Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, February 23, 2015

GRAND Master

     Well everyone... I have news. Remember how I told you I was now a master? Whelp... I've been upgraded to GRAND Master due to my church sandals. So you must all refer to me as Master Elder Slavens when you speak to me now. But you will survive. 
     How is everyone doing this week?!?!?!? My weeks been kinda crazy. A roller coaster, if you will. But we'll start off with the good. 
     There was this bug that was flying around in our classroom once when we were trying to focus on learning Cambodian, but no one could concentrate, so I ate it. I just caught it and stuffed it in my mouth. I told everyone that they had to write about it in their emails home today, so I hope they are honoring that. I also learned this week that the Cambodian word for prophet, pyiakaarei, directly translates to "weather Lady". So everyone in Cambodia thinks Thomas S. Monson tells the weather on channel 4. 
     Also, the egg business has gotten out of control. Last Friday we had almost 76 eggs. We've converted a lot of people to the ways of eating day old eggs. 
     Someone in our district, Sister Stevens, got really sick this week. She has been having problems with her throat, and so she has missed A LOT of class. It's been really hard!!! But we've all been praying for her!!! That's not the good news, the good news was that she asked Elder Lamborn and I to give her a blessing. It was amazing to see how it helped her. Elder Lamborn gave it since he's never given a blessing before. Everyone in our district loves each other. 
     The last part of good news was that Elder Lamborn and I got called as the zone leaders! Which means we're in charge of basically everyone going to South East Asia on their missions. It's good, but it stressed me out. Here's where the stress of my week comes in. I thought that maybe I wasn't ready for something like that. I'm just a crazy kid. I eat 80 eggs a day. I run around and yell a lot. I tatted up my back real good with all these temporary tattoos someone had since Halloween. Now I have to be an example to people. So I'm trying my hardest to be a better disciple of Christ! But don't worry... Elder Dark Money isn't turning into a square just yet. 
     In a TRC lesson (which is teaching real life people once a week who come in and volunteer) this week, we taught a lady named Om Meak, who moved here from Cambodia just recently. And I couldn't understand ONE WORD she said!!! I was laughing the whole lesson!!! I loved it, but MAN do I have work to do to learn this dang language!!! 
     My hardest part of the week but also where I learned the most was just last night. I was struggling with my new calling (even though it's basically nothing) and that I wasn't good enough. And that's when I realized the power of repentance. We had a lesson where we learned that repentance wasn't only for gaining forgiveness on giant sins, but on constantly improving who you are. So I prayed for help and instantly felt Heavenly Fathers love. So if anyone of you are struggling with ANYTHING, go ahead and pray about it! And if you don't know how to pray, or what repentance is, than that is what missionaries like me are for! They won't bite! I might... 
     I love you guys!!! But I'm mad that I got a notice that everyone is marking my emails as spam. So I love most of you. Have a EGGscelent week, everybody!!! ROCK ON 

Master Elder Slavens

PS Tell everyone that spams my emails that they are dead to me. I got a notification that everyone is spamming it. Whatever. Haters gonna hate.

​All the Cantonese speakers left to Hong Kong yesterday. Today is the first day of my new, horrible life without them 

​The abuse continues 

I eat so many eggs, I've just decided to start laying my own. 

Mormon tatted 

Complete Chaos

That describes my week properly I think. I'm now in my new area, not actually Twin Falls itself. I'm technically a Zone Leader of the Twin Falls South Zone, but I'm actually serving in a town called Kimberly, and though it's not Twin, it's still way bigger than like any dang place I've served in. Quite a change of pace. Which is chill; it's what I was hoping for!

Life was crazy this week. Basically the moment I showed up there was a huge change in our Stake borders, so we had like literally no work for the first part of the week, 'cause there were no ward councils or even bishoprics to let us know where to start! Soooooooo we had to ride it out until Sunday, when finally a TON of sustainings took place and new ward councils were put into place. And that very day we got tons of lists from the clerks and stuff that include info about part-member families, prospective elders, and children of record who were never baptized, and NOW WE ARE ON FIRE. Yesterday we hit the ground hard, and were were flipping RUNNING to get everywhere. It was crazy. We met a bunch of part-member families (most of whom were uninterested, but whatevs) and it was a blast. So we're gonna try and keep this up.

So yee, that's me. Not too much else this time around. We'll have more next week. Peace out chillins.

Elder Slavens

Monday, February 16, 2015

Super glue mends a broken heart

It snowed. I had fun. 

Hello everyone! Let's not dilly-dally with any fancy introductions, and let's just get to the important stuff, shall we?
I WOULD like to begin with the hardships I am facing here at the Provo MTC. The people who do cleaning checks got mad at me because we have 2 open beds in our room, so I took one of the mattresses for 2 times the comfort. AND THEY GOT MAD AT ME!!! Like Acca-SCUSE ME?!?!?! So I had to put it back. But it was glorious while I had it. 

That's all the hardships for now!!! Well, and for a while I was starting to get afraid that I was a poopy teacher, because my investigator told me I talked too much! But I needed to hear it!!! I realized that I was teaching a lesson which is 100% boring, and didn't ever give the people we teach a chance to say anything! So I have been listening to our teachers on how to teach and following the spirit and it is going really well! Teaching in Cambodian is really fun! I'm getting better at reading, but I can't read out loud yet. When I say "better", I mean that now it only takes me 2 and a half hours to read a verse. 

The day before Valentines day was the greatest day of the MTC BY FAR. It was Elder Ros' birthday, so we threw him a HUGE surprise party, and the whole zone showed up to wish him a happy birthday! Elder Lamborn and I made him a cape out of paper towels. His quote of the week comes from when he opened a present and it was Martinelli's Apple Cider, and he said "Turn up at the MTC tonight!" Later that night, to prepare for Valentine's day, all the Elders prepared by putting on face masks to beautify our faces. If you ever want a beautiful face, go to Bed Bath & Beyond. That's where the deep pore cleaning sea-salt masks are at. Good stuff. 

Everyday we get to choose 4 items for breakfast, and our new thing is to use that to get 8 eggs. 2 eggs count as 1 item (boo ya). I take hand fulls of mayonnaise and musturd and we make 16 deviled eggs. Each. It's glorious. 

You guys, I LOVE the MTC!!! Not only is it so fun here, but learning how to be a good missionary and having the spirit with me always is SO COOL!!!! I'm learning how to teach real life people, and I'm learning how to do it in a cray cray Asian language. But I love the culture and can't wait to get to Cambodia! Everyone.... have a great week and STAY SAFE! There's a storm coming, Harry... and we all best be ready when she does.


Gentleman's night, preparing to look fabulous on Valentine's day 

Will you be my Valentine? 

Still getting prepped for the big day!!! 

The day we realized my master looks like human Shrek was the day I said to myself, "Being a missionary is love, being a missionary is life"  

I experimented with eye patches and one eye went blind for 20 minutes. 

Egg night. Ft. Batman 

Always protecting the citizens of Provo 

Enjoying my gift from Brother Preisser 


WHADDUPPPPPPPP. How's it going wherever you are? My life is ON FIRE. Like, good fire. Like green fire that just tickles and makes you happy. ON FIRE. <4F6.gif>

It's been a great week, as you can tell. Things are finally starting to calm down after all the crazy stuff that threw our lives for a loop last week. We went to the funeral service of the lady I mentioned last time, and it was absolutely beautiful. She's certainly in a better place, and it was such a hopeful, bright service that you couldn't help but smile walking out.

On Saturday I had an incredible experience. I had the privilege of going to the temple with our recent convert, Luis, and his wife Roxann, to do baptisms for the dead. Holy cow it was so great. It's been forever since I've participated in baptisms for the dead! And although I wasn't actually allowed to get in the water to do the baptisms (mission rule, I dunno), I still got to do confirmations and just soak up the spirit that was there. It was way enjoyable. After that they took us out to a sushi place in Twin. An ALL YOU CAN EAT sushi place. I haven't had sushi in quite some time and figured I'd hate it. But I actually like shushi a lot now! Mom, you should be proud! I'm finally eating weird things after ALL THESE YEARS! Problem with this place was that if you order too much sushi and don't end up finishing it you have to pay for the whole roll you don't finish. And naturally we ordered way too much but couldn't bear paying extra money for it so it was a fight to the death to get all the sushi down the hatch. I almost blew up all over the restaurant, and after such a peaceful experience in the temple Luis and Roxann started fighting over who had to eat the last piece (this isn't uncommon though, they're constantly fighting about something; it's how they express their love I guess). So that was fun.

Other than that it's been a pretty normal week. Mainly just saying goodbye to people 'cause I'm leaving. Wait, what? I didn't tell you I was leaving? Oh, well I guess that ruins the surprise. But yeah, I'm outta here! Only spent 3 months in Carey, which is way short, but I'll go where He wants me to go! My new area will be TWIN FALLS SOUTH! Going from basically the smallest town in the mission to the biggest. At least it'll prepare me for my re-entry into the Bay Area. 'Cause Carey is SMALL. So I'm pumped about this. New start, new places, new faces, the works. I'll still be a Zone Leader down there which I'm pumped about. Two transfers with this new guy, one more in some random spot, then I'll be heading home! How bonkers is that?

Anyway, I've had a great week. Life's good, just taking it a day at a time and soaking up every second. I've had a blast in Carey, but I can't wait to have some new experiences! I hope you all have a good week too! Peace out! <800.gif>

Elder Slavens

Monday, February 9, 2015

I have been promoted from apprentice to master

Why hello, world. How it be?
      It's been another fine week in the MTC. The sun is always shining, and there is always fun to be had. Just a wonderful experience. 
      So this week started out with a miracle. Some man who somehow knew about Sister Sheffield and I snuck Swig in and brought it to us. I have no clue how he knew that we both worked there, but I got my first Mountain Dew in months. I was singing Hosanna.  
      Then a beautiful idea was born: everyone watch your local concerts in 2 years because the Cambodians have hatched a plan. When we get back, we are going to have a concert called "Mormon Mania", starring all of the Mormon hits. It will star the Mormon Tarbenacle Choir, and feature David Archeletta, Lindsey Sterling, Gladys Knight, Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, the Osmonds, The Killers, and the children from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat having a reunion. Be ready for it. There will also be chocolate mint brownie refreshments and a closing prayer. 
       Elder Gardley made my day by telling me that I was wearing a mask and was painting my face, because he's sure I'm black. It's because I knew who Shaggy was. But in reality, it wasn't me. 
       I will also be doing a weekly section of Elder Johnny Ros quotes in my emails, and this weeks starts with "I would rather drown than grow an afro" 
       The reason I have promoted from Apprentice to Master is very simple. This week, both Elder Hall and I have decided to compete for the spot as Master to Elder Wager, possibly the strangest man I've ever met. To see who would win, we decided that he would only eat white rice and water for as long as he could, and I would only drink chocolate milk (no food) for as long as I could. AND I WON!!! I lasted 27 hours. So food is pointless. 
       I also broke my camera this week waaaaaaaaa
       This week, I had lots of fun teaching about teaching the gospel. We did TRC, which is teaching real life people who don't play roles like our teachers do. But even better was when we saw a guest named Dan just roaming the MTC and taught him. The spirit was so strong!!! He loved what we had to say!!! 
       I loved this week and I love you all!!!!! Have a #blessed life 
Elder Dark Money

The Master I am Master to, Elder "Swagger" Wager 

​Selfie king, Elder Johnny Ros 


Everyone says my district President and I are twins born in different generations. I don't see it. 

Freaky Friday

Okay, guys, this is for real. Did the rest of you have like the weirdest Friday in the whole world? Elder Chase and I are convinced that there was some sort of wrinkle in the time/space continuum that smoothed out on Friday and it caused some sort of tidal wave of destiny. I have no idea how to explain this. I guess I'll just tell you about all of the loco circumstances that ignited this form of thinking.

So check it. We left our house on Friday and it was a totally normal-feeling day. In fact, I was feeling pretty good. But as we started visiting people I came to realize that this was FAR from a normal day. We first visited a family who seemed pretty down. We asked them what was up, and they explained that a lady had just died that they were super close too. Now the odd thing about this was that this woman was completely healthy. She was maybe 60 and she exercised well every day. But she had to go in for knee surgery this week, and in order to make the surgery as not traumatic as possible they induced a temporary coma. The surgery went well, and they did whatever procedure you do to wake someone up from a coma, and it didn't work. She wasn't coming out of the induced coma! And she never did. She stopped breathing, for 45 whole minutes, and when they got her to start again the doctors declared she was brain-dead and without warning her husband was asked to choose to put her on life support or let her go, but either way it was over. Wow, it was such a sad deal. The whole town is in shambles over it, 'cause she was an elementary school teacher that every single kid had and they all loved her. So sad.

We then found out about another woman in town who had almost the exact same experience - the only thing that was different was that she survived the ordeal and everybody's shouting praises to God that she's alive. Another member woman we went to visit was like overly sick and we gave her a blessing. Another recent convert we saw broke down and told us her daughter has just been diagnosed with cancer and she can't afford to lose another kid, so we gave her a blessing as well. On the road a car in front of us randomly swayed off the side of the road and we thought someone might be hurt; thankfully everyone was okay. We visited with a member of one of our bishoprics who expressed that his sister-in-law had just passed away so he wouldn't be able to make church. The bishop of the other ward randomly started having problems balancing and went to get checked - come to find out his head is filling up with blood and they need to drill into his head to relieve the pressure. Another woman asked for a blessing because she's going in for surgery on Tuesday to have something fixed that the doctors messed up on her face when they removed a cancerous mole, so we did that. Right after the blessing she told us she's made the decision to divorce her husband because he's an alcoholic and suicidal.

And on and on and on with things like this! I'm not joking, this all happened on the same day! It was one of the craziest days of my whole life and I still am pretty shaken up over it all. It's really sad to see people having so many difficulties, but one thing is for certain: this is a good time to be a missionary. It baffles me how many times we were called upon to give blessings, and the requests are still coming. We were able to offer service to all these people and we have some appointments set to help them out. It's cool to see how the Lord certainly puts us right in the way of all of these tragedies and allows us to be His mouthpiece to help these people understand that He loves them and wants them to be happy. We all just need to have trust that His plan is greater than ours!

So that's what my week was like. Certainly a weird one. Hopefully your week was a bit more... I dunno... consistent? Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful week! Jesus loves you!

Elder Slavens

Monday, February 2, 2015

I need some Sploosh for my stinky feet, REAL BAD.

       Well, AHOY there, mateys!!! This week be a FINE week, sailing the seven seas. 
Not really. I'm in one spot. All day, everyday. We don't leave the MTC. It's awesome. It's started getting to the point where I'll look out windows and realize I've forgotten what a car looks like. I'm not even really sure what they do anymore. Like why did I need one? And sometimes families come into the MTC to go to the devotionals or something, and I look at the babies that the families bring in and freak out because I think that someone got shrunk. PS if shrink rays are invented while i'm gone, someone has to let me know.  
         My new favorite part of this week happened 6 minutes ago, where I realized that my notes that I keep with me all week, writing down what to put in my email, was accidentally put into an envelope and mailed to Elder Reagan. So take care of them, Elder Reagan. And tell me if I forgot anything. 
         From what I gathered from the wonderful brain that I own, this week really was awesome. To start the week off right, Elder Osborne and I pasted our hair down and tried to rock the Dwight K. Schrute. Which we successfully did. And then we just went to a million devotionals. They are so SWEET! Just the most bonafied swag lords are allowed to talk at them. No one else. My companion reminds me more and more of Chance AKA Elder Slavens every single day. Like it's scary. 
         We started learning script this week! Which means that in a mere few weeks I'll forget how to write in English letters. My emails will start sounding more and more like a $1 Chinese copy of The Scorpion King translated into English. I helped everyone by making the strangest memorization techniques to remember the characters. Let me just tel you, "coo" has the best hair and a perfectly sculpted chin. 
         We use this computer system called "TALL" (technology assisted language learning)
to help us memorize the language, and I have reason to believe that we are all living in the TALL. I keep seeing tall people in suits and ties following me. But my favorite part about using TALL is the phrases you can learn. Currently in the process of learning how to say "Where can I find the nearest store that will sell me a half-kilogram of ham?" 
       My favorite part of this week was teaching our fake investigator, Bong Phoan. He agreed to get baptized, but then the bad part was he surprised us by saying he was moving to Thailand! I almost started crying! But then I instantly became happy when I realized that  meant Lookruu (teacher) Mickelson was COMING TO TOWN! He's the one who taught me everything I know about Cambodian. 
        Well everyone, have a #blessed week! Hope your lives smell better than my feet, cuz my feet stink. All the time. I need new socks. ASAP. See you all next week! 
              Love, Elder Slavens 

Can't remember if I sent this already. ENJOY IT AGAIN if I did.

​Just TELL me this isn't the definition of baller 

 ​AAAAWWWWWWWw, have fun in Thailand performing heart surgery, Bong Phoan!!!! 

​"Lookruu" Slavens teaching peeps Cambodian 

​Whatchyu know about friendship? I found Mahe 2.0 

​Bruno Mars is ACTUALLY in my zone 

We Got Stuff Goin' On In Carey Sucka

What a week! I've loved every minute of it and now I think I am dead, so thank goodness it's p-day!

Big news first. Remember Lonny, the cowboy of cowboys? Well that baptism ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND IT WAS SO GOOD. Like a hundred people showed up in support of him, since like everybody in town knows the guy. He's basically famous 'round here, so he's a good one to have on our team. But anyway, Lonny is as ready as any man I've ever seen to really, REALLY follow Christ. He knows this church is true as well as he knows horses are true. It's so cool to see this change take place in people. Life is good.

We also had a Zone Meeting this week with a focus on giving peeps commitments! I love extending commitments to fools. As we invite people to make changes in their life, we are literally inviting them to repent and become a new creature in Christ. I love that idea. My favorite part about being on my mission is seeing people change. So that's what we're gonna work on! We're gonna teach these people how to change! And through that they will learn their true potential as sons and daughters of God and they WILL BE FIXED!! WOOT WOOT.

So that's about it for my week. Sure, it doesn't sound like much, but I tell ya, I AM DEAD. So dead I don't even remember how to write an entertaining email. But it's all good. I'll just tell you all the good stories when I get home. Love ya all much much much! Go get some Val's for me and I'll live my dreams through you. Peace out.

Elder Slavens

I know I'm fat don't make fun of me I'll kill you with my bare hands.