Called to serve...Salvador Brazil
“ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children". President Lorenzo Snow:
Kyle with his buddies!
I made these cookies for family home evening with this family! They were a big hit
Well, the Executive Secretary called me today to discuss the "taxes" that Kyle is being charged on the packages that he has received. Now keep in mind that all that I put in the packages was oreos, cake mix, mini candy bars, and some other random little snacks. The total of EVERYTHING I sent him was probably $20.00 in each of the 2 boxes that I sent. I spoke with Hailey and her box included similar stuff. The 2 boxes I sent Kyle cost $50.00 a piece to send. Now the Brazilian government is charging him...$75.00 US dollars PER BOX to pick them up. I can't bear knowing he is that close to having the packages not to pay the taxes so I am paying them but I have to figure this out so I don't have to continue paying them. $225.00 is too much for oreos and cake mix! :) SO AT THIS TIME (UNTIL I CAN FIGURE OUT A BETTER SOLUTION) PLEASE DO NOT SEND KYLE ANY MORE PACKAGES! I emailed Sis. Hart (the mission president's wife) to find out what's going on with the packages. Here is her reply...
Dear Sister Krause,
I am so sorry for the less than adequate mail situation our mission mother's are faced with in trying to get packages to their missionaries! It is very frustrating. There is no rhyme or reason as to why some packages arrive without problems and why some get confiscated and "held for ransom" at the correiros (post office). One of our Elder's parents sent a part to an artificial foot he wears only to have it taxed over a thousand dollars when it arrived. It really does make me angry! President Hart and I have had to pay our share of these senseless "taxes" on some of the packages our kids have sent us. I really believe it is a matter of corruption in the government here. I'm sorry I can't advise you as to whether it helps to itemize everything that's in the package or if it's better to just give a vague idea, such as "snacks." Our secretary said that one of the things that seems to make a difference is NOT to pay for the most expensive insurance to send the package, or they think it is something very valuable, and decide it needs to be taxed. Another thing that some of the mother's have done that I have noticed is to send the package with a lot of Catholic stickers on it, and I guess they will respect it. I don't know if that's a failproof idea, but it may help. I wish I could give you better answers, but we really are at the mercy of a mail system that leaves a lot to be desired. President Hart told me that when he served a long time ago in Brazil, the parents were told not to send any packages because they were constantly stolen and broken into. I hate to do that, because packages are such a highlight for our missionaries to receive.
I've asked our Executive Secretary to give you a call and let you know the status and cost on your packages right now, and see if you want to pay the fee. He is also going to check to see if he can learn any other information on how to avoid the taxes.
Also, the Executive Secretary told me that the mission President asked him to send out the following guidelines that might help with sending packages. I am going to try these and see if it makes a difference and I will let everyone know when it's ok to send another package.
Some tips to avoid taxes when sending boxes to Brazil:
Big boxes are usually taxed, but be sure to see if it’s really worth to send everything in small boxes because sometimes it’s more expensive to send lots of small boxes than pay the taxes on one big.
The cheaper the better, the cheapest freightage used to send the boxes is usually the one with less probability to be taxed, for example: USPS Express has a lot more probability to be taxed than USPS Priority which is also a lot more probable to be taxed than First Class mail or other type of freight that can’t be tracked. If you choose the companies DHL, FedEx ,UPS or TNT the taxing is 100 % sure, due to the Brazilian legislation, those companies must receive the taxes in advance and the sending’s are always taxed, even gifts under 50 dollars, books and medications. Another very important thing is not to put insurance on the boxes, although it’s safer, it also greatly increases the probability for the box to be taxed and sometimes, they even tax according to the insurance, completely ignoring what’s inside the box.
Gifts under 50 dollars should not be taxed if sent from individual to individual, if you buy on EBay and the sending is from an enterprise to an individual, even if the enterprise mark it as a gift and under 50 dollars it might be taxed.
Boxes with logos of brands like Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and similar are like flags asking for attention on the customs, if possible, please send the materials in regular boxes that don’t call too much attention.
Declare everything that’s on the box but don’t be too specific about it, sometimes being specific can raise the price of the taxes, for example, if you are sending a GPS, declare it as a GPS device, don’t waste your time saying brand or model, this can raise the price on the taxes and cause problems.
The greater volume of boxes arriving the less probability for your box to be taxed, this is due to the big number of boxes and the lower number of inspectors, so it might be a good strategy do send boxes on periods when lots of people are sending too like Christmas and big festivals.
Please be wise and don’t do things like putting 5 objects in a box and only declaring 2, that is a federal crime and the receiver of the box might be called to explain the situation in the court. That is not worth it and the church does not agree with that kind of behavior.
Hey ok real quick with respect to pacackages, you need to declare everything that is in there and not send enything expensive. Also do not buy insurance, because the gov. here will go through everybox, and check stuff and if it is not declared ti will probably be taxed. I got two packages today one from Hailey, and one from you mom. Thank you very much I loved it! It was soooo cool to get all that stuff it will make for good snacks!!!! HOWEVER I received a call from the secrataries that I had two boxes, that had a huge tax on them. I don't have nearly enough money to pay the tax so I told him to just leave them and they will send them back to you guys. I am not sure if they were they two boxes I got today or what, but let me know if you guys sent other ones or what, we can work it out next pday but ya. So we just got back into town, My new comp is Elder Bassi de São Paulo, yes indeed he speaks only portugues so I will indeed learn alot more this transfer as far as portugues, but he is really chill I like him alot! I will send pictures of the baptism next week too! Well I love you!!! Com abraço Elder krause
Hey mom! Well I will just shoot a quick email off to you real quick and mayber try later on in the day if I can, but I have a lot of traveling to do and at the beginning of transfers there is a lot to do. By the way just a quick up date I am doing very well, my next companion is ELder Bassi he is a paoulista so I'm really going to all portuguese here soon enough, I am sad to see Elder Curtis go he was a great trainor and missionary but his time has come, unfortunately. Also we had a baptism in our ward!!! I will send pictures next week cause I don't really have time now, got to catch the bus, but a mother and son that we were teaching got baptized and it was awesome! I was a little worried that she would need a lot of ward support but she bore a powerful testimony at the Baptsim and I know that she soon will be a support for the ward! Well I hope everyone is doing well there. I love you all Keep reading the Book of Mormon! i néfi capitulo 14:12-15 be one of the people of The Lord so when the times comes you can be armored in the Glory and power of God! We do this through reading the Book of Mormon!
Mom: Hey handsome! How is your week going? Did you have zone conference and did you get your packages yet? Kyle: I did have my zone conference but I didn't get any packages yet. I did get tons of letters though!!! I will be going to Salvador next week for transfers so hopefully I will get them then. Mom: How far is it to Salvador and do you ride the bus there? Is it expensive to take the bus?So since your companion is going home will you go to Salvador with him and then come back with a new companion? Kyle: It's about 3 hours to Salvador from Serrinha. We go into Feira de Santanna, which is about half way to Salvador, for our zone conferences. I'm not sure how transfers go but Elder Curtis thinks I will go with him then come back with someone new. We have a meeting Monday morning in Deira to see who is getting transferred to where and what not. Yes, we ride the bus. It's not expensive at all. That's how people travel here. Mom: So since you only get letters every few weeks do you space out reading them or read them all at once? Kyle: I read them all on the bus I am so excited to get them! But it takes me a couple pdays to write back to all of them. Kyle: Did I tell you about the member of the 70's that came and spoke at our stake conference? So we went into Feira for stake conference and it was really really cool, this was a powerful 70 that spoke, he spoke about eternal marriage, and well marriage in general and everyone even kids like teenagers liked it! He told the story of a woman who moved to australia and married a non member who was at first a good guy but then turned really really nasty. To the point where she was going to leave him with her kids, and she was living in a place in Australia where there was no church. She went into the city one time for a church meeting where Pres. Monson, who was then one of the 12 was speaking. They conversed and made a plan, he was going to send her all the instruction material for the primary and the priesthood, manuals and what not and she was to teach her kids in the home and leave the priesthood manuals out for him to find. Years later Pres. Monson was again in Australia and was speaking in a Priesthood session telling this story, a man raised his hand and Pres. Monson paused then let him speak and he said he was that man! Now he was a worthy Priesthood holder active in the church, then he told about the patience and love that his wife had for him. The Proclamation to the family was also something he talked about that was powerful but that story was really cool i liked it ! Mom: Oh man, what a neat story! I'm so happy you are so blessed to have the opportunity to hear such powerful speakers. So in my scripture study I came across the scripture 1 Nephi 7:12. I wrote it on a sticky and put it on my bathroom mirror and I read it everyday. Also 1 Nephi 7:17 the part that says According to my faith which is in the, wilt thou...and then I insert whatever it is that I am seeking help with. I have those side by side on my mirror to remind myself that I will be given the help I need according to my faith. You should post them on your mirror too. Kyle: Mom you should study Lehis dream too, it's unimaginable, beautiful and perfect in teaching people! The very next chapter! I just looked up those two scriptures! Good ones. Think about this too, that how did Néfi convince Ismael to bring his family out into the wilderness, and be put with the task of getting the plates? Also the Lord sent them back to Jerusalem for two things, pretty much the Bible, (the records) and wives. Look at how important marriage is to the Lord. I just noticed that this week and thought it was kinda cool, I study a lot of 1 néfi because lots of people read that one! i will indeed post those on my wall! Ha we post a lot of motivational stuff up on the wall. I'll send you pictures next week but a lot of it is in português. Mom: I wanted to tell you this before you tell me you have to go. Always know that there isn't anywhere on earth I would rather you be right now than serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that not only are you touching the lives of others but you are being shaped into the man that our Father in Heaven wants you to be. And the husband and father that you are supposed to be. I know that you could not become that person without this time of service and growth. The growth that is happening and will continue to happen to you spiritually during this 2 years will last you a lifetime. Now do I miss you...of course. Do I miss you like crazy...even more!!! BUT...I am truly comforted by the spirit everyday in knowing who you are serving. Remember the board in our house..."As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Thank you for being such a great example to your Mason and Emily. They love you so much. I want to you know that I really do know that this is the only true church on the earth today and I feel so blessed to have a son that is faithfully serving to bring others into the fold. I love you soo much you can't even begin to know!!! Always hold your head high and serve with vigor!!! Kyle: Thanks mom, I love you so much! It makes me feel extremely comforted to hear a powerful strong testimony like yours! I haven't hear a testimony in English in a while!. Speaking of which I bore my testimony in Sacrament this week! Well I love you and I gotta go. I probably won't be on next week because tranfers are on Pday and I'll be gone to Salvador. So I'll talk to you in 2 weeks!
Mom: You mentioned that it was cold there right now. Do you need me to send you some warm clothes? Do you wear your suit to help you stay warm? Kyle: hahahaha, no I do not need any warm clothes! It's just like Arizona here except more hot and less cold, my sweater is fine and no do not send me any warm clothes I will not need them come two weeks! It's just funny. No I don't wear my suit. It's too hot usually just on sundays, its only cold in the early morning but by 8 its hot! Mom: Do you think you are losing or gaining weight? Kyle:I think I am staying the same, I eat all the time, but then again we walk and work like crazy. Usually medium size breakfast, then a huge lunch with members then nothing but a snack maybe till we get home. The members here are great! Most of them love the missionaries, they always feed us, we usually have someone for lunch or if not they are pretty good at giving us money. It is a ward of about 100 active members. We have a good group right now of people to teach, and if we are not teaching we are talking to people and people here love to talk! Mom: what are you going to do today?
Kyle:we are going to play some soccer at the church with the young men, going to shop around at a market here, make some pancakes maybe and ya thats about it, we usually just kinda chill on pday sleep and clean.
Mom: What's the industry in your city? What do people do there? Do you think your are going to stay there when transfers happen in 2 weeks? Your companion is going home right? Is he excited or nervous?
Kyle: The industry uh not sure, a lot of construction. Brazil is growing like crazy now! And my city this week is home to like a huge party called vaquejada, its like rodeo but bigger, people rent their houses out and everything, I am about to experience my first real brazil party week, cause people say that the whole city goes nuts for like 4 days, but we will see E. Curtis doesn't think it will be that bad. People work out of town sometimes, lots of moto taxis, markets things like that. I think I will be staying. Usually only one missionary leaves during transfers cause its a little difficult to send two missionaries that haven't been to that area before to start off fresh.He is pretty scared haha and everytime someone asks how much time we have on the mission he just says a long time. So ya its sad, and its kinda weird for me, cause I have so much longer, but my companion is leaving idk its odd, but Im glad cause I have a lot to learn to get to E. Curtis level
Mom: Any package requests?
Kyle:Oreos, the ones with pink filling, peanut butter, Spitz (any flavor except dill pickle). They don't have sunflower seeds here! Any random snacks are good. Big Hunks!
Mom: How are your shoes holding up with all that walking?
Kyle:The shoes are holding up great the really are awesome shoes! Walking all day on cobblestone is hard on everyones feet except brazilians they do it in flip flops, its crazy and cool cause they really wear flip flops everywhere! Construction workers wear them, they ride motorcycles with them ah man its crazy!
Mom: I'm impressed that your washing your sheets! :)
Kyle:hahaha thanks! I wash them pretty frequently and I clean pretty good every pday, during the week it gets a little messy but I do indeed clean a lot more than I used too! Last time I washed my sheets in the morning then when we got back that night they were still in the washer so I had to iron them to get them somewhat dry then I slept with somewhat damp sheets, so i learned my lesson to make sure I wash my sheets on pday!
Ok well I got to go but I love you guys and hope that everyone has a good week! Look at the plan of slavation and really think about it cause when you do it makes a lot of sense, and as with everything it demonstrates the love that Our Loving Heavenly Father has for us.