Monday, March 7, 2016

Petit à Petit

Here we are at the beginning of another wonderful week! We've gotten quite a few inches of snow so far this morning so winter just felt like giving a little reminder that it's not quite done yet. However, we have been enjoying some much warmer weather as of late, which you KNOW I ain't complaining about.

It seems like y'all had quite the weekend with Seth's party, I can't believe that little punk is already 9 years old...dang. What the heck happened? Speaking of age, I'm beginning to feel a bit old as well now that I've passed my 20 month mark on my mission this past week...definitely a bit of a weird feeling. That general store looked pretty sweet too...I hope Ryan didn't get too scared from all those Bigfoot masks... ;)

We had a pretty great week as we saw some pretty sweet things happen as the Lord continues to guide us where we need to be. We just got a new office couple in the mission, The Larsons, that are now working there with the other couple, The Hatfields. The Larsons got assigned to our ward as well which is pretty sweet! So right now, we have a set of elders, two sets of sisters, a senior couple, and president patrick and his family in our ward. It's a ward of missionaries! Seriously though, we are super excited with our recent increase in missionaries in our ward- there is SO MUCH potential through the less actives in this ward that we have already started to see, and we definitely are blessed with a great amount of resources at our disposal! This past week we went out to do some visits with our ward mission leader and our last visit was a pass by that turned out to be an answer to a prayer of this one less active who is looking for change. It was crazy as he was explaining to us his situation- such a tender moment with the spirit. He has yet to receive the priesthood and also has a girlfriend who is not a member- they both came to church on sunday! We were stoked about that! We also found a long lost less active this week who wants us to start teaching his family (he is the only member in his family). Seriously, we got some exciting things going on in this ward!

This next week we have our zone training meeting as well as transfer planning for the next transfer which starts next week. I will most likely be staying in Ville Marie one more transfer before my last assignment for my last two transfers... so crazy to think about. I've learned SO much in my time here so far, especially when it comes to the balance between ministration and administration. A lot of times I feel like President is the owner of a company and we are working as his CEO's, haha which has it's pros and cons. Luckily, the business of saving souls is a rewarding enterprise.

There's a talk given by Elder Bednar called "The Atonement and the Journery of Mortality"- it's a great talk that I studied at the beginning of my mission and one that I recently looked at again and saw it in a very different way. He touches on the idea of grace, or "enabling power" that the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives to us. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is for everyone, not just sinners. I'll just share a little insight that I got from Mosiah 3:19, one of my favorite passages of scripture. Last time I talked about this scripture, I talked about the process of "becoming a saint"- after some recent studies I realized that there are 2 processes that are listed in this scripture. The first, "putting of the natural man". The process of becoming "Justified" through the gospel of Jesus Christ or retaining the remission of sins is the process of putting of the natural man. It is what we receive in having faith in Christ, repenting, and being baptized (the process that we go through every week in taking the sacrament.) Putting off the natural man is the process of "justifying ourselves" through his gospel. "Becoming a saint" is the second process that takes effect once we are justified. Becoming holy, or "a saint" is a process of sanctification which comes only after one has become clean of his sins and has been purified by the reception of the holy ghost- that's where the holy ghost has a cleansing effect in our lives- that's when we become pure. We see examples of this in the scriptures as people consecrated themselves to the lord and literally lost the desire to sin. We can't be pure without first being clean- just like we don't stop having faith in Christ and repenting once we are baptized and receive the gift of the holy ghost.

So what does that have to do with us? The gospel is the power of salvation to all of those that believe and follow Jesus Christ. The Gospel makes "bad men good, and good men better." Wherever we are at in our lives, we always have need of the Atonement to help us move forward and become just a little bit better,a little bit more consecrated, a little bit more righteous, a little bit more patient, a little bit more charitable. We can only get so far on our own efforts- and our own "grit" will never be good enough to get us there in the end. Thankfully, we are not alone and we have a Savior that has shown us the way and will help us get there- petit à petit.

Thanks for emails y'all! Keep makin me proud and enjoy the warm weather!

Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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