Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8, 2015

I can't believe we have already been here a whole week.  I think we have the jet lag behind us now....however we like going to bed earlier than we used to.  We are still overwhelmed with the wonderful people here and their strong faith and commitment to the Gospel.  Monday started out with a call from security telling us we had a bunch of boys to visit us.  We told them to send them up!  It was the 4 missionaries and one of the young men from the branch.  They had just been out playing soccer and were all hot and sweaty boys!  It was so fun visiting with them.  Amazing young men!  Ann picked us up a little later and took us to Keells to get groceries.  We weren't sure what we were going to buy.  But we found all sorts of familiar things and a few things to try...just to see if we would like it or not!  We spent a lot of time this week getting our apartment in order.  We found places for everything and got acquainted with everything that was in here.  I have been going through the things in the office and trying to decide what we need and what we can box up.  I made some folders for us and will try to keep us organized!  Tuesday, we had our first District meeting with the Elders.  They did such a great job!  We talked about people they are teaching and how things are going with them.  We took our first ride in a trishaw!  Really quite fun!  The drivers just zoom around, darting in and is a miracle there are not more crashes out there!  CRAZY!!  President Anton and Sister Ann visited with us one evening and we were able to hear their conversion stories.  So amazing.  Pres. Antons father was one of the highest ranking officials in the Seventh Day Adventist church and was grooming Pres Anton to take his place.  The struggles, the faith, the things he endured to join the inspiring!  One day, we walked over to the church and they were having a Primary activity.  The Primary president is darling!  She is a recently returned missionary from the Philippines and has a lot of fun energy about her.  The Elders stopped by another night and so we fed them dinner.  2 of the Elders go to Negombo 4 days a week so we just had 2 of them.  They are so fun and great young men.....I know I keep saying that but I am just so impressed!  Steve left with them and visited a family where the husband is not a member.  He was overwhelmed with the poverty of this family.  They live in a one room "home" where there is one bed for the whole family...the couple and their 2 children.  Very humbling experience.  A few days this week, we did a bunch of shopping.  We had been writing down some things we needed in the home.  We walked to a store about 15 minutes away and found a few things.  We went to a big store, ARPICO, which is sort of like a Walmart.  We found quite a few things there.  Ann took us there and also to another shopping place.  I bought my first Sri Lankan dress!  We also went to a big shopping place called HOUSE OF FASHION.  It was huge with about 6 floors.  We bought sheets, towels, frames, etc for the apartment.  We took a trishaw of course and saw more of the city.  We decided to go out to dinner on Saturday night so we took a trishaw down to the hotel that our Mission President had stayed in the week before.  There were a whole bunch of restaurants there.  They were having a barbecue night outside by the pool so we thought we would try that!  They brought you a paper with all the things they were serving.  You bought it by the item.  So they had chicken legs, ribs, prawns, etc.  The paper had the price for each individual item.  You would write down how many of that item you wanted and that is how they charged you!  It was actually really good.....even when a mouse ran underneath my feet and kind of freaked me out for a minute.  The waiter guy just tried to kick it out of the way!!  Oh my!! Today was another fabulous day at church.  We were the speakers!  Steve did such a great job speaking about Willard Bean from his favorite book, A LION AND A LAMB.  The people enjoyed that so much.  It is interesting to me that the members think we know everything about the Gospel.  In Relief Society, they will teach something and ask me what I think....or they will ask if something is right.  They want so much to do everything right and follow the teachings as close as they can.  One thing I learned today...Sri Lanka people don't have a lot of the temptations and worldly things around them as we do at home.  They said their culture is very strict and the way they live as members of the church is not that different than all of the people in the country.  But the gospel changes their hearts and changes the way they feel about families and God.  It is such a blessing for them to be a member of this church.  Our area CES director is coming to Sri Lanka in a few weeks from Indonesia.  He wants to visit all the students, teachers and priesthood leadership in the 3 branches.  We are going to get things going for that.  It takes 4 hours to get to one of the areas and 1 hour to get to the other.  We are also learning about our Seminary responsibilities and have things to get going.  They would like us to teach English which scares me.  I have no idea how to even begin to do that.  I think I will start up piano lessons soon too.  So we are getting going!  Excited to do the work!  So happy to be here with these amazing people.  We are so blessed!
Vanan, a recent convert, drove 8 hours to attend church.  He used to live in the country of Georgia, where the Bluncks from Santa Clara knew him!

An old missionary from New Zealand happened to come to church in Sri Lanka.  His name is Elder Gaastra.

This is the apartment complex we live in.  Park West Apartments.  We are on the 1st floor.

The 4 "Branch Builders" in Sri Lanka!

Our first trishaw ride!

Sitting in the trishaw....such cool travelers!

We ate pancakes with American syrup for breakfast!

From the top of our apartment complex.

A different view!

And a different view!

Still another view!

And another!

And another!

And still another!

Walking from the apartment to get some errands done!

Our trishaw driver for the morning.

He has a fancy trishaw!

Sights along the way.


First big shopping experience at House of Fashion!

We bought a lot of stuff!

More scenery!

There are McDonalds everywhere!!!

Date night at the Cinnamon Grande Hotel.

My hot date!

Really amazing hotel!

Barbecue poolside!

All the individual pieces to make up a yummy dinner!

1 comment:

  1. You guys are awesome! We sure miss you here, but are glad to know you are doing the Lord's work. Happy to know you are getting adjusted to your new surroundings. Love the blog. Love you guys, thanks and take care.