We made it. Here we are in Latvia. We are so happy to finally be here after all the months of preparation. We were staying in the MTC Senior Couple Apartments (brand new). We got up at 3AM on Monday, November 21st and got ready, then completed final packing. We had four large suitcases that were packed and weighted to exactly 50 lbs each. Additionally we had two carry on suitcases and I had a backpack and Sister Segeberg had a large soft-sided briefcase. We were loaded. We then moved all the luggage down the elevator to the staging area outside the building. We then moved the suitcases out to the parking lot and hoisted them into a large truck, then boarded a bus for the trip to the airport.
After the hour long bus trip to the airport, we unload the luggage truck, in the rain, and start trucking our luggage into terminal 2. When we get to the kiosk that checks in multiple airlines, we are told that we are in the wrong terminal, so we saddle up and pull our luggage over to terminal 1 where the check-in goes smoothly. Now to get through security. Well, we got through, but not before being xrayed and all the other hectic "take everything out of your pockets, all electronics out of the bags, ETC." Finally we could just relax and wait for boarding.
The flight to Chicago was uneventful, which is good.In Chicago we waited about 3 hours for our flight to Frankfurt. The flight to Frankfurt, GE, was 7.5 hours and felt every minute of that. The seats are very close together and we were as crowded as I have ever been on a flight.I thought someone told me that international flights had more room? When the guy in front of me put his seat back, I could have easily given him a head massage.Unfortunately for him, I reserve massages to Sister Segeberg's foot massages.
We got to Frankfurt and had a 4 hour wait for the flight to Riga. Frankfurt is a huge airport and it took us an hour to carry our backpacks and "stuff" to the next gate.
The flight to Riga, Latvia was delayed about 1/2 hour, but was only two hours when we finally got in the air and was pleasant.
We were excited to land in Riga. Finally here! I was anticipating going through "custom", as I have years ago in other countries. There was only an exit door to the outside, and a small door marked "Customs" so I stopped and asked a security guard if I needed to go through customs and they looked at me strange and started asking me if I had excessive money or other "funny" things and I said "no", so they just told me to leave and had no interest in anything else, so we went out the exit door --- and there was our Mission President and his wife, smiling and hugging us. We were so happy to see them. They loaded our luggage and us, into there van and off we went to the Mission Office, getting a tour of Riga on the way.
At the Mission Office we met the Millets, the other office couple we will be working with. They are wonderful and we are going to enjoy working with The Mission President, his wife, Sister Boswell, the Millets, and all the missionaries here in the Baltic mission. Everyone is very friendly and nice. Some elders, lead by Elder Millet moved all our luggage to our apartment while we chatted with President & Sister Boswell.
We finally got to our apartment about 4PM, Latvian time (GMT+2). The apartment is great. Right downtown about 2 blocks from the Mission Office. We unpacked and the Millets came over about 6PM. We had a dinner together and got acquainted. Very nice. We are happy to serve with such great people, and, we have a breakfast meeting with the Senior Couple who live and work in Estonia. They are in town, so we have a chance to meet with them and the Millets for breakfast.
We are invited to go to a large Thanksgiving dinner at a couples home who work at the US Embassy. All the Senior Couples and the Mission President will be there. Sounds like fun! Will post pictures soon.
Love: Elder and Sister Segeberg