Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Remembering Fondly

On September 4, 2012 we welcomed
Elder Encarnacion
to the Best Mission in the World

He arrived with a LARGE group of missionaries 
willing and ready to go to work
Happily he met his first companion 
and from that moment on 
he was hard at work inviting everyone to come unto Christ
 and receive His gospel.
 His smile was always contagious and he was of "good cheer"
whenever we were with matter how hard...
He knew how to do hard things!
He knew why he was on his mission and in his short year
he has helped many people come to the waters of baptism.
He loved and was beloved of his companions.

He was a great leader!
One day he called and asked me for permission to take his district fishing on P-day...
I said, "only if you catch something and send me a picture."
This is the picture he sent to me that day (sorry the size is small)

While he was waiting for his interview with President Prince in July
he asked me,
"Sister Prince, I try to do everything you ask me.
What else can I do to be a great missionary?"
I said,
"Elder Encarnacion, you are a marvelous missionary!  We trust you.
You are obedient.  We can count on you.  
Just keep doing what you are doing."

 Here is Our last Zone Conference picture with him...
tall, strong, dignified, and worthy
to be a representative of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, September 1, 2013 President Prince sent out the following notice:

We lost a missionary today.  A stray bullet passed through an open door while four missionaries were having lunch together, and it struck one of our Elders in the head. He fell to the floor and died immediately without any sign of pain or struggle.

Elder Jose Daniel Encarnación was from the Dominican Republic.  He had just finished a year in the mission and was 20 years old.  I spoke with the local Stake President by telephone, and he notified the family (as is protocol).  We have 192 devastated missionaries on our hands, and four stakes and three member districts are in mourning.

The Missionary Department, Church leaders, local police, members, family, friends are all cooperating on the details and arrangements that occur in a situation like this.  The Area Presidency called in to express their sorrow.  Elder W. Christopher Waddell will be here Wednesday to spend a few days.

As I sat in a baptismal service tonight, I could see Elder Encarnación in all white clothing in my mind´s eye, standing above me in the air.  I could see he had a calm, reassuring smile as he looked at me.  Then I remembered the words of President Joseph F. Smith, "I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the the great world of the spirits of the dead" (DC 138:57).  Elder Encarnación has a new companion and a new Mission President, but he plans to hit his goals in the month of September.  Elder Encarnación, we will miss you.

Joni and I are doing OK (not to worry).  This hurts us deeply, and we are suffering for the elder´s family, but if there ever was a case where Father took someone to the other side, this was it.  I have felt reassured that Elder Encarnación is fine.
 Remembering Fondly a Marvelous Missionary!
Our lives our forever changed...may we continue working with this
great Elder in the Lord's work!

"For behold, this is my work and my glory - 
to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Moses 1:39

**to all of our missionary families.  Your son/daughter is working hard, safe, and doing all he/she can to honor the name of Elder Encarnacion by being a great missionary.  We are happy to receive any emails to address any concerns you have.
We love your missionaries...they are like our own sons and daughters.
Thank you for your support, faith, and prayers.

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