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