March 11, 2013 - Baptism & Food

Monday, March 11, 2013,  5:55 pm
hello again everyone!!!

it is good to read all your letters.  that picture i took last week was from the car on a road in benin that they are going to pave soon.  and just wait until the highlights of the week to know that i am on a different continent but i'll save those for the end. :)  

we wash our clothes in a little gazebo thing that is just outside our house but inside our walls. where we have some space. our house is super nice compared to pretty much everyone else though.  most people here live in little cement walled compounds called cours.  they have cement floors and they are tiny.  it is humbling to see the lifestyle of people here.  we have soo much in america. so they will do their laundry wherever there is space. shirts get clean....kinda, i am still learning, but it is not impossible, it is just hard and makes my fingers raw.  i soaked some of my shirts saturday night over sunday in soap and bleach so they were better to wash this week.

i usually eat fruit, or eggs or this lady comes around with some bread and beans that we can buy in the morning.  she walks down the street carrying this big huge bowl on her head that had all this stuff in it and then yells and anyone who wants some can come out and buy some.  and that is another thing, everyone carries things on the heads.  it's awesome, i am going to try it.  and i mean pretty much anything.  and they ride they're motos around with tons of people and stuff on them.  i saw a whole family on one little 125 moto, a mom and dad and four kids.  and also i saw four adults one time.  it's insane and dangerous.  

we eat all together and take turns cooking.  we usually eat chicken and noodles or rice with some sauce stuff.  my companion joined the church when he was 16 or so and is 22 now.  all the african missionaries are a lot older.  elder mukenga is actually going to be 26 tomorrow.   i'm glad you saw the video, [of the children singing "yovo yovo. . ."] and yeah some will just run up and latch onto my legs some will run and some just laugh just depends, but yeah they don't bother elder ouonnebo as much.  

i am just going down the list here of all your questions i hope you don't mind.  branch is called hedzranawoe 3, the members are awesome, but there is a lot of less active members.  they are just about done with the first church building in our mission though and it should be opening in a month or so is the rumors, but that will be our new church.  finding people, we just talk to everyone, walk into peoples cour and talk to them, most people will say something like oh yeah that's awesome, but i'm super busy right now, and so we'll say, when can we come back, and they will say oh anytime, i'm always here and available but right now i'm busy.  haha, but there are a lot of receptive people, which is really good.  but finding the people who are truly prepared is a little harder.  

it gets light pretty early, the sun is fully up and out by 6 15, but it also gets dark starting at like 6 and is way dark by like 6 30.  the humidity and heat is getting better i am adjusting, but my skin is not dry at all, my elbows feels so smooth and good it is amazing! i think that is pretty much everything,

now for the highlights of the week.  drum roll...i got to pet a monkey named mwamba this week, it was awesome.  it didn't have my camera but i'll try to get a picture of him.  and that fried fish head that i have a pictures of -  i ate one of his eyeballs and his brain.  fish have like little rocks in their brain and it wasn't that great, but they eat everything here.  and just today for lunch, we had pat (this like dough stuff that looks and feels like play dough) and chenille which is caterpillar :) it was pretty nasty looking in the sauce stuff,  i have some pictures.  they were like crunchy and chewy.  those little beasties have some meat inside of them.  some of them are pretty big too.  probably about an inch, inch and a half when they were full and bigger than a pencil around.  it was definitely an experience.  Elder McCrays birthday is coming up right before he leaves and we are going to try and get a monkey to eat for his cake, so i'll let you know how our hunt goes :).  

i think that is all.  love you all.  thanks for the letters.  
love love love Elder Rybin

I almost forgot!  the best part of the week was on Saturday. we had a baptism!!  his name is guillome (gee-um) and his is 18.  he is super awesome.  that is his mom and sister with him and me.  do you like those pants that i found there?  haha they were awesome.  the baptismal font is outside too.  that was awesome.  i got to baptize him and also two other people, but we only taught guillome.  we are teaching his mom and sister right now and they came to church yesterday for the first time, and i was excited because they got to see Guillome get confirmed.  the big picture is all the missionaries and their people getting baptized.  And president and his wife were there too.  

good luck, thanks, and love you all, Elder Rybin