Monday, June 15, 2015

Tout est bien, tout est bien

Allo!

It's great to hear from everyone! I appreciate the flow of emails every week! It seems like Ryan had a great time at scout camp- glad to see my archery record still stands... my legacy will forever be ingrained at that place. As for dad renting a hotel in his visit there during the week...I don't know if you should be calling anyone wimpy... Also, thanks Ryan for buying me an xbox one :) I can't wait to take that out with me to college when I get back home ;) Oh and watch out for those bears... I'm also glad to see that my face will be all over Kaitlyn and Alex's wedding reception...best decoration you could ever ask for...

As for our week: it's been a busy one. We had our Zone Training meeting on Thursday- which is always great when we get to hear from President Patrick. Seriously, those are like training meetings for life more than anything else. We also had another Baptism yesterday in the ward- 8 year old Emma- we had a huge turn out for that.

Oh and I scratched my cornea again.

For some reason, my eye just feels like getting scratched while I am out here. Seriously, I go all my life without ever really scratching my eye that bad and then as soon as I get out here it happens to me twice over the course of a few months...I can't help but laugh and shake my head at the same time. Only this time, I did not hit a tree branch...I honestly have no idea what did it this time. I think I scratched in while sleeping. Anyway, despite all of that- I pushed through and we had a great weekend. We had a GREAT Sunday yesterday- we had a huge turn out at church especially for the baptism. I have also been called to serve as a counselor in the Young Men's program here- definitely looking forward to that. We already have a close relationship with a lot of the Youth here and I am looking forward to helping them get a push in reaching out to those who aren't making it to church. They are very appreciative of the work we do here: I love my ward here and the people that I am able to serve with. They talk to me all the time of how I really have just become a member here and it really means a lot to be able to work with and connect with the people here.

We have also been working a lot with the Elder's Quorum presidency to reach out to Priesthood holders who are no longer coming to church and we have seen some good success already come out of it! The Elder's Quorum president here is on fire- he and his family were less active for a long time and just recently started returning within the past few years and have become one of the strongest families in the ward. He is inspiring and he knows how to make efforts to reach out to those in need.

Louise's health is continuing to drop as the cancer is spreading more and more throughout her body- she received some bad news this week and it is looking more and more like she will be staying in the hospital indefinitely. We are continuing to pray for the best with her- despite her condition, she is staying in high spirits and is doing a bit of her own missionary work. That woman is an inspiration. Every time we see her we just leave feeling uplifted and her favorite Hymn to sing is "Come, Come Ye Saints"- I love it's translation in French and the hymn has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I have met her.

John, the ward mission leader, gave us an update on Elder Perry's funeral this past week. He told us about his last words which expressed the importance of the Sacrament, particularly in the way that we take it. He said a lot of the problems would be solved if people would really take the time for introspection that the Sacrament gives us: a time to think about where we are at, think about where we are going, and what we need to do to get there, to improve, and to keep moving forward. That is something that hit me, as well as a quote that John always says: "I didn't join this church for half the blessings."

Really, to me, I find that profound- and it's definitely a John statement. There is a quote in Preach my Gospel for Elder Ballard that says "True Doctrine understands, as well as changes attitudes and behaviors. The study of doctrine will change behavior more quickly than a study of behavior will change behavior." Doctrine never changes, but our understanding of it is able to deepen as we live the principles and apply them into our daily lives. It's through the understanding of doctrine and principles that we gain a testimony of these things. We begin to see the effects. And as we apply them in our lives, we become converted. Conversion is when we live according to the testimony that we have received. And if there is something that we are doing that is contrary to that testimony- then there is a misunderstanding somewhere in the doctrine. Something in the fundamentals that we are missing or that has become weak. The Doctrine of Christ, supplies us with that foundation.

We have to continue to live according to the light and knowledge that has been given to us in order to receive more- and in order to help others receive more in the process. I love this work. I love this Gospel. I love the people here. I love y'all. Joyeuse Fete Des Pères Dad!

Tiggidoo y'all, bonne semain!

Love,

Elder Coday Warren Ritz

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