Saving Souls in Paradise: A Mormon's Failed Mission in the Canary Islands
Balog’s fascinating debut memoir is a first-person account of the daily grind of the proselyting Mormon elder, revealing delightful secrets about missionary life.
This young elder—serving in the Spain, Las Palmas mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—bounces from island to island to convert Canarians to Mormonism. The rote work means knocking endless doors, contacting strangers in the street, and soaking in sweat under the Spanish sun. A clash with locals brings him face to face with rejection and hostility, vulnerable to slings of insults and sometimes rocks. Elder Balog, in his quest to find converts, debates religion with all walks of life but suffers a crisis of faith and questions his lifelong religion, leaving him searching for meaning to his service.