Reviews of My Book

So far, three people have reviewed my book.

Riveting story and extraordinarily written
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. — Froggey

Unexpected Gem
John gave a copy of his manuscript a few years ago to get my feedback. I never served a mission, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book about that experience. I probably expected stories of spiritual witnesses or of young kids doing stupid things to relieve stress. And those are both in there. But there is also the uncomfortable story of a boy trying to serve his church in spite of severe personal hardship, and soldiering on, day after day, to reach his goals. Some of the stories are surprising, some of them are shocking, and every story makes you turn the page to see the next.

If you buy this book, do yourselves a favor, and set aside a whole weekend to read it. You’ll need some uninterrupted time. — Thayne R. Forbes

Yes, it is Heaven
Having served an LDS mission myself, the stories in this book rang very true. My mission (in the United States, not Bolivia) was very different than John’s, but I know many former missionaries that served in Latin America and John’s stories match theirs.

But, the key to this book is the story of growing from boy to man. From not understanding the language to being fluent. To being lost in a strange land to being at home with people he didn’t even know existed two years earlier.

Additionally, it was a fun, light read. I never felt bogged down and every time I said, “I’ll take a break at the end of this chapter,” I was pulled into the next chapter by the narrative.

Thank you, John for sharing your personal experiences with us all. Well worth the time to read. — M. Carpenter

It’s really great to hear that people are enjoying my book and finding it meaningful. That is what I was hoping for.


5 Responses to Reviews of My Book

  1. Jeff says:

    I’m half-way through it. Great work! The narrative that struck me the most was your description of the GA speaking at one of your zone conferences and just haranguing you for your disobedience and laziness. I was in Finland between 1980-82, and I experienced something of the same thing when Hales spoke at one of our zone or mission conferences. He just ripped us apart for not getting more baptisms. At this stage of my mission — it was toward the end — I was more angry than anything else about being treated that way. Anyway, thanks for the book. I’ll write more when I finish.

  2. runtu says:

    Thanks, Jeff. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I never understood why that GA did that. A lot of missionaries were sick and demoralized, and the last thing they needed was to be yelled at. Oh, well. Maybe he thought it would motivate us.

  3. Stan says:

    Take a look at Barnes and Noble as well as There are some reviews accumulating there too.

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