Monday, June 25, 2012

Sorry I had no time to write this week.
 
Everything is well. I promise a big long email next week.
 
Love you all

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I think Molina is the best area ever!!!!!!
 
It's just so much fun to be a missionary! And I pretty much have one of the funniest companions in the mission. And to add to that he´s probably one of the boldest too. Elder Brown is NOT afraid to call someone a liar. Or tell someone "well that's a lame excuse" hahahahahaha.  Sometimes I freak out "Elder how can you say that!!???" and he responds "well its true isn´t it?"
 
Theres Elder Brown for ya.
 
This week has included but has not been limited to:
 
Good Bye Zone Conference to the Cleggs
staying up WAY too late to make food for our district
2 AMAZING Noches de Hogar (family nights)
Some new investigators
5 investigators at church (YES!!!!!)
The Cleggs speaking in Sacrament meeting
The Cleggs having a heart to heart with Elder Kirkham after Sacrament meeting (I love em)
Throwing fruit off of our balcony after Spain beat Ireland (Eurocup) ¡¡Viva la Roja!!
Continuing to sleep on our balcony because its too dang hot inside
Going on splits with the zone leaders
having a pueblo party (it would be a ward party but it was just the members in one of our pueblos) in Archena
 that's the basics
 
The zone conference was really good. It was different from others. Instead of giving real workshops they just kind of gave us their final advice and love. We watched a few slideshows about the Clegg´s family and history then about their time here in Spain. We made quilt pieces (no joke) so Hermana Clegg could make a mission quilt when she's bored at home (in Utah of course). Wrote welcome letters to the Deeres. The Cleggs gave each missionary a ring that says PRO (as in professional) which is an acronym (spelling?) of how to be a "pro" basically be successful. PRO. Pray Read Obey. It was really nice of them and they're NOT cheap rings. So it was a nice reminder and gift from them. Hermana Clegg got to give each of the elders a hug (she gave me 2) hee hee hee. And we said goodbye. I was asked to do a musical number. And going along with the theme I was going to do God Be With You. Well about 5 minutes before we started I hear down the hall, misisonaries from the OTHER group singing THAT SONG!!!!!
So I improvised. I played one of my favorite hymns "Jesus the very thought of thee" and I sang as well. I had never practiced but thanks to your persistance in making learn piano I could add some nice accomp. with singing and reading from the hymnbook. They really liked it a lot. I really love that hymn. It just sums up my simple testimony. "Jesus the very thought of thee with sweetness fills my breast, but sweeter far thy face to see and in thy presence rest." I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
 
We had really good noches de hogar. Both of them had more investigators than members. It was great!!!!! The spirit was really strong in both of them. All of the investigators in our Noche de Hogar in Archena (pueblo) came to church!!!!! (and it's farther away than Molina to Murcia)
 
The Cleggs spoke in our Sacrament meeting. It was SOOO good. Everyone loves them. How can you NOT? He´s the Hinckley family dentist for crying out loud! Then they stayed between (we have sacrament meeting last) and we just talked and they told us stories and what they love about the mission and not wanting to go home. And I asked them what they thought about going home date. They told me to keep thinking about it. February seems to be coming VERY VERY soon. Where are these 2 years going???? I really REALLY love my mission! It makes me sad to think of going home to be honest. I remember Andy told me this before I left and it seemed weird to me but you honestly forget what life was like before. What did I DO????? I can't remember NOT being a missionary. It's like a new little life for 2 years.
 
Our investigators are doing REALLY REALLY well. We had one of the most spiritual lessons on Sunday during Sunday school in Gospel Principles. One of the recent converts gave her testimony. How she was so scared of missionaries.She thought the church was so strange. We´re FREAKS. And when the missionaries came to her house she didn't want to talk with them. She was actually studying with Jehovah´s Witnesses. But then something chaged. She went to church, started reading the Book of Mormon and she felt the Spirit. THAT is where our testimony comes from. You can´t deny testimony that comes from the Spirit.
 
I know, and my testimony keeps getting stronger every day, that God has restored HIS church on the Earth. Its not Joseph´s Smith´s Church, or Mormon´s Church, or Thomas Monson´s Church. It is the Lord´s Church. The Church of Jesus Christ. The name of the Church in Spanish is 21 syllables. I DONT waste my breath saying the church´s true name because it REALLY is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know it. Thanks to this Church we can live with our families FOREVER.
 
I love my mision. I love being a missionary. I know that the message I´m sharing is true. And that if someone wants to be closer to God they can read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God our Father. Its not hard. We can tap into the source of eternal truth and knowledge.
 
I love you all and I pray for you all.
 
Os Quiero
Elder Kirkham

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ITS BEEN SUCH A LONG WEEK
It actually went by really fast but we had to do SO MUCH.

We´ve gone to like 7 pueblos this last week.

Cool things:
We met a girl through a member. We taught her "lesson 0" which is basically just talking to her about promises and blessings received from following Christ and talking briefly about the missionary discussions. We invited her to be baptized and she was like "YES! sign me up!" We were super excited. She we really excited. Her friend (member) started crying. We finished the lesson and she said the closing prayer. She was so happy. It was just such a HAPPY spirit in the room.

When we went back to her house 2 days later she told us that her mom told her NO!! (her mom is working in France) So we talked with her about having faith, confidence, and patience. If she really felt she wanted to be baptized, to pray and read and ask God to soften her mom´s heart. We´re going back today.

Which leads me to.....SANDRA!!!!! Do you remember the 14 year old girl from Sanlucar? Whose parents wouldn't let her get baptized? Who went to church and introduced her friends to the church? Well SHE¨S GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Hoyos got permission to call and tell me. What a great blessing!!!! She was going to go to EFY as a non member this summer but now she´ll go as a member.

We worked SO SO SO SO hard this week to get investigators to church. We planned EVERYTHING! Set up rides, bus schedules, rendez vous points, wake up calls. EVERYTHING. And Sunday morning.........call after call. "élderes lo siento no podemos".......NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a really hard thing here. 9 am church, in MURCIA which is a 20-90 minute ride depending on which pueblo, meaning it's REALLY hard to get investigators to church. We´re PUSHING SO HARD to get a capilla here in Molina. Then the bishop wants to split the ward into 2 branches and it's just really difficult because no one has cars. And those who do are already full taking the members. It's just kind of stressful. But this week will be better.

President and Hermana Clegg leave this month and on Wednesday we have a special good bye conference. Here in Murcia.

Elder Brown and I are getting along well. Having fun. We sleep now on the GIANT balcony we have. Its SO SO SO SO SO SO hot here. Miserable. The heat just stays in my clothes and makes me feel like I'm in an oven. grooooosssssss

I made croquetas the other day. I don't know how to explain them. its a Spanish food. AND THEY WERE SOOOOOOOO good!!!

I´m learning a lot.

We do Family Home Evenings in our two biggest pueblos and invite our investigators. They went really well this week.

We had SUCH a strange lesson a few days ago. We met two investigators at a river and went walking. We talked about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and just followed this couple through wetlands. Then they brought us to this orchard and told us to pick the fruit and that it was ok because it's like the Garden of Eden and that they ALWAYS climb the trees and eat the fruit. I felt REALLY shady and didn't pick any but they forced me to take some they had picked so I put it in my pockets. It was so strange. But they're funny people. She paints her lips like Bett Midler on Hocus Pocus and has long bright orange fingernails and drawn on eyebrows.

We passed the standards of excellence this week in everything except investigators in church. It was a REALLLLLLY full week. We worked REALLY hard. Then last night we were both just DEAD!

Well I know I´m forgetting SO MUCH stuff but that's a good taste.
Murcia looks like Nevada, just with weird jagged cliffs that pop out of no where. But it has the same shrubbery and plantiforousness. I speaka Engrish good.

Elder brown laughs at me because I sometimes speak English using Spanish grammar or phrases.

I´m glad you get to have your fun old people parties. Say hi to all of the gang for me.

I love you all. I´m tired but so happy and healthy. Life is just so great!!!!

Elder Kirkham

Monday, June 4, 2012

WOW! I haven´t even been here a week and I already love it!!
 
My new companion is Elder Brown. He´s from South Jordan Salt Lake. He´s 6´7´´. We were in the same district in Motril (he was in Nerja) and in Sanlúcar I was his district leader (he was in Puerto de Santa María). Now we´re companions and he´s MY district leader (hurray!!!!!). Needless to say I am NOT sad that I´m not district leader anymore. Oh and Elder Pearce is my Zone Leader here. (also in our district).
 
So we already know each other really well. When you don´t know your companion the first 2 weeks are weird because you don't know what your comp is like. But that didn´t happen here. We just went right to work.
 
The WARD let me repeat, WARD, that I´m in is the newest in SPAIN. It just divided last month. We´re about 15 minutes outside of Murcia Capital and we were part of one of their wards. But we just split. BUT we still have to go to Murcia to go to church.
 
Our ward is made up of a lot of pueblos. A LOT of pueblo work. Molina the actual city is pretty small but our ward boundaries are about 2 hours driving distance. We´ve started doing Family Night Groups rotating in members houses. They're going really good.
 
I feel like I´ve been here more than 5 days. We have a LOT of investigators right now. A lot of GOOD investigators right now. The biggest problem is getting them to church because in Spain you take the bus. And our ward starts at 9 (10:30 is too early for Spaniards) that's a hard thing. But the Stake is working on putting a chapel in Molina. And then they´re going to Split the Stake soon and then they want to put a branch in one of our strong pueblos. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! So much work to do!!!!!
 
The work is REALLY different outside of Andalucía. The people are REALLY different. The accent is REALLY different. There are a LOT of people from Morocco. Almost everything is translated into Arabic. There are also a LOT of South Americans here.
 
It's HOT HOT HOT here in Molina. We live on the 7th floor of our building (top floor) so we get a really big patio/balcony. So last night we pulled our mattresses out onto the balcony and slept under the stars. It was LOVELY!
 
The ward is strong. There WAS a lady who played the piano but she found out that I play so she´s put it on me now. (I don´t mind)
 
Everything is really squished together here. (unlike Sanlúcar where everything is spread out)
The water here is NASTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its sooooo hard. It tastes like you're drinking metal. But that's ok.
There are once again Hermanas in my district.
My mission is going by REALLY fast. I love the mission. We´re working hard. Having success. Sweating a lot (although it's not as humid here)
Spaniards don´t understand the concept of FASTING because they eat like hobbits (lots of little meals). We had to explain MULTIPLE times to our investigators. But its funny.
 
Our mission leader and his wife played a prank on me. We went to their house and Elder Brown told me they were a family that didn´t go to church anymore. We walked in and the wife is wearing a denim skirt that goes to her ankles, turtle neck, young woman medallion, hymns playing in the background, kneeling down in front of a picture of Joseph Smith surrounded by candles.
 
I freaked out when I first saw her. They played the prank for a few minutes and then were like "JUST KIDDING!!!!!"
Then they fed us this HUGE meal. I was freaked out at first but then it was funny. (mostly because I´ve done similar things to other missionaries)
 
It's been a really good week. I love it here. I wish it wasn´t so hot but, it is what it is.
 
I love you all. I´m praying for you. The gospel is amazing. I am so grateful for my Savior and for his gospel. It is truly a blessing in my life to know he loves me and that I can be with my family forever.
 
Love you all
 
besitos
 
Elder Kirkham

Friday, June 1, 2012

Adios Sanlúcar

I´m getting transferred!!!!!!!!!! I´ve been here 6 months. I´m gonna miss Sanlúcar A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember how I did NOT want to leave Andalucía? Well guess what?

I¨M LEAVING ANDALUCÍA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I´m going to A brand new ward in a city called Molino. Its in Murcia. Outside of Andalucia.

¡Que Dolor! ¡Que Pena!

Yep its adios to Sanlucar and Adios to Matilde.


Well I don´t have a lot of time so I'll tell you about our cool day today.



First we met with a member and her friend (an investigator) and went to the tallest building in Sanlúcar to go to the top to take pictures. It was closed.

So we were going to go to the Palaces of the Dukes of Macedonia and passed by this really old building and one of them said "you wanna go in?" and I was like "¡¡¡¡si!!!!!"
Well this girl had done a play in this old building that turned out to be a ransacked Cathedral that was turned into a theater and now is only open for special performances. So she knew the owner and we went in through a little door into this old Cathedral. It was so so cool. The owner started showing us around and then was like "you guys can find your way around" and left us to explore the cathedral. And take pictures and basically let us free.

We went down into the crypt and went to the graves of the Dukes of Macedonia from 1600 AD or so.
Then we went up to the balconies and the rest of the cathedral. Then we asked him if we could to up to the roof. He was like "ya why not" and we went up and saw EVERYTHING!!!!
It was so cool.

Then we went to the palace (right next door) and got LOCKED INTO THE GARDENS!!!!!! Seriously we had to yell for someone to come open the gates for us.

It was a fun day.

I don´t really have more time. I love you all. I´ll write you more about my new area next week. I love you all.

Take Care
Elder Kirkham