Guadalajara- Week TWELVE!

so this past week definitely was filled with some great moments that i wanted to share with you all. probably the first and most special happened yesterday on sunday. yesterday we were able to give a member the priesthood, and it was just so cool. i know ive said it a million times already but this kid is just so special, and being to be there and be a part of some of his first steps towards reaching the potential that his Father in Heaven has planned for him is just so rad for lack of a better word haha. im so excited to see where he ends up going in his life and the great that he will do. also this past week i think we gave one of the best lessons ever, it was so good that i think the prophet would even be amazed haha. i dont know why it went so good haha but everything was just so perfect. the lesson was with thomas, our preacher friend, and we taught him about conversion because its something hes had alot of questions about lately. 

briz being goofy

i think one of the reasons why it was such a powerful lesson is because we used the scriptures so much, its truly amazing how much power there really is in the book of mormon, i mean there literally is a real power associated with this book and i wish every member of this Church could really see how powerful this book is, because it definitely has made my testimony and love for it grow soooo much. also my testimony for the bible has grown alot too, before my mission i can say that i hardly knew the bible but im glad that ive gotten to know it alot better on my mission. i love reading the gospels and reading about the life and teachings of Christ. at the beginning of my mission is when i started reading and studying alot more the life and teachings of Christ, because as a missionary were sent out to preach His gospel in His name, so what better way is there to learn how to do this than to read and study how he himself did it haha. ive also begun to read Jesus the Christ in the little free time i have and wow its such a great book, i encourage you all to read it likewise. ive made it a goal on my mission to really speak, teach, interact, and love the people i teach here as if it was Christ himself sitting there with them. 

baptism 

i literally want to be a walking vessel of His spirit and His love so that every person can feel the same love i have felt! and from what i have experienced so far for working on this goal has been amazing. im nowhere near perfect or being where i can be one day, but thats the beauty of it, the trials and struggle to improve are what truly make us better and stronger, and its like the saying goes...its not so much the destination as it is the journey. and well its an amazing journey trying to be just like our brother Jesus Christ. i wish i could have met him and seen him in action...how cool would that have been!! im excited to meet him one day, and until then im gonna do all i can to make him proud of me and my efforts to become better. apart from his great teaching skills another thing that i absolutely admire is the love he had for everyone! i encourage you all to go out and buy a preach my gospel and study the christlike attributes section...i study these attributes daily and its proved to be such a blessing in not only helping me to develop the qualities of the missionary i want to be but also to become the man and father i want to be. its amazing in how many different aspects my mission has already blessed me and will continue to bless me haha. gah i just love it. cant put it any other way. and i dont think ill ever be able to give enough thanks for my mission and how great of an experience it is. im sad that i only have 19 months left, not that i regret the last 5 months, but its just i love being a missionary and its going by way to fast haha, i need to stop having so much fun and then maybe itll slow down a bit for me haha! 

i just had to include this one because the little boy is picking his nose haha hes the one hat drew me the little missionary man picture that i showed you all in the skype call if you remember

also so funny stuff from this week, we were eating at the house of a part member family, and i dont remember how but he got to talking about this movie about people with cone heads...and i was like hey i know that movie!! and so ya he and i talked about coneheads for about an hour ahaha and elder briz was so confused as we quoted parts from the movie and talked about it and were laughing and stuff haha it was great. also we had a ward activity this past saturday for mothers day...and they had karaoke...and well they love to pick on me for stuff because im the english speaking elder haha and so of course i got suckered in to singing justin beiber and some other stuff...it was embarassing but really funny haha i need to try to find some videos of the experience so you all can pee your pants haha. i pray that all is well for you back home and that youre enjoying yourselves and blessing that you have...because in the words of the great Cinderella...you dont know what you got till its gone haha and yes that reference was for you dad haha. i love you all and have a great week!!! a dios!


my little pet frog haha my face is all funny because he was about to jump and so i was screaming haha

 
much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week 11


in a letter i had gotten from connor recently he said that the weather right now in huntington is a nice cool 75 degrees or so...and then he continued to laugh at me saying that hes sure the weather is super bad here, and well yep youre right bud haha. im gonna take a quick minute and tell you a little bit all about it. 

a few honorable mentions from my crazy tie collection

so every morning i wake up at 615, do 45 mins of excercise and then go take a nice cold shower, and then by the time i get out of the shower, dressed, and go downstairs to eat breakfast im already starting to sweat. i then go through my studies sweating haha i have to keep a little hand towel with me to keep the sweat from dripping onto my books and stuff im reading and what not haha ya its gross i know but its necessary to keep my stuff in good shape. then we hop on our bikes and go bike around going to our different appts and activities that day, and by the end of the day...yikes! our shirts and clothes are so gross haha basically my shirts become transparent from all my sweat and im starting to get all the backpack sweat stains on my tshirts. and the heat doesnt stop in the nights either haha it continues. i always take another cold shower before i go to bed and i stopped using blankets because its just ridiculously hot with blankets haha and theres been a few mornings where ill wake up and my sheets will be stained from sweating all through the night. good thing i have extra sheets because im always having to wash them and change them a few times a week haha. its almost as if im serving my mission in hades at times haha. 

okay this picture you need to zoom in and check out my legs...theyre huge!
but its fun, its good because its burning all this weight im gaining from eating tortillas beans and rice everyday. right now ive lost 20 lbs since ive gotten to mexico! im starting to wish i wouldve bought my shirts a few sizes smaller because theyre huge on me now haha they dont fit anymore haha. im hoping though that ill grow in my mission and that maybe by the end ill fit in them better. apart from the deathly heat things are going great here. elder briz and i had a great week, had some low points but over all it was great. two moments really stand out to me from this week. one of these moments was this past wednesday when we were sitting in our house at around 10 getting ready for bed when an investigator called, i answered and asked him how hes doing and all that stuff and then he said to me "elder maccartney, i received my answer. i think i just received the answer you have been telling me about" i didnt really know what to say because i was stoked out of my mind haha, but i then asked him what had happened...he said he was driving home from work and was feeling really out of it, and so he pulled over and just said a prayer and he said that he "just felt its true, i dont know how to explain it i can just feel it though" and i talked to him for a little bit and well we passed by the next day and had a great lesson with him. one of my favorite things i do with people i teach is imagine and picture what the Lord has in store for them and how much they will build the kingdom of God through there future service. it makes the whole process of watching them change and grow so much cooler and special. 

in mexico all you do on pdays is play soccer and eat at buffets hahaha
the other moment was this past sunday in church. elder briz and i were a little late because we had stopped to pick up a few of our investigators so we were a couple minutes late getting them all onto the buses and to the church. but when we showed up, sitting in one of the side rows of chairs (we dont have pews in our chapel, just folding chairs haha) was some of our investigators! they had gone to church on their own and man it made me so stoked haha when i saw them i instantly just had this ear to ear grin haha i was so happy to see them there. that night too we had a great lesson with them three, where we had them take the role of elder briz and i and teach us the plan of salvation. not only was it super funny to watch them imitate me and elder briz and pretend to be us, but it was way spiritual and great listening to them basically give pure testimony as they taught us what they knew and answered our questions and all that good stuff. its something i recommend the elders in the ward to try and all the others to try also if you havent already tried it, its a great experience. everything in the mission work is a great experience and i dont know why the ward members dont participate more....its the best thing ever!! i plan on never ending my mission, i wanna be a missionary the rest of my life because really i just love it! there is nothing else like it, it is so much fun. while yes i miss my family and all that stuff, and its harder than who knows what, IT IS SO WORTH IT! and yeah i just love it. love love love it. and well with that folks it is now time for me to get back to saving some souls :) have a great week everybody and may the force be with you! LOVE YOU ALL!!!
 
much love from mexico,
    Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week TEN!

well i got to skype with my family this past saturday and man was it good! i expected that i wouldnt be able to concentrate on the work afterward and that id be sad, but the opposite happened...ya i was a lil bummed clearly but i came out of the phone probable the most motivated so far in my mission! and well saturday turned out to be an excellent day for me. 

right after the phone call elder briz and i hopped on our bike and headed off to a teaching appointment with a new investigator of ours, and let me tell you  about this guy. he was a reference from on of our investigators and the initial intentions of him wanting to meet with us was to bible bash and to see how much we really knew...thomas was a missionary for the catholic church for 25 years and a father/ priest of a congregation. the first meeting with him he basically just grilled us, i personally was a little intimidated because this guy really knows his stuff, especially the bible, how luckily i had the Holy Ghost with me and we were actually able to answer all of his questions, and basically by the end of his questioning he was a little dumbfounded and we began to tell him about the restoration. the Holy Ghost definitely carried our words to his heart and at the end of the lesson we gave him a copy of the Restoration foyetto(i dont remember the word in english sorry) and then invited him to be baptized and he said yes. wow! 

the peeps took a hit getting here to mexico

and so we returned this last saturday to see how his reading went, he read and took the things he read very well. we then began talking to him about the plan of salvation...i began to bear testimony and tell him of how we all have the chance to live with our Heavenly Father, Christ, and our families again...and we will be able to live with them forever. i continued to bear testimony and express my love for this great plan that God has given us tears began to roll down this mans face. i stopped for a second to let the Spirit work on him and bear the truthfulness of my words to his heart. i then asked him how he feels knowing that one day he will be able to return to warm embrace of his Father in Heaven and his brother Jesus Christ and his loved ones. the tears continued to flow down his cheeks and he mumbled amongst sobs very good, very good. 

cool picture of the chapel

i then asked him if he was willing to do everything necessary to acheive this and he said yes he was willing...and then i asked him if he would be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God on the 26 of may, and he said yes yes he would! it was an amazing lesson...the spirit was so thick you could cut it with a knife! and the crazy thing too is that this all happened about 30 minutes after i had ended my phone call...my family was probably all back home crying about how they missed me already and little did they know the great impact and motivation they had given me! also, in case you noticed, hes getting baptized the 26 of may soo... happy birthday dad! later on that day we met with two other investigators and they agreed to be baptized this 9 of june! all the hard work is starting to pay off and it feels great. the story of the two that are getting baptized the 9 of june is pretty cool, ill tell you all about it at some other time. 

cool picture of the chapel

so also this past sunday i had to give a talk in sacrament, to say the least i was waaay nervous haha. i spent all night saturday and all morning sunday working on it, because yes unfortunately im still a procrastinator haha but anyways we get to sacrament meeting and ya im a little nervous to say the least, a 20 minute talk...aye carumba! and also much to my dismay we get there and oh the whole stake presidency is there...great haha. luckily though i had the Spirit on my side and the talk went great...or at least thats what elder briz said haha he said to that what i said was understandable so that was a bonus! i spoke on the light of Christ...it was the same talk that i had written for my farewell however it was in spanish this time haha it was funny too because after the talk everybody in the ward was saying that i dont have the excuse anymore of being able to say i dont speak and understand spanish...darn haha! also this past week we had what i consider to be a miracle happen while contacting in lomas de salto...the colonia an hour away from our house. however im out of time for emails this week so ill have to tell you all this story next week in the email! 

mashed potatoes and ribs!
its good too so be excited! also....HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNOR WILSON MACCARTHY!!! i love you bro...you man child stud of a guy. keep chuggin along and stay awesome brotha! 

also auntie beckie i got your postcard of Huntington Beach sunsents....oh how i miss the beach and nice cool ocean air hahah thank you mucho though and much love to your family! have a good week though everybody and remember that i love you all and think that youre absolutely rad!!! stay awesome people!

                                                                      much love from mexico,
     Elder Maccarthy

Mother's Day Phone Call!

Dennis was able to skype with us for about two hours on Saturday, the day before Mother's Day at an internet cafe in his area
  
It was so great to actually see him and meet his companion, even though it was sometimes hard to hear over the spanish pop music in the background

Here is a video with a few pictures and a short clip of our chat with Dennis


video


until Christmas, Dennis!



Guadalajara- Week Nine!

so im pretty sure that this past saturday elder briz and i baptized the first mexican prophet, or at least a general authority of that caliber. one day hes going to be giving a talk in general conference and hes going to talk about the missionaries that baptized him and youll all be able to say hey! i know that missionary that baptized him! 


baptism

but ya this kid is just straight awesome, hes been attending church for about the last month or so and we had thought that he was a member because he knew everything the other young men did, even more, and so we thought he was a member until we were talking to him and we found out he wasnt baptized and we were like woah wait what?? and so we asked when we could come by and he said monday and so we met with him every day this week and this saturday he was baptized. we would be teaching him lessons and before wed start wed ask for example what he knew about the plan of salvation and hed practically teach us what it was! and it was like this with practically all the lessons. 


when i taught him about tithing i told him how by paying tithing we have the opportunity to help build the kingdom of God here on the earth and he got so stoked about that haha he had this big huge smile and was like yeeeah really!! and man it was so cool haha and also he told us how when he grows up he wants to own a carniceria so that he can give food to people that are without food and stuff. i mean this kid is amazing, and when he would pray at the end of each of the lessons you could tell that he really appreciated and cherished his relationship with his Heavenly Father. 

west side fo lyfe!
also i had the opportunity to confirm him this past sunday and well i felt good because i was actually able to say the words without messing up and it was amazing to see how much my skill in the language has grown. it was funny too because the bishop and all the ward members were commenting on my "spanish voice" and how im a real mexican now and it was cool haha because in truth im really not that great at speaking spanish haha but i appreciated the support and compliments from them. but ya it definitely felt alot more natural this time confirming him than it did my second week in mexico when i confirmed another member haha. it was also cool that we were able to confirm him on a fast sunday because he was the first person to get up there and bear his testimony, and boy was it amazing to hear. 

baptism
also an update on another investigator, so i didnt include this last time, but hes actually a semi pro baseball player here in mexico and he has a contract with a team and it requires that he plays on sundays so hes unable to attend church and thus also be baptized. however we were talking with him this past week and he said that the first thing he is going to do when his contract ends in 2 months is be baptized, so were stoked about that, however 2 months is alot of time and were afraid of him possibly falling away or something, so were praying for a miracle to come and that hell be able to baptized sooner than that so were putting this whole situation in the Lords hands and were just going to go with whatever we feel from the Spirit because we need to push him but not too hard. 

this is for you matt o'connor

also this week we started meeting with the brother in law of one of our investigators. so ill be dead honest but i never expected that he would be willing to listen to the discussions. hes a way cool guy and we have an awesome relationship with him, its just well hes pretty involved with the "street life" and so we never thought hed take a liking to it. however the Lord had different plans and this past week he gave us a surprise. as we were cruising down the street the other day he saw us and called us over, we went over to see what was up and he told us he needed our help and if we could meet him at his house at 530. we said ya sure and when we went there we could tell something was bothering him. hes usually really animated always smiling and cracking jokes with me and just always happy, and this time he was super solemn. we got to talking to him about what was going on and he just starts crying. this thug of a guy just starts crying. it was a shocker, we didnt see it coming. he explained that he felt bad for all the wrong he had done, and that he didnt like where his life was and where hes going. he has a kid thats 5 months old and he doesnt want to leave his son fatherless like his dad left him and just all this stuff. 

buddies
for lack of better terms, i basically got slapped into the knowledge that no one is too good for the gospel or doesnt deserve a chance to hear the message we share. everyone from the bums to the thugs, to the rich to the poor deserve to have the opportunity to accept or reject our message. and well we never thought hed accept it and here he was sitting in front of us asking what we knew that could help him. so were starting to meet with him to help him out, whether he gets baptized while were here or no were gonna help him unto our last days here because hes a way cool guy and i love him and so im gonna help him in any way i can. but ya that was probably lesson i learned this week is that the Lord is definitely without a doubt preparing people for us to teach and meet. 

elder zavala and his first EVER hot dog
in reference to jacob 5:23 i believe, theres people in parts of the vineyard that we never thought to look for but that were being prepared all along. so give everyone a chance! so for those of you back home your coworkers, neighbors, family members, everyone! you never know who the Lords is relying on you to talk to and the last thing any of us want is in the day of judgement to be asked why we didnt talk to so and so when they had been prepared for us and we slipped up on the chance. and ya thats not really a burden that i want carrying around on my shoulders for eternity so ive personally made it a goal to talk to everyone about the gospel and invite all you to do the same. ya they might say no, but even if they do you at least planted the seed in them for the Spirit to work with and cultivate in the Lords time and not ours. 

we got helmets now!
also HAPPY MOTHERS TO ALL THE MOTHERS OUT THERE!! i gotta say theres no better place to be honoring my mom this mothers day than in the mission field...I love you mom!! but anyways have a great week everybody and i hope all is well in your part of the vineyard! because i know my sector is kicking some butt right now haha! a tout a l´heure!

 
much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week Eight


so this past thursday was a day that i officially titled as "spirit day" haha and this being because thus far in my mission it was one of the days where i have felt most guided and directed and that literally everything i did was led by the spirit. so let me begin to tell you about this day, or at least some of the more stand out experiences. 

yea thats right we have the prison on our area, i have an interesting story ill have to tell you about at a later date haha

so we tracting and contacting some people we had met with previously during the week, and during our tracting we got a text from the mission office with the address of a reference, and well seeing as how tracting isnt necessarily the most fun activity haha and it was deathly hot outside, we decided to put our tracting on hold for a little and to head off and contact this reference. so we hop on our bikes and head over to the colonia where this reference lives, we scored because it was only like a 10 minute bike ride away haha but anyways so we arrive to the colonia and we begin to start  looking for the street, and we start to ask the people if they know where this street is (because streets in mexico barely ever have a street sign that you can read to find out where you are, or at least in my area thats the case haha) and everybody is telling us no sorry, mostly because were missionaries and they dont want to talk to us haha, but then we come across a man sitting on this wall, and we ask him if he knows where calle yada yada is, he says no, we say thanks have a good day and head off to continue our search. 

party at a member friend's house

as we were leaving the shouts wait wait, are you missionaries; and he said it in english so it immediately caught my attention, so i stopped turned around and was like why yes we are, and he was like yes! i knew it, i knew you were missionaries. youre the only guys that would be out in shirts in ties on bikes in this kind of heat, and i used to be a mormon too. and anyways so we got to talking and turns out this man was born in Mexico but when he was a kid him and his family moved to the US (legally), lived in fresno, and was baptized about 10 years ago. he had a family, business, and an awesome life he said in the US, however he got in some sort of trouble in the states and they took deported him. 

picture of the smoke from the fires that have been going on nearby
he began to tell me about how he lost it all, he lost his family, his business, he lost everything he had. he nows live in guadalalajara and sells couches and just happened to be in the neighborhood that day and was waiting for his coworker to return from a dropoff. he then asked us if we had a copy of the book of mormon, because the one that he had was back in the US and so he didnt have one with him in mexico, and so we gave him one, and then he began to ask us how he could find a chapel for his kids to go to church. he began to tell me that the past couple weeks his son had been asking him about the church he used to take him to because he wanted to start going there again, and so we gave him the number of the mission office and directions on how to find a chapel for himself and for his kids to start attending church. he told me how hed been praying for some way to help his kids, because he wanted them to receive those same blessings and to be baptized, and then we showed u`p. he told how even though ya he had messed up in his life and lost it all, he still had the Lord with him through everything. we continued to talk for a little bit more until his coworker showed up and then we went our way and he went his.

party at a member friend's house

 after this we eventually found the lady, apparently shes a member and was just looking to talk to the missionaries and find out where the church was and what time it started because she just moved here. so we gave here the information and we started to ask her about her family and waht not, and she told us that she actually had a son who lived close by who wasnt a member and if we wanted we could visit them. so we said of course we would love to and we went over to meet her son and his family. turns out the daughter in law had already asked about the church and the lady we contacted had given her her copy of hte book of mormon to read. so we were like sweet, this rocks, and so we started talking with her and their family and wow there awesome. we had a great lesson with them, and we invited them to attend church on sunday, and they said sure theyd try but no promises, but sure enough they showed up :) 

party at a member friend's house

and so im way stoked to make some visits to them this week. and those are just a couple of the cool experiences from that day, im not sure my words are able to quite do it justice but it was such an awesome day, its funny too because its not like we even had these crazy s`piritual impressions to do these things. it simply just happened, and it reminded me of a talk that was given by elder bednar while i was in the mtc where he said basically, when it comes to following the spirit, dont worry about it! just be a good boy, be obedient, work hard, and be true to your covenants and the Lord will guide your steps and take you where he needs you. and basically his whole was talk was just an awesome talk really, a talk i think every missionary and member should hear, because in fact i think sometimes we spend too much time waiting for that spiritual impression to come when in reality all we have to do is just get to work and act! ill share more from his talk at a later date with you all. also this past wednesday we had basically a gringo conference haha a conference for all the new missionaries and trainers. 

party at a member friend's house

the best part of the conference was getting to see all the elders i was in the mtc with. it was the first time since we all went our seperate ways in the beginning of march and so it was really cool to talk with them about how their missions have been going, how the reassignments were and all that jazz. sadly tho elder turner wasnt there :( but we found out that he got here this past friday! woo hoo. 

district 38-c in mexico minus elder turner :(
also this past week elder briz and i got invited to birthday party of one our investigators dads bday. lets just say mexicans party crazy ahha. good food, loud music (mariachi of course haha) and just good company. the family is awesome, a few coins short of crazy, but just straight awesome.

party at a member friend's house

 one of the coolest experiences was after we sang we him happy birthday they all suckered me in to singing a solo of happy birthday in english, and so i did and they all started cheering and doing there crazy mexican cat call things and ya it was funny haha they love me because im a gringo. 

party at a member friend's house

however though, i dont consider myself a gringo anymore because i ate a chili that night at the fiesta taht elder briz wouldnt even touch, yes it made me cry, but none the less it made me feel proud ahah. also ive already done a couple things that qualify you for not being a "green" missionary in the mission, those being bitten by a dog, i got bit by a pitbull this week so its official because the cihuaha doesnt really count, this one was official haha. but ya so it was a great week for me here in mexico, i really enjoyed it haha. 

party at a member friend's house (eating a pepper!)
and also i would like to point out another significant event this week. this wednesday, ryan maccarthy entered the mtc, and so this is the first time in history that there have ever been two elder maccarthys in Gods Army at the same time. and im stoked because its awesome to know that im serving with him and the great blessings that our family will receive through our labors. i gotta go now though, sorry folks. have a good week all of you and may God be with you till the next email! LOVE YOU ALL!
 
much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy