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Update on the sisters sent to the Czech Republic by way of England after the country lockdown, who were jailed: they were sent back to England. My mother thinks that England probably refused entry, and they were probably diverted back to the U.S. 

@Rain: The sister returning to your ward from the Czech Republic, if she is who I think she is (recently returned), had a couple of days extension/adventure. The mission failed to Covid test her and a sister returning to Texas, so the airport denied them boarding. They had to return, Covid test, and await results in the mission home for a couple of days. 

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25 minutes ago, rongo said:

Update on the sisters sent to the Czech Republic by way of England after the country lockdown, who were jailed: they were sent back to England. My mother thinks that England probably refused entry, and they were probably diverted back to the U.S. 

@Rain: The sister returning to your ward from the Czech Republic, if she is who I think she is (recently returned), had a couple of days extension/adventure. The mission failed to Covid test her and a sister returning to Texas, so the airport denied them boarding. They had to return, Covid test, and await results in the mission home for a couple of days. 

Yep, that's her except, according to her mom, the amsterdam airport changed the rules just before they were to get there and they weren't told. 

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We have a sister here from S. Alberta who is supposed to go Leeds but that isn't happening anytime soon. Funnily enough her Uncle was in the Stake Presidency here years ago and his brother also lived here so people know the last name at least.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A member of our stake has a granddaughter who finally made it from England to Germany this week.  She is quarantining for 10 days in Frankfurt and will then move on to her assigned area in Berlin. 

She is a part of a group of 70 missionaries who are serving in Germany.  Before they made it to the mainland they were stuck in England for over 21 days, quarantining there and waiting for Germany to allow them entry.

Apparently there was a very small chance they would get into Germany, and a large chance they would be reassigned to English missions, but at the last minute everything worked out.  

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31 minutes ago, bluebell said:

A member of our stake has a granddaughter who finally made it from England to Germany this week.  She is quarantining for 10 days in Frankfurt and will then move on to her assigned area in Berlin. 

She is a part of a group of 70 missionaries who are serving in Germany.  Before they made it to the mainland they were stuck in England for over 21 days, quarantining there and waiting for Germany to allow them entry.

Apparently there was a very small chance they would get into Germany, and a large chance they would be reassigned to English missions, but at the last minute everything worked out.  

We took our daughter back up to NAU (Flagstaff) on Saturday, and stopped off at the institute to borrow some books (best LDS library, anywhere, including the old classics. And we're pretty much the only people who read them. :) ). The missionaries were there, and one of them was on reassignment from the Ivory Coast. He said that they are going back in February. My wife told him about our friend's son (mentioned in the OP) who will be coming to the Phoenix mission (these missionaries' mission) in February, French speaking, and asked about that. He said that he was reassigned to the Phoenix mission because they have French missionaries (but there he was in Flagstaff), and that there is one branch for refugees in Phoenix. They work with them for a while, but are transferred out to the rest of the mission for the most part. So, there is technically an area for dedicated French-speaking missionaries, but . . . it's not enough work for them for 22 months. He also mentioned that there are several waiting missionaries in the Phoenix mission going to Germany soon. 

Weird that so many have been waiting in England to go the Germany, Czech Republic, etc. And England got full-out locked down. 

Our son told us that Norway is on "total lockdown," which in his area (above the Arctic Circle) means that the missionaries are the only ones wearing masks (church policy; the locals look down on it) and they can't meet in people's homes. So, they have been teaching people on hikes (everyone hikes all the time) and doing church tours. A surprising number of people are curious what the inside looks like. 

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58 minutes ago, rongo said:

We took our daughter back up to NAU (Flagstaff) on Saturday, and stopped off at the institute to borrow some books (best LDS library, anywhere, including the old classics. And we're pretty much the only people who read them. :) ). The missionaries were there, and one of them was on reassignment from the Ivory Coast. He said that they are going back in February. My wife told him about our friend's son (mentioned in the OP) who will be coming to the Phoenix mission (these missionaries' mission) in February, French speaking, and asked about that. He said that he was reassigned to the Phoenix mission because they have French missionaries (but there he was in Flagstaff), and that there is one branch for refugees in Phoenix. They work with them for a while, but are transferred out to the rest of the mission for the most part. So, there is technically an area for dedicated French-speaking missionaries, but . . . it's not enough work for them for 22 months. He also mentioned that there are several waiting missionaries in the Phoenix mission going to Germany soon. 

Weird that so many have been waiting in England to go the Germany, Czech Republic, etc. And England got full-out locked down. 

Our son told us that Norway is on "total lockdown," which in his area (above the Arctic Circle) means that the missionaries are the only ones wearing masks (church policy; the locals look down on it) and they can't meet in people's homes. So, they have been teaching people on hikes (everyone hikes all the time) and doing church tours. A surprising number of people are curious what the inside looks like. 

So glad to hear about the refugee branch! They have so many struggles and having a branch with fellow members could be a real help for them.

While writing that I got a text from IRC about the 2021 watchlist for refugees and DRC (where many speak French) is still on it - #4 on the list. If we can get past the covid stuff I wouldn't be surprised to get a lot more refugees from there this year. 

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I've lost track of what countries I have updated so if this is a repeat I'm sorry.

My son is getting a companion today that will be going to Uganda in 3 weeks.

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4 hours ago, Rain said:

I've lost track of what countries I have updated so if this is a repeat I'm sorry.

My son is getting a companion today that will be going to Uganda in 3 weeks.

That tracks with what the Ivory Coast elder told us at the NAU institute last week (Africa-bound missionaries in February). 

Any news on Brazil? Currently, they're only allowing 90 day visas, and my info has it not until summer at the earliest. Our close family friend is in West Virginia waiting to go to Brazil. 

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34 minutes ago, rongo said:

That tracks with what the Ivory Coast elder told us at the NAU institute last week (Africa-bound missionaries in February). 

Any news on Brazil? Currently, they're only allowing 90 day visas, and my info has it not until summer at the earliest. Our close family friend is in West Virginia waiting to go to Brazil. 

I'll try to remember to do a search tomorrow on the missionary moms page when I get on the computer.  It is easier there.

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15 hours ago, rongo said:

That tracks with what the Ivory Coast elder told us at the NAU institute last week (Africa-bound missionaries in February). 

Any news on Brazil? Currently, they're only allowing 90 day visas, and my info has it not until summer at the earliest. Our close family friend is in West Virginia waiting to go to Brazil. 

Some are heading back early February.

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A girl from my stake just received her call to Lansing, Michigan, reporting to the Provo MTC in March. That is surprising to me, given that General Conference is virtual for a third straight time. I wonder if it will be nowhere near peak capacity (very probable), and I wonder when it will be at peak capacity. It's also possible that they will be notified last minute that they will be doing home MTC, too. 

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3 hours ago, rongo said:

A girl from my stake just received her call to Lansing, Michigan, reporting to the Provo MTC in March. That is surprising to me, given that General Conference is virtual for a third straight time. I wonder if it will be nowhere near peak capacity (very probable), and I wonder when it will be at peak capacity. It's also possible that they will be notified last minute that they will be doing home MTC, too. 

If I remember right that has happened with others, but don't take my word for it unless I verify it. 

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Missionaries going to Japan and Tawain has been shut down again.

Recently missionaries being sent to Paraguay, Mexico, Kenya, Barbados, Cotonou Benin mission,

Brazil as of this week though that is slowly happening so all won't be going yet.

Very mixed word on Argentina. Several with residency cards have been told Feb 4, but it is still on level 4 lockdown.

All Canadian missionaries resigned to Canada won't go to original mission till US/Canada border opens.

Small group going to UK, but there are strict covid procedures for just before arrival and after.

Hungry and Romania are letting a few in.  Some going to Italy, but only if "zoned" for the LA consulate.

Germany is closed again.

Colombia opening first week of February.

One mom said they had been called to preside over a mission starting this week, but no MTCs were open so they can't go till one is open.

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The Baltic mission is down to 17 missionaries.  The mission president is still waiting to get in mission boundaries.  He has been going through a long process of quarantines etc.  He is currently in Croatia zooming with his missionaries till he gets there.

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25 minutes ago, Rain said:

Missionaries going to Japan and Tawain has been shut down again.

Recently missionaries being sent to Paraguay, Mexico, Kenya, Barbados, Cotonou Benin mission,

Brazil as of this week though that is slowly happening so all won't be going yet.

Very mixed word on Argentina. Several with residency cards have been told Feb 4, but it is still on level 4 lockdown.

All Canadian missionaries resigned to Canada won't go to original mission till US/Canada border opens.

Small group going to UK, but there are strict covid procedures for just before arrival and after.

Hungry and Romania are letting a few in.  Some going to Italy, but only if "zoned" for the LA consulate.

Germany is closed again.

Colombia opening first week of February.

One mom said they had been called to preside over a mission starting this week, but no MTCs were open so they can't go till one is open.

Sigh. 

15 minutes ago, Rain said:

The Baltic mission is down to 17 missionaries.  The mission president is still waiting to get in mission boundaries.  He has been going through a long process of quarantines etc.  He is currently in Croatia zooming with his missionaries till he gets there.

My nephew is in the Adriatic North Mission. He's been lucky to serve in Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, so he's been able to use both the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabet (Serbian and Croatian is the same spoken language, but they disagree. :) ). He was the branch president in Montenegro for about a year, and was sad to leave, but once you cross the borders, there's no going back (Covid conditions). He is currently in Serbia. 

Norway is the same. As missionaries go home, they are only replaced by random missionaries, one here and one there, so the missions are dwindling in numbers. 

This is hardest on areas that rely heavily on American missionaries (or any foreign missionaries, really) to run the branches and maintain Church presence. 

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A boy from my stake (former student of mine) received his call to the Ukraine Kiev Mission, Moldova, Romanian speaking. He will be assigned to Idaho Falls after home MTC, with no ETA yet on when he might report to his original area. All missionaries have currently left the area (attrition), so he and a companion would re-open the area. The target is to get to four missionaries there. I served in the deacons quorum in my old ward in Gilbert with a man who served in Romania. He said that Moldova is quite different from Romania in many respects (it belonged to the Romanian mission when he was there), although both speak forms of Romanian. He did a mission night with our three deacons, and they had/have plastic money! 

That is some big consolidation of areas, putting Romania in with the Ukraine! Not likely that the mission president would be able to speak both. 

Our home teacher (ministering brother)'s brother is a mission president in Mexico. They only have 30 or so native Mexicans in the mission, and are also awaiting the resumption of the "pipeline." No idea when. 

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The first group of missionaries headed back to their original mission of cambodia were on their layover in Korea where officials said they had the wrong insurance papers.  They were going to be sent back home. They called the Cambodian MP and now they are still in Korea.  The next flight to Cambodia heads out Sunday and hopefully things will be worked out to be on it.

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I had a Zoom meeting with two women from the Goethe Institut - San Francisco to plan out our semi-annual state conference. One of them is from Bielefeld (2nd area of my mission!), and the other is from Köln. In passing, I asked about how things were in Germany currently, especially with Covid, and I was told that they are locked down "hard." If this is true, then I find it hard to believe that the youth headed to Germany in February is still happening. Anyone know anecdotally of any missionaries who will make it to Germany (or other foreign areas) in the next little while?

I have two **foreign exchange** students from Italy right now! Both are taking German 1, but I'm stunned that they are here at all (they've been here for a couple of weeks). They don't know each other, but they are both from the same area (one from Verona, and the other from Vicenza --- both near Venice). I am stunned that we even have exchange students. I don't think there are any American exchange students, anywhere in the world. 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not checking the thread to see what I have posted in the past just going through a new missionary moms post to see what is posted there.

As of the last couple of days:

 

Missionaries headed back soon (but maybe already there - hard to tell from the wording sometimes):

Chile

Sweden

Brazil

Mexico

 Suriname

Paraguay

Alpine German speaking mission. Leaves next week, BUT this missionary is from the Netherlands

 

Missionaries already in the country:

Trinidad, Port of Spain (Caribbean) Trinidad itself is not open but the other islands and Guyana are.)

Aruba

Korea

Barbados - English speaking, maybe not French speaking yet

South Africa

Uruguay

Japan has missionaries there, but no new ones coming in

Sierra Leone

Liberia

Argentina

Abidjan (Africa) and more coming

Colombia

Manchester England

Uganda

Côte d’Ivoire

Kenya

 

Other interesting things:

One Manchester England missionary finished home MTC and was told to stay home until his UK visa is processed. He was not assigned in the states to wait.

France Paris Mission. No news yet regarding when missionaries can come. One area on the west coast is currently so bad with COVID, they had to pull all the missionaries out of there last week. 

Restrictions are being lifted in Germany and they are finally able to have zone conference again and exchanges.  Shortly after entering the field the mission president went in for a pretty standard surgery and had a stroke. The counselor stepped up and took over, but that took some time as he was working full time. He was made Mission President and then they went into lockdowns.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/5/2020 at 1:19 PM, rongo said:

I'm interested in what you are experiencing/observing in your areas and circles of acquaintances. Here's what I'm observing:

1) Our son was one of the lucky ones in Europe. He comes home from his mission in Norway in June, and both church and social restrictions have been a lot less onerous, so his mission wasn't affected as much as many others. Missionaries actually getting there has slowed down, and there are indications that the well might dry up into late spring, so his mission may be down to around 30 or so when he comes home.

2) Our daughter finishes her freshman year of college in the spring. She has decided to go another semester before leaving for a mission for a few reasons. a) she wants the dust to settle from the craziness so she's not caught in all the craziness of reassignments, etc.. b) she would really like a chance at going foreign, if possible, and there are far fewer going out in mid-winter than in June (missions everywhere get a huge amount of missionaries in June/July, when most go because school is out). c) that will allow the mass chunk of 30,000 sudden reassignments to have worked themselves out of the system.

3) My aunt and uncle were supposed to leave for their mission to Arkansas in June, but after repeated delays and very little communication from the missionary department, they were reassigned to work from home doing family history records scanning. They have received very little instructions and have no oversight, so they are out to sea. They are doing what work is given to them, but don't really get any instructions or have anyone they even report to. My uncle says if they did nothing, no one but they would know. They are quite disappointed.

4) We are housesitting for a couple in our ward who originally put in for Spain/Portugal. After many months of delays and little communication, the stake president finally contacted the missionary department, who asked him to begin the process all over again. After more months, they were called to Boise, doing family history. They left a few weeks ago, and have been asked to do indexing (which they can do at home, of course). They are also quite disappointed.

5) We have several friends' children have received foreign calls, but are stateside on reassignment. Some of these will probably end up being permanent, we think (e.g., a boy called to Brazil, but sent to West Virginia. We told him West Virginia might be one of the neatest areas in the U.S. --- so different from Arizona. But, will he ever get there?).

6) There are some very weird calls. My wife's friend's son was called to Phoenix, "French speaking." When we expressed surprise at this, she said, "Oh, yes. The Church told us there is an extensive community of French expatriots from Lyon and Nice in the Phoenix area." From what I can see, this isn't true at all, and any native French speakers in Arizona would actually be taught in English, so there isn't any real reason to have language missionaries for that. We **think** that the Church might be calling missionaries stateside with odd (for the area) languages so that they might have some who could go on short notice if international areas open up. Another odd one was a missionary in the Tempe mission called to Alberta, Canada Tagalog speaking. That seems similar to the Phoenix/French one. This elder was recently transferred to a neighboring stake (we knew him in Gilbert, he is now in Casa Grande), so he's been on his reassignment for 8-9 months so far. 

7) Our mission (Tempe) has consolidated a lot of the housing, so that around 10 missionaries or so are in one house. There are a lot of reassignments as well as "original call" missionaries. We've become our sisters' go-to for church. While our area is not Covid-restricted, our stake president still has us only meeting twice a month with no activities. On the off weeks, the sisters regularly bring investigators for our family services. That's been a lot of fun! 

---

What are you hearing/seeing? 

1) Are you aware of couple missionaries who are actually being sent to missions for things other than family history?

2) Are you aware of missionaries being actually sent yet to Asia, South Pacific, Central/South America?

3) What other information can you add about your local area or people you know? I'm very curious how what I know at first or second-hand compares to what others are observing/experiencing.

Thanks in advance!

French speaking in az!? Ha lol. I have lived here over fifty years never heard of such a thing. I have an extremely high public contact job for past thirty years and have run into maybe one French speaker... a tourist probably wanting directions to the Grand Canyon. I am all over the state so I would have run into this by now.

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1 hour ago, secondclasscitizen said:

French speaking in az!? Ha lol. I have lived here over fifty years never heard of such a thing. I have an extremely high public contact job for past thirty years and have run into maybe one French speaker... a tourist probably wanting directions to the Grand Canyon. I am all over the state so I would have run into this by now.

I have run into a number of french speakers working with refugees many of whom arrived in the last 5 years.

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2 hours ago, secondclasscitizen said:

French speaking in az!? Ha lol. I have lived here over fifty years never heard of such a thing. I have an extremely high public contact job for past thirty years and have run into maybe one French speaker... a tourist probably wanting directions to the Grand Canyon. I am all over the state so I would have run into this by now.

 

1 hour ago, Rain said:

I have run into a number of french speakers working with refugees many of whom arrived in the last 5 years.

I commented on this upthread. I agree that, pre-refugee, every single one of the few native French-speakers would speak and be taught in English. 

We ran into an Ivory Coast elder at my daughter's institute building at NAU (belongs to the Phoenix mission), and he said that they do work with African refugees, but it's not an intensive, all-the-time missionary demand that would occupy a lot of time. The called French missionaries in the Phoenix mission are going to spend 99%+ of their mission speaking and working with English-speakers.

There are other missionaries with "official" calls in languages (e.g., Tagalog in Alberta, French in Phoenix) that they will likely only use "live" in rare circumstances.

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15 minutes ago, rongo said:

 

I commented on this upthread. I agree that, pre-refugee, every single one of the few native French-speakers would speak and be taught in English. 

We ran into an Ivory Coast elder at my daughter's institute building at NAU (belongs to the Phoenix mission), and he said that they do work with African refugees, but it's not an intensive, all-the-time missionary demand that would occupy a lot of time. The called French missionaries in the Phoenix mission are going to spend 99%+ of their mission speaking and working with English-speakers.

There are other missionaries with "official" calls in languages (e.g., Tagalog in Alberta, French in Phoenix) that they will likely only use "live" in rare circumstances.

That fits with going after the one.  

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