Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Out of order blogs

I came across some blogs that I thought I had published for Dane and they were saved in the DRAFTS!   These are from last November and even in February so the last 3 posts are not in his current area!    SEND ALL MAIL TO THE ADDRESS in the header.  I will keep that current

November 21 Uruguaiana

Hey everyone!

I think todays post is going to be pretty short. This past week has been pretty good, andit only exceeded 100 degrees for two days or so! I am having a great time here in Uruguaiana, and have spent a lot of time in the Ipiranga area searching for people to teach! The members dont give us a lot of
referrals so we are subjected to roaming the streets finding those willing to hear our message. It´s not too bad though because I like street contacts and  knocking doors. (Or at least I do at the moment. Give
it a few months and that may change.) But as for now I am loving the missionary work. This week
has been anything but fruitful though. We lost a few investigators and baptismal dates. Notwithstanding that, I have high hopes for the coming week. I  honestly think that things will go swimmingly this week. (More on that later)

Whoever said that I wouldnt be  eating a lot of meat on my mission was telling a bold
faced lie. Either that or they werent familiar with the
Santa Maria mission and thus were lying in ignorance.
But what I am essentially saying is that I have enjoyed
my fair share of meat in the past week. It has been
splendid. The people here really know how to cook.
They also know how to force second and third helpings
on me, no matter how hard I plead to the contrary.
I may have trouble staying ´´skinny´´ on this mission.
But its all good because I have been running with Elder
Bott the past few days to help him get back into
shape for his track scholorship, and to keep me
from becoming twice the Dane I was when I entered

Theres a lot more to say, but not too much more time.
Also I grow weary of typing. I hope the best for
everyone, and if you have questions, comments, or
concerns please send all letters to the following
address, and I will get back to you in a (relatively)
timely manner:

Caixa Postal 0339
Santa Maira - RS
97001 - 976

-Elder Eskildsen

January 23, 2012

Olá Guris!
This week has been a good one. On Monday night Elder de Souza was mercilessly torn from me leaving me alone,destitute, and forced to wander from Elder to Elder, not having any true home. ( There is a picture of us at the bus station somewhere. I would put an arrow or something pointing to it but I dont know where it will be posted....---- or ----->       v    ^   ...... There that pretty  much covers all the directions. We are both smiling but dont be fooled. It was brutal.) But anyway, for the next several days after that I was bereft of a companion and had to spend time with other missionaries who had already shown up. It was not until wednesday evening that my new 
companion Elder D. Melo showed up. (Photo coming soon). Therefore Thursday was the real day where we
were set into ´´hard working missionary´´ mode. As a result of the fact that neither Elder Melo nor I have much
experience with this new area, we spent most of the first few days discovering the area. The term ´´to discover´´ to 
a missionary does not just mean to explore. No, it means oh so much more than that. We started with a map and 
some word of mout instructions and found people to our hearts content. We found the houses of many members 
and talked a bit with them, and from there got references and water. (It´s been above 40 Celcius here each day, which is like 104 in real temperature). We also spent time visiting the pre-us investigators. And, of course, no missionaries life is complete without the tabooed door to door proselyting. Safe to say we did a bit of that as well, just for safe measure. These past few ´´initiation´´ days opening this area here have been pretty eventful, filled with joy and love and the gospel of Christ. 
Yea, I dont have much else. Its time to go grocery shopping. I hope a wonderful week for all of you where ever you may be.

Monday, October 8, 2012


September 3, 2012

Sounds like the labor day is going to be good. I really miss a good cinnamon roll, among many other things that I miss. Mostly breakfast foods, because breakfast is virtually nonexistent here. I didnt know that McKae was going to Cambodia. So she didnt end ip going on a mission? Thats cool though that she will be doing something pretty cool as well. Yea Chelsea wrote me a dear Elder. It works here, but I think you have to pay to get it sent here. Also now with the new post office box we will be able to receive letters every week. Chances are that I will be getting that letter you sent today, unless it took a long time to get here, but it wasnt there last week when I checked. Yea the package hasnt come either.

That sounds like a really cool experience with the baptism of Ashley.Im sure she is an awesome addition to the ward, and she lucked out that she was baptized in a ward that is so great and that are going to be by her side whenever she may need them.

It is interesting that you talked about faith, because our mission this last week was reprimanded for its lack therof, and we were set to study a few chapters in the scriptures: Hebrews 11, Alma 32, Moroni 7 (only part, but I cant remember which part) and Ether 12. They are all really awesome selections talking about faith. We all have room in our lives to improve and grow our faith. That is evident by the fact that most of us have not perpetrated such wonders as those of Moses and Enoch. (Heb. 11) There are many people that we meet here who dont talk to us or who bash down our message by saying that they already have a knowledge of Christ and are already on the right path, and thus need no more, notwithstanding the many erroneous aspects of thier life, worship, and conduct. They essentially say that they have no need of faith because they have convinced themselves that there will be no consequence for thier weak belief in a higher power. Those who have true faith will always seek out to augment that which they already have. They will always seek to know Christ even more. We cannot let ourselves be lured into complacency lest we stagnate in a mire of false assurances of our own certainty. Further, those with true faith always strive to develop attributes similar to those of Christ and to turn thier lives completely in accordance with His will. Essentially like you said is to continually put your faith into action in order to always be on the increase. There is always more to learn and there is much more that we have in our power to do if our faith becomes unshakeable and wide.

I wish I could have been back for Spencers baptism, and I am sure that it was a really great meeting and reunion. And dang it is so weird to think of Matt and Tyson at BYU and on the football team, because they seem so young in my mind. It is as though since I left for college and now for the mission everyone else from Connell has ceased to grow up, but that is obviously not true. And yea you can have a moustache at BYU, just no other facial hair. Is Spencer about to get married yet? also is Matt putting his papers for his mission in yet? Also I was looking at the directory on at the missionary section. Did Brady come back from his mission? because he is no longer listed as a missionary in our ward.

I miss XC so much. Yea I also had ankle problems and they hurt a lot, but who knows if it is the same as what Bergen has, because all I did for it was stretch my ankles more and run through the pain.

This last week we spent a LOT of our time looking for new investigators because we still have not really been able to establish a good teaching group. We were pretty successful in our endeavor to find good new investigators. We found several families who accepted baptism and several other people who appear to have great potential to progress. We also had a lot of people being not to kind to us, which tends to happen here in the mission. The gaúcho do not like Mormons. We had a situation where we went back to a new investigator who we had marked with and who accepted baptism and in when we knocked on the door her little daughter answered. Then the investigators mom came out and told us that she wasnt there although we had clearly seen her through the window. As the mother of the investigator told us she wasnt there and we started to leave the investigators daughter yelled ´´Liar! Liar! she IS here! She IS HERE!´´ What a little darling, calling her mom out in her lies. People generally use every lie and every type of excuse here in order to not have to tell us no. There is some sort of taboo here around the use of the word ´´No´´. According to the moral of the people here it is better to lie and use excuses rather than say no they dont want to hear what we have to say. We werent able to get any of our investigators to church yesterday besides Moisés, but he cant get baptized for the next few months because he is less than 17. The rest of my district as well had a hard time getting people to go to church. Many things to work on.

Well I hope that the start of the school year is going well and that the Labor day holiday is awesome! I love you and have a great week!

-Elder Eskildsen



September 25

Well no need to fear because it seems that the letter wasnt as short as you implied it would be haha. I as well will make no promises about how long my letter will be, but it may be long. Who knows?

Its nice that the missionaries there are getting a lot of work, and it is funny that Rachel went out with the missionaries for a lesson. She told about her experience and she made it sound worse and more awkward than it really was. But then again I am a missionary and things just dont ever seem awkward anymore. I really am missing running and having the oportunity to do so during the day and not just in the mornings. I just never feel very good in the mornings (probably a result of not exercising) and so I have been quite negligent with my morning exercises.

I bet Chelsea is getting super excited to go off on her mission! That is super cool. Also it sounds a bit like the ward has changed A LOT since I was last there. It may be a little strange when I get back and give a talk to a bunch of people that I dont know. Also I am really going to be excited to get back to flying after the mission. In particular I would like to see how that Cherokee flies.

Alright well my new companion is a Brazilian (finally another Brazilian companion). He is from Bahia which is a part of Brazil that many people make fun of because of thier accent etc, but my companion is awesome! His name is Elder Almeida and any fear that I had of getting a new misisonary that wasnt going to know anything and wasnt going to want to work are now gone. He is really here just to serve the lord and came here with exactly the right attitude that is necessary for missionary work. He really has a desire to work and basically already came to the field as a fully trained missionary, besides the normal new missionary defects. But on tuesday Elder Strout went off to his new area in Santo Angelo and me and a bunch of other missionaries who were going to train and a few others that were waiting for buses (including my old companion Elder Glazier) went off to the casa grande or rather, the mission home. There we just waited for like 6 hours talking etc and waiting for the new misisonaries showed up. Then the new kids showed up (which I didnt even percieve until a half hour after they showed up because I was upstairs and they entered in the garage.) We all got to go to President Ribeiros house that night to eat A TON of pizza with the new missionaries and there we found out who our new companions would be. It was a really cool experience there. I love any oportunity that I have to go to Presidents house, it is really nice. The next day we had a day long training for the trainers first (for about an h our) and then for the trainees. I am really excited for these next few transfers with my new companion becuase we are going to have a lot of sucess. We found a man who is married (LEGALLY!!!) to a less active lady who really likes the church and seems like she has a great desire to start going back to church, and her husband is very receptive as well. We also have a few other part member families we are working with that need to get married so that they can be baptized. We are also teaching a man named Ademir who without fail understands the message of the restoration and the need of a true church and prophet, etc. he even told us that he had been praying that a pastor or someone suchas would pass by his house (because he and his wife have a newborn baby) and the pastors of the churches that he visited didnt ever come and then we ended up knocking on his door. He is definitly prepared to accept the message of the gospel! We have got some awesome people we ar eworking with and we are going to try hard in the next few weeks to work with the lord in order to find those who are ready to accept the gospel.

In relation to my responsibilities as a leader it still feels a bit like I am working with children. My district is having a very hard time finding GOOD new investigators and dont seem to have hope nor faith in order to find them. It seems as though the mission as well is having a dry spell in terms of success in the past few months. We really just lack the faith that we can change the people here. But anyway things are still going well.

I love you and hope everything is going great for you there in good ol´ connell!

-Elder Eskildsen




September 30, 2012   Yea September did go by really quick, mostly because I was switching companions so often, so it made it seem as though time was on overdrive. The opposite has happened here in Santa Maria. We have had a winter kick and so it has stayed pretty cold and rainy instead of going into the heat of the summer. (thank goodness, because I am stil preparing myself for one more summer). That also cant have been good for your flying either, because the heat of the summer makes landings tough. Yea RAchel already said that she is going with Colton, but it didnt even hit me that Bergen was going to be going. I dont know who Rian Naef is. But I am sure he will have tons of fun.

I didnt even realize that you already had the houseplans underway. I though this was some fanciful game you were playing in your minds and eventually get around to in the spring. Dang, it looks like I am going to come home to a new house then. Dont let any of my things get hurt in the move.

And with that slug I saw him pretty early. I have gotten into the habit of inconspicuously examining my food before I eat it, and I was wondering what the dark spot on my lettuce could be. Upon turning the lettuce I beheld a slug. Que bom. I was going to keep quiet about it, but one of the elders near me took the plate to the kitchen and showed the sisters who were making our lunch and they were thouroughly apologetic. Poor ladies making our lunch. It really wasnt that big of a deal but they just felt so bad. I wasnt obligated to eat the lettuce though...

The work is going quite well. We prayed this week to find 4 families to teach, but we only ended up finding three, although all of them are really good families. The weeks here go by slow but so much seems to happen in the week. We have found a TON of new investigators this week Almost all of them were really good too. We just need to be able to find them for a second visit and talk soon about the Book of Mormon so that they be CONVERTED! We had a couple go to church this week and they really liked it. They have a desire to be baptized, but first they have to get legally married and they have to make it so that they can attend our ward in the morning instead of just going to the afternoon ward. It will be easy for them to get sunday mornings off seeing as they own the fruit stand they work at. They are also friends with a family of members from our ward which also makes things easier.

My district is a lot more animated than they had been and they are starting to have some good results, which makes me very happy. things are starting to go better for all of the companionships in my district but we still have to push ourselves to get better.

Im super excited for conference this weekend! But I love you all and hope you have a great conference week!

-Elder Eskildsen

October 8With Bergen he wont be able to go out at 18 because he wont be graduated. He will still have to wait until he is almost 19 anyway. I think that this new revelation that the first presidency received will effect the young women of the church more. I think there are going to be TONS more sister missionaries in the field. I am glad I went out at 19 though beacause I had great experiences at BYU the first year before I went on the mission.

I am really excited to fly the Cherokee. I enjoyed the talk that Elder Uchtdorf Gave talking about his piper cub that he flew. He also talked about the Wright Brothers which afterwards sparked the same argument that the Brazilians have that Santos DuMont invented the airplane first. The truth is that there are many people that were tinkering with the idea of an airplane but those that flew first were the Wright Brothers, who took to the air one week before Santos DuMont. Yet besides the established dates and facts the brazilians will argue to the death about that.
\Thats good that the misisonaries are doing well there. I think that the problem that they have there is the same problem that we have and that all missions must have. It is difficult to find normal people from stable families to teach that will actually ACCEPT the gospel and stay active in it. The people that have been baptised in most wards here in the past few years are more often than not incredibly strange and in some sort of extenuating circumstance and are unwilling to take the effort to go back to church.
Conferecne however was really great and I am excited to get the Ensign with all of the talks next month!

Thats crazy that Garrick is getting married. Hasnt he been back only a month or 2 ? Who is he getting married to?
Well I hope that you are doing well with the ward there and that if you have any work this week that it can go well!
Conference yesterday was really awesome. We were able to watch all of the sessions incuding the priesthood session. The only downside was that I am the only American in my district, so there was no one to watch the sessions in english with me, therefore I was not able to watch a single session in English. I understood everything, but the monotone of a brazilian translator is just not the same as hearing the voices of the apostles and prophet. We have a family that we are teaching that ended up going to the first saturday session and they loved the talks. We have been talking to them very seriously about getting married so that they can be baptized, and they accepted. They have been taught by elders in the past, but since they werent married they couldnt get baptized and stopped going to church. All we had to do was teach and speak with authority and commit them to marriage and baptism. They are hoping to be able to get married by the end of this month or beg. of sept. (the paperwork and wait time involved in a marriage here in Santa Maria is horrendous.) Unfortunately they were the only investigators of ours that made it to conference. The elections for local government offices here got in the way quite a bit. Obligatory voting occured on SUNDAY and each person has to return to the city they were born in order to vote and so many people used the voting as an excuse not to go to the conference and many people were simply out of town. Elections here is something ridiculous those elected are sometimes just as ridiculous, probably resulting from the forced voting (if you dont vote you get a heavy fine).
That is really too bad with Tori and Bryan, but im sure she will be fine. It is a good thing that the family was one of the big subjects of the conference. Also Tell Katelyn to write me and tell me about how things are going. It has been a while that she has written to me. Thats funny that she is dating though. She´ll be married soon.
As for needs in the Christmas package I dont think I really have any at the moment. maybe one more pair of pants, because I have one that is getting close to the end of its life (one of the pair I got from Jase) as for that everything else is holding up pretty well. I will see if theere is anything else I need and if so I will be sure to tell you. My shoes are still holding up well. I will hve to get them resoled here in 2 or 3 months but after that they should at least last another 2 or 3. The ones I use for meetings still look new though, so if the ones I use everyday somehow get destroyed I will use those and maybe buy a pair of those electricians shoes. They are pretty cheap and good for a lot of walking. My eccos are a size 44.
The work here is going well. WE have finally been able to establish a good stable teaching group and wwe are working with some really awesome people. The hardest thing here is just to find people that have enough drive to go to church and to eventually stay firm in the church. Many people claim that our coming to thier door was a sign from God because they were praying to have someone respont a certain question they had or to show them the true church and that they receive answeres to thier prayers about the Book of Mormon but then do NOTHING about those magnificent signs they have recieved.
My brazilian companion is doing great, and he would like you to send a recipe for Chocolate chip cookies so that we can make some next p-day. He is learning a ton and I think he is already ready to be senior companion. Things here have been going good though and we have been trying harder to use the Book of Mormon more in our day to day work to demonstrate the power that it has.

Anyway I love you and hope you are doing well!

-Elder Eskildsen

August in Santa Maria

August 2012      Well to answer your last question frist, the next transfer date is today, and well, I was transferred to Santa Maria to be in the Santa Marta zone. Im a bit excited but I really wanted to stay here in Ijuí to help all of the awesome people we have met get baptized. But I know that Elder Glazier will do well here without me. That little trip to the lake house sounded like a lot of fun, but thats too bad that you left your books and stuff. Just study as best you can the material really gets easier the more you go. Theres also one more thing I would like in that package if it is not too much. It is a book by Truman G. Madsen Called ´´Joseph Smith the Prophet´´. I would like to have that if it is at all possible. They have it in paperback. Dont get it confused with ´´The life and teachings of Joseph Smith´´, by the same author. Your talk looks pretty good as well, I wish I could have been there to hear it. But I sent most of the stuff about the week in an email to Rachel, so you can read that one, sorry! Im kind of pressed for time. But oh, I am so happy for Brant! He is going to LOVE serving in the states. It may not seem as exotic or as cool serving in the US but there are many many elders who would like to have the nice and cushy life in a stateside mission haha. But I can deal without AC for the next little bit. But also he is going to love being a missionary and everything. Also I want his adress ASAP. I love you and hope you are having a great week!

-Elder Eskildsen

Aug 20,   Dear Family,

Yes I have been called as a district leader. It may sounds glamorous and all, but really it is just a bit of extra work. I do like it though, but it is a bit annoying having to not only deal with the free agency of investigators, but also with that of the missionaries. It hasnt been too bad though, just a little bit more stressful. I wanted to see Sister Taylor before she headed back for the US but it seems that she snuck out of the Casa Grande a few hours before I got there. She also was a great missionary here, and was always one of President Ribeiro´s most reliable sister missionaries. Thats what a lot of missionaries said about her here on the mission. Yea the Brazilians cant pronounce my name, but its all good, because it makes it easy to identify the people who like me a lot (because they actually take the time to learn how to say my name,). It´s so nice to hear stories like that of Ashley and the Brownings to be able to demonstrate that when the church works the way it is supposed to and the members really embrace the less acitves and the investigators, miracles are sure to happen. Even just knowing that paperwork and the members records, is working in some areas is quite refreshing to me. I have seen too many people who have been baptized, shortly thereafter gone inactive, and moved away and no one knows who they are or where they live, therefore making them just a name on a piece of paper and essentially nonexistant in terms on church membership. Order is good.

One thing I am really excited for when I get back is to go to the temple again. Not having one here in the mission is really sad and makes me miss going to the temple.

Thats so awesome that Chelsea is going to Resistência! Im super excited for her, but it would have been cooler if she were to be going to this mission here. But even then maybe she will pass in Passo De Los Libres just like uncle sam, and then be able to see one of the cities I served in from across the bridge!

This week has been pretty good, but was a bit difficult as well. We have been putting into practice Presidents council of Challenging everyone to baptizm in the 1st lesson, and several people accepted a date etc, but many of the people that accepted the baptizmal date werent home for the second lesson that we scheduled (which actually happens alot here because even if your mark for the next day people generally forget). We will have to really work hard to find all of those same people again so that we will be able to accompany them well and get them integrated into the ward and a testimony of the church. One thing that really suriprises me here is how quickly and easily people claim to have received an answer from God to thier prayers. sometimes people claim a testimony out of the fervor of the moment and other times people just dont want to say that they havent received an answer, yet many times they have genuinly been answered. We brought Moisés a young man of 16 to the stake conference yesterday, but his mom didnt end up being able to (or disposed to go) which is disappointing, because we arent going to baptize moisés if his mom doesnt get baptized with him. Other than that it has been getting hotter here and rainy and overcast, which I personally like. Other than that the week was pretty normal, and I dont beleive that I have anything else to say. Next week I will think more about what I will write so that I can send a more descriptive email. Maybe I will send a voice recording as well. Well I love you and hope you are all doing well!

-Elder Eskildsen

Oh and the adress will be this:

Élder Eskildsen

Caixa Postal 0339

Santa Maria -RS 97010-970


Aug 27, 2012

Thats awesome! I cant beleive Garrick is already home. Time really passes by fast on the mission, and Im sure that he agrees with that. I now officially have a year on the mission and it feels like it has gone by really quick. Me and several other elders from my group got together today on p-day and went to one of the only chinese restaurants in the mission. Its not incredible cheap, but the buffet was exceptional and I got my fill of chinese food.
Its good to hear that you passed your test! and did Rachel and Bergen both pass?
I cant beleive Jake Taylor is already getting married! Is it that same girl that he was dating before his mission?
This week was kind of hectic and a lot changed. There was an emergency transfer because of some things that went wrong with some other missionaries in a different zone and they were switched out of the area they were in, and my area was affected by it. Elder Jensen went to Uruguiana to be with a brazilian companion named Elder Lourenço, and Elder Strout, who is from my group in the MTC came here to be my companion. It is kind of cool serving with someone from my own group,. President told me that I am not going to be companions with him for very long, but that in the next transfer I am going to train a new elder. Im gonna be a dad on the mission! Im pretty stoked for that, but also its risky because I have no clue who it is that I am going to be training. That made this week a bit crazy, and we lacked a day of work because my companion had to leave. We spent most of this week trying to establish a teaching group and spent a lot of time looking for new investigators. WE found quite a few of really good people, but none of them went to church because it was really cold and rainy. When it gets really cold and anytime it rains here not even most of the members go to church, so during such weeks it is really hard to get investigators to go to chruch. We had many people say that they would go to church but none of them did and I am expecting to hear the excuse of ´´it was cold/raining´´ a lot. But they can go next week. The only problem is that we will have to look for even more investigators this week and still try to balance the old ones. Things will get pretty good though this next week. I know we are going to baptize in this transfer still, we just need to work hard.
I got a letter from Chelsea today. She sent it before she got her call, but it is pretty awesome that she is going to Argentina. Did I tell you ‘Im living with an Argentinian at the moment? He is one of the LZs. I hope that everything is going well!! and I love you!