Sam Penrod, a spokesman with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released the following statement to journalists on Friday, March 10, 2023:
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that a full-time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed away unexpectedly Friday morning. Elder Jean Lendo Phuati, 26, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been serving in the Mbuji-Mayi Mission in his home country since August 2021.
Elder Phuati passed away in the hospital a short time after he began feeling ill. The cause of death remains undetermined at this time, although he experienced symptoms related to a cardiac event while in the hospital.
Our prayers go to Elder Phuati’s family, friends, fellow missionaries, and those in his home community, that they may be comforted by the Savior’s love during this time of mourning.