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, 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