Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Package from Home!

Elder Wheatley is holding our first package from home.  When we got the notice in our mailbox in town (there are no street addresses and no mail delivery), I was so excited - knowing it might be the package I was hoping to get, as an experiment to see if we could really get one.  We have told the elders how difficult and expensive it is to get a package, and that it can take a long time.  We have received packages after elders have transferred to another country, and even after they have gone home.  When a package arrives in Pointe Noire, another customs fee is charged, and it can be a large amount, that the missionary has to pay.  We do understand how great it can be to get a package from home, though, so I asked for one.  It took about 21/2 months, and this is how it arrived!  It was in a gunny sack, tied with a piece of twine, and I thought it had dirt all over it, but it was the Hershey's Cocoa that was spilling out all over.  The cardboard box was demolished, due to rats, moisture, and customs.  The powdered sugar and cocoa was eaten/ruined/spilling out all over.  There was cocoa in the scotch tape, but we are still going to use it.  Photos in an envelope were OK.  The two containers of Cream of Tarter (for cookies) were OK, as were two pairs of earrings (I am so glad!) and two bottles of nail polish.  Some of the jello was OK.  They even chewed on the plastic ziplock bags I asked to be sent.  Those may seem like strange things to ask for, but when you are many thousands of miles away from home and want to make something like a birthday cake or jello for the elders, it is so great to have the right ingredients.  

If anyone wants to send food items to Congo for your  missionaries, putting them in a metal tin, like a cookie tin would be a wise choice.  Even when rats don't eat the whole package, whatever they do get into (and they usually do), has to be thrown away.  It is probably worth the extra weight.  We have been told that the elders in Cameroon have much better luck getting packages, but they even have some trouble with rats eating treats.  The elders do love packages and letters!  A big problem, though, is if they get transferred before their package arrives, they may never get it.  Transfers between here and Cameroon are frequent and the limit for the airline between our two countries is one suitcase and one carry-on, or lots of extra cash to pay for being overweight or having an extra suitcase. 


  1. nice package. it must have been thanksgiving for the rats. Can a person buy wheelbarrows there? Like, is there some kind of hardware store? your blog is wonderful. Linette Smith

  2. Sister Wheatley,
    This is Bryce Larsen, the missionary that went home 2 month early. I'm looking to make a visit to congo within the next couple of weeks hopefully, But i need a letter of invitation signed and notarized in the congo, if you could help with that it would be great. No, it is not my intention to visit or take any time of the missionaries but as a side note, I am willing to bring packages to missionaries if their family wants to send some to me before i go. My address is: Bryce Larsen, 267 Sanders Lane, Kaysville UT 84037. I'm trying to come and visit ether in the first week of August or in October. Let me know whats up, my email is:

  3. Theresa! How about this as a treat from the US... Back to Work was just ended by Kristen Cox!!! haha --Thought that would put a smile to your face! Thinking of you... Brian P