Friday, August 19, 2016

August 7, 2016

Our final full week in Sri Lanka.  I can't believe how fast 18 months has gone by.  Such a happy/sad occasion, that's for sure.  We had lunch and dinner appointments every day this week....with even some breakfast appointments as well!!  Everyone has been so kind and thoughtful to us.  Many are disappointed that we don't have any time left to get with their families and share a meal.  We ran, ran, ran this week....but it was so wonderful.  We love these people so very much!  We talked to the kids briefly as we had so many things to do!  We had a lunch appointment with Errol and his wife, Ann.  They are so kind and nice.  We had a great meal and visit.  We stopped at the hospital to see Nuwani and Teshan and Nuwani had her new baby boy!  He was in the ICU so we only saw pictures.  Nuwani was glowing and happy!  Such great people.  We had dinner at the Jeffrys home for Brother Jeffrys birthday!  They are a special family!  We enjoyed them and the food!  Tuesday, we made breakfast for the elders!  We had a Skype appointment with Juswan Tandiman, from Indonesia. We talked about the seminary and institute program there and answered some questions.  He is a great man.  We headed to Yolantis home for lunch with Zeeniya!  They really cooked up a storm!  It was very good!  Ran a few errands before meeting Pres Sunil and his family at our home.  He was the first district president in Sri Lanka.  He was present when Elder James E Faust came to Sri Lanka and gave a blessing here.  So, Steve wanted to see where that was done!  So they picked us up and we headed to Victoria park, where we were able to find the tree.  We came home and had some ice cream and visited for a bit.  They gave us gifts....beautiful gems that he had in his family.  Moon stones.  It was really special.  Wednesday brought lunch with Klaus and Crysanthem!  They are a cute couple who lives in our apartment complex.  We then went to Deandras home for dinner.  She lost her mother a few years back and it has been very difficult for her.  She made a fabulous dinner.  Pres Kolitha, Primali and Sonali were also invited.  Such a great night with all of them!  Thursday, Margaret and Mythili wanted to make us breakfast since we had no other appointments available.  Margaret has come to the apartment every week to clean the apartment.  She is such a sweet, shy lady.  She really did a great job for us.  Mythili is her daughter.  They brought the breakfast to our home and it was great!  We left right after for the District Youth Conference that was held in Colombo.  They had a great turnout!  Steve gave a talk about Joseph Smith.  There were other talks also, some games, some dramas and lunch from Dinemore!  It was very nice!  We left soon after to go to Negombo to have dinner with Steve Nugara and his mother.  He was one of our original 4 elders.  It was so fun being with him!  He is the best guy!  Found out that Harshi and her family were returning from the hospital as we we stopped to say good bye to them.  She is so sweet!  Love their family so much.  Friday began with a movie ICE AGE with Shanika and her family.  Joel called us up a while back and said he really wanted to take us to a movie and spend some time with us before he left.  That was so so nice!  Sheramy is leaving the same day as us for her mission so they are all scurrying around just like us!!  Fun to be with them.  Hansani had a dance competition that she wanted us to attend.  But she got the time mixed up.  So we were there but it still didn't start for 2 more hours and we had another appointment.  Felt bad to leave.....and of course, she won the dance competition!!!  I love her so much!  She is the kindest, sweetest little thing!  Her parents are just as great as her!  Pres Kolitha and his family met us at the house and we went to Waters Edge buffet for dinner.  It was so so nice!  We love them so much too!  Oh how we will miss them!  Saturday brought a visit from Niluka and her husband from Chilaw!  We really missed not being able to go one more time to Chilaw.  Such wonderful people there!  We had lunch with Rukman and his family.  Thilakshi and her family were also there.  So much wonderful food!  They are the greatest people!  Going to miss them all so so much.  In the evening, we had dinner with Anton Rohan and his sweet family.  They don't have anything and yet they gave to us.  So very humbling.  Sunday began with another wonderful baptism!  5 people today!  Michelle was baptized by her Dad that was visiting from abroad.  Sister Sudarshani and her son were baptized!  So happy for them!  And Kumars son, Rukshan and daughter, Madu were also baptized!  They are so wonderful!  It was such a spiritual day and a wonderful way to end our mission!  They all did such a great job with their testimonies!  Such special people who were able to feel the Spirit and get baptized!  I gave the final Relief Society lesson.  I sure enjoy that and these wonderful ladies.  After, there was a BBQ at the church for us!  They had 165 people attend church that day....a record.  It was so special to see everyone!  We took a billion pictures, cried a trillion tears and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with the people we love so dearly!  They made prawns, chicken and pork!  Then everyone brought pot luck!  We had cake mixes and brownie mixes left, so Steve made all of those while I finished all the final reports for the mission.  The greatest day!  So tough to say good bye to everyone who has made a place in your heart!  We will miss everyone dearly.  Love love them so much!  We had some visits later that night at home too!  We gave away most of our clothes, the food out of the cupboards....since the couple will not be there until December!  LOVE LOVE OUR SRI LANKA FAMILY!

Views from the top of our apartment!

Steve walked here almost every day!

Talking to the kids as we begin to pack everything up!

Ann and Errol made us a lovely lunch!

Steve will really miss this traffic!

Sister Darshani made us a wonderful dinner!

Greatest family!  Regno, Bro Jeffry, Sis Darshani, Haran, Abishek

Yolanti and her handsome son

Spread for a king!

Sister Zeeniya!!

Pres Sunil, Wimela and Lilani...under the tree that James E Faust dedicated Sri Lanka for missionary work!

Pres Sunil telling the story!

Sister Lilani remembers too!

Couple enjoying the park that evening!

We were given beautiful moonstone gems!

Lunch with Klause and Crysanthem

Deandra cooked a fabulous dinner for us!

Brother Timothy

Pres Kolitha and Primali and Sonali also joined us.....and Kumar!

Timothy has accomplished many things!

Sure love Deandra and her Dad!

Mythili and Margaret

District Youth Conference

Sherine did an awesome job putting it together!

Negombo group!


Negombo song

Negombo drama

Kandy dancing

Abishek singing Tamil song

Katie and Shamindri singing beautiful song

Wonderful youth

Dinner with Steve Nugara and his mom!

Final goodbye to Harshi and Atchula

So glad her mom and dad are doing better!

Final movie with Joel and his family !

My favorite Hansani at her dance recital

Hansanis group

Nilmini and her mother and Jinuka

Dinner with Pres Kolitha, Primali and Sonali

My sweet Thilakshi

Dinner with Rukman and his family, Ajantha and her family

Amazing food!

Kumar too!

More Sri Lanka sights!

Galle Face

Picture from a book of Shihani and Jennifer

Wonderful dinner!

Anton Rohan and his family, Roshani, Jennifer and Shihani

St Anthony's that we drove by all the time!

Beautiful picture from Bro Harold and his family...Jesse Katie and Rosemary

Baptism of Michelle with her parents

Shridar with his wife Sudarshani and Joshua

Kumar cleans up really well!

Kumars beautiful daughters, Madu and Sachi

With Rukshan


Sister Usari

Sister Darshani

Sweet Tamil sister

Errol and his sister Nimali


Inoka, Steffani and Naveen




Mali and her sister

Mali's sister


Shashrika, Mali and Methasa

Naveen selfie

Add Pooja and Resanya 

Sister Pooja, Resanya and Elder Gunarathne

Sister Katherine and Bro Franklin

Elders Wijetunge and Gunarathne

And Shashrika

Sister Hemamalie

Now add Deek!

Beautiful Sherine!

Loretta, Sherines mom, waiting for the barbecue with everyone!

Shrimp on the barbie!!!

And chicken!

Shehara, Katie and Shamindri

Beautiful Shehara


Some of the wonderful youth!

John Wijendran

Vinutha and Shanika

BBQ at the church


Traditional dancing from Hansani and her friend

My beautiful friend, Sherine

Frank and Steve

Nilukshan and his mother, Venitha

Ying Wang and her son

Sherine and her husband, Samantha, with Shanuka and Shamindri

Nugara selfie

Jayenthi and her family

Kavishka and Thilakshi

with Sujith and Ajantha

Gnana and Jayawardana

Timothy and Deandra

Sheramy and Shanika

and Joel!

Sheramy and Deandra

Andrew, Nihal, Eashani and Joel

Gift from the branch members

Book that members put pictures and wrote in for special.

Chandana, Hansani, her dance friend, Jinuka and Nilmini

Franklin and Katherine bearing gifts

Dinesh, Udani, Esther and Timothy


Rukman and his sweet family

Fiona and Stephanie


Anton Rohan and his family

Sweet Deyan





Regno, Haran, Jeffry, Tamil sister, Darshini, and Abishek


Going to miss our Radi


Deek and Deyan

Hayesha and her mother


Pres Nishan and Sandamali, with Garrett, Rylynn and Jarel


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