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LDS missionary dies after falling off cliff in Australia

Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A missionary from Utah died after he slipped and fell from a cliff in Australia Monday, according to officials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gavin Paul Zimmerman, 19, of West Haven, was serving as a missionary for the LDS Church in Sydney, Australia, when he fell while hiking at a popular sightseeing area, KSL.com reports.

Zimmerman was a student at Fremont High School where he ran track and played football before serving a mission, according to an emailed statement from his parents, Raymond and Jeanette Zimmerman. He had been on his mission for nearly a year when he died.

“He was a great example to us all, and he loved his mission very much,” Zimmerman’s parents said in an emailed statement. “Gavin was a bright light in our lives! We are so grateful for our Father in Heaven’s plan of salvation. We know that we will be with him again one day. Our family will miss him greatly until we meet again.”

Zimmerman had served in several leadership positions during his mission and loved teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, his parents added.

“Our sincerest condolences and prayers are with Elder Zimmerman’s family and loved ones as they remember his life and mourn his passing. We pray they will feel the love of our Heavenly Father at this tragic time,” the church said in an emailed statement.

LDS church officials did not release information as to Zimmerman’s location when he died.

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