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

Jul 26, 2010

taking Brazil in stride

´s only been a few days so it isn´t like anything earth shattering has occured but I do have a few more things to say.

The first thing I want to say is something that is on my mind today as I clean and do chores. I don´t know what exactly you guys did to help me prepare for all of this so well but I feel like I really need to thank Mom and Dad. A lot of missionaries have a really hard time adjusting to taking care of themselves and missing home and stuff. For though this really has been a seamless transition. I am not claiming to be doing everything perfect or even right as a lot of things are new, but I feel like nothing bothers me. Missionaries here are constantly crying over missing home, or how hard something is to them and it seems like I somehow avoided all of that. I feel like somehow you guys prepared me to just do the work that needs to be done with a smile on my face and not expect anything in return. I know it was you guys because everyone knows that isn´t a natural part of my nature. Also being frugal and eating healthy is nice to have already mastered too.

Vegetables and Fruit are so cheap here. I bought 2 kilos (4 and a half pounds) of really nice tomatoes for 2 reais (like a $1.50) and two really big heads of lettuce for .50 cents each. So I´m constantly just eating salad or carrots or a cheese sandwich or milk, while everyone else is blowing all their money on a pizza that is like 15 bucks. Plus everyone else has diarrhea and is tired while i´m totally fine. So hah.

Also you guys in the united states need to recognize the distinct blessing that is yours to have a washer and a dryer. We have something kind of like a washer, and it makes our clothes smell good, but if you put something in there that has a stain on it your clothes are toast. It doesn´t ``wash´´ your clothes in the classical sense. So I´ve been hand washing them clothes and sheets and everything else and then using a good ol´ clothes line. In reality it´s still a breeze, but I can tell you it´s easier with the set up in the U.S.

And seriously, thank you for teaching me not to complain. I hear other missionaries whine about the simplest of things. Like someone yelling at us for trying to talk to them. If I weren´t a mormon I´d probably tell the missionaries to go away too. It´s hard for a person on the street who thinks we are devil worshippors or something crazy to just listen to us. But inevitably the missionaries complain about this a lot and. My companion doesn´t, but we just had a conference the other day and temple a few days later and all I heard was complaining.

But I found something to help me when other people are annoying me because they are whiney or when I just am having a bad day for whatever reason that is pretty effective. As I walk I just start listing things that I have at that moment that I like, or things that could be worse. like, ``it´s super sunny and it could still be raining like last week. and at least my shoes are dry today. and at least that lobster man just crossed my path so i can see his lobster claw hands. and at least I don´t have lobster claw hands´´ and I just keep going untill I´m laughing at how rediculous what I am saying is. It really brightens my day.

Speaking of lobster claw hands, I don´t know why but i´ve seen 2 people with legit lobster claws already. One is the 1st councelor in the bishopric in our ward and he is HILARIOUS. The more portugues I can understand the funnier he is. He just scuttles around with his crutches lobster clawing little kids. I told him he´s my favorite person in brasil and he just stared me down. Best friends. Seriously.

The other lobster guy was this random guy on the street that felt the need to pull me aside and tell me when he was a little kids a catholic priest molested him. Then I saw his lobster claw. That was today and it was weird.

But I do want to talk a little about this Guy we´ve been teaching. His name is Fagner and I don´t know if I have talked about him or not yet. He has had a hard life. He was lost one day and got abducted into this group of sorcerrors that basically practice voodoo and curse people. He said every day he could hear a voice telling him to get out of it but he couldn´t. He is covered in tattoos, was addicted to multiple drugs and alcohol, but he changed. It is incredible. The first day we met him on the street he was crying and just walking the sidewalk. We stopped him and he asked us to go teach a lesson right then, so we did. He doesn´t know how to read, so we read to him. The next time I saw him just a few days later I literally did not recognize him. He was clean cut, wearing fresh clothes, smelled normal, and was smiling and excited to see us. He is drastically better after every lesson. Alma 5:7 really rings true with him, ``Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word.´´

I´m not one to talk about a lot of the more special things that I´m experiencing here, but I can feel the way I´m looking at the world change. It probably won´t be outwardly noticable when I get back because I´ll still be little immature me, but I think I will be different. Some nights my sould is in anguish for the hardship that I see here that most of the brasilians don´t even know about, but other times I can´t even describe the joy that seeing the power of He who is mighty to save in action. The power Atonement is very, very real and those who seek it will find it no matter the circumstances.

But anyways I gotta go. I haven´t recieved any letters on paper in over a month, so if you are reading this and you feel like you should send me a carta, hit me up.

And sorry I haven´t sent any in over a month too. But I will send some out tomorrow. I´ve just been pretty busy with things.

Untill next time.

Jul 21, 2010

Funny Stories!

So crazy that´s crazy that Todd and Ashley are having a baby. I guess I can´t be the baby of the family at their house anymore. BUT I CAN BE THE CRAZY DIRTY UNCLE. so it´s all good. This week has been jammed packed with stuff. I guess it´s a week and 2 days. but I´m excited to tell these stories so let´s start clicking through them. Primarily, all of last week was raining. Sometimes a lot like thunderstorm in oklahoma style rain, and sometimes this creepy mist. But I was wet for a good amount of time. That made things intersting for 3 reasons. Number 1, my umbrella is a bit small and the rain was coming down sideways. In fact, just the top of my head stayed totally dry. Secondly, our mission president won´t let us wear rain jackets. So we were trudging around in suits. That was just hilarious to me. I honestly would just laugh and laugh as we got destroyed by the rain. Third was how it affected our work. I don´t know where everyone went, but no one was on the street and no one was in their homes either. So we got to frolic around in the rain for a few days without a whole lot to do at night. The other pretty funny thing was the mud. I´ll try to send a picture but we´ll see if I have time. If not I´ll send one on monday. But at some points my whole foot was under the mud as I scrambled around for dry-ish ground. That made me laugh too.

Next was an experience that I´m trying to forget. We were just teaching a lesson to this young couple with 2 kids. Things are going good and I was the one talking, when her 2 or 3 year old daughter came running in and ASKED for a drink. Because she asked i figured it would be a drink from a cup. but I had no such luck. The mom just plopped the kid on her lap and lifted her shirt up and the kid started drinking. I almost forgot what I was talking about when it happened. I just remember thinking ``EYE-CONTACT´´ really loud in my head and diverted my attention to the husband. So yeah, that was gross.

Next was when we were in this home with this really cool guy named Fagner. He´s legit, but he his sister was there too and she is a bit annoying. But it´s technically her house so whatever. Anyways we go to leave and ask if we can leave with a prayer and she´s like ``can i say it?´´ Well of course we had to let her since it´s her house. So she comences to do this prayer that includes yelling and shaking and it caught me so off gaurd that I started laughing. I respect anyone that wants to worship their God, I just was laughing because I didn´t know what else to do. So that went on for a good 10 minutes. She had her eyes shut the whole time luckily because I was losing it at some points. Then when she finished the Jackson 5 busted out of who knows where and started giving her some back up singing. Seriously. She just started clapping and singing and little children just erupted out of every corner doing the same. Honestly I was impressed, but I definitely have a problem with laughing at things that are new to me.

Speaking of which, we were on the street and this woman came up to us and started talking to us about ``them mormons.´´ but the thing about her that was funny was that she had a legit beard. And a lot of armpit hair. But yeah. gross.

The final funny instance has to be the clock with a naked mermaid on it. Maybe anyone reading this who has been in a lot of homes in brazil knows what i´m talking about, because my comp has seen it many times. But what it is, is a large painting of a mermaid that just has her hair covering the unspeakable parts with a little clock in the corner. That one made me laugh hard. Especially because the first time I saw it, it had a picture of the guy who we were talking to taped next to the mermaid. and the picture of him was 30 years old. I can´t really describe it any better than that, but just know that that same house his wife told us she was going to follow ``the way of the pass along card´´ as a religion. She told us her life was changed by a pass along card, which is good, but then she told us that even though it´s from our church she would rather follow the card than the church. I don´t really know what that means either, but she just kept crying and hugging the card and telling us that we could follow our path and she´d follow hers. I think she thought it was like a... i don´t know this word in english. Image? like saints and specail people in the catholic church. whatever. weird.

Like by the time I am coming home, I don´t think anything will really suprise me that much. I have seen some things that are sooo funny, and I have seen some stuff that is pretty depressing. But all in all I keep smiling because it´s fun to be working for so great a cause. When i see people who´s faces are aged before their time due to worry and hardship start to smile it´s a pretty cool experience. Keep up the good work at home, I´m going to try to send some picture really quick.

Jul 12, 2010

Scott sounds a lot like a missionary today

Hey it was nice to hear from you guys. So I guess i´ll just start the email with a few of the funny things that have been happening here. Right now I´m in an lan house listening to some portuguese rap because the guy a few seats down is cranking some jams out. luckily I can´t understand hardly any of it. Haha. We live a few houses down from a bar that is ALWAYS playing the same songs. It´s so annoying slash hilarious because the walls of our apartment are just thin concrete walls and we can hear everything perfectly outside, so all night we get to listen to the drunks party it up with the same 3 songs. Bathrooms here are just a tile room with all the trimmings. ours is probably 4 feet by 4 feet (probably a little less) but, we have a toilet, sink AND a shower in there. Because the whole room is tile, all you have to do is shut the toilet and turn on the shower. It´s pretty legit because you can use the restroom in the shower and not feel bad (as long as you open the toilet). So yeah that´s cool. Oh and on my bed there is a record of the ratos that have lost their lives in battle in our apartment. I think the count is up to around 10 or 15 but I have yet to see anything but a couple cocroaches. But honestly we live pretty clean.

I am living in a suburb of São Paulo more or less called vista alegre (sp?). We live on top of a series of super steep hills, so that is nice to get out and use my legs everyday, especially after being in the MTC for so long. to imagine how steep they are, just imagine it being so steep that everyonce in a while if a car is stopped on one and tries to start going uphill, it just burns out because they don´t have locking differentials. I laughed pretty hard at that the first time i saw it but in just a week it has happened like a million times so who cares at this point. That´s how a lot of things are. Like the first time you see a bum puking his guts out on the sidewalk it grosses you out, but after a few more you don´t really think anything of it.

The members here are hilarious. When I first got here I couldn´t understand them when they talk fast, but I get more used to it everyday. I´m sure after 6 weeks i´ll be fluent in hearing if not talking. One investigator couple that we visit is pretty funny. They have been investigating for a while and just need to get married since they have kids. The interesting thing is here in Brazil, getting married is hard. You have to do all sorts of stuff to get married, and what´s more is they don´t recognize temple marriage. So, everyone has to be both legally married and then if they want they can get married in the temple too. So they are dealing with paperwork and might get married this transfer. The wife is a lot like mom and aunt cherie so I like going over there. Last night we were there and I was laughing so hard. It´s just fun.

Everyone here feeds us SO MUCH. Sometimes after lunches I have to just sit and focus all the energy of the universe on not puking. Just from being full. Because the food is pretty good. As I said before it has some italian influences but is definitley it´s own animal. Lot´s of fried food, beans and rice, but also pastas and stroganoff and stuff like that. It´s pretty amazing sometimes I´m not going to lie, but at the same time I don´t want to get chunky. Apparently no missionary has ever been in this area without gaining weight. That is pretty unusual for areas in brasil. you go to the anterior and everyone is losing 20 kilos. Here everyone is gaining. I think last time i weighed myself i had 101.someodd kilos. So i´m like 223 pounds.

But yeah the work is fun. I smile a lot. Lots of times people just blow us off and tell us to go away but it´s whatever. It´s sad that they won´t listen but there isn´t a whole lot i can do to control that. I just think of Alma 29 sometimes were he his talking about missionary work. I feel mildly similar to how he felt i think. A) it would be nice to have a voice so loud that you could just walk outside and yell and the whole earth would hear you. I´m sure ancient sandals weren´t the funnest to walk in. B) I am really am so happy sometimes. I just wish I could give other people my feelings and let them expereince them for a few seconds so they know i´m not trying to take their money. Here we have a church or 2 or 10 on every street. People don´t trust anyone talking about religion because a lot of people are here trying to just make a dollar by using the people they talk to. Every once in a while I can see someone we´re teaching feel instead of just hearing. That makes it all worth it. Because unlike everyone once else that is out street preaching and trying to get money out of people that are just trying to feel consolation, I´m just trying to help them. And when I see people feel the difference of our message and decide that they are going to do the easy test and pray to Heavenly Father about what I am saying it´s nice. And big surprise, they get responses when they pray just like God promised.

we have people all the time telling us they they already attended our church and they´ll stay with their religion be it whatever it may be, which is totally fine and I´m good with that, but we always ask if they took our test and prayed. The people that eventually say yes have a hard time saying it because they´re lying to us, but most the time they just say no. It´s interesting to me that they´ll take 3 hours to come see our church but they won´t take 5 minutes to read what we gave them and then ask their creator what is right for them to do.

But honestly, because people are pretty religious and curious here so if we can get them to listen to our message about the way they can know which of the million churches are true, they´ll be interested. For some reason it´s so hard for people to read sometimes even 7 verses and pray about it. I dont really understand it yet, but the people that do try it become awesome people.

Anywho, gotta go get some comida because i´m starving. LUNCH TIMMEEEEEEEEE

Jul 7, 2010

First E-mail from the field

so I´m out in the boonies. at least it feels like it compared to São paulo centers like Casa Verde or Paulista. It still is city as far as the eye can see in all directions, but in a different way. Mostly there are just houses and lots of trees. Like the jungle type of trees. They are really thin trunk wise and at the same time very green. Since my last email there are a few funny things that happened so I´ll tell you guys those things because I have a WHOLE HOUR. so basically the last week at the MTC went as follows: do nothing important and just laugh a lot. My instructors decided we knew enough so we just partied. I guess first of all when 4th of July came around i pressed the organizer for music to only have patriotic american hymns. For some reason that made a lot of people pretty mad at me. So that made me just keep pushing for it and then laughing when people get mad. So of course I won the battle minds and wills between missionaries and we sang america the beautiful, the star spangled banner, etc.

The next thing that happened is my favorite instructor irmão Carboni came back from having kidney stone surgery. Apparently kidney stones aren´t super uncommon down here, and they blame it on genetics, but it´s their diet. They eat A LOT of salt. I have to drink sooo much sometimes because of it. Especially today. But anyways, Irmão Carboni came back and the next thing that happened was he proceded to tell us of the fun times at the hospital. Arguably the funniest story i´ve heard since i left, but that is probably just because he is a Brasilian who kept saying words that shouldn´t be said to missionaries on accident.

Next we went to The Presidents house. Imagine entering Jurassic Park, fences and all, and then having a rediculous series of 25 story buildings that look like giant museums. That is where they live. I felt uncomfortable there because of the rediculous amount of money being spent, but it´s just because in Brasil money spent and relative safety go hand in hand. I´m glad no one worries about us, because our house is awesome

So then next we went to my transfer meeting. It was a humbling experience because the American missionaries couldn´t really remember english and some had accents. My first goal: forget english in 1 year. My trainer is Elder Bush. He´s a cool kid from Utah. Knows Rian Murray because he played rugby as a freshman the year before I went to college, so small world.

Anyways then we went to my area. THE FUN PART BEGINS. We had an investigator and a member come pick us up and drove back in a little suzuki swift TYPE car but who knows what it was. I kept an eye on the speedo on the highway and it was between 140km/h and 40km/h the whole time so that wasn´t too bad. Then we went over a speedbump and i felt the street through the floor boards. I LOVE THIS PLACE. so we went and taught just a little bit that night. That was a new experience. This one young couple we visited lived in a single room. Imagine my room the way it is, but with another smaller closet and that closet is the bathroom. Just with a little sliding wall thing. Super humble people. But happy too. I was suprised by the level of interest that the members we were working with had. They all were quick to help bear their testimonies or teach what they knew or whatever. Good or bad it is definitely help.

As far as portuguese is going, I can understand kind of. I can talk a little. Like i´m never totally in the dark because i understand at least every 4th word, especially verbs, but I very rarely if ever understand it all. But I´m doing well and it´s fun to try and learn more and help people who I can tell have the potential to suck the marrow out of life if they just knew how. They could have so much enjoyment if they could just understand what I knew, despite their less than american living standards. They are already much happier than most people you meet on the street in america to begin with. People will just welcome us into their little homes, give us a hug, give us their best food, make sure that we know we are loved. They are all so nice. seeing them struggling to know the truth like i got to last night breaks my heart because what else do they even have? That young couple had one room. One bed, one dresser, one little family. But he was smiling. His life is far from perfect but he kept his dog from biting my leg and gave us his only seats and then listened as he sat on his bed. I just can´t believe the openness that these people have. The member that was with us just looked at him and told him that he would be happier if he would just investigate the church with his wife because they aren´t just investigating a church, they are finding the truth. I wish people could understand that. I´m not just from some church. I have something that can change your whole reason for being and giving you an infinite source of happiness. My companion related it to like if the guys wife made a delecious cake. How can he know unless he tries some of the cake if it is good or not.

But whatever I wanna go try to do some contacts.

I love you all and I hope that you guys are doing good. It´s warm here. I´ll explain more about things next week. Monday will be my P-Day from now on.

see ya

Jul 6, 2010

No word yet from the boy! Mom is anxious

As you can read, there has been no e-mail this week from Elder Scott. But, his mission president knows enough about parents to give us news and photos. He looks much thinner but happy and always cheesin' up the grin for the photo op. We miss him but i would not want him anywhere else right now.
06 Jul 2010

To the Family of Elder Michael Scott Christensen, Sister Jackson and I were delighted to welcome Elder Christensen to the Brasil São Paulo Interlagos Mission this morning. Please be assured that he received an enthusiastic welcome from his leaders and fellow missionaries. Details of his first day in the field with a few pictures should arrive shortly by conventional mail but we wanted you to know that he arrived safely and was warmly greeted. Elder Christensen has been assigned to labor with Elder Collin Daron Bush in the Vista Alegre Ward of the Embú das Artes Stake. As you can imagine, those who receive the assignment to train new missionaries are among the most faithful and dedicated missionaries in the mission. Elder Christensen has been asked to write you each week on Preparation Day (Monday). We would ask you to write him weekly as well. The importance of a letter each week from those he loves cannot be overstated. Please remember to share family news and personal experiences that will help him focus on the work of the Lord and increase his desire to serve with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength. Given the time difference with the United States, e-mail correspondence should probably be sent by Sunday evening. Packages and correspondence sent by conventional mail should be addressed to the Mission Office as follows:

Elder Michael Scott Christensen Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos Rua Euzébio de Souza, 121
Jardim Londrina – São Paulo – S.P. CEP: 05638-100 Brasil
We look forward to our association with Elder Christensen as we work together to build the Kingdom of God in Brazil. We are so impressed with his desire to serve and feel sure that he will be a blessing to his companion and to our entire mission. If you have any questions or concerns, please don´t hesitate to contact us. The mission e--mail address:
Love, President Christopher G. JacksonBrazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission

Jul 2, 2010


it's the last p-day i'll have in the MTC of Sao Paulo. I'm tempted to say good riddance, but honestly it's been pretty fun. There have been times of pure boredome, but we always figure out a way to make things interesting over here. I guess I'll share a couple of the more recent ones. SO, first off, last night we spent a good hour or so playing a retarded game called ninja. Honestly it was pretty stupid, but very fun at the same time. I just was making it rediculous and doing flips and stuff. The reason that was funny was because we had to do it silently because we weren't supposed to be doing that. BUT OH WELL. I say if we can finish our work and planning, then we can spend our extra time trying to not go crazy. So yeah that was fun. The other thing was pretty epic. We had a guy come in from provo who is pretty funny. His name is Elder Farley, and he is some kid from the portland area that is a lot like my highschool friends. So for once i can relate with someone about funny things like farts. So anyways, he tried to fart on a kid the other day, but totally overestimated the amount of force required. yep you guessed it, I have officially witnessed someone pooping their pants and I'm not even out of the MTC yet. That seriously made my day. Actually it made my week. BUT on to more serious things. The more I study the gospel in it's basic principles the more amazed I am at the complex simplicity it contains. That is the only way i can describe it. It really isnst THAT complex at all, but it applies to every situation. God says, ``you'll be happy if you do this ____创 and it just becomes a matter of trust after that. He's not lying, but sometimes we think it's too simple or too general or whatever. The cool thing that I've personally been witnessing it, it's not too simple for anyone. Life really is that easy. Our Heaven Father tells us how to be happy and we just have to do what he says to recieve that blessing. That is a concept that everyone hears their whole lives, but I can't think of THAT many people that apply it to exactness. Kind of a shame. But yeah, I've been making an effort to just live it and test if it works or not in all situations. If I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I'll just apply a basic principle that leads to happiness, make sure heavenly father knows what I'm looking for, and record my results in my journal. Not suprisingly it works every time. This is an interesting concept in a world full of so much unfairness and so many hurt feelings. The atonement can take all of that and make it fair. Take my word for it and investigate to see if you get the same results. you will. Oh yeah also, mom I am getting your letters. Don't worry about it. I think everyonce in a while a letter gets lost, but usually i get them. And rachael that picture looks pretty funny. I honestly laughed harder at the original. But i saw the pirate patch coming beforehand. And Todd, just write whatever you want from now on because i~m headed to the field. I probably wont get a P Day next week, but after that I am a real missionary. Boom. Everybody needs to start sending the letters to my mission address now because I will no longer be in the MTC. Love you all. SEE YA.