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Mission president and wife describe weekend attack and robbery

Mission president and wife describe weekend attack and robbery



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SALT LAKE CITY -- As Latter-day Saint Apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson is shaking off a weekend attack and robbery by armed gunmen in Mozambique, he's telling missionaries "this type of thing happens all over the world."

During the attack, the mission president's wife suffered a broken arm; others have cuts and bruises. KSL has now learned details of the incident from an e-mail that the mission president sent to the families of missionaries serving in the area.

President Blair and Sister Cindy Packard are assuring family and friends of about 70 missionaries that they feel what happened in the mission home in Maputo, Mozambique was "an isolated armed robbery" and that they will be "reviewing all security and safety procedures"

Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, were on Church assignment in that African nation, having dinner with the area president, his wife and the Packards the incident happened.

The Packards also wrote that they feel, "Elder and Sister Nelson were not specifically targeted or that this was any act against the Church. Some have speculated that our guards were involved. They were not."

They also wrote that their 9-year-old daughter, Lindy, their housekeeper and her baby boy are safe; the two children hid in a closet.

The Packards also said that in Maputo, "Home invasions and armed confrontations are not common. We have had one missionary apartment burglarized in recent weeks but have had no other incidents ... in over a year and a half."

After the incident, Elder and Sister Nelson held meetings with all of the missionaries. The Packards describe them as wonderful, spiritual experiences.

The Packards say area and Church Security personnel are examining all safety procedures. Elder and Sister Nelson left Mozambique Sunday afternoon and are on their way home to Utah.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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Carole Mikita

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