food is delicious, and continues to get more delicious.

We still don't own any toilet paper, but I think when I get home I'll see what I can do to install one of those sprayers in our house. hahahahaha jk.

Singing in thai sounds horrible still. It's singing so I enjoy it, but thai isn't exactly a beautiful sounding language, and when it's sung....... ไม่ เพราะ haha

Every day here is the best day ever.

Elder Christopher Osborn

PS I finished alma 5 this morning in case you're reading with me still. :)

This is us on the way to the internet cafe. hahahahaha.

We found this sign on Saturday too. Long lost free English class poster. haha.

 Absolutely beautiful sunset over the Isan on saturday night, sorry the picture isn't good, we were in the back of a bus.

 We played a little game of risk to relax last p- day. Our board was a map of thailand, our pieces were cut up straws, and our dice were paper dice that we made. So ghetto. 
This tree almost hit us.

This coffee and dessert bar just a bit away from the church is called lucifer..... Why? hahahaha so funny!