Summarized by Jennifer Livingston
Companion of slain Morgan missionary now at WSU
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 29Apr00 P2
By Joe Pyrah: Standard-Examiner staff
PLAIN CITY, UTAH -- One year ago, Elder Jonathan
Barrett was killed while serving an LDS mission in the
African country of the Ivory Coast. Elder Barrett was
stabbed through the heart in an act motivated by
racist sentiment. His native mission companion, Elder
Pacome Georges Zokou, encountered difficulty in
hailing a cab to take Elder Barrett for emergency
treatment. Barrett passed away en route to the
Elder Zokou was distraught, and even considered ending
his mission immediately. After many prayers and
conversations with church leaders, Elder Zokou decided
to stay and finish his mission.
One factor which helped Elder Zokou make his decision
was a touching conversation he had through the help of
a translator with Shelly Paige, Barrett's mother, just
one day after the accident.
"I just felt really close to him. He was trying to
explain what was going on. He was agonizing over
things and I told him not to worry," Paige said.
Just two weeks ago, Zokou arrived in Utah with plans
to attend Weber State University in the fall. He will
be staying with the Paige family, which has been
instrumental in making this opportunity available to
Zokou. Paige explained that the family was inspired
to assist Zokou in his education because of her son's
deep love for the people of the Ivory Coast.
"I really felt that Jonathan loved the people so much
that he would like us to help. We decided that if
Pacome could come here and get an education then he
could go home and make life better for him and the
people around him," said Paige.
Zokou explained that the tragedy has strengthened his
"When you pray, don't pray for an easy life, pray to
be strong,"he said.
Zokou plans to study business administration in the
fall and hopes to return to the Ivory Coast as a bank
A fund established by the Paige family in Jonathan
Barrett's name will help pay for Zokou's education and
other charitable ventures. Contact the First National
Bank of Morgan, P.O. Box 870, Morgan, UT 84050 for