Hey Famiglia!

I’ve made it safe and sound here to Crotone!  So far I like it a lot here.  It reminds me a LOT of California.  There are some smaller little canyons and hills with similar bushes and trees as California.  There are palm trees too!  So far it’s rained pretty much every day since I’ve been here though, so I don’t have too many good pictures of it yet.  I absolutely LOVE the apartment.  It’s HUGE!  It is all white too.  There’s a lot of space for just us two missionaries. It’s also pretty new, and very clean.  The kitchen even has an electric oven and a self starting stove!  It’s a great place to get to live in.

So far it’s been a lot different being in a 2-man house, but it’s still good.  It’s a lot more quiet, but that can be a benefit sometimes.  The apartment has a view of a big hill, the hospital, the coastline, and a soccer stadium.  It’s really great!  I’m really lucky to get to be in it.  It’s on the top of a big hill kind of on the outskirts of Crotone, but it’s really not too far away at all.

Anziano’s Robertson’s first name is Donovan, and he lived right near Park City.  He’s really nice.  He’s only been out 2 transfers longer than me, so we are both still pretty young in the mission.  We’ll have a good time here in Crotone together.  It’s been really great how much more often we speak Italian here.  There are no more Americans here in the branch!  If I want to say something, I’ve gotta say it in Italian now!  I’ve already learned a ton in just the few days I’ve been here.

Speaking of the branch, it is TINY!  The were only 12 people in church on Sunday (and 4 of us were missionaries!).  The branch president is only 23 years old and just got back a couple of years ago from his mission to Manchester.  The other 2 missionaries that were in church were the Thompsons.  They are the senior couple here in Crotone, and they’re from Australia! They have awesome accents.  Hopefully we can get more people into church next week!  In fact right now I’m e-mailing from their house, and after they’re going to take us grocery shopping because they have a car.  That will be really nice!

By the way, before I forget, happy birthday Mak!  It sounds like she had a good birthday.

As far as the Skype call goes, I’m thinking we’ll be planning for Christmas Eve, but I’m not totally positive.  Whichever one it will be, I’ll be sure to let you know next week.  We haven’t talked about it too much yet because we just got those same guidelines today.  I’m not sure what we’ll do for my birthday either!  Some awesome investigators in Caserta, Rosanna and Giovanni (The same ones that gave us our pink soccer jerseys) threw me a surprise birthday party Tuesday after our English course before I left off to Crotone.  It was a blast.  They had a cake with cookies and 19 candles and everything!  I’ve got some pictures too!  That was really fun.  I’ll miss them a lot!  They also took us out to pizza a couple of nights before.  They were so nice to us.

Yup!  Anziano Smith will be in Caserta now.  He’s a lucky guy!  Caserta is a great place.  I miss it a lot already.  I hope he enjoys it there!

I went to my first Catholic mass here in Crotone on Friday.  An AWESOME member’s (Salvatore) grandma died.  You’re going to hear a lot more about Salvatore in the future probably, but he is a convert to the Church a couple years ago, and is the only member in his family.  His grandma’s service was done in a Catholic setting.  He invited us missionaries to do a spiritual thought before the service during the viewing in front of a group mixed with a bunch of Catholic people.  That was a bit scary because we wanted to make sure we didn’t offend anyone, but it worked out well.  I thought the mass was super interesting.  I’m glad I got to experience it!

Anyways, Salvatore LOVES the missionaries and helps us out with a ton of lessons.  A couple of days after his grandma’s funeral he was very sad and struggling a bit, and asked us for a blessing.  He invited me to do it, and so I had my first chance to give a blessing in Italian.  I was pretty nervous, but it was really neat.  He’s been really good to us and has invited us over to his house for Christmas.  I’m really excited.  We jokingly sometimes call him the third missionary here in Crotone.

Oh yeah!  I just remembered, but I’ve opened the December 1st items in my package now. I’m super excited about that!  Thank you SO much!  I honestly was feeling a little bit down on Sunday and then I remembered about those things I got to open.  Thanks a million!  It made me happy again that I get to open something every day until Christmas.  I’m super excited to see what’s in the Christmas package!

Anyways, that’s about all I have to write about today!  Thanks for everything!  I’ll be letting you know when we’ll Skype probably next week.  Make sure you have your webcams at the ready!

Anziano Jones

The surprise birthday party that was held for Craig before he left Caserta.

Craig with his Caserta roommates at his birthday party.

Craig and his roommates are in the middle.  The two guys on the ends are the investigators who planned the surprise birthday party for him.

The Salvitti family.

The view from Craig’s new apartment in Crotone.

The kitchen in the apartment.

The hallway.

Craig with his new companion, Anziano Donovan Robertson, who is from Park City, Utah.


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