Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day 2016

Happy Mothers Day!  Another whirl wind of a week!  Steve has been feeling really good!  He thinks the stones have passed!  We came back from the hospital on Monday and went to work the same evening!  We visited Brother Alexander and his wife and daughter in law.  He is the guy that lost his only son a few weeks back.  It was really great visiting them.  His wife does not speak English but is a sweet lady.  He said she has always supported him in the church.  They are great parents and great people!  It was a very nice visit with them.  We changed our day to talk to the kids to Tuesday because of the hospital!  Big day for piano lessons!  Thilukshi and Ajantha wanted to see Steve so they gave me a ride back home after the lessons.  Steve had made a nice dinner so we invited them to stay and enjoy it with us!  Thilukshi is so happy since she was baptized last week!  She just wants to learn more and be where the church members are and do everything she can to be a part of it.  Such a sweetie!  We were going to go to Kandy on Wednesday but Ying Wang called and said she had extra tickets to the Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra!  Oh my!  I was so excited.  The Chinese donated this huge fine arts theatre and I have always wanted to go inside.  It was very very nice!  I enjoyed it so much!  Ying Wang was the MC!  She gave everything in Chinese and then in Sinhala!  Fun to see her doing that.  There was a guy who did a huge concerto that was incredible.  I have never heard the violin played like that!  Enjoyed it so much.  At intermission, there was a great hub bub going on off to the walks the President of Sri Lanka!!  There were paparazzi everywhere!  (Now I know why there were armed policemen everywhere outside before the show!!)  He sat very close to us!  At the end, he went on the stage and shook hands with the conductor and some of the musicians. Too funny!  But, the concert was excellent!  They did 2  encores too!!  So happy we were able to go.  We woke up early Thursday and caught the train to Kandy.  Brother Shanta was there to pick us up.    We made lots of visits in Kandy just in the 2 days we were there!  We visited the "new" Pereras (the ones the elders had gone to by accident) and they had questions about their visit to why we didn't have statues and crosses....and about the sacrament.  Great questions!  We left them Books of Mormon and had a wonderful visit!  We then went to see Sister Rohini, who's husband was baptized the Sunday before!  We went to Sister Seethas home for dinner.  Her son, Promod, made us Italian spaghetti and it was wonderful!  The next day we visited Sister Sansoni's daughter...Tania.  She is less active and has a little boy.  We had picked up President Kumara along the way!  We visited Judes family and then he took us to visit the family of a guy he works with.  They live in a little village in "homes" that make you cry!  Dirt floor, mud walls, and a tin roof that leaked and leaked during the rain.  The couple had 4 kids and they all lived there.  In front of this place, was where the mother lived.  A little bigger but still dirt floors and water leaking from the roof in many places.  The mother babysat a small child while the mother of the child worked and who's father had died a few months earlier.  So tough!  They were so sweet!  They had come to church a little before but were not fellowshipped by anyone.  They were so happy that we came!  And talked and talked (but we could not understand)!  We then went to visit an older lady and her granddaughter, Yohonka.  Yohonka was sharp and pretty!  The house was made of anything they could find to go around the outside...old doors, sheets of metal...different things like that.  There was a narrow walkway and then stuff everywhere.  There were a few beds together where she said they sleep, eat and do homework.  Wow!  We went back to the church and had a good visit with Sulukshina who had come back from Abu Dhabi to get some visa things worked out.  Then off to the Pereras for dinner!  It was a good Sri Lanka meal!  We caught the train early on Saturday so we could be back for District Conference.   Steve then took me to McDonalds for Mothers Day!  We then picked up a few groceries and headed to Liberty Plaza!  Here we bought me a wallet in a fun new store called UpTown Kandy!  Really fun for me of course!!  We made it back to start the Adult session of the Conference.  This was Pres/Sis Berretts last visit before they head home.  We had a visiting General Authority from Thailand...Elder Wisit Khanakham.  Really humble and sweet.  The meeting was really good that day!  It had on the program that the RS was supposed to sing an intermediate number....but they never got the we all just winged it!  So funny!  The theme was temple ordinances and temple work.  Pres Berrett gave a great talk about his ancestors being the pioneers in his up everything to go to the US and go to the temple.  Now, he is benefitting from their sacrifices by having a temple within walking distance.  He told them that now they are the pioneers.  They are sacrificing so much to someday get to the temple....and that perhaps in 4 generations down the line, they will be walking to a temple in Sri Lanka.  It was such a great thought!  He is so good at speaking.  Sister Berrett is so sweet and kind.  Sunday was Mothers Day!  We decided to take an Uber taxi to Negombo instead of riding the very very hot bus!  We picked up Thilukshi because her mom had to be in the hospital with Kavishka....who had to have his appendix out!!!  Again...such a wonderful meeting!  Deek was one of the speakers....and he was fantastic.  He sounded like he was a returned missionary!  So proud of him.  The theme was missionary work.  The YSA's sang the closing song and did great!  Love them all!  We were able to visit with so many wonderful people!  The family that lived in the village came!  So great to see them!  Shehan brought Joel...etc!  It was just so great!  They had a meeting for all the returned missionaries.  Then they had the meeting for all the Priesthood and Auxillaries for another 2 hours.  They had rice packets for everyone right after the main session.  Truly a wonderful day!  Learned so much and enjoyed the wonderful people from all the branches!  We probably had 250-300 people there!  We rode back with Pres Anton and Ann in the pouring rain!  The elders met us here to call their moms for Mothers Day.  We made a shrimp dinner for them!  Great week!  We have now officially gone to under 100 days left on our mission.  So blessed to still be able to spend more days with our wonderful friends in Sri Lanka!

Thilukshi and her mom after piano class

Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre!

Gift from the Chinese

Getting ready!


Ying Wang was the MC!!

At intermission, the President of Sri Lanka walked in right by us!

The paparazzi were going crazy!

So good!

The conductor danced as he led!

The President comes to shake hands and take pictures


program cover

Visiting Rohini in Kandy

Spaghetti dinner with Sister Seetha and her son, Promod

New Indian friends living in Abu Dhabi

Dam along our morning route

Visiting Tania and her son

President Kumara and Brother Shanta

View from Tania's home


Visiting Jude and his family

Jude took us to his friends home

More beautiful Kandy views

Biggest centipede we have ever seen!

They were all over after the rain!

Visiting Yohanka and her grandmother

Back down the stairs with the giant centipedes!!!

The "guys" coming to collect money for Vesak!

Dinner with the Pereras

Cliff and Max Perera

Newly baptized man-Aloshus-from Negombo

District Conference in Negombo

The final crowd from District Conference

Elder Wisit Khanakham of the Seventy

President and Sister Berrett-last visit to Sri Lanka

The Berretts and Pres Anton and Ann

Returned missionaries from Sri Lanka

Darshani and her family at the New Years Party!!!

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