11/25/2014 - West Africa District Conference & Zone Conference notes

Hey family!

It’s been a great week.  Last minute we found out about a zone that wanted to go to Ouidah and so we got roped into taking a part of their zone out to Ouidah.  I got some pictures but I was hoping to go shopping today.  I still have a few more things to get.  It takes time talking down all those prices. A little here a little there.  I have some pictures that I'll send home today.  

This week we are heading out to Togo. This will probably be my last long visit to Togo.  I am hoping to visit a few converts in between our super busy schedule.  The only other time I will be there is probably to pick up the people like Elder Hales and Potter in Togo that are leaving with me. But that will probably just be a quick visit.  Go one day, drop people off, and come back the next day.  We’ll know tomorrow morning.  We are finishing the transfer with president tomorrow morning.  After that we establish how all the missionaries are going to get where they need to go.  

We had district conference yesterday.  It was a special broadcast for all of West Africa.  Besides some technical difficulties it was really amazing.  We heard Elder Gay from the 70, the General Primary president and then Elder Bednar and President Utchdorf.  They talked a lot about how here in West Africa we cannot let our cultural traditions get in the way of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the culture of the gospel, respecting the commandments then our own cultures need to be removed.  They hit the nail right on the head with a couple of big points.  It was so direct that it was verging on harsh, but awesome at the same time.  The primary president talked about the future of the children.  I was thinking the same thing as I saw all the children in the room.  Most of their parents are converts for the littlest ones which means that they are going to more or less grow up in the gospel.  So where is the church going to be in just 10 years when these kids grow up?  What about 20 years, and 30?  It is so amazing to think about that.  I can't even begin to imagine.  

One last quick thing.  During the Zone Conferences President Morin talked about Zion’s Camp.  He compared this to our missions.  It was really great.  He talked about how while others thought that the Zion’s camp march and all their effort was a failure and  a waste, 9 of the 12 apostles came from the about 300 people that marched and ALL of the 70s.  The leaders of the church were called just a couple months after the end of Zion’s camp.  He explained to us that our missions are a way the lord uses to find out who we really are and if we are really willing to be obedient.  Because he needs to find out who's really going to help him in a short while being the next leaders of the church.  I really liked it.  President Morin is really amazing.  I'm so glad that I've got to work so closely with him.  

ok family!  I hope this was a pretty good letter this week.  I feel like it was long.  AND I’m going to send some pictures so be happy!! 

love you all!
Elder Rybin