Triumph over Tragedy April 13, 2014
This is a very sensitive letter, and it is with permission from the Toa Family that I will share it on Elder Hunters Mission Blog.
March 13, 2014 we received news that a Missionary in Jameson's Chuuk Zone, Elder Toa had died in an accident. He fell from a coconut tree, he never regained consciousness and passed away at a near by hospital. This was devastating, to all of us, our hearts ached for Elders Toa’s Family who live in Layton Utah. And for all of the Missionaries and the people of Chuuk who love Elder Toa like a Brother.
First off I am super sorry for leaving you all in the dark for such a long time and at such a crazy time where so many things have happened. I feel really bad, the internet has been down for a long time and I have just been procrastinating just thinking oh next week the internet will be back up and I just kind of forgot that I could writ letters. So I am super sorry but I am safe and healthy and you don’t have to worry about me I am a big tough boy remember haha well probably not as much as my Rugby playing brothers J
Well I guess I will kind of give you a recap of what has been going on here. It really has been a long time hasn’t it haha. (Not funny it has been almost 2 months!) Well I got transferred to Sapuk with Elder Rainey and it is the best. Elder Rainey is the Man. This is the first time I have been Junior Companion since I was trained, and it is super fun, I am learning a ton! Elder Rainey is the man we are going to get a lot of baptisms together. I hope I am with him for a while. Elder Rainey used to be a body builder and he was huge, he is still really big but it’s hard on the mish. He also played soccer so we play all the time with the kids and it is sweet!!
Sapuk is awesome there is the strongest priesthood group of boys. All of the missionaries from Chuuk pretty much come from here. And we have been helping 3 others that just turned in there papers. So that is awesome. We just had a baptism his name is Famos and he is the biggest stud ever. I already freaking love the people here, they are awesome.
I know you know about the Elder in my Zone/District Elder Toa. Because you already went to the funeral and I keep hearing about a plaque that Mom made. But I thought that I would kind of tell you the story because I don’t really know how much you all know about what happened.
You don’t have to freak out or be worried about me because I am fine. So me and Elder Toa were on an exchange at the time. I got lucky because I got to stay up and we just talked super late because we were super close. We were in Sapuk and we just got up like it was a normal day. We did studies and then a bunch of kids came over after school and we played soccer with them and kick ball and just had tons of fun. Then most of them left and Elder Toa wanted to drink some coconuts. I asked a couple kids but they were lazy and didn’t want to.
Elder Toa said that he would just do it because he had done it a bunch and I had seen him climb a bunch of coconut trees so I wasn’t worried.
I am just glad that I know about the Plan of Salvation and that my Friend and Brother Elder Toa is just continuing his work as a Missionary in the spirit world. And I feel like because of this the peoples hearts have been softened. I have just been teaching the Plan of Salvation lesson to everyone that asks about Elder Toa. It is a great teaching experience.
This is a quote I really like.
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.
We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things.
Because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
We are going to miss Elder Toa for sure. But I am not worried about him. I just keep his family in my prayers and just love his family.
I love you all and want you to know I am safe and doing super good. And I am not climbing trees anymore. You don’t have to be so worried about me.
I love you I will try to write a letter every week.
Love, Elder Hunter
Ps. I almost forgot our address it has been way too long.
I want to share my Testimony (Jameson's Mom) about Elder Toa’s Funeral Service and the spirit we felt. We felt so blessed to be able to attend and to get to know this amazing Elder Miller Toa, and his faithful Family. I was so humbled at the Faith in Jesus Christ that his family expressed, the Spirit was so strong, it was undeniable. Through their Faith in Christ they were given great capacity and power to find comfort that their beautiful son was with God, that he died a set apart, ordained Elder, and that he is continuing his work as a Missionary on the other side of the veil in the spirit world. His mother stated “With this great hastening of the work here on the Earth think of the great hastening of the work in the spirit world.” Truly “ Yea Every Knee shall bow and Every Tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God…” Mosiah 27:31 Jesus Christ lived on this earth he is our greatest exemplar. "He suffered in Gethsemane not for just our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and short-comings our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, and injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us." (Elder Bednar) “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the band of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh, that he may know how to succor his people according to the infirmities.” Alma 7:11-12
I know that this is the work of Salvation that through our hard ships and trials this is truly how we come to know God and his goodness.
I have so much gratitude for my Savior, my testimony has been strengthened and I know that God loves all of his children and watches over us. Millers Mother and Father have such a wonderful attitude, they stated that they were so blessed to have this season of 20 years with their son, they know where he is, what he is doing, and they will all be reunited again. Their strength is so powerful. They Choose to Triumph over Tragedy. Truly Christ triumphed over the grave that ALL might live.