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Australian Journalist Writes about Her Experience Among French Polynesian Mormons

Australian journalist Caroline Gladstone wrote recently for WA Today about her experience attending a Mormon worship service on the French Polynesian island of Rangiroa.

"Using basic French, I whisper to my companion that I'm a tourist and sit back peacefully, attempting to hum along to a hymn," she writes. "It's then she leans towards me and kisses me once on each cheek, as is the French custom. I resturn the gesture."

She continues: "Other congregation members come and kiss me and the minister makes his way down the rows to us and soes the same thing and thanks me warmly for coming."

She concludes her article: "I get my little postcard moment — the hats, the clothes and the singing — and a bit more than I bargained for. I cycle away with a warm glow in my heart."

There are approximately 22,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — sometimes called Mormons — in 83 congregations across French Polynesia.

Journalists and other members of the public are welcome to attend Mormon worship services.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.