Thursday, September 6, 2012

Letter from Sister Prince, Wife of Mission President

Singing Called to Serve in Spanish...

With Trainer Elder Matos, from Dominican Republic

Let's play Where's Elder E?

We are excited to be serving the Lord here in the Colombia Cali mission with Elder Eliason. He arrived in a world completely different than his own, tired but ready to work. After 2 long days of training and interviews he has now gone off to his first area, Las Ceibas in Cali, with his companion, Elder Matos.
I have attached a couple of pictures so you can see that he actually did make it!
If you are interested in following our mission comings and goings (and occasionally finding a picture of your missionary posted!) you may check out our blog at:
I am including below a few helpul tips for mailing packages to Colombia (it can be complicated and expensive!!)
We are grateful for your prayers and support.  
Un abrazo,
Hermana Prince
 The best mailing address for Your Elder is:  
Elder ___________________
Colombia Cali Mission
Avenida 2 Oeste #10-130  Oficina 201
Edificio Tempo
Barrio Santa Rita
Cali, Valle, COLOMBIA
If you ship a package with a private courier, you will need this phone number 57 2-892-1709
This is the mission office address. You may mail letters and packages to this address.
To mail a letter of normal size and weight it costs 98 cents to mail it here.
You can use the church pouch mail for letters at the following address:
Elder ___________________________
Colombia Cali Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT  84130-0150
Pouch Mail Instructions:  To prevent possible fines, only postcards and letters that are single sheet, folded into three-panels, and taped at the top only (no envelopes) may be sent through the pouch.  Packages cannot be sent through pouch mail.
I think using US Mail is less expensive and just fine...I would NOT use their priority shipping as it seems to be more expensive.
Here are some hints we have learned about the mail system to/from Colombia:

  • It is better to send things in padded envelopes rather than boxes.  
  • If the packages weigh less than 2 kilos (about 4 lbs) they usually arrive without the missionary having to pay a fee to get it out of customs.
  • You should declare ANY package at a value LESS than about $20 to also avoid paying a customs fee.
  • Most letters and packages are taking about 14 or 15 days to arrive.
  • Our missionaries have to PAY ON TOP of what you have paid to ship...just to receive the package... IF it is too heavy or worth a lot.  It is better to send 2 envelopes than to pay a lot and send a big box.
  • Mail leaving Colombia for the USA is VERY VERY expensive.  I tried to mail a regular letter to my brother and they wanted 77 mil pesos or about 40 dollars to mail it.  I did NOT mail it.
Once a package arrives in the office it can take up to a month to get it out to the missionary as our mission is SO big and we have to wait until we can get it to the zone leaders at a conference.  
If you want to send something for Christmas, plan accordingly for the time it might take and mark the package FOR CHRISTMAS 

I hope this helps.

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