Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

Monday, June 25, 2012


June 25, 2012
Its great to hear from you. Yeah  one concept that I have learned here in this wardis that people become fairly discontent when they aren’t ever called to speak or when the same speakers give talks every week. Everyone in this ward complains about that because the same 6 people alternate speaking each week and awesome members have not spoken in years. Its good for even those who are not eloquent to talk. Though another concept I learned in my mission prep class is that you should never take time from the presiding speaker, because he usually has something important to say.  Yea with disciplinary councils it is just that like you said, to help the repentance process. Spencer W Kimballs book the miracle of forgiveness gives a very interesting view of the repentance process and the concept of disciplinary councils etc. Tell SaraH congratulations! I will write back to the note she sent me soon. 
 Yeah,  ground school is really quite difficult. It was the only thing that compared to a college class that I had ever taken before college. Just study a lot and the stuff that seems confusing now will just get clearer with time.
 The weather yet again got warmer here and it seems that we aren’t going to have much of a winter here and I have heard that summer is going to start earlier this year. Oh joy. There were a few relatively cool days this last week. Just sufficient enough to wear a sweater.
        Yea our investigators made us dinner a few weeks ago and we started to teach the plan of salvation. This last week they made us churrasco as well. They basically want to make us dinner once a week on Wednesdays because that is the only day that they really have free. But thats fine. They are really great and really want to go to church, but for some reason they didn’t go again this last week. We are going to teach them on Wednesday and well see what happened. Yesterday a family of investigators of ours invited us over for a lunch of churrasco, and it was literally the best meal I have had on this mission. They really knew how to cook. And boy did they do it well. They are really great, but I just dont know how genuine their interest in the gospel is.
          We got a reference of a family from a member this last week and we went with that member on Wednesday to teach them, That lesson was awesome. We taught the first part of the restauration. They were incredibly accepting of the message and they expressed many doubts and problems that they have with other churches that exist today. We marked to go back and teach them today. They are a really awesome family and have a huge desire to learn about Christ’s true church.
   I got bit by a dog on  Saturday. We were walking through a very ghetto neighborhood and we passed a few people on lawn chairs that had dogs around them. As we passed they started to grab the dogs, yet it appears that one escaped their reach and went to take a bite out of my quadriceps. He didn’t rip my pants, but he got into my leg a bit. So I went to the doctor got it cleaned up with some antibiotic stuff and I should be fine. Luckily the rabies season isn’t until august, It didn’t hurt too bad until the way to the hospital.
      We taught some awesome lessons this week and our teaching group is filled with awesome families. We just need to help more people realize the importance of going to chruch. No one seems to want to go here. The Elders in the entire city have been having problems with gettting investigators to church. Luckily we had a few yesterday.
   I hope you are all having an amazing summer (my winter) and I love you!    -Elder Eskildsen

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 17, 2012

Sounds like father’s day was pretty fun. Speaking of those kind of shoes, everyone wears them here, but they aren’t quite as long lasting or as high quality as toms or sanuks, but I will definitely be bringing a few pairs home because they are like 10 dollars a pair here in Brazil and way cheaper if I end up going to Uruguay sometime.

      Not sleeping in will be good for Bergen, and tell him not to whine because you never let us sleep in past 8 when we were working or even before we started work. Also there is no whining to president about not being able to sleep in when you are on the mission. You just got to learn how to wake up early. No, matter how difficult it remains to be.

      Yea the music in churches now is kind of silly, but it is worse in Brazil. Many churches here are just constant scenes of screaming and ´´singing´´ that sounds a lot more like weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Nothing yet tops the Mormon tabernacle choir. Yes I got those CD´s and they work fine. One of them I already had on my iPod, but I will just give it to someone else, and the other that is sung by the phantom of the Opera guy is pretty awesome. Tell Brant that I love him and he is going to have an awesome time on his mission when he gets out there!

       Yea coming home to a new house will be a little bit weird, or I could just live in the old house for the week and a half that I will be home after the mission haha. But Im used to switching into new houses frequently anyway, and it is inevitable that the new house will be far better than any other mission house that we may have here in the mission.

     The weather this week stayed crazy. Where last week´s cold left, this weeks blazing heat took its place. Definitely nothing characteristic of the Rio Grande do Sul winter. The first few days of the week gave an awful humidity where the walls were even sweating. (That is not a metaphor, they were literally condensating). And then there was just heat up until a few days ago where it started to rain off and on and then yesterday gave about an hour and a half long downpour which started just as my companion and I were as far from our house was possible. The only thing that the umbrella did was protect my tie. Luckily my shoes are very good and I had that dry sack to protect all of my books and things. I definitely recommend getting a dry sack like that to anyone who goes on this mission. It works better than shopping backs which often leak and rub off ink. Today stayed temperate in terms of the weather.

       We had interviews with President this last week. Like usual my interview was about 3 or 4 minutes long, but I shouldn’t complain because that just means that I am not doing anything wrong or on Presidents bad side. He basically said to keep up the good work and asked how my companion is and if I like being with another American again. Truth is I had rather stay with a Brazilian companion for the rest of my mission, it makes for a good balance.

      We had a hard week in terms of finding new investigators, but those that we did find truly are good. We found refuge in the rain yesterday in the house of investigator who we taught in order to wait out the rain. Her intire family was there this time so we taught them the restoration and left the commitment to pray. They understood very well our lesson and invited us to come back as soon as they were available. We talked to a lot of people this week, totaling almost 100 contacts and got turned down 90% of the time. Thats missionary work though, what can you do? Surely cannot mess with anyone’s agency. The week was good though, leaving many good prospects for the next weeks. This work is true.

I love you all and hope you are doing very well!

-Elder Eskildsen

Dear family,  June 10, 2012

       Wow, crazy to think that dad already has one year as the bishop. It wont be too long before I hit my one year mark as well. This last week has been cold as well. Yesterday we had a ton of rain which is good because there has been quite a drought throughout this state in Brazil and the agriculture here depends on the rain. It is starting to warm up again though and this week is supposed to be pretty mild. I had gotten some good use out of my winter clothes here this last week. (Even through the night as a result this countries glorious lack of central heating).

      Yea if you could put portions of my letter on the blog that would be splendid, because I dont really have time to type up a separate blog post. I received that announcement from SaraH today. Also I got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa Eskildsen (and I sent a letter to them today) and a letter from my roommate alex norr who is in Sweden.

        I got that package today that is filled with the warm winter clothes, which I was excited about, because it really is quite frigid here. Just barely not cold enough for ice or snow though. Thanks for the Journal, those are really hard to find here for some reason. I guess Brazilians aren’t really too concerned with documenting their lives. I had to resort to writing my daily happenings in a large daily planner I bought.

 That’s also amazing that you are really getting into your calling and visiting the less actives, because that truly is the duty of the members and not of the missionaries.  We have only one member of the ward, (or rather, one sane member) that visits less actives. We have also come to notice that the less actives (at least here) really have nothing against the church alot of the time, but they have fallen away for other reasons, and still have a great desire to help the missionaries.

         This week has been really good. We didn’t manage to get a ton of lessons, but those that we did teach are really awesome. Our investigators for the most part are families, which is exactly what we are supposed to be focusing on in this work. We have two young couples (legally married I believe, which is incredibly difficult to encounter here) that we are teaching. Both with very young kids, who are studying and well educated as a result. One of the couples, Eliane and Silmar, made us dinner the other night, even though it was only our first lesson there. (They had a little bit of exposure to the missionaries already when Elder Lipps was here a month or two ago.) The other couple really wants to make us lunch two Sundays from now. The other family is one that we found doing street contacts, who also comprehend thoroughly everything we teach. I am really excited to be teaching such awesome families. This week we received a referral from the elders in one of the other wards of a girl that has been attending their ward with one of her friends who we started to teach. She has already been going to church for 2 weeks, so she already has a great foundation in the church and is thus very easy to teach. In praying for inspiration this last week to find places to find new investigators, we have found new families and individuals to teach, in exactly the first house that we knock after choosing a certain road to knock doors. We got to see the dedication of the temple in Manaus (the mission where Trevor Lott is) and that was awesome. I had never really remembered seeing a temple dedication and was very grateful to be able to see one. It also made me really want to go to the temple ASAP because I really miss it. And no I am not able to exercise daily. That seems to be it for the week, but I love you and hope you are all do superbly.

-Elder Eskildsen                           Me in fields"fields without end"
 Me and Elder Bargus making P-day meal of doighish things called pastel filled with meat or carmel and apples or other sweets that I put in them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

May 2012
  Yea the weather here has stayed pretty hot, which has been annoying me, because we are supposed to have winter weather here pretty soon. As for the subject of the car.. What cars are existent at our house now? Did the Camry ever end up getting fixed? Sounds like everything is going well.
    There is a Stake conference in Cruz Alta next week and my new ward is part of that stake, and if everything goes as planned there are some members in Cruz Alta that want to make me a birthday lunch and stuff. I really hope the zone leaders clear me to go back to Ijuí a little bit later after the conference. My new companion is really great. He is from Provo Utah, a city that I am pretty well familiar with and has been out one less transfer than I have. He went to BYU before and is 24. He is a pretty smart guy and doing pretty well with the language. As for families in the area we had nothing when I got here. To be honest there weren’t any investigators here.  We spent a lot of this week looking for new investigators and using the area book to find people who had been taught in the past. We should be able to have success with some of the people that we have found and started to teach this week. The city is a bit like Cruz Alta, but a little bit nicer. We live in more of a downtown area, which is nice because it is closer to everything, but it is kind of far from our area. There is also a little bit more in terms of souvenirs than cruz alta because cruz alta had nothing. The ward has like 80-90 people per week and the Bishop is really focusing on getting more people there so that they can construct a new chapel. He has been augmenting the number of people attending and sends 110 or so as the number of people that go per week to try to give some incentive to get a new chapel. Our area is pretty far away from the chapel too, so that makes it a bit difficult, but Im likeing it pretty well.
        It was a really sad goodbye there in Cruz Alta, but Im getting used to the new area. We are gonna have to work super hard again these next few weeks. But thats pretty much it for this week, nothing else has changged too much.
I hope that you are all doing well and I love you!!

May 27   Thanks for the happy birthday shout out! We got to go eat after the stake conference with Rogerio and Christiane Klein and thier family in my old area. She is really awesome and I love that family. She said that you had been talking to her and that you were really nice, so it seems as though she understood at least part of what you had said.
Yea that whole ´´saved´´ thing is a bit ridiculous, and the same sentiment abounds here in Brazil. They think that all religions that beleive in Christ offer salvation to its followers and neglect any sort of error that may be found therein. It makes it hard to try to teach most of the people here because they think that way. To be completely honest I got into a mild argument with a man who attends the ´´assembleia de Deus´´, which religion ignores more than half of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He said our religion was false because the pamphlet said that our religion claimed right to the title ´´only true chruch´´ and that that could not be true because all christian religions save. Despite the inherent irony in that I read a few verses in the sermon on the mount that castigate a few practices in that church. Not my best moment ever. I did not treat that situation in a loving manner and I really regret that. Getting annoyed at ignorance or hard heartedness never gets anyone anywhere. He doesnt like me, but he says he has no hard feelings against the chruch.

During the conference this week with President Ribeiro we talked a bit about the morning of the first resurrection which was really cool, and then talked about tithing. He touched on the fact that Brazil is really suffering when it comes to full tithe payers. Basically we as missionaries need to find the people who are willing to make at least a little bit of a sacrifice to pay thier tithing. We need to focus more on teaching what the blessings of tithing are instead of just saying what tithing is. As he said, we need members who are self sufficient and willing to quickly become full tithe payers and leaders in this church.

 Dang sounds like stuff is going pretty well there with a few hard times. But that is always bound to happen. As for the Electric blanket, yea it fried as well even with the adaptor. I think that the current fluctuates a lot here so it just kind of exploded. Its all good though, it is still a warm thick blanket.  As for the weather it has stayed pretty hot the past while but is supposed to ´´rain´´ in the next few days and get cold, but the forecast always claims that. Yea the birthday package is not here yet, but im sure itll get here soon. As for my shoes, when I clean them they still look pretty new, so they will at least last me until the year mark without having to get them resoled. Those are jsut the walking ones, the nicer looking ones I use only for meetings, and so they look like the shoes of the elders that just got on the mission. Also tell Kortney she needs to get married quick before its too late, but not to allow any gold diggers near her.
  We spent a lot of the time this week again finding new investigators because almost all of the appointments that we had ´´fell through´´ meaning the people werent in the house, or in certain cases they hid from us. But this guy yelled at us on the street the otehr day and said ´´why are you american?´´ I could tell that he was joking so I said ´´ because I was born there´´. He thought that was pretty funny and we quickly got into a conversation about the gospel. I asked for his address but he refused, but then after saying something, (I still cant remember what I said) I asked for the address again and asked if I could pass by. He gave it to us and said ´´you cant pass by, you have to show up´´. But we went there on Saturday and he is really cool. He has a ton of antiques and pretty much knows the bible like the back of his hand, and beleives a lot of things that are specifically our doctrine. Im excited to work a little bit more with him. As for the rest we just found a few families and a house full of students taht go to the local college here. All of which seem to have a good chance of progressing.
      At the conference there in Cruz alta we saw Vanisa and Pedro Luiz and Valentina, who are going to get baptized in a week. Im so sad that I wont be able to be at the baptism but so excited that they are happy in the gospel. Vanisa has outwardly changed and looks much happier and excited, and Pedro Luiz is definitely going to be a Bishop someday. I havent been much happier on this mission than seeing them there at the conference and progressing as a family in order to make covenants. That is what this work is all about. This area here in Ijuí is difficult, but I am really enjoying it here despite the challenges. And it appears that Elder Welch got here and is in Santo Angelo with my old companion Elder Matthieu and someone else in a threesome. Thats pretty much it for the week. I hope that you are having an amazing time there in the states and I hope work doesnt get too stressful. I love you!     -Elder Eskildsen