Comments about ‘LDS missionary from Dominican Republic killed by stray bullet in Colombia’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 1 2013 10:45 p.m. MDT

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Tucson, AZ

Prayers go out to his family and friends. How tragic.

Carson City, NV

These stories make me so sad. I have added the missionaries to my prayers everyday. Hope all the temples are adding to their prayers too.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

A "stray" bullet? What would the shooter have been firing at for a "stray" bullet to kill a missionary?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

How tragic. My best wishes to the family. Que Dios los bendiga.

Venice, CA

So very tragic. I pray for strength and comfort for this Elder's family. Let's keep the 75,000 missionaries who are serving throughout the world in our daily prayers.

Cinci Man

COLOMBIA. It's not "the gem of the ocean".

This is very sad. My prayers are with the family

Cinci Man

Thanks DN for correcting the spelling.

Saint George, UT

Its a very dangerous world out there. I pray for the missionaries every night.

Salt Lake City, UT

I can appreciate the expressions of faith, but we shouldn't let that obscure the awful reality of what has happened. Remember these are just kids. Stare it in the face. When my son was on his mission, I worried everyday "what hazardous situation could he be in right now?"

Cedar Hills, UT

Again another tragic missionary death. So very tragic and sad for the family and I hope they can find some measure of peace through all of this. Columbia is a very dangerous place as is most of Central America. So many drug lords and violence in that region. Isn't this the third missionary death reported by the D-News this summer? Perhaps it is time for the Church to re-evaluate proselyting practices - how, where etc... A Parent shouldn't have to worry about their son or daughter while on a mission. I know my son reported after he was home from his mission many scary situations and close calls while in Miami. He waited til he got home to tell us so not to worry us. Had I known about some of them I probably would have requested a transfer out of that area..to a safer (less violent) area. There was really no monitoring it seemed by the mission or the church as to the potential danger which bothers me. We can take the gospel to world and do it safely too.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The problems in Colombia have been known for a while now. Why weren't the missionaries pulled out of this troubled area?

Provo, UT

RIP to this missionary and his family. More and more missionaries are making the news in a mortality way. I guess with the larger numbers this is bound to happen. How sad.


The loss of a missionary seems like a weekly event lately. What the heck is going on? What kind of areas are we sending our young people into?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


I fully understand the worry. But some 30 plus years ago I was in South America and there was not much “monitoring”. They have their companion. They have the mission rules. And (hopefully) they have the Holy Ghost. But even the best can be overcome by circumstances. I think the Church does the best it can. No mission president wants to make that phone call to the missionary’s parents.

There were such dangers even in the founding days of the church. We just cannot protect them from everything (though I too wish that we could).

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Missionaries are about 8 times less likely to die than people of the same age not on missions.

All the talk about pulling missionaries out of unsafe areas ignores the fact that people in unsafe areas need the blessings of hearing the gospel. When I was young the Church did not have missionaries residing in Detroit because it was deemed unsafe. Then we had local leaders who encouraged doing so and following the example of Ammon.

Missionaries have been called as witnesses to trials of people accused of perpetrating drive-by shootings, but we have never had a missionary killed or injured by violence in Detroit.

If you look at missionary deaths, many more are caused by car accidents than shootings, and some shootings occur in areas where killings have not occurred for years.

Round Rock, TX

Unfortunately, if you read the Deseret News, you read about this whenever and wherever it happens when a missionary loses his/her life. With 75k missionaries in the field, there will be a few that do not return home. This is sad for us as members and devastating for their families.

I am perplexed, though, with the picture that is shown. It almost begs the question: is it out-of-focus because it is taken from the fallen Elder's perspective? He was with 3 other Elders, a stray bullet hits him, he falls to the ground without the others noticing, and as he loses consciousness his vision gets blurry as he sees the other Elders leaving him on the ground walking away from him. Poor taste.

Vincent Mrykalo
Provo, UT

My father-in-law went on a mission to Missouri in the 30's. The missionaries then were being hunted down by mobs. He and his companion were hiding deep in a swamp and praying they wouldn't be found and killed as another missionary had been. Late in the night they saw a lamp and heard someone calling to them. They finally went to him and he fed them and let them sleep in his home. He wasn't a member, but had been awakened from a deep sleep hearing a voice telling him to go rescue someone, and he was directed where to go. There have always been tragedies and miracles associated with missionary service, whether with our church or with other churches around the world.

Cedar Hills, UT

Sympathies to this good Elder's family. How shocking this news must have been. Patriot said, "A Parent shouldn't have to worry about their son or daughter while on a mission." That's a nice thought, but parents of students shouldn't have to worry about their kids who go off to school. Yet, statistically speaking, many more will die, at school, then if they were serving an LDS Mission. I work for the Mission Dept - believe me, every single death is taken seriously and measures are taken for each young man and young woman so they can be as safe as possible. While tragedies occur, a mission is still one of the safest places a young person can be. God bless the memory of Elder Encarnacion!

Just a Mom
Vernal, UT

So sad to hear of the death of another missionary. My prayers to his family. The thought crossed my mind that the missionary work in the Spirit World must be hastening, as so many great missionaries are being called to the work there.

Perris, CA

Thanks to technology and media, we get to know more about what happens in other places, with other people in distant countries. Also, the total of missionaries has increased and because of that, we learn about these tragic events more and more.
So true that missionaries are always at risk, and -sadly- this risk will always exist.

20 yrs. ago, when I served a mission, we had "prohibited" areas and schedules (eventually) by the Mission Presidency because of the horrors happened there to missionaries, but with the time, hearts soften, people tolerate the presence of them. Now, this area has a lot or units and have a full mission.

We will grieve the lost of our beloved missionaries. It is fortunate that behind the sadness of this, is the Lord's will; and behind the veil, a vast world of work.
My most sincere condolences to this Elder's family. Elder Encarnacion: In live you will be dearly remembered, in death you will be serving others,and plus... you will be loved and useful too!. =)

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