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

Dec 29, 2010

So I am here laughing at the photo rachael sent me. Well done. Every once in a while, while I am in a house here I see a christmas card or a photo or a wedding announcement of a little missionary that passed by in my area with his chubby wife or something like that and I always get hysterical when I see how nerdy they are. But I think in place of mailing normal stuff I will photo shop a whole bunch of pictures of me (me with 3 arms, me marrying a cat, me fishing and catching myself) and just mail them to the people here without a description, but a phrase that is painfully stupid. Kind of like those inspirational posters. ``POWER, it磗 whats inside创 with a picture of a dinosaur bursting out of my stomach or something like that. Or maybe just a phrase like ``merry christmas创 with me simultaneously cutting off the arm of a robot and stealing his robot girlfriend. But I have a while to think about the cool things I can do to make people laugh here.

In the meantime I just make them laugh through my wierdness in person. The other day I was talking to this old russiany lady in the street and I realized that her dress made her look like a cartoon character of somekind, and then I realize it is those flowers that dance around in the original Fantasia. It has nutcracker music during that part and they are just spinning and sp韓ning... and I started to imagine her spinning... then my companion asked me why I was singing nutcracker music out loud in the middle of our conversation. Unknowingly I had gotten so into the story that I was singing that part of the nutcracker out loud and just nodding really slowly and smiling super creepily because it was so cool in my mind. So we went to visit some recent converts later that day and I told them that same story and they loved it. It seems like because I am american with a crazy accent, that I am the equivelant of Borat to everyone here, and everything I do or think is super retarded and hilarious to them. So that is fun...

But in other news, the new year celebration is supposed to be even more like a civil war than christmas. During christmas I seriously thought at a certain point in the middle of the night that it was some kind of war, because the fireworks just sounded like machine guns and bombs going off. These aren磘 your classy colored fireworks, it is just a whole lot of cheap noise. So it is essentially the same exact sound as guns and stuff, given that its just gunpowder exploding everywhere. But I woke up at night, looked at my companion and asked ``are we going to die?创 and he thought I was sooo funny. Hohohoho. Turns out that to them this is super normal. But whatever.

Uhhh... It磗 hot outside...

Oh and thanks to grandma for the blue socks. 8 months of a blue suit with black (and occasionally white) socks was pretty classy, but it磗 good to match me now. The candy is super good too, and it磗 great because my companion at some dark chocolate because he never tried it before and he was like ``Ugh it磗 sooooo bitterrrrrr创 and won磘 eat my candy now even if I offer it to him, so I am eating EVERYTHING. The candy canes are super good. I loved it all. and I am making jam. woo.

Other than that there isn磘 a ton to relate. That night that I called I was in the house of this crazy guy that is super cool. He磗 Italian, was baptised there, went to BYU after and married a Brazilian there, lived in arizona for 2 years then came here to work. He works in international relations so he knows spanish and english as well as italian and portuguese. But the funny part is that he speaks it all to their kid that is just starting to talk and the kid is gonna be a freaking genious. He came into the room while I was talking to you guys on the phone and was talking to me in all 4 languages at once but after listening to english for like 2 or 3 minutes started to just say all the english words he knew. I had my mind blown. And he is the coolest kid ever because he never cries. He just runs around non-stop like a demon and never stops babbling. But it磗 cool because I won磘 have kids for 9 million years.

But yay for nephews! I am going to teach him how to make every version of a gross sound imaginable. I have a growing list. Farting in armpit, pulling my finger, burping, that kind of stuff. So get ready for a gentleman and a scholar, because that is what I am gonna make him. I磍l make him a lightning throwing hammer too to celebrate his heritage. Those will be fun days.

But holy cow. The mission is fun. I feel like I am getting pretty stretched by some of the situations that we face here in this area, but the talk from Richard G. Scott in the last conference version of the ensign about Faith and Character is good.

Haha, there is this dude with huge crazy dreadlocks that is super happy to be alive in the lan house and he磗 making me laugh.
Jah-maica. he smells like weed.

anyways that is about it. For this week at least. We磍l see how the new year goes. 2011, a year of pure mission. Should be good. Stay classy

Dec 20, 2010

What month is it?‏

So the other day I was sitting on my bed pulling my hair out over some people that didn磘 go to church, and I realized that I have been in this area for 6 weeks already. What the heck? when did that happen. weird. But we had another transfer. I磎 trying to like it, but I am not going to lie my new companion is prettttttttttttttttttttty annoying. He is really new on the mission and has a seemingly infinite amount to learn compared to my last companions, but is constantly correcting me. It will be a challenge to be paciente with him but I am determined.

One of the more annoying things he does is tell me that I talk wrong. But not in a constructive way. Generally it is like this, ``holy cow, what did you just say? did you say M髇ica? it磗 M鬾ica. You need to study more.创 but this part he is talking in portuguese.

then he follows it up with ``OK? reet (right)? les gu (let磗 go)?创 and I just am agast. It磗 incredibly ironic and sometimes I think he磗 joking with me. But he磗 not. Sometimes I want to say ``talk to me about the literary arts or contemporary society.创 because I can talk about that in portuguese and I know he wouldn磘 know where to start, and then I would burn him and say ``now do it in english, because you磛e been studying english for 5 years.创 But instead I just say ``oh sorry. thanks for being patient with me.创 and try not to hate him. I am determined to like him.

But yeah, I miss my last companion. He was a really gifted teacher and we were really good freinds so we were rolling along every day in unity and power. It磗 kind of like someone cut my arm off and is telling me to tie my shoes. I磍l ask people questions to help the people think about what we磖e teaching and he always thinks that the silence is because they didn磘 understand and so he jumps in and says ``oh my companion is a crazy american. He doesn磘 really know how to talk, what he wanted to say is...创 and the investigators will say ``we understand him perfectly, we were just thinking.创 but it磗 too late and that good spirit that was there during the lesson is already gone. NOOOOooooooooooooooooooooh well... Just gotta take it one day at a time.

But yeah, I will call at 8PM my time. The favela gets pretty wild on sunday nights, so I can only imagine the holidays. I can磘 believe the things they do to their motorcycles when they are drunk. It just blows my minds sometimes. They just ride around in first gear with it pinned hitting the rev limiter for hours and hours because they think it磗 super cool. I mean who can blame them, backfires and ruining engines is pretty cool. I think can hear the poor rod on the single cylinder engine crying sometimes, and I am just waiting for one of the motors to throw a rod and kill someone because it will go flying out the side of the little air cooled block. But it still hasn磘 happened.

Teaching wise I read a talk by David M. McConkie from last conference and I am applying what he taught about being a hard core teacher and it磗 super fun. Like I磎 not going to lie, I can have alllll of the difficulties and health problems and whatever else bad in the world and I will still love teaching the gospel to people. And I love having nothing else to do but live it and teach it. I think it磗 pretty annoying when missionaries, especially here where we have lunches with members everyday and half the people we talk to are legitly interested, complain about the work. I really just don磘 understand what there is to complain about as far as the work goes. I complain about my companions because they are turds sometimes, but the stuff I do with them is so cool that I generally end up not caring that they are super annoying. Given that our focus here is on families, we have a couple families that we磛e been blessed with that are just incredible to teach. On dude name Alexandre and his family are just champs. He磗 in there cleaning the chapel during the week and doesn磘 miss days on sunday and just understands everything. Like he磗 a better member than I am and he磗 not even a member yet. And he lives in a housing project and works as a guy that drives a recycling cart (a.k.a he has a horse and picks up literally TONS of trash throws it in a cart behind the horse and sorts it at the end of the day to recieve next to no money) but the guy is so thankful for what we have taught to him. When my companion went to another area he gave us pirated DVD磗 as a present, which was one of the nicest thing he could get for us so we accepted them to not make him feel weird... (we磍l teach about the whole ``you can磘 pirate DVD磗创 thing next time I think) He says the day we stopped him on the street is engraved into his mind as the start of the best part of his life so far. So that磗 cool. It磗 always nice to have people get what we are teaching and be super thankful for it.

But yeah. That is my life. I love to teach because I know the people of whom I am testifying. It磗 not just an empty message about Christ. The more we can get people to understand that, the funner it is. And it just gets better everyday. I just wish time would slow down a little bit.

I磍l call at around 8PM my time to try to catch everyone home, because my companion has to call at 7PM anyways. If that doesnt work just email me because saturday is a PDAYYYYYYYYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. I love you all. Latersss

Dec 13, 2010

Blairsk... Bobbelisk...‏

So hey. It is still hot, butttt it could be hotter as the people up north are learning. I think we hit 39 degrees which is like 103 so it isn´t that bad. We just drink a whole lot of water. But before I forget, CHRISTMAS TIMEEEESZ>.

I don´t know when we´ll call yet, but by next week I will so here is what we´ll do. There are members here that have an international phoneline and it will be just like a local connection (no one pays extra) and I think I will probably call you guys from there. So being that I am hours ahead of you guys (or behind?) you should choose a time that I can call and change it to São Paulo time and let me know when I can call you guys. I will only have 40 minutes, but if everyone is home we can speakerphone it so that I can talk to you all. The international phoneline is pretty sweet. He´s an Italian that specializes in international relations and mixes portuguese and italian and spanish when he talks. My mind just melts sometimes. But yeahhh... it´ll be cool.

So here are some pics of me. The one of me in front of trees is my old area. A stark contrast to the favela. Then a couple of me at the temple and something else I don´t remember. I think my eyes look funny in photos because they aren´t brown. But yeah, I think all of me looks funny because I am not brown.

So I met someone today that has the self title of ``the holder of the defeciency.´´ That name is so funny to me. He seriously calls himself that, kind of like a title. My name is blahblablah - holder of the defeciency. Long story short he´s special and wants to be best friends. woo hoo.

Also, I found out the other day that my comp used a baby bottle until he was 14 years old. That is pretty awesome. He then explained that he is a super momma´s boy and because of that he has no concept of hard work. So I am trying to help him be a man by teaching him manly stuff. We took apart our broken washing machine using only a knife and a standard screwdriver that was too big for the phillips screws the washer uses. Then I fixed it with duct tape and punches (the duct tape is amazing dave). So yeah, we are manly. We wanna grow mustaches, but the rules restrict us for the next year and a half.

but man, a baby bottle...?

so yeah, email me a time to call you and the whole phone number including the international code. Loves you all. byeeeeeeee

Dec 6, 2010


So when I was arriving at the missionary training center, I remember thinking, ``man, I am gonna be super smart and cool when I call home at christmas because I will have changed so much in those 8 (actually about 7.65) months.创 The only difference that I am seeing that I can believe is the fact that I am writing 12 for the month and not 5... so... yeah. I don磘 think you磍l see or hear much of a difference.

But the good news is that I am having a good time here. I not going to lie, I can honestly use the word ``love创 about the work that I am doing. I am not one to be that missionary that uses a whole bunch of exclamation marks and tries to be overly excited to make up for something, but really, I love it here. One of the rules that our mission president put into practice recently that I am liking, is that it is against the rules to mark a kid without the parents, unless the kids goes 6 months without missing a commitment and the parents refuse to hear us. Our mission, not being the highest in sheer numbers, is however one of the highest in retention. And the concentrated effort we are putting on the family is only going to help that. It磗 cool because it allows me to even more so forget about numbers and think 100% about the welfare of the people we are teaching, and we have been able to see and feel a noticeable difference in the work we do.

The other thing that I feel like I am finally getting a little bit better at is talking. I can磘 even begin to count how many people in these months have busted up laughing in my face on the street or in houses because of how I talk. And I didn磘 want to make the situation worse by complaining so I just always joked about it with my companions and shrugged it off. But I am finally starting to talk a little better as far as vocabulary and grammer goes and my companion and I decided to start working on accents so that on day I can tell people that I am from different places in the country and get everyone to believe me. Let me just say, it is super weird to force your mouth to forget how it usually works and totally change the way you do everything with your tounge teeth and lips. Sometimes I think he磗 teaching me how to say stuff wrong, but the more I listen to people and recognize the differences in accents the more I recognize that some things they do with their tounges are just wacky. The only downfall of this plan will be if I go for too long without speaking english and forget how to speak english normally, because there is only one other american in my district and I only know of 3 more besides him in our zone. But the odds of forgetting how to speak normally are low I think.

And on the cooking front, it just gets better and better. The other day we made and ate a chicken strogonoff with rice and salad and homemade juice in around 50 minutes. And we ate slow. I think my plan after the mission will be as follows:

step 1) buy an apron

step 2) grow a mustache

step 3) get super fat from eating as a hobby

Some would question the necessity of a mustache, and I would tell them it serves the same purpose as the apron. You can interpret that one as you will.

But all in all, we are just kicking it here, sweating an incredible amount (I sweat almost all the way through my planner everyday and it磗 getting super warped), and trying to work hard.

One funny story about working hard. We went to eat lunch the other day and the kid was like ``hey do you wanna play playstion with me?创 and I responded ``no way broseph, I am a missionary创 and he came back with ``the last missionary played with me allllll the time... elder... elder... I can磘 remember his name.创 then I hit him with ``Elder SLACKER McDONESN碩 WORK AT ALL创. it turns out that kid already knew and loves to tempt the missionaries to get them in trouble as a joke. Also it turns out that this happens all the time. In every house the members are like ``oh elder, take a nap on our couch you look tired.创 because other missionaries already have. It磗 kind of a pain because you don磘 want to hurt their feelings, but also there is no way we are going to do stuff like that... meh.

but yeah. Lunch time (I am making sweet and sour chicken today). Love you all. byes.