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 31, 2011

Yet another transfer

So, I got my weekly mass email from the president that said the greater part of our mission will be transfered and have new companions. Wait a second... YOU FORGOT ONE. Oh well. I am staying here 6 more weeks with my same companion. Something that I am learning, is that if your companion gets on your nerves, you are going to stay with him for a while. I am just throwing out an estimate, but at the rate things are going, I think I am going to hit my 1 year mark in my second area. Woohoo. Luckily for me, my first area was one of the 2 areas that everyone wants to go to, and my second area was the other one. haha. Gotta love it.

In other news I ate lunch with a hilarious family the other day. The Viñas family. Relatives of the 70. I know no one probably recognizes the difference, but that name is not brasilian. The husband is from Uraguay and the wife Ecuador and the speak portuguese super good even though they´ve only been here for 7 months, but I am the only one that understands them because they mix spanish and that is hard for native brasilians to understand. But here is the cool part, he went on an english speaking mission in texas (he said that sucked because everyone spoke spanish, but he wasn´t technically allowed to) and studied at BYU with his wife. So they have these two little girls of like 6 and 4 years old who were born in the united states and spoke english at school for 6 years and in home when they weren´t speaking spanish at home, and when I came in they looked at me for a while, and yelled without and accent, ``DADDY HE SPEAKS ENGLISH!!!´´ and ran around yelling stuff in english. I felt like I was watching TV because I don´t even speak english right anymore so it was super weird to hear and it made me sooo happy. My companion asked them in portuguese what their names are, and one said in spanish that her name was ``poop´´ and then they laughed and ran around and he asked again and she was like ``my name is poop´´ but in english and ran around laughing again. It was hilarious because my companion started randomly having a panic attack because he wasn´t understanding anything. ha. now he understands a little of how the first 6 months were for me.

But it is crazy to me how little the brasilian people understand when someone has an accent, I thought it was just me, but the Viñas family said no one understands them even though they are using better grammer and speaking more correctly than a normal person here. And they have native latin accents. So I got to translate portuguese to portuguese for my companion who used to think spanish and italian are the same language, but castilian so something totally different. He is also convinced that ``brasilian´´ is different than ``portuguese.´´ But that is cool.

I told him that a lot of latin peoples have racism that makes no sense to me, because for example, everyone here HATES bolivians and argentinans. Argentinans because of soccer, and bolivians because of immigration. So i told my companion if someone from argentina or bolivia or mexico spoke portuguese without an accent, he´d never be able to tell because they are all latin and look super similar. He refused to accept that, so in all of our lessons before he says anything I tell people he´s one of the three, and everyone believes me. ``oh my friend here is mexican´´ and they instantly hate him. Even funnier is sometimes the random hate is so strong that they refuse to understand him and tell him they don´t speak spanish. he is always like, ´`I AM FROM CEARÁ!!´´`and they are like ``shut up you bolivian.´´ it´s rediculous and hilarious all at the same time.

Also, our visit to the english speaking house of wonders sparked interest in him again to learn english, which is always super fun to teach. So today I just asked him what he wanted to learn and helped him say it and 10 minutes later he was saying, ``YOU IS A DIARRHEA!!!´´ Almost...? Good try...? I need to better my teaching skills, but at least no one else understands him.

But yeah that was it this week. Oh and I had a really interesting lesson about what is ignorance. Get ready to be all hippie-like, because this is deep. I was helping my best old friend Raimundo make his house with my companion and this other old dude from the ward, and they were having a blast the whole time. Loving everything. Commenting on the beauty of nature, how fun it is to work, singing hymns, talking about their favorite epic stories from the bible, etc. Then after work someone told me that their generation is just a bunch of ignorant people that don´t know a world exists full of computers and numbers and intelligence. That because their generation recieved next to no formal schooling that they are super deprived and don´t know what life is all about. And I asked the dude when the last time he was happy was, and he described the last time he got a whole bunch of money. It hit me in that moment who is truely ignorant. The educated dude didn´t even know what real happiness was. Samuel the Lamanite, after giving the people on the american continent a whole bunch of signs about the birth and death of Christ, told them that the whole point of all of those signs was to help people believe and know that the prophets had been telling the truth. But not like an empty belief that has nothing backing it up, a beleif based on a personal witness and a subsequent knowledge of Christ that is real. A knowledge that, as he described, would set someone free allowing them to act for themselves and choose real happiness or real sadness because they know exactly where to find these things. So whammy smart guy, you are ignorant of a lot more than those old and uneducated men who wake up at 5 in the morning to read the scriptures and follow the commandments with exactness. No one will ever experience happiness like they do or like I sometimes get to get a whiff of in any other place than Christ. That is the only knowledge that is necissary.

Have a good week and take a day to look at the world around you. Its beautiful. I love you all........


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