Monday, July 25, 2016

Final Email ... The Best Two Years

Hey Everyone!

We'll, I never thought that this time would come....Only one more week on the mission and this is the last letter that I'll be sending home. Ahhhhhh, where has the time gone? It literally feels like I've only been in Madagascar for a short little while and now I'm being told that it's time to go home.

I always knew that his day would eventually come but I never thought that it would be this quick. I love Madagascar with all of my heart and I'm so thankful for the opportunity that I have had to serve here the last two years.

I think it's safe to say that the biggest blessing that I've recognized on my mission is the ability to change. I've seen it in myself and in those that I teach and it truly is a great blessing from a loving Heavenly Father. People always say that a mission is the "best two years" and it certainly is to certain degrees. You experience a lot of good moments on your mission and you learn how to become a better person which is awesome. However, I think that it's safe for me to say that it's not necessarily considered the "best two years" because your experience nothing but good moments on the mission. It's not really like that at all.

Along with all the good you still experience a lot of opposition and discouragement which isn't always fun. Some of the hardest moments of my life were experienced out here in the mission field and sometimes I felt inadequate or incapable of completing this sacred calling. It's taken me a while to learn, however, that the hard times can be considered as special blessings. Through hardships that have happened, I have seen and experienced a greater relationship with my Heavenly Father and I truly have seen changes in my life. It's an amazing process and it's something that I have learned from being a missionary. I've realized that my mission was the best two years for me and that's why the mission is considered the "best two years." As you help to others and forget yourself you really can see changes in your life and it's absolutely incredible. I have loved being a missionary and I love this work.

Well, that's all I really got today. I love y'all so much and I'll be seeing some of you soon!

Elder Stringfellow

Monday, July 18, 2016


Salama Daholo e!

Lasa tapaka be mihitsy ny jiroanay tamin'ny Sabotsy teo ary za sy Elder Francom no nila nikarakara an'azy.....Somary nanahirana anay kely izany fa mbola nahafinaritra be mihitsy ny herinandro lasa fa nanana ny fahafahana indray izahay nivavaka tany Andranomanelatra.

Okay, to start things off, our power box the other day decided to freak out and melt down to a point where it was no long functioning which meant that we didn't have power for a day or so. Elder Francom and I had a blast dealing with that all day Saturday as we sat with the electrician for a few hours. Anyways, that's my little rant this week. Now to the good stuff.

Bittersweet week. This last Sunday was the last time I will ever attend church in Andranomanelatra with my favorite branch ever. It was hard to say good bye to everyone out there that I love so much but I knew that that time would come. I was able to bear a final testimony to the Branch which was very spiritual and very overwhelming. I'm going to have one last dinner appointment with the Branch President and his family tomorrow night and I already know that it's going to be hard to say good by to them. I love that branch so much, and, If I could, I would attend church there for the rest of my life.

Bruno and his family are still doing really well. Still trying to figure out everything but they'll get it all figured out someday. They have so much faith that I know it'll all come around for them.

Well, that's all I got this week. Love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Shout out to the other Elder Stringfellow for starting his mission this week. Have fun in the MTC Elder!
Andranomanelatra Branch
Filter Broke on the Water for the Font...yuck!
The Crater Lake
Elders Godfrey, Francom, and Stringfellow

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Promised Land(s)...

Manahoana Daholo e!

Tena mahafinaritra be mihitsy the herinandro lasa. Novangiako ireo namako izay misy any Andranomanelatra sy Sarodroa ary tena naha-faly an' ahy izany ny namangy azy ireo.

Hey everyone! First and formost, shout out to my little bro for giving his farewell talk yesterday and for getting ready to head out to the mission field this Wednesday. Houston's lucky to be getting him and I can't wait to hear all of his awesome mission stories. He's going to be an awesome missionary and I couldn't be more proud of him.

Elder Sam Stringfellow's Blog -

Okay, now for all the amazing things that happened to Elder Francom and I this week. First of, I was able to work again in Andranomanelatra! Ya'll remember the place were the members go to church in a tent? Well, that's the place and it was amazing to visit everyone who I become so close to a year ago. I think it's safe to say that Andranomanelatra is my most favorite area that I've worked and it was such a blessing to go visit them again.

Second, I got to work in Sarodroa again. Ya'll remember the other branch we looked after while working in Andranomanelatra. Well, that's the place and it was amazing to visit them also. We we're able to work there on Thursday and then we attended church out there yesterday. Elder Francom and I had the opportunity to teach the investigator class which is a whole lot of fun. All in all, it was a great way to spend the Sabbath Day.

Oh, I almost forgot. On top of working in Andranomanelatra, Sarodroa, and our area of Ambohimena here in Antsirabe, we were also able to continue our work in Manandona which was capped off by an amazing soiree (dinner appointment) with the Branch President and his Family.
They're awesome and they want to have another Soiree on the 29th right before I head up to Tana to head home. Ahh, I love working out there and I love President Ony.

Bruno is still doing good and he and his wife want to be baptized so bad. Bruno promised me last night that he's going to get everything figured out so that he and his wife can get baptized hopefully before Elder Francom leaves latter this year. They have the cutest family ever and it was amazing to see them all attend church yesterday. He's an amazing man and father and I can't wait to see him get baptized. He's already let me know that on the 28th we must stop by his house to "manao veloma," or say goodbye, and have one last time before I leave.
I absolutely love him and his family.

Well, that's all I got this week. Things are starting to get real pretty quick and I'm trying to use the best of my time that I got left. I'm going to finish strong till the end. Anyways, that's all I got this week. Love ya'll and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow


1. Fixing a key for the sisters...(that's a story for another day) 2. Working with Bruno again out in Andranomanelatra


Dia ahoana isika jiaby e!

Tena lamina mihitsy ny herinandro lasa...tsy dia misy lohatra ambara angamba.

Hey everyone! How is everything going back at home? Crazy to think that today's already the 4th of July and that I'll be home for the next one haha. Crazy how fast time goes by and I really hope it starts to slow down. Anyways, I hope everyone had a great Independence Day and that ya'll enjoyed the fireworks!

Elder Francom and I had a pretty normal week. On Tuesday and Friday we were out in Manandona working with Filoha Ony and then for the rest of the week we were here in Ambohimena. Work is going pretty well right now but Elder Francom and I have been conjuring up to plan make it go even better. As most of ya'll know, Elder Francom and I have the responsibility to visit 5 branches outside of the town Antsirabe: Sarodroa, Andranomanelatra, Manandona, Ambositra, and Anjoma. We already visit one twice a week (Manandona) but this week we're going to try and hit three. Yep, we'll be traveling a little bit this week but we're going to hit up Manandona, Andranomanelatra, and Sarodroa all this week. Talked about PUMPED OUT OF MY MIND! I get to go back and work in my old area of Andranomanelatra/Sarodroa this week and I can't wait. Should have some good stuff to talk about next week.

Well, that's all I got for this week. Keep praying for Bruno and his family that they may get everything figured. They're still coming to church every week but they can't get baptized yet if they're not vita divorce or vita soratra. I'm not worried about them but I know that they really want to get baptized. Anyways, that's it for the week. Love ya'll so much and I hope everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Elder Francom and I went down to Ambositra today and bought some way cool wood stuff and this was a waterfall that we stopped at on the way out. Oh, and don't forget some pics of members!


Monday, June 27, 2016

All is Well...5 Weeks Left

Salama Daholo e!

Vao lasa niakatra tany Antananarivo Elder Cyusa tamin'ny Alarobia teo ary voatonga koa tam' izay ny namako vaovao, Elder Francom. Tena milay be izy ary efa tiako be izy! Saika adinoko koa fa nisy ny fetim-pirenena malagasy nandritra ny roa andro lasa ary tena karotana be le izy.

My new companion is finally here! Elder Francom is his name for those who don't know and he's awesome! He's from Kaysville Utah and he's been out here in the mission field for about 10 or 11 months now. He and I already get along very well and it was awesome to start working with him this last week. I'm super excited that he'll be my last companion to finish off the mission and I can't wait to work my tail off with him this last transfer.

Anyways, this last week was a terrible teaching week....Madagascar had it's "fetim-pirenena,"or nation holiday, on the 25 and 26 this past week and it was absolutely crazy. It's honestly just another excuse for Malagasies to go crazy and get drunk and it really hurts the program when everyone is drinking and having a party. We actually had to set curfews the last couple of nights at 6:00pm because sometimes things can get out of hand during the "fetim-pirenena." Don't worry, everything is all good and we should be back to a normal week this week.

Well, that's all I really got for this week. Bruno and his family are still doing well and there making plans to get the divorce and their legal marriage figured out. Keep them in your prayers as Bruno is trying to find some money so he can go to Tana to talk to his ex-wife and get divorced legally. It's kind of a sticky situation but I'm hopeful that it'll all work out. Love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow

1.My last district
2. Our hotel in Ambositra
4. Francom


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Last Transfer...6 Weeks Left

Karakory ma!

Tamin'ny sabotsy teo nankany Ambositra niaraka tamin' i Filoha Foote sy ny Fianakaviany za sy Elder Godfrey mba hamangy ny sampana tany.

This week was insane! It seemed like there was so much going on that we couldn't get done everything that we needed to do but some how we were able to figure it all out in the end. Between zone conference, going to Ambositra with the Foote's, and receiving transfer news there has been absolute zero down time which has been awesome. It sounds weird but I like staying busy. You feel more accomplished at the end of the day and when you wake up in the morning you're ready to go a 100 mph again.

Anyways, y'all probably want to know how zone conference went. Well, it was awesome and the Foote's are amazing people. The main topic of our zone conference was how to become a full-time, full-purpose missionary. President Foote gave some amazing counsel on how we need to stop thinking that we're too inadequate to do this work which was something that I really needed to hear. Sometimes I feel inadequate about myself whether it's with the language or with my teaching ability, but I'm starting to realize that the only thing required of me is my effort. President Foote really hit hard on that which I liked a lot. He also went over certain attributes that  we can develop so that we can become a better full-time, full-purpose missionaries. All in all, it was a great zone conference and I enjoyed it a lot.

On Saturday, Elder Godfrey and I had the opportunity to go with President Foote and his family to visit the branch out in Ambositra which is about two hours away from Antsirabe.  It was fun to have a little road trip with the Foote's and it was a whole lot of fun to stay in a hotel room with Elder Godfrey. We translated for the Foote's on Sunday during church which was kind of hard mainly because I had to try and translate President Foote's talk from English to Malagasy. I already know I did a crappy job but it's in the past and out of my control now. Anyways, it was a whole lot of fun to spend the weekend with the Foote's.

Okay, y'all probably want to know how transfer news went down. Well, I'm staying here in Antsirabe but I am getting a new companion. His name is Elder Francom and I'm way excited for him to come down. I already know who he is and he'll be a great last companion to have. It's crazy to think that it's already my last transfer in the mission but I'm way excited that it'll be spent with Elder Francom.

Well, that's all I got this week. I don't have my camera right now but I'll try and send some pics latter.

Love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow

Monday, June 13, 2016

Manandona waterfall

Nandreraka be mihitsy ny herinandro lasa....

Man, this last week was super busy. Between splits, dealing with pouch, and a whole lot of other things I'm pretty worn down. It's literally been non stop from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm everyday and Elder Cyusa and I are dead dog tired. We got a lot of things on our plate, but, even though we're super busy, I couldn't be happier. I'm slowly starting to learn that the more time you spend towards this work rather than towards yourself is nothing but a great blessing for my companion and I. It's not easy trying to juggle things around but we sure love doing it and we couldn't be happier.

This week I felt like we ran a lot of errands and that's probably the last thing y'all want to hear about, so I'm just going skip to what happened yesterday. Yesterday, Elder Cyusa, the District President, his wife, the District Relief Society President, and I all traveled out to Andranomanelatra to visit the branch out there. It was such an awesome way to spend the Sabbath day back in the old branch were I used to work. I love all the members out there so much and I love seeing them every time I head out there. They definitely have a place in my heart and I think it's safe to say that I'll be visiting them quite a few more times before I head home here soon. Ah, I love them so much!

Yesterday we also had the opportunity to teach Bruno and his family again. We taught about baptism and extended a baptismal date to them for July 30. Bruno still has to get divorced from his previous wife and legally married to his current wife before he and his family can get baptized which might be a little bit of an obstacle...He's already told us that he's going to be making a trip to the capital here soon to see if his ex-wife will sign the divorce papers, and hopefully she does. When all that is said and done, he and his wife will get vita soratra, or, in other words, become legally married. Pray and cross your fingers that every thing works out for Bruno as he is trying to prepare for his baptism.

Well, that's all I got this week. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Blue Toaster is Back

Manahoana Daholo e!

Nanao fifanakalozana be dia be niaraka tamin'ny misionera rehetra tamin'ny herinandro lasa za sy Elder Cyusa.

Man this week was awesome. Elder Cyusa and I conducted lots of splits with most of the missionaries here in Antsirabe and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

On Tuesday, I worked with Elder Kissi. Elder Kissi is originally from Ghana and he might be one of the funniest missionaries I've ever meet. He and I headed out to Manandona where we visited the small village of Be Soa with the Manandona Branch President. It was so much fun and the village of Be Soa is a way cool place. I literally felt like I was walking through the Shire from Lord of the Rings.

On Wednesday, I worked with Elder Tainter. Elder Tainter is a really cool guy and he is a great missionary. He knows how to work hard while having fun at the same time. I really liked my split with Elder Tainter and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to work with him again.

On Thursday, I worked with Elder Wilmont. Elder Wilmont is from South Africa and he is currently Elder Godfrey's companion. Our whole program literally fell through throughout the day but it didn't phase Elder Wilmont and I. We still found good use of our time. I really liked the split that he and I had.

On Fridiay, I worked with Elder Godfrey. He and I headed out to Manandona where we had a really fun day with the Branch President. It was a really good day and I really wish that he and I could be companions. Yep, I love him that much haha.

Sunday eventually rolled around and Elder Cyusa and I visited the Sarodroa Branch with the District President and his wife. Surprisingly, all the members out there remembered me from last year and it was awesome to see them again. Sarodroa is such an awesome branch and I love all the members out there. I'm really humbled in the fact that they remembered me and I can't wait to visit them again next month. Oh, and by the way, all the members out there just absolutely love Brother Bingham and they keep asking me when he's coming back haha.

The last thing I want to share is something that happened to us last night. We were visiting Bruno and his family and we had a really good lesson on Faith and Repentance. Throughout the lesson Elder Cyusa and I learned that one of Bruno's daughters, Finoana, was pretty sick and I eventually noticed her laying restlessly on the bed. This overwhelming feeling that she needed blessing started to build up in my chest and after saying a silent prayer I received the confirming YES that she needed a blessing. Bruno and his wife allowed us to give the blessing so Elder Cyusa anointed here with oil and I had the privelage of giving her the actual blessing. It was a very spiritual moment and I really hope and pray that little Finoana gets better. She seemed to be in quite a bit of pain and there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord wanted us to bless here. I don't think I've ever received such a definite prompting from the spirit than what I felt last night and I'm so thankful that we were put in the position to help her and her family.

Well, that's all I got this week. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow