Monday, November 23, 2015

C'est achevé

Well first off- DANG. Dad, that is quite the comeback to say the least...Glad to hear that you are quickly becoming a celebrity with that trophy as well- don't let the glory and fame get to your head...I am also happy because that means deer jerky for Christmas- I expect some care packages coming soon... and yes, by the way I did get your package mama- thank ya kindly. Everything is being enjoyed, rest assured. Also, that is exciting news for Kaitlyn and Alex- wow look at y'all: gettin so cultured.

Our week here was crazy (as they all are so I'm just gonna stop bothering to even mention that fact)- we have 4 people set up for baptisms and are finding more and more people every day- our weeks are basically planned a week in advance- we already know what we will be doing every hour almost of every day of this week. Things are going great here and the temple re dedication was amazing! The cultural celebration was great! It was so cool to see all the different cultures and history of Quebec beautifully represented in the songs and dances. It definitely brought a lot of memories back from the Atlanta celebration a few years ago. The dedication was great as well on Sunday! We went to the first session in the morning- President Eyring, Bishop Caussé and the Salms (temple president and wife) all spoke. It was super cool to be able to hear bishop Caussé speak in his native language as well! After the third session of the dedication was over- we went back to the temple to help move the furniture back in. I got a glimpse of the General Authorities but we didn't get to talk to them, sadly. We had an awesome experience putting all the furniture back as you could tell SUCH a big difference in the temple once it was consecrated. It was so cool! We all just had a bunch of missionaries and guys in suits and ties moving a bunch of heavy and delicate furniture back into the temple. It has been a lot of fun to get to know the group of people that came here to manage and take care of the work being done in the temple. The main guy was from south africa and we got to know him really well- such a cool experience. I also got to see quite a few people from Sherbrooke at the cultural event- it's nice to see that the people there still remember Elder Ritz! I love Sherbrooke so much.

I also got to go on exchanges this week back to Longueuil and a place called Valleyfield this week. It was nice to see some people that I have known for a long time out in Longueuil and we got to spend some time with some Quebecois out in Valleyfield- it's about an hour southwest of montreal. We had to drive through some indian reservations in Chateauguy to get there. The elder there that I went with, Elder Critchlow, is acutally from Tennessee so he enjoyed having another missionary from the south to be able to talk about all things southern.

We are super excited to have a temple reopened here in Montreal! I look forward to being able to go there with the people we are working with soon!

I have also thought a lot about the idea of personal accountability this week as I have been studying it in the church's 12 step program based off of the acoholics anononymous. Seriously, the only way to progress and grow is through accountability: to ourselves, to others, and to the Lord. We need to be in a constant habit of asking ourselves "Am I true?"- in doing so with an honest heart, the Lord will help guide us to where we need to go. Also, it keeps us from falling back into old temptaitons and bad habits. The adversary truly is like a lion, just a Peter states, and would not give up if he knew that anywhere down the road he would have a moment in our weakness to strike. We NEED the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to stand guard and protect ourselves; consequently, we need to be doing everything that is required and everything that is in our power to keep it. If not, we slip...we forget, we fear, we doubt- we give a little bit of space for the adversary to work- which from there is when we fall back into old habits or we find ourselves in situations where we never thought we would be in. It doesn't matter what our intentions were or may have been- if we are not constantly on guard, we are going to feel the effects. It's interesting to see how the Savior describes the 4th generation of nephites just shorty after his visit with them in 3rd nephi 27:32. In his words, "they will sell me" for the things of the world. That really is such a powerful statement from the Savior. We may think of Judas in reading such a statement, but in reality, any one of us is selling our relationship with the Savior if we are letting other things get in the way of or take priority. In the end, we are selling ourselves short and we are restricting our freedom. I love the statement from James E. Talmage that says "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the emobodiment of liberty." How true that is. We need to always stand guard without "casting away our confidence" as Paul says- stay firm in the faith and the testimony that has brought us to this point, and move forward- move on. As we do so- we liberate ourselves. The way to do it? Daily accountability to the Lord. It's a true principle.

I love y'all! Keep on keepin on and have a belle semaine!

Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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