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.

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