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.

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