LOCAL NEWS

Utah Latter-day Saint missionary survives Kentucky tornado

Dec 13, 2021, 9:46 AM

SANDY, Utah — The devastation in Kentucky has hit home for at least one Utah family, whose daughter was serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when a massive tornado ripped through Mayfield, Kentucky.

Sister June Ferre, of Sandy, and her companion, Sister Erica Stewart-Madrueno, are the only missionaries in Mayfield. Sister Ferre was transferred to the area the day before the devastating tornado hit. With wind speeds reaching upwards of 140 mph, it devastated the town.

Kentucky was the worst hit by far in the cluster of twisters across several states, remarkable because they came at a time of year when cold weather normally limits tornadoes. They left at least eight people dead at the state’s Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory and another 12 were reported killed in and around Bowling Green. At least another 14 people died in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.

“She was actually assigned originally to Montevideo, Uruguay,” said Aimee Ferre, June’s mother.

Ferre said her daughter is having the time of her life serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even with an unexpected twist of events — a temporary reassignment in the Nashville Tennessee Mission.

“She loves Tennessee. She has absolutely loved it there,” Ferre said.

June Ferre was in Nashville until last week, when she was transferred to the other side of her mission — a place called Mayfield, Kentucky.

“When she called me she said, ‘Mom it’s way out in the middle of nowhere. It’s in Kentucky,’” Aimee Ferre said.

Ferre had no idea the small city would soon dominate headlines.

“And literally the next day was when the tornado went through,” Ferre said.

She said the missionaries narrowly missed being in the tornado’s path of destruction.

Sister June Ferre and Sister and her companion Sister Erica Stewart-Madrueno, after a tornado ripped through the area they were assigned to serve in as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Ferre family)

Late Friday night, they said a member of their congregation knocked on their door and invited them to take shelter in the basement of his home with his family.

“Her apartment was 2 miles from the candle factory that they’re talking about that was … that collapsed,” Ferre said. “I can’t even imagine when I see the pictures on the news. It’s overwhelming to look at and realize that June is there.”

June Ferre filmed video as they made their way through town Saturday morning.

“She couldn’t really identify where they were because everything was just gone,” Aimee Ferre said.

The two missionaries were without power and running water Sunday, but Ferre said they’re in good spirits and already helping with clean-up efforts.

“Then she went on to say, It’s going to be a Christmas to remember. A very special one,” Ferre said.

The two missionaries are currently staying in a nearby town. Everyone in their congregation is accounted for, but Ferre said they could use our prayers and support.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Keith Jensen's Christmas home lit up by all the festive lights. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Millcreek man lights up neighborhood with the face of Santa

Millcreek man is spreading Christmas cheer through tens of thousands of lights all around his home.
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO: The Chickadee lift is pictured at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, Oct...
Michael Houck

Avalanche triggered at Snowbird resort, no injuries reported

Rescue crews responded to the Snowbird Ski Resort after an avalanche was triggered on a trail. 
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO (Lehi Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Lehi building placed on ‘lock down’ after reports of man with a gun

A misunderstanding caused a building to be placed in "lock down" after reports of a man with a gun Tuesday.
1 day ago
handcuffs...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Price man arrested in woman’s 2019 death now being called a murder

A Price man has been arrested for investigation of murder in connection with the shooting death of a woman in 2019 in Carbon County that was once considered an accidental shooting.
1 day ago
A Ute Football mini helmet at the U of U official store. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

‘It was a dream come true;’ Utah football fans hyped up for another Rose Bowl

Utah football fans are making plans for the Rose Bowl after winning the PAC-12 championship game Friday night.
1 day ago
The former Utah man and pilot, Dan Ragan....
KSL TV

Utah resident remembers pilot killed in Dallas Air Show crash

The former Utah man who tragically passed away in a deadly air show crash in Texas is being remembered by neighbors and friends. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Utah Latter-day Saint missionary survives Kentucky tornado