Thursday, March 31, 2011

¡Hola!

Wow it has been a BIG week. Lots of Spanish, lots of fish, lots of nutella, lots of translating, lots lots LOTS. The food here is delicious, for the most part. I´ll talk about happy things after so we all end on a positive note because there are SOOOO many positives. Ok so the food. So good. Everything is covered with olive oil (neutral). There is a REALLY popular soup here that with my limited culinary experience, I have come to relate it to baby food, a mixture of mushed peas and who else knows what (bad, bad, bad). Yesterday we had a fake version of paella. um. I really hope the real version is better. There were crushed pieces of shells, whole shells, shrimps that smiled and looked back at you and other creatures from the deep. Imagine the song "Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid dropped into a pan, drenched in oil and put on my plate. That's what is was. (not enjoyable on the tongue). But seriously besides those experiences, everything is so good. Vegetables and fruits here are so good. There's this really popular fruit which is called frogs skin (in English translation) it is SO good. It's some kind of melon that the outside looks like a frog (really gross) but the fruit tastes SOOOOO good. The bread here is so good. We eat fresh bread every day for every meal. However, the pre-sliced bread (why they even have it I have no idea) is FOUL FOUL FOUL. It's really gross. (come on Spain stick to the good stuff) I love Spanish bread(real Spanish bread). I love tortilla Española. So SO SOOO good. Ya the food is good (Jennifer I´ll have to learn how to cook for when I get back).

The temple today was beautiful. The Celestial Room in the Madrid temple is amazing. I love going to bed and waking up and seeing the temple right outside our window.

The CCM is one building. Actually less than that. The CCM is 3 floors. One for classes and the Sala Grande where we have our Big meetings and Sacrament and such, one for bedrooms (of course separated hermanas and elders) and the top floor for the kitchen and comedor where we eat. I love being here. The teachers are amazing. We get to leave the CCM every day and walk around the city or play futbol with the niños. (you probably know which one I pick) But we´re supposed to stay within walking distance. However TODAY on P day we get to take the metro or bus or whatever and go wherever we want. I believe today we´re going to the royal cathedral and probably a museum. I LOVE SPAIN so much. The pure Madrid accent is beautiful (most people here however do not speak the pure Madrid accent, but our teachers do) also the prominent accent in Malaga....¡ay! so in Madrid c and z are pronounced with "th" sound and "s" are pronounced s. Spelling is SO easy with the zeta. Anyways in Malaga most people don't pronounce s at all. One of our instructors is from Malaga and at first I had no idea what she was saying. Something about "Dio y aitir a igleia y lo hermano y que neceitamo eperar en Dio". And some thing like that. (for those of you who speak Spanish I really hope you are as confused as I was) so yes. They don't pronounce "s". But now I know.

My tongue is getting really lazy when I speak in English. My spelling in English continues to dwindle in unbelief and when my teacher asks how to spell a word in English I usually have no idea. Oh one of my teachers speaks like NO English. So every day she´ll be going along trying to explain a meaning in broken English and she´ll say the word in Spanish and ask me the word in English. It's funny.

My district is pretty gringo. I´ll just say thank you to the Lord for blessing me with the gift of tongues and thank you mom and dad for not teaching me how to be a loud annoying American.

my Spanish continues to progress every day with the help of the Lord. I truly have been blessed, so blessed by the lord. I boast in the strength of my God.

Oh here´s a fun fact. This morning going to the temple, the entire CCM oops by the way CCM is Spanish for MTC. I hope I haven't confused you guys. anyways, the entire CCM fit in the elevator down. Ya. We were all in one elevator. A fairly good sized elevator, but still.

I have really gotten close with some elders here. One is from England, Leads. He is hilarious. He is probably the nicest person I´ve ever met. He´s hilarious. When I'm speaking in English its usually to him and my companion. My companion is Awesome. He´s from Draper, Utah but he´s really funny. He´s really into music, he toured with the band Secondhand Serenade last year. He´s really cool. But, when I speak in Spanish its usually with Anziano (elder) Pedreira.

Anziano Pedreira (he´s the only native Spanish speaker here right now) is this Amazing Elder. He´s from Uruguay, he´s a convert of I believe 3 or 4 years, he saved up all the money to go on a mission. He started his papers, had everything ready, was robbed on a bus. all his medical, interview papers, Everything was taken from him. He started them again. Got his call to Italy, had to wait for a year for his visa. A YEAR for his visa. In that year, he helped the missionaries baptize, I want to say 30 people. Ya. He´s incredible. He was my companion when we went to the park.

OH the PARK!!!!!! Every Saturday we go to the park and do contacts. Oh my what a blessing it was to be able to go with him. That was an incredible experience. So we do contacts and we give the contacts to the missionaries here in Madrid. The mission president says that SO many baptisms happen because of these contacts by us greenies. The Lord´s hand is truly in his work. We just have to open our mouths.

I Love being here. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary, to have the chance to serve the Lord, is just amazing to me. I am so grateful for all of you. I love all of you. I love the people of Spain. I love the country of Spain. There's so much LIFE here. España is full of LIFE. It is truly amazing to be here.

President Earl asked me and my companion to be in charge of the hour of music we do every Sunday night. Ya. This CCM is AMAZING. We have music every Sunday night. Devotionals every Sunday morning. Firesides every Monday morning. Time to walk around (physical activity) every day. A short nap every Sunday afternoon (it is approved by the president). Snack time every night. Movies on Sunday night as well. Basically I LOVE it here.

I love you all so much. I pray for you all every day. The Gospel is True. Jesus Christ blesses families.

He blesses me every day and I know He blesses you every day as well.

Elder Kirkham


Oh my Spain.

Wow. So the cathedral closed at 2:30 or something. But we went and saw the.......... wow, I cannot think of this word. Bull fighting area? I suppose you would call it. Anyways. It was amazing. We got out of the metro and it was right there. Its huge and is all in moor architecture. I might be able to post some pictures later. I hear varying policies of emailing pictures. But perhaps next week. So anyways. We walked around that part of the city and we were just walking and came to these HUGE apartment buildings so we got something to drink and were just walking through the streets and this guy came up to us and we are not really supposed to talk to anyone so everyone was freaking out. Anyways he asked us if we were married because we were in two trios. Anyways I told him no and he told me that he had seen a motorcycle gang called Hell´s Angels and he asked us if we were Heaven´s Angels. And I had no idea what to say to him (we´re not allowed to proselyte in ANY way) so I just told him we were late for a meeting. Anyways. it's a little frustrating not being allowed to do anything in a situation like that. I don´t really even know what I would say to him. Vale

We walked around Plaza de Sol and saw Bob Esponga, Dora the explorer and Minnie mouse. jajajaja. It was so awesome. There were a lot of street performers. SO many street performers. And as usual so many strange looks. One guy was actually really nice to us. He saw us and was like ¡Mormones! ¿dos años verdad? and that he liked us. Mostly it was nice that he wasn´t yelling or glaring at us. Anyways. Spain is awesome.. Everything is hotter as a missionary. In the literally "heat" meaning of the word.

I love you.

Elder Kirkham

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