Monday, June 29, 2015

Many tears and much joy

Don't forget, Elder Henry's birthday is next week on the 7th (and one year mark in the mission). Address below =)

104 Me with the kids :')  (the two missionaries he has trained/is training)

105 Everybody saying bye, to each other and to President & Sister Wilkinson.

106 Hasta luego, Elder Acuña! (assigned to the East Mission)

108 Some MTC comp action & a group photo of (most) of our MTC group

113 Cat action! In a members house. (Funny story: It was laying on top of a bunch of freshly ironed clothes on top of a chair. Reminded me of Autumn)

115 Fathers day activity! Free mustaches!

116 Father-Father and Father-son!

Zone photo

 Full mission photo! You can't really see Spence, he's in the back about 1/3 from the right behind someone

Helloooo! I once had a zone leader who always answered the phone like that.

This week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. It feels like time multiplied and the week lasted like a month or something.

Well we started the week off with sending President Wilkinson off :( Tomorrow he goes, but on Tuesday we had the goodbye conference. Lots of crying. Loots of crying haha. And, because the mission is splitting. lots of saying goodbye to good friends.)

But the good news is, lots of pictures! haha.

From there we hit the pavement and got working, and didn't really see many results. But we put in a lot of effort, and had the opportunity to start making some really great plans to work with the ward (I sure do love this ward, Mom). Both projects to reactivate and projects to strengthen the active members.

I won't bother telling about which streets we walked this week, especially since they're the same ones we walked last week haha, but something really funny has been happening lately. I've been here for 2 months and  I'm starting to recognize everyone. From former investigators to pastors from other churches, I've also gotten to know which street-people (drunks/drug abusers) are my friends and which ones don't like me, You throw that in with the people that we simply see on a daily basis, and it's starting to stop being "say hi to every person you see" and started being saying hi because, well, I know them! haha. It's pretty funny really.

We've had a lot of struggles with the two people we wanted to baptize this month. On Wednesday we went and had a super! spiritual lesson with one, but she said that she just doesn't want to get baptized. So, that was a bit of a bummer. 

But on the bright side, God is smiling on our reactivating efforts. This week we were able to contact and bring to church 2 more elders, who had more than 10 years of being inactive. That was a really sweet treat :) After having problems with smoking and drinking, he had been changing his life piece by piece for about a year so when we got there, we was all good and prepared to come back and enjoy the blessing he's missed for so long.

All in all, it was a pretty crazy week, but a pretty normal week too haha. Ups, downs, happy, sad, miracles and disappointments. All in the life of your average missionary! :) But more than anything happiness, because it's tough to be sad when you're in the Lord's service.

I love you all. Have a great week! Make an impact on someone else's life.

-Elder Henry

(It does not have to be in all caps btw) Postage is $1.15

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A mission is like a boxing match.........

Selfie with one of our favorite investigators!


Sunday selfie in the Pavas chapel. [Mom: Check out that missionary hair! So cute =) ]

My kid, baptizing! (Baptism from the hermanas, but he got to baptize her) =)
Note from Mom: Elder Henry's birthday is in two weeks, he'd love a card!
Elder Spencer Henry

This has been an interesting week. Up's and downs and booms and busts.

Monday was great. Our investigator was getting all ready for his baptism, we had a great time with my convert Marlon, everything was awesome.
Tuesday was even better. We were able to find 9 news and put 3 baptismal dates.
And the week was really good! We had a lot of wonderful experiences with our investigator. 

Then we got to Saturday, where we had stake conference! We had to travel an hour and a half to get there in bus, so we only had 1 lesson with our investigatorin the night. The talks were awesome, from President Wilkinson, the temple president here, and Elder Moralez, a Seventy. I learned so much and felt that I received so much inspiration.

Then we got to Sunday. After finding 13 new investigators, and confirming and visiting our progressing investigators, nobody came to the church. And, for that, our investigatorr's baptismal date fell through. It was really tough to feel like everything slipped out of my hands after having a great week. Really, really tough.

Sometimes, here in the mission, I feel that being here is like being in a boxing ring with all my weaknesses, and fears, and flaws. There's no distractions, it's just them and me going at it. And even though it's great, and it has made and is making me a much better person, every now and then it can really hurt.

Sunday felt a little bit like that.

But then I remembered the kind of week that we had. Spiritual, effective, and worthwhile. And I realize what I need to do, and how to do it, and how God has and will help me with it, and my worries go away.

God's teaching me some wonderful lessons about diligence and patience. 

I love a scripture in John 14. Actually I love the whole chapter, which talks a lot about the spirit and obedience and the peace that the spirit will bring us. But, one day, as I was reading it looking for solace, I stumbled upon verse 18. It impacted me in the simplicity and it was an answer to my prayers in that moment, and has been a scripture that I remember ever since.

It says: I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Yesterday, I saw a lot of disappointment. But I also saw God work through a man to comfort me, in my time of need. He never has left me comfortless, and he never will. I know that our Heavenly Father, and his son Jesus Christ, love us. One thing I love about Elder Gonzalez is that when he testifies to someone about the Book of Mormon, he often starts to testify as well about how much God loves them. And it's because it's true. 

Christ won't leave us comfortless. 

Have a wonderful week. I love you all so much and wish you all the best. And try to listen to the spirit, so that you may be a tool in the Lord's hand to bring comfort to a needy soul.

-Elder Henry

 Katerin, the bishop's daughter, got ahold of a nice hat for me haha
 total selfie fail, tried to get a selfie with Katerin but she hid haha
 ahora si, she fell asleep so I managed a selfie. (she's like tori-- she refuses to let you take pictures with her haha)
 Stake Conference!
Elder Vorwaller, one of my good missionary friends here in the zone.

Elder Black, other good friend

Monday, June 15, 2015

My new baby!

A nice sized beetle who was chillin the chapel :)

Elder Gonzalez & I in the bishop's house!

A nice sunset (PS: It's rainy season! Umbrellas 24/7 haha)

76 A nicaraguan fruit, Grenadilla. It's a pretty big fruit haha

A quick Sunday selfie with some of the youth in the ward!

Hey everybody!

I didn't manage my emailing time too well it seems, so I don't have a whole ton of time to write this letter. But, good news: I had my baby!

Haha. My new companion, that I'm going to be training, is named Elder Gonzalez. Hes from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and is 19 years old. He's been a member all his life (a cool part of Guatemalans -- a lot of multi-generation members nowadays). He reminds me a little of Elder Velasquez, my best friend in the mission, I think it's because Huehuetenango and Quetzatenango are fairly close together. 

He's a great missionary and has a super strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.

I love being a missionary so much! This work is true! I get to be here for 13 months more still, just helping people come to Christ! And there is nothing that a new missionary to get everything real nice and excited. It is a very refreshing change.

Have a great week! I love you all so much! 

-Elder Henry

Monday, June 8, 2015

Transfers! Getting a new kid! Costa Rica San Jose West Mission (he thinks!)

 11 Hno Salas (he's not a member but all his family is, and he's super nice and friendly). He's like a Tico Grandpa Henry! Seriously! Personality and everything haha.

 15 I think that horseback missionaries might find success here in Costa Rica, I'm going to suggest it to president
 31 Picture with the baby sister, Khaterine!
 46 I don't know why, but this dog seems to think that she's a cat hahaha sitting on the roof
47 Picture with Djanko, our ward mission leader (and one of my 3 father-figures here).

My companion, Elder Ortiz, had to head back home for a surgery that he needs to do (he'll be back in a few months), and I was advised yesterday that I'm going to be training again! But I don't pick up my "kid" until Wednesday.

Ever since I trained the first time, I've just wanted to train again. It's such a great experience, to help show the ropes to a new missionary! 

There's a member in our ward who has mentioned a few times how the darkest moment of the night is right before the dawn.

It's just been a testimony builder to me to see that God always delivers us, and often shows us tender mercies, whenever it's possible.

Honestly, I can't even think about what happened this week, I'm just so excited for what lies ahead! it's feels like Christmas Eve haha.

I hope you all have a great week, and can look forward to the grand blessings that God has promised you all as well.

-Elder Henry

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


The baptism day back in October

Spencer and Ivannia =)

June June June.

June is a pretty important month. It's my last month in the mission before I start repeating them (1 year mark in July) And it marks the end of President Wilkinson's mission. It also marks the end of the San Jose Costa Rica mission, as it splits in 2!

I've always loved the month of June. There, it's warming up, getting ready for summer. Here, it's finally cooling down, and I gotta haul my umbrella everywhere because if I don't, I am salado (salted). Haha. That means like I'm out of luck.

It can be pretty astounding to think about just how important the mission that I'm in is. I called a family I helped bring to baptism from San Ramon today in the morning, and received the most wonderful news.

The dad, was an excommunicated member. He had a long story and had always been a little rebellious, and he had 10 years of being excommunicated. He testified to us always that his excommunication had been unjust, although obviously what my opinion was of that wasn't so important.

They are a family absolutely dear to my heart. I love them so fully. I cherish the opportunity that I've had to get to know them! They have taught me so much, and I got to see them enter into the sacred covenant of baptism.

In the same time, the dad started the process to become re-accepted as a member of the church. The paperwork got submitted, and it became a waiting game.

When I called him this morning he let me know that he had had his council with the stake, that they had declared his original excommunication unjust, and that the papers would be sent so that he could be re-accepted into the Church.

I cannot explain the joy that filled my soul as this dream of theirs, of ours, became realized. God always provides, and has provided, the way for this very special family to be able to enter the temple and be sealed for time and eternity. To make their family eternal, so that the bonds of death shall have no power over them. This man had to struggle for 10 years to learn a great lesson from God, and to bring his wife and her children to the Gospel, and he is finally going to enjoy the fruit of this challenge and suffering that he has passed through.

As I heard this wonderful news, immense desires to cry raced through my body. I felt so strongly the need to give thanks to God for this miracle. 

I just want to testify that I know that we have a loving, just Heavenly Father. And that he has made a perfect plan for us, so that we might have joy. I am so glad for the family who has grown me in, (raised me up in) and taught me of this plan, and my opportunity to bring this same plan to other families, here in Costa Rica. There is no joy more great, no goal more worthy, than to be sealed in the Temple for time and eternity. There is no accomplishment more praiseworthy than an eternal family. And there is no greater example to follow in this life than Jesus Christ. He is our perfect example, and shows us every step that we must take. The way is straight, and narrow, but thanks to him it's there. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the opportunity I have to repent of my sins, and that Ismael and his family has of receiving the rights and privileges that they deserve. All will be made fair, thanks to him. 

Today, there is sunshine in my soul.

If anyone wants to experience this joy, I testify that it is there and that it is waiting for you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that the authority to enter into these wonderful covenants is found in the worthy priesthood holders, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I can not explain the joy that I feel today.

June sure has started off well.

I love you all. I thank you for your support, and pray for your well being. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

-Elder Henry