I think it must be time to do another blog post about Priority Mail because we picked up a lot of packages today.
Think of it this way…you want your package to come into the country getting the least amount of attention as possible. That way, the package goes directly where it is addressed. However, if there is
Tape or a
Boxthat says Priority Mail. It is like putting a flashing neon sign on your box that says,
SEND ME TO THE ADUANA.The Aduana is the customs house. There they will look at the box and even open the box to decide how much money they are going to charge for that box when someone comes to collect it. We have even had things stolen out of the box at this point. Below are pictures of boxes that have made the trip to the Aduana.
They charge various amounts like 60 pesos, which is about $15. The mission also gets charged about $150 to have the packages picked up. We pass that charge on to the missionaries that receive packages so they usually end up paying another $15 or so, based on how many people receive packages. You may also notice there is a Dear Elder package in the group above. Just so you know, those packages also go to the Aduana…not the letters, just the packages.
So, to be clear:
1. It takes much longer for a package to arrive at the offices, if it is sent priority mail because it has to make a trip to the Aduana first, and we only collect packages there about once a month.
2. The missionary is going to have to pay money for that package…like another $30.
It is conceivable that you could follow all the rules and your package could still go to the Aduana, but after a years worth of experience, I am passing along what has worked the very best.
My daughter sent me a package. I received it in 12 days. She looked up a picture of the Virgin of Lujan on the internet as well as several other pictures and printed them off. Then she taped the pictures to the package.
She mailed it---regular mail. This is a picture of the front of the package.
Do not let the post office personnel talk you into anything different. Below are a couple of photos of packages that we have received that have gone straight to the offices. I don’t want to show the address labels, but trust me the front looks just like the back, with the exception of an address.
If you know that grandparents, siblings, other relatives, friends or the ward is going to send a package to your missionary, please let them know that there is a tab at the top of the blog that says “Contact Information.” It is always available, or obviously, you could print it off for them. Anyway, there, anyone can find all the information they will need about sending packages to Argentina. However, if a question should arise that is not answered, please email me.