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

Jul 18, 2011

(graphic of poop with flys circling)

well that is cool. It is nice to know that the church's email program doesn't cut corners. They even have a way to send poop to your parents.

ANYWAYS. I am in the new area which is called "Raposo Tavares". It is actually a really good area and there are some people already being taught here. Usually I get transfered to areas where that is not true. The problem is that after the first day, I mentioned to my companion that that day would be the last day that we just pass by members or investigators houses with out a plan and with out teaching a lesson. He got furious and called me a robot. And so it began.

So we went a couple days with him criticizing everything I do and being what we call super "GH" which stands for "the glory of men" in portuguese, just running after some way for other elders to see what an incredible person he is. He also promised to teach me how to baptize like he does and teach me how to conquer my pride and be spiritual like he is. Lucky for me he has tons of experience (6 weeks) and has an enormous wealth of spiritual knowledge (he got a testimony this week). So that has been a blast. My first attempt to change his behavior a bit was to get his attention. So I told simply that what he was doing was really unenjoyable for me and asked him to stop critizing me. He freaked out and started yelling in the middle of the street. I am not going to lie, after a couple days of that I was pretty fed up, but trying to avoid doing the same thing he did, I just started being equally rude one night with sarcasm, but that lasted all of 20 minutes because I felt bad. So, I manned up and just decided to let him be an idiot if he really wants to, but to never let it get to me in any way and just treat him like a normal person. It took a few more days but it worked. I think he realized that he doesn't know how to do anything after I let him fall on his face work wise over and over again day after day and without ever actually saying anything or apologizing he changed a bit. Mission accomplished in my opinion.

So now I am just teaching him how to plan well and how to study well and starting from the ground up retraining him, because his trainer was a slacker who based his personal worth on how his numbers compared to others. Being that this is one of the better areas, he did minimal work, passed a lot of time with teenage girls "teaching" and then left the mess with me. But I am getting pretty used to this whole concept of take someone elses job that they left half done, restarting it and then finishing it. I guess that is what I get for never finishing anything before my mission, huh? Hopefully I can change this situation and get this kid running on all cylinders before he gets transfered because he is all mixed up.

Other than that though, I am excited because this ward is already pretty excited to help. More than any ward I have seen here. The area is pretty small and only has 5 neighboorhoods when my last area was an entire city that included 67 neighboorhoods seperated by long stretches of jungle and dirt roads. This area is in the city. I had forgotten how gross it is in the city. I think it is always about to rain, but then I realize that it isn't overcast, it is pollution. The other thing is people here in my area are richer and very well educated. That is a new thing for me too. Usually we had to read to our investigators and then explain to them, but now you just leave the book with them and they read. It seems like it should be easy, but I am learning that nothing is easy and I just haven't ran into the problem yet.

One problem we did run into was the bathroom. The toilet was clogged when i got there and the whole house was destroyed by the 4 elders that were there (3 got transfered out and I got put in and we took over the other area). So we called in a member who was willing to help and wrestled out a platic grocery sack with something in it that had been tied shut and flushed halfway down the toilet. I didn't even want to know what was in the bag so we just threw it out and I have been spending my nights and mornings sweeping and mopping while my companion stands by watching or "helping" which usually just makes things take longer. He later explained to me that he has never taken care of himself before, and wants me to teach him. Awesome.

Sometimes I stop and I think, "I thought I was called to teach and convert people... why does it seem like all the hard work I do involves fixing other missionaries problems?" All I can say, is that I miss Elder Burkett my last comp, because he was really nice and when we managed to be in our area the work flowed so smoothly and miracles happened every day. But oh well right? happens. I guess I need to get used to it and just enjoy myself as I trudge through other people crap... even if it does have to be literal sometimes (the toilet didn't just have plastic bags). At least we have people to serve and scriptures to study and a heavenly father to pray to. That will never change and in the end those things end up being the most enjoyable part.

Even then, I think one reason that the celestial kingdom will be nice is that people there will be responsible enough not to have to have someone running around being them cleaning up and finishing their crappy work. Just saying.

Anywaysssssssssss, I love you all. I hope Kelsey feels ready for college. Next time you send me stuff, send me some crest white strips and some more peanut butter related items. That should probably be my birthday package along with tools in my toolbox. If you guys still haven't fully completed my set of wrenches with both metric and standard of those nice craftsman wrenches that have a closed ratchet side, consider doing that... just a thought.


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