Tsisy vorontsiloza tamin'ny Alakamisy....
I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that ya'll stuffed yourselves full of Turkey! Thanksgiving was a little different here but Elder Coleman and I sure made it worthwhile. We started off the day by working our tails off and then on Thanksgiving night we went to this insane beach resort down in the main part of town. The food there was really expensive but it was so good. I got this really good shrimp and then topped it off with some chocolate mousse. I never thought in a million years that I would be eating seafood on Thanksgiving but it sure was good!
Anyways, the next day Elder Coleman left and I got my new companion Elder Wootan. He is such a baller and he's got great ideas for this branch. He and I have been talking for the past couple of days and we have come to the conclusion that the leaders in this branch need help. It's not that they're not doing a good job, they just don't know how to do their job. Elder Wootan and I are going to be doing lots of training with Branch Members to see if we can bring this place back to life. Mahajanga can be an area of strength here in the mission, but we first need to help the branch get back on their feet.
We had 3 baptisms this week! Victor, his wife, and Mercelline all got baptized on Saturday and I had the privilege of performing all 3 ordinances. To make matters even better, we did the baptisms in the Indian Ocean! Literally, the coolest experience of my life. There were a couple of times, however, where I thought I was going to die because the waves were so big, but in the end, we got everyone baptized and it was a great way to spend our Saturday afternoon. The next day, they all received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and I have a little story to go along with that.
On Sunday morning, Elder Wootan and I walked into the Chapel to make sure everything was in order for Sacrament meeting to start especially for those who would be receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Every thing seemed to be in order until our 2nd counselor came up to me, literally 5 minutes before the meeting started, and said, "You ready?" I replied, "Ready for what?" He then went on to tell me that my name had been written down as the one who would be giving Mercelline the gift of the Holy Ghost! Talk about panic attack! I started freaking out a little bit because I literally had no idea how to do it in Malagasy and I only had 5 minutes to prepare. In the end, I figured out what to do and the nerves eventually went away. Mercelline received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, along with the other two, and now all 3 are members of the church.
Well, that's about it for the week. We saw a lot of amazing things happen this week and I sure am thankful for our 3 new recent converts. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!
Love, Elder Stringfellow