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, 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"