Spencer Michael Henze served a 2 year, full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the people of Oaxaca, Mexico (pronounced wa-ha-ka). This is the week-by-week account of his service. Elder Henze returned with honor March 21, 2012.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Holy cow I just realized this is my christmas email to you all! cooooool :) so MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!! haha. I´m sending out a few christmas cards this week but they´ll probably get there around february... Its the thought that counts right? the reason they´re so late is because we had zone conference wednesday and thats when they gave them to us so i´ve been writing and getting them ready to send as fast as possible.
so ya, this week has been pretty good. monday we started out the week with me chillin with the zone leaders (which is where i think I left off with the last letter) then that evening after writing you all we went down to the street to the mall thats in their area and ate Chinese food!!! it was kinda like a panda express type of thing which was awesome because I love panda express. then we went over to the temple and helped set up for the activity. I felt cool cuz the only other people there were the prez and his wife, the APs, Zone Leaders, and the people from the offices. and me :) so i felt legit for a little bit. we set up about a thousand chairs and some food action for the choir from the mormon high school from mexico city that was going to come sing, then my ¨kid¨ showed up! thats what they call the comps you train. its kinda dumb but thats how it is. so ya, he showed up in a green tie (hehe) and the first thing we did together was we were given invitations to go hand out at the grocery store right down the street. so we got to do our first contacting! it went well but the poor dude was nervous. so then the program started and it went well but when we sang the sound and lights guys were still testing stuff so it was kind of a joke. oh well. the other choir did well though. afterwards we got all my comps stuff and cruised back to the house in a taxi where I had a super conversation with the driver.
anyway the rest of the week went well. I didn´t really know what I was doing, especially the first couple days, but now I feel like I´ve got a little bit more of a handle on things. there is soooo much more to think about and remember being a senior comp. holy cow. especially as a trainer because I dont have much help from my comp cuz he doesn´t know anything. even though he thinks he knows everything. haha. its fun. I´ve definitely made a lot of mistakes this week with over-planning things, not thinking through some things as thoroughly as I should have, and just dumb little things like that but I´m getting better. on top of having to do all that I have to do it all in spanish which adds a little extra challenge in there. and trying to interpret directions to references has been tough too. they´re always so vague and they never know the street names. its ok though. it just gives us an excuse to have them come with us when we contact them.
my comp though is suuuuper green. its pretty entertaining. I feel kinda bad for him but he´s smart and he´s learning fast. he likes to teach random super deep doctrines in the first lesson with someone and ask and answer rhetorical questions while he teaches, but he´s getting better.
then wednesday was zone conference! it was sick! first we had our training from the prez but then we had like a game day! super fun. I´ve officially lost my running muscles just walking everywhere. I was made aware of that as I attempted to sprint around. afterwards we had a dinner thing with turkey, mashed potatoes (which are very rare here), bread, and spaghetti. and chocolate cake for dinner. yummmm! then this weekend we had two choir performances in different stake centers. one on saturday and one yesterday (sunday). my solo went really well the second time. the first time was alright, but ya. so that pretty much takes us to today!
the work is going good. we still haven´t baptized Hugo because of his eye but they operated on it on friday so we re set the date with him for this sunday and he happily accepted! other than that just findin and teachin.
well I´ve gotta go, but I love you all and hope you have a very merry christmas!!!! and a happy new year too!!!
Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, December 13, 2010


Hey everyone!
I´m still doing well here in good ol Oaxaca Mexico. things are rolling along well and I´m healthy and happy :) so this week is the beginning of a new change! all the last 3 weeks they were telling us there weren´t going to be changes this time because of the choir thing and whatever else, but that was only true for most of the mission. I received a change though! Elder Alcantar got sent to Juchitan which is over by the coast somewhere and i´m going to be training a greenie! His name is Elder Martinez (odd name for a Mexican... haha) and he is getting situated with paperwork right now in the offices and they´re gonna send him to me in my same area Antequera sometime tonight or tomorrow morning. I´m pumped but equally nervous. I don´t really feel ready to be training right now but apparently the Lord thinks I am so I´m just gonna put my trust in him and do my best and see what we can get accomplished! So thats my big news for this week! I always knew I´d be training at some point in the mission but I had no idea it would be this soon! It should be cool though. I´m just gonna set the best example for him that I can and teach him everything I know and help him to get a good jumpstart in his mission. we´ve got a baptism coming up soon depending on the health of Hugo. He´s pumped to get baptized but the poor guy is having all kinds of health troubles. no doubt Satan is capitalizing on his situation to make it harder for him. but thats how it goes. He´ll follow through I know it. other than that we´ve got 4 others on date but we´re going to have to put new dates because they wont come to church! oh well. patience.

I was able to learn a lot from my change with Alcantar. He had some strengths that I was able to learn from and dealing with his weaknesses with the help of the lord helped me shave off a few of my rougher edges. I´m a better person because of the time I spent being his companion. The mission is extremely unique in that you can learn SOO much in so little time. its like intensive training for life. I´m learning more about myself, the world, the gospel, relationships, and all kinds of other skills that would be hard to acquire without an experience like this. and all the while i´m able to bring other people to the path to salvation. I´m definitely grateful for this opportunity. I know the Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the most important book for us that exists. God is our father and has a plan for all of us and thanks to Christ that plan can now be realized. It´s our responsibility to do our part though, and if we do our Heavenly Father has promised us Eternal Live. not just living forever, but living in his presence and experiencing more happiness and peace than we can even begin to imagine here.

one example I like to use to help people prioritize a little more is that if someone wants a car, what are they willing to do to get it? many dedicate the better part of their lives to a job for a time and live without certain things that hold them back from achieving their goal, and on and on. well, if they´re so willing to do all that for a car that only brings a few years of cheap happiness and someday will return to be dust, how much more should we devote our lives around the teachings of the gospel and strive to achieve Eternal Life with the Father and our families which is true happiness and never ends... I think if people only knew what they were throwing away every time the distance themselves from God there would be a LOT less crap in the world and a LOT more valiant people. unfortunately that takes away the need for faith and in result takes away our agency a bit which God will never do so the general public will never see that there´s more beyond what the material world has to offer. I´d like to invite you all to try to imagine the celestial kingdom as vividly as possible. when we have a vision in mind it is worlds easier to focus on achieving goals.

anyways, I gotta go but I hope you all are doing GREAT! I wish you all a very merry Christmas season!

Elder Spencer Henze

Christmas tree (below)

(pic above) "Apparently right now is the fiesta of the virgin Juquila. they make giant paper mache people and walk around in parades with marching bands who were never trained in music and women carrying flowers with really concerned looks on their faces. then there's always the mezcal man who cruises around the parade distributing mezcal (extremely strong tequila) to underage people. and sometimes they hand out sandwiches." -Elder Henze

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Carried Away in the Spirit"

Its Monday again! sweet. well, not a ton to report this week as far as progress. Hugo had a doctors appt for his eye during the exact hours of church and was at the doctor every day last week when we tried to visit him so we will hopefully be able to baptize him this week, but we´ll see. then the caballeros, they´re the ones who want to know everything before getting baptized, we just need to help them to feel the spirit more and hope and have faith that they´ll soon want to get baptized. Other than that we´ve been contacting a lot but with no success. my companion really likes to visit his recent converts and teach them all sorts of stuff, but its starting to feel like a bit of a pretext to do nothing. they already know everything we have to teach them and we´re just making up lessons now which is kinda irritating cuz when I talk to him about it he just gets all defensive and gives me this spiel about how he doesn´t want his converts to fall away.

Recently, I had a super cool teaching opportunity. I testified with all my soul in the power of the spirit to the husband of the caballero lady when he was trying to make us look stupid in front of his wife and daughter who are the ones who will most likely get baptized and put doubts about us in their minds. I was able to share some really cool things with him that came to me from the spirit. I was speaking Spanish impressively well too. I´m positive what happened was that the spirit was talking to him through me. It felt like only a couple of other experiences I´ve had so far in the mission. The best way I can think of to describe it is like when Alma said a few times he was ¨carried away by the spirit¨ or something like that. So I guess it was important that I did that. I don´t have time to look up the actual words but hopefully you know what i´m talking about. its so cool. sometimes being a missionary just flat out sucks, but its times like those that I live for here. I can´t really control when the spirit decides to speak through me like that but when It does its kinda like literally being an angel. super cool.

Here's another random experience for ya, yesterday as we were contacting this street, a mototaxi comes flying towards us (dirt road) at like 40 bouncing over all the bumps and stuff then decides it would be hilarious to throw dirt all over us so he swings wide and turns the wheel and hits the brakes in order to fishtail the back end about 3 feet away from us and cover us with dirt. well, he was successful, but then crashed into a big pile of dirt directly afterwards. haha. booyah. We just kept on contacting.

I want to share a spiritual thought with you all cuz i haven´t done that since the MTC. this is something i´ve been sharing with everybody that I can lately. its super simple but important.
in 2 Nephi 9 Nephi does a great job of explaining to us why the atonement is important. The most important thing that has ever occurred in the history of us. a lot of people loose sight or never know what it is exactly that Christ saved us from. I don´t have time to explain it right now but you can find it in 2 Nephi 9 vs. 8 & 9. then it talks about how Christ gave us a way to escape from this terrible fate because of the mercy and pure love that God and his son Jesus Christ have for us. see vs. 10, 11, 12, 13 then more about the specifics of the resurrection in 14 and on. anyways i´m out of time but I hope you all can give this some thought! I love you all! thank you so much for all your support.
Elder Spencer Henze

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guess who's back???

sup y´all?
Sorry i skipped a week. things have been good out here for the most part. we´ve got three people that might get baptized. one for sure. the other two had a run in with the Jehovah's witnesses before meeting the missionaries and after being with the j dubbs for a while and learning more of their doctrines they got disillusioned and left them. so then came the first missionaries and started teaching them but they`ve had all kinds of doubts and have been investigators for a two changes now and we have been able to answer all their questions but they`re still worried that they´re going to find out something about the church that will disillusion them and they don´t want to get baptized just to leave the church later on like they did with the j dubbs. so they want to know absolutely everything before getting baptized. I have explained to them on like three separate occasions that the important thing is to gain a testimony of the restoration through study and prayer most importantly and then when they have that testimony they can be sure that all the things that came from it are from god and they can trust in it. also that there´s tons to learn and it would take a lifetime to learn everything. but thats not enough for them. so we´ll see if they´ll take the leap of faith. i hope they do and we´ve been praying and fasting for them but after all, it´s their choice. then theres Hugo who´s super cool. the only reason we haven´t been able to baptize him yet is because he´s had a major problem with his eye directly after we started teaching him and hasn´t been able to make it to church and theres a rule that they have to go to church three times before we can baptize them. he accepted a baptismal date with all kinds of excitement the very first lesson. it was sweet! other then that we have just been pounding doors and bothering the members for references with very little success.

last week Saturday night at about 9 the bishop called us and says ¨Elders! you´re gonna speak in sacrament meeting tomorrow, that cool?¨ so we were like ¨oh heck ya bishop, thank you for the incredible notice!¨ so I wrote my talk Sunday morning in about an hour. it was more like notes. it was actually extremely easy and the topics that me and my comp picked went super well together and the bishop spoke too and his topic was along the same lines too. it was cool. it reminded me of how the people who speak in general conference don´t collaborate their topics but they always work together. I was really nervous when I got up to speak because it was my first talk in Spanish! It went extremely well I felt. I talked about pride and charity.

also, we merited an invitation to sing in the missionary choir on the 13th in front of the temple so we´ve been going to those practices and its been going really well! i´ve missed singing in a choir. It´s really made me miss and appreciate the opportunity I had to sing with the borah choir when i went there because its much more cool when all the members of the choir can actually stay on key and read music. however, i´m enjoying it :) also, The dude directing the choir who´s in charge of the whole thing (Elder Morris) invited me (and only me) up to try out for this huge solo that goes for almost the whole song in one of the songs we´re gonna sing. I was freaked out cuz 1. i have never sang a solo before in a choir cuz i didn´t ever want to, 2. we had never sang the song before and I had no idea how the solo went, then 3. morris informs me when I get up there that I was not going to be accompanied by the piano during the tryout. sweet. I had no clue where to start so he started with me but dropped out after a few lines and I was left singing completely acapella in front of about 50 missionaries a very high tenor solo and I am not a tenor. I am a baritone or bass. however, somehow everything came out really well! I got a ton of compliments afterwards and it made me feel really good :) then the next practice Morris decided to add another song (angels we have heard on high but in spanish) and he has me stand up as we´re starting and says ¨alright Elder Henze, you´re gonna sing verse one of Angels we have... in english solo¨ I was like, ¨...k¨ and I did it. I´m not sure if I´m going to be the soloist for the concert, but as far as the practices go i´ve been dubbed the designated soloist! Its been way cool! sorry if that sounds like I´m bragging, but for real, this is a big thing for me because being a soloist in a choir has always been one of my biggest fears. partly because I was afraid to try out for fear of being rejected and because singing solo in front of people has always been a huge fear. so being not just accepted, but chosen has been super cool for me. and the compliments have helped me a lot with my confidence in singing. so it´s like a mountain in my life that I´m conquering so thats why I wanted to share it with you all.

anyways! thats about all i´ve got to report! I can´t believe its almost Christmas. passing Christmas here is going to be super weird because the weather here is still in the mid to high 80s every day with lots of sun. I miss the snow a lot. and the cold believe it or not, but i´m enjoying the different stuff here. its cool. also happy thanksgiving to everyone! i totally forgot about thanksgiving until I showed up to the choir practice that morning and all the Americans were like ¨happy thanksgiving dude!¨ very strange.
alright well, I love you all! thanks for taking the time to read this! It means a lot to me. hasta luego!

Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

I chose to name this email after the current date because that is a common practice here in Oaxaca. If nobody is creative enough to come up with a name for their establishment they name it after either the date it was established, or a famous date in history, or sometimes article numbers of their constitution. cool huh? haha for instance our street name is Articulo 123. no clue what that article says, but thats the name

alright well this week was good. pretty slow because my companion is coasting on his awesomeness from baptizing 7 last change and all he wants to do is visit them. the drive to work usually has to come from my end which is slightly difficult to provide all day every day. but we march forward. the people in this area are for the most part friendly but very firm in their Catholicism. we do lots of contacting and they like to give us return appointments for the exact times in which they will be gone. I´m receiving many lessons in patience. I´m actually pretty used to that happening with contacts but its especially lame here because we don´t have many options for transportation here. we have to walk everywhere and the area is absolutely huge. I would guess 5 miles in length or more. my shoes are holding up well but man does it feel good at the end of the day to take a break. It´s a little frustrating to expend so much energy in the hot sun day after day and have so little success but we just have to keep faith that we´ll have success if we keep going.

so this period of time seems to be passing ridiculously slow I think because the seasons have remained practically the same. the normal daily weather here is about 80 something degrees in the day time with very strong sun and reasonable temperatures in the night time. randomly it gets down to like 40 in the night but lately no. don´t worry though I´ve got everything I need to keep warm. I scored 3 mexi blankets for like $8 and have sweaters and underarmor. I stay very comfortable :)

the water is still pretty ugly and causing me to lose hair, but its ok. I can draw it straight from the systern for things if I need it to be more clean. still not great, but better.
k well, again, super short on time. I send my love!

Elder Spencer Henze

the first is our new christmas tree we scored from the field in front of the house.
the second is me and my airplane. sweet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tengo gozo en mi alma hoy!

I´m definitely running out of ways to start my emails. my journal entries too. they all start with ¨today¨ or something like that. it looks quite communistic. (monty python:¨get on with it!!!!¨) ok.
SO, this week was well... mas o menos. it started out cool cuz we were going to baptize 3 niños but after filling up the font on wednesday they changed their minds because their dad who doesn´t even live with them anymore told them that if they got baptized it would ruin everything and said some other stuff to threaten them like that he wouldn´t come visit them anymore and stuff like that. frankly i don´t think that would be a bad thing. he sounds like quite the tool. so ya, niños have very limited capacity to understand things that don´t have dramatic effects immediately in their lives (ha, lots of adults too for that matter... especially in Oax) like eternal salvation. they don´t realize that they are ditching this opportunity to enter the gate to the path to the Celestial kingdom for a dad that abandoned them... anyway, so they didn´t get baptized, so this week we´ve just been looking for new investigators and teaching recent converts. its been pretty slow but i´ve gotten to meet some cool new people. well, my comps freaking out cuz we´re gonna be like 1 minute late for our district meeting so thats all i get to write this week. I love you all and thank you so much for your emails and support. Hasta la proxima!
Elder Spencer Henze

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hey Hey Hey, its me!

well my last week in the ward/area called Violetas has officially come to a close. I bit of a disappointing close, but not too bad. The beginning of the week was filled with contacting and teaching trying to finish the change off strong and the end was well, here´s what happened.

so we had an appointment set with Irma´s friend that she brought to church the sunday before (10/24) to teach her at the church friday night and Irma was going to come. so we go and Irma shows up and we wait for her friend but she never showed up so we just talked to Irma and during the conversation we asked if she was all ready for the baptism the next day. now here´s a little background of saturday´s activities leading up to this point: spent the morning designing and printing a program for her baptism so it was special, visiting members to ask them if they could participate in the baptism by bearing testimony, sharing messages, and so forth, and visiting a bunch of other members to invite them to the baptism because it was not announced the week before in church. thats about it. now, upon asking this question she replied ¨about that... I´ve decided I want to go home to veracruz this weekend to tell my parents about the baptism so I was hoping we could move it to next week.¨ now yes, telling your parents you´re going to get baptized is a good thing to do and we´d already talked about what she wanted to do about that and she told us she was just going to get baptized and tell her parents later on. I didn´t think this was the best solution, but she´s 21 so she can do what she wants. so we were going off of that reply all week but then the day before the baptism she changed her mind and didn´t tell us until after we had just spent the whole day preparing everything. really it wasnt a big problem to postpone the ´tism a week because she is still going to get baptized, but it kinda sucked for me because I was really excited to be able to be a part of it. she´s way cool and it would have been awesome but of course changes fell between then and the next week so I won´t be able to see it. its all good though. the important thing is that she´s going to get baptized still.

so, here I am in my new area! I spent a good part of the night packing because we were booked with appointments until that night. somehow every time I pack I have 25% more stuff than before. i don´t understand it. luckily i didn´t have to take it far though. My new area is called Antequera and is about 15 minutes away from my last one. still in the city. my new companion´s name is Elder Alcantar and he seems pretty cool so far. he´s another young bugger and he´s quite confident in himself, but thats a good thing if its not taken to an extreme. I feel a bit like I did when I first got to Violetas but i´m sure i´ll get accustomed faster than over there. the house is pretty cool. we´ve got an ity bity front and back yard, the house is 2 stories and 4 of us live there. its in much better condition than the Violetas house. the only problems i´ve noticed so far is 1, the water is terribly disgusting. literally comes out brown. 2, there are no cupboards for my food and pills, and 3, there is no trash can. oh well. its a great place though. I´m pretty excited to see what we can accomplish here. the last change absolutely FLEW by. Each day seemed super long but the weeks passed super fast.

well, thats the update! as always I miss everyone back home and I hope you are doing great! and just in case you were wondering if those basket bikes from Nacho Libre really exist, they do. and yes, they´re common.

until next week....

Elder Spencer Henze

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

lay down on your carpet in your air conditioned house

Supskis??? just droppin by with the report from good ol Oaxaca Mexico. its been a good week. not too much in the way of success but we´re working hard and thats all that matters. (i have to tell myself that every day trying to fight being discouraged) HOWEVER, looks like we´re gonna see another baptism on the 30! heck yes! yes, its Irma. you might be thinking ¨um... we already knew she was going to get baptized from your last letter.¨ well ya, but a lot of times crap happens and they don´t end up following through with it. BUT, she´s already got her interview done and everything!!! she´s pumped. I think i´m even more pumped though. so that´ll be 2 for this transfer and 3 in total. I think i´m gonna get to perform the ordinance too so that´ll another booyah. hopefully this time I get it right the first time :)

So, a funny story that happened this week while contacting was that we hiked up this trail thing to this ...dwelling and shouted ¨buenas tardes!!¨ and a lady came to the ¨door¨ and had a unique attitude. i don´t quite know how to explain it but it was like an adult with the mentality of a 10 yr old but only because she was an indigenous person who barely spoke Spanish and didn´t know anything about the culture of normal people so ya, she was kinda seeming scared of us a bit and a little irritated. i dont know... anyways we started talking to her and after some small talk we started talking about religion and Elder Tolentino started with his lesson 2 ¨teaser¨ which consists of questions like ¨have you ever wondered where you lived before this life? or why you´re here? or where you´re gonna go after you die?¨ well the answer to the first two were ¨...no¨ and the answer to the third was said with a slightly hopeless/whyd you have to bring that up type of tone. her words were: ¨well we all go to hell no?¨ I almost couldn´t keep myself from laughing out loud. i don´t know, this is probably one of those ¨you had to be there¨ stories but i was definitely not expecting that. it was great :)

in other news, the pintor family finally came to church this week!!! remember them? can you believe it? I was pumped. they always say ¨they´ll try¨ but this time they actually came! now all they need to do is find a way to get back to the united states to get married again... haha.
well like the subject line of this email says, this is the beginning of week six of the change. that means most likely i´ll be packin´my bags and heading for a new area. i don´t know if i´m excited or scared to be honest... i´ve gotten somewhat comfortable here and we just barely got a bishop yesterday. the dude´s cool too. he´s been a mission prez, temple prez, and bishop before. so he knows his stuff. I kind of feel bad for the poor guy that he has to serve more but he accepted the calling like a champ even though he´s got to be like 80 and has a ton of work to do to clean up the ward. a life of service...

alrighty, well thats about all i´ve got time for today. thank you all for the messages and letters you´ve sent me! and the packages! I absolutely love them. mom, the apples were super awesome but unfortunately a bit rotten but its the thought that counts! the candy has been terrific though. I had a good time with the nerd costume too as you´ll soon see in pics and a couple videos :) oh also if you would all do me a favor and lay down on your carpet in your air conditioned house for a few minutes in my behalf. those things don´t exist here...
until next week,

Elder Spencer Henze

ps. attached are some pics. the first is from the baptism last week. the others are some samples of my nerd costume

*You guys know the drill! Click the pics to see them larger! - Jamie*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It´s me again! another week further into the mish and reporting the findings! haha. like a scientist or something. anyways, that was random. this week went really well. I know I say that almost every week, but for reals it was legit. It started off kinda slow cuz we had to drop some investigators and contact a lot, but we had a streak of good fortune towards the end! so turns out José got baptized this past Saturday and it was a huge hit! literally almost the entire ward showed up. so cool.

Elder Tolentino and I were there practically all day getting ready for the baptism cleaning, figuring stuff out with the water, getting all the keys we needed to get out the TV and stuff, and some more cleaning. the font takes about 3.5 hours to fill so during the wait we cleaned the entire baptism room really really well cuz it was a mess then continued on to clean the bathroom cuz i´m pretty sure nobody ever cleans it, then the hallway, and then I saw the womens bathroom... holy crap! it was horrendous. for the interest of any food you might have just eaten i´m going to spare you the details, but wow... I couldn´t believe it. so out of respect for the church building and the poor women who had to deal with that I cleaned it thoroughly. It felt nice to have been able to make such a huge improvement in only a couple hours.
so ya, like I said we were there all day getting ready and making sure everything was going to go smoothly and it did. it was perfect. Very cool.

also we got a golden reference from the same family that introduced us to Adrian. during lesson one while I was explaining how it was important to be baptized the same way as christ with the authority and immersion and how during the great apostasy they changed the ordinances and stuff and she realized that her baptism wasn´t legit so she interrupted us and said, ¨so if I wanted to get baptized in this church what would I have to do?¨ then explained cuz she already got baptized in the catholic church and was worried that would be a problem so we were like... wait, are you asking to be baptized? so we explained what the significance of baptism is and that really all you need is a desire to make a covenant with God to keep his commandments. then gave the example from Amos 8 where the dude got baptized with only having faith and a desire. then we invited her to be baptized the 30th and she said yes! how cool is that??? so hopefully everything works out with her. we taught her lesson 2 Saturday too. super awesome.

AND one of our investigators who we halfway dropped showed up to church all by himself! so we taught him the word of wisdom during Sunday school haha. hopefully he comes back :) so ya, the end of the week was awesome.
well thats the report from this week. no super cool stories to tell but definitely exciting stuff for me. I thank you all for your prayers and support like always and hope this letter finds well every one of you who reads it. have a great week!

Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Week in Mexico Land

Hey y´all! as always thanks for the sweet emails! unfortunately the computer i´m using is a pile of trash and consumed all of my time loading simple email pages so i have hardly any time to write today. oh the joys. however, it DOES have a card reader! so I could send you some pics. this week has been good. lots of visiting people, sharing messages, trying to get them to come to church, asking for references, and contacting. we found some new investigators but none that you could call goldens. but this week for sure! we also are going to baptize the husband of one of our most faithful members of the ward so that will be a huge blessing for her family so i´m excited for that. that´ll be this saturday the 16th and the 24th we get a bishop! score. alright well thats about all i´ve got time for today. I love you all and thank you for all your support. Adios!
Elder Spencer Henze
New pics!

(below) reading the super long banner/poster/letter
we (us & the Harefeld side of the family)
made for him at our family reunion this summer.

>from today's emails to Jamie & Cory:
"things are going pretty good here in mexico land. just trying to stay away from the police that cruze around in the backs of trucks with m-16s and trying to snap pics incognido...ly and becoming a professional at dealing with being lied to, laughed at, and disrespected all day. sundays are cool though cuz its like being a celebrity in the ward. its not all bad though we´ve definitely got a baptism this weekend! saturday the 16th that is. I´m really excited for this one cuz its the husband of a sister in the ward that has been a member for more than 10 years without hope of having an eternal family because her husband was an alcoholic but he decided to change his life and after a few lessons with us he decided that what we taught him was good and decided to get baptized! he´s really enthusiastic. i'll send pics."

" theres a few things id like to share with you about mexico. well, oaxaca. 1) it is not uncommon to see an entire family cruzing around on one small motorcycle. "hey kids who wants to go to the centro?!" "I do I do!!!!!" "alright lets hop on the moto and go!" all the way there the little 6 year old is floppin around on the back trying to keep his feet out of the chain... its a funny pic. 2) if you were wondering what the little mexi youths are bumpin to its called panamericano. search it. the music video should be like an old school movie style. I tried to find a link but this computer blows and i dont have time to deal with it. also the style is similar to what kids wore in the US about 10 years ago. mixed with some later trends that dont work together. 3) there are no laws on the roads. if it goes, you can drive it. even if it paints the air black."

"dude Cor- heres a link to that song. this is officially the most popular song in Oaxaca. just imagine a bunch of cars driving by with mexican youth inside bumpin to this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yvjPBMsKqk (below) its about american bread... also i wanted to tell you that the main types of music here are either straight up techno or old school mexi stuff you hear on the spanish channel. anyways. later."

Monday, October 4, 2010

I saved my comp's life that day...

hello again everyone!

let me just start off by saying for those of you who might be wondering about how all the flooding and stuff has impacted me, rest easy. a lot of the coast flooded badly and some parts of the city less than 10 miles away from me but my area has been pretty safe and normal. i´ve been very lucky.

so anyways this week has been pretty slow, but good. we officially have two people who are progressing. i´m not sure whats in the air keeping the other slew of people from doing extremely simple tasks are important to their eternal salvation, but i guess its just a lot harder than it seems. haha i dunno. we contacted a bunch this week and picked up a couple new potentials but nothing super promising.
Elder Tolentino tells me this is the most difficult area he´s been in and he´s now got more than a year so I guess I have only up to go from here! we´ve been working hard though and becoming more unified. its been good.

I´m finding that each companion I have has just a few little things that drive me crazy kinda like almost every past girl i´ve dated (except for the one who might be reading this right now of course :) ) haha but just like them there's always much more good than bad and if I just focus on the good and ask for help from the lord to have patience and let those little things that bug me just roll off, everything is good and we can move on and strengthen.

this has been a great opportunity to learn how to develop relationships with people. I always had a little fear that I would never find a wife that didn´t have any of those little things that bugged me, and i´m pretty sure that's true because that's not logical to expect, but what gives me hope is that I can overcome them with her just like i´m overcoming them with my companions. only it should be easier with her because I´ll have more deep love for her and stuff.

haha well anyway, conference! conference was legit I got to watch it in English! that was a score. i was kinda worried i might not get as much out of it if I had to watch in Spanish but there were enough of us Americans and random students there and stuff that they opened another room for the English people. the people here don´t have satellite tv or radios that get conference so they have to go to the stake center to watch it. so naturally the only well attended session was Sunday morning. haha. a lot of people think its just the same thing repeated 5 times so they don´t even know they´re missing anything. be grateful my friends that you are 50 years ahead of Oaxaca Mexico.

Oh another cool tidbit, while watching conference I was sitting next to Elder Forrest. he´s also my district leader. I don´t know if you remember, but last conference in April one of the talks talked about him and his story about having his dad die... Neil L. Anderson I believe. so that was cool.

also I had the unique opportunity to perform the life saving maneuver called the Heimlich maneuver on my companion the other day. he decided to breathe in some water and started choking hardcore and motioning to me that he couldn´t breathe and started panicking so I went up behind him on a very busy road and performed the Heimlich. He resumed breathing and after a 10 minute break or so everything was back to normal. that doesn´t happen every day! well there´s a lot more to tell you but i´m out of time. I love you all and will talk to you next week! read your scriptures and pray. keep your tree strong (see Alma 32)

E. Spencer Henze

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Great & Abominable

Hey everyone!

As always thank you so much for all your emails! if I didn´t reply I´m way sorry. I simply didn´t have time. I guess thats a good problem to have cuz it means a lot of people wrote me this week so i´m way happy!

so this week has been a TON of work. My new companion is named Elder Tolentino and he´s pretty cool. he´s a hard worker. we worked like crazy this week and i felt kinda like the senior companion cuz i had to plan pretty much everything and lead all week cuz he was new to the area.
i´m glad I started paying attention to where everything was when I was with Elder Black. it definitely helped things go smoother. I still don´t know the area like I probably should but I was way lost most of the time when I was with Castellanos. I just kinda followed him around. but now things are much better.

so ya, we worked up a storm and contacted like crazy but didn´t have a whole lot of success. only 2 people let us in to teach them (which are the first two of the mission so i guess thats success) and we have 2 progressing investigators. we had to drop most of the ones me and castellanos had cuz they stopped progressing about 2 weeks before the change ended. nobody showed up to sacrament meeting either. not even half the members. know why? cuz it was raining. So just in case you were wondering if the mormon culture was only in the US, nope. I don´t wanna see what happens when they change church to 9:00! haha its funny.
so i was pretty depressed during church but through prayer I was able to regain hope and motivation for this next week. so i´m feeling pretty good now. our ward is still a mess without a bishop and everyone´s getting more and more lazy. they´re gonna call a new bishop during ward conference and i´m pretty sure I know who its gonna be cuz there´s only one guy in the ward who is bishop material. i feel kinda bad for the guy cuz he´s already been a mission president and a temple president. it´ll be nice to have order in the ward again.

so i´m way short on time but I jsut want to say thank you mom for the packages and everyone who contributed to them! the poster was super awesome! I about died laughing at it all! all the stuff in the packages were awesome! i´ts awesome to have some quick healthy snacks cuz we´re constantly on the run. and thank you Thane for the power bars! they rock!

we had a sweet experience contacting this week. a lady answered the door of one of the houses and we gave our approach and talking and there was a dude in the house who was helping her try to bash with us and eventually when he saw that we were owning her (with calmness) he himself came out.
he was a tall dude and was saying stuff like i´m sorry bro but your prophet joseph smith is a fake and there are no other books than the bible. the bible is it. blah blah blah. the bible is my life. so we showed him a couple scriptures in Isaiah and Ezekiel where it talks about the Book of Mormon, explained what it was and where it came from and pretty much taught the whole lesson 1 right there.
his attitude went from defensive and almost violent to being filled with the spirit. it was so cool to see. It reminded me of a mini version of the King Lamoni story. at the end he was way interested and said our message had touched his heart.

I think this kind of thing would happen a lot more if the people here were actually looking for truth and not to associate themselves with the church of popularity and convenience. its sad that so many people are so fooled by the Great & Abomin... Church.
Its the biggest joke ever when the people say no I´ll never change my religion my parents were catholic and their parents and so on and that they´ll never change for anything. its a joke because if they knew some history they would know that the only reason the catholic church has anything to do with mexico is because the spanish conquered mexico and forced everyone to be catholic. if they didn´t accept Catholicism they were killed.
now if thats not a characteristic of the true church of Jesus Christ I don´t know what is. cus christ went around killing everyone who rejected him right? oh wait... actually thats kinda the oposite of the nature of Christ. haha.
also here in mexico the spanards changed things about the catholic church to adapt to the pegan customs of idols and stuff of the people they conquered to make it more convenient for them to change. its not even the same catholic church that is centered in rome... straight up apostacy.
its quite funny to see people so faithful to something like that. I can see why they are though. its a very easy religion. you can do whatever you want and if you decide to repent you just tell some dude in a funky booth what you did and he says you´re forgiven. just like that. sounds good to me! haha. so there´s my rant on that.
but ya, that guy was very receptive to the spirit and i really wish he wasn't just visiting that house so that we could teach him. he lives in another part of the city so that was a bummer, but the work is the same. I know someday he´ll get baptized and thats what matters.

alright well i´m way out of time! I love you all and will talk to you later!

Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, September 20, 2010

Endure to the End

hey everyone!

this week has been interesting but the highlight of the week is cambios or changes. they are taking place today and i´m getting a new comp named Elder Torentino or something like that. from what i´ve heard he´s pretty legit and a hard worker. Like me Spanish is his second language, but his first is some dialect of Myan. so maybe he´ll teach me some! booyah. he´s gonna arrive at the bus station around 6 or 7 tonight so i´m kickin it with my zone leader Elder Bingham (who´s also from idaho) for the day. it´s been fun. I was a little sad for the changes because me and elder Castellanos just barely started getting to be buddies but its all good. i´m excited to be with someone who will make it easier to be obedient and work hard. it was a constant struggle with my plump friend master C so this should be nice. i´m anxious to see what we can accomplish together.

as far as the work goes we´ve had a wave of bad luck this week. all of our investigators except 1stopped progressing. the main thing they have a problem with is going to church. its just so hard for them for some reason even after we teach about why its important. its quite frustrating and has had me in a bit of a slump so i´ve been working on getting back my confidence and enthusiasm for the work the last few days.

its been tough. really it has. homesickness has been starting to eat at me a bit, stupid things of the world throw my focus more easily than they should, and my confidence in my abilities as a teacher and with spanish has been suffering a bit, but with prayer, fasting and obedience I know I can overcome these things and that they can become strengths like it says in Ether 12:27. I apologize if I sound like a downer, but hey, this is the mission. its not all peaches and cream all the time. in fact i´m finding that most of the time it´t not. but the good times are many and they far make up for the tough times. its all good though. I am learning and growing like never before and developing new skills and knowledge every day and I wouldn´t trade this experience for anything.

anyways! on a lighter note, we DID put a date for someone yesterday! He is the husband of a sister in the ward who has been faithful for a long time and hopefully he´ll follow through and be faithful so that they can be an eternal family. I had the incredible opportunity and generous permission from the president last week to attend the temple with the Pacheco family and see them and another family get sealed. this was especially exciting because when Castellanos and I first arrived in the area and started visiting them they were still active but struggling and had an inactive daughter named Belen. The first thing we felt to teach them was about the temple. we watched mountain of the lord with them and taught them about the incredible blessings of the temple and invited them to prepare to enter for themselves. Sister Pacheco had a major abiding concern that she was not worthy to go to the temple. just because of who she was and that she´s far from perfect, and that the temple was something reserved for the elite and close to perfect members of the church. she felt incapable of going. thats a better word. so we taught them about the requirements for going to the temple and that they could do it and how much it would bless them to go and they agreed to start preparing. well, a few weeks later they told us they had been preparing and were going to have an interview with the bishop soon so we helped them get the interviews set up and even found a generous family who volunteered to buy them temple clothes!

we all first went through the endowment session and then we passed to the sealing room. the ordinance was so powerful. i´ve never before witnessed a live sealing session so that was way cool. then while they were standing in front of the mirrors glimpsing eternity (symbolically of course) together as an eternal family I had this incredible moment where the spirit communicated and confermed to me that that is why i´m here. to help people get started on the path that leads to eternal happiness by helping them reorient their lives, gain deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and help them pass through the gate to that path which is baptism and confirmation of the gift of the holy spirit. then with that start they then soon can go to the temple and recieve the incredible promises of eternity the Father offers us, and if they remain faithful until the end, be recieved into the celestial kingdom of heaven and enjoy the reality of all these promises being an eternal family in the presence of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and eternally progress to eventually become as God now is.

That's kinda long, but holy cow! is there anything more important than that?! is there anything more profound that I could be doing? the answer of course is no. I´m so grateful for this opportunity. it really is life-changing. there was another family from the ward there getting endowed and sealed also and they had three generations of live people there who got sealed. during that I had the same spiritual confirmation. It was nothing less than incredible. well that was very deep and personal but it just kinda came out. hopefully we can all keep our eternal perspective and remain faithful until the end.

alrighty guys, well I hope everything goes well for all of you this week and know that I miss you all and love most of you ;) ...ok, i guess all of you. haha. until next week,

Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, September 13, 2010

¿Que onda cuates?

¿Que onda cuates?
hey! that title translates to whats up dudes? or literally what wave dudes. you now know spanish! haha.

well this week has been amazingly awesome. what happened was (i forgot to mention this in my last email) that a tropical storm hit the itzmo which is a coastal area here in Oaxaca and flooded the crap out of it so just before the storm the area authority evacuated all the missionaries in that area and moved them into the city until the flooding and stuff was under control. so we´ve had 2 elders living with us who were evacuated from out there named Elder Black and Elder Jimenez.

we switched companions and i have been with Elder Black who is an American from San José California who has about 20 months in the mission and is a great missionary. He has been a zone leader for about 9 months and has had a lot of success and its been super awesome to be with him for this week. unfortunately he goes back to the Itzmo today at 5 so its all about to come to an end and i´ll be back with mr. ¨I proclaim myself Mr. Awesome¨, Elder Castellanos who picks and chooses which rules he´s gonna follow and makes it about 10 times harder for me to not fall into the same semi-obenience trap. I just want you to know i haven´t ever fallen into that but its a daily battle with him. Its also hard to love him when he thinks he is the best thing to ever happen to the world and all the other things about him that bother me, but somehow i choke it down and we get along. anyway, thats my rant. i'm obviously not too excited about going back with him.

being with Elder Black has been a lot more of what I imagined the mission would be like. im sad its ending, but changes are next week so maybe i´ll go with someone else... but we´ll see.we found a new investigator while working the area castellanos likes to neglect. she was pretty pilas so we´ll see how she keeps her commitments. oh, this is just another manifestation of Castellanos personality. when we were talking about what to do with the 4 of us he decided that we would divide the area in half and he and the lazy mexican companion of Elder Black would work the top part (with all the investigators and most of the members I know) and me and Black would practically reopen the bottom part. at first we were pissed, but I wanted to get to know the bottom part and see if we could get anything going down there with the more powerful companionship. I wanted the challenge so instead of getting mad at Castellanos I just accepted it and we went to work.

even with reopening half of our area me and Elder Black by far had the highest numbers in our ZONE this week. it was awesome. I learned a ton from him. I would venture to say that I learned more from him in a week than I´ve learned from castellanos in a change and a half. literally. so ya, it was awesome. apparently one of the investigators that we temporarily left up in san louise beltran they got a hold of and she is progressing rapidly so we might be baptizing her in a few weeks if im still here so thats exciting. anyways, so i´m gonna hit this week running and hopefully continue working like me and Elder Black did while babysitting my trainer. we´ll see what happens.

oh also the other day while me and Black were going to the offices there was a protest blockade at the biggest intersection in Oaxaca. what happened was the teachers wanted more money so they found ways to hijack buses and semi trucks (with guns, knives, or whatever they wanted) and parked them long ways across all the lanes of traffic. this intersection is HUGE so it caused some major traffic problems. me and black talked about how something like that would never fly in the US but here the police just direct traffic around it. literally they don´t do anything else about it. so that was somewhat scary and interesting. I took pictures so you can see somewhat what it looked like.

well, that's the update so i guess im gonna take off. I love you all and loved reading your emails! I hope you all have a great week and know that I miss you and love you!

love, Elder Henze

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"a collaboration of efforts"

greetings everyone!

so this week has been pretty slow. good but slow. we´ve been working with marcus a lot but cant get him to come to church. its quite frustrating but oh well. he and tene are ready for baptism and want to be baptized but each have their own little things.

we have officially dropped our golden family of 5 because of some difficult curcumstances they have with getting married and having work only on sundays making church impossible to get to without completely changing jobs which he´s not willing to do. ...can´t imagine why... and nobody in the ward wants the responsibility of hauling the kids to church each week so its pointless to baptize them if they aren´t going to attend church. missionary work is a collaboration of efforts. the missionaries can´t do everything themselves. it takes effort from the bishop (which we still dont have) and the ward. the ward is key and our ward is not helping us out. so we´re trying to figure out what to do about that. so we have been contacting a lot trying to get some new investigators but to no avail quite yet. we just have to keep our faith alive and keep looking for those who have been prepared to receive us.

Elder Castellanos had a cool experience the other day when we did divisions with the area Bosque where he was walking with elder Mendoza and a lady came running up to them in a frantic manner and stopped them and asked them who christ was and then a couple other questions then said the reason she was seeking them was because she was in her house and heard a voice say ¨salte, y busca un hombre vestido en blanco y azul¨ which translates to ¨get yourself out (in command form) and search for a man dressed in white and blue¨ so thats what she did. they were both wearing white shirts (obvious) and blue pants. so that was pretty interesting. too bad she´s not in our area, but ya.

at the same time that happened to him i was with elder Higgenbotham (haha) and a drunk guy pulled up to us in his car and poured out his soul about how he needed to talk to us and get closer to god and change his life. this is actually pretty common. drunk people are pretty emotional and when they see that we´re religious representitives they like to do that. so i taught him about the gospel of jesus christ and repentance and stuff and was pretty direct with him because i knew from past experience with these dudes that most of it is just talk. I basically told him directly but as loving as possible: if you really want to change the first step is to quit drinking. pray for help and repent yourself. then explalined about how christ can help us through anything.i could tell he felt like crap. usually missionaries just say like oh, well have faith, repent, blah blah blah, and are all nice about it but i can tell i cut him to the core by straight up calling him out on his problem. its much more effective if you dont dance around it. hopefully he remembers that and decides to change but i´ll never know. i just need to say, i wasn´t mean, just direct. so ya, it wasn´t super exciting but its a story.

thats about the extent of my stories this week. a bit dry but yesterday in church Adrian, the kid i baptized last week bore his testimony in church! during the listening of which i learned that he has a long way to travel to get to the pachecos house so that he can go to church. by bus about 2 hours and a lot of times he doesn´t have any money so he walks. the entire way. he gets up at about 5 am, gets ready, and walks arriving just in time to leave for church. i was blown away. i felt so guilty for all those times i didnt feel like getting up bright and early at 8:00, getting ready in my fancy house, hopping in my fancy car, and driving a whopping 5 minutes or less to church. (note the sarcasm). so probly for the rest of my life if im ever feeling like its too hard to go to church i´ll just think of Adrian. that should get me motivated.

alright well im out of time but i miss you all and hope everything is great. like always :) have a great week! I love you all!


Elder Henze

P.S.- there´s definitely a drunk dude at the computer next to me singing. i wish you could hear this... haha!

Some examples of transportation options in Oaxaca :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Baptism!

hey everyone!!! whats uuuup!

im pretty stoked right now cuz I had my first baptism yesterday!!! booyah boys!!! it went well but was a pretty stressful experience to get it all put together.

first off Eder Castellanos wanted to wait until saturday (the day before) to print the programs, buy the treats, practice the song we were gonna sing and talk to the bishop about having the service after church. I told him it was probly a bad idea to wait until the last minute to get everything put together. especially with a baptism cuz satan really doesnt like those and tries hard to keep them from happening sometimes.

for instace what happened with Tene. we found out the other day why she stopped talking to us. and thats because she didnt have a cell phone. i dont know if you remember her story but everything was ready to go for her but the day before we couldnt get ahold of her. well turns out what happened was that she was all ready to go and her mom came from vera cruz and everything but when they were in El Centro they got straight up mugged. purses and all and the cops were involved and everything. so no doubt satan had something to do with the decision that fine gentleman made to mug these women. so we got back in contact with her this week so that was good.

anyways, so saturday we bought our cookies and went to the zls area so adrian could have his interview. well that turned out to be complicated. we went on divisions so the zls could still make it to their appointments. well turns out Ixcotel (an area in our district) needed castellanos to come do an interview for them for baptism cuz he is the dl and they had the baptism scheduled for that evening so it was really important he come so i was left in the zls area all day until about 9:30 which is time to go home and therefore we could accomplish nothing to get ready for the baptism. just like I told him something unexpected came up and we were left unprepared. so sunday durring church we somehow threw everything together. it was a riot but it all worked out.

we had the service after church and had a great turn out wich was good cuz his parents werent there or anything. some people spoke, bore some testimonies, and me and castellanos and the sister missionaries from the other ward sang nearer my god to thee in spanish and I played the guitar. then we went to the font and I baptized adrian!

it was pretty sketchy, but I only had to dunk him once! I might have had to say the prayer 5 times, but thats not important :) i also didnt have my legs stance wide enough at first so i had a little trouble lifting him out of the water, but it went well. It was such a good feeling to know that I had just performed a priesthood ordinance for a son of God that would allow him entrance to the path to eternal life and make his first covenants with God. quite a profound thing if you think about it. afterward we were both just on a spiritual high and it was awesome.

so thats the big story this week. my first baptism! it was definitely a motivator. so ya thats about all I have time for this week. thank you so much for the emails. its so awesome to be up to date on whats going on with everyone. I love you guys and I´ll talk to you next week!!!

Elder Spencer Henze

Me, Castellanos, Adrian, and the family who´s house we always taught him at

me and adrian and castellanos

*As usual, click on the picture to see it bigger!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Word of Wisdom

"Hey everyone! thank you for your emails!
this week has been a good one. some notable stuff that happend is first of all, we are definitely going to baptize Adrian this sunday!!! im excited. hes super cool. weve got a good little bunch of investigators and things in the work are going good! still havent heard from Tene, but thats ok. Later in the week we did exchanges because elder castellanos had a leadership training conference with the president and the other dl´s and zl´s and ap´s. so I went with Elders manwaring, ford, and parsons! it was like an MTC reunion for a day and a half! we had a blast, worked hard together, taught a lot and had the spirit. i was pretty sad to have to go back to normal but oh well. while we were out the second day we found a dude curled up in an entry way of a house and it looked like he was dead. we woke him up to see if he was ok and he was all kinds of messed up. he was shaking and couldnt look into the light for the first little bit and it was clear he had been drunk for quite some time. it was obvious that he was incapable of helping himself by the condition of his pants... (thats all im gonna say) so we tried to help the poor guy. we talked to him for a while and found out he was a school teacher in the primaria (like elementary school) and lost his job because of drinking, then got kicked out of his house he was living in with his brother and had been there consuming nothing but alcohol for 7 months. he was so close to death it was scary. we went and bought him some water and some cookies and tried to get an ambulance for him but they sent some police first to check out the situation and they said there was nothing they could do for him cuz he was his families responsibility and if they didnt want him then nobody could sign for him at the hospital. it was extremely sad but there was nothing more we could do. so we talked to the guy about how christ can help him and then left. I guess this is just another example of how big of a blessing the word of wisdom is. I got to see first hand the effects of alcoholism and where that path leads to. anyway, thats kinda depressing but its probly the most interesting thing that happened this week. that and Elder Manwaring and Parsons live right next to the cliff where they shot the scene from naco libre where he climbs up and eats the eagle eggs. it looks nothing like the movie... its a rainwater drainage pond. cool huh? also some of the members of their ward were involved in teaching Jack Black how to say some of the spanish words he had to say.
alright well thats all the time i have for today. I love you all, miss you and will talk to you next week!

-Elder Spencer Henze"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Email 8/16/10

Spence keeps sending us audio recordings, but I can't directly attach them... but I'll get some on here somehow soon... so stay tuned :)

"Hey everyone! sorry i litterally have no time to write today. we had a FULL day and just got an opportunity to use the computer for a few minutes here on the way home from district meeting which took FOREVER. so heres a recording. in the recording I forgot to talk about my birthday packages!!!!! I cant believe it cuz that was pretty much the hilight of my week! i got them saturday at zone conference and opened them saturday night. i took a billion pictures so you´ll have those someday in the future. I loved all the stuff you guys sent me and thank you soo much for it all! well, I need to go, but I love you all and miss you tons! talk to you later!

-Elder Henze"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adjusting to Oaxaca

"hey! thank you for your emails! its so nice to be showered with love and support. its nice to know my letter made it there. i am gonna try to send one today but were running short on time due to some complications with the laundry. so if not we´ll see what happens.

i´m excited to get your packages and stuff! I got one letter from dad last week (from july 9th) and ím gonna find out if anything came today later on at district meeting. thats cool sam´s home! its hard to believe hes back already.

the food here is good but its all the same. some form of tacos beans and rice. well sunday i got a bowl of salsa verde (extremely hot) with an egg in it. and some ham. it was very dificult to eat but it was different at least. I eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at home. sometimes ham sandwiches too :D that cheetos and ive developed an addiction to the peach juice here. its gooooood :) all my companion drinks is coke. ive never seen him drink water. he´ll kill 3 liters in a day. easy. more like an evening. haha. so i attached a recording of what I did for my birthday. i´m gonna send it to jam too so she can keep an archive of all my recordings but i wanted to send it to you. it should work on our big mac in the den. if not your laptop will play it for sure.

oh and when i said people dont like me much i was talking about the people in oaxaca. probly cuz i seem like a prideful gringo at first cuz i dont talk a ton and they prejudge but the ones we´ve spent any time with seem to like me alright even though i cant fluently have a conversation with them yet. I get along with all the other elders. we´re like a big brotherhood of mexicans and gringos. its way cool.

my favorite part of the day is probably any time we actually get to teach someone. it doesn´t happen super often but when it does its always a great experience. well i´m way out of time so ive gotta go but i miss you and love you and will talk to you later! have a great week!
-Elder Spencer Henze"

Monday, July 26, 2010

Culture Shock

"hey family!
sorry i have to reply to you all at the same time but I was so fortunite to get so many emails from you all that im running short on time :(

"so ...heres the update:
this week has been a huge challenge.
ive been pretty stressed out about the language, dealing with culture shock, and the dirtyness of everything has started making me uneasy too. the last couple days i have been pretty sick. It started yesterday (sunday) where my condition D decided to go crazy and I was extremely dehydrated. I finally got some water and that helped but then we went to a members house for dinner and i got it down but the whole time was just feeling way blah. when we got home after that it was about 5 and i just laid down and woke up around 8. I decided to start the clensing process and started downing water. it would exit very rapidly. after an hour of that I threw up the dinner and felt much better for about a half hour then went to bed.

"all through the night I was frequently getting up to drain myself and this morning I just felt nasty. I didnt throw up again but almost. after waiting for my companion to take all morning getting ready we went over to the district leaders house (Elder Baert) and we did splits which was nice cuz my comp could care less that I was sick. so we (the district leader and I) went and got me some electrolyte drinks and stuff to help me with my dehydration cuz water would just drop through me in less than a minute and he took me over to a members house where a sister gave me some special drink stuff and after I felt like I could hold it down she made me some food. so I feel a lot better now but I still feel pretty weak. anyways, so thats been my last couple days along with being insanely tired all the time. sorry this report is a bit depressing but thats what has been going on.

"earlier in the week we had a sleepover at the DLs house cuz there was a youth conference in the morning and they wanted to travel together so that was fun except I didnt have a bed so I slept on a blanket on the floor with the roaches and ants and stuff. booyah. the youth conference was cool though. we went with a group of youth (about 6) and were the leaders and we visited an inactive family and the lady was way touched. she was crying and all. it was cool.

"we have a baptism scheduled for the 30th and a couple other investigators. so thats pretty neat!
a lot of people have been complementing me on my accent and stuff which is way encouraging. I just need some more vocab and grammer work but its slowly coming.
my companion is named Elder Castellanos and hes 18 years old. hes fun but im not a huge fan of some of the things he does when he teaches. he doesnt really listen to the people and is slightly arrogant. he says the same things to a lot of the people even when its not really applicable. overall though hes a good comp. its just kind of tough for me when I can tell the people just need to feel cared about and hes just concerned about looking good. i dont know.
k well, im way out of time but i love you all and look forward to talking to you next week!
-Elder Spencer Henze"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Glimpse of Life in Oaxaca

Hey there everyone! Sorry I haven't posted sooner - Cory & I have been out of town, camping w/ no internet so I really wanted to, but just couldn't.
So, Spencer made it to Oaxaca, Mexico safely, and was only delayed between flights a few hours (I believe). What's important is that he's finally out in his mission-field!!
I haven't heard much yet, since I've been away & out of touch with him for a little while, but I have a snippet of an email he sent to our mom to share with y'all today.

"so just a sneek peek of whats going on here ...we are reopening this area and its been a bit of a challenge to find everyones houses. weve been searching out members and tracting in between. we walk miles every day and towards the end of the week i was dead. my companion is way way better than my last one but he doesnt speak a word of english. so after a while my head sorta feels like its gonna explode and my level of understanding goes way down as well as my ability to communicate while my mind melts down and reboots. somehow though I make it through each day and it always turns out to be a good day and I always end up happy somehow. im not telling you any of this to complain of to make you worry cuz im doing great. i just want to be honest and share with you how the lord is working miracles in my life every day guiding us to where we need to go when we have instructions such as :the white house on andador 3 in volcanes. or something like that and every time we ask someone they point us in a different direction. we always end up where we need to be. even when i had pretty massive diarrhea i somehow made it to the bathroom even though ours in our house was the only one we had access to for a few days. also whenever I start to feel down something happens to boost my spirits and renew my hope and i know those things come from the Lord too. Im glad to be here but its really hard sometimes. very rewarding though. well theres a ton more to tell but no more time. youll be glad to know that im in a very safe area. the mail is safe too so send whatever you want. I love you and miss you and tell the fam I say hi and love and miss them and not to worry about me cuz im doing great :) bye!" - Elder Henze

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mexico Monday

(click on the above message to enlarge it)

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Pictures!

While we wait to find out when exactly Elder Henze will be departing for Oaxaca, I figured everyone would be happy to know that there are a BUNCH of new pictures up in his photo album!

Here's a little sample of some of his last treasured moments in the MTC.
(Click to enlarge)

To see ALL the new pictures, CLICK HERE.

He FINALLY has his visa!

So here's the deal. Spencer is in Taylorsville, UT right now. They assigned him to a pre-exisiting companionship, (So them + him = 3). He had no idea how long he'd be there when he arrived (about a week - a week & 1/2 ago), he just knew he had to wait indefinitely to be able to sign his visa.

SO, I found out yesterday that earlier this week he was able to go to Salt Lake and sign his visa! You heard right, it is officially received AND signed! He will be leaving for Oaxaca very soon, most likely next week, hopefully by Thursday the 8th. I'll provide concrete dates when/if I'm informed of them.

Sorry for the roller coaster we were on there for a while - trust me, its been an even crazier ride for him than its been for any of us! I just hope that its all set up this time & that he doesn't have to deviate from the plan yet again. :S
Stay tuned!!

Most recent pic of Elder Henze
(Taylorsville, UT. 7/1/10)

Elder Henze & Elder Perez
(One of his current comps. The other is actually creepin' the doorway in the background)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Utah Salt Lake City South Mission

Click anywhere on the letter to enlarge it so you can read it better :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here we go again...

Little update from Spencer... these consulate fools can't make up their minds on whether or not they're going to let him go to Mexico! :(

"I officially got reassigned to Salt Lake South last week right after I emailed you so I couldn't tell you. I got a phone pass but couldn't get ahold of the parents so i traded it in for email time on friday just to find out the server for myldsmail was down, then i tried chatting with the technical service people to see if they could get it up and running for me and the dude only spoke spanish which in a way was cool cuz I got to chat in spanish but then again not cool cuz explaining technical problems in english is hard enough... so I figured I could just tell you on tuesday (today). It was a headache though.
i'm gonna find out what the SLC South mission home address is so you'll have it..
i have no idea how long i'll be in SLC.. could be an hour.. could be a month.. i dont know.. so ya.. sorry about the double periods.. the computers here suck.."

So, that's what I know so far. As soon as he gets his new address, it will be on this blog! Stay tuned...