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August 3, 2015

              I did it man! It was hard, but I did it!

              Friday in my exit interview President said, on behalf of the Lord and the First Presidency of the Church who called you to this assignment we thank you for your dedicated service and want you to know you will be returning home with honor. Awesome man. So pumped.

 Last letter:

Well, can’t believe it, but this is the end of the dynasty. It’s been a great run and I’m really glad i made the decision when i was young to come out here on a mission. I can honestly say I did all i could these past couple years and have no regrets of things I did or didn’t do. I’m returning home happy with the work I did here, and sad for having to leave the people and country. I’ve really grown to love both.

On Saturday we were able to baptize Kevin Ríos, a 16 year old kid that had a baptismal date last year. It was a good baptismal service and I was really excited when he asked me to perform the ordinance. The 2-year sacrifice is worth it when you can see the people you visit change. More than anything, that’s what I am going to miss. Watching people change.

As we share the gospel with others and see them make changes in their life to be able to feel the spirit constantly and also receive forgiveness for their sins by being baptized is crazy. This brings us one of the greatest joys we can feel, just by knowing that we are an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

I’ve been able to feel that same joy and energy for the past 2 years. There are always ups and downs, but seeing people change and come unto Christ as a result of my service is what it’s all about.

I’m grateful for the atonement of Christ and know that through that, we can receive complete forgiveness of our sins. It can carry us through any challenge or obstacle we face. It gives us hope when everything seems to be going against us. It can make us feel loved when we feel alone. It’s also the best motivator we have.

Thanks for all the support you all gave me these past couple years, I’ll see you all this week!

Elder Slack

September 24, 2013

Family:

This week was okay.  But Saturday really sucked.  I hated it!  Oh well, I kept thinking about ALL the stuff that happens before The Game.  I am still upset at the outcome of the game…doesn’t matter if I watched it or not.  I still think it is weird people said I would lose a love for BYU sports on my mission.  If anything it is increasing.  There is an elder in my dorm who bugs me so bad about it.  My testimony of BYU sports is improving all the time.  I can’t wait to go to that first game when I get home.  It is going to be awesome!  Also excited about the Texas game.

Anyways I am really anxious to leave.  I am out of here in 6 or 7 days.  I don’t know which yet.  My packet says Oct. 1, but that varies.  So we’ll see.

The other night we were talking with some elders from another district in our dorm  It was awesome.  We talked about bodily functions and what the food has done to some of them.  hhahahhah One of the elders said that it was like we were 12 again because we are awkward talking to girls and we talk about poop!  It was a pretty funny night!

friends:

hey everybody!! I am going to hop right into this letter.
Last week in the MTC finally! I cant wait to get out to the field. I   actually feel pretty ready. I know Spanish is going to be a slap in the face,   but i am really excited to get out of here! My Spanish is coming along, just a   matter of time i guess.
I am gaining a stronger testimony every day and that is really cool! I   feel like i have a strong testimony on everything. It is a drastic change to   the already strong testimony I came here with. I love it! It has been   incredible. I have already grown so much.
I finished reading the Book of Mormon on Saturday morning… yes that was   totally intentional. I thought it would bring good karma for that night, but i   guess it was wrong. I was still pretty pumped to finish it though! I started   it day 3 of the mtc, so it took 29 days! I think. I am now reading Our   Heritage, and that is a pretty cool book. I suggest you guys to check it out.   Really cool stories that strengthen testimonies about the first latter day   saints. I am also in 2 Nephi 2 of reading the Spanish BOM side by side with   the English one. I think i am making pretty good progress!
Thursday night, our district leader got a package in the mail that   contained a ton of snacks and stuff. We ended up having a party that night in   his dorm and distributed skittles, root beer, and other delicious things   Mexico doesn’t seem to want to sell to us here in the mtc. It was so nice to   have American candy and drinks!
A few hermanas here are from Henderson, Nevada and were in the Green   Valley Stake! I don’t remember their names, but it was cool to hear about   their love for my grandparents. It was awesome!! I miss going there on   vacations.
I was eating lunch the other day and saw an hermana i thought i   recognized… and then i realized i did! Really weird fact… but here it   goes. If you guys didn’t know, I played the trumpet for 5 years. And guess   what? There are 3 people here from  my elementary and middle school band   class. Hahaha how weird is that! Elder Aaron Pearson from the CH 12th ward,   Elder Jorgen Jensen from the CH 2nd ward (leaves today), and Hermana Bennett.   3 of the 4 of us played the trumpet, jorgen played the sax. It has been cool   to see kids i recognize! Even cooler to think they are willing to do the   Lord’s work.
You all knew it was coming… here we go. Saturday sucked. I was so   bummed I couldn’t be home. I didn’t want to come home, but i kept thinking about   all the pregame BYU Utah stuff I did with my dad every single year. Some of my   favorite memories were at those games. I think it was probably the worst day   here. It really is kind of like a holiday… my 2nd favorite holiday,   actually. (nothing tops Christmas). I thought i was hiding it pretty well, but   my teacher, Hermana Young, recognized my sadness and called me up. There, she   had everybody in our district (11 others) tell me something they liked about   it. After this 10 minute nightmare of embarrassment, I did pretty well. But it   was still pretty disappointing. I know it sounds dumb, but it is just how   i grew up and something i really enjoy to do. Some people have vacations,   video games, movies, etc. My weakness is BYU football. To top it off, 5   minutes before the game started, my teacher came by and told me she would tell   me how it turned out, and that she was going to watch it with all the other   teachers in the teachers lounge. She then picked up her stuff and left. I was   like oh man, dagger to the heart!!! I would rather watch BYU lose than not   watch at all. It is hard to explain.
It was a really spiritual week though! Easily the most spiritual week   here yet. An hermana in our district was really sick (7 of the 12 have been   sick, i never get sick so i have been good) and so she asked my comp to give   her a blessing. I had the opportunity to do the anointing, and that was so   cool. You never realize how grateful you are for the priesthood until you get   the opportunity to use it to bless the lives of others. She was better the   next day, after being really sick for 4 days.
We had a meeting on Sunday morning in our classroom and the topic was on   revelation. That was the strongest I have felt the spirit on my mish so far. I   told the story about being at my cabin with my friends and dad in early july,   and the prompting i had to go inside that night… it still shakes me up if i   think about it. But that really built my testimony of promptings of the   spirit. I hope you guys all get to experience something like that in your   life; not the small promptings, but one that you know is needed to be   followed.
Lastly, I spoke again in sacrament meeting. I think i wrote about it a   few weeks ago, and how almost nobody speaks twice, if they speak at all. And   guess what? I did it… thrice. This means I spoke 3 of the 6 Sundays, 2 of   which were fast Sundays. So i batted 3 of 4, .750. Not bad, right? I spoke on   baptism, but so did the 2 elders who spoke before me. I didn’t write down my   talk because i feel comfortable enough to express my thoughts and feelings in   Spanish for 5 minutes, but i totally changed what my intentions were when i   got up there. I just talked about why i believe baptism is so important to   missionaries.
This was just me, but I just feel it is so important to us because we get   to see their lives turn around. It isn’t the most important step for the   investigators in my opinion, however. They still need to make other covenants   and endure to the end, but that contains stuff missionaries cant totally help   with like they can baptism. It is more on the investigators shoulders, if that   makes sense.
Anyways. I know this church is true and i am so grateful i have the   opportunity to be out here. I love being a missionary, it is the best decision   I have ever made. I have grown to love this church and to teach the message of   the restored gospel. I am glad i get to learn Spanish to do it! I am so   pumped. Do what is right, follow the commandments, and have faith in and trust   the Lord and he will bless your life immensely.
Love you guys!
Elder Eslack

August 27, 2013

 Hey family!!
how{s Utah? sorry, i am still not use to the Spanish keyboard. everything is in weird places so it could accommodate things like this ñ¡¿ etc.
to start off, i love the mission so far! i know i technically haven’t done much yet, but it is really cool to think of myself as a missionary for la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias. it{s awesome! i have felt the spirit a ton and been doing really well.
the weather here is a little colder than i expected! it is lucky to break 70 and we never see the sun. it doesn’t rain a ton, but when it does, it POURS. we had a meeting on one side of campus and had to run to our apartment on the other side of campus. i have never seen it rain harder…. except for maybe in New Orleans with papi!! it was so crazy haha. we were soaked and i didn’t have my umbrella yet. luckily i had my suit coat on and so it was not as bad as it would have been other wise.
the first day was so exhausting. i have pictures i hope to add on to this message if i finish in time (we only have an hour to be on the computer) so i{m trying to be quick. we flew to phoenix with like 8 missionaries and then we got there where we tagged up with about 10 to 15 missionaries. walking in the SLC airport i felt like a celebrity because everyone knew who i was ! phoenix was different because it is weird to see a bunch of 18 and 19 year old guys and girls walking around dressed in the highest of class. oh well, whatever. i didn’t have any candy on the plane because i just didn’t want any. i sat next to 2 random non members on the flight to phoenix and sat next to elder toolson on the flight from phoenix to mexico city. he is a cool dude from San Diego. he has a good testimony and later became the president of his branch. his companion is elder tuolo and is tight too. my roommates bday was yesterday and elder tuolo gave him a hundred dollar bill. holy feces, it was crazy.
my first night in Mexico city was interesting. the hour long drive from the airport took place in heavy rain and had a crazy driver. like the one we had in Jamaica. the streets here suck and the drivers and traffic suck even worse. it was a nightmare, and i would never ever drive anywhere near this city. we got to the CCM (Mexican mtc, you can look up what it stands for) and we checked in and came straight into this room to tell you guys we had made it safely. they gave us our name tags and i felt like a little kid who had just received his super hero{s ACTUAL cape. i couldn’t put it on fast enough. so pumped to be a missionary! it was in a packet with a ton of papers, papers i can tell you i honestly barely read.  …..kinda. i actually didn’t read. haha. ==sorry for the bad punctuation. it is killing me. these keyboards are so misplaced. Mexico is not American.
my companion came in late and so i got to choose which bed in our apartment. of course, i chose the window. it overlooks a few soccer fields in the CCM and shows a little mountain with houses piled all over and it is where the sun rises. i like to look outside every time i wake up. at 630. i didn’t even wake up at 630 for school. what the heck? so i third wheeled it with a couple roommates in our apartment. there are 6 of us and 2 speak no English. my companion came in late, his name is Elder Winder. everyone here has one of two names…. elder or hermana. kind of a weird thnig to get use to but it is normal now. he is from hurricane Utah and knows Elder Davanter in our stake at home! so tell Elder Devanter that Logan Winder from Hurricane is my companion at the MTC and that he says hi. elder winder played four years of high school soccer and so he makes me look worse than i even am.
the fist couple of days were really long but as we get use to things, it is getting easier and easier. i am convinced we have the best district in the CCM and we have tons of fun. i will get into that in a sec.
the food is good here but is really repetitive. Tuesday night is pizza night, every other meal is either a barely any meat chicken leg with some weird sauce, pancakes or waffles with no syrup to put on them, only chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, and nutella, which is something i saw for the first time this morning! so no need to hold your breath, i am eating just fine. i had some fish today but it was weird. i have ton of bread and some cold spaghetti as well today.
classes are hard but not really. it gets hard to feel the spirit sometimes so i get kind of frustrated. trying to learn a language at the same time as trying to feel the spirit doesn’t work together very well. i have done my best but it is tough. i wanted to bring a notebook i wrote some stuff in to show off to you guys, but i forgot it in my apartment and elder winder didn’t want to go back to get it. he was really home sick the first few days and thought about going home. he was practically a mute and i didn’t see any personality out of him until Friday or Saturday. but we are really comfortable with each other now and are doing work in the field! we are awesome.
we have been teaching a fake investigator named carlos about the gospel. to give you an update on my Spanish, it is coming along quite nicely! i can say pretty much anything i want to in a prayer, and i am understanding more and more each day. dad, we don’t necessarily have a set speak your language day, you are just supposed to speak as much Spanish as you possibly can. so i am getting there. back to carlos. we have been teaching him and until yesterday, our lessons kind of sucked. we didn’t know what to say or how to say it or what he said to us. but we felt the spirit yesterday when we talked about the book of Mormon. we read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction, helaman 5 12 and it brought in the spirit really well.
yesterday i also ready Joseph smith history. it is good! if you guys are every having a down day, read that. it brings the spirit every time.
my district is so funny. oh my best two years. (district goal to not use substitute words, but to replace it with best two years. does feces count as a substitute word) elder brown is from Philadelphia comp is elder iverson from Idaho. elder sims is from wyoming comp elder woodward went to cottonwood high school. elder baker is from Arizona and elder peck is from Lehi high school. hermana herrara is from Duchane, Utah and her comp is hermana sien from same city as elder baker. hermana murray is from Logan and her comp is hermana hunter from…. somewhere. i forgot. best two years!
but that is our district. elder brown has to take medication because it has add or something. he is so funny! hahaha i love my companion and missionaries in my district.
i know you guys are probably struggling with me being gone, but i havent been feeling too bad. i can see how it is harder on the family than on the missionary. it helps to try and keep focus on the work and the people of El Salvador.
i spoke in sacrament meeting on Sunday! i was the 2nd speaker. hahahah. we were told to write a 5 minute talk en El Spanish on la apostosia y el restaurado. (Apostasy and Restoration) we were given the assignment on Friday and everyone has to write a talk, only 6 people are called up to speak of the 70 or whatever in our zone or district or whatever. and i was the second person. haha. oh well. glad i was prepared! i can bear my testimony and stuff in Spanish too. the gift of tongues is real
this morning we went to the Mexico city temple! i saw the old movie. i think it is weird and that Adam needs a haircut. it was hard because i didn’t understand a ton and some parts were hard, obviously. cant talk about that a ton though.  Mexico city is a cool place though! i like where i am at and i love who i am with.