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

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