10/13/2014 - There is a time for all things

Hey Family!

How was the week.  I can't believe its Monday again.  I feel like I say that every week.  Do I say that every week? ANYways wow i can't believe that Natalie Cameron and Lauren are already home.  Nate Barlow sent me some pictures this week from Mexico where he is with Kevin Corea.  Crazy! 

Mom I'm not sure if you were asking if I wanted to speak on the 14th or just telling me because I don't have any plans....  I'm totally fine with that.  I think I would prefer to do it the first Sunday home anyways. thanks!

Curtis is 7! Wow I had his birthday written on my calendar.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CURTIS! 

This week I finally got the pages added to my passport.  it took me a few trips but all is well now.  I've got plenty of pages now.  This last week we had more time in our secteur [area].  we found some new investigators.  we have an investigator named laurenda.  she is studying at the university and (i just laughed to myself at how weird that sounds.  because it’s a direct translation back from French.....) ok. she goes to these bible study classes but not really a church.  she asks a lot of questions and has a lot of great ideas and beliefs.  it is fun teaching people like this because you can stretch their understanding of life and the gospel because they are smart and are willing to listen.  

We have another baptism this Saturday - the mother of two sisters that are members.  she has been coming to church for over a year, off and on, but on a regular basis.  she just never had decided to get married because of some little problems.  but just a couple weeks ago she told us I want to get baptized.  umm..... ok can't complain there. everyone has their time.  one thing i've really come to understand is God's plan is always happening and everything happens in its time.  "there is a time for all things", right like the scriptures say. really, happiness comes from understanding how to live in the time you live in.  is that a confusing sentence or what.  think about it. haha.  

well love you all!  have a great week!  

Elder Rybin

10/6/2014 - New investigators, flight plans for return home!

Dear Family!
Another monday here already.  This was a pretty great week.  We had a couple of solid days to work in our secteur [area] and found some new investigators, which we desperately needed.  we drove a guy named Gregory Van Duyse to Togo this last week.  He is from Canada and knew President Morin before the mission.  he came here awhile ago and started a little university and he comes back from time to time.  He is a successful entrepreneur.  It was interesting to be able to talk with him on the way over and back about his success and counsel.  He is really smart.  He has read a lot of books.

Today we had an activity at the beach.  we played soccer and volleyball and had a bbq.  it was a lot of fun.  I love the beach.  

Elder Oliverson is one of the office elders.  so i see him a lot.  we've been around each other for a long time.  we served in the same ward in Attiegou but not the same apartment and then he was the next secteur over in Anfame and replaced me as zone leader in anfame when i came here then followed me here to be in the bureau.  

Elders Desvergez, Oliverson, Rybin, and Kognani.  

[Note:  I found these two pictures of Elder Rybin on Elder Oliverson's blog.  The Elders were celebrating with ice cream before Elder Desvergez returned home to France.  The big group were together after a double wedding ceremony in Benin.  

Double wedding group picture

yeah i just got a look at my flight plans too.  Weird.  I'll be with Elder Potter and Elder Hales the whole way and Elder Garza most of the way.  but from Chicago Elder Garza goes to Texas. other than that i leave the rest up to you (stake president, talk in church, etc etc) 

Also you asked about the university.  I’m not too picky.  i think that you’ll do fine choosing classes.  is there a way i can test out of French classes?  how much credit can i get?  i think i am a Bachelors of Science.  will testing out of French be better in BA? if i can test out of it.  how much more to make it a minor? basically what are my options there about the French. i think I’d like biology.  other than that i don’t know.  i really can’t remember what’s needed and all that so just do your best.  we’ll worry about it when i get there.    

thanks so much!  i think that is just about everything.

i love you all!
Elder Rybin

9/29/2014 - a little is better than nothing, right?


The internet is down here in the office and has been for multiple days.  it’s really on and off.  so if it cuts i’m sending this before just to say i love you all and that i’m still doing fine but a little is better than nothing, right?  

Love you all!
Elder Rybin
p.s. i’ll try to send something else but we’ll see.

9/22/2014 - Benin shopping

Hey Family!

this was a great week!

Things that I can get [to bring home]: little wooden statues of just about anything African, cool wooden carvings of just about anything, bowls, paintings, jewelry (lots of necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc), purses, bags, aprons, traditional pagnes material, nativity sets, wooden boxes, leather boxes, and stuff like that. so that should give you a few ideas. just tell me what you think and i'll do my best.  for me i probably am going to need some money on my card to buy some of this stuff.  and i guess it depends on all that you want mostly.  for me i don't need that much.  to give you kind of some general prices, everything is negotiable so these are ball parks. and the conversion is general rule take off three 0s and times by 2  --  so 1000 is 2 bucks.  10000 is 20 bucks.  and all these things will depend on size and coolness but nativity 8000- 20000, wooden animals 1000-3000 apiece, necklaces 1000-1500, bracelets 1000, aprons 2000, paintings 2000- as big and cool as you want.  wow this is getting complicated. me, i could take like 40 bucks which would be around 20000 cfa.  then whatever you guys want.  

ok enough talk.  i heard Nate [Barlow] came home.  wow.  this week was great.  Elder Bulunga is awesome.  i'm going to learn a lot being with him.  i am really excited for these last couple months, i'm really happy. 
happy birthday nathan and emma!!! you guys are awesome.  tell me stuff you want.  it will help me.  

i'm sorry most of my letter was business but i've got to go now.  
sorry but loves you All!
Elder Rybin