You might try this:
Hi! How is it going? I hope you are okay. Have you started your project? I bet you have! Good luck!
Well, you asked me to drop a line from the UK. Iím in Manchester with Paul Smith. You remember him, my pen pal? He is 18 now and is a student. I met him on an internet forum. We have the same hobby: computer games. Paul is a good player.
Iím staying at the Smithsí home. Paul is an only child and he lives with his parents, Gary and Emma. They are very polite to me! And they are so young for parents! Gary is 40 and Emma is 38, and they both are teachers.
By the way, a few words about Manchester. Nice city! I am really enjoying it here because of the city's special spirit. Paul has shown me many wonderful places. He is interested in the history of Manchester and tells a lot of entertaining stories.
Thatís all my news, but one last thing: Dean, could you tell me about our football team? Has it managed to reach the semifinal? I hope you will write me back about that.
I miss you Dean. Best wishes!
I tried to keep your tone the same. Hope this helps!