ROY — Reid and Janice Wiberg of Roy are heartbroken at the death of their 19-year-old son, Jason, who was serving as an LDS missionary in Malaysia. But they say they "couldn't be more proud of him and the wonderful young man he had become."
Elder Wiberg died Sunday after being hit by a car late Saturday while he and his missionary companion were riding their bicycles home following the day's proselyting activities in Kuching, Malaysia. His companion, who was not injured in the incident, administered first aid until paramedics arrived on the scene.
The missionaries were serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In a family statement released late Monday evening through Bishop Wendell Rich of the LDS Church's Wheatridge Ward, Roy Utah West Stake, Elder Wiberg's parents said their son was "very excited" about his call to serve his mission in Singapore. He began his two-year mission last October, and he "quickly learned to love Malaysia and the people he served."
Although the Wiberg family currently lives in Roy and Elder Wiberg was a 2012 graduate of Roy High School, the family also lived in Indiana, Minnesota and, for most of Elder Wiberg's childhood, in Cookeville, Tenn.
"He was active in the LDS Church his whole life," said his parents. "He was active in Scouting and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He earned his Varsity Scout Letter and was a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow."
He also earned the LDS Church's Duty to God Award.
His parents said their son "had a tender heart, especially for those who needed a friend."
"He had a great sense of humor," they continued. "He enjoyed watching movies and participating in airsoft wars."
After his mission Elder Wiberg hoped to become a police officer. During his senior year of high school he worked as an intern with the Roy City Police Department. His parents said he "loved every minute he was able to patrol with those officers."
Bishop Rich described the late missionary as "a great young man" who had served in a number of leadership positions in his ward's Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
"He was the kind of young man you hope our missionaries will be," he said. "He made a difference."
Elder Wiberg is survived by a large family, including two brothers, a sister, grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Funeral services are still pending while arrangements are being made for his body to be returned to Utah.
"A charitable account has been established at the America First Credit Union to help offset the funeral expenses," Bishop Rich said.
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