This is Lacey Allen (Elder Kyle Madsen’s sister) asking in behalf of Elder Kyle and his fellow missionaries for all of your prayers.
Word is in that the San Fransisco Brazilian Embassy is overwhelmed with visas coming in from the church missionary department at the moment. Until the embassy’s visa office is able to deal with the demands, they have basically stopped processing any visa requested by the church. We have heard that 3 local San Fran mothers requested their missionary’s paperwork back and personally took it to the San Fran office. Their paperwork and visa was processed this past Friday. We have just contacted Church headquarters and requested Kyle’s paperwork back so we can personally process it. The hope is, since it will now be a personal visa submission instead of a part of a huge group submission, that it will be processed quickly and the visa received.
WE ARE REQUESTING YOUR PRAYERS that this process will go smoothly, that Kyle will be able to receive his visa and be able to leave for Brazil.
If you have a missionary waiting for a visa from the San Fransisco office or know someone who is:
• Parents are able to contact Church headquarters and request the paperwork back in order to process it themselves. Please be polite about this. It’s not the churches fault or anyone else. It is simply the situation. The church is also working to clear up the matter. They will have the most updated information concerning the issue. UPDATE as of 8/14: Because so many people have contacted the missionary department, they placed this notice on the website today: “Brazil is currently experiencing some visa delays. Please do not call the Travel Office. You will be contacted if necessary.”
• If the family requests the return of the missionary’s paperwork, they will personally be responsible for any fees with processing the paperwork for the visa.
• The police notarization, which is required by Brazil for the visa, expires after 60 days. Most likely you will need to request a new one in order to reprocess your missionary’s paperwork.
• There are parents who are personally flying to San Fransisco to submit their children’s paperwork. Church headquarters requests that parents don’t do this. Overnight mail should be just fine for a personal request.
• Missionaries in the MTC will most likely be stateside for a short time. Please encourage them to look at this positively. This will be a wonderful time for them to focus on their teaching and missionary skills without the difficulty of a foreign language. Once they arrive in Brazil, the skills they have developed in the USA will translate over beautifully to Portuguese and they will be even more effective missionaries.