Monday, February 24, 2014

Mailing Packages

Dear Parents, Relatives, friends, ward members and anyone else!!

We have a bit of a problem here with the receiving of mail and of
packages. I am asking for your help in this area. We have two methods of receiving letters and packages from home. First let me begin by explaining the problem and then I hope I can offer some solutions pertaining to each method.

We recently had an incident with a new postal worker who demanded a receipt for the contents of a small package. Inside the package the sender had emptied a bag of candy. The Elders were accused of trying to hide the contents with the candy. They were accused of lying and being thieves. May I suggest that if you have anything of value, please include the receipt. Also please leave any candy in the bag. This will prevent any distrust.
Please remember that any small package does have a cost to retrieve it. Sometimes a small fee of $1 to $3. Only two missionaries have the responsibility and authorization to retrieve any small package. They sometimes are tight for money when it comes time to pay for each package. Please put a small note in your package reminding your Elder to pay back the fee for his package. A dollar isn't much until it is multiplied by 40 and every week!!!!!


--When a package is sent that weighs more than 2 pounds it goes to a central Post Office.
--Only a few people are authorized to receive any packages that are
there because they are addressed to the church (as they should be).
--This office is in a downtown area that is congested and difficult to
get to. The wait to receive the packages has been up to 6 hours--without counting the 2-3 hour trip to get to the Post Office.
--Each package is opened and inspected for contents in our presence.
Then a duty or custom fee is imposed. We recently received one package that cost more than $50 to retrieve. The missionary that receives the package must pay the fees back to the mission out of his personal funds. We are also charged a fee for the length of time they sit at the Post Office before retrieval. The retrieval fees can be quite ridiculous. Unfortunately, it is sometimes impossible to find someone who has an 8 hour day to retrieve a package.

--Any package weighing less than 2 lbs must be mailed as a letter NOT AS A PACKAGE. Example: My daughter sent some things that we needed. The US Post Office convinced her to send it in a flat rate box. The box did not weigh more than 2 lbs. However, because it was in a box, it was considered a package and the USPO labeled it as such. It cost her $27 to mail it and was going to cost me $25 to retrieve it!!!!!!!!! Solution -The problem was not the flat rate box. The problem was that the USPO labeled it as a package. If you use a flat rate box, please send it "registered" and there will be no problems. It will come to the regular mail system.
--We have had the best success with the regular padded envelopes.
These come with no problem and you can send several. Please follow the suggestions above for small packages.

--If for some reason you need to send a package weighing more than 2
lbs, please label it as follows.
Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda, Angola Telefone 926617677

Please do not put the Elder's name in the address box.
Include the telephone #. If we add the telephone # they will call us
as soon as the package arrives and this will save us some extra fees.
You may put the name in the return address and also inside the package if you wish. Every package must be opened in our presence so there is no fear of things being taken out.

We receive DHL and Fed Ex at our home and at the office. I do not know their restrictions or the cost.

May we remind you that we love your sons dearly and we would do
anything we can to help them have a good experience on their mission. We love them and worry about them as we do our own children. We pray for their safety and success daily.
As a mother I know how it feels to want to send your loved ones a
token of love from home. We are not asking that you quit sending
packages and gifts to your sons. We are only asking you to follow
these instructions. Please be sure that your "receiver" is aware that
he must pay for the imposed fees on a timely basis.
We are in a third world country with all the challenges of mail
delivery. We love the Angolan people and their efforts to do better.
It is our hope that we follow the laws of this land and appreciate
their efforts.
Thank you for your help in this matter. Please remind others who may want to send a package of love. Sometimes the Elders are just as happy with emails from friends and ward members.

Thank you again for all your love and support,
President and Sister Merrill

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