Monday, October 6, 2014

Greetings from Antarctica!

Bonjour ma belle mère,

This place is way too cold already. I am missing the warmth of Georgia. As for winter clothes, I think we are going to get the boots, coat, etc. in a few weeks so not quite yet. And no, I still have my Georgia license as well. I don't think I need any more money for the winter clothes. It was nice to listen to conference this weekend as well, made me feel a little closer to home. And Elder Holland was wonderful as usual. I am going to start writing you a letter this week and hopefully send that out soon. As for the camera, the sooner the better. The charger just stopped working, so I don't have any way to take pictures. Warms my heart to hear that the Dawgs are doing well, too, and that South Carolina lost another game. Things are as they should be down in the south. I appreciate the sports news, Andy, and as for packages- I'll think of what stuff I may need over this next week and tell y'all next Monday. Also, I love the diva pics mom... and it's great to hear that dad's travels are going well!

This past week we have been doing a lot of finding. We are trying to come up with different ways to reach out and help the community. There was a blood drive the other day, and we gave a good amount of service this week. The English class is full of non-members as well, so that has been a great way to leave a positive light on the church in the area. This weekend we helped a lady in our ward move from the top floor of one apartment to the top floor of another apartment-- easily the hardest move I have ever done, hands down. And it was in the antarctic rain as well, so as you can imagine...I enjoyed every minute of it. Haha, no but it was great and afterwards she called us "Mes anges" - My angels- which is always nice to hear.

Also, growing up around people that knew me and my last name, I haven't really heard many of the "Ritz" last name jokes in quite some time until I left for my mission... I get them all the time now, especially because I wear my last name on my shirt. I am always getting "oooh Ritz, commes les biscuits?" or Carlton references. I thought I had heard the end of those... No but really it's great, and makes for easy conversation, which I need all the help I can get with that right now when it comes to French. People always enjoy asking me about the South as well when they hear I am from Georgia. I usually end up disappointing them though, because sadly, I do not own a farm or play the banjo. I am doing my best to educate people up here about southern ways.

Also, I have seen Sister Bybee EVERYWHERE on these "I am a Mormon" cards, posters, and brochures. I had no idea until I came to the MTC and had to do a double take because I saw her on a poster. Plus she is on the cards that we pass out to people we meet. Were you aware of this? Because I had not the slightest idea.

Also, I love Geraldine and her family! They are all so nice, and they really have a great desire to be baptized. The only problem is that her husband is still in Nigeria right now and doesn't want them to get baptized in the church because he has not even heard of it. We are sending missionaries to his house via referral and apparently he is excited to meet them as he and Geraldine have been talking on the phone more about the church. Also, we may even get to Skype him with Geraldine and her family at some point and do a missionary lesson to him via Skype. That would be so cool! Hopefully everything works out! I just love the people here.

The Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday too! Its weird to think that the holiday season is getting started. These past two months have really been a rush for the most part. The days really do feel like weeks but the weeks really do feel like days. I am loving this opportunity every day, and hope that I can continue to learn and grow the way that I have. I am really learning the importance of hard work out here, and like I mentioned last week- hard work really is the best way for us to resist temptation- become sanctified in what we do. It especially applies to missionaries, but in all aspects of life as well. I love ya'll! I appreciate every letter, every package, every email. It's hard to reply to all, but really I can't express how much strength I gain from the love and support. Give the people of Athens my best. And Alex Joyner, punch Nathan and David a couple of times for me.

À la semaine prochaine!

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

(Todd Gurley for Heisman) Go Dawgs...

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