Missionary dies while trying to save life


    By Christine Patterson

    An LDS missionary died Sunday March 9 in Argentina when he tried to save a local 13-year-old boy who lay injured in a deep puddle in the middle of a fierce storm.

    Elder Nathan Godfrey and his companion were proselytizing in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, when they heard a woman nearby screaming for help.

    “He [Nathan] ran over to help and saw a boy lying in the mud, injured,” said Mark Johnson, Godfrey”s former seminary teacher. “It was raining hard, he couldn”t see a fallen power line lying in the mud and he stepped on it.”

    The Argentine boy, Nery Broin, did not survive. Both he and Godfrey died of electrocution.

    Nathan, son of Scott and Sarah Godfrey of Kaysville, served in the Argentina Rosario Mission for two months before he died.

    “We surely feel for his companion,” Scott Godfrey said.

    The Godfrey family, including Nathan”s eight siblings, was close to him.

    “He was a fun loving, happy young man. We loved him, and we miss him,” Scott Godfrey said.

    Two of Nathan”s sisters, Michelle and Melissa Godfrey from Kaysville, are BYU students. Both will graduate in April.

    “Nathan was very close to his brothers and sisters,” Scott Godfrey said. “Especially to his 6-year-old brother. He would carry him home from church on his shoulders.”

    Nathan was part of a group of eight best friends, all serving missions for the church.

    The mothers of the eight elders circulated a monthly newsletter with highlights of their sons” experiences, according to Johnson, who is the father of one of the elders.

    The mission presidents of the eight elders were notified of Nathan”s death, and they counseled the missionaries in their grief.

    Johnson said he had the opportunity to know Nathan well, both as his seminary teacher and the father of his best friend.

    “He was an excellent student,” Johnson said. “He was a very respectful, kind of quiet young man. Reverent, reserved and good-natured, he always had a smile. He was a gentleman. He”s the type of young man I would want to marry one of my daughters.

    “When I heard he died trying to help someone, it didn”t surprise me.”

    Nathan Godfrey was a quiet young man and a good student, according to Corine Sayler, vice principal of Davis High School, where he graduated. His transcripts showed that he took many AP and honors classes, and graduated with a nearly perfect GPA.

    “He was one of those people who was an outstanding student without a lot of outside accolades,” Sayler said. “Very unassuming and gentle and pleasant. He was very considerate of others, as you can tell from how he died. He was well liked by faculty as well as his fellow students.”

    Nathan Godfrey was accepted to BYU and awarded a scholarship, said his father. He planned to attend after his mission.

    Nathan Godfrey”s favorite scripture depicts the strong moral character of one of his hero”s, Captain Moroni, his father said, noting the scripture is appropriate as a theme for his son”s life and mission because he tried to pattern himself after his hero.

    Nathan Godfrey also exemplified his other hero, Jesus Christ, whose name he wore each day on his missionary tag, Johnson said. He”s described as an obedient missionary who worked hard to bless the lives of others.

    The church has been supportive, from the ward level to the general level, said Scott Godfrey.

    The missionary”s body will arrive in Utah Wednesday, and a funeral is planned for shortly thereafter.

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