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After missionary's death, governor offers condolences

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Jun 22nd, 2013 @ 7:47pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert was among many offering condolences over the weekend after the death of an LDS missionary in Guatemala.

Elder Siosiua "Josh" Taufa, 20, of Salt Lake City, was serving as a missionary in the Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He died Wednesday after he was electrocuted while trying to fix a family's leaky roof.

Elder Taufa is the second oldest son of Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Aiveni "Ivan" Taufa, a member of the governor's protective detail.

"This is a difficult time for all of us in the Herbert family," the governor said. "Ivan's family is our family and so we mourn with them at the loss of a beloved son. Our hearts and prayers are with Ivan, Sulieti and their family. May they find peace and comfort in the reassurance of the Savior's love and Atonement, and in the noble service their son rendered on His behalf."

Elder Taufa graduated from Skyline High School in 2011 and had served as a missionary for 18 months.

Aiveni and Sulieti Taufa, Elder Taufa's parents, released a statement on behalf of their family Saturday, calling their son "a dedicated, inspiring, and faithful missionary who loved serving the Lord."

"Through his service he has forever blessed the lives of many, both in Guatemala and here at home," the statement read. "We are so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation. We are thankful for our knowledge and testimonies of that plan. As we celebrate his life, we look forward to being reunited with him someday."

Plans for funeral services are still pending as Elder Taufa's body is returned to his family, the governor's office confirmed.

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