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 ❤

Friday, January 29, 2016

Talk To The Hand

Hello everyone! 

Sooooo my life. I still don't think it has hit me yet that I'm just not going back to Bolivia. I feel like this whole California thing is just a dream haha but it's been great! Me and hermana Vega are having a great time and we're working hard! I don't know if I mentioned this, but we've opened an area and so we literally have NOTHING which is sooo weird because I've always just had so much to work with. So pretty much this whole week all we've done is knock doors trying to find people to teach and that's been pretty different. And it's like one of the only ways we can find people here because no one really walks because everyone has cars so we've just been on the hunt for people to teach! Which is hard but hey, we're getting pretty creative with our door approaches. We've thought about making up a dance and song. I'll let you know if that works out. Hahaha just kidding. It's been very interesting to see how different people react to random people knocking on their door. This old 80 year old man told us to "talk to the hand". I'm pretty sure we've found 2 drug dealers. Lots of Philipinos and lots of Asians that don't speak English or Spanish. Lots of really nice people giving us random oranges off their orange trees, and just lots of people. But it's been good! We have a handful of people that have said we can come back! So I'll let you know how that all goes!

So some fun things that happened this week. We went bowling last Monday and I totally just beat everyone, even the elders. I got 144. Thanks grandpa for your awesome bowling skill genes. We went to a thrift store and did service this past week which was pretty fun. I love thrift stores and we had a good time. We got lost for like an hour this last week trying to find the bishops house.... our map ends at certain roads and we somehow ended up off the map so we had no idea where to go... it was awesome hahaha I hate driving I just want to take micros again. They called us like 30 minutes before church to ask if we could speak in church. I've got really good at winging talks so it wasn't too bad. I also got to go to a baptism yesterday of a small girl who happens to be related to the family that my mission president baptized years ago. That was an awesome experience and it helped me think of the bigger picture of spreading the gospel and how it effects people from generation to generation. So cool! 

There was a missionary broadcast this past week so that was pretty cool. We watched it as a whole mission and holy cow there are so many missionaries I just don't know here. And it's just so different than my Bolivian missionaries thats for sure! But they're all pretty cool so I guess I'll survive here. Hahaha. 

As for my health, I am getting better. I still have pains, but they aren't nearly as bad as what they were in Bolivia because I can control my diet more here than I could there. They're pretty sure I have hyper acidity so I just have to avoid acidy, greasy foods... and chocolate... it's a rough life. All of the tests came back normal so we're still not sure what's going on. But it's okay! I'm tough! Yes I still have pains and yes it does make the work harder, BUT I've just come to accept that theres nothing that I can do about it and that I can just work through the pain. And you know, I know that I'm not alone. I know that I have angels and my Heavenly Father and Jesus christ lifting me up during all of this. I am so grateful to be a missionary still and I know that there is a great reason why I am here in California. I know everything happens for a reason. I may not know the reason for why I randomly got switched here yet, and I may never know, but I have just learned to put my life in his hands. His plan allows us to have the most happiness and I feel so blessed to be here in California. I mean how cool is this? I have two missions! I got to see the struggle of a foreign mission and now I get to see the weird struggles and blessings of a stateside mission. I'm so blessed!! I want you to know that I am so happy here and that I am doing well, so DONT WORRY ABOUT ME! I do miss Bolivia a lot, but I am falling in love with the people here in California as well. My life is crazy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you all for your love and support! I greatly appreciate it and love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week and always remember that YOU ARE LOVED. Talk to ya'll later (my Tenessee companion is rubbing off on me... so many ya'lls... hahaha )

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Higham
Also, yes, we have a car. And yes, they did call us 40 minutes before church to ask us if we would give a talk. Yes hermana Vega did just go through the whole tithing pamphlet for her talk. Hahahaha

I found these two people at a baptism! My mission president in Bolivia baptized them when he was a missionary! So that was a neat experience!

We went bowling for an activity and I totes got a 144 and killed everyone so wut up. Hahaha. And this is Sister Anderson, our mission nurse who has been taking great care of me!

California has beautiful sunsets like Bolivia.

This sweet little woman is from Bolivia! She's from La Paz and is just the cutest thing ever! We got to talk about Bolivian things which was wonderful. 
I miss Bolivia with all of my heart so I'm grateful that we have a member to keep me connected to my beloved Bolivia.

Missing this cute family like crazy!

Miss you guys!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cali Babe

Well hello everyone! I would like you all to know that I safely made it to California and that I am doing well! Let me just catch you all up on this crazy past week that I have had! 

So Monday was my last day in my beloved Bolivia and it was spent with my beloved Bolivian friends. First, confession, I may or may not have emailed Elder Sperry and told him to meet me at hiper maxi so I could see him before leaving, so that was a mission no no haha BUT I was finally able to see him and boy was he an AWKWARD missionary! It was really hilarious and made me sad that I'm going to miss all of my friends awkward missionary stages this summer when they all start coming home haha. After that I had my final lunch with my cute Hermana Derly and it was delicious as usual. We went shopping with cute Hermana Derly and her family to get some souvenirs after and WOW I'm surprised all of my stuff fit into my luggage! They were pretty over weight... but I'm just surprised they fit! I wasn't able to buy a hammock though so I guess I'll just have to go back to Bolivia someday to get one haha. After that I had a lot of time to say goodbye to some of my best friends. That was the hardest part about all of this, leaving my cute friends. But I'm not worried about it because I know without a doubt that I will see them again someday, whether it be in this life or in the life to come. I left my cute companion and my apartment (with a cockroach in it) at 11:30 at night and went to the airport with some elders... which was weird... and then I was literally alone for like 24 hours which was weird... hahaha. But can I just say that flying from Bolivia to Panama to Houston to Denver to California was EXHAUSTING. I got no sleep so when I got to California I looked like I had gone through war! I reached California late Tuesday night and SURPRISE I didn't have my luggage. It got stuck in Denver. Hahahaha so that was fun BUT it was fine and they were there the next day so that was nice! And no worries, I have been received here in California with loving arms! They are really nice here and I haven't felt like an awkward outcast missionary from Bolivia yet so thats nice! But can I just say WOW I've gone through some great culture shock! The missionaries are SO SPOILED HERE! Let me just make a list of things that will BLOW the minds of all of my missionary friends in Bolivia:
And much much more! It has been really here and I'm starting to wonder what the challenges are for these missionaries here. Hahaha just kidding. But not really. Haha. It has been a weird adjustment and I feel like a new missionary all over again. Which is kind of fun when people think I'm new then I start speaking Spanish to them and they think I've just learned way fast in the MTC. What they don't know won't hurt them. Haha. And the missionaries are so different here. THINGS ARE JUST DIFFERENT. But I'm trying not to compare the two because Bolivia and California are polar opposites haha.  So I have a companion! She's a latina from Tennessee and she is adorable! She goes home in about 3 weeks so I'll have another companion coming up, but I'm grateful for the time that I have with her! She is adorable! We are pretty much starting fresh opening up an area. We are both new into this area, and we're starting out not knowing any members, we have no investigators, and we were given a new area book which I'm super excited about!! I'm excited to get back to my good health so we can just get out and start working and see how far we can get in 3 weeks! I'm pumped!! BUT fun news. So I haven't driven a car in like 8 months and Hermana Vega, my companion, her drivers license expired so I am the designated driver and so I get to jump into CALIFORNIA DRIVING. So that has been fun and stressful, but they give missionaries really nice cars so thats fun. 

I feel like this email is jumping everywhere. So sorry about that, a lot has just happened and my life is crazy so. Currently I am staying with the mission health nurse. She has been keeping track of what goes in and out of my body (fun stuff) and has been getting me back to health. She is an amazing woman and I have learned a lot from her! And it's kinda fun having an older companion (she's like 70) hahaha. Also, as we speak she just handed me a ball of oatmeal cookie dough so yes I am in GREAT hands haha. I went to the doctors this past week and had some more tests done so we will be getting those results either today or tomorrow. Hopefully all is well and we can figure out what is wrong! 

Throughout all of this, I've had a lot of time to just think about my life and Bolivia and I just have to keep telling myself to just keep looking forward and not look back. I'm trying not to compare the two missions and just trying to love this one just as much as I loved Bolivia. I know that I will, it's hard not to when you are serving others and being a representative of Jesus Christ. This past week and past month I have learned A LOT about humility and submitting to His will. My life is completely in His hands and I feel peaceful about all that has been going on this past week. Not once have I felt stressed because He has been there to comfort me and help me feel at peace. I know that I am supposed to be here in California and I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to be here. The people here are amazing and the missionaries are really fun! I can't wait to learn and grow from all of this and most of all, I can't wait to get out doing missionary work once again. WE HAVE A MEMBER FROM BOLIVIA. I haven't met her yet, but I'm so excited to meet her and have her make me Saltanas, Cunape, and yummy Bolivian foods. I am happy, I am feeling better, and most importantly, I'M A MISSIONARY. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Con mucho amor

Cali Babe Hermana Higham

We finally saw Alek!

Monday, January 11, 2016


Wow!! I know I probably say this a lot, but this week was definitely THE CRAZIEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. So a lot of you may not know, but I have been quite ill down here in Bolivia. It has been off and on my whole mission, but this past month has been pretty bad. We have gone to the clinic down here and had some tests done, but all of the tests came back normal. The illness continued on, and my life as a missionary became very complicated. But throughout all of this, there was absolutely NO option of going home. I never even considered it. I was frustrated. I was mad that I couldn't dedicate all of my time and little energy to the work of the Lord. Not going to lie, I was probably no fun to be around and my sweet companion Hermana Newbold had a lot of patience. Finally this past week I decided that I had a choice, I could continue to be frustrated, mad, and say "Why me?" or I could look at the positives, look up, and trust in God. I started to pray more, and I started to humble myself before God and asked what is His will for me. I prayed, I read many general conference talks, I searched the scriptures, and I read my patriarchal blessing at least 5 times a day. I looked high and low for the answer, and slowly it came. At this time I thought that I only had two options, stay here in the mission or go home. When I prayed about staying here, it wasn't a no, but it wasn't a yes. When I prayed about leaving, it felt more right. I began to feel the spirit more in my life and the peace and comfort that I felt was indescribable. I knew I had to leave. I didn't know when, and I didn't know why, but I knew I had to leave. I accepted this answer that I received. And I'm not going to lie, it hurt. Bolivia is my second home and just knowing that I had to leave hurt, but it still felt right. When I thought about when I would leave, I thought about till the end of the transfer in 2 weeks. But that didn't feel right. I felt that it would be sooner than that and I could feel that my hours in Bolivia were ticking away. I felt a sense of urgency. Then yesterday, when I walked into the church and saw my mission president and his wife sitting on the stand, I knew that it was my last Sunday here in Bolivia. This whole last week I had been praying that my mission president would be able to receive revelation for me and help me know what to do. We had not talked about anything that I had felt this last week nor what I had decided. To be honest we hadn't talked since the first week this illness happened. This shows how close he is to the spirit. After sacrament meeting he pulled me aside to talk and I thought I knew what he was going to say. He started to tell me how he thought there was only two choices for me, to stay in Bolivia or to go home. But then he said that Heavenly Father showed him a 3 option that we had not considered. Throughout this last week, he had sent off an application to get my mission reassigned. he then told me that I had received a new mission in SAN FERNANDO, CALIFORNIA. Words cannot describe the spirit, comfort, and peace that I felt in that moment. It all started to make sense. I was so in shock that I didn't know what to say, but all I could feel was a sense of GRATITUDE. I thought I was going to have to go home and end my time as a missionary, and I think that I had to feel that before receiving this answer, but no. I get to continue being a representative for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This whole experience has been a huge testimony builder to me that HE LIVES. That God is our loving Heavenly Father and that He has a loving son who atoned for us. I know without a doubt in my mind that He LOVES us and that He has a special plan for every single one of us. If we humble ourselves and submit to His will, we will be able to achieve the highest level of happiness in this life and in the life to come. He knows our potential, He knows what will help us grow, and He knows what we can become. Other than health reasons, I don't know why I'm being sent to San Fernando, California, but I know that there are more reasons than I know and maybe ever will know. But I KNOW THAT GOD KNOWS. And that's what gives me hope during this crazy rollercoaster I call my life. Words cannot express my gratitude for the time that I have had here in Bolivia. I have met some incredible people, have fallen in love with the weird, but fun culture, and Bolivia now has a special place in my heart. Chances are slim that I will be able to come back and finish my mission here, but all of that is in the hands of the Lord. I love you all and am so grateful for all that you do for me! Have a wonderful week and always remember, YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. Goodbye Bolivia, hello California! 

con mucho amor from Bolivia,

Hermana Higham

P.S. my cute investigator Paola is getting baptized on Saturday!!! 

This is Alberto (the man who sits in the chair all the time)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Woot Woot!!

Welllllllllll it's 2016 now so that's weird. Feels like it was just 2012 when the world was ending. Hahaha. I hope you all had a wonderful New Years and that you haven't broken your new years goals yet. Haha.
New years was crraaazzzyyyy. There were even more fireworks than on Christmas Eve! And it was cool at first seeing like a million fireworks... until I wanted to sleep... and they just kept going... and going... and going... these Bolivians just don't stop partying! Even the next day when they were all drunk and hungover they just kept going! Music was blasting everywhere, children doing fireworks. They love to party here! Hahaha.
So this week was pretty alright. With New years we weren't able to see as many people as we wanted to because of their parties and vacations BUT it was still great! We have this new investigator that is just great! She lives in the same great and spacious building as we do and is golden! We went and saw her twice this past week and she already loves us, she gave us a bunch of random herbal stuff/ random seeds which was nice... except we don't know what to do with them hahaha. She said that her cute 9 year old daughter just always talks about us and just loves us so YAY! The only problem is that her husband works in the campo and is here for 15 days then leaves for 15 days so it will be harder to teach him but they're receptive and love our message!
ALSO our cute less active family (Torrez family) came to church again yesterday!! They only came for 2 hours, but hey that's progress! They are warming up to us (they actually let us in the door more now) and they have desires to come back to church! They're great! and they always give us a snack and juice so that's always a plus because I LOVE juice. Haha.
Marilyn is still doing great. She's been sick like this whole last week and so her baby got sick too and she's just been having some problems with her health. And she doesn't have a lot of money so she's struggling with stuff for her baby so we got the ward involved yesterday and they have been a huge help with that which was such a blessing! We have a hard time getting the ward involved, they usually don't do much to help us, but yesterday they were making this whole plan on how to help Marilyn and her baby and everything which was such a blessing! Yay!
Well, that's pretty much it for the week! I hope you are all enjoying the cold weather while I'm dying in 100 degree weather! I just sweat all the time. But it's okay because everyone just sweats all the time so we're all just gross together. I'm just glad I'm not in Bermejo like some poor hermanas. It's like 110 there. Hahahaha poor things.
Here's a nice spiritual thought for the week! It's from the talk called "Yielding our hearts to God" by Niel F. Marriot from this last general conference.
"When we offer our broken heart to Jesus Christ, He accepts our offering. He takes us back. No matter what losses, wounds, and rejection we have suffered, His grace and healing are mightier than all. Truly yoked to the Savior, we can say with confidence, "it will all work out."
IT WILL ALL WORK OUT. He knows us perfectly and He has a plan for each and every one of us. When we truly rely on Him and His plan, He will comfort, heal, and help us. Never forget that!
Sorry these emails keep getting lamer and lamer hahaha. I'll try to make it more interesting next week. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!
With love

Hermana Higham
They really like their animal bushes here!

It was raining on the way to church and we walked in pretty soaked haha oh Bolivia. It only rains on Sundays haha.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hi... it's me again

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! I hope you all had a wonderful christmas full of family time and new comfy pajamas! It was great being able to see my cute families faces (and also Paula's face). Keep being cute family!

This week was great and was a special experience to celebrate Christmas here in Bolivia. I'm a little sad I only get one crazy Bolivian Christmas, but it was definitely one I will never forget! I've never had such a loud Christmas Eve in my life. We were woken up at midnight to a WAR ZONE. Fireworks were going off EVERYWHERE it was crazy! These Bolivians really know how to party! Some members were telling us that there are even more on new years eve! So looks like I'm not getting any sleep this next Thursday hahaha. Words cannot express how much I love this crazy country haha.

So this last week was pretty great spreading Christmas cheer and such! Sadly, because of the holidays, a lot of people were out of town/busy with festivities so we weren't able to meet with a lot of people... and a lot of our golden investigators keep dropping us... but it was still a great week!

We were able to meet with one of our recent converts named Yolanda. She's been passing through some hard times with her husband and her health and she was being a little scrooge for Christmas so we decided to just smother her with Christmas fun and we even painted her toe nails (well... Hermana Newbold painted her toenails... you all know how much I love feet... hahaha) and she was just laughing the entire time. It was great just being able to help her feel happy and feel her Saviors love through her week of hardships. 

We had a MIRACLE happen this Sunday! We didn't have any investigators come to church which was a bummer... but ALL of our recent converts came (Marilyn, Yolanda, Gabriella, and Leonardo)!! AND a less active family came that we have been trying to get to go for MONTHS (Torrez fam). So that itself was a miracle! And we had another less active come with her kids and she hasn't come in MONTHS either (Skarlen)! So it was so great! We were so excited to see their cute faces in church! We have tons of less actives in this ward so we're just working hard to get them back to church!!

Just some fun Bolivia things of the week:
- Some random guy hung out of a truck and said in english "I love you. My name is Luis." So watch out boys. Luis loves me.
- There isn't an age limit on who can do fireworks so this entire week we've been trying not to get blown up by fireworks let off by small children... we've been living in a war zone I'm scared for new years... hahahahahhaha.
-Our pensionistas daughters gave us underwear for christmas... uhh... hahahaha
-We got a new guard guy a few weeks ago and he wears like this pirate black cap and bows at us every time we enter. It's a good time. He's going to be sad when we move haha
-We had an infestation of bugs this past week. The wall was like moving because there were so many. So I may or may not have went a little crazy on the bug spray and made it hard for us to breath... I just hate bugs. hahaha

That's pretty much it for the week! Oh wait! I have something for you guys to think about! This week I was reading in Omni and I just loved 26 how it says "... yeah, come unto him, and offer your WHOLE SOULS as an offering unto him..." and I want you all to think about how you can all off your whole souls as an offering to the savior! That is your homework! haha

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the support and love that I receive from each of you! I absolutely LOVE being here and I never want to come home... ever. haha. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Higham
Cute Christmas with my cute second family in Bolivia!