Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wow. Oh boy has it been hot. Except today its raining? What?
Strange things are afoot in Sevilla Spain. There have been a lot of student protests lately. We´ve walked into 2 in the last week and a half. Hmmmmmm I really don´t know what to write today.
Yesterday we received a reference at Church. A man from the other ward came up to us and asked if we could visit a woman is the hospital. She had just given birth, but her child was born still born. He said she was just devastated. But she told him that two missionaries had talked to her in the street and told her that they would call her, but never did. And now she wanted those missionaries to come talk to her. What a humbling experience. This woman who had just gone through so much, what I would imagine one of the hardest things to go through in this life, and she ASKS for the missionaries (2 young immature kids) to come talk to her. This work is SOOOOO much more than two 19 year olds walking around talking about Jesus. This is the Lord´s work.
His plan for us is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Preach my Gospel says that Our trials do one of two things. Bring us closer to God, or farther away from Him. I think how dumb I´ve been. How easily I can get mad at God for DUMB things, and this woman she asks for Him.
When we came she told us that the missionaries gave her a card that said, "La fe trae esperanza" "Faith brings hope". She still remembers that simple simple phrase. But that phrase holds so much meaning. Its true. Faith brings hope in spite of everything. I just cry thinking about this woman. I could hardly keep from crying in the hospital yesterday.
If there's ONE thing that I want from my mission with these people of Spain, its that these people know how much I LOVE them. I LOVE them ALL. I can´t help but love them.
I don´t know what else to type. Know that I am SOOOOO Supremely HAPPY!!! Know that I love these people here in Spain. Know that I love you all and I PRAY for you all. You are all so important. Don´t EVER EVER forget how IMPORTANT you ALL are to ME and to God. NEVER EVER EVER (I¨M YELLING NOW) NEVER!!!! Forget.
I love you all. I´m sorry I am such a terrible letter writer. But I think of you all.
Elder Kirkham

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 23, 2011

Wow. Last week we went to the Catedral. WOW. Amazing. I can´t believe I´ve been here a MONTH!!!!!!!! That's SOOOO crazy. I can´t send pictures on this computer I wish I could. This week has been amazing!!!! We´ve met so many people. Sevilla has 9 baptismal fechas!!!!!! Not bad for 6 missionaries in Europe. And we´re aiming towards more. Its the BEST reward EVER to see how the gospel changes people´s lives. WOW.
One of our investigators is doing her doctorate in Biology. (wow) She is SO intelligent. And she asked us to come over and translate something from English that she wants to use (yikes) luckily I have a companion who has been speaking Spanish for a year. So while they translated, I sat on the couch talking to her husband who is AWESOME. He´s a history teacher and he LOVES music. He showed me all of his music collections, we discussed languages, art, he had me read the poems he wrote in college. jaja. It was so Cool. It probably sounds really dorky but it was exactly the little burst of my old life that I needed to keep me going. He was so cool. He gave us some cd´s with Bach´s organ works on it (I told him I learned to play the organ) and it was so cool. He´s this awesome guy but the past elders just didn´t click with him so well. They´re such a cool couple. And they told us we can use their beachfront home in Columbia if we´re ever down there. They live in the nicer suburbs of Sevilla by the way.
I found one of the coolest black ladies as well. And life is awesome. There's really not much else to say. About me BUT...
Jennifer and Stuart!!!!!!!!!!! I´m so excited for you guys!!!!!!!! That's so GREAT!!!!!! Send me some pictures as soon as you can please!!!!!! I´m just so excited for you guys. And I noticed that the little girl´s name is Emma. It seems you beat Andy and Rachael to that name! But I´m so glad for you guys.
And Mom. I bet you're so happy that Seminary is over. I´m glad it finished up well. I always liked the last week of seminary. A little bit of nostalgia but really excited for the summer break at the same time. Perfect combination for really spiritual classes.
Dad, wow. You're great. Renovating a shower on top of everything. That's great. We just had ward conference here yesterday as well. It was great.
It seems like I think of a lot of things when I say- Oh i have to remember to talk about that in my email- but I forget them all.
The bread here is amazing. Our schedule is changing soon.

wake up 730
companionship study at 9
leave at 10
come back at 2
personal study at 3
language study at 4 leave at 5
home by 1030
bed by 1130

and someone please look up how hot 50 degrees Celsius is
what is 45 degrees to 50 degrees. because that's how hot it gets and I don't know Celsius
I love you all. May you all eat Nutella and read the scriptures. There is true happiness
love
Elder Kirkham

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh MOM! I loved this last letter!!!!
I am so excited for everything that's happening. It's crazy (and of course true) that life keeps going on other places while I´m over here. Crazy different world. Different life. But so amazing. I love getting everyone's emails!!!! They make me so happy. Time is really a strange relative here. It doesn´t really measure in my head correctly. Its also CRAZY how easy it is to feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD and then so quickly so disapointed just a while later. We can have a GREAT lesson and feel so positive and then for whatever reason the world beats you down. But you struggle through the hard times to enjoy the happy ones. That is a huge lesson I´m learning.
This last PDay we went to Córdoba to la mesquita. Oh my GOSH. What an AMAZING building!!!!! Its this Moorish mosque that was taken over by the early Catholic Church and they put a HUGE cathedral in the center of this obviously Arabic-influenced building. WOW I think that's been the coolest thing I´v seen so far. We´re going today to the Catedral in Sevilla. I´m so excited. There's SO much to see here. MOM we MUST come back so you can see everything.
Also. There are gypsies EVERYWHERE. There this one woman who I feel so bad for her. She stands everyday outside of our piso and asks for money. And we´ve been told that we are NOT allowed to give money to anyone just because it can be dangerous if word gets out that the American missionaries have money... so that's the rule. And I mean we´ve seen her with beer and cigarettes anyways but I still feel so bad for her. There are SO many poor people where we live. It is so humbling and sad and makes me so grateful for what I have to see how people struggle so much, how some people have so little.
WE ARE ALSO MOVING PISOS!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The work in Sevilla is going GREAT!!!!
Wow its amazing. When I first got here, things were looking kind of grim to be honest (bright future, but not a lot of success at the start) we set the goal of having 6 baptism fechas (dates) by the end of the transfer. Good goal to work hard for. Two weeks later I was feeling disheartened, still only had 1 progressing investigator. This week. We have 6 progressing investigators ALL with REALLY good prospects towards baptism. It is amazing how the Lord works. I don´t want to sound like a crazy missionary who only cares about baptisms. I really care about these people. Loving these people is essential. I wouldn't work all this time for them if I didn´t care for them. We are truly seeing miracles here in Sevilla.
Its easy to feel discouraged. But the Lord has told us to have faith. Faith is a HOPE of things to come. Missionaries RUN on faith. I am so tired. Everyday. Honestly the only thing keeping me going is my love for the people and my faith that through our WORK the Lord will bless and change their lives.
I love being a missionary. This last week has FLOWN by. Honestly the first two weeks were SOOOOO long. But WOW. When you get into the work, you just GO.
I love all of you so much. You are so important! Please everyone who reads this know how IMPORTANT you are. You´re important to me. You are important to God.
Also please know that I KNOW that God lives. Jesus Christ Is our Savior. When times get tough He is there for us. Always. He WANTS us to come unto Him.
I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true. The words are true. The lessons we learn are true. The means by which it was written, preserved and translated for us today really occurred. If I could ask one thing from everyone it would be to please read the Book of Mormon. Read the introduction. Find a copy somewhere and read the introduction please. I love that Book so much. I want you all to know how long I spend EVERY DAY defending the sacredness of that Book. What missionaries ALL over the world have to go through, have to hear, and experience, the yelling, the gestures, the crimes. Everything for SOME BOOK? Only because I KNOW that its true. Just know how important it is to me. Its not just some book. I say this not to offend, or criticize, but to tell you all who I love; why I do what I do.
I love you all, I hope what I say hasn´t made anyone feel offended. You are all so important to me. I love you all. And I pray for all of you.
Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sevilla oh Sevilla
May 9, 2011

I just want to start off saying that I love the members here. SO much. They are awesome. Just great. And black people. I love black people a lot. They always like talking to missionaries. I also LOVE talking to my family. I was so happy yesterday to talk to you guys. Happy Mother´s Day otra vez. And also hearing wonderful news about Jennifer and Stuart!!! That's so exciting.
Today we are going to Cordoba -we´re going to la mesquita. Then were going to flood the streets of Cordoba with missionaries, well kind of not really. We´re going to help the Elders find more contacts. It will be good. Then tomorrow is Zone conference here in Sevilla. And my companion from the CCM will be staying with us and then be my temporary companion while our REAL companions go to Almeria to pick up Residency cards. Yay. I can´t wait to be a part of the European Union legally!!! So we´ll be companions for a few days. That will be fun.
We set a fecha this week (fecha=date) for one of our investigators. She´s working on her doctorate in Biology. It's a huge project. She´s been following and working on some crazy new idea (which I can´t understand in Spanish but it sounds pretty cool). So she's really busy but we´ve set a date for June 10th ¡¡¡yay!!!
Life is great. Life is hard. Its great because its hard and hard because its great. We met with a less active woman who was telling us her testimony. She had to lie to her mother (who was a member) so she could go to church. She´d rollerblade to the garage where they used to meet and go to church in her street clothes so her mom wouldn't find out. Still she had her testimony. She still has a testimony. She´s had a lot of troubles in her life (ex husband troubles) but she still has this amazing testimony of the gospel. We´re working with her to come to church. She wants to. I think SHE must feel embarrassed for what her husband did-that's my theory. So we´re just trying to show that we love her and that the Atonement can help her move on with her life for the better.
Oh I love being a missionary. The good times like that make it all worth it. The members who sacrifice so much to help us, to feed us, to help the church, to support their families, fulfill their callings. All that makes it WORTH it. It is HARD, but worth every second. I love the members here. I love the people here. I love the man who tries to tell our fortune in the street. I love the gypsies that follow us around for money. I love the man who yells in my face and tells me that God doesn´t exist- I love them because I know God DOES exist. That those people are important to Him, so they are important to me. That EVERY person is a child of God and has a purpose and a plan that extends far beyond our life here on earth. I KNOW this. I´m here because I KNOW this. I love my heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. They love us and give us the blessings of modern day prophets who help us to know God´s will, for the scriptures that also tell us God´s will. The Book of Mormon is true. Please read it. Please take the time to thank God, and to thank all those who have given their lives so we can enjoy the blessings and the knowledge of the Restored Gospel. I Know its true. That is my testimony and the truth and WHY I am here.
I love you all and I pray for you all Every day.
Elder Kirkham
Friends (all friends) who are at school please EMAIL me you addresses so I can send these letters. I´ve lost a lot of addresses. I don´t know where you are living after school has ended. Even if you think I know it just send it anyways please. I have letters. Megan Lewis I have NO address for you. Which troubles me I don´t know where it is. And BYU people I don´t know where you're living. I won't send you my address yet because we're trying to move but email me at
I wont email you back but I will receive your emails. Love you all
Elder Mateo
May 2, 2011
Dearest Mother and Family and Friends.
Greetings from..................................................¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡SEVILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I´m in Sevilla, my first area. Oh my gosh. Sevilla is amazing. There's 6 missionaries in Sevilla. There's 2 hermanas and 4 Elders. My trainer's name in Elder Fagersten and we live with Elder Stanley and Elder Walton (who was in the CCM with me). There's about 800,000 people in Sevilla (so I have been told). The city is huge. Not as big a Madrid but its still a city. We live in a po-dunk apartment. The walls are literally crumbling, the floor is broken, every surface is wet (from the humidity and rain) there's heavy bars on our windows, we heard gunshots last night, we have to avert our eyes if we leave the apartment-due to some interesting shops- we sleep in crickety old beds with almost no hot water, And I am SO happy to be here. I honestly love being a missionary. We live just down the street from the Chapel and a lot of investigators. Everything is great.
Spain is Flourishing!!! Whoever says you can´t baptize in Europe is WRONG!! An apostle (I´m sorry I don´t remember who) said that Spain is going to flourish now. Over the next few years the church is going to EXPAND!!!!! And starting in Spain the church is going to Start to REALLY spread through Europe. So exciting. Everyone is so excited!!!! The atmosphere is great here.
My second day here was spent on splits in Córdoba. (which is an amazing city and I really hope I get to go back there) so time was really scarce this week. Elder Fagersten and Elder Stanley are Zone leaders and have meetings and interviews and intercambios and everything. So now its me and Elder Walton in Sevilla. Our companions have left until Wednesday. Yikes. So please extra prayers for us while they're gone. We did manage to find our way home from the train station so we can read bus maps. We´ll be fine. If we have faith we will have the help of the Lord.
The work is literally growing. We have lots of future investigators, progressing investigators, and are probably going to set some baptisms this week. I LOVE being a missionary. So great. Its weird though because we got here in the middle of a transfer so, I really hope we don't get moved after 2 weeks. That would stink.
The members are so nice to us. I won´t give you an address because we´re trying to find a new piso (apartment) so I don´t want you to send letters to our old one. We have been told that we have the worst piso in the mission. (which I´m sure is still better that anything Andy lived in).
Andalusian is the HARDEST accent to understand. The Lord sent me here to REALLY make me learn and grow. Take Spanish (a new language) speed it up x10 and then take out the last 1/3 of every word. And there you have Andalusian accent. Oh my. I love this place so much. No joke. Every days I am just so grateful for this chance to teach people the gospel and get to know so many AMAZING people.
I love you all. Sorry this is a shorter email. Good things to come. I´m praying for you
Elder Kirkham