May 27, 2013 - rambles and tidbits



hey family! 
wow school is done.  it doesn't feel like a year ago i was graduating high school.  that's pretty weird.  i definitely didn't see myself here right now.  life is pretty good though.  tell logan and dani that i'm sure they'll be awesome missionaries.  this week no baptisms for elder ouonnebo and i but elder hales and gomun got a surprise baptism of diane,  guillaume's sister.  guillaume was my first baptism that is actually in elder hales' secteur so we passed their family to them.  diane couldn't get baptized for the longest time because we were waiting on permission from her father.  but now we are good to go and also its looking like their mom patience is going to get baptized this saturday coming up, if she can talk with her husband who is in france right now.  so awesome.  i love that family so much.  it is really a miracle. 

heather looks so big!  i can't believe it.  president dickson, seventy, president of west africa is coming to our mission this week which should be really awesome.  i think he spoke in general conference this last one but maybe not.  yeah we still haven't got our general conference liahonas yet.... but it should be good to hear from him.  apparently, he only has one arm.... cool huh. 

stock trading sounds great.  i hope it works out the way it's supposed to.  this week elder ouonnebo was sick and so we stayed home one day.  that was a long day, but i got to finish the last 200 pages of jesus the christ.  wow.  as much as its hot and i'm always tired, and sweaty, hungry, thirsty, and everything else when we are out, i wouldn't trade being out and working for anything.  being forced to stay home and be sick is hard, it throws off the always busy groove. 

it keeps raining more and more now.  it rained a lot the night before last and all the streets were flooded.  it makes things interesting though, trying to stay dry and traverse these huge river puddles.  sometimes they have stones put out on the side of the road to use as stepping stones but it gets tricky.  haha its great though.  it cools things down. 

well i think that is all for this week.  just a few rambles and tidbits for ya.  thanks as always for all your letters. 

I love you all! Elder Rybin

May 20, 2013 - kpalime waterfalls



Hello again family!  

today was a pretty action packed pday so i'm jumping right in.  we went to kpalimĂ© (pal-ee-may) today and saw some waterfalls with all the missionaries in togo.  kpalime is a village place outside of lome about 3 hours.  i took a whole bunch of pictures and will try to send you some.  it was really awesome to see outside the city.  i get a huge part of the african experience being here, living in lome, but there is so much more to see and experience. so it was really awesome to see outside a little bit. 

 






 














there were soo many trees.  it was beautiful.  we saw some villages with dirt mud houses and tons of crazy stuff.  we didn't really see any cool animals because there is still a lot of people around.  to get to the waterfalls it is a little hike into the jungle, but not too long. the waterfall is not huge but super pretty.  the "mountains" (hills) are super green and covered in trees.  out in the villages the people are so poor.  it is a much different experience seeing a dirt hut in a picture or knowing that that happens in some places of the world, and then standing next to a family that lives in a hut in the jungle and farms corn on the side of a mountain to survive.  crazy! 

 





















they are the most amazing people in the world.  i wish i had time to talk to them all, even though most of them do not speak french, and number 1 share the gospel and help them find joy in that, but also just to talk and get to know these people.  really it is hard to explain the feeling of seeing some of the poorest people in all the world today.  amazing, amazing people.  i wish i could help them all. 

 







 







 






 









Elders Potter, Rybin, Hales and Ouonnebo (in front)




other than that this week was pretty average.  i haven't really been sick yet but elder hales and gomun and kiputa were all sick this week.  i hang my clothes on this rack thing that we have or on some string we have outside our apartment after i do my laundry.  if it rains and is super humid sometimes it takes a little time to dry but works pretty well.  everyone else has huge clothes lines in their cours were they hang stuff.  or just wherever they can.


yeah we have a few young men and women in our ward not a lot but its growing.  no mutual though.  sometimes they organize a seminary type class, or scripture study deal, sometimes with the missionaries sometimes with just leaders in the branch but that kinda counts.  church is in its infancy here, not much, we are just starting home teaching.  it hasn't made it to hedzranawoe yet but attiegou has started just in the past month or two months. 

nathan, not really any huge bugs in the apartment. sometimes pretty big cockroaches, and once a big beetle, moths and termite ants too.  nothing too bad.  diseases, not really.  eyes are weird and unhealthy a lot of times here though.  it bothered me a little at the start but i'm used to it now.  if someone has normal white eyes they are usually pretty healthy probably because they are rich, relatively.

as for things i need, not really anything. i'm not out of deodorant yet and have been keeping an eye open for it, but have not found it yet, so that is a maybe, but other than that no needs.  wants, anything i would really want couldn't make the trip so don't worry about it.  i can get "candy" here, not like america but it works and i'm used to it and like it now. and you can get some american stuff it's just expensive, but it would be cheaper than shipping it over.  so as of now don't worry about sending anything.  the one thing i would like maybe for birthday/christmas is a flashdrive with a whole bunch of church music on it.  like all the general conference, mormon tabernacle choir music and really anything and everything church wise.  i got this little cheap box that plays music off flash drives and memory cards, but i don't have any music. i think that is all for this week.
 
I love you all.  have a great week and start of summer. 
Elder Rybin

May 13, 2013 - Dado baptism and water buckets



hello again family. 
good to talk to you last night.  im looking at the fruit pizza thing and it looks really good.  also that looks like carpet too.  wow i miss carpet.  i would love to lay down on some nice soft fluffy carpet right now.  sheesh its weird the little things that i never knew were so nice.  but i hope mothers day was good though.  dad good luck on your test today i think youll be fine.  other than that it sounds like everyone is going good back home. 

Dado and missionaries inside new building
yep yesterday we had another baptism.  her name is Dado.  i will try and send some pictures at the end but i never know if it works or not.  she is really awesome though.  we found her about a month ago and she's come to church ever since we first met her. she wants to go the temple in ghana and is just super great.  she has just loved everything that we've taught.  really prepared.  she is super big too, and so i got to baptize her.  everyone said that i'm written in the history books now because i was the first to baptize anyone in the new building, the only building in togo and benin.  pretty cool.  the font is pretty nice but wasn't super deep, but we made do. 

Group outside new building, first one in Togo and Benin



the special missionary meeting was us getting together to watch the priesthood session of conference.  it was raining really hard and so it was hard to hear sometimes but good.  i can't wait to get the liahona with the general conference talks. and zone conferences are every three months, but every month we have a meeting with just our zone. 





heather sounds like she is growing up so fast!  i wont believe it.  she needs to stay little until i'm home and then she can keep growing.  mom great experience about helping that lady.  the lord knows us all and always is doing the best things for us even if sometimes we don't realize it until after.  God knows what he's doing.  austins email didn't work.  it went to some random guy so could you try and get that again.  thanks.  tell brother and sister watts africa sends its best.






that is our apartment from the outside street and then from the same spot to the right and left down the street.  

 





















and yep those two ladies are carrying those buckets on their heads.  they are full of water.  they go to these stations like i said last night with a faucet thing that is tall enough that you can stand under it with a bucket on your head and fill it with water and walk home.  they do that a lot.  they usually don't have to steady stuff with their hands while it's on their head unless its water.  they are really good at it.  i think that is all for this week.  it was good again to talk last night. 














 







have a great day.  love you all!  Elder Rybin

May 6, 2013 - New church building and rain



Hello hello family. 
thanks for all your letters.  this week has been pretty good.  more and more rain, but cooling down so its nice.  yesterday church was great.  we had 7 amis at church!! booyah.  i was super happy.  also we got to watch a little bit of conference.  it was in french and the sound quality was terrible so i struggled to understand, but it was good.  im super excited to get the liahona with the talks. the new church building is awesome.  not as big as back home but huge for here.  and really nice.  it was raining a lot sunday morning and we had to leave in the rain so i left my camera at home so i have no pictures of the new building yet but i'll get them.  i am going to try and send pictures this week though of other things. we'll see.

before i forget i talked with the levitts and they said the best thing they have found to do is to have you call me next week.  i have no idea what you need to do to call but that's my number.  we get back to the apartment at 8 00 so call at 8 30 ish to give us a little time just in case.  if you don't call by 9 my time then i will call you somehow.  it'll work out. 

this last week was transfer again and elder mukenga left and was replaced by elder kiputa.  he is from congo and has 4 or 5 months left on the mission.  i was sad to see elder mukenga go but elder kiputa is a great missionary too.  dad happy birthday again sounds like all went well.  yes they have ice cream here. there are these guys that come around with little cart cooler things with little squeaky horn things and so you can call one over (meaning hiss, everyone hisses or makes smoochy noises to get your attention here. weird.) its not really expensive at all, like 20-25 cents for a little bag of it. 

the only nba news i get is bits that elder hales gets.  i heard kobe tore his achilles tendon.  everything here is soccer only.  not a whole lot else happened.  no baptisms this saturday, but we had a cleaning service project for the new church.  this week we should have a big lady Dado getting baptized.  she is great.  she has a couple of kids but loves the church and loves the commandments.  she has come to church for the last 4 weeks straight, even though it is far and long and hard to stay the whole time she still comes.  she is really great.  gaston and cheritas little girl is christina (ps i was joking about her too (mostly...) we are patient with her, and she is super funny).

Gaston and Cheritas
 

these are just a few pictures. that is just outside our apartment one morning this week when it rained.  the streets flood.... there gets some pretty big puddles and you just have to find new ways to get places sometimes.  adventures. 



love you all have a great week.   
I will talk to you on sunday :) Elder Rybin