Monday, March 2, 2015

March 1, 2015 Welcome to Sri Lanka!

Our Mission President Berrett and his wife in the Nagumbo church house.  Just off the plane and no sleep!!
We are here!  We made it to the beautiful country of Sri Lanka!  I need to back up a little bit first because we had a wonderful ending to our MTC experience also!  We started up new classes on Monday with different teachers and different subjects!  A lot of the senior missionaries left already to their various missions.  If you had a specific assignment, like CES, office, Military, YSA, etc., you stayed a few days longer.  We met with the CES, Military and YSA missionaries the first 2 days.  There were about 12 couples in this training.  This time we had actual CES employees teach these classes so they were older men that used to be involved in teaching seminary or institute.  The classes were really good.  They taught us how to be great teachers!  At the end of class on Tuesday, they had a man from church security come and visit with us.  He taught of the best ways to stay safe on your mission.  I can see how these are good things to know, but it sure makes you nervous sometimes talking about robbery or kidnaping and things like that!!!  Monday night, Ann and Eric took us to dinner at the Bombay House in Provo.  It was authentic Indian food.  It was yummy and really fun to be with them.  Tuesday evening, we had the General Authority fireside they have each week.  Once again, seeing all the young missionaries there was amazing.  They did a musical number at the beginning and it was wonderful. This week's speaker was Elder Clausse from the Presidency of the Presiding Bishopric.  He was from France.  His wife also spoke.  They were amazing.  They spoke of the missionary conversions in their own families.  They bore such strong and beautiful testimony of the work we are doing.  At the end, Elder Clausse introduced a friend of his who was an accomplished musician.  He said he was going to step out of his comfort zone and play a piano duet with his friend.  It was a medley of 3 hymns.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  Elder Clausse was a master pianist himself.  The MTC had just purchased a brand new baby grand piano and they were able to play on that!  Fabulous!!!Wednesday brought more class but with just the CES and YSA couples.   Still very good and powerful.  Different CES teachers.  We were done at noon.  We had lunch and then went back to our MTC dorm and packed everything up!  We went to the store and got a few things and then headed to Curts work!  Steve had not seen where his office was.  It was fun to see him there and surprise him!  We got his key and headed to his home in Salt Lake.  I started all the laundry!  We had a yummy dinner at Outback....our last supper!!  We decided we wanted steak because we would not get much beef in Sri Lanka!  The server lady was really nice and gave us our last desserts too!  Cheesecake and Carrot Cake!  Thursday morning brought a big blizzard to Salt Lake.  We found out that our flight to Chicago had been delayed about 3 hours.  We packed everything, went to the store again, and stopped at In and Out for our last yummy burger!!!  Curt dropped us off at the airport....once again a crying fest for us!  It is so hard to leave the kids!!  The lady at the United counter was so nice.  She felt bad about the delays and wondered if we would make our connecting flight to London.  She found us another flight that would take us to Houston that would make our connection so much better.  There were no problems with weather there!  We went to Houston and had about 3 hours.  Made phone calls and ate and then we were off again!  9 hours to London!!  Long flight!  Steve watched 3 movies.  I slept.  Atleast on and off!  We had about a 10 hour wait before our next flight.  Rested, ate, emailed, etc.  Our flight to Sri Lanka was 10 1/2 hours.  This plane was a lot scrunchier than the other flight to London.  It was hard to sleep but we tried.  Steve watched more movies though!  But we did it!  I looked out the window as we came into Sri Lanka.  So so green, lots of palm trees and really beautiful.  In a lot of airports, they sell duty free things that people buy like perfume or alcohol and things like that.  In this airport, their duty free stuff is appliances!  It was so interesting to see all the people selling appliances in the airport!!  It was warm and humid.  Our Mission President and his wife met us at the airport with the District President and his wife and the mission office couple, The Bedke's.  It was nice meeting all of them.  They were hoping we were feeling ok to do a few things before they took us "home" to get settled.  The senior mission couple from Nagumbo was leaving in a few days.  So they took us to a restaurant called Tuskars to have lunch with them as a farewell dinner!  We then went to the church there in Nagumbo and had a devotional that was really nice.  We stopped at their apartment and they gave us all their food, etc that they wouldn't need anymore.  They stayed there and we went with the rest of them back to Columbo.  We stopped at a beautiful hotel where they were staying while they were in Sri Lanka, then drove them to the church and dropped President Berrett and his wife off.  President Anton and Sister Ann, the District President and his wife, took us to our apartment.  It has about 7 floors and has security to get in which is nice!  We are on the 1st floor, just above the parking, etc.  The apartment is really quite nice.  2 Bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living area and dining room, kitchen, office and a few balconies!  We were too tired to do anything when we got here so we pretty much just went to bed.  They had painted and cleaned pretty well.  President Berrett had gone shopping for us and had a few things in the fridge which was nice.  It was fast Sunday the next day so that helped!  We went to bed about 8.  I woke up about 2:30 and got up and looked around and did a few things.  Went back to sleep about 4 for a couple of hours.  We then got up pretty early and put some things away and got ready for church.  President Anton and Sister Ann picked us up about 9:30.  The church isn't too far.  As we walked in, the people were so gracious and kind and wonderful!  They all came up to us and introduced themselves and were so happy to see us.  We will be the only missionary couple here in the country.  There are 4 native "branch builders" here.  They are young men who had been serving their missions in other countries but were brought here, back home, to teach and activate members.  They also can not wear their badges, etc but are reaching out to the people here.  They are really great!  Testimony meeting was awesome!  They kept getting up, one after another, bearing their sincere and humble testimonies.  It was so wonderful.  I played the piano because the ladies who usually do it were gone today!  Steve sat down and saw a missionary he knew from New Zealand when he was serving there!  Can you believe that?  Their Sunday school class and Relief Society were also wonderful.  Such humble, beautiful people.  We went to their ward council after and learned some of the things going on in their branch.  And then home!!  We found some peanut butter and jelly for lunch with some apples and bananas!  Not bad at all!  We are going shopping tomorrow to get more things.  I also have a big mosquito bite on my arm.  Need to be putting on the spray tomorrow!!!  We have had a hard time staying awake this afternoon.  In fact, Steve is sleeping right now.  I slept for a couple hours and had a hard time waking up.  I am forcing myself to stay awake for a little longer.  It is only 8:30!!  They say it takes a good week for us to get over the jet lag!!  I understand!  Our apartment is nice and cool and we really think it will be great for us!  We feel very blessed to be on our mission and look forward to working with these wonderful people!
CES, Military, YSA Missionaries

CES trainers
We made it to Sri Lanka!!!  So tired!
L to R: District President Anton, The Woodruffs leaving their mission, the Bedke's (the office couple) President and Sister Berrett, Us, Sister Ann
Curt took us to the airport!

The Spears going to Argentina, The Fackrells going to Peru and we are going to Sri Lanka!


  1. You made it!!! YAHOO! The adventure really begins now. It sounds wonderful already.

  2. Great post with so much information! The Sri Lankan people sound wonderful. Hope your sleeping patterns get better soon. Take care of each other xx

  3. Wow, what a trip!! Glad you made it. Sounds like you are getting acquainted with the people and they with you! Hope you have a chance to get caught up on your sleep very soon. Thanks for posting all the details--love it!! Hugs to you both!

  4. Hey Lauri!! So happy to hear all is going well. Go to your blog settings and set it up so people can follow by email, so whenever you post, those who sign up will receive notification! Be safe and happy. Our prayers are with you.