Guadalajara- 7/23/12

so i kinda dont wanna come home anymore...sorry mom haha. im in love with being a missionary, and missionary work, and i dont really wanna do anything else anymore haha i just wanna do this forever! we had a pretty tough week as usual, but had some way great experiences, some that personally changed my whole mission and that im so glad i was able to have. im gonna start with one of the first experiences, one of the more potents from this week. 

it happened with a man were teaching right now, hes a man we found 3 weeks ago when he just randomly showed up at the church on sunday and said hed always wanted to come in since he saw it like 4 yrs ago but had never done it till then and well ya weve been teaching him since then haha. anyways though so we were in a visit with him on thurs and everything was going good with the lesson and all, and then we began to ask him how hes felt with all the things weve taught and so on and well thats when he basically told us that he had made the decision that he was gonna return to his old church, and in a really nice way (the nicest and most polite ive seen yet in mexico haha) he told us that he would like if we stopped coming by. we personally were both taken back a lil because he was progressing really well and very acceptive and we didnt see it coming. so we talked to him about how he feels and found his iceberg thats hes just really confused. the testigos de jehova had passed by and left him some reading stuff, his pastor from the christian church has been asking him whats up, his whole family is death gnarly catholic, and then we come with our message and he said he was just really confused with it all and figured itd be best to just go back to where he was congregated before. 

and well with that i dont where it came from but i just starting bearing my testimony. and its something that ill admit ive never really been the best at doing here in the mission. but so i just began bearing my testimony of the things weve taught, the truthfullness of the message of the restoration, just everything i know. and ive never born my testimony like that before, it just felt so powerful i guess you could say. and so i sat there and in the words of elder holland "bore testimony with every ounce of energy within my soul" and i could see slowly as i looked him in the eyes that the Spirit was working on him and i continued like that until i felt the impression to invite him to be baptized. now weve invited him a few times before and hes always said no, because he didnt feel ready, and so we just left it at that knowing with time hed accept. and so after having born testimony i invited him to be baptized. and while he did say yes, i could still see that he was a little hesitant and not to sure of his answer, just said it because he wanted to be polite or whatever it may have been. 

recognizing this i asked him if he didnt feel to sure still about being baptized, and he told me in all truth elder yes, and so i said okay were going to do something. i told him that what were gonna do is get on our knees and hes gonna offer a prayer, in which hell ask if la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos días is the true church upon the face of the earth and if he should be baptized in it. i then explained that God wont lie to him, that he will receive an answer to his prayer, and if he receives a no well leave and never come back, but that i know your Father in Heaven wont say no to this question of yours, and that after the prayer were gonna stay kneeling until he feels as though hes received his answer and then hell let us know, and with that he accepted and so we kneeled there in his living room and i swear that the moment he said the words "Querido Padre Celestial" the Spirit just flooded into the room, it was crazy i feeled as though if i were to open my eyes id be able to physically see the Spirit there with us and we kneeled there together as he humbly and prayed just like it says moroni 10:3-5 and while he was praying i was personally praying in my head for him to receive his answer and then after he had finished his prayer and said amen we stayed there kneeling until he just said "ya... ya elders recebí mi respuesta. tengo que bautizarme. yo lo sé. tengo que hacerlo." and i still remember how happy he looked. with just this big huge smile, and i invited him to be baptized the 28th of this month, and he said yes, hell be baptized that day. 

after the lesson elder tucker was like dude, you just saved ricardo, that was sweet nice job elder. well i knew it wasnt me haha i was just a mere mouth piece, but still it was a crazy cool experience. i feel as though i had really taken for granted lately the true power of the Holy Ghost in the conversion of the people i teach. its an absolute necessity, they have to receive that confirmation of the truthfulness of this message and being able to be involved in the moment when ricardo receive his confirmation was really special. i also learned the true power of bearing testimony, and how special my testimony is, and also the testimony of each of you. our testimonies are such an awesome thing, i had never realized i had a strong testimony, or even much of a testimony at all, until i let the Spirit accompany my words and not just bear a generic testimony of the truthfellness of the gospel and its restoration, but a true testimony that came from within that was shared with all my spiritual energy. it was an eye opener for me that i had the ability to share something so powerful and so special. in fact it was definitely a testimony builder in and of itself haha! but ya to say the least it was an amazing experience that i had, and since then ive been a testimony bearing machine, bearing testimony is one of my favorite things to do just because of the spirit that it brings into the discussion.

 my assignment america for this week, is bear your testimony! and this sunday isnt fast sunday so that means youll have to share it with a coworker, friend, neighbor, whoever just make it a goal to share your testimony of a gospel truth with someone, and I PROMISE YOU it will be a great spiritual experience for you, and who knows maybe something will come it. i had another similar story to the one i just shared that happened this past saturday while meeting with a man named jorge while meeting with him for the first time. we had finished the lesson and felt the impression to invite him to be baptized. he said no, he wanted to get to know the church first before making any commitments so better later, and so we then asked him what baptism meant to him, or why its important...and then he told us "well i dont really know what baptism is..." aha! there was the iceberg, and so we explained baptism to him and taught him about it, and he agreed to it and accepted it and so we asked him again if hed be baptized, and again he said no. we were kinda shocked again cuz we thought for sure hed say yes after we explained it to him haha but still no. 

so then we each bore testimony of baptism and of its importance and stuff like that and midway through elder tucker sharing his testimony, jorge kinda cut in and said "pues, de repente, no voy perdir nada si me bautizo y no es nada malo, entonces sí me bauitzo. porque no." and so we were like alright sweet! thats what im talking about and so accepted to be baptized this upcoming 4th of august. so those were two really neat experiences i had this past week about the true power of testimony and especially with teaching in a way that allows the Spirit to be there and confirm the truths of what we teach. ah such a cool week! 

however bad thing from this week...ate menudo and ya it sucked haha. the worst too was having to eat it while the hermana was watching us and just being able to tell that she knew we didnt like it. elder tucker got off lucky and pulled the "i have a stomach infection and cant eat meats" card and so he got away with just eating a bowl of rice and beans however i had this big bowl of menudo just sitting in front of me. and well ya it was super gross. i showed it down the best i could but my goodness it was gross. i definitely do not recomend it to anyone! sorry if any gets offfended by this because its there favorite food but to add to it the menudo was in a bad state where it was on the edge of rotten im pretty sure and gah it was just bad. i feel sick just thinking about it and the taste of it. yuck. 

however for anyone who wants to eat some good food, look up how to make tortas ahogadas, and for those of you from the spanish branch or from mexico who may be reading this, im sure you know what im talking about because there so good! in fact dad ask the guy at your work what he thinks about tortas ahogadas, and tacos de birria and pasole...and anybody else back in the states whos reading this and has tasted these foods i just want to say sorry that they dont in america. it really is a same because there so good and when i get home well have some fiestas and eat some real mexican food haha. but ya things are going great here, super hard work, but great :) 

im so happy being a missionary. i love emailing home because i get to think back on all the great experiences i had in the week and it just makes me so happy and just ya :) its so awesome i love it. i cant tell you all enough how much i love being a missionary...its so rad! haha in closing i wanna wish you all a great week and hope that things are going just swell for you all back in the states. and that youre able to enjoy your summers, and most importantly time together as families because families are the best ever and i love my family and how great they are! love you all have may all go well till the next email! a dios!

much love from mexico,
   Elder Maccarthy

oh and a little message for Johnny Arreola....¡¡felicidades!! since im not able to physically be there to congratulate you i wanted to give you a little shout out and let you know that along with your Heavenly Father, elder brother Jesus Christ, and the great ward youre in that Elder Maccarthy down in mexico is also way proud of you! youve made a huge decision, one of the greatest of your life and im so happy for you. ya it might be weird cuz i dont really know you and you dont really know me but youre a rock star. stay strong and just remember that your baptism was only the beginning, you have so many more great experiences and blessings waiting for you, and your Heavenly Father is anxiously anticipating the day and moment when He can give them to you. stay rad and keep connor in check for me haha congrats bud!! :)

Guadalajara: 7/16/12

the dangers of chili eating competitions
goodbye lunch for elder leon, he will be greatly missed (hes the one next to the elder in the red tie, right side)

so this was a pretty interesting week haha especially this past weekend. first ill start off by explaining the subject. so ive mentioned before about a man we were teaching, anyways so we had dropped him when i was with elder briz still, but a few weeks ago we started teaching him again. and so anyways the dad of that guy and i have always gotten along good with this guy, we always joke around. and so one of my favorite little jokes i love to do with him is tell him that im the chili eating champion of the united states for the under 20 age group. and hes always challenging me to chili eating competions haha and i always tell him no of course because in truth i cant eat anything with chili without thinking im gonna die. 

elder tucker being a pirate haha
and so this past friday we were at his house talking with him and of course we got onto the topic of  chilis and he challenged me and i told him he didnt want to mess with me and in fact he should be afraid of me, and so well he said its time for me to meet my death and went and got a bag of chilis out of his fridge. he then explained we were gonna have a competition, the competition being we each had to eat 5 chilis and the first to suck into their mouth lost and had to buy the other a coke. feeling a little risky i said deal, also because after having rejected his competitions for months i finally felt it was time to face the music. and the chilis he had in the bag are gnarly, there called chili piquins and they are waaaay gnarly. to give you all an idea just breaking off the stems and smelling the insides made my eyes water haha. anyways so we begin the competition, breaking off the stems and then eating the chilis one by one.

 i have a unique bowling style haha the lower the better
 holy oh my goodness! it was such a bad idea haha mouth was on fire! i had never eaten anything so spicy and well yes i lost haha, but i feel proud having known that i ate 5 of those bad and lived to tell the tale. and if any of you think im just blowing smoke and it wasnt that bad go buy some and try it for yourself. there the little tiny chilis, a little smaller than your pinky and there a greenish orange color. the skinnier the better. and well let me know how it went if you try it haha. bro. lebaron im sure itd be a fun mutual activity for all the young men to do haha. however though just a word of caution, if you likewise decide to do this challenge just a heads up youll be jacked for a little while. im still sick from it haha which takes us to the next fun little story from this weekend. so i had had the chili experience on friday, and then saturday for the food appt we ate this eggs, cactus, and chili soup like stuff with rice and that on top with the chili competition the day before just about killed me. 

 i have a unique bowling style haha the lower the better

yesterday specifically was just horrible. i had really bad bathroom issues haha and threw up like 4 times throughout the day. at the food appt on sunday the sister had made bbq ribs with mashed potatoes and although it smelled and looked so delicious i couldnt even eat it without getting sick. it stunk. the worst was after the food appt  we just went home cuz i was dying and so anyways i was in the bathroom throwing up and i was leaning over the bowl and as im throwing up all the stuff out of my shirt pocket falls out! so my missionary manual, the food calender for the month, and my planner just go kerplunk and so i had to fish them out and of course there like totally  ruined and gross nasty now so i had to throw it all away haha. its gross i know and im sure you all couldve live without hearing about it all haha but it was kinda funny i thought. and well to say the least itll probably be a while till i eat chili again. 

me explaining how to spin the bowling ball to elder valenzuela haha
also this week we started teaching this one lady, name kept private, and she is super duper rad but we have begun to realize that shes a little crazy haha like for example when we taught her about joseph smith and the first vision she told us right off the bat that she believed that he really did see Jesus Christ and God the father because she too had seen celestial beings during here life and then went into telling us these stories of hers, shes way rad though and is super receptive to the whole message and is gonna be getting baptized in the next couple weeks. i personally love hearing her crazy stories haha because eventhough she might be a little wacky she has a great heart and has a huge desire to follow Christ and become closer to our Heavenly Father. so that at least is really good haha. 

also we received some pretty interesting new this week thats gonna make every missionary out there be jealous haha and be like chika what? so we have received news about this new system called "the work of salvacion" that we will be beginning here in the next few days which is where each week we receive a list of about 40 or so names from the ward were in and then we have to go visit those people during the week and they will make up our teaching pools from now on. theyve completely changed the missionary work haha like completely. we dont do bus contacts (which i always loved doing because it makes you feel like dan jones or samuel the lamanite up there preaching to the people in the bus haha), knock doors, tract or do anything like that, we work off just straight up references. i personally dont know if i like it too much haha i always loved the experience of finding someone in the street and then seeing them progress and be baptized and also the experiences of where youll be tracting a street with no success and then say a prayer and then a few houses later you find a rad person. 

i heart my missionary friends (and the little kid in the second picture is some random kid the bowling ally stuck with us because he wanted to play but didnt want to play alone so we adopted him haha)
but im sure our leaders have been inspired to put into practice this new system so i merely just go along with it, and do my best to carry about the work in an efficient and successfull manner. let me know if this system is being implemented in any of your wards back home or in any of the missions out there, or if its just something there doing here in the mission, im interested to hear. things are going way awesome here though, im loving it. seriously everyday is the best day ever and i just cant explain it haha its just so awesome being a missionary, i just love it. my alarm clock is my new best friend because i just love being able to wake up and start a new day as a missionary full of new experiences and stories and memories and just all sorts of stuff. 

i heart my missionary friends (and the little kid in the second picture is some random kid the bowling ally stuck with us because he wanted to play but didnt want to play alone so we adopted him haha)
I LOVE IT!! i know why jake and everyone would always tell me theyre jealous im going on a mission and how they wish they could go back, because this is seriously the best thing ever. im pretty sure i say that every week but its because its true! being a missionary is being cool haha! anyways have a great week everyone and i will be talking to you all next week, letting you know of all my experiences of the week! les amos!

a lil modeling action

much love from mexico,
    Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara- 7/9/12

wow. what a week. everyday just kicked my butt haha. basically our entire investigador pool fell apart, its been raining like crazy here lately and we had to give talks this week and ya weve just been busy busy busy haha. i gotta say last night after returning home from working it felt sooo good to lay down and be able to think that i can relax tomorrow for pday haha. so as im sure youve noticed from google earthing my area and stuff...its alot of dirt. and dirt+rain=MUD. lots and lots of mud and flooded roads. and so anyways for a good part of this week elder turner and i have basically just been playing around in the mud haha, it sucks at first but after youre soaked with water and mud you kinda just forget about the uncomfort and just enjoy it haha. however though it is waay embarrasing showing up to an appointment and being super dirty...its a good thing the people and area here is really humble and i dont have to worry too much about ruining someones carpet or nice sofa haha. 

zona tlaquepaque con presidente camarillo y su familia

it was funny too because one day elder tucker fell in a mud lake because the road was flooded so we just had to charge through the best we could and his bike got stuck and he just tipped over basically haha and the worst was that while i was running back to help him i stepped in a mud hole i didnt see and it sucked off my shoe so then we had to search for my shoe in the mud, he was covered in mud and it was just a mess haha. but it was a funny experience, we took all our misfortunes with a smile and a good laugh. this is the first area hes been in really where its "real missionary work" as he likes to call it haha. im sure youd all get a good kick out of watching us trudging along in the mud falling down and loosing shoes and this and that haha. im excited to get my scripture cases too because thats the one thing that stinks about the mud and rain is that everything gets wet and my scriptures got wet unfortunately but i managed to save them still. but its fun stuff all in all, im enjoying it haha. 


the worst part though is that weve been super busy running around doing all sorts of stuff and so there were 4 days this week where we had to cancel our food appointments and so we wouldnt eat until like 9 or 10 at night. thats the only complaint really that i have from this week haha not eating for like 12 hours except for some cookies you buy at the corner sores just about every other day. its amazing though how even though we hardly ate we still were given the energies to go from place to place and really not feel the effects of not eating. it was really kinda cool, until we stopped working and then were like oh crap were hungry and then whip up some cereal or whatever kind of food we can find in the house haha. apart from all the craziness that went on during the week, this weekend was awesome. on saturday we were able to baptize this boy, who 2 sundays ago his mom approached us and told us she wanted her son to get baptized (hes 10) and if we could do it the following weekend. so weve been teaching him all this week and then were able to see him get baptized this weekend. 

hes a way rad little kid, he would always tell us about his future plans and why he wants to be baptized, and how we wants to one day baptize his little sister and give his mom blessings and serve a mission like elders maccarthy and tucker and then get married and have 2 kids. both girls because he doesnt want any  boys because he doesnt want them to turn out like him haha. its funny too because hed always borrow his moms cell phone and call us and ask if we could come early to the appointments and watch spongebob with him haha unfortunately we always had to say no though. but hes way cool, we had his uncle baptize him and we had super spiritual baptismal service, his mom was soooo happy, seeing how happy see was made all the hard work and rough times during the week worth it.

pizza party

thats one thing i love about this work is seeing the happiness of others. i dont know word to use to describe what its like, its just awesome. and then sunday was another awesome day, we had to give talks and i had worked all week on this super rad talk and it was seriously legit. we were asked to speak about mission work (of course haha) and i decided to change it a little and talk about how members involvement in mission helps them grow spiritually as individuals and also grow spiritually as a ward. so it wasnt your normal please give us contacts and come to lessons with us mission work talk, but it was something that i put alot of thought into to try and help them out. because the ward is starting to fall apart and things are getting a little tough. but anyways so i had this rad talk lined up and as im there in the meeting giving the talk i begin with the talk i prepared but then i found myself completely forgetting about the talk i prepared and giving a completely different talk! i didnt know what i was saying or what i was saying i was just talking and then referring to this scripture and then going into a story about this experience i had and then everything just led into the next. and it was crazy because after i finished with my talk and sat down next to elder tucker he informed me that i had spoken for 18 minutes...i was shocked haha luckily me and him were the only two speakers. 

but it was just crazy because i dont really remember what i said but i do remember looking at the members during my talk and noticing the nodding heads and attentativeness of the members. it was so cool! i felt like elder holland or bednar or president monson up there talking...i just wish you all could of been there to see and hear it. it was an experience that really helped me realize that missionaries arent here to just baptize and convert `people, but to also help edify and strengthen those members with whom we serve. were called to build up Gods kingdom and vineyard in the area where were assigned, and that call includes all of Gods children, members and non members and all those in between. also this past weekend  we met some people who truly are chosen to hear this gospel right now, and who i know for a surety that they were put in our path for a special reason. but im a little short on time so ill have to tell you about them next week or on another occasion. 

nuestros fiesta por la 4 de julio...o pues por lo menos elder tucker porque yo lo tomé jaja

im excited to be able to go out and work another week in this great work that im involved in, its seriously the most fun and greatest thing ive ever done and experienced in my life. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! to all those young men of missionary age and those preparing, as nike says "just do it!" and well im telling you the same! it doesnt matter whats going on in your life or what you have planned, put it all aside and tell the Lord youre gonna serve Him and give Him all you got for 2 years. i promise you and testify with all the energy of my soul that it will be the best decision you ever ever ever made and that whatever you gave up to serve will be returned but returned 10000000 times better than what you had before. do everything you can to be a missionary and to prepare to serve because yes its hard work but there is nothing better nor more rewarding than being a missionary and i cant imagine doing anything else right now. i mean it seriously is the best thing you could ever ever do, its just straight up rad. and it really is the best two years, and ive only been here 6 months and im dreading the day i gotta go home. i dont want it to end, it seriously is a dream come true being able to be a missionary. 

pizza party
and so i ask each of you out there to PLEASE serve a mission. and if you got questions or wanna make a comment, shoot me an email or letter and get back to you as soon as possible and help you in whatever way possible. because we need more soldiers in Gods army, theres so many people out there who need this message and this gospel and we need more missionaries so desperately. please make the decision to serve, you wont regret it i promise. and to the rest of you....every member a missionary!!! haha i love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week, i know i will haha. stay safe and put your trust in the Lord in all things and just go and do! you all are so awesome and i love you all so much, and appreciate your prayes and support in my behalf and for all the missionaries out there. stay strong and God be with you till i email again :)

much love from mexico,
    Elder Maccarthy


Guadalajara- 7/2/12

so believe it or not, because i personally cant believe it, but this past week i completed 6 months in the mission. its so crazy thinking about how a quarter of my mission has already flown by. it still feels like a few days ago that i was getting dropped off at the curb in the mtc and then just yesterday i was stepping off the plane in the airport beginning my labor in the field. its just straight crazy haha at the beginning of my mission i had a hard time wrapping my mind around the whole fact that im a missionary, and now im having to wrap my head around the fact that im a 6 monther haha. i cant imagine what the one year and 18 monthers are gonna be like. yikes is all i can think haha.

 however the nice thing is that i pretty much got the language down. i felt like i had it down a few weeks ago, but im a little more firm in my confidence now than before haha and i dont feel like im gonna jinx myself or anything haha. missionary work is alot more fun too i gotta admit being to speak and understand the language, and more than anything being able to be the elder maccarthy that i would be if i was still speaking english, my mexican personality i guess you could say haha. and im sure youre  thinking how is it that i determine how well i think i got the language on lock, and well ill tell you, its because im at the point where i prefer speaking spanish to english haha. its a bit of  a strange concept but its true, i prefer spanish and find it weird to speak in english. its weird too because i actually have to think to write emails and in my journal because i wanna write stuff in spanish and mess up alot writing in english. its crazy thinking how ive turned mexican in just 4 months haha. 

funny story from the other week about this whole language business, so elder briz and i were going to a baptismal interview in ocotlan, and on the way to meet the elders we were walking towards this table with a bunch of books on it and guys standing around´s...and so as we walk by one of them comes up to me and says "excuse me do you speak english?" in a thick english accent...i say yes i do and he begins to introduce himself...his name was al and he was from england and he was a jehovahs witness...the point of this story is not what we conversed about, even though i will say that all those promises in the scriptures about the Spirit in your mouth what to say when the moment comes is true, the point is that it was extremely hard to talk about the gospel in english! like i was legitimately struggling as i was trying to think of the doctrine in english. it was weird haha. 

anyways though some cool news from this week....i got a new companion! his name is elder tucker and hes from salt lake city utah. hes got 10 months in the mission and hes a way cool elder. weve only been together about a week and we already get along really well and teach like a bunch of bosses. the secret to service in this work ive noticed is that you gotta love who you serve with before you can love who you serve. ill explain more about this concept later on haha. anyways tho so a cool story from this week, so yesterday at church after sacrament meeting elder tucker and i were sitting in the sacrament room talking with one of the counselors in the bishopric about how the work is going and all that good stuff, when one of the hermanas poked her head in and said sorry for the interruption but i elders i need your help with something, we said surely wed love to help you what can we do for you and then she told us...i want you to baptize my son. and then she began to tell us about how hes 10 yrs old (hes been coming to church this whole time and i didnt even know he wasnt baptized) and how he wants to be baptized, and she wants him to be baptized this weekend. we of course said no worries would love to help you and so we went and taught the kid his first lesson yesterday and hes a way neat kid.

 we had been working hard all week and the baptism we had for this weekend fell through, and then well the Lord blessed us and put another one in our path. it was just cool too because i love when members will come up to us and say hey wanna baptize my kid or something like that or when theyll bring one of their friends to church and say hey my friend wants to start listening to the discussions when can you start teaching them and stuff like that. its a feeling that im sure all you ex missionaries remember feeling haha. we also did a butt load of contacting this week, we decided to go to this one colonia in the outskirts of our area where missionaries have never been and start contacting. so everyday this past week wed hop on our bikes and head out to our area and just knock door after door after from 11 till about 3 in the afternoon. 

its been good for me personally because its hard work to say the least walking around in the burning sun and the pooring rain getting rejected by tons of people, watching as we begin to start contacting a street all the windows closing and people going inside, and well despite all the bad its all worth it when you stop say a prayer, and then 4 houses later you come across a family of 7 people that accept to listen to you and hear your message. my dear beloved friends back home, dont give up. were all gonna see some pretty rough times...its part of life, the important thing though is that the Lord always blesses us for our efforts, ALWAYS. if were doing all were supposed to do, eventhough it seems like all our efforts are in vain, the Lord always has a reward for us in the end. ill admit i did get a little down at one point this week and i went and read the talk of elder holland from this last conference, the vineyard one, and well i advise you all to go back and reread it too. its a great talk and well it helped me alot and i know it can help you all too.

 im so happy that we all are able to live in a time with prophets and apostles to give us guidance and counsel in these times were living in. we truly are in the last days, if you dont believe it come hang out with me for a few days here in mexico and im sure your viewpoint will change a bit. anyways though have a great week everybody, i love you and stay strong!
much love from mexico,
   Elder Maccarthy