Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8, 2015

YSA Conference week!  So excited for the weekend with our wonderful young single adults in the district!  But before we left, we had some other wonderful experiences!  We had Family home evening with the Hendriksen family!  Devin Hendriksen works at the embassy and they live right next door to us!  We had started a puzzle with them a few weeks earlier and they wanted to finish it that night!  It turned out really nice!  We always have a great visit with them!  Tuesday was our favorite seminary day!  We were sad to miss Katie as she had to go get a little surgery on her finger!  But we had great lessons with Shanuka and Shamindri....and then on to Cassie, Deyan and Deek!  It was a wonderful day!  We are getting to the end of the Doctrine and Covenants lessons.  They have really been good!  My lesson was supposed to be on plural marriage.....but I decided to give another part of it...on the second coming!  Much better!!!!!  We also received a call from Zeeniya who has been working in the Maldives!  She is coming home!  We are so excited!  It was also her birthday so it was great talking to her!  We had a great district meeting with our 2 elders!  They are doing a good job!  Steve went with them to visit Gayani and Tania.  They are really excited about the church! In fact, Tania is getting baptized on the 14th!  Her oldest daughter will be baptized as well!  She is very excited!  We went to Inoka's for English class and a birthday party for 2 of the kids in the class!  Yummy cake and presents!  It was a lot of fun!  Great kids!  Steve loves teaching the English class so much!  He has so much fun with it!  We cruised to Arpico after the class to finish getting things ready for the YSA conference.  We were supposed to go to Shanika's that evening, but they cancelled.  We were able to pack and get everything together for our weekend!  We had started out with quite a few kids...about 40...but they kept backing out.  But we were still excited for the kids that were coming!  We had 2 small busses....air conditioned busses of course!  One left from Colombo and one left from Negombo.  We picked up the Kandy kids in our bus and then headed to Digana to the Oruthota Chalets.  It was pretty rainy but oh so beautiful.  We had a beautiful, huge room with a patio overlooking the lake and the beautiful scenery of the hotel.  Everything was very open.  We ate on big patios outside!  Our conference room was open and perfect for what we needed!  The hotel was very good to get us the things that we needed and to help us with the rooms, etc.  We began with a wonderful, buffet lunch.  Sri Lanka food!  We then came together for our first day of the conference!  We had a great devotional and then started get to know you games!  We had them sit across from someone of the opposite sex and spend 2 minutes finding out things about each of them.  We did that until everyone had a chance to talk to everyone!  It was fun watching them talk!  After, we played a few games!  The "look" game, followed by "spoons'!  It was really fun!  We then had them come together for their first workshop.  It was given by Steve and I and was on dating and marriage.  It was a hard subject for these kids because of the culture.  They don't date...they just text and call each other on the phone.  If they do date, it is usually to the person they will marry.  Their parents can say they don't like the person and then they have to break up.  I know I have talked about this before but it is so different for these kids.  So we had a discussion and told a few stories and I think it turned out really good.  These young adults are the best kids!  We then broke them up into groups for the talent show we were having in the evening.  They were put into random groups where they had to make up something to share with everyone!  We had a nice barbecue dinner in the evening!  Really yummy!  They barbecued pork, chicken, fish and sausage.  We then met back together for the talent show.  There were 4 groups.  They all were fabulous.  I laughed so hard at some of the things they did.  So much fun!  We were then done for the night!  Friday began with our devotional and then a workshop by Pres Thomas from the District Presidency.  But he was very late.  So the kids had some time to visit and walk around, etc.  He finally came and we gathered them all together for the class.  He talked about setting goals by following the principles found in Preach My Gospel!  We then changed clothes and met for our scavenger hunt activity that some of the guys had put together.  It was amazing.  It was trying to teach everyone about working together and becoming united.  It was so much fun!  They had clues set out all over the hotel and grounds.  You had to do a bunch of different feats before moving on to the next thing.  In the process, you were collecting different fabrics.  At the end, you had to make a flag with everything you had collected.  There was shooting, there was finding things in mango trees and banana trees, jumping in the pool to find a needle, getting beads into 5 different cups, one at a time, building a bridge with stones and helping each other get across.  So well done by these guys!  It took us about 3 hours to finish it and it was wonderful!  We then left it open for swimming!  It started raining like crazy but many wanted to jump in!  Some stayed up under a pavilion and sang songs!  It was so fun seeing them all enjoy each other!  We met for dinner and then had the dance.  We hired a DJ that the hotel recommended and they had lights and loud music....but the kids loved it!  It was really fun!  One of the girls from Kandy can't hear and is very shy....and to see these kids gather her and dance with her....and to include everyone all the was fabulous!  We danced and danced until we could barely stand!  Steve had a hard time with the heat!  It was really great!  They stayed up late and enjoyed each other and pranked each other and had fun together!  Saturday, we met for breakfast and then our last workshop with Pres Nihal.  He brought his family with him.  He taught about careers and it really helped these kids realize the different options in Sri Lanka.  He had power point and tied it into the gospel and made it really beneficial for the kids.  We had a devotional after and then our testimony meeting.  Everyone bore their testimonies....even the 2 non members that came with us....stating their desire to be baptized!  Such a wonderful conference.  So proud of these young adults!  I was hoping however that they would all find their eternal companions while they were together!  Don't think that happened!  But they enjoyed each other a lot!  We packed and headed to Kandy for lunch at the church...and saying good byes to old and new friends!  It took quite awhile to get home as the rain was heavy and their was lots of work being done on the road!  So grateful to have been with these great young adults!  They are the future of the church here in Sri Lanka!  Today was a wonderful day at church!  Sister Zeeniya was back!  Everyone was so happy to see her and she really enjoyed being back with her friends!  We practiced our music for District Conference and then had our branch council meeting.  Wonderful people leading our branch!  We also planned the Christmas party for poya day, Dec 24!  It will be great fun!  Today Naveen got the Priesthood in church, Inoka got a calling on the homemaking committee, Tania passed her baptism interview with Steve, and Tania's sister Rosey was visiting with her.  So we decided to have a party and invite them over for dinner!  It was great fun!  Naveen tricked the missionaries when they called by telling them that he was shopping for black pants that he could wear to baptize Tania.  They questioned him about it and he told them that Elder Condie said it was fine.  2 seconds after he told them that, they called Steve....where he went a long with it all!  It was so funny to see the elders really believe that they were doing that!  They got a good laugh afterwards!  Great week ahead as it is Tania's baptism...along with her daughter!  So excited about that!  The work is moving forward here in Sri Lanka!  Love it!!

FHE at the Hendriksens!  Finished the puzzle!!

Beautiful Colombo sunset

English class at Inoka's and a birthday party!

YSA Conference at Oruthota Chalets!


Talent show!

Amazing scenery!

Teamwork scavenger hunt contest!

Swimming in the pouring rain!


Apostolic blessing from Pres Nelson when he was here in Sri Lanka!

Pres Nihal after career presentation!

The YSA group (minus a few that had to leave a little early)!  Best kids ever!

The girls!

Lunch in Kandy

Elder Naveen

Dinner at the Condies-Naveen got the Priesthood, Taniya passed her baptism interview, Inoka got a new calling, Rosey came to visit!

Another great picture of Pres Nelson in Sri Lanka

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