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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letters and Packages

August 13, 2010

Dear Missionary Families,

We know that missionaries love to receive emails, letters and packages from home. We realize how important it is for missionaries to feel loved and remembered. However, the recent combination of the Rome and Catania missions has made delivering packages to your missionary more difficult and time consuming. The logistics involved are very challenging.

For this reason, we have the following recommendations. (With Christmas shopping season not that far away, we think this information is especially important.)

1. The most efficient way to send letters and packages to your missionary is to send them directly to him or her at the apartment in which your missionary is currently living (see address below) instead of to the mission office. Quite a few parents are already doing this with good results. The reliability of the mail varies from city to city. You might want to start by sending a letter directly to your missionary's current address. If he or she receives it in a timely way, you could then try sending a package.

2. If you mail a package directly to your missionary, it is best to do it early in the transfer cycle. Our next three transfers are scheduled for September 10th, October 15th and December 3rd. You should try to mail packages at least four weeks before the next transfer date.

3. A great alternative is to put money on your missionary's debit card. Many missionaries have commented on how much they enjoy this type of gift. This way, your missionary can choose his or her own gift from you, without any of the expenses and risks associated with mailing.

4. If you decide to send a package, please consider using a large padded envelope rather than a box. They come through the mail as letters. They are more likely to be delivered quickly without additional charges. Also, keep these guidelines in mind: The sender is required to make an honest declaration of the total cost of the items contained. Once your package arrives in Italy, an importing tax is often tagged on if the total declared exceeds $49 and if the description of items says: shoes, medication, vitamins, cosmetics, soap, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste or dental items. This is just a partial list of items that seem to accrue a customs tax. These fees are sometimes quite exorbitant and exceed the value of the items sent.

5. If you feel you need to send a box to the mission office, please remember that smaller boxes are easier for us to deliver.

Thank you for carefully considering these guidelines. Please share these guidelines with any extended family and friends who might be sending packages to your missionary.

We love your missionaries and are grateful for the privilege of working with them.

Best personal regards,
President and Sister Kelly
Italy Rome Mission

Via Incisa in Val d’Arno, 9
00138 Roma, Italia

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