So, first off, the most important news. I will be calling you guys around 3:30 in the afternoon here in Brazil, which should be, by my calculations, 11:30 in the morning for you guys in Colorado. That gives you guys time to go to church, and gives us a substantial cushion on both sides of things if something ends up going wrong. I've already got a place to make the call ready, and although I don't know if the internet and microphone are good, I'm hoping for the best. I only have 40 minutes for the call, so let´s make good use of the time! If you have any questions, write them down. I'm not sure if I´ll be able to speak English all that well, but I´ll be giving it my best! Also, it is possible that I will be able to email Saturday, all though I´m not sure if we will be able to find an open LAN house. Same thing goes for day 31. That means that I won´t be emailing on Monday next week, or on the 2nd of January.
The Christmas spirit is filling the air, although here in Brazil that takes the form of everybody leaving town to go to the beach. It feels as though about 1/3rd of the populace of Itatiba will be leaving town this holiday season, and it feels like the city will, pretty soon, have just us missionaries here.
As for Brazilian Christmas traditions, they really like to do a secret Santa sort of thing here, where everyone gets someone to send a present to. They also like to have a party on the 24th, and everyone eats a lot of grapes in this season, because it´s the season that grapes get cheap. Outside of that, there isn't a whole ton of tradition built around Christmas here.
We have recently been given a goal by our mission leaders to invite 300 people on the road to hear our message, per week. If that sounds like a lot of people, that´s because it is. Talking with 300 people per week means that you have a lot of crazy experiences, because there are a lot of crazy people on the road and you usually hit 3 or 4 of them when talking with 300 people. This week we met a guy that said that he received the same name as me (Murray), but in Portuguese (Marray), when he was baptized into the Masonry. yikes. He then proceeded to talk for over 45 minutes, and although we tried everything short of just leaving, we couldn't get away from the conversation. Later in the week, a guy stopped us on the road and said "Hey, you guys are the Mormons?" To which we replied, "Yes, we are. Would you like to learn more about the Church in your home?" His response, "No, I'm an atheist, but I've seen you guys on the internet, and I never saw you guys in real life before, and I didn't know if you actually existed. Cool stuff!" I thought about giving him an autograph, but you´re not supposed to mock people on the road, so I didn't.
This week I have learned a lot about what makes up the Bible as we know it today. For those of you who have never really looked into it, the story of the King James Bible, all of the work of translation that went into it, and the process of selection as to which books go into it really is a fantastic story. The Spirit of the Lord inspired men throughout the ages to give to us the Word of God today. It's incredible. Look it up. Have a great week!
One more chance to give all I have!