Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Lots of celebrations going on this week!  No traffic on the roads!!  And also no stores open!  Everyone has gone to the country to their family villages for the holiday.  We had a great week!  I taught a lot of piano classes and did some paperwork.  We had district meeting with the elders and we figure we have 11 people with baptism dates!  It is so exciting!  May 1st will be the next day where we think we will have 8!  We headed to Darshani's salon on Tuesday night where I got a haircut!  Haven't had one for 3 months!  Great visiting with Deyan, Deek and Cass!  We also tried a new taxi service called UBER.  It is all over the world but just got here to Colombo.  You download an app, ask for a cab (where you can see where all the cars are and how far away they are from you) and the closest guy will take the call and come and get you.  When you arrive at the destination, he pushes a bottom on the phone and the journey is closed and your credit card is charged....and it is only 30 rupees a km....which is cheaper than a trishaw!  We used it all week and really liked it.  Wednesday, we went for lunch at Priyanka's home.  She recently returned from her mission after just a few weeks in the MTC.  She thinks now that she wants to go back.  Pres Berrett will be meeting with her this week to talk to her and see what will happen next.  I hope everything will work out for her.  She sure seemed happier today than when we went to her house last week.  The elders came with us and we had a nice lunch.  We headed to Shanikas that night...again with the elders.  We had a very nice dinner with them.  The elders taught Joel and we did our home teaching to Shanika and Sheramy!  It was New Years eve, so there were a lot of crackers (fireworks) going off in the evening. You are supposed to eat and prepare your food at certain times of the day.  And people do not go anywhere.  Just eat and hang out with family.  (Sounds like our favorite holidays!)  They get new clothes and get money from the relatives.  Thursday was New Years Day!  We left early for Hansanis home where we had a big breakfast!  Then we loaded into the van and headed out into the country for the celebration!  It was a beautiful place!  We had tons of food and played lots of games.  It was the hottest day of the year for sure.  And there was no where to go to escape it!  Steve was soaked...shirt and pants!  One of the hottest days we have had here in Sri Lanka.  We were also given gifts.  Steve got a Sri Lanka pencil holder and I got a carved wood thing of birds.  So nice!  We visited the new homes that were being built for the families....and had more food!  Fun hot day!  Friday we were heading to see Richard and Tania.  But we got a call from Teshan and Nuwani.  He told us that his grandfather had passed away.  He was really close to him.  They came over to the house and we had a great visit with them.  They are such great people.  Can't wait to meet Nuwanis new baby coming in August!  So we headed to see Richard after that.  Tania had to work but her mother was there along with her sister, Rosie.  It was fun visiting with them.  We ate Burger King and had a nice time!  Later, we visited Sister Wijendran for her birthday (well, a day late) and had a great visit with their family.  As we got up on Saturday, we received a call from one of the members of our branch, Brother Alexander.  He was one of the first branch presidents here in Colombo.  He was upset and distraught and told Steve that his only son had passed away.  He was 32 years old and had a heart attack.  We were just heart broken for him.  Steve was the first person he called and we told him we would let the branch leadership know.  I guess he had passed away a few days earlier but Bro Alexander was so upset he didn't even think of calling anyone in the church.  In fact, his daughters told us when we were there that they had been so worried about him.  But he was starting to think better on Saturday and called.  The great thing about the church, is that they got the word out to the members.  By the time we got to his home, we had several members who came as well....after just a few hours of finding out.  It was wonderful...and just how great our members are!  As we looked around, I was so grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families.  These people don't have that.  Bro Alexander is the only member in his family.  The Gospel is such a blessing.  They had a meal for all of us and the family and then we left.  It was interesting that I had the assignment of teaching Relief Society on the Atonement and the Resurrection the next day.  It made the lesson more real and I really felt the Spirit when teaching. blessed I am to know what the Atonement can do for me.  I had a girl sing, I STAND ALL AMAZED, at the end and it was perfect!  We just love Sundays!  So many wonderful people and so many great lessons we learn!  Busy weeks ahead!  We think we are heading to India in a few weeks...after going to Kandy this week.  This mission if flying by.  We have now hit our 14 month mark.  Oh my.....!

New haircut from Sister Darshani

New Years Day breakfast!

New watches and clothes for New Years

On our way to the party!

Thilukshi's new home being built

Coming to the party at the neighbors house

King Coconut juice!

More new house pics!

I love the way bananas grow!

Setting up the games

He wishes......!!

The neighbors garden

Time for the games!

Our team just can't see Steve at the back who won it for us!!

Can you guess how many seeds are in the papaya?


More yummy food!

Every New Years brings gifts!

Playing with squirt guns!

Now we are visiting Hansanis new house being built

Brother Alexander at the funeral for his son

Food for the people

Our heart was broken for this wonderful father

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