Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, January 13, 2014

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Listen to MoTab

And another week passes by! This is pretty freaky how fast things are going here, you guys! Hit my 6 month mark just the other day and my heart was like oh crap. Well I hope that everyone here has had just the dandiest week! As for me...

Last week has to have been the worst week of my mission so far.

That being said, I would consider it one of my favorite weeks that I've passed through as a missionary. I've learned so much this week, and have had some really heart-changing experiences. It has been super humbling and certainly not the most comfortable week of my life, but since when is that the point of a mission? Let me explain.

For those of you who know me pretty well, this will be old news. But to those of you who just like my sillilly-worded emails, yet know me not, know that I am a very laid-back dude. Some may call it lazy; I choose laid-back.

Okay fine, I'm pretty lazy.

Basically a huge trial I've gone through just about my whole entire life is my constant battle with laziness. I love learning, I love doing new things, I love progress; but my aspirations are often held back by my unquenchable thirst for doing nothing. Or lack of thirst, I dunno. Anyway, you can see how this would be a problem for a missionary. However, this flaw of mine hasn't really caused me issue up until just recently. You see, for the first while of his mission, an Elder goes through months of training, having other missionaries over him to show him how to be. That Elder has been me for the majority of my time out here. But it's not so anymore. I mean, Elder Wright is technically the senior companion here in Wendell, but since I've had the most experience in the area and I'm the companion with the driving privileges, it's more or less up to me to lead the area and make sure crap gets done.

Now the problem is, my last companion, Elder Johnson, was a very self-motivated Elder. He just wanted to work work work and would never let me sit down. And it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Yet Elder Johnson is gone, and my new companion (who has so many other positive traits I can't even count them), is pretty much just as motivated as I am, and thus, we can do a good amount of sitting around when things aren't immediately demanding our attention. Long story short, our numbers have been dwindling a bit, and it's really been stressing me out. We just weren't getting lessons this week, investigators were slacking on their commitments, and it was just driving me crazy. Why am I on a mission if people aren't gonna listen to me and I'm just gonna drive around aimlessly? That was probably the theme of this week for me, unfortunately. But at basically my lowest point so far, I just had to get down and pray about this and figure my life out. I wasn't going to have my mission be like this for 18 more months, I'll have you know!

And then a miracle happened! Though probably not one I wanted. I was basically spirit-smacked in the face and felt this huge guilt for not dedicating 100% of my time to the Lord and for being a slothful servant. Whoops. But in that very instant I knew what had to be done! Or rather, what still needs to be worked on, and that which I will probably be working on for the rest of my life. I need to be more focused, more motivated, and more work-oriented. Because when we are so, we're blessed. And I know that to be true, because I've seen it. Experienced it first hand!

Anyway, this has been my crazy experience for the week. I hope somebody else can get just a smidgen out of it what I did, because right now I know that I'm not the same person that wrote you last week. Updated software; version 2.7; better than ever! As long as I stick with what I've learned and apply the crap out of it.

Lesson Learned: Don't be a slothful servant!

Love you, muah!

Elder Slavens

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