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