I thought General Conference was absolutely awesome this time around. We watched it all here in the church building. It was all in Italian with no subtitles. 😦 We did get to watch the Priesthood Session in English, however, because Anziano McArthur and I watched it on our own on Sunday morning. I can understand just fine what they’re saying in Italian, but it’s never the same watching it in another language. It’s so much better listening to it in English and hearing the apostle’s own voices! We still haven’t seen Sunday afternoon’s session, because by the time it started broadcasting it was already 10 PM here.
[The names of investigators have been changed.] Pietro came and brought the whole crew. They are so awesome. They all loved General Conference, and were shocked to see how many Mormons there were in the Conference Center! Especially Angela was surprised, and said, “I wanna go there!!” That was Angela’s first General Conference. She saw us scribbling down notes and quickly started copying us.
The new sister missionary in our district is Sister Kimball from Centerville, Utah. She seems really nice and has lots of good ideas.
One thing I’d like is Grammie’s banana pancake recipe. Right now bananas are in season and the breakfast options are getting a little old. Unfortunately for a little bottle of maple syrup here it costs about 8 Euro ($12) which is absolutely ridiculous. 😦 It’s expensive to import that stuff. Also peanut butter is a rarity.
I guess there was an earthquake here at 12:30 on Saturday, but we didn’t feel a thing. Sarah and Abraham from Caserta called me up (which is against the rules to call outside our area, but I didn’t recognize the number on the phone so I answered…) to ask us if we were alright. I didn’t even know what he was talking about at first because we didn’t feel anything. He’s really an awesome guy. He gave me the scoop on Caserta. It’s nice being able to communicate with him A LOT better now.
A really nice thing is that now JACKET SEASON is done!! We can go outside without jackets again!! Wahoo! I feel really noticable again though as we go around blinding everyone in our white shirts. I’ve even bought a cheap pair of tan slacks now that the dress code was relaxed last year. They’re awesome! I’ll have to get a picture of me in them, seeing as today is the first day I’m wearing them. In fact I didn’t take any pictures this week….. Oops!
[The other day, I made the cauliflower pasta that Craig recommended last week, which by the way was quite good, so I asked him to tell me how he prepares the zucchini pasta.] The pasta we make with our sautèed zucchini is our go-to pasta. All you do is sautèe the zucchini first in olive oil, keeping it covered so the zucchini stays moist, adding a good bit of pepper to them. Then once they’re almost done, throw in the bacon and cook that. Then once the pasta is all cooked and good to go, throw the cream (they call it panna, I don’t know if the same kind of cream exists in the U.S… It’s not really sweet though. It’s almost like a yogurt consistency, but milk) and mix the cream and bacon and zucchini into the pasta, also adding more pepper and fresh Parmesan on top. We make it at least once a week.
I won’t be able to get the package until the next zone conference, which there isn’t one this transfer. It will be May/June by the time I get more packages. 😦 [I asked Craig where they go to send their e-mails.] Right now we just e-mail from the church. The problem is that here in Crotone basically everywhere is closed on Mondays (it’s like a second Sunday) and no Internet points are open, so we’ve resorted to the church.
Thanks for the picture of Dax! That’s awesome. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything about him. I’m glad he’s doing well.
It’s weird. Right now I’m officially using my 8th planner of the mission. I hit my 10 month mark this week!!! It’s crazy to see all my little agendas that are now filled. I’m obviously keeping them for little keepsakes after the mission.
This last week it was hard to get lessons in because Salvatore went up to Switzerland to visit the temple. The poor guy has to drive 15 hours each time he wants to go to the temple until next year when the Rome Italy temple will be done. For now… Yikes! But even then it’ll still be a 6-8 hour trip, and at least $100 in travel expenses to Rome. The Saints here have to spend a lot of money getting to the temple! It makes it that much more special for them though.
Right now I’m reading through the Book of Mormon in Italian as a goal. I tried once before when I was a greenie in Caserta, but I gave up, quickly realizing it was much better studying in English back then. This morning I hit Jacob 1-4, and starting into chapter 5 but then remembering that that chapter is forever long, I stopped. What an awesome book. It really is a miracle. I love looking for the little pieces of treasure in the verses that are so easy to skim over and not think about twice. It’s been really awesome. I’ve already read through it a couple times in English as well as all of D&C while on the mission, and it’s been great. A solid knowlege of the Book of Mormon and its contents is priceless. Chapter 4 is especially powerful. I used verse 6 a bit this week getting people pumped up for conference in the branch. 6-12 are really good, but it also goes on. But I didn’t want to copy and paste the whole chapter into this e-mail… Go read it yourself! Sorry if the formatting is bad. Copying and pasting wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be….
Jacob 4: 6-12
6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.
9 For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?
10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.
11 Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.
12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?
Next week I’ll try and add some other scriptures that I study this week. But I’d better run!
Ciao for now!
[As Craig mentioned, he didn’t have any photos for us this week. But just last night I received some pictures from Sister Salvitti, who is a member of the American branch in Caserta, where Craig served before he was transferred to Crotone. These pictures were taken several months ago while Craig was still in Caserta.]
Having dinner at the Salvitti home.
Craig with Anziano Burton who was his first companion in Caserta.
Craig with Anziano Faggioli who was one of his roommates in Caserta.