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, September 27, 2011

Mi familia amada!
this week went pretty well all in all if I must say so myself! the
biggest news that I have right now is that the ward seems pretty
pumped up about the work right now! last Sunday after sacrament
meeting we started an activity called 10 missionary minutes after
sacrament meeting where we asked people to commit to doing things
like having a family night, accompanying us to a lesson, bring an
investigator to church, and all that. we received lots of support from
the ward and actually weren´t able to tackle all the work they had for
us in the whole week! so this week we´re going to keep going with
that. Also on Sunday we taught a new youth named Armando and he
accepted a baptismal date for the 8th of October! AWESOME!!!
Here´s the latest update on "Dealin´ With The Comp"
so ever since last change my comp has been wanting to do an activity
with the ward where he could basically planch (rail on) the members
about not doing their part and giving us references. The bishop has
been quite gracious in thinking of ways that he could do some sort of
activity in which we could mention the topic but clearly not wanting
to give the whole responsibility to Fuenzi for obvious reasons.
well, Fuenzi was able to convince the bishop to give us half of the
program time for this month´s activity we had planed to do whatever it
was that Fuenzi so desperately wanted to. I told him (Fuenzi) right
after that meeting that I needed him to take the lead on this one
because it was his thing and he had some kind of vision. I told him I
would help him wherever I could then backed off to see what he would
do with the responsibility. (The Activity was going to be for
Saturday). Thursday rolls around and i approach my companion with the
question, "Hey, so what ya got planned for the activity on Saturday?"
his reply was basically... nothing. he had two video clips that he
wanted to show them and that was the extent of what he´d come up with
in a whole week. he already had these clips in mind ever since he
begged the bishop to let him do his thing so basically all week he
did... nothing. I realized in that moment that he was unofficially
throwing the entire planning, coordinating, and the bringing to
reality of the activity on me.
To spare you the missions of details, basically thanks to Heavenly
Father´s help I was able to get it all put together with NO time to
spare. haha. but it all went really smoothly and the members seemed to
like the activity a lot. All the stress gave me a bit of a cold but
it´s almost gone now thanks to the infection fighter and vitamins mom
and dad sent me!! thanks!!

also, today we hiked up to two caves! it was pretty sick. hotter than
death but sick. in one of the attached pics it looks like i´m flexing
my forearm but thats straight up shine! or glisten of sweat. whatever
you want to call it.

well, thats all for today. I love you!!!!!

Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, September 19, 2011

Semana Loca

Hola mi familia amada! que tal?
wow I`ve got some weird stuff to tell you this week.
first of all we have finally started getting some people to teach this
week!!! I did divisions with the ZLs and while doing so we found two
families to teach!!! haha. the ONLY day i haven`t been with my comp is
the day we find people to teach... that's just another testimony of how
attitude is everything. positivity attracts success!
well something pretty sad and shocking happened this week.
Friday night as my actual companion and I were returning in a taxi from
teaching one of the families I found with the ZL we came up to a bit
of a scene along the highway. when some of the gocker`s block cleared
out I saw a blue scooter laying there scratched up in the middle of
the lane but the rider was nowhere to be found. well, as we kept
moving forward about 30 yards ahead i`d say, there was a body of what
looked to be a young man about high school age that was lying face
down in a pool of blood. no helmet. This was the first time i`d ever
seen a dead person like that and it kind of disturbed me. when i saw it
it was like reality swooped down and slapped me in the face reminding
me of how short this life is and how real the gospel is. I said a
quick prayer for the boy`s family but thought that that would be the
end of it. I thought about how a couple of weeks earlier I had met a
youth from our ward who rode a moped just like that one but thought
"naw, it couldn`t be him..." I couldn`t even remember his name.
that night we received a text message from one of our friends in the
ward saying that a youth from our ward had died but didn`t say how or
as soon as i read that message the scene of the accident we passed
just a few hours earlier flashed through my head like a nightmare and
I instantly connected the story. His name is Jorge. He was 16 years
old and a recent convert of about a year in our ward. He recently went
to EFY and was helping to reactivate his family and be a good example.
People say that ever since EFY he had been talking about how he really
wanted to go on a mission.
The next day we got permission to go to the funeral. That was a
surreal experience as well. in total about 700 - 1,000 people came i
think. The whole stake center was absolutely packed with standing room
only and a crowd outside as well. The bishop taught the plan of
salvation in his eulogy which was a mega booyah missionary experience
while all those people were a little more receptive to the spirit.
The way people do funerals here is very different but it was pretty
cool to be able to participate in it. It was also pretty cool to be
respected as a true minister of religion by so many people too as we
were not just participating, but administrating.
the main differences are that the funeral procession is not in cars.
the people march behind the hurs for miles if necessary all the way to
the cemetery following a marching band. they don`t bury the body with
dirt either. they dig a 4 - 5 foot deep hole and build four walls
inside up to the surface of the ground and it has a concrete floor.
then they put the coffin inside, cover the top with wood and wire and
right there mix up cement and put it on top. so essentially its a
concrete box.
so ya, quite the experience.
Things are still going rough with my companion. I feel like I`m
babysitting 24 7 while trying to somehow have some success in the
work. The stress has been damaging my health a little bit but thanks
to the vitamins and awesome stuff Dad sent me I`m keeping healthy
enough to continue on :)
Thank you for all your love and support! As always it is very
appreciated. I love you all!!!


Elder Spencer Henze

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Comin up on 18

Hello mi familia amada!!!

this week was pretty good. I´m definitely looking forward to getting a
new comp but some good things happened this week. the biggest event I
want to mention first is that the assistants and the zone leaders came
to check our house and take some pictures and while they were there
they asked me how it was going with my comp knowing perfectly well how
he is, so I told them about some of the things that i have really been
struggling with lately with my comp. His attitude and lack of faith in
the work and area and well... the whole mission more than anything,
and the way in which that lack faith shows forth in everything we do.
So, the assistants had a chat with him. He acted rebellious with the
assistants so they had him talk to the president on the phone for about
20 minutes. I´m not sure exactly what the prez told him but afterwards
he went straight to bed and Sunday morning when I woke up at 6:25 I
looked over at his bed to see it made and him gone...
I then noticed that all the lights were off and that he wasn´t around.
I got a little freaked out and jumped out of bed to look for him
thinking he had taken off and done who knows what.
I left the room almost running and was about to shout "Fuenzi!!" but
then I saw him there at the bottom of the stairs in the dark just
standing there. I´m not sure if that brought me peace or freaked me
out even more haha but I was wide awake by the end of the experience
so i guess I should thank him for helping me to wake up so fast!
The ward is doing well. I got the Ward Mission Plan all formatted and
nice for the Bishop which has scored us some booyah points with him
and the leaders (the ones that actually show up to Ward Council) seem
pretty pumped about achieving the goals we set. If they work out this
ward will be able to divide shortly after Christmas!!! booyah.

Also, just want to share with you all that today was the most awesome
training meeting I´ve ever done!!! not bragging because it wasn´t
really anything I did. I think the district is starting to respect me
more and everyone (except my comp) participated a ton!!! I am very
content :D

Mom and Jam, Just wanted you to know that I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!! I
love everything!!!! the smell of those soaps is LEGIT!!!! the food was
DELICIOUS!!! and the essentials were NEEDED! thanks a lot :)

sounds like Dad´s got me covered with the heel spur problem! He gave
me some good exercise/stretch ideas and the orthotics i´m sure will
seal the deal. THANKS DAD!!!!!
alrighty guys, Keep being awesome! thanks for constantly writing me all
the way up until this point in my mission! I´m very lucky to have a
family (and friends) like you :)

with all my love
-Elder Spencer Henze


Saludos a Todos!
so we´re officially into week two here in my new area. and things are
going pretty well. My comp´s not nearly as difficult as I thought.
He´s actually a really nice guy. He does a lot of things that could be
potentially suuuuper irritating, but the lord has blessed me with a
ton of patience and it hasn´t been too bad. The best part about him is
that for one reason or another he respects me a ton. It´s pretty
awesome. He´s always building me up, giving me complements, and doing
little things to serve me (even if they´re at the wrong moment...). I
can´t complain though. I´m going to do the best I can to teach him all
I can and help him to become a great missionary.

this week started out a little slow to be honest. when I got to the
house it was disgustingly dirty. I can give you details some other
time but for now just believe me that it was not cool.
I got there and was like, "nooooo waaaay...!" so following the
president´s council that he gave us in the last conference, we put our
house in order first so that the home could be a place where the
spirit could be. ...This took us until Wednesday afternoon. Needless
to say the past week was not very pilas. Friday through Sunday were
pretty good days, but we´re still just getting going. Its way nice to
have a clean house though.

the house is pretty cool. Its 3 stories (but skinny) and has a kitchen
and some FURNITURE!!! by furniture I mean a wardrobe thing and a desk
but hey thats much more than i´ve had in the whole mission. The desk
is legit with drawers!!! i´m definitely enjoying it. I cleaned out the
drawers in the wardrobe thing and my clothes are officially in drawers
for the first time since the MTC boys. booyah.

so far from what I know of the members are pretty cool. there´s a
young married couple who really like us and have been inviting us over
all week and even came over to help clean the house on Wednesday
morning! their names are Diego and Noisy. haha yep. Noisy.

today it rained a ton. I was in the chapel waiting for the district to
show up for the district meeting but it was raining so hard that they
couldn´t come for over a half hour and lightning was hitting ground
like... 20 meters from the chapel so we decided to postpone for
tomorrow. I then while walking to the internet place got to walk
through water almost up to my knees! attached is a pic of the spot
right before the deepest part. its only up to my shins here but it got
worse. good thing I´ve got extra shoes!

well, the lord works in mysterious ways but he always knows what he´s
doing. I know I´m growing a lot from the challenges he´s blessed me
with even if I have a bad attitude and complain sometimes.

I love you!

Elder Spencer Henze