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

Sep 27, 2010

Language barrier

So another transfer rolls by and I am staying in Vista Alegre. I will complete my 6 month mark here now, because It´s gonna happen this transfer. That concept just absolutely blows my mind. Especially since last week there was a decent level of people who can´t understand a word that I am saying. It was a humbling week as far as the language goes, because I can understand everyword everyone says, my comp can understand me perfectly, but people and I have a brick wall between us called ``the accent.´´ sometimes I´m fairly confident that my toungue was not meant to roll or make latin noises, but self pity never helped anyone so I just find ways to enjoy it when people are openly mocking me because they think I can´t understand them. It is pretty funny sometimes the things people will say in front of your face when you are foreign. But whatevsss

This week we had some pretty good thunderstorms. The thunder and lightning combo here is different. The thunder rolls really powerfully for like 15 or 20 seconds straight, and the lightning never strikes the ground. It like the clouds are just really angry. Also the lightning is pretty weird because it´s a really bright pink. I´m thinking that is because of the rediculous level of pollution, but who can really say. But early in the week we got stranded a few miles from home in a torrential downpour, and my companion didn´t bring his umbrella. So i gave him mine and just enjoyed the day soaked. It was fun because for the first time it was legitly large raindrops, none of that mist crap that it´s been making as of late. And as we were walking to our next comitment and crossing rivers in the middle of the street, I was thinking of how lucky it is that I have a name tag over my nip, because white clothing being soaked isn´t super modest. But then I saw the other side. so i just used my backpack straps to conceal that side. But then I realized my bellybutton was showing through and just gave up. It was good times and really refreshing.

The next day we were eating lunch at a members house that lives in the middle of no where, and had to walk a couple miles to a bank afterwords to get our money. The bank is really close to our chapel, so I thought, ``oh i´ll just use the bathroom in the chapel´´ and we left the members house. When I left the members house I didn´t really need to go that bad, but by the time we were getting close to the bank I was dying. In the bank I withdrew my money real fast and paced in circles waiting for my companion becuase if I stopped moving it was over. Luckily for me (sarcasm) his card wasn´t working. So I continued to pace... started to worry... started to panic... and made a break for the bathroom in the bank. The reason I was avoiding the bathroom in the bank, is because it´s a huge hassel. The bank has 2 sections, and one just has ATMs. The other is behing bulletproof glass and it´s like going through airport security, except with more guns. So i bust through there and asked a guard where the bathroom was. Seeing my panic, he pointed me in the right direction luckily and waived off the other guards, but told me I had to find the employee that has the keys to the bathroom. I have no idea why they have a locked bathroom, in a secured guarded room, but they do. So I am quickly running out of time untill I pee everywhere, and I find the guy with a key, but he´s on the phone. I just interrupter him and luckily he was a member. The next/last obstacle was the locked door. As I struggled with the key, I lose all hope and will to keep holding. My body began to rebel. and as the door to the bathroom opened I simultaneously wet myself. Pretty good timing if you ask me. The Irony of a clean toilet staring me in the face as I peed my pants 2 feet away just made me laugh. So we went back to the house on a crowded bus and I got to take 2 showers that day. what a blessing.

In an unrelated note I made the best pancakes ever. Syrup that I derived out of fresh coconut water, and pineapple inside the pancakes. Pina Coladaaaaaaaa pancakessssssssssssss!!!!!!!! It´s really good.

But yeah just that. Not to worry, we never talked to the macumba people. Everyone who knows me knows that I´m afraid of the dark, so dark magic is something I´ll avoid with certainty.

Sep 20, 2010

Frosting explosion in Birthday Package from mom


So this transfer is coming to a close, and I am hoping that I stay here. I NEED to keep working with this guy that I´ve become pretty attached too, because he is so close to being 100% sober. He already quit drugs, drinking, and is just trying to kick cigarrets now. His relationship with his family is way better now, he´s no longer worshipping/making animal sacrfices to satan (he practiced a form of ``christian black magic´´ kind of like voodoo, but different called macumba) and his relationships with his family are so much better now. He is trying to find his 5 kids that are scattered through brazil and help them out in their lives and, the biggest difference, he smiles a lot more. One of a few cool people that I get to work here.

But I have a list of things that I need you guys to help me out with

FIRST: somebody send me a recipe of really good cream based italian sauce to put over noodles.
SECOND: someone needs to look into the hoops I need to jump through to be a translator at the world cup here in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. I heard that you can start filling out papers for some of that stuff in february but I´m clueless, so someone look into that.

those are the only ones that I can remember for now

But hey, I hope mom only sent 10 dollars in that cake box, also I hope she is remembering to fill my toolbox with magic instead of wasting a ton of money on postage... After seeing some of the funny cars and motorcycles that people create out of scrap I am getting some funny ideas that I can realize if I have the right tools.

But some quick stories from this last week, we were knocking doors the other day and every one here has an outer wall and a gate. Sometimes you have no idea what the house looks like because they have a 12 foot tall concrete wall and a huge metal door with a little telephone box to call to the house and a camera so they can see you. So we call a house and it´s a lady who says she´ll be right out. As soon as she hangs up this guy bursts out the gate and he´s got crazy eyes like a crack addict. But so does everyone else, so whatever. I asked him if we could talk with his family about our message, and he was like ``uhhhh... just that everyone here are macumbeiros... is that okay?´´ Like I said, macumba is a voodoo-ish thing that they´ll use to summon demon powers in their life. It´s weird though because generally their houses are just FULL of pictures of saints and such, but really dark pictures and their houses are dark too. So my companion got freaked out and started leaving, but I was like ``it´s all good dude, can we come in?´´ and he accepted. The whole time my companion was trembling with fear, but nothing happened that was super out of the ordinary. They did have a parrot that was talking to me non-stop, and the house was a little weird, but overall it was cool and we´re going back to teach again this week. They all had long sleeves on so I couldn´t really see if they had any markings of macumba, because generally they´ll have all these raised slashes over these crazy looking tattoos because they´ll sacrifice animals and cut the blood into their skin during their rituals. Kinda weird, but I have a higher authority, soooooooooo too bad for them. Next time should be a hoot.

Beyond that life is just rolling along. I love everyone at home, so keep it classy and have fun. latersssss

Sep 13, 2010

meow meow‏

haha I got a package, and I´ll try and send a picture of it. We´ll see... But the moral of the story is that I got it, made a cake, and ate it. BRITHDAY!!!111! I know I mispelled that, but it´s funnier to me that way.
So anyways, this week I found some more lobsterclaw people. One dude has a hand that is more of a lobster claw than any that I´ve yet seen, but also I found a curveball - A worm hand. Just one big ol´ finger with like 6 joints. It had a huge fingernail at the end, and no palm. That one was really cool because it was wriggling around in circles while he talked. Needless to say I was entranced and that I got lost in thought for some time.
Agh I think the attachment failed. Maybe next time. The computers here are less than desireable for anything more than ``command prompt´´ but whatever for now.
But going back to the worm hand, sometimes I get lost in self narroration (spleleeling?). I feel like wishbone the dog from the old TV show about classical novels and the dog that imagines himself into the story. Everyone here is in funny costumes and I just feel like my life isn´t real sometimes. The other day we were just walking down the street and a car pulled up and it was our bishop and stake councelor. next thing I know we were talking some kid out of a suicide attempt. Like things just happen and it´s not a huge deal, because they happen pretty regularly. Even weirder than that is we always know exactly what to do after a few minutes of being really freaked out by some of the things we run into.
It´s just weird to go into everyday knowing you are going to do stuff beyond your own capacity.
But it strengthens the testimony too.
BBuuutttt anyways I got the package. The frosting exploded everywhere in transit, but I scooped it out and used it anyways. I cooked the starburst into some pancakes and it was suprisingly similar to eating them with raspberries. And I got grandmas package too.

I love you all and I want to say so much more but I have no more time. maybe next week? haha

Sep 6, 2010

20 years WHAT?!‏

holy cow... 20 years old.

So I only have 10 minutes or so, so here we go. The funny thing that has been happening this week is the fact that even for a brasilian my companion is pretty back-woodsy. He doesn´t have a lot of education, saw his first computer when he put in his mission papers, etc. So needless to say, sometimes funny things happen.

For example, the other day we taught a guy who has cancer. São Paulo, being a city with 20 million people is pretty advanced, and with free healthcare he was telling us about the cancer treatments and such. But when we left my companion was so scared he was almost shaking. He was like ``elder, we have to go home and wash our hands´´ and I was like ``no way dude. why?´´ turns out he is convinced he can get cancer like you get the flu or a cold. So even today he´s pretty nervous. I tried to explain but he doesn´t believe me. Also he things I might get sick soon, because I had my pancakes with COLD milk. Cold + Hot in you stomach at the same time = sick. Haha. Endless entertainment.

Other than that I don´t really know. everyone calls me german, which is their term for ``whitey.´´ Someone asked me if I was albino, but also I´m looking pretty german as I lose weight. I´ll show you what i mean next time, But for now I need to run. I love you all. later