Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 7, 2013- Early at the Cyber!

It was a great surprise to have Elder Gundersen online early this week.  He is alive! 

He had an okay week. He still likes the area and his companion.  The weather in Benin right now is "hot and miserable". It is nice having the ocean breeze on occasion to keep him a bit cool.  He hasn't really cooked to much this week as it is too hot. 

His package has not made it to him yet. Apparently, there are troubles again in customs and they are trying to tax the candy in the package- which they have opened.  Here is a brief explanation sent to families by the mission office of the package troubles-

    " Today when we went to pick up packages at customs we were greeted with a big shock.  This is not surprising since this is where we are.
     Customs told us that if the contents of the package plus the shipping exceeds $100 U S Dollars we will have to pay custom duties on the the amount over $100.  So if the package costs $77.00 to ship the total value of the candies, socks, etc exceed $23.00 then duties have to be paid.  They decide what the value is. They can decide that the announced amount is false.   We didn't get into this discussion because by bringing it up it may give them another idea.  But, if peanut butter costs $3 in the US; the same jar may cost $8 US here. They also informed us that the duties rate on candy and sweets is 50%. To give you an idea, a package full of about 40$ (US) of candy would be charged an additional 38,000 cfa or $76 US dollars.
     Another lady behind us received goods worth $106 for baby clothes (she looked like she was 7,8, 8 1/2 months pregnant.  They wanted to charge her over $200 for those clothes.  They said if you don't pay everything belongs to the state.  So, apparently they will not return the package to the US.  
    We are not sure if they are doing this because of Christmas or not.
     Last year the President had a visit with customs people to see what they could do for us.  So, we will see if he can intervene on our behalf again. "
Pretty crazy stuff!  Well I hope Elder Gundersen gets his package soon and that it's not missing too many treats since this is his final package!  Thanks to Jerine and Kris too for their "package"!
He told Grandma that they have several Amis ready for baptism and that it may take place on Saturday.  He never tells me this stuff so I have to get it from other sources!
Our wonderful Bleck has blessed us with a few pictures of our Elder this week.  I believe that these were taken in Togo when all the missionaries went on a hike in the jungle to see the waterfall at Kpalime` back in May. Contrary to what he told me, he looks like he was having a good time.
On the bus (obviously!) Love the sunglasses...Future highway patrol?

Elder G in a real African jungle!
Well that was pretty much it for Elder G's update this week- (besides he's ready to come home), here is a cool slide show off of YouTube of the Togo area.  Enjoy! 
Thanks for all your love and support!
Since I'm updating on Saturday- we have 83 days left!


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