so its finally come to an end, never thought this day would come to be honest....but it has. looking back on the last 2 years i cant really think of words or how even to describe how great my mission was. to be honest i dont really even know what to say right now in this email. its a whole mix of emotions right now reflecting on it all. i'll just save it for when i get home haha. no but in this last email id like to just thank everyone for all the support, prayers and love during these last 2 years. and especially to you mom and dad for the teaching that you gave me the 19 years leading up to my mission, i am so grateful for the times that i have been able to call upon the teaching i received from you two.
i can proudly join Nephi in saying that i have been born of goodly parents. i also would like to just end with my testimony. i know that God is our Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer. i know that he was born into this earth to leave us the road back to the Father, to leave us His priesthood and church, and that most importantly that He atoned for my sins. i know that he bled and died for me. i also know that He resurrected and that He lives. i know that the book of mormon is true. thanks to the book of mormon i have truly been able to understand the atonement and be able to testify his eternal sacrifice. i know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. i know that this is the true church.
in the short span of two years i have been able to witness and bear true testimony that God is a God of miracles and has reached out His hand to His children once again. i have witnessed the true power of the priesthood and i know without a single doubt that this is the true church of God. after the things that i have lived and seen, i would be a hipocrite to deny it. i love you all and again express my great gratitude for all the love and support these last two years. take care, and ill see you all soon.
with much love from mexico,
FELIZ NAVIDAD a todos! hope that you all are enjoying this holiday season and the special spirit that we all feel in this time of the year. this past week was somewhat slow just because things usually have the tendency to slow time around this time, but it still had its good moments. we had our mission christmas activity on thursday, and it wasnt too bad. it wasnt as joyful as we all expected it to be haha because the first 2 hours of the activity president just got mad at everyone because the numbers of the mission arent looking very good right now, but it got better afterwards in the lunch and gift exchange.
for me the best part was just being able to hang out with some of my old companions for the last time in the mission. it was sad at the end saying goodbye to some of them, its crazy how im going home so soon, still hasnt really sunk in. also funny story from the christmas activity, so we were sitting at one of the tables eating and talking about all the funny stories and good times from our time in the mission and elder garcia (the elder that i trained in apatzingan) was telling a funny story and i started laughing at the precise moment when i went to eat a spoonful of mashed potatoes and i ended up inhaling it and starting coughing hard core because the mashed potatoes got lodged in my throat and elder osorio started patting me on the back and i drank some water and it calmed down a bit and everyone was like are you okay haha and then i started choking again and all of the sudden i just throw up all over the place haha and yeah it was funny because everyone was like oh my gosh what just happened and they gave me a plate to throw up on so i wouldnt get any more puke on the floor haha and then i snuck off the bathroom to clean myself up and the best part of the story is that all of this went down and nobody else even noticed apart from the elders that were sitting there at the table with me haha it was pretty skillfull on my part i must admit.
also this past weeks we took a few days and we went around singing christmas carols to the members and investigators in our areas. it was pretty cool, and not gonna lie but we sounded waaay good. the only problem is that i dont think that ill ever be able to sing a christmas carol again because after singing the same ones for hours and hours you kind of get tired of doing it ahah and we honestly walked a ton in the days that we did the caroling, more than what we normally walk as misionaries haha. but overall it was a great experience, something that ill remember for awhile.
likewise we have planned to go a caroling a few more days this week and also some good food appointments with members to celebrate christmas, ill definitely be gaining a few pounds and enjoying some last good mexican meals before i have to go home. also its pretty crazy that this saturday i will be completing 2 YEARS as a missionary...time sure has flown by. youll all have to go out and do something special that day for me, i mean the majority of missionaries only get 2 years to serve and so its pretty cool that im going to pass that goal up haha. i love you all and hope that youll all be able to enjoy christmas at home with your families, ill be there with you all in spirit. i love you and miss you tons, but well hey this is my second to last email, next week will be the last one. have a great week everyone and remember that i love you all!
with much love from mexico,
so this past week was pretty cool, on friday we had a conference with elder toris from the area seventy and it was way awesome. i swear one of the things that im really going to miss about the mission is being able to go to conferences like these with the general authoritites, its definitely one of the cooler priviledges of being a missionary. he talked about alot of cool things, alot of things that motivated me and helped take another angle into these next few weeks and my first few weeks home. there was really so much that he talked about that i liked that i dont really know how to sum it up right now haha.
he talked alot about how everything that happens to us in the mission is really to prepare us for our lives after the mission and so it was really helpful for me to be able to take a few minutes the night of the conference to reflect on all the things that ive lived and learned in my mission and thinking about how its all going to be helpful in my life and its really quite astonishing. i really have learned alot, and i personally dont really notice much of the changes in myself, but im sure that its going to be more interesting for all of you to see the changes that have happened in the last 2 years.
it was fun to read connors email from this past week and remember those first few months in the mission and the time spent in the mtc. all i can say is that its been some good times. also this past week we had a pretty cool experience, so after a meeting that we had we went to go buy ice cream and we were sitting in a park outside of our house eating when these two kids come up to us and start talking to us and what not...they ask us what we do and we start with some small talk and then one of them asks us where were from and i say california and the other elders too and then one of the kids asks us if any of us know how to skateboard (because theres always a huge group of kids that skate there in the park) and my companions say yeah he does pointing to me haha and i was like crap and telling them no i dont, but they insisted and so i gave in and started just cruising around and even though its been 2 years i still had it in me and so then the kids called all their buddies over and we were talking and stuff and well long story short is that we came to the agreement that if i can beat them in a game of s.k.a.t.e then theyre all going to have to go to the church with us and listen to the missionary lessons ahah it was pretty cool, now days you have to be a little more creative to find people to teach because we cant knock doors or contact in the streets anymore so we gotta find people anyway we can. but it was a pretty funny experience, never thought itd come in handy in the mission.
but yeah other than that the week was pretty calm, nothing much too new pretty much just same stuff haha. but this week should be good, we have the christmas activity on thursday and im looking forward to it because im oging to be able to see some of the mission buddies and its always a good time. alrighty well i have to go now, have a great week everyone, i love you all tons and hope that your all well! take care!
with much love from mexico,
so we have been struggling these past few weeks finding new people to teach, but things really turned around this past week. we had been praying alot and even fasted to find new people to teach and in just 2 days we received 3 references of families that live in our area who other missionaries have contacted and who want us to teach them. it was a total answer to our prayers. we had the chance to talk to 1 of them saturday and the other 2 were going to go and visit today. but im way stoked about it because i was stressing out a little bit cuz i didnt want to end my last month in the mission not teaching anyone and over all i was worried about leaving the area and leaving elder osorio without anyone to teach with his following companion.
apart from that though it was a pretty relaxed week, not too much stuff out of the ordinary went down. the typical waking up at 630 studying doing visits all day and then going home to plan and sleep and repeat the process again the following day ahah. oh but actually one cool thing that happened this past week, we ate a crazy food. its called 'pata de mula' and its like clams that you find in river beds...but they look like little mini octopuses in clam shells. and the grossest part is that you eat them raw with chili, lemon and salt (the condiments that every mexican food has) and just slurp the animal octupus thing from the shell and then chew it up in your mouth and swallow....its pretty funky and im sure it sounds gross but it actually didnt taste too bad haha.
if you want you can google it to get a better idea on what the things are and what they look like. also pretty stoked for this upcoming week because friday we have our annual general authourity visit...this year Elder Toris from the seventy is going to be coming. its always great being able to receive instruction from the general authorities on such a personal level, i mean its great and all in general conference but being in their presence with them brings a whole different impact and level to the things that you can learn. i can only imagine what it must be like to treat them on a daily or evenly weekly or monthly basis, it must be amazing.
oh and also yesterday at the christmas devotional it was way cool because where we went to watch it there were a bunch of members from central (my first area) there and so it was cool being able to see them and be able to talk to them and all that good stuff. it blows my mind thinking about how it was like a year and a half ago that i was in that area just barely getting starting and where i am now. aside from being able to see all my old mission friends, the devotional in and of itself was pretty good, i enjoyed all the messages and hope that you all were able to also. i hope that you all have a great week and that youre enjoying these holiday seasons with friends and families. take care everyone, love you tons and ill be talking to you all next week.
with much love from mexico,
hey everyone hows it going, hope you all had a great thanksgiving back home. our last week was pretty up and down you could say haha. on firday elder valenzuela of the area presidency came to the mission and we had a conference together with him and our ward leaders. it was a pretty cool meeting. basically he came to get after everyone for not having effective ward council meetings and to help the members have a little more vision in terms of how they can work more effectively in the work of salvation. but it was pretty cool just being there in the meeting with him, general authorities always just have a special spirit about them haha.
he talked about some things that really called my attention, one of the most outstanding comments he made was something that elder packer said; that what is happening right now in missionary work is at the same level as the first vision, the translating of the book of mormon, and the restoration in and of itself. i thought that that was pretty cool. he took a chunk of time to talk about all the changes and things that have happened in missionary work lately and it truly is amazing. everything that he spoke about was to help us see that the time truly has come for the completion of the Lords words found in doctrina y convenios 88:72-73. but ya it was a pretty cool meeting, the highlight of the week haha.
also this past week i got suuuper sick again. i seriously have been more sick in this last area than in my whole mission i think. what happened was that a few weeks ago i got bit by some insect thing and it ended up leaving this infection rash thing in my skin (and of course it was on my forehead of all places) and so i was taking medication to help me with the infection in my skin, and then this past week i started suffering from like freezing cold convulsions to having a killer fever and a ton of pain in my bones and joints and diarreah and just super messed up, i seriously felt like i was dying haha, and so when i talked to the mission doctor it was like oh crap cuz they thought i might have dengue fever or malaria, thinking that maybe it was a mosquito that bit me a few weeks ago and so i had to go see a doctor and thankfully it wasnt anything to bad, i just had a gnarly stomach virus that was infecting my system and just doing work on me.
so for the past couple days ive been on a diet and im absolutely dying haha nothing but rice, apples, bananas, pears, vegetables and jello. its rough haha. but the good thing is that im doing alot better now. i wasnt able to enjoy a nice thanksgiving dinner, but i dreamed that i was there with you all eating haha it was nice, just sucked waking up. but everything is going well hear in the mission, last week i completed the 23 month mark and its so crazy how fast the time has gone by and how little time is left. just got to keep working hard though and keep my eye on the prize. take care everyone, i love you all and have a great week! love you!
with much love from mexico,
so this past saturday was one of the best days that ive had in my entire mission, maybe even my life. we were in a lesson and i got a phone call from the zone leaders telling me that one of my converts from central (fer) was going to be going through the temple that afternoon at 5 oclock, and when they called me it was like 1 oclock, and so it was like crap how am i going to do this haha and so i call president to ask him permission to go to the temple and he tells me that unless i can find someone to stay with my companion to cover the appointments that we had that afternoon that no i couldnt go...so i was calling around trying to find someone to go with me and someone to stay with my companion but because it was so last minute no one was available.
so i decided to call the elders here in rio verde with me, and one of the companionships didnt have any appointments so i called president and asked if i could go with one of the elders because there werent any members available and he said yes. so we grab a taxi and head on over to the temple and wow, it was such an amazing experience. i havent entered the temple in a little less than 2 years, since i left the mtc. it was such an amazing feeling being able to walk in and feel the special spirit that is only found in the temple. we walked back to the changing rooms and because we had showed up a little late, fer had already left so i didnt get to see him till we walked into the session room. the session was wonderful, i felt amazing.
the best part was the very end though, something happened to me that was maybe one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened to me. we passed into the celestial room and were waiting there for him to enter also, and he finally entered hugged everyone and when he came up to me he gave me this huge hug and whispered in my ear "gracias, le quiero mucho" and i was able to feel and live a little bit of what i imagine it will be like after this life when i have the opportunity to see and recieve all my dear friends that i was able to help here in the mission in the celestial kingdom. what i felt in that moment was something that ill never forget, nor can i describe with words. it was just amazing. his dad then came over and also gave me a big hug and with tears in his eyes expressed similar words of thanks and gratitud for having helped his son.
i then stayed their and quietly cried to myself reflecting upon how miraculous and wonderful missionary work is and for all the things that i have been able to live in my mission. i dont know how i could ever show enough thanks to my Heavenly Father for all the things that he has blessed me with as a missionary. deciding to serve a mission has been without a doubt the best decision i have ever made. i love being a missionary. afterwards we met outside the temple and talked and took pictures, and again upon saying goodbye i gave him a big and exchanged our last words of goodbye and i love yous haha. it was hands down one of the best experiences i have ever lived in my life. i wish you all could have been there with me and felt what i felt this day.
i hope that through this email though youre all able to feel a little bit of the special spirit that i felt this day and how beautiful of an experience it was for me. i love being a missionary and being able to serve along side with my loved ones, in specific with connor and fer. its an amazing feeling. i love you all so much, and thanks for all the support love and prayers! take care everyone, and enjoy your thanksgiving...be sure to eat extra for me and to save me some leftovers haha. i love you all and talk to you next week.
with much love from mexico,
we had a way good week recently, we were able to make up for all the time we lost for being sick the last week. it was raining and cold all week long, but we were still able to have some killer lessons. we went with fabiola and her kids on saturday and had a way rad lesson with them, we were finally able to commit them to be baptized on the 23 and they accepted really well and we were suuuuper stoked because it was a complete miracle that they accepted after almost 2 months in teaching...the only problem was that they didnt come to church on sunday and in the mission we have rules where the investigators have to attend church a certain number of times before they can be baptized and so since they didnt come the baptismal date they had fell.
but its all good, were going to give up that easy we just have to work a little bit harder and soon were going to help them get baptized. the good thing is that ive learned in the mission that everyone has their spped in accepting the gospel...some are faster and others slower and the important thing is taht you just have to work hard with all and do your best part and let the Lord take care of the rest. but were sure that it wont be far away the day that they get baptized. if i could sum up how i feel right now in one word id say happy. i just feel so happy lately haha im loving being a missionary.
and im seriously so excited knowing that connor is in the mtc right now and beginning his mission...ill admit that i got a few crocodile tears here in the ciber reading his first email home and seeing the pictures of him. without a doubt this is the Lords work. i know that my time is coming to an end but the best part is taht i can look back on the time that i have serve and say that i lived up and not have any regrets. i think thats the true secret to having a good mission...serving in such a way that at the end you can say that you gave it your all and taht you dont have any regrets. i still have a lot to go though in the mission so i also need to continue apply this principle day by day. because really its something that will prepare me for my whole life...because one day im going to have to go back to home in heaven and i wish i can say the same that i gave it my all and dont have any regrets.
i love you all and thanks for all the supports and prayers. take care everyone, and dad im going to be praying for you and good luck with the surgery, i would love to be there with you in person but sorry the Lord needs here right now. i love you though and will have you in my thoughts and prayers. i love you all and have a great week!
with much love from mexico,
so you could say that this past week was pretty crappy...literally haha because i was super sick. i dont know what i ate but something did me damage, i think it was the chinese food and pig snout that i ate on monday. but anyways so ya this past i was dying with some gnarly stomach problems, but it went away saturday so im doing better now. but for the same reason that i wasnt feeling to well it kind of took its tole on the work this past week, we had a lot of stuff to do but werent able to complete everything we had planned so were going to have to put in double work this upcoming week.
also this past week we had interviews with president, and it was pretty cool because it motivated me to keep working hard these last few months of my mission. i gotta say im pretty thankful for president camarillo, he has really helped me out alot in the mission and ive learned a ton from him. its definitely true that part of our assignments as missionaries are because the Lord knows which mission president will be able to help us reach our potencial and make the progress that we need. also its pretty cool thinking about how as off wednesday that ill be serving together in the mission force with my little brother, i honestly didnt think it would happen haha.
its kind of a bummer that we wont be able to see eacother for 4 years but at the same time its way cool thinking about how were serving together, even though were thousands of miles away from eachother in almost completely different worlds, were together in terms of the message we share and our purspose as missionaries. its amazing to think about the lives that will be blessed by the elders maccarthy...our influence will have an effect on two different continents and in two different languages. i love how this gospel brings so many blessings to those who serve and unto whom they serve.
i know that in these few months that we will be in the missionary force together that our family will receive even more blessings and that there isnt a better place where me and connor can be right now. and to you mom and dad...good job. you guys can relax knowing that you did a great job and that you got us both to where we are right now. i love you guys and miss you tons but dont worry im right where i need to be. i love you all tons and pray for you every day. take care and enjoy your week everyone!
with much love from mexico,
p.s. mom dont forget to take kleenex with you wednesday haha love you
well for being my birthday week it turned out to be waaay awesome, we had some great experiences. one of the most exciting was that fabiola and her kids, the family that weve been teaching since we showed up, came to church with us on sunday! it was way awesome, theyre progressing really well, and were pretty sure that not in the too distant future there going to be getting baptized. little by little theyre getting their testimonies and building up the courage to get baptized.
also this past week we started teaching this friend of this brother and we had a way killer first lesson with him. we show up and were teaching and while were teaching and asking him questions he tells us that he doesnt believe in organized religion because its just a trick by people to get rich off others and that there arent prophets anymore because all that stuff ended with Christ, and so we continue teaching and we get to the part of explaining the first vision and the joseph smith story, and we just knocked the guy out of the park.
we gave a little background about his story and then i ask him to close his eyes while i read him something and to picture the scene in his mind...and so then i say to him the first vision and the Spirit just flooded into the room and when i finish he just kinda sat there quiet for a minute and then opened his eyes and i testified to him about joseph smith and the first vision and asked him if he believed it happened, he said yes and in that moment my companion invited him to be baptized and he said yes. it was crazy. we ended the lesson and the whole time he just had this puzzled looked on his face and so we explained to him some things and told him to make sure to pray and ask God if its all true and today were going to go with to see how it went.
there was something else that also happened that was crazy in this lesson but im out of time now so im going to have to tell you all about it next week...dont worry i wont forget. also next week im going to be sending a bunch of pics from my birthday here in mexico. i love you all so much and miss you tons. have a great week and talk to you all soon!
with much love from mexico,
well things have been picking up here in the area, ive come the conclusion that i may not be ending my mission as i imangined baptizing alot of people, but instead that the Lord has sent me here to strengthen the ward members and set the foundations for future missionaries. because in honesty the animo and faith of the members here is really hurting, its been really sad visiting them and hearing the stories of the stuff thats happened and see how grateful they are to have missionaries again. it hurt alot of members when they took the missionaries away and theyre way thankful to have us back, and extremely open and willing to help us out.
|happy halloween everyone!|
|me and elder hughes (it says "take my hand" in case you cant read it|
|birthday party in carls|
but also quick funny story...so elder osorio wanted to get his hair cut and i told him to not worry and that id do it for him haha cuz i figured that it couldnt be too hard to do, and boy was i in for a surprise haha i ended up cutting his hair for like 3 hrs cuz i totally messed it up ahaha and he was freaking out poor kid, i managed to save it and it doesnt look too bad, only the back looks a little like a cow chewed on his head cuz its uneven....i never would have imagined that its so hard cutting hair, my respect to all the hair cutters out there. it was a funny experience though.
things are going great here though, and im still enjoying myself amidst the difficulties, hope that you all are able to enjoy halloween eat lots of candy for me. and do something cool for my birthday tomorrow. i love you all tons and thanks for all the support and prayers. keep on fighting and ill be talking to you all next week.
with much love from mexico,
hey everyone hows its going? things are doing pretty good here in rio verde, not too much went down this past week cuz were jutst barely getting to know the area and so we spent a lot of time just walking around in the streets trying to find people and getting lost haha. buts its been pretty fun, my companion is a way goofy kid, were complete opposites and so its been pretty interesting haha.
we found a family though this past week and weve started teaching them. its a mom and her 3 kids thats were teaching. in our first lesson with them, elder osorio had his first oppotunity to invite someone to get baptized....they said yes but didnt accept a date. it was cool and he was stoked afterward haha. i think that that has abeen the coolest part about training at this point in my mission, its making me appreciate and remember alot of th e smaller finer details of the mission. and its making me look back aloton my first months in the mission and alll the good experiences that ive had. but so far its been going good.
the area itselft is pretty good too, its a little sketchy though, lots of little hood rats haha buts its cool cuz were making friends with all the gang bangers...theyre always saying stuff to me in english so ill respond well start talking ill tell em im from california, close to long beach and that always blows their minds and they say no way i lived there dude and boom just like that we become best friends. their cool people and well you all know the saying, when in rome do as the romans do haha. also the members here love the missionaries especially since there havent been any in awhile and so theyre all stoked to help us out with anything and give us food and all sorts of cool stuff, its nice to be loved.
im already lining up my birthday parties for next wee k haha. but i have to go now, sorry i didnt write much, we were running around doing a bunch of stuff and so we got to the ciber late, so im going to try to write more next week and let you alll know more experiencias and stuff like that. i love you all and hope that you have agreat week! take care everyone!
with much love from mexico,
p.s. my area is by this placed called the barranca de huentitan in case you want to google it
hey everyone, sorry for not having sent an email yesterday, i ended up having changes and didnt have time to write one out but dont worry now im here to send one. so first big news, i had changes. i am now back in guadalajara, where i started my mission, and where i am also going to end it. the area that im in now is called rio verde...its basically in outskirts of guadalajara, and i just barely showed up so i dont really have much to say about it here haha. its going to be interesting though because president closed the area awhile ago, and completely whitewashed the district and were absolutely on our own here until we get the hang off things around here. its gonna be fun though.
|my goodbye party with elder solorzano, me, hermana rueda and hermana guzman|
also cool news that im going to finish my mission training! we all met up this morning with president and my new companion is named elder osorio....and hes from chile! i thought it was cool when i found that out because i know thats where hayden is serving his mission. but ya hes a funny little fella, from the little we have getting to know each other i have a feeling were gonna have a good time together. it was a little strange for me to be there this morning amongst all these elders who are just barely beginning their missions, made me feel like the patriarch of the mission because they were all over me asking me questions haha it was funny.
|me and elder osorio|
also president asked me to translate the meeting for him so that the new americans could understand, and it was pretty cool because when he called me up to translate he introduced me to all the missionaries with his personal feelings for me and the things ive done in the mission....and well not to be prideful or anything but it made me look like a demi god to all these new elders, and it made me feel pretty good personally to stand up there in front of all these new missionaries and be able to reflect on the progress that ive made and the things ive experienced in my mission. i sure have come a long ways.
but ya it was a pretty cool experience for me to be able to translate the meeting, it made me realize how great of a blessing it is to be able to know these 2 languages perfectly. the coolest part though for me was being able to translate the testimony of the president, it gave me an idea of how the conference translators must feel as they translate for the prophet and other church leaders, because the spirit is just way strong. it was something very special for me being able to testify in a certain sense to these missionaries on behalf of president, and for being able to help them feel the spirit. my last week in acueducto was pretty good also, to be honest i wasnt expecting the change. on sunday we had our stake conference and it was pretty cool. the stake president gave time to 5 youth who have received mission calls and will be leaving to the field in the upcoming months.
|me, president camarillo and elder osorio|
there was one kid in specific who talked about how he had an older brother in the mission also and how his brother had been such a great example for him and a big motivating force for him going on the mission. as i sat there listening to this kid talk i couldnt help but cry as i thought about connor being in that same place and saying similar things. almost all the youth that spoke talked about the example that their older siblings had set by serving missions and the feelings that that experienced as they lived the mission together with them through their weekly emails.
it comforted me and helped me see a little bit into what the Lord has planned for me and the family, and even though its hard for me to be missing out on all the preparation for connors mission and those last moments with him, i know that this is where the Lord needs me to be in these moments. its been good here though lately, i cant complain. im just living it all up while i still can and working hard every day like it was the last one. i love you all and miss you tons. take care and ill be talking to you all next week!
with much love from mexico,
hey everyone hows it going, im pretty sure that nothing that went down this week can compare to the awesomeness of the fact that connor got his mission call....and to add to it that hes going to korea!! that seriously is so stinking crazy, i cant believe it. but im way stoked for him, its so cool. never thought id be serving in the mission field together with connor.
it does kind of stink though that we wont be seeing eachother for 4 yrs but its nothing to take away from the excitement of his mission call. so connor if youre reading this....i love you bud and im super happy for you, im going to miss you a ton to be honest but dont worry this is when the Lord needs us more than ever. love you tons buddy and once again, much congratulations for your mission call. go tear it up in korea. i have to admit also that its amazing how the Lords timing is perfect and how he totally is concious of us and our needs. the last week was pretty rough, to be straight up i was hating life once friday rolled around. we hadnt taught a lesson the whole entire week, nobody was home or didnt have time for us and i was bumming. it was to the point where i was doubting and really wondering if i made the right decision of going home in january, and that maybe i should just go home in november if things are going to be like they are.
but anyways i was just kind of having some rough days, but as things seemed to get overwhelming i had some experiences that pumped me up. the first was a text message that one of our converts sent us, he had waved to us in the street earlier in the street as he drove by, and that evening he sent me this text "elder mccarty, lo vi un pocquito extraño, pense triste por su semblante, ojala este bien, animo! reciba 1 abrazo". to be honest it totally shocked me reading the message, he had no idea what was going on in my head and how i was feeling, but without a doubt im sure that he had some feeling that told him to send me that message and it made me feel alot better. and then later on that same night was when a member in my ward sent me a message to tell me about connors mission call, and these two experiences just recharged my batteries and im feeling alot more dedicated and excited to live up these last months and not let things bum me out.
also i had the opportunity to talk with some of my mission buddies about it and they helped me see the importance of the example that ive put for your younger brother and for the example i need to continue putting for him. i know for a fact that connor is going to face alot of trials in his mission, the culture, language, and just everything shock that he will face is at best going to be harder than what i lived here in mexico. however i feel as though the hard times ive had to go through will allow me to help him out in his mission. eventhough things havent necesarilly gotten better since last friday, ive now got a better attitude and feeling about everything and that makes all the difference.
in addition this upcoming week is going to allow me to be able to rest becuase we have mission leadership councils tuesday and wednesday, zone meeting on friday, and then conference on saturday and sunday. im sure that in this upcoming week im going to be able to receive even more advice and help to be more animated. im extremely appreciative for all of you back home that pray for me daily. have the surety that your prayers are answered and that they get to me. i miss you all tons and i wish i could have been there with you connor when you opened your call, i miss you tons buddy and im going to keep missing you which is the part that stinks haha. but i love you tons connor and i cant stop saying how happy i am for you. youre going to love and youre exactly who the people of korea need right now. i think your new nickname is going to have to be godzilla haha.
have a great week everyone and a little quote id like to share to wrap up this letter by michaelangelo "i saw an angel in the marble, so i scuplted to set him free" we likewise come to this world as unshappen and unformed beings but through the transcourse of our lives the Lord scuplts and forms us to set us free and make us mor like him. the trials we have are simply put in our live to make us better. if the rough marble could talk im sure it would say that it didnt appreciate all the hits from the hammer and chisels but that in the end admits that it is happy with how he turned out. i cant help but imagine that it will be like that for us also when we one day get the chance to look back on our lives and see how we turned out. like my. love you all and ill talk to you next week.
with much love from mexico,
so thankfully i managed to get back here to morelia in time to be able to write you all a quick letter. i got a call last week that i needed to go to guadalajara to sign some papers because one of the secretaries messed up with the visas and lost like 50,000 pesos and so we had to go and resign all of our visa paperwork and also sign a bunch of documents saying that we had nothing to do with the money that was lost. in my personal case i "lost" like 3,500 pesos but thanks to my signature on those papers im off scotch free, because really i had nothing to do with it hahah.
i really enjoyed the little vacations though because i was able to see alot of the elders from my generation that are going home in november and that i wont be seeing until i get back home in january. and so it was really nice to be able to catch up with all of them and hang out for a little bit. its amazing how i consider them to be way good friends when the majority of them i have barely any time knowing them, but it really is cool how many new friends you make on the mission. but apart from all that stuff all is well and the case is closed and things keep chugging along here in morelia.
this past week we had some pretty neat experiences. our one investigator thats from california and that i mentioned in my last letter is progressing really well, we had a great lesson with her this last week. the coolest part was how when she first showed up and we started talking with her and i asked her how she had been doing since the last time we saw her and she tells about how she had been thinking alot about getting baptized and how its something she wants to do and that she decided to ask God when she should do it and that she got her answer and it was the 20th of November.
it was pretty shocking to be honest because not many people do that haha and also because november is a little far away and i in all honestly believe that at this rate that shes going shes going to do it way before the 20th of november. its amazing how much the Lord truly does just prepare people and put them in our path. apart from that though not too much has been going on here. its been really rainy. we painted the dry cleaning shop of a less active hermano and my neck got super sunburnt because i forgot to put sunscreen on my tan line from always wearing collared shirts. hopefully though this upcoming week though ill have some more cool experiences to tell you all so you dont get too bored of my letters. i feel as though they were more exciting at the beginning of my mission so im going to have to step my game up a bit and finish strong haha.
also cool fact...this saturday im going to be completing 21 months in the mission so everyone go out and eat tacos in my memory. i hope youre all enjoying yourselves back home and getting ready for general conference in a few weeks...im pretty stoked for it because there always so good. have a great week everyone, i love you all and miss you tons!
with much love from mexico,
happy mexican independence day! its been pure fiesta here in mexico the past few days, i have to admit mexicans sure do know how to party haha. this past weekend i think i easily ate half my body weight in food haha, it was pretty ridiculous. saturday for breakfast we went and ate tacos of barbacoa with consume with an hermano and from there went and ate huevos rancheros and frijoles with an hermana and from there went to the food appointment with the bishops family where we ate pozole verde and from there to a baptismal service where they had picadillo and tostadas and then to wrap it all up we went to another hermanas house and ate pozole rojo. and that was just saturday haha.
sunday was a little more calm because we only ate ham and grilled cheese sandwiches with an hermana and then went and had a discada and wrapped up the day with some tostadas. i know youre all probably wondering what half of the food i just mentioned is like but dont worry when i get home ill make sure that you all get to try it because its all soooo good haha. oh and also i finally passed the mexican test haha, this past week this hermano took us out to eat a taco restaurant called chemaos and anyways at chemaos they have a salsa thats made with 41 habañeros and is known as "el cuarenta-uno" and its pretty gnarly straight up.
so gnarly that my companion and the hermano ate like 2 tacos of pastor with the salsa and gave in but, elder maccarthy, representing the good ol U S of A ate 8 tacos of pastor with "el cuarenta-uno". so not only did the USA beat mexico in soccer and boxing this past week, but also in who can eat the most tacos with the hottest salsa in morelia. i cried a little at first because it was way spicy but after the third taco i passed the hard part. go me haha. also this past week we started teaching 2 new people this week who are most likely going to be getting baptized in october. its pretty cool too because theyre both from the u.s.! one of them is from seattle washington and the other is from san bernadino california! it was fun being able to talk to them in english about the states and even better because theyre way receptive and interested.
the lesson we had with the one girl from california was a total homerun because without even inviting her or mentioning anything she asked us when and what she had to do to get baptized because she feels as though this is the church that God wants her to join and that its His true church...how cool is that? the other girl from seattle was a little more stubborn because shes christian and knows the bible really well and so she was a little doubtful about the whole joseph smith story and the book of mormon, but we were able to clear up all of her doubts and questions and overall helped her understand the importance of prayer in order to be able to receive an answer. so im not even going to worry about her funny ideas because if she prays and asks God sincerely, shell get the answers that shes looking for and those answers will allow her to see the truth in the message that we share.
we have more appointments with them this upcoming week so ill be sure to inform you all next week on how theyre progressing and if we have more cool experiences in teaching them. things have been going well lately so i hope the flow keeps going like this these last months. i hope you all are well back home and enjoying your time together. i love hearing all the exciting news about all thats happening and keep me informed on all the stuff thats going down. i love you all and have a great week!
with much love from mexico,
hey everyone, hows it going? we had a pretty good week just recently here in good ol acueducto so i actually have stuff to talk about this week haha. this past saturday was the baptism of the hna. amalia and my goodness it was a straight up nightmare haha i swear nothing every goes well with baptisms in the mission. every time no matter how much planning and preparation you do there is always something that comes up.
so first problem was that when we showed up to fill the font, the water came out swamp green and we were like what the heck that isnt normal, and so we called the bishop and he said that theres some kind of fungus in the water tank and there is nothing to do about it haha so we just accept that the water is going to be grossly green and proceed to filling up the font and then there is no warm water. the boiler that my companion supposedly turned on the day before had turned off, and the boiler requires at least 24 hrs to warm up before use, and so the water was ice cold.
and the problem is that the hna amalia is a pretty old lady and so it would have been a little sketchy to baptize her in ice cold water and then add to that its been really rainy and cold here lately and our goal is to help her make this covenant and not try to kill her haha. so anyways after we came to the resolution that we were not going to be able to baptize her in the font in our chapel and we didnt want to have to wait to do it next week, we decided to change the plans up and do the baptism in the stake center. so we called up the elders that work over there and told them to start filling up the font with warm water because we were on our way to do a baptism. so we send out a mass text to all the members and leave a sign on the gate of the chapel letting everyone know about the change of plans for the baptism.
we got everything ready to go in the stake center, and managed to only start an hour and a half late haha but it turned out to be a way spiritual baptismal service. there were many teary eyes. it was scary though because we thought that she died when my companion baptized her becuase she just went limp in the water and when my companion picked her up she wouldnt unplug her nose and he had to like yank her hand off of her nose haha but ya everyone was like oh my gosh elder solorzano killed amalia haha. but it all turned out good and she was super happy and stoked about it all. shes such a funny little lady haha.
but that was the big event of the week, i hope you all enjoyed the story haha. also this past friday was my 4 month countdown day...super crazy thinking that i only have 4 months left to go. went by way to quick and in a few weeks im going to be completing 21 months....super wack. bueno pues i have to go now but before i go just wanna say i love you all and that i miss you all tons too, have a great week and talk to you all soon!
with much love from mexico,
so even though this past week we were hardly in our area to work we ended up having some really great experiences. on thursday when we got back we went to the house of our one investigator whos baptismal date is for the upcoming 7th of september and much to our surprise her sister answered the door and told us that she no longer wanted anything to do with us and that she had decided that she no longer wanted to get baptized. we were pretty taken back because she was progressing really well and she seemed really excited and determined for her baptism and it was definitely something that we didnt see coming.
and so we talked to her sister for a little (her sister is already a member) and we helped her to keep up the hope while we struggling to keep the hope ourselves haha. but in the end of it we decided to keep praying for her and to also do a fast and that we were going to keep stopping by to try and talk with her. and so we stopped by again on friday and saturday and we saw the same results that she was set on the decision she had made and didnt want anything to do with us and her sister told us to just let her be because this is the fourth time the missionaries have tried with her and better to just hope and pray that shell accept the gospel in the next life. and so not gonna lie but we were pretty bummed about the whole deal because we had put alot of effort and prayers in helping her progress to just end up having results like the ones we did.
however the Lord has his ways of doing things and teaching us lessons, and much to our surprise when we showed up to church on sunday, there she was with her sister. we went up and talked with her and she told us that she had good news and that she had changed her mind and that she wanted to get baptized on saturday. we were way pumped to hear this and we couldnt help but thank the Lord for having listened and answered our prayers, and having seen our efforts to help this daughter of God. we stopped by with her last night to teach her, and had a way awesome lesson with her, one of the best lessons weve had for a long time and the Spirit was just super powerful and felt by all in the room. made me happy to be a missionary, and especially for my decision to stay more time and continue having great experiences like this one.
also this past week an hermano in our ward took us to meet a friend of his whos boyfriend was killed by narcos a few weeks ago. it was way cool to see another example of how the Lord knows each and every one of his children and their needs and how he answers and hears all of our prayers. in the visit with this young lady after talking with her for a little she told us how exactly the day before she had said that she was crying and just fed up with the sadness and wishing that something or someone to help her feel more calm and peace in her life and then to her surprise there we were in this moment with her and it was a pretty cool experience also.
and so after finishing talking with her we invited her to offer a prayer, and i swear one of the most spiritual and best moments that a missionary and any other person can experience, is hearing the first heartfelt prayer of a child of God talking with our Heavenly Father and feeling his love and presence. its something that doesnt have words to describe it and is something that keeps me loving the mission and not wanting to go home haha even though ive got little time left im excited and looking forward to all the great opportunities that lie ahead in my mission. it was pretty crazy for me to complete 20 months this past wednesday, its mind blowing how fast time goes time and to all the other missionaries out there and all the youth preparing to serve, my advice is that you just give it your all and live everyday like its your last because before you know it its all over. serving a mission is the best thing any person could ever do, and it so exciting hearing all the great news of everything thats happening back home.
i love you all and keep up the great work. i miss you all tons but dont worry im enjoying myself and soon enough ill be back ther with you all. take care and have a great week!
with much love from mexico,
p.s. congrats connor for sending your papers in this week!! i love you bro!!
so this last week was pretty eventful, things are starting to get back into the groove in terms of having interesting things to write you all in my weekly emails haha. once again this past week i found myself with a foot doctor to get my third and hopefully last ingrown toenail removed. id had it for 2 months now and it was killing me so i had to go in and go through the whole process again. it wasnt very fun haha but this time they didnt throw away the ingrown toenail and i asked for it to keep it as a reminder of the mission haha. but all is good now and my toe is better so no worries.
also our investigator is progressing really well, were getting her ready for her baptism the 7th of september, and shes a really rad old lady haha. totally old school. also this past week we had planned to do an open house in our chapel, and wed been planning it for like 3 weeks and inviting everyone we knew, and basically we were just really stoked about it all. and about 15 minutes before we started the open house, it just starting raining suuuuuper hard core, and it was like crap, this isnt good haha but we tried to stay positive and think no worries in a few minutes its going to pass, but nope haha it kept raining and raining and the streets all flooded and everyone we called to remind of the activity was basically just like you guys are crazy were not going to be able to make it, so it was kind of a bummer that it totally fell through but its all good because were planning on doing another one soon and this time were going to check the weather report before hand haha.
also this week is leadership councils again so were going to be traveling to guadalajara for vacations haha im excited because elder garcia was invited to attend and so im going to be able to see him there so thats exciting. also its going to be the last council with all the zone leader buddies because alot of them are going to be getting reassinged in these upcoming changes. also as of right now elder turner and i are the only elders that are staying till january, the rest of the elders from my generation are going in november. its going to be a bummer not being with them at the end of it all, but its all good because its going to be worth it to stay. i hope all is well back home and that you all are doing well. take care and ill be talking to you next week!
with much love from mexico,
so for the first time in awhile im super stoked to write today because i have some pretty cool stuff to tell you all, i had a really great week. so last monday till wednesday i was on divisions with elder payne, my homie from the bay area, whos one of the asistents here in michoacan. and we totally killed it together, in the time we were together we found a family of 9 people that are just super rad.
so what happened was this lady contacted them in the street monday morning telling them to go visit her son because hes a drug addict and she wanted them to try and help them. so me and elder payne went that night to go try and find the son, and sure enough as we show up to the house there he is chilling outside and so we go up and talk to him and he was trying to get us to leave haha but we just kept making small talk with him and anyways after about like 10 mins of being outside talking with him someone from inside his house invites us to come in and so we take the iniciative and just walk right in haha and so we sit down and start talking down with him and then the mom shows up and so we start talking to her for a little and the dad shows up and so we start talking to them and we shared a message with them and it was just way spiritual, the family has a lot of problems unfortunately, but the good part is that the gospel is going to help them out a bunch.
and so anyways as we were wrapping up the lesson they invited us over to eat the following day and so we agreed and we also invited them to invite family and friends to join us for the lesson the next day. and so anyways we show up the next day we eat with them and it just so happened to be the birthday of one of the grandkids so the whole family was there and so we took advantage of the occasion and invited everyone to listen and they all ended up really liking what we shared and the elders are still teaching them and theyre progressing really well. it reminded me of my days in apatzingan when we would stand up on milk crates to give lessons to groups of like 20 people. so ya it was a pretty cool experience for me.
and then we had some other way cool experiences that we had this past weekend passed in our own area. so the first is that this one sister introduced us to her sister who was going to get baptized before but never did because her son chased the missionaries away, but anways her son has since calmed down and is less hostile and so weve been teaching her and shes progressing well and were preparing her to get baptized in september. shes a cute little old lady that like to make alot of jokes so its a good time going and visitng her haha. the other was this family of less actives that weve visiting for about 2 months now came to church this last sunday for the first time in over 2 years! so it way awesome to see them there together as a family and especially because after church we went and visited them and hearing them share their testimonies of the church and how they felt coming back to the church after so much time was really motivating experience for me.
as you all know this past week i had to make the decision of whether to go home in november or january...and well yeah it was a pretty hard decision not gonna lie. but i put alot of thinking prayer and fasting in practice in order to help me find out what to do and well i got my answer and i know its know what you all want but its what i feel is the correct thing to do and so ive decided to stay till january. sorry for disappointing anybody who was hoping that id come home in november but i hope that youll understand and not hold it against me haha. but no worries because january will be here quicker than you know it and there will be many other thanksgivings, christmas, and new years to spend with you all. i love you all and miss you tons. take care and have a great week and ill be seeing you all soon.
with much love from mexico,
so this email might be a little short because i was a little bit busy doing some other things so sorry beforehand. its because the secretaries have been calling me because they need to know when i want to go home...i have to choose between november and january...so my mind has been absorbed in that and i totally forgot to write out an email haha.
but everything was pretty relaxed this past week. my best friend here in acueducto went to the temple this last weekend and did his endowments...so that was way cool. hes the one that is going to start the mexican restaurant with me in california, hes already bought his plane tickets to go haha so he is way cool and i seriously love the guy, i'm excited for you all to be able to meet him. we had a way cool experience this past week though but i'll have to tell it to you all about it next week because i ran out of time. also next week i'll be letting you all know when i'm coming home. have a good week, love you all and take care till next time!
with much love from mexico,
so sorry that my email is getting to you all a week late, ive been in the hospital for the past two days with my companion and right now ill explain the whole story.
so saturday night my companion started to feel alot of pain in his lower back, but didnt make anything of it and decided to just go to bed and try and sleep it off. and so anyways the next morning he wakes up and he cant move without feeling sharp pain in his lower back. so after waiting a while to see if the pain would go away we called up the mission presidents wife to see what we should do about it. she told us to go immediately to the hospital, because at best it had something to do with his kidneys.
so we head to the hospital and we see the doctor and they do some tests to see whats up with him and they end up just hurting him more haha and so they decide to give him some horse tranquilizers to take away the pain, and so they stick a needle in his butt and tell him that if the shot doesnt help take away his pain that theyre going to take him into emergenicies. and so we waited for about a half hour in the office and he was still in a bunch of pain, so they took him into emergencies and hooked him up with an IV and just started injecting him with a bunch of pain killers.
we lasted about 2 hrs waiting there till the trauma doctor showed up and starting seeing what was up with my companion, sent him to go get xrays taken and in the end of it all came to the conclusion that the muscles in his lower back were extremely inflamed and that it was pinching nerves and doing stuff like that. so they gave him some more injections of muscle relaxants and told us that my we were going to spending the night there in the hospital until the muscles disinflated. and so anyways just barely yesterday at about 730 they released us after being there since 10 oclock sunday morning. the experience increased my dislike of hospitals haha. but so ya that was the story behind the reason for why i didnt write yesterday.
apart from that experience though we had a pretty laid back week. on tuesday and wednesday we were in guadalajara for the monthly leadership councils, so we got a little bit of vacation time in haha. and then also on friday we had a zone conference and president decided to make a surprise visit to the meeting and make sure that we were doing it correctly, most of the elders were a little freaked out but ive learned in the mission to just keep it cool and like always everything turned out perfectly and he told us that he really liked it. so that was good.
this week also is going to be hectic because president is coming to do interviews with the zone and meetings with the stake leaders and so all day today and tomorrow were going to be busy helping with the interviews and in meetings. woohoo. crazy how another month is in the books and were now starting up august, its crazy how fast time is just flying by. i hope youre all well and that youre enjoying your last couple of weeks of summer vacation, take care and i love you all tons and very thankful for all the support and prayers. have a great week!
with much love from mexico,