Monday, August 14, 2017

He always answers

Friends and Family,

It was one great week for us here in Zaragoza! I learned a lot, we
helped a lot of people come closer to Christ, and we are coming closer
and closer to bursting the "baptismal dam" here. When it breaks there
will be many people following our Savior Jesus Christ.

The biggest miracle from this week is this man named Alfonsi. Alfonsi
is from Venezuela and he is one great man. He is in his late twenties
and has only been here in Spain for a short time. Honestly when I got
here to Zaragoza I thought he had little potential. He was really
intense and was questioning every point that we brought up to him. He
wanted to make sure every point we ever taught him was backed up by
scriptures. I am not that type of missionary that loves to fight every
point doctrinally. I am more of a teach by the spirit and ask them to
ask God to be sure what we are teaching is true. So I was a little
uncomfortable teaching him that way. But then in the past three weeks,
this man has had a huge change of heart. We teach him and he accepts
every point and is truly openin his heart. It is amazing! He is
preparing to be baptized in a couple of weeks and we are really
excited because he wants to baptize his family when they get here from
Venezuela. He is working really hard to bring his wife and daughter
from Venezuela and told us that he wants them to come be baptized! He
is a great man! He was in the army and is absolutely massive in
regards to his muscles.

Elder Molina is amazing! He keeps working really hard and he is so
focused. This week we got a lot closer as companions. It is definitely
different being companions with a native but I am so grateful for the
opportunity to learn with him. We are becoming true friends and we get
along really well. He is really humble as well. And as you can tell he
is amazing she ukulele. He learned how to play the ukulele 7 weeks ago
and that is how well he can play it. He listens to any song and can
play it! It is amazing!

I personally am doing really well. A member of the congregation told
me something yesterday that was literally an answer to my prayers. I
was praying on how to improve and a person and as a missionary and the
member said something that struck me to the core. It could have been
said with other intentions but it was the answer to my prayers. I am
so thankful for Our Heavenly Father. He always answers.

Leo and Julio keep moving forward. We are looking forward to their progress.

It got really cold for a couple days this week. It was only in the
80s. Lol. The heat is back now though.

Thankful for our Heavenly Father,
Elder Bristol


Enviado desde mi iPad

GIft of Tongues (sign edition)

Hello to all!

What a miracle packed week. We had a great time finding new people to
teach and teaching our friends that we already have. Elder Molina
continues to impress me. He works as hard as I could hope him to and
loves the work. We are getting along really well and I am truly
learning a lot more about the Spanish language so I am very excited
for this transfer we have here!

As I said, it was a miraculous week here in Zaragoza. Last week I
talked about our friends Melvin and Leo. Well we have another
miraculous person to add in there. His name is Julio, he is the 12
year old brother of Leo, and he is deaf. We always knew that he
existed and that he was in the house but we never knew how to invite
him to learn with us about Jesus Christ. But this week we were picking
up Leo to go play soccer with other people from church and Leo asked
if his brother could come. We said of course and went to play soccer.
The family has invented their own sign language with him so we just
had to learn some signals from Leo and we started having fun and
communicating with the brother. We had a great time and even taught
him about Jesus Christ and about baptism and Julio loved the video of
Jesus Christ baptizing himself. Then we invited them to church on
Sunday. It was the first time they were going to come. And they came!
Leo told us that Julio woke him up to go to church! They came to
church and at church every single young man and woman shared a short
testimony in the first meeting. It was amazing for Leo. Then
afterwards all of the young people in the church were so great. They
all tried to sign to Julio and talked to Leo. They stayed in church
for all 3 hours and did not get on their phone one time. Julio sat
there, not understanding any, so reverent and respectful and it was
amazing. Elder Molina is amazing. He has such a strong bond with
Julio. I would venture to say that he is Julio's best friend here in
Spain. It was so great. After church Leo asked us if he could come out
and visit and teach people with us if he wanted! He wants to be a
missionary as well! What a miraculous week.

Elder Molina is amazing. He has such great people skills and knows how
to do missionary work. He is also very humble. Just yesterday we were
trying to figure what to teach a family and he told me that he trusted
me and he would just follow my lead. It was a true show of respect and
love. We are getting along really well and have many jokes between us.
This is a powerful team here in Zaragoza!

I am doing really well. I have found that in these two weeks here in
Zaragoza I have been praying more for other people than ever before in
my life and it has truly made me a happier person. I have rarely
prayed for myself but I know that my God is there for me and that my
Father has lifted me up and is just carrying me! I love the mission!

This week Elder Molina and I have started dancing a really subtle
dance every time we here rap on someone's speakers and it's really
fun. Also it's super hot here in Zaragoza. I've taken three showers
today haha.

With a new vigor to learn how to communicate with the deaf,
Elder Bristol

Zaragoza= The promised land


I cannot believe how blessed I have been to come to the new land of
miracles! Zaragoza is the promised land. But I am not even lying!
Zaragoza is the promised land. Elder Molina and I have had such a
great week and I am so excited to be here working with him. I cannot
believe how blessed I am. Words cannot describe how happy I am to be
here in Zaragoza 2B!

We had a week full of miracles. We are preparing a lot of people to be
baptized in the end of August and we are super excited. Two of our
good friends that will be preparing for baptism are named Leo and
Melvin. They are from Homduras and they both moved here just of 1 year
ago. They are a father and son. The father used to live with
missionaries in Honduras but was never taught anything but just knew a
little of the basics of the gospel. They were found a little before I
got here in Zaragoza and Elder Molina and I had the privilege of
teaching them the first lesson in their home yesterday. We taught them
and the father is probably the most responsive person I have met here.
He was so nice and listened to every word intently. Elder Molina
invited him to be baptized and the man said yes! And then the son as
well said yes! They also said they will be in church this week! And
they said they will be praying to make sure this is the right way for
them! The father Melvin told us in the end that he wants to be a
better father and have a stronger family and he says he thinks he
found the right place for that with the Church of Jesus Christ! He is
so great!

Elder Molina is phenomenal. Hands down he is the most prepared
missionary I have met. He knows the doctrine and he teaches with great
power. The members love him and he is a great missionary! I am so
excited to be with him!

Zaragoza is the first city I've been in that is outside of Cataluña
(basically the Texas of Spain [always wanting independence]) and it is
very different. All of the signs are actually in Spanish. The people
are more open and it is a great experience.

Elder Molina is so smart. He also can play the ukulele like a native
Hawaiian so that's amazing. He learned it 6 weeks ago and can play any
song I play for him from my music drive. He plays it just by
listening. He is impressive.

Con aún más ánimo que la semana pasada,

Elder Bristol

Goodbye Tortosa, Hello Zaragoza

Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have been called to serve
in Tortosa. It was small and it was very different from my beginnings
in Badalona but I grew to truly love it. I am leaving Tortosa a better
man than when I entered. I am leaving a changed man. I entered here
and looking back I feel like I was pretty immature as a missionary.
But I have been humbled a lot here in Tortosa and I am forever
thankful for the opportunity I've had to work there. I have learned a
lot from my companions Elder Riggs and Elder Cushing and I have a firm
testimony that God truly does direct this work. They were the
missionaries I needed and this was the area I needed. I love Tortosa.

I am going to Zaragoza! My new companion is Elder Molina and he is
from Colombia! He has already graduated from medical school and he is
amazing! He was baptized just a short while ago and I am so excited to
be with him! Also I am excited to be in the big city again! I love the
small towns but the big cities are great!

We had an incredible last week of the transfer here in Tortosa. We
kept teaching the family that I told you about last week. This is the
family where the girl just moved here from Homduras who is a member.
Well we were invited over to eat with them and then we taught them a
lesson afterwards. After sharing the lesson and bearing thoughtful
testimony, the mom turned to us and said that she felt something. She
told us that she can feel that this church has got a future and that
it is truly the church of Christ. She expressed to us about how happy
she was and she was excited to keep moving forward. Well, us as
servants of the Lord, could not help but invite her to come closer to
Christ through baptism. She answered with an enthusiastic yes and so
did the rest of the family. A family of 3! It was a wonderful moment,
one I am sure I will never forget.

Elder Riggs is amazing. He has helped me to keep moving forward for
every moment of these past six weeks. I am so grateful for the
opportunity I have had to learn from him. He is constantly doing
something. If we are walking on the street he is memorizing
scriptures. If we are at home he is study scripture. He is amazing!

I am so excited to go be with Elder Molina in Zaragoza. I know he is
going to be such a great help to me and that we are going to see much
success together. It is going to be really fun. I love the mission and
I love my Savior Jesus Christ.

Con animo,

Elder Bristol

Iru with the comeback

Hey y'all,

Wow what a great week! The great weeks just don't stop coming here in
Tortosa. We truly do have a lot going on and the branch is on the
brink of a ton of growth! We are putting the pedal to the metal and
just working 110% every day trying to help our friends here in
Tortosa! The great thing is that everyone else is as well! The members
of the congregation are hitting a turning point and everything is on
the up swing here!

A couple weeks ago our dear friend Orlin reappeared from off the face
of the earth and this week we had a similar miracle. Our dear friend
Iru undisappeared off the face of the earth! The story is even better.
We were in the town that Iru lives in which we go to once maybe twice
a week. We had found someone in Tortosa who lived in Iru's same town
so we decided to take advantage of that time and we went to pass by
where Iru works. He takes care of an old Spaniard lady and lives with
her all the time. We are not allowed to ring her doorbell because she
does not like us because we believe in God. So we passed by and called
him a couple of times but he wasn't answering. So the normal Elder
Bristol would say, "ok this is a waste of time let's go find people"
but something inside me told me to wait and make a call to one of our
other friends that lives in Iru's town. So we made that call standing
right outside Iru's house and during he middle of the call Iru comes
walking down the street! He greets us and we get to talking. And he is
back! He has reduced smoking from 40 cigarettes to 1-2 cigarettes a
day since we taught him that smoking was not in accordance with the
commandments of the Lord. He said that he will be baptized when he can
get all of the bad things out of his life (like smokimg) and he
committed to read the entire Book of Mormon by Tuesday! This happened
on Saturday. What a miracle! We are so glad the Lord used us as his
tools in this moment to find His lost sheep Iru!

Elder Riggs is stellar. As I keep telling you, he is a spiritual and
scriptural monster. He knows the scriptures like the back of his hand
and it truly helps. I have never met someone with so much knowledge of
the scriptures! He truly is amazing. I am learning to take every
moment of study seriously from him because I want to be a scripture
master like he is.

As for my personal development I am doing well. I am still
progressing. This week I have put a huge focus on my personal study
and I am trying to take advantage of every moment in that hour so that
I leave that hour being spiritually enriched. It is working!

A great/fun experience from this week was that after the conference we
had on Thursday with a ton of missionaries we had our interviews with
the mission president that we have every six weeks.  We were the last
interviews and we were running late for our train so President Dayton
gave us a ride in his car! It was so fun. We had great time with just
President Dayton for twenty minutes in his car. Whattan experience!

I am happy here in Tortosa. It is the land of miracles.

With love from the land of miracles,

Elder Bristol

Monday, July 10, 2017

Marathon Week

Hey y'all

Tortosa just keeps spitting out miracles and Elder Riggs and I have a
front row seat.

This week was the marathon week. Normally as a missionary we have a
couple meetings or something to break up the super hard work but this
week we had no sort of thing! We worked a ton of hours out on the
streets and in people's houses but it was one heck of a time! I had a
great time! It was a lot of work though haha.

This week's miracle stems from a miracle that happened two weeks ago
as well. Two weeks ago our friend Orlin called us to tell us that he
finally got out of work! He was the miracle man that we prayed with
until he got an answer that he needed to be baptized. Right after that
he took an all day every day job and was not able to come to church
nor meet with us for over a month. Now he finally got out of it! But
that's not even the biggest miracle. A member from Honduras just moved
into Tortosa with some friends and we did not know where she lives for
a while. We were trying to visit her and help her feel welcome for the
past 3 weeks but never had been able to do it. Well this week our
friend Orlin invited us over to eat with him and the member was there!
She is renting a room out in the same apartment as Orlin! How amazing
is that! And even more amazing is the boyfriend of this member who
also just moved here from Honduras. We asked him if he was a member
and told us "aún, no" which is basically saying that he know that he
will be one day soon! His name is Juan Carlos. So this new member that
we have in Tortosa is going to be a great asset for us and so will her
boyfriend and Orlin! We are very excited for their progression and
their baptisms coming up here soon. Whatta promised land!!

My companion Elder Riggs is amazing! We just had the longest week a
missionary could probably have. Here in Tortosa there is no meetings
with church members because the leaders live in Tarragona and this
week we had no Distric Meeting because of interviews for Tarragona. So
Elder Riggs and I had the maximum amount of hours for proselytize time
possible! For some missionaries that could be tough to go that hard
and never have a time to just sit down and be in a meeting! But Elder
Riggs never even complained! He worked hard the entire week without
letting up one bit in the end! Elder Riggs is a workhorse!

I am still progressing very much! This week I studied a lot about the
basics of missionary work! I even studied about how to better my
studying! And as I studied throughout the week I found my studies
improving and improving! I am looking forward to personal study now
with anticipation!

I love this mission. I'm glad to be here in the greatest mission on
the earth's great face!

With gratitude for Tortosa,
Elder Bristol

Enviado desde mi iPad


Tortosa On My Mind

Hello to all,

Well it is official. Tortosa is the promised land. It is the land of
miracles. Elder Eiggs and I have seen more miracles than I thought was
possible 3 weeks ago. The Lord loves Tortosa and sure wants the gospel
to be preached to everyone here! And it is so fun as well. Elder Riggs
and I always have a smile on our face and it is just a great time to
be here with him.

This week we decided to start focusing more and more on finding men to
teach. We did that because here in Tortosa we have a ton of women and
many strong women that are helping the church unit here. We do not
have many men that regularly attend the branch so we have turned our
focus to finding men. We asked God for help with this goal and then
the miracles came as if the flood gates had opened. We were contacting
one night and we decided to cross the street to talk to an old
Spaniard man who was smoking. We started to talk to him to see what
his religious background was and he told us that he has had
missionaries over before and he loved it. That was a miracle but even
more of a miracle was what happened next. We realized in the middle of
talking to this man that a car had stopped in the middle of the road
behind us. The driver was a man from our English class who wanted to
say hello. We went over with him and then he invited us into his car
and drove us to our next destination. While in the car he expressed to
us that he wanted to know more about our church. He said he was
Catholic for most of his life then recently changed to Evangelical.
But he said that he has always admired the Mormons and how they live.
He was the answer to our prayers. Right now he is a leader in his
church but he said he is taking seriously the teachings we are giving
him and that if God answers his prayers he will join our congregation
in a heartbeat. This man, David, then offered a prayer and thanked God
for us "the representatives of Jesus Christ here in Tortosa". What a

Elder Riggs is amazing! He is the perfect missionary to have here in
Tortosa! I could not think of a better missionary to be here. He is a
spiritual giant and works his tail off and is full of energy. I hope
to one day be half the missionary that he is! It is such a blessing to
be here with him.

As for me I am doing really well. I feel like I have found a new gear.
This transfer I have taken a new motto. It is actually a quote from
Tim Tebow that I have always loved. It was after he lost a game that
he should not have lost while he was quaterback at the University of
Florida. My mission modified quote of him says, "I promise you one
thing. A lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any
[missionary] in the entire [mission work] as hard as I will [work] for
the rest of the [transfer]. You will never see someone push the rest
of the [companionship] as hard as I will push [Elder Riggs] the rest
of the [transfer]. You will never see a [companionship work] harder
than we will the rest of the [transfer]." And it is my promise. There
is no one that will work harder than Elder Riggs and I for the rest of
this transfer.

I love the Lord. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and a son of God.

With Vigor,

Elder Bristol