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

Nov 28, 2011

hey hey hey‏

So this week was awesome. When our new president first got here he shared this parable about how giant chinese bamboo grows for years and years underground making a powerful and sturdy root system without you ever noticing and then grows like 90 feet in 6 weeks or something like that. I think I am finally getting to the going upwards part.
Ever since the time that I realized that I have no time left on my mission, I have been really focusing on being a legit representative of God in authority and power to take the best advantage of it. I think it is really paying off. I am just having so much fun with everything. It is so hardcore.
There has been a bajillion good experiences that have come from this and I realize that every one of them comes from being humble enough to try to constantly keep myself in tune with the spirit and then always confirm what I do or say with God first. Apparently he wasn't joking when he said "Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead the by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers". Who knew, right? Like it is so crazy. I am getting more and more confident in it what he prompts me to do as time goes on, so the experiences just get better and better. It is one of the best feelings ever to know that because you are focusing on doing what is right and asking Him how to do it, He trusts you enough to let you play a part in helping his other children. And then you throw in a companion that is in tune with the spirit too and stuff just goes crazy. The best part is knowing that none of the success came directly from either of us, but as a result of just regularly asking the Lord what we should do. When the holy ghost is around it is like having the force or something. Whatever God wants you to do you can get done.
So that is cool.
But in other news, we are just working a lot. I regularly am just so thankful for the experiences that I have that I get emotional. I think I almost cried from gratitude like 2 times on saturday. We got to give a little girl that was having these crazy nightmares for months a blessing. That was way special. There was some other stuff too, but I feel like if I go to far into details that will take away from it a bit. Let's just say I love being a missionary.
Nothing that funny happened. Just lots of cool people.
I love you all. Family especially... an friends too. haha.


Nov 21, 2011

blah blah blah‏

I feel like I have written a millionthousandgagillion letters about nothing recently. Sometimes I try to just talk about gospel topics with the hopes that one of my friends who reads my blog will just randomly decide to follow Christ and be happy, but my desire to write letters is rapidly declining. You guys are lucky that email exists, because if it didn't I'd probably write you guys like 3 times in the next 6 months... BUT that does not mean that I don't love doing what I do. I just think that there isn't much that I haven't described yet. Brazil is still brazil and the mission is still the mission.

One cool thing that happened this week was to see all of our recent converts and soon to be converts being loved by the old members. This ward is really good about that. The lady we baptised like 2 weeks ago looks like she has been going to church for a million years and is visibly happier all the time. Also last week these random people just showed up at church and then decided to get baptised this saturday after praying and thinking about it. So yeah. We'll have helped 5 people get baptised in one month's time and all of them were just friends of members of the church who liked the church a lot after they made a visit. Like with these two that will happen this weekend we just kind of went over to their house afte church and they asked us how they could be baptised and after we explained it they decided to. We really did pretty much nothing, but that is how it should work anyways. It is too bad that it can't always happen like that becuase it helps you relax a bit and not stress about what you can do to help them that much.

But other than that we (me and my comp) might make a christmas card today. It should be pretty cool. I don't know what it will look like yet, but we'll send you one.

I am happy.

It is getting hot again.

OH, something important. I don't know if you guys will send me a Christmas package, but if you do send me a nettipot. My allergies are going crazy, and I am needing some sinus rinseage. And maybe some generic allergy medicine. They were going crazy because of my blankets that I sleep with. They are these horrible dirty itchy wool blankets, but I washed them today and they are drying on the line outside of our house so hopefully that will help... I can't wait to use a dryer again one day.

We have a family of 4 that we are teaching that went to church together this week, and to get baptised they need to get married so they can keep the commandments and what not, and the dad was all about it. He was like "we should have gotten married a million years ago, but we didn't, so let's do it RIGHT NOW!!!" and the wife got all freaked out. It seems like she is afraid of marrying him. They have been living together for about 18 years without any marital problems. I don't get that at all, but I am assuming that it has something to do with the brasilian wives tales that say crazy stuff about being a pagan and being married and pregnant women. They believe that if you aren't baptised then a hairy monster comes and eats you. That helps us out sometimes to be honest. But they also believe that if you get married your whole life will go bad. That is frustrating. They also believe that if a pregnant woman asks you for something and you don't give it to her your eye will swell up (I call that pink eye). That is hilarious.


I love you all. I made the back cover of my planner a picture of mom and dad and dad is saying "call your mom" in portuguese. Ima call yalls in skype here in about a month.

SAID (translation of a slang term for "see you later" here)

Nov 14, 2011

WELP, one more transfer gone, only 4 to go.
To respond to your visa question, I don't know if it would be a super good idea for you guys to pick me up, but I think it would be sweet to vacation in brasil a week or 2 after I get home. The problem is that my mission area isn't the most touristy place. It is basically a bunch of drug and prostitute infested ghettos. There are apparently some cool stuff to do here in São Paulo, but I don't know what it is because the people who live where I have served can't afford any of it really and none of it is in our mission. So I think the best thing to do would be plan on going to one of the northern beaches. Cities like Fortaleza, João Pessoa, etc. (or even the cool parts of São Paulo) are a bit more tourist friendly. There are cruise lines that run through the bigger tourist cities. You could also probably ask David Scott who spent some time down here. Just however you plan anything, think of me as a translator and not a super good guide or anything. Just plan it as you would a trip to any city that we've never been, and I will be the one who can figure out how to get where we need to go and ask directions.
Unless you wanna chill with a bunch of thuggin' brasilians who shoot people and life in dirt floor houses and stuff. Then I can hook you up. You decide.
But me and my comp Elder Taggart stayed together. We had a baptism of a single mom and her kid this last week and that was cool but then we weren't going to have a lot of people who were super excited to follow Christ that we could help out anymore. That is when we went to church and a bajillion people showed up that we have never seen before. It was a busy day and now we have a lot to do in the next few weeks which is good. Totally lucky too because we were just going to knock a bunch of doors. NOT ANYMORE (but actually yeah we'll still do that because we always do...).
I am way tireder.
I was just looking at these smiley face things and I think these ones are pretty gay.
But this one is freaking awesome.
as is this one .
It is bug bite season. As a result I have a bunch of bug bites.
Hey, I saw an elder that I haven't seen for over a year and he said that I look way different and about 5 years older. Hopefully that is true cause that would be legit. My beard/stache grows in in like 12 hours no problem, so maybe it is true. WHO KNOWS.
I was thinking the other day that I probably will need kelsey to get me and my friends an apartment when she gets one towards the end of next semester. But I am not sure so maybe you guys can inform me on that one.
there isn't really anything new. I am just trying to work so hard that I can't think about anything else. I have to make myself think about what we can do more to help the people we are helping in the shower and before I go to bed and when I wake up so I don't end up just wasting time thinking about school or dating or something. But it is all good because there is a ton to do here.
I love you all. Sorry that was a lame letter. Nothing new for now.
till next week...?

Nov 8, 2011

Tacos and Guacamole

So we had a fiesta mexicana. Everyone was pretty grossed out by the whole "avacado with salt" idea (we had guacamole). I thought it was amazing. But they just eat avacado with sugar and milk like a milk shake here so it was something new to them.

thanks for the information. They will buy my tickets home soon.

I am super duper tired. I feel wayyyyy skinny too. I look like I am 12 years old. But people tell me I look like I am 25 or 30 so whatever.

uhhhhhh... we have a couple more baptisms of some people planned for this saturday. Yayayyyyy. They are way excited too.

One thing that came to my head right now is that there are a bunch of people that read this, members of the church or not, might not understand what baptisms is or why we do it, so I will give a brief explination while I think of other stuff to say.

Baptism is way simple to explain:

In any country the people have certain rights. For example here in Brazil they have public school and even public colleges that are way nicer than they private ones and anyone who is brasilian can go there. That is a right of being part of the brasilian people.

In a similar way, the scriptures say that when you get baptised, it is the only way to take the name of Christ upon you and become a part of his people. It is as if you become a citizen God's country or something like that. So with that you get some benefits, and in my opinion the two biggest ones are the "gift of the Holy Ghost" and a "remission of your sins". Those two things are way boss, and the only cost for them is being baptised with Christ's authority that only his worthy representatives have, keeping his commandments, and remembering him. So that is pretty doable for anyone, and it has some big time benefits.

The holy ghost is cool because it shows you pretty much anything you'll need to know or that you need to do and helps you be happy. It is like a buddy to hang out with, and also serves as a personal guide. So just imagine, you want to know if it is a good idea to take a job offer or not, but you can't see the future. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, you have a way of knowing if it is a good idea or not, and you can trust him because God sees the future (it is like star wars pretty much).

Then there is the remission of sins part. That means all of the sucky feelings that people get from doing retarded stuff in their past goes away. You just feel at peace for everything you have ever done wrong in the past knowing that God forgave you and that it isn't a part of your life anymore. Also Christ says that all who have been baptised will recieve forgiveness again after doing something stupid in the future basically as many times as they are willing to go after it and repent. Long story short, you get to feel peace of conscience forever. Pretty killer stuff.

So the people that I am going to baptise with my comp have learned a bunch about who Christ is and what he does, and they are down with making a life long promise to follow him and make that a part of their lives. And best of all they are excited because they are going to recieve forgiveness for their sins and they will recieve the Holy Ghost. And it is real. TOOOOOooo LEGITTTTTtttt TOOOooo QUITTTTTttt.

Lots of people get confused and think that we just go around making people a member of our church. But what I explained is really all we do. Being a member of a church is but a small part of following Christ and though it is an essential part, it is very far from the focus of your life. Really we help people go for discipleship and the church just helps them with that.

So yeah, if your life sucks (and even if it doesn't suck that bad but you get sad sometimes), it is almost certain that this comes from a lack of focus on Christ and how he can help you be clean from sin. That goes for members of our church as well as non members. Pretty much 99% of problems that lead to legit sadness stem from that. So just let the missionaries help you learn about it because they are willing to teach you just about this for free and they are literally the most qualified to do this out of anyone that you'll find. And I can tell you from experience that we get in a mindset where really the only thing that is important to us is the happiness of those we teach. So it is just an all around good experience.

Well I didn't really even think of any new stories. I peed my pants randomly this week. Again. I guess that was funny.

I really don't care about that much besides doing this work anymore. It is as if the closer I get to coming home the farther I get to wanting to even think about that. I feel like I will just stay out here forever.

One of my friends that I made out here (Elder Redford) is going home in one week. He is probably one of the elders that I have met that best understands his purpose. He is in my district right now and we are having to do at least one or two companion exchanges a week just to get everyone who wants to be baptised interviewed and ready to go. It has really been a blast. We have been getting a good number of people who are interested in following Christ. it isn't just people who like the church, these people are really converted to Christ. Like I feel so greatful to have been a part of this here because we have been able to help quite a few people change their lives here.

BUT, I have nothing else to say. I'll try harder to find something funny for next week

I love you all and I hope you are putting tools in my room from time to time.