Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today was our last day in the mission office. And again our goodbyes were bittersweet. The office Elders are a great bunch of young men and we have enjoyed working with all of them (These as well as every other set of office Elders for the past year and a half). We will be back in the office at least a couple of times before we leave for home on the 21st but we still said goodbye and shed some tears.

Elder Huey prepared a very nice and unique going away gift for Hna. Johnson and I. It is a collage of very tiny picture tiles that form a larger image. It is great. The tiny little pictures are all images he gleaned from my laptop. They are pictures of the mission I’ve taken for the past year and a half. The larger picture they form is Hna. Johnson’s favorite picture of Shrek and Donkey from the movie “Shrek II”. It has the caption “Shrek and Donkey off on Another Whirlwind Adventure”.

“Shrek and Donkey off on Another Whirlwind Adventure” has been our theme for our whole mission. For the first 8 months we repeated the phrase every weekend as we pulled out of our driveway to drive to the “South”. Sometimes our adventures put us behind the wheel for up to 15 hours. We would leave on Saturday at noon and not get back into the capital until noon on Monday. We loved it. We attended all of the leadership and auxiliary meetings for the two Branches we were assigned to as well as their Sunday blocks of meetings. We attended activities and did visits.

In spite of the long hours and hard work we loved every minute of it. We loved the members out there and we loved the missionaries we helped by delivering their supplies and mail. We’ve loved giving service in whatever capacity we’ve been called to do. Every weekend was a “Whirlwind Adventure”.

This afternoon we ran several errands for the office. One of them was to FedEx to pay a special fee for a package with a high declared value.

One of the things we do in the office is pick up packages at the “Aduana” (Customs package pickup) but occasionally packages to the Elders don’t make it past customs in the Airport. Packages with a declared value over $200.00USD are impounded at the airport and require a special fee before they can be released from customs and delivered. The fee is huge! Sometimes this fee can be 50% to 100% of the declared value of the package. The moral of the story is for parents to only send packages to their missionary with a declared value under $199.00USD. The Aduana Fee for packages under $199.00USD is between $3.50 and $8.00USD depending on the package’s weight.

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