Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One week down...

BONJOUR TOUT LE MONDE!

Yes mother, I want to apologize for taking longer than expected on my first response. My p-days are actually on Tuesdays as opposed to Mondays. And by the way, I got the belt and the goodies-much appreciated. It's so nice to hear from everyone! I was so excited to finally be able to check my email after being here for about a week. Even though I wasn't able to go to the Falcons training camp with Andy... I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. The MTC...what a rush. Every single moment of each day is planned out, I know exactly where I'm going to be and when I'm going to be there. It's hard work, with basically no down time whatsoever except for P days. It's challenging, but I already feel like I am learning a lot, ESPECIALLY in French! Watch out Kaitlyn... I'm already saying prayers, teaching lessons, and bearing simple testimonies in French. Also, after just a day and a half here, I was made district leader...which just adds to the level of responsibility and things on the list to do; however, I'm doing my best and feel as if everything is going pretty well. The food is pretty good, I'm eating well and exercising as much as I can which is to be expected. My companion's name is Elder Lloyd-which I thought was kinda funny- and we get along very well. We have a similar sense of humor and we try to make the experience fun for everyone. I think this has been the most productive week of my entire life so far...y'all should be very proud. There are wayyyyyyy too many Utah people here. Which goes without saying I guess, but they act as if the south is a foreign world. And their understanding of football is very limited. And they always point out when I say "y'all." Nevertheless, I get along with everyone nicely and am enjoying the experience so far. There are 5 other elders and 4 sisters in my district- all from Utah except 3. One sister from Hawaii, another from Kansas, and an Elder from Arizona. We all get along well, and I feel very confident moving forward. Sunday was pretty interesting, my first sacrament meeting away from home in a while; plus, I had a Branch council meeting, Leadership meeting and two interviews. The Sunday Evening Devotional was great too, we had to set up the entire gym on saturday night for it...soooooo many Elders and Sister's to fit into that place. I also went to choir practice and the choir director has a really good understanding of all the Hymns and tells great stories so it was a good time. Sunday night, we also watched a video of a Devotional Elder Bednar gave in the MTC on Christmas Day a few years back called "The Character of Christ." Probably the best talk I have ever heard. It's about an hour long. Mom, I know you would Love it. Today I also got to go to the temple for the second time here in Provo and I enjoyed that as well. I'm representing Georgia well all the way out here in Utah; there is ONE other Elder here from Georgia: he is basically already my brother. We're always telling everyone who asks about the South. When I told my zone leaders what Dad does for a living they gave me a weird look and asked "what? what's poultry science?" Don't worry dad, I gave them a proper explanation. It's just very different out here which I expected. There was a funny joke someone told me that said: "the only difference between a prison and the MTC is that you can get visitors in prison." I thought that was pretty funny, because it's kinda true. I'm already itching to get to Montreal, but I know I gotta work hard these next five weeks. The French training is quite rigorous, and the RM who is teaching it is actually from Oregon (I thought you would like to know that). I have taken a few pictures, but the computer here doesn't have an sd card insert so I can't attach anything quite yet. Might have to wait until I get into Montreal. Apparently, some Elders who went there for their mission got to ride snow mobiles when they went far up north. How cool would that be? However, most people are saying that we typically stay within about 100 miles of the city. Either way, I'm excited to get out there! And yes, I am being diligent in my journal taking so as to get as much from this whole experience as possible. There are so many little things I wish I had the time to tell you all about, but oh well. Oh and apparently I can call you while I'm at the airport in Montreal if I get a pre paid phone card so I'll do that and let you know the details of everything when I find out more. Anyway, everything is going great! It's hard work, but I can handle it. I'm still trying to get used to calling everyone "Elder" and "Sister." Anyway, I'm enjoying every minute of it and I think about you guys often. I already got a letter in the mail from little Sierra today too! That just made me so happy to get that! Any mail is much appreciated and I will do my best to reply and send mail as often as I can. Once I get to montreal things won't be quite as hectic and rushed as far as keeping in contact with everyone. I hope all is going well in Georgia, tell everyone I love them, and miss them. I am looking forward to another wonderful week at this paradise known as the MTC...I'll let y'all know how it goes soon enough! Au revoir!

Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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