Elder Nadado took this picture of the Bindoy Chapel from above, I thought it was really cool.
On Saturday, we had the baptism of Elemar, Elmer, and Elecito Romano. Their father was supposed to baptise them, but a week before he fell out of the heights of a mango tree while he was spraying pesticides, and got his leg beat up pretty well, and though he can't really stand for any period of time for now, he's still working and providing for his family. But the baptism of his sons was going to happen, when we found that there was no water in the church, and hasn't been running for days. But luckily, we live on an island. This was an incredible experience.
Elder Castro and I in Anibong, going to the Silvano family. In Anibong, there's four sisters (as in actual sisters) who all have families of their own now, who are all members, and it's really interesting to see how each of them are in different stages of life, trial, and conversion. The Silvano family are just wonderfully kind people, and it is just good, but heartbreaking to hear the testimony of Sister Silvano. She wants to go to church, they just can't because of the plete (fare), the money is the problem. But they sent their daughter to church every week, so that their kids stay strong, even if their father may not be. The Aplicano family is actually in Cebu right now, being sealed in the temple. We have visited them a bit in the last few weeks, mainly because they asked for help. They have truly experienced the trials a family faces even in that last few days before receiving those blessings, and I can really say that they will become a great family, with a unfailing testimony of the strength received. The Aspacios are the most solid family of them all, and one of the most solid families in the branch. They were sealed in 2011, and they have a son who is 16 now, but right on track to go on a mission, and we've visited them a couple of times and they've told us how they've really felt like they have the responsibility as a light among their neighbors. Brother Aspacio told us that a friend of him congratulated him because he was the only man in Anibong who can get his whole family out to church on Sunday, and we've seen Sister Aspacio really take it on herself to help some of the people we're teaching, and it is really amazing to see the members who have been able to rise through challenges turn back and help others, including her sister's families and the Romano's. It is really incredible to see the Lord working in people, that we are not our workers for ourselves, but for Him.
Elder Castro and Brother Jerwin. Brother Jerwin has been through a lot to get to where he is, but he is being baptised later today. He is incredibly knowledgeable and I know he will grow so much from the gospel.
The Romano family. We had something of a farewell FHE, and they cooked up some real good home-cooking meals. This was a great time of rejoicing. I taught the lesson for FHE, and I really just wanted to reflect on how great it is to see this family take these great steps, even if it is step by step, to truly coming together as one. How great it is that all of them in this home now have followed the gospel, and have entered into the way. I felt I should share from 4 Nephi, how great the happiness was of the people as they followed after Christ, only this time, for us, and for this family, it would never pass away into darkness. But their family, this gospel will only grow and spread herself abroad. Also in that trend, Escalante District is becoming a Stake this week. I am so honored and happy to have been able to have served there, and hope that they will grow and learn in this great time.