Deja vu !
On Friday, June 1st, we sadly departed Bulgaria. As we processed through customs, the official checking our passports looked at the date of our entry into the country and in a rather unfriendly voice said, “you know you can’t come back to Bulgaria for 90 days?” What ever happened to, “ya’ll come back now, ya hear?” Oh, I guess that is somewhere with crawfish and a southern drawl! We acknowledged that we were aware, but had applied for a type D visa and just might be back sooner. She seemed OK with that.
After a relatively uneventful flight, we once again landed in Riga. There we were greeted for a second time by the welcoming smiles and warm embraces of President and Sister Boswell. It was fantastic to see them again!
They whisked us off to their car and graciously treated us to dinner at Lido’s. The food was good, but the company was better. It was so fun to catch up and compare the experiences we had had since we parted. They also are providing a place for us to live while we are here. Their building is large and well-appointed. Adjoining their apartment is a smaller one that they use for the young missionaries who are coming and going. We are able to use it while we are here. There are two luxurious bathrooms, an open concept main area with a well equipped kitchen, a living room, a dining room and a four-sided fireplace in the center. It is a good thing that our heads cannot be easily turned by such comforts or we might never leave.
Saturday was a quiet day. We hauled all the things that had been collected from our former apartment to our temporary quarters and did a little packing. In the afternoon we headed out to see the town, pick up some Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter, etc. Before we returned home with our purchases, which somehow grew to about twenty pounds of miscellaneous goods, it started to pour. Most of the half mile walk home from the final shop, where the heavy items had been purchased; we were in a torrential downpour. Carrying heavy bags and balancing an umbrella was a feat. By the time we arrived home we were tired and soaked; but satisfied with our adventure.
Sunday dawned sunny and bright, in spite of the forecast that prediction 90% chance of rain. But we were not complaining. Once we arrived at church, we were greeted by warm smiles, vigorous handshakes and bone crushing hugs. We have missed them so much while we were away and thankfully they had not forgotten us either. Once again it was fun to catch up on news. Two couples had married in our absence so we needed to hear all about the weddings. Due to the language barrier others we could merely hug and express our love. Some things are universal!
Our hearts were warm and full to be amongst loving friends. We will dearly miss them when we leave again. The Riga Center Branch – Russian Speaking is the best Branch in the world and they will always be in our hearts.
We have no idea how long we will be staying in Riga, whether it will be a week or a month or longer. We are praying for a quick resolution to our visa issue and the folks at church here are praying that it will go slowly.
While we are here there seem to be some projects at the office that have either waited since we left for our return or have been conveniently delayed until now. However, while we are here we are happy to be of use. President Roth, of the Bulgaria Mission, says that a busy senior missionary is a happy missionary. He must be correct because we are happy missionaries!
Love Elder & Sister Segeberg