Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Dear... everyone!

Today is New Years Day. What does that actually mean? It's just another day. Technically, today is no special day compared with yesterday or tomorrow. But why is it that everyone loves to choose New Years as the day that they change? Why do we even want to change? What is so special about changing?

Since I've been in the mission field I've learned much about the word change. Before, when I was just an ordinary Christian, I had a deep understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I knew all of the principles. I knew my way around the books of scripture. But the one thing I've learned to do on my mission is how to use that knowledge. We call this word wisdom, or the ability to use obtained knowledge and information to fulfill a purpose or desire.

So now arises the question, "How do we use the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" Because the words I believe are nothing without actions. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead". To understand how we must use Christ's teachings we must understand what our purpose is; what the main goal is; where we are going. This is the point where His teachings become truly dynamic, because the good news tells us why and how

Today I won't be discussing the why of the Gospel as much as the how, so if you would like to know why, I will refer you to The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

To be short in words, there would be no purpose of God's plan if the final goal was just to return to Him again. If so, why did we even leave in the first place? The purpose of this life is to become even as He is

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

This brings us back to the original thought, "Why do we set goals on New Years?". Well, of course we all have regrets. We look back at our lives or our year and we can see our failures and our triumphs. We are filled with joy and gratitude or we are filled with regret. Usually a mix of both. In order to know what we much change from, we have to look back and analyze our actions. And to know what we must change to we must have a vision. What is your vision for yourself this year? When you imagine yourself on December 31st 2015, who do you see? This is where the goals follow. Your goals are built to meet your visions. For example, if I decide on a certain set of goals for 2015, but there is no reason or drive behind it (remember that vision) I'll fail on all my fancy new goals to go running every other day and spend more time at the gym and smile more. This is why so many people find their goals getting blasted by the 17th of January! Because there's no reason, no drive, no vision.
So start with that vision! See your self in a year, and then you need to increase your desire. You've got to want it more than anything. Because when you want this success more than food and sleep then you'll get it. Once you have your vision and adequate desire, then you can start setting your goals.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ will give you a bigger vision, then it tells you how. Christ's commandments are the how. The vision is to become like our Heavenly Father, the Eternal Father, even God. Christ's law is how. It is each stepping stone. It is the ship that takes us to our "promised land".

So if you're sitting here wondering if you're ever going to accomplish all of your great New Years goals, go get a pen and paper, sit down and decide what your vision for this year is, then set your goals (along with detailed plans and forms of measurement).

Remember these goals are supposed to be positive things. If you find that one of your goals is to do something stupid or negative, go home and rethink your life. :)

Why do we choose New Years as the day to change? One missionary told me that he doesn't set goals for new years because every time he does, he can't do them. When he realizes he needs to improve, he sets his goals right then and changes immediately instead of writing a note, "August 23 2014: I need to smile more. Don't forget to put that down in my new years resolutions!"

The best day to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best day to plant a tree is today.

So, in the spirit of resolutions and goals, go crazy. But remember, you don't have to set goals only for new years. Nor do you have to wait 'til December to look back and analyze your performance. Every day, look back and analyze. Take the time to remember and notice. Then set your goals often, whenever necessary.

Just change today instead of tomorrow. That's the whole principle I'm trying to get across.

I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance.


Okay, that was fun. I like writing mini sermons! It's so much easier to type them than to try to write them during personal study! haha

On Sunday Sister รดา and Sister นุ่น were baptized into the only true and living Church!

These two Sisters are fantastic. Sister Radaa said in her testimony, "Before I thought I was a good person, but I know that this will make me even better." 

Yesterday we were inviting in front of a mall called Terminal 21. Right now everyone went home for New Years so there's only hundreds of tourists at our favorite contacting place. So we get some fun experiences with foreigners. For example, a kind lady asked me ,"Why are you trying to convert Buddhists for heaven's sake?" I thought that was an interesting question. The answer is, "I am trying to convert everybody for their sake and for heaven's sake." But she was walking very quickly so we didn't get the chance to talk.

This morning I drove in Thailand for the first time! The van!! I feel like I'm driving a bus everywhere, and for some reason everything is on the wrong side.

Okay, I'm out of stuff...


And this is our christmas tree!!!

Love you,
Elder Osborn

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Hello. Merry Christmas to you all!

This week we took a short break from inviting towards baptism due to a piece of inspiration from the Seniors. We are taking a week to ask people "do you know the meaning of Christmas?"

Here are some of the many answers we've gotten in 3 days:
Is it the day that Jesus died?
It's the day that Jesus was born again!
I know! It's santa claus riding reindeer!!! (As he does a little cowboy-like dance)
It's Jesus Christ's birthday!
It's white people's new year?
We give each other presents.
The word ให้ (to give).
I'm christian!
No. What is it?
I'm Buddhist.
Christmas trees.
The birth of our Savior.

I like all of these answers. But my favorite is the last one. When people respond kindly, we will explain to them how it is the day we celebrate Christ's birth. How Jesus is our Redeemer, how he loves each of us individually, and how through him we can start over. We then invite them to go to the church with us and learn more about Jesus Christ and baptism, which is how we start a new life.

We've been meeting a lot of people recently, many of which have seen us before. Last night during a Christmas-Eve lesson on the Plan of Salvation, a wonderful sister told us how she didn't understand how we could stand in a massive flow of people and invite and get rejected by hundreds of people for hours and still smile every time we talk to someone. We don't get impatient nor yell at anyone. She said she would have gotten frustrated really quick. We were able to tell her all about our calling. And that is where the Spirit flows.

The calling of a missionary is one of the most important callings in existence. It is a call to serve in the biggest field, orchard, or office in the world. We are engaged in the harvesting of souls. We are called to reap, for the field is white already to harvest. We don't plant. We don't water. We reap.
This is the most important work of eternity. It is the only work of any real importance. And I get to spend the Christmas season laboring for the conversion of God's children. On the Lord's errand.

We love opportunities to share the sacredness of our calling with those we teach. And when we do the Spirit changes people. When we feel it, we know they feel it. And we both rejoice together.

For behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

We are bold with His children. We are definitely bold. And sometimes boldness leads to overbearance. But boldness combined with love can never be interpreted as overbearing.
I can feel my love for others increasing as I study and understand more of the Atonement of Jesus Christ through personal revelation.


Yesterday we taught a wonderful lesson with two Chinese sisters. One of which is a current investigator and speaks thai. The other came for the first time yesterday and doesn't speak much english or thai. So we had a brother translate for us. We invited the investigator to be baptized, and as she struggled to make up her mind this kind brother began to speak with the other investigator in chinese. They spoke for a while and then he turned to us and said that she wanted to be baptized with her friend on the 4th of january. We asked him to ask her if she was sure, "do you really want to be baptized on the 4th?" The response came back a few translations later, "yes, I'm already christian, but I want to be baptized." The hesitating investigator made up her mind to be baptized as well.

Elder Curtis and I looked at each other in sincere bewilderment as another recent convert in the room told us how confused he was by this lesson.
The plan for this lesson was to read 1 Nephi 8 together. We read about 10 verses. I love lessons like this!

We had another investigator who came to her first lesson already on the defensive, walking in with a white man all tattooed up and such. He had already given her everything she needed to know about the Book of Mormon. During the follow up call she said that she had read enough reviews online about the Book of Mormon and decided not to read it.

A parable comes to mind; You can read 10,000 books about an iron stove, about where it came from, what it's made of, how hot it can get, and how it works. But you will NEVER know what an iron stove feels like until you touch it, until you burn your hand.

The same with the Book of Mormon -- or anything -- you can never know until you try it.
We ask people who don't understand this principle to tell us what salt tastes like. They can't.

Brother หยง was baptized this Sunday! What a fantastic brother! We love him so much and we are so proud that he's already sharing his experience and testimony with other investigators.

Another fantastic investigator told us that she found my blog... She said that she was touched by what we're doing out here. 

This morning I read the short story, The Mansion. By someone whose name I forgot.
The one that President Monson reads every Christmas. 
I would recommend it. But seriously. You all need to read it today. Especially my family. It really opened my eyes. Honestly inspiring.

This morning woke up to one present under the tree -- don't get concerned, I opened all of the other ones early because of my impatience. Also, the tree was just a pine branch in a ziploc bag sitting on top of the present. Yay!!! Thank you Sister Coleman!

Okay, that is all I have for today!

Love you all, Elder Osborn

 Look at this super cute primary performance at the christmas party!

 This is brother หยง on the left! He's so nice. A very Christlike man.

And... Elderberry juice for christmas!!! Yay!

Friday, December 19, 2014


Wow. I'm still stunned to be in Asoke. Elder Curtis thinks it's funny that I keep goggling at all of these massive buildings and crowds. 

This week President decided that he wanted the assistants to spend more time and energy in inspiring and lifting other missionaries, so they're off across the country for a few days every week. So our house was really quiet for a few days. 

I also got sick in those few days. Then when the assistants came home Elder Kelley had gotten sick on his adventure to the Isaan. And Elder Meeker has something too. 

Yay! It's not too bad though. I just study with a blanket. :)

So as for office life. We get to sit in front of a computer for a few hours every day before we go out and proselyte. It's like having a part time job and being a missionary at the same time!

I just want to share a little experience.
When I first got to Thailand I really struggled. I remember the first Monday in country, we were riding bikes with one of our investigators and he was talking to my trainer, Elder Wilko. I asked Elder Wilko what he said and I was told that I could speak Thai really well but I couldn't understand anything. How true that was --  
One of my first church meetings in thailand they had a video training from Elder Holland. It hurt me to watch Elder Holland speak, and then as the over dub came in, and the English faded away - I couldn't understand him! Elder Holland was talking; and I couldn't understand him. I sat there trying to read his lips, but it didn't work. I felt useless. During lessons I would sit there and try to listen, but Elder Wilko always ended up translating what they said for me. Then I could say what I wanted to say.

One Sacrament meeting I found myself reading Job to try to lift my spirits. Knowing that if anyone had the right to say "wo is me" it would be Job. That helped me feel better about everything, but I was still stuck on this whole understanding people thing.

One day I remember we were riding back to the church. I was behind Elder Wilko cause I was always lost. I can still picture that moment in my head. 

I made a promise in my head. A deal, contract, covenant, promise, a wrestle - whatever you would call it. I made it with God. My only desire was to communicate, to serve, to help, to teach, to listen, but I could not. I told God that I wanted to master Thai. I wanted to speak, read, write, and understand like a native. I did not want my language to be my weakness. I told Him that I had a lot of knowledge and understanding. I told Him that I was good at learning, at retaining information, at testing, at memorizing. But in that moment none of those things mattered to me. None of my abilities in writing creative stories, solving calculus problems, photoshop, doing microbiology, mattered to me anymore. I asked God to help me to learn Thai, and if necessary, take away all of my temporal knowledge and understanding to make room. After wrestling from the park to just past the roundabout, I finished my prayer, determined to learn Thai.


Yesterday we were filling out baptismal records and I tried to do simple math finding out how old someone was based off of their birthday. I did the math in my head and found out that they were 41. They were 36.
Everyday in the office I am making forms and doing records. I feel so lost working with computers, which used to be one of my greatest skills. I have to ask Elder Curtis and Elder Meeker to help me with all of the smallest things.

This Sunday I was asked to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting. I stood there and spoke as if Thai was my native language. Afterwards I was complimented many times by different members telling me how well I speak.
Yesterday we taught a very powerful lesson. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it was pretty deep. One of the members went off about a few different prophecies and the atonement, they were filled with questions and the lesson went really long. There were two investigators there, one with a date and one without one. I was worried about our dater and his faith before this lesson. He even said he doesn't feel like he has any faith. I understood every single thing said. And by the end of the lesson he was testifying to the other investigator!

This morning I did a language study with Elder กฤศ a native Thai. We read together in the Book of Mormon and we corrected each other on pauses and intonations while we read -- IN THAI. Understanding what I read was no problem, speaking clearly wasn't the problem, we were working on intonations!

I can testify that the gift of tongues is real. And I know that when God makes a promise, He keeps it.

I love you all and I know that God answers prayers when we pray with faith, when we pray sincerely, when we pray with the intent to act according to the answer, and when the thing we ask is in line with His holy will.  If you're finding your prayers are casual or unanswered, test yourself. Every prayer should be a spiritual experience.

เอ็ลเดอร์ ออสบอร์น

Here's some pictures that show the difference between my last area and my new area!

And this is was performed at transfers meeting... HAHA

"Contacting" (To the tune of Jingle Bells)

Biking down the street
with a pamphlet in my hand.
“want to get baptized?”
“no way I’m Buddhist man”
So just keep moving on
to ten of twenty more,
searching for the one that wants
the things God has in store.

Contacting, contacting contact all the way!
Bringing men the gospel for two hours every day,  
Contacting, contacting, invite everyone.
Teach them of redemption through God’s own Beloved Son!

I talked to that man there 
told him to cleanse his sins.
He then looked quite confused,
then gave me directions
Told him to go the church.
He said, "I don't know where" 
I tried to answer his concern 
but he walked away right there.

A day or two ago, 
I thought I'd take a ride 
I swerved through traffic then 
and landed on my side, 
This kind man helped me up, 
asked me what he could do,
I told him just have faith, repent
and then we'll baptize you."

He came to church last week, 
the day after we met. 
We taught a couple things,
so now he is all set!
He's coming down the stairs.
The members come to view.
I raise my arm up to the square
and say "I Baptize you!"

(After ending last chorus)
Baptism, Baptism Baptize everyone!
No less than two thousand by December Thirty one!

Authors: Elders Jesse Codling and Scott Hilton

Saturday, December 13, 2014


On Monday we got the call that I would be the only person in the area moving. Then on Tuesday afternoon we got a call from the Assistants calling for president. He wanted me down in the office as soon as possible. 

I packed in about four hours and we hopped on a 10 hour bus to Bangkok. We got to the assistants house at about 6 am on wednesday. Transfers starts on Thursday.

Didn't have too much time to give Elder Evans a good solid goodbye before I met my new companion, Elder Curtis, and we began the most hectic three days of my life. I've been assigned as an office Elder! I don't know if you know much about all of this stuff, but it basically means that we do all of the grunt labor for President and the rest of the mission. It also means that my house is on one of the busiest streets in Bangkok. Yes. I'm in Asoke!!!! We spent the first day picking up the new missionaries, helping with trainings, and making the transfers powerpoint.

Ahhhh! So on Tuesday night I tried to sleep on the bus, then we were so busy all Wednesday until around 1 am, and got to sleep before 2. We slept until 5:30, got up, worked out, and started running errands for transfers. Did random errands and business and a little bit of way money contacting until 9. Went to bed at the normal 10:30. Then woke up at 2 to take the dying missionaries to the airport. After which we helped the Elder who is moving to Myanmar get his visa and prepare to leave. We got him to the airport, got lost in Bangkok, then got back at 9.

I'm tired. The office is CRAZY!!! This city is massive!! I went from an area where there are 2 cows that graze outside the apartment window, to the heart of bangkok, where there is NEVER nobody to talk to. Inviting hundreds every day to get baptized again!!!!! YEA!!!

I'm like a kid in a candy store. We have a van that we drive. We ride the sky-rail, the subway, and we drive! Every individual mall here puts the biggest malls in america to shame. Everything is so big and so fast! I'm so happy --

I love the way our mission works. And now I'm right in the middle of it. I get to meet with President Senior often, and work with the assistants. I am also the District Leader... That's scary... 

The mission is preparing to baptize 2000 people by the end of the year. We're getting close but we've just got to keep up the pace, if we get lazy or slack even a tiny bit we won't make it. We have to baptize 38 every week to do it. So excited!!!

And, random fact, now my P-day is on Saturday. Everyone else's is on Monday. We're the only two companionships in the mission with this weird schedule.
We're going to "speak miracles" this transfer! I'm so excited.

A guy went to the church two hours early for his appointment this morning. He has a baptismal date now! It was one of the coolest lessons ever. We taught just so simply and towards needs. I'm pumped to be with Elder Curtis.

Love you all,
เอ็ลเดอร์ ออสบอร์น

Sunday, December 7, 2014


It's so hot.

And it's actually the cold season. But I'm literally sweating right now. A similar week to last. Lots of work, but not much results. Well at least in lessons we didn't have any. Well, we had one member lesson. And we got like 10 numbers off the street this week. But we kept exercising our faith and on Saturday night, after an entire day of only visiting members, a member who we visited brought two girls to church. I had Elder Evans teach them, while I figured out the music selection for the next morning. My hopes were that he would come out of the lesson feeling extremely confident, knowing that he could teach investigators without the aid of his trainer. He had some solid members helping him too. 

It worked. He walked out if it with a ton of confidence. Both of those wonderful sisters have baptismal dates and are praying and reading the book of mormon. I'm so proud of him.

This week was also father's day in thailand. So I did a little activity about charity and love that related to my gratitude study from last week. I wrote down memories and thoughts and feelings towards my dad, Warren Osborn. After about ten minutes I thought of all of these things from his perspective. It was eye-opening. And then I compared all of that to that list of all the things I'm grateful for and tried to look at myself from God's perspective. It was also eye-opening. I could feel His love that He has for my 6,999,999 siblings.

Happy thai father's day!!!

This Thursday is transfers meeting. Don't know if anything is going to happen or not yet......

We went golfing last Pday!!!! Dad, you remember how when I hit how it always curves to the right? (I forgot that word... slice?) Yeah, fixed that after 200 balls. Now I hit so straight!!!

Look at what we found at a market!!! Yeah, we are basically in the middle of nowhere. If one of those snakes bites you, you are dead. The lady selling it said they find them in the jungle and beat them with sticks.

And! This cotton candy guy is so cool!!!!

Love you all!
เอ็ลเดอร์ ออสบอร์น

Monday, December 1, 2014


My dearly beloved พี่น้อง. This week was a beautiful week. A hard week for me. I learned a lot about selflessness and gratitude. 

I did a great little activity one personal study. I spent half an hour with my journal open, writing down everything I was grateful for. Then I read the talk Grateful in Any Circumstances by President Uchtdorf. Any impatience, frustration, selfishness evaporated away. I feel at peace again. As for work, not too much happened on the side of stories.

One of our recent converts has been working with us to bring her children into the Church. As the son who she had the most hopes for began to fall back again she almost gave up and decided that she would throw in the towel and move to Bangkok to "rest". She had planned to leave after Christmas. This week we were about to leave the church and we decided that we should call her and invite her to the Thanksgiving dinner we prepared (which she couldn't even go to because she lives far away and has no car). We then thought that it would be even better if we were to have a member call her. So we walked up to a wonderful Sister named Bap and asked her to call this member. She asked for her number and made the phone call. Later that night Sister Bap called and told us that this mother had changed her plans and was actually packing up when Bap called. Long story short, this phone call was an answer to tear-filled prayers.

The next day, this Sister was the happiest I had ever seen her. She had brought her son who she had just the day before given up on. She also brought her other daughter who we have yet been able to make contact with.

Yesterday our Branch President started a missionary prep class. He invited the missionaries, returned missionaries, and those who want to serve. There were five youth there. Three of which are our recent converts. One was Sister Apple who was baptized this month.

I'm as happy as ever, just trying my best to follow the example of our beloved Prophet always be on the Lord's errand.

Elder Osborn