Monday, September 29, 2014


Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! I haven't spoken much about what has been going on in our mission recently. So remember back in the day where I used to only talk about baptism? Yes. That is what our mission used to be like. Then a couple things happened and our mission got confused. Then it stopped baptizing everyone. We lost all of the focus and drive. Which focus and drive led to 100% obedience and diligence in contacting. Then we were told to focus on retention and taking care of recent converts AND bringing back less actives. 

All of this sounds like a great addition. And it is, but our mission wasn't ready for it. It was like a punch to the face. We didn't have a focus. Or really a vision. There was a restriction placed on contacting: Maximum 2 hours a day.( So we could start working with the members and being smarter in how we find people.) The machine stopped running.

Today we got a call from the zone leaders saying that President had sent out a video that we all had to watch before doing anything else today.------- It was amazing!

President Senior's address really changed everything. AGAIN! He lifted the restriction on contacting time and suspended facebook usage. Why? To take our mission back to the basics. 

He said as part of his message:
"History will reflect that the current generation of missionaries has done things far differently than has ever been done before in Thailand, building upon the great foundations laid by our predecessors. We are not getting what  we have always gotten. We have learned, we have changed and, as Elder Bednar has instructed, pressed forward with faith accomplishing “things which God has prepared” for those who love him. Elders and Sisters, the Lord teaches us line upon line, and precept upon precept. He cannot teach us upon the precepts we have previously received if we have discarded those precepts. If that be the case, the Lord must return to the previous precept, teach it again before He can then teach us more upon the foundation of that precept. Do we want to go back? The answer is we cannot! We can never go back because we have already put our hand to the plough. We must build upon the foundation we have already laid. You are a set apart missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You have been given all rights, privileges, powers and authorities as an authorized representative and emissary of the Savior Jesus Christ. We must not be afraid to find, to teach, and to baptize. It is our calling to do so."

I got chills as I watched this video, knowing that the Lord had tried to push us and make us better, but we weren't ready for it yet. So it crashed a little. So we're gonna do what we know how to do and then build from there again. 

All of what we do is driven by faith. It is all we do. Some people think that we are trying to create miracles with our hard work. NO. How do all miracles occur? As a response to faith. And how do we show God our faith? Through diligence and obedience. That is why our mission sees miracles. Because we obey and are diligent.

I am excited to work again in light of this new inflection point. Following the Savior's command:

29 And thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see.

 30 And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers.

 31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

 32 Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter; for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.

We declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

This is what the Lord has commanded. And we shall obey.

As for what has been going on in our lives here in Sagonakon. Elder Evans and I have been finding! 11 new investigators in his first full week of missionary service. That's how we roll! I'm so proud of him. He's so good at missionary work! 

So in a 24 hour period between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon we faced a lot of opposition.
1. I ran over a nail on my bike. So we were โบสถ์- ridden (it's a pun, the word โบสถ์ means church and sounds like the work abode, just without the -a-. If you get it, it's pretty funny, if you don't, that's too bad.)
2. We ran out of water just as our sports day ended. So we were dehydrated.
3. Our power went out. This includes air conditioning. ughhhh
4. We lost our keys.

But, we all know that in the face of opposition comes God's greatest blessings.

Yesterday we got 4 new investigators that we didn't expect. And two of them, - a mother and a daughter - took a baptismal date. And boy are they super prepared.

Love ya, Elder Osborn

Monday, September 22, 2014


So... I moved! Back to the isaan! (which is the northeastern part of thailand) My new area is Sagonakon! It's even smaller than Pitsanulok. My new companion is Elder Evans. This is his first area, which means that I'm training!!!!!! 

That is a scary thing. I'm training. Which basically means that I have the responsibility of making sure that he has the best experience of his life here. While white washing. Into an area that has hardly any investigators. That's fine though. We've found a whole bunch of great potentials already.

Elder Evans is amazing. He is powerful. Loves the people, loves everything actually. 

He finds joy in the smallest things. Especially in little things that I forgot were even so amazing. Like the monsoon rains. It rained yesterday. I looked out the window thinking, "oh... my helmet's getting wet." He looked out the window saying, "Woah! Look it's raining!! I'm in Thailand and it's pouring! That's so cool."

I used to consider myself a positive person, but since we've been companions I've felt like I'm the pessimist. He has this energy, excitement, and strength in everything. Like right now just the way he is sending his email is so impressive! He really inspires me to do everything with that excitement.

Also, he can actually speak the language. A lot more than I could when I got off the plane. And he learns quick, every time I teach him something, whether it is a new word or phrase or just something work related, he uses it instantly and loves it. He learns so fast. I'm not training him, he's training me. I look at him and I see a future assistant to the President. I imagine the best missionary in our mission, and I can see him being the next one. So I'm going to do my best to help him become the best.

The entire experience is really bringing me back to when I first got in country. The fear, the apprehension, the excitement. It's all so fun!

As for the branch, Sagonakon is an amazing branch. I could feel the love they have for each other the first time we met together. There are a handful of members with various special needs. But everyone is always there to serve and bless them. They read for them, answer questions for them, and aid them in and out of meetings. It is an amazing thing to see. So much love in this branch.

Yesterday we found out of an activity that some missionaries did about five years ago. They would play sports on Saturday afternoons, and then after that they would go out and visit ALL members and give a lesson and invite them to church. The members said that they would have 120 people at church every Sunday! So that's what we're going to do. But we're going to make sure that it is member driven so it doesn't fade away after we move.

Love ya all!
Elder Osborn


Elder Evans and I with the branch President.

Hey! It's us again! On the way to get Elder Evans new bike!

And a really dramatic picture of his first bike ride. Isn't this area beautiful?

Monday, September 15, 2014


Dear everybody,

A lot has happened this week. I don't even know where to start.
We're teaching one guy, who is a super strong Buddhist. He has had some crazy spiritual experiences. Every time he just explains it as every hair on his body stands up. It has happened three times now. 1. When he first read from the Book of Mormon. 2. When he first heard me pray. and 3. When I was explaining to him what 2 Nephi 9 was about over the phone. He is becoming increasingly curious about baptism.

How we found him: He was getting on his motorcycle and I invited him to church. He said no. And told me how he was a very strong buddhist. He has seen visions and seen things. So his conversion to buddhism is very strong. He said he's studied at several christian churches and didn't like the teachings. I humbly explained that what he'll find at our church is very similar to what he is already practicing. That I wasn't there to replace his beliefs, but to add more.

He has become a solid investigator. Very willing to live the gospel to find out it's truthfulness.

I only have one more thing to say. Study His word. Don't learn about Him, learn of Him.

Elder Osborn


We showed up at this one school just in time to watch them all compete in a field day. As we announced the announcer said, "And now we have a couple foreigners here to watch our competition!!" We waved and sat down and watched while inviting those we sat next to.

Brother Honda got baptized!! He's so cool!!!! Love him so much!

Because we're white, random people like to talk to us and take pictures with us. :)

This is the Pitsanulok mission prep class with Elder Osborn. We go on switch-offs with the potential Elders. They had the best day of their life. Elder Baldwin stayed at the church and taught people while I went to visit members with these two!!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014


I have absolutely no idea what I want to write about...

It's not that this week was boring, it's just that it is all just the same stuff. We go contacting, and we find people, and we teach those people. Sometimes people who have big concerns but don't tell us stop picking up the phone. Sometimes people tell us their concerns, and they become really solid investigators. Mostly our best investigators just don't have time for the Lord, so they get dropped. Then some of our investigators go to the hospital. Some of them to a different city. Some love coming to the church so much that they just hang out at the church in the evenings. It becomes like their second home. They just feel good when they're at the church. Then when we have to close down the church, they'll go contacting with us.

Then we have investigators who have seen lights coming down from heaven. Then we have others who say that any spiritual experience is just our minds creating it.

We have an investigator that just compares everything we teach him with a teaching in Buddhism, and then explains that our teachings are basically the same as his.

We have another investigator who compares everything to science and modern philosophy. Responding to tithing with, "Why does religion always have to be about money?"

As you can tell, our mission is very fascinating. Never a boring moment. But the problem is that we get used to all of these crazy experiences. So they just become normal things.

I'll just share with you some of the normal things that happened this week.

Sister Mat was baptized on Saturday evening. Just as Elder Tanner lifted his arm to say the baptismal prayer, the power went off in the entire area. It was pitch black. I thought that the members would say, "Let's wait until the power comes back on to have the baptism." Nope! Several members pulled out their cell phones and shone their lights on the baptismal font. The baptism proceeded as normal and she was baptized in cell phone light. Then someone left the door open so the entire chapel was pitch black and filled with mosquitoes. So a member held her cell phone up to the hymn book for light as I tried to play the hymns in the dark, while mosquitoes were biting me. So I found a great rhythm of playing the hymn and slapping , -- how firm a foundation ye saints of the lord - slap - ..... and will still give thee aid - slap slap.

We went to a school. We were inviting all of the students to go to church when out of nowhere a few teachers showed up. They asked us to go teach some of the students in study hall about Jesus Christ. We got two new investigators from it.

Then they invited us to come back and teach again. So we did.

One of the members told us about their experience in searching for the truth and all of the different religions she studied before she found the Mormons. She told me about this one where the master drank a whole bunch of alcohol and then took a sword and cut his tongue. Then put the mixture of blood and alcohol into a goblet and had everyone drink it. She didn't drink it. Then the master had everybody put on random different Thai outfits and just do what ever they wanted to release their inner self. She never went back there. But then she found our church and is home safe and sound.

If you would like to hear other random stories like this, feel free to email me and ask about them! I have tons! Yeah Thailand!!!!

Yesterday, we taught a bunch of our investigators after church. When we went to leave and go contacting, three of our investigators went contacting with us! They did great! We left to go pick up some stuff for dinner from our house. And when we met up again, they gave us a piece of paper and said that they found two more people since we left! Yeah. Pretty solid investigators going contacting for us. :)

We were about to go down an escalator when they decided to turn it off, so we walked down it. When I complained that we had to WALK down the escalator, Elder Baldwin said, "Just be happy we're going down and not up."

Speaking of escalators, we were going down a different escalator when out of nowhere we see this american guy going up the escalator in the opposite direction. We said hello and waved. When he saw us he did the last thing I expected him to do. Because usually white people grumble at us or ignore us. But this guy turned around and started running down the escalator. The escalator that was going up. He was running down it. THUD THUD THUD -- We reached the bottom just as he did, but he leaped down the last 4 steps to land with a bone-crunching thud at the bottom. We just stood there confused as he caught his breath. He greeted us very friendly and told us that he was married to a member of our church. We had a great conversation and parted ways.

I've been sick for almost a week now. So when I talk I sound like batman. And my voice is really quiet so some people can't hear me as I talk to them.

On Saturday we went and played soccer with a bunch of kids - some of them weren't wearing shoes. Then it started to pour, they asked us if we were going to leave. We said ไม่เป็นไร, or never mind, or it's nothing. So we

kept playing. Of eight of us, three were Christian, two were Buddhist, and three were Muslim. It was an awesome game.

Love, Elder Osborn

We taught English about our families. So I drew this picture!

This is us at the school teaching people. And we wore sombreros. 

This is our soccer crew!