Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28, 2015

Can't believe we are at the end of another month!  Time is flying by!  New people, new experiences....makes things go by so quickly!  Our Monday was a catch up day!  After talking to the kids, we were able to get a lot of paperwork done.  Finances, seminary, etc....So glad to get some of that done.  We had a great District meeting with the elders.  Vanan came from Jafna.  He was going to visit his wife in India....who he has not seen for 8 years!  So unbelievable the things they do here!  But he is a great kid!  He stayed for the district meeting and then we took them all to McDonalds!  I was quite excited about that!  We had our seminary evening with Deek and Deyan and the family!  We stayed extra long for some reason!  Such great kids! Darshini keeps bringing us food to try.  It was from some restaurant close by.  Tasty!!  Wednesday was a crazy busy day.  We went shopping first thing so i could get to the church to teach piano lessons.  Steve picked me up and we headed to Sister Myrnas so we could visit our favorite guy, Kingsley.  He had been in the hospital for quite awhile.  They did surgery on his cancer but could not get it all.  He had skipped out on his previous treatments and that really messed up his healing.  He starts more radiation next week.  In the meantime, we had a wonderful visit!  He wanted to talk to us so much but he has a trachea tube and it makes it so difficult.  It was frustrating to him.  He still has the best wit and fun about him.  I just love him.  He asked if I would play the piano for him.  We visited for over an hour.  Hope he can pull out of this awful cancer.  We then headed to the Hagobians home to give them blessings.  They called and said they were all sick and wondered if we could please come.  They live so far Kingsleys home was in the opposite direction.  Plus....the driver got lost!  But we made it.  Armens wife had prepared lunch for us....bitiyani....(do not know how to spell that) and of course the ramutan fruit is on and so delicious!  They have a tree so they kept giving us some of that.  She made some date bread that was really good as well!  We had to hurry back home because we were having President Nishan and his family over for dinner.  We were late.  But they were really patient.  The food was wonderful and we had a nice visit while the kids ran wild through the house!!!  Thursday began with more piano classes and then our weekly visit to Inoka, Naveen and Stephanie.  Fun visit!  I hope Naveen can keep progressing in the gospel...and to quit smoking.  We hurried back to our English class.  We are getting quite a crowd!  It really is quite fun.  They had a hard time with the word....aisle!  It was funny.  After class, Eashani and her kids picked us up and we went over to Pres Antons for his birthday!  I bought a cake with some crazy candles for the top!  We went over and had a fun time!  Their niece, Mitali had come home that day with her new baby....just weighing over 3 kilos....Kumar Ryan.  He is really sweet!  It was fun to hold a new baby!  Ann made a "small lunch" for us....rice and chicken curry, etc.  It was very nice.  Friday, we went with the Elders to teach Zeeniya!  She is the best!  Still excited about her decision to be baptized.  We had also received a letter from customs that we had a package waiting for us.  It was close to Zeeniyas home so we went there to pick it up.  Closed for 1/2 hour.  We ran to get a DVD from one of the members and then went back again.  It was the craziest thing.  It was supposed to open back up at 1:00.  We got there about 1:20.  They were still not there....some people were back there just visiting and laughing and watching something on the computer screen.  We were warned about the government employees!  Then they meandered in and started helping the 15 customers that were there waiting!  ANYWAY....package from my MOM and DAD.  It was so much fun!  Socks, Downeast tshirts, licorice, MEGA STUFF OREOS...and handkerchiefs, a book, jerky....for Steve!  It was really fun!  I came back for piano lessons and ended up staying there for over 4 hours!  Steve had a wonderful meal of corned beef hash (Yes....I love it) waiting and it was so YUMMY!  Saturday was really busy!  I taught piano lesson from 8 to 11.  We then headed to Chilaw....about 100 kilometers from here.  We met at the home that they are holding church meetings in 3 times a month.  It has potential!  It is right near the beach and has nice sandy soil all around!!  I taught some piano classes and Steve taught English!  We then went back to Negombo where we met with Nishanta (the Pot guy!!) and the elders there.  He made his family sit around and listen to us.  He was concerned about the word of wisdom and especially the part where we don't drink tea or coffee.  He said that is very offensive when we turn it down.  He wanted to know the scientific reasons behind everything.  I guess he has been like that for awhile.  The elders don't know what to expect when they get there!  He just doesn't get the part about the Holy Ghost and obedience....and faith!  So interesting!  Today was a wonderful Sunday!  I had to give a talk in church.  Luckily I was able to resurrect an old talk I gave in Negombo and Kandy!  I then had to teach Gospel Doctrine.  I actually enjoyed teaching that class today!  Everyone was so great and made wonderful comments.  Fun class!  Steve was supposed to teach about the Priesthood in young women but there were no any young women that came today.  He helped the elders teach some investigators after church.  We had the Cordells over for dinner tonight with their 2 young girls.  They are from the US...back East....where he is working at the American embassy and she will be heading the math department at one of the international schools.  It was nice to get to know I have a new contact at the commissary for American food!!  So excited for that!  The elders...all 4 of them...came over for dinner.  We told them that we are going to ask different families over for dinner each Sunday....and will make enough for all of them later in the evening.  It was fun to have them all together!  Another great week!

The military training place.

Beautiful Buddhist temple along the road!

President Antons birthday!

Mitali and her sweet new baby!

Pres Antons birthday!

Crazy candles!

Package from MOM and DAD

Chilaw church

Trying some durian....interesting!


Nishanta and his family 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers Day 2015

Happy Fathers Day!  And what a fabulous day it was!  Steve had to give a talk today...which is so funny!  It just seems like he has given a talk on Fathers Day about every other year!  But that is because he is so great!  We got a new Branch President today and a second counselor.  They had the old counselor speak, then the new presidency, and then Elder Condie.  He talked about sustaining leaders and it was such an excellent talk.  He talked about his Dad and that is tough for him..but very special.  Steve got to ordain our most recent baptism, Indika, to the Priesthood!  That was really great!  Sister Zeenia was at church today and she loves it!  She reached over and grabbed me and said, "Sister, I know it is true!  I just have the most wonderful feeling every time I read the Book of Mormon. "  It was so great!  She is really special.  Our meetings were so good today.  People just seem to be coming together.  It is really wonderful to watch!  Everyone stays after church for the longest time just visiting and laughing and enjoying each other.
Wow!  I have got to back up from the first of the week!  Love Love Love teaching our seminary kids at their home.  Sherine even made us lunch...a Sri Lanka lunch!  Chicken curry and red rice and jack....yes jack!  Some kind of fruit...but if it is at a certain time of its ripeness, you cook it like a vegetable.  Pretty good stuff!  We had district meeting with the Elders.  Elder Perera asked Elder Condie to teach.  Of course, it was wonderful.  We did the love chair with the elders.  And it was really special!  These guys are the best missionaries ever!  We really love them!  Started piano lessons on Wednesday mornings.  Sherene came!  I just love to visit with her.  She is a lot of fun!  We went and got lunch at Dolce Italian so we could take it to Brother Lyle.  We visited him at his brothers home.  He was in a trishaw accident where it tipped over and he fell out and it landed on him.  His leg is really banged up and he is staying with his brother until he can get back on his feet.  He is a good man...probably the best missionary in the branch.  He has had more people coming to church is unbelievable.  And he hasn't been well...having his pacemaker put in a little while back....and still trying to bring people into the church.  Love him!  We visited Sister Pooja and Risenya at their home.  She had hoppers for us to eat and they were great!  She is a really special lady.  Been in the church only about a year and a half.  Her son is Akash, who left recently on his mission.  She told us her story.  WOW!  The things people have to go through just amaze me!  And the gospel is the thing that gets them through everything.  It really is true!  Just as Zeenia said today!!
We taught Inoka and her husband Navine and Stephanie.  We had a good visit.  Had to hurry off to English class.  Friday, Steve went with the Elders and I taught a bunch of piano classes.  He visited about 4 families with them.  It just feels like the work is really taking off here in Colombo.  It is such a wonderful blessing.  Saturday was the district seminary activity.  I have been stressing about it all week of course...that is just me...when something big is coming a long.  We had 5 hours of fun to plan.  We had the kids come from the different branches for the activity.  It was an interesting thing for me.  A cultural thing!  I am figuring it out slowly and I just need to remember that some things we do at home, will not work here!  We did a 15 second tell about yourself activity.  The Kandy girls were so bashful that they would not take part.  We played the lap game next....did not work because of the culture here.  Sitting on someones lap is a total no no.  We improvised on that one.  The  look game worked I think.  I had also spent a lot of time putting together a jeopardy game on power point with lots of youth and seminary items.  It turned out to be really great!  We had 3 teams and they really got into it!  We had a nice presentation with the missionaries and the returned missionaries that turned out great.  We had rice packs for lunch...which helps with dishes because they eat with their hands!  We showed MEET THE MORMONS next which is always wonderful.  We ended up with ice cream.  The new district president was supposed to come and talk to the kids but he did not show up.  But it worked out very well anyway!  Really great kids here in Sri Lanka.  Yes, I say that all the time!  Wonderful activity!  We also found out that Harsha, our wonderful baptism from a month back, had an emergency appendix surgery.  He had just gotten home so we went to visit him.  Poor guy.  They couldn't afford the private hospital so they went to the general hospital.  So they cut him to get the appendix out instead of doing the laser surgery with one little dot.  So he was in sooo much pain.  He was so happy to see us though.  It made him a lot happier but he was still struggling.  Steve gave him a blessing and I hope he gets better soon!  Then it was Sunday!  And our wonderful day!  Another wonderful thing about today, is that we had Inoka, Navine and Stephanie to dinner!  When we went to their house this week, we wanted to know if they were coming to church.  They kind of said they would try but it didn't seem that it was going to happen.   But yesterday, they texted and said they were coming.  And today, we heard the rest of the story!  After we left their home on Thursday, they said they felt the Spirit leave their home.  They decided they needed to do something different in their life.  Navine is a devout Buddhist and is very religious.  He is a smoker.  But he decided that that was the first step in getting the spirit into their home.  So he decided to quit right then.  He hasn't smoked for 3 days!  Wow.  Then, he said today that he was ready to hear the discussions and he wanted us to teach them to him with the help of Inoka...because she would have to translate.  He wants to learn English so we will help him with that as well.  What a great week!  We feel very blessed and grateful for this wonderful gospel we are a part of.

Brother Lyle after trishaw accident.

Brother Lyle staying with his brother and sister-in-law.

Stephanie teaching me more of her dance.

Sherine and Shamindri and Kate at seminary activity

Andrew, Vimukthi, Muthu

Sandun, Roshan,Shehare, and the other smart boy from Negombo!

Kate, Deyan, Shamindri, Regno, Abishek, Deek from Colombo

Elder Wijendren and Elder Perera

Shanuka, Vimuthki, Andrew

The cute shy girls from Kandy

Wonderful seminary leaders! Kandy

Kandy leaders

Meet the Mormons!

Kandy girls!

Ice cream!

More ice cream!

They loved Jeopardy!

Harsha, one of our last baptisms, had an emergency appendix surgery.

Harsha's family

Navine, Inoka, Stephanie for dinner!