Monday, April 27, 2015

Salut le!

Donc,

First off, I swear you tell me that you go to Sr. Sol at least every week- while I am glad that you are still keeping my regular eating schedule of going there, I think it is very cruel to note that I still have not received a freeze dried chimichanga or some green sauce through the mail. You think I'm kidding...

My birthday is next month- just so ya know.

By the way I got your package- thank ya kindly for all the goods that ya gave me- surprisingly, I didn't open the birthday stuff yet. I appreciate the thoughts that you shared with me and thank you dad for the notes- I can always use some extra enlightenment. I couldn't help but laugh when I heard about Andy- I can definitely empathize with him there. Sadly, I never got any special prescriptions to help out with my healing- I think we both know who the pansy is there.

Also, we will be calling y'all for skype at 4 PM on Mother's Day...thought you might want to know that one. Lastly- I'm pretty sure winter is starting again here.... we had our week of summer, and then this past week it shot down again and actually snowed quite a bit. Canada, gotta love it.

I also came unto the realization that I am the "oldest" missionary in our district- every other other missionary here is still a greenie too. That's really weird for me to think about.

This past week started out pretty slow and we had quite a few discouragements as well- Beatriz is wanting to postpone her baptism for sometime after the 12th of May when she has her court date for her kids. It's just been a really stressful process for her. We also just had a lot of things cancel and not work out. We did end up picking up a new investigator though towards the end of the week! His name is Pierre. He is the brother of a member here and we are super excited to be working with him! We started reading a part of the Book of Mormon, and when the word "Christ" came up, he didn't want to say it. You remember how I told you what the Québecois consider cuss words? We are definitely gonna have to work with him haha to get him used to saying "Christ"- obviously we don't take the Lord's name in vain, but here, the Lord's name is considered an actual cuss word. It's kinda sad to see a society where the Lord's name is considered as such. But oh well.

We also helped with a huuuge move on Saturday- it seems like every move that I have done so far on my mission has been to the top floor of an apartment building.

Yesterday, we had a multi stake conference broadcast that was sent out to the entire northeast. We ended up walking with Raphael, a less active, to church to encourage him to go even though his mother was sick. They announced all the temples under construction in the area, but sadly, the Montréal one didn't get a shout out- just the ones in the U.S. You can imagine the people here were happy about that one... It was cool though because Elder Kacher, the speaker at the fireside that we went to with some of our investigators in March, was the first one to speak. He told an incredible story about a man that he knew when he was living out in the middle east for a time. The man grew up Muslim, but then had a great conversion story. He read a letter from the guy and it was crazy to hear him talking about the wars and the airstrike attacks that were going on at the very minute he was writing the letter- the man definitely has a lot of Faith. And how blessed we are to live in a place where we have the freedoms that we do.

A lot of the less active work we do here is involved with single women- all of whom were married at one point or another and things have happened in the past that brought them to where they are today. Quite honestly, some of these ladies have gone through an awful past- partially due to their own decisions and actions and some because of the actions of others. It is absolutely devastating to see sometimes. Some of them are making huge progress in rekindling their testimonies and coming back to church, and others are still having a hard time making the necessary steps. As missionaries, people will use us oftentimes as a buffer in between themselves/their pasts, and coming back to church/talking to their bishops. We do our best to help them out along the path, but in the end, it always comes back to them. Each day, we decide the degree of our discipleship through the choices that we make. We cannot head in two different directions at the same time- we are either moving forward, beyond what is left in the past- or we are not. It really is as simple as that. We are the ones who decide our destination- that is the beautiful part about God's plan for us. We may not always be able to decide what happens to us- but we DO decide how we will react. And through it all, the way that brings true peace is living the Gospel- really there is no other way to find that peace, that everlasting peace. The peace, which comes from the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ- which provides an "anchor for our souls." I love y'all! I love the peace that this Gospel brings, and I love His work! nuff said.

Have an incroyable week y'all,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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