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

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