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Missionary dies in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

A missionary serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission was killed in a car accident just outside Kimberly on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008.

Elder Chad Steven Wayman, 21, of Sandy, Utah, died at the scene, while his companion, Elder Stephen Riska Turnbow, 20, of Draper, Utah, suffered cuts and minor injuries and is expected to fully recover.

According to a statement released from the Church, the car in which the two missionaries were riding rolled after Elder Wayman, who was driving, swerved to avoid a man walking on the highway after dark. Kimberly is some 290 miles southwest of Johannesburg.

"We pray that the families and friends of Elder Wayman and Elder Turnbow will be blessed with a spirit of peace and comfort during this difficult time," said a spokesman in a statement issued by the Church.

Elder Wayman, who had been serving for 15 months, was a "very bright young man, very intelligent, had great success at everything that he tried," Bart Glover, family spokesman and the missionary's uncle, told the Church News. "He was happy all the time and was the kind of guy who never had anything bad to say about anyone and was willing to give anyone a chance.

"He was one of those lovable guys everybody liked who met him."

Brother Glover added that his nephew was enjoying his mission "very much so. He wrote a letter that he was falling in love with the South African people and enjoying some great success down there in teaching and baptisms and very much loved his service there."

The missionary, son of Kevin and Jodie Glover Wayman of the Crescent 19th Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent North Stake, had served most recently in Kimberly and Kagiso.

Brother Glover expressed gratitude for the support of the stake and ward, adding that there had been a "super outpouring of love, even on the Internet. Things like that have really buoyed us and helped us get through this time."

As of press time, funeral arrangements were pending as the family awaited the return of Elder Wayman's body to Utah. — Julie Dockstader Heaps

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