Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Off to Sevilla!

Dear Bro. and Sister Kirkham

We wanted to let you know that your son, Elder Kirkham arrived in the Spain Malaga Mission today. What a wonderful young son he is. We are always so excited to receive new missionaries and today was no exception.

Elder Kirkham has been assigned to serve in Sevilla and his trainer is Elder Fagerston. We have attached a picture of Elder Kirkham with us and with his trainer, Elder Fagerston. Their preparation day is Monday and so you will be hearing soon news about the arrival and first area then.

In the Spain Malaga Mission we have a blog that we put a new post every Sunday. We are sure you will enjoy looking at it and seeing what is going on in the mission. The site for the blog is Spainmalagamission.blogspot.com. He will be on it this next Sunday and you will be able to see what happened as he arrived. Watch each week for new updates of the wonderful miracles and happenings that are going on in the mission.

Thank-you for raising such a fine son of God and sending him to us at this time. We will do our very best to look after him both spiritually and physically.

Love,

Pte. and Hna. Clegg

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh my gosh. I cannot believe it. I am leaving TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited and very nervous. Nervous of the unknown. What an awesome week this has been. We went to the park twice. Unfortunately because of the weather (and Holy Week) there weren´t a lot of people at the park. But it was still good. I got to take a few pictures (with permission mind you all).
We leave tomorrow at 5:30 in the morning, take a train to Málaga, then over to the misison home which is 45 minutes outside of central Málaga. We have been told that we will have a big meal with the President and his wife, meet our companions, etc. Then it's back to Málaga and off to wherever we´re going.
I have been independently told by two teachers that they think I´m going to Almería. Who knows, but it's fun to guess. One of the Elders is convinced he´s going to Sevilla. Also in the last month and a half 18 missionaries have left Málaga mission so we´re a HUGE replacement. That also means there´s a likely chance that our companions will be fairly young in their missions. I have no idea what will happen but I´m SO excited.
Easter has been so special. I love reading about the life of the Savior. I hope you had a wonderful Easter all of you. I love you so much. The gospel is true. I know it. I´m here because I Know it. Today our room is being re-painted so we had to move all of our stuff into a different room. All my stuff is semi-packed. Today all we have is packing, getting ready to leave, laundry, interviews, early bedtime, una fiesta esta noche with the other missionaries. (fiesta means cookies and pictures and I don´t know)
President has promised us that we can use his house in Mazatlan for our honeymoons after the mishes. That's so weird to think about. I just thought it was funny.
Life is good. I´m sure its about to get really hard but I am honestly So very excited for it.
I love you all. I pray for all of you. Expect mail very soon (I´m so so sorry). Its coming. Enjoy the pictures (I hope those are being put up as well).
More news to come soon.
Elder Kirkham
Matthew
Mateo
Matchew
and other associated names and titles I have acquired in my life
I love you all

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Euro Fresh!

That's right. I am now Euro Fresh. I have been running dangerously low on deodorant (a really scary thing) so we went to Al Campo. It's the equivalent of Wal Mart on Steroids. It was so amazingly large. Anyways, I was looking for deodorant, and I couldn´t find anything. I was wandering the beauty section for about 8 minutes. And of course I don´t know the word for deodorant nor did I want to try to explain with gestures to a sales associate that I am looking for something to put in your arm pits, however finally I found it. There was 1 row of roll-on deodorant in the ENTIRE STORE!!!!!! and it cost almost 5€. Down trodden, I was about to leave empty handed when I spied a very hip, VERY Spanish guy come up and grab.....SPRAY ON DEODORANT!!!!!! I found the answer. Oh my gosh. We have it ALL wrong. This stuff isn´t like AXE body spray. Its Deodorant. It works SOOOOOOOOO nice. I encourage everyone to partake. So yes, now I am "Euro-Fresh". Every morning I ask my companion, ¿what am I ? to which he replies, "you´re euro-fresh".
Me and my companion also have been teaching a REAL investigator this week. Last Thursday during simulations, my companion had gone on a split to go mail a letter, and he was LATE. And I was freaked out. So I sat down and started talking to this man we're going to teach. Of course it never crossed my mind that he wasn´t a member. So finally when my companion showed up I started explaining his "character" as the progressive investigator and he just looked at me so strangely. No one had told us that he was NOT a member. I felt so embarrassed. But we taught him, mostly answering questions and talking about the Book of Mormon. And then we asked if we could teach him the next night as well, so we did. It was incredible. I cannot wait to be out in the field SO SOON!!!!!! The ward missionaries are teaching him now. Hurray. I love the gospel.
but I felt like such an idiot when I just started talking about the simulation. Oh well.
This week has also been taken up by a French news station making a documentary on "a day in the life of a missionary" or something like that. It's a really huge opportunity for the Church in France and Europe. The Church is really obscure in France and Salt Lake and the Area Authorities have been working for a while on getting this approved. So yay for the Church. The Gospel is true.
Holy week in Spain is a BIG deal. We went into Sol today. EVERYTHING was closed. A few stores IN the plaza were open but everything else was closed. It was a nice day. Not too many people. And we met about 12 members while we were out. It was a good day. But this week, has been such a humbling experience. Reading about the life of the Savior this week has been so great. Tonight is recognized as the night Christ performs the atonement.
I am so grateful. I have no words to express my gratitude for my Savior. For His love and Sacrifice for each one of us. Jesus Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, so we can have peace and joy. I only wish that everyone would take some time this week to ponder on the love that Christ has for each of us. The sacrifice that encompasses all, but is directed to the individual.
This week we will sing "This is the Christ". Here are some of my favorite lines in the song:
I read his words, the words he prayed
while bearing sorrow in Gethsemane
I feel his love, the price He paid
How many drops of blood were spilled for me
With Saints of Old in joyful cry
I too can testify
This is The Christ
That's what I am here to do. I am here in Spain to testify of Christ. I cannot express the significance of Jesus Christ in my life.
My wish is to take a few minutes and think about how blessed we are. Think about the Love the Savior has for us.
I love you all, I am so happy.
On Tuesday, I will be going to the South and I will be dedicating ALL of my time to helping others come to Christ. What a great work this is.
I pray for all of you. I love all of you. And I pray for you all daily.
Vaya con Dios
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Un Dia en Madrid
Today in Madrid we were yelled at by a fat Spiderman. That, I believe was the highlight of my day. Just kidding. But we did get hollered and whistled at by an overweight superhero.
Spain is lovely as always. Lots of fun people to meet. Lots of crazy shops to see. So SO SO SO SO many people in Madrid. I am grateful that I´m not going to the Madrid mission. Put me in some remote town in the rolling hills of la Mancha. I can´t wait to get out into the field. Get away from dirty Madrid Metro. I don´t mean to be pessimistic at all. I seriously love being here but I really want to go to the mission. (and its just a fact that the Madrid metro is dirty). But I love Spain. I love the people here so much. I love the people who yell and cat call and all the other lovely things. Most people are nice to us actually. No one is blatantly rude. We´re just obviously a bunch of gringos in white shirts walking around.
Mom and Dad. You must go to Madrid. You must see the palace. You must see the Cathedral. Sol is amazing. So just start planning to come back right now. You have 2 years. I can´t believe its been two months! Wow. Crazy! The time is flying by. I´m already 1/12 of the way there. It will be sad when I have to leave. Well and happy to see you all. Maybe you all can just come to Spain? ¿Sí? Sí. Vale. Oh my. It's corrupting my speech. Everyone here says Vale. vale vale VALE!!!!! (va-lay is how you pronounce it by the way)
This week we had a Russian Elder here waiting for a visa to go through. Its been awesome. He´s been able to answer our questions about the mission field. (I should have said an American missionary who was serving in Russia) Yes. He´s cool. My English continues to ...oh dang...get worse. Oh my gosh. How ironic. My companion had to remind me how to say that (get worse)(it still sounds weird to me). That's too ironic. I decided to include that whole process for you to enjoy my stupidity in speaking English. My brain can only handle one language. I really could not remember how to spell that.
This week we ate REAL paella. Shells, rice, shrimpies with eyes and legs, tentacles etc. it was a real under the sea surprise. Also for lunch we ate the MOST delicious (my companion helped me spell that word) the most delicious fajitas today. So good. my companion and I had a dance party to some MoTab. (along with some other elders) It was fun.
The whole CCM thinks you´re Chilean. I try to explain to them that you LIVED in Chile but they don´t understand. So I go with it and let them think whatever they want. Weird Americans. Vale. vale vale vale.
I"ve been doing temple sessions in Spanish lately. Its kind of exciting. I´m understanding people a lot better every time. The problem is there are so many WEIRD accents in Madrid that I don´t understand. (yes I´m blaming the accents) its really me. I´m NOT buying souvenirs from Madrid. I´d rather find cooler stuff in Málaga. The Málaga mission is HUGE. Well its pretty big. Just the most diverse of the missions in Spain.
I only have 12 days left in Madrid. I´ll be sad but mostly excited to leave. The part of town where we live (Pavones) is kind of the poorer part of the city. But its nice because we meet lots of members who are here for the temple. ALL of the buildings are made with the SAME RED BRICKS. It's kind of cool, but at the same time anyways, its cool because there's red red red red WHITE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!! red red red red, so i like it. Madrid is also beautiful at night. The city is set up on hills so all the really tall buildings are all different levels. Its beautiful. I wish I could remember cool things. but I can´t. I love you. I´m trying to instill a desire to go to Spain in you guys.
But I am doing very well. This Week has been so good. I love being a missionary.
The gospel is true. I love you all. I pray for you all
Elder Kirkham

Friday, April 8, 2011

The French Invasion

I am tired today. I´ve been having a rough time sleeping the last couple of nights. I´ll write my REAL email later. A new district of French missionaries have come in this week. No one speaks French, they don´t speak Spanish, they kind of speak English, the translator apparently knows Spanish but doesn't understand when I speak to him. But he speaks English pretty well. The Italians have left. I miss them. Oh and the other Americans left too. And my dear Elder Wilkinson from Lovely old Leads England. jajaja He was so funny.

I just got 40 € hurray! (thank you padres for the money) I shall go see some lovely museum or buy some delicious candy. Oh my gosh Spanish candy is SOOOOOO good.

The most troubling food here is a lot of sea critters still have eyes or other distinguishable body parts. No me gusta.

I really hope you guys are reading ALL of the emails I´m sending (I get to send multiple emails on p-day) so make sure you read them all.

Conference was Amazing. This was our schedule.

Spain Time Utah Meeting
Saturday Afternoon Live Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning Priesthood

Sunday Afternoon Saturday Afternoon

Sunday Night Live Sunday Morning

Monday Morning Sunday Afternoon

And I switched off English and Spanish. We had it playing English, Spanish and Italian (in different rooms)

But since there was only one Native Spanish speaker I went and watched most of conference with him so he didn´t have to watch alone.

Oh and on our "grounds" we have the Temple, Stake center (separate building), our building which has: 1 floor-distribution center, 2nd/3rd floor apartments and hostel for temple workers and travelling temple patrons, 4th floor-CCM classrooms and offices, 5th floor- rooms (the kind that we live in) and 6th floor-comedor where we eat) and president´s room (where the president sleeps)

Well, I´ll tell you about more exciting things later.

love you all

Elder Kirkham (Kirjam pronounced keer-ham. I don´t know why they pronounce the American "h" and skip the "k" altogether. Whatever, that's my name here)






So this week the other two districts left. It was very sad but very exciting at the same time. General Conference was AMAZING!!!!!!! The Music was AMAZING. The talks were AMAZING! yes. It was a very good conference.

¡¡¡¡Feliz Cumpleaños!!!! to All those in April. Happy Birthday Sharlene. Happy Birthday Abe. Happy Birthday Jamie. Happy Birthday Megan. Happy Birthday to the others in April. (April is a busy month). Happy Birthday to you all, I love you all so much.

The stamp shortage continues. NO ONE HAS STAMPS!!!!!!!!!! We were supposed to get stamps yesterday but alas. Nada. So were praying that mañana the stamps will arrive. We haven´t been able to find anywhere to buy stamps. So I still have my fat stack of letters. They´re coming I promise They´re coming!!!!!!! I love you all so much. I promise it's the stamps I WANT to send them so bad. Today I went with my fake companion to the chiropractor (however you spell that) and I waited while his rib got put back into place.

There's now us 6 going to Malaga, 2 newbies going to Barcelona, 2 Elders from French Polynesia going to France, and an Elder and Sister from Belgium (yay for David and his Belgiumness) going to France as well. Things are pretty laid back here. We work but it feels like home. I love the president and his wife, they´re awesome. They remind me a lot of you guys (mom and dad). Sometimes President will just come into our class and answer any of our questions. It's so awesome.

I feel terrible about these letters. I´m trying hard to get them out.

It's getting harder, I´m getting antsier to leave for the field. I like Madrid, but all the people are city people. It's just a different mindset. I can´t wait to start serving the people in Málaga (area). I tried sending pictures. I hope they will work. I love the temple. I love being a missionary. I am just SO HAPPY. I love the gospel. I love the Lord. I am so grateful for the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ.

This week, I have just been so tired. I don´t know why. There's nothing really that exciting that has happened this week. I love you all. I´m praying for you all. Please know that I love you and that you are so important to me. This work is so important. The Gospel makes us happy. Families are so important. I love you all so much.

Elder Kirkham

Love you SO SO SO SO SO much.