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

Nov 22, 2010

Feeling better‏

So, I am not sick anymore. The sickness absolutely destroyed me the rest of last monday and I just stayed home shaking because I had a fever of 102.something. But the next day we worked and I had a little bit less of a fever and so it went untill about thursday or friday when I woke up totally good but pretty weak. I ended up not eating for 3 days, and just drinking water in small portions, so my body got pretty tired. But it´s all good now so whatever. My mission president says it was something viral that I caught. woops.

But to explain a little bit more about the area I´m in now, It´s one of the most inner-city areas we have. Our mission doesn´t have a lot, so it´s pretty exciting to be somewhere that is not in the boonies. We are a stones throw away from the Morumbi Stadium where the São Paulo Football Club gets it´s game on. Last night some random band that I didn´t recognize was there giving a concert and there was a helicopter literally right above our building filming it, so it´s an area that is drastically different than my last area where we´d get lost in the jungle and find weird stuff in the trees. It´s super close to the mission home and all that stuff, so we actually walked to our area after the transfer meeting. The other weird thing is seeing people that have money. There all sorts of Porsche Cayenne S and blacked out BMW´s rolling along the main avenue pumping crappy techno or whatever. And lot´s of buildings. It´s actually kind of like being in seattle sometimes, but not really because it´s so culturally different.

And then you have the favela. A Favela is a sort of ghetto. they generally have a huge block of government built roads that are organized with a basic sewer and electricity system that follows the roads, and the people just tie into the power and water and build their own houses. It´s kind of like a huge game of legos. You just buy your little square of land, buy a whole bunch of rebar, concrete, sand, and bricks, and you make a house that you hope won´t fall down anytime soon. Then you rig up the power and water, and if you haven´t died yet you live there. Because of this it turns into this labrynth of alleyways and tunnels and random stuff that the people make and name. It´s kind of like and ant hill actually. thinks an area smaller than meadow springs, with 150,000 people living in houses that they built themselves. It kind of reminds me of movies about inner-cities during the 80´s, because every here still wears hammer pants. So yeah, that is the favela. We spend a lot of time there because there a lot of people. I´ll try to get a few pictures before I leave, but we´ll see because flashing a digital camera around in the middle of a favela when you are dressed like a missionary and no one you know is super fond of americans isn´t incredibly smart.

But yeah, it´s nice being in the city. There is a supermarket here. It´s feaking awesome. So whenever we eat lunch with the members, I tell all the members that I´ll teach them how to make something american if they will teach me how to make tons of good stuff and they go crazy. This lady gave me a cook book of different desserts that aren´t to hard to make and told me she wanted me to keep it to remember their family. Welp, I will, everytime I am eating awesome candy I made or something. And I taught a family how to make pancakes, and they went crazy. I brought the maple syrup and everyone was like ``ooohhhh how chic, maple syrup´´ haha. I get a kick out of stuff like that. Next time I´m teaching them something else from the land of magic ``french toast´´ haha. The best part is that sometimes it´s like the best thing that has ever happened to them, and they feel the need to teach me how to cook something incredible too. So I´ve learned to cook and preserve jams, cook random types of candies and sweets derived from tropical fruits, lot´s of fried magic, etc.

One thing that is kind of annoying, is that it´s incredibly easy to be successful here. I know, I know, ``oh poor baby´´ but seriously it´s a set back. It´s hard because my companion has been here for almost 5 months and he forgot how to work hard. When he gets tired, he wants to go to a members house and just chat it up with them, and he gets mad when I ask him how that will help us and if he thinks it´s what we should really do. I don´t want to be a turd, but the last thing I am going to do is sit around. Buuuuut, I am hoping that through a good example he´ll figure it out and we won´t have conflicts, because as far as a member of the church goes my companion is rock solid. His dad died when he was 14, his mom who is alive isn´t a member, but he is totally confident that through patience and faith everything will work out. That is generally the case with the brasilians: they are not super good at keeping rules and you have to keep them in line sometimes because they love naps and to sit around, but many times they are the only member of their family that is in the church, and they are on the mission so that they can help their family and give future generations an easier time. Here in 15 years I´m fairly confident that 95% or more of the missionaries here will be natives, because there area lot of kids being born into the church, so that is cool.

Also we had a stake conference here last week with almost 2,000 members in the chapel. That was epic. In our mission every ward has a pair of missionaries and a stake is a zone, so there was a bunch of missionaries there and about 40 or 50 investigators because we all tried to bring 10 with our ward. Then they had a section of seats reserved to investigators, and the whole stake conference was about why the church is so good for families and they had a whole bunch of recent convert testimonies and stuff like that. I was just blown away at the help that this stake is giving us, because in the last stake we had little to no support. I think it´s easy for them to remember the importance of missionary work, because our stake presidency, and our bishopric, and really just about everyone over the age of 15 or 16 in the whole church, are converts. here in about 60 years when they start dying off, everyone will forget and it will turn into the united states because everyone will have been born into the church. Heck, my life here in 2 years will go back to that state because I´ll go to BYU and forget that people exist outside of the church. haha. I hope not... it´s a good feeling to know the differences you are making in someones life have consequences of lasting happiness.

But so it goes here in São Paulo. Lots of stuff to do, and not a lot of time to do it. The Paulista life style.

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