Monday, December 28, 2015

Bonne Année!

Well, the Christmas festivities are over and everyone is now gettin ready for the new year! As well as the late arrival of winter! Don't worry, Canada is back to normal now- there is snow on the ground, it's currently -11 and tomorrow we are expecting some more heaps of snow headed our way! Vive le vent d'hiver!

Obviously it goes without saying that I enjoyed the Christmas skype! So strange to think that I only have one more of those...the time is going by so dang fast! I'm looking forward to putting in some more work with the start of this new year!

Like I told ya'll over Skype, the Christmas devotional for the whole mission was amazing! We had a bunch of different musical numbers and at the end there was a piano/organ duet of "écoutez le chant des anges" (I don't remember the name of that song in English) where we all sang together for the last verse: dang, that was powerful. People were crying everywhere, haha and I was feelin some chills. It was a great experience. Plus, we had some good food thanks to our Costco trip with president... :)) Two biggest things I got out of that devotional: music can have a powerful effect in bringing the spirit and I was reminded again just how Tahitian women can sing...dang. Like I said, our Christmas day consisted of singing/talking to the old folks at that center in the morning, a lot of food, and a visit to an older lady in the hospital. We had a great visit with the lady named Sister Hébert in the hospital- she loved it! It was great to sing for her and just to talk to her. Seriously, there's nothin better to do on a Christmas day than that! We ended our evening with a Haitian feast which I am still recovering from.

We had a great weekend as we have just been going around visiting people that need a little boost during this time of year. Things has been going great as we have continued to meet a lot of people from Cote d'Ivoire recently- one of the families even sang to us after our visit with them :D

Then last night we had dinner with the Levesque family in our ward and brother Levesque gave me his Canada belt! We went home teaching with him Saturday morning, and I saw that he was wearing this sweeeeeeet belt that had the national "Canada" logo on it with designs of the Canadian wildlife around it- I asked him where he got it and he told me where I could go to maybe find one like it. Then, randomly as we are leaving their place he just hands me his belt and gives it to me. Best Christmas present. Hands down. haha. It was pretty sweet! They are such an awesome family and he actually was the bishop in our ward before Bishop Nascimento got called recently.

That's basically been our week. We are looking forward to the new year! 2016 is just around the corner- there definitely are a lot of exciting things in store for the new year and I am looking forward to see what awesome experiences are waiting! I couldn't even begin to put into words just how amazing 2015 has been. It has been a year that I was able to consecrate to the Lord and spend all of my time as a missionary. I have learned so much this past year and have had some amazing/crazy experiences. I am so grateful for the time that I have spent on my mission so far and I am looking forward to maximizing this last bit of time that I have left! We all need to take some time to reflect and ask ourselves what we have learned this past year and what we want to learn next year!

Thank y'all so much for the constant love and encouragement that y'all give to me! Athens II really is the best! We have such a great group of missionaries as well that are out on missions/preparing to serve missions! I am proud to be apart of such a great group of missionaries and such a great ward! Athens pride! Have a bonne année! I'll Talk to y'all again next year!

Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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