Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015

Another year older in Sri Lanka!  We started out the week with a District activity with the Elders!  Every Sunday night, the Negombo Elders come to Colombo for Pday and District meeting.  So we are lucky enough to see all 4 of them each week!  Steve got to choose our activity because we were celebrating his birthday!  The Elders brought him an authentic Sri Lanka sarong!  They asked him what his favorite color was earlier and he of course said Hunters orange and this is what he got!  They are sweet to even think of doing anything!  We set up the front room as a theater room!  We darkened the window, borrowed the projector from the church and watched BIG HERO 6.  They really liked it.  We brought in lunch from the Chinese Dragon.  It was really a fun day!  We headed to the Seller family that evening for our seminary class.  Deyan and Deek are doing so well.  They both want to go on missions and both have a desire to come to church!  We are so proud of them!  We had a wonderful District meeting where we listened to a talk that Jeffery Holland gave at the MTC.  It was excellent.  We also went and changed Steves phone from the one he has been using here to his own phone from home!  He has been yelling at the phone each time he uses this will be good!  They just changed out his SIM card!  He is very very happy now!  We have also been trying to get things worked out on the financial stuff here.  Still not there yet.  We went down to the bank and did more things to get it together....but there is still more that needs to be done from people that don't live here but are working for the church.  Hope they get everything together soon!  Steve's birthday was a lot of fun.  We found out there was a SUBWAY here so we went looking for it...and found it!  It was actually pretty good!  We taught our English class and had 7 show up this week.  They are really great people and it was a lot of fun.  We came back to the apartment to get ready to go to dinner.  We had a knock at the door and Steve was surprised to have Nihal and his family and Pres Anton and Ann show up with a wonderful chocolate cake!  We had a great visit and enjoyed the wonderful cake!  On Friday, we tried to make sure everything was ready for our big day on Saturday.  We bought everything we needed and even went over to the church to clean it all up and mop and get it looking nice.  The custodian had already done all of that and it looked really nice!  I taught some piano lessons and then we visited Brother Franklin and his family.  They made us some Indian food which was really good.  Part of it too spicy for me but the other part was really good!  We then met Teshan and Nuwani and Madelina for a wonderful Italian dinner!  We really enjoy this restaurant!  Teshan doesn't work there anymore but they were all happy to see him and they spoiled us as usual.  Cake, extra treats, an extra meal to try, and extra loaves of bread to take home.  We really had a fun evening.  And then Saturday was finally here!  We have been planning it for a few weeks!  I began by teaching some piano classes and then coming home to make sure we had everything for the day!  We stopped and bought the ice cream and then we were off to the church.  The baptism was wonderful.  There was an older man, Brother Jayawardena, was is the husband of one of the members here.  She was just beaming and so happy!  Indika was the other baptism.  He is about 21 years old and is so shy!  He is in our English class and is really a humble young man.  He was there by himself.  No family or anything.  Steve conducted and we had a wonderful service in the church.  We actually have a font in the church that is connected to the Relief Society room.  They each bore their testimonies ( of which we could not understand...but heard they did a wonderful job).  We had some refreshments after and then changed gears for the movie night.  It is so hard to plan for these things!  You just don't know how many people will come!  We hired a guy that has a popcorn machine to come in and make popcorn for everyone.  We had little packets of MILO (a chocolate drink) to hand out with the popcorn.  We set the time for 4:30 pm.  At 4:30, we had about 10 people.  Of course I was stressing big time.  But everyone kept reminding me that we are in Sri lanka and everyone is always late.  Slowly, people started showing up.  We figured we had to start the movie at some point so at 5:00 we started, MEET THE MORMONS.  The Elders welcomed everyone and the movie began. People continued to come in.  It turned out to be a wonderful evening.  We figure we ended up with 120 people or so and at least half were not members!  Everyone loved the movie.  The missionaries mingled and we met a lot of wonderful people.  There were many interested in finding out more about the Church.  Our taxi driver that we use for long trips, Kumar, brought his wife and daughter!  It was so fun to see them there!  We prepared a traditional Sri Lanka dinner of chicken curry, Dhal (lentils) curry, Coconut Sambol (not sure what that was) and string hoppers (noodle looking bundles that you put dhal or curry with)!  Our housekeeper and her family did all the food.  She worked hard all day and made a really wonderful meal for 150 people.  We had ice cream cones for dessert!  I can't believe it turned out to be so good!  Oh ye of little faith!  Steve is the eternal optimist and knew everything was going to work out!  After everyone had left, we swept and mopped and did dishes...all the normal stuff!  I was so tired when we got home!  But went to sleep with a smile on my face!  Today we got an assignment to speak in church in Negombo.  They don't speak much English here so speaking was a different experience for us.  The branch President was the interpreter.  It is amazing how much longer it takes to give such a short message!  I cut my talk down a bunch.  I whispered to Steve during the rest hymn that he better go right to the meat of his talk or he won't get through any of it!  As he gave his talk, he understood what I meant!  You just get started and you have been talking for 10 minutes...because of the interpretation!  So funny!  Everyone is so friendly and wants to shake your hands and say hello!  It was a wonderful day there.  We went to Sunday School where Elder Nugara's sister was the teacher!  She did excellent....(it was not in English....but she had a lot of discussion going on and didn't read from the so many of them do)  Sister Primali came with us to Negombo.  She is the District RS President that I serve with.  We want to visit the other branches to see how they are doing and what needs they have.  After the block, we met with their Presidency and had a great discussion (I wasn't in English...haha).  Kumar, the driver, came in and came to the meetings!  You never know!  So our week was really great!  Another great one ahead I am sure!

Happy Birthday!  The Elders gave him his new Sri Lanka clothes!

Bacon, eggs and toast for his birthday breakfast!

We found a Subway for lunch!  YUM

Surprise visit and cake from Pres Anton and Ann, and Nihal, Eashani, Andrew and Joel

Dolce Italian for dinner!

Madelina was just too tired!

Great Italian dinner and treats with Teshan and Nuwani

District movie Pday in the apartment!  Had to get it dark!

Lunch following the movie!
Baptism day for Indika and Jayawardena

Bro Jayawardena and his family!

His full name:  Vass Mernenage Cristoper Indika

His full name: Wilegoda Wickramage Jayawardena

Movie night!

It is so nice not to worry about utensils !

District RS Presidency

Negombo Relief Society Presidency

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