Guadalajara- Week Seven

so this week i discovered a new skill that i never knew i had, something that had been lying dormant in me for all the years. apparently im like super legit at marbles hahaha. i discovered this skill this past week when the kids and nephews of one of our investigators invited me to play with them. the first few games i didnt really know what was happening haha or how to play really but then once i figured it out i started dominating haha. and dont let the fact that yes they are just kids think that this made it any easier for me to win, these kids play marbles for their living. but anyways so ya turns out im super legit at marbles haha my record so far is winning 84 marbles in hour haha. 

me at the federal building in guadalajara

the kids love playing with me too because i always split my prize package up amongst them and they always just love that haha everytime they see me theyre always like "elder maccarty! (nobody here can pronounce the ´th´ haha) elder maccarty! vamos jugar canicas hoy!" and i always try to stop and play at least one game with them ahah its a blast i need to get a picture with them all sometime so you all can see them. but ya its way fun, they all went and picked out a marble that they thought was cool and bought it for me as a present haha i had them all sign it as best they could, its something im gonna cherish for years to come, the little marble from my homies in santa paula haha. i played with them today for a few hours because it was pday and they loved it haha i played with them and their uncle whose name is elder too,or at least thats what everyone calls him its funny nonethess though huh haha. 

my first fun rain day in mexico

ive noticed that some of my best friends here in mexico are the kids haha and the sketchy gang members that most people wouldnt talk to, for some reason they all really like me and think im awesome. i have some great stories to tell you all, however im gonna save them for when i get home. also today took a little trip to the city to get all my visa and passport jazz worked out. when i arrived in mexico i only received a temporary one that was good for 30 days, so the past little while ive been illegal here in mexico haha, its funny because some of my gangster buds have been telling me how there gonna call the cops on me for being in there country illegaly and that there gonna turn me in for money hahah dont worry, they were only joking. 

me at the federal building in guadalajara

but ya it was cool to be able to go to the city i love going there because i love looking at all the sweet old school cathedrals and chapels and buildings, it really is a cool site to see some of the stuff here in guadalajara, its such a cool city. i gotta say though, all these old school chapels aint got nothing on the salt lake temple, and many other temples ahha i think we got better temples then them by a long shot haha. but also we started teaching this awesome guy and his daughters this week. he was a reference from one of the members and he is just awesome. He just takes everything in so well and you can tell that hes really taking in what hes learning because hes always asking these questions that just show hes really thinking about the message and trying to figure out the responses hes getting from the Spirit. the best part to is that at first we were only teaching him, but then when we returned for the second visit he had told us that because he couldnt read to well he decided to have his daughters help him with the reading we left him with, and well the second time we came back there were his daughters sitting in the room too saying they wanted to listen to our words too. it was a way cool thing to see. unfortunately the wife doesnt want to listen to the lessons because she has a catholic background, however she hasnt voiced any opposition to us teaching her daughters and husband and we hope that a problem doesnt arise because i personally love teaching them and theyre progressing really well. 

zone tlaquepaque in our baptismal gear

i gotta say one of the coolest parts of being a missionary is really seeing people who just catch on to the lessons really quickly and really give head to the enticings of the Spirit, even when they dont realize it at times. but it really is a miracle and blessing to be able to be a part of this great and marvelous work, and really see these people make night and day changes and become happy. thats my favorite part, making people smile and laugh and just be happy. because mexico, especially my area is pretty lost, alot of the people are involved with drugs and alcohol, there families are falling apart, there impoverished, and really just in a sad state. and then we bring them this great message of happiness, and just seeing them turn into these happy people with smiles half full of teeth is just the greatest. makes me happy to be here, and those times when i think its hard and i have a hard time it makes it that much easier to push through it because i know how happy these people have become and how many more people we can help and all. its awesome, i just dont know how else to describe it, i cant really haha its almost undescribable. 

my attempted cheesecake, which turned out to be really gross haha
so in closing this week i had been missing some of my most favorite american food that doesnt exist here in mexico, cheesecake and milkshakes. and by the way dont try to send either because it just wont work haha im waiting through this trial with patience. but anyways so i found some "pie de queso" in a local store and thought id give it a try, so i did and it stunk haah. so i thought maybe if i threw some cajeta on it it would be better, but it didnt improve  the taste, im guess im just going to have to suffer 2 years with no cheesecake haha. 

my first milkshake in mexico that i made, ruby's and harbor house aint got noting on me haha
however the milkshake was alot more succesfull and i absolutely savored it, it was soooo good. i would kill for a good american milkshake haha, however thats another thing i will have to suffer these next two years without haha. things are cruising along here though in mexico, its crazy thinking that ive already been here for 2 months just about, its gone by so needs to slow down because i want to get every ounce of enjoyment out of this experience because i know its my only chance, and i only got one shot one opportunity! but ya things are awesome here, i hope everything is just as awesome, even better back home for all of you. i love you all and may the Lord be with you all this week!
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week Six

i know its a little late because i totally gapped it last week, but none the less i wanted to wish you all a great easter and hope you enjoyed yourselves. i had quite the past week here this last week, especially friday. for those of you who noticed, this past friday was friday the 13th and well my irish good luck kicked in a little bit you could say haha. i crashed hard core on my bike this past friday haha, as you can see from the pictures included it was pretty gnarly. the worst part was that it was on this back road in the middle of nowhere and of course elder briz was way in front of me so i ate crap and we had to limp myself to the nearest members house for medical assistance. 

going hard wearing my cola cola custom missionary wear tie

anyways heres a little more of the story of how it all went down, so we were headed to our food appoinment and i was cruising down this hill trying to catch up to elder briz, and the pedals on my bike are broken and so there not even pedals really there more like just pegs haha, but anyways so im pedaling pedaling pedaling trying to go faster and my foot slips off the pedal and i kick my front tire and it just throws me and i go flowing and just eat crap hardcore into the dirt and gravel road. and it hurt. not gonna lie. because its not like i was on a nice little ride through the park, i was booking it like lance armstrong on the final stretch of le tour de france haha and so ya i went down hard. and because elder briz was way ahead of me and we were on some random back road no one was around to see it happen or to help me. so i laid there for a sec then got up and onto my bike and pressed on haha. 

this little gem came out of my forearm....ya i know haha

when i got to elder briz he was like oh crap what happened and so i explained and then we went to the members house for the food appointment and medical treatment. they put this weird natural ointment stuff on the wounds that basically just made the cuts ooze liquidy puss stuff and ya it was gross. the worst part was this happened at about 3 in the afternoon and we had a bunch more work to do that day, so i just took some drugs, and then that night when we got home i spent about 45 mins pulling off the freshly formed scabs to dig the gravel and rocks and dirt out of my skin. that was probably the worst part if i must say so myself aha but its doing alot better now thankfully. 

also i have a cool story to share with you all about the person we baptized this week. hes the son of one of the members in the ward. anyways so a few weeks ago he got into an accident and he basically died for a little bit and his dad gave him a blessing and he came back too (i dont know exactly what kind or many details cuz i couldnt understand what was said when he told us haha sorry) and he said that after the experience he decided that he wanted to start looking more into the church seeing as how his father and two other brothers are members and he had been to a few meetings and all before but he really wanted to know what it really was all about. so he told his dad that he wanted to know and his dad gave him a book of mormon and said read this and youll find out all you need to know. so he was reading and he came across the scripture that says somethings along the lines of do not procrastinate the hour of your repentance and he said when he read that scripture he just had this feeling and he got his answer. he said that he just had a close encounter with death, and what if he had died without being baptized and being cleaned of his sins? so he went to his dad and asked him what he needed to do to be baptized. so his dad gave us a call and said hey you need to come talk to my son, so we went over there he said he wanted to be baptized and we said great awesome and starting teaching him with the help of his father and brothers and weve been meeting with him for the past couple weeks and he just got baptized this past thursday. 

baptism...sorry its so blurry
his dad had the pleasure of baptizing him. since joining the church about 20 yrs ago he has been able to over those years baptize each one of his sons and is getting ready to baptize his fourth son who turns eight this may. how awesome of a blessing is that for him, to be able to see over the years and with much patience love and trust in Lord watch each of his sons come into the waters of baptism, make that covenant with God, receive the Holy Ghost and become members of this wonderful church. i think its a miracle and im so happy for him. and he is planning and preparing to go on a mission as soon as he is eligible too. so that is definitely something that i think is just outstanding and something that im very glad to have been a part of. 

another cool little thing that i came across this week that i wanted to share with you all, in the 3rd verse of the whole book of mormon, 1 nephi ch. 1 verse 3 says that the book of mormon is true! i never noticed that before really oddly enough but ya i think its way cool that by the third verse of the whole book it says its true. i hope you all really do take advantage of the book of mormon and how great of a blessing it is in our lives and how priviledged we are to have. ill admit that before my mission i wasnt the best at reading at studying the scriptures, but being in the mission one of my favorite things to do is read the book of mormon, its actually one of the most looked forward to parts of my day is when i can read the book of mormon, i just love it! there is ALWAYS something new that i learn each time i read it and i just love it and i wish i would have really discovered the true blessing of it before my mission and taken full advantage of it. i challenge you all to really discover the true magic of this book for yourself, because it really is a book of secrets to help us live this life and become what our Heavenly Father has planned for us. i think part of this true love  for the book of mormon is the fact that im constantly sharing it with people, testifying of its truthfulness and power, and ultimately how it truly is a gift from God. 

a member modeling with his spiderman doll
when we excersice and really share our testimonies of the truths we know it not helps another come closer to our Father in Heaven and the gospel of His son Jesus Christ but it helps ourselves also. it gives us the opportunity to really just let our testimony grow. it reminds me of something i heard in a talk from Elder Holland while i was in the MTC when he said "id rather see a testimony than hear, dont let your testimony to be hard to detect" and this is something i strive to exemplify each day of my mission and something i want to continue doing my whole life. and so i ask you all to really think about those words and how they can be applied to yourself and then ACT!! i know that as you share your testimonies and beliefs you will become more converted to this gospel, ive seen it happen in myself and i can testify that it too will happen to you. always remember that we should never be scared or timid of sharing what we know, we have the knowledge of so many things why not share our happiness with our friends and other people! i can vouch for all the missionaries in the world when i say that we love when a member comes to us and says i have a friend i want you to teach, will you teach them. because its truly an honor to be given the opportunity to teach someones friend or family member and really know that they trust us with this persons eternal salvation really. i love all of you and thank you for all your efforts in helping to build the kingdom of God in whatever part of the world you may be in. stay strong and stay faithful, and remember we have been saved for these latter days for a reason and its truly a blessing to be in the final dispensation and to be preparing the world for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. i love you all and have a great week!!
Much Love Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week Five + 100th Day as a Missionary!!!

so this week was quite the monumental week for me, this past thursday was a historic day for me haha i not only celebrated the completion of my first month here in mexico, but it was also my 100th day as a missionary! cool i know huh, i celebrated with toast and this stuff i found thats like magical nutella caramel stuff, its delish. but ya it was pretty good to look back also and see how far ive come along, it was a good motivation booster and helper to keep working hard and pressing onward. 

also i found out some pretty cool news, however im gonna wait till i call home to tell you all. 

also this past week was holy week here in mexico, as you can probably guess, yes the catholics here were going crazy. a whole section of our area was closed from thursday till sunday just because its crazy there, so that was interesting to say the least. there are some things here in mexico that im sure im never going to understand or get used to and here is one of those things: so here its tradition in this colonia called san martin to congregrate to this hill in the colonia and on your way there if you want to show your faith you basically beat yourself up, or have others beat you up, so that you bleed profusely and carry around a big wooden cross experiencing high amounts of pain; and then if youre really devoted to your faith you go the extra mile and also drive nails through your hands and feet and wear a crown of thorns to resemble the crucifixion; but then however if youre hardcore and really want to be close to Christ and show your faith and love, you crucify yourself, not to the point of death, but for an hour or so yes. and yes, what you just read is factual and yes the people actually do it. thats more or less why we had a whole section of our area closed haha, because the people go crazy. i personally dont understand it. 

another thing that im never going to get used to here is the dang buses haha theyre basically like a mr toads wild ride times a gazillion, i swear that when i get home im never going near public transport or buses ever again haha, i now know why Jamies called public transport the buses to hell, because its true haha.

 also another goal that i set for myself this week, by the end of my mission i want to have a part like Elder Bednar, cuz that guy rocks a part like none another and hes awesome and i think hes someone to definitely aspire to be like. also i want to tell you about one of my friends here. hes 9 yrs old and he has down syndrome. his mom is member, weve been teaching his sister and he himself is just awesome. i never would have thought that my work and experiences with people with special needs would help me out on my mission. its kinda funny cuz Elder Briz never has any idea what to do with him, so whenever we go over to there house i always take help him out with him haha, but ya the kid is just awesome. 

one of his favorite things to do is take this picture book i have of gospel art and look at the all the pictures and its just awesome to sit there and watch his face light up at the pictures of Christ and the prophets and the Book of Mormon characters and other gospel pictures. i firmly believe that the vail is thinner for these select souls of our Heavenly Father, and i love being work and play with him. at first the sister felt bad for him always playing with me and talking to me during lessons with her daugther, but i told her that its no worries, before  my mission i worked alot with kids who had special needs and after my mission i plan on becoming a special ed teacher and she loved that haha she told me that was great and since then shes never worried about him playing around with me. but ya it really has made me think alot more about going into teaching special education when i get home, and i think its something im gonna pursue when i get home. i included some pictures of him wearing my tag and the tie that Nicole made. 

it feels good finishing up this week and knowing that ive completed my first change cycle in the mission field and my first month. surprisingly the major culture, language, and really just life change didnt kill me. yes i know "mister i cant deal with change" here is still alive haha im still getting used to it yes and it will take awhile till im fully accustomed to it but its not something that i really worry about anymore. its something thats out of my control and so i just go through my days doing what im supposed to do and every now and then i take the time to look back and see where ive come and its crazy how much ive grown and progressed in so many aspects. 

missions are undoubtedly the best place for young men and i can testify of this because there is growth and change and skills and other things learned and discovered on a mission that isnt possible any where else. im just excited to see what these next two years have in store for me. i know its gonna be awesome and i look forward to each new day because well in truth, each day is the best day ive had yet. keep pushing forward faithfully back home and doing what you can to build the kingdom of God wherever you may be.

 i love you all and hope the Lord is blessing each of you according to your needs. love you all and thanks for the support, prayers and love!
Elder Maccarthy

playing with downed power lines

Guadalajara- Week Four

so after much thinking and pondering long about the situation and my mission, ive mad a decision. i cant do it anymore. its just not whats for me and im coming home. im gonna be talking to the president this week to schedule my return flight. im sorry for the dissapointment but its just way harder than i ever imagined.

 im sorry but april fools hahah! got youoou...i know its a day late but i just couldnt help myelf haha...

downtown Guadalajara
anyways so last monday was way cool though, we went to downtown guadalajara and walked around the streets looking at the buildings and places and cool stuff in the city. it was crazy how much different the city is from the area im in. its completly different and its crazy contrasting how extreme the two areas are from one another. while in the city we went to a ripleys believe it or not and a wax museum too. 

me getting down with the pope and mother theresa

its fun to be able to wind down a bit from the stress and worries of everyday missionary work. and then this wednesday, aye aye aye. such a butt kicker and trial of my faith and determination haha. as you may remember from my earlier emails, the area im in is huge, and this week we had some appointments in the bottom corner of my area. it was my first time going down there and elder briz had previously warned me that it was a gnarly bike ride, and well it definitely was. from our house it was about an hour so, half up hill and half down. it was cool though because the only way to get there is to take the freeway and it was a crazy experience riding our bike on the freeway with semis and cars and stuff passing us by and ya that part was cool haha. 

mr. markstrum in guadalajara?

anyways back to the story, so we set off for the appointments and of course it had to be like the hottest day yet and so i was dying from the heat and this bike ride to bfe wasnt helping the matters haha, but i kept telling myself that something good is going to come from this trial right here, im gonna work my butt off to get there and something amazing is gonna happen, i just need to perservere trhough this little trial right here. well the exact opposite of that happened. 2 of the 3 appointments fell through and the other told us she didnt want us to come by anymore. and ya not gonna lie i was a lil like what the heck dude, we came all the way here for zilch haha and i couldnt help but think that it was an instance of the lord testing my will to serve. so we ended up just contacting for a few hours, coming across again, no success. 

for all those harry potter fans out there haha

so ya that was a bit of a rough day for me, but thing i always tell myself when things get rough is to just keep going, life doesnt always go how we want it too and you just gotta put your shoulder to the wheel and keep pushing along. the subsequent days were filled the usual missionary stuff, lots of contacting, teaching, rejection, and all sorts of fun mission stuff. things are starting to get a little more accustomed around here. i still dont understand about half of what is going on but hey everyday i progress a little more and i have faith that in no time i wont be worrying about the language anymore. 

african fertilitly idol, the sign below it warns that if you dont desire a family in the very near future dont touch it because the results come forth rapidly ha well im sure as heck gonna prove that wrong haha i got another two years and thats not very soon in my book haha

oh and i got bit my first dog this week. of course after being chased by big scary dogs and never getting bitten, the first bit came from a chiuaha about the size of  a water bottle. it didnt hurt it was more of like a p├Čnch and then a what the crap to see what had pinched me and there was this little chiuaha pulling on my pant leg. i basically just kicked it off and it flew a few feet haha but ya theres my first dog bit experience. we did have a cool experience with one of our investigators concho this weekend. after bringing him to the morning session on saturday he told us that he was serious about changing now, he has been being taught for the past 2 months and has a baptism this upcoming month. he has a lot of family issues and with drinking. but after the session he was talking  to us about how he wants to change, 

dinner for schmucks?

so we decided to give him one more week. and then on sunday morning he calls and tells us he wants us to come by his house real quick to pick him up for the saturday sessions. so we run over there real quick and he had gathered together hm self his daughter and some of his nephews to come to the conference and it was like wow where did this come from, he made a complete 180 in about a days time and he gave us references and wants us to go talk to his brother and another nephew and some other friends of his, and so im stoked to be able to go talk to these people this upcoming week and visit with him also. so that was a cool experience this week. 

downtown Guadalajara

and then conference, how cool was that? unfortunately i didnt really get much out of the first two sessions because i had to watch them in spanish, but the other three that i did watch were way good. what did you all think about the mo tab guy with the mustache?? he stuck out like a sore thumb and im curious as to how he got past with that one haha. but it was a great conference, a little sad for me because it made me think of home and my family and i missed the usual waffles and pancakes on conference morning haha. but it was good i loved all the talks. 

some cool building in downtown GDL

another cool little factoid that i wanted to share with yall fam bam... so one thing were taught to do in the first lesson is show pictures of our family so people can see that were "real people" too haha...but ya i just wanted to let you all know that youre famous in mexico, every person/family i teach meets you and knows who you are. you should feel special because you are! 

downtown Guadalajara

 i hope all is well back in the states and that the Lord is blessing you for your faithfulness and with those things you stand in need of. i pray for you all and want you to know i love all of you and i appreciate your love and support for me during my service as a missionary. sorry no pics this week, i forgot my camera, but ill be sending some for sure this next week. oh and the subject for this email is what it is because i thought it was really funny how the brother ochoa said it during his talk this weekend haha. les amo!
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara-Week Three

well this last saturday could potentially have been one of the most spiritual and just awesome days of my mission. i know im only 4 weeks in, but wow it was great. first off, one of Elder Briz converts was going through the temple that day, so we got permission from the president to go to the temple that day too.

and you know it was interesting because it made me realize how much i really miss the temple. when i was in the mtc i had the opportunity to go every week and absolutely love it, and ya not gonna lie but i miss going there and feeling of the spirit. i exhort all of you, that if you have a temple close by there is no reason why you cant go at least once a week. i wish i could go once a week haha so take advantage of the blessing you have at your disposal. 

and so to top off an amazing day at the guadalajara temple, i was able to have my first baptism, the humble old man of 82 years haha. it was an amazing experience. because hes so fragile we had to do the ordinance part standing up, and then after the amen i had to hold him and lower him into the water, we couldnt do the standard dunk. i was overwhelmed with the love our Heavenly Father and Christ had for this man as i held him in my arms and baptized him. i cant describe the experience in words, i just wish you all could have been there. after the ordinance, we gave the members of his family the opportunity to bear their testimonies. some very passionate, spiritual, and emotional testimonies were shared. 

about 30 yrs ago was the first time the family met the missionaries, the whole family listened to the message but only the two daughters of jose decided to get baptized, his wife 3 sons and himself decided not too. the missionaries kept visiting the family with hope of the other ones getting baptized but to no avail. eventually they just stopped coming. the one daughter said taht she always invited the missionaries over for dinner with hopes and desires of the missionaries talking to her father, but everyone thought he was just a lost cause. so noone ever tried with him. and then she said that 12 yrs ago after the death of her mother, and the wife of jose, he had started to think and look into talking with the missionaries, and so for the past 12 yrs hed been going through sets of missionaries until he was yet again flagged as not progressing and stopped receiving the lessons. 

and then here came elder briz and i and after all those years the Lord told him its time. she expressed her great gratitude for us and for helping their family. both the daughters shared very heart felt testimonies. and jose testimony was just as heartfelt and emotional, the Spirit was so strong. they expressed the gratitude for the opportunity they all now had to be able to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. i think thats way better than the baptism itself, the fact of helping a family to become sealed.

 it was a humbling experience to be able to be a part of such a momentous time in this families life. it was humbling to see how the Lord had worked through me, some punk 19 yr old kid, to help this family. i can testify taht miracles do happen my friends, and most importantly the other thing i want to share is NEVER give up hope! were not always gonna get what we want when we want, the Lord has his own plan for things and we need to just put our trust in him. but one huge lesson i learned from this lesson is to never give up hope, and also to never give up on anyone who is inactive or not a member. and then that night after briz and i had finished the baptism the went to the top of this hill that looked our whole area just about, we talked for a little about the day we had had, and then looked over our area and the all the lights and people and it was like wow, hes my part of the Lords vineyard, hes given me this area to look over. we then said a prayer, stood up and shouted at the top of our lungs "hurrah, hurrah, hurrah para israel!" it was a cool experience, cuz for the next couple seconds the city seemed to just go quiet. it was sweet. 

another cool experience i had this week, theres a family were teaching, and there hard core catholic, very unusual here i know. and they had been having a hard time giving up all there family traditions and virgin mary stuff. and its supposed that weve talking to them about for the past couple weeks. and this past week we went to their house to check on them, and all their stuff was gone, they told us they had received the answer that they need not follow those traditions and practices anymore. they threw out years of family traditions and through this the grandmother got to talking to us also! so that was definitely something neat to see happen. but things are going just great here. its hard, waaaayyy super hard work, but its worth it. im stoked for general conference this weekend, i just hope that i can understand it since its all gonna be in spanish! wish me luck haha. a few other things. 

 i love you all very much and hope everything is going swell with you all. i just keep plugging along and doing what ive been called to do, build Gods kingdom here. thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. i can always rely on the sure fact that i have support and love back home when things are hard and im having a hard time.

con amor,
 Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week Two

well another great week is in the book folks. i had lots of great things happen this week and some pretty cool stories. so first, theres this bike shop in our area that we always go to because were teaching the 3 guys that own the shop. and they are a total riot, i love em haha theyre a great bunch to talk to and be with. but anyways so most of them are pretty pumped on the whole missionary message we share. the one guy is teaching his family the lesson, the other we have a baptismal date for this next month, and the other isnt that solid of an investigator, but the greatest part anout them is that whenever were there and even when were not theyre always telling their customers to talk to us and listen to what we have to say. weve gotten like 10 new investigators just from these guys tallking to their customers ahah its great. 

the next story is what i like to call the golden investigator haha. so anyways on friday we were contacting, and we just about to call it quits when we decided to do one last contact. and so we see this man across the street walking with his two sons, so we cross the street and start talking to him. we talk to him and tell him about our message and thats when the cool stuff starts. he begins to tell us about for the past couple weeks hes been looking for the true church. his wife is strongly catholic and he was going to the catholic church but it just didnt seem right. and then he tried the evangelical and a couple other churchs but he just didnt feel like what they taught was true. and he said that hed been praying and really been trying to find the truth. we bore testimony that our church was the true restored church of the Savior Jesus Christ. he then proceeded to tell us about this dream he had been having, i dont remember all of it (it was hard trying to follow him in spanish) but basically he was in this desert with nothing around him but there was a voice directing him to this oasis type thing in the distance and basically it was very similar to the dream of Lehi in scriptures. and he also kept asking us why him? why him out of alll the people that were in the street that day, why did we decide to come up and talk to him? and the answer was very clear to us, but we told him that we share our message wiht everyone and we knew we needed to share it with him. he wanted to hear more about our message but he said his wife would object severly so we left him with a book of mormon, our contact information and invited him to church (unfortunately he didnt make it thoug) but we plan on contacting him and talking with him sometime this week. so ill definitely keep you all posted on how that is going. 

next story is the confirmacion of the kid we baptizeed this week. but anyways so we baptized him this past thursday and we confirmed him this sunday. heres the story, so we were sitting in the chapel meetings going yada yada im trying to follow along with whats happening when my companion stands up adn is like okay were confirming pipe now, and so i stand up follow him to the from of the chapel, and were standing there and he tells me im doing the confirmacion. and ya i was a littlle shocked and like uhhh what? i had no idea what to say or the wording haha so they had the bishop whisper in my ear what to say and so i did and then he was like okay now give him a blessing, and i was like crap i have no idea what to say or how to say it at all. and so i stood there for a couple seconds then just opened my mouth and starting talking, and thankfully words started to form and i know i received some divine help. it was an awesome experience to say the least. 

the final story is of a man...who we met this week too. so on saturday we were having dinner with a member family and anyways long story short, the grand father of the family we were eating with, we got to talking to him about the church (hes not a member) and we eventually ended up committing him to be baptized, and even better, were baptizing him this saturday the 24! heres the even cooler part, we were talking to the lady after the food appointment, and she said that her dad had been investigating the church for 30 years just about and had been asked by countless missionaries to be baptized but he never felt like it. and by the way hes 82 haha but ya so it was way cool, because he has a testimony, he knew it was true, we basically just had to be a little abrupt and tell him to stop being so hesitant and just do it! but anyways ya ive had a pretty good week. we had divisions on friday and saturday, so i was having to take the lead here which was a little difficult not gonna lie but way worth it. and ya things are going just stellar here. im seeing tons of success, watching peoples lives change, and helping them get on to the path to return to live with our father in heaven. its great. the language is still a little trick but each day im understanding more and its getting a easier day by day. i just love being  a missionary haha. anywasys i gotta go now, i still havent gotten mail yet, i will this wednesday at zone conference so sorry for not responding to anything, ill be sure to next week. 

i love you all very very much! hasta luega!

Guadalajara- Week One

so Dennis left LAX....

.....and arrived a few hours later in his home for the next two years
and so the journey begins.....

welcome to the wild wild west, BECAUSE THIS PLACE IS CRAZY!
i dont even know where to start in terms of what to tell you haha. first i have some great news.....ive already got two baptismal commitments since ive arrived! its crazy, the work down here is on fire, i was always a little leary on the whole invite them to get baptized on the first visit thing but its true often times they do say yes. im not saying that everytime i invite someone to get baptized there gonna say yes, but its just so cool when they do. 

were teaching sooo many people, we teach probably around 5 or 6 lessons day and then we throw in some contacting along the way. and we have baptisms lined up for just about every weekend the next couple months. this upcoming saturday were baptizing a family of 4 and then a mother and a daughter. and the week following that is when the people i invited to get baptized are getting baptized. its so cool seeing the holy ghost work on these people and watch them change. its funny because a lot of the time they say they dont really understand what it is that were teaching but they find it really really interesting and cant help but want to  know more. it is the coolest thing ever. 

my zone is tlaquepaque (ya have fun trying to pronounce that haha but its pronounced like la kay pa kay) and my area is central. i of course got put in the biking area for my first area and let me tell you what those first couple of days kicked my butt! the bikes we have are okay, theyve probably seen there fair share of missionary work, but the problem is that the seats on these things are killer haha and the roads here arent the best, everything is either dirt, dirt and rocks, or cobblestone. next to none of the roads here are paved. and half of this place is built on a hill so im getting my fair of a workout each day ahah. its funny because this is seriously the hardest thing i have ever done in my life and most tiring and ya not gonna lie but ive already had those days where i dont wanna get out of bed, but IT IS SO WORTH IT being able to teach these people and help them receive the blessings promised through the gospel and see them change. it truly is a miracle. ive seen so much already, i cant imagine what two years of this is going to be like. 

and the spanish, oh geez. the people here talk ssooooo fast, and my companion speaks little english and understands next to none. so its a little hard to get by haha. but its so cool because in the lessons and stuff hell just be talking and teaching and then hell stop and just look at me and kinda give me that its your turn look and i just start talking, not really knowing where we are in the lesson and amazingly enough, after each lesson hes said that what i said fit in perfect with how the lesson was going. my friends and family i can testify that what is promised in DC 84:85 is real and the gift of tongues is real and the Lord truly does help his servants. its such an amazing experience being able to be a tool in the hands of the Lord. so my companion is named Elder Briz, hes from mexico city and has been here 17 months i believe. hes a great missionary hes currently the dl and everyday he tells me one day im gonna be a leader to so make sure and pay attention. hes great, i know for a fact that companionships are a inspired thing cuz we just work great together and hes awesome.

also get this, so not only do i have to try and learn spanish and pick up the language on my own now, but the church has a program where english speaking elders teach their companions english, so on top of spanish im teaching my companion english everyday haha! but ya its just great here, i just love and i cant say it enough. 

the streets of Tlaquepaque
my area is pretty for lack of a better word ghetto and our surroundings are a little sketchy at times but its great i love it. and the people here are so humble. were teaching a family that just got baptized, its a family of about 6 and they live in this tiny little 10 by 20 house, and they have a picture of the Guadalajara temple on their wall and its so amazing these people who have so little sacrifice so much for this church and be so devoted to it. it makes me appreciate a lot of the blessings i have. so far also i havent gotten sick from the water here, but the food is killer, soooo good. every meal has come with beans and tortillas so far haha. 

oh aand ive already made my fair share of enemies with the local stray dogs which are everywhere haha. ive been chased by a german shepherd and pitbull  haha and then i got attacked by another german shepherd when we were riding one night and i had to kick it like 5 times before it stopped chasing me hahah it was gnarly. this place like ive said is straight crazy. we hear gunshots from time to time, and the drug trafficking and violence from gangs is so high that they dont even have police here anymore its just the straight up mexican military going around busting people haha. and the other days the narcos blew up a couple buses and me and my companion got stranded for a couple hours  cuz they stopped all the buses. thats why i call it the wild wild west. its not unusual to be riding along and seeing a van or truck filled with military personal roll by and go do some work. 

i can also testify that the keeps us safe, so dont worry about me, the Lord is always on my side and is protecting us. but i gotta go now, need to go handwash my clothes and go do some preaching! i love you all soooo soo so very much and pray for you all every day. thanks for all your prayers and support. i appreciate each of. ¡ciao!

mucho amor de mexico
Elder Maccarthy


So here is an overview of Dennis' time in the MTC.....

(excerpts from his letters are italicized)

 I know that the Lord is helping me and has my back through all this learning. I can tell he wants me to succeed, afterall it is kind of necessary for me to learn the language so that I can effectively teach the people down in Mexico. But it still blows my mind just thinking about how I've only been here for a about 3 weeks and how much I've progressed. I feel as thought I'm ready to hop onto a plane and head down to Mexico right now, I'm seriously soooo excited to just get down there and starting teaching people already!

okay so funny story from today, brace yourselves. being missionaries and it being our pday we were for lack of a better word bored so we got a little creative to entertain ourselves. so one of the elders in our district has  a waxer for his eyebrows, ya i know its weird but i dont judge. and so we were all messing around and talking and yada yada and one thing led to another and me being the funny kid i am said "hey lets wax CTR into my leg hairs!" and well, we did just that. we had about 20 elders in  our room taking pictures and videos of me sitting in this chair with a couple of the bigger elders holding me down and slowly but surely elder bate shaped the letters of CTR with wax right on the front of my shin. and then one by one he ripped the wax off and the hair with it hahah, it hurt a little ya but we were all laughing our butts off and well now i have CTR on the front of my shin. ill be getting pictures sent your way pretty soon. but ya it was really funny, probably the funniest moment of the mtc thus far

dont be disappointed in me too much, im still the goofy random Dennis that you all know and love and im not about to lose it haha. 

spanish is coming along well, everyday it gets easier and easier and im starting to learn words and remember things better too. its amazing. im excited to come home and speak spanish for you all, im still hoping i can keep some of my french but im pretty much forgeting that all and replacing it with spanish. which is good i assume, because i am going to be speaking spanish for the next two years and not french haha.

oh and Elder Turner says hello to everyone (in his british accent) :) 

I love being a missionary, im so glad i decided to, im sad thinking that i only have about 23 months left :( im doing my best to work my hardest and make sure to leave wiht no regrets! 

con amor de la ccm,
Elder Dennis Maccarthy

oh, and here is dennis with his buddy roger who is in dennis' home ward in huntington beach. they got their calls around the same time, and were in the MTC together!

after about 8 weeks in the MTC, Dennis headed off to Guadalajara!