Thursday, September 25, 2014

RollTribe Called To Serve....8 for 8

This past Spring our Baseball Team at Bountiful High School won it's first State Baseball Championship in 26 years by beating Spanish Fork 6-4 in the Championship Game.  We were led by a group of 8 Seniors, all of whom played a pivotal role in the State Championship Run.  Over the course of the last 6 months, one by one, each of these 8 seniors received their mission call to serve the Lord for 2 years as a full time missionary.  Last evening, I Coach Boog,received a phone call from Masen Jones, our baseball team's catcher, telling me that he had finally received his mission call to serve in the Washington Vancouver Mission departing November 12.  Masen was the final member of this group of 8 of the finest young men on the earth today to receive his call.

As their coach, I am grateful for their accomplishments on the baseball field.  It was a surreal experience and one that everyone of those young men as well as all the other players on our team deserved.  But more importantly, I am very proud of each and everyone of their desire's to serve a mission and serve other people.  Baseball helps build character, serving missions for the Lord reveals their character to the world.  This in my mind is an accomplishment of the highest levels of commitment.  I am honored to be their coach for both of these wonderful accomplishments.  Go Forth Young Men and Serve with all Your Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength!  I Stand All Amazed!

From Left to Right
Elder Tanner Redding (SS) - Taiwan Taichung
Elder Jordan Hayes (LF) - Samoa Apia
Elder Masen Jones (C) - Washington Vancouver
Elder Ryan Stringfellow (1B) - Madagascar Antananarivo
Coach Boog - Japan Kobe (1988-1990)
Elder Ryan Curtis (CF) Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Elder Andrew Naegle (RF/DH) - Ecuador Quito
Elder Brayden Muir (RHP) - Brazil Rio De Janeiro
Elder Sam Merrill (DH/RF) - Nicaragua Managua South
#RollTribe - #CalledToServe

Last Email from the MTC

Email Conversation then Regular Weekly Email

Hey Dad!!! Okay, I'll most likely call yours if that's okay! Hope everything is going well, good luck today and tomorrow and go destroy the cats! Love you so much! 

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM, Ryan Stringfellow wrote:

Hi Mom!!!! I think I'm all good on everything, I just gotta grab a few things from the bookstore like: travel toothpaste, some soap, and a few other small things but I should be fine. I'm pretty sure we get to call from every airport! I don't know if I will from J-berg because we only have like a 3 hour layover and we have to do a ton of stuff in the airport but we'll see! I love you so much. 

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM, Ryan Stringfellow wrote:

Couple More pics! The first pic is how we study. One of us asks a question in Malagasy and then we answer it by writing our answers and these little white boards. It's super helpful! The next pic is Brother Burton, sorry I still don't have a pic of Brother Sell. And Finally, the last one is Elder Glazier and I at the big map you always see!


On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM, Ryan Stringfellow wrote:

Haha this is what happens when you let Elder Coolley take a pic of you!

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM, Ryan Stringfellow wrote:

​The first pic is of Elder Glazier and I at the temple on Sunday. The second pic is of Brother Bingham and I last night when we had to say goodbye. Next is me at the Temple on Sunday (I've put on weight as you can tell).

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Ryan Stringfellow wrote:


Fianakaviako! Sorry to be writing a whole lot earlier than I have been but we decided to start earlier so we can have the rest of the day to pack. I don't even know where to start about this week! Our last week here in the MTC started off with a bang on Tuesday night when we had the privilege to hear from M. Russell Ballard. He gave an incredible talk on showing our love to God through missionary work! I learned so much from his talk and I took lots and lots of notes. Yesterday we got to host!!! I know I told you we probably weren't going to but we did and It was so much fun! I got to host three new elders who are all going state side and they were so ready to start off their work. It made me think of my first day here in the MTC and it really made me realize that my time is so close to being up and I'm so stoked.
Last night was probably the most spiritual night I've had here. It was Brother Bingham's last day teaching us and it was soooo hard to say Goodbye. We each got to do one on one's with him and he gave us some last minute advice. He has been the biggest blessing to me here in the MTC and I made sure I got his email so I could email him out in the field. Today at the temple we decided to do initiatory's to save some time for packing and it was awesome. I was able to perform the initiatory's for a whole family from Alabama and It was awesome! I was super sad when we left the temple though because I realized that it was my last time going to the temple for the next two years.....
Today is packing day!! We're so close to being packed and we can't wait to get out of here! It's not that we don't like it here, we just need something new. I got your "Dear Elder's" and I'm so happy you got our travel plans! Sorry to leave such a big window for calling time but we have no idea when we'll be able to call so you should receive a call between 8:30 and 2:20.
All right it's testimony time!!!
Tiako ny filazantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy. Ny filazantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy dia manampy ahy mahatonga misionera tsara. Fantatro fa marina ny filazantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa marina ny Bokin'i Mormona sy Baiboly. Misy ny Fanahy Masina. Raha manaraka ny mpamonjy isika  dia afaka hahatsapa ny Fanahy Masina isika. Fantatro fa mpaminany velona marina i Thomas S. Monson. Tiako i Thomas S. Monson. Nomenan'i Jesoa Kristy ny sorompanavotana antsika. Tsy maintsy manaraka ny sorompanavotan isika. Tian' Atra. antsika. Tiako anareo! Amin'ny anaran'ny Jesoa Kristy, Amena.

Translation: I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is helping me become a better missionary. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true. The Holy Ghost exists. If we follow the savior we can feel the Holy Ghost. I know Thomas S. Monson is a true living prophet. I love him. Jesus Christ gave us the atonement. We must follow the atonement. God loves us. I love you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love this gospel so much and it's helping me become a better person! Crazy to think that my next email home will be coming from Madagascar. I have about a half hour left so I'll keep looking online to see if anyone's on and maybe we can talk. Love you all so much! Tiako anareo!

Love, Elder Stringfellow
P.S. You mentioned an Elder Snell. Elder Snell is Elder Coolley's companion! He is awesome and I love him so much! He is so good at the language and whenever I need help I always go to him. He'll be an awesome missionary. Congrats on all your games Syd, keep tearing it up! BECKY D!!!!! WASSUP!  Atta boy Squatch!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Visa Came...The Adventure Begins...

We received a small handwritten letter from Elder Stringfellow yesterday indicating that his Visa came in and he is now scheduled to go ahead and prepare to depart for Madagascar on Monday September 29.  Elder Stringfellow was super excited but is anticipating a long travel itinerary that goes something like this:
  • Depart Monday afternoon from SLC to Dallas, TX (5 hour layover)
  • Depart Monday night from Dallas, TX to London Heathrow, arrive Tuesday afternoon with a (7hour layover in London)
  • Depart Tuesday evening from London to Johannesburg, South Africa, arriving Wednesday morning, (3 hour layover)
  • Depart Johannesburg Wednesday morning to Antananarivo Madagascar, arriving in the afternoon in Madagascar. 
3 full days of travel with lots of layovers....but worth it.  We will post Elder Stringfellow's last MTC report tomorrow and we are anticipating lots of energy and excitement from him.  This reminds me of one of my favorite church hymns:  "I'll go where you want me to go" - Here are the lyrics to the first verse:
It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go.
 LDS Link to Hymnal

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18, 2014 - Part 2 Pictures and On-line Chat

Photo's of the Week

The first pic is of the Classroom, Elder Cooley was taking a 15 min power nap on the floor before class started, ha-ha.

The second pic is Elder Kelsh, Elder Cooley and I on "Swensday" ( Sweater Wednesday, our whole district wears sweaters on Wednesday).

The last one is of this morning with most of our district and Elder Kay. Elder Kay is on the top in purple and he's going with Armenia. He's always with our district and he's so much fun to be around. 
On-Line Chat via email w/ his Mom
Wow!!  You did have an amazing week!  It sounds like your devotional was awesome!  I would love to see pictures of your teachers, they sound like great guys!!  How funny that you were able to see the football scoreboard from your window!  Where there's a will...there's a way.  My heart just soared hearing that you were able to Skype a member in Madagascar!  I am hoping that is the case when you get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day! 
I love you so much!!  I am so proud of the work you are doing!   Please let me know if there is anything you need and I will get it to you...even the orange tie!  Your testimony is so strong and reading it each week just strengthens mine.  You are a wonderful son and missionary and I LOVE
You look awesome!!  Nice to see the dental work paid off...can you say cheese?!?  Are the slides okay?  Did I duplicate any of the ties?
Elder Stringfellow
I think I'm all set on everything including the phone card....they sell them here so I might buy another one just in case but thank you. Let me know how the JV does!

I only have like 10 min left to email but I forgot to say thank you for the ties and the slides there perfect and there weren't any duplications. I'll make sure I let you know our flight plans and don't be surprised if you get a call at like 3 in morning on the 29 because that might be our flight time.

You call me ANYTIME!!! I don't care what time it is!  I love you!!  Have a great week!
Elder Stringfellow
Okay I will, Love you too! One other thing I forgot to tell you is we actually got to meat a native Malagasy who goes to school here at BYU. Her name is Claudia and she is sooooooooooo nice!
It was really cool to hear a native speak Malagasy and it just got me more excited to go!
No way!!  I can't believe the experiences you are having!  You are definitely meant to be there and to go to Madagascar!!  You are being blessed!  I LOVE YOU!!


September 18, 2014 - Part 1 Main Letter

Manahoana ny Fianakaviako!

This week was amazing and I have so much to talk to you about. First off we got a new teacher Brother Burton! Holy Cow, I love him so much! He makes class time so enjoyable and he tells the funniest stories about his mission in Madagascar. I know I sent home a picture of Brother Bingham last week and I was meaning to send home a picture of Brother Sell but I forgot....sorry, but this week I'll make sure to send home a pic of both Brother Sell and Brother Burton. Second, we got to Skype a member in Madagascar on Thursday!! He was the nicest guy ever! Elder Cooley, Elder Glazier and I got to teach him as a threesome and well....let's just say he speaks very fast. However we could pick out here and there what he was saying and we taught him about the importance of serving others. It was amazing!!!!! I can't wait to meet more people like him. And finally, for our Tuesday night devotional we got to hear from one of our beloved apostles Elder Richard G. Scott!
He gave such a powerful talk on the topic of prayer and he mentioned that we never have to make an appointment with the lord, he's always in a constant appointment with us. The thing that stuck out to me the most was at the beginning of his talk where he said: "To reach a goal that has not yet been obtained, one must try new things." I don't know why but that just stuck with me and it really made me realize that I am going to have a lot of goals on my mission that need to be reached but I have to be willing to try new things.
Either today or tomorrow we should find out our travel plans! I really hope that our visa's come because a lot haven't been coming. I talked to Elder Redding this morning and He has been reassigned to Portland Oregon until his visa comes. He's super stoked about it though! He told me that he would rather have his situation right now than anything else and he's super stoked to get to Oregon! I'll keep you posted on our travel plans! Funny Story real quick!
So on Thursday BYU was playing Houston here in Provo and everyone was super bummed because we could here the roars from the stadium as we were sitting in class and everyone wanted to be at the game. Class ended and we could still here the stadium as we were walking back to the residence. To our surprise, when we walked into our dorm we looked out the window and could barely see the scoreboard of the football stadium. We couldn't see the actual screen where it was showing play by play but we could see the top of the score board where the actual score was kept. For the rest of the fourth quarter our whole zone was in our room to "watch" the end of the game and it was a riot. Needless to say we know who won! All right, it's testimony time!
Fantatro fa marina ny filanzantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy. Marina ny Bokin'i Mormona sy Biaboly. Fantatro fa nomenan'i Jesoa Kristy ny sorompanavotana. Ny fomba apiasiantsika ny sorompanavotana dia amin'ny alalan'ny i Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa nohitan'i Joseph Smith Andriamanitra sy Jesoa Kristy. Nomenan'i Joseph Smith antsika ny Bokin'i Mormona. Fantatro fa mpaminany marina i Joseph smith. Fantatro fa raha hamaky ny Bokin'i Mormona isika dia hitay antsika Andriamanitra. Tian' Andriamanitra antsika sy hanampy antsika izy. Amin'ny anaran'ny Jesoa Kristy, Amena. 
Translation: I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Book of Mormon and The Bible are true. I know that Jesus Christ gave us the Atonement. The way we use the Atonement is through Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith gave us the Book of Mormon. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that if we read the Book of Mormon, God will Bless us. I know that God loves us and will help us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Love you all so much can't wait to talk to you next week! I'll upload some pics here in a minute and maybe talk to you if you're online for a minute! Tiako ianareo!!!!!!
Love, Elder Stringfellow
Phrase for the week: Manaraka ny mpamonjy (follow the Savior)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

Manahoana Fianakaviako!

I don't really know what to talk about this week....we honestly do the same thing everyday! My typical day consists of 3 meals and 12 hours of classroom study and that's about it. Our lessons with our teachers went very well and they keep telling Elder Glazier and I that we are picking up the language very well. This week also marked our halfway point here in the MTC! In 18 short days I should be on a plane heading off to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Madagascar. I know that dad asked a lot of questions this past week and I'm sorry that I can't answer them all here because of how much time I have but I did send a letter home that hopefully answered most of them.
I know I got a DEAR ELDER last night that asked some more questions about my time here in the MTC and I'll try and answer them to the best of my ability. For my travel plans right now I have none. The MTC takes care of everything for us and we find out everything the week before we leave. All we know is that our Layovers are in Dallas, London and Johannesburg. I have great faith that our visa's will come through and that we will be able to leave on our assigned date. I feel so bad for a lot of the Taiwanese missionaries because there visa's haven't come and there probably going to get reassigned until they do come so please keep them in your prayers. This doesn't mean anything right now but we found out our release date and it's August 3, 2016 but that doesn't mean anything right now.
Elder (Clayton) Jorgensen leaves on Monday for Italy and I'm so stoked for him! I see him all the time and we always share our testimonies in our new languages! I told you all in my letter home that we were expecting an Apostle to speak to us on Tuesday. We waited in line for like an hour to get into the main building to hear whoever it was speak and when we got in we found out it was a member of the Quorum of the Seventy again! I was a little disappointed at first but we then found out that it was Elder Satati! I remember him from General Conference and the talk he gave was incredible! His talk was on remembrance and how we as missionaries should use this topic in our teachings. It was incredible! Plus he's from Kenya so he had a super cool accent.
I also forgot to mention about my temple experiences here in the MTC. Every P-day we wake up at six and we are at the temple by seven for our assigned time. We are the first group to go through in the morning and it's amazing! You sort of get a break from everything that's going on and it's just a great way to start of your day. My testimony continues to grow and grow every day and I'm getting better at it in Malagasy.
Fantatro fa marina ny filazantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa marina ny bokin'i mormona. Fantatro fa raha hamaky ny bokin'i mormona isika dia hitay antsika Andriamanitra. Fantatro fa afaka hahatsapa ny fanahy masina isika. Fantatro ny fomba ampiasianstika ny sorompanavotana dia amin'ny alalan'ny Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa Tia antsika Andriamanitra. Fantatro fa marina ny fiangonana. Amin'ny anaran'ny Jesoa Kristy, Amen. 
Translation: I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is True. I know that if we read the Book of Mormon then God will bless us. I know that we can feel the Holy Ghost. I know that the way we use the atonement is through Jesus Christ. I know that God loves us. I know that this church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
There's a lot more that I know how to say but I don't have enough time to say it so I had to make it short and sweet. I'm learning more and more words every day and I've made about 150 flashcards to help me with the verbs. My challenge to you this week is to read Mosiah Chapter 14, it talks about the atonement of Jesoa Kristy and I love it. It's super short but has a lot of meaning so if you have time read it!!!! Love you all so much and can't wait until next P-day to email you all. Love you all so much! Tiako ianareo!
Elder Stringfellow

PICTURES - We have this super cool Australian Elder in our Zone, Elder Arthur, who's going to Indonesia who every night does some weird ancient Chinese relaxation technique on all the elder's backs. He uses some weird goo but it looks super cool when he's done. He's the one sitting on the grass at the temple. The last picture is my super cool teacher Brother Bingham. I love him to death!!! 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4, 2014

Manahoana ny Fianakaviako!

Elder Redding (SS) and Elder Stringfellow (1B) #RollTribe State Champions
Hi awesome family! It's so nice to be able to email you today! Thank you so much for sending me my glove it means the world to me! I also got Syd's letters today and they were so thoughtful. There's not really that much to talk about this week.....we do the SAME THING EVERYDAY! Haha, I like it though! I got an email from Elder Gulbransen today and he said he was struggling but he was still in Texas. I made the note to remind him that this work wasn't supposed to be easy. I also told him that we're not on our time anymore we're on the Lord's time and that this mission isn't ours it's his. I've been praying for him and his family every night and I know that the lord will provide. 
Elder Godfrey (Mtn. Crest HS) & Elder Stringfellow (Bountiful HS)
 The biggest thing that's been helping me is remembering a talk that President Uchtdorf gave. He said in the talk that there are no true endings but only everlasting beginnings. I know this to be true and that my new and everlasting beginning is my mission. I am so thankful to be apart of this church and it means the world to me. I also wrote the family a letter today because I had some things I wanted dad to say to the football team. I had to write it because I only have 60 min to email and I just wanted to say something to them. I heard we beat Viewmont and that Sam scored on a waggle in the JV game! That's awesome, keep up the good work bud! It's crazy to think that just one year ago I was on the high school football team and now I'm on the Lord's team. 
This gospel is so true and I have had so many amazing experiences here to prove it. I'm going to make a superstition for the rest of my time here in the MTC and that is bearing my testimony every week to you all in Malagasy. Hopefully they get better and more exact but here it goes:
Fantatra fa marina ny filanzantsara. Marina ny bokin'i mormona. Fantatra fa raha mamaky ny bokin'i mormona isika dia hitay antsika Atra. Fantatra fa mpaminany velona marina i Thomas S. Monson. Fantatra fa manaraka ny didy folo isika dia hitay antsika Atra. Tia antsika Atra. Tia antsika i Jesoa Kristy. Tia anareo aho ary tia ny Filazantsara aho. Amin'ny anaran'ny Jesoa Kristy, Amena. 

Elder Price, Elder Godfrey, Elder Glazier, Elder Stringfellow
Translation: I know the gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true. I know that if we read the Book of Mormon God will bless us. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living true prophet. I know that if we follow the ten commandments God will bless us. God loves us. Jesus Christ loves us. I love you all and the gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Elder Stringfellow & Elder Eyring (MP5 Wardies)
I'm getting better! I mentioned in my letter to home that the language is hard but it's coming. Yesterday we finished the structure of the language and now it's just memorizing. Isn't that Crazy. This language is structured so much better than English and I'm so thankful for that. My times almost up and I still want to upload pictures but I can only do that in the Laundry Room so I'm going to make it short and sweet. I love you all so much and I am so glad that you have supported me in serving a mission. I'm almost halfway done with the MTC and I can't wait to get to Madagascar to serve the Malagasy people. Love you so much and God be with you till we meet again. 


Elder Stringfellow

Elder Stringfellow at Provo Temple
P.S. Elder Glazier and I are now teaching our two teachers as if they were investigators and it's awesome! We have given almost 10 lessons in Malagasy and I can now give the whole first lesson roughly in Malagasy. Tonight we are teaching the first lesson to a member who speaks Malagasy and I can't wait. We had Rakoto Jean (Brother Bingham) committed to baptism but  he made up the story that he's had problems with ny tenin'ny fahandrena (the word of wisdom). Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers even though he's my teacher and he's just making it up to help us. Love you all.