Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 3 in Andranomanelatra

Manahoana Daholo!

This week was insane! So much crazy stuff happened and it was for sure a week to remember! I'll start off with what happened at the beginning of this week!

On Tuesday we had a pretty rough work day mainly because our car was broken! Apparently it accidently got filled with diseal instead of just regular gasoline.....The rest of the day was spent trying to get it fixed and luckily we did!

This week was also the Malagasy equivelant to the 4th of July! It's was flipping nuts! June 26th is the day that Madagascar became an independent nation and it's probably one of the craziest days of the year! Everyone is completely drunk! It's really sad to see but I actually have a really funny story about some drunk guy!

We had been working out in Sarodroa all day and had just come back to Andranomanelatra to teach our last time! We were sort of in a hurry because a 7:00 pm curfew had been set and we were trying to squeez this last time in! On our way to the time some cop starts yelling at us in French and you could clearly tell that he was drunk! Yes, a cop!  He was way out of it and started to follow us! He followed us all the way over to our time and at that point we started to pretend that we didn't know any Malagasy! It was way funny as our member help was pretending to translate for us! He eventually left and we haven't seen him since, haha!

On a more spiritual note, our branch president left for the Temple in South Africa today! He and his wife are the first members from the branch to visit the temple and we couldn't be more happy for them! At least the missionaries will have some help when members ask us about the temple, haha!

All of our investigators are doing great especially out in Sarodroa!  We got some good news about Rob and hopefully he can get baptized here in a little while! He's so ready but he still needs to fix some stuff!  All in all, he's doing great as well as everyone else!

That's about it for the week! It was a crazy week but I'm sure glad that I got to experience it! I hope everything is going great where ever you may be and just know that everything is going great down here! I love you all so much and I hope that everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 2 in Andranomanelatra

Hey Everyone,

Holy cow it's so cold down here! I honestly never thought that Madagascar could actually get cold but I wouldn't be surprised if the temperatures continue to drop! Besides the cold everything is going great down here in Andranomanelatra and we had a pretty good week! Right now we are currently working with two different branches and I believe that I didn't talk about the second branch in my last week's letter!

Ya'll already know that we work with the Andranomanelatra branch but we are also the missionaries for the branch in Saradroa! Saradroa is about a 45 min drive from our house and we only get to work out there on Fridays because of the distance! This week I got to visit the church in Saradroa and it's honestly a 45 min hike to get to! It is literally on top of a mountain and I believe that it is one of the coolest places on earth for any church to exist, haha! They have sacrament meeting in a tiny building and classes are in three separate smaller buildings! It just goes to show that this church can exist any where here on earth! We have a couple investigators in Saradroa who are so prepared for baptism but we just need to fix some things in there life before they can get baptized! Please pray for Rob, Raymond, and Terrez!

Work in Andranomanelatra this week went very well and it was as normal as ever! The only little problem we had this week was our car completely stopped working on Thursday and we didn't get out to work until around 5:00......I hate days like that but at least the Toleman's saved us, haha! The Toleman's are a mission couple down here in Antsirabe and they helped us get our car working again!

Anyways, that's about it for the week! We have set some pretty high goals this week and hopefully they push us to work a little harder this week! All in all, this week was a very good week and I hope we can continue to work hard next week! I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 1 in Andranomanelatra...learning to drive a stick shift, haha!

Manahoana Daholo!

It is so cold! I know it probably sounds weird that Madagascar can actually get cold but I am freezing! 6 months in Tamatave didn't really prepare for the weather here in Antsirabe but I'll take it any day over the heat! Andranomanelatra is such a cool place! I literally teach people in Ambanivohitra (the country side) and it's just incredible! Everyone farms out here and houses are so far apart! Because of that we have a car and we have to drive all over the dirt paths in our area to go teach people! This week I'm going to learn how to drive stick so that should be fun, haha!  Andranomanelatra is so pretty and sometimes I feel like I'm back in the countryside of Utah working out there! I love it so much!

My new companion Elder Mumford is so cool! He's from West Jordan, Utah and he works very hard! Elder Mumford has almost finished his mission and he goes home at the end of this transfer! We have worked very well together so far and I can't wait to continue working with him!

The Andranomanelatra Branch is so awesome! We usually have 80 people come to church every week which just blows my mind because I didn't even know that 80 people lived out here, haha! Every Sunday we have Sacrament meeting in a tent and yesterday I had to opportunity to bear my testimony to the branch!   One of my favorite experiences on the  mission so far! Our Branch President is so cool and in a couple of weeks he'll be going to the temple! The first member of the branch to go! We also receive member help everyday from someone named Sitraka! He is so funny and here in a couple of weeks he'll be receiving his mission call! Something to look forward to!

Anyways, that was my week! The drive from Tamatave was about 10 hours but at least I got to see Elder Hein before he went home! We spent the night together at the AP's house on Tuesday night and then went our separate ways....I'm going to miss him a lot but the legend of Elder Hein will live on, haha! I love you all so much and I hope that everyone has an awesome week!


Elder Stringfellow

Elder Mumford...New Companion
Saying Goodbye to Elder Razaka
Saying Goodbye to Elder Price
Saying Goodbye to Elder Hein...His Father (middle)
Sitraka's House
The Tent Chapel
Andranomanelatra Countryside
Rice Patties
Andranomanelatra Countryside


Monday, June 8, 2015

Adventures in Madagascan Dentistry...Transfer Week


Well, Elder Stringfellow's time in Tamatave has come to an end.....I have been transferred to Andranomanelatra in Antsirabe (Here is a Link with Info on the Area) with Elder Mumford! I AM SO PUMPED! Antsirabe has a ton of Mountains and is a lot colder than Tamatave! Antsirabe is one of the coolest areas in the mission and I can't wait to work there! By the way, Elder Stringfellow will have to learn how to drive stick so please pray for him, haha! To make matters even better I'll be heading down with Elder Herrin and we'll be leaving together again! He will also continue to be my Zone Leader!

I have loved everyday in Tamatave and it was really hard to say my goodbyes this week! I have become so close to so many people here Tamatave and the people of Ankirihiry have a special place in my heart! I am going to miss this place so much and I am so grateful for the time I had to serve here!

That's everything that's happened with transfers but now here's what happened this week!  Mom, please don't freak out when you read this but I got to visit a Malagasy dentist this week! Haha, it was awesome and I have some weird feeling that you're going to freak out! Don't worry, I just had
a filling or something fall out and I decided that I wanted it fixed! Luckily, one of our investigators is a dentist so I just asked him and he did an awesome job! No shots, no pain, no nothing! The dentist
office was a little sketchy and luckily I took pics to show you all!  Again, please don't freak out! I am perfectly, 100 percent healthy!

This week we had a BAPTISM! I was so blessed of having the opportunity to baptize Tonya! I know I told you last week that her brother was going to do it but last Monday night the family decided
that I was going to do it! The service was awesome and we had a lot of members come for support! Yesterday Tonya became a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost! It was probably one of my favorite days in my mission so far! After the service we all headed over to the New Church (which opens this Sunday) and moved chairs in! I missed it by one week but I'm so glad it's finished! It looks awesome and the members of Tamatave are going to love it!

Well, this is my last letter that I'll be sending from Tamatave! I'm going to miss this place like crazy but I'm excited to leave! I can't wait to work with Elder Mumford in Andranomanelatra and I can't wait to see how the work is going! As always, I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Stringfellow

Celebration Dinner for Tonya's Baptism

The Dentist Office

The Dental Chair

Crab Laoka

Elder Razaka, Elder Stringfellow, and Tonya

Must be Cold

New Chapel in Tamatave

More new Chapel Pictures

The Trio - Part 1

The Trio - Part 2

Uh Huh - The Trio - Part 4

Elder Stringfellow in Front of New Church House

Ryan with some church members

Ryan with some sisters of the Ward

Group Picture of the Elders in Tamatave

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 24 in Tamatave


We had another awesome week here in Ankirihiry/Toamasina and a lot of great things happend! The work is tena mandeha tsara am'izao and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

First, Tonya is getting baptized this Saturday! I have taught her all the way through and it's so awesome to see her preparing for baptism! We stopped by her family's house last night to check up on everything and it's all in order and ready to go! Also, last night the three of us, along with a guitar played by Razaka, sang American songs for the whole family! All of you already know that Elder Stringfellow isn't really a singer but it was still a lot of fun and we get to do it again tonight at our Soiree with them! They are honestly one of my favorite families in the mission so far and I love them so much!

This week we also began the trio and I spent most of the week with Elder Price in Toamasina! Haha, it's so much fun working with Elder Price and there is never a dull moment! He has lots and lots of funny stories and I was laughing all week! He's such a great guy and even a better missionary!

Elder Razakamandimby worked with Fr. Jean Claude this week so the work in Ankirihiry is still going very well! It's kind of funny because whenever we talk about Jean Claude we refer to him as the "volom-bava" which means "mustache" in English! You can probably already guess but he has a way thick mustache, haha! Probaby sounds dumb but when your a missionary some of the dumbest things before your mission are now the funniest!

Anyways, that's about it for the week! So sorry that's it's a short email but this week I should have a lot to talk about! I'm guessing that this will be my last week here in Tamatave and I'm way sad about it! I've been here for 6 months and I've loved everyday! I have learned so much out here and I know that I have been strengthened by my time our here! I sure do love this mission and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

Ryan and his favorite Juice
Beautiful Mada Countryside
Ryan and the Indian Ocean
The Streets of Tamatave
Ryan got Egged and Floured for his Birthday
More of the Egging and Flouring..
Ryan with his Zone Leaders