Tuesday, August 18, 2015

08/18/2015

This is it.

Over two years later, dozens of bus rides, a coup, days of inviting, multiple bombings, riots, lots of sweat, rainy season, hot season, cold -- less hot -- season, floods, growth, change, thousands of baptisms, and uncounted miracles, it's time to go home now.

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those that love Him".

Never has this verse been more true than what I have witnessed these last two years. Not just me, but all of us. The whole mission has seen and done so so much. Not just for the Thai people, but for me too. I've seen so much change in other people's lives, but I feel like most of the change has been in me.

Yes, it is time to go home, but I am not going back. It would be a shame to go back on all of this, to waste the change, progress, and improvement that I've seen.

I prepared diligently that I would hit the pavement/dirt here in Thailand running. That was my vision, the goal since I've been a kid. Now I have a new vision, I know where I'm going and how I need to get there. I'm going to hit the ground running. There is no time for low-living, missed opportunities, and low expectations. I am not moving on, I'm moving forward.

My mission has been life-changing, and I'm determined to make it change my life.
I've come to a true understanding of who God and Jesus Christ really are, what They really teach, and Their high expectations for us. 

I've learned the power and importance of the first commandments;

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

See you soon,

Elder Christopher Osborn

Sunday, August 9, 2015

08/09/2015

Dear family,

We had to cancel our switch-off with the Elders in Myanmar. Really sad and unfortunate. But MLC was awesome, just perfect inspiration for our mission, focusing on exactly how to do LA work and RC work. And how we can use this work to increase baptisms too. It made me really sad I wouldn't be able to use it much. Really cool and neat stuff. I'm excited to see where the mission will go with all of this.

Because we weren't going to Myanmar, we went straight from Bangkok to Phitsanulok for our last switch-off. I went with Elder Wright and we had a blast! Those Elders are amazing!

We trained the zone in two days and got a day and a half to work in our area. We got some work done. There's going to be a handful of baptisms here just after we leave. I'm excited for each of them.

Yesterday the branch presidents had Elder Davis and I share our testimonies in sacrament meeting.The members have all offered to give us little "farewell" dinners and lunches at their homes. This week is going to be busy...

This Friday we'll travel down to Bangkok for a special training with Elder Holland on Saturday. All of the dying missionaries will just stay in Bangkok until next Thursday which is transfers meeting.

This Saturday and next Wednesday will both be P- days for us. But because of the craziness of those days I don't know if I'll email or not. (I'll try)

I'll at least send off a final email to ลาก่อน the mission.

Every day is flying by so fast... I really don't like it. I'm trying to suck up the last few days of this, but it's escaping from me.

Bittersweet,

Elder Osborn

Sunday, August 2, 2015

08/02/2015



Dear everybody,

So this last week we had planned three switch-offs. One six hours away in Kamphaengphet. One six hours away in Phitsanulok, and one with the assistants.

We had a great switchoff planned for Kamphaeng, but when we went to buy return bus tickets back to Chiang Mai, we found out that because the next day was a holiday, the only possible return option was that afternoon, so our switch-off got cut really short.... Bummer. We got back and the APs had already arrived. We went with Elder Wolfley, so there were three of us from our group in one companionship. That was fun. Got some serious work done and we had an Elders quorum activity. We basically cut down a jungle. The Elders quorum president's house is pretty nice and is way out there. It was a blast, we found wasps nests, red ant nests, and a massive scorpion. We even found an investigator!

Because of the holiday, and the changed days for switch-offs we had to cancel the switch-off with Phitsanulok.

This week we'll be going to MLC and then just after that we'll fly out to Burma for a switch-off with the Elders there. Maybe next week we'll be able to get down to Phitsanulok.

I feel like we got to teach the Plan of Salvation so much this week. I love it. It just rings true with everyone we teach it to. Maybe because it tells them who they are.

We got a referral from the relief society president, she is a Chinese woman here doing research for her thesis. Her name is Xiao Xiao. Somehow I always find myself teaching Chinese people. We got two new Chinese investigators too... Too bad I can't speak Chinese.

We realized that Chiang Mai is the hipster capital of the world, so last night we had a little photo shoot with all the little things we've picked up here.

And some pictures from our cave adventure!

Elder Osborn

















Monday, July 27, 2015

07/27/2015

We went on two switch-offs with other districts in our zone this week. In Chiang Rai and in Lampang.

I got to go with Elder Powers and Elder Kawin. Two amazing missionaries. I could go on and on about how เก่ง they are at everything, but i'll hold back today. While in Chiang Rai we woke up early in the morning (for our exercise) to go on a bike ride to a cave! It was so fun and we explored it by phone light.

Then we were inspired, and the stars aligned, the sister who the Sisters just baptized yesterday; her mom is a cave guide in a massive cave in Chiang Dao. Which is about 1.5 hours away. So today we explored the cave!!!! It was huge!! Multiple kilometers and freaky creatures. And not only that, but the guide used lanterns instead of flashlights!! So cool!!! I took a ton of pictures for all of you but the card-reader is broken.

Okay, as for missionary work we are working with this investigator named Chok. He is wonderful, very similar to Brother Gaw, the recent convert who gave a talk yesterday and baptized someone! He has told us that he just feels like he has 50/50 faith. He wants to have 100 faith before he gets baptized. This encouraged a long study on faith and how much faith someone needs to be able to act on the faith they have.

We gave him Alma 32 for study and invited Brother Gaw to our next lesson. We opened it up and asked what he learned, "Faith and humility" was his answer. We taught about humility how it means teachable and he said something like this, "Elders, don't get me wrong. Just because I have lots of doubts and questions doesn't mean I'm trying to attack your religion, I wouldn't be here if I wasn't humble and full of faith. I drive half an hour plus to each lesson with you. I'm questioning the things I've been taught my entire life. It's hard. I'm just trying to find out: What is the truth? I've been taught that after death I'll be born again and so on and on. But someone here said that we only have one life here. I want to know, what is the truth?"

So he does have faith!!! We explained how much we value that he asks questions and has doubts and that none of that offends us. We are just here to show him the pathway to exaltation. He came to church for the second time yesterday. His first week he learned about a sin of omission, of living according to your own wisdom. This bugged him, he started to ask, "so why do we come on this earth anyways, if living in our wisdom is a sin?". It was amazing, because during language study that morning I asked Elder Kawin to teach me the vocab to tell a story so I could share it if I ever needed to.

"A battleship radar detected another vessel in it's course. The captain ordered the communications officer to send a message 'alter your course 30 degrees or we will shoot. This is a battleship.' The response was, 'we cannot alter our course'. The officer told the captain and the captain ordered him to send it again. 'We are a battleship, alter your course 30 degrees or we will sink you.' The response from the other vessel was simple, 'We cannot alter our course, this is a lighthouse.' "

I told Brother Chok this story and explained: The shore is God and His holy Commandments. We are the battleship. The shore is never going to move, it stays the same, always. Those who live according to their own wisdom find themselves shipwrecked. But those who use their own wisdom to live in accordance of God's higher Wisdom, find themselves sailing anywhere they want in safety and happiness.

We're expecting Brother Chok to get baptized before we go home.

I got food poisoning this week and was up all one night puking and such. First time in Thailand! I thought I might get away without ever puking here. Elder Davis has been sick too, might be the cold/flu. Not sure.

We visited the less active man who is struggling with health. It's getting pretty bad now. He told us that maybe God will just let him rest soon. Being with him made me feel a little ungrateful for the gift of health.

We'll be going on two more switchoffs this week and next week is MLC. It's gonna be a tiring one. We'll try to get some work done in this area.

Love you,
Elder Osborn

Sunday, July 19, 2015

07/19/2015

This last week we had mission leadership council.

Because we are the farthest from Bangkok we took a 14 hour train ride down. And it is a sleeper train! The only problem is that our air-conditioned car was more like a freezer so I didn't sleep too well. But we woke up and went to MLC, which was very different. It was President Johnson's first one and he's focusing on letting MLC be more of a council instead of a training. We had lots of long and very important discussions.

Two major points:
Being full purpose missionaries and preparing to learn with an Apostle.
Then we got on a bus and went to Phitsanulok to train two of the districts in our zone.
We slept over at the Elders' house there, gave the training, and got on another bus back up to Chiang Mai. We then gave the training to the rest of our zone and just got to work in our area, because we had been gone for 2.5 days.

We got to go visit two less-active members and share the First Presidency message on "All is well".
Our first visit was to a member who runs a beauty parlor. She was about to do someone's hair but asked the customers permission if we could share our thought before she started. She agreed and said she was Protestant. This woman didn't seem super interested in learning with us but it was cool to share doctrines specific to our church with her. We could tell it was new to her and the Holy Ghost got that chance to start working with her. She'll be a member of the church one day. :)

The second was a wonderful man who has really bad health problems and feels like he has to work on Sunday to pay for his medication to stay alive. It's hard for him but the message about optimism even in our trials lightened his day.

This week I interviewed with President Johnson to renew my temple recommend. I took the opportunity to ask some questions. Here's a summary of the question I had: It is natural for people to be jealous and envious. When others are successful, something deep in our flesh either wants to be better than them or to tear them down. And when others don't find success something in us wants them to stay that way. This is the natural man. Always exalting himself. Abasing others.

To some extent each of us have this natural, prideful man inside of us, some more than others. I have been recognizing pride and envy slip into my thoughts recently. Of course I know I shouldn't think that way but it seems to be my natural response, my first response. I've been trying for so long to change that trait in myself, but I can't seem to "root this evil spirit out of my breast" as Lamoni's father would say it.

I asked President Johnson, "I know the trait that I struggle with, and it seems that as I try to overcome it, my traits aren't changing in the way I want them to. How do I become the person who is always trying to lift others above himself?"

His answer was simple, "You need to pray for the complementary trait. If you struggle with envy, pray for Charity, which envieth not. If you're prideful, pray for humility."

This morning I broke apart how a humble and charitable person acts. What they do and what they don't do.
I studied three talks, "On being genuine", "Truly good and without guile", and "Meek and lowly".
Elder Maxwell had an insight that rang very well to me:

"The commandment “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29) carries an accompanying and compensating promise from Jesus—“and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” This is a very special form of rest. It surely includes the rest resulting from the shedding of certain needless burdens: fatiguing insincerity, exhausting hypocrisy, and the strength-sapping quest for recognition, praise, and power. Those of us who fall short, in one way or another, often do so because we carry such unnecessary and heavy baggage."

He said that when Christ invites us to take His yoke upon us for He is meek and lowly of heart, he promises rest unto our souls. That rest is not just a rest from work, it is a rest of the mind and soul. This is the rest we're all looking for, and the rest I've been looking for. If we can always remember that He is the Master and we are the disciples, we can't carry a particle of pride.

That's what I'll be working on.

Elder Osborn

Monday, July 13, 2015

07/13/2015

Dear friends and family,

It's official, I'm in my final transfer. 

There were no moves.

Only two missionaries in our whole zone moved. So Elder Davis and I will die together here in Chiang Mai.
During transfer meeting President Johnson announced that Elder Holland will be coming to Thailand on August 15th! Can you believe that?! He's going to give us a training/lesson and all the missionaries in Thailand will go down for it. We get to learn at the feet of an Apostle of the Lord.

The thing is that the meeting is the Saturday before we go home, and since Chiang Mai is a 13 hour train ride from Bangkok, it wouldn't make sense for us to go down, come back up, pack in a day, then go back to Bangkok. So we will most likely just be heading down to Bangkok and staying there until we finish, doing interviews and running last minute errands -- and hopefully visiting some previous areas.

This morning while getting haircuts we started talking to one of the customers. The hair-cutter is a member. When we finished we sat him down and taught him a first lesson. Yes, he took a soft baptismal date.
#doingmissionaryworkonpdays

One of the things I'm most grateful for right now is answers to prayers. From a very sincere prayer last night and a very distinct answer this morning, I can tell you all again that God answers prayers. He does. He tells us everything that we should do.

The second thing I'm grateful for is the Prophet Joseph Smith. I wish I could tell you the feelings of love and respect for the man who has done more for the salvation of man than any other, besides Jesus Christ himself.

Third, my parents and upbringing. What a blessing it is that I got Warren and Tricia to be my mother and father! That they raised me in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'd like to thank God, Prophets, and parents for making everything possible.

Elder Osborn

Sunday, July 5, 2015

07/05/2015

Hello,

Yesterday was one of those days where there is absolutely nothing you'd rather do than be a missionary. (Let's be honest, every day is like that!)

Brother Gaw and Brother Sai were both baptized. Brother Gaw learned for much longer and had many concerns to overcome, but Brother Sai had almost zero concerns. He was one of those "just add water" investigators. We met him last Thursday in front of a 7-Eleven that we had never invited at. We decided we'd just bike down some street and we were asking around trying to find a market in the area, when we had the idea, "Let's invite at some 7s! We'll keep biking until we find a busy one." We biked and passed a couple but then stopped and decided to go back to one of the branches we had already passed. We went back and in 20 minutes of inviting found around 15 people who were interested in being baptized and going to church. One of which stated very simply, "Yes, I want to be baptized." He then gave us both of his phone numbers in case one didn't work. This was Brother Sai.

If you want to know Brother Gaw's story, please read last week's email.

We recorded both of their testimonies because they were amazing! We're trying to figure out a way to upload it and let you listen to their testimonies (with translation).

We got a new mission president, President Johnson. He's so great. They came up to Chiang Mai for a meet and greet with the missionaries and we got to teach a lesson with him and have a lunch together.

It's really weird to think that this is my last transfer now. Some of the death/trunky/going home jokes have started up in the zone... Eh whatever. Right now I feel like a finely tuned instrument of the Lord. Elder Davis and I have a strong grasp on every aspect of missionary work, and so we can do a lot of it if we choose to. There's three types of people: those who can't do it, those who can but don't, and those who do. We're going to be sure that we don't fall into the "can but don't" category. There is a possibility of a change with this transfer, but we are not expecting one.

Again, my mission means everything to me.

Love, 
Elder Osborn

Happy 4th of July!

Switch-offs with some of my favorite missionaries! Elder Bundy is one of the best missionaries I have ever met, and he is still being trained...

Brother Gaw and Brother Sai, (In the middle in that order)

And English class!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

6/28/2015

In the words of my beloved companion, "I'm not going to lie, but I'm growing weary of writing emails." 

But I do have one story to tell.

We set up an appointment with Brother Gaw (ก้อ) this Thursday. We invited the Elders Quorum President to go as well. We said an opening prayer and Brother Gaw just started talking, explaining his story and situation to President Somchai. Some of the story we already knew, but some of it was new.

I'll just tell the whole thing for convenience's sake.

About 2 months ago Brother Gaw had a customer come to his restaurant and introduce him to the church and the Book of Mormon. This customer was not a member, but had learned with the missionaries before. He came to the church the first chance he got. The Elders taught him a little and gave him the book. He said that he had no contact with the Elders until we met with him. We called him our first day in the area and invited him to the branch family home evening (Branch party) at a member's home. He came with us and we found out that he had read until 2 Nephi 16.

He had also started keeping the Word of Wisdom but not 100% because he sells drinks at the restaurant and has to taste the coffee each time. He had quit smoking only 2 years ago. We taught him fasting during our second lesson and he said he'd fast with us on Sunday so he could get off work on Sunday to come to church. The fast was also his first day of keeping the word of wisdom. We taught him a couple more times, having powerful lessons every time. His prayers were some of the best prayers I've ever heard from an investigator and were always along these lines, "Lord, I have faith in Thee, please help me to follow Thee."

When we had an evening baptismal service, we invited him and he loved it! After the baptism we sat down and talked about true prayer, sharing the Lord's advice in D&C 9:

Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

Brother Gaw told President Somchai that he had been just praying to get work off on Sunday to come to church. Then the Lord shared that scripture with him through the missionaries and in essence, "slapped my face" as Gaw put it. He hadn't done anything but pray with all his heart. We invited him to make a plan to come to church and write it down. After planning and praying for confirmation, Gaw found no burning in his bosom and started to think, "Can't I just be a good member of the church and not go to church every Sunday?". Then he met these verses in 2 Nephi 28 in his personal study:

Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!

Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!

Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!

Gaw said "And the Lord slapped me in the face again." He knew he had to go to church.

At his home, they offer their goods to the spirit house every day and ask a blessing to sell well. 
Over the past couple weeks because Brother Gaw had started to keep the 10 commandments, he has stopped offering his offering -- his turn is every Wednesday -- and every time he didn't, they didn't sell well. So his mom wasn't super happy that he was learning with the Elders, because not only was she losing her son to another religion, but their business was also taking a hit. "MOM, it has nothing to do with that! It's just that we aren't selling well...", he told us in his frustration.
His prayers turned into "Please help us sell well so my mom will see that the Lord is powerful."
Then while eating one day, he ran into a third scripture, this one in Jacob 2:

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

"The Lord slapped me in the face again, a third time!", Brother Gaw told us.

The next day when it was his mother's turn to make the offering, they didn't sell well again. Brother Gaw took his opportunity and asked his mom again if he could get work off and go to church. She said, "You know I don't agree with it, but you can go." 

'ขอบคุณครับ' "Thank you."

He told us that since then his prayer have been, "Lord, I'm ready to be baptized, just help me to make it there."

Yesterday just before Sacrament meeting started, we went to go find Brother Gaw, for we hadn't seen him yet.
We found him leaning against the wall near the bathroom with a fresh haircut and a brand new button shirt, applying crazy glue to his shoes. He told us with a laugh, "This morning I woke up and my motorcycle tire was flat, and then the soles came off of my shoes. Satan did not want me to come to church today! I can't imagine what I'll meet next week before my baptism!" We took a couple minutes giving him a new tie and teaching him how to tie it, then hurried into the Chapel.

After seeing this man's determination to follow the Lord, Whom he knows so little about, I have begun to ponder my discipleship and my faithfulness to Him.

What signal does my Sabbath worship send to the Lord?

Elder Osborn

Monday, June 22, 2015

6/22/2015



This week I had my last zone conference.

The theme was hope. It got us all thinking, what do we hope for? Beyond "a better world" what is it that we hope for in our lives? President Senior compared hopes with our visions. In our mission, we have a vision, which feeds our goals, then we build a process to achieve the goals. Almost my whole mission our vision, or our hope, was to have a temple in Thailand. And all of our goals, and all of our work builds up to our vision. When the Temple was announced, our vision/hope simply changed. Now our vision is more stakes, and a nation ready for a temple when it gets here.

Zone conference made me think, what are my hopes? What do I really want to accomplish before I go home? What will I do when I get home, and what vision will be the drive behind everything I do? While interviewing with President and asking for advice,  I was able to decide a couple of my goals. But the goals aren't the final product.

When I get home my vision can't be to have a temple in Provo. While giving my "dying" testimony, it was hard to say and understand that my mission is coming to an end. The tag comes off one day.
So what do I love most in the world right now? Missionary work. I can't think of a better "hope" in my life.

Serve another mission

Of course, the vision will change when it happens, but for now that is my vision, my hope, my dream. Everything I do will be based on that vision. My occupation, family, service, education, skills and talents, all leading up to something, serving again.


This week Brother Pawn พร got baptized! He's so great! On Saturday he went to give some service with us cleaning up a rest home for a couple hours. I've never had an investigator go serve with us before!
Yesterday before an evening baptismal service, the baptismal font overflowed and we and a bunch of members spent about an hour trying to mop a bunch of water out of the carpet. It was pretty fun.
Brother Gaw ก้อ came to the baptismal service in the evening and loved it.

Elder Osborn



Sunday, June 14, 2015

6/14/2015

I spent 6 months serving in Bangkok, in the office and in Bangkhae. It was a period of great growth and improvement. Almost three weeks ago I moved up to the city of Chiang Mai, which is in the far north of Thailand in the mountains. We rode a 13ish hour train to get up here and I already am in love with it.

My companion is Elder Davis, who was in my district in the MTC! Having a companion in the same group as you is pretty unusual, and we are so lucky to be up here. We both have 2 transfers left (due to a change in the length of transfers we get a bonus transfer!) and we are the oldest missionaries in the mission. We're expecting to finish our missions up here. Which means we have a lot of work to do.

We're up her as zone leaders in a massive zone. There are only 12 companionships, but there are 5 districts and the areas are spread out. Also Burma/Myanmar is in our zone too. (Maybe we'll get to do switch-offs there!!!) The average distance between us and our districts is about a 4 or 5 hour bus ride.

Chiang Mai is an ancient city, which means it is also a tourist city. So we run into tons of tourists!!! Tons, from China and basically everywhere else. I'll have to get used to being around Caucasians again. With the increase of foreigners, there is a dramatic increase in persecution too! Which we love. The nice part about being here is that because we're not in Bangkok, people listen to us. We meet so many people! The malls (we have started comparing them to synagogues) are massive and busy. The sad part is that we're starting to get kicked out of every place. We normally just invite in the parking lots and on the street but now they're telling us that no religion is allowed to teach in the parking lots either. So it looks like we're going to have to bike a little bit farther to find people. But I trust that it'll work, maybe even better than the malls.

We moved in with one dater in the area, Sister Pat, she got baptized on the 7th. When we first met her we thought that she was already a member.

We're working with two other awesome investigators, Brother Pawn and Brother Gaw.

Brother Pawn is so nice. I love to teach him. He really understands the gospel. Recently he's been struggling to apply the principles, but we had an amazing lesson with a member of the district presidency. I wanted to cry it was so good! Brother James basically taught everything. He taught the plan of salvation in a very powerful way. He taught some deep doctrine, but used it to apply the Plan to Brother Pawn. Since then Brother Pawn has accepted a baptismal date for this next Sunday and is progressing really well.

Brother Gaw is amazing! Our first day in the area we called one of the names in the contact book and invited him to a FHE activity that Monday. He told us that first day that a customer came to his mom's coffee shop and talked with him about the gospel for a while, instilling a desire to read the Book of Mormon. So about a month before we got there he went to the church to get a book of Mormon. The Elders taught him about it and taught a couple commandments. He said that they didn't contact him again until we called. He said he was already planning on going to the church that day anyways. During that month he had read up until 2 Nephi 16 and had started keeping the commandments. We've had some powerful lessons with this man, and he has so much faith now. He's more than a golden investigator. After our most recent lesson he told us that the room was full of the spirit and that every time one of the members spoke, they spoke with the power of the Spirit. He just gets it. I feel like we're not teaching him, we're just reminding him of what he already knows and telling him how to apply it.

I love missionary work.

Elder Osborn




Sister Pat's baptism!


A really pretty temple at the highest point of Thailand. Temple run anybody?

Two temples on another part of the mountain. If any of you watch Avatar the last airbender this is definitely the inspiration of the dragon dance thing! So we did some Karate over there.

Another advantage of serving in Chiang Mai is all of the foreign food! It's so good!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

06/07/2015

Hey Mom, myldsmail isn't working, but I figured out a little way I could send you something today! I don't know if it'll actually work or not though. I got moved to Chiang Mai with Elder Davis! He's in my group! We're already having a blast. I'll try to send you pictures and a better email next week. This week we did a lot of Elder Weaver's final activities, interviews, dinners, shopping... It was really hard to leave Bangkhae. I really loved serving there. I'm really going to miss that area... I'm almost out of time. But Chiang Mai is amazing!!!!!!!! There were two baptisms yesterday and their testimonies were so powerful. I wish I could read everyone's emails but I can't. I guess I'll write you next week?

Love, Elder Osborn PS Enjoy this Knee Mail

Mormonad Send a Knee Mail - New Era Mar. 2009


Monday, May 25, 2015

05/25/2015

My time here in Bangkhae so far has rushed by so quickly; except this last week. It went by really slow. But we were able to do a lot of work.

On Monday we went with Brother Charlie to a seaside restaurant. อร่อยมากๆ

He then took us to a field where he showed us his remote control planes. He's so good at it!
We went to teach him during the week and he pulled out two remote control airplanes and said that they were for us! He's giving them as a gift.

"You have been working hard for the Lord for two years and I like the Lord. He whispered in my ear to do this for you. You deserve some kind of prize."

So I'll be coming home with a model airplane! He is too nice!

We went to visit the 9-year-old girl who hasn't been baptized. We taught her and set up an interview. Elder Weaver said we should make sure that she is 9 and not 8. So we called and found out that she is still only 8. Thai people occasionally will round up their age. So when we would say "I am 20" they would say "I am 21". They don't do it all the time so we have to ask for clarification.

So we didn't get to keep teaching her, but she did get baptized yesterday.

Another couple who we were teaching had a date for Sunday but they fell through as well, needing a little more time.

Our other investigator who had a date for this Sunday was forbidden by her father to get baptized. Her mom supports it - and wants to get baptized too - but they both are going to try to figure things out first.

We were sad that we lost all of them so quickly, but one miracle made it all worth it.

One of our investigators, Sister Buu and her son were still on the "I want to study this out more" boat. They came to church with a less-active family that we had been working with. We called her after district meeting and Elder Weaver talked to them. This is the conversation I heard:

"Hi Sister Buu, how are you?
Do you feel like you have faith in Jesus Christ?
Really? Wow that's great.
So is there anything stopping you from getting baptized?
Great! Can we come visit you tomorrow night and prepare you to get baptized this Sunday?
Brother Almond wants to get baptized too?
Great. We'll see you tomorrow."

Sister Buu and her son Almond got baptized yesterday. He is 11 and wants to go serve a mission. She wants him to serve too.

Yesterday there were five baptisms here in Bangkhae. Such a miracle!

Yesterday was district conference, so three branches came together and there were about 300 people there. 3 branches. Elder Weaver and I translated for it.

After the general session Elder Gong held a question and answer about dating and marriage for the single adults. It was really weird translating for that one, because the discussion applied to everyone in the room except me because Elder Weaver is going home this week.

Moves calls should be coming today, so I'll know if I'm moving or staying. After this transfer I'll be the oldest group of missionaries in the mission. That's pretty freaky.

Transfers will be on Thursday so I'll let you all know what happened next week.

Love you all,

Elder Osborn

Sunday, May 17, 2015

05/17/2015

Three more baptisms in our district yesterday! The church attendance jumped up to 120.

I don't know what's happening exactly, but we're not doing it. God is.

As for the things we're learning, I really feel that I'm learning charity. I used to look at the gospel as a whole bunch of different points, faith; hope; repentance; temples; prophets; scriptures; sabbath; commandments, etc. But now I'm beginning to see that it is only one word -- love.

Charity/love is the essence, the center of the Gospel. Everything will always go back to it. It's all about reaching out to others and forgetting yourself. God did it, Christ did it, and They ask us to do it. A humble person doesn't think less of himself, he thinks less about himself.

I've been learning how to do that. To just completely forget myself. I've been good at doing good things or working hard, but I've always struggled to forget myself, put others first and above, and just lift others. I'm learning how to do that now. It's making me more patient, more faithful, more careful. All just because I'm trying to do everything for others' benefit instead of mine.

We're working with some great families. One is moving along. They have been learning for almost 4 weeks now, struggling slightly with various commandments, especially the sabbath day, but the daughter has a date for this Sunday. Her mom still hasn't accepted a date yet and we're trying to help her understand that if she just trusts in God she can do it.

We've been working with a member who is having a hard time, all of her kids are members but they are pretty rebellious, one of the teenagers refusing to pray during FHE one evening with us. Her husband is okay with them being members but he doesn't want anything to do with it. She asked us to start working with one of her struggling friends. Yesterday this friend of hers came to church and brought her daughter who hasn't been baptized yet! We're going to get to finish a family! We have a family home evening planned with them for this evening.

Love you all,

Elder Osborn


Last P-day we went to a crocodile farm! The biggest one in the world (not sure if my family has ever been here before or not...)

Here's some great pictures





Sunday, May 10, 2015

05/10/2015

Well I just got off skyping with my wonderful family, and I don't know what else to say.
This week we had mission leadership council, and Elder Gong came too! I learned so much about charity, and working cheerfully.
This is basically the theme of our mission right now.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
This week was a week of miracles. Yesterday there were 35 investigators at church here!!!!!! I've never seen anything like that before!
What was great was that our companionship had five families, so it was much easier to take care of everybody.
Brother Charlie was baptized yesterday. He is the most wonderful man in the world! He does remote control airplanes as a hobby and his living and he is so cool! He was the referral that I spoke about last week. I'm pretty sure he's going to be the Branch President here in a few years.
And he's going to take us RC plane flying next week!!! Yay!
We're going to go visit a really neat zoo today, I'll send you pictures next week.
Love you all,
Elder Osborn
This is a crazy Thai fruit called durian. It smells really bad so that it is forbidden to take into almost any public place. If you eat too much of it you will puke. And if you eat it before bed time you can't sleep because it will increase your body temperature. We tried it out.

I'm companions with Yoda!! Too bad I took this picture on the 6th of May.

We found some guy with a homemade fishingpole/crossbow chilling next to the canal waiting for fish. He posed when we asked for a picture.