Monday, December 19, 2011

I´ve only been here a few days and already I LOVE Sanlúcar. Which I have learned is one word. Elder Pearce is my new companion and he´s really just great. He entered the mish a month before me but he´s definitely a much better missionary than I am. I just love this place.

There is a branch here but it is MUCH larger than Motril. There's a primary!!! And Youth!!!! and more than one Sunday School Class. And WE don´t have to teach it. Its great. The members are great. I just love them so much already. There's a recent convert named Matilde that is just, .... well there are no words. She carries around a tambourine singing her gypsy songs and I just love her. She already calls me hijo. (She´s NOT replacing You Mom don´t worry) Anyways. The missionaries lived with her for 10 years before they were taken out of Sanlúcar for 2 years. Then this summer when missionaries were put back they found her. And she got baptized. There are a lot cooler details and miracles with her story but I won´t include them all. So now she´s getting all of her sisters and cousins and aunts and EVERYONE to listen to the missionaries. One of them already got baptized. One will be baptized in January. We are fasting with one of her nieces so her parents will sign her permission and we continue to teach the rest of her family. They invited us to a birthday party last night and she literally took us around to everyone who didn´t know us and said they needed to be baptized and that they need to read the Book of Mormon and we would help them quit drinking and smoking. It was one of the most productive finding activities ever.

The missionary work in the rama oops (branch) is revolving around her at the moment. And she keeps giving us friends and families to teach. She is just amazing. We´ve seen her about 10 times since Wednesday, and every time she has had her tambourine singing her gypsy carols. Needless to say I love this branch.

This Saturday night we are spending Christmas eve with this great family and then they are going to let us use their computer on Sunday to Skype.

I am also the new pianist and I actually get to play a REAL PIANO. I already have been grabbed to play for two musical numbers next week. Its great. The work here is so different. The members help so much. Its just a great place to be a missionary.

I am finishing the Book of Mormon before this week and I´ve read about 200 pages in the last few days. I just love the Book of Mormon. We have been sharing a Christmas message with the atonement. Alma 7:11-13. That's one of my favorite scriptures about the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Pearce and I are doing great. We both just had native companions so we speak in really bad Spanglish. But we both understand each other. He´s from Utah. Nobody can say his name and everyone just calls him P (pee). And I guess there was an Elder Kirkham who served here a few years ago so they all recognize my name.

Well next week I will be skyping you. I get out of Church at 1:30 (my time) and there is a 9 hour difference. Elder Pearce is going to be talking to his family early. 5-6 in the Morning Utah time which is 4-5 Cali. Which means I would be calling you about 6 California time. And I don´t know if you would like that. So THIS WEEK, no TODAY please tell me when I CANNOT call you. And make sure skype is on. I don't know when you have Church because of Christmas. So tell me when you DON¨T want me to call. I love you all. Thank you THANK YOU so much mom for the money. I really REALLY appreciate it. And thank you for sending me the package. I will get it after but that's ok. I love you so much. ALL OF YOU. I have the greatest family ever.

Oh and I´m glad to hear the Ohio Kirkhams are ok. The Lord really does watch over us. And bless us.
I hope everyone can feel His love this week And the rest of the year and the rest of their lives. Jesus Christ and His atonement is The BEST Christmas present we can get. I love my Savior. I love His gospel and I LOVE being able to share it with other people. Missionary work is kind of like what happened with the shepherds. The people of Spain seem to be "Sore Afraid" of missionaries. hahahahaha (slap the knee) oh I crack myself up. But actually the work is growing and the world is full of miracles.

The gospel is true. Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Regocijaos Jesús Nació. Os quiero a todos vosotros. Que Dios os bendiga y os ayude. Feliz navidad.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am being transferred to Lan Lúcar which is in Cadiz. Which is in the Zone of San Fernando which also has Gibraltar. Which means I will see Africa some day hopefully. And take a picture with a monkey on my shoulder. I leave in 2 days.
It also means that I will not be here for Christmas. And I will NOT get the Packages you have sent. I actually might never get them because the lovely Spanish mail system requires GOVERNMENT photo ID to pick up letters and packages. Because everyone lives in pisos (apartments) nothing gets delivered TO YOU. They leave a little slip in your mailbox and YOU have to go get it at their office. But not to worry. We´ll figure out what needs to be done. Missionaries are crafty. That's the problem with sending packages to the mission home too because they CANNOT pick them up if you´re not there. Then after a few months they just throw the packages away. So DON'T send anything except letters to the mission home.
This Christmas we get to use SKYPE. Well I have an awesome mission president so he always lets us use Skype. But yes. I honestly know nothing of when except it will be sometime on Christmas Day. The 25th is a Sunday. So I hope you are at home and are waiting for a call. I´ll have one more p day to finalize everything.
Well this week has been normal. Well, no. It has been really good actually. We found 3 new investigators. Which is great in Motril. It has been a very long week. I´ve been very tired. We had a cosecha in Nerja where all the missionaries in the zone go and just do contacts for a few hours. Then on Saturday morning we got a call from our Zone Leaders asking us to bring something to the DOUBLE ZONE COSECHA that NO ONE TOLD US ABOUT. Hay que ver con esta gente, de verdad. Anyways we ran to the Bus station and hopped on a bus to Granada. We had to then get a taxi to the capilla and we STILL got there late. But that's ok. They had planned a huge activity with all the youth and JAS (young single adults) from Málaga and Granada and surrounding areas to go out with missionaries and "tract", I think that's what it is (we never say tract in the mission and I don't even know what it really means). They did contacts. We felt like black sheep afterwards but the two of us found a lot of references. So it was really great. How great it is to be a missionary.
Antonio (our investigator) is just awesome. He´s just awesome. He´s excited to be baptized and the only thing keeping him back from getting baptized today is his addiction to smoking. Which is helping him trust more in God so in the end it will just help him more. Like ALL of our trials and tests in life.
We visited the family of the little girl we baptized and she gave us little hand made cards. Those are seriously the best. It was just really great. That family is so special. I´m so very glad I got to meet them and be a part of their lives. Again how great it is to be a missionary.
Oh I also made cookies this week. mmmmmmmmm delicious. I don't know how to spell that. I cannot believe a year has passed since last Christmas. AHHHHHHHH December is 10 months on the mission. I can´t believe it. Where has it GONE???????
I´m glad things are good at home. Christmas activity, alien lights, decorations. I´m glad that Emma is getting a special Christmas. There are just always so many great things in life. I am so grateful for everything the Lord has given us. I need to be more grateful for the little things that I look over so easily.
Merry Christmas Season. I love this season to be able to think about our Savior Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and what he has done for us. I was listening to a talk today about the atonement. Really truly Christ loves us so much. He loves us perfectly. During this season I hope everyone can feel that love.
Signing off from Motril, this has been Elder Kirkham with the weekly update. A very merry Christmas season to all. Keep Smiling (with some hot chocolate)
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hello family and friends. How are all of you. HOW IS IT ALREADY DECEMBER??????????????
Well this weekend we baptized a little girl named Nazaret. Everything went great. She had a lot of family from Madrid who are not members. Everyone could feel the spirit. It was a really great day. I´ll send a picture.
WE BROKE THE CURSE!!!!!
Another investigator Antonio came to the baptism (which was in Granada because there´s no baptismal font here) and he is just really excited about his baptism. He was talking about it yesterday at Church. Which is scheduled for the 14th of January. We´re working with him to quit smoking before then and last night we set goals for him to gradually cut down. This morning he called us and said HE DIDN'T SMOKE THIS MORNING. HURRAY!!!!! He said that is when he has the strongest desire to smoke and he kicked it today. HURRAY!!!!!!!
Like I said we had to go to Granada on a bus and we were waiting for our BRANCH PRESIDENT to come... and he wasn´t coming, so we had to get on the bus without him. Right as we were pulling out of the station he came up to the bus and we yelled STOOOPPPP!!!! And he got on. PHEW! I sat down next to a couple from New Jersey who were here on vacation. It was so strange talking in English. REALLY talking in English-not the weird mix that I SOMETIMES get to speak with other American missionaries. He was Jewish and she was Chinese. he made a joke about that- how we Mormons are smart and have lots of Mormon babies and all the Jews just marry Asian women...........I laughed........
Also this week, the mission met our goal of over 300 baptisms this year. Which is historic in Spain. And we still have almost a month left of the year. Its been a REALLY great last few months. I Love being a missionary. Its just so great to be a part of someone´s conversion. To see them change their lives and take steps to follow Jesus Christ. What greater thing could I be doing in this time of my life? Seriously? Its so awesome.
Well, we sinned yesterday. On Saturday after the baptism our bus home was full so we had to go on the later one (a LOT later) and we got home late and hungry so we got Kebab to celebrate and because we´re lazy. In our laziness we forgot that it was FAST SUNDAY!!!!!!!! and that we had an EATING APPOINTMENT with a less active family the next day. See, almost everyone here in Spain fasts: dinner and breakfast because LUNCH is the biggest meal of the day. So we didn´t fast yesterday. But its not like we haven´t fasted already this month. Oops.
It's really cold here. Its 10º in the morning. in CELSIUS. Which i don´t know how that converts. I just know that it feels REALLY cold. Especially with no heat in the house. But we manage. We actually have the tiniest tiniest heater ever- that's a fan with a heater coil behind it. Which we can´t have on while we sleep because we might die. But in the morning it is a treat to stick your feet right in front of it. As not to die.
There are TONS of Christmas lights all over the city. Which I assume will look nice because they haven´t lit them yet. I hope I get to see them. Here there's a holiday called dia de los reyes (day of the kings) which is the first week of January. Its to celebrate the 3 kings that came to bring Baby Jesus the three gifts (which I can´t spell) That's when they all give gifts here. Its kind of nice in such a Catholic country because Christmas is more about family and Christ centered.
This week is Elder Rodriguez´s birthday as well. I´ll make him a little treat. I don´t know what. I´m cooking alot here in Motril. Its nice.
Ok. I love you
This is probably my last full week in Motril but I´ve been here for almost 6 months. 1/4 of the mission is a long time.
Love
besitos
Elder Kirkham

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hello! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
How are all of you? How was Thanksgiving? Wonderful I´m sure.
We had our own Thanksgiving here in Motril. I spent Wednesday Night and Thursday morning bustling about our kitchen making food for us and the Elders in Nerja. And Wednesday night (right in the middle of making jell-o) our POWER went out!!!!! The water literally had JUST started to boil so I started yelling at Elder Rodriguez to get my flashlight and by the light of my flashlight the jell-o was saved. Boy Scouts-Be Prepared or you get lumpy jell-o. Hey look I learned something from Scouts. Just kidding.
Since its almost impossible to find a WHOLE turkey, I made a chicken. OHHHHH boy was it good. And Thanksgiving is NOT celebrated in Spain. Only by the missionaries. I´ll get you some pictures

I am moneyless in Motril. We have traveled SO MUCH this month. I am waiting for a LOT of reimbursement money. And I mean a LOT. So I have no money for food....Or money to travel to Granada for our BAPTISM! this Saturday!! Hurray HURRAY!!!!!! It will be the first baptism in Motril for OVER A YEAR AND A HALF. We´re praying that everything goes well.

I also have to give a HUGE thank you for all of your Birthday letters and books and packages. I am really so blessed to have such an amazing family and such amazing friends. I felt so loved on my Birthday (and the week following it as well)

We found a new investigator this week. Hurray! She´s really great. She is from Ecuador but her parents or Grandparents are Spanish. (She looks Spanish) We taught her about Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon and the Restoration. I really like teaching the first lesson (that's the first lesson BTW) its a super spiritual kick in the pants for us too as missionaries. I especially love telling the First Vision. I just feel the Spirit so strong every time. Can I just put a plug in for Preach my Gospel (missionary study/teaching book for those who don´t know) Its just really great. I´m glad we don´t teach memorized discussions anymore.

It was kind of a harder week, but so great. I am so very grateful for all of the blessings I have in my life.

I´m going to send some pictures (I hope) later today. Have a great week. I love you all. The gospel is true. keep Smiling! :D

Elder Kirkham

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hello again. This letter won´t be very long but I hope it will be a good one.

Things are going just really good. Not a whole lot of news. Just good working. I´m super tired. Our investigators are great. The work is progressing really great. (Considering its been about a year and a half since the last baptism.)

It rained so hard this week. We were on our way home from one of our pueblos (which is 10 minutes away) and it took us over an HOUR to get home because it was FLOODED!!!!!! The water was past car tires!!!!! AHHHHHHHH thank goodness we were on a bus. (literally) There was a little flooding in Motril. The water came up into the entry way of the Capilla (luckily its on the 1st floor) (I don´t know if that made any sense in Europe the first floor is the floor ABOVE the one you walk into or 2nd) so luckily our actual capilla was NOT flooded. But we got wet past our ankles walking to our piso. It was an adventure. Oh and the power went out about 4 times during one of our lessons. So we used our cell phone with the background of Christ as our light. (how appropriate)

Well I guess that is some news. It was fun. I also made a CHOCOLATE DEVILS FOOD CAKE that I found in Nerja. It was SOOOOOOOOO good.

It was a great week. We also had Zone conference and I got to see a lot of missionaries. It was great. I love conferences because WE get to listen instead of teach.

Its SUPER COLD here. It actually hailed 2 nights ago. With all this crazy rain we started Sacrament meeting with 5 people. AHHHH but more came. Thank goodness.

I think I´m going to buy a sweatshirt. I don´t have one. (how did that happen?) I don´t know. But I get SUPER cold at night. SO I think today I´m going to buy one. And I know you find that information SO interesting. Just kidding.

I loved the pictures of my vicarious birthday. And the book that you sent. Thank you for sending my birthday to Spain. It really is just beautiful here. We live in one of the most BEAUTIFUL areas of Spain. (And Europe) I am super grateful for all of the blessings I have in my life. I think I'm saying "super" a lot now because of Spanish. Its a SUPER common word here.

Yesterday was the elections here in Spain. And there is a new party in government now. Things are going to change A LOT here. I really don´t know whats going on just what Elder Rodriguez tells me. Did you know that if you´re a citizen of a country of the European Union, you can VOTE in ALL of the elections of the countries of the EU. Crazy huh? A french guy can drive to Spain and vote and then drive back. CRAZY HUH? I thought so. Every citizen of the EU countries have a card that you can basically do anything you want. Well not anything but its crazy.

Alright that's it. I love you all. I hope you all have a LOVELY Dia de Acción de Gracias. Thanksgiving. We will NOT be eating Turkey. Who knows what we´ll have.

Love Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hello Everyone! What a great week its been.

I am COMPELLED to announce to you (I promise I´m not hinting anything) but if you feel so inclined to send packages DO NOT send them to the mission home. Send them to my address here in Motril. They CANNOT accept them. I will be here in Motril until the 14 of December.

Well its been a great week. We set a baptismal date with another investigator. He came to church on Sunday and said, "Ya, I´m gonna get baptized". We are super excited. He has to quit smoking but he´s pretty determined to do it. Today we got in the mail the triple combination in Romanian for our other investigator who is getting baptized soon. Things are just great.

That's the water-downed version of this week.

I have a request, Mom and Dad. Could you please send me as much information about our pioneer ancestors as we have? I honestly don´t know how much that is. I really want to know about those in the Willie/Martin companies. And any others as well. Names/stories/birthdates/ANYTHING we have.

The missionaries in Nerja gave us a copy of a new movie called 17 miracles. Its really new made by EXCEL I think. It talks about the Martin and Willie Handcart companies. It was so great. I cried a lot. Its pretty heavy, as far as church movies go. But it was so good. I think you would REALLY like it. Although at times its kind of hard to watch. It has the Joseph Smith actor in it, its weird because he doesn´t play Joseph Smith in the movie, so its funny to see him there. But its REALLY good. After I watched it I realized I know almost NOTHING about our pioneer ancestors.

Well I know this is short. Sorry. Today we will go get Kebab (so good) and Saturday I´ll finally make the Betty Crocker devils food cake with chocolate fudge frosting we found in the German store in Nerja. I really love Spain. You´ll have to come see it. Nerja is Honestly the most beautiful city in Andalucia.

Life is great. Its starting to get REALLY cold in the mornings and all I have is a fleece blanket. (No heating) but that's ok. I´m gonna buy a sweatshirt today (birthday present) and hopefully stay warm at night.

I love you all. I´m proud of you Mom and Dad for your HUGE project. Have a great week I love you all so much.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, November 7, 2011

This week has felt surprisingly long. REALLY LONG.

Halloween for missionaries = not fun. And I know it's even worse in the States.
Firstly- the dangerous side. 2 missionaries walking around are definitely neon lights for drunk people attacks. Nothing happened (we went in early) but I was a little nervous. Secondly- who wants to spend Halloween with missionaries? (I wouldn´t) But we went over to a member´s house and spent an hour chatting while he watched TV.

Then Tuesday in Nerja (where we go for district meeting) the Elders told me about a shop that sells a lot of stuff from the States and Germany. So we of course had to stop by. And....I found vanilla extract. The thing is, in Spain there are so many pastry and bakery shops. pastelerías. So NO ONE ever makes anything. No cookies, no cakes, no brownies, no frosting. Everyone buys their Spanish cakes from the little bakeries. But thanks to the tourist town of Nerja I found vanilla extract. I also got a recipe to make homemade cream of chicken (which also isn´t found here) and I made Christmas chicken noodle soup. Which Elder Rodriguez loved! Spain may have the best bread but they lack in a few things. Two prayers answered!

Then on Saturday we went to one of our pueblos to visit a member and her daughter. The woman and her husband are divorced and after they separated she stopped going to church. This was before her daughter turned 8. Anyways we go and visit them. And last night the mom said she would let her daughter get baptized. The daughter got so excited and started planning everyone she wanted to invite. The mom was really excited too. Its amazing to see the gospel in teaching them, how its healing their lives.

Then on Sunday we went to Granada for Stake Conference(in a bus). It was SO GREAT! One of our investigators came with us. At the end the choir sang "I Believe in Christ" and he said he felt something he had never felt before when they sang. It was just a great week. I also got to see all the missionaries in Granada and Malaga. If I were to live in Spain it would be in Granada. Its a really cool city.

It was just a great week. And I didn´t get transferred. So I´m just really happy and great. Life is great. Elder Rodriguez and I are getting along great. Life is just great. But now its cold!!!!! Every morning and night its SUPER COLD!!!!!! But its ok. I now know how to live without air conditioning and heating.

Life is just great. I hope everyone is doing great. Life is just wonderful when we want it to be.

I love you all. Good work mom and dad with all your work. Take a few weeks and eat too much food. And take some rest.

Alright That's all I think for this week.

Besitos
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I´m not getting transferred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get to stay in Motril

I´m really excited! I´m glad to be able to stay here and help out these people. I love Motril. It is hard but I love it. I´ll be here for my birthday and I´m going to make a Thanksgiving dinner for Elder Rodriguez. It will be his first Thanksgiving. I didn´t realize how hard it is to find simple ingredients here. No vanilla extract. No sour cream. No Cream of Chicken premade in a can for you. No Powdered sugar. Its crazy. I don´t understand.

Happy Birthday Craig!!!!!!!!!!! How old are you?

I don´t know what to say. We set a baptismal date with one of our investigators and yesterday she came to church and she said, "I want to make a fast offering donation". So one of the members showed her where to find the little envelopes and fill it out. It was so cool. Just out of no where. Another miracle happened yesterday. I didn´t have to teach gospel doctrine!!!! yay!!!!! We watched a few talks from conference instead. It was nice to just listen and watch.

Things are going really good in Motril. It's weird to have the time change because it gets really dark really early. It will be interesting to see how Halloween is here in Spain. All this week we´ve seen parents and kids with Halloween costumes. So SOMETHING is going to happen.

This week is Stake conference so we´ll be going to Granada. Its a REALLY cool city. I like it a lot. Even though we won´t see anything more than the church. I hope our investigators come so we can show them the baptismal font :D It will also be nice to see other missionaries from my district in Sevilla. (who are now in Granada Stake) I think there are about 5 stakes in our mission. Sevilla, Cadiz, Granada, Elche, Murcia and La Mancha District. How exciting it is to be a missionary.

It rained most of this last week. It made missionary work kind of hard but we found two new investigators. Which was great. The work presses on. I´m going to try to make chocolate chip cookies today for Halloween. Something delicious. I don´t know. Or Christmas chicken noodle soup (I found a recipe for homemade cream of chicken) we´ll see what happens.

Sorry this is a short letter. I love you all. Happy Halloween! Happy Birthday Craig. I´ll try to send some pictures of the goings ons.

Besitos

Elder Kirkham

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hola familia y amigos. Me cuesta mucho ahora escribir en inglés porque acabo de terminar un correo en español y siempre hablo español con Elder Rodriguez y toda mi mente piensa en una mezcla de inglés y español.

Its crazy what happens when you have a native companion. He is trying to learn English so sometimes we pray in English. The first time I did NOT know what to say. It was so foreign praying in English. Its so crazy.

Well this has been a lovely week. Lots of rainy days (which I love) we started wearing sweaters this week (which I also love). We were able to meet with an investigator who disappeared from Motril. She had gone home to Romania (She´s from Transylvania by the way) to visit her family. One thing that I didn´t realize before living here was how close everything is in Europe. It's super cheap to take a bus to a different country! And it takes just a few hours to get there. CRAZY! Considering California is basically the size of Spain, leaving the country was a bigger deal growing up.

I don't know how big Halloween is in Spain but everyone says that it gets bigger and bigger every year. Spain wants to turn it into Halloween like in the United States. Elder Rodriguez says Trick or Treating isn't that big in Madrid but it seems to be pretty big here (probably because there's more houses and it's less busy/big city than Madrid).

Well the people we are teaching are progressing so great! I just love these people! There's two people who have both said they they want to get baptized. And there's the daughter of a woman who is less active who also wants to get baptized. They came to church yesterday. I´m sad that I´ll probably leave Motril before they get baptized. We´ll see. I don´t want to leave Motril. we´ve been working so hard and I just want to stay ONE more transfer.

We watched the movie on the life of president Monson with one of our investigators. It is really just amazingly great all the resources the church has. The movies are just AWESOME! The gospel is just AWESOME!!!!! I love being a missionary.

I always forget what happens during the week, I´m sorry. I hope that later in my life I will be able to remember. The mission is just great! I love it so much!

Well, I love you all
Have a lovely week. What´s the weather like there?

Elder Kirkham

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello Everyone

How are you?

This week has been a good one. We found a new investigator!!!!!!!!! And he´s just great.

There was a procession yesterday it was CRAZY we had to walk a super long way around to get to one of our lessons.

I don´t know FOR SURE, but it appears I´m getting transferred. President in his interview hinted a lot that I was going to get transferred. So that's in about a week and a half. So maybe don´t send any letters or anything. Just heads up. It takes about 6-7 days for a letter to get here.

Well. There's not a WHOLE lot of news. We visited this woman who hasn´t come to church in years, and randomly she told us that she quit drinking coffee. (She´s from Colombia- which was a huge deal) But she just told us, "I knew it was wrong but one day I just felt the spirit tell me to quit coffee, so I did". Now this woman who had A LOT of health problems is recovering SO WELL. Health problems not as a RESULT from drinking coffee, but the results from quitting coffee were direct. God always keeps His end of the bargain.

We are teaching a man who´s brother in law kicked him out of the house. He has no home, it's really really sad. But this time in his life, everything has led him to this point to find the gospel. He came to church yesterday, stayed all three hours, and then we met after church as well. He said that he honestly would have left and not come back if he hadn´t felt something different. He´s really sincere. He tells us "I don´t know if God exists but I´ll pray to find out if He does." This man also read the Book of Mormon in less than a week, and watched general conference with us. He´s just super super great.

We had a little problem with our Branch president, that left me really feeling down, but that happens. In short he put a lot of pressures and responsibilities (that missionaries shouldn´t have to do) and was not so happy when we couldn´t do those things in his timetable. That's all I´ll say.

Well life is wonderful. I am so so so so blessed to be a missionary. Elder Rodriguez likes our family picture, because NO ONE in Spain has family pictures like that. He also says that you all have "cara de buena gente, pero MUY buena gente" (you have the faces of good people, REALLY good people)
He also confirmed my theory that JT has Mediterranean heritage, he looks SOOOOO Spanish! But really SOOOOO Spanish. So Sharlene and JT find that out!

Also he wanted me to help him learn to pray in English so we do some of our prayers in English. WOW it is REALLY hard to pray in English. I always slip and say something in Spanish. Crazy. I guess that's what happens when you have a native companion.

Also I don't know if I told you, but I´m teaching the ONLY young woman in the branch to play the piano, which is difficult to do in Spanish, but its ok because its super super beginner.

Well that's the news. I love you all. I can´t believe how fast life passes by.

besitos for all

¡os quiero muchisimo!

Elder Kirkham

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello All Wonderful Family and Friends

This has been a crazy week in Motril. We have been knocking doors like crazy. We have been walking and talking and working hard to bring people to Christ.
How great was conference? (I still haven´t seen it all but we watched Priesthood session this morning) How great that was.

This week we had Specialized training with President and Hna. Clegg. We went out to lunch and had interviews and practiced teaching with them. It was really great to have that personal time with them.

Needless to say, Motril hasn´t been the "HOT SPOT" of the mission. I don´t say that negatively, just honestly. There are no BAD AREAS. But anyways, I have been feeling kinda down. I really wanted to baptize someone in Motril. We have been so close so close. But I have to remember that this is the Lord´s work. This is His church. He knows who´s prepared. We find them and teach them and invite them to let Him change their lives. I had been beating myself up about that a lot. I struggled with it a lot. Am I working hard enough? Am I doing the things I should? Am I doing something wrong? It was nice to watch conference, nice to talk to President. And then this morning I got to listen to W Christopher Wardell (who just finished serving as the mission President in Barcelona, talking about a missionary who baptized 1 person on his mission, who thought he had failed, but who then met the son of that man who was a missionary in his ward, who was serving a mission, who's brothers and sisters had all served missions, who were sealed to parents in the temple. Its just like me to not see the eternal picture. We NEVER know the impact we might have on someone's life. Speaking of which I want to share our own miracle that happened in Motril.

There is a member here, who´s husband is less than supportive of her being a member. I won´t go into details but he does everything he can to keep her from going to church. On Saturday morning we received a call at 7:30 from this member. Who for years has not been able to come to church. Who the missionaries are not allowed to pass by. She called us, and told us that she had been praying the night before and that the Spirit prompted her to call the missionaries. She had been keeping (hiding) the phone number of the missionaries (our phone number) in an old Bible (her husband took away her Book of Mormon) and she called us and asked for a blessing. She snuck away from her house, and we talked and we gave her a blessing of health. She had been taking heavy drugs for migraines and other injuries she had. Immediately after she said that her head stopped hurting. She felt a peace that she hadn´t felt for years. A miracle for her is just to FEEL ANYTHING after what she had been through. The next day she escaped from her house and came to church.

We were also able to meet a family who invited us to teach them right outside their house. After teaching them about the Restoration they told us, "well we know that you are REAL children and servants from God". That's the power of the spirit. That's the power of the message of the Restoration. There are people SEARCHING for the gospel. They just don´t know where to find it. THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE!

Life is good. The work is SUPER HARD! Elder Holland was NOT exaggerating. Missionary work is the hardest thing that I´ve EVER done. But its the greatest.

The gospel is true. Heavenly Father loves every one of us. He loves us so much. he has so many blessings for us. We CAN live with our families and loved ones FOREVER! That is God´s plan for us. He has told us how we can do it. Have faith, obey the commandments. God wants all of us to be happy. There is much more waiting for us! So much! Always better times ahead.

I love you all so much!
I hope you knew about that blog too.

Keep Smiling
Besitos

Kirky

Oh and Elder Rodriguez and I are getting along SWIMMINGLY! I´ll send pictures. Hopefully soon

love you

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh my Conference is SO GREAT!
I actually only have seen 2 sessions so far (I´m so happy that there´s still 3 waiting for me to learn and feel the spirit)
Elder Rodriguez, I, and another member (and his friend) watched conference in our branch President´s Office on his computer. Because of time difference and our Bedtime rules, we were only able to watch the Saturday Morning (on Saturday night here) and the Sunday Morning (on Sunday night for us) both live. It was great. So strange to watch in a different language. I missed hearing President Monson´s voice, Elder Scott actually translates his own talks into Spanish beforehand so it was nice to hear his real voice. I loved the messages that I heard. I loved Sunday Morning´s music ending with I Believe in Christ. The music was so glorious and loud that it blew out half of my speaker (that's the power of the spirit for ya) jaja joking (mostly). But it was really nice to hear the Choir and to see my Music Civ. Professor in the Choir as well. A connection to the real world. I remember when I was in the CCM or MTC seeing and hearing the apostles was like seeing and hearing family members (almost) but it was so nice. Conference is like Christmas for a missionary.
I was so glad I got to hear the New Temples announced. The Provo Tabernacle is going to be turned into a temple. I was so happy when I heard that. I was thinking about how it was such a sad thing when it burned down, but NOW we will have something EVEN BETTER!!!! How great. That's so exciting. And Temple in France! (Progress on a temple in France) THAT is news. France has a law that buildings have to be open to everyone, I don´t know exactly the details, but that would be a HUGE thing for the members here in Europe. The first temple here was in England, then Germany, then Switzerland. For YEARS the VAST majority of Europe had to go to Switzerland if they wanted to go to the temple. Then in 2001 We got a temple here in Madrid that served for Spain, Portugal, France, Italy (there are signs and workers from all of those countries who speak those languages which is interesting) and now in just the next few years, Temple in Rome Italy, Temple in Lisboa Portugal, Temple in Paris France.(Hopefully) I´m so excited to be here in Europe at this time. The church is growing. Its so amazing to be a part of it.
We´ve spent almost all of our time this week finding new investigators, its been a LONG week, and HARD week. Lots of doors in the face, lots of yelling, well I could go on. Just a hard week. And then the wonderful blessing of Conference. How great it is. Missions are hard. I feel pretty inadequate MOST of the time. It's hard, it's emotionally tiring, physically tiring, I feel overwhelmed a lot, but the joys and the blessings are just amazing. I am so grateful for the things I am learning, for the testimony I´m developing. I´ve never had to trust more in the Lord, but because of that, I´ve never been as close to Him. I get really hard on myself, it's hard for me not to. I want to be the best missionary I can. I want to know that the work I´m doing is acceptable to the Lord. It's hard and I feel like I´m getting pulled in a million directions at once, but I´m so grateful to be here, and there's nothing else I would rather do right now. Everything else just seems secondary right now. I miss family, I miss friends but this work is what I´m supposed to be doing. I´m supposed to be here.
When we have an eye focused on God, its a lot easier to see the good stuff, even if we´re surrounded by bad.
I hope everyone enjoyed conference, and if you didn´t watch it, WATCH IT! I am so grateful to be able to hear the words of a prophet of God. I am so grateful to know that if we keep my covenants and follow Christ and do ALL that we can, that He will make up the rest, and He will give us Eternal Life, I can live with my family and loved ones FOREVER. What great news that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth and we can return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven.
Keep smiling. When you can't change your circumstances-change your perspective and you will find happiness. ALWAYS
I´m so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the many joys in my life.
I love you all
besitos
Elder Kirtland (so says one of our members)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Well I almost have no time to write, I´m sorry, I had to do other things online (sorry).
A little about this week:
I got a new companion, which was SUPER HARD the first few days but we get along REALLY WELL now.
I don´t know as much Spanish as I thought, the stuff you talk about with members and investigators is different than what you talk about the rest of the time. BUT my Spanish is going to be SUPER GOOD when I leave Motril.
We went to Nerja on Saturday and helped the missionaries there find more investigators(its called a cosecha) . We found 13 futures and 2 new investigators in an afternoon!!!!!! which is unheard of in cosechas. It made me feel good that we CAN find people even if a lot of people in Motril don´t want to listen (this WEEK in Motril we found 4 futures). It also is a testimony to me that the Lord IS preparing people for us to find. That was really good.
That was basically the highlight of the week. I have no money for food (I´ve spent it all on travel) and reimbursements take a few weeks. :( So it will be kind of a hungry week.
The Lord continues to bless us in small and simple ways. I´ve been praying A LOT this week. A LOT A LOT this week. And I am truly amazed by the power of prayer. I Know that Heavenly Father Listens to our Prayers, no matter how little or insignificant they may seem, He Listens! I wish we all would pray more. We cannot pray enough. Even if we ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask for the same thing, its alright, if its a righteous desire, USUALLY we have to wait a while to see our prayers answered.
Last week I prayed and fasted a LOT to come out of my shell and not be as afraid or nervous or shy to talk to people, and IT HAPPENED! NOT without a lot of work and uncomfy and awkward conversations mind you, but somehow I was able to change my mindset or perspective or whatever and just DO IT. That's one of my hardest things. But I´m getting better. And it helps to have a native companion (he´s from Madrid, BTW)
Life is hard, but its SO lovely! We have trials because, we´re human, and we interact with OTHER HUMANS, but we need to recognize trials as times to grow, its SO SO SO hard to do but it will bring us joy. It brings ME joy. And the mission is really hard. NOT for the faint of heart! But so rewarding.
A member drove us home from Nerja (they were English) and she asked so how´s your mission going? And I really just realized what a blessing it is and even though its hard, that I am so SOOOO happy! Who would´ve known?
Well I love you all so much! Its a short email, I don´t know what else to write, sorry
Love you
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hi yall
That was in honor of Elder Rodriguez, who is being TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!!!!! He´s being taken away from me!!!!! He´s going MORE south to Jeréz de la Frontera in Cadiz.
This has seemed like a LONG week. We went on Splits, ambushed a member at another member´s house, experienced my first experience at a SPANISH BAR, went to Granada for Specialized Training, taught a lot of people, invited a lot of people to be baptized, got failed by a lot of people, fasted, prayed a LOT, wept a LOT, learned a LOT about the history of the Church in Motril, got news that I´m getting a new companion, and I don´t even remember what else.
I ALSO found out that my wonderful friend Alexis got her mission call to SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA! No joke, talk about preparation!!! I´m so excited (for you Alexis)!!!!! Its not the Roseville mission but its right next door! That's so crazy!!!!! I think you´ll still be out when I´m home. How crazy, and me thinks a little birdy told me that Dallin is going to West Virginia? Is this true? And DAVID????? AP???? I could have seen that one coming Mr. Boy´s State!
We got to talk to a member that is SO HARD to track down. We ambushed him (I mean just happened to show up) while he was visiting another member. We chatted and he invited us to go out for a coca cola and tapas. Bars are really different in Spain. They´re basically smaller restaurants. So we did. And it was fun, and we got to chat and "not watch" fútbol on the TV. And we got his address. So, all is well in Zion.
We had Specialized Training which was really just amazing. President Clegg was talking and out of no where he shared a scripture, that was the EXACT answer to something I have been praying for and NOT ONLY THAT he asked ME to read it out loud. Coincidence, no way. I really am grateful for how mindful the lord is of us and that he USES our leaders to help us. Specialized training was really just great.
Yesterday and today we have been fasting as the ZONE of Granada, with a purpose of FINDING WITH FAITH. We need to find more and more people to teach. Later today we are all going to finish our fast and pray at the same time, to be united in prayer. I like it. We were challenged to pray for as long as we can. This is really important because its something I really struggle with, finding new investigators. I also heard that ANOTHER family from Sevilla is getting Baptized. Dang I just gotta LEAVE Motril and the baptisms will come!!!!!! Joke (I hope) But this family is really a miracle. The wife and the daughter YEARS ago both had dreams that they needed to "go to the Mormon church". A While later the missionaries found them, they taught them and they were going to be baptized except the husband did NOT let them. The missionaries since then had always kept in touch, I just heard that (from what I don´t know) she just told her husband, "I am getting baptized and you can´t stop me" and, now they´re getting baptized.
Speaking of a similar situation, HERE. A few weeks ago we were told by the husband of one of the families that were going to be baptized, that we can´t come by anymore. We of course respected what he wanted. Then on Thursday we just decided, let´s write a letter to them. So we wrote them a letter along with a DVD called Finding Happiness. We went to their house, the husband opened the door, he wasn´t mad to see us, we gave him the letter and the DVD. he said to come by another day. Miracle.
And just now while I´m writing this letter, someone we´ve been trying to get a hold of JUST called us. This is the Lord´s work. It's that simple.
Last week, we had a miracle that I don´t think I shared with you. There is a member mama Toñi, who we just love. She always feeds us. And she always gives us advice and she´s well like a Mom. Hence the name mama Toñi. Anyways, her husband is NOT a member and has no interest in the church but is REALLY nice to us. I like him. But he didn´t want his kids to get baptized (they´re grown now) so they never did. Well, their daughter who LOVED the church growing up, came last week to visit, and wanted to ask the missionaries for a blessing. That day we thought, let´s visit mama Toñi, so we went to her house and called her on the (I don´t know what it's called in English, the door bell intercom for apartment buildings) and her son in law answered it and said she wasn´t home but to come back soon. So we went back and her daughter answered and told us to come up. What happened, the daughter and her husband had JUST got there to her house right before we got there. Later Toñi told us that her daughter wanted a blessing and right after she arrived, THERE WE WERE! She said she got a little scared of how prompt we were. The next day we gave her the blessing and Sunday Toñi told us that she turned around almost 180º. That's the power of the priesthood.
The work is hard, but the blessings are amazing. My new companion's name is...............Elder Rodriguez!!!! not joking. He´s a NATIVE who is YOUNGER THAN ME!!!! AHHHHHHH I can´t be SENIOR COMPANION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!! There´s always more to stretch.
I hope everyone is well. I´m sorry for how lazy I am with letters. I have a stack just waiting to be put in envelopes. I´m so sorry!!!!!!
I love you all. The Gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true. I LOVE all of you, God loves all of you.
Besitos
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I think its the 11th week I've been here, I don't remember. Life is going good.
I´m healthy, I´m happy,
I made DELICIOUS arroz con leche the other day.
It was so delicious!!!!!

We were at a member´s house yesterday and he had the news on, there was coverage on the New Memorial at the World Trade Center so we decided to watch it. I really like the Memorial, they also had coverage on President Obama´s words. (Translated in Spanish) What I heard I really liked what he said. I cannot believe it has been 10 years since it happened. Wow. I remember that morning really well. I woke up and Mom and Dad were talking really loud. I went downstairs and we watched it. I don´t remember if it was live or just coverage but I remember being really scared. I remember going to school that day, everyone was really panicked, we weren´t SUPPOSED to talk about it a lot. But of course we did, I was in the 4th grade.

It's weird that 10 years has passed. How much has changed. It was hard not to cry when they showed footage. VERY graphic footage (maybe its just Spain´s TV laws are different) They showed a lot of footage I had never seen. The thing is I had not even noticed it was September 11th yesterday. I was actually reading my passport before church and thinking "how grateful I am to be a citizen of the United States" I´m grateful for everyone who gave their lives, to save others. The member said "That kind of selflessness and unity isn´t found in Spain". Well I don´t know maybe not, but I am very grateful for being blessed to be born in such a great country.

Well, I´ve started exercising a lot more. Even though we walk everywhere, we´re going to start running and I´ve been doing sit ups and push up (hate them) and stuff in our piso.

There's not really a lot to report. Transfers are next week, Elder Rodriguez might be leaving (he's been here a while) but I think I´ll stay. We NEVER know. Both of my suits are really big on me now. I have to buy a new belt. I really don´t feel any skinnier-I swear my suits are growing. But they´re both really big. Oh well.

Like I said Life is good. Happy Birthday to those with birthdays (JT, Brooke, Grandpa)

It's strange to think what I was doing a year ago, and it DOES NOT feel like a year has passed!! Yikes! Time is flying away!!!!!

I found a harmonica instruction book in our piso. It makes me want to buy a harmonica. (For ALL of the spare time I have) (JOKE)

We got the IKEA catalog that I actually have been looking through. I´m a sucker for IKEA. And I´m learning a lot of FURNITURE words in Spanish. Its great! Oh the simple joys in life.

Well I don´t know what else to report. I hope all is well at home and abroad. I love you all. I love the Gospel!

Keep smiling!!!!!!

-Mateo, Kirky, Kit kat, Elder, Kirkham, etc.

¡Besitos!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

¡¡HOLA FAMILA y AMIGOS!!

¿Qué tal estáis?

I hope everyone is having a good Labor Day? Is it Labor Day today? Well instead of fun swimming and delicious BBQs Spain holidays are bringing out your María statues and playing scary music and carrying her through the streets. Just a LITTLE different. Anyways But hope everyone is just happy and good and life is great!

Our mission had made a goal to get 300+ baptisms this year. Which in the history of the mission has never been accomplished, but they set that goal. The summer months were slow and difficult, and President Clegg emailed all of us about what we thought about the goal as the missionaries (most of the mission NOW is young and wasn´t there to make the goal). We had a mission wide fast and.....ta da! We found two amazing people. I am amazed how the Lord works. This couple is from Romania, and they´re just awesome. We gave them a Book of Mormon in Romanian and they were just SO EXCITED!! Its amazing how the Lord is really preparing people for us to find. EVEN IN MOTRIL!! (The mission joke which is terrible is "We almost baptize in Motril") Well we´re tired of that. So we´re going to change it. AND!!!!!!!!!!

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡WE GOT APPROVAL FOR A NEW CHAPEL!!!!!!!!
Which is a huge deal. Its just an amazing blessing for these faithful members. The conditions really are just BAD for the apartment we're meeting in right now. Just not good for a church.

It really was just a great week full of small little miracles. We ran out of food and people invited us to eat. And NO ONE ever invites us to eat. It was just a great week. I am so grateful for all of the little things that happen that we have to be grateful for.

Yesterday I had to translate for an English guy who was on vacation. Oh baby, translating is hard. And then I had to teach 2nd hour so Elder Rodriguez had to translate for that. hee hee hee. Me and Elder Rodriguez are going to go buy ties for Zone conference. That and taking a big nap are the highlight of our P-Day.

Bad news- my eyes are getting worse. Its getting hard to read on pages and on the computer. But that's life. I´m not running around blind or anything.

Other strange news- I´m really starting to like fútbol a lot. Who would have known? Everyone watches futbol and we see it everywhere. Its crazy. I even have a TEAM??? Its so crazy!!! And I have RIVAL teams too! ahhhhh

BTW- Barcelona is WAY better than Real Madrid ¡Barça!

Well I don´t know what else to write. I cut my hair...that's exciting. The work is going really good. I´m feeling a lot more positive. My English is getting worse and worse. I kept forgetting words while I was translating. Oh my. Me and Elder Rodriguez talk in a really bad Spanglish, most of our "yelling" (we don´t really yell) is in Spanish.

I love Elder Rodriguez, he´s da best.

Happy Birthday to everyone in September. Family and cousins and friends. I love you all. I´m sorry I´m a really bad letter writer.

¡Besitos!

Elder Kirkham

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello

I´m a tired blob of a missionary right now. Well a tired missionary. This week has also been full of our own little hardships but with the tender mercies of the Lord as well.

I don´t have a lot to report. Elder Rodriguez has been stomach sick this week. Being sick with the heat is hard. A few days we stayed in for a few hours because it got so bad. Poor guy. But it was a good week over all.

A lot is going on on the homefront, know that my prayers are with all of you. I know that the hard times come but God has a purpose in everything. That's something that I too am learning "the hard way". I just love you all and hope literally for the best and happy times to come.

I ordered the D&C DVDs a few weeks ago. We´ve been watching them during our medio dias. They are just awesome. We watched the Joseph Smith movie a few days ago. I Love that movie. I was so surprised when I found it was on the DVDs because the church hasn´t published it separately.

I´m starting to read the Old Testament. Mostly because everyone here is crazy and don´t understand it and only know what their churches have told them. And they all have crazy ideas and change the stories and really have NO idea who ANYONE is or what they did. So I´m reading it (And Jesus the Christ and the Book of Mormon and D&C) I´m crazy! But its great. We also teach Sunday School so we´re teaching from the New Testament. So I´m basically reading everything. I had no idea how much after the 4 gospels that I never knew. So its crazy trying to teach it in Spanish and learn it myself. Mission life is always a crazy party. And a lot of people here are just plain ignorant of the scriptures. It sounds harsh but don´t argue with me over the Bible if you have no idea what happened. Its super frustrating. But its life. I usually just laugh because the crazy lies they´ve been told are just ridiculous. Oh well. It reminds me of when Andy found the "10 commandments" in that gift shop or wherever it was. loco

We´ve found a few new people this week and have been able to teach them. Its crazy how much we were able to get done with so much time inside with Elder Rodriguez sick. All I know is that we received a LOT of heavenly help this week.

My Spanish is getting pretty good. I had a member convinced that I was from Madrid. Granted her first language is Portuguese but her Spanish husband agrees if he had just talked to me in passing he would have though I was Spanish. YES! Victory. jaja Its just nice to hear that, it boosts me up a bit. If my hair was darker I could totally pass off for a Spaniard (not really).
I´m starting to work on the Andalucían accent. Its a LOT harder to imitate.

Next week we´re going more north to a conference with H. David Burton. I Think I already told you this. We live in such a random secluded place that we have to get picked up by the assistants in their car. Oh well. The closest missionaries are an hour away. Sometimes we really feel like the only missionaries in Spain!

I don´t know what else to say. There's delicious pastries and Kebab, mmmmmm, and delicious bread and gross milk, and good fruit and crazy people and a lot of beer, and a lot of olives, and tomate frito, and good cheese and a lot of gypsies and cigarettes. And that's Spain for ya. There's really a TON of foreigners here. A lot of Romanians. And I love it so much. My only complaint is that the milk tastes gross, and it has a shelf life of about a year, yes the milk, no joke you do not buy it refrigerated. But other than that its good.

Well I love you so much. prayers are with you. Life is great.

Elder Kirky




August 22, 2011

What? This week marks 6 months as a missionary!!!!!? Where did the time go? AHHHHHHH!!!!!

Elder Rodriguez and I have been working crazy to find all of these people. Crazy! The Summer time in a seaside town is a difficult setting for missionary work but just lovely is the work. This lovely lovely Family that weŕe teaching is doing so well. We always sing for them after our lessons and they just love it! Weŕe working so hard with them to get them to church (which is EVERYONEŚ problem in Motril)

Its sad but I don't know HOW the branch here is still open. I don't say this because I wish it would happen. There is a handful of FAITHFUL FAITHFUL Saints who live in Motril but the priesthood holders are US and the branch president (whoś calling isn't going to last forever) but obviously God has some greater plan. I love this little branch so much. It really is just like going to church with just your family. I hope we can find those that the Lord is preparing to come join us. :D

The work is not exempt from disappointment and heartache. But we can't focus on that. If we have the Lord on our side we can do anything!!!! But Iĺl just tell you whatś going on.

Saturday was really hard for us. We had spent all week trying to get in contact with so many futures, we were using SO much of our phone allowance to do this. We had set up a few lessons but they all fell through, without any forewarning to us. I had spent ALL DAY Wednesday traveling to and from Sevilla to get my residency card (thank goodness that all went good, I am legally allowed to be here) we were both tired, it was hot. But I had so much to be grateful for. For the amazing things happening at home, and I was sad I wasn't there to share in them directly. So we decided to visit one of the members. Mama Toñi se llama.

She always gives us REALLY good food. (She was a chef before she retired) She gave us her good homemade Spanish food, and we just talked about families, hers, our, why families are so important. I told her about Craig and How happy I was for him and It really helped me out a lot. She always has the perfect MOM advice. I really wanted to give you a big hug mom but I felt how much you loved me, and how much God loves me. Life is wonderful, and the hard times just makes us love the great times even more.

In a few weeks Bishop Burton is coming to the mission (WHOLE MISSION) and President Clegg called me to ask me to conduct the music for the meeting. Its such a small little thing and not like I can Conduct a few hymns better than any other missionary anyways, but I'm sure he knew just the asking me to do it would make me happy. And it did. Nice to feel wanted.

Elder Rodriguez and I were thinking a lot in the midst of seemingly little success, about Christ. (Iḿ reading Jesus the Christ right now too) I think about Jesus Christ the PERFECT teacher and person, who in the view of numbers or converts, didn't have a lot. His atonement made it possible for everyone to gain eternal happiness, but still we have to ACCEPT it. Thinking about it, although it SEEMS like we aren't having "success" in Motril weŕe still doing the Lordś will. We are inviting people to come unto Christ and USE the atonement. If they want to accept it, its not our choice or responsibility, but we do EVERYTHING WE CAN for these people so THEY can decide. Then this week I was talking to President and I asked him, "Are we doing anything wrong?" he said "No, ya just gotta keep going and serving".

I Love these people so much. I love them. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help and serve them. I love you. Family, friends, I just love you all. I was talking with President Clegg a few weeks ago, I told them how much I LOVED these people and was so sad when they want nothing to do with us, he just told me jokingly, "Elder, you just want World Peace, doncha" I laughed and said "yes I do".

Iḿ not the perfect missionary, but perfection is my goal. Iḿ sometimes too hard on myself, and seem to focus on the negative things more than the positive, but I am SO Happy. SO HAPPY!!!!! IḾ SCREAMING FROM JOY!!!!! The mission is just great. What a great opportunity.

I Hope everyone is seeing happiness and blessings in their lives. There's always ALWAYS things to rejoice about.

Love you all. Keep Smiling. (I've cut chocolate out of my diet but YOU can keep eating it) Love the NOW.

Elder Kirkham

Also to those moving (college mostly) or if you're not moving, please send me your addresses. I just LOSE everything. Please send them to me, I want to send you a letter. Friends in School I have NO IDEA where you live. Sorry. Please send me your address EVEN if you haven't moved.

Love again

Kirky

Monday, August 15, 2011

This week went...where? It went by so fast. Ahhhhhhh

By the way, Elder Solari, one of the traveling missionaries who just went home to the Lincoln stake, is the missionary who you´re talking about. His name is Elder Solari (no idea his first name) but he´s awesome (BTW)

This week (as usual) has been hard. Also so nice and lovely. I had to call the Medical missionaries but don´t worry I´m fine. Just a little sick. All is well. And thank you to good medical missionaries.

I found out that this family in Sevilla that we taught and prayed for SO HARD is getting baptized!!!!!!! Yay!!!! I love them so much! (I sent Rachael a picture of them a few weeks ago) I´m so excited. Also I´m going to Sevilla on Wednesday. Unfortunately I won´t have time to see them, but still exciting.

I was a little frustrated this week because we were trying so hard to get in contact with SO many people but of COURSE, the Feria was in town. It seems like there's always SOMETHING that makes it hard. I can´t just always blame the Feria. After a week of a lot of sadness and getting turned down, we today on our P-day, were able to set up some lessons. And both of them were just great. I feel so grateful and so humble to be a small part in the hand of the Lord.

One of those families-we sang for them- she was touched so deep, she asked if we could record it for her. jaja. We told her we would order the discs for her. So after a HARD week, we received the blessings, well THEY received the blessings which are blessings to us.

I don´t know what else to type. I seem to be always on a roller coaster. I wish I could be more grateful for the Lord´s blessings every day. I need to remember to be patient. I need to remember that I´m not a perfect missionary, and I don't have to be PERFECT. I keep beating myself up for not being the BEST missionary EVER! because I´m not baptizing left and right. Its such a dumb fight I have inside. but its your life as a missionary. In his letter, president told us not to make our memories of our missions painful ones. I think that's the key. If I know I´m trying my hardest even if it seems like there´s no "success" that our efforts are ALWAYS worth it. And they are.

What a blessing to be a missionary of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a blessing that He gives me the opportunity to grow MYSELF in the gospel. I love being a missionary.

I´m glad everything is going well. Sorry for the short letter. I love you all. My prayers are with you all. I´m so happy for Craig, All of the blessings that we receive.

Love you
Elder Kirkham




August 9, 2011


Querida Mamacita y familia y amigos
¡Jolín! What a week.
Thursday we went on splits here in Motril (which I guess are fun and helpful but they always stress me out so much preparing and CLEANING UP!!!) There were 6 Elders in our piso that has 2 beds....? Then early early Friday morning it was off to Málaga for Zone Conference!!! I got to see some old friends and companions. I love Zone Conference so so much.
Then late Friday night we got back and cleaned the piso for the traveling ayudantes. Saturday I felt sick SICK sick. Then Saturday night LATE the traveling ayudantes arrived- two awesome missionaries who go around with all the companionships for a few days and just help. They´re really just awesome. Motril was their last area in their ENTIRE MISSIONS!! Needless to say they pulled out all the stops. The 4 of us, in less than 2 days, found over 50 contacts! Its sad to see them go home but really happy for them and for their amazing help!
Yesterday no P Day because they were here. This morning district meeting then this afternoon we took our "P-Afternoon" we slept for a few hours. Sleeping on couches for the last few days is NOT fun. So it was well deserved and needed. Also yesterday I received a lovely lovely letter which made the heat so much more bearable. Thank you all for being WAY better than I at writing letters. And there were some fishy stowaways in one (thank you Jana)
Oh and Erika-I´m really feeling the name Flint for the Banjo. I like it best.
Tonight we are going to eat Kebab which is the most delicious thing ever!!!!! Sometime in the next few weeks I´ll go back to Sevilla but my old companion won´t be there! He got moved to the office. So me and old Elder Walton (old Sevilla companion now in Málaga) will just probably go together and pick up our European Union Card! How exciting! Especially since my visa is expired. Well I think so. And we´ll just have a fiesta or something.
Well me and Elder Rodriguez have un Montón of people to call and pass by. Missionary work is just really awesome. And I love people who give us water. Its just us again in Motril now.
I hope everything is going well. Jennifer and Stuart and family I love you guys. I hope everything is going well. Daniel-do well in school. 7th grade? ¡Jolín tio! You´re so old! Craigery have fun work hard at UVU enjoy the lovely Utah desert for me (who knew I would miss Utah?) Andy and Rachael have fun and love your chillens-I hope Abe gets to be not so scaredy pants. Sharlene and JT don´t freeze this winter. I hope Kaylin gets some hair soon. I love you guys.
Padres-I hope Alaska is lovely and not so cold. Good job Mom for getting the slides done! I´m glad you got to relax in your new chair. Dad- you´re such a good husband.
Well I don´t have much else to say. I hope everyone is happy and healthy. My prayers are with you ALL. I love you all so much. I love these people here in Spain. I just want to tell you that God answers our prayers. He always hears our prayers. I KNOW that. Sometimes He lets us wait and show a little faith, but after we show our patience, the blessings are ALWAYS sweeter. Like homemade ice cream. You gotta work and churn A LOT and your arms get tired- but oh baby there's NO better taste or satisfaction. The atonement is REAL and Christ knows exactly what we need and when we need it most. I love my Savior. He lives.
Keep smiling. Better times ahead always ¡Qué maravillosa es la vida! ¿No?
I love you all.
Elder Kirkham
p.s. BYU friends please send me your new addresses if you haven´t (I´m such a bad letter writer. I´m so sorry)




Monday, August 1, 2011

What its August? Where did July go? Yikes. Life goes by so so so so fast. This week came out of no where. WOW.
Well here´s just a fun little story for you. One of the families we are teaching (Mom, daughter 11, daughter 7) we decided to do something fun for the daughters (and us). We gathered a bunch of random old sheets and ties and we bought a play sword from a chino (basically a dollar store) and we wrapped a Book of Mormon in Tin foil...what purpose did we have in doing all of this?.....
We reenacted the story of Nefi getting the plates from Laban. its was so fun. The two daughters were Nefi and Laman and I was Lehi and Elder Rodriguez was Laban. We had ordered a little story book of the Book of Mormon for them and we read out of that while we acted it out. It was so funny. Wrapped in sheets and pillow cases and ties wrapped around our heads for head bands. Oh I love being a missionary. Then we sang for them and the Mom started to tear up. And then we knelt down and she just Started praying!!!!! Its was amazing. She never wants to pray. Music truly has an amazing power to touch our hearts. (and having fun too) That was a fun story from this week.
Motril is crazy. Every night/morning at about 1:30 some jovenes (youth) come and ring our doorbell. So so annoying. It always scares me because I´m either asleep of just about to fall asleep. Oh I´m having sleeping problems again. I´m so so tired in the day. And I CANNOT sleep at night. But that's not news.
The work goes on. As always. I´m so so so jolly happy. I sometimes also get so so so frustrated, but that always passes quickly and back to jolly happy. A lot of people don´t like us, but there are also people who I just love and who do anything for us, and us for them. We get so so so SO many tomatoes. Two people we teach sell tomatoes and always give them to us. We pass most of them on to our Branch President and his wife is SO happy. President LOVES that I play the piano (teeny keyboard) but he just loves it.
It is SO SO Humid here. We sweat a lot. I shower sometimes 3 times a day because you get so sweaty. I love my life so much. I just feel so blessed every day. We have Zone conference next week. We are waiting for new phones and new DVD PLAYERS!!!! I´m so excited. They´re to watch the new Preach my Gospel DVD´s for us. I hope we can take them to lessons as well. We are so excited. In a few weeks I´ll be going back to Sevilla to pick up my Residency card. I can travel anywhere in the European Union with that card...and my Visa is Expired, yikes. I´m excited to see Sevilla again but its going to Be so hot there.
I love you all so much. Happy Birthday Mom. Happy Birthday to all My loved ones in August. I love you all.
Keep smiling. Eat chocolate. Go swimming. Go to Church. (The important things in life)
I love you all
besitos
Elder Kirkham

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well we´re IN our 5th week. I don´t know where all the time has gone. Where is it going? I don´t know. I passed 5 months on the 23rd. WOW!!!!! WHAT? How did that happen. I´m almost at hermana time now (18 months-joke) But seriously I don´t know where all the time is going.

Motril is really a beautiful town. La Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) is beautiful Mediterranean (I can´t spell) coast line. We went to a nearby city for District meeting on Tuesday and had to wait an extra hour for our bus so we went to this overlook point to the Sea and it really was beautiful.

It seems wherever I go I always make friends with homeless people. And I love them. I met this man from England who was traveling around Spain. We talked to him a few times while he was here. It's so interesting some people´s view points of the world. Its sad to hear people say there is no love in the world. I´m sad for them. He asked us to pray for his liver to hold up til he gets up North (jaja). We told him we would.

Also theres this woman who sleeps outside of our building and one night we said hi to her and she showed us these GIGANTIC pair of scizzors she carries to protect herself and she made stabbing motions at pretend attackers. Then just cackled and we ran inside. Oh how I love these people.

There's also something TERRIBLE that happens in Motril during the summer time. When Spaniards are hungry-they can´t pray!!!!!! (I hope you are all getting my sarcasm) Really we were told so many times by people that they couldn´t pray because they were hungry??? What?? We both just kind of laughed we didn't know what to say, so we just prayed instead and tried not to laugh. That is one of the funniest excuses I´ve heard.

Oh ya we go over every other day to this member´s house, he has some mental problems and LOVES when we come over. But we went over one night this week and he was watching the News and I have NO IDEA whats going on in the World. What happened in (was it Denmark?) some northern country. Bombings and attacks. And there's HUGE riots in Spain right now. I doubt they´ll come to Motril but there's a giant protest in Madrid right now that's going around Spain. Yikes. Missionaries and Protests are NOT a happy couple.

Oh and someone tried to steal my favorite pen this week. We were walking to our branch President's house one morning and these two guys came out of a bar DRUNK (it was 11:30 in the Morning) and they stopped us and were bothering us. We the courteous missionaries politely tried to tell them we had to go but they wouldn´t stop bugging us. Then one of the guys reached into my pocket and took my FAVORITE PEN!!!!!! Because he liked it and as missionaries we are supposed to give our stuff to other people to get them to join our church. Oh the polite missionary left. (I tolerate drunk people very little if they harass us). In Spanish there are two ways to talk to someone. In a polite "usted" form that we are taught to talk to people as representatives of Jesus Christ. There's also the street, regular form "tu" which is more used. So I started yelling at him in "tu" form and told him in not the kindest way that he had to give me my pen and I didn´t have time for him to be stupid. Then I grabbed my pen and left. Sometimes Spaniards just need a good slap in the face. (I didn´t slap him)

There are just a few more funny moments that happened this week. There are always annoying kids that yell at us and bug us--its just part of the job. What a job it is. I love being a missionary. It really is the best thing I´ve ever done, and COULD do as a 19 (almost 20) year old. I´m scared for the rising generation in Spain. There is really NO respect here. Not only that kids don´t respect us, but they don't respect their parents, and leaders, and teachers, and random old people on the street and public property and THEMSELVES. Its sad.

This week has had AMAZING blessings and very sad heartbreaks and disappointments, but its always like that. Its so very sad to see someone progressing seeing their lives change, seeing THEM change physically spiritually, everything going amazing and then just stop at turn back around. Its so very sad. I have no words to explain it, but I´ve thought a lot about the Savior. He, the perfect Son of God, went about teaching, doing miracles, being the PERFECT missionary and people still rejected Him. And me, the very imperfect missionary, running around Motril trying to teach people and talk to them about the Gospel and feeling the same heartache, except my sacrifice is nothing in comparison. Truly I find comfort in the Savior.

I know our Savior lives. I know He loves us. I love Him. I (the silly kid with a nametag) am on His errand. He takes us and makes us better than we can by ourselves. The trials are hard, but trials are just Him telling us that He knows we´re ready to grow. I Love my Father in Heaven and I pray for these people every day. I love the crazy people of Spain. Oh my they are CRAZY!!!!!!

I love you all and pray for you all too. Thank you for all your prayers and letters and love.

Besitos
Elder Kirkham

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh my what a week. I think I say that every email.

This week was hard on me. But as always just awesome. Yesterday I was sick. I think it was from lack of water mostly. But we left our piso after medio dia and I just felt SICK SICK SICK. Cold sweats stomach pains. I felt like I was going to faint. But I made it through.

Last week seemed like we walked and walked and walked and walked. Almost ALL of our lessons fell through (downside of having the playa so close). I got frustrated but it was still a good week. We mainly visited members. That was nice. It was a crazy crazy week though. I think I have about 4 blisters because we WALKED so much. Oh and there's this one member from Brasil (oh her Spanish is hard to understand) but she just LOVES me. jajaja she´s CRAZY.

Today me and my companion are going to watch the Joseph Smith movie in the capilla. We just learned that its on the Church´s website!!!!!! We were so excited. Nothing else planned. We both need a quiet day. We need it bad.

Its amazing to see changes in people´s lives. Honestly amazing. What blessings and miracles we see every day. We had SO SO SO many people in church yesterday. It was GREAT!!!!! We were so happy.

This week we also went to one of our little pueblos (just little cities that are in our branch boundaries) We walked around for over an hour and found NO ONE home and NO ONE in the streets. We walked back to the bus stop and watched the waves of the Mediterranean while drinking poweraid (yes we found it randomly)
I can´t brag that I´ve been in the Mediterranean but I´ve SMELLED it. So that's about as much I can do as a missionary. Still haven´t seen Africa. Although I did see KIND of the shadow while I was in Malaga. But oh well.

It´s so fun to hear all the fun stuff you´re doing at home. I´m glad you all got to have a fun week. I miss you all but I´m having my own adventures here. In two years we shall have to enjoy all of the fun festivities of summer.

Not a lot to say this week but life is good. Life is great. I love Andalucíans so much. They´re completely insane. Honestly think of my big fat greek wedding and that's what I get to enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY. (sometimes enjoy isn´t the right word jaja) But seriously I love these crazy people so much. They´re crazy like me.

Well have a wonderful wonderful week. All of you

Elder Kirkham

oh I found out that my investigator in Sevilla got baptized!!!!!!!

Jill- I laughed really hard at your letter and the fact that its printed on the back of some physiology worksheet that I didn´t understand at all
Alexis- EMAIL me when you get your call, I can´t email back but I can get them from you. I´m so excited for you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today we made a surprise visit to the ALHAMBRA!!!!!!

That's right. One of the 7 wonders of the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!! Except it was sad because we came to Granada for a meeting (later tonight) and we said, let´s go to the Alhambra, but the sad part is that we could only get into the Palace (we saw the rest of the wonder) but we couldn´t get into the Palace until later tonight when we had our meeting, so. Another time.

Jennifer- you would love it. I was thinking of you and the CD you have with the Irish lady from the Alhambra, then while reading emails, STING came on!!!!! And then guess what came on? NEW RADICALS!!!!!! I couldn´t believe it. It was a day filled with Jennifer memories!!!!! So I´m thinking of you.

President Clegg came and visited us this week (we might be on the blog) and we talked with him and his wife for our (specialized training) so it was really specialized. It was awesome. And Exciting things are happening in Motril now. (Not just because of President) But we´ve been working with the members this last week, and 15 people came to church yesterday. That's DOUBLE what we had last week. AMAZING! its a milagro. De verdad. And now if we get 20 people to church ONE time, we´ll get a bigger capilla- a Bajo (bottom story) which is AWESOME!!!!!

So things are growing in Motril. And, we have 5 baptismal dates!!!!!! So it seems like we always have to pass through the hard times but the blessings always come. Oh and just so you know, our entire ZONE has 10 baptismal fechas (yes we have half). Jaja but no really anything that we "do" is just the work of the Lord.

Alrighty we also found this week BROWNIE MIX!!!!!!!!!!!! ¿in Spain? Now that's a REAL milagro. (miracle)

Oh president also brought the last two months of mail.

Thank you for all of you who sent me mail. And Jana!!!!!!!! For some reason your letters got sent back???????? SO Apparently Spain correos doesn´t want us to talk. But I´ll try send them again double checking your address.

Family and friends, I hope you have a WONDERFUL 4th of July. I was reading about the Willie and Martin handcart companies this week, and wow. I couldn´t help but cry knowing that my ancestors were there. One of them after said (and this is a terrible paraphrase) "it was through our trials that we became acquainted with the Lord". Those words give me a LOT of strength and Hope.

A little about Elder Rodriguez, he´s short and Texican (Mexican heritage but born in Texas) and he´s from San Antonio. (Tyler´s mission) But he´s awesome, We spent a few days in Madrid together (he got his visa late) so we have the same amount of time in the field but we´re just doing great. The shock of Sevilla to Motril has passed and oh boy do I love it.

Its a little sea side city that's FULL of tourists. Its small but it has some expensive eating and shopping places because, well because people spend money on trips. But its great.
I Love it so much.

Andalucíans are insane. I´ve just decided they´re insane. Well no, they are. And I think that's why I love them so much. The culture here in Motril (and Andalucía) is so laid back. EVERYTHING is scheduled around the 4 hour Medio Día. Seriously NOTHING is done. NO ONE walks around on the streets. NO ONE is open. Its just great.

Oh Spain. I love Spain. Oh and The Mountains of Granada remind me SO MUCH of Northern California. ITS CRAZY!!!!!

Well I love you all so much. I´m SO SO excited for everything that's happening with EVERYONE in the family. Just so exciting.

Well love you.
Besitos


Oh, the Alhambra--just about it, Its this Arab Palace that the Moores built back when they ruled Spain. So all the architecture (wow I forgot how to spell that word) is Arab. Its really neat. And the really famous part is the giant basin on the backs of 12 stone lions. There are a LOT of gardens and we went to the top of the watch tower and you can see the whole city. But we didn't get to see the inside of the palaces for reasons already explained. But another time.

Alright that's it. Oh and Elder Rodriguez reminds me of David a lot. He just has the same quirks that David has.

Well I love you all. Thank you for the pictures and letters. I´m trying so hard to write. (Trying so hard because I´m so busy going to ancient palaces) jaja just kidding, Well serious. I´m gonna try really hard to write and not fall asleep on the bus ride back to Motril.



Well I Love you lots. I´ll try to send pictures soon. But I appreciate ALL ALL of your letters.

Elder Kirkham




Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Address:

Elder Matthew Kirkham
C/ Nueva 3 3º D
18600 Motril (Granada)
España

love you all
send me letters

besitos

and Elder Rodriguez gives besitos también
4th OF JULY MIRACLE!!!!!

My first transfer in the beautiful town of Motril. It hasn´t even been a week yet and it feels like the longest MONTH of my mission. I have no other transfer to base it off of, but this has been a HARD week. HARD HARD week. A dark lonely hard week. Its been hard to have faith, hard to have hope, just hard.
There is a branch here in Motril, the branch president´s name is Pres. Izquierdo. Yesterday at church there was Presidente Izquierdo, Hna. Izquierdo, Elder Rodriquez, Elder Kirkham, Encarnación, and Celia. 6 people were at church. Total. I just started crying. I had no idea what to do or say. I just cried. Then I bore my testimony-along with everyone else, but then something happened. I kept crying but not because I was sad. These members were SO SO grateful for their little apartment chapel. They were so grateful that they had somewhere to go to church. They were so grateful that they COULD go to church, that they were free to worship how they WANTED to. I just couldn´t stop crying. I seem to be crying a lot in this little town.
There's about 60 members on the member list. About half of those have told missionaries to never come by, and about 12 members total have been off and on coming to church for YEARS. The last baptism in the area was a year ago. The last Sunday he came was when he was confirmed. In just the last year there have been TONS of natives, and an assistant to the president, just awesome AWESOME Elders, and the work just isn´t showing fruit. I feel so overwhelmed. Honestly its hard to KEEP having faith in the work. I know that we can have success here, but I´m not going to lie and say its easy. This is the hardest thing I´ve ever done. I just cry every night. I´ve been thinking too much about home, thinking too much about myself. But it is HARD. I shouldn´t complain but I´m just being honest. I wanted to go home on Saturday. I´m struggling. I´m struggling in Motril.
I know the gospel is true. I KNOW. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is REAL SCRIPTURE. That God loves us and we have prophets today. I KNOW these things. And I stay here because I KNOW these things. I Stay here where we get rocks thrown at us, and people laugh at us, and yell, and fight to do EVERYTHING they can do to put us and the Book of Mormon down. But I KNOW. ok. Don´t ANY of you have any doubts that Elder Matthew Joseph Kirkham KNOWS these things are true. I´m just me. But I´m here. There's no more fence sitting. There's no more easy living the gospel. It wasn´t easy for the early Saints but they did it.
But I love Motril. I Don´t know what this email sounds like because I´ve experienced too many emotions writing it. But this is how I feel. I´ve been as real and honest as I can be. This truly is Christ´s work, and saving souls is not easy. But I love Motril. I love all of you. I´m sorry if I don´t write a lot, I TRULY am sorry for those who have sent me so many MANY great funny amazing letters and I don't write back. I´m SO SO sorry I don't write back. But I love you. And you are so so important to me. Family friends, I love you so much. Be so so grateful for our blessings. We have so much. There are so many people here that have nothing.
Have hope as I have more hope. I will and do have more hope here. Be grateful and HAPPY :D ¿vale?
A big grand 'ol hug to all of you (imagine me in an American Flag jump suit, giving you all hugs on this wonderful 4th of July) Be grateful for our independence and how LONG we´ve had our independence. Spain has not had independence for very long.
Always be happy


I found the most delicious chocolate chip cookies today at the grocery store. it was a 4th of July miracle.
Be greatful for your chocolate chip cookies ¿vale?
Love Elder Kirkham
And Enjoy your 4th of July!!!!!! Happy Independence day AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!! (I miss the USofA)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh ¡que triste!
I´m being transferred to.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Motril!!!!!!!!!!!
That mean adios 120º F Sevilla and hello to a MUCH cooler Mediterranean (i don´t know how to spell that word)
Motril is in Granada right along the coast. Next to the sea. I know nothing about it except its cool, its only a branch (for now) and I´m serving with an Elder from my CCM group!!!! Elder Rodriguez! It´s so exciting but so so sad. I was sitting in church next to one of our investigators when the bishop announced I was leaving, and she looked at me and said "now you won´t be here for my baptism". It was so so so sad. But the future is always ALWAYS bright.
I´m gonna miss Sevilla so much. All the members were really sad that I was leaving, an old lady cried, (yes!) and it made me sad but honestly made me feel really good. Now it is a little prideful but as a missionary its nice to know that you feel like you make a difference. So although it was sad, it was really sweet (that sounds weird but you get what I´m saying). I´m moving from a city with 6 missionaries to one with only us 2. I think I´m gonna like it, its definitely gonna be different.
So like I said, my new companion is from my CCM group, so its gonna be us two kids in our little branch, but I am SO excited. I´ve made some REALLY good friends here, missionaries, members, investigators (soon to be members) Elder Fagersten is gonna have a handful of baptisms soon (or at least he better!!!!!) No he´ll be great, (but seriously I´ve worked hard here).
As always the mission is wonderful. Elder Stanley (who lives with us) is dying (going home) on Wednesday. We´re all going to Málaga on Wednesday and then we´ll part our ways for our new areas (his is home). Its strange to see the two sides of the mission, me still pretty green and him right at the end after 2 years. Strange to think of what going home will be like-which makes me want to work harder now.
4 Months really have gone by FAST. But at the same time, its starting to get hard to remember my old life before the mission-¿what did I do all day? I really don´t know. I don´t know what to do after the mission. Its HARD work but still I don´t know what else to feel productive with my time.
A few nights ago I was in a cita with a part member family who has a girl from Nicaragua living with them. I was talking to her and she said she served a mission in Honduras, ¡¡Honduras!! And I asked her if she knew an Elder Kirkham and she said YES! She knew I was Andy´s brother when she first saw me, but she didn´t want to sound weird. As if we don't hear weird things every day. But ya, I forgot her name, I have it written down but its in our piso, she said she served in the same zone as Andy but i don't remember where. Its something like Hna. Aras or something, I´ll remember to bring it the next time I email. Sorry, but its a really small world.
I´m so excited to hear about the Smiths, I can´t wait to hear the news every week. Our ward mission leader just adopted 3 young kids as well and they always love to hear the news on the kids. Dylan Gavin and Emma. I´m just so SO happy. Give them big hugs from Uncle Matthew.
Last week I wrote about how my patience was being tried, this week I want to say, that the Lord blesses us after the trial. We´ve seen MIRACLES this week. Last night I just felt really guilty for my attitude last week. The Lord blesses me every day, and I hardly deserve any of it. But the important thing is that he is in His work. I know that.
I love you all, I don't know when I´ll get the latest mail, sometime next month but next week I can give you my ADDRESS!!!!!!!!! it will be so nice. I lost some of the letters I´ve written when we moved so I´m sorry to those who feel neglected. I´m trying to get over being the same forgetful lazy Matthew. My companion tells me I´m still really spacey. Oh well. I find it endearing in myself. (joke)
I love you all. Love you Mom and Dad. Love you Hermanos (siblings), Love you Sobrinos (nieces and nephews-i think those are spelled right) special love to Dylan Gavin and Emma- Hola from Spain. I Don´t know you three yet but I already love you and say welcome to the family! And also Love to mis amigos! ¡¡Les quiero a todos!! I love you all.
Elder Kirkham (the last email from Sevilla)
Oh ya mom and dad there's a family who says you HAVE to come to Spain and stay with them. jajajaja Just passing on the message.
Love you

Monday, June 20, 2011

This week has been a trial of my patience. Oh my. But an awesome one as well. One of the best in my mission so far.
Stress news first then happy news. I am slightly going crazy. I LOVE Sevilla. I love the people we teach, I love my companion, but all of them have been trying my patience.
Sevilla is HOT (really not that big of a deal, just really hot) and everyone in Sevilla is leaving soon(let me explain). Everyone and their dog (literally) leaves for the playa (beach) during the summer. So there's only old people who never leave their pisos. But still that's ok. Its just hard to meet with investigators when they're not in Sevilla. Again not a HUGE deal, just trying my patience. Then my companion. I love him, I just sometimes get annoyed. The good thing is we work good together, there's no problems there, just a little eye twitch at breakfast or during planning or something like that. But there we go there's the news.
Now the exciting. We´re getting a NEW ROOM for gospel principles class. There was physically not enough room in our class yesterday and we´re moving into the chapel over flow. Which is ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡AWESOME!!!!!!!! so awesome.
Also we have peanut butter!!!!!!!! Its a miracle. I swear its the only place in Sevilla that sells peanut butter. I´m so happy. And our new piso is amazing. First of all it has air conditioning, its clean, there's no mold, no cucarachas, no pee getting thrown on us from our neighbors-its great!!! And our Bishop gave us Root Beer from the military base that's in our stake. Its GREAT! What a great week.
Spain is awesome. I´m so excited to come back with you guys (hint hint). But seriously just the places I´ve been so far I want to show you all of it. And I still have 20 months worth of Spain to see!!!!!! We go to lots of pueblos (towns) that are technically in our ward boundaries. They´re amazing. Just White WHITE houses up on the side of a mountain, looking over HUGE green fields. Its AMAZING.
Alright focus.
Also this is the last week of the transfer. Which is sad, because I am most likely leaving. But I just keep telling myself that the Lord knows where I need to be WAY better than I do. It will be sad to leave though and not see the baptisms we´ve been working towards. But the work goes on. I love these people so much.
Good things about Spain
Bread
Siesta
jumbo duplos (delicious candy like a really sweet strawberry licorice covered in sugar)(not like twizler)
Old ladies who want to give you kisses (besitos)
all the black people from Africa (chocolate)
THE BUILDINGS
the culture
a drink called gaseosa (really sweet seltzer water)
the awesome people
gypsies
Undesirable things about Spain
hoochy viper clothing during the summer -yikes
all the chlorine in the water
dog droppings EVERYWHERE
smokers
lack of peanut butter
really disturbing picture of Jesus outside our door (we want to change it to a happy one)
hoochies
hoochy posters of hoochies
lack of clothing
gypsies
alright I love you all
I love Spain as well
Happy Fathers Day Dad and grandpa and STUART!!!
Happy Birthday Daniel and others with their birthdays
Love you all
besitos
Elder Kirkham
I really am loving life