Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cows and Potatoes and Frostbite and the Book of Mormon

Good day, everyone!
I'm doing absolutely wonderful, thanks for asking. This has been an awesome week, and we've seen things absolutely skyrocket in this continual upward spin this week. All this despite the fact that we haven't been doing a ton of work this week that necessarily gets us numbers to report. I think I have a theory.
This has been a service week. Like, lots and lots of service. Almost every single day this week, we've been helping members move houses, fix their crappy broken hot tubs they found on the free section of Craig's List, split lots and lots of wood, stack lots and lots of wood, and stuff like that. It's been a lots of fun, and I've been super happy to do it, but the sad thing is, all that service detracts from our time in which we can teach! But my theory is this: service, in whatever form, calls down rivers of blessings from the Lord. Now I'm not about to say that we miraculously dug up like 100 member-present lessons on a Sunday evening or something cray like that, but I will say this: the work we are doing here in Wendell is paying off. We ended this week with 9 progressing investigators! Yeeeee! And that's not even the exciting part. The part that's exciting is the raging fire we see behind the eyes of the members here. It singes my freaking eyebrows. They're just rockstars, I'm telling you! We're getting referrals all over the place, and they want to join us to teach lessons, and it's just miraculous! Because of our members, we have two families of 4 that all are just inches away from baptism. It's so exciting to see, and I love working here!
Now unfortunately, because we've spent so much time pulling apart hot tubs and whatnot this week, I don't really have any super exciting stories for your eager ears. I'll make sure to do something wacky this week so I have something fun to talk about next time, okay?
Wishing you all a wonderful week and a fattening Thanksgiving!
-Elder Slavens

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Can't Think of a Clever Subject

Well here we are again!
How is everyone? I hope your weeks have all been absolutely stellar and full of mirth!
Mine has been pretty good! Not the most active of weeks, but a good one nonetheless! First things first: I have a new companion! His name's Elder Wright, from New Jersey! He's tall and skinny, and has been out for 17 months. Count 'em! He's an old man!! I'm supa excited to see where this new transfer goes - the area of Wendell is just on fire! Although we haven't made a ton of very life-changing visits in the past week, our members are just here for us and are giving us referrals and becoming a real part of the work! And the thing that's amazing is that we don't really even have any members!! The members from the English wards are the ones giving us referrals and stuff! Gosh, they're the best. :)
So although Elder Wright is technically my senior companion and district leader as well, I'm in a very interesting, very new situation in terms of my missionary life. I have driving privileges! So basically I'm the area lead because I've got more experience in the area and whatnot. At first I was way stoked about this, but then I realized I've been here for like 6 weeks. On top of that, I have this horrible habit of not paying a smidgen of attention to where we are when I ain't the one driving the car - in other words, I don't know jack squat about where anything is in Wendell. Crap. So the past few days have been an interesting kind of science experiment trying to find out where the heck we are. And it's kinda sad, 'cause Wendell's tiny. I also don't really understand what 'saving our miles' is, so we may be going a few days on bikes, depending on how quickly I can get my act together. But I'm getting a hold of things (probably mainly because of the GPS Dad sent me -- thanks, Dad!), and I'll have it figured out before long! Fingers crossed!
We've seen some excellent progress in a few of our investigators, namely, the Perez family. That's the family I mentioned last week - the lady who just randomly got up to bare her testimony (bare? bear? baer?). They came to church yesterday, and are progressing magnificently! I don't know quite how attainable the 23rd of November goal is, considering that's this Saturday, and the husband hasn't even agreed to baptism yet! But whenever it happens, I know it will happen! This family is solid gold!
Anyway, it's been a really awesome week, and I've been so blessed to see the fruits of good missionaries in the past doing their jobs right. I'm doing my best to keep the momentum going, and not let the little town of Wendell, Idaho fall by the wayside! Thanks for all the support, everyone, and I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Esclavo

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh No, I'm 1/6 Done. :(

Has the time flown by that fast?? What the heck, I've been out for 4 months now? This is crazy pants!
 Anyway, what a week!! It's been so awesome and I've had so many awesome experiences that I don't even know where to begin!! First of all, my birthday was on Tuesday! I'm 20 years old now, suckas! Although that really means nothing at all on a mission, and it was very much a regular day, so I don't have much to report on there. Basically I made myself a cake, sang myself happy birthday, and scarfed it all down, fearsomely quickly. Then we went out and taught people about Jesus.
But we've seen some incredible progress this week! Just last Sunday, Fast Sunday, we had our fasting and testimony meeting in the Spanish group, in which like 15 people were present, and this woman - a nonmember - got up and bore her testimony. She said that she didn't know much about the mysteries of God or how everything works, but that she knew He exists, that He loves her, and that He wants what's best for her. I was blown away by this woman's faith! She wasn't even an investigator or anything, just a woman who decided to come to our church one day! She then finished her testimony by saying that she's interested in the idea of baptism and wants to know what that's all about, so could the missionaries please come over and teach her? What?? That doesn't happen!!
We set up an appointment with the lady, named Adilia, and taught her the next day. She agreed to be baptized on the 23rd of November, and wants her family to join her! We had another lesson with all of them, and like every single member of that family is super duper receptive and can't wait to hear more! What a blessing!!
Other that that, we just got transfer calls last night! Bad news: Elder Johnson's being sent elsewhere to be a District Leader, and I don't know who my next companion will be! I've had an awesome time with Elder Johnson, and it's going to be a major bummer to see him go. But I suppose that's how mission life is, right? I'll fill you guys in on that next week!
Now that's pretty much the biggest thing that has happened this week, so I don't have much else to talk about! Just lots and lots of cows, and that's about it. The potatoes have been harvested, so Idaho's significantly less exciting at the moment.
I hope you al have a wonuhfuh wonduhfuh week, and I send you all hugs and kisses! Peace!
Elder Slavens

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm At the Point Where There's Music On the Radio I Don't Recognize. Uh-oh.

Howdy, y'all! Is everyone doing wonderful?? Good to hear, good to hear!

I'm doing wonderful myself as well! It's been an absolutely awesome week, despite how long it's felt! Unfortunately the baptisms seem to have stopped at this point, but we're still working at it! We finally actually have some time to breath, however, which has been a rather backward blessing in and of itself. Boy, baptisms are stressful to plan!

Strangely enough, however, Elder Johnson and I seem to have become rather accustomed to stressful work, and at this point now that everything's slowing down, we really don't know what to do with ourselves. We've really got too much time on our hands, don't we?? Well apparently not. It's really been an incredible blessing, all of the success Elder Johnson and I have seen as of late. We pray and pray all the time, just thanking our Father in Heaven for all of the change we've been able to see in these people.

We've been seeing a lot of recent converts and less-actives recently, which has been so awesome. It's so cool to see people who've been led away find the path and once again make steps toward the Celestial Kingdom! It's also a huge blessing to see those who are just getting started, and helping them make those steps.

Now unfortunately, I don't have much time today because I was just informed that we have to make a drive to Twin to get our beautiful Jeep EXCHANGED!! I've absolutely fallen in love with this car, and I'm gonna be so sad to see it go. But I'm also hugely thankful that I've had the opportunity to enjoy it while it lasted, and I know that there are other missionaries out there without that blessing! Yuck.

So I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Keep your chins up!

-Elder Slavens