In trying to keep up with the missionaries that come into the office with a full cookie jar, we decided to drive down to Caserta by Napoli again this weekend to buy baking supplies at the Naval Base. There is a missionary couple, the Warner’s, in our mission stationed there, which makes it convenient to get on base. They are very hospitable and allow us to sleep over when we go their direction.
On Saturday, we toured the Palace: Reggia di Caserta, which is a sister palace to the Palace of Versailles. The entry way is very impressive, but the grand staircase, where the Lord and Lady of the Palace greeted their guests, is amazing. In true Will fashion, the “hat” pictures by the lion are some of my favorites. The hat belonged to Elder Warner, but Will had a lot of fun with it. We are including several pictures inside and outside the palace. We walked for two hours to see all the rooms on one floor inside. The rooms are full of murals, framed paintings, some period furniture, and some tapestry. There was even a theatre room. In it was a huge display for the Nativity. At first it really seemed overdone, but when you realized that the artists’ intention was to show everything else that was going on at the time of the birth of Christ, the congestion made more sense. This display – behind glass – filled the entire room.
The grounds were equally impressive, stretching toward the mountain about 1 km away. They included huge lawns, treed areas, statues, fountains, fish ponds, bridges, and a waterfall coming down the mountain at the end.
For all the grandness, it is all about show and not so much about comfort. We sure live a different lifestyle nowadays.
We have decided that Napoli is not our favorite spot in Italy. It is a dirty city and the air quality is horrible as they constantly burn their garbage, making the air smell smoky and you never really see the sun. Between the garbage everywhere and the graffiti, Italy leaves something to be desired in cleanliness. We are grateful we live in Rome. There is more to see here and the air and water are much cleaner.
We are sitting in on investigator’s discussions, trying to understand the Italian, and bearing testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel occasionally when the spirit guides us that direction. The work we are doing here is absorbing and varied, and that keeps life interesting. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true! We love to be working for the Lord in his vineyard.