Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 2016

It is almost the middle of June.  Summer has started!  Although in Sri Lanka, we can't tell the difference in the seasons.  It is summer all year long!  We had a great week!  We began by having Harshi and her newly baptized husband, Achala, come to our house for lunch!!  Harshi's mom and dad came too!  It is interesting to see Sri Lankans try American food!  It is not spicy like they are used to.  But they are pretty good sports!  They use a lot of pepper!!  Achala is a really good cook!  He made some fish especially for us and it was really good!  We had pork chops and potatoes!  Harshi's mother doesn't eat pork!!  But she loved Achala's fish!!  It was a lot of fun hanging out with them!  We only wished that we could communicate with Achala better.  He speaks a little English but it would be really fun to understand the things he says!  He is such a good guy!  Harshi is beyond happy!  She wants to go to the temple in 1 year!!  And in St George!!  We would of course love that!  We headed to Shanika's that evening to say good bye as she leaves for 3 weeks to Switzerland.  She is trying to get her aunts estate figured out.  She was pretty nervous about flying by herself!  I found a little time to do some shopping at Uptown!  I needed some gifts and a few things!  Steve did other errands so I got to shop and enjoy just browsing and taking my time!  We surprised Darshani with a birthday party at the salon that night!  She loves McDonalds so we ordered that first.  We had chocolate cake and opened presents!  I think she was really happy!  She is amazing!  Raising her really good kids and trying to earn a living by herself in the salon.  I just do not get these Sri Lanka men!!!  We went to Pres Antons on Wednesday as they had the alms giving after his uncle died a week ago.  You come to the home and eat!  It was good to support their family.  Steve went to visit Brother Sridhar's family with the elders.  They are doing really good!  They are happy about the gospel and want to keep learning!  I have been teaching a lot of piano classes!  We are getting ready for the big recital in July!  Everyone is really doing great!  We picked up Sheramy from work on Thursday, then picked up the elders and headed to her home.  The elders taught Joel.  He is getting baptized on the 26th!  So exciting!  Steve bought some dinner and we all enjoyed that together as well.  Shanika made it to Switzerland so that is good!  Sheramy also said that her father decided he would read the Book or Mormon!  That is just so wonderful!!  We went to the Hagobians on Friday and had a yummy dinner there with Pres Nishan and his family.  I love Radi!  She is just a bundle of fun!  She loves to cook for us because she knows we like it so much!  Saturday, we found out that Sister Wijendrans brother in law died.  He was 59.  We were asked to come to the funeral parlor by 3.  They were not going to do the body in their most Sri Lankans.  We did an LDS service inside the tiny little room.  There was no a/c and it was extremely hot...especially with about 50 people inside.  We sang hymns, we had prayers and we had Bro Wijendran give some remarks, followed by Pres Nishan.  We then went to the cemetery where we waited for them to bring the casket.  There was a small section that was fenced in where we were waiting.  The gardener let us in. It was for the people that died in the Sri Lanka war.  It was very well kept.  The lawn looked beautiful and the flowers and trees were so nice.  There was also a big monument for a well known religious leader from Sri Lanka.  He told his people that he would be resurrected in 3 days after his death.  So the cemetery was full of people waiting for that to happen on the 3rd day.  Of course, it did not happen!  So interesting!  We left for Sandreens that evening with the elders.  They wanted to cook us dinner.  We had string hoppers and hoppers!  Very traditional Sri Lanka!  We had a great visit with them.  Sister Carmelita is so strong.  She comes to church every Sunday and doesn't speak much English.  But she is as faithful as ever.  She did not have a good husband.  He was abusive and gambled and she had to go through so many terrible things.  Her daughter, Sandreen, has a similar situation...  It just breaks my heart seeing these wonderful ladies with such hard things.  They are my idols.  We had a wonderful Sunday!  Steve got asked to talk as he came in because someone did not show up.  He is amazing how he can wing it and deliver such a beautiful, spiritual sermon.  We had Brother Sridhar and his wife and son, his wives mother and uncle, come for dinner.  Sridhar has been working in Malaysia where he joined the church.  The rest of his family is now investigating!  They loved the American meal!  The elders joined us as well.  There are still so many good things happening in Sri Lanka!  Investigators all around!  Oh, I hope and pray we get missionaries in this country soon!!!!!!!

Lunch with Harshi, Achala, and Harshi's parents!

Achala and Achala (they are both fisherman so that is how the wood guy got his name!!

All the fisherman together!

Harshi's Dad loved the recliner!

Harshi and Steve

Darshani's birthday party!  McDonalds!  YUM

Funeral for Sister Wijendrans brother in law
Steve Wijendran, Bro Franklyn, Frank Rajan, John Wijendran, Pres Kolitha, Pres Nishan, Me

Cemetery for the foreign men killed in the Sri Lanka war. some are from the USA.

They keep this part of the cemetery looking very nice.

21 years old...that is about how old they all were.

Famous religious leader that told his people he would be resurrected in 3 days.  So the cemetery was full for 3 days waiting for it to happen. didn't happen!!

The casket folds out and then together again.

Everyone sprinkles perfume around the body.

Then they lower it down.

And fill it in with dirt.

The flowers are placed on top.

Followed by lighting candles.

Dinner with Sandreen and Carmelita and the elders

Hoppers and string hoppers!!

Sridhar's family for Sunday dinner!

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