Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Domestic Violence Can Be Deadly or Being in the Right Place at the Wrong Time

I have really enjoyed reading the blog of the Arizona Phoenix Mission President Paul Beck and his wife. I have learned a few new techniques been uplifted by the fun pictures and read some very interesting things good and bad. For the most part it is a standard mission president's blog but every now and then a little something unusual happens. This event didn't make the Church News or any newspaper that I know of.

I guess serving in a hot desert like Phoenix can really rile up some people. I remember growing up in North Las Vegas which has a similar kind of terrain. We outdid Detroit for several years with our drive by shootings. I guess murder can happen anywhere. Police say that the number one perpetrator of murder is someone close to you and usually involves domestic violence. As a missionary I remember seeing a few investigators in arguments with their spouse or children and once or twice come to blows. Even missionaries know the gospel can really change lives. I remember how we worked with a former drug addict who had a marvelous transformation in this life where he went from having his wife almost divorce him to being born-again.

No matter how an investigator dies it has to be difficult for a missionary to see death at a young age. I remember the first time I encountered death was right before my mission when a kid I played on the soccer team dove off a rock at Lake Mead and broke his neck and died. I took it hard since you never suspect as a teenager that people near your age could die at any time.

A couple of sisters in November 2008 had a rather traumatic experience that didn't end as happily as my investigator's experience and happened while they were there:

In the Right place at the Wrong time....but they are well

Sister's Walker and Matthews had an experience they will probably never forget on their mission. They were teaching a discussion to a lady in her home where there was a domestic violence accident and someone was killed. It was a long day for them as they were questioned by police, since they were in the house when it happened. We brought them to the mission home where they got a late meal and a place to stay for the night. They were pretty shaken from the incident. We never found out what happened but we emergency transferred them the next day. These are the bears that they were given by the police that they clung to for comfort.

I definitely think this investigator knew she needed the gospel and was involved in a life changing event. No one can really predict what will happen and missionaries from time to time encounter danger situations I'm convinced none of them could predict this happening.

I am glad it turned out no one else lost their life and the sisters were preserved. I wonder if anyone thought to do the temple work for this investigator since she might very well have joined the church had she not met such an untimely demise. I wonder what the affect was on the sisters? How did the woman die? Was she electrocuted? Was she murdered? Have they had to testify against the guilty party or testify at an inquest? Did they have to have psychological counseling? My son and I saw a man die once in front us on the highway. We really have never gotten over it. It must be hard to adjust on a mission when something like this happens. It could also have made them stronger as you have to really think about the frailty of life when you see someone die. Also it is a cautionary tale of what can happen in a family situation when people don't live the gospel. It would be interesting if the mission president or his wife were to give us an update on what happened after.


Raymond Teodo a.k.a. was_bedeutet_jemanden said...

Such a sad story! :-( But I'm glad the sisters got out OK...

Bookslinger said...

Doc, the mission president didn't say the investigator was killed, he said "someone" was killed. He could have easily referenced the investigator whom he mentioned in the same sentence, but he didn't. So the implication is that it was someone else. At least that's the impression that the mission president wanted to give.