Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Sunday, February 5, 2017

First week in country!

Hey everybody!

Well I made it to Cambodia safe and sound from the MTC! I'm gonna have such a great 2 years here! I'm so excited to get out there and serve!

I'm trying to wrap my head around the people and the culture and the language and everything, but here are some things that happened this first week of my mission:

1.) An old dude told us so casually that he can't go to church because he is coughing up worms.

2.) Someone bore his testimony for half an hour and said, "don't angry bird". Whatever that means.

3.) Someone else told me that when i go home from Cambodia that I need to, "tell America that           Cambodia is messed up." Silly! I still have 2 years to go!

4.) Last night I had a dream that I was going home, and I couldn't sleep afterwards! So scary! And then I just started laughing hysterically thinking about how one day I can say that I spent 2 years in Cambodia. How random is that!

Well, one day when I finish my mission it will be great to say that I did it. I achieved the impossible. That I've learned a lot.  But that day is so far away.

Until then, see you next week :)

Love, Elder Slavens

Sunday, January 22, 2017

awesome activities that all went bad

Thank you to everyone for sending hate mail to my dumb companion who kept trying to serve me and iron my shirts. There was one time when he not only ironed my shirt, but he wrote a note on my dresser that said, "you are special". I was so mad. So this week I washed all my shirts and then ironed them instantly. So that he couldn't iron them.

Cambodia is not letting me go easy. "Not without a fight," Cambodia keeps saying. Cambodia keeps trying to get me to stay (I think it is trying to get me to stay in the hospital) because I keep getting these crazy weird bug bites all over my body. I think it is bed bugs maybe? I don't know, but it is super awesome. Huge, itchy bites.

Here is a list of all the awesome activities we had planned that all went bad:

1.) A member asked us to come do service, but wouldn't tell us what the service was. Then when we showed up at their house, they just took off, making us chase after them. I thought they were doing like a surprise party or something, but they just led us to a patch of land that just had a ton of unfilled graves. I thought for sure we were gonna get murdered. But all they had us do was nail a sign that said, "land for sail" to a post. I was like, "was that it?" and they were like, "yup. That's it." So then we went home.

2.) The same members mom lived in America, but was coming back so we tried to do a surprise party for their arrival. But we borrowed the neighbors lights to hang in the house and the lights exploded so now we owe the neighbor a ton of money.

3.) A different member has been telling me about a school he wants us to come to to tell students about our English class, and when we showed up, It was a middle school with a ton of babies. So we told 100 babies about our English class.

4.) There is one less active member in this area, and he doesn't know any of the new members, so I tried to set up a "surprise birthday party" for him, even though it wasn't his birthday. I just wanted him to feel welcomed. So we bought a cake and went to his house. And he wasn't home... So there I was with a ton of members and a cake, and no one to give it to. So I called the dude and was like, "Are you free?" and he was like, "no" but then his mom was like, "let me talk to him" and then she was like, "HEY! There's like 1000 people here waiting for you! They are doing a birthday party for you! It is a surprise! Get here as fast as you can!" So he came. But the surprise was ruined.

That's it. Bye.

The scary service

Building a chicken house

Lesson with our old dude investigator

Another investigator whose mom calls us her children and loves selfies

We had to go talk to the police to ensure them that we are not here illegally and it naturally ended in them wanting to take pictures with us

The party with broken lights

The classroom full of babies

We just happened to be eating rice in a restaurant when our new
president started signing a bunch of papers, so I got to watch.

A snake bigger than any snake ever.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I miss Justin Tjan

More information about my last companion, Elder Chao. He already finished his mission, but he will be missed (he's single, ladies. Hit him up). Ever since I met him for the first time, he always reminded me of Corbin Hansen, my cousin. 

When we were together, we spent one p-day at an investigators house catching frogs to take home to deep fry. It was way tasty. 

So anyways, back to this week. With my new and last companion Elder Walker, we had random dudes take pictures of us because we are white. 

Also we had 8 people come to church 2 weeks ago and 9 people come to church this week. That was so fun. 

I was told that since I was born in the year of the rat that I should marry someone who was born in the year of the cow. So this is a cry looking for any of those year of the cow ladies out there who are ready for a nice well groomed loyal year of the rat to wed. 

Since I am finishing my mission in 3 weeks they let me go to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat, the most famous thing about Cambodia. A giant Hindu temple. We had to drive 6 hours to get back to our house, so we hitchhiked and got a ride with this baller who drove a Range Rover and he charged us 2 bucks each. 

Finally, I would like to tell you about Sina. He has learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for as long as the church has been in the province of Pursat. 2 years. But for a year or so he disappeared. He was never really potential to be a member because of drug problems and stuff like that. But then, right when I got here, he came back.
And he came back HARD. He went to church early every week. He fixed every problem from his past. He sacrificed a lot to get to where he is today. He is super happy. So we taught him again and just baptized him. he told us he couldn't sleep because he was so nervous and excited to get baptized. 

So yah, that's it. Bye. 

The dude who drove the car taking us to Angkor Wat

The crew of other missionaries ending their missions with me who went too 

​Me taking a picture with a place

​And a million other people taking pictures too

​Giant ancient bathtub 

​Our slave (tour guide) told us that they do this with their hands to represent a lotus flower before the sun rises and it opens up, and that is also why they made the temple have a roof like that. 

I took a picture with an elephant (and was not afraid that it was going to crush my head)

And it wouldn't let me hug it. Jerk

I love Chinese tourists 

​Our Range Rover buddies (read emails for details) 

​super not ugly chick on tv 

​The scariest Christmas card ever that had no return address. Whoever sent this is a FREAK. 

Kid stole my camera and took a picture of me talking in church. It's a pretty sweet picture. 



Baptismal font in our front yard

Then we used the water to wash our bikes

Dinner with investigators and members and stuff. 2 fresh ducks.

Visitors from one of the other branches I served in before. You my remember them as the ones who promised to take me hunting in Vietnam once I finish my mission. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What am I gonna do... with a gun rack?

I'm not sure if you people know or not, but I have not emailed for three weeks. And because I only have like 3 more emailing times left on my mission, I don't know if I'll ever do it again. It is a ton of work. If you want me to continue, you are gonna have to email me or something, begging me to keep emailing.

Since I last emailed, we had a sweet Christmas party. 70 people packed into our tiny house where we usually have like 15 people for church and feasted. We watched a Christmas video and then had a dance party.

I have my last companion. An American named Elder Walker from somewhere in Utah. He is awesome. He's really funny, but I hate him because he is always trying to serve me. He always tries to iron my shirts and stuff while i am in the bathroom. He's shined my shoe slike 3 times, and I yell at him and tell him to stop every time. You should all email him and tell him to stop serving me (his email is

Because there is no leader of the church in the area I am serving in, my companion and I had to go around to every members house and do tithing settlements. Super weird. I want to make a game show called, "are YOU a full tithe payer?" and have some catch to it. We'll see how it goes.

Bey Bey

Christmas party

Bridgey bridge 

Is this a cat?

We volunteered at a Christmas party for orphans and the Cambodia beer was the sponsor. In an elementary school. 
So awesome.

Orphan games.

Puppy dog and blizzard companions wearing snarky turtle faces 

Watching a Christmas movie

​Eating Christmas rice 

​Christmas party goers

The aftermath of the Christmas party

​My new (and final) companion.

​He likes coconuts

We went fishing

​I caught a fish

​We helped crush some rocks.  

​We had a surprise birthday party for Elder Walker during English class