Both a Mom and a MOM

It was Mother’s Day yesterday in this part of the globe, a day of course to honor and pay tribute to mothers. But in the culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s extra special for those mothers who have sons and/or daughters serving missions for the Church in all the different parts of the world. That’s because Mother’s Day is one of the only two days (the other one being Christmas) that these sons and daughters are allowed to call home. Up until the recent past, the "call" simply was a phone call but technology has changed that. For some areas and missions Skyping, or other similar service, is allowed and so these mothers are now able to not only talk but also see their missionaries with the help of advances in videoconferencing technology. The truth is that the "call" for many of these LDS mothers is undoubtedly their best Mother’s Day present.  Such is true for Dearie who is both a Mom and a MOM (Mother Of Missionaries) and has two - son and daughter - serving at the moment. The "call" has been the highlight and delight for her Mother’s Day.

In addition to talking and seeing our Elder and Sister, we had a chance to chat - and skype - with one of the converts who was baptized by the Elder; she and her husband were both taught and baptized by the Elder. And that was an even more wonderful, precious and special gift for Dearie (and me) on Mother’s Day.  The couple has already made plans to be sealed in the temple in a year's time and they have invited us to attend as guests at their sealing.  Fruits of sharing the gospel certainly bring joy and happiness unmatched by any other deed.  To all the Moms and MOMs, a belated Happy Mother's Day!!!

Sis. Letalu, returning in a matter of days ... Wow, time flies ,,,,

The Sister and The Elder on Skype
In this picture the Sister sister is crying being sad that she is about to finish her mission, and also from the thought of "leaving" her brother behind. She had asked for her mission to be extended but was denied due to a large contingent of missionaries coming in as a result of the recent change in the age requirements. I love this picture because of the "light" contours around her face and cheeks that look like two hands comforting her (click picture to enlarge).

Elder Letalu enjoying his mission ...still has several months left

Mother's Day 2013
One of our daughters lent me her lei for the picture. These fresh orchid leis are common here on Mother's Day


Intimations of a day in May

It was a nice Spring day. I was out to lunch and came back and admired the blossoms on the trees in front of our office building; and then through the flowers a contrasting flag caught my attention, so I took this picture with my phone. Though the flowers and flag are conspicuously contrasting, in almost every aspect, yet I see in them a common theme.

Flowers the Flag and God

Symbolic of sights and scent of Spring
are Nature’s flowers and fragrant bloom.
They represent life’s renewed Offering,
from waste and wilt of wintry gloom.
Resurrection so universal and so real,
perennial beauty bearing immortal appeal.
They crown the trees born of richly sod,
for man’s happiness and joy from God.

Amidst the flowers flies the flag - manmade -
a symbol of sovereignty, liberty and freedom.
As with Nine Eleven and the Iwo Jima brigade,
the banner wafts and waves to earthly kingdom.
The stars to honor and stripes to heal,
with hopes hallowed by heavenly seal.
As of old, it’s hoisted atop a brazen rod,
for man to look upon and remember God.

~ LV  Letalu 2013

BYU, still hot and smart ...

(Re: March 3, 2013 BYU post  "Hot and Smart")

Just done watching the semifinal game between Penn State and BYU in Men’s Volleyball and BYU won (3-0) to advance to the Championship Game this Saturday (May 4th) at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.  BYU will play against UC Irvine, the defending champions.

BYU also plays in the National Championship game for Rugby on the same Saturday (re: last post).   BYU’s opponent will be UC Berkeley.   Go Cougars, let’s win both!!!
Also, this past weekend BYU won first place in the animation category for “Estefan” at the College Television Awards.  It is the 12th Student Emmy for BYU in the past 10 years.   Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Walt Disney Studios said this about BYU’s animation program:
Over the years, Pixar has worked with a lot of different universities around the country and hired people. One of the interesting things is, all of a sudden, in the past few years, we found that BYU has risen to the top.
BYU  has since been a hot spot for Pixar hiring and internships.

"Out of nowhere, B.Y.U. —— a Mormon university owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints —— has become a farm team for the country’s top animation studios and effects companies. Unlikely as it sounds, young Mormons are being sucked out of the middle of Utah and into the very centers of American pop-culture manufacturing."
Read More ...

The Rugby team won its title game against UC Berkeley 27-24. It was an exciting game!  Jonny Linehan, a freshman from Auckland NZ - living up to the hype - scored the winning points for BYU with a drop kick with no time remaining.  Two national titles in a row for the Cougaruggers!  Kudos!

Unfortunately, for the Volleyball team, it was a disappointing loss.  The Anteaters of UC Irvine won the national title - two years in a row.  Congratulations to all the teams for exciting matches in the two sports.

2013 Champions
photo: DesNews


BYU Rugby: The New Zealand Connection

 Everyone knows that when it comes to rugby alliance, at any level, there’s no other partner more favorable than the Kiwis (NZ). BYU knows that; it is a rugby powerhouse among the universities in the United States - and has won the national title last year - possibly due in large part to its NZ/Polynesian connection in both the coaches and players.
And yes, the BYU Cougars also perform the Haka (a native war dance of the Maoris) as part of their pre/post game routine. The Haka is a signature pre-game act for the famed All Blacks of New Zealand. The words to the original chant however have been changed by the Cougars in tribute to the religious heritage of their main sponsor and benefactor - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2012 Champions

This Saturday (May 4th), the Cougars will again play for the national title against the Bears of UC Berkeley which had dominated college rugby in the last several years. The two teams have been in the championship series more than any other clubs in the recent past. The game will be played in Provo, home of the reigning champions, and the NZers will play a crucial role for BYU. A local paper, this week, has this lede:

Paul Lasike's legs.
Jonny Linehan's foot.
Ray Forrester's back.
The haka.

All things that come from New Zealand.  All things that will help decide if the Brigham Young University Cougars take home another national championship this Saturday.
BYU will rely on New Zealanders

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for some rugbyu .....Goooooo Cougaaaars!!!

The Rugby team won its title game against UC Berkeley 27-24. It was an exciting game!  Jonny Linehan, a freshman from Auckland NZ - living up to the hype - scored the winning points for BYU with a drop kick with no time remaining.  Two national titles in a row for the Cougaruggers!  Kudos!!!

2013 Champions