Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Walking in the grass is so fine you don't need shoes in the summer time

Hey y'all. So I haven't gotten any questions emailed to me about life in Cambodia, so instead I will answer the questions yelled at me by Cambodians in their houses as I ride by on my bike and they want to practice English: 

-"Hello! Hi bye bye?" -Hello

-"Where you go?" -I go home 

-"How are you?" -I'm fine, thanks, and you? 

-"What your name my name is?" -My name Elder 

-"What your first name?" -Classified. I go by Elder now.

-"What your phone number?" -Why do you want to know? 

-"Hello everybody, let's go?" -Ok?

I tried to ask back once. I said "Hello how are you?" and she said "I am eleven years old." So I quit trying after that. 

I went on an exchange, which means you switch companions for a day, with another Elder whose name is Elder Hall. My current companions name is Elder Hall also. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE! 

Also I got attacked by a crazy lady this week. We were riding our bikes to go teach someone, and on the way I heard a crazy lady yell hello to me, but I just kept going. Well, we got the the house of the person we wanted to meet, and within 5 to 7 minutes, the same crazy lady rolled up on her bike. And she CHARGED ME. She kept grabbing me and asking me to hug her and kiss her. Then she asked if I knew Korean. Then she took my pen, and wrote code on my hand. It was just a ton of numbers. She told me I was her son, and that because I was her son I needed to give her money. 

This week Elder Hall and I were talking to random people about the church, then we saw a car stuck in the mud off in the distance. So we rushed to aid! We had to push while they tried to drive the car out of the mud. I was flipping through all my car knowledge I have learned from the Mont over the years, and all my survival knowledge Bear Grylls has taught me, but I came up empty handed. We couldn't help them get the car out of the mud. It is probably still there lol. 

This week Elder Hall, and our whole mission, has been GOING HARD on talking to people on the streets and inviting them to learn with us. And Elder Hall and I have found the perfect technique: If you just stand on the sidewalk, and someone starts to drive by on their moto, you just have to wave at them and walk in the direction that they are going, they WILL stop to talk to you. I am not sure why, and I know this wouldn't work in America, but it works here! And we have found some people who are willing to hear what we have to teach. I'll keep you updated if any of them are cool. Or if any of them are crazy. Loves you guys. Have a swag Christmas.

Love, Elder (It's a good day for Elder)  


DOOOOOOOOOOG! Sitting like a human! 










And to finish off... look it how strange the dogs in this country look. Just a wild pack of dogs. They look so strange!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

It smells like fettuccine up in here

I didn't write down any notes of what happened this week, so I am just going to write everything that pops into my head. EVERYTHING. 

So we moved houses this week. Our old house was stinky and gross and had rats every where and my mission president felt really bad for us. So he moved us to a new house. IT IS SO SWAG. There are 3 companion ships of Elders in my new house, and we are all party animals.

Elder Hall and I talked to straight up 100 random people about our church this week on the road. I would just carry a Book of Mormon with me, and when i rode up to talk to someone, I would just ask them if they have ever seen the book before. In the Buddhist religion, only the monks get scripture. So the fact that we can all have the scripture is cool to them. ALSO we just tell them they can pray about it, and know it is true. They don't even have to believe us as the messengers. Sometimes they like it. Sometimes they just want me to go away. 

Our investigator who was super into alcohol stopped drinking. But then he got super sick. And then he healed. And then he asked me for money, and I am 100% positive it was so he could go buy alcohol, because his wife, who is a member of our church already, won't give him money. He is so awesome. 

Also I literally can't think of anything else. I just have so much fun everyday, I just CAN'T #uhWHAAAAAAT Also no one emailed me any questions about my mission so I have nothing to report based on your questions. 


​crank it- LOUDER! 

​Too much snail turd! 

​Cambodia is the land of drunk babies 


​You think people here are poor and then all of the sudden you show up to their houses 
and they bought a claw thing from Japan 

​Elder Hall 

​A chicken laid eggs on a roof, and a kid climbed up and harvested them 

Riding hard

Me and a new chicken

Ok, check out this weird Cambodian bird. Cambodia has the weirdest birds.