Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015

So my sister Sandie says most of my pictures are of food!  As I looked through my pictures, she is absolutely correct!  It made me chuckle how much I love taking pictures of the food we eat!  But mostly, we have such fabulous members here that invite us over and always offer to cook for us!  We are really spoiled!  We had a great week in seminary this week!  We love our visits and teaching these great kids!  We added one more gal, Katie, to come with us to Sherines home.  She is really fun and outgoing and speaks English so well.  As we visit with these kids, we can see that they are the future of the church here in Sri Lanka.  They will serve their missions and come back and be leaders in the branches here.  It is fun to see them progress in their testimonies!  They really inspire us!  Steve finally got a haircut this week by Sister Ann.  President Anton came with her and we had a wonderful visit!  They were here until midnight!  He is truly an inspired leader and works so hard for everyone here.  We had a great District meeting with the missionaries!  Our district leader, Elder Rajan, really puts a lot of effort into his lessons.  The Elders are teaching a lot of people right now.  It is really exciting!  We had a farewell dinner for Zack and Carlee Clarke at their beautiful apartment.  They had pizza for the kids and some very very hot and spicy Indian food for the rest of us!  I really just burns!!!  Steve loves it!  We had a wonderful visit with Inoka and her daughter, Stephanie.  We started teaching about the Restoration.  Inoka's husband also listened in.  Inoka is a returned missionary who has a testimony and wants her daughter baptized, but is less active.  I hope she can feel the spirit during the lessons that we teach her family.  She is really a wonderful, outgoing sister and could really help the branch here!  We visited 2 hospitals this week.  We visited Sister Rosemary who is having kidney problems and has a port in her neck for dialysis.  She has diabetes also and can't heal from wounds on her legs.  She is such a wonderful woman and has done so many things for the church here in Sri Lanka.  I hope all these treatments start working soon.  She has a special needs daughter who stays with her in the hospital.  She is such a sweet heart and absolutely loved the Elders!  After that visit, we took the Elders to McDonalds.  Yes, I know....more food!  And I really like McDonalds!  Yes, I said it!  A few days later, our other visit to the hospital was to see our friend, Kingsly!   Oh how he makes us smile.  He has the most wonderful sense of humor and zest for life....even among the terrible cancer that he has.  It is throat cancer and he hasn't had the treatments that could potentially save his life.  He is the man I danced with a few weeks back!  He had his Book of Mormon on his nightstand and said he is starting to read it.  He asked if he could have a blessing!  This hospital is a government run hospital and there are about 20 patients sharing the same area.  It is unbelievable.  The guy next to him is from prison and has a chain around his bed and a guard by the side of the bed.  Of course Kingsly had something silly and funny to say about that!  I hope he can get better from all of this!  We spent a lot of time with the financial things for Sri Lanka.  It finally got done!  We were able to get our money and become signers on the account!  We had a lot of things to catch up on and pay and it took a little time to do that!  But we are ready to go and that is really good!  Our English class this week surprised us and we had 18 show up!  We had a lot of helpers come....the Elders, some other members, and that helped a lot!  The people are so eager to learn more!  So many of them speak ok already while others do not know very much.  But they are getting much braver and that is fun to watch!  We were able to visit with Sister Wijendren this week!  She and her husband are amazing members.  They are not flashy and are pretty shy but they do so much for the branch.  They are the first ones to help clean up or change their plans to help someone or bring a bunch of mangos off their trees to share.  Their 2 sons are on a of them with us!  And he is just as wonderful as they are!  I taught piano lessons while Steve ran some errands on Saturday!  We were invited to visit Pres. Sunil and his family for lunch!  He has been a branch president and a district president here in Sri Lanka.  It was so fun learning their stories and hearing about their conversions!  Amazing!  They heard I didn't like spice much so they decided to make an american type meal.  They made some food out of the Lion House cookbook!  It was very tasty!  People try so hard to make you feel good and loved.  It was a wonderful afternoon!  Sunday was an early morning trip to Kandy....a girls trip!  Sister Primali (District RS pres), Sister Sherine (District YW Pres), Sister Ann (District Primary Counselor and me!  I ended up speaking and the others bore their testimonies.  I had my talk on my iPad and hit the wrong button and erased the talk while I spoke!  Oh my goodness!  I had a translator again which takes most of your time!  So my talk was short and sweet and I am sure no one cared...especially me!  Kandy is such a beautiful place.  It took us over 3 hours to get there...but we had fun in the car with our driver, Kumar!  He just laughed all the time at us!  The Kandy branch is small.  There were about 20 women and 5 men in attendance.  A lot of them left after Sacrament.  (Maybe it was because a girl decided to throw up during the meeting)!   There were 7 in Relief Society.  No one was assigned to teach Sunday school or RS so a young girl waiting for her mission call stepped in for Sunday school.  Sister Primali stepped in for RS.  But they were very loving and kind.  Such challenges these people face.  I also met with Sister Nemishi , the seminary teacher who is getting ready to have a baby!  We had an Inservice meeting before church and had a great visit!  Of course our ride home was still long but fun!  Great women here!  Steve stayed here and took care of the Elders for lunch and then some visiting with them!  We have a big District activity with the missionaries tomorrow!  Early morning....but I know it will be great!
One more thing:  Elder Perera got special permission from the mission president to go see his uncle who is battling cancer.  Steve went with he and his companion and another young man from the branch to Negombo to visit him.  It was great to see how close his family is and how much they love their missionary son...even though none of them are members of the church.  He had the opportunity to use his priesthood to give his uncle a blessing while all of his extended family watched.  They were all very happy that he could see his uncle.  His uncle was the happiest of them all.

Just a normal day with a few friends!

Farewell to the Clarke's

Spicy Indian food!

We are really going to miss them!

Galleria Cafe!


Pad Thai!  My sisters will be so proud!

Fun restaurant!

Pres Sunil and Leilani and their daughter Wimala

Relief Society in Kandy

Relief Society Presidency in Kandy

Saw this beautiful bride on her wedding day!

The groom waiting patiently!



Elder Nugara racing the kids!

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