Christmas for Elder Osborne

For all of you who love Elder Osborne and who would like to do something special for him this Christmas, we would love to have your help!  We are collecting testimonies and pictures to put inside copies of the Book of Mormon for him to give away.  (We would love to have English and Spanish, for those of you who are bilingual!) We will also compile all the testimonies and pictures into a book for him to keep and remember throughout his mission!  If you would like to help us, please email your testimony and a family picture (nothing fancy, just fun!) to Wendy: runwendyo@gmail.com THIS WEEK so we have time to compile everything.

And since this week is transfer week, stay tuned to hear from Elder Osborne tomorrow!

Semana 5 ~ Bendiciones para nos!

Hola!

This is the best week we have had so far!!! We reached most of our goals for the first time!!! YAY!!! They were lower than the Standard of Excellence, but they still made us stretch. Everything is awesome!!!

So things are going so much better!  I’m learning that I am really free-spirited and creative, and this mission is mostly rules and requirements (like we have to knock for one hour every day, and we have to go finding exactly at 4 o’clock on Fridays for Family-at-4-Friday, etc.).  I am working on being creative with following every rule with exact obedience.  I know it will bring blessings.

I want to speak in Spanish a ton! It is a beautiful language (although I still want to learn Italian more than anything). I don’t get to speak it much because my companion and I are in an English area (we work with poor black people a lot. All of the white people are rich and snotty. We will try around Christmas.) The other elders in our casa are Spanish missionaries. We speak in Spanish quite often, but we have to switch to English to include my comp–he knows some Spanish, but not enough to hold conversations. I can hold conversations; I just take it slower than they do.  Entonces…siii…

We are teaching one new person named Anci (An-see). He just left the military after 14-15 years in, and he is super boss! He made it to church this Sunday and said that he wants to be baptized! We set him for November 29th. So please pray for him!

We do not have any real funny stories this week. Last week had the best!!! Our week has been quite normal. I fixed my bike (finally!!), and so we are back in the saddle. I wish that I had music to listen to on the bike, but we can’t. I also want to have a piano in my living room, but I can’t do that either.   😦

In my studies this week, I finished the Isaiah chapters and read Jacob 5. I loved those chapters! They have so much application when you begin your studies with a prayer and write down the thoughts and feelings that you have. I recommend to everyone of all religious faiths and sects to begin scripture study with a prayer, close with a prayer, and continue to pray in your heart while you read the scriptures. When you do that, the Holy Spirit will share truths and insights. “And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of all things!” Moroni 10:5

Knowledge and wisdom come when you seek for it with a desire to learn. The more you seek it with that desire, the more the Lord will reveal to you. However, it is only done with “line upon line, precept upon precept.”

I hope you have all had a great week!

Con mucho amore para la mucho guapo missionaro,

Elder Osborne   😉

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Halloween!

 

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Selfie con Elder Allred (Todorojo)

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Selfie con Elder Allred (Todorojo)

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The Geek Squad (Elder Allred and Elder Wilheight)

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I have….no explanation for this picture

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In front of B-Dubs!!! (Goof balls)

 

 

Week 4!!! or, is this like, week 10????

Hola familia, amigos, y todos las personas!!!

Nothing much happened this week (I do not have any pictures this week, but I will have a TON next week; we are doing something awesome today!!!! But…we wanted to email first, so next week!)

I have two funny stories right off the bat:

Elder Allred (my companion) and I were knocking doors, and this older man passes behind us with his dog. No one answered the door, and so we start talking to him before he walked off. When he started talking, we could tell he was gay. Like, the typical gay guy stereotype talking to me about his church called (seriously) ….Sunshine Cathedral.  (Best church name EVER!!!!) He wouldn’t stop talking! We were talking to this guy for, like, 15 minutes!! Best line: “I can walk into my church wearing high-heels and a thong and no one questions it!” In the car home, Elder Allred was still shell-shocked. I was busting out so hard!!!!!! This experience made my day!!  It was one of my favorite contacting experiences so far!!

Later that night, Elder Allred and I picked up food from a member. We were leaving, but he needed to use the bathroom. This was in an apartment complex. Luckily, there was a “public” bathroom close to us. The guy opened the door for us (the bathrooms were locked unless unlocked by a manager) and said, “We always support our local Jehovah’s Witnesses!” (J-dubs man…they are everywhere. Everyone either doesn’t know who we are, or they think we’re J-dubs cause they keep bothering them.) The other manager said “No, those guys are Latter Day Saints.” Elder Allred perked up, and after he was done, we went over and talked to her. Some advice: Be careful about talking to an old black lady reading her bible. She went on about the Witch of Endor (this is story in the Bible. Look in 1 Samuel. btw, it is only, like, 4 verses. I remembered it from…somewhere. I knew the story a long time ago), and how you can only receive truth from the bible and without a denomination. The gay guy was a long conversation, but this was long and uninteresting. And completely false, incorrect, and contradictory. We left quite quickly after that.

This week has been difficult. We have been finding for 1 1/2 to 2 hours cada dia, and we actually lost investigators instead of finding them.  We had one investigator last week, but she dropped us on Tuesday (her friends gave her anti-Mormon stuff, and so…yeah.) She said she had a dream Sunday night after she prayed about it, and she said that the only thing she could remember was…fire. Her parents were also somewhat anti as well. After talking to her, we learned something: she was not reading the Book of Mormon by herself. She had read it with us, but she never read it by herself. What a shocker!! Well…we are still praying for her, and we are going to invite her to some of the Christmas stuff. (From what I heard, Christmas is the best time to find rich and less active people).

Oh, and I found this shop called “Grateful J’s!”   XD   XD   XD   (I can’t go in there though, it is a smoke shop.   😛  )

I am signing out for the day. Have fun! I want you all to do one thing for me: Pray for Lynn (the one that dropped us.) Pray for all of those people who are being prepared to receive the gospel. Pray for me.  Pray for my companion.  Pray for everyone we haven’t met yet.  Keep praying. Never cease to pray! If you do not pray for me or those others I mentioned, that is fine. But never go through the day without reading the scriptures and praying. You always need to do at least that. We teach the “primary answers” because those are the steps to Salvation. We teach these things to primary children because this is the time they have to be free from the influence of Satan. If we teach them what to do now, they will be much more prepared for when they are accountable.

Have a great week! Keep the faith, and do the basics!

Elder Osborne

Week 3 in Florida, Two months down!

This week was quite rainy, and I did not have my camera for most of the week so it would not get ruined. So no pictures this week. (Sorry, mom.)

It is interesting what happens to you on your mission. I read my name on my scriptures on Thursday and thought “Who is Johnathan?” I remembered about 1 second later, but I have not used my first name in two weeks. I cannot remember!!! AUGH!!!!

Also, for the first time in my life, my fingers are going though Piano Withdrawal. I did not know that was a thing!! I saw a piano at the church, and I had to play it. I could not stop myself. Does this mean that I am addicted to pianos? If so, I need to talk to my Bishop and Mission President to get help!   XD   XD

As far as anything interesting for this week goes, I am not interesting. My life never was that interesting to begin with, but that seems to have carried on to my mission. I hate it!!! POR QUE?!?!?!?! Well, I have found out that I am one of the biggest nerds in the mission. When I went to school, I was in a dorm full of game, comic, movie, and book nerds. I researched stuff to keep up with them (in my spare time of course), and for some reason, I retained all of that information with me, so I can now keep up with the 3 Star Wars nerds in our district! I have no idea why I am like this. This is surprising to me, especially when you consider I remember everything from the Dark Crystal out of nothing (I only saw it once, yet I cannot forget about it. What the?!?!?!?!).

For Halloween, the ward had the Trunk-or-Treat at 5:30. We were not there for long though, because we had to be back in our house by 7:00. We went back home, ordered a pizza, and sat around all night (till 10:30) talking about Star Wars and Dark Crystal. We all have no idea how we got those topics, but we did and it was awesome. We also did this sitting around candle fire since we can’t do campfire.

As far as Christmas goes, I have not even thought about Christmas yet. Elder Allred and I have been singing Christmas Songs since day 1 (true story btw), but I have not thought about anything. So…si….

We’ve met a lot of good people, though. We met a few people that we taught the first lesson to, but they dropped us by the next lesson. We have one YSA girl that we are teaching, but she is starting to lose interest rapidly. She did come to church this Sunday, so that is really good. She left quickly, though, so I hope she felt the Spirit. We are meeting with her tomorrow.

Sorry, I have very limited time this week. They shortened our email time, so that is it for this week!

Love you all! Have a blessed week! Adios!

Elder Osborne

Week 2 in the Field!!

Hola familia, amigos, y los otros personas!!

Not much has been going on this week. Our time schedule: Studies (Personal, Companion, etc) until 12 (porque soy un nuevo missionaro), we meet with members and investigators until 5, have dinner, knock doors from 6-7, and try to meet with members from 7:30 to 9:00 (we bike, so we take extra time to bike to and from places.) This is much of our week, excluding Mondays (P-Days) and Sundays (porque Iglesia).

This is the way that the mission works considering new investigators: We are only looking for those who are elect and are ready right now. We do not focus on those who are “close” or “almost ready.” We are looking for those elect who have not become members because they did not know where to find the truth. As such, we have found many people who seem elect and ready, but for some reason or another they are not ready. This is not a “this is how I think we should do things.” This is directly from the Mission President that these are the people we are looking for. As such, we are not successful in the terms of numbers of baptisms per month, but we are finding people who need that seed planted. We have found that for those people who still need that little push or that bit of information, maybe they will be ready for it later.

In my studies this week, I have found one piece of advice that I can give you: Study the Book of Mormon every day, but also study the words of Isaiah (yes, I am being that guy). I have a love for Isaiah; although he is difficult to understand, there is so much that you can learn from his words (Did you know that out of all of the Old Testament Prophets, Isaiah is quoted the most in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants??) Oh, and Malachi is good too. So are the rest of the prophets…but I like Isaiah right now, so I am going to mention him a lot.

There is so much to learn from the scriptures. Study them daily! Feast upon the words of Christ! I wish I could study everything 24/7, but I cannot. I am called to be a vessel for the Spirit. I am not called to study. Even when I am released from this calling in 2 years, I cannot study the scriptures 24/7 because I’ll need to live my life and learn and provide and work. So all of you young people; Study while you can. You will not regret it!

I close mine epistle of ranting. 🙂

I am Elder Osborne, missionary and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ!

(…bonus points for whoever gets this)

Elder Osborne with President and Sister Richardson.  We finally received this picture and a letter about 10 days after Elder Osborne arrived in Florida.  Better late than never!

Elder Osborne with President and Sister Richardson. We finally received this picture and a letter about 10 days after Elder Osborne arrived in Florida. Better late than never!

First Week in Florida!

WEEK ONE!!!!! So, we get here Tuesday night, I have one last looooooong night with my MTC companion (we are in the same mission), get to transfer meeting the next Morning, and my trainer is…….ELDER ALLRED!…who only speaks English.

Elder Osborne sandwich! (His trainer is on the left)

Elder Osborne sandwich!
(His trainer is on the left)

Yup, my first area is in the English sector. We’ve had fun teaching each other, though; he teaches me how we do things in the field, and I teach him Spanish. It’s a perfect trade-off (although slightly unfair because I barely know Spanish and so I think I’m teaching him wrong 90% of the time). Oh, and one thing I learned: when you like a person’s tie, you say “Me gusta su cuerpo.”  (By the way, don’t tell everyone this: it is a joke from the MTC. Cuerpo is body.   XD   The Zone Leaders told us that, and so we passed it on. I’m waiting for my companion to be unsuspecting.)

Fun fact: Florida Ft. Lauderdale is the highest baptizing mission outside of Utah (because somehow Utah has nonmembers…). So, in a somewhat literal sense, Florida Ft. Lauderdale is the best mission in the US! We can’t compete with the world, since South America has baptisms everywhere…pero it is still one of the best missions ever!

Our zone is the Corral Springs Zone, a.k.a., The Dunk Zone! We are currently in Dunktober!!! Our area is the Cypress Creek area, so we are next to the eastern beaches. We live with two Spanish missionaries (who work in the same area for the most part, yet they are not in our zone…).

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First District training. Being “serious” (not really).

Both companionships (us and the Spanish Elders) completely whitewashed into this area: one of the Elders before us went home due to medical problems, and so they transferred out two to three weeks before we made it in. The other Elder just went home, so we couldn’t get much info on the area. All we knew was that we were in a new area (Elder Allred had been here, but it had been a year previous, so a lot has changed). The area is therefore considered “dead”, since there have been no new investigators for the past 4 weeks (they didn’t have any when they left).

As such we have had little success. We have only met one person who is Atheist and one who believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (I didn’t know that was a thing). Everyone else is religious. Since I am in an English area, I am in the Bible Belt. We have had a few people try to bash us, but we walked away. Down here, we don’t even engage in bashing. That is an important thing to learn.

Santa Vaca and El Diablo Torro (The

Santa Vaca and El Diablo Torro
(The “Holy Cow” and the “Devil Bull”)

Most of the area I am in would be classified as “the ghetto.” There are a lot of Hatians, Latinos, and African Americans in these areas. This is actually the most successful area for us; they look for change. Our area has some of the richest people and some of the poorest people I have ever seen. Our bishop owns 3 Popeye restaurants. Compare him to the man we met who only had a bike. We spent one hour in the richer neighborhoods, and we did not have many people who were open to us, yet we always found people in the poorer areas. This is much like Alma teaching the Zoramites: the humblest people were the poorest people. We do not know if some of the rich were converted, but we do know that almost all of the poor were.

We met the members yesterday. I had been waiting for Suday for so long because I cannot wait to serve with the members. We really cannot do anything without the members. Many people do not realize how vital they are, but missionaries and members are alike. However, there is so much that we need help with from the members. For you members: find ways to constantly serve the elders. Feed them (this is actualy very important!), go on splits with them, let them teach you and your families, and have them help you. Otherwise, we knock doors all day. That is actually the worst way to be productive in a day. Although our mission has a required 1 hour of knocking a day, if all we can do is knock doors and hope to get in, we are not helping people. Let us help you! It is important for all of us. If you need the floor swept, give us a call! Ask the missionaries!  We want to help you!

Spiritual Experience: We have a thing called Family at 4 Friday. We go out and look for families by tracting around 4:00pm. We had been praying for the opportunity to find investigators and families, but we hadn’t found any yet. So, with a prayer in our hearts, we went tracting. We did not have any success by the time we had to make it to an appointment. But after the appointment we had time at about 8:15 (we can only go home for food or when it is 9:00). So we went tracting again. Then we found one family at 8:30 (they were Spanish, so we referred them to the Spanish Elders) and then we found one other family at 8:45! We found two families!

Extra note: I have seen lots of water every day (because I am by the beach), but I still have not seen any alligators. I am a little depressed about that.

Love you all!

Elder Osborne

The closest Elder Osborne can get to the beach. In his mission they are not allowed to touch the sand.

The closest Elder Osborne can get to the beach.
In his mission they are not allowed
to touch the sand.

There were over 50 missionaries on his flight to Atlanta!

There were over 50 missionaries
on his flight to Atlanta!

Some pictures with his MTC district:

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Week 5: 5 Days and Counting

Only 5 days left in the MTC!  YASSSSS!  I have enjoyed it here.  I have learned a lot and I have been able to strengthen my testimony here.  We study for 9 hours a day, 6 days a week (we still study on Sunday, but it is not as long), and we study everything.  I am in the middle of Helaman (I read through Mosiah and Alma in, like, 6 hours easy), and I have started the other books, such as Our Heritage and Jesus the Christ.  If you ever have time, read Jesus the Christ and cross reference it while reading.  I have learned so much in the short time I have done that.

This weekend was one of the best General Conferences I can remember (probably because I am a missionary!).  One of the biggest things I learned is that the gospel is simple.  In our class’s extra study time, we have talked about the Book of Revelation,  and other “deep” doctrine.  Pero, I have had this strong feeling that, although it is cool to know that stuff, it is not important for us at this time.  If I learn cool stuff, cool! Pero it is not important for me to spend time on that while I should be spending time in the basics. (“Pero” means “but.” So, “Pero por qué” means “But why?”) It may seem simple.  You may say, “But everyone gets that!  Why is this important to you?” I thought I understood, but I never did.  I still don’t understand the significance of this.  However, I am starting to grasp it.

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As an example: When a pianist starts off, they learn to play simple songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” After some time, they can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and (fast forward several years because I have no patience to go through everything) they can play Mozart Concertos if they stuck with it.  People hear them play Mozart and think, “They are gifted in music. I wish I had that gift.”  But, while talent is involved, what the audience does not see is that the pianist focused on the basics and fundamentals first.  Although they can play the cool stuff now, they could only understand it and learn it because they worked on the basics and the fundamentals: scales, chords, and lots of practice time.  It is only through the small and simple things that great things come to pass.

Alma 37:6–“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.”

I have chosen a scripture to ponderize this week (that really took the world by fire, didn’t it?):

Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-46–“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile–Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.”

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The next thing I learned might ruin your day.  I hope it will not.  But you can yell at me on Tuesday if you want. [He is leaving for Florida on Tuesday, so he plans to call while he’s at the airport.] So, do you remember that Elder who only focused on his family stuff on p-days?  That is me.  I hope you won’t be offended when I tell you that I don’t really think about everyone during the week.  One of the talks in Conference gave me something important:  A desire to be exactly obedient.  And the only way I have been able to do that is to not focus on anything but the work and the people, and that does mean that I rarely think of all of you.  I know that thinking about my family too much is the easiest way to drag me down, so I need to not be selfish and think about my family while there are families suffering because they are making poor choices without the gospel.  At this point, my family is less important to me because: 1) I will see them again in two years, and 2) if I do my best, I will be with them for eternity.  I want to be with my family for eternity. I love all of you so much!  But I cannot focus on my wants and desires when I know that I need to show others how they can receive the same blessings I have.  Because I have been given much, I too must give.  Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven!!!!  [From the Hymn, “Praise to the Man.”] I hope you aren’t offended.  But that is something I felt was really important to me and I felt like I needed to share it with you.

That line is the one thing that I thought of for every talk of every session.  Thank you for raising me with music.  I know most of the songs in the hymnbook.  The Spirit has taught me a lot using the lines of the Hymns, as well as a lot of the other music we played and sang in places like Zion’s Youth.

Vocal Point did our devotional Sunday night.  It was by far one of the best ones I’ve been to! Also, we’ve been quoting Nacho Libre like no one’s business.  [If you aren’t familiar with Nacho Libre you won’t get the next part…] People don’t think I know a buttload of crap about the gospel. But I do!!!  Did you ever make a connection that the MTC is a Monastery, and the Missionaries are monks and nuns who have taken a two year vow of no flirting, courting, etc? It’s honestly really funny to realize that we really are monks while we are at the MTC:  all study of the Gospel!   😀  (This had no point other than to show you that I am still the somewhat immature person I was when I left.   😀 )

I’m sorry I do not have pictures for this week. I got a haircut and it is super short, like, this is ten times worse than Dad’s haircut.  Not that his haircut is bad.  His is good.  That’s why this is bad.  Get it? Got it? Good.

Oh, and here is some hope for ustedes: people who go state-side foreign retain the idioma major than the others porque nosotros cambiar between the dos idiomas mucho, and we don’t get confused! (Unlike y’all.  I’m sorry. I had to do that. 😀  )

Los amo.  Espero ustedes tegan un semana bueno. (I know my Spanish, but I can’t type it bueno.  I also struggle to English sometimes.  Hehe….I just verbed a noun.)

Adios familia, amigos, y otros personas!

Elder Osborne

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