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

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


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