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. :)

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