Monday, September 29, 2014

Je suis Canadien!

Salut!!!

It is soooo nice to hear from everyone! I love hearing about everything back home! First off, the charger never worked mom. I just used up both batteries and it doesn't work.

This week has been great! We are slowly getting adjusted to our new area. Norman and I are teaching an English class now every Friday. Going there makes me feel so much better. I see these people who are also trying to learn a new language, one that I know well, and it just lets me know that I'm not alone, haha. They are so nice and it really helps me with my french as well. Also, hopefully the Montrèal temple with be finished by this time next year, that will be really exciting if I get to help with the touring process and all that. And it could be great for investigators of the church! We'll see!

Just to give you an idea of how diverse this place is- these are all the countries the people are from that we have met this past week...

USA/Hawaii (obviously)

Canada (obvious again)

Vietnam

China

Chilè

France

Belgium

Switzerland

Taiwan

Mexico

Ireland

Tahiti

Congo

Haiti

Italy

Morocco

Nigeria

Columbia

Saudi Arabia

India

Jamaica

Indonesia

Egypt

Liberia

Rwanda

Dominican Republic

England

The diversity is amazing, but it can also be quite a challenge at the same time. People will react differently to different things, and even though French is the primary language, there are another 70 something languages spoken here. Sister Patrick says that is why they send the brightest and best missionaries here ;)

But really, As for winter clothes, I need to get stuff here. We have had some nice weather this past week, but in the next month apparently the winter is gonna hit hard like it usually does. The clothes we got in Utah aren't good enough. I'm hearing a lot of winter horror stories, and when people hear that I am from the south part of the U.S and that it is my first winter here, they feel pity for me. We'll see how it goes, haha. Right now, the weather is lovely though. The food here, is sooooooooooo good. So many different cultures, so you can pretty much get anything. And we have had a few African and Haitian families cook for us and it was absolutely divine. They are so nice to us, and so accepting. Such a kind, God loving people. I also had poutine, the staple food here with fries and gravy, it was pretty dang good. It's interesting to see all the different types of food here. We also had a special conference on Thursday with Elder Carlson from the seventy and his wife along with the mission president and his wife. There were about 100 missionaries there as well. And they had two missionaries speak that they called up right then and there to talk about being a consecrated missionary. One was a sister, and the other one-me. It went really well! I kinda had a feeling I was gonna talk the day before as I was preparing notes on the topic, and it was confirmed when I saw Elder Carlson and President Patrick staring dead at me before they called out the two missionaries haha.

This definitely has been the most humbling experience of my life thus far. Coming to a foreign place and speaking a foreign language is not always easy. And it is very humbling to have to speak to people so simply, especially about things that you could explain so much better in English. however, that's the beauty of it. The gospel really is simple, and things don't need to be explained in grand detail. I am constantly learning more every day about what it really means to consecrate yourself as a missionary. Worthiness, willingness, and work. That is what is required of us. After we do all that we can do, the lord will consecrate our performance for our good, which in turn, allows us to become sanctified in our work. I wish I could talk about it more and just give y'all my talk, but I don't have the time. I really am learning just what is required of us, and how important members are in missionary work. The work is evolving, that is what "hastening the work" is all about. Its a new generation of missionary work-one in which the members play as big a role as the missionaries themselves. The work really is not possible without the help of the members, and I see that more now than I ever did before.

I love the people here. plain and simple. I love the work. And I love y'all. I am always grateful for the great support I have back home!

Also, I am finally sending some pictures. I'll send a few more too, but these are of me and Elder Norman with President Patrick and his wife. And one more of me on Mt. Royal. Until next week!

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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