Email from Jason Jan 2, 2008
(Edited to delete personal/contacnt information – if you want to contact Jason, please let me know, and I will send you his email/mail address)
So my first few days in Italy have been quite an adventure. I think I’m doing fairly well at getting over the jetlag. I finally feel like it’s day time again. The first night we got here, we stayed at the mission home. I said goodbye to Anziani C and C, as well as Anziani R, B, and Sorella E. Anziani C and R, and I, and Sorella A stayed at the mission home. We all got to eat lasagna (SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good) and then those who stayed got to eat other real foods. I tasted cheddar cheese for the first time in two months. that was amazing. We had soup, and sloppy Joes, and waffles. mmm. On Sunday night, we went out on the town and proselyted. My companion/trainer (Anziano C) and I met Carlo. He’s an older gentleman from Milano, on vacation in Catania for the Holidays. we talked for about 30 minutes. I have away a Book of Mormon to him (in Italian it’s Il Libro di Mormon) He took it gladly. We also went to church. much the same, yet different. I was Baced (sounds like botched. It’s their greeting where they kiss both sides of your face) by a guy with a prickly beard. I guess now I know what that’s like.
The next day, we traveled from Catania to Barri. That was an 8 hour bus ride. A good time to get to know my companion. He’s from Cache valley. He was a state champion wrester in ’06. He likes the outdoors, and has a girlfriend. She sent him a package in October that just barely got to him. She had baked him fortune cookies. They probably even would have been good if they were fresh. She also included candy “for your companion” which was me. So I got some Twizzlers. that was cool.
That night in Barri was New Years Eve. And we had permission from the Mission President to go to a ward party. I was tired as all get out, but I still went. Oh yeah, and by this time, everyone else had received their luggage, but mine was (and still is) lost. So I had my carry-on, which is my backpack, stuffed with books, and two sets of underwear, and an extra shirt. It’s quite heavy. but I survived. So we get to the church house for the party, and no one is there. We wait outside, for half an hour or so, and people finally show up. Then it begins. They started playing music. I’ve never seen Italians party before. I’d be quite content in life to never see it again. It’s not so bad, but it was a bit awkward watching a stake president dance to “Saturday Night Fever” with a bunch of people I think were members. Some were investigators, too. Then when midnight struck, the bombs went off. Literally. You could hear explosions everywhere. Out in the parking lot, people were setting off Roman Candles, firecrackers, and all sorts of fireworks. Then there was a huge BOOM that I felt. M-80s are apparently NOT illegal in Italy. a lot of those went off, too. oh yeah, there’s a foosball table in their church. Crazy! There were also a lot of Italian deserts to try. The pandoro is my favorite. It’s a cake. a yummy yummy cake. So we spent the night there (a less-active member gave us a ride home) in Barri, went to bed aruond 2, and at 7 the next morning, we were out the door. We had to walk to the train station. so that took 30 minutes. with a box of book of mormons, too. we took turns hefting that sucker all along. then we got on a train that took us up up and up to my first city- Foggia! Whereupon, we took a bus to our apartment. I then zonked. My companion cooked some breakfast (fried potatoes, very nice) and I zonked again. I met my other Roommates. The four of us are pretty much it here in Foggia. We’re in the northernmost city in the mission. So, if/when my bags finally arrive, it will be at the mission home in Catania. They’ll still be a day or two away from me. Anziano C was most kind, and let me borrow some socks, and a t shirt. Toothpaste was also supplied. At night we had pasta. It was quite good.
Fresh milk is pretty expensive, and doesn’t keep very well, so we get poo-milk. It’s boxed, and keeps for months before you open it. Then when you do, it’d good for about a week. and it tastes like poo. Hence the name. I didn’t think it was so bad, but Anziano C is from Hyrum in Cache Valley. He worked on a farm. He knows good milk when he drinks it. And it’s not here. So, as today is my first Pday, I’m going to go buy some socks, food, toothpaste, a tshirt, and probably some other things.
The language is amazingly difficult, but I’m sure it will come with time. And prayer.
Well, I hope all is well. I love all of you. Please send this to anybody who wants it.
My address for the next little while will be…
So spread that news. Packages should still be sent to the mission Home. But send letters to the new address. and yeah. I hope all is well. I love you all. Keep in touch. Peace out.
Anziano Jason F