Monday, July 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


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


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.

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



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.

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!