I had to make Visa appointments for 5 people, and the woman on the line only spoke Spanish. The call wasn’t cheap either so I had to get it right. But, when she didn’t have the dates I wanted, I panicked! I took the date she offered.
Unfortunately that date was the same date as Cambios.…which in the mission is the day we get new missionaries flying in from the Missionary Training Centers. In fact, 12 missionaries were flying in that day, and as office secretary, I needed to process each one with the legal paperwork required by Immigration.
But, I had panicked with the Visa appointment, and now I was escorting 5 missionaries to the Costa Rican Post office to have their Religious Volunteer Visa interview – all on the same day I was generating all the legal paperwork to process the 12 arriving missionaries!
This is the Lord’s work though, right? So, I prayed and I planned well. But, as luck would have it, nothing could’ve prepared me for Hermana Sanchez.
Only 18 years old, Hermana Sanchez handled her passport and legal paperwork with a carelessness that sent them all, somehow, flying under a bank of post boxes in the Post Office of Escazú. In a flash of a moment, I saw Hermana Sanchez’s hope for a Visa disappear. The bank of post boxes looked too heavy to move. There was no way!
But, we needed those papers! And I was not going to fail the very first time I had to do this by myself! So, super human Hermana Hofhiens, (that’s me) tried to move the entire bank of post boxes. I tipped the bank of mailboxes backwards and – miracle of miracles – it didn’t slide on the tile! Hermana Sanchez reached under and pulled out the legal paperwork and the $98.00 receipt that secured her Visa appointment.
I was so relieved that I accidentally set the bank of mailboxes down on Hermana Sanches’s four fingers. I tipped it back up again with alacrity. No harm done! And all five us giggled about the near catastrophe. One Elder summed it up neatly:
Inteligensia me persigue, pero voy más rápido! Intelligence is chasing me, but I am going much faster!