I hope you all are doing great! It sounds like you are :) Abby and Mom I am jealous that you got to go to New York, but I'm glad you had a great time and that it was a great birthday present! Thanks so much for the package! Everything in it is great! Thanks so much for the watch! It is much nicer than I expected and I was very happy to find out it was waterproof up to 200 M deep! I am wearing it now and am very glad to have another one! I also love the other things you sent and will use them! :) Abby thanks so much for your letter. It was fun to read and the same for your postcard. What show on Broadway did you see, if you saw one? Estee, thanks so much for the card you sent me! I loved it! I liked how it was a lovely butterfly card and I liked the stamp decorations on the outside of the envelope! I miss you all too and we will have a huge party when I get back I'm sure. You may be interested to know that I have eaten none of the candy from the first package you sent me, so I am thinking it will be good for snacks on the plane!
Ok, so highlights of this week:
First, I would like to give you a little update of how much reading and studying I have been able to get done in the month at the MTC. I have read and studied all of 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Jacob, and then all those little books in the Book of Mormon and I am just starting Mosiah. I am really going deep and have learned so much. I've also been marking as I go and it is fun to go back and read my markings. I've also read and studied the Book of Moses in the same way and I've read Our Heritage, which is a very interesting history of the church. I really liked the last 5 chapters of 2 Nephi and if you want something spiritual to read this week, you should think about reading and studying those chapters!
Last week we got to host the new missionaries! It was so much fun! I tried to be really friendly and nice to them and two of them (their families) took pictures of us together. I met a guy from France who was going to Madagascar. He was a really cool guy but I won't see him again because he is on the West Campus. In total I was able to host 4 missionaries and I really liked trying to make their introduction to the MTC fun. This week we host again. My companion and I were chosen to be the traffic directors so that should also be fun!
Last Thursday we got our travel plans! I am so excited to finally be going to Sweden/Sverige! We leave Monday morning!! We have a 3 hour layover in Detroit and then we fly to Amsterdam and then to Stockholm!
I am allowed to call you at the airport and I am thinking the most ideal time for me to call you would be in Detroit. Let me know what time I can call. Also this week I will be able to briefly email on Saturday so just email me what you think I should do and what time will work for all of you. I can't wait to go to Sweden and to hear from all of you!
In basketball this week I just wanted to tell you I have been having a lot of fun! One kid gave me the nickname of "Big Blue" because I play bigger than I am and am always wearing a Michigan shirt.
This week I found out how to access my family tree and I did lots of research and determined that both Mom and Dad have lots of English ancestors! I have more English than anything else. But I also found out I'm basically a mutt, our ancestors came from many different countries and most are English, Swiss, Swedish, and Danish. I was surprised at how many had been in America for a very long time on both sides. Also, I found out that I am a direct descendant of Erastus Snow, an early apostle of the church and someone that went on a ton of missions! He actually helped organize the first church branch in Scandinavia, in Denmark. He actually has a building named after him here in the MTC! You all should read about him. He spent some time at Liberty Jail with Joseph Smith and his life is a crazy story.
Also could one of you find the story in I think one of the Holmstead's family history books for a story about one of our ancestors who saw an angel come immediately after the death of Joseph Smith to the mob that killed him. Could you send me a copy of the story if you find it? Thanks :)
I have met a few guys going to Denmark/Belgium who went to Sky View and just graduated and know Jenessa and one of them knew Josh. One of them is Elder Hill and the other is Elder Lindstrom or something like that. Anyway, you will have to tell Blotters.
Lastly, I have seen Elder Ipsen from our ward a few times and I think he is doing good. He's fun to talk to. He told me that he found out that the way he gets to Mozambique is this: They leave and fly to South Africa and then have a 600 mile bus trip to Mozambique! Crazy! I'm glad I just have 2 layovers!
Hope you are all doing well and ask me any questions about the MTC! Dad, if you're not too busy, keep up the sport news, but I completely understand if you can't do it every week or even every month. Love you all and miss you and tell me the new things that are happening! When does school start? Love you all so much!
Elder Ward :)