Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week 3 The days are weeks, and the weeks are days.

¡Batos mios! ¿Como están?
Week three down and out here at the CCM! Holy cow, I'm halfway done here! You know, it's just like they say: here at the MTC, the days are weeks and the weeks are days. I can certainly testify to the truthfulness of that statement. Over 10 hours of class every day feels very, very long. But then a week goes by, then two, and you're just all like "What in the world is going on here?!" This last week has been really great. In fact, just a couple days ago I got myself all worked up and excited because I just realized - I can totally speak Spanish!! I mean, I'm far from fluent, but I totally am able to get my point across and understand others pretty well. The Latino Elders in my dorm are super cool guys. One of them, Elder Salazar, speaks so dang fast, though, that I just wanna die when he talks. But I heard the other day that even the other Latinos on campus don't understand him, so that calms my troubled heart a bit. He kept me and Elder Butterfield up until like midnight the other night describing to us all the different forms and variations of gangsters that like to chill in Mexico. Sounds like a pretty rough living, but to each their own... right? I think I'd rather be a missionary.
Anyway, funny story! Elder Packard, one of the dudes in my district, has this super lucky coin, right? It's some kind of two-pence piece that he's had for like years. If he ever drops it and it lands heads-down, he refuses to touch it until someone else picks it up for him, hence the crazy amount of luck this thing apparently posesses. Well like two days ago, Elder Packard decides to start licking it and stuff because he's super bored in class. And by some crazy stroke of luck (or lack thereof; maybe the coin ain't so lucky after all), he drops it in his mouth and swallows the thing whole!! It got stuck in his throat and he said it hurt somethig aweful. So he ran to the doctor and was told that he needs to eat something quick so that it'll drop into his stomach. So he had some lunch, and for the past couple days, we've all been waiting in constipation. I mean anticipation. He's determined to get it back. I'll keep you updated.
So on Saturday I got to give my first blessing in Spanish! We were doing an activity with another district of Latino Elders and Hermanas, and the guy I was paired up with wasn't really sitting well with the whole thing. Just seemed a little down. So my teacher came over and started wispering with him, and then abruptly turned to me and asked if I would give the kid a blessing! In Spanish, no less! So I was all stressed out 'cause I've only ever given like 4 blessings in my life, and certainly never in Spanish! I asked the poor kid what was wrong and he said the spirit was just gone. He didn't know what to do anymore. So we went into a room where a few of us could do it, and everything just flowed right out of me. I really have no idea what I said, but it's okay, because when I took my hands off of his head, he was just beaming. I've never had an experience like that before, and it was so cool to see the change the spirit can make in the lives of others, not to mention in the lives of missionaries!
Did I mention I'm a zone leader? No, I don't think I did. Yup, Elder Butterfield and I were called as zone leaders like two weeks ago, and it's going really well! It's really cool being able to get to know everyone in the zone and to be able to help them in any way that I can. I really like having that opportunity; it's a huge blessing!
Well I hope that you all have an absolutely fantastic week! Have a little mini prayer for Elder Packard in your heart, he's gonna need it!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Slavens

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 2 Gotta dunk 'em all!

¡Hola, mis amigos y mi familia!

As week 2 comes to a close I wanna share with you guys a song that I wrote that conveys my feelings as a missionary. I'm pretty darn proud of it. It's called "Baptism", and it goes along to the tune of the Pokémon Theme Song. Look up a karaeoke version of that songs and sing this as loud as you can, and I guarentee you'll be pumped out of your mind.

I wanna preach the Savior's word
To Gentiles all around.
Across the waters will be heard:
My message so profound.

I will rise, and serve the Lord;
My armor girding me.
The Book of Mormon as my sword,

(Baptism! Gotta Dunk 'em all!)
My companions and me.
The church is true, you'll see!
We'll save them all,
And fulfill our sacred call!
(Baptism! Gotta dunk 'em all!)
Lord of Hosts!
The gift of the Holy Ghost!
Of my God, I'll gladly boast!
(Gotta dunk 'em all!)


Proscelyting from door to door
The path narrow and straight.
People wonder what's in store,
So they investigate.

Follow me, and join the Son
Who rules in righteous reign.
Into battle, everyone!
We'll use the devil's bane:

BAPTISM! Gotta dunk 'em all!
[Finish chorus]

[Sweet guitar solo]

[Chorus again, with vigor]




So yeah. That popped into my head and I got so excited I almost feinted! It's an interesting thing, because obviously it's totally goofy, but at the same time, it's like a manifestation of my testimony! This is how I feel as a missionary, and I want the world to know it!

Things are going really great here at the CCM; I'm learning so much it's crazy! We're in the class for like 10 hours every day, so each day I've got so much crammed into my brain that it's hard to even comprehend. I really hope I'm retaining most of it! I believe that I am though; the gift of tongues is a real thing, you know. No way I'd be learning as much as I am as fast as I am without the spirit to guide me! We got a new "investigator" this week, named Isaí, who's pretty cool! He actually agreed to be baptized in the first visit, which either means Elder Butterfield and I have some crazy superpowers or something, or they're going easy on us. I'm inclined to believe the latter. But still, we got pretty pumped when he said yes!

It rains here at like exactly 5:00 every single day. I've begun just clipping my umbrella to my belt so that I can be ready for the inevitable downpour that occurs every day. Some missionaries have simply stopped wearing their watches and started gauging the time by the rainfall! That's actually a joke, I'm pretty sure that doesn't ever happen. But I wouldn't be surprised if it did!! We're all starting to lose our minds a little in the abscence of music. The Elders and I sing pretty much everywhere we go, which is pretty fun. And during gym time I just resort to dribbling a basketball at a steady beat and singing along with it. Closest I can get to playing drums! But despite the quiet, it's so awesome being around a bunch of solid, righteous dudes who all work to bring one another up!

I hope you all have an awesome week! I know I will! Talk to you in una semana (one week)!!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Slavens

Bus ride to the temple

Mexico City LDS Temple

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Well howdy, mis amigos!
Week one done at the CCM, and boy are things going well! Life here in Mexico is a bajillion times better than I ever expected! I`ve felt the spirit stronger than I ever thought possible, and I surprise myself with my abilities in Spanish every dang day!
Day one was a bit of a stresser, 'cause there was a lot of running around to do considering I was almost a day late. But I got on my feet quick enough! Basically, I had to go through all of these steps to get all situated in the CCM on the first day. But because all the American kids were supposed to have shown up already, they didn't speak a lick of English to me! I was thrown right into the fire, I guess you could say.
The CCM is kinda split in two in a way; it's the white kids and the Latinos. Hopefully that didn't sound too bad. It's not that we don't like the Latino missionaries or anything, there's just this giant invisible force field called language that stops us from being able to fully communicate with them. But it's way cool at the same time because over the past week all of the American kids have seen their Spanish skills increase tons and tons, and it's allowed us to start breaking down that wall piece by piece. There are a couple of Latino Elders in my apartment, two of the coolest guys I've met here, and it's getting easier and easier to talk with them as I learn more and more!
My companion is Elder Butterfield, a way cool guy with a super strong spirit. He's into sports and country, basically the opposite of what I'm into, but opposites attract, right? I feel we mesh pretty well, and when we plan our lessons and whatnot I feel like things flow in the right direction! The rest of my district is way cool and we're all getting along super well. Not a complaint out of this guy!
Except for, maybe, the food. It's... un poquito scary, you guys. I feel okay myself, but I've heard some pretty terrifying stories over the past week that have shaken me to the core. On top of that, Elder Butterfield is lactose intolerant. Almost everything we eat here is lactose-based, so that's a lotta fun. I won't go on.
Our "mock investigator" is named Juan, and we've been teaching him about a buncha different stuff about the gospel, including the plan of salvation and the restoration. It's definitely freaky speaking in Spanish 100% of the time during those meetings, but when we have the spirit with us, things flow so well I honestly don't have a single worry! We've found that as long as we remain completely obedient (including the stuff that may seem trivial, like getting to bed on time and stuff like that), that the spirit is way stronger during our discussions with Juan, and Elder Butterfield and I feel like rock stars once we leave the room.
Being in the CCM rather than the MTC has been a huge blessing for me. It's awesome being able to chat with the Latinos and practice my Spanish even when I'm not really doing anything. Also, my past knowledge of Spanish that I learned from school has helped me way more than I thought! I can now say that I no longer regret taking those classes!
Things are going really really well here, and I'm so excited to be serving the Lord on His mission. I hope everybody has an amazing week, and I'll catch ya next Tuesday!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Slavens

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trenton's song about Chancellor

On the flight home Trenton listened to this song and rewrote the words to make a song for Chancellor.

Gentleman - Said the Whale remake 


You are a cool and awesome man
With many jobs to do like teach of God 
Most of all be my favorite brother
I like you more than Dallin
So I'll write you the longest song describing the feeling that I have for you
I'll cross my fingers that you will come back and you will love me because you know
that I really love you. 
You are the best bro ever
I am inspired by all your awesome skills
Mostly your skill of awesomeness 
You do awesome things 
You are just the best bro ever 
The bro that is my leader and example 
I glad I have a bro like you to let me follow and learn for my whole life 
You are a nice brother 
A young great missionary 
A smart and clever man
Learning from you forever 
You are a cool and awesome man
A great older brother
A strong and tough man 
Never going to forget you
A very good mission man 
A great and clever man
A nice and gentle man
Chance Chance Chancellor 

I love you Chancellor. You are the best brother ever. I couldn't have asked for a better brother. You rock. I hope you do awesome on your mission and teach many people. 


This is Chancellor's cover of the original song

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chancellor's setting apart

Chancellor was set apart to become a missionary today.  He is now officially a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He was set apart by President Stone our Danville Stake President.  He gave Chancellor a beautiful blessing.  It was a really special experience.  Papi was there and our friends April and Morgan Barduson.  We are so happy we were able to share this time with them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pre-mission pampering

Before we could send Chancellor on his mission we had to get a little bit of pampering done.  We went for mani/pedis with Papi, Annie Blatter and Sarah Cannon.  It was wonderful!

Next we moved on to Chancellor's missionary haircut.  Stephanie Shaw joined us for this one.