Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week Two

Bonjour Famille!

Thank you for all the emails and information regarding the Georgia football season (Andy you are a lifesaver). I wish I could reply to everyone individually, but that is kind of hard to do here at the MTC. It's so nice to hear from home though, and hear that everything is going well! I got your package mom, and I do very much appreciate it! I will enjoy while they last for the next four weeks before I get into Canada. And by the way, my last day of service is July 19th, 2016. Thought y'all might like to know that. It could be a little bit earlier though based on transfers, but we'll just have to see I guess. This past week has involved a lot of hard work (as always), but I'm really getting into the groove of things. The French is coming along very well; I can already understand it a LOT better than before. It's just the speaking part that is going to take a little longer. I'll have to ask what part of Oregon my teacher is from. It's so cool to meet so many French people and teachers from all over the world! In my zone, we have teachers from Tahiti, Haiti, South Africa, Spain, and France. So many cool stories and experiences. I wish I could share them all. Kaitlyn, you should be very jealous.

Some missionaries just left for France a few days ago, which means we are getting some newbies this Wednesday. I'm just really grateful I'm not one of the Elders going to Tahiti...it would be so cool to go there and basically wear sandals every day, but they stay here for 12 weeks and have to learn French AND Tahitian...that's some strenuous work right there. I'm already itching to get out to Montréal.

This Sunday for the devotional I was able to be an Usher, so I had a really good seat and ended up sitting behind Dalin H. Oaks' grandchildren and wife. He wasn't there, but his daughter spoke. She's an extremely accomplished and well known violinist apparently--which I had no idea. But she had a program set out to where she talked and played the violin with her four children. The kids were young, and it was so cool! The little 7 year old boy played guitar, and the other three girls played piano, cello, and violin. It was sooooo neat to be sitting right there beside them up close and watching them play all these hymns and other various songs together. The program was amazing, and afterwards, I went up to the little boy and gave him a high five and told him that I play guitar too and that he did great! At one point he realized he was being recorded on the big screen and started waving and making faces...it was pretty funny. Tonight for our Tuesday devotional, we are apparently being visited by an apostle. We'll see who it is. Luckily I'll be getting some pretty good seats thanks to choir.

Everything is going just swimmingly here, though. I really get along with everyone, especially my companion. Thank goodness my first one is someone who is about as sarcastic as I am and enjoys a good laugh. People are very aware of my Georgia pride here and ask me about it all the time along with the other Elder from Georgia. It's so neat meeting all these people from around the world and just being able to talk to them. The Asian elders here are something else...they are hilarious and so fun to talk to and joke around with. That being said, I am certainly working hard out here as well. It's all about finding that balance between work and having fun to stay sane. I am enjoying it, and am happy to say that I have not gained any weight from the food here. It really isn't THAT good...

I didn't know I could see Riley on Tuesdays. I haven't seen anybody. Though, Dayne and Elise were kind enough to drop off a package of cake bites for me, which I was happy to receive. Tell Riley's mom to tell him to have him meet me there next Tuesday. Send me an email telling me where he'll be or something. It'd be great to see him. Out here, mostly everyone knows each other, so it'll be nice to see some that I actually recognize haha.

Yes mother, I finally figured out how to get the pictures on here...you're welcome. I had to buy an SD card converter from the bookstore. Anyway, I got it and I've only taken a few so far haha but here are a few(some are from my companion's camera). I'll send a few more separate from this email.

Hope all goes well down south this next week! I love and miss you all!

-Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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