Monday, May 22, 2017

Iru the Pakistani Giant

Everything is going very well here in Tortosa. Elder Cushing and I and
working really hard under the Tortosan sun out here! It's really
starting to warm up but hey that's what missionary work is all about!
We are working really hard and seeing the fruits of our labors. It is
very rewarding to get the fruits from your labors when you're working
really hard!

We experienced a couple great miracles this week. Our great friend Iru
is moving swiftly towards his baptism! He is progressing so well! He
is very smart and remembers everything we ever teach him or anything
he ever reads. He tells us that he does not want to waste our time so
he is trying his hardest to learn everything he can! He came to church
for the first time yesterday and absolutely loved it. He described it
as a calm that he could not even describe. He payed very close
attention to every work spoken! It was great!

Our second miracle was being able to put ourselves in contact with
someone that we almost lost contact with. We were contacting students
on a university campus a couple weeks ago and a girl gave us her
address and phone number and told us she would be less busy in a
couple of weeks. So we set up a visit for this week with her and
everything. I had written the address down wrong and we had lost her
phone number so we were phrantically asking everyone that lived near
her where she lived. Nobody knew and then I got a little angry. But
then something told me to calm down and say a prayer. So I said a
quick prayer and we decided to go look for her address once more. We
are walking down the street and a woman stops us and asks if we are
looking for Denis (the girl we are looking for). We say yes and then
she said, "well follow me" and she turned out to be her mom! It was a
great visit and the girl and the mom both have great potential! God
always answers our prayers!

I hope everything is going well!

With love from Tortosa,

Elder Bristol

Tortosa = promised land

Hello to all and a Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers,

This was a stellar week here in Tortosa. It was honestly a really
stressful week but in the end it turned out very well. It ended on a
very high note and with a great Spirit.

The miracle from this week continues with our friends Orlin and Iru.
This week they both basically fell off the face of the earth for the
first 5 days of the week. Then on Saturday we were finally able to get
in touch with him. Orlin took a job this week taking care of some old
people because they cannot care for themselves. This is a job that
takes a ton of people out of our teaching pool here in Tortosa because
of the lack of free time they have. So we were not able to meet with
him this week and he was not able to come to church. So we were pretty
bummed about that but then Sunday afternoon he called us and told us
that he was sorry and he will be quitting his job on Tuesday so he
will be able to come to church and be baptized! We had to move his
baptismal service one week back so we could fully prepare him but the
call we received from him was an answer to our prayers. Then with Iru,
he told us that he was going to be able to come to church this week as
well. The problem was that Iru had a really tough week where he almost
lost his job and was very nervous because of that. So on Saturday he
went in search of work in Barcelona. He said he would catch the first
train to Tortosa Sunday morning to be able to come to church. But then
he never showed up. What ended up happening is he got halfway to
Tortosa and realized he had forgotten his phone in Barcelona so he had
to go back to get it. He told us this morning that he is never going
to miss church again because he felt so bad after missing it Sunday.
He also committed to quit smoking this week! He is an amazing man and
we are looking forward to his baptism!

This week Elder Cushing impressed me by his leadership skills. He is
truly taking his calling as district leader seriously and he is doing
a great job! I am so thankful to be able to be here learning from him!

This week we saw some other miracles while contacting! People have
been so willing to invite us over to their houses lately it's been
amazing! The work is going well here in Tortosa!

With Vigor,

Elder Bristol

from jacobs birthday


Good day to yall from Tortosa! This is a land full of miracles! I can
enthusiastically say that the call to serve here in Tortosa was
inspired of God. I was called here with a purpose. There is so much
for me to learn here and so much to learn from my companion Elder
Cushing. I love the work here!

The miracle this week is just a continuation of the miracle this past
week. Orlin is progressing very well towards his baptism in two weeks.
It is so amazing how dead set he is on that date now. Only two weeks
ago he did not even know if he was going to get baptized. Now he is
moving rapidly towards a lifetime of discipleship!

Iru keeps progressing very well. He is amazing. He is the 55 year old
man from Pakistan. When he lived in Pakistan he actually stood up to
Osama Bin Laden in 1980! He told him that what he was preaching one
day in a mosque was not in accordance with the Islamic faith. Then he
got throw out of the mosque and beaten by two guards. Also another
story of Iru is that when he was in Pakistan he starting attending a
Christian church. Because of this is was very dangerous for him to
live there because he was Christian at this point. So he always walked
around with an AK47 and a huge German Shepard to keep him safe. One
day two people were laying in the grass waiting to snipe him and his
dog took off and stopped the people before they could kill Iru. He is
a true baller. He keeps thanking us always for the job we do here. He
always recognizes us as servants of God. He is visibly happier now as
well after teaching him some lessons. The last lesson we taught him he
accepted Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world and it was
an amazing experience! We are truly looking forward to he baptism on
the 27th of May!

Elder Cushing has already taught me so many great things. The biggest
thing I learned and admired this week was his desire to always be
happy. He is always happy and just works really hard to always remain
happy! In the face of any challenge he comes out smiling and happy! He
is a happy one! It truly is fun to be with someone who is always

This week I learned most of all that God wants us to have joy. We
wants us to have full and everlasting joy. Joy that we can only find
in Jesus Christ.

With Love from Tortosa,
Elder Bristol

The Promised Land

Hello from another week in the land of miracles here in Tortosa. We
have seen the hand of the Lord so much this week it has been
absolutely magnificent. No matter where we go we feel like God is
right there with us helping us and helping our friends to find Christ
in their life.

We have two great miracles from this week. The first one happened with
our dear friend Orlin. Orlin is 27 and from Honduras. He was found in
January and has been coming to church for over 3 months without
missing week. He has been very faithful and shows his faith every week
by coming to church. But when we taught him he always expressed his
fear for baptism. He expressed fear for if he messed up after his
baptism. We have been hearing this same excuse for over a month and a
half so we decided to leave it in the hands of the Lord. After
testifying to him for over 30 minutes about the importance of this
step in his life we decided to get down on our knees, all three of us,
and take turns praying until his fear was taken away. It was amazing.
After 4 times of praying each, or about 15 minutes, his fear was
completely taken away and he said he is ready to be baptized. He said
he will be out of town next week so the next possible time for him to
be baptized will be the 20th. It was amazing. We literally saw the
Lord answer a prayer right in front of us. After praying he kept
telling us how great of a work we have as missionaries and kept
thanking us over and over. It only took 15 minutes for the Lord to
answer this mans earnest prayer.

Our next miracle is this man named Iru. He is from Pakistan and is
about 55 years old. We found him by going to a house of an old
Spaniard lady we found on the street in a pueblo called Amposta. We
knock looking for the old lady and he answers and invites us inside.
He works for the old lady and has lived in Spain for 8 years. Long
story short he has a lot of pain and sorrow and says that he really
just wants to change. He wants his life to be better and he wants to
go to Heaven after this life. He told us in the first visit that there
was no way he could make it to Heaven. We testified to him that it
truly is possible and that he will. He loved that and told us that he
wants to become a Christian (he is a non practicing Muslim) and come
to church with us forever. We are really excited to see his progress
and baptism in the end of this month of May.

Elder Cushing is amazing. He is so focused on the work here. We have
truly become good friends this past week. I'm really excited to see
the miracles the Lord has in store for us this transfer!

The Lord truly answers every one of our prayers. He knows us and He loves us.

With the faith to see more miracles,
Elder Bristol

Beach Baptism

That's right one and all! We had a baptism in the Mediterranean Sea!

This has definitely been a week for the books. It has been one of the
most roller coast of emotion weeks that I have ever had here in Spain.
The craziest part was the weekend. Starting on Friday I think I had a
weekend I will never forget. With the zone conference and then the
baptism of Oyinda it has been crazy.

On Sunday we were able to watch as our great new friend Oyinda joined
our Savior by being baptized! It was so great. On Saturday we were
supposed to have the baptism of Oyinda. We confirmed it with her two
hours before she was going to meet us as well. We were super excited
but then the time for us to meet up rolls around and she didn't show
and then did not show the entire day. She told us later that her
father forced her to run some errands and for that she could not make
it. So then on Sunday we decided that we would do the baptismal
service. She came to church and then after church her, the branch
president Josep, Elder Cushing and I drove to a nice secluded beach
and performed the ordinance of the baptism there. It was very nice and
simple. Then we gave her the Holy Ghost right there and that was the
service. It was nothing short of a miracle. Her entire story is a
miracle. From the time she contacted us to her baptism it has been a
nonstop miracle.

I am so happy to be here with my great friend Elder Cushing. He is
amazing. This week he showed me how to hold up under pressure. This
was a very stressful week for both of us but he held up under pressure
and kept his smile on his face the entire time. He is truly a great
example for me and I am so happy to be here in Tortosa.

This week I learned most of all that God is truly listening to my
prayers. I prayed probably more this week than I ever have and every
prayer was answered. The kicker is that they weren't answered in my
time rather in the Lord's. This has been such a great week and I know
that the Lord is always there for us!

Peace up A-Town,