Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 10 in Tamatave...Commitment and Sacrifice

Manahoana Daholo!!!

6 months baby! I can't believe how fast these last 6 months have gone! One fourth of my mission is already over and I'm sort of freaking out a little bit! That came way to fast! Haha, anyways we had an awesome week and I can't wait to share some of the experiences we had this week!

To start off nothing really happened at the beginning of the week....We worked and everything was going great! We were hitting most of our times and we were finding new investigators here and there! It was awesome!

On Thursday we had District Meeting and after that we all meet up for lunch! Elder Bowler, who is one of our Zone Leaders, was not salama tsara....He was very sick and there was no way he could've gone out to work! So we put our heads together and decided that Elder Herin (other zone leader) and Elder Turner would go out and work in Ankirihiry today and that I would stay home with Elder Bowler! You're probably wondering why I had to stay home with Elder Bowler and not his comp.

The split was needed because we needed to do a zone leader split anyways and this just made it simpler! So I stayed home with Elder Bowler and cleaned the entire house! Not going to lie but I got it looking pretty good, haha!

On Saturday we had Zone Conference! Our little zone of 12 elders pilled into the Mangarivatra Church and we were given incredible lessons by President and Sister Adams and the APs! It was awesome! We talked a lot about Commitments and Sacrifice! We must be willing to give up everything for this church! Even if it includes our own lives!

It was incredible!  Other than that nothing really happened this week! We are going on splits with one of the APs on Tuesday so that should be fun and I'll tell you how that goes! I love you all so much and I hope ya'll have a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Word of the week is "Sorona" which means "Sacrifice!"


Elder Stringfellow and Elder Turner posing for an action shot
Their Church in Ankirihiry
Inside the Church
The coast of Tamatave
Teaching the Masses

Crying Repentance to the sea creatures

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 9 in Tamatave...Teaching a Family of 25

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed their Valentine's day, haha! We had an awesome week here in Tamatave and I can't wait to talk about what we did! To start off, it rained for almost the entire week! On Tuesday we woke up at 6:30 and it was pouring.....went out to work at noon and it was home at 9:00 and it was still pouring! I had never seen anything like it but it honestly poured all day with no break in the weather! Let's just say we got soaked, haha! Throughout the rest of the week it rained even more! The weather is crazy out here! It's either really hot or it's just dumping rain!

The work this week was amazing! Elder Turner and I tracted into this family of like 25 people and we started teaching them! They are very Catholic but they have liked the two times we have come to visit them! They ask very, very good questions and we love answering them! They ask a lot of questions where I think they're trying to stump us but we always have an answer! That's the amazing thing about this church is we have all the answers that just make sense, haha! Anyways, they are starting to understand our reasoning and they want us to keep coming back! They even said that they want to feed us at some point! Keep your fingers crossed, haha!

Last night Elder Turner and I taught a lesson with Olive who should hopefully be getting baptized on March 14! She was introduced to us by Norbert and we've already taught her and her mom, who isn't progressing, like 7 or 8 times! She comes to church every week and she is progressing very well!

Last night we were going to teach her about the life after our life here on earth! Elder Turner was going over the lesson that we had before about our life here on Earth and he was explaining to her that there are five things that we must do here on earth which include: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End! We are supposed to talk more about those five things after we talk about the life after this life! For some reason Elder Turner turned it over to me and said "Elder Stringfellow will now talk about why we need to do these five things here on Earth!" All I was going to say is that they are part of God's Plan for us and we use them to prepare for the life after this one! After that we were going to lead into the lesson that we had planned! However, that did not happen!

I asked them the question "What is Faith?" They told me that it was something that you believe in like God! I told them, "Yeah that is very true, but there's a lot more to it!" I then went on to explain that we must work here on Earth to increase our faith! God didn't just send us here to send us here, he had a plan for us! We came here to Earth to learn and have experiences! I then asked them what "Faith in Jesus Christ" was! I received no answer! I told them that "Faith in Christ is accepting him in our lives and wanting to change and become
a new person through him!" Through Christ we receive the desire to repent of our sins! Then I talked about repentance and started an intro. into Baptism and then turned it over to Elder Turner!

Elder Turner started talking about Baptism and why it was different from baptisms in other churches! Olive and her mom went off! They kept on saying that she was already baptized in another church and it didn't matter if she was baptized again! This whole time they were pretty much yelling at Elder Turner and he just sat there and took it! When they were done with their rant he asked this question "Do you remember the Priesthood that we talked about?" They went off again and said that there are a lot of different priesthoods here and Earth and that it didn't matter! He let them finish and then went on and talked
about Christ's baptism! He used a lot of symbolism around the number "one" (Eph. 4: 4-5)! He went on to say that there is One God, One Christ, One Spirit, One Faith, One Baptism, One Priesthood! At this point it was dead silent! He just kept talking and his words were so powerful! His statement was very clear that we follow the example of Christ and that we use his doctrine to teach! It was so cool! He reminded her of her Bap. Date on March 14 and said, "We are not going to force you to be baptized into our church, but we want to help you
increase you faith and Christ and we know that through this fomba fomba masina (ordinance) you can receive eternal life. Will you be baptized?" She very quietly said "yes!"

It's crazy how the spirit works! In fact, we had a member helping us in the lesson and he didn't say one thing! At the end of the lesson when we walked out he turned to Elder Turner and said, "I don't know how you guys answered all those questions! I don't know how I would've answered them!" It just goes to show that the Holy Ghost really is the best teacher! It was probably one of the coolest experiences I've had so far on my mission!

That's about it for the week! Everything is still going great here in lil ole' Tamatave! I hope everyone has a great week and I love you all so much! Tiako ianareo!

Elder Stringfellow
Elder Stringfellow at the French Resort
French Ice Cream
The French Resort
More of the Resort
Some lady tried to sell Ryan and his Comp some Octopus
Flooded Tamatave
Ryan and his Companion
More on the Beach

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 8 in Tamatave...French Ice Cream!

Manahoana Daholo!

Man this week was hot! For some reason we just couldn't catch a break this week with the weather! It was flat out hot! Haha, the work still went great and everything here in lil' ole Tamatave is same old same old!

Last week I was a little under the weather but this week I feel a whole lot better! I'm pretty sure I just ate something bad but as of right now I'm perfectly healthy!

Honestly the work was a little slow this week! We're still getting a lot of lessons and working a lot of hours it's just that we need to find some ballers! We need to get people progressing and it's really frustrating sometimes when someone doesn't care or want to hear about your message and then you end up dropping them! Haha, oh well, I need to worry about the things I can control!

The highlight of the week was when Elder Turner and I found an excluded beach resort on the beach the other day while we were tracting! Our jaws dropped to the floor when we found out how much an ice cream was...9000 ariary ($4.00)!!! I can usually get ice cream for around 2000 ariary! ($1) Haha, The reason why was it was French ice cream instead of Malagasy ice cream! Elder Turner and I ended up buying one and it was amazing! It still didn't compare to the stuff they have in America but it was still pretty good! Haha, We'll be heading back there today!

That's about it for the week! I don't know if I'll be able to send pics this week but I'll really try! Anyways, I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow
More Beach Baseball Pictures
Good Form, Waves Crashing In, and A Native Watching On
Elder Bowler's Turn
Elder Godfrey turning 2
Nice Follow Through!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 7 in Tamatave...Baseball Season is Ready in Madagascar

Hey Everyone!

This last week was transfer week and the good news is that Elder Turner and I will be working for 1 more transfer together! Let's just say I'm really, really happy that neither of us will be leaving Ankirihiry!

The work this week was great! It was the same old same old as usual but we did drop 3 bap. dates to some investigators and we are planning to drop another 3 this week! We are teaching a mother and her son, Oliva and Olive, who are the most prepared for baptism! They are actually really good friends with Norbert and that's how we met them!

I think that we'll catch them for sure on April 4 and I hope that everything works out for them! All the other investigators who have dates are progressing well but I think it will be a while until they are completely prepared! Anyways, keep your fingers crossed!

Also, Elder Turner and I started tracting into a different part of our area on the beach (YES THE BEACH)! The only people we could find are rich white French people which doesn't help us at all but the area is so beautiful that Elder Turner, Elder Godfrey and I will be going there today so Elder Godfrey and I can play catch! It's going to be my first time throwing in about 5 months so we'll see how that goes, haha!

Last little info for the week is that Elder Turner and I got our bikes fixed, finally, and started riding them! Let's just say my bottom is a little sore but by the end of my time here in Tamatave my legs are going to be shredded, haha! Anyways, that's it for the week! I hope everyone has a great week and I can't even express all my love for ya'll!

Elder Stringfellow
Utah Baseball Season in Madagascar with Elder Godfrey (Mtn. Crest) and Elder Stringfellow (Bountiful)

Playing Catch on the Beach
Playing Catch is Universal even in Madagascar

The "Stringfellow" Gym

The Beach

Madagascan Chicken Nugget Stand...Ryan says he eats there everyday

More Tamatave

Ryan and a Turtle

This is what happens when you ride a bike on a beach
Navigating the local market with Elder Godfrey