Monday, July 27, 2015

July 26, 2015

Sri Lanka food week!  We had a chance to really enjoy the food here this week, made by many different people.....the same....but different!  Monday, we began with food from the family of one of our recent baptism's...Indika!  His mother had invited all of us to come and have lunch....and that is quite the crew of people!  It was so sweet of her to do that for us!  Indika has really done well since he was baptized.  He seems to have a lot more confidence and has made a lot of friends!  He is still pretty shy but is coming around!  He comes to our English class and really works hard at that.  He helps the elders and teaches with them.  Wonderful blessings come following good choices!  Brother Lyle had a birthday over the weekend and we wanted to go see him.  He was busy but invited us for Monday night.  Hansani, (the gal that I teach piano to and that comes to our English class) and her family invited us to go to their home to celebrate!  Brother Lyle took us to his home first.  He lives in a one room place where everything he has is in that room!  He had a bunch of things out for us to see....his diploma's from receiving his doctorate, and pictures, and other fun things like that!  He told us stories and had also saved 2 pieces of birthday cake for us!  He is a wonderful man.  We then headed over for dinner!  We had a wonderful time with Nilmini and their family.  Really great food and fabulous dessert.  We were stuffed after that day!  These people spoil us!  On Tuesday, we visited a lady and her 2 children who were a referral from Zeeniya who isn't even a member yet!  This is her friend that had been with her when they were searching for churches to attend.  Her husband is in the army and is only around 10 days of each month.  They are really interested!  It was so fun to visit with them!  They live pretty far from home.  We may have to try the train next time we visit.  It comes close to their home.  We cruised to Wattala for our seminary class.  Darshini ended up having a really busy day at the salon so they were not ready to go with us to Shanika's for quite awhile.  We all loaded in the nano cab and went to visit Shanika and her kids.  Another wonderful Sri Lankan meal was given!  They made a macaroni dish for me with no spice...but the other food was still really good!  She lives in a nice home.  Her daughter, Sherami, is only 19 and writes for a newspaper in town.  She writes for the style/fashion section.  She showed me all her articles that come on the front page of the LIFE section every day.  Amazing!  We really had a fun time there.  We got home pretty late though!  But at least there is no traffic at that time of night!  Wednesday, I met Sherine for piano class.  She is so much fun!  We went to Inoka and Naveens to teach them.  They surprised us with a meat soup that Naveen had made and found some french bread for us!  He was so excited for us to eat his creation!  They are really doing great!  I taught Stephanie piano while Steve taught the English class to Naveen and the neighbors!  I had to leave early because the Relief society president asked if I would go with her to visit one of our less active members who had a sister just pass away.  Steve stayed there with Naveen and I took the nano and headed in the other direction.  I picked us Darshini and we went to Anula's home where her sister's event was taking place.  They put white flags out side where the deceased is.  Sister Anula was so sad but very sweet.  I got to meet her 3 children and her mother.  She showed us around the lake in front of her house where her sons told us that a crocodile lives there!  Glad I got to visit.  Steve left Naveens about the time I left there so we made it home at the same time.  Naveen is doing great in learning about the gospel.  They are now working on getting they need to do before getting baptized.  Thursday was make up piano classes since we changed our schedule for Friday.  Steve went visiting with the elders.  We had a great english class!  Friday was our Chilaw day.  We picked up the elders in Negombo and headed on to Chilaw.  English and piano!  I made brownies with frosting and they loved that!  The older people are still having a challenge in piano but keep trying!  They are enjoying the english classes.  We stopped in Negombo to visit Harshi and her husband.  Harshi is in the RS presidency with me.  Her husband is not a member.  Steve heard he loves to fish and wanted to meet him!  They were really a lot of fun and we enjoyed our visit.  They fed us...which we found out that they feed the missionaries every week after he gets taught.  We were just lucky enough to be there this time!  Saturday brought our baptism for Zeeniya!  It was so exciting!  Steve went with the elders while I taught piano (seems like I say that all the time).  We had a great crowd for the baptism.  She had lots of friends and many of the branch members came too!  They don't get dressed up, just come as they are!  But the spirit was still strong there!  She bore a powerful testimony and is so grateful for learning about the gospel.  She made beautiful thank you cards and also made a bookmark for everyone that attended!  Her friends brought food and everyone just enjoyed the evening!  So very happy for her!  Even Benedict...our nano driver...came in for the baptism.  He has been curious about the church.  I think he talks about it to his pastor and he tells him all sorts of strange things.  We will see how that goes!  We met with our district president Kolitha after to talk about some things we are thinking about!  We are going to start an institute program within the district and see how that goes.  We are going to do a youth conference and some kind of a girls camp.  The kids are in school most all of the time so timing is kind of hard.  Just trying to think of things to help strengthen the youth here.  Sunday was wonderful of course!  Zeeniya was confirmed!  The talks were great in sacrament meeting.  We invited Zeeniya and the Wijendrens over for dinner this Sunday.  Sister Wijendren brought me a saree to wear.  She dressed me all up and was so excited to do it!  It was fun!  They wanted to take some pictures so they had Steve put his sarong on as well!  We were quite the Sri Lankan couple!  Fun evening with such wonderful people.  Their son just returned from the Philippines on his mission a few weeks back so he came.  Then the 4 elders came also which made for a great party!  We are getting to know the families in the branch and are really enjoying our Sunday ritual of inviting people over for dinner!  What a great week!!!!

Lunch with Indika and his mother and all the elders and Harsha

Yummy lunch of fish curry and rice!

Visiting after lunch!

Silly boys!

Steve is into selfies!

Hansani and her new keyboard!

Such a wonderful family!  Such a wonderful dinner!

Brother Lyle joined us!

Sister Zeeniya is already doing missionary work and she isn't baptized yet.  This is her good friend and her kids who are now interested in the church!

Dinner at Shanika's with Darshini, Deek, and Deyan

Cassie and Joel

English class!

Harshi and her husband who is learning from the missionaries!

Jayawardeni and Gnana at their home!

Brother Jayawardena climbing for fruit...he has got to be in his 60's!


Chopping into the coconuts!

Let's have a baptism!

Zeeniya's  baptism!

Zeeniya with her friends!

Andrew baptized Zeeniya

Happy Elders!

with Naveen!

We are so happy for Zeeniya!  We love her!

Waiting for the baptism!

Relief Society sisters musical number

This is the thank you card she made for us!  She is an amazing card maker!  It folded all up and then unfolded to this!

She made a book mark for everyone too!

Brother Lyle and Sister Sampa...the great missionaries!!

Our new glad he didn't wander into the building today!

Sister Wijendren brought me a dinner dress!  It was beautiful and so comfortable.  Got Steve to dress up too....atleast to take a picture!

The Wijendrens, their son John, Zeeniya and all 4 elders...and Steve!