Current Mission Address

Elder Dane Edward Eskildsen
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Caixa Postal 0339

Centro Quarai-RS 97560-000

(updated 1/13)

Monday, February 25, 2013

January and Febuary 2013

January 20, 2013  Wow Jarin is 8 already?! I thought he was like 6 still. Dang thats pretty crazy. I got the family calander this last week and everyone seems to have changed a little bit. I havent however gotten your Christmas letter. It should be here today. Ill have to go and see. Thats good to hear that the meetings this last sunday were good. Its also crazy to think that Joel Crowther is back already. If he is back that means that Michael Casper Dyrel Whitby and Blake Nelson are back already as well. Thats pretty crazy to think about. Time passes by so quickly during the mission.
I have not yet been transferred, but later this day I will probably find out where I will be going later today. When I do I will be sure to send you and email.

The work went slow this week. As hard as we tried to mark appointments and to find new investigators we were not let in to hardly any houses. And the one house that did let us in wasnt able to mark a specific return date for us. Therefore we didnt really find any new investigators. Yet Alex and Josiele went to church on Sunday. Alex cancelled all work apointments he had etc, so that he could go to church and he loved it. He said without a doubt he is going to go next week. We are planning on baptizing him next month. Vivianne wasnt able to go to church yesterday and she also still hasnt given that husband of hers the boot. She has a very strong desire to be baptized but the guy wont get out of there and he wont marry her. Its difficult. We have another couple that we found that seem to be some of the elect. They are very interested in the message and want to go to church etc. They always ask all kinds of questions. We even got somehow to the topic of marriage and they said taht they have no problem getting married legally to be baptized. They are praying and reading the BOM to get an answer. As soon as they go to church I know they will be even more excited about the Feb. 23 baptismal date that we set for them. ( Thier names are Roberto and Leticia BTW)

It got SUPER hot here for a couple days and many times seemed to be threatening to rain but never did. Therefore it stayed incredibly humid. I hope I get sent to someplace a bit less humid than Santa maria. I would love to have a little bit of that cold you all are feeling there in the states. I love you all and hope your week is great!

-Elder Eskildsen
January 27, 2013  Yea the Fire in Santa Maria has been all over the news and EVERYONE has been talking about it. It really has been a huge tragedy. As of now I dont know of anyone who was caught in the fire, but our investigator didnt go to church there in Santa Maria ( I was told by my old comp) because he had to help identify bodies of some of his friends that were there. Yea Santa Maria has a ton of students and colleges and so that is why there were so many young people from many different cities there.
The new area has been really good. It is about 5 and a half or six hours away from Santa Maria, and wow is it a lot different. Not only did the accent change a lot, but as we are on the border of Uruguay there is a lot of Portunhol that is spoken. We are even allowed to go to Uruguay on P-day so this morning we went over to Artigas to buy some cheap American import Items (Pringles deodorant: (for other missionaries) and tabasco sauce. The city I am in: QuaraĆ­ is a pretty podunk town in the middle of pretty much nothing. There are 22,000 inhabitants and no real reason for anyone to come here. It is also one of the hottest areas on the mission and I am being blessed by the relatively mild climate, althogh the inside of our house reaches a general 90 degrees at all times. This city is, by percentage, the city with most members of the church, for there are 1300-1800 (number not confirmed) members here. The sad thing is is that although it once flourished the city has decreased to 3 branches, one (my branch) having a frequency of 80-90 and the other two with a frequency of less than 40 members. The situation is grim for the other two branches. I got here and luckily was recompensed for the loss of the good investigators that I had in Santa Maria. There is an incredibly elect family that we are teaching here that are going to be married and baptized by the 16th of February. They will be the first complete family baptized in the city for a VERY long time. We also have several other prospects for baptism next month. The members have been getting excited latelybecause of the success that the branch is having lately and so we are definitely going to work well with the members. You can imagine that I have so many things to talk about the new area etc, but I have trouble putting my thoughts together sometimes. I am really liking this new area. Yes I am still district leader and have been blessed immensely for only having one other companionship in my district. Its pretty tranquil. It is also nice to work with Elder Moroni again. (Yes dying is the term that we use, and fortunately I wont be dying for another several months. and you dont have to worry, the 6th of August is my DEFINITE return date, because if I return in the next transfer I wouldnt make it back for college. Also from what I had been told the area authorities here in Brazil are making it very very hard for a missionary to get an extension.).
It is crazy to think that things are getting so different there at home. Marriages, missions and all kinds of other things. Also I am excited to find out that Rachel will be going to BYU with me.
There are a whole lot of ag planes that I have seen flying around here in this city. Seeing as the city is small, rural, and very involved in agriculture that is to be expected. I will try to find out where the closest ag strip is and try to pay a visit.
I already sent home the drivers liscense extension, It was severaly weeks ago that I sent it, so it should not take to long for it to get there. Prehaps it would be necessary to send another one....
Also I have had very little (almost no) time to practice piano, but after a cumulated hour of practice I can now play abide with me tis eventide with both hands. many others I can play with the left and the righthand but not at the same time. I will practice when I get home.
Well i hope you are all doing well in the states, and I love you all!
-Elder Eskildsen

Feb 4, 2013    Wow that is so crazy that Kylie is already going on the mission. I am probably going to be very surprised when I get back by all of the people that went on missions. Yea Im sure she will see Coleman at least a few times.

I really wish that I could have been there to go through the temple with Katelyn for the first time. I got her wedding announcement on the 1st. It got here really fast. It wassent out the 23rd and I got it the first. I think it is the letter that has gotten to me the fastest of any other here on the mission. I also already got the calander and the Christmas card. It has acually been a while. I have been procrastinating my letter writing a bit, but here in a while I wil have many letters to send to many people. Busy busy busy.

They still play football in the US? I almost forgot that existed. I am incredebly aware of Soccer however. I am in a place that simple does not allow me to forget about it. But I am starting to like it a bit more.

Im sure the missionaries loved the pizza. I would like pizza for lunch every once in a while. At least here it is always nice to have something a little more simple like a sandwich or pizza or something instead of RICE haha. We have ate alot of rice here. I am not a huge fan at the moment. The food here is pretty much the same. There arent a whole lot of differences other than the fact that the food is more simple because the area is a little bit poorer, but that is not truly a bad thing. The people here seem to like a lot of spices and salt on thier food, which I am fine with. I have found myself liking food a lot stronger than when I was at home. The people in this area are much more open and hospitable than my last ward. I am already having more success here in this area than in the last few areas I was in notwithstanding the fac that this city is one of te ´´holes´´ of te missiion.

The spanish isnt difficult at all. Actually I have been able to articulate well in spanish due to the fact that I rememver a little from aunt Lisas class (yes Aunt Lisa, I retained quite a bit it seems) and due to the fact taht the two languages are so similar. REading spanish is easy.To Speak it is moderately difficult. To understand the Uruguians is pretty dand hard. But when they speak slow I can get what they are saying. Mexican spanish is much easier to understand.

Its good to hear the house is coming along well.Our week went quite well. We had the zone conference which was great, and I saw Elder Welch (as depicted in the picture attached) and talked to him quite a bit. It was quite hot this week, but I was truly blessed that the weather cooled down a bit when the day for fasting came. IT was still hot but It stayed just under 100 degrees which was truly a blessing. my testimony of fasting was strengthened the last few days. We spent most of Saturday talking to investigators that havent got to church for a while. Some for a year and some for three months. WE left great messages there and 4 of those peeople went to church yesterday which was an incredible blessing, because the visits on saturday were with the intent of cutting them and leaving thier names in the area book. We also have that family that we will baptize here in a few weeks that are going well. We will get them married ASAP and the baptism is scheduled for the 16th. WE currently have 5 dates marked for baptism 4 from the family and one of a young lady we are teaching.

I cant think of much else to say other than that I need more refills for my Zebra F-301 pens. If you get tem make sure that they are of the ´´fine point´´ style. Thanks. I love you and appreciate all that you do for me.

-Elder Eskildsen

P.S. MY comp Elder Moroni is applying for the ELC program (elglish language Center) and we are probably going to be roomates after the mission. We have been talking about him going to stay with us a little bit after I get home of the mission to work a little bit and to get used to the US before heading off to school. I dont know how it works to let a foreigner work in agriculture, but what do you think of the idea dad?

Feb 17, 2013 I have a SOUND BYTE to send to you all today! That may explain a bit about how my week was. But yea last week we actually had 8 people at sacrament meeting. This week was 12. A little more on that in the voice recording. It was early morning when I recorded so I think my voice is a little odd.
I would have really liked to be at the stake conference this last week. But here we are going to have a marriage and 3 baptisms on Wednesday! We are super excited and the branch is SUPER stoked, because it has been a long time that such a GOOD family has been baptized in the entire city.
Tell Katelyn Congratulations for me! It is super cool that she found someone good and all but she should have waited for me to see her wedding! haha but Im happy for her.
Thats super cool that Mark has been here. It is a little agricultural town so Im sure it must have been here that he went. Did he ever end up going to church here? Maybe the members know him. But the members dont really remember much of people that pass through here, despite its small size and low influx of people. Im sure here would be a good place for the church to put property, because things like land are much cheaper here.
The new house is amazing. More on that in the voice recording.
I sent a letter to Chelsea today. I am sure it will get to her soon seeing as she is practically my neighbor. Also I sent a letter to Kelli Marie and to Mikaela. I will send a letter to respond to Grandma and Grandpa Eskildsen, but I need to know if they are going to be in Kennewick or in Arizona. Do you know?
At this moment I dont think I need help with the housing, but I will see.
I hope you are all doing well and I love you!
-Elder Eskildsen
Feb 25, 2013  Dont worry you didnt spoil it for me. I already saw it when Rachel told me. I got super excited when I found out! She is definitely going to love it there at BYU! I know it. So now that you have two progenie attending the same institution of higher education, which automobile may we take? Will we get to take the pilot up to Provo?
That little party of Rachels sounded pretty cool, even if she was crying a little bit before. Rachel wont have to worry about the dating life. I am sure there will be all kinds of my ex mission buddies there that will want to talk with her haha. We will see.

Mail gets sent to my city that I am in (QuaraĆ­) with that address I gave you. If I am transferred (which I was not. Transfers were today. I will stay another 6 weeks here probably). In the case of a transfer, everything will be sent to me by the elders in the city I have left. Also I am going to need probably just 1 more axe hairgel , the same yellow labelled one as always and some more floss picks. That is pretty much the limit of what I will need until the end. Also dont be alarmed by the amount of money being taken out of my personal account. Because of supplies for the new house I had to dip into the ´´dollar´´ account. But all of the 150 dollars or so that I took out will be reimbursed here in a few weeks. Nothing to worry about.

Our hosue is all settled into, and it is awesome. It is quite a nice house and we are living alone, which makes it much quieter and easier to keep clean. That is the life. We also live in our area now and much closer to EVERYTHING. What a beauty.

My mission wont change at all, but it was nice to know about the new mission president. I will only spend one transfer with him.

It has been raining quite a bit here which has made it quite nice. The temp has cooled a lot which is releiving. It is supposd to heat up again.

The baptisms and the marriage were anazing! There were 130 people there! That made the experince even more special for the family!

We have had quite a bit of success this week and we are going to probably have more baptisms in the near future. This week was super stressful. Hre are some pics!

-Love you and hope you are all doing well!

-Elder Eskildsen

December and January

December 16, 2012

Yea mom had said that you had a bit of work to do this month, which i thought strange, because it is really rare to have work in December. I got the floor plans of the house and I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the fact that when I get back I will yet again be in a place that has central heating/cooling, to be able to escape the heat of the summer. I dont know if I told you, but because of the new influx of Elders in the field our return date has been changed. My group of missionaries will now get back on the 6th of August 2013. Basically we will be getting home almost an entire month before the two year mark (24th of August). Thus I will have a little more time to get ready to go to BYU. 3 weeks seemed like such little time before I went on the mission, but now I know how much can be done in three short weeks.

In terms of members involved in the missionary work, there is nothing better. one thing that President has been hitting hard on recently is working with the members. The only problem is that the members sometimes create an illusion of being too busy to be able to go with us to lessons etc. A new convert is so much more likely to stay in the church if there are members always supporting them on thier way to being assimilated into the culture and life of the true church of Christ.

1. The characteristics of youth who become successful missionaries are many. The first and possibly foremost attribute is humility. It is demanded of a missionary that he be a Christ like person. Often times to be so a young missionary must change. This change will be expected of the missionary. If the missionary is humble he will be able to accept the counsels of his leaders and companions on the mission, thus enabling him to be the servant the Lord expects him to be. Many of the other attributes are listed in the Preach my Gospel chapter 6. Everything that a missionary needs to be is in that chapter. Personally I also beleive that a missionary must have the DESIRE to serve the Lord. Without a desire to be a representative of Christ a missionary will not be efficient and will abhor the 2 years he is on a mission. I personally beleive, because of many missionaries that I have worked with here on the mission that if one does not truly have a desire to serve it is better that he does not even start a mission. It is true that the desire to serve may come while on the mission itself, but that is too much of a gamble. Missionaries forced onto missions create too many problems. They must develop a desire BEFORE coming on the mission. One other thing I find essential to a successful missionary is knowledge. This is one of the Christ like attributes described in PMG chapter 6 as well. Those missionaries who have a firm knowledge of the gospel and its principals will have so much more the advantage in the field.

2.These attributes are difficult to obtain, but through prayer and study they are very possible. One thing we learn as missionaries is that we must many times prey to the Lord to have a desire to do this work. Often times we must pray to simple have the desire to pray. Through fervent prayer we can augment our desire to serve and become even closer to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is something that can improve each and every one of this attributes. And as we know prayer used together with fasting is a perfect way to work miracles. One must learn to study the scriptures daily. A quick reading here and there will not suffice. We must learn to really immerse ourselves in these Holy texts. We must not stop there. We must follow the consel that we missionaries give to our investigators. We ourselves must stop to ask God if these things are true. We must KNOW that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and That Joseph Smith was a true Prophet. Spiritual convictions answered through prayer, such as these will help a youth have the desire to let others know about the gospel of Christ. Study of the Preach my Gospel manual is good together with diligent scripture study. Yet one of the things that is most important of all, as our mission President instructed us yesterday in a Zone Conference, is the atonement of Jesus Christ. When one comprehends the atonement of Christ he will have a strong desire to help others come unto Christ. A knowledge of the grand sacrifice that our Saviour did for us is ideal to help someone have the desire to serve the Lord.

I hope that that answered your question. There are many other answers, but that is what I thought of at the moment. I recently had an experience while reading the conference talks of the 2006 October edition of the ensign. Revising the words of the living prophets I was filled with an immense desire to help others truly activate the atonement in thier lives. The spirit was truly touching my heart. I cannot fully describe how it was, but I know where it came from.

The end of the world is a fairly common subject here and everyone wants to know our opinion on it. There are also many rumors spreading abouthow it will be etc, but it is all just talk. Its funny to see even those who have a faith in Christ going crazy about this apocalypse nonsense.

This week we had a lady go to church who had accepted a baptismal date for the 29th of this month. She had such a good experience at church and was very well received by the members. She may or may not have a problem with an Ex husband that is wanting to return to her so we will see if she can be baptized that day or not. We found several good investigators this week and the work is going pretty well. I am excited to talk to you this next week! I love you and hope you are well

Thats crazy that Katelyn is engaged! I thought it was going to happen though. She didnt even have the manners to wait for me to get back before she got married. Oh yea tell Crystal to write me a letter. I have heard almost nothing from here while on the mission... Now that I think of it I have heard literally nothing from here.

Everything is goingwell. I talked with Elder Crandall a bit yesterday at the zone conference. He had jsut been transferred from on of the wards that I previously passed through. Elder Roth I havent met yet but I know he is here on the mission. The other name you said isnt familiar to me. Perhaps he is new. Elder Jones is part of my district here and he is a good missionary. Really funny as well. Also I think he may be the tallest missionary on the mission here. Elder Welch I havent seen, but his last companion is living with me right now. He says that Elder Welch is an excellent missionary.

The week was good. There were several days that were incredibly hot but a few days of rain as well thus making it incredbily humid and 100 percent uncomfortable. Christmas time doesnt really change the work although sometimes people arent ableto fulfill comittments because they are too busy. Other than that it stays pretty much the same. Itold dad a bit about our investigators. Because of the time I dont have to wrtie more you can look at his email. The last time I really had an opportunity to sing was in the 12 person choir at the conference with Elder Holland.

So we will be able to use skype this year. I will have a P-day on the 24th so I can tell you more details that day, but it should be about 5 or 6 in the evening my time that I will be on to talk to you. The Chirstmas package came, and yes if you were wondering I already opened the presents..... Everyone really liked thier Chirstmas stockings. Thanks a ton.

The other one isnt quite here yet but should be soon.


DEC 24

It sounds like Katelyns new man must be a good guy. Its really too bad that she is getting married so soon, because, unbeknownst to her, many missionaries here who saw her picture are very disappointed that she will no longer be single. There are also many many missionaries who are wanting to write to Rachel, but I told them that the option is hers haha. Having an 18 year old Sister as a missionary is a high risk situation.

We were not able to watch the Christmas conference, but thats ok.

Why were both of the Elders transferred at the same time? That usually only happens in this mission when they do something wrong. But every mission is different, and sometimes the Lord inspires such a change.. Thats cool that Elder Swenson has the opportunity to serve in the same ward again. He must be coming to the end of his mission?

So I will be calling at 6 in the evening my time. I just checked a world clock and it appears that the difference is in fact 6 hours. So it will be about 12 o´clock or midday your time when I call. If that is inconvenient to the other Elders I can call a LITTLE bit later, but we have an appointment that night so it cant be too much later.I will be able to talk for 1 hour, which will be quite nice. Will the Elders be having lunch there on Christmas?

We have yet to be invited to a Christmas eve event. Generally the members invite the missionaries to do things on Christmas eve, but as of now we dont have plans. Chances are we will stay at home, but we will have to see what happens. This ward tends to be a little bit closed, even though it is a very strong ward. We will find something fun to do though.

Thank you so much for this marvelous Christmas gift. I would like to find some way to retribute the many things you as parents have done for me in my life. I love you both so much. I want you to know that I love my mission. I love this gospel. Despite the difficulties there are so many blessings that arise from diligent work and adherence to gospel principles.

I will talk a little bit more tomorrow about our investigators. I hope you are all doing well and I love you!

-Elder Eskildsen

Dec 3. 2013  1So I just logged onto the churches website and one of the first things I saw was a picture of MAtt Hadley Skye Perkins and Stefan Davidson. It seems as though one of the Basin city wards was in charge of getting some videos together for the new youth program. Its super crazy seeing a whole bunch of people from back home.
So New Years Eve is going to be pretty normal. We have an appointment marked with Vivianne who is an investigator who has been going to church for the past while. We are thinking about maybe making something good to eat tonight to celebrate the new year, but we are all getting a bit heavy during this holiday season. I think I might actually prefer a full nights sleep then stay awake until the coming of the new year. Here in Santa Maria the people light a lot of fireworks and party on new years. This implies a lot of drinking. As a result of this Jan. 1st generally doesnt have a lot of people in the streets until about lunch time. And those that come out then are the early risers.
Not a whole lot has changed in the past week. Like I said we are teaching Vivianne and she has to either get married or seperate from her man in order to get baptized because she is not legally married. She seems to leaning to the ´´kick him out of the house´´ idea. She said their relationship never was really good and that they have almost seperate several times before. She is praying about it to see whether she should or not. I hope she gets her answer soon. She brought her son with her to church yesterday and he seemed to like it. He has a few class mates that are members. We are hoping to baptize them before this transfer ends. We had a lot of lessons with member present this week which really helped our investigators. The work is so much better with members involved. The problem is that most of them didnt go to chruch, so we will have to see how serious these in vestigators are about the gospel and whether or not we will have to give them some time to ´´mature´´. We have been having trouble finding news this wweek. Most of it is because of the holidays. All of the references we got ended us traveling so we werent able to contact them and thus they did not turn into investigators, but we marked a lot of things for the next week that should be good.
Ill be honest I havent been using sunscreen. I keep forgetting, but I will try to apply it more often now. I love you all and hope you are doing well!
-Elder Eskildsen

January 6, 2013  Alright, well it was nice to hear that your new years eve was good. I was awoken at about 11;50 on new years eve by thousands of unneccissarily loud fireworks. Despite the torrential rain people still managed to shoot off thier whole months salary of fireworks. I was a bit annoyed because it woke me up and I was not able to fall back asleep for quite some time. It didnt even seem like new years, mostly because we just followed the same old pattern that we always follow. The holidays dont even phase me on the mission.

The lady who owns the house we are renting has been mandating a lot of renovations on our house so that she can sell it at a later date. That has incommodated us quite a bit because the reforms are really loud and they painted the other day while we were still in the house. I still have a bit of the smell of paint in my nostrils. Its all good though, it only stays annoying during study time and the rest of the day we arent there.

I must say that I only put on sunscreen one day this week. Sorry about that, but most of the days it wasnt too sunny. We had a few days of rain here and only one day that was really hot. If this weather keeps up all summer I will shout praises all the day long. I am afraid that the heat is going to come back and stay for a long time just like last year. This year is already much more tolerable than the last.

The work is going alright. We have some great investigators that are going to be able to get baptized this month but we are having a lot of trouble refurnishing our teaching pool. I feel like I have taught evryone there is to teach in this area. It is clear that I havent, but staying such a long time in an area is difficult. Its all good though. Vivianne has still yet to decide if she is going to try to convince the guy to marry her or if she´ll make him hit the road. She says it will be WAY easier for her to seperate, which is what we are gunning for. mostly because her man isnt a very good guy and doesnt treat her well. She wants to get baptized really bad, but has that one small problem. We ar eworking with her to be batpized on the 19th. Im pretty sure it is going to happen. We also will baptized her son who is going to church with her.

We are also teaching a couple that we found a long time ago. We teach them off and on and now they are starting to pregress more. The wife is a member inactive and the husband really wants to go to church. It was more her fault that they havent gone to church yet. He always woke up sunday morening and got ready but she was always reluctant to go. We did a family night there with another recent married couple from the ward. It was really awesome. They got along really well. We had to leave the Family night early to get hoem on time, but the member couple stayed a long time. They are already planning other activites they are going to do with our investigators. Now that they ar ewell integreated the inactive wife is much more disposed to go to church. He will be baptized at the end of the month Im sure of it. The sad thing is is that I probbaly wont be there. But it happens.

Things are going well here and I hope they are for you too! I love you