Guadalajara- 6/25/12

so sorry everybody about not being able to email last week, things got a little hectic and well i didnt get around to being able to email. however i got a good email for you all this week, lots of good things have been going on here lately. last sunday the 17th we were able to baptize an investigator!! yep he canceled his contract with his team early and told us he wanted to get baptized! it was so rad being able to finally see him get baptized, i knew the day would come eventually, because his contract ends in the middle of july, but the fact that he made the decision to be baptized and make that sacrifice is just awesome. and also a cool little fun fact about his baptism that i figured you all might like, especially nicole, is that i planned his baptism so that it would at the same time as nicoles graduation party haha, so while you were all in california partying and having a good time in celebrating nicoles graduation, we were having our own little spiritual party and celebration here in mexico haha. it was an interesting baptism too because the church here runs off a water tank and well we ran out of water filling up the baptismal font and only had about 2 feet of water haha, so i had to baptism him on my knees while he sat down in the font haha it was interesting to say the least. but ya i thought youd all like the fun little fact that i planned the baptism to be at the same time as the graduation party. 

and speaking of which, CONGRATS NICOLE! and also happy late fathers day to all those dads out there!! 

last picture with president jesperson and sister jesperson :(
yesterday we were able to baptize another investigator, a seriously special young mom. we first contacted her about 3 months ago, it was about 9:30 at night and we had just walked from san martin to the bike shop in santa paula because my bike broke and so i was dead and not really in the best of moods haha but anyways so were walking back to the house and walking towards us is a young lady with two little girls carrying groceries. briz tells me to contact her, i told him naw its late we need to be in the house and shes busy anyways and probably wont talk to us, and so as we get close to her briz says good evening and begins talking to her, she accepts a visit and we make a appointment to visit her during the week. we pass by that week and shes not there. we pass by her house every now and then for the next following weeks and shes never home, and then we find her one day walking in the street again and we start talking to her and we end up setting an appointment with her again. however when we pass by again she isnt home. we leave it at that because we thought that she was just giving us the run around, until one day about 2 months after we had initially contacted her, we decided to pass by her house, and well she was home! 

baptism of sara, such a rad daughter of our Heavenly Father :)
and well weve been teaching her for the past month or so and we were able to baptize her this last weekend. and let me tell you what she is so rad. she has a stronger testimony than half the members in the ward haha, in all the foyettos we would give her she would write her testimony of the doctrines she had learned on the pages with pictures. and i mean like legit testimonies and personal thoughts and feelings. im gonna try and take some pictures of the foyettos so you all can see what im talking about. its funny too because after the first sunday she came to church, the bishop approached us and asked us who the member was that came with us because he didnt recognize them, and we told them it was an investigator not a member haha and he was like oh wow, good job elders. 

baptism of sara, such a rad daughter of our Heavenly Father :)
but ya shes just way rad. and then last night at her baptism we asked her to bear her testimony and it personally made me cry being able to see how shes grown spiritually and more than anything just how happy she is. like she is filled with just pure joy and happiness, and she knows that its because of the gospel and her Heavenly Father. i could go forever about how special she is but unfortunately i dont have enough time to tell you everything, ill tell you everything when i get home though haha. 

sara with the missionaries at stake conference...she wanted to take a picture with all the missionaries who were there haha
also this past week had a neat little spiritual experience of being put in the perfect place at the perfect time. so on wednesday theres a huge basically swap meet/ flee market type thing that they do in the streets here called tianguis. and so elder briz and i decided that we were going to go contact in them and so were contacting yada yada and i see this little old lady carrying a bunch of groceries and being the nice kid i am i decide to go ask her if shed like some help, shes was a little hesitant at first, but once we assured her that we were just missionaries and werent gonna steal her groceries she said yes and we helped her carry her groceries to her house. anyways so as were talking to her outside her house, a teenage girl walks past us and as she turns the corner a few houses up the street she turns and waves to us. at first i was like oh how nice of her to wave at us, and then it hits me hey! you know her go talk to her! 

family after baptism
so we finish up talking to the old lady and set up a return appointment to teach her and then i tell elder briz to follow me and the i just take off running after this girl who had already gained probably 5 or 10 minutes on us and who knows where she had gone. so im running and stopping at each intersection to look for her and then after not seeing her just make a decision and take off running in that direction haha meanwhile briz is yelling at me maccarthy what are you doing! and i just tell him to trust me haha and keep running. finally we see her at the end of the block and make a left and so we run that last little bit and then stop and begin walking because it looks bad running up to teenage girls and we didnt want the people to think were weird. so we start speed walking until we catch up to her and i say hey! how are you! (i was blessed with the gift of being to remember names easily, its pretty handy in missionary work) and she was like hey i didnt think youd recognize me yada yada haha and just a little background info so we had contacted her about 2 months ago and she said she was gonna call  us and never did so we just thought oh well nothing we can do. 

briz and i in front of a sweet old chapel in ocotlan
but in that first contact months ago i could tell there was something special about her. anyways i ask her why she never called and turned out that she gave the card with our number to her sister and then her sister lost it so she couldnt contact us but how great it was that she us today and that we were able to come talk to her. anyways long story short we stopped by her house this week and she accepted to be baptized the 14th of july woohoo! shes way rad too, she introduced us to her grandpa and were gonna baptize him too. it was a great experience for me to see how as missionaries im really doing the lords work. he knew that she hadnt been able to get into contact with us, however he needs for her to hear this message and be baptized so he put us in her path again so that we would be able to talk with her. i gotta say the Lord works in mysterious ways and it is so cool being able to be part of it! 

briz and i in front of a sweet old chapel in ocotlan
i love too how at times we dont even realize that were doing is preparing us to have a great experience or meet someone or something like that, and well as a result of our obedience and just doing what were supposed to do were able to bless the lives and help others. i mean i had no idea that as a result of asking that little old lady if she wanted help with her groceries would put us on the same street at the perfect time so that brenda would pass by, see us and wave and then us be able to talk with her and place a baptismal date. it all came as a result of me just doing what i do and being obedient and the Lord seeing this, put me exactly where he needed me. its soooo cool huh? missionary work is undoubtedly the coolest thing in the world if i must say so myself. theres nothing else like it. and well its  crazy that this thursday im gonna complete 6 months as a missionary, a fourth of my mission over :( i cant believe how fast the time is going. all i know is i gotta live it up and leave no room for regrets, i only get this once chance and then hasta luego! anyways thought have a great weeek everybody and hope youre enjoying your summer!! love you all and stay strong, the world needs more people like you!!

3 kilos of fruit loops they say go big or go home and i still got a while till i go home haha

Much love from Mexico,

Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- 6/11/12

there are no pictures this week because elder maccarthy was feeling rather ill as you'll read below.
also, his incident with the wild dog has some good news: the dog is still alive, which means elder maccarthy doesn't have rabies! woohoo!!!

lastly, please keep elder maccarthy in your prayers, he could sure use them :)

 "this is HIS mission, you gotta do what HE wants" - Elder Bringhurst

so i think i learned one of the biggest lessons of my mission these past couple days, and also was humbled big time into really the importance of my calling and work here in the mission. so this past thursday until sunday i was dog sick. it started thursday night with a sore throat and fever and i didnt really think anything of it, figured id just sleep it out and wake up the next morning fine. well the exact opposite happened haha. i woke up at about 2 oclock friday just absolutely dying, throat felt like id been drinking sand, my head felt like i had monkeys playing the drums in it, i was rocking a pretty good fever, and the worse was my back pain which was seriously horrible. i was miserable to say the least haha. i tried to fall back asleep but it was to no avail and i laid there in my little bed tossing and turning trying to fall back asleep and sleep off the feelings. anyways 630 rolls around and briz wakes up and can see that im dying haha and asks me whats up and so i recount to him everything that im feeling and so forth. he says huh that stinks take a cold shower and medecine and see if it helps. i did and it didnt. i was sweating while taking a freezing cold shower!! 

it was ridiculous haha but anyways so although yes im dying i suck it up because we had to travel to ocotlan that day to do baptismal interviews, this actually turned out to my benefit because ocotlan is a few hours away by bus so i was able to rest on the buses but still felt disgusting haha. we then after a few lessons and things that day around 7 i had to call it quits. i had absolutely zero energy i couldnt walk for 5 minutes without having to stop and rest or sit down and basically ya i just had zero energy what so ever. we head back to the house and get there at about 8 i go straight upstairs and to bed because im just dead haha. and then comes saturday...i wake up saturday morning and im even more dead then the day before! however briz tells me that yesterday was my day to rest and that today i had to get back to work and that he was sorry it had to be that way. and ya not gonna lie i was a little bugged cuz i had no desire to do anything and its not like i really rested all that much the day before haha but nonetheless i sucked it up and got ready to go work. i barely had enough energy to stand up in the shower and had to bring a chair into the shower to use while i showered and i felt like a zombie walking around because i was  just shot. the worst too was that my body wasnt retaining any water because id drink and drink and due to the heat and my fever id just sweat all the water out and ya haha. 

so before we leave the house to get to work i go upstairs to my room and shut the door and kneel to say a prayer. my prayer went something along the lines of Heavenly Father you know i dont have any desire or energy to work today, you know i want to just stay in my bed and rest today, however these 2 years are for you, your will your work your time, not mine. so im putting it all in your hands. i cant do it but you can and so please help me today. and with that prayer i got up and well i didnt feel any better and i felt maybe i was being punished or lacked the faith but then realized nooo thats not it, theres a lesson i need to learn today. and so off we went and slowly but surely went from lesson to lesson teaching and helping. i cant even count how many times i couldve sworn i was sleeping but yet still kept chugging along on my bike, coming back to consciousness and realizing that i was riding a bike and seriously not knowing how it was possible. 

around 6 that evening my sickness decided to amp itself up a little and give me one last run for my money and from what i think was a combination of my fever and the food we ate that day i started throwing up alot. and it was raining. and so heres poor little Elder Maccarthy tootin along on his bike in the rain throwing up every now and then and without consciousness just kinda pushing on forward. i dont really know how i did it. i remember it was absolutely miserable and i wanted to die haha but yet here i am and i made it. we finished the day and like the night before i stumbled upstairs and literally just collapsed into my bed. wet clothing and all haha. it was one of the hardest days of my mission. not only because of how sick i was, but also because my sickness induced feelings of wanting to go home so that id have my mom and my family to take care of me. 

ill be honest that i didnt want to be there haha i wanted to be back in my bed back home with my mom bringing me medecine and chicken noodle soup and all that good mom stuff. however i didnt have that option and so it was hard. but aside from how miserable the past couple days had been when i had the chance to look back, i was shocked at how the past couple days were also some of the greatest and most spiritual days ive had. one thing i really noticed my how much i bore testimony and of the words that i spoke. i feel that without a doubt that those past days that the Lord took me in his hands and moved me from place to place and when it came time for me to speak he spake for me. as i looked back and thought about each person we met with and remember the things they said, the looks on their faces as they listened and just everything really made me realize the power and importance of what im doing, and of Christ did when he was here. after i had said that prayer and told the Lord that i cant do it, im gonna do what i can but hes really gonna have to help, i know he completed with my cry of help, and it turned out to be such a great day because i didnt do a single thing that i wanted to do, it was all for him. and he recognized that and helped me. im not sure if any of this recountig has made anysense im still a little loopy and im sure some of it youre gonna read and be like what is he saying haha but what i wanted to share with you all is how great of an experience these miserable past couple of days had been haha. and that most of all he really does hear our prayers and help us.

i know without a doubt in my heart that heard my prayer that morning as i cried for his help and support. and i know that it was just him that helped me this day. but also all of you back home reading this letter who pray for me, and all the people in the world who pray for the missionaries. i know i received help from my ancestors and my personal favorite, my future kids and grandkids as they sat there on the other side of the veil cheering me on saying go dad go!! i know that there was a reason that i needed to go out those days and meet with those people. eventhough i didnt have any crazy amazing lessons or experiences with them, they needed to hear what their Father wanted to tell them that day. and i feel like the Lord was testing me too. he wanted to see if i really was willing to put myself and my wants aside for a few days and do his work his way. and i feel like i did that. and its definitely an experience that im going to remember the rest of my mission and also the rest of my life. that when we put ourselves in the Lords hands and then ask for him to guide our steps, we just gotta get those feet a moving and let him carry along. it was a great lesson to learn, something i feel that i already knew yes, but that he really wanted me to learn it and learn it good. and well i sure was taught a thing or two and the hard way too haha. i hope that maybe you all can learn something too from this experience that i had and more importantly i want you all to know that this same experience i had is applicable to each and everyone one of us in all aspects of what we do. from the big things to the small things this simple principle of ask and you shall receive will always be true. so try it! and i promise you will come out of it blessed and with a new view and perception on things.

i love you all and thanks for all of the prayers. its hard to be a missionary at times but thats why i have an amazing support back home of family and friends who love me, pray for me, and support me in all my doings here in the mission field. have a great week everybody and keep being awesome!
much love from mexico,
   Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- Week 13! + Three Month Anniversary!!!

sorry for the lack of pictures, elder maccarthy left his camera at home! and apparently the pictures would have been pretty gnarly...

3 months in mexico anniversary is tomorrow!!! go eat some tacos in my honor everybodyy!!

so i gotta say there is something surreal and almost dream like about riding your bike home in the right in the middle of a lightning and rain storm...its just rad and makes you feel all cool. this past week we had rain and lightning just about every other night, the past monday night we had a gnarly rain storm...luckily it came in the night though so i didnt have to ride my bike in it haha. im still waiting for the rain to come though so we can get over with this blistering death heat haha its starting to get old and im ready for the water!! 

also this past saturday was quite an eventful day, one of the most eventful of my mission probably. to start it off i was doing divisions with elder roden the zone leader this day because he had to do a baptismal interview for us. and well elder roden is a pretty good sized kid and well we ran into some problems with him and the bikes haha first he busted the chain and so i had to do a road side repair on some janky mexican back road having to goal all came and using rocks and random nails i found to fix the bike chain haha and then after that he broke the pedal off the bike hahha and ya we though it was funny because everything that could go wrong did but when we called elder briz to tell about all that had happened he got all mad and ruined the mood. oh and also i got my hands destroyed by a dog. i decided to not include pictures of what happened to my hands 1. because i left my camera cord at home and 2. because  its gross. so heres the story. we were at the investigators house and elder roden was in one of the back rooms doing the baptismal interview and i was in the front living area visiting with the family. and then what happens is this stray dog comes in the house and the family starts trying to shoo it away and it starts attacking and biting everyone! i kicked it once and it bit my shoe and then kicked it again and it went under the table only to come back out and then it bit the leg of the youngest son whos 3 and he starts crying and the mom is yelling at the other little kids to run up stairs to get away from the dog and so then i feeling like mister come to save the day missionary go and kick the dog pick up the little kid who it bit and put it on the table and then i dont know what i was thinking but it went to bite the mom and so i grabbed it to try and take it outside and as soon as i grab it it immediately snatches back and just starts going to on my hands and at first it bit me and from the shock and bite i dropped it and then i picked it up again and threw it out the fron door after it had bitten and chewed up my hands a little bit more. 

it was pretty gnarly and everyone was like what the heck just happened...especially elder roden who came out of the room after hearing all the commotion going on out front. my left hand took most of the damage and im probably gonna have some pretty cool scars from it to show you all when i get home. dont worry though mom, the mom of the family took care of me and cleaned up the wounds for me. we called president jesperson to see what we should do and he told us to keep an eye out on the dog for the next couple days because seeing as how its a random dog that has no home owner and just roams the streets its possible that it could have rabies but other than that i just have to take ibuprofen and wait for the wounds the heal. and i use the word wounds because its not like just little scratches and superficial cuts its like i got my hand chewed on by a dog status haha. it was definitely an experience to remember and well i guess thats what happens when you decide to be mister nice guy missionary, you get jacked up! 

after the episode we returned to the interview and well all in all it was worth the pain because i was able to baptize the kid later on that day! the baptismal service was way fun too because when we asked the boy what he wanted to do for hsi baptism he said he wanted to do a water balloon fight haha so after the baptismal service we all went outside and had this huge water balloon fight that turned into fill the buckets up with water and drench the missionaries fight haha luckily it was like 500 degrees outside so it wasnt all that bad haha. oh and also this past week somebody broke into the chapel and stole all the piping, pipes and faucets from the bathrooms in the church. elder roden and i showed up saturday afternoon to start preparing the baptismal font and when we walked into the chapel and turned the corner we came across the surprise of the whole church being flooded because the people who stole all the piping off course didnt take the time to close the water valves so water was just everywhere and also they destroyed all the countertops and really just made a mess, it was sad. so elder roden and i ran and turned off the main water valve and then called the bishop to tell him what happened cleaned up a little bit and then hopped in a taxi and went to his building to do the baptism.

it actually worked out kind of perfect because elder briz and elder leon (companion of elder roden) were there doing an activity for all the investigators that they had and they invited them to attend the baptismal service and so we had like 30 people at the baptismal service and it was way awesome! after all the ups and downs of the day and even though everything that could go wrong did we still were able to baptize this young boy and thats what really counts. just goes to show you that the adversary does all he can and throws every curveball he has and uses all the tools and options he has to delay the work of the Lord, but all in all in the end he has no power and will not and can not stop the work of the Lord. at the end of the day it was really a testimony builder in this aspect that i just mentioned. we had just about everything go wrong and hit every road block for this baptism. first off because the kid was supposed to be baptized 2 saturdays ago with his sister but wasnt quite ready and then this whole past week that we had been visiting with him he had been telling us he doesnt want to be baptized anymore until friday afternoon we got a call from his mom and she told us that he had something to tell us and he said he wanted to be baptized! so we were like sweet! 

what a miracle and then the adversary threw a couple obstacles to try and stop this boy from being baptized but in the end the Lord will always win. and its the same way with all the things in life. in all situations satan is going to throw everything he has our way and do everything in his power to destroy us, make us fall, and ultimately make us miserable like himself. but we have the Lord on our side and as long as were doing our part to stay on the straight and narrow path the Lord will protect us from his attacks and see to it that we have the extra strength and extra power to overcome the adversary and come out victorious in all our endeavors. so dont get down when things dont seem like there gonna work out. part of this life is seeing and experiencing trials. its something thats not gonna change and that we will have all our lives. but in the end no matter how bad things seem at the start or how rough the path really is...the land of promise is always there at the end for us and we will one day receive all that the Father has and be blessed for our faithfullness and steadfastness during this life. the trial of life is to live. and with the strength and support from the Lord we will make it through this time of trial and return to live with our families and heavenly parents once again. and oh how great will be that day. family, friends, brothers and sisters...this life is hard, youre not the only one that has it hard at times. but i can testify that we will overcome and make it through every single trial we have. just have faith and patience and it all will work out just fine. thats what ive been doing and its been working pretty good so far and so i know itll work for you too. stay strong in the faith and remember hold to the rod, and itll take us back home. have a great week everybody and i pray that you all are doing just fine and dandy back home. i love you all and wish the best for you.

much love from mexico,
   Elder Maccarthy