Monday, December 24, 2012

My favorite family that we found in Málaga got baptized this Saturday.

Karina, Jesus and Maxi. Tender Mercies of the Lord.
Well ¡Feliz Navidad a todos!

Feliz Nochebuena. That's what they call Christmas Eve. Nochebuena. the "Good Night". And what a good night it is. The night when we think about our Savior´s birth. I´m adding a link to one of the newest church videos. My Favorite Christmas song, set to my favorite videos of the Savior´s life played for you by THE PIANO GUYS. It's so beautiful.

They played it for us at the Special Christmas Zone Conference. (has a year REALLY passed since the last one?) 

I just love the lyrics to this song. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, oh, Israel. Emmanuel has come. I know it. And He will come again. How appropriate that Emmanuel means "God with Us". 

I love the scriptures. I will spend tonight reading the beautiful Christmas Story. I Know Christ came as the Son of God to the Earth. I will forever be grateful to Him for what He has done for me and All of us. Here´s just a little piece of the lyrics.

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight.

That's the hope He gives us. I am so grateful for our Savior. 

Have a very Merry Christmas. I really hope you all can ponder on all the blessings that we enjoy. And for the greatest blessing. The greatest gift. God gave us His Son. 

I´ll see you all very soon. I´m so excited to talk to you all tomorrow. I think I´ll be calling at 6 o clock MY time. Which I believe is 9 o clock your time. I hope that's not too early. 

Feliz Navidad. Espero que podáis sentir el amor de nuestro Salvador esta Navidad. Os quiero muchísimo.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello Family. Happy Almost Christmas
I´ve titled this letter a Cadbury Christmas for a few reasons:

1. In the English Supermarket we went and found Cadbury Christmas Chocolate Calendars. Every day I don my British accent to open the little windows that give chocolate. It's the best start to the day.

2. We´ve eaten with two of the British families/couples this week. Its been just lovely speaking with them and eating their boring English food. But it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. They play English Christmas Music. I love it. Tea time with Sister Penny Smith.

3. Translating for the British couples is so fun. I have to switch between languages a lot because of the different speakers and teachers. But mostly I translate into English. 

4. After much consideration and prayer and chats with President. I´ve decided to come home in February. President basically told me "elder, Do whatever you want to. It doesn't matter." And I feel like I´m slowly dying inside. Energy and drive wise not literally. I just feel tired tired tired and cold. I think it's just getting time. I have NO IDEA what I´ll do for so much time before going back to school. That's the downfall. But I just feel like it's time. So my official release date (in the church system now) is February 7th. Yep. It's done. I now have about 7 weeks left. That's all. 

In other news. Elder Hunt has been here this last week. I think I commented that last week. He was just going to stay a few days but he came back after going to Málaga. He finally left this morning. I love Elder Hunt. He was a key influence in the February switch.

This week is the Special Christmas zone conference. It is also my last zone conference. Which means it will be my dying testimony. I CANNOT believe almost two years have passed. And it's been THREE since I was in High School. AHHHHHHHHHH.

I was looking at Classes with Elder Hunt. We printed off the spring class list and went through it all. I will probably room with him in the Spring. Or at least that's the current plan. 

There's a special Spanish major that's designed to be a double major. And I´m very interested in it. It is about 25-30 credits I believe. I could probably test out of a few classes. I´m still lost as to what my major will be. But I have time.
I´ll send you a definite class schedule before February 1. Which is just a few days before I come home. AHHHHHHH

I have no idea what we´ll be doing for Christmas, or Christmas skype. Tell me the best time for you guys to talk. 

We had a dinner for Family night this week. Everyone brought a typical dish form their country. It was fun. I made croquetas even though i´m not Spanish. eeh hee hee

This week we will sing (branch choir) in the town square and hand out book of Mormons and other material to people. After we will have the Branch Christmas dinner. It should be fun. I love Christmas.

Well I think that's all. I love you all. Have a good week before Christmas. It's the best time of the year.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello From Torrevieja. A much Happier and less tired hello to be specific.

Torrevieja is a funny place. I don't know what to think about it. I like it, but it's weird. 

Yesterday I Translated ALL THREE HOURS of Church. I finally got to use a microphone. Since there's so many English people here they have a really nice translating microphone and headsets. It was really fun. I think being here is going to help my English grammar a lot. 

Translating old Scottish man jokes into Spanish is REALLY HARD!

My new companion, Elder Neira, is funny. He's just FULL OF ENERGY and I feel like the old man. He's from Ecuador, but he was living a long time in Barcelona. He knows Elder Rodriguez III my hijo. They were in the same stake back home in Barça (Barcelona en Catalan) gross ...shiverrrr....

Here, The people learn Valenciano (from Valencia) which is a dialect of Castellano (Spanish) but no one speaks it here in Torrevieja. Or really anywhere. It's just like state pride- make our children learn our useless language. hahaha

I´ve been feeling really worn out this last week. I´ve been talking to President Deere a lot these last few days. I kind of went crazy this week. He was helping me be a hollow reed. Talking about the area and such missionary things.

We bought a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree and decorated it with the ornaments you send me last year.

Please don't feel obligated to send me anything. I´m an old, dying, crotchety missionary. I really don't need anything. 

I´ve been discussing/pondering again going home in February. Yes, I think I´m going crazy. I´m getting really worn out. We´ll see. I have to consult President. He's being a huge help. I love Him and Hermana Deere. I got to talk to them both last night. Just like talking to mom and dad. They're great.

Elder Hunt. One of the greatest. He's here with us a few days while his comp is in Madrid getting his wisdom teeth out.  Its been fun.
He's in my group and it's fun to catch up after a long time. He's contributing to my desire to go home with him and the rest of my group. We'll see.

I'm seriously considering taking a Latin class at BYU. As in the language. It seems appropriate for either music or Spanish and I just find it very interesting.

I´m also getting Elder Hunt to do it with me.

IT IS REALLY COLD HERE. My hands are freezing as I type.

The branch is really fun. It's basically the same size as Sanlúcar. The majority are from South America. The other majority is from the UK. Old retired Brits. hahahaha

Our piso is nice. It has electric heating instead of buying the giant gas tanks every few weeks. It's such a luxury. The showers are always hot.

I sleep in a very large bed. Veteran Missionary. jajaja

We are far away from other areas. Which is kind of sad. It was nice seeing other missionaries all the time in Málaga. But alas those days are gone.

We had branch Choir practice last night. It reminded me of Heritage Oak Choir. jajaja And made me miss Men´s Chorus.

I love you so much. Have a great week.

Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Well. After a sad phone call from President Deere. I am being transferred.

Due to the present lack of missionaries in the mission they are taking all Double companionships out. Meaning they're only leaving one companionship per ward or branch. That mean Adios Elder Kirkham.

My new area and probably dying area is

Torrevieja in Alicante. Its a branch.

I don't know what else to write. 
Its really cold. REALLY REALLY COLD!!!!!!!!!!

I've been a little under the weather lately. But not so bad. Just feeling a little blech. 

Elder Rodriguez is going to a different ward in Alicante. They're splitting us up.

I´m going with a pretty new missionary. His name is Elder Neira. I don't know him. Just that he's a native speaker.

I better be able to test out of a bunch of classes after having so many native companions. I honestly think I´m one of the missionaries that has had the most native comps.

Juan, one of our investigators informed us that he thinks he might already be baptized in our church......we'll have to call Salt Lake.

Carina and her family cried when we told them we were leaving. So did I. They told us that they´re getting baptized.

Same with Rolando. Minus the fact that he´s baptized.

My comp and I picked olives last Friday. It was freezing and rainy. We ended up going inside because the wind had blown all of the olives off. How sad. But it was still fun.

I feel just a little bitter (not angry) just a little bitter about transfers. But asi es la vida misional.

Andy sigue siendo un cara-culo por haber traducido mis tonterías. Y sé como hablan los hondureños porque hay dos sirviendo aqui en Málaga conmigo. Cara-culico. es broma.

I laughed my bum off last night with a recent convert family. They are hilarious.

We (all the elders in Málaga, but not the hermanas because they didn't want to come) climbed the mountain of Málaga this morning and saw the sunrise. It was really cool. We could see all of our pueblos.

I keep forgetting what Christmas is. And what month we're in. 

What does spinach dip taste like?
I don't remember.

I was scolded by an old Spanish paco because I was leaning against a tree and there was a piece of trash on the ground by my feet. OBVIOUSLY that means that I left it there. (tonto) He put a dumb face on and pointed at the trash can 2 feet away. I, in hiking clothes, responded in Spaniard fashion with arms in the air. Its not mine! Then he hobbled away.

I´m tired. 

We found an American store. The guy gave us free skittles because he likes Americans and he lived in San Francisco. I told him I lived right next to San Fran.....(well for Spaniards, I live right next to San Fran)....

I keep forgetting I´m 21. I feel like an old missionary. 

I´m really sad to leave Málaga. I haven't been in the best mood this weekend. The sickyness isn't helping.

Poor President, he said he felt bad and was sorry he had to move us.

Oh well, the Lord has His purposes. I guess I just have to feel a little bitter to learn this lesson though.
I started looking at BYU classes and schedules. 

I think I'll just stay in Spain for another year or so.

I´m sorry for my sassyness. I´m just not feeling well. 

I don't know what else to write. Sorry if I forgot anyone's Birthday. I love you all.

The tired, sassy Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hello family. How is everyone?

I´ve just been a little crazy lately. I don't know why. And I´m really tired. 

It's been a good week. It went by amazingly fast.

SO as I was telling you last week we had THANKSGIVING!!!!! It was great!!!!! SO much Fun!
We had mashed taters precious, stuffing, turkey, gravy, jello, pies, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, fruit salad, creamed corn, I don't remember what else, ice cream.

THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD!!!  My companion was in AWE!!!!!!
It was so much fun!
 Everyone LOVED it and I said, "you have to thank my mom for this or I wouldn't know how to do it."
I got to have a really good interview with President Deere. He´s awesome. I love being a missionary.

So, while preparing and planning the feast, I admit I got a little trunky, along with the fact that some of my best friends on the mission are leaving in a week. And I thought I need to look at BYU stuff.

So today I got onto BYU (with permission) to look at sign up dates and possible classes, just to browse and get a little taste.  To my horror I found I COULD NOT REMEMBER ANYTHING about my Log-in. And I don't remember how to find ANYTHING on the website. I felt so helpless. But registration starts on Feb 1 I think...for Spring semester and I believe classes start April 30. Which means I'll be sitting at home for OVER A MONTH!!!!!!!


I can't do that!!!!!!!! I Have to go to Utah and sleep on Craig´s couch and find a job or SOMETHING but I am NOT sitting at home for a MONTH!!!!! no no no no no sorry mama. I love you but I know who lazy Matthew is. no no no no and I doubt I can find a job in Cali for a month. no no no I have to leave Roseville.

I know. I´ll just come back to Spain. Problem Solved. Who else wants to come? (and pay for me)

I can't believe you're taking a NORTHERN EUROPE Cruise in the summer? ¿Ehtái Loco? Hay que ver. Con el guapo que es Ehpaña especialmente Andalucía y ¿queréi ir al NORTE de Europa? Mi propio padre. Se le va la olla. Ehtái toho tocao.  (written in Andaluz)   {probable translation:   Are you crazy?  [I don’t think you mean the literal translation of “Hai que ver”, I’d guess something like “oh, my gosh” would get the meaning right].  With how beautiful Spain is, especially Andalucia, and you want to go to NORTHERN EUROPE?!  My own father?  Such is life.  You guys are crazy [I think].}

If anyone can translate that, I shall be very impressed.   {Translation thanks to Andy!}

How bout you drop me off in Spain and you can continue your trip to the North then on your way back you can pick me up :*

So this new family who we started teaching is awesome. We had 7 investigators in church today. They all loved it! The youngest son wants to get baptized. The mom wants to learn more, normal. They're so cool.

I don't remember what else happened. I´m going olive picking this week as a service to a family who is in charge of an olive vineyard or orchard? yo que sé. 

Well, I love you. I´m glad you are all good and are now a few pounds fatter. Me too.

Have a great week.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hello Family!!! Thank you for your Birthday Wishes and for the lovely letter with the lovely pictures.

My comps are all jealous of my funny creative family. I mean ANYONE can send candy but only the KIRKHAM family can do their picture presents. Needless to say I LOVED IT!!!! Thank you. I love you all.

I especially loved the special "#2" candle on the cake? What is that. I love it.

SO this Thursday is Turkey day. And seeing as it isn't a Catholic holiday, it isn't celebrated in Spain. And the fact that it's an AMERICAN holiday, And it just so happens that the Málaga Zone specialized training this month happens to fall on THIS THURSDAY!!!!!!! YAYA!!!!! So the Hermanas and Elder KitKat decided that we should of COURSE CELEBRATE IT WITH THE WHOLE ZONE!!!!!! YAYA!!!!!!!

Then once we started putting things into action the hermanas said, "how ´bout YOU do it Elder Kirkham". So the hermanas dumped it on me......
Just call me domestic. (thanks mom) SO me and Hermana Deere are planning the big Thanksgiving Lunch after the meeting. Being in Málaga is the best. Every companionship is going to bring something. Hermana Spainhower is going to make her delicious rolls. Mormon rolls. I´m waiting on Hermana Deere to call if she will cook the turkey. It's going to be good. Needless to say.

What else.

We found an AWESOME NEW FAMILY!!!!! They're so cool. It's a mom and two sons. They are just super interested. The younger son has WEIRD questions that make me laugh but oh well. They're excited to come to church this Sunday.

We set some baptismal dates with the husband and daughter of a member in one of our pueblos. (they're not members) They're ready to be baptized. Now we´re just trying to help the older daughter feel the spirit. She's 14 and she's this really funny punk rock vampire kind of girl but she's super funny. She has half of her head shaved but she really likes the Book of  Mormon and she LOVES when the missionaries come. It's hilarious. And she calls me hipster every time I go over there.

Also with another family of members, we set a date with their cousin who moved in a few weeks ago. He´s already been to church twice and loves it. He told us "I already know that this is the right path" super prepared. The Lord is blessing us.

Yesterday was Stake conference in Granada. Elder Richards came and reorganized the stake presidency. The new stake president is from our ward. I don't remember if I told you about the man from Switzerland who´s married to a Spanish lady. We went to their house a few weeks ago. The whole family speaks FLUENT German, Spanish AND English. It was AMAZING!!!!! And they speak to their dog ONLY in German. hahahahaha it was so weird. They´re a super good family. Really disciplined but super nice. He´s the new stake president. I know he´ll do great. And I KNOW that the area presidency and mission president will LOVE that he speaks English. hahahaha

I also got to see elder PEARCE at the conference. He´s serving in Granada so he was there as well. I LOVE ELDER PEARCE!!!!! He´s the best.

Elder Richards and His wife are so amazing. Elder Richards speaks fluent Spanish but his wife uses a translator. She has a general authority voice. Calm super sweet, and expressive. I love them. They told us that the first presidency is VERY worried about the youth. In the Saturday night session he showed us a new website that the church  made for the youth. It's really cool.

It rained SO MUCH here in Málaga. A lot of areas flooded for a few hours. There are a LOT of neighborhoods without power. We had to walk down a scary forest path in the dark last night in a pueblo to get to a cita because the street lights were out.

I think that's about it. I´m planning to eat taco bell today for my birthday and continue with thanksgiving preparations.

I love you all so much. I´m glad that I´m here still after 21 years. hahaha
It's funny because in the United States 21 is HUGE because you can drink. Well I´m in Spain where you can drink at 18, and I´m a missionary so I´m not planning on drinking anyways. I think its funny.

Ok love you all.

Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So its the end of my first transfer here in Málaga.

The time has FLOWN BY!!!!!!

At the beginning of the year we set the goal to baptize 404 people before the end of the year. Well mom you said that your primary class got all the way to the bishop's office with their paper scripture chain and its ONLY NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!

Well, similar things have happened in Málaga this year for the missionaries. 

WE MET OUR GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We reached the goal of 404 baptisms!!!!!!!! AND ITS ONLY NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

President Deere is really excited because we met our goal before the big two groups leave before Christmas and. . .

because now we can work and GIVE OUR HEARTS TO THE LORD. We are not going to set another goal. Our goal is to give all the rest of our time over to the Lord and work from our hearts because we love the people and not just to meet goals and numbers. 

I love the idea. 

We are teaching a family in one of our pueblos. The mom was baptized in Argentina as a teenager but for a LONG time didn´t go to church. Her and her husband moved to Spain and they have their two daughters here. We are teaching the older daughter and the husband. They're really cool. I love that family. The little girl who´s 8 is probably one of the funniest little girls in Spain. She´s "sassy" like you would say mom. But shes really sweet at other times. Every Sunday when she sees me, she glares at me and sometimes sticks out her tongue then runs up and gives me a waist hug (FYI- I do NOT hug her back) but I don't complain either. I Love little kids. She's so funny. I don't know why but I think David and Tyler would think she was funny. She just makes me think of that funny, funny choir class we taught. Such funny little kids. 

The primary was so fun. The program went well. One of the kids who I talked about a few weeks ago who played angry birds with me  sat next to me on the stand. All the kids had ribbons on their wrists- red yellow and blue (primary colors) so this kid (Ismael) was sitting next to me and untied his ribbon and put it in his mouth about 20 seconds then took it out slowly and slapped my leg with his slobbery red ribbon. He just laughed, and I looked into the audience at his family. They had seen the whole thing and were laughing too.

Last night the Spainhowers (senior couple) invited the 4 of us to dinner because it's his last week. They made roast beef with potatoes and carrots, homemade rolls, fruit salad, homemade cheesecake and sweet orange rolls. It was SOOOOOOO good. Then they sent us home with ALL of the leftovers. They are SUCH good people. They remind me of MY sweet grandparents who I love so so much. Perfect examples of dedicated disciples of Christ. Sister Spainhower is actually from Honeyville and knows Marbles from that area (and Tremonton) (I think that's how you spell it)

I love the mission. HOW CAN I BE MORE CHRISTLIKE? HOW CAN I BE MORE DEDICATED AND DILIGENT? I´m trying to do more and change every day. I Love the Savior and His gospel. I Love serving in His vineyard. I Love being PART of something Greater than just me. I Love being part of the Lord's work. Coming on a mission has not only CHANGED ME completely but it has let me be part of this GREAT WORK! Being a missionary has done more with my life than I could EVER have done on my own. I have seen REAL MIRACLES on my mission and I KNOW that God lives and that He LOVES US so much. He sent His SON to give us the chance to become better and return to Him. Jesus Christ Loves us and is our Savior.  

I am doing so so well. Tonight we're going to Fuengirola to the mission home to do the second part of training. The FOLLOW-UP I suppose. (How´s this rascal Elder Kirkham doing?)

I love you all and I pray for you all. 

Elder Kirkham

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear Family,

I have very little time but I´ll just share a few things with you from this week.

I ripped my pants while getting into a member´s car. Luckily it was a clean rip down the seam (just came undone) so on Sunday morning, with my handy skills learned from watching project runway, I quickly re-sewed it with human hair. Ok not really. It just seemed like some weird "fashion" thing that you would see on that show. I just used thread made by the Chinese.

It was Halloween (Happy Birthday Craig) How old are you? 31? or something like that. hee hee hee (says the fly with the corn bread) We were invited to the ward Halloween party. I put a paper scar on my forehead, wrapped a bathrobe around me with a paper pinned on the back that said "capa de invisibilidad" (invisibility cloak) and covered KIRKHAM on my name tag with POTTER. I think you can get the hint.

I think I´ll be remembered better now in Málaga as Elder Potter more than Elder Kirkham.

Málaga continues being beautiful. It has rained most of the week. Me and Elder Rodriguez moved our beds around in the bedroom so they all were in a row and made a fort using the lamp, bunk bed, curtain, and a bed frame on its side. And of course a good supply of dirty blankets. Just add an old stale muffin, a flashlight and some scary stories. That's what happened on Halloween night.

I´m still not sure why the Spanish word for muffin is magdalena. Crazy Spaniards.

We´ve been living like gypsies this last week because we had NO MONEY!!!!!!!! The day we got money was the dang useless catholic holiday AFTER Halloween-- All Saints Day. So we had money but EVERYTHING was closed.

But I'm not complaining.

Rolando is doing really well. He´s getting the priesthood so we've been teaching him about the priesthood.

I´ve been EATING UP the past conference magazines we have in our pisos. I LOVE conference!!!!!!!!! I forget about so much stuff.

We are teaching a GIANT family from the Dominican Republic. Almost all of the members are members of the church. The uncle or cousin (I'm not sure) came to church yesterday as did the father of one of our investigators that says he's not interested in the church. (he came but his daughter didn't) ¡Hay que ver!

Supposedly the missionary department has decided to DOUBLE the number of missionaries in Spain. I don't know if we're special or if its going on all over the world. Well, we ARE special but we gotta give the rest of the world a hand.

Primary is great.

Now the youth presidencies have asked me to help put a youth choir together for a Christmas performance. Thank you mom for making me stay in Piano lessons.
Who´da thought they´d come in handy?

I can't remember anything else. It was a rough week missionary work wise. But paso a paso Step by Step

It's President Deere´s Birthday today. What invigorating news. I cant spell. [editorial note:  It's true--I have to correct LOTS of spelling mistakes!  ;) MOM]

My Birthday is in 2 weeks. Strange. I really do NOT believe that another year has passed. WHERE IS MY MISSION GOING?????

I can't think of anything else. Sorry I just remember the weird stuff and don't write about any spiritual things.

Here´s a spiritual thought.

The Lord doesn't care about our Ability or Inability, He only cares about our Availability. If we show Him our Reliability He will give us the Capability to do whatever He asks.

 I have no idea who said that. But I LOVE the quote.
I Love the Book of Mormon and the Scriptures. I LOVE Preach my Gospel. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!!!!!!


I love you all. Have a great week. I´m praying for you. If you're struggling with something to over come use Ether 12:27 with the quote I wrote before.


Elder Potter I mean Kirkham

Hello family/ whoever else

It has been a great week.
As usual I don't remember a whole lot.

In other news
Rolando got baptized! He asked me to baptize him.
It was a really cool baptism. The spirit was so strong!!!!!!! I´m so glad that Elder Rodriguez III has this experience his FIRST TRANSFER!!!!

That's what we do in the Málaga Mission.
As always, it's hectic planning and getting everything ready but it turned out really well. 


I´m honestly a little scared of the prospect of going home. But we won't talk about that ok.

Málaga is so so so so fun. We had eating appointments 6 out of 7 days this week. !!!!!!!!! Málaga I is definitely the garden of Eden of the mission. I just love it.

The average attendance in our ward is 120 every week. !!!!!?? Compared to 6 in Motril. It's just so fun. When I was in the CCM in Madrid we did a fake lesson with a girl from Málaga and her friend. She still remembers me from my glasses!!!!!! They invited us over this week and it was so fun. She has a little brother who is slightly autistic and I played with him and his trains and Angry Birds, but with an actual launcher (this bird launching game that I´m too technologically behind to know what it is). It was so funny. His mom walked in and asked what are you doing? We said Killing pigs. (which are supposedly the bad guys- I honestly dont know)

What else. . .

We had a chess tournament this morning. It was so fun. I´m terrible at chess. But I drew a picture instead.

It has been raining for the last few days and it's cold today. Elder Rodriguez hates the rain. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! I pray for more rain and he gets mad at me. OH WELL

Elder Rodriguez is a funny kid. He's kind of high strung (ok REALLY high strung) and sometimes he'll start talking and just WILL NOT STOP!!!!!! SO I just sit there, and start drawing or whatever. Then he gets mad. 

I´m sorry I just lose interest of hearing the same stuff about Cataluña and Barcelona. But I love the guy. 

The ward asked me to help in the primary with the music playing the piano.     BEST   SUNDAY    EVER!!!!!!!!

I loved being in primary!. I want to go every week. I went to help them practice for the primary program. Little Andalucían kids are SOOOO funny. But in all honesty there was such a sweet spirit while they were singing. I started tearing up. I only got 2 more weeks before the program. I wish I could stay longer. Oh well.

I´m trying to focus on being more Christlike. I was reading Elder Uchtdorf´s talk Waiting on the road to Damascus. I LOVE THAT TALK. I´m trying to learn more about how the Savior is. I want to share my favorite part with you:

The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle—one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us—not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed.

I LOVE the Lord. I LOVE this work I LOVE the gospel. I KNOW its true. I know that when we learn of Christ we WILL come to know Him and Love Him.

I also have been watching the New Testament videos that the church has put out. I really like them. They're really simple and not a lot of dialogue but they´re really powerful. My FAVORITE FAVORITE is the last supper. That's one of my favorite parts in the New Testament, I absolutely love it. Especially how John tells it. THE BEST!!!!!!

Ok, that's all. I love you all. Take care. I´m praying for you I love you all so so so so much.
Elder Kirkham

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hello to all.
It's been a busy busy week. Getting a lot of new investigators. Talking to a lot of people on the streets. Coming home REALLY tired. 

Training is a big responsibility, but it's really fun, especially having the zone leaders in the same piso.

On Monday we went exploring around the city. Tuesday we ate with a crazy Paraguayan family (bishop). His wife is a crazy CRAZY lady.
Then we ran over to a baptism that was in our ward but the Hermanas had taught her. Then after that we did splits with the district leader. I went to their area with Elder Phillips (not DL) and Elder Nuñez stayed in our area with Elder Rodriguez. It was so fun to be back with Elder Phillips (he was born in Sevilla right before I got here). Little by little I´m getting to be one of the oldest missionaries in the mission. I cannot believe how fast time is going by. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH   And Elder Rodriguez still has almost 2 years. 

I'm trying to remember as best I can how it is to be a new missionary. IT WAS A HUGE REALITY SHOCK!!!!!!!

I remember sitting in our old dirty piso in Sevilla sweating sweating sweating, and thinking, THIS is what I´m doing for the next 2 years of my life......

Oh and how much do I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's the best. Everyone should go on a mission. IT'S THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!

I´m not a big door knocker because everyone lives in pisos here but yesterday I decided, in almost three weeks we haven´t knocked any doors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(we just stop people in the streets) So we snuk into a building with 8 floors and about 20 pisos on each floor. We go up to the top floor, get out of the elevator and look around. Elder Rodriguez looks at me and says..."Wait, we´re going to knock ALL these doors?".... To whichIi said with a grin "claro" (of course)!

We spent about 40 minutes and got a few floors. We´ll go back a different day.
We taught more lessons this week than the last one. Hurray!

Rolando is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a cool cool guy. I love him. He's super dedicated to the church. In just the 3 weeks that we´ve been teaching him he's just been super solid. He had a testimony the first lesson and has just accepted everything. (like it was familiar to him) It's such a good start to Elder Rodriguez´s mission

We had specialized training this week. It was lovely. After a year and a half I got to play the organ!!!! I played a lovely prelude that made all the 2 senior couples in Málaga come up and say. "We love hearing you play, it's like we're in the US again."

How sweet the oldies. I love them. It makes me think of Elder and Sister Kirkham one day (I hope, mom and dad, if you go on a mission you can TOO enjoy the beauties of Málaga, Spain) (ok, it's a stretch, but I dream big)

Church was great. We had investigators there. 
I don't know what else to write. Life is just great!

I love you all. Happy birthday Simon Kirkham. Congrats Andy and Rachael!!!!

and Heidi Paulsen (whatever your new name is)

Love you all
Sorry it took so long to get last week's letter posted, but the blog was hacked and the password changed.  Took a minute to work it all out.  (Matthew's Mom)

 Dear virtual diary

This week has been grood. Great and good at the same time. That's not scientifically possible in the US (para que sepas)

Elder Rodriguez and I are getting along. He's funny and really Spanish. We´ve been teaching a man named Rolando from the Dominican Republic. He´s black by the way.
You know how I luuuuuvvvvvv my black bruthuhs. That's a fun thing about Spain, you can teach people from ALL over the world in ONE country.
Me and Elder Rodriguez started teaching him right when we got there. He's just amazing. He has felt the spirit so strong. He came to the baptism in barrio 2 and he LOVED IT. He said he felt sooo happy and ready for his baptism on OCTOBER 27th!!!! He's so cool. I love him so much.

Learning experiences.

I am terrible at soccer. 
I am terrible at bowling
Translating for Indian couples at church is harder than translating for Americans :D (my English grammar is so bad)
Malaga is SUCH A COOL CITY!!!!!

This morning was REALLY COLD!!!!!!!
I´m getting REALLY TIRED!!!!!!

We got some new investigators this week. We met most of our goals which were NOT LOW GOALS. For whitewashing it was a really good week.

The missionary couple, Elder and Hermana Spainhower, who live in a pueblo outside of Malaga, invited us over for Sunday dinner last night. It was really fun. We had our own little family night with another companionship from barrio 2. The food was SOOOOOOOOOOO good. They even had ranch dressing!!!!!!!

On the train ride home we were talking about Harry Potter. (surprise)  Elder Rodriguez kept asking me what was the 3rd unforgivable curse. Clearly, I wouldn't tell him (they're unforgivable) and he kept asking me.

As we got off the train in Malaga, a guy our age (Spanish hipster) came up and to Elder Rodriguez was like, "its imperious" and walked away!!!!!!!!!

jajajajajajajajaja It was one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was DYING OF SURPRISE AND LAUGHTER!!!!!!

Anyways, things are going good. We have a baptism in our ward tomorrow. The Hermanas from barrio 3 have been teaching a woman who's husband didn't want dumb elders coming to teach her, but shes in our ward.

Malaga is planning on becoming a stake in the next few months!!!!!!! I LOVE SPAIN!!!!!!! The church is growing!!!!!!

I'm really tired. We walked around Malaga today in the pretty interesting part. Not the part that is our area.

I can't remember anything else.

Well, I love you all so much and I hope you're having a wonderful day, I love being a missionary. I love serving in Malaga. I love my new companion. Things are really good. That's it.......

Love your sonny boy, Elder Kirkham

my hijo just forgot

Monday, October 8, 2012

Well hello family, and friends (if anyone really reads this)
These few days in Málaga have been just great. I´ve been working my little hiney off. Málaga is a beautiful city. I had never seen so much of the city before. Just Bus station, train station, capilla. ya ´tsa (that's how they pronounce ya está here which means "that's all")
I would be lying if I didn´t say I´m SOOOOOOOOOOO happy to be back in Andalucía. I love the Andaluces. And the Malagueños are no different. Super friendly, nice, crazy, love the Virgen. Although there seems to be a LOT of atheists here. I don't know if its just big city culture or what but.....ya ´tsa
My new companion´s name is.........................................drum roll
Elder RODRIGUEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right now there´s Elder Rodriguez III (the third) so There are 3 Elder Rodriguez in the mission and I´ve been comps with all 3!
He´s from Cataluña. Which is where Barcelona is. So, he´s from Barcelona (that's easier) In Cataluña they speak Spanish and Catalá. Which is one of the fake languages in Spain. It's not even a dialect. I don't know if I've ever explained it. There's Spanish Normal (Castillian) Gallego (from Galicia) Valenciano (from Valencia) Basque (from Pais Vasco or basque country) and Catalá (from Cataluña). All of them are separate languages but hardly recognized outside of Spain because they're SUPER isolated dying languages. But everyone speaks Spanish (Castellano).
Anyways he speaks Spanish of course and Catalá. He´s teaching me some phrases. Its like a mix of Spanish and French and some Portuguese. I´ll try to get a picture.
Conference was grrrrrrrrrrreat! All of the 12 missionaries in Málaga were watching conference together and once they announced the mission ages changing we were freaking OUT!!!!!!! But alas, being old and weighed down by years in the mission I shall never serve with any younger missionaries. I´m DYING soon!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
So here in Málaga we got here with 2 investigators. We are going to be working in THE PUEBLOS but we also have free game in the city the days we are here.
I´ve only gone to 2 pueblos this week. The other 3 days we´ve been in Málaga city. I have contacted more in these three days than my whole mission (ok overreaction, but I´ve talked to probably close to 100 people this week).
Elder Rodriguez is really dedicated, but kind of shy (normal) but he´s just just so excited to work. I love him already. He´s already set a baptismal date with an investigator!!!!!!!!!! I´m so proud of my son. He´s learning so fast. I´ll have to admit I´ve been trying to work him as hard as possible. I´m such a mean dad. But I just wanted him to hit the ground running on his mission and since we´re starting with almost nothing in this area so CONTACTING CONTACTING CONTACTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Walk as fast as possible. It's been a crazy couple of days but I just LOVE the mission.
Starting with Nothing in the area has actually been really fun. I´ve never LOVED my mission so much! I just LOVE IT! I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME!!!!!!!!!
I know I haven't written a lot. Sorry. I just cant remember.
Just ask the missionaries! (I loved that talk) Oh and I LOVED LOVED Elder Holland's talk. And the world report about the Rome temple.
I love serving in Europe!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE SPAIN!!!!!!!!!!
Well I love you all. The church is true.
If YOU didn't watch conference. WATCH IT PLEASE! I LOVED IT!
new address
Elder Kirkham
c/ Brújula  Nº6  4ºF
29010 Málaga
Love you all
Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I don't know why I titled this letter "the calm before the storm", because yesterday was the LEAST calm day of my entire mission.

So first of all. . .

Fabiana got baptized!!!!!!! She is one of the hijas in our REALLY far away pueblo in Cehegín. SUUUUPER far away. (Do we say super in the states? They use it here and I don't remember if I said it in the states. Oh well. I'll see when I get back.) Anyways, Fabiana got baptized.

We were looking for a baptism dress all week and couldn't get one. Her baptism was on Sunday. On Saturday we went to Cartagena to help in a cosecha which was fun. That's a pretty city. One of the members from Molina said she had a dress that could work for a little girl. So after the cosecha we went to her house and it turns out the dress is a strange off-white.

I began to stress because we had told Fabiana's family that we had found one (or so the member had told us) and went a little crazy. But we decided that it was better than nothing.


We get to church on Sunday morning and we go over to the relief society pres. We show her the dress and ask if it will work. She looked a little worried and went over to ask the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. From outside in the hall we hear:

"There's nothing else?........Well I guess it will have to work......Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in their normal clothes......" (in Spanish)

Great answer 2nd counselor....

So we go over to the baptismal clothes closet and see if there is ANYTHING that an 11 year old girl could wear. We find one that was skinnier and so we decide to try to hem it (sewing skills learned on the mission).

We call the Murcia Elders and ask them if they have white thread. We run over to get it. We get back to the church and there is a member who offers to sew (phew). She starts hemming like a mad woman.


Fabiana and her family arrive 15 minutes into the second hour. The dress is done. We hand it to them. The mom looks at the dress and at her daughter. "This is too short" and sure enough she has a rather tall 11 year old daughter. Go figure. So she asks "Are there any more dresses?" We open the closet and get out one of the NORMAL dresses.

She goes to try it on and the first counselor from the bishopric comes up to us. "Elders, there's no bread for the Sacrament"........
"Can you call the Murcia Elders and see if they have any bread?"............

Another phone call; another walk to the elder's piso.

We get back right before 3rd hour which is Sacrament Meeting. Give him the bread then our mission leader comes over.
"Hey elders, I tried printing off the baptismal program but the computer deleted everything on my pen drive".............



We go try to find the document on the secretary´s computer. NO WHERE
They open up an old baptismal program and since apparently I'm the ONLY ONE WHO CAN TYPE???????? they make me change it.

It's on some strange Spanish word processor that I don't know how to use. There were so many different layers on the page that were all formatted differently. I miss playing the opening hymn.......
After 15 minutes, I finally get it ready and walk out to talk to Elder Brown who is explaining to the hermanas our crazy morning.
5 minutes later our mission leader walks out "Elders, I don't know what I did but something bad happened"..........

I go back and everything on the program has been moved around and is ALLLLLL out of order. I start clicking undo undo undo undo undo undo undo undo until I couldn't anymore. It was completely ruined and I have NO IDEA HOW!
I missed the sacrament hymn.

I'm REALLY feeling impatient (I¨M REALLY MAD) so I just open up a new file and start from scratch. That takes about another 15 minutes. Then we go catch the last 5 minutes of the last talk in Sacrament Meeting. I play the last hymn. Everything is good.

Then after that the Bishop (who was going to baptize Fabiana) comes up and says "Elders, I forgot my baptismal clothing".......
So we go back to the closet and finally find some white pants that he can wear and a weird old white shirt.

After that the baptism went just fine. I don't know if any members knew ANYTHING that was going on. It was the most hectic Sunday of my life. But it was good.

In other news. We set a baptismal date with a Brazilian investigator who is a DEVOUT evangelist. We had a cita with her and the spirit was so strong and she finally said "I´m willing to follow God. If He says I have to get baptized again then I'll be baptized."

It was the answer to our prayers.

In other other news

I went to the mission home. I sat on a bus for 6 hours to get to Málaga with Elder Hales (he was in Cordoba when I was in Sevilla-we were in the same district)
There was a surprise American couple that were members on the bus!!!!!!! That doesn't happen every day.

They gave us 12 euros to buy lunch. Bless them.

Being in the mission home was amazing. I always leave so edified spiritually. I was terrified before but now I feel a lot more at ease. Hermana Deere made 2 GIANT Mormon casseroles (hallelujah)! We had that night of training, we stayed over night, ate a lovely breakfast, had the morning of training. Me and Elder Hales were the only ones who didn't get an interview with President because we had to leave the earliest. We had to get back to Murcia and Alicante.

Friday morning, President calls us and tells me that I will be serving in ...........................drumroll.........................

MÁLAGA!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. Málaga. There are three wards. I will be serving in Málaga 1 with the zone leaders. (thank goodness I'm not a zone leader)

I'll be serving in the mission capital and be training and do a whitewash. This will be quite the adventure. I´m excited and sad to leave but "Es la vida es así"

I don't know what else to talk about.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning and I'll meet my hijito tomorrow. (I still don't know who it is) There are a few Spaniards, an Elder from England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, all Europeans. We'll see.

Well, I'll tell you more next week. I love you all.

have fun
Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Family

Remember, mom, last week how I was so firm in reassuring you that you had my current address and not to worry about putting up a new one.´re going to have to put up a new one. Because I´m leaving Molina.......

I´m leaving Molina because President called me this week telling me that I would be training a new Elder.............

This is where I grab my hair and scream!!!!!!!    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On top of that I WON´T be training here in Molina. I will be whitewashing (it means 2 elders in an area that is new to them both) an area, while training. Well, most likely, said President Deere. They had to call and tell me early so I can go to trainer training tomorrow in MÁLAGA. But I won't know WHO my new companion is or WHERE I'll be serving until this weekend. Probably. So I don´t know WHERE I will be serving.  Fun huh?

But I´m pretty sure my new hijo is a native because, I think there are only natives coming in.

I could be going ANYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In other mission news......

Elder Richards came this week to Spain. We had an amazing conference with him with all the missionaries in Murcia and Alicante. I got to shmooze with him sitting right next to him at lunch. I learned it from you Dad :D  Have those friends in high places.

Their workshops were amazing. Elder and Sister Richards are just amazing people to be around. They both have such a strong yet humble spirit. They are so dedicated to their callings and they just make you feel loved while you're talking with them.

While they were here they reorganized the 2 stakes of Sevilla and Cádiz. I don't know what happened as far as boundary changes but they got new Stake Presidencies.

After our missionary meetings they spoke at a fireside for all the other people to come and listen. President Deere talked about the family patterns in the Book of Mormon. Classic Lehi (just kidding it was REALLY good) and the importance of love and support in the family for individuals to grow and succeed.
Sister Richards spoke of being prepared for general conference and how HER family grew closer together by watching general conference.
Then Elder Richards spoke about the importance of finding light and staying in the light. Spiritually speaking. We need to look for good in this world and hold on to it.

It was really great.

Then Sunday before sacrament meeting, the first counselor in the bishopric asked me to give a talk. It was nice.

Then today we went to the giant Christ statue outside of Murcia capital. We had to climb up this rocky path to get to the top then through a dark cave. But we were the ONLY ones there. It was really cool.

Well, I have to go. I love you all. I´ll have more information of where I´m going next week. Prepare yourselves for general conference. It is such a treat.
Oh, and if David reads this(or if you see him) tell him hi for me.

Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well, perhaps the most exciting thing I can share with you this week is that I´ve been in the Mediterranean Sea!!!!!


I don't remember if I told you about a woman we talked to in the bus station a few weeks ago. Well, she told us that she was looking for the true church. She was studying with another church at the time.

Well, we gave the reference to the hermanas (she lives in Murcia) and they taught her.
This week Elder Brown did her interview,
And yesterday Elder Valenzuela baptized her in the Sea! Just a little bit away from where her father was baptized YEARS ago.

Me and Elder Brown were witnesses and had to get in the water to watch. It was an amazing experience. 
We drove 45 minutes to Cartagena.

We had planned to go to the same spot where her father was baptized (in a different church) but when we got there, there were about 200 people there. NOT GOOD. So there were a few minutes of confusion. Call someone in Murcia to start filling up the font, or the capilla there in Cartagena. it would take about 2 hours. 
I just kept saying "hay mas playa"... "There are more beaches" so we sent someone in a car to go around the other side of the cliff. They came back saying that indeed there were other beaches :D

We got in our cars and drove 5 minutes to the other side of the little mountain. We parked our cars at a lookout and the people said here we are. There was a big climb down over tons of rocks. But we came to BAPTIZE!!! So we went and climbed down a rocky path down to one of the most beautiful little sea coves. The water was super clear and blue and about 8 people stood on the rocks surrounding.

We (the missionaries) sang a 4 part "Be still my soul" a cappella right there on the rocks. Then 4 of us dressed in white got into the super blue water. It was such a beautiful little once in your mission experience.

This woman is really special. From meeting us in the station to her baptism, 3 weeks. The spirit was really strong. It was just beautiful.

We call it our district baptism. We found, hermanas taught, and the Elders Baptized. Yay for Murcia District!!!!!

We also this week found 14 new investigators. It was really fun. The Lord is blessing us.

Tomorrow we have a special meeting with Elder Kent F Richards from the area presidency. He's going to have a special meeting with the missionaries. I´m SOOOO excited.

Me and Elder Brown have been sick but it happens.

I´ve been trying to focus on being more sanctified as a missionary and as - just me. How can I be more like Christ. 
Its a hard thing. 

Randy (a recent convert who's 18) did a mini mission with us this week. It was really good for him to see in just a few days how his testimony grew. He's a really cool kid. He wants to serve a mission really bad. 

We´re trying to do our best to find and teach and prepare people for baptism. I feel like we're working really hard. We just have to wait for the blessings. We´re talking to tons of people every day. We talk to SO many different kinds of people.

I love the mission. It's hard but it's just one of the best things ever.

I´m sad to hear the one of the Powell´s sons passed away. I'm so glad that I get to share with people that when we follow Christ, we can be with our families even AFTER this life. And I know that that is true. Thanks to Jesus Christ.

I love the Lord and His gospel. I love all of you. Take care. Keep praying. Look for missionary experiences. Take lots of pictures and smile a lot!!!!

Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The title is me sleeping.

I´m soooo tired. But things are good.

Our investigator who was planned to get baptized in 2 weeks has gone to Ciudad Real in La Mancha (not our area). We don't know how long he´ll be there. We are still working with two girls in a pueblo called Cehegín which is VERY far away. Yesterday we went to another REALLY far away pueblo called Yecla (I laugh every time I hear it) to do the monthly sacrament meeting. It took the WHOLE afternoon.

Driving through Murcia is literally like driving through Nevada except Murcia has more interesting buildings and mountains. The landscape is the same. .....desert......shrubbery.......lack of trees.......and it's there for no reason. Just to take up your time.

But Elder Brown DID teach me how to knit on the bus to Cehegín. He's so weird.

In other news. The "not" feria is in Molina. I say not feria because were out of Andalucía so they don't call it feria but its exactly the same. I don't know if it's luck or if I just get moved at the perfect timing, but in every area I've been in, the feria has also been there.

Mission life has become the only thing I know. I try to think about my "normal" life and it seems weird.

I´ve decided to wait til March to come home (meaning I´m staying with my first choice). I´ll start spring semester and probably room with two of the elders in my group (at least one for sure). I´m letting him take care of everything because his sister lives in Provo and is his inside representative into the Provo workings.

Our Brazilian investigator came to church yesterday. After church she told us "everybody here just loves me!"  Good work ward. She also introduced us to her other Brazilian friend. We watched the first vision with them in Portuguese. which isn't so different from Spanish.

I'm so so so so so tired. Just working really hard and trying to do the work the best I can.

Being a missionary is the best thing I've ever done. It's also the hardest thing.

I got the new IKEA catalog in the mail.

We're having a meeting with a member of the area presidency this week.

We might do a mini mission this week with one of the young men in the ward. Elder Brown is going to a leadership training meeting and I would be here all by my lonesome.

I wish I could remember more.

We now do email in the library for free. It's a lot nicer. I think the Muslim lady who owned the internet cafe in Molina misses us now. Pobrecica

Our piso is really clean right now.

I tried making paella yesterday and it turned out nasty. I don't know what happened. Que lastima!

We played ultimate Frisbee as a district today.

Horchata in Spain is SOOOOOOO good.

We got seeds from a moldy melon and are going to use them with Alma 32 talking about faith like a seed at the noche de hogar. We hope no one gets any diseases.  :D

The member who drove us to Yecla has the CRAZIEST conspiracy theories. And an hour long trip to explain them all.

Well that's all.  I love you. I hope this is somewhat informative.
Elder Kirkham

Friday, September 7, 2012

The temperature has gone down SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO rapidly.

Out of nowhere it is SOOOOOOOo windy and a little chilly.

Why won't Spain weather make up its mind????? its like Utah!

A few days ago Elder Brown was sitting on the couch and I was lying on the floor and he said sheepishly, "Can we close the windows? I´m kind of cold", and I just laughed at him because the last 3 months have just been BLAZING hot!!!!!

So it's WAY more desirable walking around now. Which makes us more happy.

I don't know what to write for this week. It's been kind of uneventful. Fun, crazy, busy, but I don't really know what to write. I don't know if this means that it was really uneventful or if the mission life has just truly become normal, bordering the mundane (spelling?)

Just kidding--its crazy--I just have a terrible memory. I think the best part was testimony meeting this Sunday. I´m sorry but Spaniards just take testimony meeting to the next level of story time. A woman got up and just told the story of WHY she wasn't fasting then got back down as if to clear it up if anyone didn't know.

While watching the first vision/restoration movie, Tomasina (our investigator from the SUPER rural part of Bolivia) exclaimed during the movie on seeing a raccoon. "Look! A CAT! It's in the tree! Is it the boy´s friend?"...........the next 10 minutes was spent trying NOT to laugh.

I´m starting to have second thoughts about going home in March. I DON'T KNOW!!!!!!!!!! Almost ALL of my group is going home in FEB. And going home with my group is just the BEST end to the mission. Still not sure. Elder Manning, during zone conference, was trying to convince me to go with him in FEB. We'll see.

We started teaching a Brazilian woman. WHAT A THICK ACCENT. I think that's one of the best things on the mission. 3 people trying to have a deep spiritual discussion in their second language. At least I can understand a lot of Portuguese mix.
It's WAY better than teaching people from Romania.  :D

I´m starting to go crazy with Elder Brown. No real hatred just the eye twitching (Amy) of living with a person 24/7. I love the guy.

I got sad news that one of my old companions went home from the mission. That's sad.

We ate at Domino's today. That was good. And saw giant African tribal dolls dancing to street musicians. I´ll let you all use your own imagination. You gotta love Spain.  :D

I almost bought some pants and a shirt from gypsies today. Luckily I didn´t have enough money.    Again. You gotta love Spain   :D

Sayonara continues working like a crazy woman. Once she gets a day off well have the baptism. It's the worst just sitting in between.

I made more snickerdoodles this week.

The work has been really stressful this week because everyone is getting ready to go back to work and school. Go to the beach before it gets too hot. etc.

My eye literally has been twitching this week. I´m getting REALLY tired. And it just gets MORE AND MORE every day. Sleeping doesn't do anything. I am now a lot past my Hermana date (year and a half) and it's starting to take its toll on me. WHERE IS MY MISSION GOING???????

A seventy is coming next week to visit the mission. Kent F. Richards.

I´m so so excited about general conference. It's the best as a missionary.

This December an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ will be coming to Murcia to create
The Spain Cartagena Stake.

That's right--a NEW stake in SPAIN!!!!! They're taking the Valencia and Elche stakes and forming them into 3 stakes. Valencia, Elche, and Cartagena.   This is SUPER exciting for us. This means that our mission boundaries will probably change as well because Elche stake is in our mission. Valencia is not. So Valencia will take some of Elche after the split so it seems logical to have the mission boundaries change too. We'll see. If I'm still in Molina then it won't affect me.

I´m REALLY tired.

I cut my hair this week.

I sewed my shoe. Yes, I SEWED it. It was falling apart at one of the seams. So I fixed it. Oh, I improooved it. (name that movie?)

When do I need to sign up for classes? and Housing?

I have REALLY boring dreams as a missionary lately. I just spend my dreams walking in the streets contacting people. Can't get away from missionary work. I´m literally sleeping missionary work.

I miss U.S. deodorant. That's all I want, nothing more.

And a nap.

Elder Brown walks on my back almost every other day. Is there a posture class at BYU?

Ok, that's enough nonsense to fill up to keep you all at bay.

I miss reading and napping. But that will come all too soon for my liking.

I love you all.
I´m trying to better my English vocabulary.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, August 27, 2012

I am sooooooooooo tired.

It was a good week. It went by SUPER FAST. 

Justin did NOT get baptized this week because Sayonara got a job out of no where. So Saturday night-no baptism. So we said Sunday after church-she had to take her baby to the hospital-no baptism. 

So we said Monday night at the noche de hogar because Rosario and Antonio have a pool so we´ll just do it there. We coordinated it with the mission leader but in the end I don't know if it was the bishop or WHO but it won't happen tonight. So it's planned for this next Sunday after church. We´re praying that no more surprises pop up. But they are doing so so good. (Sayo and her family) oh and if no one ever realized Sayonara (like saying good bye) ya we still don't get that one but we love her still. Her sister is named Geoconda. If you ask me, Sayo got the better name. :D

We´re frustrated with our ward leadership because NOTHING is getting coordinated and they're not helping with the mission work. But the members are helping us a lot. The work is doing really well we have a LOT of investigators and our district is doing really well here in Murcia as a whole. 

The bishopric FLIPPED out because the baptismal font was left full over night after the hermana´s baptism. It made Sunday not as enjoyable getting yelled at by Spaniards. And the poor hermanas got the brunt of it. Its called a mistake. Sorry

But having sacrament meeting at the end has its benefits because you leave church feeling really good.
Oh by the way, I gave a talk yesterday on the Book of Mormon. I talked a lot about the Bible TOGETHER with the Book of Mormon. The prophecy in Ezekiel, Nephi´s vision when he sees the gentiles carrying a book across the many waters (bible) and then the Lord revealing the many plain and precious parts that were lost. I talked about Christ visiting His OTHER SHEEP. etc. It turned out really well for the 5 minutes I put into preparation. Well, when you have a topic you know really well you don't need SOOO much preparation. But it turned out well.

A missionary who served in our mission (who lives in Murcia-the mission boundaries changed 2 years ago so he ended up having his home in his mission) got to baptize his mom this week after about 10 years waiting. I got to play the piano at that baptism it was special.

Our noche de hogar in Archena was really good. We went to the house of 2 investigators. They have this BEAUTIFUL house with gardens and a little tree house and big nice patio. The kids were really happy.

We taught a few new investigators this week, went on splits, found a really cool couple in Murcia with Elder Pearce who now have a baptismal date, what else, traveled a lot, sweated a LOT, drank a LOT of water.

Made snikerdoodles and paella (a member invited me to come make it WITH her this week so I can perfect it) :D
Paella is a REALLY typical food here on he eastern part of Spain. Murcia, Alicante and Valencia are HUGE on their paella.

Last night there were fire works for some Virgin Holiday - I don't know what exactly -

I bought a suit for 18 euros but I might return it because the jacket is snug. That was a real find.

There are a LOT of crying children right now in this locutorio (internet place).

I don't know what else happened. I'm really tired. All I want to do is sleep.

Going to bed on time and waking up on time- I still wake up tired and wish I could sleep more.

Hurray for the ADOPTION!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what else.

We had to go to Murcia and do the baptismal interviews for the family that got baptized this weekend. They made us the most delicious empanadas. So good. They thought I was Spanish (mind you they ARE South Americans but still that's saying something) :D I could never convince a real Spaniard but someone who shares the language. That's an accomplishment!
Um I don't know what else. Transfers were this week. Me and Elder Brown are both still here. 

I'm just so tired. I love you all. The Lord is blessing us and we're seeing miracles all the time.

Have a good week. Count your many blessings. I love you.
Elder Kirkham

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SAYO AND KELVIN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HURRAY!!!!!! On Saturday it was their baptism! It was such a sweet and spiritual baptism. I´ll talk about that later.

So the week started out going to Murcia for pday. We got library cards! Just because we could. They're way cooler than the cards the Roseville library gives you. Then we went to the capilla with the other missionaries, ate lunch, played basketball (for elder Brown-I´m so terrible) and once it got really hot we went back inside (the court is outside) and played dumb little group games (which are so fun).

Then we went to Archena for the noche de hogar and taught about the importance of music in the church. Which was really fun for me. I used a lot from the First presidency´s intro to the hymnbook.

Tuesday we did exchanges with the zone leaders (Murcia elders) elder Pearce came with me to Molina. He did the two baptism interviews and we taught a few more lessons that night. 

The next morning we went to Las Torres (another pueblo) and since we couldn't make any calls last week we had to wing it and hope people were home. We went and visited Lorena. She's so cool. She's a really special lady. We had one of the more spiritually charged lessons on my mission. She's a Jehovah´s Witness but she always tells us that her church just doesn´t fill her. There are a lot of things she doesn't like or agree with. After this lesson she agreed to come to church on Sunday which is a BIG deal for her.

The rest of the week was a little hard because we didn't have any saldo but we did the best we could. We prepared everything for the baptism and taught a lot of investigators.

The baptism:

First of all, they got there late, but so did ALLLLL the other people. If you think Mormon Standard time is bad in the States-come to Spain.
It was scheduled for 7:00 pm or how they use 24 H clocks here 19:00 h. Well the people got there at 7:30 and the baptism started at 7:45ish. But it was so sweet. We had ALL the members from Archena come and support Sayo and Kelvin. 

Elder Brown baptized Sayo and I baptized Kelvin. Right before going into the water Sayo was praying and then stayed in the little stairwell behind and watched Kelvin get baptized. The spirit was so strong. They were so happy. After Hna. Cachari and Hna. Rosario (members from Archena) gave their testimonies and Sayo started crying. Then Kelvin gave his 11 year old testimony like a champ. He´s such a cool kid. He LOVES the church. (I told you that they fight over who gets to say the prayer) Then Sayo got up and bore her testimony and was crying, it was so tender. I love them so so so much. 

After that I played an arrangement (my own) of The baptism song "I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain" with "I love to see the temple" which will one day be their goal. The spirit was so strong. Luckily I didn't cry because I sang as well. It was really special. 
Then after that it was to the campo otra vez. We had a little fiestica with a giant cake and little Spanish foods. (which of course includes olives) We gave Sayo and her family some nice hard cover scriptures-a bible and a triple along with a picture of the Madrid temple. It was so fun.

Then they received the spirit yesterday. It was SUCH a hectic day at church. There were 9 investigators at church. I, of course, got stressed trying to herd them from class to class and keep them far away from the crazy members. It was really good but i was really tired after. 

After Sunday school, Sayo´s other son Justin came up to elder brown (I was talking with Lorena) and said "I wanna get baptized".

So of course we set the date for this Saturday. The hermanas are having a baptism too so it will work perfectly.

Lorena then disappeared. I was looking ALL over the church. I finally saw her through the door of the bishop's office which was ajar (is that really a word?) The first counselor in the bishopric was bearing his testimony to her for about 10 minutes. Then I realized HE used to be a Jehovah´s witness too. He must know her from before. We´re not sure but that's what we think happened.

Tonight at the noche de hogar we´re going to try to play mafia but use instead the gadianton robbers. (see how we´re clever like that) ;D

It was a really good great week. I know this is the Lord's work. I know He loves His children. Which means He loves YOU!!!

I love you too. Have a good week. It is scheduled to not be quite as hot this week. So well see.

Elder Kirkham

Monday, August 13, 2012

This week in Murcia has brought us a visitor
WIND FROM AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This weekend it has reached 48º C which is REALLLLLLY HOT!!!!!
It honestly feels like you open the oven but the heat doesn't disappear it just gets worse.
But it's been a really good week.
We taught a lot. We found some new investigators. Normal.
I tried fake coffee this week. But this stuff does NOT taste like what coffee SMELLS like.
It's a big thing to drink iced coffee here in the summer but obviously the members don't drink real coffee so they drink their coffee substitute which comes from grains and I don't know what exactly. So we were sitting down to eat with a family and there's a pitcher of cold dark liquid and I think it's coca cola (which we drink here every day quite literally-Spaniards LOVE coke) so I think it's that. They ask me if I want some. They pour me some and I take a sip and taste the BITTEREST NASTIEST taste in my whole life.
They later explained what it was..............grossssss......
Sayonara and her son's baptism is this Saturday (this week). So we´ve been planning that. I love them so much they are just an amazing family.
There was a ward activity Saturday night (3 days ago) in Rosario and Antonio´s huerta/campo thing I don't know what to call it. Their field? They made migas (bread crumbs-its a popular meal here of cooked bread crumbs, meat, veggies etc) and barbacoa ooooooooo it was SOOOOO good. And one of the families tried making apple was the thought that counts. We'll leave them the paella and leave to US the apple pie. he he he he he
Sayonara drove us. (She loves us) We stopped at the grocery store with them to pick a few things up and a worker asked who we were and before we could answer Sayo started explaining, "oh these are the missionaries, they teach the word of God from the Book of Mormon and how we can be happy in this life, they leave their home and family for two years to teach people...etc" The worker was really impressed and walked away thanking her and as we walked out I told her that SHE should be a missionary. She said well my sons will go when they're older and maybe when I don't have any more kids I´ll go myself. I just love their family. She was just bringing us meat and food the whole night.
They came to church, loved it, they announced their baptism, we picked out their baptismal clothes and showed them the font and it was just so fun.
On Wednesday our bishop showed up at the house of the part member family we were teaching that lives SUPER far away. Used up ALL of our time we had to teach talking about politics, made us miss the bus then after we ate he said ok elders I gotta go.
We couldn't even teach ANY kind of lesson. I was NOT happy. Then on the hour ride home he was explaining crazy things about apostasy in the United States and how Utah is like Sodom and Gomorrah.........It was one of the least enjoyable moments on my entire mission.
But the week is good. Spain was SILENT yesterday after the game. Mostly because it was blazing hot and people weren't outside but also because of the SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEH HEEE HEEEEE USA!!!!!!!!!
Well that's it I love you all. Have an amazing week. Happy Birthday again mama.
Oh and I´m going home March 21. I felt like I should extend so, I did.
Love you all
Elder Kirkham
Dear familia
I´m tired. And most likely dehydrated.
It's been in the 40´s all week. And I´m speaking in Celsius.
I remember before my mission I was looking at the weather in Málaga and thinking, this is going to be a paradise!!!!
Well I haven't served yet in Málaga. And its HOT in Murcia. But that's ok. I´m honestly just getting used to it.
What can you do to change the weather?   Nothing.    So you change your attitude.
It's been a trying week. Of course with the Lord's blessings but with challenges as well.
The hermanas had a baptism on Saturday and asked me to baptize him. That was a special night.
Sayo and her family are just so great. We gave her son a blessing, he has serious health problems. But I think he's doing good. He has the most faith out of them all.
I went on splits for 2 days while Elder brown was in Cadiz.
We moved to our new piso. WITH AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!!!!!!
We went to the street mercadillo to look for new piso stuff and I felt like I was at Diagon Alley. Gotta love them gypsy markets.
I started reading in 3 Nephi 11. On Sunday I just felt like my testimony was getting complacent so I wanted a boost. I love that story. I love reading about the love that Christ has for all of us. How would I have felt if I were one of those people that Christ visited? How would I feel, what would I say if Christ told me to come see and feel the marks in His hands?
I love the Book of Mormon.
I got an email from a missionary I was with in Madrid. he´s serving in Italy. he said he was talking to a woman on the metro. She was an archaeologist. Spelling? And he started telling her about the Book of Mormon.
She read the title page and said, "this is true". The missionary was surprised to get that response and said, "yes it is I know it is but how do you know from reading the title page?" and she responded "I´m an archaeologist. In Brasil scientists have found coins from Jerusalem dating back to about 600BC. And no one can explain how they got there. But this Book you gave me DOES"
I know the Book of Mormon is true. My testimony doesn't come from the evidence that comes from the world, but none the less I KNOW. My testimony comes from God. The more we learn the more we come to realize that the Book of Mormon IS TRUE.
What a great message to share for two years.
If we´re not reading the Book of Mormon we should be. I hope everyone who reads this decides to read the Book of Mormon. If I could ask for anything, THAT is what my wish would be. And my testimony gets clearer and clearer every day.
I love my Savior, I love all of you.
Congrats Sharlene and JT for your new baby!!!!! I love you!
Elder Kirkham

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tired and Tried in Molina

hello family
besicos a todos.
I´m so so so so so so so so tired.
This week has been the hottest yet.
We have moved Pisos
new address
Elder Matthew Kirkham
c/ Estación Nº25  9ºJ
The last line is the same. Still in Molina. Didn't get transferred, just got a new piso.
We had the other missionaries in Murcia come help us today. It's REALLY hot.
We fasted this week on the hottest day, while we were in a pueblo, walking around in the sun, with no water. We got kind of grumpy. Then we went to Mercadona and bought lunch to break our fast.
Our fast was not in vain. We set a fecha with so many of our investigators. María Jose is one more special. She was SUPER scared of setting a fecha and getting baptized, but we went over to her house (after our fast) and talked about baptism, invited her and she said yes. We also invited Sayonara and her two sons to be baptized. They also said yes.
Lorena, who also has a fecha, is really nervous about getting baptized. She's still not sure because she's baptized in the Jehovah´s Witnesses and if she gets baptized she'll lose all of her friends. She's going through Chemotherapy and shes divorced.  There's a lady in her church who takes her to all of her treatments and helps her with her kids when she's really sick. She really likes the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church but is really scared. She really likes our visits though. Shes a really sweet lady. With all of the excuses she could give us, she always finds time for us. She's really special.
Sayonara and her kids are SOOOO ready to be baptized but want to wait until their friend (member) gets back from vacation for their baptism. We´re just trying to keep them going in the right direction. They are a really cool family. Their daughter isn't old enough to be baptized but her mom helps her say prayers and she always says she loves reading the Book of Mormon (she doesn't know how to read) but she likes listening while Sayo reads to her. I just LOVE that family. Elder brown really wants to see them get baptized before he leaves. We´ll see.
The work is going good. Our biggest problem is getting investigators (and members) to church. There were 29 people yesterday at church......This is a WARD were talking about. It was SOOOOOO empty. It was sad. Oh well......Just keep working harder next week.
I really am exhausted. Tonight we're going to Archena and are going to have the Noche de hogar in Sayonara´s house.
I can't believe how fast the time is running away from me. WHERE´S MY TRAINER????? HOW DID I GET HERE?????
Honestly I feel like I´m in some movie and I am racing against the clock.
We´ll be sleeping in our new piso tonight. No more sleeping on the balcony. It's probably better because I have soooo many mosquito bites on my ankles.       itchy    itchy
I hope everyone's enjoying their summer.  Say hello to the family for me. Give everyone 2 Spanish besicos de mi parte.   :*
I love you all. I´m happy. I´m hot. We´re working really hard, but we're also having a lot of fun.
Os quiero muchísimo. Hasta luego
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alley Meetings and Apostasy

I try to get creative with my titles for my messages. You´re all probably less than impressed.
Dear queridos mios
How are you all? This has been a really good week. But also a trying week. Miracles and mishaps.
To start it off we taught a LOT of lessons and found 5 new investigators. The Lord is blessing us a LOT.
We´re working hard to find more and to contact people from Dia de Diamante.
We have taught this woman named Lorena a few times. She just finished chemotherapy a few weeks ago and now is on radiation. We set a baptismal date with her after watching the first vision. She just LOVED the movie. We also set a date with another investigator named Sonia. She's from Bolivia. She's SUPER sweet and generous. She really likes the church. She went to the open house a few years ago at the temple in Bolivia.
Also, my favorite family we´re teaching is just doing great. We REALLY wanted to set a baptismal date last week with them but we ran out of time in the lesson. So yesterday we were there and we started reading about baptism. Why Christ was baptized and why baptism is a blessing. After reading a few scriptures she got kind of quiet and asked "what does someone have to do to get baptized in this church?" We read about the baptismal covenant and invited her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. She accepted happily. Along with her two sons. It was such a great lesson. We are planning their baptism for August 25. Her name is Sayo (Sayonara) and her sons Kevin and Justin (Kev y Jus).
After we had our Noche de Hogar in this big open alley behind the house of a member. It was so fun. We played zoo (of course) and talked about repentance. I love Archena. (the pueblo)
My other favorite investigator is NOT doing so well. Olga. The black girl. We called her legal guardian this week wanting to meet with her so she would give Olga permission to go to Church and be baptized. We called her. She told us if we called Olga again she would call the police. Now even though she has no ground to call the police we have to respect her. So we can't meet with Olga anymore. Some people can just be so closed minded.
Another investigator dropped us this week. A couple who just had a new baby. They said their lives are just too busy right now. Which is understandable. Then on Friday night we went to their mom's house who's about 60. We were talking about the importance of reading the scriptures. She started crying halfway through the lesson saying, "I´m old and the things I read don't stay very well in my mind but I want to be baptized so bad"..........we were just stunned. We hadn't even talked about baptism. We would have set a date but this lady works on Sundays and can't come to church for a few weeks. So once she goes we´ll set one. She's such a sweet lady. And she said she´ll make her son take her to church too.      :D
We went today to the Cathedral in Murcia. Wow. It was impressive. Not as big as Sevilla (the largest Cathedral in Spain) but still big. And full of gold. I took a lot of pictures. It was really interesting. I really like visiting Cathedrals. After we went to look at the rebajas (the super sales) in a few suit shops. Didn't buy anything. Then we went to the capilla and ate together and played games and I played the piano. Now were here and I´m writing you.
We´re trying to work as hard and efficient as possible with all the work there is right now. I love this area and I love these people so much. I love my companion. He´s hilarious. We get along really well. The work is progressing. I love the Lord and His gospel. I am so grateful to be a missionary. It's the best!!!!
Go on a mission!
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello Family!!!!!! (and those not so closely related to me but I love still) :D
This has been a CRAZY CRAZY week.
We had Dia de Diamante where we spend all day just talking to people in the streets and knocking doors. (30 years ago that was the mission in Spain EVERY day) but not anymore!!!!
We found 6 more new investigators this last week. Which is really good.
NONE of them came to church, which is NOT very good.
We had a lovely Noche de Hogar last night in the campo (field) (what do we call that in English) of one of the recent converts.
We´re reaching (going beyond) weekly goals. :D
We have really good investigators
I have a really good companion
We´re moving from our scary piso in 2 weeks
We´re having ANOTHER conference (what happened to 1 a month?) We had the GOODBYE, then the HELLO, now the REAL conference heee heee heee (I´m a witch) ok no not really. But you already knew that.
I´m in a really happy mood right now
The Lord is answering our prayers
We got 51 references or futures on dia de diamante
Plans are going forward with a CAR. It's not fo sho but its going in the posotive direction (spelling?)
I have money finally from reimbursements
I found a delicious sauce at Mercadona (the best grocery store in Spain)
My shoe pads are now destroyed (as of 2 months they were not functioning) but I´ll buy sturdy rubber ones soon
It rained on us 2 nights ago. We continue to sleep on the balcony
We went to a museum in Murcia then had to run to go to Archena (pueblo) which gave us no time to write email
Story time
When I went to Cadiz I came back with my ears just CLOGGED. I couldn't hear at ALL.  It was rediculous. So last week I went to a Spanish hostipal (FINALLY) and it wasn't even a public one because those are scary and not nice to foreigners (they dont take care of you). So I went to a private clinic.  They checked my ears gave me a prescription for some ear drops. Then this morning I went back and they shot TONS of water into my ear with a giant syringe and ALL the wax came out. Now I can hear so so nice. It was SUCH a huge difference. The nurse was surprised with all the wax I had. Kind of a gross story but it's what happened. Yesterday in Murcia we found an American sweets shop that had cereal and cake mix and frosting and pop tarts and maple syrup and just everything they DON'T have in Spain. I bought some cake mix and some frosting. DELICIOUS..........oh how scruptious. ........scrumptuleciant.....or however you spell that word Sharlene!
Happy birthday to my brother and niece. Hope it was just Lovely
I´m getting nervous as I have less than 7 months left (WHERE DID THIS TIME GO????)
When do class enrollments start?
Elder Valenzuela is now in my district. I was his District leader in Sanlúcar. Now he´s my Zone leader. (if you remember he´s from Erika´s home stake. Now that I think of it, did I ever tell you that?. oh well) He´s my bud
I got a letter from Tyler
I have about 10 letters (not joking) sitting on my table sorry friends
We went to a Chinese buffet. I ate so much tempura shrimp and veggies. IT WAS SOOO GOOD
I´m scared of making choices after the mission. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?????
I´m playing the piano muy POCO.
I´m so SOOOO happy about Jennifer's House and Dad´s interview. Two big answers to my prayers.
Life is very VERY busy. We´re working really hard. Sweating a lot. Praying a lot. Reading a lot. You know, the usual.
I love you all so so much. I´m praying for you. I miss you.
Un besico de la parte de vuestro amigo KitKat. ;D
Elder Kirkham