So it all came back to Loni again, one way or another. His father had brought him here and then unwittingly sent him to Philadelphia, where he lived his father's faith and even returned to his father's sport briefly.
In 2007, Vai, Kaela and their four children retraced the journey that Loni and Ruby had bravely undertaken with their children to the New Zealand temple 40 years earlier.
They traveled first to Tonga so their children, who had been raised in luxury and attended private schools, could see where their father began his life. He wanted them to understand why he scolded them when they wasted food or didn't take advantage of opportunities. They stayed in the former home of his grandmother in a small remote village without TV and only an hour of electricity a day. There wasn't a grocery store or 7-Eleven anywhere. The fisherman next door provided fish from the sea, and another neighbor provided vegetables from her garden. When the fisherman failed to catch fish one day, they ate only yams for dinner.
"This is how you lived?" Vai's children asked.
From Tonga, Vai and Kaela took their children to the Hamilton, N.Z., temple — Landon, 24, LJ, 22, Trey, 20, and Lana, 16. Sikahema had come full circle — "back to where it all began."
"I've got this dream life," he says, weeping quietly. "I married the most beautiful girl at BYU. My kids were all Eagle Scouts and missionaries. Why did this happen to me? There's not a day that goes by that I don't drop to my knees and thank the Lord. What did I do to deserve this?"
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