Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

Monday, December 10, 2012

To answer your question, yes, guns are illegal in all of Brazil. That was a big no-no that the Elder comitted. My deviated septum is fine, I think that it has always been this way, but I just never had a doctor that actually checked for that. I dont think it has anything to do with the wax problem, but it might, because he wasnt going to check my nose, but when he looked in the entrance of the eustacian tube (the tube that goes from the mouth to the ear) and because of that he looked in my nostrils. So who knows maybe it has something to do with the problem. The surgery for a deviated septum is 4000 reais here which is about 2000 dollars US. Chances are I will have to do it there in the states when I get back. Unless it is way cheaper here. The ear candles work but at the same time they dont. I had accumulated so much wax that even the candles were really doing nothing, mostly because the wax was really deep.
I have gotten a few articles of snail mail. I will also send that thing in soon about my drivers liscence. I also got the missionary newsletter. Tell Matt Hadley that he will probably end up serving in the hometown of the elder that I am training. Its a city called Vitoria da conquista. From what I was told that will be one of the most temporate cities on the mission, but the state that matt will be in is known for being EXTREMELY hot in general.
Im not sure exactly where the area I am is in relation to the downtown but I beleive it is to the west. The house I am living in is really pretty nice. It gets really hot and humid inn there but I think that is a common trait with the houses here in the mission. It has all of the necessities of life, and we have managed to keep it relatively clean. The Christmas decorations with the rich people is a lot like the US but a little less ostentatious. The humbler people generally have a few lights and a very small Chrstmas tree and maybe a wreath on thier doors. The lights and stuff dont even make it seem like Christmas. It is way to hot to be the holidays haha.
It seems as though the ward has the same small problems that all other wards have, although connell 1st is a little zion. It is also impossible for the ward missionaries here to teach the new member discusions. What is needed for the new members is to really comprehend the commandments, especially the importance of sacrament meeting.
As for my district it kind of stayed the same. Only the arms trafficker was sent away to Panambi and a literal african was put in his place. My district will also grow in this transfer. One more companionship is going to be sent here, thus making my district enormous! Its going to be even more challenging than it already has been, but I am ready. As it turns out Elder Bargas was transferred to go to another area in Santa Maria. But other than taht nothing has changed. Here is a voice recording that talks about some of the peeps we are teaching. Love you and hope you are doing well!
-Elder Eskildsen


Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 3, 2012

2012Dang thats pretty crazy that dad still has work in December. Is it still not getting to be very cold there? Im lucky that we still havent gotten to the point that not even a shower cools us off. It hasnt gotten SUPER hot yet, or rather, its been hot, but it isnt nonstop. The nights still get a bit cool. I will enjoy it while it lasts. I didnt even know that the Christmas devotional happened. No one in this ward said anything about it. Thats too bad. Maybe they will re air it in Portuguese or something.

That sounds cool that we have relatives in the bread business. I really do like bakeries but it seems as though that is something that is on the decline in the US. Here in Brazil they are sometimes found on every corner.

I had a feeling that James would have a bit of trouble on the mission. Jacob worte me a letter a while back and by the way James talked about his mission it didnt seem like he was really wanting to be there. The difference is really in the desire to serve the lord. Something that no one can be forced to do.

So I received a package a few weeks back but I dont know if it is one of the two that you mentioned. It was the one that had the shoes in it. Is there two more besides that one? I got that letter that you sent with colemans email in it.

This week was good but it sure was a test of patience. We had interviews with President which went very well. He gave me a few counsels on how to deal with my district and then asked me ´´did you know that your companion, Elder xxx has a weapon?´´ He then proceeded to tell me that someone informed him that he has a gun. Not a small gun but a musket. A large musket. I was 99% positive the my comp doesnt have a gun. He asked everyone in our house the same thing. As it turns out he does not have a gun, but as we did some detective work we found out that an Elder in xxx does in fact have a gun. He bought a gun to sell to a recent convert. There are 2 problems with that. First of all in all missions in the world missionaries are prohibited to have guns. Second is that Guns are illegal here in xxxx   thus classifying what this xxxxx did as illegal arms trafficking. That made this week a bit difficult and there were a few emergency transfers.
We did find some good people to teach though. We are still having a bit of trouble getting people to go to church, but other than that the work is going well.
I went to a ear nose and throat doctor the other day because Ive been pretty deaf in my left ear for the past (4) weeks. As was expected it was only caused by ear wax build up, so I took a medication to soften the wax to be extracted later today. He also did a basic face area exam and he discovered that I have a deviated septum which is obstructing almost entirely my left nostril and causing difficulties on the right. So I found out why I have a hard time breathing through my nose and why I feel like im suffocating in very humid places. Dang. Im full of little problems haha. This next week is gonna be good and if I get transferred I will be sure to tell you ASAP.



November 28, 2012

Sounds like the trip was a lot of fun, notwithstanding the heat etc. I can definitely tell ya that it is starting to get pretty hot here in Santa Maria. Im not sure how ready I am for the heat. The other day it was only about 97 degrees but it already felt like I was standing in an oven. I cant even imagine what it is going to be like here in a month or two when it starts to get over 105.
So the house is going to be even bigger? Thats crazy. At least there will be enough rooms for all of us when we return from BYU during the holidays. Is Bergen already getting used to the idea of being the only child left at home here in a few months?
I am really excited to go on some hikes when I get back. That is one thing that I really miss and that we arent allowed to do here on the mission.
Grandma mentioned a bit about Katelyns man in the letter she sent me. I guess things are getting a bit serious. Dang. She needs to wait to get married so that I will be able to be there at the wedding.
Yes there are 4 people that live in the house with me so those 4 stockings will work out well. I am thinking I wont get transferred, but there is still a small chance I may be. President is going to transfer a few more people today and tomorrow and a few more people here in 2 weeks to not mess with the transfers too much during Christmas time.
And dont worry I have been trying to remember to use sunscreen. Sister Ribeiro has been really worried about the white missionaries and our sunburn potential.
   The baptism was really great this weekend! There were quite a few people that showed up and the meeting was very spiritual. I performed the ordinance and it was nice to be able to enter the water again. Our week was good and the lessons that we taught were very good as well, but we are still having a lot of trouble getting our investigators to go to church. Everyone says that they are 100% that they will go to church, we call and remind people, they say they will go, and then when we get to church no one is there. We will have to see what everyones excuses are this week. We did find some really good new investigators towards the end of the week that said they would go next week but in couldnt go yesterday. hopefully these people will progress more. Luckily many of the new investigators we have live close to our house and subsequently close to the chapel. This next week is definitely going to be a good one. My camera was dead a t the baptism and so I will send you pics of it next week. I love you all and hope you are doing well!

Oh and tell Mikaela, Katelyn, and Uncle Scott Stapleton that I wrote letters to them, but I simply forgot to bring them with me downtown to send in the mail so I will send them next week. Chances are they will get to the states by Christmas time


November 15, 2012

Wow it sounds like this last week really was a difficult one. It is really sad that Brother Simpson passed away. He was a great scout master and a great guy.
This last week as well was a bit difficult. Mostly because it was very rushed and complicated but also because we were disappointed by the fact that all of the people we invited to go to church didnt end up going. The guy we are going to baptize didnt end up going either, and we still havent been able to talk with him. Im hoping he hasnt been having more problems with his heart. We will talk to him sometime soon to make sure everything is alright. We are really needing to find new people to teach. The people we had found the past several weeks/months dont really fulfill any of the comitments that we leave with them, so we have ended up cutting most of our teaching group and it is being really difficult trying to find other good investigators to teach. We have tried to get references from the members but to be honest that has brought in nothing until now. Im feeling that the member references are going to be more of a long run project. We taught several new people this week but none of them seem that they are going to take seriously the invitations that we leave with them. Part of the eason this week was so complex was that I did a 2 day division with another companionship in my district. It went really well and I was able to have great teaching experiences with Elder Lana that is in one of the other areas. I was able to see how his work is going and what he can do to improve etc. It was also quite exciting to get to know another area. We taught a 7th day adventist who the elders there are going to baptize. He is a really good guy, but he is still pretty hung up on the idea of sabbath day worship on saturday and the consumption of pork. We explained a little bit about the fulfillment of the law of Moses by Christ, but he says that although he will still be baptized he will never stop keeping the sabbath on Saturday in his heart. The division ws good, but we are still needing to better our own work here in Santa Marta. This week we will have to work really hard to improve things.
You are going on ANOTHER cruise?! Havent you gone on enough cruises these days? Did there ever end up having an ocean trip with Grandma e grandpa Eskildsen this year?
I didnt get any letters or packages this week but later today I will go see if I was so blessed. If you could put a few stacks of post it notes in the package that would be perfect. When following up the numbers of the district the sticky notes really help. Also something that I have been craving is stuffing. If there is room in the box you should send me a box of stuffing (the instant kind). Besides socks and jelly bellies, I cant think of anything else I need. But I love you all and hope you are doing very well!
-Elder Eskildsen


November 5, 2012

Thats cool that dad is getting some more work in before the end of the year. Isnt it really out of the normal to get so much work this late in the season? This is a blessing resultant of tithing, did you know?Also the house thing is going to be weird, but it will just compliment the rest of the weird changes that are going to have been made during my 2 year absensce. Also I dont mind if you send me pictures that doesnt bother me at all. I havent yet got any packages or pics, but yet again I will be going to the post office here in a few hours to grab the mail and I will know then if I get anything.
Its good to know that Corwin finally has a drivers lisensce and not just a permit now. It is also nice to hear that he has gone with the most popular car model in the Rio Grande do Sul: an old VW beetle. There are a lot of people here that have that same car. How is Corwin doing do you know? maybe Jase knows a little. Its cool that you saw Alex as well. I will definitely have to hang out with him in the short period that I am at home before BYU. Its going to be a busy few weeks.
   This week was good in certain aspects but was a bit difficult. There was a really awesome Zone conference that we had with President Ribeiro. It got me a little bit more excited and way more pressured to work more efficiently and better with the members. In our mission at the moment practically no one is working well with the members, so that will definitely be something that we are working on this week. I ate some food that was bad monday night and passed all of Tuesday as the king of the bathroom. I got some pretty bad food poisoning and was incapacitated for one full day (tuesday) and I didnt completely ´´normalize´´ until Thursday. But I am better now and free of sickness. We had a really hard time fiding new people to teach this week. And the two people we did find arent too promising.. We still have a date marked for the 17th (we delayed the baptism a week so that we would have time to teach everything). Daniele the guy we are teaching and going to baptize has been having heart problems, and so it has been kind of hard to find him at home to teach him. He still has a very strong desire to be baptized and has been going to church for a while, so we will work hard to prepare him for the 17th. We are also trying to work with a guy who is married to a less active member. He is wanting to go to church etc, and he already knows that he is going to be baptized but it appears that his wife is the one that is more in the way than anything in terms of him going to church etc. I was a bit disanimated on saturday because we didnt teach very much and spent a lot of time walking and it was very very hot, but after a lot of prayer and a fast I am much better now. This work is true. Something I am doing with the Book of Mormon this week that I am enjoying is something that I beleive Elder Bednar said to do. To write a question in the front of the book, start the book over and look for an answer to that question while you read. I am discovering all kinds of new insights that I never thought of while doing a general reading. Well I love you and hope you are all doing very well. -Elder Eskildsen
oh and Socks. I would like socks in my Christmas package. Black socks. Also Jelly Belly Jelly beans if that is possible.

Oct 28, 2012

The week here was a bit sunny, but got really rainy during the weekend, which is awful because that is when church is. It is currently raining and this excess of rain is realy strange for this time of year here in Brazil. I bet Chelsea is super excited to start the mission. Has she left already, or is it this week that she leaves? I knew Matt was going to go to Brazil, but I was thinking he was going to go to this mission. He wil do great in whatever mission he goes to. Especially if it is to the north of Brazil, because those places already baptize A TON.
  Night flights are always some of the coolest things. It is especially cool when you block out the windows and depend only on the instruments while the instrutor messes with the controls. Talk about vertigo. It really helps to learn how to trust the instruments.

I still havent gotten that package that you sent me, but I will be going to the post office here in a few minutes, so if it is there I will know today. I am not being transfered (transfers are today) so I will definitely be here when the package comes. I dont really know how the PO box is working becaue NO ONE (besides you) sends me letters to the Po box. /only the the mission office, so I have still only been getting my letters on the transfer. If I were to be transfered, the letters will be forwarded by the LD to my new city and the packages will be retained by the secretaries and delivered ASAP. The next transfer date I beleive is December 5 (today being the start of the new transfer) and my district changed quite a bit and from the look of things this transfer will be much more difficult for me. Another district in the zone is closing and 2 of the duplas from that district are joining mine. There are now 6 companionships in my district which is going to make things a bit more work for me. I just hope that I can do something to augment the output of these missionaries.
This week was good and bad. I got sick and for about two days we didnt get a whole lot done, partly due to the fact that I was too obstinate to stay at home or call Sister Ribeiro. Im better now, but that effected out week quite a bit. We baptized Moisés. and the confirmation went well, even though he showed up late to sacrament meeting. The baptismal meeting was really spiritual and this ward is really good. He has already been going to church for a few months and he will be getting the aaronic priesthood soon. He also already has a companion for home teaching which is a miracle here. He also has a strong desire to serve a mission here in 2 years. We marked another baptismal date of a young man (21 years old) who has been going to church with his girlfriend who is a less active member that is returning. He says that he has never felt so good in any other church and even asked us at the beginning of the 1st lesson what he has to do to be baptized in our church. We told him and marked his date to the 10th of November and told him he has to pray. He said that he received a really strong answer that this church is true and he is more firm than ever in his resolve to be baptized. He has a few health problems since his birth including heart problems. He was not able to go to church yesterday because he had what turned out to be the start of a heart attack. He is super awesome and we are teaching his mother as well who is incredibly catholic. We have another family that we are teaching that is good but need to go to church. This next week we are going to work on cutting the non progressing investigators and finding new families to teach. The work was difficult this week and I was not at my best health but I know that this church and this work are true. I love you and hope you are doing amazing! Also when does Matt leave?

first pic me and my comp and Moisés  2nd me and Elder R. Souza the only missionary in my district that I was sure was going to leave.

marked Moises for baptism Oct 22

Oct 22

Wow homecoming week sounds like it was a ton of fun this last week. It makes it so strange to think that I was in high school a very short time ago etc. That is so crazy that the recent convert of the Elders died! He was lucky to have learned about and accepted the gospel in this life. Studying a bit in the doctrine and Covenants I learned that the first 4 verses of Doctrine and Covenants 59 are directed to Polly Knight who died shortly after having arrived in the city that would become zion. She was persevering through a scikness, with hopes of being able to set foot on the land of zion. The verses infer that those who die in Christ shall have peace and ´´rest from thier labors´´. Surely this new member of the church is resting from his labors.
Thats cool that Katelyns ´´man´´ knows Portuguese. Who knows, maybe I will have someone t o converse with me and Uncle Scott Stapleton in Portuguese when I get back off the mission. Yea I remembered dads Birthday and I hope he is doing well. I am going to celebrate by having a baptism. Also tell Great Grandma Happy Birthday for me and that I am thinking about her and keeping her in my prayers.
   This week was a bit difficult in the sense that many of our appointments fell through. We passed several days of difficulty without giving very many lessons, but we had a few very good successes. One of them was that we marked the baptismal date of Moisés one of our investigators. He is a really good young man and has been well integrated into the ward. Additionally he has been attending church and mutual and other activities for the past several months. I think he is well ready for baptism.
This week got super hot and I have decided that I am not too ready for the summer. I am really having a hard time this week as well thinking about things to write. I love you and promise that my next email will be a bit longer and more fulfilling. Hope all goes well in Connell.


October 15, 2012 Santa Maria

October 15

With 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!

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!
That is good that is starting to rain a little bit more there in connell. The rain here has stopped. The heat is manifesting itself, and I am praying to not melt in the next few months. I can imagine that Chelsea is super excited to be out in the field. I was the same way before going out into the MTC and even more excited to leave the MTC and enter the field.

I found that story of the felon a bit funny, just because it got rachel and Bergen so scared. So you got a VW? That is the brand of car that is most comon here in Brazil. Not usually new though. Joel Crowther has lost a lot of weight? He was already pretty skinny when he left for the mission. I hope he is doing fine. He is going to be getting back way soon. Same with Michael Casper and Blake Nielson. Im really excited now to be able to fly that Cherokee.
Did you send that Package to the P.O. Box (caixa postal) address? President and the secretaries are cracking down on letters now and have said that any letter that shows up at the Rua Pascualine address after November will not be given to us until THE END of our missions. They dont want ANYTHING showing up to the mission office. So if you could please advise the people that would be nice. Make sure that everyone that may send me a letter knows to send me a letter to the caixa postal address, because it seems that everyone still sends me letters to the mission office.
The missionary work is going great. We marked the baptismal date of Moisés a young man who has been going to church for about 3 months now, who is essentially already a member. WE are going to baptize him and help him to receive the aaronic priesthood so that he can baptize his friend here in a few months.

We found some really awesome people this week and our perspective sucess is pretty big. We went and talked to Rose, our investigator who told us that her husband has softened to the gospel and now has a huge desire to go to church and keep the commandments etc. They have been taught by missionaries in the past, but he was always hiding from them and never keeping the comitments, but Rose said that ever since we started teaching them he has changed and is really wanting to follow the gospel. We are working on getting them married soon so that they can be baptized next month.
We also found, several weeks back a less active lady who is legally married to a nonmember and this week we finally managed to teach them again. She has a great desire to return to church and I am certain that he will be a member of the church relatively soon.
The ward here is one of the strongest in the mission, and I am really greatful for the members here. Granted the ward has problems, but which ward doesnt. Im hoping I stay here for at least one transfer.
The nearest temple from here is in Porto Alegre which is about 4 hours or so from here.
I love you and hope that everything is going great there!
-Elder Eskildsen