General Conference!

Hey Famiglia!

My guess is that it is far too early for any of you to be awake, so I’ll just go ahead and type this e-mail.  First off, thank you so much for sending the package!! That will be so awesome to have.  You’re the best!  I will probably have to wait to receive it not this Sunday, but the next because of General conference.  The member was planning on just bringing it to Church, but since there’s no church on Sunday I’ll just have to wait.  Thanks again!

This week nothing too spectacular happened.  In fact, we received quite a few “bidones” (no shows for their appointments…), which always dampens your spirits quite a bit, but luckily, I have a lot to look forward to this week!  The work has become a bit challenging in Caserta at the moment, but we will continue to press on!  On the bright side, I really feel like my Italian is coming along well at this point.  When I first came into the mission, I really had not a clue what was even being talked about half of the time.  Now I can pretty easily follow all of the conversations we have, and not sweat it when speaking to the Italians!  It feels really good.  I’m by no means a pro at the language, but I do feel pretty confident about the future of my mission with regards to learning the language.  It will only get better! (Hopefully!)

I’m really excited for this evening/tomorrow, because I have my first chance to be a senior companion!  We are going on scambis (companionship exchanges) and the zone leader and his companion are coming to Caserta to work with us.  The zone leader will be going with my companion, Anziano Hoover, which leaves me to go with the zone leader’s companion, Anziano Graham, a brand new greenie!  I’m super excited.  It will be a fun experience.  They’re coming over tonight and will be leaving our house Friday morning, so we get a full 24 hour scambi in.  Anziano Graham is from Arizona but actually ran track at BYU for a year before coming on his mission. He is a crazy good athlete.  I’ve played soccer with him before, and he is wicked fast.  He’s also a really nice guy, so it should be a fun scambi!

In fact we are planning on playing basketball today, so that will be our P-day activity.  Unfortunately, we haven’t gone to play yet and I haven’t really taken any new pictures, so. . .  I don’t really have anything to send.  Sorry!  The pictures have been lacking lately.  It’s just hard to get them because typically I don’t carry my camera around during the week while we’re working, and that just leaves P-day for me to really send any pics.  Next week there will be extras!

This past Sunday was actually really cool in Caserta.  Elder Fen (Rome Temple project manager) came with Elder Stuerer (2nd counselor in the Mission Presidency/Financial Secretary) to talk to our ward about the progress on the Rome Temple.  The 3rd hour of church we all came back together to hear about it.  It was really cool.  The temple is being made out of a really awesome granite and will look incredible.  He still projects it to be done in 2015…  Hopefully I can at least see the open house!

[Note:  In the following paragraph, the name of the investigator has been changed.]

Something else I’m looking forward to is that one of our investigators, Joel, invited us over for some Italian Lasagna on Saturday.  I am so excited.  Apparently lasagna in Italy blows your mind, and I haven’t had the chance to try some yet!  Then after that we’ll watch General Conference which starts at around 6:00 I believe.  We’re going to have to watch it on the church computer with some speakers on Saturday evening, but on Sunday we’ve been invited to a member’s house on the American base, so we’ll get to watch the rest of the sessions then.  I bought another cool little moleskin journal, a bit bigger than the last one, so I can take notes for things like General Conference, and other church related things.  It’s turning out to be a pretty cool little study journal.  I also bought an extra pair of pants this week for work.  I don’t have a picture of me in them, but they sure do have a lot slimmer fit than American pants do!  I really like them a lot.  I bought them from the same little shop I bought my big Italian coat, and I got them for half off.  The other elders, Faggioli and Morgan, liked them so much that they went out and bought some too.  We also had a stroke of luck this week.  Elder Faggioli found 50 Euros on the ground.  After searching around to see if we could find who it belonged to, nobody claimed it.  We got matching companionship ties for all 4 of us in Caserta and bought another meter-long pizza for good measure with it.  The Caserta elders are looking good!

After General Conference we’ll be expected to wear our suit coats every day…  Yikes.  I hear it gets pretty darn hot in them.  I’m not too excited about having to do that, but oh well!  We’ll see what it’s like.

Well, other than that, this transfer is flying by!  Our English course is exploding now.  We had collectively almost 50 people in total come.  We separate for basic, intermediate, and advanced.  I stay and teach intermediate.  It is a fantastic way to meet people and start to gain some of their trust.  We’ve gotten quite a few investigators from English course.  It really is such an awesome tool.

Another bright note is that yesterday I had to go get my permesso done, and it finally worked!  I got fingerprinted and all.  I should have my permesso card within 40 days, if everything goes as planned!  I’ve actually gotten stopped in Napoli’s train station once and been asked for my permesso, but I don’t have it yet.  That was an awkward moment.  I pulled my American tourist card and kind of played it off that way.  Hopefully I don’t get deported before it comes! 😉 (It will be fine)

That’s it for another week in Italy!

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

Since Craig didn’t have any pictures this week, I pulled some from Sister Waddoups’ blog.  These were all taken at the recent Napoli Zone Conference, and I am just posting the ones that Craig is in.

Craig and his companion with Brother and Sister Willie who took them to Caiazzo after the zone conference was over.

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