When I first met Ivan Taufa I thought, “Whoa. No one better mess with him!”
This was reaffirmed time and again watching him provide protection for my father-in-law, Governor Herbert as part of his security detail.
We love Ivan. My husband loves to joke around that someday he’s going to tackle him to the ground when he’s not paying attention (this in retaliation of Ivan picking up my buck-50 husband and holding him above his head a la WWF style.) Which, by the way, will never happen as Ivan is not only built as solid as a rock, but he has eyes in the back of his head.
And, like I said, nobody messes with Ivan.
Having security around the Herbert family 24/7, we become pretty close with all the men on the detail. We learn about their families, their growing up years, their talents. We share our food, our friendship, and our faith.
And this week, we share in the mourning of Ivan’s beloved son, Elder Siosiua “Josh” Taufa who passed away while serving his LDS mission in Guatemala last week.
Ivan doesn’t know that I gathered my three little boys in my arms and held on tight while my husband, Brad, relayed the tragic news. He doesn’t know how we cried and prayed together for him and his beautiful family and for the Lord to bless them with peace and comfort as only He can.
But I hope he does know how much we love him. How much we appreciate everything he and his family have done to protect and care for us all in the Herbert family.
I’ve always known that Ivan has incredible physical and mental strength. But listening to family members describe the Taufa family’s faith, wisdom, and humble willingness to submit their will to the Lord’s has amazed me.
Ivan Taufa’s spiritual strength is perhaps the only thing that surpasses his physical strength.
Our thoughts and prayers are sincerely and fervently with the Taufa family this week as they lay their boy to rest this Friday.
Thank you, Ivan, for your unwavering, unshakable, strong-as-steel faith.
We are here for you.