LOCAL NEWS

Missionaries, president safe after robbery at mission conference in Mexico

Nov 13, 2021, 9:31 AM | Updated: 10:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Seventy missionaries attending a zone conference in Torreón, Mexico are safe and largely unharmed after gunmen robbed them, according to a spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The full-time missionaries as well as the mission president and his wife were in attendance at the meeting Friday when two men armed with guns entered the meetinghouse and demanded their phones, tablets and wallets.

A statement from the church says the robbers kicked and hit a few of the missionaries and leaders as well as threatened the mission president and his wife with a knife.

Thirteen sister missionaries and 57 elders were in the meeting at the time.

“Local police were immediately called after the men fled the scene and no one needed additional medical care,” the church statement said. “A Church counselor is traveling from Mexico City to assist with emotional needs and other counseling options are also being made available. Parents are being contacted by the Church and missionaries are being encouraged to contact their families.”

A viewer shared with KSL-TV an email they say they received from the mission president about the attack. It reads, in part:

“We are grateful that our Heavenly Father was watching over us today and ask that the Spirit will help to comfort all of us, as we recover from this upsetting incident. We love your faithful sons and daughters who are serving their Lord with all of their heart, might, mind and strength and our prayers are always with them.”

According to the church statement, missionaries have been removed from the area of the robbery and told to be extra cautious. A security officer from the church is in the area evaluating the situation.

“Our prayers are with these missionaries and their families as they recover from this frightening and traumatic experience,” the church statement said.

The U.S. State Department has a travel advisory in effect for the state of Coahuila to reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

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Missionaries, president safe after robbery at mission conference in Mexico