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

Jun 22, 2010

world cup crazy

So hey. No new emails. It磗 cool. I understand. Haha. Anyways let磗 see... This week has been interesting. I feel like i磎 in limbo. I feel pretty ready to leave and we apparently have 2 weeks left. But whatevs, I guess I磍l just be EXTRA READY. Recently there has been quite a bit of crazy hijynx-ness going on in the streets. It磗 actually pretty hard to describe. Cupo de Mundo has been making everyone go freaking insane whenever Brazil plays. Quite unlike anything that happens in any city in the U.S. Any time there is a game with brazil in it, about 2 hours early people start playing this abnormally loud and annoying plastic horns. it磗 starts爓ith a few quiet little few boops here and there, but by the time there is about 30 minutes left it seems everyone on planet earth is hanging out their window trying to break the loudness/annoyance record with their own personal horn. Then people start just doing crazy stuff. Lot磗 of people have cannons here in their back yards, so they just start shooting them off without and cannonballs. So now you have tons of cannon fire and horns, but that isn磘 loud enough, so let磗 all hop in our cars and drive around throwing mortar-shell fireworks out the windows. Needless to say things are getting pretty crazy at this point. Then you look down at your watch just when you think the world is going to end, and as the minute hand goes to the exact time that the game starts all goes silent. It磗 because they are now all in front of t.v.磗. So you think it磗 over and you settle down. Then Brazil scores. Being in S鉶 Paulo during a soccer game is similar to sitting in the stadium i think when they score. Possibly louder. We were inside, windows shut, studying, and heard every person in the city gasp and start screaming when they scored their first goal of the cup. I haven磘 seen the goal since i磎 a missionary, but based on the noise it was a long shot that suprised everyone when it went in, but something you could see developing. You can honestly hear the voices of 22 million people all cheering for the same thing. It磗 crazy. So then you cue the horns and cannons and explosions of fireworks for a while, then it dies down again and repeats this cycle a few times. Then the game is over. Since all they磛e had so far is victories, this then starts a celebration that is equally as爈oud as just before the game started, and that lasts for a few hours then we go to bed. It磗 pretty cool to be honest. They are legitly all united on this front. Every person in brazil, loves brazil. Definitely not in america anymore. So because of that I磛e gotten pretty used to the explosions and such, but tomorrow we get a batch of new missionaries in that should be pretty freaked out for a while. funnnnnnnnnny stufffffffff. Let磗 see what else....... We were scheduled to proselyte in the city center, but because of the psycotic tendancies of world cup fans we had that cancelled. but we do get to proselyte around here for about an hour. So whatevs. Also, I have come to love preach my gospel in the sense of using it to learn the gospel from the ground up. I decided since i磎 going to invite people to change their lives I should see what I can do to change mine as well, so I磍l just study a section like humility or something untill i have studied everything there, then I磍l try to change something about myself. To be totally honest, as a result of doing this I am so happy sometimes that i can磘 even put it into words. So because of that joy here are 2 challenges specific to anyone reading this. NUMBER 1. if you are a memeber of the church go get yourself a preach my gospel manual, turn to the lessons (preferably 2 or 3 because those are the fun ones) in chapter 3 and start attacking them 1 section at a time. Look for how the gospel is interconnected and try to find the center of it, but mostly look at how everything we have is merely to accomplish one purpose and that is happiness. Ask lots of questions while you study. ``Why did God give this commandment?创 and such and just see what you can learn about the central role of the atonement and how you can change as a person to be happier. NUMBER 2. If you happen to not be a member, especially if you are爋ne爋f my buds,營 want you to do爐o ask yourself ``am I happy?创 No matter what the answer is, I personally爇now you can be happier. So rather than just wondering how i can make these claims or if I磎 waisting my time following a false religion take a very simple challenge. Read Part of the Book of Mormon. Then I want you to think about what you read for a while. Next I want you to go to the introduction and read the last 2 paragraphs or go to moroni 10:3-5. When you read this, do it knowing that I have taken that same challenge to pray about that book and I promise you that if you will have the courage to just ask God he磍l tell you the truth about it when you pray about it. And from there you can start realizing what life is truely about and why you could be happier. Don磘 be lame, just try it. It will only take 5 minutes to read and then you just have to have a short convo with God. I promise it is real. Anyways gotta go. outta time,.

Jun 15, 2010

K i磍l be totally honest, I only have 12 minutes to write and there is a lot to say so here we go. Rach got your message, life doesn磘 sound boring and I can磘 imagine dave at 215 so that is cool. He磗 more of an athlete than i am. I decided to let myself drop down to about 180 and then start working out so that I don磘 have to go through a stage of working-out-but-getting-weaker-anyway-ness. So that has been interesting. I磍l probably have a heart attack or something. But let磗 get to the important part. I. GOT. TO. DO. SOMETHING. WITHOTHERPEOPLEINVOLVED. LIKENOTMEMBERSOFTHECHURCH. finally. we went and did some proselyting the other day and it was straight up boss. They only let us have 4 book of mormons though and gave us 4 hours. So my companion and I decided we would only let them have them if they promised us they would read and pray about what they read after. So the first 10 people or so didn磘 agree but after that it started getting better and we ran out after 45 minutes anyways. If someone would listen to what we had to say i would start freaking out and getting really excited inside and i think everyone thought i was insane. A big ol red headed person running around telling people about a book they need to pray about. And I am wearing church clothes. Totally sane looking. But it was a blast. All we had to do to get people to promise us is tell them sincerely what we felt about it. The portuguese seemed to just spray out of my mouth and I磎 not sure what i said, but one kid looked like something had touched him in his heart and I just hope it wasn磘 a bad thing. I probably just called his mom fat or something. But either way i loved it. So then we had 3 more hours and nothing to do. So we just talked to everyone who would let us. Some times it led to a gospel discussion and my instructor was watching us and decided to just have us take their addresses. But mostly we just talked with people. They are all super nice. One guy was like ``i磎 catholic.创 and so i asked him if he read the bible and he said no because he didn磘 like it. Haha. And he already had a book of mormon but never read it. People here are all really honest and willing to chat, even if they don磘 like your message or your church. So at least that is cool. No one wants me to die or anything. OTHER THAN THAT, I don磘 know. It磗 whatever. Everyday is new, different, and fun. Even if the MTC is boring sometimes. The gospel is pretty cool so i just think about that all day. ANYWAYS i better go. I have 1 minute left. Thanks mom for the letter. I love you guys and I sincerely appreciate the example that you磛e all been to me. Mom and Dad, sorry i was a turd sometimes. I love you guys and I promise i磎 not dumb anymrosdkl鏵jasdf鏹asdf. well bye.

Jun 8, 2010

So anyways, just got back from a refreshing trip to the temple. This morning I felt really good and I couldn´t figure out why. Then I realized I could see my breath. MIND. BLOWN. I think it´s in part because of the fact that the air I am breathing into is 3 parts car exhaust and 1 part oxygen so the water condenses in the air easier. But who can say. All I know is that I was stoked. then we got out of the temple at like 10:30 and I commenced sweating again. But it was a nice little break after having been sweating everytime I´ve been outside in a month and it´s supposed to be winter.

I hear a lot of good things about Dave from some very reliable sources. Well done. Keep losing weight so that when I get home I can get myself up to 250 and be the dominant force. Also the picture of Kelsey and Sophia made me laugh. Then it made me sad though because the sun was shining out there. As sunny as it is here it´s pretty smoggy. my roommates right now are brasilian and they were telling me that where they live up north the sun just devestates the americans. I didn´t believe them so I made them show me some pics from their picture album and their houses are legit. Both of their houses look like they are on a resort beach in the carribean. They are just riding down the beach on horses and living the life. Not going to lie I was pretty jealous. The other thing they said that made me feel pretty good was that I was speaking well enought to be understood. Aparrently the elders where both of them live are new and are not understandable. ``ayyoooo, tenyooo umaaa mensss-sss-ss-ssagen, sobrey jesussss cristttoooo...?´´ kind of made me feel bad for those elders but mostly good for myself.

At the same time we went out on the street last tuesday looking for glow sticks and other random necessities (wow spell check) and this guy with 3 teeth was trying to talk to me. Not going to lie I didn´t get much, but when i went to shake his hand and leave he dropped his ciggarette so mission accomplished. But in my defense, if you don´t have teeth i probably couldn´t understand you even if you spoke english. lettss see what elseeee...

oh yeah. Thanks todd for the dan jones thing sounds like you guys are having a blast getting to nerd out at home for a while. Mom hinted that you guys might work on the car. Here´s a hint: save your money and take out my stereo and my PA system and anything else cool and junk it. Maybe save the intake manifold or something that has the Mr. Yuck symbol on it. Another option would be to rent a backhoe and bury it in a 6 foot deep grave in the desert with a head stone. Take your choice. If you do work on it, i am pretty sure it will have at least one bent valve because it was getting turned over without a timeing chain, so have fun with that. probably will be around 500 dollars.

And Rachael sounds like she´s having fun turning into a crazy cat woman/explorer/church´n extroardinaire. That is honestly pretty much my dream so I can´t really mock her. Not going to lie, I´m pretty jealous you found a traveling poetry journal. Pretty much jealous that you get to tromp around outside and not study 9 billion hours a day. The MTC is making me into an old man physically. My knees and butt hurt from sitting for the last month. Like it´s a blast here and everything, I just am eagerly awaiting the day I get to use my legs like they were meant to be used again. I think I´ve lost around 10 pounds at this point which is concerning because I´ve probably lost even more muscle. But it´s all good.

The MTC is honestly a really great experience. It´s been surprising just int he sense that I feel like i´m growing the most spiritually. Language is whatever, but the spiritual side of things is constant growth. That makes me happy because that is always when I am happiest. Everyone keep sending letters, and mom stop buying me stuff. Haha i have to eat probably 30 cookies in the next 3 p-days. but other than that I am good so don´t worry about me.

Anyone who reads this mormon or not I have one thing to suggest to you. Take 5 minutes out of your day when you have some down time on the bus or just some time to think this summer, and try just conversing with your father in heaven. I have had the opportunity to have that be a constant here and it´s really benefited me in a lot of ways. You always see better when you are seeing a little bit more of what he sees.

Anyways, until next time.

Jun 1, 2010

So i realized today that even though it feels like I´ve been here for like 10 days it´s been about a month. Huh. This week was not too out of the norm. Studying from 7:30AM to 9:00PM every day. I sometimes start to think that I don´t know anything but then I find myself translating for people that have been here longer than me or something like that. Basically it´s just a boss-tastic time here.

But in other news we didn´t get to go to the temple this week so I´m sensing it will just drag on. I´m surprised at how much I miss it already even though I would have just gone this morning. But whatevs.

TO ALL OF YOU SENDING ME LETTERS: thank-you. It really does make me feel good when I get to find something from someone I know (and someone that speaks english) in my mailbox. I have been writing replies but who can say how long it´s going to take. I didn´t remember any addresses so until you guys mail me I can´t write you back. Sorry. uhmmm... tomorrow I think we go to the federal police to pay some tax or something for our long stay. I actually found out that if I get just 1 more year in brazil in I HAVE to nationalize after 2 years. I´d be a straight up citizen. That would be cool I think. but we´ll see what happens. I have a few requests: ...actually nevermind I don't. I am however pretty scatter brained right now. If you ever want to experience cabin fever, lock yourself in a building with a bunch of nerdy 19 year olds and don´t leave for 2 months. I´d rather just throw myself under the portuguese bus right now and go out to my area, because I think I could be fine. I was thinking about it the other day, and because I know how to carry a really basic conversation on about the gospel, I consider myself set and ready to go. All I think I really need to be able to do is be like ``Look in my eyes so you can know I am telling the truth. I know this is true.´´ after my companion talks. Luckily I´m capable of that already. I guess I would say the main annoyance on the language right now is that I can understand just about anything but say very little correctly. The language has a bunch of cognates (sp?) sdkfjlasçj (i meant to say ``words that sound really similar´´) so it registers really easily in my head. The rules are more concrete than english, so usually my best guess is close enough for me to understand. But then talking is a whole other story. Whenever i talk, they get it but they look at me like I´m a retard or a giant north american toddler just babbling in the corner. I have resorted to just saying things that i know will make people laugh most the time. a common phrase might be ``ughh I have gas and I have poop up my nose...´´ or something of that nature. Not exactlty helpful toward my purpose, but at least it makes the brasilians my age laugh a whole bunch.

OH oh oh, I just realized I wanted Todd to do something for me. Send me a thing about Dan Jones. He was a crazy missionary but I know very little about him. I know he went to wales or something like that, but see if you can find a thing on him like you did that other dude you sent me to. BUUUUUUUT anyways... I don´t know what else to say. Oh, those that sent letters like the first sunday I was here, your letter should be coming this week so keep an eye out.

Rachael- sorry about the cat but I´m not going to lie the fact that you take Blair to the park and make her sit in trees and she hates it made me bust up laughing. AGE 23 - crazy cat lady. your life has been completed. Now you just need some filhos running around. buhhhhh... anyways... I love everyone. I´m not going to lie I can´t say that I am homesick or anything because that just isn´t me, but I do miss being able to see everyone. Sometimes when I say something really sarcasticly in broken portuguese and no one laughs it makes me think of home. But other than that I´m having a blast. Heck even including that I´m having a blast. And for those of you that are sceptical of my work ethic, I promise I´m doing my best and going to bed exhausted every day. I promise you all that i´ve truely given myself up entirely to know the Lord like Lamoni´s father said he would do. At least that is what I´ve been shooting for. See you all in about 23 months.

Signed, Captain Awesome