Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Iaorana de Chapel Hill!!!

Hello again!!! And no once again I am not dead, we just had our p day change on us mid week because of Victoria Day/Patriot's Day. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!! As a missionary you kinda forget that you actually have a birthday... Thanks for all of the thoughts/emails this week!

Sooo...

CHAPEL HILL!!!! My new companion/son, Elder Oopa, arrived in Montréal on Tuesday - it turns out that he is from Tahiti!! I ended up with a Tahitian all the same! We had his in field training Wednesday morning and from there we took the bus out to Ottawa. We hit the pavement pretty quick as we had a dinner with Bishop Wagner our first night in the area - things are moving pretty well here and the Ottawa stake has definitely got some good things on track - we are just hoping to lead to some more progression in the ward while we are here this summer!

Elder Oopa is awesome! So our area is basically the suburban areas right outside the east side of the city of Ottawa and a little bit of the area goes into the city. We live in a place called Orlèans, where a large part of the population is french speaking. The whole city is practically bilingual, but the culture out here is definitely more on the English side as opposed to Montreal which is more heavy french influence- it's kinda funny that I am at the end of my mission and I am having to adjust to a different culture now - it really is a weird thought. When I left Montreal, I was told by a member of the office staff, "I'm gonna miss you and your pecan lovin guts!" - that kinda illustrates the relationship we have with our senior couples in the mission office, haha.

Our ward here has both french and English translations and we are working with a couple families in french already - and one of them is Haitian!!!! The Riviere family! They have been investigating the church for about 5 years now so we are hoping to help see them progress in our time here. We also have a philipino recent convert here - his name is Sebastian, he was baptized a few weeks ago and he is 14 years old - he is amazing! We have a car in our area but we also use the Ottawa bus system too.

Elder Oopa is freaking awesome! He's already teaching me some more Tahitian while I am teaching him English - it really is a great experience. I've helped missionaries learn french before, but I've never done it the other way around - it really is cool and it gets me excited to (hopefully) teach at the MTC!

He is a sweet dude with a great sincere desire to love the people and work hard- he's got quite the story. Oh yeah, and he was baptized with his twin brother in January 2015 - HE WAS BAPTIZED WHEN I WAS A MISSIONARY IN SHERBROOKE AND NOW HE IS MY COMPANION!!! Not only that, but he knows Elder Patrick (president Patrick's son) who I was with in the MTC- the patricks couldn't believe his story when he told them and it's pretty crazy how things just work out like that... it's like there's a higher power or somethin...

Seriously though, this guy is probably teaching me more than I am teaching him - I have been humbled a lot of times already just in this past week with him. He's got a great testimony and it's so awesome to be working with him! He's got a lot of new things to get used to with the church, culture, language, and missionary life but he is doing a great job and just taking it day by day!

So yeah, basically we are stoked to be working here in Chapel Hill! The area was never closed down (except for these past 3 weeks) so we got flushed in with already some good things to work with! We look forward to seeing how it goes! Thanks again for all of the love y'all send my way! Oh and thanks for the birthday package mama! Bonne semaine à tous!

Love,

Elder Cody Warren Ritz

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