From Virgil L. Doan: [During January 1964, Florida Mission President Ned Winder sent Elders Verl Tobert and Dwight K. Hunter to Puerto Rico, to work with the military branches. The first baptism occurred on February 8, 1964. We are pleased to have received a submission from Virgil L. Doan . Virgil and his family were among the first to be baptized in Puerto Rico. He shares some insights about these early days on the island. We encourage submissions from others who spent time in Puerto Rico.]

We were introduced to the Church by Brother Ed Mann. We were on the same B-52 crew stationed at Ramey Air Force Base. There was a small branch on base. Sacrament meetings were held in the base chapel, Sunday School was held off base in a little one room chapel, and priesthood meeting was held in the picnic grounds of the alert area. There was one American who lived off base that attended each Sunday. We were taught by Ed Mann and his wife Elaine for about three years, then the missionaries arrived. Elders Tolbert and Hunter taught us the discussions and committed us to baptism.

On March 8, 1964 I was baptized along with my wife and oldest son. On that same day, a native girl was also baptized, I don't remember her name but she was dating an airman and they later got married. The girl's mother and another sister were baptized soon after our baptism. Her father was baptized after we left the island.

We were baptized in the ocean at Crash Boat Harbor, early in the morning at 6 a.m. I remember seeing fishing boats leave a nearby harbor to come and watch our proceedings. Our Branch President was Laurie Dillman, I don't remember any other names of the leadership. Brother Burk Adams was a school teacher on base who spoke Spanish and went with the missionaries to teach local families.

We have kept in contact with the Mann's through the years, they now live in St. George, Utah and we live in Layton Utah.