Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5, 2015

Yes, you are right.  My posts are way too long!  There are just so many new and exciting experiences that we have every week!  Plus, this is my journal and I don't want to forget any of the great things that happen!  Our week this week was busy but not as many new and different things happened.  We began our week with a District mission activity.  Since our bowling activity last time didn't work, we decided to try again!  It was a lot of fun!  The building was extremely hot and I think it was the first time that it really affected me!   We played 2 games and really laughed a lot!  We went to Pizza Hut for lunch, followed by Baskin Robins Ice Cream!  YUM!  I know I keep saying it, but the Elders are wonderful young men.  We really enjoy them!  We had a wonderful district meeting with them on Tuesday morning.  We have been doing a lot of our seminary and institute things this week.  Trying to figure out the seminary reporting site and then getting everything into the computer.  We finally received the teacher and student manuals for each branch.  That will help these wonderful teachers out a lot!  We had some wonderful visits this week.  We were able to visit Brother Franklin and his family.  We showed them a Mormon Message about forgiveness.  We really love that family.  Brother Franklin, his wife, Katherine, their daughter, Nuwani and her husband and daughter.  Her husband is not a member.  A great guy!  He hasn't had a job for 8 years.  This is not uncommon in Sri Lanka.  There are not many jobs.  It is tough for these wonderful people.  That is why they live with several generations of family.  He had a really promising interview a month back but found out that he didn't get the job.  We feel so bad for him.  But our visit was great!  We keep praying for these wonderful families.  We were able to go to President Kolitha's home with his wonderful wife, Premali, and their daughter. Sister Premali is also the District RS President.  It took us over 2 1/2 hours to go 8 km to their home because of the holiday traffic.  Friday was Good Friday plus a full moon which is a big holiday (Poya Day...a buddhist holiday)  every month.  Everyone travels out of the city to their family members somewhere else.  We hit that traffic....of everyone leaving the city!  It was nuts!  But the evening turned out to be really great!  We had an amazing meal and wonderful company.  More faith filled stories of conversion to the gospel.  They are very educated people with good jobs.  And yet they are so humble and full of faith.  Another family we visited was Brother Jeffry, his wife, and 3 boys.  That was a wonderful visit as well.  These young boys too have great faith as there are no members at all in their schools or neighborhoods.  There are great pressures in school to be in the top 2% so you can go to the University for free.  You have huge exams at the end of each year which you need to pass and do well in.  Really sharp youth in the church here.  We visited with a young family, the Hagobians.  He is from Iraq and served his mission here in Sri Lanka.  He married a really fun, Sri Lankan girl, Radika, and they have 2 children.  She is not a member but welcomed us with so much spunkiness and love!  She fed us a wonderful meal, along with the Elders, and even invited our driver to come in and eat!  Another wonderful story of a young man in Iraq, who found the gospel in Yemen, lost his way, came back and served a mission, and has a strong testimony of the gospel.  Really fun visit.  We hurried home to prepare a meal for Umanda and Santhush and Umanda's father, Tissa.  He is a legend here in Sri Lanka as he was the first missionary here.  He is also Nancy Ferdinando's son, and we promised her we would contact him.  Nancy lives in St George and we met her before we came on our mission.  He converted many of the stalwart members in the District.  Unfortunately, he is struggling right now with his testimony.  But we had a great visit and enjoyed their company as well as the Elders.  We had a wonderful fast and testimony meeting this morning in church.  Once again, the members kept coming up and not leaving any spaces between each other.  What a wonderful spirit we felt today.  We love the members so much already.  I am starting piano lessons this week.  Should be fun.  The church has a course that teaches you to play the hymns as you learn.  Lots of visits and seminary stuff this week!  Always a lot going on and we love it!
Pizza Hut with the Elders

Cosmic bowling


Pres Kolitha and Sister Primali and Sonali

Amazing meal!

Holiday at the beach for many Sri Lankan families.

Unbelievable!  No one is on the road!

Brother Hagobian and his adorable wife, Radika

Emma and Joshua

Brother Tissa with Santhush and the Elders

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