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`BLUE BOOK' QUENCHED THIRST FOR TRUTH

During the summer of 1980, Alberto C. Bulseco, his wife and daughter stopped off in Manila on their vacation, so he could visit his brother.

"I have two brothers, and we are very close," he related. "Whenever we meet, it has been our practice to discuss Bible scriptures and religion. Since childhood, we had been dissatisfied with the religion our parents taught us and had been searching for the true church."His brother told him that Mormon missionaries were coming to the boarding house to visit one of the boarders. The name "Mormon" was familiar to Bulseco, but he couldn't recall where he had heard it. He did remember, however, that the Church believed in an ancient but progressive civilization that was located in America.

The missionaries arrived that evening but found their contact wasn't interested. Bulseco and his brother invited the pair, one an American and the other a Filipino, to talk to them. The elders first explained the steps of prayer, Bulseco recalled, and he accepted an offer to say the opening prayer.

After praying, Bulseco looked up to see a blue book half hidden under the arm of the Filipino elder. He asked what the book was and felt strongly it had something to do with the missionaries' beliefs. The elders gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and Bulseco promised to read it.

"The next things they said were no longer important to me," he recalled. "I felt that this book would tell me all I needed to know from them."

As soon as Bulseco arrived home from his vacation, he began reading the Book of Mormon.

"I was surprised at my feelings when I opened the book," he recalled. "I felt some power in it that made my fingers tremble as I turned the first pages.

"A marvelous feeling engulfed me as I read every line. I often had to repeat the words and verses just to savor the sweet and satisfying feeling that seemed to come from them."

He didn't read many pages before he knew it was true.

"No other literature made me weep as this book has," he said. "Neither has there been any influence that has touched my soul and marked a marvelous change within me."

Having given his address to the missionaries in Manila, Bulseco expected missionaries to come to his home. After three days of waiting, however, he grew restless and began looking for them. He found where they were living and went to their home. When an elder came to the door, Bulseco said he wanted to be baptized.

At first the elder thought it was a joke, so Bulseco testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon. He said because of that knowledge, he also knew the Church was true. The missionaries soon were teaching him the discussions.

With the missionary lessons came resistance from his wife, who tried everything she could to keep her husband from being baptized. On Aug. 5, 1980, the day he was scheduled to be baptized, she threatened to leave him if he joined the Church.

"My steps were heavy as I walked down our stairs," he recalled. "I had mixed feelings, but my decision was firm and irreversible."

He was baptized in the sea. Two years later, his wife was baptized. Two more years passed before they were sealed with their four children in the Manila Philippines Temple. His three brothers, a sister and his parents also joined the Church.

"All these blessings and many others have come to me because of the Book of Mormon," he said. "My thirst for truth was quenched by the Book of Mormon."

Bulseco now serves as president of the Sorsogon District of the Philippines Cebu East Mission.