I just finished The Other Side of Heaven by John H. Groberg. I've seen the movie and liked it, but I wanted to read the book because it was on my book club list and people said they really enjoyed it.
This story recalls John H. Groberg's LDS mission experiences in Tonga. It tells of his difficulty integrating into their culture including but not limited to: the language, the tradition, and the food. He also endured many physical challenges that could have taken his life, but with strength from above, he got through it all unharmed.
I really enjoyed reading about the Tongan culture. Many times I laughed out loud because some things sounded so bizarre to me and I can only imagine this Mormon boy from Idaho experiencing this foreign land. It was very eye-opening though on what they value and I believe we could truly benefit from incorporating some of their values into our lives.
I was also amazed at the experiences he recalled about his physical trials. He survived a fierce hurricane that wiped the island out of food. His companion and him suffered from starvation until a boat arrived months later. He tells stories of being thrown into the ocean during storms. It's truly amazing he survived. After reading this book, you come away knowing that he had constant help from God.
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