This is probably the only post that will be from THE Elder Christensen.

If you are reading this you probably know me and are close to me so I won't really describe myself...

But today is Sunday May 02, 2010. I get set apart tomorrow as a MISSIONARY for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 8:30 P.M. These last couple days have been a whirl-wind but I still have yet to fully grasp the concept of flying to Brazil Tuesday morning so I'm betting the coming days will just OWN me from the inside out as far as craziness goes. I am so excited to head off into the unknown, and am ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way. My mom and dad taught me right, and I am so thankful to you all of you that prepared me for getting this far. You all know who you are

Anyways the blog that follows will pretty much just be a post of Emails that are from me to my family and friends, and it will be a good way to see me progress through my mission first hand. Even if my emails aren't necessarily to you don't feel weird about reading them. I want as many people to share this experience with me as I can.

God be with all of you until we meet again. You'll need it while you don't have me to bestow my presence upon you. haha. I'll see you all in a couple years.


Send Me A Letter, I Miss You.

Elder Michael Scott Christensen
Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission
R. Euzébio de Souza, 121
Jardim Londrina
05638-100 São Paulo - SP

May 25, 2010

week 3, epiphany

So hey everyone. I got rachael´s and todd´s emails, and todd that story is making me really proud to be me, as well as some letters from mom cherie and such (wink). Haha i´m sure everyone knows what I mean when i say that but i still find it easier to just pretend that i´m really sneaky. Anywho this week was pretty rad. Thanks mom for the cookies that you may or may not know you sent me, but here is how the week went: So I´m not sure if I said anything about this or not, but we have beans and rice twice a day every day. That is to be expected, and honestly i love it because these aren´t your run of the mill mexican rice and beans blandness. These babies have every kind of meat that the people could think of or get their hands on cooked into it. I think there are is a lot of italian influence in the culture down here, because a lot of it is sausage type meats and what not. Also they tend to do things like strogonoff (SPELLING?!) and pasta really realllllly legitly. Needless to say I weighed in at 101 kilos the other day, but i´m already noticebly less athletic. YES. getting chubby. But here is the real reason why this week was legt.

I was having a bit of trouble getting myself to know deep down that I was supposed to be here. I mean there are 50,000 missionaries, why would I be the one that is right to go and try to share the gospel with people? especially since i´m just some random kid from washington who doesn´t know portugues and gets sunburned a lot. So that was kind of my goal this week is to get an answer to that question. So then flash forward to this morning. We are doing our normal tuesday thing at the São Paulo temple and my mind started to just get pulled towards reflectiing on the atonement. While I was thinking about that, I first thought about how impersonal the fall was. Like one action from someone i don´t even know made every person on planet earth need a savior. But then as I started to reflect on the other side of things I found my reason. The atonement is so personal. Not only did He have to die and rise again just so that I could do the same, but he took every individual thing I´ve done wrong and will do wrong upon himself. He alone bore my pains and infirmities. We hear this all the time, but i mean seriously, how many of those drops of blood were because of me individually? Obviously there isn´t a definite answer to that question but you kind of start to feel the magnitude of this all as you think about it. At least I did. Especially as I thought about the effects on someones life if this is soemthing that they´ve honestly never heard of. There are so many questions of the soul that would go unanswered for eternity if you were never to hear even a 5 minute message about Christ. Things that, even if you got an answer in your mind, you may never feel settled in your heart. And by this time you can imagine that I have been crying uncontrollably for a good 5 minutes just because that is a sad thought and people are staring at me. but it was really driven home as I looked out my bus window and just wondered if every individual person we passed had any questions in their soul that they didn´t understand that the Gosepl could answer. Especially as we passed the lower income parts that have homeless people just sitting on the sidewalk eating their breakfast off of a blanket, or 5 stories of shack built upon shack that were built by some lone man one brick at a time. Surely as people go through their days in any location they must wonder from time to time when they get a second to look introspectively what everything is here for. Why are they going to a job if they´ll just die someday? Why should they care what anyone thinks about them if ultimately we all return to the dust? Without the atonement the answers to these questions would suck. So i ultimately came to the conclusion through the impressions I was having that A) I am supposed to be here and B) that is why. Because in my own life I´ve been blessed to know and grow close to a heavenly father that cares about me like he does everyone, and not everyone understands this. Not everyone even thinks about this. So it´s my job to go find the people that are supposed to hear it from me and tell them so that maybe I can make a difference in just one life. Basically Mosiah 28:1-4. Anyways, untill next week.

May 18, 2010

Elder Scott's CTM address Please write!

Elder Michael Scott Christensen
Sao Paulo Interlagos
District 19-A Mailbox 30
Brazil CTM
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, Sao Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040
Elder Scott and his district on mother's day. i think Elder Scott made the best card. Look at all the work he did coloring the letters in! what a great kid.

Week 2 MTC

okay so because I have next to no time i磍l just answer your letter and todd磗 letter all in one go. Mom- my box number is 30 at the MTC燽ut even if you send it without a box number it will get sorted to me so don磘 worry about it. I sent you a letter by snail mail that has all the information on it the first day i was here so it should be there by now. Week 2 has been pretty cool. The language is being learned way faster than營 expected. I can more or less talk to people about really simple things (like calling them ugly and what not) but i can pretty much understand just about everything if they talk slow. One of the brasilians was trying to trick me by talking really fast and i could understand every word he said, but then another brasileirio did that and i couldn磘 understand a thing because he had an accent from Rio. So whatever. Luckily the people of S鉶 paulo are pretty easy to understand so it磗 no big deal usually. Although, i will say that this one kid has a lisp and I rarely understand anything he says. Similarly though if we talk in a british or scottish accent then our instructors can磘 understand anything we say. weirrrd. Wow I燾an磘 figure out the enter key on this computer so i磍l just make this one big paragraph. Todd- Rio is a smaller city so yeah it only has like however many you said, but the City of S鉶 Paulo alone has 17 million and then you add in the surrounding areas and it磗 apparently 22 million. That磗爅ust爓hat i hear from the brasilians though, and they are proving to be pranksters like 90% of the time. We do funny stuff here all the time to keep ourselves entertained. We got dubbed by the other districts as 创the loud district创 because whenever we are at lunch or in our room we are laughing super hard. Most of the kids here are pretty serious all day, like even at gym they just sit and study portugues. But we have been keeping a balance and all of the leaders here are pretty impressed with how our district is doing language wise and gospel wise so whatever. Fart-boxing wise though, that happens every time we have class because we eat tons of beans, meat, and poop-aya. That stuff just makes you have gas all the time. One of the first things i learned in portugues was ``Eu estou com gasses!创 which i磎 sure you can figure out the meaning of. I just run around saying it in a mexican accent all the time and the brasilians think it磗 the funniest thing ever. But hey, one more thing to mom before i forget, yes send my scriptures and stuff, but if you haven磘 already sent them send them to the mission home not the MTC. And send them from the post office. Otherwise i磍l have to pay tons of rediculous taxes from customs and the box will take a year to get here. And check around to make sure my patriarchal blessing isn磘 at home because i am not sure i have it here. But anyways I have about 10 minutes left so i磍l just share as many funny experiences as i can before I run out of time. Today we went over to the temple and I was in the back of a ``sprinter bus创 which i磎 sure you can guess goes pretty fast. There was a bunch of kids that just got here a week after i did and it was their first bus ride and as we came through an intersection everyone in the back went airborne for a second which is pretty normal. The funny thing to me was the fact that i didn磘 even notice untill i saw the eyes of the new kids. I mean, I磎 new. But you have to get used to it or you磀 have a heart attack. We get out into the city only on P-Days and rarely we get to go out and proselyte (I haven磘 gotten to do that yet). But the neighboorhood is pretty cool. The weather is so nice here that shops pretty much consist of a big adobe garage with like a big garage door in the front that they open whenever the stoor is open. So it磗 basically just three walls. So you would think that it would be pretty shabby on the inside, but it磗 usually pretty nice. There will be like some weird ford or chevy baja truck parked out front that isn磘 sold in america that is real nice and shiny, and the inside will be a drugstore or a bar or something like that. The drugstore is exactly like a drugstore at home, just some things that should be expensive are cheap and some things should be cheap are expensive. Floss is $R3.00 and Dove soap is like less than $R1.00. wierd. anyways I have just about run out of time. I promise I磎 journaling a lot so there is a lot that i don磘 have time to tell you that i磍l tell you later. I love everyone and when you get the MTC address put put it up on the blog. Tell everyone to write me too. anyways, Laters.

I am not sure what all the scribble marks are about. Is this some sort of Brazilian censoring, or an unfamiliar keyboard? Either way we are very proud of Elder Scott and thrilled that he is finding joy in his days. MTC address will be posted as soon as I get it. thank you for reading.

May 12, 2010

May 11, 2010

First E-mail from MTC

HEY EVERYONE!!! I am safe and sound in the heart of São Paulo at the Brazilian MTC. This is seriously an expodentially nicer building than the surrounding area, but no worries we have a huge black french dude watching our back and a fence that is capped in spikes and stuff. It´s seven stories tall and is basically a huge pristine church building. Like even in my room there is just tile floors like you would expect in a nice church or something like that. The surrounding buildings are really shabby though. Looking out my window is weird because there are just thousands of 10 - 20 story buildings that tower over the jungle. But where do i begin even describing what it is like here...? Well first of all my keyboard has some keys that you wouldn´t normally have. Ç is a new one and then all the accent choices replace the apostrophes and what not so i can do things like this ú ó í really fast or even the occassionaly õ. haha.

Also the first thing i noticed was that the dirt here is red. Like really red. It is basically just clay. I guess i would say just imagine the jungle in jurassic park, then put the 2nd or 3rd largest city in the world right in the middle of it. I am told 22 million people live in this city alone. That is a lot more than any city we have in the US, and is more than most states just to give a spectrum. And from what i~m told at least where i am right now the 10 - 20 stor tall buildnigs are ALL apartment buildings. and there are hundreds of them. There is a river that has been guided into the city by canal that you follow from the airport to the MTC as you come in and it is just full of trash and homeless people bathing. It´s pretty humbling to see the poverty that these people expereince in comparison to us while they still think they are on top of the world. And in a sense they are. I have yet to meet one unhappy person. They all are really happy to correct my portugues and help me out. In fact out of my best friends i have made here only a few are north americans while a lot of them are native brasilians. That makes things intersting since they they speak very little english if any at all but we are learning fast. I am about to the point where i can start making sentences and it´s only the 6th day here. By the 4th day or so we started to be able to describe most things to them just using nouns and uncongigated verbos. I am sure you can tell by the way i am spelling that I am not doing super good seperating the two languages, so we just call our hybrid language that we are starting to share portoíngles.

But I only have around 4 minutes left on this computer (we only get 30) so i´ll have to keep in mind what i want to tell you as i go through this next week. Key things are that I am safe and that I am having a blast. It´s hard for me to sleep at night because I am so excited that by the time i get to bed my mind just won´t stop swirling with words that I forgot how to say or words that i can remember how to say but can´t remember the meaning of. I project based on what i´ve heard that by 6 months out i´ll be fluent and by 1 year I will have a native accent.

But anyways, you can email me back at this address, but i can only email on tuesdays. I´ll email again in a week and I love you all. Untill next time i´ll keep you in my thoughts. LATERSSS

-Elder Christensen