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Daughter's mission call


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39 minutes ago, rongo said:

My daughter was called to the Alpine Mission (southern Germany, Austria, and most of Switzerland). We're all beyond super excited!

Some interesting things that I've learned through the process with this child:

1) The Church now administers a language test with the application if a candidate claims language competency. She tested as a B1 (intermediate), which is pretty accurate. I found it interesting (and useful) that the application doesn't rely on the candidate's or the priesthood leaders' assessment of language ability. There is a score associated with it. I've also heard that some missionaries' MTC time is curtailed if they have language competency, which gives them more time in the field.

2) Although several in her mission have spent time in the Provo MTC, she was told outright that she will have 100% home MTC. While I really enjoyed my MTC experience in the mid 90s, it's nothing really like that anymore, and there is a major online component to it even when they are "in person" there, anyway. I wonder if they aren't planning on her doing the whole six week program. 

3) My dad and I both served in northern Germany (late 60s and mid 90s). The only time I have spent in the southern half of Germany is when my wife and I traveled to France for a fireside after the FAIR conference in Frankfurt. After spending the night near the Black Forest, we took the train to East Germany. I've learned a lot about Swiss and Austrian geography and culture teaching German, but I've never been there. The lucky duck will get to see all of it! I've learned that transfers are seamless between the three countries (when my parents were in the Czech/Slovak mission, missionaries were either in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, but didn't transfer between them. The bureaucratic issues were too much of a hassle. Two quite different missions --- CR relatively wealthy and atheist, Slovakia significantly more poor but more religious. 

Americans can only be in Switzerland for 90 days, so transfers there are relatively short, but the scouting report is that the president tries to get everyone experience in all three areas. 

4) I was surprised to find that Switzerland has more than double the units and members that Austria has (Austria has a slightly larger population). Our good family friend outside of Vienna is excited for her, and says that his mom is excited to cook for her and her companion(s) (depending on her being in the area, of course). They aren't members, but he spent the last 13 summers with us, pre-Covid. He had noted years ago that it's an outrage and a scandal that Switzerland has a temple, but Austria doesn't. :) 

Congratulations!

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Neat. Is Switzerland still split between the French, German, and Italian portions by mission? My trainer was from Switzerland and spoke all three pretty well and was fluent in English before he came out. He was also passable in Polish. I had trouble understanding the Scottish.

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

My daughter was called to the Alpine Mission (southern Germany, Austria, and most of Switzerland). We're all beyond super excited!

Some interesting things that I've learned through the process with this child:

1) The Church now administers a language test with the application if a candidate claims language competency. She tested as a B1 (intermediate), which is pretty accurate. I found it interesting (and useful) that the application doesn't rely on the candidate's or the priesthood leaders' assessment of language ability. There is a score associated with it. I've also heard that some missionaries' MTC time is curtailed if they have language competency, which gives them more time in the field.

2) Although several in her mission have spent time in the Provo MTC, she was told outright that she will have 100% home MTC. While I really enjoyed my MTC experience in the mid 90s, it's nothing really like that anymore, and there is a major online component to it even when they are "in person" there, anyway. I wonder if they aren't planning on her doing the whole six week program. 

3) My dad and I both served in northern Germany (late 60s and mid 90s). The only time I have spent in the southern half of Germany is when my wife and I traveled to France for a fireside after the FAIR conference in Frankfurt. After spending the night near the Black Forest, we took the train to East Germany. I've learned a lot about Swiss and Austrian geography and culture teaching German, but I've never been there. The lucky duck will get to see all of it! I've learned that transfers are seamless between the three countries (when my parents were in the Czech/Slovak mission, missionaries were either in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, but didn't transfer between them. The bureaucratic issues were too much of a hassle. Two quite different missions --- CR relatively wealthy and atheist, Slovakia significantly more poor but more religious. 

Americans can only be in Switzerland for 90 days, so transfers there are relatively short, but the scouting report is that the president tries to get everyone experience in all three areas. 

4) I was surprised to find that Switzerland has more than double the units and members that Austria has (Austria has a slightly larger population). Our good family friend outside of Vienna is excited for her, and says that his mom is excited to cook for her and her companion(s) (depending on her being in the area, of course). They aren't members, but he spent the last 13 summers with us, pre-Covid. He had noted years ago that it's an outrage and a scandal that Switzerland has a temple, but Austria doesn't. :) 

 

On #2, a close friend of mine's son's letter said that he would have home MTC, but somewhere between him getting his letter and starting his mission it changed because I just learned that he will be spending two weeks at home and then 6 weeks at the MTC.  

He's serving stateside but Spanish speaking so he will be in the Mexico MTC.

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44 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Neat. Is Switzerland still split between the French, German, and Italian portions by mission? My trainer was from Switzerland and spoke all three pretty well and was fluent in English before he came out. He was also passable in Polish. I had trouble understanding the Scottish.

It sure is. The German-speaking parts are in her mission; the state (canton) of Tocino (Tessin in German) belongs to Italy, probably Milan; and the French cantons belong to the nearest French mission. 

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27 minutes ago, bluebell said:

On #2, a close friend of mine's son's letter said that he would have home MTC, but somewhere between him getting his letter and starting his mission it changed because I just learned that he will be spending two weeks at home and then 6 weeks at the MTC.  

He's serving stateside but Spanish speaking so he will be in the Mexico MTC.

Given how online-heavy the MTC is, we're fine with the whole thing being at home. I'll work with her on German as well --- she's been really motivated and interested in it even before her call (she'll finish her third semester of German at college in December). 

I know of some missionaries who left for the field after their "Preach My Gospel" and mission training was done (a couple of weeks of home MTC), because their teachers deemed their language to be "ready to go." I guess we'll see if she has the full six weeks or not. 

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57 minutes ago, Duncan said:

My Dad is from Augsburg in Bavaria in So. Germany, which is where I wanted to serve a mission but the Lord had other plans!

Augsburg is in her mission. We have ancestors from there, too (the Viewegs). I'm a 90% match with Richard Karl Vieweg on the Family Search "which ancestor do you look the most like" thing. Everyone we've shown it to has assumed that it's a black-and-white photocopy of a picture of me. :) 

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20 minutes ago, rongo said:

Augsburg is in her mission. We have ancestors from there, too (the Viewegs). I'm a 90% match with Richard Karl Vieweg on the Family Search "which ancestor do you look the most like" thing. Everyone we've shown it to has assumed that it's a black-and-white photocopy of a picture of me. :) 

oh nice nice! My family moved there early 1900's from Prittriching (also in So. Germany) and my Dad moved from Augsburg to here in 1957. I had heard from a former Frankfurt Temple President that the whatever Stake that Augsburg is in is one stake that contributes the most to the temple there. 

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On 10/28/2021 at 4:20 PM, rongo said:

My daughter was called to the Alpine Mission (southern Germany, Austria, and most of Switzerland). We're all beyond super excited!

Some interesting things that I've learned through the process with this child:

1) The Church now administers a language test with the application if a candidate claims language competency. She tested as a B1 (intermediate), which is pretty accurate. I found it interesting (and useful) that the application doesn't rely on the candidate's or the priesthood leaders' assessment of language ability. There is a score associated with it. I've also heard that some missionaries' MTC time is curtailed if they have language competency, which gives them more time in the field.

2) Although several in her mission have spent time in the Provo MTC, she was told outright that she will have 100% home MTC. While I really enjoyed my MTC experience in the mid 90s, it's nothing really like that anymore, and there is a major online component to it even when they are "in person" there, anyway. I wonder if they aren't planning on her doing the whole six week program. 

3) My dad and I both served in northern Germany (late 60s and mid 90s). The only time I have spent in the southern half of Germany is when my wife and I traveled to France for a fireside after the FAIR conference in Frankfurt. After spending the night near the Black Forest, we took the train to East Germany. I've learned a lot about Swiss and Austrian geography and culture teaching German, but I've never been there. The lucky duck will get to see all of it! I've learned that transfers are seamless between the three countries (when my parents were in the Czech/Slovak mission, missionaries were either in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, but didn't transfer between them. The bureaucratic issues were too much of a hassle. Two quite different missions --- CR relatively wealthy and atheist, Slovakia significantly more poor but more religious. 

Americans can only be in Switzerland for 90 days, so transfers there are relatively short, but the scouting report is that the president tries to get everyone experience in all three areas. 

4) I was surprised to find that Switzerland has more than double the units and members that Austria has (Austria has a slightly larger population). Our good family friend outside of Vienna is excited for her, and says that his mom is excited to cook for her and her companion(s) (depending on her being in the area, of course). They aren't members, but he spent the last 13 summers with us, pre-Covid. He had noted years ago that it's an outrage and a scandal that Switzerland has a temple, but Austria doesn't. :) 

 

 

On 10/28/2021 at 5:36 PM, bluebell said:

On #2, a close friend of mine's son's letter said that he would have home MTC, but somewhere between him getting his letter and starting his mission it changed because I just learned that he will be spending two weeks at home and then 6 weeks at the MTC.  

He's serving stateside but Spanish speaking so he will be in the Mexico MTC.

My Argentina-bound son is just finishing up his final two weeks of six-week home MTC. Though there were rampant rumors that he along with others might be, however temporarily, reassigned, they got word about a week ago that they will be entering the country as anticipated. He got his ticket, itinerary and documents this week. Not sure, but I think this is the case with all of the dozen or so missionaries in his virtual-MTC district, though most are not going to Argentina. 
 

Added later: I’ve been reminded that one of the elders in that home MTC group did get reassigned to Texas. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My Argentina-bound son is just finishing up his final two weeks of six-week home MTC. Though there were rampant rumors that he along with others might be, however temporarily, reassigned, they got word about a week ago that they will be entering the country as anticipated. He got his ticket, itinerary and documents this week. Not sure, but I think this is the case with all of the dozen or so missionaries in his virtual-MTC district, though most are not going to Argentina. 

It's weird how it works out. Our niece has been waiting to go to Argentina for two transfers (reassigned to Ventura California Mission). You would think that people already "in the pipeline" would go before people in the MTC, but it frequently doesn't happen that way. 

She'll eventually go the Resistencia Argentina mission. Which one is your son going to?

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7 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

My Argentina-bound son is just finishing up his final two weeks of six-week home MTC. Though there were rampant rumors that he along with others might be, however temporarily, reassigned, they got word about a week ago that they will be entering the country as anticipated. He got his ticket, itinerary and documents this week. Not sure, but I think this is the case with all of the dozen or so missionaries in his virtual-MTC district, though most are not going to Argentina. 

That makes sense.  My friend's son was specifically told in his letter that he would be doing at home MTC for the full time.  That's the only reason that I thought it was noteworthy when I saw that he wasn't.

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

It's weird how it works out. Our niece has been waiting to go to Argentina for two transfers (reassigned to Ventura California Mission). You would think that people already "in the pipeline" would go before people in the MTC, but it frequently doesn't happen that way. 

She'll eventually go the Resistencia Argentina mission. Which one is your son going to?

It makes more sense logistically to move people who are new directly to the country if you have a limited pipeline. If a first-in first-out approach is used then a lot more missionaries have to be moved to alternate missions temporarily while those who have already been delayed and diverted have already dealt with that logistical cost.

It might admittedly be less fair.

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20 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

It makes more sense logistically to move people who are new directly to the country if you have a limited pipeline. If a first-in first-out approach is used then a lot more missionaries have to be moved to alternate missions temporarily while those who have already been delayed and diverted have already dealt with that logistical cost.

It might admittedly be less fair.

That's a good point. A really good point, actually. It's for "the greater good" if those who can instantly go do, even though this means that the waiters have to wait longer.

A lot of it is "luck of the draw" (allowing for divine intent as well), but there are probably things people can do to improve their chances reducing potential disruptions (not really anything people could do during much of 2020 and half of 2021). My daughter specifically did an extra semester of college to a) allow more time to pass to allow Covid disruptions to hopefully improve, and b) so that she wasn't applying like the vast majority of missionaries to leave in the summer. Everyone else from the student wards left during the summer. There are many factors at play with mission calls, but it can't hurt to be part of a smaller "off-season" wave, especially if one wants a chance at going foreign --- and avoiding bottlenecks and delays. 

Along with what you said above, the logistics do lead to delays beyond the earliest missionaries could be sent. Even pre-Covid, our son (along with all Norway-bound missionaries --- visa waiting is nearly universal for Norway) and his MTC group got their visas the week they were reassigned, but the Church had them stay the full transfer so it was less disruptive to the host mission. We were all hoping, of course, that they would leave when their visas came in. 

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18 hours ago, rongo said:

the state (canton) of Tocino (Tessin in German) belongs to Italy, probably Milan;

Ticino.

In the Germanic-speaking areas of Switzerland, it would be helpful if the missionaries spoke Swiss German, either Zurich or Bern dialect. Most Swiss don't really like speaking German, some don't even speak it, and they love speaking and hearing Swiss German. It would help missionaries establish a rapport with the people.

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41 minutes ago, champatsch said:

Ticino.

In the Germanic-speaking areas of Switzerland, it would be helpful if the missionaries spoke Swiss German, either Zurich or Bern dialect. Most Swiss don't really like speaking German, some don't even speak it, and they love speaking and hearing Swiss German. It would help missionaries establish a rapport with the people.

They learn Hochdeutsch in school, but anytime missionaries can use local dialect, it can't help but impress people and endear them to them.

It's tougher now than it was under the Swiss missions, because Americans can only stay in Switzerland for 90 days. We're hearing from other parents that the president tries to let everyone spend time in all three countries (which is awesome), but three months isn't enough time to get really good. Especially with Swiss. :) 

We focus a lot on dialects in my German classes (especially upper level, but they are fascinating for first year students to dip their toes into, too). It's amazing how widely other countries' dialects differ. The differences between the Deep South, New England, the Midwest, Northwest, etc. are very small in comparison as far as understanding what people are saying. We had an elder from Görlitz on our mission (East Germany, on the Polish border), and West Germans didn't believe he was really from Germany. 

Out of curiosity, how different are Züritüütsch (Zürichdeutsch) and Bernisch from each other? We look at Schweizerdeutsch 2nd semester, but I’m all ears for new resources or material. :) 

Edited by rongo
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1 hour ago, rongo said:

Out of curiosity, how different are Züritüütsch (Zürichdeutsch) and Bernisch from each other? We look at Schweizerdeutsch 2nd semester, but I’m all ears for new resources or material.

They call it Bärndütsch. They're mutually intelligible, but there are quite a few differences: lexical, phonological, etc. There's a useful book by Ursula Pinheiro-Weber that I can recommend titled "Bärndütsch: Dialäkt for you".

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22 hours ago, rongo said:

My daughter was called to the Alpine Mission (southern Germany, Austria, and most of Switzerland). We're all beyond super excited!

Some interesting things that I've learned through the process with this child:

1) The Church now administers a language test with the application if a candidate claims language competency. She tested as a B1 (intermediate), which is pretty accurate. I found it interesting (and useful) that the application doesn't rely on the candidate's or the priesthood leaders' assessment of language ability. There is a score associated with it. I've also heard that some missionaries' MTC time is curtailed if they have language competency, which gives them more time in the field.

2) Although several in her mission have spent time in the Provo MTC, she was told outright that she will have 100% home MTC. While I really enjoyed my MTC experience in the mid 90s, it's nothing really like that anymore, and there is a major online component to it even when they are "in person" there, anyway. I wonder if they aren't planning on her doing the whole six week program. 

3) My dad and I both served in northern Germany (late 60s and mid 90s). The only time I have spent in the southern half of Germany is when my wife and I traveled to France for a fireside after the FAIR conference in Frankfurt. After spending the night near the Black Forest, we took the train to East Germany. I've learned a lot about Swiss and Austrian geography and culture teaching German, but I've never been there. The lucky duck will get to see all of it! I've learned that transfers are seamless between the three countries (when my parents were in the Czech/Slovak mission, missionaries were either in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, but didn't transfer between them. The bureaucratic issues were too much of a hassle. Two quite different missions --- CR relatively wealthy and atheist, Slovakia significantly more poor but more religious. 

Americans can only be in Switzerland for 90 days, so transfers there are relatively short, but the scouting report is that the president tries to get everyone experience in all three areas. 

4) I was surprised to find that Switzerland has more than double the units and members that Austria has (Austria has a slightly larger population). Our good family friend outside of Vienna is excited for her, and says that his mom is excited to cook for her and her companion(s) (depending on her being in the area, of course). They aren't members, but he spent the last 13 summers with us, pre-Covid. He had noted years ago that it's an outrage and a scandal that Switzerland has a temple, but Austria doesn't. :) 

 

Any chance she is unvaccinated?  I know for awhile missionaries couldn't do in person MTC without a vax.  I haven't been on the board for about a month though.  Normally, since she is going foreign I would assume vaccinated, but going to Switzerland may be different. I would assume you need to be vaccinated in other European countries, especially France given how often we had to show our digital vaccine pass a few weeks ago.

As far as I know payments are still $400.  They said they would raise them, but with covid they put that off.  As of our last payment at the beginning of Oct it was still $400.  If you have other missionaries in the ward have the clerk check how much is being taken out currently. In september we were still finding people, even bishops  who didn't know it hadn't raised yet. 

Edited by Rain
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9 hours ago, rongo said:

It's weird how it works out. Our niece has been waiting to go to Argentina for two transfers (reassigned to Ventura California Mission). You would think that people already "in the pipeline" would go before people in the MTC, but it frequently doesn't happen that way. 

She'll eventually go the Resistencia Argentina mission. Which one is your son going to?

Cordoba

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

Any chance she is unvaccinated?  I know for awhile missionaries couldn't do in person MTC without a vax.  I haven't been on the board for about a month though.  Normally, since she is going foreign I would assume vaccinated, but going to Switzerland may be different. I would assume you need to be vaccinated in other European countries, especially France given how often we had to show our digital vaccine pass a few weeks ago.

As far as I know payments are still $400.  They said they would raise them, but with covid they put that off.  As of our last payment at the beginning of Oct it was still $400.  If you have other missionaries in the ward have the clerk check how much is being taken out currently. In september we were still finding people, even bishops  who didn't know it hadn't raised yet. 

I’m an assistant ward clerk, and my understanding is that it’s still $400 until further notice. But just for verification, I did ask the stake president about it the night of our son’s setting apart, and he confirmed the $400. 
 

Full disclosure: He was new, having been sustained that day in stake conference, but he was a bishop at the time of his call and thus was in a position to know. 
 

Of note: You don’t have to pay anything for the time the missionary is at home for the virtual MTC. So families in that position get a cost break for at least a month (though we do pay for the missionary’s care and feeding during that time). I’m not sure whether the Church pro-rates the cost if the missionary departs mid-month. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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7 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’m an assistant ward clerk, and my understanding is that it’s still $400 until further notice. But just for verification, I did ask the stake president about it the night of our son’s setting apart, and he confirmed the $400. 
 

Full disclosure: He was new, having been sustained that day in stake conference, but he was a bishop at the time of his call and thus was in a position to know. 
 

Of note: You don’t have to pay anything for the time the missionary is at home for the virtual MTC. So families in that position get a cost break for at least a month (though we do pay for the missionary’s care and feeding during that time). I’m not sure whether the Church pro-rate the cost if the missionary departs mid-month. 

Yes, I knew about "further notice", but didn't know if that had come out yet or not.  I have yet to see anything about it not changing anywhere officially except screenshots of emails to bishops and not all of them got it.  They didn't just miss it in their email, they checked and couldn't find it.  So occasionally I still find some people who have been paying $500 all along because no one has ever told them. 

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17 minutes ago, Rain said:

Yes, I knew about "further notice", but didn't know if that had come out yet or not.  I have yet to see anything about it not changing anywhere officially except screenshots of emails to bishops and not all of them got it.  They didn't just miss it in their email, they checked and couldn't find it.  So occasionally I still find some people who have been paying $500 all along because no one has ever told them. 

Our bishop got an email, which he shared with me and the finance clerk, dated last April 21, giving instructions about what to do if families with missionaries were still paying $500 a month and thus building up a surplus. Essentially, it said if there were months remaining in the missionary’s mission, they should adjust their donations accordingly. There are a number of options open to the family if a surplus remains at the end of a mission — except for a refund. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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25 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Our bishop got an email, which he shared with me and the finance clerk, dated last April 21, giving instructions about what to do if families with missionaries were still paying $500 a month and thus building up a surplus. Essentially, it said if there were months remaining in the missionary’s mission, they should adjust their donations accordingly. There are a number of options open to the family if a surplus remains at the end of a mission — except for a refund. 

Yep, that's my concern.  There are some who really struggle to pay even the $400.  I know you can save it for the next missionary in the family etc, but if this is the last one to go in the family or if the missionary is paying everything on their own that doesn't help much. 

I feel like I am sometimes pulling teeth to find what our balance is.  The last 8 months or so of my son's mission someone started donating to his mission that I didn't know about so I had to ask every once in awhile to see what the balance was.  I've heard that some financial clerks give the parents an update every month or 2, but I only got one when I asked.  

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56 minutes ago, Rain said:

Yep, that's my concern.  There are some who really struggle to pay even the $400.  I know you can save it for the next missionary in the family etc, but if this is the last one to go in the family or if the missionary is paying everything on their own that doesn't help much. 

I feel like I am sometimes pulling teeth to find what our balance is.  The last 8 months or so of my son's mission someone started donating to his mission that I didn't know about so I had to ask every once in awhile to see what the balance was.  I've heard that some financial clerks give the parents an update every month or 2, but I only got one when I asked.  

There are other options. You can donate the surplus to the ward or general missionary fund or help out a missionary of your choice. You can make a humanitarian services donation. You can even allocate it to tithing or fast offering. If the family or returned missionary were really up against it, perhaps they could put it all into fast offerings and then skip their fast offering payments for the next X number of months. Or do the same with tithing, for that matter. 
 

Speaking from experience, I know there’s kind of a learning curve in pulling a report on a missionary’s fund balance. If you don’t do it very often, it can be difficult to remember from one time to the next how to do it. Maybe that’s why it seems like pulling teeth to get your clerk staff to do it for you. 
 

But you’re entitled to know the balance, and once the clerk has the procedure down, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. If you make a practice of asking for it every month or so, maybe your ward’s financial clerk will get used to it. 

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