Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter...

Miala tsiny tsy niresaka taminareo tamin'ny omaly za fa ny fankalazana paka no nanajanona ny zavatra rehetra tamin' izany.

HAPPY EASTER! I sure hope that everyone had a great day and that you were all able to reflect on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's crazy to think that this was my last Easter out here in the mission field and it's a pretty bitter sweet moment. It's always great to recognize how influential the power of Christ's resurrection is in our lives. The greatest act of love that he has ever expressed to us was through his own Atonement and then on the third day he overcame physical death so that we could all experience it and become more like our Father in Heaven. I honestly can't think of a better gift that we could receive other than that and this last Sunday was a great day to be thankful for it.

Elder Cooley and I had a great week last week. It started off a little rough with Elder Cooley being sick all night and all of Tuesday but everything after that was great. Elder Cooley and I put in a lot of work this week and it seemed like we really focused on less actives. It's not always fun working with less actives but Elder Cooley and I are really trying to be friends with everyone here in Ampefiloha and less actives are right at the top of the list. We literally do anything to make people realize that we're really friendly and that they don't need to be afraid of us. Elder Cooley and I have actually created a game where if you make someone smile at you, they become you're new friend. We do really dumb, silly things on the path all the time to make people laugh at us and it's way fun. We've really been trying to do it with less actives and it's been working pretty well thus far. Hopefully, less actives start becoming friends with us and then after that start coming to church.

Investigators are doing great. Victor really wants to be baptized and he was at church again,That's two weeks in a row and hopefully we get him baptized. He has really come a long way and he's really starting to understand things. William and Poland are both doing well and hopefully we seem baptized in May.

Well, that's all I got for today. Again, I hope that everyone had a great Easter and that was a special day for everyone. I love you all so much and I hope that everyone has a great week.

Love, Elder Stringfellow

(PS - I almost forgot to tell you guys that this last week was TRANSFER WEEK! Don't worry, Elder Cooley and I are still together. I am getting a new Zone Leader Companion though. Ya'll remember Elder Reynolds from Mahajanga? Well, he and I will now be the Zone Leaders here in South Zone. Pretty dope, hugh? Anyways, that's it. Love ya'll!)

Pics
1. The house
2. The Church
3. Remember Stephano from Mahajanga? He just got his mission call and
came to Tana to get ready to go. I got to meet up with him last
Saturday. He's going to the Ivory Coast!
4. Ampefiloha
5. More Ampefiloha
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK





Here is a Video of Ryan's Baseball Swing that he has been working on with a Broomstick

video

Monday, March 21, 2016

Baked Bean Week...

Manahoana Daholo e!

How's everyone doing? Everything is going great out here in the mission field and Elder Cooley and I are having a blast. We had a really good week this past week and we completed the bean challenge. I know it sounds way dumb but Elder Cooley and I had a ton of fun doing it. We literally ate beans for every meal. It sounds gross but ya gotta do what ya gotta do and it's all about the experience right? Anyways, we have some way cool investigators right now and they're probably all I'm going to talk about today.

Our first way cool investigator is named Fidele. How cow, he is way cool. Elder Cooley and I tracted into him a couple of weeks ago and he his progressing very rapidly. Two weeks ago we gave him a Book of Mormon and this last week when we went to follow up with him he blew our minds. He literally had a notebook completely filled with questions about the BOM and then everything that he had read was very thoroughly marked. Elder Cooley and I were in complete shock because neither of us had seen an investigator study the Book of Mormon that deeply before. We tried the answer all of his questions which I think we did quite well but the coolest thing that happened was what he said right before we left. He turned to Elder Cooley and I and said, "Za no mampanantena fa ho vakiako ity boky ity." That literally translate to, "I promise you guys I will read this." Way cool! Hopefully we see him baptized here real soon!

Another really cool investigator we have is named Victor. Victor used to be a colonel in the Malagasy military and he actually lost his right arm in a parachuting accident. He is a really nice guy and this last week he told us that he really wants to be baptized. We told him that if he's really serious about it he needs to start coming to church. Well, guess what? He came to church yesterday! He too could be baptized here real soon. Keep your fingers crossed!

The final investigator I want to talk about is named Poland. Poland is just a good guy all around. He and his wife have a really nice family and our goal is to get them all baptized at the same time. Poland seems like he could get baptized right now but it's probably better to get them all at the same time. We were actually just at their house last night and all of them seem to be progressing very well. Keep your fingers crossed for them too!

Well, that's probably all I'm going to write this week. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

Pics
Ampefiloha,
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK









Monday, March 14, 2016

Nothing but Baked Beans for an Entire Week...

Manahoana Daholo!

Hey Everyone! How's everything going? Things are going great here in Madagascar and Elder Cooley and I still love working together. This week was filled with a ton of exciting events that I can't wait to share with ya'll.

First off, Elder Cooley and I were able to on splits with one of our APs, Elder Glazier! You guys remember him? Elder Glazier was my MTC companion about a year and a half ago and now he's AP. It was an awesome split mainly because I finally got to be companions with Elder Glazier again.

On Friday, we had something really cool happen. Elder Cooley and I were visiting a member family and just sharing a quick spiritual message with them when all of the sudden we were asked by the mother of the family if we could give her a blessing. Elder Cooley and I gladly told her that we would and I had the opportunity of actually giving it. The blessing that I gave her was probably one of the most spiritual moments on my mission. I don't really remember everything that I said but the spirit was there and there was no denying it. It just another reminder to me about how important this work is. We are literal representatives of Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful that I can hold his priesthood.

On Saturday, I was able to go on a split with Elder Tiu who is also from my group and is one of our District Leaders in the Zone. We had a really good day catching 4 or 5 lessons and just catching up on things.

Eventually Sunday rolled around and we were able to attend stake conference. Now that was a cool experience. I had never seen so many Malagasy Latter Day Saints in my life and we completely filled the Manakambahiny Stake Center. Elder Cooley and I translated for mission couples the entire time which was a whole lot of fun. All the talks that were given were very well done and it was a great way to spend the Sabbath day.

Well, that's about all I got for the week. Things are still going great out here in the mission field and I love being a missionary. I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow


P.S. I'll try and send pictures later today. My computer is whack.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Pics
1. Madagascar is pretty dirty
2. Still dirty
3. Elder Cooley and I are going to try and eat nothing but baked beans this week. Wish us luck!
4. Ampefiloha







Monday, March 7, 2016

Busy....

Manahoana daholo!

Busy, busy, busy week! This week was pretty jammed pack with meetings, splits, and of course, working Ampefiloha with Elder Cooley! We got so much done this week I don't know if I can pack it all in to this one email but I'll sure try!

To start things off, on Tuesday Elder Evans and I had a Mission Leadership Council meeting with all the other zone leaders in the mission, President Foote, and the APs. We talked a lot about needs of the mission and how we can better the work here in Madagascar. It was a pretty cool meeting and I feel like we got a lot done.

After the meeting was over, Elder Evans and I conducted splits with two new trainees in our Zone. I went with Elder De Klerk, Elder Evans went with Elder Wilmont, and their two trainers worked together. Both Elder De Klerk and Elder Wilmont are from South Africa and it was super weird working with someone again who had literally just started their mission. It made think a lot about how far I've come and the last year and a half and it's crazy to see how much the mission can change you.

On Thursday, Elder Evans and I had another meeting but this time it was with the stake president. We talked about missionary work within the stake and area boundaries. It wasn't a super long meeting but I felt like we accomplished a lot and I think we'll start seeing some big changes here soon in the stake. Oh, and on top of that, we had all the Mahajanga elders staying at our house that day which put a grand total of 10 missionaries in a tiny house. The Mahajanga are here for the conference and it was great to see them again.

Well, that's about all I got for the week! Elder and I are doing well and we love working together here in Ampefioha. Life just seems to be going pretty well right now and I couldn't be happier than where I am now. Anyways, I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Stringfellow

P.S. Happy Birthday to my little sister who turns 13 this weeks. Also congrats to Taylor Gulbransen and Syd Austin on the big engagement!

Love you guys!