January 1, 2013

sorry about the bad spelling and all but we only have so much time and that is also why it is better to send by dear elder so I can read them during the week.  elder hales is my companion he is also going to benin and both davis and karras are going to lyon.  then we have 3 sisters in our district sister busteed from ut going to the st george visitors center speaking french, then sister eschbach from germany going to lyon, then sister sims from ut going to lyon. 

Christmas was good. elder nelson came and spoke in the morning, then we had greg olson come during the afternoon.  that was really cool. he got to talk about what his paintings mean and subtle symbolism in them and also he knows the savior really well because basically his full time job is to think of what is the best way to portray His characteristics to others.  pretty cool guy.  also we had a talent show with some pretty amazing stuff and we watched its a wonderful life at night. 

yes i have been getting dear elder stuff.  none from benjamin yet but i've got some from emma and nathan.  nathan you better win and don't give up 'til you do and emma you're great. i know who you're talking about, his first name is skyler.  i know who he is and have seen him a few times. 

has it snowed a lot in af, cuz down here we have like 8 inches to a foot. it's pretty crazy.  also yesterday was elder marson's birthday - he turned 19.  he is from england if i didn't say that before.  we celebrated with martinellis in the classroom. 

i don't need that orange book. we have it here as well as enough books to fill a suitcase full.  french is coming along good.  I am remembering a lot and doing well.  I can talk with the elders that have been here 9 weeks and am getting close to their level.  I still hope i can leave in 2 more weeks but I haven't heard for sure.  there is a picture of the elders in my room all in one of the closets that i'll send and also i'm going to try and send the rice man we made at lunch. 

emma some of the food is good ish and some is not really good.  nothing as good as moms.  we listened to elder bednar's talk, the character of christ, last night after our devotional.  that is a really great talk.  I wrote some letters to my buddies but i don't have any of their addresses besides reggie so i'll send them home and then you can give them to them.  also i said i was going to send home a package with some small christmas stuff, but the mail room wasn't open last week and it isn't open today and they only want us to mail on our pday so i'll send it tommorow. 

oh i don't know if you got a letter or not but i was made district leader a couple of days after i got here.  doesn't really mean too much here i just do some extra stuff and go to some meetings, but if they didn't tell you now you know.  I'll be switched out about half way through they said.  the schedule is getting better, we are more used to the long days.  we spend around 10 hours in our classroom every day then like an hour and a half in the cafeteria and a little time in our room right after we get up and before we go to bed, but mostly we are in the tiny classroom.  probably the same ones benjamin was in because i was deleting some of his pictures and they looked exactly the same as ours and we have the creole elders down the hall, but i don't know.  I'm working hard and already want to leave for africa, but i have to be patient. the Lord knows what's best for me and everyone, so if he needs me to stay i'll stay.  love you all.  well my computer is being dumb so i'll send pictures when i can.  good luck in school this semester. 

love Elder Rybin