Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10, 2016

Independence Day in Sri, not the movie...!!  We were lucky enough to be asked by the Hendriksens to go to the 4th of July celebration with the American Embassy people!  They had an American BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries!  They had crafts for the kids, as well as swimming and games.  At the end, we even had sparklers!  That is the most Americans we have seen in one place!  We were able to have lunch with Sherine and her family...with Katie on Tuesday!  She cooked us a feast!  It was Shanuka's 20th birthday the next day, so we brought a cake and had candles and sang!  He will make a great missionary some day soon!  Sherine is a dear friend and it was so fun to have her mom come and eat with us.  She presented us with beautiful framed pictures of Sri Lanka flowers and 2 banana leaf plates!  Oh my!  They were amazing!  I had to come back to piano.  Steve met Brother Harold and they went a gave a blessing to a young man who was serving a mission but got in an accident and is needing medical care.  They are Sri Lankan but live in England.   We met up at Darshinis salon for a haircut and visit!  She was so happy to make my hair even and wonderful!  We had a nice dinner and a great visit!  Wednesday was the end of the Muslim Ramadan.  Sister Zeeniya wanted to make lunch for the celebration.  We did not know that she was making lunch for quite a few people.  Usually at the end of Ramadan, the people get together and sit around a big platter where all the food is.  Then they eat out of the same platter.  They have certain foods....biriyani and a famous dessert watalappan.  It was pretty spicy for me of course.  But we had a great time with the wonderful people that were there!  I ended up teaching 7 piano lessons before and after the lunch!!  We drove to Shanikas that evening.  I looked at Sheramy's mission clothes and answered a bunch of questions for her.  She has her interview for her Visa in the morning at the American Embassy!  She was pretty nervous.  Not sure what they were going to ask!  Had a wonderful visit with them!  We found out that we will be flying with her on the first leg of our flight to Singapore!  So happy about that!  She called the next morning and told us she got her Visa!  She now has everything she needs to get on her mission!  We are so happy for her!  She is really going to be an outstanding missionary!!  We have always wanted to go to the Galle Face Hotel but had never been.  It is very old and nostalgic so we decided to go there on Thursday evening and meet up with President Nihal, Eashani and the boys!  It was Nihals birthday too!!  We ate at the Sea Spray restaurant...outside on the beach!  It was amazing!  The beautiful setting, the cool ocean breeze and the great company!  We had wonderful seafood and had a great evening!  Friday, we ran errands, taught piano....stuff like that!  But the best part was heading to Negombo to visit Harshi and Atchala!  They really wanted us to come and they would fix us dinner.  Atchala had gotten some fresh crab and jumbo prawn....and that was the appetizer!  OH MY!  It was so, so yummy!  We just pulled them apart and ate them as we all sat around in a circle.  Steve Nugara joined us too!  We could have left happy right there....but no....there was more!  So much more!  He had us sit at the table after that.  We had a different kind of fish, pork, rice, salad and ice cream and jello!  We were stuffed!  But we didn't really care!  They are the greatest!  He has been a member for about 6 weeks and is really happy!  Harshi is beyond happy!  They are planning on going to the temple at his 1 year baptism anniversary!  They are saving for that right now!  We love being with them!  Saturday was our final YSA activity with our wonderful youth!  We had 27 people at the activity!  We met in Colombo and then headed to the Air Force Museum.  Pres Nihal is the director and a captain in the Air Force...high ranking guy!  He had everything set up so nice for us!  We all got welcome drinks in his a/c office to begin with!  Then he took us all to the souvenir shop and told everyone they could get a hat!  So we all did!  His friend gave us the fact, his friends 2 kids came and joined with us on our tour!  I think everyone loved it!  It was really quite interesting and a lot of fun.  At one point, he had ice cream bars given to all of us!  Then we met at an outside place, where they fed us a huge lunch!  It was very nice!  We then went to a small conference room to have a workshop.  Frank wanted us to talk to the YSA's because they were all struggling to know what to do with their lives.  He had come by earlier and visited with us about his situation and said so many of his friends were in that same boat.  I hoped we helped them.  I really thought it went well!  We just love these kids so much and want great things for them!  Their culture is very different and that makes things quite hard in many circumstances.  But we told them to stay strong in the church and just keep moving forward.  Do something.  They all seem to be waiting for life to happen for them....instead of letting go of fears and making something happen in their lives.  It was a wonderful day with all of them.  Pres Nihal really went all out for us also.  Such a great leader! Today was a wonderful Sabbath day!  The meetings were amazing!  Anju gave her first talk and did such a great job.  Inoka spoke and then John Wijendran.  His talk was so, so great!  All about going to the temple, etc.  We just love the wonderful people of Sri Lanka!  It is getting real to me that we are really leaving and not seeing these people anymore.  As excited as I am to go home, I will truly miss these wonderful people!  We love them so, so much!  They are truly like family.  We are blessed to serve a mission in Sri Lanka.  We have made eternal friends!  We are actually down to 4 weeks left.  Oh my.  Curt will be here on Saturday!  YIPEE!!  So excited!!!!

4th of July American style

Celebrating with the American Embassy people

Andrew, the Patriot

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, French Fries!

Patriotic speech by the Embassy director

And of course, sparklers!

Sherene fixed a yummy lunch for us!

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Celebrating Shanuka's birthday!

And now lets have cake!

New haircut by the famous Darshini!

Ramadan celebration....feast!!

Zeeniya was so excited to do this for many of us!

Zeeniya's sister and her girls

Galle Face hotel

Seaspray restaurant!

Beautiful outside lanterns

The birthday boy, Nihal, has arrived!!

Freshly caught appetizers of crab and giant shrimp!

This food was amazing!!!!!!

YSA activity!

Supposed to be a crazy picture

The Air Force Museum

Pres Nihals office

The new boss!!

OK, this is the real boss!!  Pres Nihal!

One of my boys, Steve!

My boy, Frank!

My girl, Deyan!

Pres Nihal designed and manufactured this ultra light type airplane

Sonali playing in sacrament meeting


Dinner at the Condies!  

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