We wanted to give you an update since our last email from a few days ago. Thank you to those who let us know of specific health issues for your missionary, we appreciate your love and concern for your sons and daughters. We love these young women and young men as our own and are working closely with the Brazil Area Presidency and the missionary department to keep them safe and productive.
The cases of COVID-19 is growing here in Brazil, although it is still relatively low in the areas of our mission. Some of the missions in Brazil have been instructed to keep their missionaries in isolation, but our mission is not one of those. Most of the cities in our mission are now implementing aggressive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, and this is affecting how our missionaries are working and interacting with others. The latest instructions we have given them is to stay in their homes unless they are teaching an appointment with investigators or are purchasing food or medicine. They are not making contacts or knocking on doors and are not eating in members’ homes. They are receiving food given to them by members or given money to purchase a meal. Each missionary has also purchased food that will last for weeks that they have in their apartment in the event that they can no longer leave their apartment to purchase food. For now, that is not a problem.
To help ensure the missionaries’ continued physical and spiritual well-being, we are following the inspired and well-informed direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, our Area Presidency, and the Missionary Department. As stated previously, we are asking your missionary to contact us immediately if they feel sick so that we can involve health care professionals and our area medical advisers. If you have not already done so and your missionary has chronic or critical health issues that we need to be aware of, we invite you to reply to this email to make sure that we address any concerns.
As we wrote in our last email, Zone Conferences have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We met in person with all of the missionaries in districts south of Londrina during the first part of this week, but on Wednesday evening had to stop once we arrived in Londrina as we have been asked to stay close to the mission home. The past few days have been busy with receiving updates from our leaders and communicating with members and local leaders, as well as meeting with missionaries locally in Londrina. We are hoping to have in person contact with the other missionaries in our mission within the next week or so. Their brownies are in the freezer for now.
With the changes to church meetings announced worldwide, our missionaries are inviting their investigators to meet with members in their homes in place of sacrament meeting. These are also now allowed via technology, to limit personal contact between people. We are continuing to hold baptism meetings with extremely limited attendance and are making other adjustments as directed and needed. Because our missionaries will be working primarily from their apartments in the future, they will continue to focus on their missionary purpose by teaching when possible, studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, language learning, family history, and other activities as needed. We are preparing some suggested study schedules so that we can stay focused and united as a mission. We are hoping for the arrival of smartphones in our mission, but due to supply problems we still don’t have an arrival date.
Going forward, we will continue to send updates to you as mission circumstances evolve. We will be giving your missionary approval to communicate with you twice a week to share their status and experiences, you should next expect to hear from them on Monday, our normal preparation day. Don’t panic if you don’t hear from them, as they normally use LAN houses for their computer use, and many may be closing this weekend for the foreseeable future. We are arranging for alternative means of them having access to a computer and hope to have this available for all by Monday. If you don’t hear from your missionary and are concerned feel free to reach out to us at the end of the day.
Please be assured that we are completely dedicated to keeping your missionary healthy and safe. We are most grateful for our loving Heavenly Father’s supporting hand in caring for them. We have seen many miracles this past week and are so grateful for your love for and confidence in your sons and daughters and us.