Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 27, 2011 Happy week in the MTC

Bom dia!
I''m doing very well today! This really has been a really good week!
I don''t know what it is, but I have just been unnaturally happy this week.
(Probably going insane). But who knows? They could be putting something
in the water here. Could be.
Our lessons have been getting better and better, and it was earlier this week
that our companionship had a major regime change in the way that we approach
our lessons. We did this to make our lessons more cohesive, fluid, and understandable.
The language barrier is still a challenge during the lessons for some, but with each others
help it has been able to be overcome, step by step. It was also imperative for us
to just be a little bit more enthusiastic during the lessons. Before this last week each
lesson seemed morose and insipid. We now are more openly excited during our
lessons, because we know that the message that we have to share is
truly exciting!
As for other things, not much has changed. The MTC always has
a way of staying ""Steadfast and Immovable"" in all of the things it has to offer.
The schedule never changes, and everything we eat has simply the semblance of
food. But this is still a happy place! Everyone is trying thier best to live the rules
we have been given and to improve themselves. What better people could I be around?
Notwithstanding this I am exponentially ready to get out of this MTC and into the field.
I feel that I know enough to get by, no matter where I will be sent. I''m sure that as soon
as I get into the field I will have a ""punch in the face"" experience that will make me
want to come back to the MTC with my tail between my legs... But as a result of my
impatient human nature, I am excited for what is to come!
I don''t know much of what else to say... I would think of something funny
to say, but I am not so disposed at the moment. Funny things don''t happen at the
MTC anyway. This is a serious place. No jokes. Haha. Just kidding, the Elders are
always laughing at something. We missionaries are simply a fun-loving bunch,
entirely filled with excitement to share the gospel.
I miss all you people in the normal world, and I always love to hear how you are doing!
Ate mais!
-Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011 Provo MTC

Hey all you people!

This has been a fairly alrightly marginal week. But really it was great!
I was sick again for most of this week, so I was in a state of frail stupor
for most days. Other than that I had a lot of fun learning how to proselyte a
and teach better.

We started doing fake street contacts this week, which I think is a lot of fun.
Especially since the Elders here wont send us away like most people will when
I'm out in the field. I'm getting better and better with the language, but I still
have no clue how to even talk about the weather. I could tell you all about the
restored gospel, but when it comes to rain.... Como se diz: "rain"?... Who knows.

This last week has been really pretty tiring as well. I am not ever going to be able
to get used to living this sedentary lifestyle. I may be developing something
analogous to bedsores from sitting in the most comfortable plastic chairs that
the MTC furnishers could find. It's really not that bad... sometimes we stand.
Notwithstanding the whole "lazyman" lifestyle, I have lost weight. Brace
yourselves for this. I have lost one whole pound. This is a superhuman feat
to say the least. Especially considering the fact so many others around me
are "bulking" up in the most gluttonous sense of the word. I could probably
stand to gain a bit though....

Anyway, after that diversion I'm not left with a ton of time. I feel like I have
not said a whole lot in this post, but at the same time there isn't a whole lot to
say. The MTC stays just as constant and static as does our schedule.
Therefore it sufficeth me to say that I am happy to be here at the MTC
being pumped full of knowledge of the gospel and all of the happiness
and tranquility that comes with living it.

I miss you all back home! I've enjoyed your letter, and, of course, keep
them coming! I hope you are all doing well!

-Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

3rd week in MTC September 13, 2011

Dear people stalking my blog on the internet,

Things have been goin great. It's almost my third week into the MTC. That means there are
officially 20 tally marks carved into the wall of my room. (Not really, vandalism is bad, and
probably very against mission rules.) I'm really having a good time though. The MTC's food
doesn't get any better, but the experiences get much more interesting and fulfilling.

My  companions have been as good as ever, although we do often have differences in opinion.
(Mine generally coming out on top.) But 99% of the time we get along very well. This week as
a companionship we committed our first "investigator" to baptism. The same guy that last week
so royally roasted us. In any lessons we have taught, I have done most of the speaking. Not by
choice, but because of the fact that my companions are struggling more with the language. I still
have no problem comprehending it, and now the speaking part is getting easier and easier!

The prospect of being reassigned to a stateside mission for a small time is looming closer
and more dominant. I have now warmed up to this idea, and think it would awesome to be able
to serve in the states and in Brazil. I still want that dang VISA though. Speaking of things going
to Brazil, I saw elder Empey last week on his first day in the MTC! I was really pretty excited
to see him. On top of that I have seen at least five other people that I know, including
Stephanie Ririe.

I have been running in the gym during workout hour several days a week during the duration of
my stay here. It is a small track that takes 10 laps to fill a mile. Its somewhat reminiscent of
one of those hamster wheels, but without the childish satisfaction of being allowed to run

in a hamster wheel. Long story short, going 4 miles on that is AWFUL. Notwithstanding this
I have gotten my 4 mile times under 30 minutes again and I am feeling pretty good about that.

This past weekend I was a bit sick. Not quite incapacitatingly sick, but almost to that point.
I'm pretty sure I caught it from my companion.... And if I didn't catch it from him I will blame him
anyway. (Mostly because he was  sick last week). Who know where I could have caught it from.
This MTC is almost a cesspool, whose contents include the confluence of every germ and sickness
that could have clung to some poor missionary upon entrance into the gates of the MTC's campus.
Even still though, I am feeling great these past few days. Especially today since it is P-day.
Which reminds me, our district is going planking :D

So I don't have a lot of time left so I feel the need to tell all of you that if you send me a letter
in the next few days taht I won't get it until thursday at the earliest. The MTC mailroom is
changing locations, so there will be a backup in the whole "getting" mail process. Let this harsh
news not deter you from sending me letters however. I always enjoy hearing from you all.

I miss you all, and hope the best to you!

-Elder Eskildsen

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MTC companions Elder Mathieu and Elder Pole'o. Can you guess which one is Tongan?

2nd week MTC September 6

Here's another one for the blog!

It's been a pretty great week here at the MTC.
There hasn't been a lot of incredibly crazy things happen this week, but it has been
entertaining to say the least. My district really likes to have fun. This leads us to take
a lot of time off of our study schedule to "get to know" each others personalities. what
I mean by this is that everyone is so loud during study time that we all have no choice
but to share stories of our glorified pasts, our undeviating opinions, and our incredibly
auspicious expectations for the future. Nevertheless we do learn a lot, and we have
a good time doing it.

It has taken these two weeks, but my body has finally adjusted to the daily assault on
my digestive system. For some reason no one chooses the healthy alternatives that are
offered in the MTC cafeteria. (Apparently a steady diet of chocolate milk and processed
meats is not, in fact, a healthy lifestyle choice.) Regardless of this fact I am getting by
without gaining much weight. I have been running regularly which is a blessing in itself.

Each week I see more and more people that I know here in the MTC! It is crazy! It helps
to make this place more inviting and less like its prisonesque caricature. The Portugese
is once again giving me the "bi-polar" treatment. I can still understand everything that is
said. Yet my lack of ability to verbalize the language is still quite a stumbling block. It
will only come with time though. I time that I wouldn't mind coming any sooner.

Speaking of language barriers, we had a mock investigator last night! It was our teacher
pretending to be a door contact. Oh what fun we had with this investigator, and OH how
many red flags were raised. The first mistake my companions and I made was to walk
right into the classroom that was allegedly this investigators "house". This upset our
investigator, who I will now refer to as Rigo. (This being the completely false name that
our teacher told us). The next thing that got us thouroughly chewed out by Rigo was the
fact that we spoke English in front of him. He found this rude, and felt it less rude to raise
his voice ABOVE that appropriate for the circumstance. The next bad thing occured when
we went to pray. The way he was to pray was diffirent than the way that we pray in our
church (He essentially just bowed really low with his palms up and hands outstrecthed.
when we told him that that is not the way in which we pray he was thoroughly offended.
I didn't know how to appease the situation in any language other than English, so I said
words that may or (most likely) may not have made sense.

This experience opened my eyes to how much I have left to learn and to how difficult being
a missionary really will be. Yet despite these verbal altercations I am still confident in my
ability to learn, grow, and be a good missionary.

I miss all of you guys, and I really hope that you enjoyed reading this, and are doing very
very well. Also it is always nice to receive letters, because I love to hear from you! It is also
imperative that you make me seem popular in front of my district. Mainly so that their ability
to overcome envy is strengthened. They need taken down a few notches! haha

Até mais!
-Elder Dane Eskildsen