7/21/2014 - Busy day - short letter

Hey Family!

this week has been a little hectic but good.  it feels like last monday was three weeks ago.  our secteur [area] is really progressing well.  we don't have enough time to spend working in our own secteur but if we did it would be exploding.  we have a really strong relationship with the members here in our branch and that is helping us so much.  primary was great yesterday.  i missed it last week in togo.

Elder Ringle is now in my apartment with elder Diallo.  he is from logan ut. elder ritchie [Elder Rybin's companion that just left to go home] grew up in michigan but lives in salt lake-ish area.  i gave him some stuff that he brought home with him that i bought here so he'll probably send that or come by or something.  i don't know.  i'm not sure when his homecoming is either.

Hey family sorry for the weird letter but i have to go now.  need to do some stuff with the presidento!

Elder Rybin

7/14/2014 - President Morin's trip to Togo, big transfer time

Hey family!

Before I forget I just got a letter from Elder Carter Payne my friend who is serving in Madagascar and he attached a picture of him and elder Ravelojoana!  I had told them to look for each other but it was on a split working with a member that they met up.  What a small world huh?

anyways, this week was a little crazy.  we had a long trip to Togo.  we got back late last night, but all in all it was a successful trip.  we had to stay over sunday so i didn’t get to be with my primary.  i heard things were a little rougher than usual in the garage this week haha.  tomorrow again we are heading out to Togo for a transfer.  we are bringing a couple missionaries including elder Hales back into Togo.  then on wednesday morning we are bringing some back into Benin.  we have a lot of missionaries leaving this week.  Elder Ritchie is leaving tomorrow so we are dropping him off in the bureau before heading out into Togo.  There are also Elder Lemaire, Lala, Sery, Digbe, Kouadio, Gomun, and Gnenenon that are leaving all on this friday.  I think that you know almost all of them.  obviously you know elder Gnenenon and Elder Digbe because they were both my companions but also Lemaire lives in our apartment right now and was companions with Hales before.  i lived with Gomun and Sery, both were companions of Elder Hales at the beginning of our missions.  It is going to be a little weird saying goodbye to all of these missionaries.  

This past week in Togo i took the sacrament for the first time (i think) in my life not on a sunday.  President did a special sacrament meeting with all the missionaries in Togo this last week.  And next week we are doing something similar in Benin.  He said he had thought a lot about what would be the best way, the best thing to do when meeting his missionaries for the first time.  He said that he felt that taking the sacrament with that special spirit would center us more on Jesus Christ.  It was pretty cool.  

I’m learning so much from President Morin.  I feel like everything he says i should write down to remember.  but i can’t so I’m doing my best to absorb some of the most important lessons he has to teach me.  I’m super blessed to have the unique opportunity to work so closely to him during this special transition period.  its amazing.  well looks like we sommes arrivés a la fin [we are at the end], and I’ve got to go.   

Have yourselves some great weeks! 
I love you all!

Elder Rybin

P.S. this is a man with a door on his head.  super impressive/crazy.  the road was recently torn up but he was doing a great job.  we took it on our way to togo this last week. 
Elder Rybin

7/7/2014 - President Morin arrives, Primary visitor

Elder Rybin and Elder Ritchie with the Primary children


What a crazy week!  it has been a wild ride but really an amazing experience.  President and Sister Morin are amazing people.  they are going to be perfect for this mission.  President Morin is super patient, loving and kind, funny and wise.  I have so much confidence in him already.  It has been interesting to see the similarities and differences between him and President Weed.  I miss President Weed but at the same time I am really excited about being able to spend these next couple of months with President Morin.  I have already learned a lot from him and I'm sure to learn a lot more.

This week we had multiple really late nights and long days.  we worked with multiple districts of missionaries.  President wanted to get on the field to practice all this studying he has been doing and he wanted to feel more than understand missionary work during these couple of days.  he is awesome.  his accent is so canadien.  his wife’s accent makes me smile every time.  it surprises me how fast i’ve come to love them so much.  

in other news we had another great day in the primary yesterday.  i’m going to send a couple pictures that elder ritchie took of Joseph Le Berger [Joseph the shepherd].  our lesson was about le bon berger [the good shepherd] so we invited joseph who lives in jerusalem to come and tells us about what he does.  the kids loved it.  it is elder ritchies last sunday here in benin (next sunday we will be in togo with president morin)  so at the end we took a picture with all the kids.  it was great.  

Joseph Le Berger from Jerusalem

sounds like everyone is doing good back home.  heard dad found some pigeons to take care off. haha thats awesome.  love you all!!
have a great week

Elder Rybin

6/30/2014 - Elder Rybin serves in Primary in the new branch


We had a pretty successful week this week in our secteur [area].  it was great.  we also had a new missionary come in on tuesday but he missed his flight in chicago so i haven’t seen him yet but he’s here safe and sound - since wednesday i think.  

wow!  we just had our last meeting with President and Sister Weed.  it is going to be a crazy week.  tomorrow night president morin lands i think about 8 30 pm and president weed leaves around 9 30.  i think that we will be there at the airport to greet President and Sister Morin.  I’m nervous and sad and excited all at the same time.  planning for this week was a little weird because we really didn’t know what all is going to happen.  but certainly it will be a ride. 

have i talked to you yet about our primary?!  It is pretty amazing.  since we have a newly created branch with virtually 100 percent recent converts that need lots of help. not enough melchizedek priesthood and all those fun beginning of church make you shiver kind of things all are happening.  but it’s actually super amazing.  elder ritchie and i got stuck with the primary.

when i say stuck i mean that all the other elders quickly called classe des amis [investigator classes] and sunday school and basically everything they could get their hands on. sooooo we got stuck in the primary.  which at the beginning was the near death of us and near beating of multiple children, BUT!  we are seeing miracles happen!  our primary is becoming the best in cotonou!  it’s amazing.  we are remembering all those things our teachers used to do for us that we never understood why.  well I will tell you.  its cuz those ladies are ladies and ladies know how to teach kids!  

we just got a primary president called and she said "you guys have got to help me out. A LOT.  because i haven’t a clue how to do primary." so we went by and helped her a little and she came with a bunch of little papers that she had written the first article of faith on and we learned in primary and then passed them out to the kids!  i have written way to many exclamation marks in this primary part but i am really happy about how things are going.  the church is true.  it has to be.  its the best too.  

the history of the church here in benin and togo is so similar to the history of the church in the early days.  you know those kind of "sketchy" days.  but its so amazing.  ritchie put it well when he said. "this is the lord’s church.  its got to be.  if not it would never have made it this far.  it would have fallen apart in to a whole bunch of apostate junk a long time ago."  basically it is all true.  in sacrament meeting yesterday i was thinking during the sacrament and this is what came to mind.  the beauty of the gospel is so clear to me now.  its incredible.  

well got to go!  love you all.
have a great week!
Elder Rybin

6/23/2014 - Changes in the mission coming, world cup thoughts from Africa

Dearest Family!

This week has flown by! Wow i don’t even remember what happened.  i just went back through my agenda and made a couple of notes of things that happened.  first the world cup!  its been kind of fun to talk with people about the games.  USA  is holding their own a little.  we have a big game against germany in a couple of days but unless we lose by a lot we should go out of the pool into the 16 bracket.  i’m pretty pumped about it.  the work hasn’t been that bad with it. its a huge deal here.  its the only sport anyone really cares about.  all the ghanians in the mission were devastated when we won the first game.  

other random news:  elder ritchie is still with us.  it looks like he is going to be staying until the end of his mission in just three or four weeks. because of the number of missionaries and everything its actually the best thing.
the big change with president is for next week - a week from tomorrow.  this week is presidents last full week here.  also he doesn’t really have any time with the new president.  president morin gets here at 8:30 ish tuesday night and president leaves here at 9:30 tuesday night.  so the best they can hope for is to shake hands in the airport.  other than that, he all alone!  haha its going to be a ride.  actually we did our last interviews with president on tuesday this last week.  like i‘ve said, i really don’t know how to feel about all this still.

next random news.  president told me that unless there is something else that comes up. my return date is set for the 2nd of December.  its the same for Elder Hales, Potter and Garza but elder merrit and elder baker are a little earlier because elder merrit has a military report date.  i think it is a tuesday so i‘ll be back depending on the flight sometime on wednesday the 3rd.  pretty weird huh?  what do you think?

and that’s just about it for this weeks letter.  :)  i love you all.  I’m glad to hear you had a great time at girls camp and that nathan realized that he doesn’t know how to cook and would die without mom.  dad keep up the good work.  i love you!

Elder Rybin

6/16/2014 - Lots of lasts, L'elu baptized

Hey family!

we are writing a little early again.  we have a meeting in a couple of minutes with president and not too long after that we have to head up to calavi to give someone a blessing.  so we came in a little early and are writing.  this had been a pretty crazy week, but a nice relaxing p day.  driving was crazy as usual.  we were driving around pretty much every day this last week. thursday driving over it rained the whole trip so the roads were absolutely destroyed.  friday driving back we couldn’t leave togo until a little later and got caught in nasty traffic coming into cotonou.  we ended up getting back late on friday night and then saturday morning we were up and on the road again for the transfer. but traffic on saturday was really great and we had no problems with delays.  all in all, no deaths, no huge holes and chains.  a couple of hiccups in our plans but a very exhausting good week.  as i think back over the week. it feels like it has been a whole month because it was so crazy.

and to top off the busy week.  L'elu got baptized right after church on sunday.  he is so awesome.  he is super solid.  he bore a really simple and great testimony at his baptism about joseph smith and the book of mormon.  i just attached a picture or two pictures of him at the baptism.  one with all of us then one with me.

Elder Kognani, Elder Ritchie, L'elu, and Elder Rybin
Elder Rybin and L'elu

the other picture that i attached is something we took friday in togo at a conference with all the missionaries to bear testimony and say good bye to president and sister weed in togo. 

Togo missionaries, President and Sister Weed and Elder and Sister Stagg

this friday we have the same thing here in benin.  also this week we have our last interviews with president weed.  i just wrote a letter for him and sister weed that the couple is putting into a journal for them.  that’s a lot of lasts!  time has flown by so quickly.  president morin will be here in just a couple of weeks!  sad, crazy and exciting all at the same time.

hope you all have a great week.  i love you all!


Elder Rybin