Vai's View: Football, missions and ties that bind

Published: Friday, July 6 2012 12:32 p.m. MDT

We informed the elders that we intended to stop at In-N-Out for a burger on our way home, which they were happy to hear.

As I drove, I watched Harvey in deep conversation with the two elders, though I couldn't hear what they discussed.

When we arrived at the restaurant, Harvey was unusually attentive to the two elders and remained at their side, even as we sat and chatted as a group.

As we walked to our vehicle, I watched Harvey remove his tie. When we arrived at the home where the elders lived, Harvey jumped out and shook hands with the two elders and wished them well. Then, he handed one of them the tie he had been wearing and said, "I don't know if I'll serve a mission, but my tie is worthy and it would great if it was worn by a missionary."

The missionary graciously accepted Harvey's gift.

It was an unusual gesture of kindness from a young man who hadn't decided if he would serve.

Yet it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the report last week that Harvey was called to the Florida Tampa Mission.

I know you'll read this, Harvey, and I'm sure you remember that experience from a year ago.

You will be a terrific missionary if you rely on that kind of love and humility you displayed with those two missionaries.

In our stake, we ask our outgoing missionaries to report to the stake presidency and high council alongside our returning missionaries. We want to hear what their goals are and how they prepared to serve.

Just last night, one of our outgoing missionaries, a BYU student named Keaton Sumner who is headed to Florida Tampa, met with us. After his report, I informed him that my nephew Elder Harvey Langi will be in his mission and he will be well-known among the missionaries because he's a D-I athlete.

But Harvey, be better known among the missionaries for your goodness, kindness and Herculean work ethic. The kind of goodness and kindness you showed the evening we were together and the kind of work ethic that got you to the U.

Tampa, Fla., will be a sacred place for you and your posterity because of what's about to happen to you and all whom you will serve in the next two years.

Godspeed.

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