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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merrrry Christtttmassss!

Hello, hello. I have some news for you guys during this great time of year! I don´t really have that much actually, since it has only been like three days. Anyways, here it goes.

93 degrees. Yes, that´s right. We hit 93 degrees in our apartment. I am so grateful for fans b/c I would probably die if we didn´t have them. We just sit by the windows and sweat it out sometimes as we try to feel the breeze. Maybe you were right, dad. We should probably hide Elder Birky´s thermometer since it just kinda puts us down anyway. It´s definitely a cold Christmas here in Santa Fe. haha. NOT :)

Special Conference. I just realized that never before have I talked about these special conferences. To fill you guys in, we have a zone conference every three months or so, when the President and his assistants come to our zone, give some talks, and we usually have a big lunch afterwards. They are usually about four to six hours long, and we learn a bunch. I have already attended two conferences and one special conference for new missionaries and trainers. Sorry for not writing about them before. Anways, this last (my third) conference was special. We still had talks and everything, but its theme centered on Christ and Christmas. And guess what? Last Pday, almost directly after I had sent my email to you guys, one of the president´s assistants called our phone. Elder Birky gave it to me and said that the assistants to the President wanted to talk to me. So I picked up the phone and started talking to them in Spanish. One of the assistents is from Chili, and the other is from Utah. They are cool, and I know one of them a little bit from my trip to Rosario about a month a half ago to do all of that paperwork to get my DNI. So we were talking, you know, just some small talk. Then after a litle bit, they said they had a special question for me. "Elder Jones, as you know, we have the special Christmas Conference coming up in a week. We have thought about it, and we think that you should give a short 5 minute talk." This really caught me off guard because I am still so new in the field, but they said they had heard my spanish before and felt like I should be the one. Just to fill you guys in a little more, since this was a special conference, it consisted of three zones. Or in other words, I had to give a short talk in Spanish in front of about sixty missionaries, the assistents to the President, and in front of the President himself with his wife. I prepared whenever possible during our short amounts of free time, practicing my spanish and deciding which thoughts I desired to share. Finally the day came. It was yesterday actually. :) We arrived, and just like during all of the other conferences, there were tons of people everywhere talking and getting ready. After a couple of minutes and prep, the conference started and we all filed into the chapel of the church in which we were meeting. I felt a little nervous, especially since this talk was in spanish, but felt excited at the same time. Generally, I really enjoy giving talks or teaching classes like Elders´ Quorum, which I did at BYU :). Anways, they introduced everyone, we sang, and everything went like normal. While sitting there, I counted and realized that there were about 55 missionaries, plus the president and his wife. And guess what?? Half of these missionaries are native speakers from South America!! Oh No haha. Anyways, they called my name, and a lot of the missionaries looked at me because many of them didn´t know who I was. haha. Usually the missionary who speaks has a little more experience. My talk went really well though. I told a story about a young boy and how he showed the spirit of Christmas one night long ago. It is a great story from the Liahona that I read a long time ago. I also talked about the true purpose of Christmas and the birth of the Savior. I talked a little bit above my natural ability right now, and I believe this happend becuase of my practice and the Spirit's presence. A lot of the natives talked to me afterwards and said that I did a good job. So, as of right now, I am a little more well known in the mission :)

And that´s about it for this week. There is a bit more to say, but I will have to type more next week since other missionaries need to use the computers to write to their families. They have to set up when they are going to call their families. We are pretty packed in this small computer shack! Thanks for all you guys do, and Merry Christmas to all! I love Argentina.

With love,
Elder Jones

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