Sunday, last day at home in Riverdale was Father's Day and a very enjoyable visit with all of the family members before saying farewell for a time. The tender emotions of the goodbyes are a sweet and simple reflection of the love we have for one another!
Monday, June 16, 2014 --- Flight to Dallas - London
After saying goodbye to my Mother, Cody took Melanie and I to the SLC airport. We decided to leave an hour earlier, just in case. This proved to be worthwhile since we were in fact delayed considerably with and about our luggage. But thanks so much to a kind and friendly counter service rep, who called Church Travel on her own cell phone, everything got straightened out and we were not charged the extra $600 for our bags!
The trip to Dallas was thankfully uneventful, just got a taste of sitting a while. Our layover was about five hours which sort of drug on.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 --- Flight London to Johannesburg
Finally about 9:00 p.m. we left Dallas for London on our overnight "red-eye" flight, a nine-hour ordeal which was uncomfortable enough to make us so grateful to finally arrive the next day just after noon. Clearing security in London's Heathrow airport was a long drawn-out-time-consuming process with both of us having our carry-ons opened and searched and re-screened.
After a couple of hours, it seemed, we cleared and were sequestered in the International Terminal for a nine-hour layover to await our next overnight flight.
While waiting we finally gave in to hunger and ate some fish and chips at a British airport restaurant. We weren't too impressed, but admittedly, we were tired and a touch frustrated at being cooped up. We got just a touch of the fresh cool outside airy breeze as we left the shuttle to the International Terminal and so wanted to stay out to enjoy some non-airplane air for a bit, but they would have none of that and moved us all along like dumb sheep.
After what was obviously a long nine-hour wait, we finally boarded our British Air flight to Johannesburg.
|Two flights down and just one more night and a long flight to go. Hang in there sweetheart, we'll be there soon.|
This airline seemed head and shoulders above American which brought us from SLC to London. The jet was large and nice and we had two seats near the rear that allowed us to at least stand (sometimes it's really nice to be short) or get to the restroom without interfering too much with other passengers. This dreadful night-long "red-eye" journey actually went better than the one from Dallas to London, at least it seemed so.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 --- Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa! ♫ ♫
Elder Ben Jones, our brother-in-law, and his wife Sister Jill Jones met us at the airport. We were so glad to see their familiar faces.
|Elder Ben Jones, Sister Jill Jones, Sister Melanie Hansen|
and Elder Larry Hansen
We gathered up our luggage, thankfully all of it arrived with us, and Ben drove us to our new home for the next 18 months an apartment across the street from the Mission Office. We were greeted with a warm welcome and permitted to unpack and rest a bit.
Wednesday - Saturday
After some brief orientations and greetings from the training couples who are so very nice, the Taylor's (serving their 7th mission) and the Dummer's. We joined up with another new couple the Thompson's who have been here one week longer than us. They along with the mission president's wife Sister Omer took us to a welcome dinner at one of their favorite restaurants.
We met President Omer our mission president for the next two weeks on Thursday at his last Zone Leaders meeting followed by a luncheon which we and the other Sr. couples put on in his honor.
Friday I got my first taste of driving. Left side of the road, driver sits on the front right seat, be careful and drive defensively. Took a couple of solo trips too to get 'petrol' and practice. Went on a brief shopping trip with the Taylor's, he had me drive, at commuting time, on a much busier six-lane road, oh my! But we made it out and back thankfully. Please keep praying for our safety when I drive!
Saturday we had our first day to catch up some laundry and actually got to go closer into the city with the other three couples where we did a little shopping and had a nice lunch together.
|L-R: At Mandela Square with the Taylor's (on their 7th mission), the Hansen's,|
the Thompson's (a week ahead of us), and the Dummer's.
On the way back we got to see the Johannesburg Temple and the Area offices where Elder Carl Cook and Elder Jones work and Elder Cook and Lynette live, very nice place next to the Temple.