Monday, September 28, 2015

Hiking get the best view!

Manahoana Daholo,

Tena miala tsiny fa somary tara kely androany aho! Sorry, I'm a little late today... We just hiked a huge mountain as a Zone and we just barely got back! Way fun though, haha! Anyways here's all the details about the week:

Voalohany indrindra, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Hope you have a great day! Love you so much!

Yes, the packages have come! Thank you so much for sending those! The candy and medicine were needed but honestly, the best part about it all were the hand-written letters! They really did make my day and I'm happy to see that everyone is doing great back at home!

This week I was able to conduct a split with the Ambohimena West Elders, Elder Horspool and Elder Lake! Man they are some dang good elders! It was cool to work with them for a day and learn some new teaching and finding techniques that I can imply into my work! I thought that splits were going to be somewhat of a hassle at first, but they're actually great learning opportunities! I feel like I know now the importance of why splits are conducted and I'm going to go into every split, from now on, we a desire to learn something new!

VOANGY AND PRISKA! I love these two so much! We have been teaching them for a while now and Voangy is finally off of coffee! We will be having the Baptismal Interviews this week and they should be getting baptized on Oct. 10! In our last lesson with them, our Branch President was there and Priska (Voangy's 18 yr. old daughter) asked him when she could receive her calling! She's not even baptized yet, but she already wants a responsibility in this church! I think that I can honestly say that out of all my investigators that I have taught, they are the most prepared for baptism! They are what this church needs!

We had another miracle this week if you can believe it! On Saturday, Elder Becker and I were tracting and we found a man named Jean Elise!  He gladly let us in and all we were planning on doing was introducing ourselves and getting a new time set-up! Well, I guess that while we were introducing ourselves I mentioned something about the restoration and he instantly wanted to learn more! We introduced him to the restoration pamphlet and shared Joseph Smith's first  vision! After we did all that he literally said this to me, "Is it okay if I have this pamphlet? I really want to read it and maybe next time I'll ask you guys some questions! Oh, can you guys also come back next Saturday at this time?" What?! That never happens! Well, we now have a program set-up with him every Saturday! I'm telling ya, If you put in the time and work hard, God will bless you and you will see miracles happen!

Well, that's my weekly report! Love you all so much and I hope that everyone has a great week! GO UTES!

Elder Stringfellow

Monday, September 21, 2015

Miracles & Life Lessons Learned from Grandpa Perkins

Misy ny fahagagana maro eto Andranomanelatra izao!

Miracles! That's all I'm going to say! Not going to lie but this week was probably one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission thus far! I don't know what it was but we literally saw miracles left and right everyday and I can't wait to tell ya'll all about it!

To start off, on Wednesday Elder Becker and I went on a split with on of the AP's, Elder Rigby! It was such a good split and we saw a huge miracle from it! While we were tracting we saw a man standing out in front of his house and we decided to go up and talk to him! His name is Paul and he gladly let us talk to him about our message! He wouldn't let us in his house but he let us describe a little bit what we do! We talked a little bit about our work but we didn't really see the conversation going anywhere and decided to end it by inviting him to church! We really didn't think anything of it because we always invite everyone to church but almost every time that don't end up coming....Well, on Sunday, Elder Becker and I walked into our Tent/Chapel and guess who was sitting there? Yep, Paul!!! He really came! After Sacrament I went up to talk to him and this is literally what he said to me, "I got some things I need to think about." Holy Cow! If that's not a miracle I don't know what is! We went to his house later that day and set up a program with him next week!  Hopefully we can get him to come to church again!

On Friday we had another Miracle happen! We went out to Sarodroa and we decided to mix things up a little bit by teaching Raymond and Bebe first! Bebe is Raymond's Mom and she has been learning for a long time but still isn't baptized! She has been waiting for Raymond to finish his divorce papers before her baptism because she wants to be baptized together! Well, Bebe is starting to get tired of waiting and she wants to be Baptized now! I talked to President Foote about it and we still think it's better if she waits for her son Raymond! I told Bebe that on Friday and I thought she was going to kill Raymond, haha! She said, "I can't get baptized because of you! Hurry up and get divorced already!" haha! Well, now Raymond is really trying to get his papers done and hopefully in a couple of weeks we'll see a baptism in Sarodroa!

On Saturday, we had yet another miracle happen! Elder Becker and I found this new investigator a couple of weeks ago named Solo! Solo is awesome! He's very smart and things come easy to him! Our lesson this week was about the Restoration of the Priesthood! He was still having a hard time trying to understand why Prophets and the Priesthood are so important! Elder Becker and I really stressed the importance of Priesthood and we shared the example of Moses from the Bible! We finally got him to understand that the thing that makes a prophet a prophet is the priesthood! We then went on to teach about Christ's church and how it fell into Apostasy! I then shared the first vision again with him and showed him three pictures: God and Jesus Appearing to Joseph Smith, the picture of Christ ordaining the Apostles, and the picture of Peter, James and John restoring the priesthood to Joseph! I showed him how Christ put his hands on the head's of the Apostles and then how they did the same thing to Joseph! After that something clicked in his mind and he understood it! I could literally see the change of perspective in his face and it gave me goose bumps! It was literally one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission!

Ryan with Nana, Grandpa Perkins, & Papa on night he was set apart
Last little cool, spiritual experience I had happened yesterday right after church! One of our Branch President's daughters just gave birth 10 days ago and we were visiting her and her new baby! I let Elder Becker Share the Spiritual thought which related to the five principles of the gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End! He then turned the time over to me and all I was thinking about was Grandpa Perkins and how he tries his best to live according to those principles! So what did I do, I talked about my Grandpa and how he has been an example to me in living this Gospel! I'm so grateful for that man in my life and I'm thankful that I can share his example to the people here in Madagascar! It was another really cool experience!

Well, That's my weekly report! I sure do love you all and I hope that everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Congrats to the Football team for beating WX!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Famadiana....The Turning of the Bones

Manahoana Daholo!

Crazy week! So much happened this week I don't know if I can put it all in this one email! It was just absolutely nuts!

To start off, on Monday Elder Becker and I were invited to a Famadiana! For those that don't know what that is, it's the Malagasy turning of the bones! Every few years or so, Malagasies will open up their fasanas (tombs) and replace the burial clothe on their Dead Ancestors! They throw a huge party and everyone just gets flat out drunk! Well, Elder Becker and I attended along with the other 10 missionaries in Antsirabe, haha! It was so much fun and I got some way cool pics and videos!

Wednesday, was a cool/sad day! To start off, Elder Obioma and I attended an MLC meeting,via Skype, with President Foote, The AP's, and all the other Zone Leaders in the Mission! We talked about how we could better improve the mission and it was really cool to be a part of! After the meeting I got a call from our Branch President with some very sad news...Sitraka's Mom had passed away on Tuesday night.

For those who don't know who Sitraka is, he is our Branch Mission Leader and he is with us everyday helping us work. He also just barely received his mission call and should be leaving here in a few months! My heart literally broke when I saw him the day after his mom passed away! His eyes were so swollen and puffed up and there had been no doubt that he had been crying! I told him that I loved him and that everything was going to be okay! It's going to be tough for Sitraka for the the next little while, but I know that he'll get through it! His mom was a very good member in the church and she is now doing a better work on the other side! On Friday we attended the Fahoriana (Funeral) which was done very well by our Branch. We had to walk forever to get to the fasana but Sitraka was happy and that's what matters in the end!

We ended our week with interviews yesterday! I had an awesome interview with President Foote and we got to talk about a lot of things! President Foote is such a cool President and I really like his style on how he does things! It was a great way to the end the week!  All the investigators are still doing great and are progressing well! Keep your fingers crossed for Voangy's Baptism on October 3!

Well, that's my weekly report! I sure do love all you guys and I hope that everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

Selfie in the Tomb

Turning of the Bones Part 1

TOB Part 2

TOB Part 3

TOB Part 4

TOB Part 5

Standing on top of the tomb

Pulling the corpse out...(in the roll)

Inside the Tomb

Inside the Tomb

Missionary Super-Heroes

I don't know what to say....


Fun with broomsticks

More fun with broomsticks

A mouthful of burger

Sitting at church

More standing on top of the tomb

Burgers on scones

Deep thoughts

Deeper thoughts

I guess they love it there

Muscles, sort of

Being Goofy



different angles with broomsticks


walking in the high desert

The scone burger...but we haven't figured out what is actually on it yet

Happy Boy