Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Fruit Box

The story:  When Brother Helland served his mission in Denver he was a collector of books. Thinking that his parents would drive out to pick him up when he was released he never worried about how to eventually get them home.  As dictated by fate aka Murphy's Law, his parents weren't able to make the trip and  Elder Helland was faced with the decision of what to do with his treasured books.  Checking them as luggage was too expensive as was mailing them home.  An answer came when a family traveling to Utah offered to deliver things to the homes of missionaries serving in the Denver area.  Elder Helland decided that if ever given the chance he would 'pay it forward' for other missionaries.

Brother Helland and Maren, Matt's sister

Yesterday I received a phone call from Brother Helland who was in our area for a family reunion letting me know that he had a package from Matt and that he would be willing  to take something back if I would like. Ummmm...YEAH!!!

I wracked my poor little brain for an idea.  I had just mailed a package the day before and I already had two more in the works but they were little and weren't quite ready to send...then I had a brilliant idea. FRUIT!! Our poor missionaries survive on so little and I know that fruit is not among Matt's choices when he is on a limited budget.  The funds just don't go that far.  He receives $150 a month which he needs to stretch for everything.  Laundry alone uses $20 a week and they can only eat with members on Sunday and Monday. Doesn't leave much.  I checked with Brother Helland and because there are no agricultural check points on the way back to Seattle he thought it wouldn't be a problem.  Matt will love it and I KNOW that his new companion, Elder Filimoua from Samoa is going to be in heaven!

Fruits to consider:
(I sent two of the personal size ones.  
They are about the size of a cantaloupe)
red grapes

Here's a few tips to consider when sending fruit:
  • Choose slightly under-ripe fruit.
  • Select fruit that is firm and free of nicks, bruises and bug bites.
  • Don't send berries as they are too fragile and spoil too quickly.
  • Line your box well with packing material.
  • Wrap each piece of fruit in tissue paper and make sure that each piece of fruit is padded well to avoid shifting during transit.
I would NEVER send fruit or other produce from our own garden.  I realize that it certainly tastes better than what you can usually find in the grocery store but I worry about spreading disease or bug infestations across state lines.  The United States has strict laws regulating the import of fruits and vegetables.  I purchased all of the fruit from a grocery store that is a national chain to insure that all requirements were met.

You also might consider sending fruit or vegetables through one of the reputable online dealers. There are a plethora of them out there.  Someone signed our family up for a fruit of the month club when I was little.  I still remember receiving yummy fruit wrapped in tissue every month.  So good!!

Here is the package topper that I included...