This week, I am traveling throughout New Zealand and Tahiti, partially as a vacation and partially as an initial foray into two of the countries that I write about in my dissertation. As someone who works on Mormon missionaries in the South Pacific and Great Britain, I spend a lot of time reading the journals, diaries, and letters of Protestant missionaries who have encountered Mormons in their mission stations and among their congregations. Sometimes their comments are unsurprising – the usual vituperative rants about golden plates and polygamy that you would expect to find in the writings of any non-Mormon who had encountered Mormon missionaries for the first time. At other times, the letters and diaries that I read can be surprising in their lack of interest and nonchalance about the appearance of sudden appearance of Mormonism.
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