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

Jan 17, 2011


so this area has been interesting. I don´t want to be one to complain, but in this case I´ve had some interesting difficulties here. My last companion baptised 16 people here in 4 months, and after 2 months and change I haven´t found anybody that is quite ready to do what is right and make the necissary changes in their lives to be happy. And so because of that I have had the opportunity to grow quite a bit here. There have been a lot of times where when I have a second alone I am just pulling out my hair trying to know what I am doing wrong and I go ask for guidance and nothing specific comes and I just feel lost. I went for weeks, not having any idea what it was that I was doing wrong and just working my brains out trying to get the work going, but still not a whole lot going on. The people we were teaching always got to a certain point in their progress and then hit a wall. The words of my mission president came into my mind over and over again, ``if you aren´t doing something, the Lord will never let you convert your investigators more than you are converted. If you aren´t worthy, your investigators won´t be either´´ and it was just driving me crazy because I had no idea what I could do more.

then I found out this week that my comp has been lying to me and everyone else and isn´t exactly the model of worthiness. I can´t explain to you how mad immedeately I got. I have never wanted to yell at someone so much in my entire life, because immedeately it made so much sense to me that his betrayal and lies were destroying our work on a daily basis. Man I was mad. And so I was pacing and pacing in our apartment that morning, thinking about what I would do about this nonesense, getting madder and madder and more unreasonable and ready to brawl, when I realized that this wasn´t right. So I went and kneeled down and asked our Heavenly Father, ``what do you want me to do here?!´´ and he started the process of guiding me step by step through something that I know that I wasn´t capable of ever doing.

Holy cow it is something really hard to describe, but I didn´t lash out. with time I didn´t even feel that pissed off anymore. He took out all the blame and hate I was feeling (and there was a lot of it in there) and helped me forgive him. The next few days were so hard, because he not only continued to do what is making him unworthy and robbing us of success, but he was super critical of every little thing I did all day every day. And the whole time I would start to think, ``what do you know about what is right?! YOU ARE A HIPOCRITE´´ but I managed to just pray for help over and over and over again and try to help him work through this.

One day I was looking for help in the Ensign of last general conference and I read some things that President Monson said to the releif society. First he quoted Horace Mann when he said, ``to pity distress is but human, to releive it is Godlike.´´ and I realized that even if he continues to lie and be critical of me, I am certain that every single day is a living hell because he knows he is wrong. And rather than get pissed and ruin his life a little more to make myself feel better, I decided that I would try at least to some degree to apply this. So I started to say stuff like, ``whatever you need dude, I am here to help you´´ when I was feeling a desire to rip his arm off or something like that. And it worked. like I started to feel less and less hate for what he does and more and more sincere concern for his welfare. And then I saw the real life application of what President Monson said when he said, ``Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgemental and critical of eachother, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fello travelers on this journey through life.´´

It is possible. Anyone who knows me knows that I am actually incapable of forgiving someone that purposefully and knowingly is doing something to harm me. There is no way. On my own I would probably resort to either a physical fight to teach them a lesson and make them feel bad, or with a lot more frequency, a verbal bombardment that will leave them feeling like absoloutly nothing. But I actually forgave him kind of. I really feel a sincere desire to help the kid rather than hurt him. That right there is a very real testimony of the renewing power provided through the sacrifice of our savior. He did everything for me that I wasn´t capable of doing alone just because I asked him. I am dead serious, the moment that I began to plead for the strength to forgive my comp, it came into my heart like a flood. I testify of the reality of this because I am living it as I write these words and my companion acts like a little kid next to me.

Turns out the responsibility to forgive extends even to those who don´t deserve it in our eyes. Something I didn´t even know.

but that is my story this week. I love you all. Have a good week and be happy.

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