Monday, February 29, 2016

Finally in a Ward...

Manahoana Daholo!

Hey everyone! I sure hope that everyone had a great week because we sure did here in Ampefiloha. I already love this area so much mainly because it's the first ward I've worked in my entire mission. It's almost like going to church back at home because your not on Apostasy Watch anymore and you can actually enjoy church. It's also way awesome working with Elder Cooley because we work super hard but we have lots of fun at the same time. I feel so blessed to be working here and I'm going to make the best of it.

To start off the week, Elder Cooley and I went on a split with Elder Price in his area, Ampititafika, because he was still companion-less due to complications with his trainees visa. It was a way fun split mainly because we're all three from the same MTC group and it was way cool to see how far we've come in the past year and a half.

The rest of the week was pretty same old same old until Friday evening rolled around. Elder Cooley and I had to attend an open house for the new stake center here in the southern part of Tana. Because the church is located in our zone, Elder Evans and I had to find missionaries who could fill spots during the open house on Friday night and all day Saturday. Elder Cooley and I were the only Elders who were available for Friday night and it was super cool because it was VIP night for the open house. It was a ton of fun and Elder Cooley and I stuffed our faces with all the Malagasy food that was there after.

Well, that's about all I got for this week. I know it's not a lot but we got a pretty busy day today. I'm not going to try and upload pictures just yet because the cyber I'm in right now is pretty sketchy and I don't want viruses on my card. I'll try and find a cyber somewhere else later today to get you guys some pics. Anyways, I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Good luck to the Braves Baseball Team as they start their new season. Bring it home boys!



Sunday, February 21, 2016

Back in Tana..

Manahoana Daholo!

Okay, so I heard that myldsmail freaked out last week and that most of y'all didn't receive my email. Not to much happened last week but I'll try and give you a little run down on what happened. First off, Hanja got baptized and it was awesome! She was so excited to get baptized and I couldn't be more happy for her. Second, I've been transferred back to Tana where I'm now companions with Elder Cooley and Zone Leaders with Elder Evans. I know it sounds kind of weird but Elder Cooley and I are two of the four Elders in Ampefiloha and Elder Evans and I are the Zone Leaders for the South Zone here in Tana. That probably didn't make too much sense but that's what's going on.

Anyways, this week was super busy. There were a few missionaries in zone flying solo for a while due to transfers and we had tons of fun making sure everyone had a companion. Elder Price still does not have a companion because his trainee has not received a his visa yet, so he's been with Elder Cooley and I for a few days which has been super fun. Elder Evans and I also conducted a split this last Thursday with the Manakambahiny Elders. I got to work with my son again, ELDER BECKER! Man, it was so cool to work with him again. It had been almost 5 months since I had seen him last and boy has he come a long way. Let's just say Elder Stringfellow was very impressed with Elder Becker.

Well, I don't really have a whole lot more to say. Right now I'm just focused on trying to learn my new area and trying to get to know those Elders in the Zone who I still don't know. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow
Back with his son...Elder Becker
Just another Madagascan creature...

Elder Stringfellow, Elder Cooley, Elder Evans

Elder Cooley and Elder Stringfellow going Black and White


Future Missionary
Training to be a Catcher...
Future Young Men's President

Madagascan Sunset
Mahajanga....a place that changed Elder Stringfellow's life..
Mahajanga water houses

Back in Tana

Monday, February 15, 2016

Transferred.....The Bountiful Boys are Back Together...

(Note:  Elder Stringfellow's family did not receive a letter from him on February 15th because of an email glitch with the LDS mail server.  We finally received a forwarded version on February 21st. Sometimes, No still Good News!)

Hey Everyone!

Well, this last week was transfer week and it looks like I'll be leaving....Man, I don't know if I'm ready to leave Mahajanga yet. Mahajanga is right up there as one of my favorite areas but I know the Lord needs me to start working in another part of the vineyard. In just a couple of hours I'll be boarding an airplane to head back to Tana were I'll be a Zone Leader with Elder Evans and companions with Elder Cooley! I am so pumped! The two Bountiful Boys are finally working together! I'm also excited to work with Elder Evans who is also from my same MTC group.

Anyways, besides all the transfer news, Hanja got baptized! Yep, on Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to baptize her and then yesterday she became a member in the church. She is so happy now and I'm so thankful for her decision to come one step closer unto Christ. She's just flat out awesome and I couldn't be more happy for her.

Well, that's about all I got today. Sorry that my letter is super short but I don't have a ton of time. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. I got lots of pics this week with members but my computer is being dumb...I'll probably just send pics from the baptism for now.


Monday, February 8, 2016


Hey Everyone! How's everyone doing? We had another really good week here in Mahajanga and we are starting to see the fruits from our labors.

To start off, the baptism is still all set for this Saturday and we can't wait for Hanja to get baptized. We can tell that Hanja is starting to get excited and that she's going to make a great asset to this branch. She's come a long way the past couple of months and it's about time that things are finally going her way. She's been showing a lot of signs of conversion the past couple of weeks and we feel like she is more than ready to get baptized.

Other than the news on the baptism, there isn't a whole lot more to talk about.....We had a really good work week and all, but we are still trying to get people excited about the gospel. Most of our lessons this week still went pretty well and we'll keep trying to find the elect who are ready to receive the gospel. I guess one really good thing we saw this week was that sacrament attendence went up again and we broke 100 this week! Yep, we had 102 people come to sacrament meeting yesterday.

This week I also had the opportunity to study repentance and the atonement. Repentace and Christ's Atonement are two of the most important principles that we can learn from the gospel. These two precious gifts from our Father and Heaven have helped so many individual lives and it's amazing to see results from them. Going into this week, I can honestly say that I didn't fully understand the importance of these two concepts and boy, have my eyes been opened.

It's hard to think that it took me this long to finally start to realize the important roles of repentance and the atonement in my life and it has definitely made me want to change. "Fiovana" means change in Malagasy and this is the one word that I'll be ponderizing this week. It sounds super simple but it's something I need and I know it will bring something good.

Well, that's all I got to say for this week. Sorry that my leter's not super long but I really don't have anything else to say. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Stringfellow

Monday, February 1, 2016

I love being a missionary...

Vao Niresaka tamin'ny ray aman-dreniny izy ary mamela azy hatao batisa izy ireo!

Well, it looks like HANJA IS GETTING BAPTIZED! Yep, she talked to her parents last week and they are going to allow her to do it. It's kind of a wierd story but it looks like we're going to shoot for the 13th of February! I guess what's happening is that her parents aren't going to deny her the opportunity to get baptized anymore but they're still confused on why she wants to do it. When we asked her how she felt about it she gave a very definite "tokony hatoe le izy" which means, "I should be done." Long story short, she wants to get baptized and she wants to do it as soon as possible. We're thinking about doing it the Saturday right before transfers just incase one of us leaves. Ahh man, I'm really excited for her because it's been a long time coming and I hope everything works out for the 13th. Keep your fingers crossed!

Other than the big news about the umpcoming baptism, we had a really good work week. We received some referrals from a really strong couple in the branch and they actually helped us teach them. We've started teaching a ligit Malagasy rockstar and he's now a progressing investigator. We also have 3 or 4 families we teach who look really promising and hopefully we can consider them progressing her soon. I don't know, the mission life is just really good right now. Things are slowly falling into place and I feel like we'll soon see some amazing things happen. I just simply love Mahajanga.

We had another really good Sunday yesterday with 5 investigators coming to church and 95 total in atttendence. Saholy and her daughter finally came to church yesterday and it was great to finally see them there. We found her and her family back in December and they are now finally starting to show big signs of progression. They still have a long ways to go but they're heading down the right path.

Well, I don't know what else there is to say other than I love being a missionary and I love being in this area! Things seem to be going really well right now and I'm nervous that I'll be transfered her in a couple of weeks. Mahajanga is right up there with Andranomanelatra as one of my favorite areas and I feel so blessed that I've had the opportunity to work here. Anyways, that's my weekly report. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

Pics of Mahajanga