Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This has been a strange week. I don´t know why. I was SOOOOO tired yesterday and today because of Daylight savings time. Is it different in Spain? Because we just had it this weekend. Oh well.

Hmmmmmm. I believe the most amazing thing that happened this week is Andrés. I don´t remember if I´ve talked about him. He´s from Brasil and he´s 29. Well remember how Matilde was BEGGING us to move back into her piso, she found about a month ago someone to rent out her piso. This someone is Andrés. Matilde introduced us to him last week. He´s this thug looking guy with tattoos and earrings and some weird haircut. He looks like he should be part of a gang in LA or something. Well Matilde (she has NO fear) told him about HOW MUCH she loves her élderes and how she LOVES being Mormona and told him to let us come over and teach him. So we did. We went over to set up an appointment and he told us, "I don´t like sharing my life with anyone" "I´ll listen to you guys because my mom taught me to respect other people" etc. He said yes but wasn´t really excited. So we went back the next day and started chatting and we always do a "lesson 0" the first time to explain our purpose, talk BRIEFLY about each of the lessons and basically promise blessings and a closer relationship with God through listening, reading, praying and going to church. Well this guy just opened up COMPLETELY. Telling us about his life, crying, just a COMPLETE difference from the day before. So this week we started teaching him and we went over on Wednesday and talked about the Restoration and watched the little video with him (in Portuguese of course which I can understand really well) then we came back on Thursday and he had taken out his earrings and had read and prayed and told us "I feel in my heart that EVERYTHING you guys say and teach me is true" so we decided to talk about prophets because we invited him to watch general conference so we watched the little biography of President Monson. and he said "I FEEL like he really is a prophet" so we talked about baptism and set a baptismal date with him that day. We had prayed and planned the 14 of April. When we invited him to be baptized that date he teared up and told us "the 15 is my birthday". He wants to be baptized. And what better day to be "born again" than on your birthday. Truly miracles are happening in the Málaga Mission. We are trying SO hard to prepare him because he has a job that his boss has told him he HAS to work on Sunday. So he has to come to church before he can be baptized. He also is only available 3 days of the week to teach because he has another job in Algeciras. So we fasted yesterday that he can be able to come to church.

Antonio is also progressing well. We set a baptismal date with him April 7 but we will probably have to push it back. Its really hard for him to come to church because he´s in a wheelchair and lives on the OTHER side of the city. Almost outside of the city. But we´re working and praying for him.

We had specialized training in Cádiz this week. it was awesome. My district leader responsibilities continue. I still feel kind of lost but a lot better than before.

I made a delicious apple pie. It was SOOOOO good. I´m kind of in a cooking/baking kick. I´m experimenting with new things.

Elder Hoyos was home for a day with the stomach flu. He was only drinking aquarius (which is like a sports drink here) for 2 days without eating anything. El pobre.

Matilde and both her sisters who are members fed us this week and Matilde sang "love one another" for us flamenco style. It was so beautiful hahahahaha. Rocío´s son came to church yesterday with her husband and other sister who isn´t a member.

We have been searching for a universal remote this week to be able to watch a movie with a part member family who has a DVD player but no remote to change the language into Spanish. And the brand is some strange German brand so we FINALLY found a compatible remote with that brand.

Saturday was some random Spanish holiday and EVERYTHING was closed. And Semana Santa (Holy Week) is approaching. Apparently its pretty big in Sanlúcar. There will be multiple processions every day except Saturday next week. The members are going to the temple (NOOOOO I´m so jealous) and so they will escape the crazy level of Semana Santa in Andalucía because they will be in Madrid.

I´ve been watching old conference videos that we have in our piso to get ready for this Conference. I'm so excited.

Elder Hoyos hasn´t received ANY money this month from the mission. (we´ve now fixed it) but we lived almost a WHOLE MONTH on just the money I got. It was a loaves and fishes kind of month.

Elder Hoyos is going to go running at an outside track and I´m going to time him and write letters. So we´re in our old p-day clothes. It feels like a sin because we have to wear pros. clothes unless we´re doing something that calls for other clothes. So since Elder Hoyos will be running I also am wearing Babylon clothes. and there's no problem, I´m just not used to it and I feel President Clegg is going to pop out of no where. But don´t worry. I´m not breaking any rules.

The area presidency has asked president Clegg to get rid of our 20 minute naps. Adios mi siesta. But that's alright. We´re I believe the ONLY mission in the world that allowed naps. So now we´re just like everyone else. Although we still have 2 hours medio dia to eat and study and just sit down. Here in Spain breakfast is small, lunch is HUGE!!!!! around 1 or 2. and then you eat your merienda (snack) a little pastry or bocadillo around 5 or 6 then you eat at like 8 or 9 a small dinner tortilla española or a bocadillo.

Alright. I think that's it. I´m starting to feel strange in my stomach. I hope its just normal and I´m not getting sick.

I love you all. I don´t even remember what America is like. I was going through old letters and pictures and I saw our HOUSE. ITS HUGE!!!!!!! oh my gosh. Our house in Spain would be SUPER nice upper class. Well at least in Andalucia. Unemployment is now over 30% in Cádiz. The worst in Spain.And that's just people who WANT to work. There are so many people living in government housing "gitanos" that just don´t care. Spaniards are really racist to the gitanos. Sadly almost all of their stereotypes are true. But once you have a gitano as your friend, they´d kill for you. (honestly) I love em so much.

That's all. Have a lovely week. I love you all.
Elder Kirkham

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello Family

This week has been LONG. We have walked so SO much. The shoe pads you sent for Christmas already have holes in them. My feet up to my head are tired and sore. It has been a hard week. But we found 3 new investigators. One of them lives above Matilde in her little piso where the missionaries USED to live. He´s just so great and so happy to talk with us. He´s from Brazil and has had a HARD life. He was reluctant to talk with us at first but Matilde told him to listen and if he didn´t like us he could kick us out and we wouldn´t bother him again. So we had a lesson with him and he just lit up. He said he felt so HAPPY and peaceful while talking with us. He told us about his life and opened up with a lot of tears but at the end of the lesson he just wanted to give us a hug (which he did). He´s so awesome and has a HUGE heart.

Elder Hoyos a little about him. He was born in Ecuador but moved to Spain when he was young. Then 4-5 years ago his family moved to London and there he got his mission call to Málaga. He has about 6 months in the mission and he´s just great. He´s super positive and upbeat all the time. Its good for me. My only complaint is he LOVES listening to music ALL THE TIME. I basically have EVERY EFY song memorized now. But that's a VERY small thing to complain about. We mostly talk in Spanish but sometimes we´ll talk a little in English. He´s a really hard worker and obedient. He´s a great companion and a BIG help to me to remind me to stay positive.

I´m trying to send a picture but I can´t find a computer in Sanlúcar that I can connect my camera to. I have a lot of pictures I want to send. Sorry. I´ll keep looking for a good computer.

This week (today) I think I shall attempt to make apple pie. I´m terrified because our oven is TERRIBLE. I might go over to Matilde´s house to actually bake it. She just LOVES the missionaries.

Yesterday in Church someone from the Stake came (I don´t know the stake people here) but he´s fairly new from off the mission and he told us he served in Barcelona with President Hinckley (son) as a mission president. I learned that President Hinckley (son) was called to Argentina but reassigned to SPAIN to OPEN the country to missionary work. The speaker told us that him (president Hinckley son) and a few other missionaries were there when Spain was dedicated and that him to hear in that prayer that Spain would have a temple in a few years was CRAZY. Those 10 or so people praying together were the ONLY members in the WHOLE country. How could there be a TEMPLE in a few years. Well sure as the words of the apostles are, 25 years after that prayer there was a temple in Madrid that serves France, Italy and Portugal. And Now in the coming years there will be temples in EACH of those countries. Truly this is the work of the Lord.

I love you all. Sorry this letter was so short. I have you in my prayers and thoughts always. This week is going to be a great one!!!!

love Elder Kirkham

Monday, March 12, 2012

Here are some quotes that my mission president shared with us this week. I like them. I hope they can help you. Love you all
Elder Kirkham
  • "Wherever you go . . . go there with all your heart." – Anonymous
  • "Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have."
  • "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." – R.E. Osborn
  • "Habit is stronger than reason." – George Santayana
  • "The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable that binds us irrevocably through thought and act." (or in other words 2 Ne. 26:22) – O. S. Marden
  • "Dreams get you started; discipline keeps you going." – Jim Rohn
  • "Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind." – Robert G. Ingersoll
  • "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there." – Anonymous
  • "To get what we've never had, we must do what we've never done." – Anonymous
  • "Wisdom is knowing the right path to take . . . integrity is taking it." – M.H. McKee
  • "Life is like a game of tennis; the player who serves well seldom loses.” – Anonymous
  • "You seldom come across anything more enjoyable than a happy person." – Frank A. Clark
  • "It is not the things we get, but the hearts we touch, that will measure our success in life." – Anonymous
  • "A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder." – English Proverb
  • "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." – Publilius Syrus
  • "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." – Samuel Johnson
  • "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." – Margaret Thatcher
  • "He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." – Saint Basil
  • "Happiness is a choice, not a response." – Anonymous
  • "Consider every mistake you do make as an asset." – Paul J. Meyer

Monday, March 5, 2012

It was such a great baptism. The spirit was so strong. President Clegg and Hermana Clegg came and both talked at her baptism. It was so great. Then yesterday I gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. We got news last week who our new President will be. President Clegg leaves in June or July (depending on visas) and we will have a new President who is bringing 2 teenage kids with him. Crazy. That's going to be SO strange. Him and his wife are SO young. Look on the mission blog if you would like to know more about them.

Transfers are this week. This is probably the scariest one yet.
Elder Pearce is leaving to Elche in Alicante (the northern part of the mission) and I´m staying here.
Sad that he´s leaving. I´m staying here. Elder Pearce WAS the District Leader. but since he´s leaving. YIKES. We were on a bus when President called for transfers. Elder Pearce answered the phone. He told him where he was going then he wanted to talk to ME!!!!!!!! NOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
He asked me "Elder Kirkham, you ready to have more responsibility?" "uhhhhhh" "Because I´m calling you as the new district leader" "ME??!!" "YOU" "WHAT????!" "WHAT?" and then President started laughing. I´m pretty sure he knew I didn´t want to be district leader. OH NO. This is terrible news. Ok I´m being dramatic but I do NOT feel ready for any leadership responsibilities. It must be a test. How long can Elder Kirkham survive under the pressure. Yikes. I have to do 5 baptism interviews this weekend.

We got to teach Antonio this week. We had invited him to the baptism on Tuesday but he couldn´t go. So when we got there he asked us HOW WAS IT? We started talking about baptism. He was just super excited and said "I want to get baptized right NOW!!!! wait NO! I have to go to Church first... Tell me EVERYTHING about your church" he´s so awesome. We´re hoping he can gain a strong testimony for when the opposition comes. But he has been prepared to hear the gospel. The Lord is truly blessing us and the people here in Sanlúcar and in the WHOLE Málaga Mission. The mission is doing almost the best in its history with NOT SO MANY missionaries as it has had in the past. Its just great to be a missionary and to be in the Málaga Mission.

There's missionary GOSSIP that the mission boundaries are going to change again this year. Elder Pearce is kind of worried because he will be in Alicante which used to be part of the Barcelona Mission and if boundaries change he might get absorbed into the Barcelona Mission. Who knows. But there's ALWAYS missionary gossip. So far I´ve been in Andalucía my whole mission and I hope to stay here my whole mission.

I don´t know my new companion but I´ve heard he´s from Ecuador and lived in England for a few years. his name is Elder Hoyos.

Matilde bore her testimony yesterday about how much she loved all the missionaries and how she was sad that Elder Pearce is leaving. She´s excited though because she knows that I like visiting her and she LOVES when the Elders visit her. Everyone here calls Elder Pearce "P". "Kitkat, i love P but you understand me better and you LOVE coming to visit me don´t you, don't you Kitkat?" She says From the first time she saw me she knew I was "one of hers". She's so funny but also crazy. She doesn't understand that we can´t ALWAYS be at her house. Now I have to be the "bad cop" and tell her we can´t come over all the time.

Last night she called us and told us to go to the house of a part member family RIGHT AWAY!!! and then she hung up. So we ran over there and she was there with the aunt and sister who she had just met and found out that they were inactive. You have to understand that Matilde is SUPER forward and started telling them (very strongly) Why they had to come back to church and that you can't be "mormona" and not go to church. She started singing a flamenco song about fighting in "la batalla de Dios" (God´s battle). They agreed to go to church to get her to stop singing. I love Matilde.

I also got a fancy bus card that works for all of Cádiz. I was really excited about that so I don´t have to carry change around with me all the time.

Well it was a really awesome week. I hope you all are well. I always think of things I want to write about but never remember.

Oh I got the books you sent me. I´m almost done with the first one. It's so good. What a smart cookie Francis Washington Kirkham. I love how in the preface of the second volume he says "President George Albert Smith has asked me to continue my research" so he wrote another book. haha

Ok love you all
Thank you for your letters and prayers and thoughts. I love you all. I have less than a year!!!! AHHH!!!!! These last 2 transfers have gone by WAY too fast.

Love you all,
Elder Kirkham