Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Visa Challenge

March 28, 2015

Elder Vallejo is our executive secretary in charge of Visa’s.  We have to choose a secretary that has absolute integrity along with excellent Spanish and English skills.  Every one of our missionaries from foreign countries has to have a Visa from Mexico.

Elder Vallejo often has to take the metro, along with a number of missionaries, to central Mexico City.  At times he has thousands of dollars on him and up to 20 passports.  He has to maneuver a group through various stations, streets, and buildings.  It is most stressful.

He shared several recent experiences:
The first time he was on his own after he prior secretary had finished training and moved on, he arrived at the Visa office with all the needed money and paperwork.  First question: May I see your passport for identification?
Answer:  I forgot it (realizing now that he forgot all the passports needed)
The clerk doesn’t look up as Elder Vallejo says a silent prayer.
Question:  May I have the paperwork and passports of the other missionaries?
Answer:  Here is the paperwork, I forgot the passports.
The clerk still doesn’t look up but keeps working.  Elder Vallejo starts to understand that he is receiving some Heavenly help here.  The clerk continues, never looks up, finishes the paperwork, collects the money and bids him farewell.  He walks out with a lighter heart.

Last month the Visa office refused to grant a Visa to one of our Elders.  It had been granted for the first year, but now they didn’t like his passport.  When the Elder had signed it in the USA, he hadn’t signed his full name.  He crossed it out and resigned, which was acceptable in the US, and acceptable the first year down here, but no longer.  This requires a trip to the US Embassy and an original birth certificate in order to correct.  We don’t have original birth certificates – mom and dad do.  The Elder’s parents scan us a copy and the trip begins.

Arriving at the embassy, and with a prayer going, they walk up to the clerk.  They are greeted with a big “Hello Elders, I’m a member of the church also.”  Once again Elder Vallejo is receiving Heavenly help.  She looks at the scanned copy and marks it as an original.  Our Elder is now legally in Mexico.

We are ever so thankful for assistance from the other side of the veil!

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