Sunday, August 31, 2014


Busy week! On Saturday we had a special training. President Senior came up to พิษณุโลก and taught us about teaching people, not lessons. I learned so much. We learned how to ask effective questions and how to really dig down to the root of a concern. For example, we practiced with President the scenario of the investigator says they don't want to be baptized. And through asking a bunch of questions we found out that they really wanted to, but they just are scared of water. 

- this is the illustration that president used to illustrate the principle --

Then yesterday we used it! And had one of the coolest lessons ever! We taught an investigator for the second time. (the first was on Saturday). We were able to find out several spiritual experiences from her past and her beliefs on what they actually were. We also were able to find out that she thought we were a cult at first.  After a really cool lesson she is now progressing! And way solid!

Brother Stamp who got baptized last week is now helping teach and is fellowshipping investigators like a boss!

The sister who Elder Tamang and I taught got baptized on Friday! She bore her testimony about how she now loves going to work because she knows that she is serving God! It was so powerful!!!

Yesterday was Elder Baldwin's birthday. He is so old! He's 20 now. haha

Love, Elder Osborn


 Look at this! It's the best superheroes ever!!!!

I made red curry!!!! It was delicious! Beyond description. ทำแกงเก่ง

One of our formers took us to eat ice cream!! It was delicious! We LOVE ice cream.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Let us all press on in the work of the Lord,
That when life is over we may gain a reward;
In the fight for right let us wield a sword,
The mighty sword of truth.
 We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few
When compared with the opposite host in view;
But an unseen pow'r will aid me and you
In the glorious cause of truth.
If we do what's right we have no need to fear,
For the Lord, our helper, will ever be near;
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer,
And prosper the cause of truth.

Fear not, courage, though the enemy deride;
We must be victorious, for the Lord is on our side.
We'll not fear the wicked nor give heed to what they say,
But the Lord, our Heavenly Father, Him alone we will obey.

I love this hymn.

As I listen or read this hymn I can see all of the little things that I do on a daily basis fly through my head;
The view of staring at my companions backpack as we fly down a bumpy road in 100+ degree weather. Sometimes it is monsoon rain instead.
Praying in my heart for Elder Baldwin as he testifies of the truth.
Standing alone in the basement of a massive supermarket, inviting hundreds to go to church. Hundreds say no, but we're never deterred because we know we're looking for someone who God has prepared. And prepared souls don't ignore His servants.
Teaching someone how to speak with their Heavenly Father.

Well, of course there's a million other things we do, but not all this stuff is as exciting as that hymn is.
So I'll just tell you all a few stories.

These last two weeks have been my most successful two weeks on my mission. We've seen SO MUCH happen. I've never taught so many member lessons in my life! Nor have I even had so many new investigators. In the past 14 days we've gotten 23 new investigators and 28 member lessons. With 71 other lessons. I can say that I don't feel like I've changed anything. Just relying on Him more. I don't feel like we're working that much harder. Just our prayers are more sincere and we're working smarter.

This story is the perfect example of what has been happening here. We've been working really hard, and smarter. Bringing in lots of people to church and spending more time inviting. Interestingly enough though, none of what we did actually brought any baptisms. But I think God saw our determination and gave us a miracle.

Two Thursdays ago, on the 14th. We were eating dinner. Then as we were making phone calls as we finished up, the family next to us noticed we could speak Thai. So they started talking to us. They weren't interested in going to church. :(  But as we we waited for our change, I looked at the next family, and I don't know why, asked the mother if she knew anyone who wanted to go to church. She said she did. She gave us his number and said it was her son.

We called him and set up an appointment. He was very willing to meet. We did a very usual first lesson, showing the chapel and the baptismal font, committing him to baptism for the next week, and started teaching commandments. We asked him why he came to church today. He said that the owner of the restaurant we were eating at gave him her copy of the Book of Mormon to read. He didn't read much but he felt like it was more than a normal book, like it taught him what he needed to do in life. We wanted to learn more. And then we called him. Can you imagine what he felt like? Finding this new, interesting, different, book, then a couple days later some guys call you and invite you to learn more about it! He came to church and met with us several times this week.
He got baptized yesterday, 8 days after our first lesson. 

I feel like we didn't do anything to help him get baptized. We just called him and taught him what he needed to do and he did it. This is the perfect example of God preparing souls for his Gospel. Just like D&C 4, which says that the field is white already to harvest. God planted seeds a long time ago, he built the field - or the vineyard - and gave it good soil, blessing the field with rain and sunshine. And now he has called servants, not to sow, but to reap the harvest which Has already prepared. All we have to do is thrust with our sickle.

My favorite part in working with him was after his baptism, when he stood to share his testimony. I was amazed by his eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul. He looked like he was glowing. I had never seen him look like that before. It made me so happy to see him experience such a great change of heart.

He is just one of the many people who have grasped the rod to come to the tree of life.

Speaking of the tree of life. This week I went on a switch-off with good ol' Elder Tamang! We had a very busy day. But the best part of the day was when we taught one of their investigators who is a nurse at a hospital. She works 16 hours a day. She sleeps for 4 hours every day. And still finds time to come meet with Elder Tamang and Tanner. She has had a beautiful conversion story and wants to be baptized in six months after her job changes so she can "serve God". We taught a beautiful lesson. We read together 1 Nephi 8. Then asked her what she thought everything in the vision stands for. When we came down to the mist of darkness, she started to cry and told us that it was her work. Her work was preventing her from partaking of the fruit. She explained that she doesn't even want to be a nurse, she just did it because he parents wanted her to. Then we opened to a scripture that showed that if she wants to be baptized she needs to be willing to serve Him until the end. (She felt like she couldn't do it because she was so busy at the hospital) Then we opened to Mosiah 2:17 --
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

We all started to cry and we told her how she is already serving God full time. That the people that she takes care of day in and day out are His children and that He is grateful for her service.

We planned to just give her the commitment to pray for every single person she helps at the hospital. But we felt prompted to give her another commitment. Elder Tamang asked her when she wanted to be baptized. She pulled out her calendar on her phone, looked at it for a moment as she wiped away some tears, then told us "the 31st". We promised her she will be ready to be baptized on that day.

The Holy Ghost testified to souls that day. And when He was in the picture she moved her baptismal date up 6 months.

Speaking of let us all press on.
Fear not, courage, though the enemy deride;
We must be victorious, for the Lord is on our side.
We'll not fear the wicked nor give heed to what they say,
But the Lord, our Heavenly Father, Him alone we will obey.

This week we met with our good friend who is a leader at another Christian church. We had coordinated everything so that this lesson would be a planning of when and how we will go teach his congregation. All in one lesson we learned so much. He is a member of the Hope Church. He is a leader of a group of 28 people in the church.( which has a total of 700) He wanted to have us go teach his group. But then the higher leader of the entire congregation told him to stop learning with us and have him a book that "proves how Mormon doctrine is false". He said he was reading it and got about half way through when he felt like this wasn't right and put it down. Our branch president told us the story of another convert from that church who was completely shunned by her friends in her group of 28 after she was converted.
So our investigator knows that he needs to be baptized here, he is just facing a lot of opposition and in order to be baptized, he would have to throw away almost every person he knows and his entire life's work.

I've learned on my mission that the church has enemies. Even ones in Thailand. And they're busy. But the cool part of all of this is that opposition only shows that we are doing something right. Opposition is truth's best stalker. Whenever you see something moving, especially something big and fast, like a stone cut from a mountain, you can always expect to see a large cloud of dust flying behind it.

The restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is good. It is true. It is the only path to salvation and exaltation. These things I now know. 

Fear not, courage, though the enemy deride;
We must be victorious, for the Lord is on our side.
We'll not fear the wicked nor give heed to what they say,
But the Lord, our Heavenly Father, Him alone we will obey.

Elder Osborn

 Our font is really gross...;/

This is Brother Stamp! He was baptized yesterday! We are so proud of him. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014


P-lok is on fire! 

I just want to make a list of all of the miracles that God did here this week! But that's the format I used last week, so I'll do something else.

This week Elder Baldwin and I tried a new idea, the concept of asking everyone for referrals. We thought that we had always asked for referrals in an effective way before. But we changed something. We followed up on our invitations. Before I would ask, "Do you know anyone who might be interested to go to church too? .... Okay, you can bring them with you tomorrow."

Now it sounds something like this, "Do you know anyone who is interested in _____? .... Well, can we have their phone number so we can call and invite them to go?"

Something changed in the work, we not only just asked for referrals to be obedient, but we expected to get something out of it too!

Here's what happened! Normally, we set a goal for 2 contacted referrals, and we get maybe 1 a week - a new investigator brings their brother or sister or a friend to a lesson. But this week, we changed just a tiny little thing. And we got 11 contacted referrals. And 12 new investigators. Which I have never seen before!! It was so cool!

People bringing friends and people who themselves didn't go giving us numbers of people who were very interested! It was so cool! We have a couple appointments set up with Christian families to share a "special message"! Normally the Christians are not very accepting at all. We got 8 people for sacrament meeting! 4 of whom were those referrals. I feel like we didn't do anything special, we just followed what His servants have told us to do and we were blessed with miracles because of it.

One was especially cool. We are teaching a wonderful woman at a restaurant we love to eat at. One evening we asked a family who was eating there if they knew anyone who was interested to go to church. The mother gave us the number of her son. When we met with him he told us that he had read a little bit out of the Book of Mormon that the restaurant owner has. He felt like it was more than just a normal book, but that it told him what to do and how to improve. He came to church yesterday and now has a baptismal date.

Look how cool that is! Just do what you're told and God gives you miracles!

As for other stuff, we tried going contacting at a college outside of town. We went all the way out there just to find out the term hasn't started yet and to find a bunch of freshmen busy doing orientation. ughhhhh. So we biked back, contacted a referral and had some delicious smoothies. And I got sunburned. That place was out in the middle of nowhere! I took a video that's way cool because halfway through it I get hit in the face by a butterfly! It was so fun!

So as a whole we had a lot of fun!

A crazy week that was really busy! So successful! พิษณุโลก is on fire right now! The other Elders are doing amazing too. As of today, the new standard of excellence for the mission is two baptisms for the month of August. So exciting!  "Thank you for keeping up with the Lord's pace in hastening His work." - President Senior

I love this work more than anything. It is a refiners fire. I had an investigator ask me what I was like before I was a missionary. I told her that she wouldn't recognize me. The fire hurts, as fire always does. But the cool thing is that you change.

Mom, you'd be proud; every morning I am that one Elder who makes his bed and has an organized desk. haha
I don't like to say I'm better but I can honestly say that the mission has perfected me. I still have A LOT to work on, but I can tell I'm better. Every day better. That's one of the cool parts of serving a mission; you don't just help others, you also help yourself. No wonder every RM traces all of their success back to their mission. Cause a mission has a beautiful effect on the human soul. But first you just have to give your will to Him.

Okay, I'm done.
Email ya next week!

Elder Osborn

And some pictures! 

We found a parade for Thai mother's day!

This is a kid who wanted to take pictures of us so we invited him to take a picture with us!

Me in the rice fields.

And I crashed on my bike and tore my pants! :(

Monday, August 11, 2014


So... I don't really know what to say about this week! So much has happened!

1. Last P-day we went on a hike and played in the mountains!
2. We had transfers meeting!
3. I got a new companion. Elder Baldwin!
4. He's awesome.
5. We caught a rat in our house. Just imagine 4 Elders chasing a rat around for 20 minutes with brooms and buckets.
6. Mosquitoes love to eat Elder Baldwin. 
7. Yesterday we ate a lot of garlic.
8. I've noticed less mosquitoes bugging Elder Baldwin.
9. We went to a school in the middle of nowhere.
10. We had a talent show!
11. Sister พลอย got baptized!!!!!
12. Sister พลอย got baptized.
13. Her brother really wants to get baptized too. He is on vacation up here so we used his phone to call the Elders in Bangkok and set up an appointment for them. You could say those Elders were very excited to get that call.
14. We slammed timtams. (you may not know what that is. If you want to know feel free to ask.)
15. Elder Baldwin is hilarious. We laugh a lot.
16. We're still in Pitsanulok.
17. The phone was lost, but now we have one again.
18. God is working miracles here!
19. I'm really excited for this transfer!

Here's some pictures from our adventure!!!!

Look at this gun we found in the wilderness. This was actually in a place that used to be a base for the communists in the Thailand jungle during the civil war. Guns like these would shoot down government aircraft all the time.

Thank goodness they didn't wear helmets like this!

A delicious meal. Do not believe that I ate all of that. There were 5 of us.

 Look at these sweet thai pants!!!

Also, this is Sister พลอย's baptism!!! พลอย means diamond! We're so proud of her.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


On the subject of Faith and Works

Faith vs. works

"You have faith. And I have works. Can you show me your faith without any works? Because I will show you my faith through my works." James 2:18 (This is how Elder Osborn sees this verse. I would also recommend looking at the original)

I have had the pleasure of meeting with many prepared and amazing souls. All with amazing amounts of faith. We are currently meeting with a lot of investigators. But really. A lot. But none of them are getting baptized. Why? Because they have a lot of faith. But they are struggling with the works side of things.

For example:
We are currently working with an amazing man. Who, through his own efforts and diligence, built the first christian church in Pitsanulok. He, through spiritual experiences and meeting with us regularly, has come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the restoration, saying, "I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on the earth." As a leader he is struggling with the concept of abandoning his church - his entire life's work! - and becoming a latter-day saint. He knows it. He brings us referrals very frequently, knowing that he wants to lead every new convert here, but he's worried about his congregation. He has expressed interest in us going to speak at his church, and giving every member of his church a copy of the restoration video.

This man has a lot of faith. So, we had a lesson dedicated to the concept of "faith and works". By the end of this lesson, this man was telling us that he believed that we have more faith than him. He explained by referring to the fact that we came from America and Taiwan to teach the Thai people about the risen Lord. To ride our bikes in the heat just looking for someone who wants the truth. To change lives. He said that he didn't have that kind of faith.  Wait a minute! Take a step back. Who is this? This man raised money to build and upkeep the first christian chapel in Pitsanulok! He noticed that there wasn't a church here, so he converted people and brought them to Christ and built a church! That is a lot of faith! Do you know any ordinary members of our church who just notice that there isn't a chapel in their area, so they go out and bring in enough people to the gospel so the church can build a chapel? There are very few.

Our lesson before the one on works and faith we committed him to pray for guidance on what to do with his congregation. He knows his options, get baptized and hope that they follow him, or try to convert them all first and bring them with him. So we invited him to pray. He did. And when he opened the scriptures (every day his calendar gives him several scriptures that he can read) he found this verse:

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
He told us that this was his answer from God. And that this was what he needed to do. But he followed those sentences with this: "I am just not ready to do that yet."

Which brings us back to the phrase, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
I thought of the rich young ruler, who walked up to Jesus with faith, asking what more he needed to do. - Faith, check - but upon hearing what the action, or work needed to be, he couldn't do it - works... - and very quickly his faith was accounted as nothing, because it had not works. It died.

Back to our friend. A man with GREAT faith. Who has seen many miracles in his life. Received a very direct answer from God, and when he knew what the sacrifice was, backed away.

Let's look at the example of Abraham. Abraham received a message from God to sacrifice his son. And although Abraham felt like the price of discipleship was high - of course it was! - he went to sacrifice his son anyways, because he faith was tied to his works. Did he end up having to lose his son? No. God helped him out of it and gave him an amazing blessing of a posterity as the sands of the seed. And he got to keep his son.  "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"

So now we have seen what happens when our faith lacks works - the rich young ruler - and when our faith is shown by works - Abraham. One walked away sorrowful, while the other was blessed beyond comprehension.
My friend here in Pitsanulok has faith for sure. And he has shown his faith by works several times; before and after we started teaching him. But as of right now, the price of discipleship is too high.

It's interesting to look at every situation and learn something beautiful. I hope and truly believe that he will find his way and become a latter-day saint. But in the process this man has taught me a lot about faith and works. I hope you were able to learn something as well.

As for other acts of faith and works ( =miracles; we'll discuss that another day) that have been happening down in the land of pitsanulok:

An investigator who disappeared for two weeks called us yesterday. His phone just broke. And he's a doctor, so he is very busy. One of the first things he asked me was, "is today fast sunday?" "good, because I'll be breaking my fast this evening." :)

Another investigator who is AMAZING has passed her interview! I'll write about the miracles that led to this the week she gets baptized.

Elder Osborn

As for pictures!

Look at this tiny lizard we found in the church! This isn't even the smallest one!

On The bus ride to a zone training I sat next to a Major in the military. He invited us to dinner a couple days later.