1/27/2014 - Life is good in Anfamé

This week was great.  elder ravelojaona and I work well together; he is from antananarivo,  or something like that,  the capital of madagascar. he loves to joke around and never forgets to invite people at the end of lessons to do stuff.  he is a great companion.  i'll be able to learn a lot from him. 

on february 8th we'll have a few baptisms so we'll have our own little party.  Djimdo and his family - he has 8 kids, but three at home with baptism age.  and then junior, one of our other amis [investigators], who a good friend of a member that gave us his contact.  junior is really awesome too.  he's already been to church twice and is always happy.  he accepts the gospel really easily.  so that'll be 6 if i can still count.  should be another great day. 
this week we are going to get a visit from elder clayton of the presidency of the seventy on thursday afternoon.  we should be able to talk with him for about 3 hours, i think, with all the missionaries in Togo.  he asked us to read a couple of talks by Elder Bednar to prepare -- ask in faith, converted unto the lord and seek learning by faith.  i've loved studying them again and i'm excited to learn.  also elder vinson should be coming at the end of february. two seventies in two months wow.

i think this week makes 6 weeks in Anfamé now.  it feels like i've already been here for an eternity because of all that has happened,  but i still have come to love so quickly the people here.  I don't want to leave and probably won't because elder Ravelojaona is going home relatively soon.  but you know you just never know.  can't get comfortable.

sounds like life back home is just the same, kind of. lots going on.  dad super busy at school. nathan being nathan,  emma being emma and benjamin well yeah that's changed a lot. Thanks for all your letters and stories like always.  have a great week. 

love you all sauf [except] .... nah just kidding

1/20/2014 - Nine Baptisms, Elder Dagrou transferred

hey family!  

how are you all.  just before i forget . . . right after i finished my letter last week the power cut in the cyber and we couldn't do anything so if you ever don't get a letter for a week don't freak out ¾ just africa.  

this week was amazing, again.  9 baptisms on saturday!!! woohoo!! i gave my camera to someone to take some pictures and he took videos.... elder stagg took some pictures though and i gave him your email so he'll probably send that to you.  we had 19 baptisms at the kegue building.  i think it's a record.  12 from anfame.  which means we had 12 confirmations on sunday during sacrament meeting.  yes.

We baptized a family:   fofo - the father,  damienne - the mother,  gabine, juliette and julienne -  three daughters at home with age of baptism.  they are amazing!  fofo has 10 kids total, 9 girls. there are three other daughters at home - edoh, delali and fabricia.  

also there was amivi, a lady that we've been teaching with helene, who was another that was baptized.  helene moved into a member family; her uncle and amivi are neighbors.  

then 8 and 9 are two kids that have been coming to church for months now ¾ pascaline and emmanuel are sister and brother.  

on top of that we just fixed the dates for djimdo and his family for the 8th february. another family!  this is all the miracles i was talking about;  djimdo is the best!  he's pretty much bald with a little white goatee that i'm pretty sure the key to his source of knowledge and power. kinda like samson.  his wife doesn't like it that much though.... but we've convinced her that he'll keep it until the baptism so we can get his picture in white with the barbe [beard].  he's super smart.  he's friends with fofo too.  his name is cool too.  djimdo means i am unbreakable kind of;  they explained it that it's like after everyone else cracks he doesn't.  that he is stronger that anything.  it's the barbe. 

sad news though.  mutations [transfers].... elder dagrou is heading over to benin tomorrow.  im going to work with a malagash.  elder Ravelojoana.  i don't really know him that well i've just seen him a couple of times.  but he goes home with elder Ouonnebo in april i think.  i'm sad to see elder dagrou go.  he'll finish his mission in benin though most likely.  mutations.... well i love you all.  have a great day off school.  thank you all for your letters and stories.

Elder Rybin  

1/13/2014 - Lots of baptisms next Saturday

literally no time today sorry, but it was a fantastic week.  so many miracles!  our secteur [area] has transformed over night.  we have so many amis [investigators] now.  we have 9 baptisms this saturday!!!!!  heck yeah! you heard me right.  a family!  and also another family just did the date so we are going to baptize them the beginning of february.  we have so many families it's unbelievable. i love it!  elder dagrou and i were talking about it and saying that it is an absolute miracle what has happened.  i love it! 

we went to the beach again today and walked around town -- that's why we don't have any time right now.  but thanks for all your letters.  hope you all have a great week.  we are going to be so busy this week but i like it like that. 

ahh I bought a couple of ties today for 60 cents each! yes!  i've become a haggling master!  i'm in a great mood.  

Love you all!! 
Elder Rybin

1/6/2014 - New year's, Voodoo Market

oh my favoritest family.  

it's weird to me that Caden [Taylor] is already home from his mission.  i remember it just like yesterday saying goodbye to him.  time is flying by.  i can't believe is 2014 already.  wow.  new years' here was pretty big.  all the missionaries came in at dark.  we ate tons of food on the first.  we had foufou and goat in the morning and rice and ginkumin pate at night. it was delicious.  we have eaten at so many members this week its ridiculous. 

school is starting tomorrow huh.  it's going to feel like just tomorrow and you will be finishing school.  I remember writing in my journal at my 6 month mark that the next 6 months are going to feel like just a couple of days if i work hard.  and it's true.  they have flown by and time just keeps picking up the pace.


This week, the biggest news was that today we went to the voodoo market that i talked about. don't freak out it was safe.  it's a tourist place.  we saw a whole bunch of other yovos, [white people] and even talked with a couple of americans.  there was tons of crazy stuff.  lots of bones and dead stuff.  lots of charms and stuff to heal you.  the guy giving us a tour said that people can come and see the priest head voodoo guy and he'll prescribe a remedy and they'll go out and buy: one dried chameleon, two bats, a chunk of hippo lip, and a small monkey skull and then they grind it all up and make a potion or smoke and heal you.  yeah pretty crazy huh.  the healer guy gave us his card so we can get in for free if we want to go again.  i bought a porcupine quill, and a cobra spine necklace.  it's pretty awesome.  he asked me for 16 moneys at first.  took some tough haggling but i worked him down to a reasonable price. 3 bucks.  i pretty proud of myself.  it took some time, and i had to use pretty much all the tricks in the book, but i got the price i wanted. :)  haha.

Well i think that is all for this week.  I love you family.  have a great week at school.  


Elder Rybin

12/30/2013 - Pictures of primary party, apartment, streets

hey family

it was good to talk to you on Christmas.  can you believe that i only have one more time to call home?  crazy.  

this week was hard with Christmas.  so many people were busy.  Christmas,  our rendezvous [appointments] all fell through so we visited lots of members.  this week again it's going to be the same kind of thing.  new years here is bigger than Christmas.  it's probably the biggest holiday of the year.  kind of weird huh.  presidents having us all come in at dark tomorrow.  2014 is here! wow.  

the areas in my zone are be-kpota, ablogame, souza-netimé, baguida, and anfame.  anfame is a big quartier [area] but small at the same time.  meaning you say anfame in general to mean all of those bigger places.  but really anfame is only elder faerber and elder yamapia's secteur and those are the two other elders in our apartment.  our area covers the smaller quartiers [neighborhoods] of kpota-colas, adakpamé, atteigouvi and i think some others.  that's kind of how they've just divided up the city based on random things in the area sometimes and everyone just knows that's where you are.  if you tell someone anfame he'll say where and you can say anfame anfame or bekpota or adakpame and then he'll ask where again sometimes and you can say by the big tree or the school or the church etc.  it works.  

here are some pictures of the primary party at the church we had.  
all the primary children dancing to "alo le dji" one of the most popular togolais songs.
this is Rosa
a super cute little girl that i forgot her name. 

Henry (a little turd...)
the street out front from the roof.  
if you look closely at the street picture you can see the lady with the baby on her back.  that is how everyone carries their babies around. pretty convenient.  


Our banana tree in the back yard

               our living room

there are some panoramic pics of the rooftop.  you should be able to orient yourself with the street and stuff but one i took in front of the big black water tank and the other in front of the door.  

all in all you should be able to get a 360 degree view of the top of the roof.  lots of trees huh.

well those are some pics of the apartment.  

oh today's elder dagrou's birthday.  he's 24 today.  we didn't really do anything special today though.
i think that's all for this week.  have a week with new years and all.  love you all!
Elder Rybin