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

Jun 27, 2011


This week during my language study I was looking at the equivelant of funny phrases "tear someone apart" and "we ran into somebody on the street" and I found the equal to "just go with the flow." That quickly became my motto as stuff continued to just fall apart and soon I just started serving to serve and didn't care about my level of success anymore. Like for instance we were coming back from a meeting late because someone else had messed up and it was out of our control, then the bus broke down and we missed lunch and pretty much everything else and I just looked at my comp and was like "dude, just go with the flow." After a whole week of that, everything came together in a miraculous way and in 2 days we did everything we had planned for the whole week. Pretty neat. Moral of the story: the Lord does his own work and we are just here to witness it in the end.

In other news, yes I read all letters sent by all men women and children. Especially family. Grandma Velma wins the contest for most letters sent I think. Sometimes I get like 2 or 3 at a time. That is always a good feeling. shout out. But yeah I read them all and I just don't always respond because of time restrictions or the fact that everyone reads my emails and nothing else really goes on during the week other than what I say in my emails.

Also I thought it was way funny that mom said she was saving up money for me. Don't do that, because I should probably earn my own money as much as possible when I get home. If you want to give me money, take all the stereo out of my car and sell the car to a junkyard and leave the stereo in my room with the cash on top of it. If you HAVE to give me something, just buy me more tools. I was thinking the other day and I will probably just join the army to pay for college and be a helicopter pilot or something and then buy broken cars and fix/sell them during the summers to get some extra cash. I figure that will give me a lot of technical knowledge and be fun and if I can get good enough to turn around a couple cars a month I could get like $8,000-10,000 a summer. Then I was thinking the other day as I was stretching, I think it would be way funny to train as a bodyflow/yoga instructor and do that while I am at college to get some spending money/entertain myself. In my head the yoga thing is wayyyy funny.

So basically I don't think I need money, especially given that I always find a way to put stuff together for pretty cheap (car=$900;nice computer=$150;monocle=$-44, because I made $44 off of that somehow.). I am all set with those plans. THEY ARE FLAWLESS. So just buy tools and sign me up for a welding class at CBC when I get home. My life will be complete. Oh, and I will also accept a fried egg.

Recently we got an "assistant to the ward mission leader" and he is really funny. I went to his house yesterday with my comp to talk to him about what we'll do this week and I got him to laugh so hard that he cried and probably almost had a heart attack. He's way old and way fat and smoked about 40 cigarrets a day/was almost never sober/fought a lot about 6 or 7 years ago. Now he is a hilarious member of the church that helps us a ton because he is RETIRED and has A CAR. Those words are sweet to my ears. Also behind his house there are a ton of ugly ducks and chickens that I chase around and that is fun. Also he has a bunch of fruit trees like banana and guava and stuff and lets us eat them. Pretty much the best thing ever. We are best friends.

I got the package. Yay for pictures and cake and smores. We are going to have a zone part for 4th of july and I will utilize the stuff so I don't have to buy anything.

also I am sending a CD full of pictures. There is probably 520 photos on there and I finally got an envelope with bubble wrap on the inside so I can send it. I will send it today.

what else... tomorrow the president switches. That should be cool. Also I am teaching another millionaire and his family. A reference of Carlos Martinz who is SUPER influential in brazil. Sadly they too do not live in my area and after they decide to go to church and be baptized I will pass the reference to their real missionaries. They have a big house. They rent out their property to do church camps of 400 people just to give you an idea. I'll try to get a picture of that.

Other than that, I can't really think of much else.

I love you all. Laters.

P.S. skittles was a good idea. well done.

Jun 21, 2011


First of all, I tip my hat to dad for asking for a fried egg for fathers day. Well done.

Anyways, this area has been surprisingly hard and we can't figure out exactly what is different because some weeks are good and some are just miserable. So, I decided to try and use some of my talents that I might have that would be different than someone else's to try to find the answer being that I am the one who is here. So I got a notebook and started analyzing everything we have done in the last 2 months in every aspect of our work using math and trying to find correlations between the good weeks and differences between them and the bad weeks. Who knows if I will unlock the secret to what is going to work here. I have a lot of pretty crazy graphs and equations so I am happy even if it doesn't bring any significant fruits.

In other news, I was noticing that in the crazy desire I have to see week to week results I was grinding away without ever taking the time to stop and just think about life or anything like that. So one day I was studying in the missionary guide Preach my Gospel, and I found a couple questions that brought everything into perspective that I thought were pretty cool. The questions were:

"When the last day in the mission field arrives what do you want to say about what you have done as a missionary? What will you want to have become? What differences will you want people to notice in you?"

And so I started thinking about those questions for a few days. After a couple days I was able to sort out my thoughts into answers and then make plans to be able to do exactly what I wanted to, and I realized that things get a lot more grounded and basic day to day. In the end I realized that even if I never am able to make a significant difference in how productive this area is, I wanted to be able to look back and see the time I spent here as time that I dedicated 100% to doing what the Lord wanted me to do, and time in which I learned and grew to a significant amount. So that is pretty easy right? The issue is that I was getting soooo worried about getting some kind of change that I could measure or some kind of success that would satisfy my pride and show me how cool I am that I was forgetting about the things that would really be important to me in the end. So I made plans to make everything I do as a missionary more meaningful and sincere from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, and I put them in my pocket everyday and hopefully I can make this a permanent change. At least I am finding that it is a lot more rewarding live focusing on what is important.

So, that is probably something good that I am trying to figure out that can be applied to life later when I have a real job and stuff.

What else... yesterday at lunch we were waiting for them to finish cooking and just talking with the husband who is awesome and he was like "ELDER. I GOT HAIRCUTTING STUFF" and next thing I know I was letting him cut my hair even though I didn't need a haircut. Best decision ever. I am never paying for a haircut here again, and he did a pretty good job. Also his little kid walked up and grabbed the sissors and cut out a huge chunk of his own hair. Also the lasagna they made was incredible. Really it was a good day.

Besides that our bishop took a guy we are teaching who is together (living with/has kids with/isn't married still) a member to this seminar about getting jobs that just happened to be right next to the temple and the visited the temple grounds and stuff and our investigator came back wayyyy excited about it. I asked him if it was cool, and he was like "no. it wasn't cool. it was incredible. the temple way better than the seminar. I felt so good there. it was incredible." So they are finally going to mark a day to actually get married so he can get baptised and start preparing to get sealed as a family. Stuff like that always makes you happy. And not just those two went, but a lot of unmarried couples like that and they all came back amped to get married, baptised into the church, and then sealed. score.

So yeah that is it.


Elder M. Scott Christensen

P.S.- Debit card reminder. renew/send it to me within the next 6 months or so if you can.

P.S. number 2- Also I have started an extreme workout program that involves the goals of being able to do the splits, being able to walk around on my hands grabbing everything with my feet, and being able to do a backflip. I have it all planed out and I should be able to do all of that in the next 10 months. just you wait.

So that is it now.


Jun 13, 2011


This week turned out to have a them that was pretty much constant: Cats. We just kept running into crazy experiences that were cat related. so lets hear 'em.

First of all my companion suggested that we go to a street that had never been to before that is this random dirt road in the middle of a maze of paved streets. So we start going down the road talking to everyone and we clap in front of this duplex house and we see this lady pull back the blinds and just kind of stare out at us through her right eye. Hardcore witch style as far as the one eye stare down thing

is concerned. So she just stares at us like that for like 5 seconds and leaves the glass part of the window shut, and we had agreed that my companion would practice talking with her and he just didn't say anything so we just all kind of stared at each other. Then all of the sudden she was gone. After a while we just started walking away, but then she came out and yelled at us and we came back, and let me tell you, she was nuts. My companion said something about how we're missionaries and whatever and she just kept staring. So then I was like, "uhhh... did you understand anything he said?" and the first words she said was "How... beautiful..." So I knew what was happening because this happens all the time, and she invited us to talk to her (we stayed in her front lawn pretty close to the street on chairs because I was freaked out by her) and as we were going into the gate I said to my comp, "dude she has a huge crush on us. If she doesn't understand whats going on lets just get outta here" and he was like, "noooo. you're crazy."

So we are sitting there telling her about how we are missionaries and my companion was introducing himself and I got a phone call from one of our really good investigators and so I went to talk to him and left my companion over there in eyesight conversing with this lady. So then after the phone call we taught a really simple thing and she understood almost nothing and we left. Then after we leave my companion just busts up laughing and was like "that was so hard not to laugh." When I asked him, "why?" he responded that when they where just talking she was like "You guys are CATS." and like made a cat noise with hand/claw action and everything. That is funny because "cats" is like the slang term for calling someone babes or hot or something like that here. Apparently you can be super ugly and if you have clear eyes everyone goes crazy. Especially people that are already crazy and live alone.

Then another day we were coming home and something else cat related was pretty funny. Our house is like a 2nd story half of a house and we have to go up these really narrow stairs, and across a balcony and then we go in our house, and at night it is like pitch black on the balcony where we enter. So we are walking on the balcony and my companion like groans/yells and falls down in front of my and it just looked like he slipped on a pizza box or something like that. Actually it looked way funny so I was getting ready to laugh, and in that same split second a shadow comes flying at me and my joy turned to sheer terror and I let out this super gay scream which caused all the people in the street (and there were a bunch) to look at us. Turns out it was just a stray cat. So I like looked at the people in the street and said, "Ho ho ho, it was just a cat" as if I was totally in control of the situation. But lets be honest. I almost peed my pants. But it seems like maybe I fooled the people in the street...?

Other than that we are just chugging along. We've got like 5-8 people that really want to become members of the church but are having some problem or another. One family we are teaching is way hard core. It is a super inactive member and his wife. They've got a couple young kids, but they are super young and just kind of babble and do nothing exciting. I always joke that they speak english. Anyways, the husbands name is nephi and he was born in the church but has tons of crazy tattoos (like this awesome radioactive symbol on his hand) and does a bunch of crazy stuff and is actually like one of my best friends here. He always just is cruising around in boardshorts and army boots and like a billabong hat. And he and his wife are really really intelligent. That makes it so easy to teach them because they love reading and understand things generally before you get done saying it, and then they do what they understand they should do. And so we've only taught them 3 times, but she is already certain that Joseph Smith was a prophet because she prayed and understands the plan of salvation perfectly and wants to be baptised, and they just need to get married/stop doing drugs. Good stuff. We are probably going to go fishing with him here in a couple weeks too on P-day. Also good stuff. I love talking to them because it is super uplifting and enjoyable to see them change every time we go over there, plus their kid is like 6-8 months old so I like to imagine him being like soren in the near future.

It is basically just a bunch of stuff like that. Also I have decided we need to go a lot more public with our approach. Maybe we'll go Dan Jones style in a park or something. We need to do something because everyone thinks we worship satan and that we are this crazy nazi clan of germans that only speak english in their church meetings. So we'll probably go to a bus terminal or a park and do something to get people's attention and educate them about what we believe and stuff. I heard about a missionary in our mission who told everyone in the city the greatest missionary of all time would be there and then dressed up in an A frame thing painted like the book of mormon and went out. So who knows, the sky is the limit.

Besides that there is not much going on. It is super cold and I still would like someone to reactivate my debit card and send it to me somehow. Other than that I can't think of anything else. I love you all and I think that it is pretty funny/typical that kelsey was on the front page of the news paper laying in front of a square of art. Meh. LURVES YOUS ALLS. LATERS. HAVE A GOOD WEEK.

Jun 7, 2011


Sooooo, I have decided missionary work is pretty interesting. It has got to be the most rediculously hard thing I have ever done. It doesn't help that I was just randomly successful at anything and everything that I did before my mission without trying. But basically I have never wanted to be successful at something so bad in my life and tried so hard to assure my success, and at the same time I have never been doing something for so long without ever seeing a significant amount of success. It is getting to the point where it just seems rediculous to me because I see people who aren't obedient to the rules, who don't have personal testimonies, and who are just mean people having anywhere from 2 to 5 times more success than I am numbers wise. I am what seems to be one of the record holders for lowest long term numbers and it just has been continually blowing my mind for the last 13 months. But oh well, right? It's not like the point of my entire life 24 hours a day for the last year has been to be successful. It is no big deal.

You just gotta keep trucking. Luckily I know that my eternal success is more measured on the fact that I am unwearyingly obedient and work hard to do everything and that I literally am expecting nothing in return for the work I do. You just get tired after 13 months of continued failure and people rubbing it in your face at least twice a week. Looks like someone needed to learn humility or something. Whatever that is...

But in other news... that is pretty much it. We are working so hard that I don't even really remember what happened this week. It just seemed like one long day. We helped one of the few people we have found here that actually have some level of interest in religious truth (i.e. enough interest to pray about it) to stop smoking. Well we are in the process of helping her, and actually our part is very small but very cool. We taught her about how we can be cleansed from our sins in a real way through the gospel, and she voiced some concerns about the fact that she had addictions that even with all of her force she couldn't stop. I got super happy and excited when I heard that because things like that are perfect faith building opportunities. So we made sure that she understood the principle of repentance and asked her if she thought it was possible for the Lord to help her with stoping smoking. She responded that she was sure it was, and so we promised her that if she did all she could and trusted in him as we had taught her, she would stop, and then we gave her a priesthood blessing. Being that the authority which we used to bless her is real and that she has real faith, when we passed by the next day she had said that even when she gives in to temptation and starts smoking she gets super nautious and has to throw the cigarret away after one drag. I am going to miss seeing miracles like that. She is super cool and will probably baptize this month or the next.

My companion said that he has been thinking about weird stuff lately and then smiled really big. And so I was like "what have you been thinking about?" and he just smiled and said, "...cows." That was this morning and is for sure going to go on a romantic greeting card or something like that.

It is fun that Kelsey graduated. Those were legit stencils. 'nuff said.

There is a gaggle of crazy kids just staring at me silently as I type and I know they want me to do a magic trick or something like that, so I'm gonna have to go so what I can make up.

I love you all. I am gonig to clean my suits for the FIRST TIME today. haha. they are gnarly, but I've been using them and my sweater and my gloves too because it is super cold and my body no longer produces body heat being that it just has bones and fat on the inside. Stay classy.