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The book is interesting enough as a look at early LDS missionary work in Hawaii. Bro Cannon wrote in the style of the times and probably did not want to sound like a braggart. He presents several wonderful descriptions of Hawaiian lifestyle from the building of a house to the making of poi, and the thrashing of some bush in the water which killed the fish but was harmless to humans. This is what the reader wants in this type of book. The other part of what I, at least, wanted was stories of conversions, the great faith of the people, etc. There were far fewer of these than I would have liked. He mentioned a lot of times that "the people received us kindly," "they welcomed us kindly." It would have been nice to have the specifics of this. There are a few stories of dealings with missionaries or pastors of other denominations; these were, again, wonderful and exactly what I expected in this book. Then there were other pale descriptions such as, "the Spirit was strong and about 150 people were baptized." Seems there should have been some more individual stories there. The prose is peaceful, and Cannon presents little lectures on how missionaries should live and interact, but there wasn't the wealth of anecdotes that I thought there would be.
Cannon himself is a marvel of spirituality. He set himself to learn the language and did so rapidly and thoroughly, impressing everyone. He let the Spirit guide him in many instances when they didn't know where to go or what to say. His strength and closeness to God show through his humble self-descriptions, and we are inspired to be more like him. He suffered many deprivations but glosses over these-- the poor food choices, the hunger, the different housing style available, and the difficult transportation. His goal to serve the Lord with all his strength gleams through these simple descriptions. The book is a joy of uplifting encouragement and determination.
After years of listening to books on tape, then on CD, I am now an avid Audible listener, so I have heard the talents of the best narrators. "Reading" has changed over the past many decades, and today we expect narrators to be actors with a repertoire of characterizations as well as the ability to emote the scenes. This book does not require so much of that, but it does need a reader one can listen to. With all the LDS voice talent available these days, I cannot fathom why Tervort was chosen, and then chosen again to read other books as well. His voice is extremely tight and he cuts off the ends of sentences so that sometimes I didn't know what he had said. This is how I sound with strep throat, and I found myself swallowing in painful sympathy. My eyes are tired from wincing for him through the entire book.
Despite my painful listening experience, I am glad to know more about Cannon himself, and the missions to Hawaii in general. I would now like to read about the young Joseph Fielding Smith's mission there as a 15-year-old. It is great to have LDS options here on Audible; they make for nice Sunday and evening listening. I will try other titles, but by other narrators. I hope many more titles will be made available as there is some great inspirational work out there.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I very much enjoyed it and would recommend it for young and old.it inspired courage.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful