March 18, 2013 - People in Togo

Bon Soir family.  
people here will say bonjour until about 1 pm and then bon soir for the rest of the night.  so all morning it is bonjour and then we switch to bon soir at night.  

Togo Flag
This week  has been good.  thanks for the emails and pictures.  heather is soo big and has soo much hair too!  its crazy!  tell them i miss them all and good luck with moving and finding a new house, i'm excited to see it when i get back.  and sounds like dad and benjamin had a good break.  

yes, we do have some young women in our branch, not very many, but our branch is not very big so it is good to have some.  Guillome's sister came to church for the second time yesterday and i think she has found some friends in young womens.  this saturday the yw and ym are having an activity out at the beach in the morning and she is planning on going.  i'm super excited for her and patience, guillome's mom.  

i met some crazy people today.  well i should say all africans are a little weird and crazy but these guys were really crazy.  the first guy we met when we were waiting on the corner of a busy street for a contact we were meeting there.  because we got his number from Elder mccray and mukenga, and no one here has an actual address, so you have to meet people somewhere close to where they live and find them that way.  after you meet someone you just have to remember where they live.  it is the hardest when someone tries to tell you where they live, they are like go down this road and by this building, and there is a turn and a tree.  but they find people just fine here and i'm getting the hang of it.  but anyways  we are waiting for this guy to come named rod and this african guy who is black (like everyone, but you'll see why i say that) comes up and starts talking to me and at first i thought it was him but then i found out he was crazy.  he told me that he knew me and that he gave me his address before and i was like i'm sorry, i've only been here for like 3 weeks at most and i've never met you, but he kept insisting.  then he was like, i know you i remember you. don't you remember me?  i'm the president of the society of white people in africa....i'm the president of africa!!  i almost just busted up laughing and had to hold it in.  he finally just got frustrated that i kept telling him that i didn't know who he was and left.  it was great.  

quick story about rod though.  we taught him just a quick lesson when he showed up and he was explaining what he believed and it went along so well with the gospel. it was soo awesome.  he was like, i think that everyone says that they have a prophet today, but a prophet is not just anyone even if they get revelation.  it is someone called of god that speaks for god and leads the people.  or he was like i think every church has little bits of the truth, and so i like learning what others believe so that i can take the things i know are true and apply them to make me better.  and after we explained a little about the restoration and book of mormon he was like great.  all i need to do now is read and study for myself to find out if this is true.  i thought who is this guy. i dont need to do anything, just show him the right direction and he'll do the rest.  i hope he figures out that this is true, and finds the things he is looking for here because i know he can.  it was really cool.

the next guy was later.  we were walking and it was late and dark and this guy walks right up to me with this kind of puzzled, interested and confused look on his face.  maybe i know who he is but just can't tell who he is because it is so dark.  but he walked right up and just started staring at my face.  he was 6 inches from my face and just stayed there for like 10 seconds and i was like what the heck who is this guy and then he said hello in the broken french and was like missionary?  and i was like yep. and he asked a couple other questions then just walked off.  it was super weird especially right at the beginning when he just stared at me uncomfortably close to my face.  haha africans what crazy people.  

we have eaten a couple times at guillome's house.  we call it a mangez-vous instead of rendez-vous.  people have pets.  some have little dogs.  i told you about olivier who has the monkey named mwamba.  i forgot again to take a picture of him.  i'll get one next week.  there are chickens EVERYWHERE.  they are just running around in the streets and homes and just everywhere.  they are nasty, but i think they belong generally to the people who they hang around.  some people have a cat too, but that's pretty much it.

it has rained i think three days so far.  two of the three were just sprinkles not anything really and the other day it poured pretty good for just a little bit.  we had to go get our clothes that were up on the roof, but they were already super wet.  it will just start pouring really quick.  but i haven't had to walk in the rain yet, but i'll tell you when i do.  

most common dialect is called évé  i think that's how it is spelled and yeah every chance i get i am having people tell me new words.  they love it when i say even small things.  some things are really easy about évé.  like there isn't much conjugation except when you change tenses, but other things are super hard, some of the sounds are like impossible to make.  like gni is to be.  and also mi and mi is nous or vous depending on the way you say it.  and o and o is tu or ils depending on whether you say them going up or down.  it is so confusing, but i love it and i want to learn it all.  

elder potter is at atiegou, but we are in the same zone so we get to see him every once in a while.  just tell sam and natalie they will be awesome and good luck.  

i don't have any pictures this week but i will take some next week.  i wish i could describe how it is here, i can't explain it fully in words.  everything is different, from the water to shaking hands to the way people live.  but i love it and the people are so awesome. compared to the united states they have nothing, they live off like 1 dollar maybe 2 a day.  the missionaries live so good here, but they are happy.  also random fact.  africans can sleep whenever, wherever, especially kids.  not joking.  parents will just lay their kid down on a pile of rocks and he just zonks out.  or people will sleep just passed out on the side of the road in the shade or on their motos or really just wherever.  its kinda awesome.  

well love you all, good luck with school, keep up the good work.  
loves Elder Rybin