Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, June 2, 2014

On Being Poor

This week has been just swell, my friends, I kid you not! That's not to say it hasn't been a stressful one, but what'cha gonna do without a little stress to spice things up?

Why was my week stressful, you might ask? Oh, just 'cause I'm a super poor missionary who has no idea how to budget. If I could just figure out how to NOT spend money the second I get it, my life would be smooth sailing. I figure it's just a God-given malady, a trial you might call it, that I gotta turn around by way of sheer willpower. Once I've got that figured out I suppose you can call me a real man. Not yet though. But either way, here's my story:

I was dumb at the beginning of this month and decided that I could spend most of my mission allowance on stupid things like lotion and fancy toothpaste and whatnot. Who needs food anyway, right? I figured God's not gonna let me starve (I mean, He didn't let me starve either way, but that doesn't justify my spending). So I got about halfway through the month of May and by that point my wallet was dry. That's when I was like uh-oh, maybe I WILL starve after all (again, I am still very much alive, but that makes me no less stupid).

I got through most of the month with my dignity still intact, and a notch higher up on my belt to boot! But here's where it gets good. Last Zone Conference (a big missionary meeting) the mission doctor stood at the pulpit and gave a little speech on stupid things missionaries do to put their health in jeopardy. He talked about two Elders who found a pair of bats fighting in the street, and one of the missionaries decided it'd be cool to take them home and pit them against each other in a cardboard box. He picked them up and was bitten by each bat in each hand, and subsequently was infected with rabies and had to go home. But that story actually has nothing to do with this one, I just thought it was noteworthy. 

Another thing the doctor mentioned was that we actually shouldn't use Q-tips to clean out our ears because it can potentially push excess earwax too far into the ear canal and press it up to the eardrum and cause hearing loss. Technically we should just let earwax fall out of our ears naturally as time goes on. I know, gross, right? That's exactly what I thought when I heard him say that, so I was like dude, whatever, I'm not lissinin to yoo 'jo craysee. So of course, I did exactly what he suggested I not do. I had a lot of earwax buildup bugging me one night, so I whipped out a Q-tip and tried prying it out.

Yeah, it pushed excess earwax too far into the ear canal and pressed it up to the eardrum and caused hearing loss. Exactly as he'd said. So I went about a half a day not being able to hear very well from the left ear, until one smart Elder in my district suggested I put some hydrogen peroxide in my ear and let it set for 5 minutes; that would soften it all up and it would drip out afterward. I tried that, and it ended up liquefying the earwax and letting it settle right up to my eardrum. Once it had hardened back up, I had a wall of earwax up against my eardrum, which essentially made me deaf in that ear. I could hear NOTHING.

So I called the doctor to ask what I should do (because being deaf as a missionary is super inefficient, especially when you hardly understand Spanish as it is), and he basically just made fun of me for 1) not listening to his sound advice, and 2) for actually listening to the unsound advice of that other missionary about the hydrogen peroxide. He told me that I could fix my problem by going to Wal Mart and buying an earwax removal kit for under like 5 bucks.

Problem is, I certainly did not have 5 bucks, or even under it for that matter. I was BROKE. So I had to go through this crazy charade of going over to the house of a member, having the dude call my dad and ask him to put money on my card so that I could buy a thing that ended up being like $2.50. I made inquiries at the bank multiple times that day to check if Dad had put money on it, and apparently the bank didn't like that and started charging me, so by the end of the day I actually was in debt to the bank. The money eventually got on, I bought the stupid earwax removal kit, and now I can hear just fine.

But seriously, SHEEEEESH!

So that was my week. How was yours? In all reality, it has been a super good week for Elder Martinez and I. We met some really cool people and had some great lessons, but this email is way too long at this point, so I'll have to tell you about all that stuff next time! Sorry this is like a billion years long, everyone, hopefully it was entertaining enough to keep you reading and not thinking 'Where the heck is this going??'

I love you all and keep it realz!

Elder Slavens

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