Friday, October 11, 2013

Two LDS missionaries died this week...

KSL reports...

The first one was Elder Colt Daniel Kunz, who was just 20 years old and was serving in the Tampico, Mexico Mission.  He had been in the country for about a month and came into contact with a live electrical wire.

The second one was Elder Andrew Edward Page, just 18 years old from Charlotte, North Carolina.  He was serving in California and got hit by a vehicle while riding a bike.

It's very sad when very young people die.  I am sure that their families will comfort themselves with the knowledge that these two young men died while "serving the Lord".  They probably figure these people are now in an exalted state.  I don't know that I agree, but if it makes them feel better, so be it.

I remember back in 2006, when Morgan W. Young, a missionary who was serving in Chesapeake, Virginia was shot because he was in the "wrong place at the wrong time".  His family were very devout Mormons and this young man was their oldest child.  Mom looked a bit shellshocked as she told the news reporters that was glad her son had "died with his boots on".

I suppose a person can die anywhere.  Some people say that when it's your time to go, it's your time to go...  Still, it's tragic that these young folks were cut down so early.  I don't know what's going on in the missions, but it does seem like a lot of people come back forever changed after them, and not always for the better.  I have read so many accounts of missionaries getting sick or injured...

Missionary gets mauled by a lion in Guatemala...

Missionary gets hit by a bus in Brazil...

Two missionaries killed riding bikes in Texas...

Elderly Mormon missionary killed in robbery attempt in Ivory Coast, Africa...

Mormon missionaries gang raped in South Africa...

And here's a blog post with links to more stories about missionaries getting hurt or killed.

I cut and pasted this from RfM, where a commenter has listed the missionaries that have died just this year.

Mormon missionary deaths this year:

1. Taylor Shane Ward » The 19-year-old from Vacaville, Calif., died last month after the compact car he was riding in was hit by a pickup near Rockford in southeastern Idaho. Ward was serving in the Idaho Pocatello Mission.

2. Jose Daniel Encarnacion Montero » The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic was killed Aug. 31 in Colombia by a stray bullet.

3. Jason Reid Wiberg » The Roy 19-year-old was fatally hit by a car while riding a bicycle Aug. 25 in Malaysia.

4. Thomas Milo Bennett » The 21-year-old LDS missionary from Window Rock, Ariz., suffered cardiac arrest and died Aug. 3 in a hospital in Casper, Wyo.

5. Juan Junior Litano Montero » The 20-year-old missionary in the Peru Piura Mission died in July of tuberculous meningoencephalitis.

6. Joshua Allen Burton » The 23-year-old, from Alberta, Canada, died in Guatemala on July 22, when a truck he was riding in overturned.

7. Siosiua “Josh” Taufa » The Salt Lake City 20-year-old was electrocuted June 19 in Guatemala while trying to fix a family’s leaky roof. Taufa was the son of Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Aiveni “Ivan” Taufa, a member of Gov. Gary Herbert’s security team.

8. Jeffrey Rogil Guerra Alfaro » The 22-year-old from Lidingo, Sweden, was serving in the Utah Provo Mission in May, when he suffered a fatal aneurysm while jogging with his missionary companion.

9. Alesa Renee Smith » The 22-year-old from Benton, Ark., was killed in Woodward, Okla., on Feb. 1, when she was hit by a truck while on her bicycle.

10. George Peter Solie » The 21-year-old Kansas native had served for a year in the Utah Salt Lake City West Mission when he died Jan. 23 from an unidentified medical condition.

11. Peter Allen Maugon » Allegedly murdered by Pablo Francisco Ruiz.

12. Colt Daniel Kunz » The 20-year-old died after coming in contact with a live electrical wire while serving in the Mexico Tampico mission.

13. Andre Edward Page » The 18-year-ol died from injuries he sustained when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.

These are just a few accounts I found after searching for a few minutes.  Things like this happen, of course.  When I was in the Peace Corps, I knew people who were crime victims.  I didn't know anyone who was killed, but I know people have died while serving.  Death can happen at any time.  It's just so sad that these people die while giving up part of the best parts of their lives to be door to door salespeople for the church.

I'm sorry for their families.  


  1. With the time most of them spend on bicycles, the numbers could be much higher. people just aren't looking ofr bicyclists eveen when the cyclists are riding lawfully.

    My mom's best friend knew the family a long time ago of the one who was just electrocuted. She said the parents were so wholesome and cute when they were young, and were really nice people. The town he was from, Victor Idaho, is just a little tiny burg that didn't have a high school the last time I checked. It did have at least one LDS church building, though.

    1. I used to ride my bike to and from the barn where I boarded my horse. I never wore a helmet. Guess I was lucky I never got really seriously hurt.


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