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