Saturday, November 18, 2017

One for the Dutch

The Dutch master Abraham is our best friend now. We went gokarting with him today and he is amazing. He wants to be a professional formula 1 driver. So he goes there every day to practice racing. He is a funny man and an amazing man.

Well life could not be better over here on the islands. I’m loving my time here. I love my companion. I love our friends that we are teaching. I love the members here. I love everything about the islands. I never want to leave. It’s an amazing amazing experience. Our friend named Abraham has progressed a ton this week and will be getting baptized this Saturday at 7! 

That leads me straight into the miracle from the week. Abraham was fasting last Monday to receive an answer on whether he should be baptized or not and we were really excited for him. He fasted for 38 hours and received an answer!! He received a yes! He is amazing! He came to the baptism of Elena this weekend in a full suit and was so excited for Elena. It was an amazing experience for him. He invited his friend Hisham who is also from Holland but is a Muslim to the baptism and to church. Hisham came to both and shows a lot of promise. Abraham will be getting baptized on Saturday at 7. Elder Bradshaw will be baptizing him and I will be giving him the Holy Ghost. Abraham is 23 and comes from a very wealthy family. He is talking about flying his whole family out from Holland to see his baptism this weekend. I am not lying to you when I say that he is the most converted man I have ever met. He loves Christ and wants to model his life after him. He told us today that no matter how he feels, when he is around us he always feels better. He is our brother in Christ and we will be eternal friends.

Elder Bradshaw will also be an eternal friend of mine. I love him so much. He teaches in a very clear and concise manner and allows for the Spirit to be present. He is a great leader and a great companion. He is a spiritual powerhouse. One thing I noticed is that he is dedicated to making our companionship as strong as possible. In every moment possible he looks to help our friendship and brotherhood and is always looking to serve. We also just have a lot of fun together.

Our area is going strong. We have another man named Miguel who will be getting baptized in a couple of weeks. We are excited for him as well. We have a couple more people with baptismal dates for the near future and things are going well. Abraham is our biggest help right now though. He is just giving us references like crazy. I love the work here.

I am personally trying to strengthen my relationship with the Lord. Every night I am making a big focus on my nightly prayers. I am taking them slower and making sure I go through the entire day so that I thank Him for everything He gave me. I love the mission. I never want to leave the Islands and I never want to leave El Faro. 

Baleares 2020,
Elder Bristol

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The Big 50!!

First of all a big heart HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOTHER! Happy 50th birthday my mother! Love you so much! You’re the best! 

I’ll be going to Ibiza for two days this week to work with missionaries over there so I’m super excited! It’ll be a great week! 

It was one great week here in Palma. We had a wonderful zone conference and the zone is so excited to have the new technology. We have seen miracles already from the new technology and everything is going really well. We had a wonderful week and we saw the hand of the Lord day after day. The zone had a great week as well and we are all looking upwards and tied together with the vision of Baleares 2020.

Abraham continues to be our miracle. This man has progressed so quickly. This last week the technology has been an amazing tool. We couldn’t call him earlier because his phone was a phone for outside of Spain and we were having to use membership phones who had WhatsApp to plan visits with him. But now with WhatsApp we are able to get things set up with him very easily. He actually has been thanking us for the constant contact we have been able to have with him. We sent him reminders to read and to pray and he said if he had not received those he probably would not have read. Technology has its first miracle here in Palma! But also he came to church yesterday and loved it. He loved the testimony meeting and Hermana Cummings gave a testimony about the power of fasting and after the meeting Abraham told us that he wanted to fast. He wanted to receive an answer so he said he was going to fast for it. We have gotten a text from him today telling us that he already received the answer earlier today and that he’d tell us about it tonight. So we are excited to hear about it tonight! He also asked for a priesthood blessing and we explained to him what they were and we gave it to him and then he cried after the blessing because of the things the Lord told him. He said it was the first time he had cried in a long time. He is an amazing man. 

Elder Bradshaw is a spiritual Giant. This week when we were teaching Abraham he bore some of the most heartfelt testimonies I have ever heard. He has a solid testimony in our Lord Jesus Christ and I love being able to work beside him every day. He is a great man and a great leader. I truly look up to him and love him.

The zone is doing well. The Marratxi district continues to destroy it and have great weeks. The Ibiza district is actually now doing really well. Our district is also doing well. The hermanas in our district will be baptizing this week and I will actually be able to perform the baptism and it will be a great experience. Menorca is not having a lot of luck in the streets as of late. The are not disanimated or anything. They are actually just hungry for success. Elder Ricks is a great leader. Elder Wood and Burr keep having a little bit of a tough time. We are doing an intercambio with them this week and we will try to animate them! 

I am personally doing really well. I am as happy as I have ever been. I love the islands! I love the people out here and I love the opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I love being able to help baptize people. I love baptism.

With love for baptism,
Elder Bristol

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Well as y’all have probably guessed...WE HAVE FACEBOOK AND A SMARTPHONE! The mission has taken a huge leap forward and we are so excited. I can’t reply to anyone on Facebook or Facebook messenger. I can only communicate with home through email. But we will be able to keep up with our friends here in Spain a lot easier. The biggest blessing is something called WhatsApp which is free messaging for people in Spain. People in Spain don’t have unlimited text so we have lost a ton of people just because they couldn’t respond to us. But now we have a way to contact them all! So the lord is hastening his work! 

Baleares 2020 is catching fire. The zone is doing really well and everyone is having good weeks! The missionaries are really motivated to make this place a stake by 2020 and everyone has stepped up their game! Elder Bradshaw and I keep getting blessed by the Lord and we are seeing many miracles. 

We have sad news before the miracle. Sebastian called us and told us that he didn’t want to come to church anymore. It caught us off guard and we can’t get in touch with him to figure out why but we will find him soon and help him receive the happiness that this gospel has! But a huge miracle happened this week. Our friend Abraham from Holland has been progressing quite nicely. Everything is going really well and we are excited to be working with him! He is one of the funniest men I know and one of the most humble and righteous men I have met as well. He is about 26 and has been living the principles of the gospel for about 6 months without even knowing it. He is basically teaching us. When we teach him something he says that he agrees with it and tells us why and it is the exact reason that Christ has explained to us that we have certain principles. He is amazing. He is living here because he wants to start a cleaning business and is here with his friend Hisham. Hisham is Muslim but also very open to learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ as well. The concern is that Abraham doesn’t want to upset his friend Hisham by choosing a faith that Hisham is not a part of. So we are working with Abraham to have confidence in the steps he is taking. We believe that we will see Abraham’s baptism in the next couple of weeks! 

Elder Bradshaw is a very effective man. He isn’t also a very loving man. I would say the biggest thing I learned from him this week is his love. He loves everyone and shows his love! He loves me and serves me. He loves the members and truly tries to make their lives better. He loved our friends that we are teaching a truly tries to help them as well. It’s going super well! He is a great leader and a great friend. He also gains trust of others easily. Some members of our zone told us recently that they feel that they trust us and they can tell us anything which really reflects a lot of how good of a leader elder Bradshaw is!

The mission took a big step this week with the advancements of technology. We are about to see the floodgates open and people are about to have their lives changed for the better. I am overwhelmed with excitement. The Lord is hastening his work. We are so excited. 

I am doing personally very well. This is a good day and I love missionary work. I love baptism and I am excited to see 5 baptisms this month. 

With awe for this new age in missionary work,
Elder Bristol

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Baleares 2020

You will understand the subject in just a short while...We just keep seeing the hand of the Lord in our lives here in Palma! The Lord is blessing the people here and we are truly priveledged to be here witnessing the Lord’s outpouring here. Sebastian is our new best friend. He is the man we found last week and we taught him multiple times and called him all the other days to see how he was doing and he isn’t doing super well. The zone had an amazing week. The new faces here are truly going to help our zone out a lot. We are super excited to be here! 

The miracle we saw this week was when we were teaching Sebastian! We taught him a lot this week. We called him really late one night and he came and met up with us to have a lesson right before we had to go home one night. He came to church again 15 minutes early, beating many of the members again. But the true miracle was when we were teaching him about the things we should stay away from. We told him that we should not drink alcohol, smoke, or drink things that could be addictive and he had a problem with smoking and drinking coffee. He said that he drinks coffee four times a day and that he smokes 20 cigarettes a day. We taught him that God does not want him to smoke and he said that he would quit right then! He then went and quit! We then asked him if he would like to get baptized sooner than we had planned and he said he would love to! He will be baptized on the 4th of November! We are so excited for him! 

Elder Bradshaw is amazingly. His biggest strength is that he can talk about any subject. He knows just enough about everything to be able to talk about a subject with someone and make them feel important. I’m working a lot on trying to make others feel important lately and watching him is helping me a lot. But we are getting along really well. He is truly a brother in Christ and we are loving our time together. 

We met with the District President (the man from the church who is in charge of all the churches on the Balearic Islands) this week, Presidente Barraza. We talked about the goal of the islands to become a stake (a word to describe a lot of large congregations. Right now we are a district which is a group of small congregations) by the end of 2020. We loved that goal and we have decided to make that part of the zone culture and part of the zone vision as missionaries. We want all the missionaries to buy into the idea and we want everyone to get excited to be the missionaries that started the push for “Baleares 2020”. We are going to do this by focusing really hard on fechas as a zone and making sure that every companionship always has 3 fechas. It is our focus and our vision. 

I am doing really well. As I said I am working hard to make others feel important. Other people want to feel important and they need to feel important. So in everything I am doing, with other missionaries or members of the church or our friends that we are teaching, I am going to be making a bigger emphasis on them. I want them to feel the love of the Lord. I love the Lord.i am also working on pushing myself even harder in studies so that I can be a purified vessel for the Lord. 

Elder Bradshaw and I are really getting along. In my apartment I love all the elders as well. It is the best one I’ve had so far and I’m always myself which is super great. Elder Bradshaw and I bought matching bucket hats today! 

I love the Lord and love His work.

Baleares 2020,
Elder Bristol

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Well the Miracles Keep Coming

Hello one and all,

Every week I feel a little repetitive but it was just another outstanding and miraculous week here in Palma. This was possible the most miraculous week that I have seen on my mission. We have found some of the most prepared people I have ever met and we have been able to help them come closer to Jesus Christ. Elder Bradshaw and I are so excited to be staying together. We thought it was possible the one of us was leaving and we are so excited to be staying together. We have great things planned for the zone and great things planned for the congregation out here in Palma.

First of all, I would like to inform you of one of the nicest and most humble men I have met here in Spain. His name is Sebastian and he speaks little Spanish and English. He understands both English and Spanish perfectly. The missionaries from Menorca found him one day when they were in Palma and gave us his number and we called him and set up a day to meet. We met and went to the church and taught him a lesson. He was so nice and expressed pure desires to come to know Jesus more. Then we invited him to be baptized and he said yes and that he would love to do that! We invited him to church and a baptism. Saturday morning we called him and he said he could not come to the baptism so we were a little bummed. But then 20 minutes before the baptism he showed up in church clothes and was ready to watch the baptism! He loved it and we had a wonderful experience after the baptism of a woman from Inca. Elder Bradshaw and I showed him the baptismal font with the water still in it and had a very spiritual moment there. He said that he had not felt that kind of peace in a long time. That moved us a lot. Then he came to church the next day 15 minutes early (earlier than all the members) and loved all 3 hours. Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he was going to read it 30 minutes every day. He is so amazing but most importantly he is so humble. He has the purest desires of anyone I’ve met to learn more about Jesus and God. We have seen a couple more miracles from other people and Juan Carlos the miracle from last week keeps progressing and moving towards his baptism. We found these people from Holland. One’s name is Abraham and he has pure desires to follow Jesus Christ as well. He told us that he wants his future family to grow up in this church after the first lesson so that was amazing as well! 

Elder Bradshaw is a great companion. He has a way of accepting people’s ideas that is astounding. He is so humble and always takes what I say into consideration and takes what everyone says into consideration. He isn’t a powerful emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ and I am proud to be his companion. 

Elder Bradshaw had me laughing really hard yesterday and I accidentally broke the screen of my iPad. It still works and everything but it’s a little annoying. It was a pretty big fail haha. But all is well in Israel.

I personally am doing really well. I am applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ a lot in my life right now and I am trying to help myself always improve. I loved the teaching of the assistants in the last zone conference about complacency. I loved the thought about us needing to improve even when things are going well. We can still grow when everything is going well. We don’t have to be going through a hard time for us to learn something from the Lord. He wants to teach us always. 

Astounded by the miraculous Palma,
Elder Bristol

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Juan Carlos

Well God is great!

Everything is going really well here in Palma. We have met the future for the church here and is name isn’t Juan Carlos and he is a miraculous man. The zone is working hard and we are seeing an upswing in energy and excitement for missionary work. Elder Bradshaw continues to amaze me with his talent and love for the Lord’s work and the Lord’s people.

Our miracle from this week is most definitely a man name Juan Carlos. He is from Spain and he isn’t in his upper thirties. The hermanas actually found him on the street on Friday and they invited him to a church activity that same day. He said he would come and came and then they gave him our number and gave us his number because they found out that he lives in our area. He then said that he would come to church Sunday and actually came! He stayed all three hours and absolutely loved it. He said that he was in aggreeance with everything that was going on there. Then we asked if he could meet Sunday night and he said yes and he came and we had a wonderful lesson. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he loved it and said that is made complete sense. He said that he was really disullisioned with the Catholic Church and that he felt good while he was with us and he felt the Spirit when he was in church with us. We talked a lot about baptism and invited him to be baptized and he said he would love to! We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read it because it would bring him more happiness and clarity to his life and he accepted it and said that he would have the entire book read in under a month. This is a man that works 8 hours a day and studies 3 other hours everyday during the week! He is very intelligent and is truly the most prepared man I have ever met in my entire life. We are so grateful to the Lord to be able to witness this mans conversion! 

Elder Bradshaw is a great companion. He handles adversity and obstacles better than almost anyone I’ve ever met. There have been some obstacles this week and he handled them like a complete professional. I love Elder Bradshaw and I am learning a ton from him and his poise and composure in tough situations.

I am absolutely in love with Palma. I love the role the Lord has allowed me to play here so far. I love the members and I love the missionaries in the Bale├íric Islands Zone. I am so happy and I’m excited to see more miracles this week! 
This man Juan Carlos is super funny as well. He has a super dry humor and we get along really well. He made some funny jokes about how he loves water and he loves to swim so heck yeah he’d love to be baptized and things like that. He is a funny man. 
I have started to do box drills as well for morning exercises and I am loving them hahaha. It takes me back to high school baseball workouts and I am loving it. I also found out I am Gluten Intolerant this week. I have been off gluten for like 2 months and then I ate it yesterday and got super tired and did not feel great! So that’s fun! 

Thank you for everything,
Elder Bristol.

1 Year in the Field

Hello to all! Today marks one year of being in the mission field! I
have truly been preaching the Gospel for a full year! I am excited to
see what this next year has in store for me!

This week we had zone conference and interviews. It was a great zone
conference and a great set of interviews. I am very thankful for the
leadership and the great role models that Presidente Hermana Dayton
are to us in the mission but more importantly in this zone! The zone
conference was exactly what this zone needed. The zone has been
struggling a little lately with a lot of new missionaries and we have
been a little concerned but this was such a great conference and we
are so excited to see how it helps the zone out.

Here in Palma we have had a weird week. Elder Bradshaw got really sick
and fainted in the street while I was on an intercambio in Menorca on
Friday. I got back Saturday morning and we had to stay in all day
Saturday. We did a lot of calls and had a lot of good things we did
but it was weird having to stay inside all day. Then on Sunday he
still felt really sick and we stayed in until 6pm just in time to
catch the Sunday morning session of General Conference. It was really
good. The miracle was that 10 minutes before church started on Sunday
one of our friends called us. His name is Lorenzo and he called us
wanting to come to church. We quickly got a ride from a member of the
congregation and went and picked up our friend Lorenzo. He loved
church and stayed after for 40 solid minutes talking to members and
other missionaries. It was so great. Although we weren't able to go to
the streets as much as we wanted this last week, we were blessed with
a miracle with Lorenzo. We were able to see how happy he was at church
and it was wonderful!

Today for preparation day we had a good day! We went on an amazing
hike! It was beautiful and we found some great caves and beautiful

My companion Elder Bradshaw is a superstar. There is no other word to
describe it. He basically willed himself out of bed on Sunday and put
on a great face so that he could go to church. It was really wonderful
and I was super happy for the opportunity we had to go and see the
miracle with Lorenzo. But Elder Bradshaw is a wonderful leader.
Everyone admires him and he knows how to lead. He also knows how to
share responsabilities which is wonderful.

I am doing fantastic. I am happy. I am happier right now than I have
been in my mission! I truly am able to be myself and I love the
responsabilities that have been put upon me here in Las Islas
Baleares. I am truly trying to focus more on others and less on
myself. I want to apply more fully the teachings of "How to Win
Friends and Influence People" and make people feel important.

Eager to help Las Islas Baleares,
Elder Bristol

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