On the way home, I tell Mervyn I need to stop off at a bookshop. I need to buy envelopes to mail out visiting teaching messages to the less active sisters in our branch and to the out of area sisters.
Have I mentioned Out of Area before? It’s a pretty basic concept.
In Sri Lanka, the country, with a population of over 20 million people, we, the LDS church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has only 4 branches.
While the island is small, it isn’t small enough and dense enough so that everyone, regardless of where they live, are within close enough distance to make it to church on Sundays.
As it is, among the members of the congregation who regularly come to church, some of them travel an hour and a half each way just to get there. Frankly, I applaud them.
So if someone lives, oh, say a four hour travel time away, each way, I really don’t expect them to come to church every Sunday. It’s just not realistic. But our congregation is the closest to them in terms of distance, so they’re members of our congregation. Okay, I can deal with that.
I’m sending them letters saying hi, introducing myself, and letting them know that we think of them, pray for them, and that they’re not forgotten. There’s not much that’s worse than being forgotten. No, don’t argue with me and give me examples, I know there are. But whatever. I’m also sending them a copy of the January Relief Society Newsletter, which has a Presidency Message, announcements, contact information for the former presidency. It also has the visiting teaching message for January, and the Relief Society class schedule for January so they can read along on Sundays if they like. But next, I need to find out if they have manuals, and if they don’t, I need to see that they get them. Because what’s the point of thinking they can read along if they don’t have what they need to read along with?
Anyway, for mailing the letter and the newsletter out, I needed envelopes. I asked Mervyn to stop at a bookshop.
Here, a book store is a store that sells books. You know, like ones by oh, J. K. Rowling, or J R R Tolkien. Or Arthur C Clarke. Yeah, those kinds of books.
But a bookshop – shop, not store is what makes all the difference – is where you buy office supplies. Things like envelopes, file folders, pens, pencils, paper, hiliters, ledger books, books to write in. That sort of thing.
He takes me to one in Battaramulla a few blocks down from Arpico, that major local department store. Looking from the outside, it was dark, like a cave, and small.
I entered, and the shop was about six or seven feet wide with shelves going to the ceiling filled with stuff. Lots of stuff. And it went back about twenty feet that I could tell.
I asked for envelopes, and it took a couple of minutes for me to explain and for the salesgirl to understand what I wanted. Then I told her how many and asked the price. I was told 50 Rupees. I thought they meant for each envelope, and thought it was outrageous. I was getting ready to walk out the door. I may bea foreigner, but I’m not that stupid. No, no, not 50 Rupees for each envelope, but 50 Rupees for all of them. Oh!!! When we finally figured out that this was what was going on, the salesgirl broke into a fit of laughter. Can’t say I really blame her.
And then Mervyn drove me home.
Already, my headache is gone – except for a tiny hint of a headache left. The back pain hasn’t returned, but it’s still tense. Not as tense as yesterday – I have more range of motion than I had yesterday – but it’s still tense. I can feel it more in my neck than anywhere else. Oh well.
And this time, I sterilized the needles. In our rice pot. In boiling water for several days. Hours. I mean minutes. Really, I mean minutes.
And Fahim came home for lunch, telling me that he’s feeling sick. He comes down every now and then with this throat/phlegm thing, and it’s decided to do it today.
And after work, Fahim had to go grocery shopping by himself. As much as I’m feeling better, I probably shouldn’t push it. Taking it easy is probably a better thing to do, hey.