I have now had 5 lessons in Latvian, with Sister Howden as my personal instructor. I'm so thankful for the one-on-one lessons. She is patient and kind and says I'm doing labi (good). She is from Latvia, a young married woman who speaks, in addition to Latvian, Russian and English.
I now have my flight plans: I finish at the MTC on Friday, November 21; leave from Salt Lake International Airport on Tuesday at 9:35 a.m. I arrive in D.C. at Dulles at 3:34 p.m. and board an Austrian airline at 6:05 p.m. I arrive in Vienna at 9:00 a.m. and leave for Riga, Latvia at 10:00 a.m. This may be the only opportunity I ever have to be in Vienna so I hope the airport is in an area where I can see the city. I arrive in Riga at 1:00 p.m. (they are on military time, so it will be 1300 hours. I'm not sure which day that will be, but I think it will be Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. I will be traveling alone--no other missionaries.
I have now had 3 of the 4 typhoid capsules, with no side effects, thankfully. I will receive my last two immunizations this week, for the flu and for meningitis. So far the only reaction I've had is to the pneumonia shot and it was bad enough I'm thankful I won't ever have to have another one.
I have been in communication with Sister Harper who will be my companion, until March when her mission will be completed. She is my age and is from Burley, Idaho. We will share a one-bedroom apartment that is walking distance (on cobblestone streets) to the office. It's 4 flights up with no elevator, so I will get some exercise. I will be assisting Sister Gubler who is the secretary to the president, I believe. Sister Harper assists Brother Gubler with the finances. Neither the Gublers nor Sister Harper studied Latvian and Sister Harper wishes she had.
I know I won't be fluent in Latvian (even after 18 months, I'm sure) but I hope to be able to have the ability to communicate on some level.
I enter the MTC one four weeks from tomorrow! And then the adventure really begins.