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, 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