(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)
On Monday the 18th, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin called me about conditions he had found in the Corpus Christi Mission. He wanted me to go there as fast as I could and try to straighten out the problems. I tried to call Elder L. Tom Perry, who was my first contact in the Twelve, but could not reach him. I immediately arranged airline tickets and flew to Corpus Christi.
Upon arrival, I was met by President G____ F____, who was a splendid man, but who looked haggard, worn, and very unstrung. We had a very good talk and then drove to McAllen, Texas, to meet with the stake president, Tim Olsen. We also visited in Harlingen. I had the opportunity to visit with seven very depressed and discouraged elders who were just waiting around for President F___ to decide whether or not to send them home. I immediately told him not to send anyone home and not to hold any more disciplinary courts [now “membership councils”] on missionaries.
During the next three days I toured the entire mission with President F___. I found many serious problems among the missionaries. Apparently, the president had lost control of the mission and was now in a very distressed and depressed condition. I felt very sorry for him and his situation. He was not sleeping very well and he had lost any ability to relax. Altogether there were 189 missionaries in the mission, and I interviewed at least 55 of them. By the time I was ready to go home, I knew what the problem really was and that something serious was taking place in this fine part of the Lord's vineyard. I had a good, honest talk with President F___ on the way to the airport, outlining some things he could attempt to do to turn the mission around.