Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last night I had a dream about In N Out

MY NEW COMPANIONS NAME IS RUSSELL!!! Who would have guessed I would ever be companions with a Russell. Are you jealous? Yah... I thought so. 

So in this week of my life I did lots. Me and Elder Russell Reeves have been together for a week now, and it has been a whole lot of showing him around and introducing people to him. He makes these Cambodians laugh more than milk makes my stomach hurt. Which when you drink weird Japanese milk that you shouldn't trust, it hurts me a lot. 

So far I have been just flopping around in life trying to find people to go teach while my companion follows me because he doesn't know the people or the area, but I am being helped as I flop. Heavenly Father likes to scoop me up with his spatula and flip me over onto my other side so I can cook for a little more on the other side. It gets nice and relaxing, but then I start to sizzle and freak out. But every time, Heavenly Father scoops me up and flips me over again. If you don't think God is real and you have never experienced this, I SWEAR TO YOU it's real. You just need to open your eyes a little bit and pray for help to see it. And it will come. But of course, it will come. Sorry if that was harsh. I have become harsh on my mission. 

HEY! But good news! Monday are the days where we get to do fun activities, and today we are going to someones house who will helo us choose, murder, and eat our very own chickens! I am currently trying to choose a name for my chicken. Maybe he'll be Larry? Either way, he'll be in my stomach! Woo hoo! 

My older Brother Chance just got home from his mission everyone, so you should all go hunt him down and try and hang out with him. He's probably looking for a wife right about now. You single? He's wantin to mingle! 

Toots. Elder Danger 

​Would you like to touch my monkey? It stole my ice cream :'( 

​I don't know if this is offensive or not, but Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are life 

​Do you know the muffin man? 
The muffin man? 
The one who lives on Dreary lane? 
Well... she's... related to the muffin man. 
the muffin man? 

Monday, June 22, 2015

How the Heck am I Supposed to Come Up with a Clever Subject Line At a Time Like This?

First and foremost, everyone, I need to correct what I said last week about Matthew being the apostle that followed Judas. That's super untrue and I had a brain fart last week and I hope nobody used that as a spiritual thought for FHE or anything like that 'cause it was all false doctrine. It was actually Matthias. Whoops. Now I sound as dumb as Tim.

Think what you will about me and my stupid brain. I still got swag.

Anyway, I suppose this is it, folks. As of this Thursday I will no longer be a set apart missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In essence, I'm dying.

Just like Moroni when he was writing up his final thoughts before HE died! And I think that's just fitting, because some of the stuff that he wrote about that day is the stuff that I myself would like to write about this day. You see, our mission has been focusing a lot recently on obtaining a change of heart. The main focal point of this change is working on developing Christlike attributes, or traits that make up the character of Christ. As I've flipped through the pages of Preach My Gospel I've really come to recognize what those things are that will drive me to be more like Jesus, and the more I study His life and attributes, the more I believe that the ultimate common denominator of all the Christlike attributes is charity.

I find it interesting that Moroni, being a super old fart with a lot of different experiences under his belt, decided to wrap up his dying testimony with thoughts on charity. You'd figure there would be lots of other stuff he could talk about, right? He could have talked for days about his war stories, or what it was like to be the last Nephite alive, or even how the Atonement changed his life. But nah. To Moroni, all of those concepts bowed to the idea of charity. BUT WHY?

Just listen to him talk about it: "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." How dope. RIGHT? Since this mountain of a man thought charity so important as his life came to a close, I figured it would just make sense for me to take on the same idea. So I decided to study the snot out of it.

I learned that charity is the pure love of Christ. I learned that Charity is what we feel for that hobo on the side of the road who we recognize as a child of God, so we're prompted to go buy him a burger. Charity is what causes us to forgive our little brother for breaking our favorite toy. Charity is what softens our heart when we feel like the whole world is against us. Charity makes the world go round.

Now let's talk about brownies for a sec.

Brownies are like the chillest thing ever, right? I love brownies. If I wanna make a yummy batch of brownies, ideally I would start with a recipe for yummy brownies. You can't make yummy brownies without first knowing what you need to put in the bowl. So you follow the recipe! And what happens if you don't? If I want to make brownies, but I forget to put in the cocoa, or the eggs, or the sugar, will I still have brownies? Heck no, I'll just have some nasty oily goop. Gross. But I follow the recipe, and within 45 minutes I have the yummiest brownies I ever done tasted.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a recipe for charity? I sure wish someone would line out for me all of the ingredients whose sum is charity! That would be so... WAIT.

Charity suffereth long. A person with charity is patient in enduring his trials, as well as the shortcomings of others.
Charity is kind. A person with charity always has a smile on his face, and doesn't use sarcasm or passive-aggression to try and prove a point.
Charity envieth not. A person with charity is happy to see others succeed.
Charity is not puffed up. A person with charity is meek and humble; not quick to point out his own personal accomplishments, but rather to uplift others.
Charity seeketh not her own. A person with charity looks first to serve others rather than himself.
Charity is not easily provoked. A person with charity has a long fuse. He doesn't get frustrated when things don't go as planned, or people don't act as expected or desired.
Charity thinketh no evil. A person with charity doesn't try to find loopholes or justify or make excuses. That's how Satan rolls.
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity. A person with charity doesn't give in to temptation, no matter how appealing or harmless it may seem.
Charity rejoiceth in the truth. A person with charity desires to share the gospel with others, and finds joy in studying the scriptures and going to church.
Charity beareth all things. A person with charity sticks it out even when things get tough and sticky. He doesn't give up or give in to old habits.
Charity believeth all things. A person with charity is not naive or gullible, but rather faithful. He has a "prove it wrong" attitude rather than a "prove it right" one.
Charity hopeth all things. A person with charity has a positive attitude about life. He goes with the flow, but also doesn't just sit back and watch life pass by. He makes a move and takes a stand.
Charity endureth all things. A person with charity is steadfast and immovable. Blow after blow he comes out on top every time, stronger than before.

That's the recipe! This is how we gain charity! Breaking it down and getting good at all of these things is exactly how we fulfill the commandment to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Moroni had it down, and I want to get it down too. If I've learned anything on my mission, it's that charity truly is what separates the boys from the men. Not muscles. Not how many baptisms they got. Charity.

Though my full-time mission may be wrapping up, my life-long mission to become like my Savior has only just begun. Charity is where it starts, and perfection is where it ends. LET'S DO THIS.

I appreciate more than I can say all of the support I've gotten from my friends and family over the last two years. Thanks for all the letters and notes and boxes of candy and whatever else it may be. You guys pulled me through all this.

Once and for all: peace out, suckas.

Elder Slavens

Sunday, June 21, 2015



How it be? This is me. Whats new? I want to show. you. lawl like Tom Riddle in the diary. 

So wack things, people. Everything has changed. I have stayed here in Battambang, the province here in Cambodia. But my last companion LEFT waaaaaa. I cry every night. I miss him more than I miss watching Spongebob. But my new companion, Elder Reeves, WOW is he good! He is just SO friendly! He makes every one happy! He smiles super big and he is like 100,000% sincere. Sincerier than me 4 sure. 

We just spent all the time before Elder Elieson left going around and saying bye to people and giving short-little spiritual thoughts. Because now they are just stuck with me. I have to lead around my new companion who doesn't know the area and I have to use Cambodian like a fire fighter has to use fire swords. Slashing and burning, baby. Its super crazy and fun. 

My favorite moment of the week was when I was asked if I like bread or rice better. I of course chose chocolate. And then I was informed that if I eat bread and white soy milk, my skin will turn lighter and lighter. Until I am invisible, I guess? And if I eat rice and chocolate soy milk I will turn darker and darker until I am Cambodian. 

See ya ya'll. My new compy is from Texas. Like me old one. I don't see whats so special about dumb old Texas. He is 18. I am 19 (lol). Now I am catching on to Texas language though. 

Also as I told stories of my father to the other missionaries here to honor the day set apart for the honoring of our fathers, I got them all to burst into a round of applause. Congratulations, Monte. You are a star. 


The tears will literally never stop flowing. RIP Elder 

​But it is ok because I got to be companions with 2 other bawlers for a day! 

​And my new All-Star companion, Elder Reeves! He gets the game on. This was the day after he got here. All of the young men and young women taking us to all the less active peoples house. SO FRESH 

Monday, June 15, 2015

If Only I Knew My Bible


This week was lots of fun and hecka stressful and super chill and everything in between and all on the sides and stuff. It was crazy.
Without further adyou (is that right, Brandon?) lemme tell you about Tim. We went to the house of one of our recent converts this week and were greeted at the door by none other than Tim. We had never met Tim before but were excited to have the opportunity to talk to a new dude who might have some potential to be interested. The moment he sees our name tags he gets this wild creepy smile on his face and is all like "Oooh, this is gonna be fun." He's got a fat can of beer in his hand and he's not wearing a shirt and his eyes are freaky and I just wish I could form for you a proper picture of this guy. Anyway he proceeds into this rant about how the doctrinal views of Mormons are completely stupid and irrelevant because we don't believe Jesus Christ to be God when in fact we do. Now, keep in mind this is me typing this out, certainly not Tim. So I may make it sound smarter than it actually would have sounded. Tim's all like "Do you know your Bible?" We're like "Well we try our best." He's like "Who was the first apostle after Judas?" We're like "Matthew." He's like, "Uhm.. uh. YEAH SO EXACTLY LIKE PAUL WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ONE AFTER JUDAS BUT MATTHEW WAS CHOSEN BY THE FLESH NOT BY GOD AND YOU MARMENS SUCK CUZ YOU DON'T THINK JESUS IS GOD." And he just kept going and going and spitting and he was drunk and ew. So I raised my hand like in elementary school to say something and he got all bewildered that I wanted to say something but he eventually calmed down enough to let be get in my two cents. I asked, "So, what exactly is it we're accomplishing here? Because I don't remember anywhere in the Bible where it says we should behave like this." And he just stopped. The spirit had bailed quite a bit back and that's probably one of the worst feelings for me so I was just like "Yeaaaah we're gonna leave" so we ditched. Bashers are the pits. And that's my story about Tim. You can share it for spiritual thoughts during FHE or something if you like.

We also had a fun experience this week helping one of our part-member families high-tail it out of their house because they were evicted. The housing complex they lived in has a super strict "no alcohol" policy because it's welfare housing, and the man of the house is a heavy alcoholic. So long story short the people found out and were like "well you have to be out of here by 4:00 3 days from now" and so everybody freaked out. They asked for our help and we went over and spent quite a bit of time helping them pack everything up and throw it out on the lawn. It was a complete mess. And the whole time the wife was like "Oh no, I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown" and she would sit down on the couch for 20 minutes to de-stress (I'm pretty sure it was just and excuse to not do anything). So yeah, I dunno this is a good story but it was quite an ordeal to live through. We eventually got the whole house out onto the front lawn and they put everything into a pickup and VROOM they were off. I'm not really sure where they are now but it was rather climactic!

We also have 2 other missionaries living with us right now because their bathroom is being gutted and re-gutted so you KNOW we're gonna watch Meet the Mormons and eat popcorn and chill super hard.

That's my life. If you just read that whole thing then I love you.

Elder Slavens

In the Zone

Going on a hike for FHE in pross. Look at us, we're such a big deal

This is Joe, my new best friend. I wish I could describe him to you.

Don't drink, it'll get you evicted and this will happen.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The NEW Keeper of the Keys

Transformation (noun): The act of ones self turning into another thing. 

I have transformed. 

This transformation comes from deep within. There are chickens roaming the streets of Cambodia almost all the time, and at first I used to view them as beautiful creations of God, or cute little birds, or freaky ancestors of Tyrannosaurus Rex's, but now whenever I see them, I just see a featherless hunk of meat hanging from a cart for us to buy and eat and enjoy. yuuuuuuuum

This week was BLASTEOUS! I got a new bike! WOOO HOOO! Which stinks because my other bike was awesome and had lights and flowers and flip flop thongs hanging from it, but this new one is good. I am going to buy stickers to write "Nimbus 2000" on it. Wish me luck! 

This week was swell because it started out with us just having a ton of leads for people who were maybe interested in the church. Tip offs from members, phone numbers from people on the street. It was like a crime movie. We had all the evidence, now just time to get down to the bottom of things! Then we went to the scene of the crime! We just contacted all the people we have tip offs of, and it turned out they were all super interested! So we have like a million people who want to learn from us now! IF ONLY THERE WERE 12 OF ME! But then we decided for church yesterday, we would just go round up a ton of peeps. So we just biked to everyone's house, and formed a giant gang to ride to church with us! Our efforts, plus just the greatness of others, made us have 9 investigators (prime suspects) and like a million other people we had been working with the whole time I have been here. So, you could say it was the best birthday of my life. The people at church here celebrated fathers day, even though its not until next week. So happy fathers day, I guess. 

But then, THE PHONE CALL. So it turns out my trainer, good ole Elder Elieson is leaving me! He is going to Phnom Penh while I stay here to lead out this area with a new companion! I get him later this week! So I am going to have to lead him around and introduce him to everyone. I am so dang nervous LAWL. So all these new people that want to learn will be in my palms. Lets not screw this one up, Elder Slavens. We'll all be good! Thanks for reading my boring emails! 


​We found a store that puts writing on shirts. So I took my onsie and put "kaut mjiat, Thiat mjaan" on it, which basically translates to YOLO 

​Look yiay Nat-more inspiring than DeAngelo Vikckers, the inspirational juggler 

I helped out the sisters and id a little baptism to their investigator. Her name is Tida and she drives a moped 

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Only Thing I Haven't Done Yet Is Die

Hhhhookayyyyy people! I don't have a ton of time this week because I got on the computer late 'cause I spent my Monday morning doing the chillest thing imaginable for a missionary!

I got to clean the temple today.

The Twin Falls temple is out of commission for the next 2 weeks for remodeling, so President Curtis called us up a few days ago to see if we would be down to help out. I said heck yeah that sounds swag. So we went by in the morning and helped them move around a bunch of furniture so they could re-carpet and re-tile and some other cool jazz. We spent like 2 hours moving desks and chairs and tables and cabinets and all this stuff and it was so crazy being in the temple doing stuff like that. You never picture yourself huffin' and puffin' from manual labor within the temple. But it was such a blessing and a privilege. Easily the most calm and collected I've every felt while moving around way heavy couches and stuff.

When we finished cleaning everything up the custodian dudes said they wanted to take us on a tour so we got to see EVERYTHING. They took us all around and showed us all the fancy inner-workings /underbelly of the temple and it was so crazy to see. You always picture the temple as this super simple place and you just walk in and do baptisms and stuff and then you walk out and it's all chill. But then you go downstairs and see all these levers and plugs and computer screens and vents and grates and and and AND. It was very complex and legit. THEN THEY TOOK US UP TO THE ROOF. We went up to the very top of the temple and there was a door that went INSIDE THE STEEPLE. So we went in there and there was this way tall ladder that led all the way up to the top of the steeple and you could pretty much touch the angel Moroni's feet from inside and dang it was just so cool. It's a shame I couldn't have my camera with me. BUT I did find a cool feather from a bird who had been chilling on top of the temple so I guess I'll hold onto that as a keepsake and just remember it forever. Besides, today I finally overcame trying to fit the world inside a picture frame.

So yeah that's what's up and now my hands are exhausted so I'll wrap it up there. Expect more talk on missionary work next week! You are all the dopest peace out.

Elder Slavens

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I've got blistas on me toesies

So I just got a haircut and guess what? When they give you haircuts here, THEY GIVE YOU MASSAGES TOO! Free of charge! Just out of the hospitality of their hearts! The guy also loved the fact that I didn't have facial hair. Sorry I am still a 12 year old girl. 

Today is June 8th, which marks a great day. Today is Ali Lee's birthday. So if any of you have her number, tell her good ole Elder Slavens wishes her the fliest birthday of all. We spent Twin Creeks to Cal High with each other. She is always in my prayers.

This week was rainy. For our preparation day last week, Elder Elieson and I watched Meet the Mormons. Rated in the top 40 documentaries of all time! I also saw the DVD logo hit the corner of the screen afterwards!!!! WAAAAHHHOOOOOO a grand day.

So this week was basically just the best ever because 2 of the people we have been teaching got baptized! YYYEEEE HAAAWWW! They were so into the church! They have seen miracles in their lives from following God's path. One is Chin kuun Thuan, and the other is Srei Mau. THEY R SO CVTE! We have taught Chin kuun Thuan for a while, and a while back we rode out to his house where he farms mangos to teach him. He said "This gospel is a fruit sweeter than any truck full of mangoes" HE IS A WIZARD. Srei Mau is a sassy little fella, and she is going to get married to someone in our branch sooo.... PARTY. It was probably the happiest I've ever been to see them make a step like baptism. Time to go help other people! 

We are trying to find people to teach, and one guy we just talked to on the side of the rode. We didn't get his name, but we refer to him as "Cambodian Jack Sparrow" because he is Cambodian Jack Sparrow. Savy? Can't wait to start teaching him! 

What I love so much about my mission is just crazy things I see. Little kids are always yelling hi to us. Cockroaches just crawl out of peoples scriptures. Everything is dirty and no one wears shoes. Everyone in church just breaks out in arguments and talks on the phone during meetings. But The gospel of Jesus Christ are forming a bond between these people. And I LOVE IT ALL AND NEVER WANT TO LEAVE MISS ME MISS ME NOW YOU GOTTA KISS ME! 

Hey, you have a good week, ok? You promise? Ok. I'll talk to you later.

temple temple big temple temple

​Child development classes came in handy when the guy we were teaching just got up and left and his baby who he said wasn't his baby started crying.  #atamatonREBORN

We call Chin kuun Thuan the Flying squirrel! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Confessions of a Hoarder

This week, man. It was crazy and life is good and my brain is mush. I think my brain is just permanently mush now 'cause of my mission. I can't think about how to word emails anymore I just kinda go for it and then I read them back afterward and it sounds like crap but I'm like whatever. Life is so hard.

This week we did service for a hoarder. I kid you not, I say hoarder and I mean hoarder. This is one of our investigators we've been seeing for a while, and we could never go visit her at her house because she was embarrassed about the condition of it. We said "Ah naw, don't even worry about it we got you" and she was like "Heck naw my house is gross" but we were all like "Too late here we come" and that's what's up. So we went over with a couple of guys from the ward and daaaaaaaang. It was not super pretty. This lady has like 7 indoor cats and 5 indoor dogs or something crazy like that and none of them are potty-trained so yeah. It reeked. But we got in there and took like 2 days and cleaned it all out and now it smells only a little bit not quite as bad ish. I dunno. It still smells. But we're working on it! The things we missionaries do, man. It's quite something.

We're working on finding new investigators in our YSA ward 'cause our teaching pool is the pits and nobody wants to progress. So we've been going around meeting all the members on the ward directory and asking them for referrals and that's going super well. We've got potentials coming out of our ears so we gotta hop on it and meet all these new people and see if they're down to learn about the gospel. I shall keep you updated.

So yeah that's my life. Take it easy everyone and NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE.

Elder Slavens