Monday, July 29, 2013

OUR BIG DAY OF TRAVEL - July 19th thru July 20th

Last night we packed all the suitcases and carefully weighed them to be under 50 pounds.
This was my biggest worry of our whole adventure so far. Thanks to our son Dale who gave us a gadget that weights luggage we were successful and my worries were eliminated. Thanks to Lindy and Shane for letting us leave some stuff behind. It is so hard to know what to take and what to leave behind.

We woke up early at 3 am as we are to meet our shuttle at 3:30 am. We rode in a mini van, just the two of us and all our luggage.

A very nice young man, returned missionary drove us safely to the airport and dropped us off at the curb. With some creative juggling we managed to get into the airport and send off the four large suitcases so we only had to manage a small carry on and our personal bag for the rest of the trip. I must mention that my backpack might have weighed 50 lbs with all the books and heavy stuff that could not go into a suitcase. An interesting thing that we talked about on the way to the airport was... the #1 reason that couples do not go on a mission is....pets (not leaving their families). So when you beloved pet dies do not replace them so you too can go on a mission!

waiting in Detroit.  You can take the girl away from the knitting,
but you can't take the knitting out of the girl.

We flew from SLC to Detroit where we got on the big plane that would fly us to Amsterdam.
All the flights were very full, and so we had to sit in our seats the whole time. I had hoped to be able to lay down across the center seats. I cannot sleep sitting up. Warren managed to get a nap now and again. They fed us a lovely dinner, we watched a few movies. I was glad to have planned a knitting project as it helped pass the time. I started knitting a lace scarf that I hoped to have done when I landed in Sweden. However it got ripped out a few times, so I am not done yet.

We landed in Amsterdam after long hours of flying and the sun never going down. We missed a whole night and does that ever mess up your body rhythms. We were late getting into the airport there and had to run to try to catch our connection. We also had to go through customs and security again. Their security was way more tough and they searched one of our carry on bags and patted us both down. Even with that delay we did just barely get on the next plane - they were waiting for us.
President Newell greets Syster Tolley
We were so relieved to be on the last plane. The lovely flight attendants brought us a wonderful snack that consisted of a tasty whole wheat bread with a delicious European cheese and sliced cucumbers in it. We were glad this was a shorter flight as we were both extremely sleep depraved and anxious to be done with travel.
a warm welcome from President Newell for Äldste Tolley
front: Äldste Lowry greets Syster Tolley. Syster Newell looks on
Johansons, Tolleys, Newells
Wendy was SO happy to finally arrive!!

NO SUITCASES! - with such a tight connection the four large suitcases did not make it on our last flight. When we arrived in Stockholm we had to make a claim for them to send on our luggage when it arrived.
We were met by President Newell and his wife, Elder and Sister Lowry (the office couple) and Elder and Sister Johanson (the couple that we will be replacing). Wow what a wonderful welcoming committee. They grabbed all our luggage and loaded it up while Warren and I went and exchanged all our American money for Swedish Crowns (Kronor). We were driven right to our new apartment so we could catch a quick nap before going to the Mission Home for a very fancy formal dinner.

The Mission Home is lovely. It is a very big house. The dinner was amazing. Sister Newell is very experienced at entertaining. President Newell was the Ambassador to Sweden for the USA before being called to be the Mission President. Joining us for dinner were Elder and Sister Wennerlund (native Swedes just called to serve in the YSA in Stockholm). Interesting that Sister Wennerlund's brother was Warren's mission companion 37 years ago. Warren also knew Elder Wennerlund's family from his mission too. It is a small world in the church!

We visited and watched a special video presentation of the beautiful pictures of Sweden put together by submissions of favorite photos of the missionaries serving here. We are going to love our Mission.

Off to our apartment to hopefully sleep through the night!

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