Acueducto 5/13/2013

so the mothers day phone call is now in the books and its super crazy thinking how the next call home will be in the upcoming december...which is around the time when ill be ending my mission. ....booo..... but it was nice seeing and talking to all the family, 
it was a really nice experience. 

its hard to believe that it was less than a day ago that i called home because it already feels like weeks have passed by ...haha... the mission is such a strange experience. i didnt share any of the experiences in the call for the sole reason of being to share them with everyone in the email, but now that im here im drawing a total mind blank. things here in acueducto are alot slower than in apatzingan so its taking some getting used to but day by day were seeing progress.

 right now we have an investigator named claudia thats progressing really well and she has a baptismal date for this upcoming 25th of may. with her this past we had some cool experiences, the first was on monday when we went to go visit her with the relief society president and we show up and she begins to ask us a bunch of questions about the importance and role of women in the church, because shes heard alot about the priesthood and what the men do for church, but she had questions about the woman half of the church and by total inspiration the relief society president whipped out the relief society manuel of daughters in my kingdom (hijas en mi reino) and told claudia to take it and read it because it would be able help her find the answers to her questions. after the lesson we were talking to the hna about and she was totally blown away about how before she left her house to come to the lesson with us she had the impression to take this book with her but had no idea why because it didnt have anything to do with what we were going to share with claudia but she decided to take it with her anyways and she was just totally surprised about how it was exactly what the hna claudia needed. so that was a really cool experience for all of us because something that our mission president has asked us to focus on is helping the members to have spiritual experiences as they participate in mission work and help them to see and live the miracles that we as missionaries live each day. and so that was a really cool experience. also later on in the week in another lesson with the same claudia we were teaching her and some of her friends about the plan of salvation. 

the lesson itself was super rad and at the end of the lesson we asked one of the guys there, named galo, to offer the closing prayer. we have previously talked to him and hes told us that hes atheist and doesnt really believe in God, but he must have felt something in the lesson because when we invited him to pray he agreed to do it without question and offered one of the most beautiful prayers ive heard in my life. in all honesty i cried. but so did the hna claudia and my companion so i wasnt the only one. but it was a way special moment, listening to a child of God talk with his father for the first time in years. its something that doesnt have an equivalent, listening to the first prayers of the investigators are some of the most cherised experiences of my mission. 

also cool news, this next upcoming monday the 20th Elder Christofferson is going to come to talk the us here in the mission and also the other guadalajara mission. so dont worry next week when i dont send an email home on monday, because we wont be having our preparation day till tuesday. but im personally super stoked for the visit, im sure its going to be a great experience  for all of us that will be in attendance. the following letter ill be sure to let you all know how things went in the conference and the other experiences that id have in the transcourse of the week. i hope you were all able to enjoy your mothers day, especially all of those moms out there who were able to talk with their sons...have a great week everyone and youll be hearing from me again shortly. oh and also real quick...

with much love from mexico, 
              Elder Maccarthy

Morelia 5/6/2013

hey folks so im back again to finish the story from last week, sorry to have kept you all hanging for so long. okay so i left where it was saturday two hours before her baptism and the hna called us telling us she didnt want to get baptized anymore. and so of course the first thing that comes to my mind is oh crap what do i do what do i do....and so i just kept listening to her and finally she stopped talking and i just told her hna those arent your feelings, you dont really mean all of that...and then i told her that right away we were going to stop by her house and so sure enough we hopped on the bus and off we went to go see what happened to the hna and help her out and i just remember the whole bus ride we were praying our hearts out haha elder garcia got super nervous but i just told him not to worry because everything was going to work out fine and we just needed to pray for the spirit to be with us and her and we get to her house and sit down to talk with her and one hour later we left her house with smiles on our faces and at peace because in the end of it all we were able to help her find the strength to pull through and sure enought that evening she got baptized.

 it was a nice little miracle to end my service in apatzingan, man do i miss that place. other cool story that happened that same week. so the other elders had a baptism planned but the kid decided last minute that he didnt want to get baptized anymore also ...haha... and so i told the elders to not worry about that i was going to do his baptismal interview and so anyways we get to the house and i start the interview and all was going smoothly and anyways i felt impressed to ask him to share his testimony of Joseph Smith with me and so he starts to tell me about how the night before in his prayers he asked God to let him know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and through teary eyes he told me that as the words left his mouth he felt something come over him that he had never felt before but that it was the best feeling he had ever felt in his life. and well i cant really share with you all the rest of what happened in the interview because its confidential ...haha.... but leaving the interview the kid was super stoked to get baptized and one day be a missionary like elder maccarthy. included in this email is a foto of me with the kid in the baptismal service, his name is Yahir and he has my nametag on my shirt; and well he really helped me to strenghten my own personal testimony of Joseph Smith and really the true beauty of the way that our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. im thankful for the ability i have to be able to communicate and have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. its one of the most cherised things that i have gained here on the mission is an ever stronger love and relationship with him. 

also included is a foto of me, elder garcia, and elder collins. elder garcia is now training in good ol apatzingan and so its a picture of father, son, and grandson haha. have a great week everyone and enjoy mothers day and the time you have to spend with your moms...i miss my mom a tons but ill be seeing her and all the family here soon. cherish the time you have, because you truly dont realize what you got till its gone. i love you tons and hope that God pours millions of blessings upon you all! have a great week and until next monday!
with much love from mexico,
               Elder Maccarthy

Apatzingan 4/29/2013

so i dont have much time to write cuz i had changes today so im gonna be quick cuz i have some great stories to tell you. so first off the big news is that my service in apatzingan has come to an end sadly. after varios months of working i have been called to another part of the Lords vineyard. i am currently in the city of morelia, michoacan in the area acueducto. in addition i have been assigned to be a zone leader here in the zone of morelia. it was sad to leave apatzingan because i really loved the place, but the Lord needs of my efforts in another region now and so i just go where they call me to go and keep doing what i do best. 

a quick little miracle that we had this past weekend. so we had been teaching this one lady for about 2 months and she was progresing and all that good stuff but every time she got close to getting baptized she would get super disanimated because some of her kids are super against the church and would make her start to doubt and second guess everything. and so for 2 months weve just been pulling our hair out trying to figure out what we can do to help her progress and get baptized. and so in the leadership training conference that elder garcia and i went to last week there were a few things that we learned taht we decided to put into practice to see if we could finally crack the hna. and so sure enough thursday we go to a teaching appt with her and begin to put into practice a few of the things we learned and sure enough she just opened up to us and in the end of it all she accepted to be interviewed in order to be baptized on saturday. leaving the lesson elder garcia felt like running down the street jumping and shouting from the pure joy and excitement we felt. we decided to hold a fast in part of the hermana so that she would stay animated for her baptism, and the next the zone leaders came and did her interview and everything was set and ready to go. saturday evening at about 3 oclock, 2 hrs before the baptismal service, we get a call from the hermana that she doesnt want to get baptized anymore and she doesnt want anything to do with the church anymore. aaaaand im out of time now haha and so youre all going to have to wait till next week to find out how the story ends hahah sorry folks, until next week!

much love from mexico,
      Elder Maccarthy

Apatzingan 4/22/2013

so we had a pretty crazy week here in apatzingan haha some good stories to tell when i get home haha. and well fortunately all the hecticness that was going on didnt have too big of an impact on the work that were doing here in apatzingan.

 this past saturday we had the baptism of one of our investigadores and well id like to share a little about her conversion story with you guys and how it is that she got baptized this weekend, because going into last week things werent looking too well. 

so recently here in apatzingan certain people *cough cough* have been opening up alot of job offers and offering lots of money haha and well this investigador of ours had been offered a job and well you could say she was having a hard time making a decision on what to do. going into the week she wasnt really too sure about getting baptized and we werent either haha and so we just kept praying and praying that she would make the correct decision. and so tuesday we had a lesson with her, super potente and powerful, and upon finishing the lesson we challenged her kneel that night and pray to know what to do, and that she would receive her answer. 

the next day we stopped by againg to see how it went with her homework and heres where the story gets good. so after having read a little bit from the book of mormon, she knelt down and began to pray asking what she should do, and upon finishing her prayer she went to sleep haha or at least tried too. she said that she couldnt sleep at all that night because her mind was just buzzing with thoughts about her baptism and what she should do...and she said that as she thought more and more about it she felt more and more feeling of love peace and tranquility. as she explained all of this with us, we knew immediately that what she had felt was her confirmation and answer in respect to what she needed to do. we didnt hesitate in testifying to her about the answer that she had received and had yet another way rad lesson with her and leaving the lesson she was more determined than ever to get baptized. and well sure enough saturday rolled around and she got baptized :)

 the other day we were talking with her and she says that in one year from now she wants to go on a mission! so that was pretty cool too hearing that and so were going to do everything in our power to able to help her prepare to be able to complete this goal that she has. i love the mission and all the great experiences that come with it. sorry this weeks email is a little bit short, but its because i have to travel right now to morelia for a leadership conference. i hope you all have a great week and that youre enjoying yourselves in your boring school and work life while im here having the time of my life in the mission! ha!

with much love from mexico,
             Elder Maccarthy

Apatzingan : 4/15/2013

I used to go through and do a little editing on Dennis' letters...but from here on out it is just copy and paste.  His English is slipping and you will just have to make your own corrections in your mind as you read through his letters.  Thanks for everyones prayers and support :)

had a super rad week just recenly, had another baptism and we found a total miracle family. so first we had the baptism of one of our investigadores named alejandra, she was a heart attack baptism 
 because at the last minute we almost lost her. her family is extremely catholic and you could say that they werent necesarily 100% on board with her decision to get baptized, and well she faced a few obstacles and definitely had to pass her personal test of her faith and testimony. however thanks to the great power of prayer, she was able to receive the strength and forces that she needed to stand strong in her decision and in the end of it all was able to be baptized this past saturday. it was a super rad baptism too, full of people, and elder garcia and i sang a way cool customized version of "nearer my God to thee" that had everyone there teary eyed. ive really gained a new apreciation for the music culture of the church and the great spirit that is invited by music. 

included in this email are some pictures of the baptisms that weve had these past two weeks of the hna martha and of alejandra. 

along with the baptism we saw a complete miracle this past week. a few weeks ago we found a family where the husband got baptized in the states but then came back here to mexico and well the point is is that he contacted us in the street one day and so weve helping him come back to activity in the church, and likewise helping his family join the church. and well my whole entire mission ive always asked in my prayers that the Lord blesses me with the priviledge to help a family accept this gospel, be baptized, and one day be able to see them get sealed in the temple. and amongst all the baptisms that ive had ive yet to have this family, and so i was sure that this family was the answer to my prayers. and as we prayed to know when is the day that the Lord would have this family get baptized, we received the response of may 4...and well it wasnt really what i was expecting nor wanted because changes are the weekend before, and so itd mean that the weekend after i leave apatzingan the family that was the answer to my prayers would be getting baptized. and well as you can imagine the Lords plans didnt really go according to what i wanted, and so i tried to convince my companion that we need to bump the date up one more weekend so i could be there, but in the end we both knew that it wasnt the right thing to do, so we continued with may 4 and sure they accepted it without second thought. and all i could do was think "great, all these 15 months of waiting and asking for this family to cross my path, and when i finally find it, im gonna have to leave it to some other elder" haha and well it wasnt necesarily the best way to think but i accepted it for what it it and kept working and praying for another chance to find a family. 

and thats when the lightning struck haha this past thursday we received a phone call from our bishop that he had met a lady in the street that wanted us to go and talk to her and that he had made an appointment to go visit her with us on saturday. and so saturday rolls around and we go to visit them and dude, total miracle. as we talked to the lady, little by little i began to see the Lords greatness and mercy fold out before my eyes. the lady and her family had previously listened to and met the missionaries in oaxaca, where they attended church for 6 months and were going to get baptized (they had filled out the baptismal cedulas and everything) when all of the sudden her husband, who works for the military, and the family was moved to apatzingan and so they were never able to be baptized. and well as we sat there listening to her tell us all of this i couldnt help but think "man! what a coincidence" because i had gotten over the fact that id be leaving the other familly to another elder, when the Lord this time had greater plans and was just waiting for the right time to come around. i couldnt help but feel too that he saw my willingness to carry out his will and not what i wanted, and as a result of that obedience i was able to see even greater blessing and receive this miracle. 

we still have yet to invite them to get baptized, but i cant help but feel and think that they could be baptized the weekend of changes. or at least thats what im hoping and praying for but still waiting for what the Lord has in store for this family. but all in all it was a cool experience because well found another family to teach, in total were teaching 3 families and a few other people too. its a literal gold mine here right now haha i dont think theres ever going to be a lack of work to do here. this truly is the greatest thing ive ever done in my life, every day is full of great experiences and testimonies. i love being a missionary! i hope that all is going well on the home front and that youre all happy and receiving tons of blessings thanks to this great restored gospel. i love you all and pray for you daily...have a great week and be anticipating more great news in next weeks email!

with much love from mexico,
             Elder Maccarthy

Apatzingan : 4/8/2013

apatzingan is one of the most desired areas to serve in in all of the mission, and even though they say its not a castigo, they almost treat it like it is haha. 

 me and elder garcia with president camarillo...our first day together

unfortunately i wasnt able to see all of general conference this last weekend, i did get to see the sunday sessions however and it was pretty good. i heard the big announcement about missionaries too, pretty crazy if you ask me. the work really is speeding up. my conference experience was different this time than from any of the other conferences, mainly because instead of thinking of things i needed in the talks that were given, i thought in the things that my investigadores needed. upon listening to the first talk given by president uchtdorf, i got a little bit emotional (dont tease, the mission softens you up alot) because one of our investigators was able to come to the sessions in uruapan and many of the things that president uchtdorf touched on in his talk were things i knew would help her with what she was facing currently in her life, and it was a really neat experience for me because it was a conference filled with receiving instruction in how i could better help the people im teaching in apatzingan. it was cool. 

also this past friday we had the baptism of our dear hna martha, cool experience from her we scheduled the baptism for 7 oclock, but as usual noone ever shows up on time, and so it was just elder garcia and i and the hna marth waiting for people to show up and she was a feeling a little down in the dumps and so i tried to joy her up a bit when an idea came to my mind of what we should do, so i told her to sit tight because elder garcia and i were going to do a private concert for her haha and she smiled and laughed and told us she loved music and we began to sing her hymns and it was just what she needed. as we sat there outside the chapel singing to her a lovely spirit came over us and it was almost as if the world took a pause to allow us to sing and console this daughter of God, i can still picture her smiling face as we sang to her and her telling us how we sound like 2 little angels haha i love this gal. she even jumped in and sang along with us in some of the choruses, and it was just a really beautiful experience for me, because even though we might not sing good enough to join up with mo tab we got the job done haha. im so excited for all the youth in the stake and really in the church worldwide who are making the decision to go on the mission, it truly is the greatest experience ever. thinking that i only have 9 months left makes me nervous because im not ready for the real world haha i wanna stay here in the mission. but im super stoked for everyone thats showing up in the field...

my mexican roots are becoming deeper day by day hahahahaha

this weekend one of my converts is going to hit his year mark as a member and will be eligible to turn his papers in and all that good stuff and it definitely one of the many blessings that i count each and evey day, blessings that ive only been able to receive as ive served the Lord here in his work. i hope that you all are well and enjoying the great blessings that this gospel offer us. oh and a little invitation that i want to extend to all of you...this week go to the temple and do a session or baptisms or whatever you can for me haha its been over a year since ive been in the temple and you cant even imagine how badly i desire to be in the temple haha and so i invite you all to take advantage of the great blessing that you have to be able go whenever you want and when you go think of me and how much id love to be there with you haha. i love you all so much and have an amazing week!

district field trip to the zoo here in apatzingan

with much love from mexico,
                   Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 4/1/13 + A New Address

As you read this letter, remember that Dennis has not spoken English for many months now, so some of the grammar and spelling is hard to understand. 

so apatzingan was a literal ghost town practically this whole entire last week haha there wasn't anybody hardly.  and to top that off it was ridiculously hot, were getting closer day by day to the hot season here, i don't know how hot its been, but you can check what the temperature has been here lately and it will give some validity to my word haha. apart from that though we did have some success. this past week while we were walking around in the cursed heat trying to find people to teach, we remembered of a less active member that we had found a  few months back and never returned to visit him and so we decided to stop and talk to him and it turned out to be a great idea. we showed up to his  and it just so happened that hewasn't the only there, but also his whole entire family...and so we invited them to listen to us and it turned out to be a total miracle because they all accepted the message super well and at the very end in the prayer that we invited him to do, a super strong spirit just rushed into the lesson and it was a pretty cool experience for us and them too i'm sure. 

also the baptism of the hna martha had to be canceled because we ran into some unsuspected obstacles but we rescheduled it and everything is good to go for this weekend so ill be informing you on all how her baptism went in the following letter. the progress on the branch out in herendira has been slowed down for the moment because its been getting a little heated over there recently and so we've had to cancel the visits out there these past few weeks for security regards, but we're praying that soon here well be able to head back out there again to help them keep progressing. it surprises me at times how much the adversary really works to impede the progress of this work....this is the second time that some kind of conflict has come up to keep us from visiting people...first with tepalcatepec and we still haven't been able to get back out there because of the situation and now were seeing the same case with herendira and so i'm just hoping and praying that it'll get better soon here.

 but the good thing is that the main ward here in apatzingan is growing quickly, this past month of march we were in the 90s each week and this past sunday we hit 100 and so slowly but surely were getting up there. this month we have plans to reach 120 and start working on splitting up the wards and making two here...the adversary still hasn't been able to thwart our efforts here in the main city of apatzingan ahah. we keep just working our butts off and were seeing tons of great results here, its amazing how much this place has really progressed since when i first showed up here. its going to be really sad to leave this place, i'm not looking forward to it haha. i feel like this is home practically haha everybody here just loves me. but i know that wherever i go from is going to be where the Lord needs me. also change of subject but this weekend is general cool! it seems like just the other weekend that we had the october conferences, its amazing how fast time flies by. i'm excited to hear the new announcements that will be made, and to be able receive instruction from the leaders of the church.

i invite you all to watch it, ALL of it. its a grand blessing the disponability of the conference there in the states...we have to make the trek once again to uruapan to go to the conference, so count your blessings! i love you and hope that you have a great week and that you enjoy the conference this weekend.

with much love from mexico,
  Elder Maccarthy

*ANOUNCMENT*   the  mission address has changed and so DO NOT send any more mail to the old address, the stuff that has already been sent will be forwarded to this address but please do not send any more mail to the old address because the day will come when they stop forwarding the mail...following is the new address, spread the word :)

Av. 18 de Marzo #3088
Colonia: Las Águilas
Zapopan, Jalisco, México
C.P. 45080

Guadalajara: 3/25/13

had a pretty hectic week just recently, full of just running around all over the place, just so you get an idea i spent somewhere close to 800 pesos in travels haha. but all in all it turned out to be a pretty cool weekend with some neat experiences as always. this past week we had the baptismal service of an investigator thats been in teaching since septemberish, i gotta say it really is something else being able to see the fruits of your labors.

i've been here in apatzingan for about 8 months now and am just now reaping the harvest from some of the seeds i planted when i first showed up here, and there is still lots of work to be done. but the baptismal service we had was really great. we asked to of our recent converts to share their testimonies and they each just killed it and brought such a powerful spirit into the baptismal service. likewise one of our other baptisms for this weekend is progressing a ton. it is the old lady that we met in the baptismal service of her daughter who said that hearing that families can be together forever gave her a new hope in life, well anyways she truly has turned out to be absolutely chosen haha she kept telling us this past week that she wants to hurry up and get baptized already haha and doesn't want to wait till the 30th for her baptism but wants to do it right now this instant. she is a really cute ol gal, she calls me her "guerito" haha. 

also had a pretty cool experience giving a blessing to a lady this past week. its this lady were teaching out in herendira, and apparently she was super sick this past week to the point that she was bed ridden. and anyways so told that she was just feeling really bad and so she decided to say a prayer and in her prayer she felt that she absolutely needed to come to the chapel on sunday, and so, even though she was super sick she managed to come to church yesterday and there in the chapel we offered to give her a blessing and before doing blessings we explain the function and purpose of the blessings and explain that they work according to the faith of the person and that she can really be healed by this priesthood blessing, and so after explaining all this she tells us that she has faith that she can be healed and so i put my hands upon her head and gave her a priesthood blessing...upon finishing the blessing, she sat there a moment and just let out a sigh and then stood up and said to us, "its gone, i dont feel pain anymore"...

it was a neat experience for me to really see and strengthen my testimony of the power of the priesthood that every worthy male of this church has. it truly is the same priesthood by which Christ healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the cripple walk and all the other miracles that He performed. the priesthood truly is the authority that God has given to men to act in His name here upon the earth. its definitely one of the things on my list when i count my blessings. i hope all is well with everyone back home and that likewise you are all able to fully enjoy and receive the great blessings of this restored gospel. i love it. i love you all. have a wonderful week and know that im praying for you all...take care till next week!

with much love from mexico,

Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 3/18/13

this month of march is really turning out to be quite the month of miracles for us haha, yet again we had some great experiences this past week. we contacted that one lady who we met in the baptismal service last week and it was a way spiritual lesson. the lady is super choosen haha we showed up and taught her about the plan of salvation and it turned out super rad, she accepted it all super well and this 30th of march she is going to be getting baptized. it was a true miracle to have found her and just how truly prepared she has been by the Lord is amazing. 

also for this upcoming weekend we have a couple more baptisms lined of them being a miracle haha. we have this lady who we've been teaching together with her grand son and last weeek her grand son got baptized and the baptismal date that we had placed with her was for the 6 of abril but shes been progressing super fast, gaining a testimony and all that great stuff, and well just yesterday we got word that shes considering getting baptized this weekend because she feels ready and doesn't want to wait. so were actually going to be going with her tomorrow to see what she says for this saturday...were confident though that were going to see good results from the appointment. 

and then also our investigadores out in herendira are progressing really well also. unfortunately they didn't get baptized this past weekend but shortly here they will be, we've been working and praying for them a bunch and its showing great results. the majority of them have expressed to us already the testimonies that they have gained, they're just a little hesitant about it all and say the usual "i want to learn a little more" excuse but were going to work a ton with them using the Book of Mormon and i feel that in one of these next upcoming weeks they're going to getting baptized. all in all apatzingan is on fire right now! haha and not in the sense of temperature but in term of all the success and progress that is being seen here. 

this past sunday in the ward we had an assistance of 102, a big increase from when about 3 months ago we were in the 70s just about every week, and we keep increasing and doing better week after week. we got news from president too that he is going to send another companionship here to apatzingan to help us out with the work here and i'm stoked to see how much its going to just absolutely explode with having another companionship here. 

overall things are just going great right now. i cant imagine what kind of progress and experiences still lie ahead of us, but its truly amazing how great my mission is turning out to be, seriously the best experience of my whole life. i'm so excited to hear that james is preparing to head out on the mission and connor too,i know they're just going to love it, i definitely encourage every young man to serve a mission. i promise you that you wont regret it. you'll have experiences crazier and more special than anything you can imagine. in the personal i still have tons of great stories waiting to share with you all for when i get home haha adventures from my service here in the wild wild west haha. 

i hope that you all have a great week and that you were able to enjoy st pattys day yesterday haha. keep strong in the faith and thanks for all the support...i love you all!! until next weeek!

with much love from mexico, 
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 3/11/13

so we had a pretty amazing week just recently, we saw some more miracles and blessings. first off we had the baptismal service of 3 of our investigadores, we had planned for only 2 but we saw a miracle with the third. her original baptismal date was for the 23 of this month but we decided to ask her how she felt about getting baptized sooner than that because she is been progressing super fast and so we brought it up to her and she seemed a little hesitant because she wanted to get baptized with her sister that day and after talking with her and the sister, we told her we'll we invite you to pray about it tonight and we'll stop by tomorrow to see how it went, and left it at that 

and the following day we stopped by and asked her how it went...and she told us well so i was thinking about it all last night and i had alot of thoughts about my baptism, but i did like you told me and i prayed and i got my answer, God wants me to get baptized this saturday. it was a pretty cool experience to see how the Lord really does answer our prayers and knows when were ready to receive and do certain things. she also explained to us how her family members had been trying to make her think twice about it and stuff like that but she just laid it down on them and told them what was up and how the Lord told her to do this and hearing her tell us about it was like listening to a modern day Nephi haha i will go and do! so that was a pretty cool experience. 

another little miracle that we saw in the baptismal service that we during the service while they were all changing clothes after the ordinances we put on a movie about the plan of salvation and eternal families. as i observed the faces of the people as they watched the video there were many teary eyes and the Spirit was definitely present in the occasion. after the service we were talking with the mom of one of the ladies that got baptized and she told us about how much she liked the baptism and especially the movie and then began to cry as she explained to us how she had lost 3 children and that when she heard that she could see them and live with them again she felt like a new hope came into her life and we testified to her of the truthfullness of this plan and she told us she would love to know more about how she could achieve this and so we are going be stopping by to start teaching her this week, and it was just a way spiritual and cool experience. 

its amazing how the Lord just places right in our path who he has prepared and trusts in us to take of them, i'm extremely grateful for the trust that the Lord has in me to take care of his children her in apatzingan. i'm thankful for the knowledge of the great plan of happiness in our lives and that the Lord has once again restored to keys of the priesthood to carry out such ordinances such as eternal families. i'm so greatful for all the great experiences and blessings that he has given me in these short 14 months i have in his is the best thing ever. i hope you all likewise seeing the great blessings of this restored gospel...sorry that this email was a little short but i love you all and am thankful likewise for all of your support. i love you all and have a great week!

with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 3/4/13

so things continue going great here in good ol apatzingan, we are seeing lots of progression in the work. the folks out in herendira are progressing very well, this past week we scoped out a few spots for the eventual place for sunday services and we found some pretty promising ones and so were way started to get the ball rolling out there and get the branch up and running. 

the first batch of the people out there have their baptismal dates for the 16th of this month. this last week we taught them the message of the restoration and after having taught the lesson we gave them all Book of Mormons and it was so cool to see how they treated the books, as if they were made out of the finest materials and of very high value. the people out there are very simple and humble, but extremely receptive to everything we have taught them. also things here in the city are going great too. elder garcia and i have been on a roll here of coming across miracles. this saturday we will be having the baptismal services of two of these miracles.

i'll give you a brief review in this email and then a little more information in the following email next week. one is of this lady named maria victoria who a member requested that we give a blessing to, and after the blessing we started talking to her and sure enough the spirit must have touched her because ever since shes been progressing super well and will be getting baptized this saturday. just goes to show you the true power behind the priesthood that we have in this church, makes me think of all the people that were converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ by the miracles that He performed while He was here upon the earth. it is a true testimony builder for me, of the priesthood that i hold and the power it has when used in righteousness to bless others. its an invitation to all you priesthood holders to never forget the power that you have to bless the lives of those whom you serve. 

the other miracle that we had was that there is this one kid thats been coming to church with his uncle for about a month now and we finally got around to talking to the kid this past week and sure enough he is not baptized and so he also will be getting baptized this upcoming saturday. so were pretty stoked about all the help were receiving from the Lord here in our area, its a true testimony of the importance of this work that we are doing. we are living the completion of the words of the Lord found in Doctrine and Covenants 88:73. read it and youll understand haha. have a great week everyone and may God bless you all abundantly in your lives. 

i'll been talking to you all again in no time with great news of what will go down this week. have a wonderful week everyone i love you all tons :)

with much love from mexico
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 2/25/13

so because last time i didnt write very much i decided that this week before i do anything else im going to write my email so i dont leave you guys hanging anymore because i have had some cool experiences as of late that i havent shared. so as i mentioned in last weeks email we had the baptism of a lady that had been in teaching since september. and well she had a conversion that was literally a miracle haha. 

in the end of january she told us in one of our appts with her that she going to get baptized and she received her answer from the Lord that she needed to get baptized and that this was the true church...but that she had also received the answer that Lord was preparing her little by little and that she didnt plan on getting baptized till the end of the year. and well when we heard that we were a little floored and confused because, we didnt want to tell her that the answer she received to her prayers was wrong haha but we just took it for what it was and kept working with her. and well after fasting and praying and working a ton with her, we got her to accept a baptismal date in february but she still said that she wasnt 100% sure and that she'd think about it and see. and well little by little we went getting her pumped up and ready for her baptism when the big surprise comes. 

we stop by her house one night for an appt and we start the lesson and all and everything is going good, and well we get to the point where its obvious that we want to know how shes feeling about her baptism and so i ask her haha and she laughs and smiles and ready, i wanna get baptized next weekend. when i heard her tell us these words i cannot explain the excitement and just rush of feelings that came over made me so happy ...haha... but as with everyone that tries to do things right in this life, el chamuco got involved and made her start to doubt if she was really ready, and that she didnt have a testimony and all that kind of stuff. and so the day before her baptism we show up to talk with her and she relates to us the following experience...the night before she couldnt sleep because she was really nervous about her baptism because she felt like she didnt have a testimony still of the church and of the restoration of the gospel and that it was just really tormenting her mind. 

and so she decided to say a prayer and read the book of mormon to help ease her mind and take out these feelings. and so she kneels and says a prayer, askind God to let her know if she was doing the right thing because she wanted to get baptized and follow his commandments and she just wanted to know if she was doing the right thing and for him to give her an answer...and upon finishing her prayer she grabs her book of mormon and opens it 3 Nephi 22 and how as she read this chapter the Lord spoke to her literally and received the answer that she was looking for. she later shared this story in her testimony that she gave after she was baptized in her baptismal service and the spirit that was felt as she shared this sacred personal experience of hers brought tears to my eyes. she obtained more than just the testimony that she was looking for but she became converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and it was an unforgettable experience for everyone. how grateful i am to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have had the priviledge to teach and help this daughter of his. I'll never forget it. 

so that was the story that i wanted to share with you guys last week and now im going to move on to the great news from this week. so this past thursday elder garcia and i made a step that will change the history of the church here apatzingan. we went out to this pueblito thats called herendira and taught a family home evening about the plan of salvation and it turned out awesome. the reason why it made a step towards changing history was because we were the first missionaries that these people had ever seen or met, and the first time they heard about La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de los Ultimos Días and that once again the church of Christ has been restored upon the earth. 

it was a really humbling experience for me because the majority of people have heard about the church and to be able to teach and meet people that this was their first time was something way special. upon ending the family home evening, four of the people present approached us and asked us what they needed to do in order to become part of this church and in that moment we committed them to be baptized and they accepted. one of these men that accepted lives in another pueblito a distance away and he was so impressed by the spirit as he listened to the message that we shared that he told us that he wanted his family to hear us and asked if wed be able to come to his house and bless his wife that couldnt make it that evening because of a sickness that she has. we told him of course and we made plans to go visit them this upcoming week. 

in total from this appointment alone we placed 4 baptismal dates and received references to teach 3 new families and in total about 20 new people...upon sharing this information with the bishop and stake president...plans are being made to start a branch out there once we begin baptizing and that within the year were probably going to see apatzingan get turned into a stake! the work of the Lord is moving forward with speed and promises of old really are coming true! zion is being established in all places and every kindred tongue and people are receiving the blessings of this grand restoration of the truth! i cannot express the blessing it is to be a part of the Lords chosen servants in these last days...we truly are preparing the world for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! the happiness and joy that comes from being here in this area at this moment carrying out the Lords work is the best thing that has ever happened to me. i never want this to end. my dear friends who are reading this email wherever you may be...this is the true church of Jesus Christ and he is calling together his chosen people and he has called us to help in this great work...the work of the Lord is moving on and we have the great blessing to have a part in it. dont disappriciate the great latter day calling that each and every one of us have to teach share this message. 

i love you all and thank you personally for the prayers and support for me and all the other missionaries in the world. its greatly appreciated. i hope that you all have a great week and that the Lord blesses you abundantly in your lives for your faithfulness and obedience.

with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 2/18/13 + A Very Special Baptism

this past weekend i had one of the greatest experiences of my mission...the baptism of one of my investigators. we began teaching her way back in the beginning of september and this saturday i had the priviledge to see her get baptized. it was six months full of prayers fasting frustration and lots of faith haha. the greatest part of all of it was being able to see her testimony grow and watch her get strengthened spiritually visit by visit. 

just about a month ago she told us that she wouldnt be getting baptized till the end of the year because she had received her answer from the Lord that he was preparing her little by little for her baptism and that she wasnt going to get baptized any tme soon, but that one day yes she would get baptized. and well to her surprise the Lord actually had different plans for her haha and this last saturday got baptized. im out of internet time though haha and so i gotta go but in the following email ill throw in some more details of some of the experiences i had while teaching her. 

sorry i gotta go and that this email was short but ill be sure to satisfy your missionary experiences needs the following week. i love you guys and hope that all is well back in your homes. have a great week everyone and i love you all and grateful for all of your support and  prayers! take care until next monday!

with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 2/11/13 + A New Companion

well sounds like its been quite the eventful week back in the stake. congratulations james on your mission call, i'm super stoked for you it's way sweet. the mission is by far the best thing thats ever happened to me, and i know your mission will be the same for you. your gonna love it and totally tear it up. here in apatzingan we had a pretty awesome and special week, especially for elder garcia because he had his first baptism! 

it was super sweet, we baptized these two kids and they were total miracle baptisms ...haha... all week long they were telling us how they weren't sure about their baptisms and didn't think they wanted to do it anymore but we just kept the faith and kept insisting with them and teaching them and sure enough friday night rolls around and we show up to do their baptismal interviews and from the time we showed up till when we left they had a complete 180 change of mind. leaving the interviews they were super stoked and excited for their baptisms the following day. just goes to show you that the Lord really does listen to our prayers and sometimes its not till the very last moments when we see the miracle.

 like it mentions in Ether you dont get the testimony until after the test of your faith, and its something that i have definitely learned here in the mission. even when it appears as though there is no way its going to turn out how you want and you feel like your prayers are going unaswered, you have to just replace those negative thoughts, and say were gonna do it! and then keep chugging along with that hope, and well from what i've experienced it always turns out good in the end of it all. 

also suuuuper duper excited because this weekend is the baptism of one of our investigators, a lady who we've been teaching since september, and well after many prayers, fasts, frustrations, and overall just hard work she is ready. i think of all the people i've met and taught shes one of the most specials. she has such a rad strong testimony and i'm way stoked for her and that shes decided to get baptized. i'll be sure to let you all know how the baptism goes because i know it will be very special. 

we also saw some little mini miracles this past week. first one: so theres this lady that were teaching that left to go out of town and so we've been calling her house to see if shes showed up yet and so anyways the other day i called her house and someone answered the phone who i thought was her and so i got all excited and was like hey hows it going when can we come by and all that missionary stuff ...haha... and so we set up an appt to stop by the following day and so we show up the next day and knock on the door and her sister answers it and so we ask if alondras home, she says no shes in lazaro cardenas right now, and i was caught a little off guard because i thought i had just talked her last night and so i told the sister i had just talked to her last night and she said nooooo that was me ...haha... and so i was like crap because the lady is super golden and we need to see her because were preparing her for her baptism, but since alondra wasnt there i ask the sister if shes busy right now, says no, and so we end up teaching her and putting a fecha bautismal with her for march! it was just cool seeing how the Lord truly does put those who he is preparing in our camino to teach and help, because we went to her house planning to talk to alondra, but ending up finding her sister who also is being prepared by the Lord to be baptized. how cool is that ...haha... i love missionary work.

miracle number 2: so were walking down the street and pass by this house with a kid sitting outside and after passing the house we stop and decided to go back to the house and contact the kid, so we head back up the street to where he is sitting and start talking to him and turns out its this kid who the elders had taught in the past but stopped passing by years ago when apatzingan was closed and so we started teacing him and turns out hes already read the book of mormon, has an excellent memory and remembers a ton of stuff, and also accepted to be baptized right there in the first visit. i love being a missionary and being able to see the Lord work miracles through me and truly see him guiding me to the people he is preparing as long i'm working hard and being obedient. its so awesome i just love it. being a missionary is definitely the best thing anybody could ever do. this past year is full of experiences that willl change my life forever and that i will never forget. this is the best thing i have ever done and i am so excited so for all the young men who are  preparing to enter the mission fields themselves. it definitely lives up to all the hype ...haha... 

i love you all so much and dont worry about me or miss me too much because im having the time of my life here in mexico. i absolutely love it. take care everyone and thanks for all the prayers and support, i hope you all have a great week and happy valentines day!

with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

p.s. send elder garcia some emails....his family doesnt write him and hes a little down in the dumps....hed really appreciate anything and i'd appreciate it a ton too if you guys could show him some love because hes a great elder....thanks guys :)

If you would like to write Elder Garcia, comment below and I can send you his email address.

Guadalajara: 2/4/13 + Why There Are No Pictures

so i've got a lot of stories to tell seeing as how i didn't have a lot of time last week to send my email so i'm going to jump straight into it. so as i mentioned in the last email i'm training now and so last monday i had to go to guadalajara to go pick up my new companion. 

anyways so the central of autobuses is in my old area and so when we showed up i was all antsy hoping that i'd see someone i knew or just recognize anyone really. and so while we were walking down the street to go catch the bus i was keeping my eyes peeled for people i knew, when a bus drove past us and in it were some of the youth from the ward and they were waving at me from the bus and i saw them and waved back but the bus kept going and so it was cool to see them and the other elders with me were asking me who that was and i told em who, when to my surprise running down the street towards us come the 4 youth that were in the bus! they ran up to us and the two that are young men gave me big old hugs and the two young women shook my hand ...haha... but it was just way cool that first of all they recognized me as they were passing in the bus and that they got off the bus to come say hi to me. i left central about 6 months and they still remember me so that made me feel special ...haha... but ya so we talked about how they were doing, hows their parents, the ward, everything ...haha... and it was just great to be honest, made my day without a doubt. 

also because i found out that one of my converts is getting everything lined up to go on his mission and that when he completes a year in april he is going to leave right away on the mission! my dream has become even more magnificent and outstanding thinking that i'll be able to serve in this marvelous work with a convert of mine and my little brother. the thing better than that will be going to the sealing sessions in one of some of my other recent baptisms. the mission rocks! also in regards to how the training is going, its a way cool experience. 

the missionary i'm training is named elder garcia from panaco vera cruz, and it's definitely a different experience ...haha... after going from being with elders that have time in the mission to someone who has no idea whats what is an interesting experience for me and i'm really learning a lot from it. this past week we had the opportunity to fast for one of our investigators too and it turned out having amazing results. just a week ago she was telling us she doesn't feel 100% sure about her baptism and wants to wait more time...and then just yesterday we went to go talk to her and she told us that shes ready to get baptized and that she is for sure going to get baptized this month and so that was way cool to see the power of prayer and fasting. 

also we found tons of new people this week that accepted baptismal invitations in the first visit and so apatzingan is on fire right now haha! i have to go now though because time ran out unfortunately and i had some more stuff too tell but its okay because i still have next to email. i hope all is going well for you guys back home and that you were all able to enjoy the superbowl...i'll be there for the next one to enjoy it with you guys ...haha... i love you all tons and i'm stoked to hear about all the great stuff thats happening in your lives and how you're all being blessed. have a great week and i love you and appreciate all the support and prayers in my behalf! take care everyone!
with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

p.s. sorry i havent sent pictures in awhile my little adapter thingy has a virus and so i cant send pics for the moment but im hoping that ill be able to send some here soon

Guadalajara: 1/28/13

this weeks email is going to be a little short sorry, i'm a little short on time today. but anyways this last week was a nightmare of traveling around from place to place ...haha... in the past 7 days ive spent something around 26 hrs in a bus! but amidst all that it was a pretty good week. 

on thursday and friday we had a leadership training and it was way cool, learned lots of great new stuff to start applying to the mission work here in my area that is going to be help us help even more people in apatzingan! it was also nice because it focused a lot on getting back to the basics of missionary work and doing what we were taught to do since we showed up in the mission field. also this past sunday we traveled to uruapan for a multistake conference broadcast that the first presidency did for mexico. 

it was really cool because when president uchtdorf spoke he spoke in spanish and ya it was just really cool hearing him and some of the other authorities that spoke speak spanish. and then right now im in guadalajara because im going to be training so i came to pick up my hijo and take him on down to tierra caliente ...haha... but ya i dont have a lot of time to write because i showed up from apatzingan just a little while ago and we got to be in the offices here soon to pick up the new elders. so sorry but this email will be a little short. the next email will be a lot better because i have some cool stories to tell you all but i just dont have the time right now sorry because i gotta go get my companion. but i love you all and hope you all have a fantastic week and enjoy the superbowl for me eh!!

with much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

Guadalajara: 1/21/13

so after the week of suspense that i put you all through...haha...i shall finish with the stories that i didn't mention in last weeks email. so first was the baptism of one of our investigadores. the story of how we found her is the miracle...haha...because she married a less active member and one day the husband drove by the chapel here in apatzingan and recognized it as an lds church and decided that heck why not stop by sunday and go to the services. and so sure enough one sunday he showed up at the chapel with his wife and kid and so we talked to them and the wife turned out to be this totally chosen, just golden investigator...haha...she picked up everything super quick and to be honest she appeared as though she was  a member of years, and so we taught her and after about a month and a half she got baptized! 

in this upcoming month of february she is going to be going to the temple in guadalajara to do baptisms for the dead and right now were helping her prepare names  of her family members that she wants to do the work for. the big goal of her and her husband is to in this time next year enter the temple and be able to get sealed and so were helping them out right now in every way that we can...haha...but shes way cool, loves learning about the gospel and its doctrines and  teaching them to other people, which is a great way for new converts to be able to grow in their testimony and knowledge of the truths of the restored gospel. and i'm personally way excited to be able to attend their sealing one day :) 

the other stories i'm going to tell are the stories of how two of our investigadores got their answer in regards to the book of mormon being a true book. they both are what you'd call "eternal investigadores" because they've gone through missionary after missionary and still have yet to get baptized, but little by little were working with them to break down their doubts and concerns about the church, and especially the book of mormon. 

the first is a lady, she is a doctor that owns a pharmacy, and this story happened about 2 or 3 weeks ago. so a guy stopped by to deliver some medications and stuff like that that she had ordered for her pharmacy and after he dropped everything off he pointed to the book of mormon that she had on her counter and asked her if she was reading it and she said yes. he then began to tell her that she needed to go and burn the book because it is from the devil and that the people that gave it to her are the devils angels that go around teaching false truths and "engañando"  people. she said that it wasnt true and that she had read the book and it talked about Christ and taught the same principles as the bible and then the man told  her that she thought like that because we had her under our spells and that she needed help breaking the spells we had put upon her and then began throwing out a bunch of stuff about the church to disfame it and make it look bad, and she said that he just kept going off for a while and then left and after he had left that she felt confused and not really to sure what to think anymore about everything. 

so she decided to do what we had taught her to do when she has a question, kneel and ask God in a prayer. and so she did just that and after finishing her prayer she felt that she needed to open the book of mormon and that the first thing she read would be Gods answer to her prayer of hope, and so she grabbed her book of mormon and opened it up and read the words found in 2 nephi 33:5 and well i invite you to read it and you'll be able to see how perfectly this scripture answered her prayer. and after having read the verse she came to the conclusion and received the affirmation that the book of mormon is true and that this is the true church of Christ also. unfortunately though shes leaving this week to go study in guerrero but she said that she is going to do everything in her power to find the church and keep studying because she wants to get baptized and knows that she needs to do it. so i'm happy to have helped her and even though at best i wont be there to be part of her baptism i know that the influence i had on her and the seed that was planted will be of eternal impact and significance to her. 

the second story is that of a lady named tere, who actually lived in costa mesa for along time, and her daughter graduated from saddleback high school just this past year, but anyways here is her story. so she grew up in the catholic church (like everyone here haha) and to them the only true word of God is found in the bible, no ifs ands or buts. and so for her its always been hard to believe in the book of mormon and have a testimony of it. and so one night she was thinking alot about the book of mormon and everything that she had read from it and everything we had told her about it and upon finding herself amidst all these thoughts and questions she decided to say a prayer to try and receive some peace of mind. after having prayed she also decided that she would put God and the book of mormon to test, and open it up and the first thing that she would read would be her answer. and she did just that and interestingly enough opened up to guide for studying the scriptures in the back of the book and to the subheading of the prophet isaías and read about what it says there and how the book of mormon prophet nephi taught his people the words of isaías and that this prophet is cited often in the book of mormon. 

upon reading this she received the answer and assurance from the spirit that the book of mormon and the bible contain the word of God written by his prophets for our benefit and well being as his children. she explained that this was exactly the answer and peace of mind that she was looking for. two cool stories that i wanted to share with you because they really show us the truth about two things: one that the book of mormon is the word of God and contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel and two that God listens to our prayers and answers them in a manner to be for our benefit. these are two truths that i add my personally testimony too and assure you all that God listens and loves each and every one of us. the book of mormon is true and its the best way for us to grow closer to God and it teaches us whats necessary to return to his presence. 

i love you all and hope that youre able to recognize and give thanks for the blessings that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us daily. i love you all and thank you for all the support and prayers. have a great week and keep on keeping on!

with much love from mexico, 
Elder Maccarthy