Sunday, April 26, 2015


You would never believe what is happening here in Thailand right now.

For everyone to be able to see the entire picture, I'll give a background of my missionary work in Thailand.

I came out on my mission with no expectations. I didn't know what to expect on my mission so I didn't have any expectations. I felt like I would be a great missionary if I helped 4 people get baptized my entire mission. I heard that Thailand was a difficult mission. So I purposefully didn't create any expectations so I wouldn't get disappointed. I got into country very comfortable with whatever would happen in my service. I remember looking at the stacks of different inviting cards and wondering which one I would take out that first day. I saw a stack of pictures of baptism and thought in my head, "Who would use that as a pass-along card? It's way to forward." I asked my trainer Elder Wilko and he named a few of the cards he liked to use while inviting and we went out.
After a week or so we had a switch-off with the Zone Leaders. I went out with Elder Gilley and he made me contact by myself. We didn't contact as a companionship. We just talked to people. And that's not all. We invited people to get baptized. He told us that the whole mission was going to get trained on this soon.

Then we were trained on it. The importance of baptism and how we should teach, invite, commit, everything, towards it. We called this Bovember. The month that every companionship in the entire mission would get a baptism. About 85 companionships. In Bovember we had over 100 baptisms and Bovember was immortalized for any TBM missionary.

The mission raised it's expectations and went to work, matching our works to our faith and our desires. Bovember was just the beginning. The number of converts across the mission per month continued to increase for about six months. Baptisms over 200 per month at some points.

Then the majority of the missionaries began to see the faults in the work we had been doing. Noticing short-comings and mistakes. Lots of missionaries got scared to baptize, feeling that we would fall into the same traps as before. Effectiveness dropped! I could see it in my own work. I didn't talk to as many people, waking up was harder, and I stopped seeing baptisms. I wasn't as happy.

President tried a few times to stir up the mission with new initiatives, which kind of helped, but the number of baptisms continued to fall. Month by month until this April hit.

This month our mission baptized 72 people. The lowest since I've been a missionary. I haven't had a baptism in nearly four months. I've been happy, but just like I started my mission, I had no expectations. It was a protection mechanism. If my desires are to baptize, but I set my expectations low, I won't be disappointed when I don't see baptisms. And all turns out okay.
Then I was made zone leader of the Bangkok west zone. A zone which, by looking at patterns seems to always have average success. In april our zone had 14 baptisms. Our district had zero.

On the monday after transfers President taught the zone leaders a little bit about expectations. This Tuesday our new district leader Elder Lodwick gave an inspiring lesson on desires and the importance to baptize. On Thursday we had a mini mission leadership council. The zone leaders and sister training leaders in the three zones in bangkok came together and the assistants trained us on our commission to invite everyone to be baptized. The importance of expectations, and matching our actions to our faith.

Why? Because the goal for May is four baptisms per companionship, or 340 total. That's a lot!

We have been able to train half of our zone on this and we are already seeing the miracles.

Last week at church there were 59 people in attendance. And about five investigators. Yesterday the church attendance hit 114 and 25 of those were investigators. Many of which were small families. Some members had to leave to get more chairs to set up because there were none to spare. There almost wasn't enough sacrament for everyone. It was perfect because today was Branch conference so all of the leadership were speakers, also, a sister gave her farewell talk. 

I was sitting near the back between a bunch of investigators and Elder Lodwick was counting attendance. He tapped me on the shoulder and I leaned back, "One fourteen in sacrament". I couldn't help it and I started to cry looking around at the completely full chapel which is usually half empty.

They had to move the room for the investigator class for sunday school to the chapel to fit everyone. Right now we're teaching several families and many others. It was miraculous to see so many people go to church! 
These miracles are not only being seen in our branch. I am positive they are happening all over the country. God did not announce a temple and decide to prepare fewer souls for His gospel.

I am emotionally involved in my desire to baptize.

Yes, I am coming to the end of my mission, but Elder Weaver and I are the second most senior companionship in the mission. Why can't we find success?
I would love to talk about all of those who we are teaching, but I'm almost out of time, so that's that.
I love you all!
Elder Osborn

Sunday, April 19, 2015



The first half of the week was the actual water festival, which was insane!!! We had tons of fun and I got sunburned even though I put on plenty of sunscreen. Just imagine a street right next to a canal. There are pickup trucks filled with people and buckets of water lined up like it's the log ride at disney land, moving slowly, stopping every few seconds. Every 20 yards is a family who has hooked up a fire hose to the canal and is spraying nasty water at people. There's drunk people everywhere and sketchy people dancing. People run up to you and put wet clay on your face and yell "tank yu". Then we speak thai and they all freak out. They really liked us because foreigners never play at this place. So we just walked up and down the street with our water guns spraying people and getting sprayed and them putting clay on our faces and throwing baby powder everywhere. It's a massive mess but it's soooo fun! 

On the working days when we're wearing our normal missionary outfit, we still get attacked by everyone.

I'm sure many of you have seen our mission's transfer meeting videos, and know that they're pretty fun. This transfer, because it being right at the end of a massive holiday, (comparable to the day after Christmas, New Years day, and all of the other holidays put together) traveling is especially dangerous. To avoid any incidents, only those who moved were allowed to go to transfers meeting. But, because I served in the office and have a drivers license, I was asked to drive the new missionaries to the meeting. So Elder Weaver and I got to go!! 

And on Friday I woke up swimming! Or at least it felt like it. My ear was full of something.... A doctors visit later and almost passing out while they tried to remove something from my ear, the problem was not solved. But they gave me some drops and meds that should help. They did. I can hear again! It probably came from getting nasty canal water sprayed at my face at high pressure.... haha

Right now we're working with really only one investigator. He's retired and lives alone. He really loves to learn the gospel. He came to general conference with a notebook to take notes. Then he watched the remaining sessions at home by himself. He's watched all of the mormon messages and bible videos. Basically like the first investigator who has actually managed to use the church's websites.

He's progressing slowly and has millions of concerns, but the branch is really reaching out to him, even discussing and planning for him because they see a really solid member in him. We see it too.
Recently I feel like I've been learning about hope.

What does one do when their work has no pay? What if you went to work but at the end of the day it was up to someone else if you got paid or not?

That is missionary work for you. We work from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm six days a week, and the seventh day is just a normal 6 hour work day. Our "free time" is eaten up by mundane tasks like shopping and haircuts. So we get about 3 hours a week of free time. The rest is work. And it is up to others to decide if our work has any effect. It isn't up to us.

Sometimes it could be frustrating that we don't actually do the work, or we can't choose if this person gets baptized or not. But this feeling is actually quite relieving. We don't have to worry, or stress, or much. It's all in the Lord's hands. All we have to do is strive to know what He needs us to do. And it happens!

It's not stress free, but it's worry free. This is where hope comes in. When we go out and invite, and work with members, and try to set up lessons, and nobody goes, or learns, or anything. We just have to hope. It is through hope that we endure hundreds of rejections just to get one "yes, I would like to go." It is through hope that we teach someone who doesn't seem like they'd progress, or has too many concerns.

Like I talked about in my last email. Satan is working hard right now in Thailand. And he doesn't sleep. Maybe that's why our schedule is like two full time jobs. Because God sees a lot in Thailand. He decided to build His House here! And maybe even though everyone seems to reject us, or is too busy, or won't even listen to us, God has something in mind. He's hoping for a better world, so we will too.
Love you all!!
Here's some pictures!

All of these pictures were stolen from Elder weaver, he has a fantastic waterproof camera!!! lucky...

Sunday, April 12, 2015


So as Thailand will be getting a temple, President Senior warned the mission leadership council that Satan would be trying his absolute hardest to stall the work here in every possible way. If we review the scriptures, before every important and necessary event, Satan reached out to try to thwart all of God's plans: In the premortal council, in the Garden of Eden, at Christ's birth, at the beginning of Christ's ministry, when Moses was called as a prophet of God, and when Joseph Smith began to say one of the most influential prayers in the history of mankind. In all of these examples, Satan was completely aware of the plan of the Father, because he never passed through the veil. Satan always tried to stop God's work. But God always knows and has never lost.
I'm glad I've been able to understand this principle during my mission, because when all the investigators stop progressing or disappear and nobody seems to be interested, it is just a testimony to me that something big and important is about to happen, and Satan is trying to get us down, or distract us, just to make it not happen. So I can just keep plowing my way forward knowing that we're getting close.
With the temple announcement, our most solid investigators who were supposed to get baptized yesterday. This was a family too. We lost them the day we found out about the temple announcement. Elder Weaver and I were pretty frustrated, but we decided we weren't going to mourn about it and we'd punch Satan in the face by going out and doing the Lord's work with renewed vigor.
On Saturday we got the phone call telling us who is moving. And we're staying! Then during General Conference we got the revelation on how we must continue in this area. We're going to bring the church attendance to 100 by bringing families. Less-active families and investigator families. We will do it by "[Going] forth with love to tell the world the joy of families— that we may be with those we love thru all eternity." Thailand will have a temple soon, and it will bring families together, sealed for time and eternity.
Today we'll be going out to play สงครานต์. I'm sorry if I don't send any pictures of this water fight, but I'll tell you about it next week!
I don't remember if anyone said this during conference or if it was just the spirit speaking to me, "The reason mediocrity is unacceptable to you is because you're familiar with excellence."

But I really like that. It explains my drive to work and get things done and always improve. I think it describes Latter-Day Saints as a whole.

Love you all!
Elder Osborn

Monday, April 6, 2015


I am completely speechless right now. There is so much happening in Thailand right now that I can't even say the least of my thoughts or feelings.

This morning I woke up to 8 missed calls from the APs and a message, "THAILAND IS GETTING A TEMPLE!!!!!!!"
We had mission leadership council all morning. It was amazing to just talk about the effects of the temple announcement and what it will mean for us moving forward. I've never been super excited about the building of temples before, but since I've had to be away from one for so long and see the desire of the Thai saints to have a temple, the meaning has changed. I can already tell that this temple will mean a lot to me. I feel like my sweat and blood is already in the foundation and that the rest of my labors will help to build the House of the Lord, and to fill it with saints.

With a temple in Bangkok Thailand, we can clearly see the stone rolling forth to every corner of the earth, even to Thailand, where one temple will serve over 1 billion of the inhabitants of the Earth. Sons and daughters of God. And not only just the living, but countless dead who are ready for the gospel. 

Numbers-wise, Thailand isn't ready for a temple yet. But I firmly believe that something is happening on the other side of the veil. Many are receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ and because it is so difficult for the Thai saints (and all of the surrounding countries) to travel to a temple to do the work for their dead, the Lord sees fit to bring the blessing of His House to Southeast Asia.
There's not much I can say, Transfers will be next week, also Sonkran is next week too. For all those unfamiliar, you can go look up this massive week long water fight online.
Love you all,
Elder Osborn

PS: This is a picture of me and Elder Liaga -- who just got to thailand about a month ago -- visiting a less active former branch president on Saturday.

We had a switch-off and had an extremely powerful lesson on the Resurrection of Christ and Easter. At the end Elder Liaga bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard in new missionary Thai. He said that when we reach out, He is here, when we plead and cry, He is here for us. When we need help, He is always next to us.
Elder Liaga told him he's going to speak bluntly, then told him that sometimes Christ needs us to be there for Him, sometimes He needs us to serve Him and others, and that "right now He needs you."

 By the time he finished in Christ's name, I had tears streaming down my face, this brother's eyes were watery, and the room was silent. This brother sat there then said, "I'll see you tomorrow morning."

Easter morning, I was sitting near the back and saw many heads turn and saw many smiles as he walked in and sat down for Sacrament meeting. 

This is a testimony that Thailand is preparing for a temple.