A New Strategy: Pizza Finding

Hey Famiglia!

So I’ll start off this e-mail by answering your questions.  We walk everywhere we go, but we do have to ride trains quite a bit.  We’ll take a train once every couple days to get to various meetings or proselyting areas or sight-seeing on P-days.  We generally just walk though.  They used to have bikes here I guess, but they got stolen.  Oh well.  The buses here are really too sketchy and unreliable to waste our time with.  My companion and I have gone out for gelato!  I haven’t withdrawn the $20 specifically yet though.  Thanks! Gelato is SO GOOOOOOD!  I do miss you all lots!  There’s no place like home! 🙂

I’ve got some cool new things going on.  As to Dad’s question about what we do, I can’t go into too much of specifics on lessons and investigators and what they’re like, otherwise the Church will ask us to take down my blog.  But I can tell you what we do in general and what a typical day is like.  Right now is August (I believe the Italians call it Fair August), which basically means all of the Italians go out on vacations.  All of the stores are closed down for at least 2 weeks.  Even pizzerias, some post offices, clothing stores, you name it. I was sad when we went to one of the best pizzerias in the world (Sorbillo’s in Napoli) and we found it was shut down.  All closed, because no one is here!  It is quite frustrating.  Our branch is basically just Americans right now because all of the Italians are out on the beach or other cool places.  We’ve had to shut down our English course for August because our attendance (which got into pretty high numbers like 15-20 people) dropped down to 1 person.  We’ll start it back up in September once everyone comes back.  It’s bizarre.  It feels like a ghost town out here.

But I can say my companion and I are still working hard and are actually still finding a lot of people to teach (especially a lot of Africans).  We have evenings where we have appointments all night long, which is really great.  We have a couple baptismal dates (so yes, we do have some GREAT investigators 🙂 ) this August, and couldn’t be more excited about it!  Smoking is the biggest barrier for a lot of the Italians. I’m pretty sure about 95% of the population smokes here.  Sometimes we have to be a bit more clever about how we go about finding in the streets.  We’ve developed a new strategy called Pizza Finding.  What we do is in the evenings when there are the most people out, we’ll walk around and ask them where they think the best pizzeria is.  They’re very proud and opinionated about their food (especially pizza) and so we don’t get turned away nearly as much as we do when we go and simply try and strike up a conversation.  That’s always something fun to do, and we’ve found some very tasty pizzerias by doing it, so it’s a win-win!

Today for P-day we went to La Reggia (The palace mom was talking about).  It is MASSIVE, and it’s only just down the street from the church building.  It is absolutely gorgeous, and it is where some scenes on Naboo were filmed in Star Wars.  The gardens behind it stretch for miles, and there is a man-made lake and a waterfall and fountains stretching forever. We’re going to return some other time and rent bikes so we can make it all the way down pretty quickly and get to the end of the gardens.  There’s a little miniature castle and mote where the Prince would go and have practice sea battles and they’d put mini cannons up and stuff.  It was very cool.  The architecture is all astounding.  The inside is really familiar because I’ve seen Star Wars.  It’s pretty funny to think about that.  The palace was apparently just the summer home of the King of Napoli, and there’s a road that goes straight to Caserta from Napoli just for him.  I’m sure you can read up on a lot more than I know about it.

I withdrew 80 Euros for personal cash, and because I found a really nice winter coat. There’s a suit store right near our apartment that’s closing, and so is liquidating all of their inventory.  There are 250 Euro suits going for 50 Euros.  The coat I’m thinking about buying (it’s set aside for me right now) was originally 160 Euros (210 dollars or so), and is now only £80.  I think I’m going to go for it, because it is very warm, and the other Elders recommended it, and I’ll never find a nice Italian coat like that for that cheap.  The only problem is that I may need to get another suitcase for the trip back because all of it isn’t going to fit!  I’ve also bought a nice little moleskin pocket size book that I’ve been writing down little memories, thoughts, and stories and other little important things.  It will be like my mission in a nutshell.  I’ve really been enjoying writing in that.

Oh! Here’s our address:
Via G. Matteotti 9
81020 San Nicola La Strada (CE)
Italia

We live basically on the border of Caserta on the first street of San Nicola La Strada.  It’s an awesome place.

Before district meeting this week, we traveled with the Willies (the senior couple in our area in charge of military relations).  They showed us the most spectacular castle above Napoli, and a neat little cameo shop.  The view from on top of the big hill was the most amazing thing.  They have a picture of us, and I still need to get that from them.  I met Boone’s sister in Napoli during district meeting.  I didn’t bring my camera, but I’ll be sure to get a picture with her next time!

I’d better wrap it up.  I’m loving it here in Italy, and the work is going well!  Oh, and be expecting a sketchy letter from me in a couple of weeks.  I tried the Italian post system. Let’s just say…. I’m not sure if it will get there or not.  I sent one to Joey, too :).

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

Click on this photo to get a bird’s eye view of Craig’s apartment in Caserta.  I just used his address to find it on Google Earth.

All of the pictures in this post were taken at La Reggia, the famous palace in Caserta where some of the scenes in the Star Wars movie were filmed.

Craig referred to this as the “little castle.”

Photos from the gardens around La Reggia.

Craig with his companion, Anziano Burton. They seem like a good pair.

Photos from inside the palace.

Blogger’s Note from Laura: I will be in Kentucky next week, so I will be about 4 days late posting Craig’s next e-mail, but I will get it up as soon as I can.

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2 thoughts on “A New Strategy: Pizza Finding

  1. It’s so good to see how much you’re enjoying Italy. It’s such a beautiful country–one of our favorite. Best wishes in your work. We think of you often.

    Joe and Coni Durrance

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