What a wonderful week here in the Philippines. It's torturous hearing about how the leaves are changing colors and fall is approaching. I sure love the fall season. We are not lucky enough to experience that great time here. It's still hot, it still rains, the only thing that changes colors here is the sky... due to pollution. The city of Manila isn't exactly a beautiful place. It's actually exactly the opposite, so pangit (ugly). There is a river running through the city though. At first sight you would never guess it was a river. It's more of a landfill. So much trash and for some reason it bubbles. I have no clue why. If someone were to fall into it, they would not be coming back out. You actually know when you’re approaching the river because you can smell it for miles. However, even though this place makes your eyes hurt, your nose burn and your ears bleed, I love it more than any other place on earth (excluding Utah of course). This is the place that I'm supposed to be.
Saturday was one of the best days of my mission. We had the baptism of Donnalyn. She was one of the investigators that Elder Tofi and I taught before our area was split. She is the most amazing person ever. Her husband is a member (less active but returning) and they have two kids. I love their family so much. A couple days before the baptism, the sister missionaries that are currently teaching her informed me that she wanted me to baptize her. I was so dang excited. I was also asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. It went great. Seriously, just thinking about the baptism makes me smile. We also performed a musical number. 6 of us missionaries sang "A Child's Prayer." We crushed it. The spirit was so strong during the service. I honestly can't describe the feeling that was there. The best part is that in one year they will have the opportunity to be sealed together forever in the Manila temple. There is not doubt in my mind that they will do everything in their power to make that happen. I sure hope that I'm in a position that allows me to attend when they are finally sealed. Seriously, I love missionary work. I've learned a little principle about missionary work. When you think that it can't get any worse, it does. However, when you think it can't get any better, it does. You gotta go through the trials to experience the miracles.
So I gotta tell you about this family that Elder Villoso found last week. It all started when one of our appointments fell through. We started to head to another appointment when we noticed a woman outside her house washing her clothes. I felt prompted to approach her and start a little conversation. (This prompting was crazy too. Elder Villoso and I were talking and out of nowhere I found myself walking away from Elder Villoso while he was still talking and toward her. It was definitely the spirit.) She was not interested in anything that we had to say. She called her husband to talk with us just so she wouldn't have to. We talked for a while but he did not show much interest at all. We continued to talk about the gospel and about families. We asked if we could return and the husband reluctantly agreed. After our visit, they were completely different people. I couldn't believe the change that was wrought upon their hearts. The spirit was so strong. We've visited them a couple times since and they have begun reading the Book of Mormon and praying. They weren't able to come to church yesterday but have expressed to us their desire to attend. They accepted a baptismal date for the 23rd of November. Have I mentioned that I love missionary work.
Let's see, what else has been special about this week. One of our toughest investigators, Debbie, has finally started reading the book of Mormon!! Seriously, there are few things that make missionaries happier than when people finally start reading the book of Mormon after weeks of declining the invitation.
PS Don't worry, I am putting on mosquito repellent every night before I go to bed, so hopefully that will prevent getting Dengue again. And I'm saying my prayers, so that should help too.