Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6, 2015

Welcome DECEMBER!!  Unbelievable!  We have quite the busy month ahead but we are excited for all the things that are ahead of us!!  The week actually started out with an early morning FaceTime call from Kim.  She was in her bishops office with her family and they were giving Kade the Priesthood!  He is 12!  It was such a blessing to be able to watch the ordination!  So glad we were able to be a part of it in a small way!  So proud of him!  I was determined to get my Christmas shopping done this week and get it sent because I am sure it will take awhile to get there!  So we were able to get everything we needed throughout different days.  I had it all set out on the bed in little piles for each family.  I just love getting things for the kids and grandkids for Christmas!  I wish I could watch them all open their presents on Christmas morning!!  Steve was able to go with the elders to see Gayani and Gamini!  He gets a few days off and is home!  They are an amazing family and so interested in the church.  He is working in a place that does not have a church.  So he doesn't get to go but wants to be baptized with his wife and kids.  They are wonderful!  Zeeniya went with them and bore a strong testimony to them.  She has been a member now for only 4 months and is such a great missionary!  We love her!  Elder (Steve) Nugara wanted to come and hang out with us one day!  So we took him to lunch and took him around with us for the afternoon!  Love him!  He is still trying to decide what he wants to do with his life post mission!  We had District meeting with the elders and then Sherine came and got me and took me shopping for a sari!  I need to wear a red one for Wasanthi's upcoming wedding!  It was fun....but I will never be able to figure out how to put it together!  I am going to need someone to dress me that is for sure!  We visited with Inoka at her home and then on to Shanika's after picking up Sheramy from work.  We talked about missionary preparation stuff and then took them to dinner!  Great evening with them!  Sure love them all!  Steve went to Naveen's hometown where he is building his restaurant.  The elders also went and they did some work trying to get it ready to open in a few weeks.  I had piano classes and then our English class.  It was fun tonight with everyone as we taught about Christmas.  We had a few Buddhists in the group but they were great and taught us some things about what they do!  Friday brought a lot of piano classes and grocery shopping!  We had the Hendriksens over for dinner.  It was nice!  We were supposed to go to Chilaw on Saturday and it fell through.  We already had Kumar lined up to drive for us so we decided to make a day of it!  We have always wanted to go south and see we did!  There is one highway in the country and it happens to go to Galle so that was such a breath of fresh air!  There wasn't much traffic and it moved fast!  Beautiful scenery with the rice patties and the rubber trees and some tea farms.  So green and lush!  As we came off the highway and pulled into Galle, we looked out in the ocean and saw fisherman lined up pulling in huge nets.  There are boats that take the nets out in the morning.  Then they have 2 lines of men that pull the nets inside and have fish that they are pulling in with them.  It was really fun watching them.  When the nets got close, there were fish....but not very big or very many....but it was really great!  We then drove to the fort!  The Dutch built the fort long ago to protect their town.  It was really fun and interesting !  We had a nice lunch overlooking the ocean.  Then we took a walk through town and around the the lighthouse and back up the coast!  It was beautiful!  We drove up the coast a little ways to Hikkaduwa.  It is a resort town where there were lots of people swimming and enjoying the beach.  You could take a glass bottom boat to see a coral reef.  Kumar said it was an unsafe town to be in....lots of drugs and bad people.  Fun to visit!  This is where the tsunami hit the worst.  It cleared out all the homes and derailed a train which left 20000 people dead.  Really devastating.  The Chinese put up a memorial that was really nice.  Kumar wanted us to come to his home for dinner that night.  He wanted us to help his daughters figure out what was important in life for their futures, etc.  It was funny!  They are beautiful girls and really seem to have a lot going for them.  He also has a 14 year old son and he was a great kid too!  We had a very nice dinner and visit with them....except they had a dalmation dog that wouldn't leave me alone!!!!  But I survived it!!  Really nice and relaxing day!  Sunday was Fast Sunday and a wonderful church meeting!  We had a really great turnout at church today...over 140!  It was so great!  Testimony meeting was really special as usual.  Such wonderful testimonies!  The meetings were so great!  We had some American visitors today.  One guy was working for the government and was from Washington DC.  Brother Shepherd and Brother Lindsay were from Utah.  They work for the church in the translation department.  There are some of our members who are working on the translations of the standard works here in Sinhala.  They had meetings with them and then came to our home for dinner.  (Forgot to get a picture!)  It was interesting talking to them about the things the church is working on right now!  They are putting the Asian countries at the top of the list to get things done as things are changing in all these areas!  There is hope for more missionaries and couples soon.  The work is going to keep going and we can really feel that!  Very exciting!  We bought a beef from Keels to try!  It really was ok....a little tough but was still good!  Our first beef roast that we have cooked!  Life is great!  We are healthy and happy and grateful for being able to serve our mission!

Gamini is home for a few weeks!  Zeeniya came to help teach Gayani and Gamini!

Lunch with one of the best!

Look at the size of those shrimp (prawns)!

This is the temple fund bottle for Inoka and Naveen!  When you leave the house, you empty your change out of your pocket.  You have to get a bottle that you can't cheat and get the money out for something else!

Service with the elders at Naveen's restaurant.

Naveens blind cousin.

Naveens sister and husband.

Naveens mother made us some lunch.

Getting us all coconuts!

Ying Wang is back from China!  She brought gifts back to us!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So excited to get packages from Dad and Mom and Annie!

Trying on sari's!

There is that wig again!

The Hendriksens came for dinner!!

Day trip to Galle!

Beautiful scenery!

The fisherman were bringing in the nets.  We stopped to watch!

Not a very big catch for how big the net was!

The sale after the catch!

Our driver, Kumar!

Galle Fort

The snake charmer!

Shaping the gems at the museum.

Beautiful old well.

China from the Fort

The other side of the fort!

Beautiful lighthouse!

This is where they spear fish...out on the sticks.  

Windy and humid!

Hikkaduwa beach and resort.

Memorial from the Tsunami from the Chinese.  The train derailed right behind here killing about 20000 people.

Partial homes left after the tsunami hit

Our driver took us to his home for dinner!

Rare kind of coconuts.  We drank the juice and it was good!

Kumar cutting it out for us so we can drink it.

Watching he and his mother prepare the coconut insides!

Kumar and his mother

Kumar built her this small home and she is very happy!

Kumar's beautiful daughters

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