I can hardly believe that another week has rolled around here at the MTC, time is beginning to really fly by. It's so crazy that next week is Christmas. It certainly doesn't feel like it here in Brazil, due to it being the middle of summer. Singing all of these Christmas songs, Christmas decorations, etc. is really odd when it's like 80 degrees all the time. But hey, 'tis still the season to be jolly. And celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior!
This past week is kind of underwhelming in comparison to my last post. We spent P-day this week shopping for Christmas rather than preaching the word as much as last week. Sadly, the ladies we talked to didn't show up to meet with us again. I'm not terribly surprised, but it was definitely a bummer. At least we got them the Book of Mormon, and hopefully they will read it.
The beginning of this week I spent in a kind of preparation for the possible lesson. I had an "English Fast," meaning I tried my hardest not to speak or read English. I did this Monday through Wednesday afternoon--I read only Portuguese the whole time, but had a bit more trouble with the speaking. I got through all of Monday, speaking English only at dinner and gym. Tuesday I made it until Lunch, and then backed off a little bit. I tried to speak as much as I could, but not exclusively. In any case I could tell it helped my Portuguese a lot and I felt more confident speaking. Though it will be wonderful to read some English again, haha.
On Sunday I had the chance to be a part of a quintet singing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" for the CTM in celebration of Joseph Smith's upcoming birthday. It was really powerful, and I was grateful to get to share my testimony through song with the other missionaries. I also made a recording of it which I will send home when I get into the field.
I want to make a quick mention of some close friends and family who had birthdays these last few days. Happy birthday to Pops, you're the best--and I was happy to read that you got my letter directly on your birthday. The only present I could give you, hope it was all right. Happy birthday to Tasha Szilagyi, who is officially an old woman now that she's left her teens. And of course a very, very happy birthday to the best brother in the world. Andrew's 16 now, ladies, so jump on it. Hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone. If so, know that I still love you.
Other than all this I can't think of much excitement that's happened. Language continues to progress, though I'm getting a little antsy to go to Belo Horizonte. The Spirit is strong here, the church is true, I love the work, and I love all of you! And, of course, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Elder Alex Burt