Last week, we received an email from the Brazil MTC, which informed us that they had Elder Blackford! They told us, "What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary." We know Braden was excited too. The MTC informed us that they had lots of good food for the missionaries, and that they will be well taken care of. Although we never doubted that, it was still great to hear that they are ready and waiting to get these missionaries prepared to do the Lord's work. They left us with this message:
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”
One of the other things sent to us was some important information about sending letters/packages to Elder Blackford. So please keep these things in mind (:
DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. The only other option is for us to open the package and forward the letters and photographs, giving the rest of the content of the package to the missionaries that are here.
WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers. The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.
The other advice we have heard about sending packages to missionaries in Brazil is this:
- Use USPS Flat Rate International boxes
- Include the mission phone number on the box
- Don't declare the value to be over $50 or there will be an extra fee that will make in expensive for the receiving elders