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, May 30, 2011

New Change!!

Hey Everybody!
well here I am writing you all again! its the beginning of a new change and some exciting things have happened! first of all they changed my companion. I´m still here in Ocotlan for yet another six weeks. my companion went to the coast (his second change ...lucky!) and they sent the guy who was in the place my companion went to here with me. His name is Elder Martinez and so far he seems pretty cool. Its a different Martinez than the one I trained three changes ago. there's like 8 Martinez´ in the mission. He got here to the mission last change so that makes me his step father which basically means I´m still training! haha. Its cool though so far training has been a pretty good deal for me. They generally are more motivated to work hard which really helps keep me motivated too so we get a lot done. I was pretty sad when they told me they were going to change my last comp. Elder Torres and I got along really well but oh well. that's how it goes in the mission. The good thing though is that they moved me up to be a District Leader :D haha. That should be pretty fun. I´m gonna need the Lord´s help because I don´t really know how to be a real DL but just like the Lord helped me to figure out how to train new missionaries I´m completely confident that he´ll help me out with this new responsibility too as long as I keep faithful to him and do my part like i´ve been doing. Its so cool to be able to confide so much in God. That's definitely one thing I´ve learned to be able to do and appreciate out here on the mission and just like the missionaries in the Book of Mormon with the Lord´s help I know there is nothing I can´t do. What I achieve is basically limited to my will and my faith. Kinda like "the secret" says.
well this week went really well! we managed to score three more baptisms!! woohoo!!!!! :D they were all kids, but basically complete families. the only reason the parents couldn´t get baptized yet is because of marriage reasons. they´re basically members already though. from the first family the mom just needs to find a place to live because the husband doesn´t want to marry her (even though they´ve been together for 10 years and have 4 kids...). However, very slowly he´s coming around too. so its not to say that after some more time and living apart that he can´t still turn himself around and marry her and get baptized. That's my hope but until then they´re going to live separately to complete with the law of chastity. so, whenever it is that she can find a house she too can get baptized! the other family is just arranging things with the state to get married. the dad is already a member and the mom basically too after accepting so well what we have taught her. she just needs to hop in the water so we´re just waiting for that to all pan out. Meanwhile we´ve got a few other families to teach and baptize as well so basically you could say things are going pretty dang well for us out here!! which is a miracle because these 4 baptisms we had this change are the first four baptisms that this branch has had in over a year!!! pretty exciting.
well, that's about all i´ve got to report from this week! its quite a lot actually so i´m satisfied :D haha. I love you all and miss you but want you all to know I´m having a blast out here serving the lord among our lamanite brethren. I´m healthy, happy, and most of all, very hopeful! haha. As always, thank you all for all your love, support and prayers. you´re all awesome!
here's a scripture that has really been impacting for me lately. you all probably already know it but its D&C 82:10. also D&C 130:21
Deep thought: Obedience is the principle upon which the universe functions. upon which the laws of physics and chemistry are based. stemming from the which is EVERYTHING we can physically perceive.
I hope you all have a great week!!!!
Elder Spencer Henze
attached are the pics of the two families with which we are working to complete
and a pic of me teaching english :D

Monday, May 23, 2011


Hi again EVERYONE!!!!
Man I´m HAPPY! haha. I´m really liking it here in Ocotlán. The work has been going soooo well and my Spanish is going great and I´m seeing miracles in the lives of the people i´m teaching because of their faith and all kinds of great stuff! =D
this week something cool that happened was that one of the investigators we´re teaching (Adriana) who is the mom of the family I talked about how we found in my last letter I think, has made leaps and bounds in her progression. its been awesome to be able to watch. Her husband no, but her and her kids are progressing faster than anyone i´ve ever taught before. They´re so PILAS!!! Unfortunately we had to have a very serious talk with her husband because he has been satan´s right hand man with the whole experience listening to satan´s prophetess herself (the neighbor lady) but he´s finally realized that what we are teaching them is true (that's what he said anyway) but that he just doesn´t have the desire to live the principles of the gospel. We explained that Adriana wants to live the gospel and follow the teachings of Christ and that she can not progress to the next step which is baptism and completely start living the gospel until 1) they got married, or 2) they lived in separate houses according to the law of chastity. I had even asked the mission president about it to be sure and he confirmed that even in the situation in which they basically are always fighting the rule still applies. so we shared with them all the information they needed to know to make their decision and animated them about living the gospel promising blessings and everything and told them to talk it over after by them selves. well, Andres (the dude) didn´t want to talk about it and had made it clear that he didn´t feel like marrying her because he thinks this change for the better he has seen in her is just temporary. So, Adriana made the decision to move out. pretty big leap of faith considering her financial circumstance, but i know that since she is doing it to follow the will of God he will help her and already has started. two sisters in the branch have already started getting her animated about some little things she can do for money with them.
also, the other day she and her kids had to go to a school event for her oldest kid in "El Centro" all day without any money and nothing to bring for food. we visited them the morning of this day and she explained that she was stressing out. we listened calmly and promised her that if she exercised faith and said a prayer with her kids asking God to help them to be able to eat that day, he would provide for them.
so, they did it. we came back the next day and she told us that while in the centro they say Andres (which was weird because he was supposedly working) and turns out he had received a payment for a job he had done a long time before that very day, and they saw him at the bank while he was depositing and taking out some of the money and he gave them some! it was cool to hear about how the lord had helped them out because of their faith in relying on him to provide.
The other main family we´re working with is doing really well too. they had their family all listen in on the discussion too and they were way interested. we have baptismal dates with two of the kids already and are just waiting for the marriage issue to pan out for the mom to get baptized! booyah
well, runnin short on time but i hope you found some joy in reading about these experiences. I´m so grateful for this opportunity to be here serving the lord in his work. it truly is marvelous and wonderful as Isaiah says.
the church is true. I come to know that more clearly with each day God gives me to be here experiencing how real this all is.
I love you all and wish you the best in your week!!!
Elder Spencer Henze

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


whats up?? things are going GREAT here in Ocotlan Oaxaca!! i´m feeling great, my companion is cool, we´ve got lots of work and guess what else??? we had a BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!! this sunday!!! Her name is Ana and she´s 17. she was super rebellious and nasty but she´s matured like a fine cheese!! haha. Its incredible what the gospel can do to change a person when it can reach their hearts. well, thats the big news for this week, but we´ve got 6 more possibles for this change!! and if not this change then the next one and i´m pretty sure I´ll be here for another one since I´m training. BOOYAH!!!!!! haha :D I´m so PUMPED!!! It was pretty stressful to get the whole thing to happen. Satan was pulling out all the stops but we kicked his trash!
well, I´m healthy and everything is good. Its been starting to rain here a lot. sometimes it rains super hard and the streets turn into rivers. literally. its pretty legit. I´ve gotten to use my sick army boots a couple times this week!!!
the family of Adriana (the one where the husband was about to be kicked out and stuff) has been our main focus this week. after frequently visiting them (almost every day) the more we taught and the more the spirit worked on Andres (the Dad) the more he hardened his heart. on tuesday of last week after listening to a couple of lessons where we taught him about the roles of the parents in the family and how principles of the Gospel are the best things to fix problems in the family and all that, Adriana came to the branch family night in the prayer house and afterward pulled us aside to talk to us.
she explained through tears that she has been trying so hard to do the things we have been teaching them to do and exerting herself to the max to follow the principles we have been teaching in her home because she can feel of their truth and power, and that Andres has been mocking her and her kids when they say their prayers, he laughed at a sweet little note she left for him on the wall with some pictures of the kids she put up that basically said that she loved him and that she wanted their family to be a happy family and things like that. Super nice, and he scoffed at it. I couldn´t believe it. and the worst part is that just that afternoon she found him in bed with the neighbor lady who she was already jealous of. I was floored that he would be so stupid as to be such a douche when it was clear that this was his LAST chance. The only reason he wasn´t gone is because we came and started teaching. the funny thing is that at first we thought that Adriana was the problem because that first night we taught them she was very loud, rude, I don´t even know how to describe it, but we thought that she was going to be the problem but turns out that Andres was the wolf in sheep's clothing and Adriana was just misguided but had a pure heart. She has made an absolute 180 degree turn around and is basically a fully active member of the branch! haha. She just hasn´t been baptized yet. She has told us many times that she can just feel how right it is to be there.
anyways, we counseled her that it was not her fault about the him being in bed with the neighbor and stuff because Satan was putting those thoughts in her head about how she wasn´t pretty and all that crap making her think she was the one to blame. well, the following evening we had a nice VERY direct lesson about the law of chastity focusing on the principle of adultery. They´re not married but thats the goal and he still has a responsibility to his family. a HUGE one. so it applied. just to be safe we also covered in detail what fornication was too :) we taught it playing ignorant to the situation as if we had just randomly chosen the topic and while teaching made him answer lots of questions to be sure he understood. well, as nephi says, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard and the dude was all kinds of uncomfortable. the spirit was destroying the guy but he still wouldn´t commit to live the law of chastity. even though we shared some scriptures that explained what would happen to him if he didn´t. the next time we visited Adriana was laying on the bed depressed as heck. we asked andres what was the matter and he just played it off as if she was a crazy person and just randomly decided to be depressed. so I explained to him why she was unresponsive to is void of love questioning of basically, "what the hecks wrong with you?" "get up woman" crap like that. we started talking about how he needs to show love for her and after he still claimed to not know what the problem was I straight up called him to repentance. I said basically "Andres the problem is that you have done things recently, since we have been teaching you, that are abominations in the eyes of God and they are destroying your family." after he said "what what I haven´t done anything, what?" completely denying any fault I said "Andres, you can not lie to us." "Every time you lie to us the spirit tells us that you are lying." "plus your facial expressions and actions are a dead give away even without that." "We know what you have been doing and so does God." "You can deny it all you want but until you repent your family is going to get worse and worse and you are going to lose them and have to answer to God for your actions." well, he still denied it.
anyway, Adrianda is about to kick him out of the house. We have been fully supporting her decision based on his response to the invitation to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how pathetically he has been behaving. and all this on his last chance. if he can´t do it with these circumstances, I have no faith that he will never do it.
She´s been great though and wants to be baptized as soon as possible.
we found another family in the street on Tuesday! the dude actually found us and asked where the church was cuz he´s an x branch prez but is divorcing his wife and going to marry this other lady who was with him who is not a member! She´s SUUUUUPER golden though! her and her kids came to my english class on thursday AND saturday AND to church AND to the activity tonight! they want to be baptized asap too :)

The Lord is blessing us like crazy out here. all my hard work is finally starting to pay off and its incredible! thank you as always for all your prayers and support. I know it makes a HUGE difference!! I love you all!!!

"I literally had to change clothes when we got back to the apartment but its was fun :) I felt like a little kid bustin through the puddles. also later on the streets were like rivers 6 inches deep. for real. see the attached pics. (below) it was the real deal."

Completely SOAKED!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day!

first off talking to the family was absolutely LEGITTTT! Man what a blessing it is that they let us do that :) I feel just so dang good!! even though i did cut us off before we officially said "goodbye" but I personally think its better that way because had it not I probably wouldn´t have been able to hang up without loosing my manly composure. haha. not that I care about that at all but it does make it a lot more difficult. I gotta admit the last time we talked at Christmas I got ridiculously homesick for about a week. the only time in my whole mission, but this time no. of course I miss you all a TON but I can kinda see the light at the end of the tunnel and stuff and I don't feel nearly as far away as I did the last time. I'M PROGRESSING GUYS!! haha. (tear).
alright, heres a short recap of the two stories I was going to tell you on the phone. ready????? GO!
ok. story 1)
we found a new family this week who is progressing like crazy! they are great. the story is about how it is that we came to be teaching this family.
so we went out with the new elders quorum president to visit people. we somehow decided, contradictory to our plans, that we were going to visit a non active ex-branch president named Brother Flujencio (fluhensio). While we were visiting him and the EQP was talking his ear off while I was listening to what Flujencio had to say trying to think of something to share with him that would actually benefit him some random dude came from out of nowhere and started talking to the other workers (we were in a brick making yard and Flujenciowas making bricks while we were talking to him) on the other side of the lot. he was talking loud and swearing a lot and kind of annoying. THEN he decides to come over and talk to Flujencio while we were talking to him. totally distracting him from our convo and swearing up a storm and being super rude so I got the impression, "contact the dude and he´ll be out of here faster than the spirit that just left when he came over!" (contact means like give him a door approach) so I did! but to my surprise he was actually interested!!! so we passed by his house on Tuesday and he was there in his house about to eat what was going to be his last supper with his wife because she was throwing him out of the house that very night.
well, so far they are still together and are seeing the power the gospel can have in their lives. the wife and kids came to church yesterday and they loved it!
story 2)
The other day after a return contact fell through we decided to contact to fill the time gap. we knocked one door and after the contact I was feeling pretty crappy because they gave us some half spoiled meat for lunch/dinner and it was NOT sitting well so I literally said "dah forget this lets go home so I can rest for an hour or so before the appointment [with the above mentioned family]." well, while cruising back to the house we had walked about 100 yards when I looked at a house that was across the street and as we were passing in front of it I just randomly stopped walking. my greenie comp who was in his own world at the time took a few seconds to realize I wasn´t by his side anymore and kept walking a few more steps while I waited for the cars to pass so i could cross the street and contact this house. He caught back up to me as we crossed the street and I yelled in the open door "buenas tardes!" and a guy who was on the couch gets up (about 30 years old and pretty big for a oaxaqueño) and greets us coldly. I gave him a door approach and he proceeded o explain to me that he was atheist. I asked him why that was and he started going into a whole bunch of stuff about how he lost his faith but before believed a lot. I directed the conversation to the Doctrine of Christ and when I mentioned baptism he started arguing with me about how we need to baptize in only the name of Jesus Christ and not in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit. I saw where he was coming from because it says in the bible AND the book of Mormon that we need to be baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ." but showed him that the detail he was missing is that nowhere in the bible does it instruct us in exactly what to say for the baptism prayer. like word for word. it just says the above mentioned. so I showed him in 3 Nephi 11 where Jesus himself says "and these are the words you shall say:" and afterwards at the end of the prayer says to mention the three. well, he didn´t accept that for some reason so I spent the next hour and a half listening to his theories about how Jesus is the father son and the holy ghost and offering examples from the bible in how that was impossible. example after example after example and his answer to the first one which was about the three manifesting themselves at the same time at the baptism of Jesus was that "nothing is impossible for God." I was like... well, even if we take a crazy pill and accept that hypothetically for a sec, what would be the point of doing that? why couldn´t he just testify of himself and call it good? to confuse us? anyone who understands the nature of God knows that would never happen. I gave him more and more examples of like, when Jesus resurrected Lazarus he first thanked some being that was not him for having "heard" him. then how he mentioned to the Pharisees that he learned everything from his father who sent him, then several other examples of Jesus praying to the father during realizing of the atonement. we stayed calm, cool, collected, and confident the whole time offering evidence after evidence while he squirmed and went in circles and changed his story and started getting frustrated but at the end I focused on how it is that we know what we know so specifically about the godhead and thats by revelation to living prophets and explained the book of Mormon and how its how he could know if this revelation we have is true and invited him to read it with an honest heart and pray about it and he was very interested! He was like a different person at the end of the conversation and i think its because the spirit touched him at some point in the conversation and i´m confident that it was when i was testifying of the book of Mormon. It was such a cool experience :) the truth is always right and the spirit will always testify of it to those who truly want to know.
well, I gotta go!! I love you all and wish you the best this week! thank you again for all your prayers, love and support :)
Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, May 2, 2011

Almost Mother's Day SON!!!

Its P-Day again and here I am sending another quick shout out to all my dearest family and friends :) my favorite part of the day!!!
This week has been pretty good if I say so myself. Me and my new greenie Elder Torrez have been marching all around Ocotlán and the surrounding area preachin, testifyin, invitin, and all that other great stuff we get to do as missionaries. We started off the week by making fliers to pass out in the center of the pueblo and to all the people we know to invite people to my English classes. we passed out quite a few. I don´t know how many exactly but somewhere around a hundred. could have been more but we actually talked to each person so it took a little longer. also we don´t have a ton of space in the house of prayer we´ve got here and thought from those we´d have plenty come because the majority said they´d come. well, it was a good effort, but the fine citizens of Ocotlán showed their ignorance by wasting the opportunity to have some free English classes taught by someone who can actually pronounce the words. doesn´t get much more convenient than that, but that somehow didn´t register with any of the people we invited. haha yep, thats right. absolutely nobody came as a result of the efforts of Wednesday morning. Thursday or Saturday. Just the three people who have been coming since day 1. Alicia and her two daughters. They´re great students and we´ve been able to actually progress nicely with the class because they always come and they already know the super basics and we can talk about more interesting things. true, Its not very productive as far as finding people to teach goes, but we´ve definitely been inviting and inviting and inviting and not even one member has ever showed up. Just those three nonmembers. well, this week I straight up contacted them to see if we could teach them and the rest of their family about the gospel. I had high hopes because they seem like such a great family, but they flat out rejected the invitation. so now, unless we can get more people to come to the class we´re gonna have to cut down the "dry tree" of an activity and cast it into the fire. Its kinda sad cuz it should be a powerful advantage to have the ability to do English classes, but so far its not producing much "fruit" and is quickly becoming a waste of time. Makes me a little sad.
in other news, we caught a big rat right outside the door of our apartment. I accidentally suffocated it cuz I had to hold it tight to keep it from going all ape shiz on me and biting the crap out of my hand or arm. ...poor thing. it reminded me of that baby bunny I accidentally killed when I was little... I was going to let it go too somewhere far from the house. but killing it was probably the safest option. Don´t worry I had my sweet workin gloves on so It was safe.
Saturday after arriving to an investigators house a HUGE rain and thunder storm hit. it looked like a baby hurricane and their house doesn´t have windows. just some lamina sheeting over some of the "window" holes in the brick wall. ...needless to say, it was exciting :)
yesterday I tried something new. After talking to my district leader he reminded me of some pointers from "calling on the powers of heaven" which i had already forgotten but are super great and I applied them in a prayer before leaving to work. (this was in the afternoon after eating and going home to drop off our jackets and reporting the numbers for the week). Me and my companion said a powerful prayer and asked God to help us to know EXACTLY where to go and EXACTLY what to teach explaining why and all that. We decided we were going to go visit a certain family that has been off and on with us. when we got there the mom was in a consultation (she´s a doctor who has her clinic built onto her house) with an emergency patient and the young adult members of the family were playing catch with a football (American... booyah) with their little cousin. When we got there I asked if we could share a message with them for about 15 minutes and they said ya but wanted to wait for their mom to be there so I felt that I should play catch with them to build confidence and stuff (also cuz I haven´t thrown a football around for over a year :D) so we played for a while and then the mom of the cousin came out of the house (turns out the cousin and his mom live in the same house) and just about then we were winding down from playing. afterward we ended up right there by the mom of the cousin kid and the thought came to me "contact her!" so I started introducing myself and my companion and talking casually guiding us into a religious topic. the contact turned into my companion getting bored and talking to Kelvin (the kid of the doctor. 20 years old), and me teaching lesson 1 to this lady. I taught it differently than I´d ever taught it before and when we got to the part about the Book of Mormon I focused on teaching her all about it. I showed her some cool scriptures, explained how it came forth and all that like normal, but this time with more details and examples and passion than I normally teach. She asked me a couple questions about worshiping "images" and a couple other questionable doctrines from the catholic church. all of which I showed her the answers for in the Book of Mormon and she was way into it! we had to end the lesson soon after but I was able to explain almost everything and she was excited to be able to talk again! we forgot to bring a copy of the BOM for her but we are going to talk to her next week! I´m so excited! It was literally an immediate answer to our prayer. Just so you all know, Prayer works. I´m really excited to keep teaching her and see her and her family progress.
well, Thats about it! gotta go. Thank you so much for everything! I love you ALL!
E. Spencer Henze

a giant Hercules beetle we found