I love you a ton mom and I miss you a lot but the best part about learning Dutch is that I feel like I'm getting back to the family heritage. Thank you for sending me that family history info from your cousin in Florida. I will have to send them a postcard from Suriname once I figure out the mail system. I'm excited to finally get on my mission regardless of how unprepared I feel! Today I did an endowment and in the Celestial room I said my prayer in Dutch, it was an awesome feeling, everything I wanted to say I had just pop in my head. My grammar wasn't the best but the words were there. It's starting to sink in that this is going to be quite the journey, my favorite teacher, Brother Norton, one of the biggest studs I've ever met, went to Suriname as well. On his last day for the last half hour, he showed us pictures of his mission in Suriname, it was really cool and is lot prettier than I thought. He also showed a picture of a man with a cigarette in his mouth and a birdcage in his other hand. In Suriname, every Sunday at around 10 am on the buses, people bet on songbird vs songbird, they put the two cages together and have them sing against each other. As they begin to "duke it out" someone keeps track of how they're doing, by the end of it someone decides who won based on the songs against each other, it was pretty funny to hear about.
The pictures you sent me made me laugh and miss them all! The cousins are so cute and I wish I could be there for it! Jeremy and Courtney have grown since we last saw them. Seeing the picture of the Cribbs makes me wonder how they're doing and missing them too! Also, how's Chambray? Seeing the boys helping Uncle David made me laugh quite a bit and it was cool to see them! I was looking at the picture of them at the waterpark and one of the two sisters in my district, Sister Jorgenson, asked, pointing at Cole, if that was one of my brothers. I told her yes and I said, "You can really see where he gets it, huh?" We had some laughs over that, the sisters are really cool. When we first got here 3 of the missionaries in our district were in relationships, Elder Lewis, Sister Ashcraft and Sister Jorgenson; Now Sister Jorgenson got a "Dear Jane" and her mom sent her a get better kit, it even came with a pinata with her ex's face on it! Elder Lewis broke off with his because he figured it was better not worry about it on the mission and Sister Ashcraft is ending because she dated the guy for two weeks before he left, he talks about marriage a lot and he said "I love you" over email to her! We did a pros and cons list of him but she already made up her mind, we all agreed with her but it was just fun to do and it made her laugh a lot! I'm excited to finally leave the MTC but part of me is going to miss it. On Monday we had to help the Senior Missionaries as they arrived here, it was pouring rain and it was pretty awesome! My companions and two other Dutch Elders and myself volunteered for the job of leading them from their cars into the building, we had umbrella's and would run over to help them. Mostly my shoulders and my hair got wet but it was fine, my toes got a little wet but it wasn't anything bad, to think that where I'm going it's like this all the time! Sometimes I entertain the thought of changing my last name to "Vandeventer" or "Van Hardy" I like the first one more though! Just a thought! I miss all of you so much! I also got to see an apostle last night, President Nelson of the 12! It was broadcasted to all the other MTC's and we were in the stands singing in the choir, the director is really cool, he got here near the end of my 5th week but at least he came! I got a newspaper the other day and in the sports section it said that the Red Sox weren't doing that hot, give Sean my condolences!
Love you lots,