Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hey dude, where'd you get your loofah?

I made new friends this week. Two Australian chicks. I don't know what the heck they are doing out here, but I invited them to our Christmas party. We initially connected over H20: Just Add Water. 

Whoever started the rumor that cockroaches are invincible was stupid and was very selective about what cockroaches he was talking about. Cambodian cockroaches are so easy to kill. Get your facts straight, dude.

Being just 2 people alone together here in Pursat, my companion and I get into very deep conversations. One example is the 3 types of  people my companion told me never to trust. 
1.) Short people
2.) People with curly hair
3.) People with lazy eyes
He said this is knowledge passed down from generation to generation by old people in Cambodia.

My planner was attacked by a monkey this week and destroyed.

A kid here had a dream that I got sick and died. His brother had a dream I got ran over by a car and died. Not sure what that means for me, but I'm scared.

This week all we ate was 4 pounds of fish. We didn't even get vegetables. Just fish. But we also ate out once. We got dog meat and eel meat with some members. 

Then the next day the neighbor came to tell us her dog went missing. And she very seriously asked us if we ate her dog. Hard not to laugh when that is your accusation. 

I have never been more scared then I was when I got chased by a cow this week. 

We went to a place that is famous in this province for a legendary warrior who was cornered by his enemies, and he was all alone, so he jumped into a pit of swords so that he could become a spirit and call the army of the dead to assist him in defeating his enemies. Legend has it that he won that battle. I beg to differ. I think he just died and then that was it, his enemies went home. 

There is a kid that is like 16 and really stinky and he follows us around all the time, so we taught him a lesson about not being stinky. And it worked. He showers now. The church is true. 

Real miracle was Yaa. My new favorite dude. Here is his story. His cousin is someone I taught a year ago. I told that guy that I was going to the Pursat province to finish my mission. I asked him if he knew anyone there. He said he had a cousin there. I got his phone number. When I got to Purat, I called and called him, but he never answered. Finally after 2 weeks he answered, and I didn't know what to say. I said I knew his cousin and had a gift for him from his cousin. It was pretty creepy. We thought he was gonna bring the cops. But he didn't. He came, and we gave him a Book of Mormon. He's locked in now. He's a smart dude, just the kind of person this new church needs in this province. 

Sad to be finishing my mission soon. I listen to BYU devotionals and it makes me trunky. 

The evil monkey that destroys planners...

Dog meat and eel meat. 


This beggar is legend. His arm was blown off in the war. When he was injured, he saw a monkey that was also injured. So he took it and raised it to beg for money. 


Expert fisher. Lvl 100

One meal we ate. Pig head.

4 pounds of fish

These people were fishing the Homer Simpson way. They had an electrical wire attached to a fork and they put the fork on a stick and put it in the water they were standing in to shock fish. 

The pit the dude jumped into with swords

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Karate Chop?

I want to tell you what it is like where I am. This province is called Pursat. It has only had missionaries serving here for 2 years now. Only me and my companion are here, and we live in the church, which is a little rental house. 

There is a street dog that walks into our house every time we open the door. It walks in and sits on the floor, and we have to go kick it out. My companion was giving a talk in church (we both talk every week and do the sacrament and lead the music since no one else knows how because they are all basically recent converts) and then he stopped talking, muttered that the dog walked in again, then went and kicked it so it would leave, then turned around and walked back to the podium to finish his talk.

We also both don't know how to play the piano. So we had to choose between singing acapella every week or buying a little memory card and putting music on it. So we bought a memory card, put like 50 hymns on it, and then plugged it in to start sacrament meeting. When they sold the memory card to us, they must have not wiped it first, because once we plugged in the memory card, the music was some sweet dub-step. 

Man, our house being the church is just a party. Everyone stays at our house like all the time. They all eat our food too, which is so fun. I'm gonna be the size of one stick when I come home. But the only problem about our house being the church is that our house-church doesn't have the #pioneer67 hook up which is so lame. 

This province is so janky that as I write this to you the table I am sitting at is shocking me. How in the heck does a table shock a person? And all the power went out last night. In the whole entire province. How? How dos that happen? 

Also I returned to the first area I ever served in at the beginning of my mission. Everyone remember me as the guy who was in the Pioneer Day play and had a gun and shot Joseph Smith. Such a cool role. 

OK bye. 

Only 2014-2016 kids will know. If you don't know, I think you know. But ask me after my mission o I can tell you. 
It's a good story. 

Our house Sunday morning. Getting ready for church. 

And then this kids stays behind after church, eats our food, then sleeps in our house lol 

This pig was huge

This is our investigators house in the middle of no where

​This is their rice field

In the rice field there was a fish, and my companion wanted to spear it so we could take it home to grill it.

I helped harvest rice 

We had to take a bus and a tuk tuk to get to Thanksgiving. I was so tired.

But this was our Thanksgiving. More baby duck eggs and chicken innards. And a whole lot of coke.

And then I chased some cows.

And then I was like a cool guy walking away from an explosion.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I'm on a boat?

Water Festival- that is how this week started. The Cambodian Running with the bulls. We went down into the city where there were giant crowds of people just walking around, doing festival stuff, eating cotton candy, eating kettle corn and what not. We sat down and watched some boats race. The were super long and were full of 40-60 drunk Cambodian dudes screaming. i asked my companion if they were drunk on beer or life, he said it was most likely life. These boat men have found the key to true happiness (unless of course they are drunk on alcohol and not life).

We got together as a zone of like 30 missionaries and put on those schnazzy yellow LDS vests and cleaned a portion of the city that got destroyed during the water festival. Hopefully someone took a picture and we get famous.

Because I changed areas, I gathered literally EVERYONE I love in my last area into one party and said bye to all of them at the same time. It was really hard. I had to organize and get people rides to the district president's house. It was so awesome. 

Then I had to pack. And while I was packing the power went out because we never paid our electricity bill he he he he So I packed in the dark with no AC SO HOT. Then we slept on the roof and got destroyed by mosquitoes. 

Now I am in the Pursat province. It is fun here, but kinda lonely. Just me and my companion. I'm the only American lol. But my companion is super fun so that is good. 

I'll try with pictures here, but no promises. I've heard the computers out here in the jungle wipe all memory. I'm so scared hahaha bye. cw1e9yznlsbdmmb/AABEM61nixbst_ Uif7YyNHU1a?dl=0

Sunday, November 13, 2016

~~ Soup or Salad (super salad) ~~

In Cambodian, the word for "turn off"and "shut"or "close" is the same. So my companion told me to turn off the door and that was just a cute little moment of my week. 

The house we rent for our church building here has bats in the ceiling. Lol during church you just hear screeching and wings flapping and other vampire noises.

Speaking of screeching, I have a story. Elder Ouk told me this story. It is Cambodian legend. So there is this certain type of owl in Cambodia, that if it lands on your roof and starts screeching (and its screech is very different from other bird noises, apparently), then it is an omen of death. 

So one time Elder Ouk and his companion were called to give a member a priesthood blessing. The member was sick. And after the blessing, she wasn't healed. But that night Elder Ouk's companion had a dream that he saw that owl on top of that members house screeching, so he picked up a rock and threw it to make the bird fly away. 

When he woke up he felt like even though the blessing didn't completely heal her, it very well may have saved her life.  

Elder Ouk bought a bottle of coke, drank half of it, and then put it in his bikes cup holder. He says its just for style. So people can look at him and be like, "oh, wow. This Elder is super cool! He's always drinking coke!" 

I got sick this week. I wasn't feeling hot. Then we went to the legless lady's house. She made food. I told her I was sick and only wanted a little. she gave me a lot. I couldn't finish it. She asked why I didn't finish it. She thought I didn't like it. i said, "No, lady. I told you not to give me a lot of food, and you gave me a lot. What did you expect?" and then I got up, went into the bathroom,and threw up. Then we went home. 

And then Elder Ouk did ancient Cambodian healing magic on me. He scratched me with a coin until my skin turned red so that the oxygen in my blood could "circulate faster" or whatever. I don't know, I just did it for the vine. 

We pushed legless lady to a lesson, and I was pushing too fast and almost knocked her over. She says an angel saved her from falling over so she got up and told that to all the members in testimony meeting. They just probably all think I'm a jerk now. 

Our branch president couldn't come to church so he said he needed a replacement for a week. I begged him to let me be the branch president for a day. He said no. But he said I could be 1st counselor. So boo yah.

Also speaking of that, I was assigned my last area. I have 3 months left. And I was assigned to go to a province called Pursat. It has only had missionaries in it for 2 years. Me and my companion will be alone out there. It is known as the province of miracles because whoever serves there has to rely on God to do anything.

But what the heck does that mean? to "rely on God"? Well first of all, it means that you have to believe that there is even a God there. And you have to pray to Him, and ask Him to guide you and stuff. A while ago, I would do missionary work by just talking to people all day everyday, trying to convince them to learn with me. But that''s not right missionary work. The right way to do it is realize that you are just a puppet, really. If nothing happens, then what you are doing is pointless and your church sucks. if you are guided, then you might have something going for you. 

I'll let you guys know what happens. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Elder Slavens' Mission Email

Yes, Hello everyone. Thank you for tuning into another edition of the Elder Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh mission email. I am so honored to have your presence as you read my experiences from throughout my week! I am so grateful to have friends like you. 

I was informed last week by an anonymous source that my emails are too focused on stories of drunk people, and not spiritual enough. Well, I don't want to be like that! Therefore, I will now be strictly spiritual in my emails! No more joke cracking from this guy! I hope you enjoy.

We had a great lesson with one of our investigators named Hour. We had great discussion. We learned about the law of chastity. I love the law of chastity! 

We also had a great lesson with our protestant investigators who are having relationship problems. Real feelings were shared and tears were let loose from their fleshy prison. That family is truly a family of spiritual giants! I love the spirit in those lessons! 

Another experience this week was of a lady who offered to buy us food because we volunteer in Cambodia. It is very backwards for people her to offer us food, usually they ask us for food or money. 

In a meeting this week, I was honored to share about repentance to a big group of missionaries. But I must admit, in the lesson I may have slipped up and told a couple jokes. So I would like to publicly apologize to all of you now. 

I would also like to tell you about our Halloween party where I dressed up like an old Cambodian woman and Elder Osborne dressed up like an old Japanese man, but that's not spiritually uplifting, is it?

I'd love to tell you about how the word "Troll", like internet trolling, is also a word in Cambodian, but I can't. Obviously that won't help you all. 

How are you supposed to feel the spirit if I were to tell you a story about our neighbor getting into a bloody verbal battle with our other neighbors! Contention doesn't invite the Spirit! It only pushes the Spirit away! What I can share though was that as she yelled, her voice was as the sound of thunder and it made all of her enemies shake and tremble. Those are scriptural terms, therefore I may use them. Maybe even a scriptural reference? 1 Samuel 14:15

I could possibly tell you about how I saw a homeless man wearing a Mormon Helping Hands yellow vest, but if I were to tell you about that, then I would only be endorsing stealing from the church. And that's not right! NO SPIRIT! 

I CAN tell you about all the revelation I received one night as I was trying to sleep, but it all had to do with my home coming talk, and I don't want to ruin that for you. And also I might make changes to it, and if I put what I thought of down here, and I get up and give my talk and it is different than what I wrote here because I edited it, then that will make me a liar, and that is INSTANT no Spirit! So I will actually not share it. 

Hey! Did I ever tell you that if you kick a chicken it flies and screeches just like in the Legend of Zelda? Hahahahha it's so funny! I really like... Oh, sorry. I lost the Spirit. 

Do you want to hear about our meeting on Sunday? We took a bus to the city with all of our members for a big conference. One of our members doesn't have legs, so I had to lift her into and off the bus. But I shouldn't tell you that because she is a woman and I am a boy. Also, after the conference, the Elders hosted a testimony sharing activity at the church! I finally did it! I put on an activity that was centered around a spiritual message! But I am sorry to admit that we played games and ate snacks too... I'm really sorry. please forgive me. It was just so fun. And I am not here to have fun. I am sorry.

Also as I went to the bathroom an impatient lady couldn't wait for me, so she squatted right there and went. It was awesome. I share this as an example of what not to do. Patience is a virtue. 

Well, that is all I have to share today! I hope you enjoyed it!

Elder Dallin J Slavens

Shall we not go forth in such great a cause? Hurrah for Israel! 

PS Thank you so much to Troy MacDonald for always encouraging me and sending me uplifting letters and emails of encouragement! I love you! 

I have no pictures this week because I left my camera on the bus we took and because this is Cambodia it is gone forever. So an Elder who is finishing his mission offered me his camera to use as I finish up my mission. But I do have pictures from Elder Osborne's week, which I spent a day with him in his area. I hope you enjoy :) 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Women's HERstory month

What even happened this week. I can't remember. 

All I know is that Elder Ouk and I worked pretty dang hard. Just like, you know, visiting a ton of people and asking them whats up and teaching them about stuff and stuff. We gots people who wanna be BAPTIZED, you know???

Before my mission, I had no clue what a 1.)drunk person or a 2.)poor person looked like. Now I know very clearly. And when both those elements are combined into one person, it can be a very dangerous combination. They want a lot of rice.

We had a lesson with this one dude, and I was like "what should we teach? I think something new since he is smart and has been a member for a while" and Elder Ouk was like "let's teach about prayer" and I was like that's the first thing we teach to people. Not new, bub. But I decided to go with it, and when we get to this dudes house he started going off about how, even though he is a faithful member, feels like he's never had a prayer answered. 

Also let me tell you about what is going on today. We are doing a Halloween party. Don't tell anybody, but it is going to be a SURPRISE MURDER MYSTERY PARTY. Everyone is expecting a normal party with bobbing for apples and stuff, but little do they know that we have requested one Elder to DIE and another Sister to be the MURDERER. Pretty cool. 

I have 3 months left.

See you in 3 months.

Elder Slavens


Wearing a hat

​Chickens and bikes and sand and chairs and legs and and. 


When we went to Carl's Jr. I left a stellar review inviting them to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ with my phone number left on the card. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ned's declassified school survival guide for dummies

I was asked by Elder Osborne where I was going to go after P-day and my answer became the quote of the week:

"We're going to go eat fish with a dude"

And that we did. 

My new favorite part about Elder Ouk is when he quotes Charlie bit me. When ever I get hurt or stub my toe or something and yell, he yells right after me and says, "Charlie bit me! Ouch Charlie!"

Let's talk about some of my investigators, because they are all super cool and pretty crazy wacko nut job sack of hammers.

We are teaching a family who used to be protestant. They just joined the protestant church and there were crazy miracles involved in bringing them together as a family after years of fighting. They were united in Christ. But then we came in and started teaching them about a church that wasn't the protestant church, which they originally joined. 

We brought confusion into their family, but by asking them over and over again to read the Book of Mormon to see if there was more truth about Christ out there, finally the mom and dad have joined us. Not yet baptized, but working at it. 

Another old dude we teach has an awesome story of ow he found our church. He was contacted by Elder Osborne, the other dude living in my house with me who was my bff at BYU and we hung out all he time, one year ago. And he was he worst investigator ever. But after one year of learning with Elders, he has finally made it to the point where he is ready to get baptized. And Elder Osborne was the one to interview him because he is now back, just in the neighboring area.

This week i heard a lot of inappropriate things said about me by strangers because they all thought I couldn't understand what they were saying. 


Cambodians discover bubble wrap


Picture with a hat on my head. This was when Elder Ouk was practicing how to interview someone for baptism because it was his first time, so I had to pretend to be someone else. 

Our neighbor who we call mom.

Going to do the interview (which was located where his girlfriend before his mission lives) 

​Coming up soon next month is the water festival where a million Cambodian dudes row these big 'ole boats 


​What am I covering with my hand? 

A dog poop left on our front door! 

​Disposing of it 

​I think I always take pictures with this guy

This guy promised to take me hunting in Vietnam after my mission 

​The cutest puppies ever

Butts were made for sitting

Walking on a bridge to an old dudes house

They opened a carls Jr. in Cambodia so I had that

I finally ate a tarantula

I think you know I think so