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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Elder Plarao, One-Handed Missionary Completes Mission with Honor

President Angelo Plarao
President Plarao
I know a true latter-day saints know the importance of doing a missionary work. They know it in doing so for they've done their part in fulfilling one of the 3-fold mission of the Church, and that's to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But what about if you're unable to do it due to a handicap or physical disability, can you do the missionary work? In one of our leadership meeting with the Church leaders, if a member is disabled and wanted to spread the Gospel in doing the missionary job like the full-time missionary is doing in the field, by his honest and willing desire he is already doing it  and he doesn't need to go out anymore to fulfill it.

On the other hand, if you're partially handicap, like the one I know from La Castellana Branch. He is Bro. Angelo Plarao who has no right hand which was amputated due to firecracker accident when he was 14 years old. His Branch President, the late Rogie Belarmino encouraged him to go out for a mission in spite of that handicap. Bro Angelo responded approvingly. He never hesitated or had a second thought "because all circumstances and problems have their own worth of purpose" in which he strongly believes it.

Doing Missionary Work

Elder Plarao and Elder Camporazo
Missionary tools

It was in 2009 that Bro. Angelo received his mission call to do a 2-year mission in Butuan Philippines Mission under President Revillo. What a coincidence, he belongs to where my youngest son, Elder Camporazo is also serving his mission there. Elder Plarao was assigned to San Francisco Zone as his first mission area and his last area was Ampayon Ward under Butuan Stake in 2011.

His other assigned areas were Rosario Branch, Apokon Branch in Tagum City, and Manghoy Branch in Bislig City.

Being a one-handed missionary who generally be bullied by anyone who could see him, Elder Plarao has determination not to be affected by it. As a result, he's able to convert and baptize a drunkard and trouble-maker person in his mission. He has done it due to his sincere desire to bring back those unbelievers back to the fold of the Heavenly Father.

Elder Plarao with his Mission President and fellow FT Missionaries
Elder Plarao with his Mission President and fellow FT Missionaries

In spite of his physical disability, he has also some hindrances that may interfere with his normal discharge of missionary work. He has worried on how he could survive for 2 years for he doesn't know how to wash and iron his clothes. What he also tends him to worry more is his communication skills. He doesn't understand English so as to speak it. He has only reached the first year high school and stop schooling. But all those hindrances had vanished like bubbles for God has prepared the way for him. And it did as what the 1 Nephi 3:7 of the Book of Mormon said, "God will prepare the way."

He has able to complete his 2-year mission by trusting in the Lord, having faith with Him always. He knows that even how difficult the situation, God helps him. He knows that God is real. Everyone is here to be tested. He goes home with a heart full of thanksgiving to his Mission President, President Charlie Revillo and President Donato, and all Branch Presidents whom he worked with while in the mission field. And most of all, he gratefully acknowledged Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, his great Provider.

Life After Mission

After his two years of serving to the Lord's vineyard, he was released as a full-time missionary in 2011 by his District President. In that time, Bro. Angelo Plarao's mission doesn't stop. He has to face another life's mission like finishing his education, finding a job and taking an eternal life partner by getting married in the Temple for time and eternity.

Church Calling

President Plarao at the Cebu Philippines Mission
President Plarao at the Cebu Philippines Mission

Semillano Family
Duenas Family

He was called as the Branch President of Moises Padilla under La Carlota Philippines District and he had sent two families, the Semillano and DueƱas to the Cebu Temple for Sealing ordinances. It is what he got for living the latter-day saint way with a strong faith in Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments. He managed the Moises Padilla through his good example. Later he was released and was replaced by Bro. Joseph Semillano as the new Branch President of Moises Padilla Branch.

Education Completed

He took up the acceleration and equivalency test conducted by Alternative Learning System (ALS) in La Carlota as per advised by President Semillano. He passed it and he was accelerated to take college education for he is "entitled to all the rights of a secondary education graduate." He didn't go through the rigors and difficulties of hurdling the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th secondary level of education.

ALS Certficate
Award and Certificate

He continued his college studies by availing of the loan from Perpetual Education Fund, an education program for the returned missionaries and deserving members of the Church. And on March 28, 2017 he completed his Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEED), General Education at the Central Philippine University (CPU), Moises Padilla Campus.

Order for Graduation

During their recognition, he was given the leadership award as the President of the Supreme Student Government.

Leadership Award

Next Mission - Temple Marriage

On how to get married to the temple is the next mission which Angelo would be striving to achieve. However, he has learned from President Harold B. Lee's counsel to the returned missionaries that they should take time in looking for their eternal partner in life.

President Lee's advice:

"Make sure that you have FOUND THE GIRL OF YOUR CHOICE. You have gone together long enough THAT YOU KNOW EACH OTHER, and that they know each other's FAULTS and they still LOVE each other."

Good luck. I know you could find one. She's just around the corner waiting for you.


  1. Naks! Bilib jud ko ni Elder Plarao bah. Wla juy libog, malipayon ug humble! Keep the faith bro!

  2. This is truly wonderful and inspiring story! A person like Elder will surely find an amazing woman with whom he will share his further calls.

  3. This is a really great story! I really admire his determination and finishing through.

  4. Wow! That's an inspiring story! Indeed God has prepared a way for each and everyone of us in the ways we couldn't imagine!!

  5. The greatest disability in life is, NOT trying at all. We all have some degree of disability in us, so at the end of the day we will all be measured by the good and great things we did despite our disability.

  6. This is a really inspiring story. Thanks a lot for sharing. I think he is really brave. I think president lee's advice is super important

  7. This is honestly an inspiring story! He is such a brave and caring guy that cannot be unhinged. Wonderful post!

  8. congrats to him. regardless of what obstacles someone faces, this shows that anything can be accomplished! inspiring

  9. It is really hard to get through life with a handicap. We take that hand for granted but this guy lived his life without it and still succeeded. Bravo!

  10. It's really inspiring that despite his partial handicap, he still pursued his missionary work. It's also nice that even if people bullied him for his handicap, he didn't let it affect him.