Hola! My name is Rebecca Higham and I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints in the Bolivia Santa Cruz mission. I start my journey on May 19, 2015 when I report to the Peru MTC. My sweet mother will be posting my weekly letters and pictures so you can follow along with my adventure ❤

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Weeks Are Flying By

Well hello there! Holy moly I know I say this every week, but the weeks are just FLYING!!! I feel like I was just here writing you guys last week! Time needs to SLOW DOWN! I guess I'm just enjoying having a gringa companion a little too much that time is just flying!!

This week was a great week! We had a lot to do this week! First of all we have been having great success with Lucinda, she came to church yesterday for the full 3 hours and has been absorbing our lessons. Because of her lack of a Christian background, we've been taking lessons super slow with her, but she is just loving it and is slowly starting to understand which is awesome! She is absolutely adorable and we love visiting with her! I just wish I spoke Ketchawa so it was easier to explain things to her hahaha. Also, there's this reallllllly mean dog that lives where she lives and it is probably the scariest thing in the entire world. Every time it sees us it RUNS FULL SPEED at us and tries to bite us hahaha sooo that's fun and I want to cry every time I see it, but it's whatever. So that's pretty much the only downfall with teaching Lucinda, other than that she is great!! 

We have also had the chance to meet with our other investigator Blanca who is WONDERFUL. She is so strong willed and just knows that the church is true - she always shares her testimony with us which is awesome! The only downfall with her is that her family is not supportive at all and always gives her work to do on Sundays. And it's really hard to teach her because she works in a tienda so we stand outside while we teach her which is hard, but esta bien! She's just great and I've loved watching her grow and progress!! She's great!

We've also been working with a 15 year old named Jherson who DEFINITELY does not look like he's 15, he looks like he's 20! He looks really intimidating, but he's like the nicest person ever! We've been teaching him for a couple weeks now and he's slowly starting to learn of the love his Heavenly Father has for him. He's great though and we're hoping he progresses! 

Soooo pretty much we had a crazy thing happen this week. So once upon a time we were going to help a less active do her family history and we were having her meet us at the church. Well, as we were attempting to open the door to the Family History room (we had the wrong keys... haha) these two random men walked in and they were looking for the Family History center! They weren't members and they knew about it from a news paper article that they found from ONE YEAR AGO! Like WHAT. What were the chances that they would walk in looking for the FH center as we were about to do it! And then we were extrememly grateful that we had been on time! We weren't able to work with them that day but we had them come back the next day and got them started on their pedigree chart! Wow! The Lord works in such mysterious and crazy ways!! It was awesome! Unfortunately they weren't from our area, but we got them passed on to the other missionaries so hopefully they will receive lessons! It was AWESOME!. 

This week was just such a great week, lots of miracles and tender mercies, lots of work, and lots of trying to find people to teach! We've been working really hard to find people to teach (especially families) and we haven't quite been able to find one yet, but I know that there is one right around the corner, I can feel it! And I'm so excited! I just love this work and I love being here. I am seriously so blessed to be in this area with Hna Arave, she is AWESOME and we are working sooo hard! We're just trying to work as hard as we can before I kill her off in about a month. Weird! But she's great and she likes ice cream as much as I do so we get it like every day. Hahaha. Anyways. That's pretty much it for the week! I love this work, I love being here in this crazy country of Bolivia (even if the dogs do scare me and the cats give me allergies). I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I encourage you all to share your testimony in any way that you can! You never know who's ready to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! Thank you for all the love and support!

Here's a lovely quote for the week from Elder Eduardo Gavarret from Oct 2014 conference:
As you strive to come to Him, you will gain the power to relieve life's burdens, whether physical or spiritual, and experience a positive inner chain that will help you be happier. 

I love you all and have a great week! 

Hermana Higham

Our Personista made us pizza!


A member fed us tons of veggies!
I love her!

We got ice cream to celebrate 3 months here.

I love them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Wonderful Week In Paraiso

So just thought I'd let you know that Paraiso in Spanish is paradise so pretty much I am just living in paradise and can I just say that I am SO blessed!! My companion is seriously the greatest person in the entire world and I am SO blessed to have her! Wow I can't even express how great it is to have a Gringa companion! Her name is Hermana Arave and she is from Utah! This is her last transfer of her mission so I will be killing her off and we are planning on working sooo hard this transfer! She is so willing to work and I have already learned so much from her! She is wonderful and ahh I am so blessed! 

So Paraiso is sooo different from Tabladita! Tabladita was like neighborhood, calm, small town area and Paraiso is in like the city so it's pretty different and I'm still trying to figure out the lesson so I don't get lost haha. It's absolutely beautiful! And I am going to love the people here! Our area is close to the university here so there are a LOT of young people roaming the streets which is awesome! Our ward is so young and fun! It's great! But I've realized that the dogs are a lot more mean here! Within the first day I had almost been bit by 2 dogs!! So scary! Silly Bolivia things. Also, our Pensionista is the Bishops wife and can I just say that they are the nicest, most wonderful people in the entire world and she makes SUCH YUMMY FOOD! Ah, it is sooo good and I am just so blessed! 

We have this one investigator named Lucinda and she is just the cutest thing in the entire world! She's 17, doesn't have any religious background, speaks minimal Spanish, but speaks FLUENT Ketchawa (I don't think I spelled that right) and she hasn't lived with her family since she was 12 and lives with this old woman that she works for who happens to be a member! She is so cute! And she wears original Bolivian clothes and it's so cute! She has had a hard life so we keep emphasizing on how she is a daughter of God and how much he loves her!! She just needs so much love and we are so grateful for the chance we have to help her feel the love her Heavenly Father has for her! 

We also have this recent convert named Alex who is just absolutely amazing! He has just absorbed the gospel and he is just so great! He is already blessing the sacrament and he's preparing himself to receive his patriarchal blessing and he's only been a member for a few weeks! he's great!!

We have this less active member that is a little special needs and she is just so precious, we love her! Whenever we visit her we always just sing hymns and read the scriptures with her and it is just so cute! I am just falling in love with all of the people we are working with and I love it here, but it is definitely hard! Because there are so many young people it's so hard to find families to teach and to find people that are interested, but we are trying our best to work hard and find all those that are ready and willing to receive this incredible gospel! 

So these past few days have been fun, I have been struck with another sickness and have been bedridden for the past two days, but my fever is gone today and I am feeling a lot better so I am on my way to recovery which is such a blessing! I just wish my stomach would just hurry and just adjust to all of the Bolivia things here already, it is the worrrrst having to stay inside all day. I just feel so helpless and awful just resting all day. But I'm hoping this week I'll recover fully and get to work and find so many people!! But can I just say how grateful I am that I had a gringa companion through this so I could explain my symptoms and have her understand!!! Ah. So many blessings!! 

That's pretty much is for the week! This past week was pretty crazy full of change, but I have loved every second of it. I'm so excited to spend these next 5 weeks working super hard with Hermana Arave and helping so many people come unto Christ and feel of his everlasting love! "Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our exemplar, His life was a legacy of love." - Thomas S. Monson. 

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for you love, prayers, and support! STAY SAFE (STEPHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  and have a wonderful week!!

Hermana Higham

My wonderful zone

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've Been Voted Off The Island

Yup, it´s true, I have been voted off the island of Tabladita! I am now in the lovely area of Paraiso with a GRINGA companion!!! It doesn´t even seem like real life! We got the call last night at like 10:27 and I got switched this morning which was a HUGE shocker!! I thought I was going to stay in Tabladita for sure! But I guess there are other places I need to be! It was definitely hard saying goodbye to Hermana  Park... again... living with her was like a dream haha. But now I'm with a gringa companion AND I'm living with Hermana Dolbin from the CCM. I AM SO BLESSED IT IS INSANE!!! What even is life?! 

Anyways, this past week was pretty crazy! I had a companionship exchange on Tuesday and went with Hermana Rivera for a day and boy is she a hoot! It was good to see a different area and see how she works and does things. It was a really good time! Then on Wednesday we had a meeting with Presidente and Hermana Willard and I mean it when I say WOOOWWW they are the best mission parents in the entire world! You all have to meet them someday because they are the nicest people ever! It was with all of us newbies, so we got to talk to them about our problems, concerns, and questions which was sooo nice and very much needed for all of us! I always feel so spiritually uplifted after those meetings! Then on Thursday it was 6 de Agosto, Bolivias Independence day!! Ahhh I wish I could have not been a missionary for one day just so I could have enjoyed all the fun festivities! They always have this big activity with 2 stakes where they have lunch and dances and such, but we only got to eat the lunch. One day I'm going to come back for this lovely holiday because Bolivia is just so cute. I saw videos of their cute little dances and woww this place has culture! Haha.

Sooo pretty much I am convinced I've gained weight because I eat ALL THE TIME. It's such a problem. Also, we had pizza like twice this past week, and we've probably eaten 20 pb's and j's. Poor Hermana Morales, she thinks us gringas are so weird for eating pizza and sandwiches all the time. Latinas. hahaha. 

So Miriam is still just so awesome! Except she didn't come to church this past week and it made me way sad, especially since I haven't seen her since like Tuesday and now I wont see her! Breaks my heart. I'm still hoping things work out with her and she gets baptized soon! It's just the spouse that's the problem, but we're still praying for her!! It just makes me sad that I wont be with her again! Tabladita will always have a special place in my heart and I hope I get to go back there someday, when I can actually speak Spanish and talk to those fun hooligans. My ward was so just weird hahaha. I'm going to miss all the weird things, like the Bishops son breathing in the microphone for 15 minutes until church starts. That's always a hoot hahaha.

This week had a lot of things going on, but I literally can't really remember what happened haha. Just a whole lot of walking, a whole lot of being stood up by investigators (so sad hahaha) a whole lot of crazy drunk people everywhere (don't worry mom, I'm safe, most of the drunk people are just way funny anyways hahaha) but just a whole lot of work! Wow is my mission a walking mission! I should have brought one of those step counter things cause I would sure get a lot of steps! I'm excited to see if my area is as big as Tabladita, I guess we'll find out! Anyways, that's pretty much all for the week! Sorry this email was kinda lame, just a lot happened and I'm super tired and am sick of typing hahahahahahahaha. Anyways, I love you all, I love this work, and I just still can't believe this is real life! I had a fun quote for yall this week, but I forgot my notebook so next week! Thanks for all your love and support!!! Write meee!

Hermana higham

We love our ice cream cones!

I loved living with them

Sad to leave her behind

We got a giant pizza!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Hiked A Mountain

Hi. So pretty much I feel like I was just writing you yesterday, time is going by sooo fast and it´s making me feel way weird! Like it´s August now! I still feel like it´s May! So weird! Anyways, this week was pretty usual and nothing too crazy happened! I mean maybe there was, I honestly can´t really remember this past week very well haha. Anyways, so last Monday we had the chance to hike the Cristo Mountain! And if you´re sitting there thinking "what is the Cristo Mountain?" it's a mountain that's really close to my area that says Cristo at the very top and we hiked to the top of it! It was pretty crazy, there wasn't really like a trail and there were a lot of bushy things, it was pretty much like walking through the nothingness part of Utah except at a pretty steep incline. I am really surprised none of us got hurt hahaha it was pretty sketchy and I was 95 percent sure I was going to fall to my death. But we made it all the way to the top! I bet if you googled "Cristo Mountain Tabladita Tarija" you might be able to find a picture of it. It was extremely hot last Monday too and we were on limited water supply so I'm surprised we made it! It's one of those things where you do it once in your life and never again. So that was exciting.

Ooo, another fun thing that happened this week is we had another taco night! We're thinking about making Taco Tuesday a thing because we love them so much. The Avacados here are huge and are just so tasty and I just want to put it on everything! So that was pretty exciting. Also, in honor of Hermana Parks brother getting married on Friday she bought a cake. We really like food in our apartment if you couldn't tell haha. I don't know what it is about this whole mission thing, but I'm ALWAYS hungry. Like I thought it was bad before the mission but WOOF I am constantly eating. So don't be surprised if I come home 50 pounds heavier hahaha.

So this last week us gringos had to go get our blood drawn for legal purposes so we can stay in Bolivia, so that was fun. And it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be, the needle wasn't rusty like I thought it was going to be so that's good haha. And I got to see the peeps from my CCM district again which is always a good time. We also had to do some legal paperwork where I signed a bunch of papers. Apparently we have to do that often while we're here. Bolivia just doesn't want us to stay that long I guess haha.

Here's some more exciting news - we have someone who washes our clothes! My companion just failed to tell me that information this whole month that I've been here so after one month of being in Bolivia, my clothes are finally clean again. Which is really good because they were getting pretty dirty haha. Ew. I'm such a gross person. So I was pretty excited about that because now I don't have to take 5 hours to hand-wash my clothes!! YAY!

So I don't know if I've told you about the Dasilva family yet, but I'm going to. The mom, Fautima, is from Brazil and is probably one of the craziest people ever. Her two daugters were baptized 2 years ago and are inactive, but are great. Anyways, so when I first met Hermana Fautima she was always contentious with us about our teachings, but I think we've finally reached the point where she likes us and it slowly starting to listen to us which is fabulous! Anyways, so now that she likes us I've realized she's the funniest person ever. We showed up one night and both of the daughters were gone, but she still invited us in and she was watching this old video from the 90's on how to make goat cheese and was frantically taking notes and we weren't allowed to talk until it was over. So I was trying sooo hard not to laugh. Who makes goat cheese?! Hahahaha. And then she was telling us this story about one of her millions of cats and I have no idea what she was saying, but her actions made me cry. She's definitely one of those people that I will never forget. Hahaha.

So this is the part of the email where I talk about how amazing Miriam is! She is sooo great! She is continuing to read her scriptures, pray, and attend church, she is so great! She has so much faith and if it weren't for the whole marriage situation she would be baptized in a heartbeat! The other day when we were leaving her house she pointed to this random man (I think it was her cousin? Or her brother in law? Couldn't tell ya) but she pointed to him and said "I was talking to him a little bit about the gospel and he is interested." Then proceeded to give us his information and what we can to do help him. WHAT. She's not even a member and she's doing missionary work! We have to pry references out of members and we didn't even have to ask her for a reference and she gave us one! Like holy guacamole she's so great. We're hoping for a miracle this week with her husband! He usually just lets her go to church activities and such, but lately many of his friends and family have been scaring him by telling him false facts about us Mormons so he's not as lenient anymore. Like last Monday for FHE we went to pick her up and take her to a members house and she came out with tears in her eyes and said that her husband didn't want her to go. So we went to the members house all sad and about 20 minutes later we get a call from Miriam saying "he changed his mind! Where are you I'm coming!" and we were jumping for joy! She is so great so please keep her in your prayers!

That's pretty much it for the week! Thank you for all the love and support! This work is definitely hard and not what I was expecting at all, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else and I wouldn't be able to do all this without our Heavenly Father on my side. I hope all is well at home and that you are all enjoying your summer! Love you all and have a great week!!

Hermana Higham

Picture from zone conference