Monday, April 25, 2016

April 24, 2016

Happy 35th!!  We made it another year!  Sure love serving this mission with my favorite person!  So excited for another 35!!  We have had such a busy, good week!  We began with a lunch with Klause and Crysantham who live in our apartment complex.  Siam Thai!  The pad thai was awesome!  Later, we went to Radi's house to celebrate her birthday!!!  We brought her lasagna and a chocolate cake with candles!  She was very happy!  We had a wonderful visit with them!  Tuesday was our district meeting where we taught the elders on budgeting (more info from the Seniors conference)!  Steve met Pres Nishan to go find a place to get a new suit made!  They found one!  Steves suit pants have holes!!  I taught some piano and then Steve fixed dinner for Shashrika!  It was his 17th birthday!  His father bought him a cake and left it for him.  So we had a wonderful evening with his family...and Inoka and Steffani.  Steve went with the elders on Wednesday to visit Suraj and his family .  We then went and ran some errands.  We decided to go to the movie, Jungle Book!  We enjoyed it!  Thursday was Poya day and Negombo and Kandy were having a joint New Years activity at the Negombo church.  They had all the games and food and fun!  So many wonderful people that we have come to love!  It was a very hot day and tough on Steve but we had refuge in a room in the church with great A/C!  We left a little early as we had a dinner for Anuk and his family!  Anuk is a 9 year old boy who started coming to church with Sister Nimali.  His parents work on Sunday so hadn't been too interested.  But Anuk took the lessons...and even his parents helped him understand some things!  He was baptized!  Now his mother and father are interested!  We had a great visit and meal.  Sister Nimali also came!  A really sweet family!  Friday we went to Negombo with Pres/Sister Berrett and Pres/Sister Anton for a farewell lunch with the Bedkes.  The Berretts flew here late on Wednesday night and had a relaxing day Thursday before needing to get back on Friday!  But the Bedkes had worked in the office in India for a year so they were very good friends.  First, we met with the 2 new sister missionaries that just returned!  They are darling!!  I met with a new seminary teacher from Negombo also.  We then went and had a nice lunch with the 4 couples!  We went back to the church for a little devotional where Pres/Sister Berrett thanked the Bedkes and then the Bedkes shared some experiences and things they learned.  We will miss them!  We then had Kumar pick us up and we headed to Kandy!  We were going to try a new hotel this time that was cheaper.  OH MY GOODNESS!  It was disgusting!  We decided we could not stay there!  So we called the last place we went a few weeks ago and ended up there....even though they had closed down for a few days!  He just gave us keys and told us to lock up when we were gone!  Really nice guy and a nice place to stay.  Brother Shanta picked us up in the morning and we had a little breakfast before starting our visiting.  Pres Kumara could not meet us until noon.  Shanta had an idea!  The day before, the elders were there and were looking for a family and ended up at the wrong place.  But the people in that place seemed to be interested in someone coming back we did!  We ended up teaching them with Shanta translating.  Then he invited them to church and said he would pick them up.  They said they would come!  We then met Pres Kumara.  We stopped at some less active ladies home, Sister Anupama and her sister who were both members.  We had a great visit there!  We then headed to another relative of Sister Carmelita from Colombo....her daughter Sonali!  She has 3 sons and her husband is Kelum.  We had a great visit with them!  They are very interested in the church right now also!  They had meetings on Sunday but said they would come the next week!  WOW!!  We left there and went to Brother Gaminis home.  His trishaw is still not fixed and he has no money to fix it.  So tough.  They live in a one room place that has the bed (that all 4 of them share), the table and a few chairs and a small wardrobe.  He is trying to be a good Dad for his 3 children (the mom left them).  Such sweet, beautiful kids!  They had a bottle of Coke for us to share.  It meant a lot to them to give that to us.  The neighbors were so curious and wanted to have a look at the white people!!  We are getting used to that by now!  We took Pres Kumara back to the church and then we headed to a nice anniversary dinner at the Suisse hotel buffet.  And it was BBQ night!  It was very good!  We really enjoyed it a lot!  Sunday brought a baptism for the Kandy branch!  An older gentleman!  It was a nice service.....and Sister Carmelita's sister and her husband came to church!!!!  He doesn't get around too well but did really great!  Steve helped him a lot!  A talk didn't show up so they asked Steve to give one!  He did great!  Had a translator so you don't get to say much but Steves talk was so good!  Also, the Perera's who said they would come....THEY CAME!  And some people knew them already!  It was so awesome!  All of that because of a mistake!  You just never know!  I helped some prospective missionaries with their missionary forms!  Steve helped the branch presidency with the baptism paper work and a few more things!  During YW time, I noticed the girls were still alone....because no one taught them Sunday School either.  So I went in there and taught them a little!  Of course, I needed a translator!  One of the mothers wanted me to talk to her 17 year old daughter.  She has been going to the Roman Catholic church....because of school....and her mother is worried.  But in my conversation with her, she sounded like she is only doing it because of her school.  They have her teaching Sunday school there!  It is so tough for these kids.  They will get kicked out of school if they don't go there on Sunday.  We talked about praying and reading scriptures. She is a beautiful and I have known her since we got here.  She doesn't speak much English.  But she seems to be doing ok right now.  I can see the worry for her mother but hopefully she can still hang in there until after her exams!  We had a wonderful day in Kandy today.....but it was just beginning!  We caught the 3:00 train back to Colombo (after a crazy problem of the train station issuing us the wrong boarding pass and almost getting kicked off the train)!  Kumar picked us up and we headed to Sheramys!  She got her mission call!!  And they were waiting for us to get home before opening it!  So so sweet!  (Everyone was trying to get her to open it at church....but she did not budge!)  We put in our guesses...(even though we knew it would be the Philippines)!  Me....England, Steve ....New Zealand, Joel...Austrailia and Shanika....can't remember.  So she opened it the first few lines and then stopped because she was a little confused and then read UTAH....before she could finish we were yelling and screaming and could not believe it!  (She said the reason she stopped is that she thought it was just saying that the call was coming from there and that the next line would say where she was going....but it didn't!!) She is going to the UTAH SALT LAKE CITY TEMPLE SQUARE MISSION....and she leaves on June 28th!  We can't believe it!  She cried, Shanika was wonderful!  A little bit later, Shanika was talking to Steve and told him she thought God didn't care about her anymore and forgotten about her....since the death of her auntie and then 3 weeks later her uncle.  Then tonight she said...God really does love us doesn't he?  OH YES!!  He is so aware of them and this is so perfect for them!  We were so happy for them and just felt like it was one of our own getting this great mission call!  What a great ending to a wonderful week!  We are so blessed!  I have been a little homesick lately.  And I just need to remember all that I have and that I can do it!  We have such a short time left and still have so much to do.  Steve is very patient and loving and I am extremely grateful for him!  We may be off to India next week if our visas come through!  So another busy week ahead!!

Lunch with Klause and Crysanthem-Thai food

It is Radi's birthday!

The Hagobian family!

Steve needs a new suit!

Shashrika's birthday!

Lemon on a spoon race!

Kandy/Negombo New Years activity

More fun and games!

"Elder" Pereras family

More games!

"Elder" Nugara and  Shammika

New Years attire!

Sister Harshi and her husband

Primali and Sonali!

Sister Wijetunga just returned from the Philippines and the Bedkes are leaving!

The tug of war!

Asiri and Roshini with Akein and Anuk/Sister Nimali

Sister Wijetunga with Pres/Sister Berrett---home from the Philippines

Sister Lockna--home from Korea

Farewell lunch for the Bedkes

We are going to miss them so much!

Pres Anton and Ann

Happy Anniversary!!  This bush smelled divine!

Great new family in Kandy!!

Mango tree

Sister Anupama in her home

Anupama with her son Klaus and sister Thanuja

Wedding album of Sonali with her mom Carmelita from Colombo

I think that is Sister Sandreen in the pink!

Old family picture at Sonali and Kelum wedding

Here they are now!  Wanting to know more about the church!

Elder Condie in this one bedroom home of Brother Gamini

Brother Gamini and his family

All the neighbors want to see the white people!

Steve is going to get a king coconut for him to drink!!

Happy Anniversary barbecue at the Suisse hotel in Kandy

35 years!

They came! Nandina and Rani

Kandy baptism!

Sheramy got her mission call!!!!!

What?!  Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square!!!!!!  Yipee!!!