Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Turkey, Venice and Early Christmas Gifts

Hello, All--

Pictures are on again!  I stuck the microSD in the adapter for the camera, and it can take and upload pictures, just not movies.  So we're still good.

MILESTONE BIRTHDAYS.  (David's great-grandmother will be 104 in a few days.  He comments...) Nana's birthday is a pretty cool event.  I'm never sure what to tell people: "I have a great-grandmother who is X years old"-- I can't remember what her age is.  So I'll tell them 104 as of next week!

(Side Note: we mentioned we had Pie Night before Thanksgiving, but sloppy winter weather kept about 1/2 the people home.)   Pie Night still sounds good, even though there were fewer people.  You just get to know those few people better.  That happens on the mission too.  You talk with people, see how different their lives were as they grew up, and have bonding experiences.  One phrase I heard this week that I liked was: "There are no friends, only family."

THANKSGIVING DAY. For Thanksgiving I had polenta (an Italian dish that...well, just google it) and turkey and some cake.  We got a bunch of Thanksgiving food from the American army base here, but we gave it to the Italian and he didn't know what to do with it.  So we didn't get to eat the cranberry sauce or the green bean casserole, but it was still a pretty good meal.

We went to Venice again today (well, Anziano Fabiano's first time).  We planned on going to a glass factory, but since it was his first Venice trip we went to Piazzo San Marco (the one everybody recognizes as "Venice") and didn't have time for the factory.  But I made sure to pick up my souvenirs this time, not being sure if I'll have another chance.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS.  We had a December Zone training, ostensibly the Christmas Conference.  Our "gifts" were a) New Bedding, including a 'duvet,' which is a comforter, as I learned, a 'duvet cover' for the duvet, and a 'pillow cover' that is supposed to go over my pillow, inside my actual pillow case.  It was all very convusing, and clearly I haven't spent enough time in Bed, Bath & Beyond to know what those things are supposed to do.  But at least they were warm once I got them on.  b) we got this drawing of the Presidents of the Church, which is a nice drawing. c) from the Zone Leaders, for an activity we did this past month, we got a can of A&W Root Beer (and there was much rejoicing) and a peanut butter jar.

(Side note from Mom: David's all-time favorite soda is A&W Root Beer...that was probably the highlight of his whole week, ha :) )

I guess I can't go to Venice again, because I'm running out of new picture material.  Oh, it was overcast today, but not raining.  So that's all right.

I got the Christmas package all right, and also a letter.  I wasn't sure what to open, but I ate some American candy (much rejoicing), and felt peanut butter, some office supplies, and styrofoam.  Thanks!

(Side note from Mom: he said he needed pens and post-it notes, which I wrapped. He obviously did not open the small gifts but just guessed what they were by touch?  I did NOT, by the way, wrap up styrofoam for one of his gifts! That was a 'block" of 8 post-it note pads.)

Anziano Fabiano, Whitesell
Anything else you send is not likely to reach me by Christmas, and I don't know if I'm getting transferred, so don't send anything to the apartment anymore.

Thanks, Dad, for the misison stories.  It gives me some perspective even though we're not supposed to compare missions.

Anziano Fabiano is going to Milano next week to get his Permeso (after a year here...they really messed that up), so I'm going to Milan, Italy for my P-Day next week.  Cool!

Love, Anziano Whitesell

P.S.  Also, those watches are from the Rolex store in Venice.  16,000 Euro for a watch?!?  ($19,675 USD) No thank you.

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