Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, October 27, 2014

It Has Been a WEEK Since Last Week

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, hello! I love all of you lots, just so you know. Yeh.

ANYWAY this has been a good week! Couple little disappointments, but meh, what'cha gonna do about it? That's life!

So our two baptismal dates that were set for the next couple weeks have been postponed. Kino has decided he's not quite ready, which is a major bummer considering we know FOR A FACT that he's like the readiest kid of all time. It's been tough to see him go through everything he's had to recently: his mom, Ana Maria, a recent convert that was baptized when me and Elder Josephson were together, has started smoking again and backed off on church attendance, and it's affecting her son. He feels that people shouldn't get baptized if they're making mistakes like that, and we're trying SUPA hard to help him understand that those things aren't HIS problems, and that he is definitely ready to take this step! But I think he wants all the problems with his mom to be resolved before he moves any further. Super noble of him, but like C'MON GET BAPTIZED. Just kidding, I just want what's best for him. At the moment he's set to get baptized on November 8, so hopefully he sticks to that!

Lindsay's date has also been moved back a bit, and thankfully for less sad reasons. She's got a friend who's getting baptized in another ward sometime in November, and she wants to join that friend and do it at the same time! So that's way cool, and I think they'll be a super huge support to one another, so that to me is a very good reason to wait a bit. She's been so much fun to teach and I'm so excited to see her commit herself to the gospel and be baptized! I just hope I'm around to see it happen!!

Other than that, it's been a pretty regular week. We're on bikes right now because our car is still getting fixed, and frick is that taking a toll on me. My asthma is like blasting through the roof 'cause I have literally no endurance after doing nothing physically trying for a year and a half. Oh my sheesh it's killing me! But ya know, it's all chill 'cause I'll probably come home with huge calves or whatever. just kidding I'll be fat.

HEY James passed the sacrament!! Ah, it was so cool to see! his tie was like way way too long and he was all stressed out that the water was gonna spill everywhere and I was watching him with just this huge smile on my face! It's so cool seeing all this work come to little bits of fruition like that. Pretty chill. :)

Anyway, that's about it for this week! Everyone pray for Kino and Lindsay that they'll stick to their commitments and have that desire to be baptized! It's what they need! Thank youuuuu! Have a wonderful week peeps.

Elder Slavens

Monday, October 20, 2014

¿Que Pasa, Calabaza?

That means "what's up, pumpkin?" in Spanish, which I find to be a very appropriate thing to say considering the current season/circumstance.

SO MUCH SERVICE this week! We spent basically three whole days helping out this less-active member dude who owns a GIANT pumpkin patch. There are like almost literally billions of pumpkins there. I think. But we spent a good amount of time this week just hauling pumpkins to and fro. Luckily, however, the dude let us take like a million squashes and gourds home, and we've been cooking 'em up like baked potatoes and putting brown sugar in 'em and dang is that good.

The musical number ended up going really well! And we had a really cool conference with Elder Golden of the 1st quorum of the 70, so that was awesome. I'm not quite sure why, but Elder Golden told President Curtis that he wanted to interview a few missionaries, and President picked me! So I had a one-on-one talk with a general authority which was way cool.

ALSO, Mario Corona got baptized this week!! Holy moly, getting that put together was almost more stressful than James'! Probably so, actually. So you know how each investigator planning on getting baptized needs to have a baptismal interview? Well that can only be given by a District Leader, Zone Leader, or something of that nature. It can't be just any missionary. And the thing that made this real tough is that with this most recent transfer, all of the missionaries in leadership in our zone were changed to English positions (except me), and Mario does not know that language!! So we spent like 5 years looking for a missionary to give the baptismal interview to Mario, but nobody could, and we thought we were gonna die.We ended up figuring it out, and though I probably can't properly express the stress I went through getting that organized, I just want you to be aware that it was there (wow, that sentence sounded like a poem).\

But anyway, he DID get baptized and confirmed this week! Woot woot! So legit. Although he almost was like 30 minutes late to the baptism, but whatever. It happened! I got to confirm him a member of the church on Sunday (which is always fun in Spanish), and I'm so thankful that I got to do that! I pray that he'll be led by the spirit to stick with it and never falter. This will change his life if he lets it!

Anyway, I'll probably hit the road now, but all you keep safe and whatnot and I love you and muah!

Elder Slavens

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dallin's Oakland Temple Trip

Dallin came home for the weekend to go through the Oakland temple.  He had so many ward friends and leaders join him.  It was a beautiful day and we are so blessed to have so many loving examples in our lives.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Making a Killing

I have absolutely no idea where the heck to start on this week, you guys. This has probably been one of the strangest weeks of my whole entire life. I seriously don't know where to start. Ahhh.

Why don't we start with James' baptism? WHICH HAPPENED. Woot woot James got baptized this Saturday and it was totally awesome! But boy was it a roller coaster just getting there, sheesh. What a stressful trip! So check it out. As this week rolls around we are very aware of the fact that James is supposed to be baptized this upcoming Saturday, but the stress starts to hit when we realize we have like 2 more lessons to teach as well as getting the baptismal interview out of the way AND THEN making a million calls to the ward to get the program set up. So we go over to his house this Tuesday to get the lessons wrapped up, and his grandma waddles out and explains that James has not come home from school yet (mind you, this was at like 6 pm). Apparently he does this all the time - he gets a ride from one of his buddies after school and just kind of doesn't come home for like a whole weekend. I was just like aw no, James, you gotta get back home so you can get baptized!! His grandma continues, stating that James has a bunch of mental issues which prevent him from taking things seriously (including ADHD, bipolar disorder, and some deal that naturally makes him oppose authority figures). Aw crap, man, you can't be serious. So we do the best thing we can think of - say a prayer and move on for the day, hoping to run into him tomorrow.

We pass by the following day (Wednesday) to find James just sitting on the couch watching TV! Come to find out he'd just gone to a football game with his buddy that evening and come home right after. We were like JAMES YOU SUCK YOU SCARED US and he just laughed. Whatever dude. So we got started teaching him about the commandments, and here's the crazy part: he ate it all right up and didn't get distracted or anything! It was a totally smooth lesson, which is very uncharacteristic of James. But it went very nicely, and we set up and appointment for the next day to have his baptismal interview.

Guess what. He didn't show. OH MY GOSH I'MMA KILL SOMEONE. I called his grandma, who was supposed to drive him there, and she was like OH NO I TOTALLY FORGOT and I was like great job, grandma. So we set it up for the following day (which was a flipping DAY before the baptism) and she said that's chill. We showed up to have his interview the next day and, THANK GOODNESS, he showed up and passed with flying colors! It was then our responsibility to set up a whole baptismal program, speakers and all, in one day, which in and of itself was a very stressful experience. I think there were angels asking people to give talks and stuff, 'cause I do not think we had it all figured out ourselves. Anyway, it all worked out in the end and it ended up being one of the most spiritual, special baptismal services I've ever witnessed! James was so ready to take this step, and I'm super thankful to have been a part of all of it. In fact, I was even able to baptize him myself, which is always a good deal!

And now I'm like out of time even though there is SO MUCH MORE that happened this week that I wanna talk about. Dang it. I'll see if I can't shove some of that in next week, I suppose. But until then, everyone have a wonderful week and keep your chins up! Muah!

Elder Slavens

Monday, October 6, 2014

When You Don't Have Time to Do Anything

This has been one of those weeks! Whew, I am just so pooped I have no idea where to start! In reality, not much has happened this week - but my body does not agree with that idea; it's just dead either way.

This week consisted mostly of me pretending to know how to play the piano. You see, Elder Golden, a member of the first quorum of the Seventy, is coming to give us a training this week! Which should be cool. Anyway, he wanted a musical number done by my zone, and I have no idea why, but like the second our zone leaders found out about that, they came right to me and asked if I'd make one up. Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhh okay fine. The problem is they gave me like a week and a half to make it up, and so I was like busting out ALL of the musical abilities I have to make up a musical number that sounds chill, and at the same time is easy to sing 'cause we have like no time to practice. Today is literally the one and only time that the zone is going to get together to not only learn it, but to get good at it. So that's like really all I've been doing all week - going to the church buildings to play on the piano and invent something to blow away a general authority - which I highly doubt will happen. Either way, I've done my best! We're gonna sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go", and I think it does sound pretty nice. I'll see if I can't get a recording or something to show you peeps.

But unfortunately, because of that, we weren't able to see many people! Conference also kind of sucked up all of Saturday and Sunday. So that really has been basically all we've done this week! I'll let you know next week how the musical number goes - hopefully it doesn't crash and burn. Fingers crossed. I love you all and all that jazz!

Elder Slavens

P.S. MONSTROUS shout-out to my little brother, Dallin, for deciding to serve a mission! Cambodia needs you man, even if they don't understand a word you say! Woot woot!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Opening Dallin's Mission Call

Dallin was at BYU going to school.  We decided to take a trip to Utah and go to General Conference with him.  Steph Shaw flew in from Arizona.  As luck would have it his call came while we were there!  Dallin called all his friends together to open his call at Swig.  He works at Swig and LOVES it!  What's not to love!?


    Swig's manager Lexi is the best boss Dallin could ask for.

We got to see Cosmo!


On our way to Salt Lake for the Priesthood session we stopped by the gathering for Olan Rogers.  We got lucky and they let us go to the front of the line so we could get to conference.  That was pretty cool!  The kids got on the promo video they were making.  Sweet!

Find the video here:
or here:

We visited a haunted forest and shot some zombies with painball guns with the family!

We learned there was one Cambodian sister at Temple Square.  We went on a hunt for her and we finally found her!  Sister Ang.  She laughted at the way Dallin and Monte were speaking the very little bits of Cambodian they had learned from an app.

It was a very successful trip!  We had a great time.