Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, December 28, 2015

Can he swing from a web? No he can't, because he's a pig.

Merry Christmas, gangsters. 

Christmas day, my companion and I woke up. We did it. Step one was complete. We woke up. Then, we went into our study room. In our study room we made a Christmas tree out of a green towel. Underneath our tree was a pile of presents! I don't know how Santa knew where I was, but he always knows. We opened presents, and than made a nice breakfast.

Afterwards, we went to the market, and bought butt tons of fruit. Then we went with the Sisters, and gave out the fruit as gifts to our bishops and such. As we did so we caroled and sang to our hearts delight. 

After this festivity, then we met all the missionaries in my zone for a huge Christmas dinner. We had the equivalent to that one meal the Grinch explains, with roast beast and gabbles of goobles and geebles of gingles. 

Afterwards we watched a slide show of this last year as missionaries. And I have been here basically a year. So that was off the hook. Then we had a testimony meeting to share what we felt. I shared. And I felt. 

Then, the next day we skyped our families. What a true delight that was, brethren. Trenton's voice has changed. Jackson hasn't changed. It made me giggle. I couldn't figure out how to make my microphone work so they could hear me, so for a while I was just listening to them. Out of frustration, I stuffed the microphone into my mouth, and they said they could hear me! It was a Justin Bieber Christmas miracle! 

I hope you are all safe and that you are careful. You all know how it goes. There is always a super fun, peaceful season of joy, and then afterwards... BOOM. It all goes bad. The purge happens. SO watch out people. Your neighbors may not be a cheerful and nice as you might of thought they were. Stay close to your friends. But keep your enemies closer. 

Elder Elderson 

To wear my Santa hat and helmet at the same time, I had to become a Teletubbie

I found a Santa impostor. SANTA DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE SAXOPHONE! What an idiot. He has elves for that. 

Elder Slavens spotting in aisle 5

I fulfilled my sushi needs


Is it a Christmas snowball? Yes. It is full of meat. I ate it. 

We had an Inception moment while riding our bikes. We have to do the kick! C'MON LEO, START THE KICK! 

The night before Christmas all we had was a lonely tree...

AND THEN SANTA BABY CAME! Santa, that big old fat baby! He sure knows how to jingle my bells.


My companion blew us all away... AGAIN 

Some boys

Another Elder got a picture of me singing which I thought was worth sharing #JeanValJean

My old compy, Elder Beacco, showing me how much he misses me 

I like most of the people in this picture

​My favorite moment of the week. We teach a lesson, and afterwards I see the dudes wife watching Ace Ventura, arguably the best movie ever. She sees me watching and tells me I missed the best part, when he is inside a rhino and then he starts trying to escape because he is too hot, and a family sees and thinks the rhino is giving birth, but then Jim Carrey comes out with no clothes on. Hearing her describe that in Cambodian was the funniest thing I have ever experienced. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

P.eople O.rder O.ur P.atties


You are all reading this like 5 weeks after Christmas. But I careth not. Zat is because this is still Christmas for me. And as the days grow closer, my heart grows bigger. And as my heart grows bigger, it also starts to grow warmer. And as my heart grows warmer, I start to get sweatier. And as I start to sweat more, I become more attractive.

In his last email, Elder Reagan said he has been honoring Christmas by only wearing Christmas ties. So I decided that was a good idea. My mom sent me a tie in the mail that sings Christmas carols if you squeeze it, so I have been wearing the same tie everyday and will continue to wear it until Christmas 2016 #NeverLoseTheMagic

For Christmas, I would like to share what I am thankful for. I am thankful for Sister Haddock, a new missionary who just got here and is in one of my areas, and she fulfilled my greatest dream: she told me that the missionaries in the MTC stalked my blog. I ONLY write these blogs in hopes that they are stalked. So to you missionaries who are in the MTC RIGHT NOW, this one goes out to you. Thanks for stalking my blog, creeps.

I am grateful for being in the city of Phnom Penh. it really is different than the provinces. We found a Sushi restaurant, which is not known of in the provinces. And this restaurant is owned by a Californian named Sophie, and she said since my companion Elder Grimaud and I are from California, she'll put us on the VIP list LAWL. 

I am grateful for the dream I had that one night. It was about my family and me in a land of Cambodian leprechaun's for Saint Patrick's day. And how they wanted me to climb a cliff and spread love to all of their children. But as I climbed the cliff, the leprechauns hatched a plan for me to actually spread sugar to all the children, which would make them ravenous, and kill all of Cambodia's enemies. But I foiled their plan. And Trenton helped by playing Guitar Hero in my dream.  

I am thankful for the surprise Christmas party our ward put on. We had no clue it was coming! But after church, they sat down all the members in a room and gave us KFC sandwiches and a cake. They had nothing planned besides eat, so they asked the Elders and Sisters if we could preform a special number. We bravely accepted, and got up on stage and sang Wham!'s "Last Christmas" on the fly. As we did so, Cambodians of all ages clapped us on in the best simultaneous beat they could.

It is so awesome here. I love you all. Have a safe Christmas. 

Happy Christmas, Harry 
Well OF COURSE there's presents! 

Christmas gift from me #1: the rules of the road here in Cambodia 

Christmas gift from me #2: 



​Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a 

English Class

Good tidings 

Christmas party with KFC and cake. Savvy? 

AAAAHHHHH The cake turned me into a Nilbog goblin! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cyberdyne Systems. We are the future.

My emails are the special time of year for all the little boys and girls from around the world to read what they really want to hear. So lettuce begin.

As Christmas rolls around (mmmm take out the word Christmas there and put in Costco and your mouth will start watering) even Cambodia has started to get into the holiday spirit. There are Santa robots ringing bells and Christmas carols playing all up and down the roads! And to celebrate, our church had a big Christmas meeting, where all the members in the country who could make it to the main city met together and had choirs sing, speakers speak, and drummers drum, and french hens honk, and tooters toot, and maids milk! It was awesome! But the best part was: my companion had a solo. AND LET ME JUST TELL YOU. He is a modern day Javert. You guys should here him. And he had to rehearse for the concert, and I would just sit and listen. And it reminded me of how David Archuleta  recorded 'Glorious' while he was on his mission, and his lame talentless companion just sat around. 

BUT THEN. They asked me to sing with him. So instead of being the lame talentless companion who just listens, I was the lame talentless companion who sang with David Archuleta! So my gift to the Cambodians for Christmas was my voice. And they hated it, I am sure. 

Do you want to hear the worst part of my week? Since I got out of the provinces and there are actual grocery stores here now, I go to there. And I was there buying an American toothbrush, and this Indian lady walks up. And I make conversation about tooth brushes. I say that this store doesnt sell any tooth brushes that are American, then I ask where she is from. She says India. And I say "This place has Indian tooth brushes. How are the tooth brushes in your home land?" and she responds that they are fine. As we go deeper into conversation, she wants to know about our church. I explain (for more information, see your local missionaries). Then she asks how old I am. I say 19. And this is what she says in response: "I can tell". 

I. CAN. TELL. I CAN TELL?! What is that supposed to mean?! I was furious! SO I grabbed what she was purchasing from her hands and I threw it on the ground and yelled at here and punched a whole in a wall and in my OWN FACE! 

Naw. I just said, "It's truth. Look at this smooth as babies bottom chin". So I guess I have to grow up more when I talk to strangers? I don't know. Text VOTE to 92339 if you think I should stay the same. 

Best part of the week: We had nothing to do after our first round of church (since we have 2 areas, 2 rounds of church AKA 6 hours YIPPEE) and then all of the sudden a guy walked in and asked if he could learn about our religion. We gave him a tour of the church building, which I have never done before, but it was quite successful in the episode of 'The District' I saw, and it worked for our guy too. You show 'em where they'll get baptized and they are so down. Then he came to round 2 of church #L0V3

Merry Christmas, all.
And all a good night (bus) #TakeItAwayErn

There's a really good video of me being serenaded by the guy who cut my hair today up in here

Reunited with Elder Hall for 3 seconds. Then he went back to the Kampong Cham with a little bit of bread. LIKE SOOOOOOO LITTLE BREAD. LIKE DOOOD. DO YOU EVEN HAVE ENOUGH BREAD?

The train tracks we teach on

Are you ready, kids?


Classic, Cambodia. 


Praise, Hallelujah 



Me waiting for David Archuleta to finish

Me anq qeople

​Me anq more qeople

​This is the choir that not only featured in "Paper Walls", but also the choir that featured in "Aint it Fun". Did you know? 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pajama Sam

Yo yo yo yo yo! 

Whom amongst you has ever spent the Christmas season in Cambodia? Anybody? Anybody? Will all those in favor PLEASE make it manifest! PLEASE make it manifest! PLEASE make it manifest! Well I am about to. And let me tell you: IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS! BUT! I have more news. Just this past week I went from my old area, Kampong Cham, to a new area in the middle of the city of Phnom Penh. So basically I went to hicks living in houses on stilts in the middle of the jungle to smart people WHO KNOW ENGLISH living in a giant city. And I am scared. And miss the boondocks. But the blessing: there are Christmas lights here. And fake Christmas trees. And American food. And I hear Christmas songs! 

The end of my reign in Kampong Cham was a beautiful moment. I just went around and said bye to peeps, but we got to meet and teach someone from France! His name was Christian! And we taught him in English. It was way weird. I feel like I was trying to formulate English sentences but I am sure babbling nonsense just spewed from my mouth. 

I'll miss Elder Hall because he is like a character in an 80's movie, but now I have Elder Grimaud. He is from San Jose. So close me! He loves guitar and things. He is a hunk. And he won't let me call him a hunk because he is too humble about it. QUIT BEING SO HUMBLE! To get up to the main city to meet with him, I had to take a van and be companions with 2 SISTERS! It was disgusting. No boys! Imagine that. 

I got here and instantly we had all these giant meetings. The church here is way different than the church out in the provinces. They know what they are doing here. It is like America, but even better because everyone wears flip flops still. Out in the boonies, I had church in a house! So this is an upgrade, people. But you wanna hear what ISN'T an upgrade?!?!?! I had to TRANSLATE for some meeting! BARF ON ME! I hated it. I don't know Cambodian! Are you kidding me?! So all the Cambodian people I had to translate for (it was a meeting in English), I apologize because I am sure they got nothing out of that meeting. 

There are no geocaches in my area. Sorry everyone. No geocaches means no fun. Thats all good. I got some good pictures. Take a look. 

Ps if you want to see my future wife:

I took some time today to stalk blogs of missionaries who have served in my ward before AND I FOUND MYSELF ON ONE!!! WOO HOO thanks Elder Kloosterboer! 

​My last moment with Elder Hall! WE SO HUNGRY! 

​Me and my 2 companions for a day (girls, just in case you couldn't tell)

My new compy. If you recognize him, good for you. 

​I told you he was a hunk. He sings. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blue flowers, red thorns

Hunting enormous whales. With fantastic tales. It's the HEART OF THE SAMURAI! My hands are as big as dinner plates. 

So this is my thanksgiving email. We had a senior couple come down and bring us turkey, pie (pumpkin and apple), mashed potatoes, AND STUFFING>< If I could be any food, I would be stuffing. It was like putting America into my mouth. I have one thing and one thing only I am thankful for this week, and that is the bush guy at San Francisco. I would like to pay my tributes because I heard he has passed away. He has scared me by pretending to be a bush o so many times, and for that I am thankful. 

This is also my last week in my current area, Kampong Cham, with Elder Hall as my companion. I am being swithed over to the big city (that is probably lacking in bush people) of Phnom Penh. I will be serving in not just one area, but TWO areas! They are called Tuol Kouk and Tuek L'ak. And my new companion will be named Elder Grimode. Yes, THE Joseph Grimode in which I knew when I was in San Jose choir a couple of years ago. He is a ladies man. We will have fun. 

I will miss Kampong Cham, and here is an interesting fact about my area: My two investigators who got baptized here also have wives who are both about to POP with babies. So how cool is that, that they will start little Mormon families?! I LOVE IT! 

See ya guys. Love. 

Free babies up here in Cambodia 

Bong Vuen and his pregnant wife- the two super stars of Kampong Cham


The fame of the helmet is going global

Hola Amigo

Sunday, November 22, 2015

You slap me, I slap you

Heeeeeeeeeeey everybody! 

Just thought I'd send out another little email to make sure y'all don't forget about me. 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME! Actually whatever. I don't care. It don't matter to me. YOU WANNA KNOW WHY? 

Because this week I was SUPER TRUNKY! And I HATED IT. Let me tell you a story. So I have never gotten sick on my mission, and I have never had a companion get sick to the point where we can't leave the house. But I have always SECRETLY wanted it. Because then I would get to rest for a day! Don't judge me, missionary work is hard! But I have learned my lesson. Because Elder Hall got sick this week. And we couldn't leave the house. And I tried to be productive, but all I ended up doing was sitting there, thinking about how bad I wished I could be playing a game, or watching a movie, or doing something else instead! So you see what I saw? I saw that missionary work is 1.) important and 2.) easy, IF I am willing to work hard. I have to push myself to the work, but once I do, then I am 100% INTO IT. So go 100% in what you do, people. Unless it is bad. Then stop doing it. Duh.

We had a butt ton of people cancel on us recently. Like we plan to meet them, and show up and they are gone or say they are busy. BUT WHATEVER! I just kept doing my thing. We taught some good lessons, contacted a ton of people. Elder Hall and I contacted a guy who just showed up to church the next day! I didn't see that coming! We always tell people where our church is, and this guy just showed up! We also watched the video where it tells Joseph Smith's story to our recent convert, Bong Vuen (the one who we baptized a couple weeks ago and I wore my helmet), and like a crowd of 20 people came to watch with us! But here is my favorite moment of the week:

Elder Eleison was my first companion in Cambodia. He taught me everything I know, and he came down to hang out with Elder hall and I and show us how to be better cuz we suck. And we started talking to this group of people, and it turned into the three of us taking turns just teaching and preaching like the folks in the bible! IT WAZ ZE COOLEZT. Just imagine me preaching lol. Before my mission I wouldn't even dare to preach to people about my church. i didn't even want to when I got here. But now, I just LUUUUUV preaching to folks! Cuz it's fun and I believe what I teach way more! 

You are all rock stars. 

AND THE STAIRS! SO STEEP I almost peed my pants. 

Check this tower we climbed last week

but the view from up top... OH SO GOOD. 

Our district picture. Elder Ros asked me if I did this on purpose, and I told him no. But you tell me... 

You will lose, Harry Potter 

Is Santa comin to town? Nope... Just Chuck Testa (AKA Elder Elieson)

Just 3 boys

No exchange is complete without a sweet picture in the sand