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.

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