Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 23 in Tamatave...He finally got his Package!

Manahoana Daholo!

This week was an awesome week! Elder Razakamandimby and I gave it our all and we worked so hard! We ended this week with 30 lessons taught and we had a member present in 17 of them! The Work of Salvation in Ankirihiry is just exploding right now and the Lord has truly blessed this area!

To make matters even better Tonya passed her Baptismal Interview on Saturday! She will be getting baptized on June 6 and she has asked her brother to do the Baptism! I'm so happy for her and her decision to be baptized! I started teaching her a few months ago and she's finally to the point where she can get baptized! She still needs help trying to understand everything but the desire is there and that's what really matters! June 6 is going to be an awesome day and I can't wait!

This week Elder Razakamandimby and I will begin a TRIO with Elder Price! Elder Price's last companion, Elder Garaki, was sent to REUNION this week and Elder Price is flying solo right now, haha! Now he get's to work with us up until the transfer and I can't wait! It's going to be a lot of fun trying to work two areas and I get to meet and talk to a lot new people! I'll keep ya'll updated on what happens!

That is really I have for this week! The Package came, work was awesome, and now I'm in a Trio for two weeks! Life just can't get any better right now! It's crazy to think that a year ago I was just finishing up my favorite ball season ever, getting ready to graduate, and preparing for a mission! That was one whole year ago! It's crazy every time I think about it but time is just flying by! 9 months of my mission have already gone by and I have loved everyday of it so far!

I'm so thankful for this opportunity to serve the Lord here in Madagascar and I wouldn't trade it for the world! I love all of you so much and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Stringfellow
The Birthday Package (Lots of Candy, A Braves Baseball Shirt, A Sports Illustrated, Drink Mix)

Fish Laoka

Oh Well..Choke it down

I wonder what the bet was...

Rat Killed...

Rat being taken to the fire...

Burning the Rat...

Elder Price driving the Pus Pus

Elder Stringfellow driving the Pus Pus

Elder Pus Pus Driving

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 22 in Tamatave

Manahoana Daholo!

I can't believe another week has come and gone! I have been in Tamatave for about 21 weeks now but some days it feels like I just got here! The work here in Tamatave, especially Ankirihiry, is progressing very well and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

We were truly blessed yesterday to have 13 investigators come to church! It just amazes every time how prepared the Malagasy people are to accept the Gospel into their lives! 13 investigators was quite a sight to see but I believe that we received an even greater blessing yesterday during the actual sacrament meeting!

I have been teaching this man named Ernest for quite some time now and he just barely became active in the church again! We tried so hard so many times to get him to come back to church and this month he finally did! Well, yesterday he gave a talk in sacrament meeting on the Fanasan'ny Tompo (The Sacrament)! I was completely taken back as he walked up to the stand and gave an awesome talk on the Sacrament! He's come a really far way since I've been out here and I'm so happy that the branch is giving him some responsibilities! It's exactly what he needs right now to stay active and I know if he continues to fulfill those responsibilities he'll stay active!

Well, that was Elder Stringfellow's little spiritual miracle this week but here's a pretty funny story that happened to me yesterday! Elder Razaka and I were taking a Pus Pus out to work when all of the sudden a big police officer pulled our Pus driver over on the side of the road! He came up to the pus and realized that I was white and asked for my passport! Well, missionaries in this mission have to always carry a photocopy of their passports incase a situation like this happens! I gave him my "passport" and I thought all would be fine!

Haha, nope! He got all fed up because it wasn't my original photocopy! This story probably sounds like it's going to end bad but don't worry! For some reason they guy let me go, haha!

Anyways, that was my week! It was an awesome week and we received so many blessings from the Lord it was crazy! It was so nice to Skype most of you last week and to finally see your faces! I hope you all have a great week and I love you all so much!

Elder Stringfellow
Elder Razaka... and Elder Stringfellow

A little boy

A little girl...presumed

Kids Pulling Faces

Selfie #1

Selfie #2

The mattress didn't have bed bugs but the wooden frame did, so now the frame is on top of the roof and the matrass is on the floor, better than getting bit all night by bed bugs.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day

Our family including Grandma and Grandpa Stringfellow and Sam (Papa) and Mindy (Nana) Wilson had the incredible opportunity of Skype'ing with Elder Stringfellow for 2 hours late Sunday Night and into the early hours of Monday morning.  Being 11,000 miles away Elder Stringfellow is happy, tired, hot, hungry but so diligent in the work of the Lord.  He is so happy to have his new companion, Elder Razaka working with him in Tamatave.  Ryan's lost 25 lbs., his red hair looks like its turning brown, he has to sleep on the floor cause of a bed bug problem, he loves fruit now, he's so hot and it's so humid that his shirts are turning yellow and orange, but amidst all that adversity, he STILL LOVES HIS MISSION, and HE LOVES DOING MISSIONARY WORK.  Ryan will have been in Tamatave 6 months on the next transfer.  He loves the branch there but does not love the heat and the humidity.  During our conversation it was raining there so hard that it was difficult to hear him at times, also, all the other Elders from his area were in the Cyber trying to Skype with their parents too, at the same time, so the audio quality wasn't great.  Regardless, for our family, it was truly a blessing to hear him speak in the Malagasy Language and just to hear his voice.  We miss him a lot but there is no place I'd rather him be, than serving the Lord, gaining a testimony, teaching the people about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and being a witness to the restoration of the Gospel.  May God Bless him always.  Love You Elder Stringfellow!
Here are a few pictures and a video from our late night Mother's Day conversation!
Hot and Happy
Love this Smile

Love this kid....
Ryan Introducing himself in Malagasy

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 20 in Tamatave...Elder Razaka and Elder String

Manahoana Daholo!

Elder Razakamandimby has arrived! I thought that I'd never see him again after my first transfer but now I'm working with him! He's one of the coolest Malagasies I've ever meet and It's so much fun working with him! We work hard but we have fun doing it! I can already tell that this transfer is going to be filled with a lot of cool experiences and Elder Razaka and I can't wait to be a part of it!

Work was slow this week mainly because of the Transfer....Razaka and the other missionaries didn't get here till Wednesday evening so our work week didn't start until Thursday! The previous 3 days consisted of me working in other areas and taking care of some really sick elders! It's rough starting a week 4 days late but we made the best of it and it sure did pay off when Sunday rolled around!

Yesterday at church, to our surprise, we had 11 investigators show up and 1 less active member! A lot of the investigators who showed up are pretty new to the church and most some of them I thought would never come! One couple that took me by surprise was Christian and Voangy!

Voangy has been coming for about 3 weeks now but yesterday she brought her husband Christian! I never ever thought that I would see Christian in the Church Building but yesterday he came and stayed for all three ours! It was truly a miracle!

The one person that totally took me by surprise was that one less active member that showed up named Ernest! I've been working with Ernest for about 2 months now and he just flat out didn't have the desire to come back to church! It was starting to look dim for him but yesterday when we first walked into church there he was sitting on a chair all dressed up in the best clothes he had! I honestly couldn't believe it! He actually decided to come back and I sure hope that he continues to! Again, another miracle!

This mission is such an amazing experience and I literally see miracles everyday! Because of that I have been keeping a miracle journal and I've been doing it for about 2 weeks now! I love writing down what I see everyday! Most of the time it's just one or two things but it amazes me every time I do write something down! I love doing it and I plan on continuing my recordings in my miracle book!

That's about it for the week! The week started off slow but took off at the end! I'm so thankful for me new companion, Elder Razakamandimby! He's a flat out baller! I love this area so much and I'm so happy that I have the opportunity to stay one more transfer here! Anyways, I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Stringfellow
Little Girls of Madagascar

A Scary Bridge to Cross

He bought a sword

Friday, May 1, 2015

Week 19 in Tamatave...Transfers


Big news this week, TRANSFERS! I am very happy to say that I will be staying here in Ankirihiry for my fourth transfer and I will be receiving a new companion by the name of ELDER RAZAKAMANDIMBY!  I have already lived with Elder Razakamandimby in my birth place of Ambohimanarina and he is honestly my favorite Malagasy ever! He's just a straight up baller! He's already very good at English, so at least communication will be easier, but I get to continue my progression with Malagasy! Words can't describe how excited I am to work with Elder Razakamandimby!

Other than transfers, WE HAD CONFERENCE and I was able to watch all five sessions in English! I know most of you already watched it like a month ago but Saturday and Sunday were very big days for the missionaries here in Madagascar! It was incredible! The first two sessions and the Priesthood session of conference were probably my favorite! Looking back at my notes I came to the conclusion that the main theme of those sessions was FAMILIES! Honestly, almost every talk in the those sessions had to deal with families! Whether it was living the law of Chastity, eternal marriage, or the topic of fatherhood the main theme was Families! It just made me super stoked for the day when I can have a family of my own!

The last two sessions were even better mainly because they landed on the Easter Holiday! Elder Holland's talk on the Savior and his Atonement hit us all really hard! We have all seen crazy things out here and are working with a lot of people who need the Atonement in their lives but the talk that Elder Holland gave was a definite
reminder of the role that the Atonement plays in everyone's lives! On my notes it is marked as one of the "Re-Read" talks and I can't wait to study it more! All in all this conference was incredible! We are so blessed to have a living prophet and other leaders of the church to lead and guide us today! I can't even imagine where the world would be without their council!

Well, that's about it for the week! I can't believe another transfer has come and gone! I am so thankful for this last transfer and I learned a lot from it! I'm looking forward to working with this branch even more with my new companion! We'll keep this place rolling! I love you all so much and I hope that everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

(PS. We had 12 investigators show up to watch conference! 12 new people had the opportunity to hear the words of the prophet!)

Cute Little Kid

With one of the members son

KP Duty

Ryan?  making cinnamon rolls?

Preparing to Watch Conference

With the District President and his Wife