There has been a change in plans. (We are getting used to having plans suddenly changed. I am not comfortable with it yet, but we are growing accustomed to it.) One of the reasons we were going to St Thomas, before the Social Security malfunction that demands a personal appearance at the nearest facility--one of the reasons we were going over is to retrieve some things from the mission office. That has changed.
US Postal Service includes Puerto Rico and St Thomas. It does not come to Tortola because, as I mentioned before, we are not in the US. That means it is easy to get packages to Puerto Rico, but much more difficult to get them to Tortola. When I had my first interview with President on our first day down here I mentioned that I am a dentist, retired from active practice but still licensed in Idaho. He became excited as he considered how I might be able to help with some mission applications of young men and women in The Islands. The dental exam and treatment plans have been holding the applications up. He asked me if I could do the exams. Well, I am not licensed in Puerto Rico, but...That doesn’t matter, he said. A license is all we need. Technically he is right but ... never mind. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission. So I asked Kim to gather up the stuff I need and send it to me. She found the gear at home, gathered some instruments kindly provided by Dr Lambert in Twin Falls, and boxed it up and shipped it to the mission office.
We can get letters from the US in Road Town because we have rented a mailbox with a service (Khoy’s) that goes to St John (an island right next to St Thomas and also in the USVI) twice per week on a mail run. They have a US mailbox over there. We tell people to send things to us at that address and the service picks it up and we get it in Tortola. It is a couple weeks slower, but who cares.
The problem is not with letters and cards, it is with bigger things. Those bigger things end up costing several dollars more if they are shipped to Khoy’s address. So we have a different method of getting things larger than a letter. We ship it to the mission office in Puerto Rico and then the next person to come to Tortola from mission HQ brings the goods with him. Works quite well most of the time. The problem is that nobody has come to Tortola for three weeks and the package was not there then. Further, nobody is planning on coming here for another month when we will have our branch conference. Then we will have lots of visitors from Mission HQ.
We have a way around that, too. When mission personnel go to St Thomas from Puerto Rico they can take stuff with them without any hassles because Puerto Rico and St Thomas are both US Territories. We can catch the ferry over to St Thomas and retrieve the delivered goods.
That accomplishes a couple of good purposes. First, it gives Gaye and me a reason to get off this tiny little island for a change of scenery. Second, it gives us a chance to get the goods. The package with the dental instruments would be the first priority, but we also need a couple of keyboards to loan to our music students, so those could also be delivered by the mission visitors. It just happens that the branch conference for St Thomas was scheduled for this coming weekend. Since we would be going over there to resolve the Social Security issue anyway, we could also pick up our packages. It is sort of like Christmas all over again. There would be several visitors coming to St Thomas, so getting all the stuff there would be easy.
Branch conference on St Thomas was rescheduled at the last minute to sometime next month, so we are also rescheduling our visit to a later date. It turns out that the YFTM’s working on St Thomas are going to PR on Monday and returning on Wednesday, so we will go over on Thursday and return on Friday. On second thought, we will wait until we are sure the goods have been delivered before we make any plans. I don’t really like surprises.
Oh, I just learned of another surprise. We will be having a remote control conference with Mission HQ this next Sunday. It will be sort of like the stake conferences that are broadcast from Salt Lake to dozens of stakes in a given area. It seems that somebody who runs the calendar over there likes to pull sudden changes. Or maybe it has been scheduled for a long time but the message was not sent out. So that means that I will not be teaching Sunday school next Sunday. On second thought, I think I will have a lesson ready just in case.