Monday, January 28, 2013

Next p-day we will have a conference with Elder Texeira, so I don't know if I´ll be able to write.

Bullet points:
  • I went to Elche (elx) while Elder Neira was in Malaga
  • We played Lord of the Rings Risk with 3 Americans and 1 German
  • The German orcs destroyed everyone else
  • There were many Hitler Nazi jokes over the course of those 3 days
  • I´m sick with a really sore throat, I can hardly speak
  • We had a Branch Conference yesterday in which The Stake President announced that  Torrevieja was now a WARD!!!!!!! IT'S AMAZING I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO WRITE ABOUT HOW EXCITED I AM
  • I had to translate all the sustaining church officers in general and in the stake. Hardest thing I've ever translated is a bunch of Spanish names (everyone has 2 last names and usually 2 first names) yikes
  • Elder Crapo new missionary is from Arizona. He was a visa waiter in Long Beach for 2 months
  • Elder Texeria (Europe Area President) is coming next week
  • President Deere asked that I do a special musical number for when he comes.
  • I´m freaking out of how much time I have left

That's all

Elder Kirkham

Monday, January 21, 2013

Well, we got a phone call this morning from President Deere. He said, "Well, Elder Kirkham, the Spain Malaga Mission is full of surprises."

He told us that a new missionary was coming this week to Torrevieja. !!!!!!!!! So it will be three of us these last 2 weeks. AHHHHHH

He's been in the states serving while waiting for his visa but he´ll be coming straight from the states and he'll know nothing about Spain. So the two of us will be "training" him then I'll leave and it will be the two of them.

Fun surprises. But it should be really fun. And if its not, I only have 2 weeks. hee hee hee hee hee

Randomly throughout the day I will realize that I´m going home. That I'm leaving Spain. That I´m  leaving this life and I don't know what to do when I get back. Obviously, I have things to do but it will be so strange.

I´m thinking about going to Wyview just for spring. Because I don't want to have to deal with the problem of finding good off campus housing. And I love Wyview anyways. I´ve told the idea to my two buddies and they seem to be down for the idea. They feel pretty much the same.

This week we did a little more moving and fixing the new piso for Marcela. Had the funniest English class I've ever taught on my mission. We did a game where you had to DESCRIBE with English words another English word (taboo or password kind of game) but it just ended up caveman talk with lots of gestures. It was hilarious. Adrian (recent convert) was the funniest.

We had a little miracle this week. We planned to visit a less active family and they weren't home so we decided to talk to people around there and lo and behold we see Adrian's friend that went to his baptism. We catch up to him and chat and end up going to the capilla and teaching him the first lesson. (we had casually taught him before with Adrian)  We committed him to be baptized and he accepted. He said he felt something really cool at Adrian's baptism, something he had never felt before and he wanted to know how to feel it again. 

So the new American missionary will have Dani (that's his name) to teach and baptize.

We ate again with the Scottish and English couple. They told us stories about their mission in Croatia.  It was fun. They like me because I´m an educated American, and I use my adverbs correctly. hahahahahaha  I told them it's because my parents taught me so well. They're really funny and they're really dedicated people. It's not so easy for them to go and be active in the church. They could have plenty of excuses, but they go every week and talk in broken Spanish to the other members. Now there's plenty of other English speaking members in the branch but this couple is special. The Logans.

We're helping two members come back to church and they're doing really well. They've come 4 or 5 consecutive weeks already.

We had an attendance of 66!!!! which is great because last year's average was 56. So good good good. Good start.

I have no more stories. The church is true. I´m trying to finish the Book of Mormon again before I get home. We'll see what happens.

I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Kirkham

January 14, 2013

Well, for those of you who don't know what a mudanza is- it's MOVING TIME!!!!
Ok, not for us. Just for one of the members. Saturday we spent from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon helping one of the sweetest Ecuadorian ladies, Marcela. She's so sweet. After that she drove us to Cartagena for ADRIAN´S BAPTISM!!!!!! It was good.
When it came time for the actual ordinance, we went into the bathroom to get into the font (well, elder Neira baptized him, I was just there too), I opened the door to the font and a giant cloud of steam came out. Adrian looked at me and said "I´m not getting in that!"
But of course he did. It was really great afterwards. We sang "I am a child of God" for the closing song and I got to relax and sing and ponder while someone else played the piano. It was a nice spiritual moment. After the baptism we were driving home and he said, "Let's go to the club and celebrate!" We all looked at him with "WHAT!" kind of faces and then he said, "Ok, just joking".
The next day I did the ordinance of the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said he felt just an amazing feeling during the prayer. He´s absolutely crazy but he can feel the spirit.
Then today we spent another full day helping to organize and put things in their place at Marcela´s new piso. It looks a lot better. She's so nice.  She feeds us good food.
The grandma of one of the members is in town for a few weeks. SHES CRAZY!!!!!!!! She gets up in the middle of church and starts sharing that God gives us all gifts and we need to share them and she starts showing some necklaces she had made. Bad BAD TIMING.
It was so, so funny. And I had to translate it. he he he he he he
I´m tired. But happy.
It's weird to think about going home. I don't know what to think.
I also don't know what else to write. So have a great week. I love you all so much.

Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Well hello everyone. 

Feliz Año Nuevo. I ATE THE TWELVE GRAPES THIS YEAR!!!! (on new year's eve you eat a grape for every chime of the bells at midnight) most people can't, but thanks to a genetic combination of singers and chatters, I have the perfect mouth!!!

Where is the time going????!!!


hmmmmmm what can I tell you. . . 

We´re planning a baptism for Adrián (18) for this Saturday.  He´s Spanish and cool. He´s pretty funny because sometimes he just gets involved in the things at church as if he were just a long time member. The downside is we have to go to Cartagena for the baptism. Because we have no font and also most of the members are going to be there for a youth conference.

It's been a lot colder here this week. Saturday night was the infamous king's day parade, and Sunday morning all the little kids woke up to see what the kings had left them. In all honesty, it's a much more spiritually based tradition that Santa Claus. 

In the traditional dessert that you eat for Reyes (kings day) there are 2 hidden things inside the baked cake. 1 is the little prize which means next year you win a whole cake to yourself. The other one is a little nut that means you have to PAY for that cake next year for the person who won. It's a fun little tradition.

I finally, after many painstaking efforts, found out REALLY how to make paella. I don't know if Spanish ladies are just all trained to tell you in a general unclear sort of way so you keep coming and eating theirs or what. But I finally squeezed the EXACT recipe out of one.

Mission accomplished.

I forget what else has happened. I love the scriptures. I'm just finishing Mosiah. I love the differences you can see in the people of Limhi vs. the people of Alma. It's really cool. And applicable.

Since BYU is a church owned site and BYU singers website as well, I have discovered one of my new favorite songs from one of my old favorite composers. "When David heard" by Eric Whitacre. 
It's based off of the story of David and his son Absalom. 

Mom-you'll read that in Samuel  :D (I´ll probably be there)

He supposedly wrote it especially for the BYU singers because Dr. Staheli can "find more music in his pieces than what he wrote into them". What pride I have to be a leg underneath the BYU singers. Maybe someday........

I'm pretty set now on going back to Choral Ed. I think I´m made for it. I feel like I understand it. And although my skills are amateur (spelling?) I think that's the road I should take. What to do after graduation ¿Yo que se? 

Well, my shoes are pretty beat up. I hope this will be the last time that I have to sew them. My comp keeps telling me to throw them away. He's too young to understand. they aren't just SHOES, they´re my FEET!!!!!

I started with them and I´m ending with them!!!

I don't think I have to worry about housing until I get home. phew!

I got my travel plans just like you did. It's amazing that I´ll do 23 hrs of travelling in just about 12 hours time (time difference joke) I´ll be SOOOOOOOOOOOO tired. 

I have a month exactly. Yikes. 

I love you. The church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. Family is the most important thing. And I´m so excited to see mine. (although very very sad to be leaving my beautiful Spain) :(

I love you all again. Have a great week.

Happy New Year
Elder Kirkham
December 31, 2012

Hello. Merry New Year's Eve to ALL!!!!

I´m at a bit of a stump at what to write. 

Translating is starting to take a toll on me. I enjoy it, it's just VERY TIRING. But it lets everyone understand the messages and talks. So it's good.

I looked at the MTC website and there's an online application. Honestly I don't know what to do to apply. I think it would be good. But I´ll just wait til I get back to think about that.

The week has been good. We´ve had some really good spiritual lessons. We´re teaching a guy named Adrián he´s 18. He really likes the church. He has a baptism date for the 12 of January.  In just 2 weeks. He's been to church a lot and he likes it. He´s thinking about going on a mission. That's really cool. He´s a cool kid. He´s Spanish. 

We´re teaching another guy named Edgar from the Dominican Republic and his wife who´s Spanish. They´re both in their thirty´s and have a son who has a lot of mental and physical handicaps form an accident when he was younger. But they're so cool. 

Me and my comp are getting along well. The members are so nice. We went yesterday to eat with an Irish couple. So, so funny. 

I loved talking to you all. It was nice to see your faces and hear your voices. I love you guys. You´re the greatest. 

I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Elder Kirkham  

Monday, December 24, 2012

My favorite family that we found in Málaga got baptized this Saturday.

Karina, Jesus and Maxi. Tender Mercies of the Lord.
Well ¡Feliz Navidad a todos!

Feliz Nochebuena. That's what they call Christmas Eve. Nochebuena. the "Good Night". And what a good night it is. The night when we think about our Savior´s birth. I´m adding a link to one of the newest church videos. My Favorite Christmas song, set to my favorite videos of the Savior´s life played for you by THE PIANO GUYS. It's so beautiful.

They played it for us at the Special Christmas Zone Conference. (has a year REALLY passed since the last one?) 

I just love the lyrics to this song. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, oh, Israel. Emmanuel has come. I know it. And He will come again. How appropriate that Emmanuel means "God with Us". 

I love the scriptures. I will spend tonight reading the beautiful Christmas Story. I Know Christ came as the Son of God to the Earth. I will forever be grateful to Him for what He has done for me and All of us. Here´s just a little piece of the lyrics.

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight.

That's the hope He gives us. I am so grateful for our Savior. 

Have a very Merry Christmas. I really hope you all can ponder on all the blessings that we enjoy. And for the greatest blessing. The greatest gift. God gave us His Son. 

I´ll see you all very soon. I´m so excited to talk to you all tomorrow. I think I´ll be calling at 6 o clock MY time. Which I believe is 9 o clock your time. I hope that's not too early. 

Feliz Navidad. Espero que podáis sentir el amor de nuestro Salvador esta Navidad. Os quiero muchísimo.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello Family. Happy Almost Christmas
I´ve titled this letter a Cadbury Christmas for a few reasons:

1. In the English Supermarket we went and found Cadbury Christmas Chocolate Calendars. Every day I don my British accent to open the little windows that give chocolate. It's the best start to the day.

2. We´ve eaten with two of the British families/couples this week. Its been just lovely speaking with them and eating their boring English food. But it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. They play English Christmas Music. I love it. Tea time with Sister Penny Smith.

3. Translating for the British couples is so fun. I have to switch between languages a lot because of the different speakers and teachers. But mostly I translate into English. 

4. After much consideration and prayer and chats with President. I´ve decided to come home in February. President basically told me "elder, Do whatever you want to. It doesn't matter." And I feel like I´m slowly dying inside. Energy and drive wise not literally. I just feel tired tired tired and cold. I think it's just getting time. I have NO IDEA what I´ll do for so much time before going back to school. That's the downfall. But I just feel like it's time. So my official release date (in the church system now) is February 7th. Yep. It's done. I now have about 7 weeks left. That's all. 

In other news. Elder Hunt has been here this last week. I think I commented that last week. He was just going to stay a few days but he came back after going to Málaga. He finally left this morning. I love Elder Hunt. He was a key influence in the February switch.

This week is the Special Christmas zone conference. It is also my last zone conference. Which means it will be my dying testimony. I CANNOT believe almost two years have passed. And it's been THREE since I was in High School. AHHHHHHHHHH.

I was looking at Classes with Elder Hunt. We printed off the spring class list and went through it all. I will probably room with him in the Spring. Or at least that's the current plan. 

There's a special Spanish major that's designed to be a double major. And I´m very interested in it. It is about 25-30 credits I believe. I could probably test out of a few classes. I´m still lost as to what my major will be. But I have time.
I´ll send you a definite class schedule before February 1. Which is just a few days before I come home. AHHHHHHH

I have no idea what we´ll be doing for Christmas, or Christmas skype. Tell me the best time for you guys to talk. 

We had a dinner for Family night this week. Everyone brought a typical dish form their country. It was fun. I made croquetas even though i´m not Spanish. eeh hee hee

This week we will sing (branch choir) in the town square and hand out book of Mormons and other material to people. After we will have the Branch Christmas dinner. It should be fun. I love Christmas.

Well I think that's all. I love you all. Have a good week before Christmas. It's the best time of the year.

Elder Kirkham