Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elder Wolff has finally arrived. He’s from Chandler. Yah, another Arizonan! We are delighted to have him in the mission even though he is 3 weeks late. He couldn’t come with his group to the MTC here in the Dominican Republic because of Passport and Visa problems. After he finished his two months at the MTC in Provo he was sent to serve in the Salt Lake City Mission (Spanish Speaking). He was there for the past 3 weeks waiting for his Visa.

Usually when Hna. Johnson and I do an orientation of missionaries there are dozens of missionaries present. This morning we did the orientation of just one, Elder Wolff. He’s a sharp young Elder ready to work. He’s been assigned to serve in the area of Madre Vieja in the town of San Cristobal. It’s about 30 minutes west of downtown Santo Domingo.

The rest of our morning was hectic and just like the afternoon. Of course our switch to IMOS as the “Internet Mission Office System” is at the root of our problems. When we switched to IMOS they took away our ability to write checks. Now when we need a check to pay a bill in our mission we have to request permission in IMOS. The President of the mission has to go on line and approve it first, then someone in Salt Lake has to review the request and if it is approved by SLC the check is written by the only Citi Bank in Santo Domingo 24 hours later. One of the many problems this crazy system has is that SLC only reviews checks on Tuesday and Thursday. If we miss the 8:00am deadline in SLC on Thursday we can’t pick up a check until the following Wednesday a full week later! And then….

This morning we received a request from the Area Presidency that we pay three bills to the company that has been supplying all of the materials for the refugee center in Jimani. Of course they wanted the company paid today. Before IMOS we could have had the check in their hands by noon. But now there was no way. All of our checks were taken from us on January 14th. Elder Small and Hna Johnson were pitted against the system for the rest of the day. President Almonte called me on my Cell phone and “demanded” that the checks be ready by this afternoon. He told me that I was to personally call Hna. Dayanara, the IMOS expert at Central Services and find a way to make it happen. I called and Hna. Dayanara and discovered that Elder Almonte was already there in her office. Elder Small was under instructions from Elder Viñas, the Caribbean Area President, to “make it happen”. Pres. Viñas is in Jimani personally overseeing the refugee center.

To make a long story short Elder Small and I walked out of the Caribbean Area offices at Central Services by 4:00pm with the checks in hand. Together they totaled about seven thousand dollars. There is never a dull moment for Hna. Johnson and I in the mission field!

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