Hello Family and Friends. Thought we should get this blog rolling.
By way of update Lyndsi has had a rough time getting out of the country. SPOILER ALERT: At this very moment she is still in the good ol' US of A... despite having left Utah last night.
What follows is a second hand account of Lyndsi's journey to get to New Zealand.
Lyndsi's original flight was cancelled due to some confusion at the church travel office. Luckily a new flight was booked for last night which was the day she was supposed to leave anyway. Hooray! I know this made Lyndsi very happy because as you can imagine the Provo MTC was not very appealing when New Zealand was the original plan.
So last night our wonderful parents took Louie to the airport. And we were glad to find out that even though Lyndsi missed her original flight, with the other sisters, she was still traveling with another missionary. Elder Katoa. A lovely Tongan missionary who came from Arizona and is going to the Auckland Mission.
Unfortunately the storm in SLC delayed the flight to Los Angeles. For anyone who doesn't know the Los Angeles airport, it is quite large and requires shuttles to go from one terminal to another. After landing late and running from the United terminal all the way New Zealand Air terminal Lyndsi and Elder Katoa missed their connection to New Zealand by four minutes. And after booking a new flight they had to go back to the United terminal to receive accommodations for the night.
Once back at the United terminal they were sent to a hotel. So they rode the bus to the hotel and it turns out that the hotel was already sold out for the night and they were sent back to the airport.
Back at the airport they found that the United terminal had been closed down for the night. Luckily Lyndsi is quick witted (like her sister) and found a United employee who was the last to leave. She chased the woman down the hall to get her help in finding them a new hotel. Arrangements for a new hotel were made. Once again Lyndsi and Elder Katoa got on the bus headed to a hotel.
Being the good missionaries that they are they engaged in conversation with the bus driver and come to find out... they had gotten on the wrong bus! This meant they had to ride around the whole loop and back to the airport. After a twenty minute wait for the correct bus to come they finally got to the hotel at around 3 AM this morning.
Did I mention that their luggage had not been recovered at this point in time? That's right the luggage was a bit hung up between the two different airlines. So this morning poor Lyndsi, still in the same clothes and makeup from the day before, had to go fight with the airlines to transfer her bags without the extra cost of checking them again. (Please be advised that I am taking some liberties in this story. Obviously Lyndsi doesn't really fight with people, but for dramatic affect it seemed like the right word.)
Luckily, at our last update her luggage has been successfully recovered and her and her 2nd companion (which is our new nick name for Elder Katoa) were able to go back to the hotel and get cleaned up before leaving for New Zealand tonight at 10 PM.
Things Lyndsi has learned from this experience:
#1- Pay phones do not exist anymore. Bring your cell phone when you leave on a mission. This way you can call your family and the church to let them know why you aren't in New Zealand yet. Luckily she did!
#2- Listen to your sister when she recommends putting a change of clothers/unders and some toiletries in your carry on in case you are separated from your luggage. She is usually right.... just saying. ha ha
#3- Sometimes Sister's and Elder's are companions. Lyndsi said that Elder Katoa keeps telling her "I bet I am the only Elder to ever have a Sister for a companion!". Poor kid is probably totally freaked out!
Please keep Lyndsi in your prayers and I will keep you posted on her mission experiences.