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