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, November 21, 2011


This week was a week of exploration. Me and my companion basically spent the majority of the week cruising around lost looking for members, investigators, and other important stuff. The previous elders left almost no addresses so the map is almost of no help haha. However, along our journey we found some cool stuff. Turns out that this area is way cool! It's one of the two richest areas in the whole state of Oaxaca! The richest parts are called Reforma and San Felipe del Agua. I'm talkin NICE houses. There's gringos who just come down here with all kinds of money and build these crazy houses just as like a summer escape and the rest of the year they just sit there. Door contacts are about as effective as telemarketing though because nobody actually comes to the door. They have their servant answer the intercom. It's pretty cool actually from a nerdy standpoint. XD

We met some of the members too. There's some real "fresas" here! That translates to strawberries but it means like... Rich, snobby, high maintenance type people. One sister lives in a house that looks like a pink castle and drives a sweet Audi convertible. I don't know exactly what model it is but it looks spendy. She's way cool though. One day the sister who was going to feed us forgot to mention that she was going to be out of town. So first we got lost looking for her house then decided to call sister Aquino (the one with the Audi) to ask we where this lady lived. Not only did she help us find the house, but when we realized that the sister wasn't home she bought us Domino's Pizza! YESSS!!! That family is way cool. They're kinda fresa but way loving.
Our house is pretty cool. We actually live in an apartment but it's nothing ordinary. We live in a one bedroom appt but we've got a gas stove and OVEN, a FUTON, and a KITCHEN TABLE!!! These things might seem rather ordinary but you have to remember that I haven't had them for a long time. The oven since Ocotlán, the futon ...never, and the table not since my first area. Actually it turns out that the table and many other things in this house are the same exact things I had in my first area Violetas! They lived here with the elders of Dainzu for a little while after getting a friendly eviction notice from the owner of the house I lived in. I think his daughter was going to move in so they had to evacuate. So ya, naturally they brought their stuff here and looks like they left a bunch of it so it's been a semi nostalgic week in that aspect :) kinda cool actually.
Our neighbors are way cool too. We used the washing machine of one of them today actually because they're members of the Violetas ward! Its soooo nice to have access to a washing machine. It saves me hours, energy and bloody knuckles. Its a huge blessing.
Turns out We live in the area of Violetas so that's what's going on there. There's also two dudes who speak English pretty well and some other not quite as interesting people who aren't quite as nice that live here, but it's a big happy family :)
Well that's about it for today! I love you!!! Talk to you next week!

-E. Spencer Henze

Monday, November 14, 2011

Opening a new zone

(-me and my new comp Elder Mota)

Hey everyone!
How´s it going?? I´m officially writing you from the city of Oaxaca!! Yep that´s right, I got changed again! This is a record guys. I don´t know if you remember but for the first 16 months of my mission I stayed in each area for about 3.5 to 4.5 months. Well just to poit out the interesting change that´s taken place ever since July I´ve only been in each area for one change. one change in tehuantepec, one change in Cosijopí, then just one change in Salina Cruz. Kinda cool but it´s got its ups and downs just like everything.
I´m pretty excited because for once I´m not sweating like a pig and dying of heat!!! I WAS COLD THIS MORNING!!!! I absolutely loved it even though I had to sit there in the bus station for 3 hours in a thin short sleeve shirt. I was greatful.
So the big news for this week is basically what the title of this message says! But i´m going to explain it a little further.
So, remember that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that in the zone leader conference they talked about how they were going to open two new zones and like four new areas? well these two zones are the zone of Amapolas, and the zone Huatulco. turns out I was chosen to open the zone Amapolas! I´ll be training a new ZL too. Booyah!
To my knowledge this is the first time this stake has ever had its own missioin zone assigned solely to the wards that belong to it so its pretty exciting stuff.
I´m pretty excited because I have a special place in my heart for this area of the city because it´s where I started the mission and I already know lots of people and have lots of friends. With a change under my belt of how to do stuff I feel much less apprehensive about the responsability. Mainly due to the intense situation the lord blessed me with this past change of being thrown into being in charge of everything in a rather large zone as ZL 1 without any training and with a comp who had no experience either and us both being entirely new to the area. It was very stressful to say the least but man did I learn a lot and the lord, dispite my myriad of mistakes, blessed us with the third hightest number of baptisms in the whole mission while figuring it all out and reopening an area. He´s so merciful you guys. its incredible.
So ya, my new area is called Dainzuand is what you could call a "rich" area. My new comp is named Elder Mota which is kinda funny because Mota in Spanish is a slang term for marijuana. ...probly gonna hear some jokes about that.
well my dear friends and family that´s about all for now! Overall I´m doing great. Kinda getting a little worn out physically but it´s definitely nothing I can´t handle :) I can´t believe how little time I have left... It´s kinda surreal. Ok, talk to you next week!!!
-Elder Spencer Henze

Pic- me and my comp with the Jovenes (youth) from Morro. They´re the people I´m going to miss the most from the area of Salina Cruz.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 6 already!

once again I sit to write the world about my little adventure here in Oaxaca. haha. I´m so glad so many of you are actually reading this and that you care whats going on with me out here! (tear) :,) Thank yoU! World peace! haha. for those of you who don´t get that world peace thing don´t worrry about it...
SO dang this past week was a BUSY one! No Manches! (thats how mexicans say like... "no way") tuesday we spent getting stuff ready to take the booyah trip to the big city of Oaxaca for the ZL conference and I washed my clothes for the week. Exciting right?! NO! I washed so much that my knuckles started to bleed! no lie. I´d send you pics but they´ve already healed for the most part.
The adventure began at the very first moment... this is gonna be worth it so just keep readin!
K, so we pull up to the bus station in a personal taxi with our little suitcase and effects and I start standing in line to claim the tickets the assistants bought us.
after about 5 minutes of waiting pleasantly in line the phone rings...

Me: "Bueno?" (the rest will be translated)

DL Cuellar: "hey do you have the number of a cardiologist? my companion is dying of a heart problem!"

Me: "Uuuuum... WHAT?!! well, no thats not one of the types of doctors we have on file and we don´t even have that list with us right now but i´ll find one."

LD Cuellar: "ok."

so then I go running over to my companion like "dude where are we gonna find a cardiologist???" of course he didn´t know so i told him to just go wait in line while I figured it out. after making a couple phone calls I was about to call an ambulance when I call Cuellar back to see how his companion was doing. thats when he informed me that the problem happened the night before and that ther was no emergency. he just wanted to go to the heart doctor to find out what happened. Well I was relieved but kind of mad at the same time cuz he made me freak out and lose my spot in line.

back to the line

I join my comp in line again and see that two ladies that were behind me originally had advanced themselves into the in front position with respect to ours. (they cruised on in front of us) obviously with no thought of maybe returning our original place in line to us. courtesy like that does not exist here. 
basically they both took about 10 minutes each fighting with the ONE attendant they had out of the 4 stations that are there (walmart style) about knocking like a dollar off their price.

--the assistant told us the bus was to leave at 12:35 pm. We got in line at 12:12 pm. ...plenty of time right?
--during this a 12:25pm bus is loading and preparing for departure

NOW, the ladies finally finished up their small scenes at approximately 12:30pm.

We´re now at the window and we tell the señorita that we needed to claim our tickets. we give her the number and she pulls up the information. All of a sudden her expression drops to one of worry and fear. we´re like... "what...?" she then tells us, "guys that´s your bus!" (the one backing up off the lot) and we´re like, "no, we´re going on the 12:35 pm bus. " and she said, "that bus doesn´t exist!" "that´s the last bus until tomorrow!" "why didn´t you tell me?" i was like... "I didn´t know i was allowed to just cruize up and interrupt like that and we didn´t even know tha was our bus!" so she tried to radio for the bus to stop but the gate guy was scratching his butt hungover from the night before and didn´t answer it so she told us she´d call ahead to Tehuantepec (like 30 minutes away) where it was going to stop before heading to Oaxaca and she´d tell them to wait for us and we could take a taxi over there. So without other options, thats what we did.
$100 pesos and a startled cab driver later we arrive at tehuantepec just before the bus. we got our stuff in the cargo hold and got on the bus and all the people who had just seen us in the station in Salina Cruz were kinda freaked out surely asking themselves "what the heck are they doing here?" "weren´t they Just in Salinas?" YES! but turns out we have mastered the art of teleporting.
so ya, with that the journey commenced.
The conference was lovely. I also got my visa renewed finally. it was a good time. I got to eat at Subway too!! it costd a whopping $100 pesos but it was delicious.
since we got back at 4:00am friday morning its been all crazy trying to get all the paperwork in from October (and some other months the previous ZLs missed somehow)
so this is that las week of the change! it went by way fast. I´m not sure whats going to happen with the changes but they´re going to open Morro which sucks for me becuase thats where all our work was at... but oh well. Mario needs help out there.
Speaking of Morro we went out there this morning on a sick beach to watch the sun rise! yep, you heard right! we watched the sun rise over the PACIFIC ocean! thats just how magical this place is haha. I´ll attach some pics :) we also played in the dunes. booyah.
anyways, this has turnd quite long. Thanks for reading!!! I love you all very much and as always, THANK YOU for your incredible support :)

Elder Spencer Henze

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today is officially Halloween! Thats awesome cuz its almost like I`m
writing you guys special for Halloween but its just a lucky p-day :D
So I totally had a dream about Mom and Dad and Jam and Ali today
during my siesta. It was weird.
I guess the big news this week was that I we baptized!!! It wasn`t
just any baptism either. I got to baptize at the beach!!! it was in a
little laguna right there on the beach! suuuuuuuper cool. I attached
pictures :) Her name is Melisa. She`s super cool. We`ve been teaching
her for about three weeks now and she`s had a date for Saturday (day
before yesterday) for a little over a week now but on Friday after
seminary she was feeling uneasy about the whole thing because some dum
dums told her all kinds of garbage about how she shouldn`t go through
with it. while we were there in the house of prayer we started talking
to her to see if she was ready for her baptism and everything when she
started telling about all this. I had a heart to heart with her for
about an hour explaining stuff and at the end of the chat she began to
see things clearly and everything turned out cool :) She was baptized
the next day and we had an incredible experience with the branch out
there in the sand :)
Our Mission Leader / Mr. awesome out there in Morro (Mario) took us
out Saturday morning to get ready for the baptism. Not only did he pay
me back for the money I loaned him, he went the extra mile. He
expressed his appreciation for what we had done to help out the youth
and said that we were the only missionaries he had ever met that had
done something like that to help him. ...and he`s met a LOT of
missionaries. This means a lot coming from this guy. He`s like Mr.
super missionary dude. He holds the current record for baptisms in
Monte Rey Mexico with 582 in his 2 year service. and he still  is in
contact with most of them and only a few are inactive. this guy is on
a whole nother level.
anyway, this guy just to show us his appreciation for our help and
friendship took us to the store and bought my companion a $120 watch
and me a $100 soccer Jersey. an original from the Mexico select
national team. Its soooo cool.
It was hard to accept but he insisted telling us that if we didn`t
accept it we would be denying him blessings. haha! ...didn`t want to
do that so I took it :)
this week we`re looking forward to our trip to Oaxaca where we´re
gonna party it up with the other ZLs and go to the temple afterward!
its going to be awesome.
Me and my companion are doing well together. He`s a great guy. He`s
had a similar mission experience to mine so we have a lot to talk
about. We have gotten to know each other really well. its cool to have
a comp like him :)

well, That's all for this week! I`ll write about the trip to Oaxaca
(the city) next time! I love you all very much and as always thank you
so much for your love and support.

Elder Spencer Henze


Pics- they`re all pretty obvious, but the one with food is actually
turtle eggs. ay, real sea turtle eggs ;)