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.

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)