Parents of LDS missionary who died while serving share memories of their son

Posted at 9:38 PM, Mar 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-13 23:38:43-04

LAYTON, Utah -- For almost every day he was gone, Vei Toa could probably tell you what her son was doing.

Since the first one came last year, she has stored every email and every letter inside a scrapbook of memories intended to be a gift that she will now never be able to give.

“It’s about a year’s worth of letters,” Toa said. “So, this is Miller from beginning to end."

Her son, Miller Toa, 20, wasn’t supposed to be coming home to Layton from his mission in Micronesia for another year, but his service was cut short on Wednesday.

"We are still going over the shock. We are still coping with the, ‘Oh my gosh, he's not here,’” said his father, Kaiser Toa.

It wasn’t long ago that his parents were watching him open his mission call to the South Pacific, the place he would ultimately come to rest after falling from a tree during a service project.

“I knew that some of the stuff I didn't get to accomplish, I knew he was going to accomplish them because of the way he was, because of his valiant spirit, his grades and  everything, all his potential,” Kaiser Toa said.

The Layton High School graduate wanted to study engineering when he returned and was already making plans to attend Utah State University.

“I'm just sad we are not going to see this in this life," Toa said.

Even though the letters have stopped coming to their home, the Toas are holding on tight to the memories they do have.

“We have a strong belief that he is doing work on the other side,” Toa said. “And that’s what helps us cope with this.”