Sunday, June 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


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


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


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