We went to the information center, and low and behold here came Brigitte's sister Ursula and her husband Hellmut to meet us.
They were very helpful in getting us thru the airport to a place where we had to get new tickets in order to fly to Berlin. Our bags were checked thru and we were very glad we didn't have to pick them up and go thru customs w/ them in order to allow them to go on to Berlin.So - we had a very nice hour to sit with Uschi
and Hellmut, along with the Sr Couple the Russells
and have some apple juice - with our without
spritz of carbonation.
From L-R: Brigitte, Hellmut, Sr & Elder Russell, a very helpful young Lufthansa staffer, and Elder Porter paying close attention, hoping to understand the German being spoken here.
Sister & Elder Russell are ready to board for Berlin:-)
I've got a ticket to ride too:-) BERLIN, GET READY - HERE WE COME!!!
We have no pics of our arrival at Berlin Airport - but President and Sister Kosak were there with Office Staff + Zone Leaders to help us get on a bus and 20 other missionaries. Off to the Mission Home (which was actually a church building/chapel, cultural hall, etc. for orientation, 'in-processing', and Subway sandwiches. Yep - they're here too.
We then had a little program and welcome, then were bussed to a local hotel for overnight sleep and pick up for 11AM next morning. Jet lag was to be minimized:-)
View from our Hotel room on 3rd floor.
This may take some getting used to.
Hotel beds, but the view was nice, and we were very tired.
Getting our assignment to Wilhelmshaven (WHV)on the North Sea coast.
We also got our new "jet" to get around our area in. (No - it is not a roller skate on wheels - that would be more like a SMART car and this is an Opel Corsa.
The Russells are off to Hannover.
About 400-450 Km Berlin to WHV>
Sorry about the size - guess you will have to just Google - or some such - really see this. I tried to expand it, but just don't have the know how, or perhaps the right software (& NO - I'm not referring to my brain!!)
First tank of gas - 1.47Euro/Liter -
That's about 5 liters to a gallon, so
it is about $10/GALLON with the
exchange rate approximated in.
We arrived at 830PM, were met by Elders Brindley (Circleville, UT) & Fredricksen (Birmingham, AL) who had the keys to let us in. We unloaded our luggage AND only had a half flight up to go!!!!! YEAH!!!! - Young Elders do a much better job than Senior Missionaries do with luggage.....We made up our beds and crashed about 10PM after taking the Missionaries home to their Wohnung (apartment).
The sign on our front lawn. Freiligrathstrasse 16
Our entrance - we are the windows to the left. The curtains are a new addition that Sister Porter has been able to do to spruce the place up - but don't let the following pictures be overpowering. This is basically how we found the apartment - and a lot of furniture had been brought in (thank goodness) by some of the Branch member folks. Well - you'll get the picture.
Dryer on left. We have to dump the water out of a 'catch basin' (top left) and pour it down a drain. That means clothes are damp dry, so we have to adapt to that for hanging up shirts, towels, etc.
Right is a nice kitchen with an IKEA table & 2 chairs - with a new rug we bought as well.
IKEA chairs were put together for us. See any difference? The one on the left will let you slide off as it was put on backwards for the legs. It is on the Right in the right side picture. Easy fix :-)
Kitchen window (left) with Venitian Blinds that are a little beaten up. Not bad, but they snag on the window handle in the middle of the window, right side.
Living room (right) with a nice table and chairs and windows with black blinds that face the street. The big blind is broken, so we roll that up by hand.
Sister Schmidt brought us a bouquet of flowers to welcome us to WHV. She is also a Branch Missionary, baptized 3 years ago.
Nice living room furniture that was donated.
Our beds with night stands. Notice our 'prayer towels
by the bed. They beat the cold laminate flooring.
Refer above to the bedroom windows that have no curtains. We also had no light in the bedroom, the living room, the entry way, or our office for about 2 weeks until the Elders got a young man member of the Branch to come put them in for us. The lights were here, but not attached...
Our office on the left - set up by Elders with IKEA sets and goose neck lights for our reading pleasure.
The refrigerator (right) in the kitchen is nice, but very small. It will take some getting used to. The pitcher on the counter is a quick water heater-upper for our Caro (Pero) in the mornings.
A panorama shot of our apartment group.
A nice panorama of Kaiser Wilhelm's Bridge. Sorry I can't get it to expand either. We went there with Ursula and Hellmut who drove up to celebrate Brigitte's 39th birthday with us. It is the FIRST time she and Ursula have celebrated a birthday together. It was special and Uschi brought lunch - she is a good cook. It was a very nice time and yummy meal too.
Note the German WWII U-Boot that is on stilts by the other ships. It is no longer seaworthy in case anyone is wondering? I know, you all went - Doh!
Brigitte and Ursula as basket cases! These are beach baskets that are on the North Sea coast beachfront and are for rent. The day after our visit, they were all taken down for the season, but these two girls found two lifeguards (who were twins) who let them sit in their beach baskets to take pictures for Brigitte's birthday celebration.
OK - stopping here for the day - stay tuned.