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).
No. What is it?
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
This is brother หยง on the left! He's so nice. A very Christlike man.
And... Elderberry juice for christmas!!! Yay!