Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

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

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