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Heaven Up Here

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Each year thousands of scrubbed young men and women set out to bring Mormonism to the world. Beyond the faith-promoting stories told among Mormons and the parodies of Broadway musicals, the reality of what it is to be a missionary--why they leave home and family, and what they do--is a mystery to most people.

Heaven Up Here is one young American's account of leaving his fam
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published October 17th 2011 by Amazon Digital Services (first published October 2011)
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John Williams
Mar 06, 2012 John Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm biased, of course, but I am extremely happy with how my book turned out. It tells the story I wanted to tell the way I wanted to tell it.
Larry Hansen
Sep 10, 2013 Larry Hansen rated it really liked it
Interesting book about about an lds missionary in Bolivia. Probably the most unbiased missionary account I have heard. He related spiritual experiences without going into "the church is so true " routine. And told about craziness that went on in the mission without complaining about how messed up the church was.
It was a different kind of book than most.
Probably not a good book for mothers who have sons/daughters on a mission.
Dec 20, 2011 David rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. It presents a realistic picture of what it's like to be a Mormon missionary, both the faith-promoting spiritual side and the depressing faith-challenging struggles. It brought back memories of my own mission. I would recommend this book to anyone except moms who will be sending missionaries to Bolivia :)
Aug 10, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
This was a completely open and honest account of Williams's LDS mission experience from over 20 years ago in Bolivia. Williams was so completely honest about his mission experience: the good AND the bad, which is pretty rare when individuals relate their mission experiences. Some parts are shocking, especially if you've been raised to believe that missionaries never do anything wrong and are so mature, or that the people in a mission area are never mean or vulgar towards you, which is not the ...more
Aug 16, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
A realistic look at the Mormon missionary experience in a third world county. I think for the purely missionary experience it probably shares similar experiences for the missionary no matter where he/she served their mission. As far as the living conditions and culture of Bolivia I think this book does a good job of making Americans realize how lucky they are and how good they have it even if they are poor and struggling to get by. Americans living standards and conditions are so much better ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alicia by: Jonathan
Eye-opening memoir of a 2-year LDS mission to Bolivia in the 1980's. He tells all the nitty-gritty stories that aren't usually told after missions: worms, sicknesses, difficult companions, comp who watches soap operas every evening, horrible inflation, repeated food poisoning, political unrest, horrible living conditions... a friend who had read it said it felt like he was "airing all the dirty laundry from the mission." I wouldn't recommend this as an uplifting missionary memoir, but it was ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Brien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book isn't super-well written, it is simple, clear, and draws you into the stories. It's a good and fast read about the life of a Mormon missionary in Latin America (Bolivia). The author tells of his two years there from the perspective of a 19-year-old believing boy. He doesn't apologize for his belief or faith, but he doesn't mock his naivete or innocence, either. It is refreshing to read about a mission (and think about my own) without feeling the need to sugar-coat the stories or ...more
Dec 04, 2016 Michael rated it it was ok
Shelves: lds
John Williams tells an exceptionally compelling story that should be read by Mormons and non-Mormons interested in LDS missions alike. Making no pretensions to speak for all missionaries or members, Williams tells the story of his mission: why he went, what and who he found there, and how he struggled through it all. By no means is the book an expose, meant to defame; it is the story of a young man as it happened, and I hope we can all learn from it.
Nov 21, 2011 Tyler rated it it was amazing
Not much to add to the many positive ratings this book has received on amazon and elsewhere. It's just a great story beginning to end. And I love the title, the juxtaposition of being out on a spiritual assignment while working through the very earth-bound concerns of life in Bolivia is very poignant. If you're LDS, if you were raised LDS, or if you've ever just been curious about the life of a young Mormon missionary, this one's for you.
Jun 21, 2014 Berk rated it it was amazing
Well-written, compelling, not scrubbed and sanitized ... which I think was the whole point. The book gives a superb first-hand look at a mission in Bolivia, the author's sentiments, and the author's perspectives about what happened and why. Who knew there was so much angst and confusion and mixed feelings while on a mission? John tells it like it is. A great, great read. Couldn't put it down.
May 01, 2013 LaDawn rated it really liked it
As a return missionary from Bolivia in 1986/87, I enjoyed reading this book. It brought back many memories, both good and bad. I, too, served under President and Sister "Nichols" for the first year. I never served in Cochabamba, however, so I didn't get to know them all that well, but found them to be easily recognizable in Williams' descriptions.

I, too, learned to love the people and the country, but have never really had a desire to return.
Stan Paulsen
Oct 25, 2011 Stan Paulsen rated it really liked it
I devoured this book in just a couple of days. This is a very personal and honest account of one missionary who spent two years working as an LDS missionary in Bolivia. One does not need to be interested in the message of LDS missionaries to appreciate what they do, who they are and more importantly, who they become during their two years of service. Very highly recommended!
Jon Shaklee
Sep 12, 2012 Jon Shaklee rated it it was amazing
this book was so close to what my mormon mission in venezuela was like it's scary even though i served about a decade later. similar characters and similar experiences both good and bad. honest and candid, a good read for anyone interested in a less sanitized description of mormon missionary life in south america in the 80's (and likely still today).
Michael Bailey
Michael Bailey rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2015
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A California native, John K. Williams left home at seventeen for college. After spending two years as a missionary in Bolivia, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Brigham Young University. His career as a writer and editor has taken him from religious publications for a worldwide religion to highly technical books, papers, and manuals in the computer and energy industries.
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