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, March 19, 2012

The Last Melon

This is crazy...
I can hardly believe this is the last time i'll be writing you guys from Oaxaca. I have gotten so used to it here that, much to my surprise, among my feelings of insane excitement, I am experiencing many similar feelings to those I had when I was leaving home to come out here...
Its kinda like when someone you love dies in the aspect that even though it's just over a day away I still can't completely comprehend it. I've been reflecting a lot this week on my mission and I have to say that all in all I'm pretty darn happy with how it all turned out. Was I perfect? Not even close, but I can honestly say I gave it my best shot. I did what I was able to and I feel satisfied with it. 
Yesterday in stake conference my feelings were confirmed when the mission president gave his talk and specially mentioned Elder Navarro and I as being stellar missionaries. I never in a million years imagined that that would ever happen. It was awesome. Not so much for the selfish aspect of being publicly recognized, but more because my mission president felt that way so strongly that it was made manifest in that way. He, being my priesthood leader, judge in Israel, and someone who knows more intimately about my mission than any other being save it be Jesus Christ himself said those things about me. It was the highest compliment I could have received. So that was way cool for me :) 
It was really surreal to say goodbye to the friends I've made here and some of the people I've baptized. It's funny how attached you can get to people in such a short amount of time when you're brothers and sisters in the gospel. Especially when you've had the opportunity to watch them grow and mature and have been able to be a part of it. 
I'm truly going to miss Oaxaca. This has come as a bit of a surprise to me because there have been many moments that I have hated it. haha. but even the bad times appear to me now as fond memories. The things that I lived here will forever live in my soul. 
For any of you who might read this and are contemplating going on a mission (guys) I strongly urge you to go. I can honestly say that this has been the best experience of my life. One I would not trade for anything. It's hard and it tests you to your limits, but it gives you experience that is simply priceless which truly are several of the secrets to life. It also gives you a deep appreciation for how good we have it in our little corner of the world. There's nothing more rewarding than to be able to serve among a people who truly need you. To be able to provide them with things that are going to help them throughout their entire lives. To truly be an earthly angel of the Lord. ...I can't completely describe it, but employing my very advanced vocabulary, it's awesome.
This week was incredible. I'll have to tell you all the details when I get home because there's lots and I'm pretty sure I have the majority of them recorded in my journal. Or at least while reading what I did write I'll hopefully remember the rest. 
The main things that happened were first, Elder Navarro came to the city from the coast on Friday to be able to go with me to the temple on Saturday morning to accompany a convert family from Ocotlán through the temple to receive their endowment and to be sealed together as an eternal family. I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything more powerful than those couple of hours. There is no experience sweeter than to be able to see a family you taught and helped receive the gospel enduring to the end and making it to the temple to receive the incredible blessings God has prepared for each of us. It was a day full of pure spirit, awesome, more spirit, some magic, and most of all rejoycing! I shed several tears during the sealing ordinance. I had never been part of a live sealing ordinance before. It's soo powerful. Not only did I get to go, but Elder Navarro and I were chosen by the family to be the two witnesses to the ordinance and as such, I, along with Elder Navarro, got to sign their official certificate of their Eternal Marriage. It was just way too cool...
Yesterday was a day full of baptisms! First thing in the morning at 9:00 am was the baptism of our investigator (soccer player) José Luis!!! It went super well. We sang him a special musical number and everything. His girlfriend Raquel came all the way from Veracruz to be a part of it. Everything worked out perfectly. I was once again filled with rejoycing! haha.
Later that same day I had the opportunity to baptize a lady named Olíva  (Olive) who is a convert from the ward  "Fortín." which is the area of El Centro. This happened similarly to how it happened several weeks before with Cecilia in that I had the opportunity to interview her and as always the last question is "who would you like to baptize you? to which she replied, "Can any one of you guys do it?" to which I replied, "Sí" to which she replied, "Could you do it?"
So now you know how that went down.
It was a very cool experience to say the least. Even cooler than planned in fact because I forgot to bring an extra change of underclothes!!! :O So I just wrang out the ones I had as best I could and wore them. ...Like a BOSS!! haha.
They dried surprisingly fast though.
In total we had SEVEN baptisms this week in the zone! That's very above average for this zone so I'm just as thrilled as can be!

I know that none of this apparent good fortune is coincidence. God always blesses us with his tender mercies when we do his will. Even if we don't do it perfectly. He always looks on the heart and takes everything into account. I know that these incredible blessings all came from him and that just gives me one more reason to praise his name on high.
God lives. I know it without a doubt.
Even though I am going to miss this place and these people enormosly, I am extremely excited to come home and be with you all again for the first time in TWO YEARS!!!! I love you all immensely and will see you on Wednesday!!!
Elder Spencer Henze
Misión México Oaxaca
17 Marzo 2010 - 21 Marzo 2012
Misión Cumplida.
1.) Me recording the mission hymn on my iPod Touch using the new mobile garageband app for iPad and iPod touch (oh yeah...)
2.) The Board of missionaries in the offices. If you look you can see me right there at the top ready to go home.
3.) Elder Navarro and I with the Familia Padilla Sánchez after the sealing.
4.) The baptism of José Luis
5.) The baptism of Olíva
Recording: The official recording I made of the Hymn for La Misión México Oaxaca.

Monday, March 12, 2012

8 Days and Counting...

Wow, its kind of crazy to think that this is the second to last time that I will write you all from the mission...
Dang, I've gotta say the weirdness is starting to kick in. I read Dad's email that had almost to the hour when my release date is going to be and a picture of the temple color-in thingy and saw how many days I had left and well... might have cried a little bit.
It hit me really hard that these are the last few days I have left to be a set apart, full-time missionary here in Oaxaca.
I have really wanted to be teaching lots of people this week and just busting it out but turns out this week was kinda slow. José luis had to travel to another state to play in a soccer game so we couldn't teach him at all. And pretty much all of our other appointments fell through... That leaves just contacting, which I pretty much do not like at all. We've already contacted quite a bit with absolutely no success so that doesn't really make me want to do it anymore. But I guess it's a good test of my love for the people seeing as how I won't be able to baptize anyone new if it is that we were to find someone.
However! there is hope!
ok get this,
this week we've been focusing on a 10yr old girl who isn't baptized yet so that belongs to the mission. She hasn't been baptized because she was waiting until her bum dad to came to visit from the united states for the first time in 10 years before she would get baptized. We went over to her house and convinced her mom that that's redic and that she shouldn't deny her daughter blessings anymore by waiting for that fool to find a chance to break away from his second family to be able to buzz down here which I honestly doubt he will do anyway. SO tomorrow we are going over with the bishop to get everything set up for Saturday! booyah.
José Luis was going to get baptized on April 1st because that was when his [not] girlfriend was going to be able to come and he really wanted her to be there. Well we got in contact with the [not] girlfriend and told her "Fool, get down here this weekend yo!" and she was like, "ok." So I'm most likely going to get to baptize José Luis this Saturday!!!! Pray for him if you could so that he will be able to be ready!
well, i'm not going to lie. At this point in the mission I am on a roller coaster of emotions. Everything from being SUPER excited for what is to come with seeing everyone and working and making money again, to wanting to explode this last week and work till i'm blue in the face, to feeling exhausted and battling mission death, to being sad about the i'm going to leave behind here, to being stoked to have modern conveniences again and not have to battle like crazy to do simple stuff, to who knows what!!!
dizzy yet? I am.
Today something cool happened.
we played basketball as a zone this morning because zone basketball is awesome, and afterwards we headed over to the Violetas chappel to have a little cookout with the zone when they sent Elder Medina (who's leaving the same day as me) and I to the store just up the road. I knew what was up because I'm a detective and my comp knows that so he just told me what was up from the beginning, but Medina didn't. What am I talking about? HOLD ON! I'm getting to it.
Turns out that some the members of the ward Violetas were planning a surprize going away party for Elder Medina and I! 
So we go to Soriana (a grocery store) to give them a little time to set up, then we headed over to the church and when we got there, "SURPRIZE!!!!"
I was a little nervous because there was a clown there. Clowns freak me out in the first place but this time I was mostly afraid he was going to do something inappropriate. Turns out he kept it rated PG. Quite a relief because I didn't want to have to crash my own going away party!
I got my face painted too! Not usually a fan of that but they were super hero designs so...
Thanks for all your love, prayers, emails, and support! I love you all!
-Elder Spencer Henze
1. Me and Medina in the Hot Seat
2. ...obvious
3. The Zone and the clown
4. my canadian brotha Elder Bridgeraj (Jacob Henze signed this flag too in the MTC!)
5. The Super Heros

6. Cake faced...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Elder Scott

What's up everybody?! I'm doing just magically here in Oaxaca enjoying my last two weeks before I'm back in the Gem State! (where we don't make piñatas that look like people and then bash in their face like in Juar-éz --Napoleon D.)
So I´ve got some sweet news from this week. First of all let me go ahead and explain the best thing that happened!
Saturday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn. Before actually. 4:30 am to be exact :) why might you ask? well, just for a nice calm everyday conference with Elder Richard G. Scott from the quorum of the 12 apostles!!!!!
Turns out he wasn´t the only GA there either. Accompanying him was a member of the presidency of the first quorum of the seventy who i´m pretty sure spoke in general conference this past October. His name is Elder Clayton. He´s cool and to me what made him even cooler is that he had an iPad. Booyah. He´s the second General Authority that i´ve met that uses one.
The conference was sick. We started off by shaking his hand. When we all had sat down and before the opening prayer Elder Scott goes up to the pulpit very seriously and everyone gets real tense like, "oh crap, he´s gonna planch us!" But then he said the following words. "In the church it is very important to be allegre (happy) and smile. You all are very serious, so i´m going to tell you a joke!" he then told a joke about a dog that I didn´t quite understand but just the fact that he told a joke like that was hilarious! After the opening prayer we sang our song in our little choir. We did decently. I was slightly afraid my voice was going to crack because after having two-and-a-half hour long practices every day that week my voice was pretty much at the edge of being shot. It went alright though. In fact Elder Clayton called us "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Oaxaca!" and that we sounded almost professional. I took this as a high compliment :)
We did some scenarios (I almost volunteered but chickened out) and turns out they went super easy on the guys that went up there. I was sitting there in my seat like "Dang I could have totally gone up there and been fine!" but oh well. Later on Elder Clayton gave a sweet talk about how The Book of Mormon is a map for our lives and if we´ll just "look at it," figuratively speaking, we´ll be able to avoid a lot of very big and avoidable problems. Towards the end Elder Scott took questions and finished with the most powerful testimony of Christ I have heard in my entire life. It strengthened my testimony so much. There is nothing like hearing an apostle bear his witness using his apostolic keys. I honestly think the only way to have a more powerful witness of Christ is to see him personally...
At the end of the first part we took a picture as a mission (because everyone in the mission was there) and had some food. After the food it was time for me to present the little video I had made for the mission. To my surprise the technical equipment that was there and set up originally was all gone when I got back from eating.
I frantically started busting out the backup equipment I had gathered and prepared from days earlier to be able to present the video without causing an inconvenient delay in the program. It was the most miraculous thing I´ve pulled off in some time. I hadn´t checked the cables or anything but everything turned out working perfectly.
Everybody seemed to love the video and afterwards when Hna. Leyva (pres´s wife) accredited me for being the maker of it I got a long loud applause. I felt so awesome!!!! afterward several people came up to me complimenting me on the video and asking if I could pass it to them. So that was pretty awesome for me :) I was way pumped that I got to put that skill to use in the mission. I never in my life thought i´d have the opportunity. Hna. Leyva said she was going to upload it to the mission Facebook page if you want to see it. just sign into Facebook and search "Tierra de Milagros" and it should be pretty easy to find.
you´ll also find over a hundred pictures from the conference there (supposedly).
Among other news, that division II soccer player we started teaching last week now has a baptismal date for the first of April! I won´t be here for it, but as long as he gets baptized I´m cool with that. We never found the other dude...
Oh, one more cool thing is that Hna. Leyva composed a mission hymn! It is now the official hymn of the Mission Mexico Oaxaca and she asked me to make the official recording of it and be a part of the small group that sings it. This recording will be the standard to teach this hymn to all the missionaries that come to this mission for years. So that´s quite the honor for me and gives me another cool project to work on to help me not think so much about how soon I´ll be home!
I made a rough recording with my iPod the last time I was over at the mission home with Elder Lund which I´ve attached to show you what it sounds like more or less. It´s me and him singing. Its got mistakes but it´ll give you the gist. also attached is a recording of the song we sang for Elder Scott. This recording is from a practice we did earlier on in the week so it sounded better when we actually sang it for Elder Scott but this too will give you the all too famous, gist. ;)
I love you guys and am really looking forward to seeing you all again for the first time in over 2 years in two weeks!!! thanks for stickin´ with me to the end on here. And a huge thanks to Jamie for keeping this sick blog. YOU ROCK JAM!!!!!!
-Elder Spencer Henze
1.) Elder Lund the day that we were in the mission home making the video and the recording
2.) Elder Wittwer and I after the conference. I was so busy with everything after the conference that this is the only picture I took. There´s tons on the Facebook page though.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Video Project


This is officially the fourth to last weekly email that I will be
writing to you all while on my mission... :D

It's good to hear that everyone is doing so well! I still love getting
your emails and love the fact that you still write me even though I'm
almost home. You've stuck with me to the end!
So some exciting stuff happened this week! First and foremost about
the work. As I might have mentioned before the work has been really
slow lately but this week a couple of cool things happened.

First, a division II soccer player named José Luis showed up to church
on Sunday! Turns out he's here until May to play for Oaxaca's division
II team and has already gone to church 4 times in Veracruz where he's
originally from. This Sunday was his fifth time! We already have an
appointment with him on Thursday and I am way excited to teach him.
He's way pilas and a way cool guy.

Later that same day (yesterday) we went to visit the ward mission
leader to have a correlation meeting and on the way back we were
approaching a guy who when we had passed the first time I felt like I
should talk to but didn't, and this time the feeling came even
stronger. As I was thinking of ways to start a conversation with him
he said hi to us. Not just that but in English! I now had the perfect
excuse to engage in conversation. I shared with him an overview of
the gospel and he seemed really excited to learn more. He said that he
wants to change his life because he was a gangster before and spent
some time in prison in The United States. He's very tattooed and has a
lot of scars from knife fights. His name is noé (Noah) and we are
going to be teaching him this week too. PILAS!

On a more secular note, on Tuesday I got to spend most of the day at
the President's house, eat food that Sister Leyva made us, AND put my
GarageBand skills to work recording a multi-track study help to aid
the members of our little choir in learning their part and being able
to effectively practice the song at home. In just one week we have
dramatically improved. I don't know how much of the improvement is due
to the recordings but I know they helped out everyone who actually
used them. We use them in the practices too and on Wednesday during
the rehearsal a few guys are going to bring their speakers and iPods
and we're going use them by dividing into sectionals to really nail
the parts. It's been a sweet tool.
ALSO, Sister Leyva Asked me how possible it would be to put together a
little slideshow of mission memories to play for everyone after the
conference with Elder Richard G. Scott on Saturday. I was delighted to
inform her that it would be quite simple using iMovie and that I could
have it done in just a couple of hours. Well, after the rehearsal today
we took advantage of today being P-Day to bust out  the majority of
the slideshow. Everything is ready except for some pictures we still
need to throw in that we didn't have yet. Sister Leyva was thrilled to
hear that it would be something that we could easily post on the
mission's Facebook page called "Tierra de Milagros" so I'm pretty sure
you'll be able to see it soon!
Well my loved ones, that's about all for today. Talk to you soon!


1. found some ancient Mayan ruins...
2. The surprise I found on my toothbrush two nights ago
3. The mini choir
4. Eatin' at president's house

Friday, February 24, 2012

Richard G. Scott

Man the time really is flying by now. I seriously can't believe it is Monday again already. I'm almost halfway through my last change! Quite loco.
This week was pretty slow as far as the work goes because of some stuff the offices gave us to do. The other reason is pretty cool actually. Let me tell you about it :D
So tuesday I was running mail and stuff to the district leaders with my companion and while with one of them I receive a phone call...
It was the mission president's wife. She informed me that she was putting together a chior that would sing for Elder Richard G. Scott that is coming on the 3rd of March and that she would like me to participate! Not only that but she told me that I was the very first person she thought to call to invite to sing and help her get it set up. I obviously accepted enthusiastically :) Since then I have been helping her with the technological aspect of the venture by finding and downloading a recording of the exact song (in spanish and all because it originally comes in english) and distributing it to the other Elders who will be participating in the choir to help them to be able to learn their parts faster seeing as how we will only have 4 more practices until showtime.
Also to further help with this I am working with the Hna. Leyva (president's wife) to produce a recording (using garageband--booyah for mac) for each part that has their part specifically played on the piano against the exact background music that we will be singing with in the real thing to help them really nail their parts. I'm way pumped about this because usually for lack of practice these things turn out horribly so we're going to extra lengths to make sure this is legit for Elder Scott. We'll be finishing up the recording hopefully tomorrow so I'll let you know how that goes later on.
Also once we get it about dialed in I'll send you a recording.
Another cool experience from this week is that also that same day shortly after receiving the invite for the choir we were with the District Leader of Fortín when I saw a dude who we had seen a few times before in the busses selling mini sewing kits and sissors. This time, however, he was not on the bus. He was on approach to the corner where we were standing. I didn't think much of it until his proxemity started to alarm me to the point where I realized that he was intending to talk to us. This is not normal so I, now curious as to what the interchange was going to be like, faced him and greeted him. He greeted me very warmly and respectfully dispite his tattered clothing and unfortuante looking condition. I asked him how he was doing and he responded that he was doing great and without much delay straightway asked us if we might have a Book of Mormon that we could give him. This was even less normal than having someone approach us to talk to us in the street (that's not drunk) so you can immagine my surprize. Analyzing what his motives might be with the book, I asked him while Elder Habecker slowly lowered his backpack to take out the book,  if he had ever read from it. He with more enthusiasm than I have seen from 90% of the members that I have known in my entire mission that he had and that it was marvellous but that he had lost the book in his move. I asked him if he believed that the book was truly the word of God and he responded that he knew that every word was inspired and that there are many teachings for us in it. He testified so powerfully of the book that I was left almost speachless... Usually it's our job to testify of the book and seeing as how this had never happened to me before in the past, I was a little unsure of how to react. I did my best to tell him how awesome that was that he knew that and that I also knew that to be true. We gave him the book and took down his information. Unfortunately he does not live in our area so we passed the reference to the offices to give to whoever was in the correct area. Whoever they are they've got themselves an awesome investigator. So that was pretty cool. Just wanted to share that with you because it's the first time anything like that has ever happened to me in my entire mission.
Alrighty well, thats the update! Thanks for stickin' with me 'till the end!
E. Spencer Henze

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello :)

Hey everyone!
It's definitely Wednesday... this is litterally the first chance I've had to write on a computer since Sunday. Don't worry, I didn't forget about you!! So here I am writing you again after another week of pure Oaxaca magic. This week went by pretty fast. First we had ZL conference, thenthe day after we had our zone meeting. Between these two activitiesthe week was pretty much eaten up. It's all good though because theyboth turned out good.

The first conference was loooong. Usually we have a break after the first two or three hours where we eat a little somthin' before heading into the long section but this time we did thebreak right as we got there... So basically we were sitting in the same spot with no breaks for over 6 hours. It goes by quick but towards the end we were starting to get pretty antsy. After that we usually go to the temple but because of the new way the pres is doing things our zone goes on the first Wednesday of each month. Since we had already gone this month we weren't able to go. We did, however,get to go storm a mini restaurant! After the conference was over and before the temple session the pres and the assistants took us all to a mini restaurant of some members where we flooded in like the sardines flood the krusty krab on Sponge Bob. 
Zone meeting was fun. We had some training and passed down the info we got in our conference and then had a little cheezy nacho refreshment. 
Photo attached

Another thing that I'm very excited about that I did this week is I bought a little white board for the house! The leaders' houses in this mission lack just about everything you need to be productive, so instead of buying poster after poster to keep zone information easily in sight and in mind by putting it visibly on the wall (which is also a huge hassle if you need to update information which happens about every week...) I decided to pick up this bad boy! (see the pic) It's been super sweet to have. Even more helpful than I thought it would be. We can now easily keep track of the progress of each area in the zone and have it be something we view several times a day keeping us very well informed. I think it should be a standard tool in the house of every pair of ZLs.
Also another cool purchase I made this week was a MINI-PAN!!! booyah. pic attaced. Perfect for makin' Eggs and pancakes.

I don't know if I commented to you all about an experience I had a few weeks back. I showed up to do a baptismal interview with an investigator girl form the ward "Fortín." When I got there all ready for action turns out the first thing she says to me is that she wasn't ready to be baptized. I told her not to worry but that I would still like to talk to her to see if I could help. We talked for the better part of an hour where she expressed some very vague concerns and I did my best to figure out what the problem was while teaching her the Doctrine of Christ. (Repentance, Baptisim) 
I said everything the spirit helped me to feel that I needed to tell her and bore my testimony as sincerely as I know how and told her that God loves her.I challenged her to pray about it and ask God if it was something she needed to do and that when she got her answer we would be right there to help her do it. She said she would. So that's how that played out. I had faith that someday she would get baptized but wasn't sure if I'd get to be there.

So this week I get a call on Tuesday that Fortín needed another interview and that it was the same Cecilia that I had interviewed before. That she was now ready to be baptized! This thrilled me for obvious reasons. So Friday after helping a member move a fridge and zipping through the centro in the back of an El Camino style car which made us super dizzy, we arrived at the church! I sat down with her and the first thing I asked was what had changed and how she had gotten her answer. She said that she knew all along that it was something that she needed to do but was afraid of the change, but through prayer, reading scriptures, and talking with us she has overcome the fear and it has turned into excitement :D I congratulated her and then continued with the interview. She was super ready.  
The coolest part is this: at the end of every interview the last question is always "Who do you want to baptize you?" well, after trying to convince her to decide between Elder Jimenez and Elder Habecker or some other guy from the ward, she responded, "es que... me gustaría que usted me bautizara." Translation, "Well um... I'd like it if you baptized me." I was like...ME??? kinda caught me off guard so after stumbling over my words just a little and recollecting my cool a bit I said "of course!" "I'd love to!" 
Long story short, I showed up the next day and had the privilege to baptize Cecilia. It was sweet :)

 oh one more thing... I DROVE A MOTOTAXI TODAY!!!! I just took it up and down a little backstreet but ya. Pretty much accomplished a life goal there. SCORE!!! :D
The owner is a less active recent convert that we just started working with. After driving the little bugger we had a super pilas lesson with him right there in the mototaxi :) He then drove us here. So now you are officially updated to the minute! Don't get much better than that y'all. Also one more thing. I have my official itinerary for when I fly home! Yes, that means I know what planes I'll be taking, which airports I'll stop in, and most importantly the time of day when I get back home!!! I will forward you the exact email they sent me :) 

See you in 5 weeks!
E. Spencer Henze

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Last Change!

Hey guys!
So the changes are in and it turns out I'm going to be staying here in Dainzu with the same comp Elder Mota! We're getting five new missionaries in the zone and we got rid of one of the problem missionaries so it's looking like we've got a good crew to work with here for the last few weeks of my mission. I'm pretty excited. We're planning out a cool zone activity to do to get to know each other on either Wednesday or Friday. I'm thinking we might get to go to the temple again on thursday as part of the zone leader council thing we do at the beginning of the month so this week is going to be sick.
Today we've pretty much been in the bus station all day. We've been here since 9:00 am. It's currently 5:45 and the dude we're waiting for still hasn't shown up. He was supposed to be here at 5:30 but it's all good. It's nice to just sit and not think about anything for a little while. Sometimes I feel like my head spins with all the stuff there is to think about all the time. It's way cool though don't get me wrong.
Today Sugey, one of my converts from Ocotlán came to the bus station to say bye to a missionary that was leaving and I saw her! She's goin' strong still! It made me happy.
So some cool stuff happened this week! First of all we had a return appointment with a contact we did a while ago that was gong to be at 6:00 on Tuesday. So we come strollin' up at around 5:55 and we see a woman about the age of the lady we were going to visit with a kid about the age of her kid scurry out of the spot that was pretty much exactly where I remember her house being. When she checked to see if the coast was clear and saw us in the street they made a break for it. I thought to myself, "...nice."
so when we got up to the house we knocked on her door and interestingly enough... nobody answered.
We decided to wait for her to come back just to see what would happen. Well, sure enough, she came back in just about the amount of time it would take for someone you don't want to see to realize you're not home and be long gone. When she came around the corner and saw us sitting outside her house her pride was the only thing keeping her from turning around and running away. She, having no other option, let us in and we taught about the plan of salvation. It went pretty well actually and even though it clearly was not opportune, my companion robotically tried to put the baptismal date with her after she accepted the soft invitation I gave her (if you come to know that this is true will you be baptized?). ...that didn't go very well. But it was a funny experience all around. We're going to see if we can teach her again tomorrow.
Also this week the richest lady in the ward who recently received an operation was in a lot of pain. On Wednesday we were cruising around pretty bored because all of the appointments had fallen through and we had already knocked a lot of doors so we decided to see how their family was doing with the Book of Mormon activity we're doing in the ward. When we arrive we found the sister in so much pain that her character had changed somewhat. She asked us for a blessing so I gave her one and she said that within minutes she felt normal. She was so impacted by the experience that she got up on Sunday and bore her testimony about the power of the priesthood.
Also while cruising to the food appointment on Friday we came across a recently dropped wallet. Woman's style. We looked around for a panicking woman frantically looking for her wallet, but saw nothing. We decided to pick it up and look for the owner. While looking for some ID we saw that it was full of money and bank cards and thought, "dang... Good thing we found this cuz anyone else around here would have just make off with the goods!" haha. Before going to the lunch appointment we found a business card and made the call. Within a few minutes a very relieved woman in a little red Hyundai Accent pulled up and we turned in the wallet. I see this as a long overdue "pay-it-forward" deal from a long time ago when I left my wallet in an arcade in the mall and someone turned it in without taking anything. We tried contacting her and setting up an appointment but she was kinda scatterbrained and just kept saying random stuff about how she had some Mormon friends and who knows what else. So we just left it at that. I still felt way good. It was a cool experience. Hopefully she'll let the next pair of missionaries in that knock on her door remembering this "good turn." haha I felt like a true eagle scout.
I think that's the majority of the big events. It feels crazy to be so close to being done. I can feel Satan working hard to break my focus now that I'm getting so close to finishing. Most of it doesn't affect me but apparently there are some rumors going around about me in my ward and another ward from the stake that are saddening. I think I know where they came from too and its super ridiculous. Obviously none are true but it makes me feel sad that the very people I am here serving are talking about me like that. It's no big deal though. They'll see that it's garbage as I ignore it and keep working.
Alrighty then, I'm out of here! Thanks to all of you who wrote me today! I love hearing about what's going on with you. Oh, and a special shout out to the Johnson family this week! Thank you! I can't wait :D


Elder Spencer Henze

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Turnaround week

Once agin I send a huge WADDDUUUUUPPPP!!!!! to all y'all!
This week was pretty cool. I don't know how to transmit to you all of the cool stuff that happened but I'm going to give it a shot.
First of all there were five baptisms in the zone this week!
That doesn't sound like much but that puts us at 12 as a zone for the month of January!
That doesn't sound like much either for a whole zone but just to put that in perspective the next highest baptizing zone in the city baptized 7 and has way more missionaries. 24 to be exact. 
We are the smallest zone in the city being 12 missionaries in total and serving in the richest areas of the entire city. The next smallest zone is Mitla which has 18. In fact we were the 4th highest baptizing zone in the entire mission!  
Of course this success is not all my doing but it sure makes me proud as their leader! It means that all the training, counciling, motivating, etc. we've done worked! So that makes me happy :)
On a more personal note I am doing really well. I can smell the end drawing near but it is all excitement because it drives me to work harder to make good use of the time I have left, but also I have something super awesome to look forward to in just 7 short weeks!
Me and my companion get along really well and work well together. Changes are coming up next week and i'm not sure what I want to do. The president in our last council we had with him on tuesday basically told me to let him know what I wanted my change to be so I've been thinking a lot about it this week. What I told him in the weekly letter today is that things are going really well here in Dainzú and that if I finished here leading the zone with Elder Mota that would be fine with me, but if he has other ideas that I would be fine with that too. It would be nice to stay though. The ward is kinda lame and the area is pretty difficult but I'm used to that by now. I feel that way mostly for the zone to be able to help it continue to progress. It's hard to find a companion in whom you can trust completely and who helps out and pulls his share of the weight so thats another reason.
We were able to baptize this week! haha! It was a 9 year old kid but hey it counts :) we also have been contacting with the new method we came up with and it's been working really well.

This week we found and have taught twice already a Christian youth named Mauricio and his brother José. He seems halfway promising haha. He's got a lot of strange ideas about the interpretation of the bible but we're working on that. Also we were able to teach Neftalí!! He's the husband of a less active recent convert and the father of Thalía who we have been teaching this change. So far every time we have gone over to teach he disappears almost instantly, but he came into contact with an old friend of his (Brother Sanchez who is super pilas) who planched him up and down and explained some stuff to him that he'd never heard before. He actually got interested! On Saturday night after a long wet day and having almost made it home we remembered that we still needed to go to visit him and invite him to church before Sunday. When the idea came to my head I groaned inside just wanting so badly to be able to rest. My companion left the decision in my hands and I decided to obey the impression and go. We took a bus to go back to where he lives and after talking with his wife a bit about what happened with Brother Sanchez he came out to talk to us! This was a big deal. A first time. We asked him about what went down with Sanchez and as soon as he cracked the door between him and teaching I jammed my foot in it and just dove in with scriptures and teachings. Long story short my companion and I were able to teach a super powerful lesson to a very difficult man thanks to the participation of a member, the spirit, and the decision we made to obey the impression. I really hope to be able to continue teaching him. He would be a powerful convert. So ya, always follow promptings from the spirit because miracles can happen! 
alright, time to go. I love you all! Thank you for sticking with me to the end! I owe you all cookies.
-Elder Spencer Henze
oh, PS:
The pres let my companion and I go to Monte Albán today!!! woohoo! we also played basketball (my team owned. YESSssss) as a zone and took this pic.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2 Months!

sorry for not writing last week! The time escaped me. But don't worry!
things are going well. I don't remember much about last week... after
a few days the past just all looks like one giant blur!
This past week though we did divisions with some of the District
Leaders in the zone. That went pretty well I guess. haha they were
pretty dead days for some reason in both areas. the first day i went
with Elder Graves and we spent the morning in the doctor's office
getting his ingrown tonail cut out. I got to sit there and watch the
process :D I had to convince the nurse to let me in. I told her "I
need to go in so that I can translate for him because he just got here
and might not be able to communicate with the doctor. the nurse
grumbled "bueno." and I got in :) I'm sneaky. I recorded the procedure
too for those of you that will be around me after the mission you can
watch it if you want :) ...poor guy. After that Graves couldn't walk
on his foot very well. The doctor told him to stay off it but he
really wanted to work so we went to look for a couple investigators
and did a couple contacts but his toe started to hurt him pretty bad
so I called it a day and we went home around 6. he's doing well now

The next time we did divisions with another DL and I chose to go with
the Jr. Comp again because he was strugging a lot with the language
and some spiritual things too. Those divisions were way cool becuase I
was able to help him out quite a bit which made me feel really good. I
was kinda worried I wouldn't know what to say to help him to feel
better but as always the spirit helped me out. He had some doubts
about prayer so i taught him a bit about how prayer works and used
Ether 2 and 3 to help explain the process. There's a ton to learn from
those two short chapters of the Book fo Mormon where the brother of
Jared is seeking the lord's help in building the barges and getting
him and his family and their friends from babylon to the american
continent. Its quite the story. I reccommend it if you haven't read it
in a while.
so that was awesome. along with that we had a ballin lesson with
Miguel. He's not progressing much but we busted out the Fuahhh with
him. If he doesn't progress after that lesson I think we're going to
have to leave him.

We got a few references this week! We're still looking for one who
lives on a very confussing street but apparently he's a sure bet and
has already expressed the desire to be baptized.
We also had a super spiritual lesson with a recent convert (now
inactive :/) and her non-member daughter about the sabbath day. The
spirit totally guided that lesson like a railroad track guides a dang
train! our original plan was to watch the Joseph Smith movie with them
to go along with the lesson about the BOM that we gave the last time
hoping to rekindle and inite testimonies. well, turns out that they
didn't have the stuff they needed to be able to play the DVD even
though they told us they did so we had to come up with a lesson on the
fly. My companion and I started flipping through the scriptures
waiting for inspiration. We randomly came to Alma 32 and decided to
talk about faith. We didn't know why because it seemed kinda off the
wall but we just went with the impression. After reading just the very
first verse of the analogy (verse 21 which is where we started) the
non-member daughter started going off about how she has had lots of
blessings that lead her to believe firmly that God exists. this gave
me a perfect opportunity to share John 14:15 and talk about how if she
would thank God for the blessings he's given her by keeping the
commandments that he would give her many more. That lead smoothly into
going over the commandments and focusing on keeping the sabath day
holy which was a much more relavent and needed teaching. The rest of
the lesson was purely awesome. ...the most powerful one i've taught in
a long time. I really hope they take it to heart and come to church
next week...

oh one other thing. You all should make a mormon.org profile! its
something the mission is now intituting a lot in the work. They had
all of us missionaries make one and explore the site. it's really cool
and a super powerful way to share your testimony with lots of people
with almost zero effort! I mentioned that in the talk I gave yesterday
in sacrament meeting about how the members could start involving
themselves a little more in the work. The church is really doing a
good job of utilizing technology to their benefit. its awesome.

well thats about all I can think of to write. Thank you for all of
your love and support! I love you all!!! SEE YOU IN 2 MONTHS!

-Elder Spencer Henze

Monday, January 2, 2012


its me again! wow these weeks are going by fast. I feel kinda like I was just here writing you guys like yesterday. Quite the change from the beginning of the mission where I felt like monday couldn't come fast enough.
This week was kinda crazy with the changes and the holidays. The first few days we were waiting for the new gringos to arrive and hosting an elder in our house and running him around to wherever he needed to be and Friday we did a cool zone meeting. We did a sweet activity with flour and building pyramids out of styrofoam cups. It turned out to be pretty fun and i think the Elders and sisters enjoyed it quite a bit.
During the later part of the week everyone started leaving the state and going to Mexico City or some place in the North of the country for the new year because new years eve here is a bigger deal than Chritmas. The area in a lot of spots looked like a ghost town and there was much less transportaion available. Due to all these things its been pretty tough to accomplish anything but knocking doors. we did, however, find a cool guy named Miguel while doing so! I contacted him and he let us in! ...this is the second time we've gotten in the door of someone's house in my entire experience here... this is a big deal. So we went in and taught one of the best lessons i've taught for a while with respect to the organization, the orchestration of participation between companions and the investigator, the presence of the spirit, etc. I felt so good afterward! I'm really excited to keep working with him this week. oh, and in the lesson something happened that has happened several times before but i wanted to mention it. During the lesson one of the main doubts/questions that Miguel had was about "saints" and why we refered to ourselves as such and all that. Well it turns out that was a topic I had just studied that very morning! so I had the answer right there ready for him with examples from the new testament where Jesus refers to his followers as "the saints" and explained that  there is no record of "saints" as the catholics believe them to be in the scriptures. But the point is that the spirit guided me to study that topic that very morning just like he has done several other times throughout my mission. D&C 100:6
For new years eve we went to eat with the same family we went with for christmas. They were nice enough to invite us over again! The food was delicious! It was a good time. We then went home and waited for the fireworks to go off at midnight. Last year I went to bed and totally missed the show so this year I decided to check out the Oaxacan new year :D it was pretty cool. I bought a couple sparklers for us. ...pretty extreme. We fit in quite nicely with the display haha. 
well, I think thats about all from this week. My time here is tickin' down quick. I've only got 2.5 months left! i'm going to do all I can to make them the best ones yet. 
As always thank you soooo much for your love and support. You are the best :)
Elder Spencer Henze