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