Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Early Birthday America

Salut Maman!

Glad to hear that the summer activities are continuing to roll forth and that preparations for the wedding are still running "smoothly." It makes me happy and upset at the same time that y'all are still enjoying Sr. Sol without me and introducing more people to that place. We seriously deserve to have part ownership...

Also ALEX JOYNER!!!!!! I'M SO STOKED FOR YOU GOING TO CALIFORNIA SANTA ROSA!! You are gonna love it, even if you are speaking Spanish instead of French ;) seriously, j'ai besoin d'amis qui peuvent me parler egalememt en Francais- Kaitlyn ne compte pas... En tout cas, it seems like Kaitlyn and Alex are enjoying their week in Utah- tell Grandma Ritz I love her!!!

So for our week- it has been absolutely crazy. We had to go to Montreal for another meeting for the trainers and greenies which was great! I also saw Elder Herring (Hershel) from my old MTC district which was great! I love that punk. Wednesday was also basically Quebec's 4th of July- St Jean Baptiste. It was pretty crazy here- nobody worked and they had a lot of activities going on. It's kinda funny how Canada independence really isn't even celebrated here- which is just in a few days. Instead, everyone just moves. Literally- half of Quebec moves on July 1st/ this time of the year. There is tons of furniture just sitting out on the sides of the roads right now and moving trucks are around every corner- I don't understand these Québecois traditions sometimes haha.

I have also really just loved being able to read the Bible particularly in French- there are specific translations that are more accurate to the actual original text than what the English version reveals- kind of interesting how the Joseph Smith Translations match up more identically with what some of the French version says. Which is really cool to think of considering he had no access to those materials at the time.. I really am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to speak another language- it really has helped me understand the scriptures even more so and in a different light. It really is a beautiful thing.

Also, Louise's cancer took another turn for the worse Wednesday evening as she had a bad fall and was unstable at the hospital for a considerable amount of time that night- she is now officially there indefinitely and they have stopped her treatments as the cancer has progressed too far. They aren't giving her much time. We have taken to seeing her every day. We also went to go see her yesterday with a small group of people including the bishop. She had asked for another blessing and wanted me to give it again. Such a powerful experience. There wasn't much space, so I was the only one participating in the blessing. The turn of events this week definitely was not easy to digest; nonetheless, it has yielded some miraculous experiences. We have seen so much love and effort from the side of the members to really support her and help her and her mom through this difficult time. I really have been amazed to see the way that the members just opened their arms to her and started shouldering her burdens one at a time- it has really been one big miracle to see take place along with a ton of little miracles that have happened along the way. She is someone that has really had an impact on me- and this whole experience has strengthened me and changed me in a number of ways- and it has definitely done the same for some of the members as well. It has been just what some of them needed- a way to get engaged and involved to help them overcome their own issues. Truly, it has been marvelous. I have seen such a change in a particular family who has been helping out in any way they can as they just recently overcame their own particular struggles. I couldn't even begin to describe the magnitude of this whole experience that has been occurring over the past few months and continues to roll on today, but I feel such a love for the people here. Louise is an incredible person, and I definitely have been blessed to have been able to play a part in her process of conversion. She always calls me "her missionary" and really- I will forever be grateful for the time that I have been able to spend with her- I will never forget her as long as I live, Marie Hèléne Réna Louise Huard. I look forward to being able to see her again someday completely free of cancer with the same amount of happiness and joy that she has carried all throughout this difficult time, despite everything that is going on. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Y'all, I love this work. The Gospel is the force by which change occurs in lives- it is the ONLY thing that brings everlasting peace in this life. Of that, I am sure, and I can testify of that to each one of you. Have a great week y'all! I love ya!

-Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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