Guadalajara: 8/27/12 + lots of pictures!

im a happy elder when i go to uruapan, because its cold there :)

how crazy is it that tomorrow im gonna complete 8 months...thats a whole 3rd of my mission in the books now. its crazy thinking how fast but yet slow its going haha if that makes any sense. we had a pretty good week here in apatzingan, full of (as usual haha) tons of great spiritual experiences. a few weeks i read a talk by elder bednar about becoming a preach my gospel missionary, and after reading it i set myself to start to change my modo de ser and personally sanctify myself to start this new stage in my mission. i figured im in a new area, new companion, and heck why not give it a run. so i started out with fast, which just about killed me, because not drinking water here is murder haha but it was worth it. 

yummy raspada (mexican version of snow cones)

one thing ive really discovered here on my mission is the power of fasting. something i never really put much thought or efforts into before, but since being here in the field ive been able to really strengthen my testimony and conviction of the power of fasting. but anyways it was way cool how i almost immediately began to see results for my efforts. 

baptism...her husband was the happiest man on earth this day being able to see his wife get  baptized...also i asked him to be a testigo of the baptism with me and he was stoked haha. love that guy

these past couple weeks elder nielson and his other companion before i showed up hadnt put baptismal dates with any of the investigators because they would just wait till they had gained the confidence of the people till they would invite them, so i told elder nielson we were gonna change that haha and we did just that. this week alone we put 7 baptismal fechas, and 5 of those being with people we had met with for the first time. in fact 2 of those fechas are for whole families! woot! 

cutest picture ever and why?...because they are holding hands :)

but it reminded me alot of my first weeks of the mission when i was super nervous to ask people to be baptized, especially in the first visit, and well it was something that i hadnt been doing. we'd wait till the 2nd or 3rd visit till wed ask them. but i decided this week that every person we teach im going to invite to be baptized, and well it worked! and the best part of it all was just feeling the Spirit of all these lessons and just watching these people feel the Spirit, and even a few get teary eyed, and then asking them to follow that example that Christ put and be baptized by someone who holds the authority of God to do so. ahhh so cool! also another great thing about this new program for missionary work that were now using in the mission is that we teach all of our lessons with members, and it really is such a big help. 

pics of the city...from where i work haha

being able to have a member there to bear testimony and testify of the truthfulness of this message and how much its blessed their lives is such a blessing, theres just another kind of spirit that comes into the lessons when we have members. and especially because alot of people see us missionaries and listen to us with the mindframe of "there just saying this stuff because its what there supposed to do as missionaries, they just wanna convince me to join them" 

sleeping elders after zone meetings, 6 hrs round trip

but when they can hear a member bear their testimony they realize that this is something real, and its not just something that two americans in shirts and ties preach about. but that its a true message that brings real blessings. its also great because i love it when someone will say, well im catholic and i was already baptized, and then just listen to these members tell this person how they were catholic too and go off on equis cosa haha because the members are alot better at getting after people than us, keeps our good missionary image from getting spoiled hahah. 

yay for vacant back roads that smell like dead stuff!!!

but i definitely invite you all to call up the elders and ask them when you could accompany them to some lessons. i know they would love it :) also theres this one old lady that always wants to go on visits with us. and she is so rad. shes up there in here late 70s probably but all she does all day is walk around the neighborhoods visiting people and talking to them about the church. and shes really direct haha shes not afraid to tell you how it is haha which is a big help at times...ill tell you some more stories about her later on for the sake of time. 


also real quick ill tell you all about the baptism we had this past weekend. she wasnt like the other baptism a few weeks ago that i just walked into, this was a legitimate baptism we had to work for. anyways so she is this old school lady and super duper rad. her husband was baptized about a month ago and the elders tried to work with her to get baptized with  him but she said no way no how thats not happening for along time so dont bother her about it. and so they kinda just left her alone. and then the sunday before i showed up here in apatzingan she showed up to church with her husband and said that shed like for them to stop by and talk to her. and so they set an appointment with her  for monday, and well she was actually the first person i met with here in apatzingan. 

pics of the city....from where i work haha

but anyways so apparently one of her grandsons was super sick and diagnosed with a heart problem, and she was feeling down and so she figured to talk to us, the Jesus boys, because we talk about God and God helps people (those are her words fyi haha). and anyways so we taught her and me not really knowing her situation, but yes knowing she wasnt a member, invited her to be baptized. and well she said no and i felt like a dope haha. 

chupacabra hunting in the back country
but we kept teaching and visiting her and then that sunday she came to church again, and we were like hey whats up! and we were talking to her with her husband and we got on the subject of baptism and well we invited her to be baptized again and she said yes! she said everyone that day in church had asked her when she was getting baptized, and well something happened that made her feel that she was ready and she needed to do and so she said yes when we asked her! so cool! 

yay for fun shacks in the hills! (yes i know i have the same face in every picture)

and so weve been teaching her all week and well turns out shes had a testimony and known she needs to get baptized this whole time, she just didnt want to do it. and we also came to find out how strong of a testimony she has, shes has the testimony of a member of 15 yrs haha! but ya it was a great opportunity to help her make this covenant with our heavenly father, and now her and her husband want us to teach there 7 kids and their propia familias! so were suuuuper stoked for that haha. i gotta go go now tho so im gonna wrap it up... hope you all are taking care and enjoying going back to school! haha summer vacations over and while youre all back in school and going to work ill be enjoying myself down here in my beautiful mexican getaway vacation in apatzingan....and the best part is that i still have 16 months left of my vacation! haha alright everybody have a great week and i loooove you all!!!


much love from mexico, 
  Elder Maccarthy

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