This morning he got to call us again for that traditional farewell chat, and that was satisfying for us since we've missed him so much this last month. He reports that he worked really well with his MTC companion (Elder Black); even though they came from radically different backgrounds and worldviews, they bonded over their responsibilities in the MTC and became great friends. He also made friends with other missionaries going to Montana and connected on a fun level with a couple elders going to his own mission. He reports that he learned a ton while in the MTC about getting along with people and living the Gospel in a way that is authentic and sincere.
Now that he's finally on his way to Louisiana, he's excited about immersing himself in a new culture and learning quickly to love and serve the people. His testimony has been strengthened by all the scripture study he's done in the MTC and he's eager now to move beyond classroom experiences and role-playing to the real thing. He's also excited about the warmer weather he's heading into (temp in the 60s right now down there!). One fun idea he has is to carry note cards with him throughout his mission to collect fun recipes from members and others that he can learn to cook himself or share when he gets home. He started cooking quite a bit during his this last year and anticipates that this will be something he enjoys throughout his mission and beyond.
We're so excited for him and can't wait to get his first letter from the mission field. We'll share it on here when it arrives.