So just to let you all know I did receive all of your letters, and thanks a ton! I love hearing from the missionaries in the ward. I got them at Zone Conference. Halloween was a blast! Zone Conference was on Halloween, so we didn’t really do anything too special that day, but the Monday before we went down for a ward activity in Carney Park! It was really great fun. That place is amazing! They have a football field, golf course, paintball, all sorts of stuff there! But we went down for the little trunk-or-treat activity our wards had. They also had some hot dogs there for us!! Wahoo! They also had a build your own cupcake station plus a hot chocolate station… Let’s just say we missionaries were very excited. I love our ward here in Caserta a ton.
Sorry to hear about poor lil’ Jazzy! That absolutely stinks… That poor girl’s gone through a lot! I hope everything works out for her!
[I asked Craig what the grocery shopping is like in Caserta after I read on Sister Waddoups’ blog that she shops in street markets quite frequently and that most Italians have to shop for food every day or two because food spoils quickly in the humidity there.]
We just do our shopping once a week. We don’t really buy too many things off of the street in Caserta, unless it’s fruit. There are some grocery stores nearby that work just fine. They’re actually quite American. It just depends on where you are and what you want to buy. There’s always the street market option, but when there’s a grocery store close by, that’s typically a lot more convenient and easy.
Congrats on your website too Mom! That’s awesome! And I’m bummed I’m missing out on some good BYU basketball! Thanks for the updates though Dab! [The reason that Craig sometimes calls Jeffrey “Dab” is because when Ashley was little, she used to get her D’s and B’s mixed up, like a lot of kids do, and when she meant to write “Dad,” it would come out as “Dab.” Jeffrey thought it was funny, and he started signing cards to the kids that way, and now the name has stuck!]
Well, I say that we didn’t do anything too special on Thursday for Halloween, but we actually did have a Halloween party with our English course! The great part was that President actually came down with us after Zone Conference to do exchanges with us, so he got to see our English course in action. The embarrassing part is that I forgot my keys that day because I brought a backpack to zone conference instead of my usual man purse, so that actually was a bit of a delay while we were with President… I hope he doesn’t think I’m too big of a goofball now! Our English course students brought a TON of food. It was a great turn out. One even brought a huge cake, and President got to cut it. Afterwards President helped us teach some of our investigators from English course, and it was so cool. He is a giant of a man (physically and spiritually :)). It was really great to see him teaching and learn from him. Anyways, it went well overall I think. I got to play a musical number for Zone Conference as well. I have a fair amount of chances to play the piano here and there.
We also have two other investigators (a couple), who own a house/villa up in the mountains with about 40 olive trees or so around their house. It was time to harvest the olives last weekend, but the guy’s wife discovered she has some complex heart problems and so she couldn’t help her husband out in the olive trees. Anziano Hoover and I volunteered to help him harvest the olives Friday morning just as a bit of service for him. It was a WAY cool opportunity! The view up there was amazing, and it was such a cool chance to see how to harvest olives. He crushes his olives to make olive oil. It took us all morning just to harvest 4 of the trees… It is tough work! I’ve got some cool pictures of that. They were really nice and fed us lunch as well. They’re planning on coming to our ward’s Thanksgiving party as well! They are really cool people. The guy actually lived in Boston when he was 6-26 years old, so he speaks perfect English with a really funny Boston accent. They’re a really nice family.
We’ve also helped introduce an American member family to an Italian investigator’s family, and they have been swapping dinners with each other. On Friday night we went over to help them translate (and we also benefited from some good food too ;)) and the spiritual thought was really great. The Italian mother had polio when she was younger and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, but she said that she recognized God helping her all along the way to raise her 2 boys and make it through. The people couldn’t even understand what the others were saying, but it didn’t matter because there were already tears shed. They are some really cool people. This Italian family is the family of the guy that came to the talent show and even did his own act. They are really great.
We also have another African investigator that called us asking when he could be baptized… That was convenient! We’ve met with him a few times since and already have a baptismal date set for him. Whenever we meet with him he always asks questions about baptism and what we do after we’re baptized. We have to tell him, “Slow down, champ! We’ve gotta teach you some stuff first!” It’s really awesome.
Well, I’ve gotta start wrapping it up. Thanks for everything! I can’t wait for the package! It’s going to be awesome! We’re going to Sorrento today to see some BEAUTIFUL coastline, but unfortunately I don’t have those pictures yet. I’ll have them next week! For now hopefully the ones I have will be good enough!
P.S. I still haven’t found an Italian lasagna quite as good as my Mommy’s lasagna!
Craig ended up having some kind of problem with the computer today, and he was unable to load his pictures. Fortunately, Sister Waddoups just posted photos from Thursday’s zone conference and some from the English course on Halloween night, so I pulled these pictures from her blog. Here is an excerpt from her blog that explains some of the pictures:
One of the zones decided they should each buy a stuffed animal. I’m not sure I really understand all the reasoning behind it, but I got the impression it was so they could channel all their excess energy into the animals. I asked them if they threw them at someone when they were frustrated and the response was that they usually threw somebody else’s animal. At zone conference the stuffed animals were all tucked into a backpack–at least they were at first.
And there are the stuffed animals tucked inside of a backpack. It looks like Craig is part of the stuffed animal zone because that’s him sitting at the end of the table.
Craig didn’t have to buy a stuffed animal because he already had this one that Joey gave him. I couldn’t remember the animal’s name, but I knew for certain that my husband would. Yes, indeedy. . . it’s Ferdinand.
This is the English course that Craig and his roommates teach each week. That’s Craig standing up in the back. Does it look to you like he might be asleep? He’s just like his mom. We can sleep anywhere!