Monday, March 31, 2014


My new favorite question. "What is baptism?"
I won't answer this question for you, just give you all the opportunity to ponder this beautiful and essential ordinance of salvation and exaltation.

Speaking of baptism. Brother Jum, จุ๋ม got baptized yesterday! I love this guy. He's hilarious, so shy. He is so scared of talking to people he refused to bear his testimony after his baptism... :)

On Friday we were helping some members move out at their house way far away and we were waiting for the bus so we could go back and teach a lesson. We were standing there and a guy pulled up on a motorcycle and asked us, "You guys was away sins, right?" We said yes and set up an appointment. After we got his number and set him up for the next day he just drove away back the way he came. It was almost like he knew we were there. Really cool little miracle. He's getting baptized. He also looks like Vin Diesel. :)

We had some really cool powerful lessons with some of the long-time investigators we inherited from the Sisters before us. Basically one is already interviewed for baptism and the other two are going to get married so they can get baptized too. 
Something really cool that comes along with every baptism we get is we have to go on a switch-off with the zone leaders every time. So basically I get to be companions with Elder Wilko almost every week for a day! He still teaches me new things.

We found this one guy, during the first lesson we taught him every single commandment. That was super fun.

God taught us a lesson - or several - yesterday.  On Saturday we were writing everyone down who is set up to go to church yesterday. We had 23 people!! The next day in Sacrament meeting only two of them came. And we had a walk-in. So only 3. 23 people. Only 3 came. We were pretty frustrated. But because none of those people came we cleaned out our investigator pool and went contacting to replace all of those people we dropped. We found the real contacting wonderland. A residential area, a massive street market, and 4 7-elevens within 100 meters. Woah. We want to go back because nobody has ever really contacted there and it is a perfect set-up for some beautiful contacting. We'll see how many people in that area we can baptize this month.

We play this game called "Where's Waldo?"  Basically whenever we go contacting our goal is to find that ONE person who is way amazing and will get baptized the next week. Most of our new investigators have been this "waldo". we also found one in that one place.

We are learning lots of lessons, humility, charity, love, and prayer. 

We saw a beautiful sunset last night too. :)

A solid week.

Elder Osborn

Monday, March 24, 2014


This week was the most tiring week of my life.

I was falling asleep in lessons, in between lessons, while sitting on the bus, during exercise time, everywhere! We were pretty darn tired!

Why? Because we had the most successful and productive week yet. Elder Lucas and I taught so many lessons.... Preparing so many people for baptism. We walked out of the week with 16 lessons with a member and 31 other lessons. 9 people at church but only 6 new investigators. On friday we had to go on a split so our investigators could get interviewed. So I got to spend the day with Elder Wilko again!! Then we got home at 10 from the switch-off and had to wake up at 5 for a ward activity the next morning. With over 16 appointments set up for that afternoon and evening... So we basically were running on steam and the life sustaining effects of mountain dew. Sunday was similar. As was every day this week.

Sadly no awesome stories with white people, except for this random russian guy yelling at me from across the way.

But we had a great week. Sister พิมพ์ got baptized. And we have more people set up for next week too! We built an ultra lesson during companion study because we realized we won't have enough time during the week unless we make our lessons more effective. So we tested this new lesson. We taught 2 investigators the plan of salvation, the gospel, the 10 commandments, tithing, fasting, and the law, all in 45 minutes, including a short discussion on how to invite friends to learn too and a review of scripture study.
With this new lesson style - if our member doesn't go off on a tangent - we can teach our investigators everything in two thirty minute lessons. Which gives us more time to go out and find these investigators!

We went out to go contacting on Friday for 10 minutes while we waited for a lesson. We walked across the street and I invited this lady with a little kid and a baby to be baptized. She said she really wanted to be baptized and wanted to be christian. So she's getting baptized this Sunday! Her little son's name is Bread. :) 
Sorry I'm not saying much... Still pretty tired from this week. But this week's just going to be better!

Elder Osborn

 This is Sister Peem. or พิมพ์... thai is way easier.

And Sister Wan's son Bread is on the left of the picture. Cutest little kid.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Wow. What a week!

To start I will follow up on what happened at the mini transfers this week!

I moved! To the next room. Same house, same area, new desk and a new companion. 

I actually really like this desk. It is bigger than my desk before in the other room. Also the air conditioning blows right on the spot where I sit. AND there's an outlet right next to it so I can charge my stuff with ease. It is a great desk. It also has really handy drawer in it. Plus right behind me is all of the missionary stuff, so I feel like I have this great office! And I almost forgot! My chair is a lot softer in this room too. and it spins.

Okay enough about my desk. My new companion is a champion of champions! Elder Lucas! He's way tall and so we scare all of the people away from us. His Thai is way good. He's just as old as Elder Hunsaker, the assistant, and was actually companions with him in the MTC. He contacts amazing, we both love the same food, and we love baptism.

Why did this mini transfer happen? Because we have a special mission. We have 9 week transfers, and sometimes new missionaries will come in between those nine weeks. So this week new missionaries came. One of them is being trained by Elder Winsor. He's from Laos! A convert of two years. And the only convert in his family. He has such an excitement about everything and I love it.

I never thought I would ever live in the same house as a Laotian person in my life.

Last email I wrote one very short paragraph about two investigators. I can't write a ton about every investigator because they cycle through so quickly. So I'll write more about them now.

The first I found last friday afternoon. I invited him to be baptized and we set up an appointment. Just like any other contact. So normal that I didn't even remember the person when I called to confirm the appointment. He came early to his appointment. He loved it! He loved Sunday the next day! We met with him on Monday after P-day ended too. He quit smoking in 4 days. What a boss! Actually his name is Boss! It was so hard for him he'd run out of lessons to go puke. He really struggled with quitting smoking, but he had such a strong desire it didn't mean anything. He just quit. On monday when we met him he said he had been walking since 10 that morning until 6. Why? Because it helped him not think of smoking. He also prayed the entire time. Why? Because he forgot how to finish his prayer... :)

On Monday while we were teaching the 10 commandments he asked us what happens to little children who die. His child died before birth. We told him that we didn't know when the spirit enters the body, but the scriptures explain that all little children who die return to their Father in heaven. He broke down into tears. More than tears, he was weeping. So of course, I started to cry. He apologized and said he doesn't normally cry. But he didn't know why he was crying. After the lesson I asked him how he was feeling. He tried to describe the feeling of the Holy Ghost but couldn't. We could all feel it so strong you couldn't deny it.

This boy is 22. He has had the hardest past of any person I've ever heard of. You could make a tragedy movie of his life. He was a heavy smoker, he has a massive mullet, and just looks like a punk. He's been involved in some crazy things, whether it's family, fighting, sorcery, or inter-family warfare. But he is the most genuine, pure, humble, kind, respectful, loving person I've met here. On Wednesday I had to tell him that I wouldn't be teaching him anymore. He just asked if I'd be here for his baptism. I told him I would. He was baptized yesterday. :)

It was amazing for me to find someone, love them, teach them everything, and prepare for baptism and switch companionships and watch the other Elders actually get a baptism. I set the stage so Elder Sayavong could get a baptism his first week in country. But Boss wanted me to baptize him. Such a cool experience to meet a guy on Friday and the next Friday he interviews and that Sunday is baptized.

We had a very successful week. Lots of new investigators, tons of lessons, but few contacts. We contacted so much! But with hardly anything to show from it. Except again God produced miracles yesterday. For two companionships we had 14 people at church! This is unheard of! There were 76 people at church, 4 of which were the missionaries and 14 investigators. Wow!!

And now onto stories!

1. Elder Lucas invited a white guy to get baptized. He responded, "I worship the devil."

2. I invited a very nice guy from South Africa. He wanted his girlfriend to get baptized. But wasn't willing to meet with us. So he asked if he could bring his baby the next day to get baptized. I told him we don't baptize children because they are alive in Christ. He walked away dissapointed.

3. We invited a whole bus to get baptized when we got on, then went and stood at the back. One white guy said, "Well that was really effective guys..."
Elder Lucas: It was pretty effective. We now know that no one on this bus wants to be baptized.
Him: No it wasn't
Time passes and he sits there awkwardly until he decides to say: You got up in our faces so I'm going to get up in your face a little. When you grow up you're going to look back at this and think of how silly it was.
We just laughed at him and he sat there in anger the whole ride. Until he got off. Then he mumbled something against us as he got off. I said, "wait sorry! I didn't catch that! Can you say that again?" and put my hand up to my ear. 
He just scowled. 
We saw him at the store 30 minutes later and we said hello. He was still grumpy.

4. We met some other american who went off about how the government is corrupt and taken over by the devil and so is everything else and how the end of the world is coming and all of that junk.
He spoke of the "new world order". Crazy guy. He talked our ears off about all of these conspiracy theories for forever!  He liked us and wanted to learn what the mormons think of the end of the world. We told him about the church in Asoke so he could go there.

What a fun week!

Elder Osborn

 This is Brother Jack!!!

And Brother Boss.... :)

Monday, March 10, 2014


This week we had no baptisms... But we found many people who want to be baptized. We did some contacting with some of the young women recent converts who are working on their personal progress. They killed it! Not only did they help us contact, they brought their non-member friend. And she helped invite too! In an hour and a half of contacting we had 26 numbers and 14 appointments set up.

We did a lot of contacting, sometimes with amazing success, sometimes with nobody interested. But yesterday God taught us a lesson. We had an unusually slow week, few lessons, few new investigators, and hardly nothing coming from our contacting. In our whole district only two solid new investigators were found. (these investigators are awesome! But for the sake of making this story sound more epic I'll talk about them afterwards. :)  )

So God taught us that He can do His own work. During Sunday school yesterday two families walked into the church. Both gave the same reason for coming. They both were just walking past the church and "felt" like they should go to church today. The other Elders taught the first family the restoration and they all have baptismal dates for the 23rd. Right when the lesson finished, the second family walked into the church. They received the same lesson and they have dates for the 23rd also. One family has a 7-year-old son and the other an 11-year-old son. 

Then, we found out that one of the men sitting in sacrament meeting wasn't actually a member and had been coming by himself for three weeks. He also accepted a date for the 23rd. 

God knows how to do his own work. We - no matter how good we are - have no idea what we're doing. God leads people to Him. We go out and try to find them. No matter how hard I work all week long, I can never get someone to walk into the church. Only the Spirit can do that. We all learned yesterday that our job is simple: work hard. Work smart. And let God do the rest. He'll bless us with miracles when we work for them and have faith.

Speaking of the other two super solid investigators. They are both awesome! I found one talking to everyone. Elder Winsor found the other while we were in a songtao. Still talking to everyone. This is how our mission works. We talk to everybody we see! Everyone!

They both have a very strong desire to be baptized and we've had some powerful lessons with them. Some of the most strong spiritual lessons I've ever had. One of them always takes notes on what we say. Especially with the commandments.

Oh, and we figured out why President Senior told Elder Winsor and I not to "get too comfortable". I'll explain next week, but basically I'm moving.

I should take more pictures of this area. It's a way cool area.

Elder Osborn

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AHHHHHH!!!!!! I almost forgot about the coolest miracle ever!!!!

I got a phone call a couple nights ago from my trainer and my current zone leader, Elder Wilko, giving me an update of Udon. :)

Remember Brother Jack? there were two of them. The one that I lost to his parents, and the one who just disappeared before his baptism. The one who passed his interview one saturday in Udon, but we never heard from him again, was found. The Elders in Udon ran into him and he passed his interview again this week and was baptized yesterday! I almost died when I heard this. He was special to me. One evening I just saw a guy running with his headphones in. I stopped him, invited him, and watched him overcome everything to prepare to be baptized. He was so solid I was excited to teach with him even before he was supposed to be baptized! Then the day of his baptism he just never showed up. We never knew what happened to Jack.  
Now I know that he found his way back. :)

Ah man... I'm gettin' teary eyed just writing this....

Monday, March 3, 2014


This week we baptized Brother Win. He is awesome! Such a happy man. After his baptism one of the members asked him if he felt excited. He said no. We were really confused until he told us that he just felt peaceful. That made my day. The joy and peace that the Gospel brings to people is visible. You can see it in their eyes, their actions, their words. 

Just before the baptism while we were taking pictures our recent convert Sister Tipa, who got baptized two weeks earlier, asked to take a picture with Brother Win. She is an older woman and is so cute and just loves the church so much! She was just beaming with joy because of him. She was so excited for his baptism I can't even describe her excitement. She was asked to say the closing prayer at the baptism and when she went up to say the prayer she introduced herself first. It was so cute! This lady is the best.

Last night we had a meeting with Bishop Stevenson in Asoke. A good part of the missionaries in Bangkok were there and he spoke on success and how to keep "pressing forward" to higher levels whenever we are successful. He also spoke on commitments and the power of giving a commitment. President Senior spoke on "the medium is the message" and how the first and sometimes the most powerful statement of the message of the restored gospel of Christ is the missionary. How the missionary walks, carries himself, speaks, and smiles. He said to "leave them in exquisite wonder" after you walk away. He spoke of the missionaries in one area out in the Isaan and how the whole town knows the missionaries as the "clean sins guys".

Interesting stories for this week!

1. A guy came into the church for an appointment. He wanted to get baptized that day. We told him he's have to wait until the next sunday. He said no. We didn't really know how to respond. He went off about how I had told him we would baptize him that day in only twenty minutes. I told him I did not tell him that. He got frustrated. We asked him again if he wanted to get baptized. He said yes. We said that the fastest he can get baptized is next Sunday. He said no. This cycle happened a couple more times while we tried to teach him commandments but he refused everything. I looked him in the eyes, he stood up, and we walked him to the door. The member that was helping us told us that he was probably drunk. 

2. We found a guy from Scotland, we gave him everything. Somethings he even noticed were correct, but then he'd shake it off and reject again. Judgement seat is gonna be way awkward for that guy.

3. We found another guy. Elder Winsor asked this white old man where he was from, to which he angrily responded along the lines of, "why does it matter? Thailand I guess. Why? Are you from the government?" "No, I'm a missionary" Elder Winsor invited this white guy to be baptized, he turned around and started freakin' out at Elder Winsor. Elder Winsor just bore his testimony, "I know this is the only way we can be saved, by being baptized." This is the part where I noticed what was going on. I heard this guy yelling in English so I turned around to see Elder Winsor holding out his baptism card and telling this guy he needs to be baptized while this guy is literally spitting with anger. He was spraying spit as he yelled, "That's an opinion!" over and over again. I turned around and he looked at me and yelled it one more time at me. I couldn't control myself. I started laughing out loud. This ticked him off even more as he started to yell, "that's an opinion!" again! Oh my.... I started laughing harder and he just felt awkward cause he realized how stupid he looked in front of this supermarket with tons of people watching. He forced out a couple laughs but stopped pretty quickly and didn't know what to do. He yelled at us, "Go back to Salt Lake with all of your racist, homophobic friends!" I started laughing even harder - almost hard enough to start crying - and said, "Okay - have a nice day". To which he responded, "YOU have a nice day!" as he turned around and hobbled away.  Wow. I am almost crying of laughter again as I'm writing this story! This guy was out of control.

4. I ate my first sandwich in four months. It was subway. It had mustard on it. I was happy.

It is impossible to count how many people I invite to get baptized everyday. I need some kind of counter that I can hold in one hand and my baptism card in the other. If I were to guess how many people everyday - it's probably between 200 and 300.

Well, I'm out of stuff to say for this week.

Elder Osborn
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