Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, October 14, 2013

And the Plot Thickens

Best week out here so far, you guys! Woo!!

How is everyone? I miss you all times a bajillion and hope your lives are going just swell!

I'm doing so great. Things are picking up like crazy in the Twin Falls mission, and it's so cool to be a part of! Elder Johnson and I have had an amazing week, we've learned so much, and it's just been tons of fun! We've been keeping ourselves mighty busy, that's for sure. The weeks are moving so quickly, but the days themselves feel like ages!

First off: I had my first baptism this week!! Now before we get all excited, it was pretty much a done deal before I even showed up. But I still took part, and I'm pretty proud of that! The baptizee (baptizee?) is a kid named Francisco Diaz, 8 years old, and a complete genius. His parents aren't members, which is why Francisco was officially an investigator baptism, although it was basically a member baptism anyway. Like I said, his parents aren't members, but they basically are. His mom, for all intents and purposes, is a member. She has a calling and everything. Been active for like 4 years or something like that. Just hasn't made the covenant. The reason she hasn't been baptized is that her husband feels like he's not ready to take that step yet. But they have 4 little boys, and all of them have been baptized! It's kind of a backward situation, but we're trying to push them in the right direction! Anyway, the baptism was absolutely beautiful. Francisco's two older brothers both gave talks and they did so well. The spirit was stinking palpable in that room, and I know the dad felt it! We're gonna hop on that right away, and tell him it's just time, man! I'll keep you updated!

The other big thing that happened this week was our lesson with Mario Reyez. Mario's and awesome kid. He's 18 years old, and has a twin brother named Mariano. Mariano was actually baptized a few months ago, and now we're focusing on his brother. Mariano's story is absolutely insane. Just like 2 years ago, he was a straight up meth addict - on the run from the cops. He was in a very bad place. But the missionaries got a hold of him and he turned his life around! He's active in the church, Christ is a part of his life -- a 180-degree turn. I wish I could've been there to see it. But now we're focusing on Mario, and I'm so excited about it! Mario very much reminds me of myself. He's very logical, and it sometimes makes it hard for him to completely wrap his mind around the idea of faith. He's been taught all the lessons and stuff, and thoroughly enjoyed them, but is scared to make a change in his life; especially when he can't be sure it's the right thing to do. So I told him that he needs to do exactly what I would have to do: take a leap of faith! I said often times in my life, I've found that I just need to trust in the Lord and do what I feel is right, even if all isn't made perfectly clear to me. You should've seen his face!! He just brightened up and said "Man, I've never thought of it like that before!" You can imagine how excited I got. We took like another hour talking about the importance of faith, and I asked him to read Alma 32 for homework. We ended up helping him set the goal to be baptized on November 9!! We're gonna keep swinging by and helping him achieve that, 'cause I know that it will help him in his life.

This has been such an incredible week. My testimony has grown so much, and I've learned tons. Thank you all for all the support you give me! I can feel your prayers, and you are in mine! Have a beautiful week, and I'll talk to you all next time!

-Elder Slavens

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