Guadalajara- 8/16/12 + A Narrow Escape...

As I forward this latest letter, I would like to ask everyone to remember him in your prayers. Thanks :)

saved by the wrong bus

welcome to the heart of jalisco!

so ill admit, i never figured that the tedious error of taking the wrong bus would ever potentially save my life. so this week we were headed home on the bus after a food appt. when i realized that we had taken the wrong bus and that it wasnt necessarily taking us where we wanted to go, and so we got off once we realized and started walking back towards where we needed to go. and well ya i was a lil bugged with myself haha because we had an appt with someone in about 15 mins and so we were going to be late to it, and i really dont like being late to appts with people. and anyways so elder tucker and i end up having to walk for about 45 minutes until we finally got to the kids house. and when we arrived we quickly realized how lucky we had been in being late the lesson. so some background information before we get to the story. so the kid we were teaching, hes 20 yrs old, and is involved in gangs. actually involved is probably a little bit of understatement, hes deep in the gang life. hes been shot, hacked up by machetes, and all sorts of gnarly stuff. however hes super smart and loves reading the book of mormon. every single time that weve left a reading assignment with him, hes read it and then gives us a great summary of what he read and what he learned. in fact he actually had a baptismal date set up for this weekend and was progressing really well and we thought that he was going to be our miracle baptism. 

photo with my best bud

and so anyways we showed up friday afternoon to his street with some interesting news. we noticed in the neighborhood that things were a little tense and people were freaking out, and when we turned onto his street people it was dead empty and just felt a little weird because theres always people there. and so we go up to his house and all the windows of his house are shattered and his door is busted in and everything was just thrown around inside. we called his name a few times to see if he was there in case he had been left for dead or something and we could go help him, because we could tell that something bad went down. and then the investigator's uncle (who lives just next door) comes over and grabs us and starts telling us to run to get out of the neighborhood and were like dude what the heck is going on here, this is really strange and so we run to the bike shop that we always hang out at and there we stop and were like dude ... what is going on...and then he begin to tell us whats happened. so apparently earlier that day the investigator had attempted to assault and rob a bus driver, but was unsuccesful and ran off and was hiding in his house. and well one of the larger mexican drug cartels has a lot of influence in the area where we work and when they caught word of what he did they werent very happy about because they dont like "ladrones". and so when they heard about it and that he was hiding they set out to go find him and well...kill him. 

photo with my best bud. and yes he does live in a 4x6 shack made out of wood pallets, tin roofing and tarps.
humble places make humble people.

and so apparently he had been hiding in his house when about 20 guys showed up in a suv and all got out, broke into his house, and just started beating him. and then the local neighbor homies came out and started fighting back and eventually they just threw him into the suv and drove. and apparently this had all gone down about 5 minutes before we showed up. and i couldnt help but at that moment just think "wow...good thing we took the wrong bus" because had we not taken the wrong bus and not have had to walk to the appointment, we wouldve been in the house with him teaching him a lesson when all that stuff went down. and im sure they wouldnt have been very nice to us, even though we are missionaries. and it was crazy, kind of scary too. because our investigator also explained to us how they were going to kill him, just because thats what happens when people get carried off like that. and i was personally really kind of shooken up, because the kid was so rad and well he was probably dead by then. and so we just kind of told our investigator thanks for keeping us safe and that wouldnt be passing by for a lil bit till things cooled down. and well we passed by last night to talk with our investigator, and well much to our surprise, the guy that got taken away was there too! 

elder tucker...using a public restroom haha

apparently he was gone all day saturday and most of sunday, and his family just considered him dead and that they wouldnt be seeing him again. especially because a body was found saturday close by to their house that was disfigured and mutilated beyond recognition so they figured it to be him. but lo and behold the guy that got taken shows up sunday beat up but alive haha and apparently he had escaped and was still alive. sunday night the bad guys showed up again looking for him while we were there and our investigator hid us in his little house upstairs. and well i think its safe to say that we wont be teaching the other guy anymore haha and well it was just a crazy ol little weekend to say the least. being a missionary here in mexico would definitely be a different ball game without the protection of the Lord. im so thankful for the protection that He gives to each of us, and especially in my case for him answering my personal prayers for protection and also the prayers of each of you for my protection. and i know this story probably worried you mom and youre probably freaking out, but dont worry too much, ive experienced worse that i havent told you about just yet haha . but really i can testify of the reality of the protection that the Lord gives us. both spiritually and especially physically. 

modeling with my friend. ignore the bottle of alcohol...were working with him on it.

ive experienced some sketchy situations here in the wild west haha but its always interesting thinking back on the things that transpired and realizing the calm and tranquility i felt whether it was sitting there with a guy poking at me with a machete, or people pulling guns out on us, or experiencing exhorcisms...that even though its scary, i know without a doubt in my heart that the Lord is protecting me in every aspect. and its all thanks to obedience and doing all i can to do this work my very best. i avoid any situation that may be dangerous, but i know that when those times come that the Lords got my back. and well ya it is pretty cool to be honest. not cool as in i love being in danger haha but cool as in knowing that just like the sons of Mosiah serving amongst the lamanites, i too will be protected. so dont worry family, youve got the Lords promise that ill be okay!! just keep up the prayers, and with faith, prayers, and obedience to the commandments and gospel standards, we all will be protected, not just me! thank you all back home for your support and prayers, they really mean alot to me and i appreciate them. i love you all so much and i cant thank you all enough for all you do. we got changes coming up this next monday, and word on the streets is that im up to bat, and that ill probably be heading out to another area. kind of dont want to leave central, i love it here and have too many friends and people i dont wanna leave! but the Lord has more people out there for me to help, and who knows where ill be sending next weeks email from haha but until then i love you all and have a great week!

welcome to the heart of jalisco!
much love from mexico,
 Elder Maccarthy
photo with my best bud

p.s.- sorry but i prolly wont be explaining those above mentioned experiences till i come home haha hopefully to curb some of your worry; and sorry johnny i know that i shouldn't share such experiences with my mom, but i couldnt help it haha


  1. Elder MacCarthy!

    Thank you so much for your amazing story of courage, faith, and trust in the Lord! While many of us may never experience such things as you have on your mission, we all face challenges that if not handled properly could risk our "spiritual" lives! I will pray for you, dear "son of Mosiah", that the Lord WILL continue to protect and guide you to His children who are prepared to hear this gospel! I pray that you will have the power of discernment with you at all times, not trusting in your own knowledge, but to that of our Heavenly Father's and knowing that He knows always, what is best...even, taking "The Wrong Bus"! I will share your experiences with my children, my husband, and my friends as we have a lot to learn from your faith, and from God's tender mercies!

    Thank you again for sharing, and, God Be With you!
    Sister Contreras

  2. Wow! Cherie posted this on FB and we read your story and are amazed. We plan on following your mission blog now! Keep up the good work, and may the Lord always bless and keep you! Love, The Hansons

  3. WOW....and I thought Jeremy burning weeds dressed in his suit pouring gas on the flames was scary!!! I know without a doubt the Lord watches over all of you! You will certainly be in my prayers from now on....along with your Mother! =)