A California native, John K. Williams left home at seventeen for college in Utah. 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. He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife and six children.
Heaven Up Hereby John K. Williams
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 family in Southern California to spend two years preaching in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. Neither an attempt to glorify the missionary experience nor tear it down, the book recounts the good and the bad, and the struggle not only to survive brutal conditions but to make sense of it all. Beginning with the discovery of a body on a bridge on a cold winter night, the book brings the reader into a world that is far different from the stereotypes and PR images. Beneath the white shirts and ties are young people trying to bless the lives of others, even if they don't understand how.
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What a great book. I could not stop reading it. Such a fascinating real view into the life of a mormon missionary. This is no propaganda machine. It takes the uplifting, the brutal and the very real aspects of the missionary lifestyle. If you are at all interested in the mechanism of the LDS missionary program, this is a must read.
An honest and intimate story of one missionary in Bolivia. A must read for any returned missionary, or anyone wanting to see the human being behind the name tag.
Powerful reading to the very end.