When the Russian police arrived, deported American knew his LDS mission ‘would never be the same’

(Photo courtesy of David Gaag) Elders Kole Brodowski and David Gaag point to where they served in the Russian Rostov Mission. The two Latter-day Saint volunteers later were detained by police and deported.

Vilnius, Lithuania • The three-week detention of two Latter-day Saint volunteers-cum-missionaries in Russia earlier this year may not be ripe for a James Bond action thriller or even a real-life kidnapping saga like “The Saratov Approach,” but the prolonged ordeal was still a quiet drama for the pair and their church. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

It began on an unremarkable Friday night in Novorossiysk, a city near the coast of the Black Sea, when two fresh-faced young men from the United States who were serving full time for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited locals to come to their weekly game night at the faith’s meetinghouse, where the guests could practice their conversational English.

The March 1 event started at 6:30 p.m. with about 15 participants, going around a circle, introducing themselves. About 20 minutes into the exercise, the door opened and four police officers — two in uniform — and three cameramen strolled in.

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