Guadalajara: 11/26/12 + 11 month mark!

well first off i hope that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving, full of lots of great food and good times. here in mexico it was like any other day haha, i actually didnt realize that it was thanksgiving until that night when i was writing in my journal haha. but apart from apart my first thanksgiving away from home it was a pretty rough week you could say haha. one of our strongest investigators, who we've been working with for the last couple months fell this past week. he has a mom thats really hard on him, especially when it comes to him getting baptized, and he just got super down in the dumps and told us that he just doesnt know what to do anymore. 

and while it was one of the hardest nights of my mission because i could hardly sleep because i was just thinking about him the whole night, i actually came to learn a huge lesson from it all. in the past week before his baptism we had fasted twice, prayed without cease, and really just did just about everything in our power so that hed get baptized, putting the miracle in the Lords hands, and well he didnt get baptized. so my mind was racing and buzzing with the question of how after all that he didnt get baptized. after studying and pondering the question for a couple day i came to realize my answer. 

upon studying the topic of faith and prayer i came upon two doctrines very essencial, those being first that faith is complete confidence in the Lord, not part way or just a little but complete, and second that the end result of our prayers is not to change the will of God, but instead to put our desires and ourselves in accordance with what He wants and what He knows needs to happen. and well these two doctrines really answered my question haha and even helped me learn something new.

one thing that i had come to realize was that we hadnt taught him as well as we should have to trust in the Lord. because missionaries arent the only ones that need to practice this trust but the investigators too. i realized that we had kind of brushed over this concept, and instead focused on helping him grow in his testimony of other gospel truths and never explained to him how to trust in the Lord, how it can benefit us, and also the importance of relying and recognizing the Holy Ghost in this process of our growth. also in terms of prayer, i changed my complete attitude in praying, and in place of praying for the completion of my personal desires, that i instead will be an instrument in the Lords hands for the completion of his desires. 

i had been getting too caught up in the things that i wanted to happen, that i forgot to ask him what it was that he wanted and then taking the time to listen to figure out exactly what it was. im still working on this concept and its something thats going to take practice and diligence i know but its worth it. i invite you all too to study this week a little bit about how the Lord reveals his will to us through his Spirit and the different ways that we can feel and recognize these moments of personal revelation in our lives. its an amazing gift that our Father in Heaven has given to us to be able to always be in communication and as close as possible to him as we personally can. 

i personally have really come to realize the true importance of prayer and the guidance of the Spirit of our lives since entering the mission field and am extremely greatful for the opportunity that i have to be here serving. i hope that you all can find this same joy serving in your own parts of the vineyard of the Lord! sorry that this emails a little short, but i love you and hope that you have a great week!! also eat some tacos for me this wednesday...its my 11 month mark :) have a great week everyone i love you all!

much love from mexico,
Elder Maccarthy

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