Monday, September 19, 2011

Buen Dia

Hello familia:
How are we all, with smiles?
Just finished doing some tramites for about 2 hours.  So President told us to just email tomorrow so we can have a close to full pday.  So expect the email tomorrow.
I am doing really well.  I have my big ben tie on..  and I slept so good last night.  And this morning Elder Boisados and I enjoyed the sunrise as we did the 5k, but real tranquilo.  Nice and easy, enjoyable even.  Running makes me good.  It really helps me feel better during the day.
We are getting together with the Goody Cruz zone today and doing a birthday party for one of the hermanas.  Elder Allen should be there, and we are bringing truco cards and a futbol, and thats really all I need.
Last night visiting an inactive family, one of the daughters showed me her hockey stick.  It was so sweet.  But the difference is that here they play hockey sobre cesped, hockey over grass.  So it was totally different, nothing like a real hockey stick.  But it gave me so much ganas to put on some skates and hit the ice!!!  OOOOOOOO  I just wanted to handle a puck and put someone on the ice.
Love Elder Ostler
Probably be 1/2 email today, 1/2 email tomorrow.
So the offices.  Well, it goes like this.  Here’s a brief overview.  I am primarily in charge of visas.  Most elders are coming in with a 1 year visa.  So when they expire, I head the task of renewing that visa.  And it isn’t just, O Argentina, here’s 600 more pesos, let us stay another year.  Rather, there are multiple steps involved in renovar una visa.
For example, yes or yes, the only thing you actually have to do before the visa vencers is pay 600 pesos.  But it’s just not that easy.  First, you have to go to this overly crowded place called Migraciones.  And we have some contacts there that start the renovation process, and in fin, give us a boleta, or a whats it called, like a check for 600 pesos.  Then we go to a certain banco de la nación and pay it.  Going to both places usually involves in first finding parking, then fighting the crowds and waiting in line.  I need to get some good waiting in line activities.
Then after the visa is paid, your set.  And basically the person is still illegal, but you have a cushion to finish the rest.  In theory, everything should be done before the year mark, but it’s not happening like that right now.  I have plans to get it like that.
So the paid boleta for 600 is one part.  Another thing you have to do is get an Argentine police record that says the missionary doesn't have a criminal record.  it is called antecedentes penales.  APs.  To do this you must first print off 2 boletas off line and fill them out with all the info of the missionary, then go the bank and pay them.  Then you have to complete a mail merge form on the computer for APs.  Do you know what mail merge means?  Then you have to make copies of passports or cedulas.  Put that all in a nice sobre, and before 8am, show up at a building called RENAR on Chile and wait in line.  They hand out numbers at 8 and start at 8:30.  Then with that packet and yet another fee, the missionary applies for this AP form.  They do it all on the computer, take digital fingerprints etc . .  Then about a week later, someone accompanies me to RENAR and I pick up their APs.
Another step is obtain the certifcado de domicilio.  A piece of paper that says they missionary lives at cabildo abierto 161.  To obtain this, you have to fill out a mail merge form on the computer, requiring the information of 2 testigos.  O sea, I have to bring 2 extra people with me (who have Argentine information like a DNI or cedula) to be witnesses.  And then after I organize all that, with countless copies of passports and DNI´s, we go the Libertad, where the registro civil is.  We show up early and wait in line and get numbers.  When it is out turn, they take real fingerprints, sign some papers, and then we receive their certificado de domicilio.
So after having the paid boleta, AP, Cer de Dom, you need to make a complete copy of the passport too.  And the last thing is called a carta de culto.  Which I obtain by filling out a form on the computer for each missionary and sending it off to Buenos Aries.  They then mail me what is called the carta de culto.  But usually it takes forever.  Once you have all of those things, you head to Migraciones and hand them all of that business and the passport, which they stamp and put a nice seal in it saying this person can stay here one more year.  And Yeah!  You’re done!
In this process Many Many things can go wrong.  And usually many headaches are involved.  For example, you have to be careful to not do the APs too early, because in 3 months they expire and are good for nothing.  Obsolete.  The missionary has to be present while obtaining the Aps and the cer de Dom.
You are probably really bored right now and have a lot of questions.  But I did the best I could.
We have missionaries going home in one week, and we saw that one of them still does not have her visa renewed.  So this week I organized a day of tramites.  We called in her and 3 others that live in greater Mendoza and had some fun.  We did APs, and cer de Dom, and many many things went wrong.  That’s why this morning I had to finish those tramites.  For example, that boleta I printed off line was apparently a boleta repitida, like I printed out the same one twice and didn’t realize it.  These boletas have bar codes on the bottom, so when the man entered them into the computer, it rejected it.  So today I had to go to the bank and pay the 2 boletas again for this hermana and then go back to RENAR to give the the boleta so they can complete the tramite.
I get to see how the Argentine gov works, or doesn’t work. It is interesting to see how the gov just sucks money out of the church, or the extranjeros.  For example, when I went back to the bank to repay the boleta, I showed him the one I already paid and asked him to transfer it to a new boleta.  But he said no can do.  That I had to do it at Renar, because they had the money.  But the lady at Renar said that they couldn’t return the money.  O just a joke.  Ladrónes.  They straight up robbed us.  I put on a good face and really try to show them how unjust that is, but ooooo.
Luckily it’s not coming off my asignación every month!!  Pido plata del Financiero Elder Kammerman.  In the mission we have certain budgets right?  But when it comes to visas, unlimited.  The most loaded I’ve been was one day walking around with 14 visas and like over 5000 pesos.  You know what happens if something happens to those visas!  chau  
Other parts of my trabajo including sending missionaries home.  I don’t buy their flight, but I do give info to SLC so that they know what airport to send them too etc.  Then I have to make sure all the flights are right when they send me the itinerary etc.  Then to send a missionary home it’s no small task, because you have to advise the parents, the stake President, prepare the packet, which includes many mail merge documents.  And sometimes a lot of the info is wrong.  Then you have to organize their final interview with President, where they sleep that night, what they eat for breakfast, and getting them to the airport.  I edit the release letter and do the release certificate, and then President sends just a bunch of papers.
But it’s not just one missionary going home, we are sending 11 missionaries home next week!   Needless to say, that’s a lot of work.
And on the visas, that’s just for Missionaries with a one year visa.  Those who just come with a 90 day tourist visa, some latins, that’s a slightly different process.  One I still learning.
But in the mission we have many illegal elders.  So I need to get on that.  Some of it is really not in my power.
And to answer your question dad.  Yeah, I’m pretty much in the hot seat.  Last week Elder Ivie was with me 1 day.  And this week he will only be here Friday, and then he leaves, because it’s transfer.
I’ll tell about more adventures tomorrow.  But just know that Fernando and Teresa came to church and TERESA NOW HAS 1 WEEK WITHOUT SMOKING!!!!
Love Elder Ostler