Guadalajara: 10/29/12 + Happy Birthday

My dear friends this work truly is a work of miracles! yesterday elder nielson and i witnessed the true blessing of this gospel in regards to the lives of families.
the elders with victor (from Sunday August 19 post)...his papers are in the process woohoo!
 so there is a lady that we have been teaching for the last month or so, she works everyday except sundays and so we can hardly ever see her, but anyways so even though we haven't been able to teach her apart from phone calls and text messages during the week, she has been attending church since the first lesson with her. unfortunately we kind of put her on the back burner because we couldn't see her apart from sundays at church and so we hadn't focused on her, but began to take notice that she continued coming to church event hough we hadn't been visiting with her. a few weeks back she invited her two daughters to come to church with her, her two daughters that according to what the mom had told us in previous talks didn't believe in God. anyways so we started teaching the mom and one of the daughters (the other one is not interested) and they too have been regurarly coming to church. so that was when we started to focus a little more on her and her daughter haha but they have a lot of family problems going on and we actually almost lost the lady a few times because shes super sad with this and that and things just keep popping up here and there from the adversary, but the good thing is that even though were just punk kids we held on her and helped her through all the problems shes enfronted. 

last saturday though the 20th she called us and told us that her husband was curious about this church she had been going to for the last couple of months and wanted to come with her and check it out. problem though is that the lady strongly dislikes her husband and so she told us that the only way she would come to church whould be if we sat with her husband during the meetings. so we of course accepted and sure enough sunday she showed up with her  daughter and her husband...elder nielson sat with her and her daughter on one side of the sacrament room and i sat with her husband on the other side of the room haha ya its that bad. and then also in the gospels principles class she sat again on the opposite side of the room from him and it was just a little awkward haha. but the husband was way cool and he liked the church, we taught them all a lesson together in the chapel and then they left to go home. 

then yesterday a miracle happened. i don't know how or what happened but it was a true miracle haha. when the lady and her husband showed up with their daughter, they walked into the chapel holding hands, and sat down next to each other and even shared a hymnbook together haha. the sacrament mtg was on spiritual overload because the ward had just gotten back from the temple visit, and so the bishopric asked certain members to share their testimonies about the experiences they had had and it was just a really super spiritual meeting. and then in gospel principles class the same happened, they were acting without any sign of there ever having been a problem between them! i cant really describe how cool it was to see them there and just see the Spirit working on them and helping them be a happier couple.

making chicarron 
 after church we were able to talk to them and the husband had a ton of questions for us and we happily answered them for him. he also asked us if we could get him discs of the general conference that just happened because he wants to hear the Prophet and Apostles speak, how cool is that haha. also another little miracle that we saw the family was leaving church the dad ran back in saying that he forgot something, and he went to the bishops office and came out with a tithing slip and envelope and talking to one of the counselors. i don't know what was said but we stood there as this guy who had only been to church two times get walked through how to pay tithing and fill out the slips. we've never taught him about tithing nor mentioned it to him. he then handed his envelope to the counselor with a huge smile on his face and ran back out of the building. it was someting else haha i had no idea why or what compelled him to pay his tithing, but it truly was a cool thing to see. 

a picture of my shirt after working for 2 hrs haha i have to change shirts about 2 times a day here.
 its gross i know

we have an appt with them this tuesday and i'm super duper excited to go meet with them and teach them. i don't know if i truly conveyed the awesomeness of all the things that happened but ill be more than happy to tell you about all when i get home, cuz i know its something that i wont forgot. and with that i'd like to ask you all a favor...if you could all send me a story, experience, testimony, (or all three) in regards to tithing. its something that i'd like to have at my disposal when it comes to teaching people about this commandment. don't worry about writing it up in  spanish, send it to me and i'll translate it because translators don't do a good job haha. if you could all do that for me id reaallly appreciate it. 

birthday lunch at kfc
i hope that all of you back in the HB stake were able to enjoy your time at the temple today, i'm jealous you were all able to go. i miss the temple and if you got one close by you should be going at least once a week. thats the minimum. also thank you all for the birthday congratulations, it still just feels like any other day as a missionary haha personal matters are un important haha. sorry too if this letter didn't really make to much sense...i had to write it fast and didn't have time to reread it to fix any bad grammar, i'm losing my english i know sorry ahah. but i hope that i was able to share a little about the coolness of the experience that i had and ill be gladly informing you on the family is progressing. have a great week everyone and remember that someone in mexico loves you!!

much love from mexico
  Elder Maccarthy
 cool little waterfall we found out in the boonies

Guadalajara: 10/22/12

so the hard times keep rolling here in good ol apatzingan ...haha... i think its funny how situations may not necessarily improve, but amidst all of it we can still remain stoked on what were doing. i love too how the Lord throws in a little thing here and there to keep our batteries full and to help us keep chugging along. 
crusty socks that stand up by themselves hahah
 this past week i had another few little experiences that kind of jump charged my batteries on mission work again you could say ...haha... so i have been thinking a lot of new things that we can do here in apatzingan to bring mision work back to life, as i touched on in the last email, and this week i received some inspiration that not only stoked me and elder nielson up, but also the ward members too! so we've been trying to work with the bishop on making a ward mission plan and put it into practice but it just hadn't been working and so we finally decided to just take matters into our own hands haha. so anyways i made up a ward mission plan, that was actually based off of the HB 3rd wards 2011 mission plan haha, and took that along with a member reference program that i came up with that i decided to call "Apaciente Mis Ovejas" (cheesy i know but whatevs haha) to the ward council this week and i ended up just blowing these peoples minds haha. it was classic but yet so cool being in that room explaining it to them and seeing their faces just be like dang this elder means business haha i'm glad were on his team. they all were stoked on the idea too and more than willing to participate to see more success here. 
the district 

we're going to start to put the new program into practice this week and well i have a feeling that were going to see some great results from it. but i think one of the best results from it was how much it pumped us up as elders here haha. coming out of that meeting we were like new elders showing up in the mission field haha full batteries. because seeing the ward councils reaction to the plans and having their support 100% on top of receiving the revelacion to make the plan and everything was just awesome haha i cant really think of the words to describe how it made me felt. because now with the new plans in place were going to start making mission work a spiritual experience for the members, not just a service opportunity. it invites the members to receive personal revelation in thinking of who to share the gospel with, and then them making the first steps in sharing and teaching the gospel to these people; as opposed to before when we'd get references and come to find out that the people had 0 desires to listen to us or have anything to do with our church haha so its gonna be a big helper for us haha. 
chupacabra cave!

the bishop also asked me to speak in sacrament and share with the ward the plans and all that stuff. my main focus though of the talk wasnt really what the bishop had asked me to speak on haha, because yes i did touch on those things, but it wasnt what i focused on. i decided instead to focus more on helping the members prepare for these new programs. it basically was like a talk that i would give to prospective missionaries, because basically were going to create a little missionary army of the members here in apatzingan haha and so i talked to them as if i was preparing a ward of just future missionaries to be prepared for their mission service. because i feel as though preparation is one of those things that we look over too much in the church haha sometimes we go into things solely on the precept that we will be "given the words to say in that very hour", but yet overlook that we need to "treasure up the words of life continually" which more or less is telling us that for the majority of times the things have to be there first for the Spirit to bring them to our minds, and we need to be prepared for these occasions. it really made me realize how alot of the things that the church teaches are based in the doctrine of preparation haha something i had never really though of before. one thing i asked the members here to do that im also gonna ask all of you to do is to pray for the Lord to prepare you to be a better tool in his hands, that he may be able to fine tune you so that youre ready for whatever he may need you for. and then in addition to praying to be prepared for his work, ask for opportunities to be tested and put your preparation to test. because what good is it asking to be prepared and to be a better disciple of him if we dont have plans of putting it to action haha. 
 this place looks a lot cooler after the rain

and well ya thats the little invitation i leave to all of you out there wherever you may be at reading this letter and i'll be praying for you all that you'll see some great results out of it. and plus because theres really nothing wrong with being over prepared for anything, because really who knows what tomorrow has in store for us. take care everyone, thanks for the love and prayers, and just know that i send plenty of love and prayers right back at you all! have a wonderful and i'll be talking to you all next monday on my birthday! so cool!

much love from mexico,
         Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 10/15/12 + straight up scripture

the scriptures are so cool!

so apart from the dead bodies they found thrown at the monument of lazaro cardenas in apatzingan and the shooting in bachilleres nothing really exciting happened here that comes to mind. so instead i'm going to talk about some cool things that i learned this week in my personal study. so this week i was kind of frustrated and down because the work is really hard and slow right now, because as i've mentioned in past emails we work solely through references from members, we no longer are allowed to personally contact and find our own investigators. and so its just been really hard because we dont have many people were teaching and so the bulk of our time is spent visiting members, active and less active, and working with them to receive references which nobody seems to have ...haha... 

and so as missionaries were chomping at the bit to start teaching and working with people ...haha... and so i'd been really thinking about new stuff we can try and reading the scriptures to see what they did to get through funks. one of the stories i decided to read was in 1 nephi the story in which nephi breaks his bow. i personally love the story and nephi was one of the best when it came to putting faith in the Lord and knowing that He will provide the way for his servants to complete his work. and so i read the story and it made me realize a few things. first of all what i learned is that in the end of all it, whatever the problem is, you just gotta get to work and just chug along. in the story when he broke his bow everyone, even lehi the prophet, starting complaining and murmuring against God saying how could something this happen, how are they gonna survive, the outcomes seem perilious etc. and many they basically lost the faith in the face of adversity. and so i love how nephi just ignored them all went out and made a bow (came up with a solution instead of just sitting around waiting for one) and then went to his father and said where should i go to find food. i imagine for lehi that must have been a bit of a slap in the face ...haha... and helped him come back to his senses and realize that action needed to be taken to receive a solution. 

theres a guy running for senator here and is name is moron so were going to start taking pictures next to all his stuff haha

and so nephi went and obtained food enough for them to eat. i learned from this story that you really just have to suck it up and do something. just like lehi's people who didnt have food, we didnt have investigators to teach (missionary food haha), and instead of sitting around waiting for someone to come to us, i needed to go out there and make my bow (come up with new ideas to find people), and then go to the Lord and ask him where to go to find success with these ideas and how to implement them in the best manner. and it actually worked out! i love how easily and cool it is when you can apply the scriptures to situations in your own life and find an answer or solution to whatever situation! 

another story that i read to help me out was the story of the brother of jared, another story that i love. one of my favorite parts is when he goes to the Lord and asks him for help and the Lord gave it to him the first time and told him what to do to fix the problem. and then the second time the brother of jared went to the Lord and asked him what to do, the Lord pulled a jedi mind trick on him and asked the brother of jared what he wants the Lord to do to fix the problem. in the story we can see that the Lord is always there and willing to help us, but he also wants us to come up with our own solutions and then ask for his help with carrying out with our plans. and we see this same thing happen in the story of the brother of jared, the Lord told him to come up with his own ideas and then come back with what he wanted to do, and so the brother of jared did just that and came back and sure of enough the Lord helped him carry out and fulfill the things the was commanded to do. the application of this story was very clear to me and my personal situation. so anyways the end results of all this, i applied all the things i'd thought of and asked for the Lord to help me in finding success in applying the new ideas in order to advance his work here upon the earth. 

and well yesterday sunday, after a week of just biting the bullet and getting work done, hoping and praying to find some success somewhere from what i'd been learning; we got a reference from a member to go and visit a less active family that lives out in a little pueblito in a dryed up river bed ...haha... and so we went out there and visited with the family and they have 3 kids that are baptizing age! and i couldn't help but see this and realize it being an answer to my prayers and efforts. not only will we be teaching and helping these kids make the covenant of baptism with our Heavenly Father, but well also be able to help this family come back to church! so cool huh! i mean ya we didnt find that golden family of 20 people ...haha, but i couldn't be more happy with this family that the Lord prepared for us and put in our path. 

we taped black trash bags over the windows in the chapel so we could watch conference a gusto haha nifty huh?
and two of the kids love playing marbles and so i know were going to get along really well ...haha... another cool thing too that helped me out was that we got surprise visits from the mission president and the assistents. we didnt excpect it all, we just got a phone call from them saying hey were outside your house you guys need to come here ...haha... and so we did some visits and check up interviews with them and it was really beneficial for me. they expressed alot of props to us for working so hard amidst the conditions here, they wondered themselves how we did it haha! also found out that apatzingan is the hottest, farthest, most dangerous, and largest area in the whole mission! go us haha! but it was nice to get this little visit from them, especially because we figured that they'd only come visit here when hell freezes over ...haha... because of the afore mentioned circumstances of our area. but ya things are definitely looking on the uphill around here. i say uphill because were still at the base of the mountain and have a lot of climbing and work to do but its worth it and hey, it is what i was called here to do and i got the big guy up top at my back so i have no need to worry. 

i hope all is well for you all back home and that you're getting excited for my birthday ...haha... just kidding. also i recommend studying the stories from the book of mormon that i mentioned in this letter and applying them to your own lives, because they're a good read with lessons to be to taken from them too. but anyways have an excellent week folks, i love you and remember that you rock!

much love from mexico,
     Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 9/24/12 + The Punisher

sorry everyone, i found a lost letter i forgot to post over a month ago. better late than never!

doing things when He wants them done

so i received a little reminder lesson this past week on how the work i'm doing here is'nt being done on my time or schedule, but instead that of the Lord. so about a week ago we began teaching two of the grandsons of the couple that was baptized a few weeks ago. and anyways because of complications with the schedule of things these next upcoming weekends, we put a baptismal date with them for the 13th of october, plenty of time for them. but then this past weekend, we decided that as a zone we were going to have a zone baptism, because it was stake conference weekend and we had a total of 16 investigators throughout the zone who were to be getting baptized that weekend. so we all got in agreement and decided to have this zone baptism. 

and well elder nielson and i did'nt have anyone planned to get baptized that weekend, but anyways we thought about who we could baptize, so that we could participate in the zone baptism, and we came to the agreement that we'd work a lot with alberto and cesar so that we could baptize them. so everyday this past week we had passed by and taught them and helped them get animated for their baptisms. however we ran into a few roadblocks along the way. first of all we had to get them to uruapan, and that means money haha and well things are a little tight around here at times in mexico, so we offered to help them and told them that we'd pay for the bus tickets so they could go. however then we realized that its not right for us to just take the two of them with us and then leave all the family members back here in apatzingan, because we don't really have money to pay for the bus tickets of 10 plus people haha. but we were still determined to get them to uruapan to get baptized, because they had all the lessons,they were progressing very well, and in all truth very they easily could have been baptized. but then that is where the title comes in. because we had arranged for the two kids to come with us, and then a few of the family members too, so we were set and ready to go. 

los misioneros de uruapan (sorry its crooked, someone bumped my camera)
however saturday night while we were at their house talking with them it just felt a little off talking to them about their baptisms, not how it'd been during the previous lessons that week, when we had talked to them about their baptisms. so i was thinking while we were sitting there whats going on and what we should do, and then a little feeling just came to me and said to me that its not their time, they're not supposed to get baptized this weekend. i pushed aside the feeling because they had all the lessons, they were reading and doing their prayers daily, they were excited to get baptized, why not do it this weekend? it made perfect sense to do it this weekend anyways. and then again the feeling came to me that "no its not their time". i again kind of pushed it off stupidly haha because i still didn't understand why i'd feel that way. they were perfectly ready to get baptized after all and we wanted to so badly to be able to baptize in the zone baptism. so anyways while this whole little thing is going on in my head we were still talking to them and making sure that everything is set and ready to go and that the plans are good for the next day, and that is when it came to me, like a literal voice and said, ITS NOT THEIR TIME, its funny because it actually made me feel a little sheepish, almost awkward, because it was like asking something from someone and they kept saying no but you keep asking until they finally have to get a little agro with you and tell you no haha. 

our roommates the swallows and their little nest, our house is like a zoo i swear haha ill tell some stories about it sometime
but so anyways all of the sudden that impression came to me stronger than the other times and i knew i couldn't fight it anymore. so i then asked them how they felt if we postponed the baptism for a few more weeks until their  families can attend and they can feel a little more prepared. they agreed and said sure sounds good, and we left it at that. the whole night i kept thinking about it and was almost kind of irritated and mad because i just didn't understand why they needed to wait. but then the next day on the ride to the stake conference in uruapan i had plenty of time to think about it, just about 3 hrs to be exact haha. take a moment actually real quick and just imagine that, a 3 hour bus ride in a little janky ol' bus just to go to stake conference, count your blessings folks, cuz even that is not that bad, i'm sure there's worse haha. 

but anyways while thinking about it i came to realize why it was so. while yes they could have been baptized according to what the books say, and whats required for someone to get baptized, the Lord has different plans for them. one of the biggest things that i feel will come out of this is that well be able to continue with them and their family members, and were making plans so that we'll be able to baptize them with 3 other family members. also one day these kids are going to be legit missionaries, so the Lord needs them to be good converts that have that strong desire and testimony so that they can use their conversion stories to help others come unto Christ. and also i think it was because i had to learn that really these 2 yrs and all the things i do are done on the Lords watch, not mine. i realized one thing that we had failed to do was ask in a prayer if they should be baptized or not. because we had only been praying that they would get baptized that weekend, we never asked if it was the right thing to do. we kind of slipped up there as misionaries, because, well hey were not perfect either haha. 

the back of the punisher angel, our ride to stake conference in uruapan

but anyways i realized that maybe if i had asked  before if it was their time i could have avoided that whole embarrassment haha. it was a really humbling experience to be honest, because its true, these 2 yrs i'm doing everything how and when the Lord wants it, not how and when Elder Maccarthy wants it. cool little experience i thought id share with you though, i hope we can all take something to learn out of it. because i know i learned a ton from it. however to changes notes real quick i want to tell you another funny little story. so the bus we took to the stake conference, wow hahah. the buses here in apatzingan are very "pimped out" you could say haha. anyways tho so the bus we took to the stake conference had this big sticker on the front windshield with flames and the words Punisher Angel hahah, and then on the hood and back of the bus it had these airbrushed flames and skull business going on haha. and the whole bus ride the bus driver was blasting this like techno electro funky polka music. it was quite a bus ride haha. 

finally getting ice cream for breakfast :) also checj the mountain of maruchan in the background, thats what you live off of when youre a poor missionary haha
but anyways it was super funny because we showed up to the conference a few minutes late and we pulled into the stake center parking lot and all the doors and windows were open so that everyone in the stake could see the "Punisher Angel" rolling in blasting its music and i'm sure they all were thinking "op, here comes apatzingan" hahah it was pretty funny. because it was during a special musical number apparently and everyone turned their attention to the other special musical number that had just rolled into the stake center. its a sight and scene i wish you all could have seen and witnessed, it was great haha. but anyways thats my funny other little story that i wanted to share with you. i hope you all are doing well and stoked for the upcoming general conference. i know i personally am, because well be able to sit in the nice air conditioned church building hahah and to listen to the prophet and apostles of course too. i'll be keeping you all posted on how things are going with alberto and cesar and their other family members are doing. alright well have a great week folks and hope that all is well! love you and take care till next monday!!!

much love from mexico, 
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 10/8/12 + iguana soup?!?!


the chupacabra hunting continues in the backwoods of apatzingan

first and foremost I need to comment on the new announcements that were made at this weekends general conference...just like every other member out there haha. Connor! I'm so stoked for you man! youre gonna be able to leave for your mission this may! aaaaahhhhhhhh!! I never imagined being able to serve a mission the same time as my little brother...its pretty crazy to be honest. 

elder nielsons hump day celebration!

not only to just him, but to all of the young men out there who usually have to wait a year to go on their missions. I'm pretty sure its because there going to be opening up China here pretty soon, so all you young men out there, start practicing up that mandarin Chinese I hear its pretty hard. but anyways so I'm gonna save the rest of my thoughts about the new policy change and my excitement for Connor in a letter to my family, so sorry other folks out there but there is other things that I'd like to talk about this email. 

scorpion we found in the chapel it was a nasty sucker

so conference was absolutely amazing. talk about being just loaded with personal revelation for two days straight, it was so sweet. i hope that you all were able to receive some great advice for your lives also. im so grateful too for the power of modern technology and that were to see conference here in mexico. and I loved singing we thank thee o God for a Prophet and being to think how special it was that in all over the world from salt lake to apatzingan michoacan to wherever else in the world was singing that song, and how truly fortunate and blessed we are to have a Prophet of God. im humbled and happy each time that I look at my call letter next to my bed and see a little picture of him that I have and knowing that that man called me here to be a missionary, and how much he, Christ, and my Heavenly Father must love me to let me come here to have the best time of life and to be blessed immensely. I know hes a Prophet of God and I love him. 

the scorpion after we found it haha

also how cool was elder nielsons talk where he kept saying..."just ask the missionaries!". it personally made me as well as probably every other missionary feel special and also make us realize that we need to step our game up. every person in the world that saw that talk now knows that those kids in white shirts and ties can help them with whatever they are in need of...its an amazing thing don't get me wrong but were gonna have to step up our game and make sure that were even more prepared now. 

the scorpion after we found it haha

which kinds of leads me to another much I LOVE the scriptures. it's amazing how in the span of my mission I've gone from being a kid that never picked the scriptures up to read them to never being able to put them down. it's so much fun! I know imagined that I'd be able to spend an hour worth of study time studying and pondering over 5 verses or whatever it may be! 

i personally like my ties with a little meat on the bones haha elder nielson prefers his with not as much

it's been such a blessing for me to be able to grow in my testimony of the scriptures...and it's one of those things that I've noticed is an even bigger blessing to those people I teach. I remember one thing dad always talked about and told me was how we need to develop the talents we have and search for, discover, and perfect those other talents of ours. because each of us is loaded up to the brim with talents and skills that our Father in Heaven has given us, we just need to put in the effort and time into finding them and perfectioning them. and well studying from the scriptures has helped me to accomplish just that.
happy birthday to elder o!

it's funny how I never really thought that a knowledge of the scriptures was a talent, but now I know otherwise. being able to be in a lesson and to be able to receive revelation about what scriptures can be read to address this specific person is so cool. the atmosphere and spirit of the lessons reach up to a whole new level when we're able to incorporate the scriptures and allow the spirit to testify not only of the words of the scriptures but also testify of the words that come from us the representatives of Christ. I've come to notice that the most spiritual lessons I've had are always those where we turn to the scriptures and read from them and allow the spirit to testify to these people of the truthfulness of these things. 

elder ontiveros' birthday party! (i look super guano i think in this picture haha and elder nielson is hiding

for example just yesterday we were in a lesson with an investigator, and we were reading in 2 nefi 31 and 32 and it was amazing to just see the Book of Mormon come alive in this kids hands and sit there as he shared with us his thoughts about this verse and what it was trying to say here and then hearing and watching him basically receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon right before our eyes. it was so cool too because he was so stoked after we said the prayer to end the lesson that he said he wanted to go with us to our other lessons! 

iguana soup before

and then above all that it was so amazing watching this kid that isn't even a member sit down in this lesson and share with some of our other investigators things that hes learned from the scriptures and how hes received his answer that he needs to get baptized and that this book is true and so are the teachings of the missionaries. it was unreal...and i remind you that this kid is not even a member. the only problem with him though is that his mom is a TJ and so were its a little hard getting permission from her to let him get baptized, were actually going to talk to her with him tonight about it, wish us luck haha. but it's just such a blessing really to be able to have the scriptures in our lives. and the best part is thats it's never too late to sit down and to get to know them a little better. I did it and I've happier than ever because of it :) 

iguana soup during
oh and actually one more real quick story! I ate iguana this past was so weird. I never knew they were such boney little creatures haha (check the pictures I sent home) eating them was a pain in the butt haha because I had to pick all the meat off the bones because if I didn't I'd just end up messing up my mouth and getting stabbed and stuff. but ya it was pretty interesting haha, it wasnt that great but now I can say that I ate iguana haha! not too many people can say that haha I'm be letting you all know the next time I eat something funky. 

iguana soup after

anyways I gotta go now friends so sorry but I love you! I hope that you all were able to enjoy conference likewise and I would love to hear what you all thought of it and what you learned! so feel free to shoot me an email or a dearelder and let me know, I'd love it. have a great week!

opening up my early birthday package! i was gonna wait till the 29th but it was too hard haha

much love from mexico,
     Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 10/1/12 + Montezuma's Revenge!

had another super hectic and crazy week. last sunday the 23  we ate some moriscetta that this one hna made for us, i thought it was fine, i mean it tasted a lil funny, but i ate it anyways and that would turn out to be one of the worst ideas ever haha. the next day, monday, the nightmare that is just now ending began, and i was probably the sickest that i've been so far on the mission. pure diarrea and vomiting for 5 days straight. the peak was tuesday and wednesday, tuesday i went to the bathroom 23 times and threw up 6 times, and on wednesday i went to the bathroom 17 times and threw up 8 times. 

mexico is so pretty

i actually ended up having to do some blood tests and travel to morelia to go see a doctor up there because they were going to put me on an i.v. for a few days to get me back into good working conditions. but they ended up just putting me on antibiotics and a gatorade and pedialyte diet. but ya it was pretty sucky. anything that i ate or drank, no matter what it was, would be coming up or going down within the next hour, it was impossible to keep anything in my system. but i got smart and started only eating like yogurt and ice cream, because ya it wasn't the best for my situation but it tasted the best coming back up haha alot better than alot of the food here. 

but ya so my week was full of alot of throwing up on the side of streets, emergency bathroom trips to the chapel, and i lost a bunch of weight! woohoo for me. but i'm doing alot better now, i've been taking the antibiotics and eating a really conservative diet and so i'm doing much better so no worries peeps. but i have some other cool news to share with you all. so first funny story. there's a little girl in the ward that asked me to help her with her english homework last week and so i gladly said that i would and so i helped her with it. anyways so this past week when we showed up to the families house for the food appt. they were telling me about how the girl got a 6 on the homework i helped her with, and so i was like woah woah wait a minute and show me the homework haha and so the little girl goes and gets her homework and sure enough she got a 6! and just fyi in mexico they do their grading on a 1 to 10 grading scale, so basically she got a D on the homework haha. i was completely confused to be honest haha and they were all laughing about how i dont even know my own language anymore haha. because the girl did another homework assignment and used an online translator to do it and she got a 10 on that homework! so it was just funny because we were all laughing about how the american elder that speaks english natively doesnt know his own language anymore haha but ya it was funny. i told them i wanted to talk to the teacher and give the guy a piece of my mind, but i figured i have better things to do with my time haha.

yay for goldfish

but anyways so there's that story and here's the next one. we received some word from some people that had gotten baptized and live out in some pueblitos about an hour and half from apatizgan why had the missionaries stopped visiting? we didnt know why and so we talked to some ward members about it and apparently the missionaries had gotten the green light to go out and start working in the pueblitos farther away from the city and actually had some success, and there's a few members out there. and apparently they were about to start a branch out there but the missionaries were removed from apatzingan or something like that and so it was left at that. and anyways so my companion and i have been talking to our leaders about it and we're going to go out and there and get to work to start up this branch. there's about 5 or 8 members for sure out there and so we only need to baptize a few more and then well be able to talk to the mission president about starting a branch out there. 

i'm personally pretty stoked about it, because well ya its going to be way hard, probably harder than i think haha but its one of those things that i feel like we need to do. elder nielson isn't as stoked about it haha because he hates working in pueblitos, but we're making plans to go out and start working this week. we have no idea what we're walking into to be honest, because there's only about two people in the ward that know where some of these members live but in todos modos we're going to go see what we can do. because we're working to try to make apatzingan and the neighboring area nueva italia a district here. we just need to get the assistence of apatzingan up to 150 (were at 75 right now) and then we can split apatzingan up into two wards, and then we'd have the branch in nueva italia and then with the branch that elder nielson and i are going to make. we'll have enough to make our own little district. which would be super rad and would be a big help because it's hard for alot of the members here because we're so far from uruapan and the bulk of the state. so it's something that i'm looking forward to being able to be a part of and start throwing some efforts into. it's gonna be tough but hey that's why we're here, to build up the kingdom of God upon the earth. but ya so that's the latest news here from tierra caliente. 

me making the beautiful mexican countryside look even better

super stoked for conference this weekend, hope you all are too. throw a little shout out for me here in apatzingan when they say the number of full time missionaries in the world haha ill appreciate it. have a great week everyone and keep up the awesome work that i know you all are doing. i love you and thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts for me. take care and have a great week!

much love from mexico,
     Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 9/17/12 + an "operacion"

the ingrown toenail from hades

pretty uneventful, but still eventful week haha. so for the past 5 weeks i've had this gnarly gross ingrown toenail. and i was just kinding living with it and just waiting for it to maybe go away. and well it wasnt. so i called the hermana (this being about 2 weeks ago) and she told me to start soaking it in salt water every night and it'll go away. so i'd been doing that and it still didn't work. 

im not a new member...

and as you all can imagine the roads here in mexico, especially where i work at, here in apatzingan, are pretty rough and hurt to walk on enough as it is. and also my toe seemed to have this magnetic attraction to rocks in the road and i'd kick rocks about 5 times a day haha. it was a nightly ordeal to come home and find that the part of sock around my toe would we soaked with blood and puss. it was not a fun ordeal and i know alot of you are thinking psssh an ingrown toenail cmon elder maccarthy, but i'm telling you this thing was gnarly haha. 

mine and elder nielsons cute little date haha

and then well finally wednesday night of this past week i just couldn't handle it anymore, i'd kicked about a bagillion rocks that day and my toe was all bloody and filled with puss and well ya it hurt pretty bad. and so we called the hermana the next day and told her that we were going to go a see doctor because my toe was really jacked up, and so we go see the doctor, and he was like woah.... holy crap kid.... this thing is jacked up! and i was like yeah i know, now just do something to fix it haha and so we talked to him and then called the hermana to get the permission to go ahead and do this operacion where they would just take out the root of my nail in that part and clean up and get rid of the infection that i also had, but she said no haha because she didn't trust the guy. 

gauze stuff from my my operations :) it hurt taking it off

i was cool with that because i don't want to get something from some nasty doctor dude, so she hooked me up with a good doctor and friday morning i went in for them to take out the nail. and so to start off they give me this shot in my toe, and it must've been a joke shot or the lady didn't like americans cuz she took about 45 seconds no joke squeezing the liquid into my toe. and so i was sitting there dying cuz this lady is taking forever giving me the shot and elder nielson is sitting next to me telling me he wished he would've brought his camera so he could record my face haha cuz well it hurt pretty bad. and cuz i had to get one under my nail too. so ya that sucked. and then my toe goes completely numb and she grabs these gnarly cutters that i'm pretty sure you could also use to cut chain link fence and she starts cutting the nail where its infected until she gets to the base and then she grabs some pliers and pulls out the piece of my nail and it was pretty gross. and it was pretty big too haha i was surprised. and she then continues to clean it and pull out all the infected gross stuff and ya it was pretty messy looking. 

gauze stuff from my my operations :) it hurt taking it off

i'll stop grossing you guys out there haha but so they took out the nail chunk and then i have to go back in a couple months and there going to use some acid stuff to burn the root of my nail so i don't get ingrown toenails anymore. but it stinks at the same time cuz i have to wait for the ingrown toenail to come back and then go back and do the process all over again but this next time there gonna get rid of it for good. and don't worry folks the mission is going to pay for it. and so anyways these past couple days i've been "guardando reposa" waiting till i can walk again. 

independence day party!

and so these last few days i've been sitting in a hammock all day just being a vegetable and just dyyyiiinnnggg. it was so stinking boring haha i couldn't wait till be able to get up and leave the house haha i feel bad for elders that get sick and have to do that for a couple weeks. it really stunk. especially cuz i was super worried about our investigators because i wanted to leave and go visit with them but if i did that the hermana would kill me haha and it would only delay the healing of my toe. 

playing with my chicken nuggets haha

and so nothing to special went on haha. saturday and sunday though were the celebrations for mexican independence day, saturday night at 11 everybody goes downtown and the governor of the city goes up onto a balcony and shouts viva mexico! and then the names of all the heroes of the revolution and then viva mexico a bunch more times and there were fire works and people shooting guns off and ya it was a pretty interesting little experience haha. 

playing with my chicken nuggets haha

we weren't allowed to leave and go watch it but we could hear it from our house and so that was cool. we stayed up and shouted viva mexico from the back patio of our house haha. but ya so that was the big new from the past week, i never knew ingrown toenails could be such a pain in the behind haha. but all is good now and i'm going to be back in action this week! but i gotta wrap it up now, have a great week and ill be talking to you again soon!! love you all!

playing with my chicken nuggets haha

much love from mexico, 
     Elder Maccarthy


its the icemans pet dog haha

Guadalajara: 9/3/12 + a new puppy friend

another normal week haha

power stance!
i considering modeling when i get home haha

well im glad to hear that some people are getting a kick out of the blog, i always had a feeling that it would be a cool idea. and thanks a ton nicole for taking care of it and making it look so cool. and for those of you that havent checked it out yet, go check it out! i gotta say this is one of the most inspired works that exists upon the face of the earth. i cant think of anything, nor have i ever lived anything so spiritual in my life...its is just so awesome being able to see how perfectly everything just falls into place and then afterwards just having that feeling like you were in the right place at the right time kind of thing. 

chupacabra nest!!

bird eye view of the city, its pretty huh?

yesterday was a really great testimony meeting also in my ward. the first person who got up to bear their testimony shared their love and appreciation for missionaries and how much mission work has changed her life and then just about every single testimony after that that was shared touched on us missionaries. and well as missionaries we definitely dont feel that special, or even like we do anything out of the ordinary. but just sitting there in the meeting hearing testimony after testimony giving thanks and love to us missionaries really touched me. and then being able to hear from my mom and nicole about the effect my stories are having on people has really made me realize how truly inspired and marvelous this work is. i mean really im just some punk 19 year old kid bee bopping on around down here in apatzingan haha. its way cool and humbling really to hear stuff like that, so hope you all keep enjoying it. 

bird eye view of the city, its pretty huh?

the hunch back of apatzingan!

anyways though so this week...i cant really think of much of what happened this week, my mind just kind of took a blank....something i started awhile ago thats been an awesome experience has been feasting upon the scriptures, but in SPANISH! its funny too because i totally remember picking up book of mormons in spanish or hymnbooks in spanish with connor and trying to read the stuff on the pages and not being able to do it haha. but anyways its way cool being able to study the scriptures in spanish...its such a cool language. and so ive begun to read the book of mormon since the beginning in my new native tongue and its been very rewarding. because ive also begun to read the new testament to familiarize myself with it, and well i cant help but think "man i wish i wouldve gone to seminary" so to all you future missionaries or all those kids out there...go to seminary! alright theres my invitation for the week. 
i like making funny faces haha

elder bate, elder hosch and me...the 8 month club!

but anyways i want to invite all you people out there to go grab a book of mormon and start to read from cover to cover. its a challenge that i extended to the ward yesterday also, and im not going to promise you anything, because thats not my job, but i will give you my testimony and surety that if you do it you will be extremely extremely happy you did haha. i cant really think of anything to talk about in this email, my mind just isnt working right now...sorry my life is boring haha. oh so this past week i found this lady who was selling hand made ties for 1 peso and so i bought 6 of em haha because it made me think of nicole and how she makes rad handmade stuff so i figured id do this lady a favor and take some merchandise off her hand. the ties are pretty cool wearing one them in the pictures of me and the gross puppy from the streets, and also of me doing the crazy war cry pictures. 

my little bud named winston he was following me around all day haha and then he stopped and it made me sad

oh and so about that puppy, so me and elder nielson were just walking around doing our thing and then hes like hey elder maccarthy that dog is following you! i was like woah what the heck it is! and it was like cute little gross puppy that had some gross liquid on its hair and it had bald spots here and there (zoom in on it and check it out in the pictures, its a gross little thing) and well ya it followed me around all day haha like literally. wed go to lessons and itd follow me or itd sit outside and wait for me to come out again and it was really cute actually and funny too because it didnt really like elder nielson haha like itd only follow me and not him and so elder nielson was happy when the puppy ran away. but i was sad because i liked having a little homie here. 

my little bud named winston he was following me around all day haha and then he stopped and it made me sad

my little bud named winston he was following me around all day haha and then he stopped and it made me sad
also cool out of alll the missionaries in the mission elder nielson and i were 1 of the 5 companionships to complete the standard. when the times get tough the tough get going!! but ya so im gonna go now...were gonna go play some soccer! woohoo! have an awesome week and stay safe! love you all!!

i dont think theres a caption that can describe this picture haha

much love from mexico,
   Elder Maccarthy


this is why you don't drink the water in mexico haha