A statement released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on its Dominican Republic website Thursday gave details on events leading to the Wednesday death of Hyde Park missionary Brennan Conrad.
Conrad’s companion said Conrad had gone to the roof with a bucket for water, according to the statement, which is in Spanish. Conrad then is believed to have come in contact with an electrical wire, which is believed to be the reason for his fall from the rooftop.
The United States Embassy is collaborating with the church and local funeral services to arrange the transportation of Conrad to Utah.
In the statement, Conrad’s mission president for the Santo Domingo East Mission, Bret G. Smith, is quoted in Spanish as saying Conrad was an excellent missionary example.
“Elder Conrad was a great man with exceptional faith,” Smith said. “When he arrived to the country, we could feel something very special in him.”
Conrad was trained by a former assistant to the president who had just been released and covered an area neither of them had been in.
“In just two weeks, many people were listening to the message and many were baptized through the faith of these two young men,” Smith said.
After six weeks of being in the Dominican Republic, Smith said that when he interviewed Conrad, he noted the young man was very quiet. He later found out from his companion that it was because Conrad didn’t know Spanish very well.
“I asked Elder Conrad if he would try more diligently to learn Spanish,” Smith said. “Since that day, he never spoke to me in English. Moreover, from then on, he would write me a letter in Spanish every week.”
Conrad was assigned as district leader a week ago due to his dedication and maturity, according to the statement. He was the leader of six other missionaries as well as his companion.
Rafael Gutierrez, Carribean Area director of public affairs director for the church, said Latter-day Saints wanted to honor the memory of Conrad, remembering him as a missionary who voluntarily left the comfort and safety of his home for the service of God.
“The people he taught and the companions he influenced are the legacy of the good works left for us, the product of the service from this noble servant of God,” Gutierrez said.