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LDS Church evacuates missionaries from Bolivia

LDS Church evacuates missionaries from Bolivia



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Some 102 missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been evacuated from Bolivia.

LDS Church officials did it as a precautionary measure due to unsettled political conditions in the country.

The missionaries are from North America and have been transferred to Peru for the time being. The Church expects them to return when conditions become more settled.

Mike Schaertl has a son on a mission in Bolivia. He says his son figured they would have to leave the city of Trinidad after what happened last week. "A bunch of people were killed up there. A bunch of tanks in the road. I think he knows what it's like now to have tear gas near him," he said.

But Elder Schaertl told his dad the airport was taken over and the bridges out of town were destroyed. That's when all the missionaries left on foot for a city where the LDS Church had flown in a couple of planes.

The young man says he felt protected, but what about his family? "We're all great now, but we didn't get much sleep the past couple of nights. You know, but we had a real peaceful feeling," Mike said.

The evacuation began last weekend and ended last night. Elder Schaertl says he'll find out more when his son gets home in a couple of weeks.

E-mail: cwall@ksl.com

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Cleon Wall

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