Guadalajara: 10/29/12 + Happy Birthday

My dear friends this work truly is a work of miracles! yesterday elder nielson and i witnessed the true blessing of this gospel in regards to the lives of families.
the elders with victor (from Sunday August 19 post)...his papers are in the process woohoo!
 so there is a lady that we have been teaching for the last month or so, she works everyday except sundays and so we can hardly ever see her, but anyways so even though we haven't been able to teach her apart from phone calls and text messages during the week, she has been attending church since the first lesson with her. unfortunately we kind of put her on the back burner because we couldn't see her apart from sundays at church and so we hadn't focused on her, but began to take notice that she continued coming to church event hough we hadn't been visiting with her. a few weeks back she invited her two daughters to come to church with her, her two daughters that according to what the mom had told us in previous talks didn't believe in God. anyways so we started teaching the mom and one of the daughters (the other one is not interested) and they too have been regurarly coming to church. so that was when we started to focus a little more on her and her daughter haha but they have a lot of family problems going on and we actually almost lost the lady a few times because shes super sad with this and that and things just keep popping up here and there from the adversary, but the good thing is that even though were just punk kids we held on her and helped her through all the problems shes enfronted. 

last saturday though the 20th she called us and told us that her husband was curious about this church she had been going to for the last couple of months and wanted to come with her and check it out. problem though is that the lady strongly dislikes her husband and so she told us that the only way she would come to church whould be if we sat with her husband during the meetings. so we of course accepted and sure enough sunday she showed up with her  daughter and her husband...elder nielson sat with her and her daughter on one side of the sacrament room and i sat with her husband on the other side of the room haha ya its that bad. and then also in the gospels principles class she sat again on the opposite side of the room from him and it was just a little awkward haha. but the husband was way cool and he liked the church, we taught them all a lesson together in the chapel and then they left to go home. 

then yesterday a miracle happened. i don't know how or what happened but it was a true miracle haha. when the lady and her husband showed up with their daughter, they walked into the chapel holding hands, and sat down next to each other and even shared a hymnbook together haha. the sacrament mtg was on spiritual overload because the ward had just gotten back from the temple visit, and so the bishopric asked certain members to share their testimonies about the experiences they had had and it was just a really super spiritual meeting. and then in gospel principles class the same happened, they were acting without any sign of there ever having been a problem between them! i cant really describe how cool it was to see them there and just see the Spirit working on them and helping them be a happier couple.

making chicarron 
 after church we were able to talk to them and the husband had a ton of questions for us and we happily answered them for him. he also asked us if we could get him discs of the general conference that just happened because he wants to hear the Prophet and Apostles speak, how cool is that haha. also another little miracle that we saw the family was leaving church the dad ran back in saying that he forgot something, and he went to the bishops office and came out with a tithing slip and envelope and talking to one of the counselors. i don't know what was said but we stood there as this guy who had only been to church two times get walked through how to pay tithing and fill out the slips. we've never taught him about tithing nor mentioned it to him. he then handed his envelope to the counselor with a huge smile on his face and ran back out of the building. it was someting else haha i had no idea why or what compelled him to pay his tithing, but it truly was a cool thing to see. 

a picture of my shirt after working for 2 hrs haha i have to change shirts about 2 times a day here.
 its gross i know

we have an appt with them this tuesday and i'm super duper excited to go meet with them and teach them. i don't know if i truly conveyed the awesomeness of all the things that happened but ill be more than happy to tell you about all when i get home, cuz i know its something that i wont forgot. and with that i'd like to ask you all a favor...if you could all send me a story, experience, testimony, (or all three) in regards to tithing. its something that i'd like to have at my disposal when it comes to teaching people about this commandment. don't worry about writing it up in  spanish, send it to me and i'll translate it because translators don't do a good job haha. if you could all do that for me id reaallly appreciate it. 

birthday lunch at kfc
i hope that all of you back in the HB stake were able to enjoy your time at the temple today, i'm jealous you were all able to go. i miss the temple and if you got one close by you should be going at least once a week. thats the minimum. also thank you all for the birthday congratulations, it still just feels like any other day as a missionary haha personal matters are un important haha. sorry too if this letter didn't really make to much sense...i had to write it fast and didn't have time to reread it to fix any bad grammar, i'm losing my english i know sorry ahah. but i hope that i was able to share a little about the coolness of the experience that i had and ill be gladly informing you on the family is progressing. have a great week everyone and remember that someone in mexico loves you!!

much love from mexico
  Elder Maccarthy
 cool little waterfall we found out in the boonies

Guadalajara: 10/22/12

so the hard times keep rolling here in good ol apatzingan ...haha... i think its funny how situations may not necessarily improve, but amidst all of it we can still remain stoked on what were doing. i love too how the Lord throws in a little thing here and there to keep our batteries full and to help us keep chugging along. 
crusty socks that stand up by themselves hahah
 this past week i had another few little experiences that kind of jump charged my batteries on mission work again you could say ...haha... so i have been thinking a lot of new things that we can do here in apatzingan to bring mision work back to life, as i touched on in the last email, and this week i received some inspiration that not only stoked me and elder nielson up, but also the ward members too! so we've been trying to work with the bishop on making a ward mission plan and put it into practice but it just hadn't been working and so we finally decided to just take matters into our own hands haha. so anyways i made up a ward mission plan, that was actually based off of the HB 3rd wards 2011 mission plan haha, and took that along with a member reference program that i came up with that i decided to call "Apaciente Mis Ovejas" (cheesy i know but whatevs haha) to the ward council this week and i ended up just blowing these peoples minds haha. it was classic but yet so cool being in that room explaining it to them and seeing their faces just be like dang this elder means business haha i'm glad were on his team. they all were stoked on the idea too and more than willing to participate to see more success here. 
the district 

we're going to start to put the new program into practice this week and well i have a feeling that were going to see some great results from it. but i think one of the best results from it was how much it pumped us up as elders here haha. coming out of that meeting we were like new elders showing up in the mission field haha full batteries. because seeing the ward councils reaction to the plans and having their support 100% on top of receiving the revelacion to make the plan and everything was just awesome haha i cant really think of the words to describe how it made me felt. because now with the new plans in place were going to start making mission work a spiritual experience for the members, not just a service opportunity. it invites the members to receive personal revelation in thinking of who to share the gospel with, and then them making the first steps in sharing and teaching the gospel to these people; as opposed to before when we'd get references and come to find out that the people had 0 desires to listen to us or have anything to do with our church haha so its gonna be a big helper for us haha. 
chupacabra cave!

the bishop also asked me to speak in sacrament and share with the ward the plans and all that stuff. my main focus though of the talk wasnt really what the bishop had asked me to speak on haha, because yes i did touch on those things, but it wasnt what i focused on. i decided instead to focus more on helping the members prepare for these new programs. it basically was like a talk that i would give to prospective missionaries, because basically were going to create a little missionary army of the members here in apatzingan haha and so i talked to them as if i was preparing a ward of just future missionaries to be prepared for their mission service. because i feel as though preparation is one of those things that we look over too much in the church haha sometimes we go into things solely on the precept that we will be "given the words to say in that very hour", but yet overlook that we need to "treasure up the words of life continually" which more or less is telling us that for the majority of times the things have to be there first for the Spirit to bring them to our minds, and we need to be prepared for these occasions. it really made me realize how alot of the things that the church teaches are based in the doctrine of preparation haha something i had never really though of before. one thing i asked the members here to do that im also gonna ask all of you to do is to pray for the Lord to prepare you to be a better tool in his hands, that he may be able to fine tune you so that youre ready for whatever he may need you for. and then in addition to praying to be prepared for his work, ask for opportunities to be tested and put your preparation to test. because what good is it asking to be prepared and to be a better disciple of him if we dont have plans of putting it to action haha. 
 this place looks a lot cooler after the rain

and well ya thats the little invitation i leave to all of you out there wherever you may be at reading this letter and i'll be praying for you all that you'll see some great results out of it. and plus because theres really nothing wrong with being over prepared for anything, because really who knows what tomorrow has in store for us. take care everyone, thanks for the love and prayers, and just know that i send plenty of love and prayers right back at you all! have a wonderful and i'll be talking to you all next monday on my birthday! so cool!

much love from mexico,
         Elder Maccarthy