First off: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! The package made it safe and sound! I actually got it last Friday, just 8 days after you sent it. It was awesome to get everything in there. It was perfect! We had a dinner appointment with an American family and the package got passed ahead to them on Friday because the people you sent the package to knew we were going over to the other family’s house for dinner. Everything in there was great. I’ve already actually spent the $20 today. I was planning on a shopping day in Napoli today, because the last few weeks we’ve played sports. I picked up a new belt and 2 new ties! Thanks a ton! My one belt I brought is just about broken, so it’s perfect timing.
Oh, and one more thing. Our P-days are officially changing to Mondays now. I guess President Waddoups would like them to be on Mondays rather than Wednesdays. So be expecting an e-mail from me next Monday! As far as the suit coat deal goes, I guess other missionaries complained or something, because yesterday we got a call and it turns out that President Waddoups has decided that we don’t have to wear the suit coats just quite yet, and we can wait off for a couple more weeks until otherwise noticed! We were really excited about that. I guess the same thing happened last year with the coats with President Kelly. It is still just a bit too hot for them.
I can’t believe we get transfer calls already on Saturday. Sheesh that was a fast transfer! I really like it here in the Napoli zone, but I guess we’ll see what happens!
This week has been a fantastic week as far as the work goes in Caserta. It has really exploded since last Wednesday. Last Thursday we were handing out Books of Mormon like they were candy after English Course. There are 3 “ragazzi” (one boy, 2 girls) that have started coming to English Course. The guy is 16 years old, and I call him Junior. His real Italian name is something else but I call him Junior just because. Anyways, after English Course last time I offered him a Book of Mormon with his 2 friends, and he said something along the lines of “Nah, why would I read that instead of the Bible?”. (He’s actually Evangelist) That is also one of my favorite questions. I just shared with him how we use them together, and that it is a second witness of Jesus Christ, and gave a brief background of the group of people that left Jerusalem for the Americas. He accepted it along with the invitation to read it, and I hope he follows through with it! The reason I mention him rather than other investigators is because he’s actually become pretty good friends with me, and is a pretty young guy. I’ve run into him on the street before and other things, too.
A lot of people in Italy think we’re so different, but rather than start it off talking about what’s different between us, we like to start out talking about what we have in common, which is Jesus Christ. That was actually also a suggestion from Elder Ballard when he came to visit us here in Rome.
Also, we showed up to an apartment complex of somebody we’d met previously on the street. We tried to go last Friday but it was a “bidone” [a no-show]. This time, he was there with his wife and also a friend. As we entered, he offered us some wine. Once we turned that down, he offered us some caffè. Yet again, we turned that down. Afterwards, his wife poured us some orange juice. Then he pulled out some cigarettes, and said, “I don’t suppose you’d like a cigarette too?”. Once we accepted the orange juice he said something about bambinis (essentially babies), but I didn’t catch that part. He was a pretty funny guy, and has agreed to let us come back and teach him some more lessons. He had a pretty gnarly mullet/mohawk.
Anyways, I’ll talk about General Conference now. We got invited over to an American family’s house, the Wards. They are absolutely awesome. Brother Ward is our Branch mission leader. Here in Italy, the Saturday morning session starts at 6 in the evening, so we only were able to watch that on Saturday. Then Sunday morning we went to the Wards which was a big treat. We watched Saturday Evening, Priesthood, and Sunday morning all in one day. We still have to watch Sunday evening some other day. They fed us lunch and dinner, which was gumbo (which was actually REALLY good), then roast and mashed potatoes for dinner with an Oreo chocolate cake for dessert. It was incredible. We’re pretty spoiled over here in Caserta.
As a missionary, General Conference was absolutely awesome. It really is something special. I’ve got to cut this e-mail short, I had just a bit too much to write about, but it’s a good week! Next Monday when I e-mail, I’ll know my fate for the next 6 weeks! Some pictures will be coming shortly (hopefully).