How grateful we are to serve with your sons and daughters here in Londrina, Brazil in the cause of the Lord. We love these young women and men like ours. Note that with the coronavirus, or COVID-19, which affects people here and around the world, our highest priority right now remains the health and personal safety of your missionaries.
To help ensure the continued physical and spiritual well-being of missionaries, we are following the inspired and well-informed direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, our Area Presidency and the Missional Department. We are also instructing missionaries to follow the guidelines and precautions of local and national governments, reminding them that:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay in your apartment when they are sick themselves. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Cover cough and sneezing with a disposable handkerchief, then throw it in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched with spray or domestic cleaning wipes.
• Wash your hands often with water and soap for at least 20 seconds (which should always be done if your hands are visibly dirty) and, if there is no water and soap available, use an alcohol-based hand disinfectant with at least 60 % alcohol. We are personally delivering hand disinfectant to them during our district meetings visits.
We ask your missionary to communicate with us immediately if you feel sick so we can involve health professionals and medical advisors from our area. If your missionary has chronic or critical health issues that we should consider, we also invite you to respond to this email to ensure you address any concerns. We understand very well that the current situation can be stressful and cause concerns for some of our missionaries and their families, but we will take care of your missionary carefully and communicate with them often.
We have provided additional funds this week for our missionaries to buy food and supplies, so they are prepared if they only need to work from their apartments. We will help missionaries prepare and make sure their needs are met.
These are challenging times and circumstances, but for us it is also an opportunity to continue sharing the gospel. For now, missionary work within our mission continues normal. We have been asked not to hold Zone Conferences, so we are in the process of visiting each District within our mission to personally meet with each missionary. We have started with the districts farthest from the mission home, and we will conclude them this week. Next week we will visit those missionaries inside the Londrina metropolitan area.
With changes to church meetings announced around the world, our missionaries are inviting their researchers to meet with members in their homes instead of the sacramental meeting. We continue to hold baptism meetings with limited assistance, and we are making other adjustments according to indications and needs. If our missionaries are required to work mainly from their apartments in the future, they will continue to focus on their missionary purpose teaching when possible, studying Scriptures and Preach My Gospel, language learning, family history and other activities as necessary. The arrival of smartphones on our mission has been delayed due to supply problems due to COVID 19, if we receive them during this period, we will finish training on their use and start using online technology in our missionary work as well.
This is also a significant opportunity for missionaries to work closely with local Church leaders to reach new and former members, families where some people are not yet members and members with special ministration needs. Our missionaries will continue outside to exercise and get fresh air while observing wise patterns for personal contact. All these activities will help them continue the work of the Lord, grow spiritually and bless those in the communities they serve.
Henceforth, we will continue to send you updates as the circumstances of the mission evolve. If your missionary is working from your department, he can communicate with you twice a week to share your status and experiences.
Rest assured that we are completely dedicated to keeping your missionary safe and safe. And we are so grateful for the supporting hand of our loving Heavenly Father to take care of them. May he continue to bless you and your family abundantly, each and every missionary, and the people we have been called to serve.