Welcome to Utah Victor! You went on a mission and you're seen the light! Haha.
Seriously, glad to have you at the U.
haha one more thing. i agree with manaen. at 366 lbs i can assure you i was very
physically able to serve and i know any of my companions would be just fine with
me. plus, 366 was before fall camp. after fall camp i was 345. i wasn't some out
of shape lard. haha and i'm not 5'11" i'm 6'1". however its not about that. its
about obedience to what youre told. my parents taught us that at an early age.
i'm sure any defensive lineman will do fine in the field. but again, its not
about that. its about not questioning what youre told to do by church officials.
thanks for the support everyone. hopefully i'm lucky enough to return and play
here at the Y. i can't wait to serve cause i know if i take care of what the
Lord wants, he'll do the same for me and my family. its was a very long road and
still i'm running after practice and will continue to do so until i leave.
thanks again for all your support. God bless you all!!Aloha!Victor Unga
Have you ever been there? I have. When I got my call, I was asked if I was
required to lose weight before I could go to Spain. I was not, but at 5' 8 1/2"
and 256 lbs., I wasn't skinny, but the Lord wanted me to serve. Six months into
my mission I was down 85 lbs. and eventually I lost 100 lbs. My first companion
didn't want me, but I was never mistreated. The members in the Barcelona Mission
all new of me and took good care of me. I kept the weight off for 7 1/2 yrs,
all during college, and what a blessing it was. The Lord wanted me to serve and
He qualified me because, although my knees hurt me a bit at first, I would not
quit climbing 7 story buildings and walking 10 to 15 miles a day. This was
truly a miracle and I acknowledge the Lord's hand in it. I often wonder about
the "bar" because I would not qualify today, but I am ever so grateful for my
mission experience and how my leaders and the members loved me in spite of my
The actual text of the Word of Wisdom should be updated to include two of the
most dangerous health issues - obesity and prescription abuse. How about they
axe the part about which grains to feed which animal and include some issues
like this that are truly relevant to health today. And actually, tea ought to be
encouraged as it is one of the healthiest things we can put into our bodies. I
know that the Church prides itself on the Word of Wisdom but the actual text of
it is one of the most vague, changed, unhelpful, debatable scriptures we have.
Mike | 10:11 a.m. Sept. 23, 2009Great job Victor.However, Spencer W. Kimball said, "Every young man should fulfill a mission."
Not every slim young man.================The current leadership of
the church has the inspiration and responsibility to make the calls, determine
the circumstances to allow/disallow missionaries to serve. The bar has been
raised a couple of times since SWK's broad-stroked statement, and "every" has
refined into a more restrictive set of worthiness and medical/physical condition
is part of it now. And such changes are needed because people NOW are GROSSLY
overweight now unlike in 1972/1974 - and their health issues were negatively
affecting mission experiences and directly those with whom they served.
Great story! Great family. I wish all the best for Victor. Harvey is a gigantic
stud of a player and brother and person. It's great to have good role models to
look up to and with their genuine care and assistance, sometimes it's enough for
another to reach a lifelong dream. Go Victor!!! And Go Cougs!!! Beat CSU!!! BYU
38 CSU 24
I think it is cool how the two brothers support and cheer for each other in all
phases of the game. This is what football can teach you about, life that
surrounds the game and not just the game itself. HURRAH!!!!!
If you saw Victor (Greg) Unga you would understand. The Kid is a tank. His
fingers are as big as my wrists. He is hecka thick! I woulda said 340 is
plenty of weight loss.
Clinically extremely, morbidly obese. I'm surprised they'll let him go now.
That's a BMI approaching 40!!! you'd be unable to get medical insurance with
those figures after an exam, regardless of body fat %.Good luck
serving just the same.
Funny how people who have axes to grind for what ever bugs there small minded
life use this story about a young man who has chosen to serve an LDS mission to
vent atop there self indulgent soap box...for realz Dude if church is first in
Victors life how is that your business, grind your self diluted importance some
were else. Hey buddy perhaps the skin heads or another hate group will worship
you...stay under that rock of bigotry OK...peace out...
I served in the Hawaiian mission fro Nov. 79 to Nov. 81 you will have some
wonderful humbling experiences my Tongan brother...from your Hapa-Hawaiian fan's
from Kaysville, Utah "A Hui Hou" Elder Unga...Go COUGARS !!!
Cougar fans who attend home games should at least once get to the game a couple
hours early and go sit in the southeast corner to watch the players come out and
get ready for the game. Several come out and walk around, throw the ball around,
and do other rituals before putting pads on for the team warmups. Harvey Unga
comes out in sweats with his ipod taking it all in and doing what he does to get
ready to play. He kind of half dances-walks around the field in his own little
world as his pregame ritual. Without pads you can see just how buff some of
these guys are. Pendleton is a physical freak of nature for example. It was
interesting to see the QBs throwing side by side. It was easy to see how
accurate Hall is and yet also easy to see that his arm is not as strong as his
Big Leagues? What big leagues would that be? They're in college. You're getting
in way to over your head.
Victor, you are awesome!!! Going on a mission is much more important than
playing football. You have set a good example for your children to follow. You
will be blessed for making the right decision between a mission and football.
Its awesome that you worked so hard and never gave up. It takes a lot of time
and effort to lose weight and amazing that you achieved your goal. You will
never regret your decision to go on a mission. You are such a good example to
all other young men preparing to serve missions. Good luck with everything!
So, with your logic, a missionary should be able to stay on his mission if it is
discovered that he has long-standing heart issues. You mentioned
your grand forays into the nutrition and fitness literature (I'm guessing
Fitness magazine or Joe the personal trainer's newsletter) have shown you that
there is no established cut-off for a safe weight. If you would do your
homework with credible institutions (e.g. American College of Sports Medicine)
you would know that there is significant correlations with BMI, waist to hip
ratios, etc. and poor health.You also used the term "arbitrary". I
would be careful how you describe the decisions made by Church leaders. There
may not be solid research that determines the cut-off for healthy weight, but
there is a loving Father in Heaven who knows and inspires his leaders on earth.
As a health care worker who works with missionaries in the MTC,
there are many missionaries who are sent home to care for medical issues. How
is weight is any different?Lastly, I think you are missing the
bigger point of the article. Two brothers, united in faith, working toward
Harvey & Victor's parents, Jackson and Laukau, should be applauded for how they
raised these two great young men! These boys come from "good wood."
Re: Mad Bozo and fairnessFirst, we don't know all the facts and
circumstances from a newspaper article. Second, a story. During the
height of the apostacy in Kirtland, Joseph Smith called Brigham Young to the
Podium during a meeting and publicly criticized him for something he did not do.
Brigham looked at Joseph and simply said "Joseph, what do you want me to do?"
Joseph threw his arms around him and said "you passed, Brigham!" Assume that Victor didn't know about the standards, they were changed on him,
and even that it would have violated Due Process if the government had done it.
To me, the real issue in Church service is not Due Process, nor fairness or
unfairness in our human, temporal perspective. Its about faith and eternal
blessings. Even if the whole thing was unfair, Victor could exercise faith and
do what it takes to serve, or he could refuse to serve because its unfair. In
the long run, which choice best served Brigham? Which choice best serves Victor?
Eternal blessings come from faith that's been tested, and most tests seem to us
mortals to be unfair. God's Plan, not ours.
to questionI'm no athority on the subject but I would guess they
care about missionaries being overweight because the church is responsible for
them. As in they pay the insurance if they get hurt.
To Mike from "That's why you lost to FSU":You make no sense. I am just spittin' truth.
Why is it not ok to be over weight before a mission but no body cares how heavy
you get afterward? Why controls before and no guidance/controls after?Like I said, just wondering...
Oh wow anyone named "Gramps" must be an authority on stuff like that merely by
default. So tell us was Gramps also able to explain why the Cougars had an 18
game home winning streak before FSU and they have always done the same kind of
stuff at each of their home games? Uh yeah, didn't think so. Is this
Gramps guy also one of the blue-hairs that yells at other BYU fans to sit down
when they stand up to cheer after a touchdown? I think I know the guy...
I served a mission about 27 years ago. At that time, I dont think there was a
weight standard. I was about 10# over but we did enough walking that I never
gained any weight. To send someone home from the MTC because they were 18# was
a not thought out well decision. He gets ready to go on the mission, goes to the
MTC and found out he is overweight. That should have been taken care of when he
was being interviewed by his priesthood leaders. I definately would feel for
that dude. I hope they would have let him gone on his mission and just
encouraged him to lose the weight. Just my 2 cents worth.
Everyone was sitting around wondering who their companion was going to be, and
didn't make a game plan."Gramps" posted very truthfully here yesterday.He was at the game with his grandson, and in pre-game all the BYU players were
high-fiving, and yelling to their friends and family in the stands."Look
MOOOOOOM I'm over heeeeeeeere!"FSU was huddled up, listening to
their coach, making sure all were on the same page.BYU does not belong in
Div I.Too many distractions like these.Go down to Div II so your
guys have a chance to compete.The big leagues are no place for
church-first, everything else second.Mike
I love this story! Someone who has struggled with weight knows that having
family to help support is amazing and I think Harvey is a great man to help his
brother. I think weight is a health issue that we need to take seriously and us
all pulling together is what we need. I love hearing about this side of sports
that really warms my heart.
"Why": Some things do bleed into other areas of life. Your why? question is
singularly focused toward your selfishness and is narrow minded. The Y is
somewhat unique in that missionary service and playin' football and other sports
merge into the conversation. (Wowzers!!!)
Well you cared enough to read and comment on it. Keep your negative comments to
Like many others, I went on my mission but I didn't have football or basketball
beckoning me, just the ladies... In the longer view of things, you won't go
wrong making the decision to serve a mission. The fact is that very few people
play college football then go to the NFL. BYU football will welcome Victor with
open arms when he returns, so that seems to be there whether he goes on a
mission or not.To Bozo: the concern about this not being
communicated to potential missionaries until the end - I think that is a
legitimate concern. However, at least our stake president took those guidelines
very seriously and advised that any young man that potentially has that
challenge needs to be aware of the guidelines well before his interview so he
can actually meet the guidelines well before he files his papers. I'm assuming
other leaders are doing the same (I hope so).
I love hearing the about the life and lifestyle of the players I watch.. Why
are you so hateful?
Great interest article about these two brothers who are also players. Harvey is
fun to watch on the field and it is fun to see the human side of the players
once in a while. Congrats to Victor on his call.
Harvelizzle is not married, but he does have a child. This would make him
ineligible to serve. He made some mistakes but was a young kid and now is a man.
I think he's a great kid and doing my tithing proud. thanks bud
What service and examples by these brothers. This is a neat article. Thank you
Deseret News and Mr. Call.
SomeWon Wrote: Just for your information, the church does have weight
guidelines that have been sent to every stake and ward. These guidelines can
either be communicated individually, as needed, or as a whole to the perspective
missionaries in a ward and/or stake.====Post them. I've never
seen them, never heard of them through stake and ward missionary callings or in
talking with priesthood leadership, returned or prospective missionaries. AND
YES, I'VE ASKED.NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING. Why not have something like
that in the missionary prep lessons? The Strength of Youth pamphlet? The YW/YM
lessons? Given to all parents? Youth leaders? The youth themselves?ARBITRARY STANDARDS ARE NO STANDARDS AT ALL.
I'm proud of Victor for the commitment to do what he's been asked. Equal as
important is the devotion Harvey had to help his brother. At a time when so many
people want to throw cheap shots at others, like I've seen from some of the
comments here, it's refreshing to know that there are people who care enough to
support & help one another. Harvey, thanks for showing your are your brother's
I agree entirely that raising the bar SHOULD include physical fitness!But NOT BY suddenly notifying people they are too fat, as they step out the
door, having planned all their lives to serve a mission. Or by
sending an Elder home from the MTC for being18 pounds overweight, a true story.
Stop your insane babbling long enough to think -- what did he go through,
and what will he go through for the rest of his life because he was ejected from
the MTC for an ARBITRARY weight standard of which he had no knowledge (nor did
his Bishop and SP). IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED.Knee jerk
reactions solve nothing. I've thought about this issue for years, studied
health and nutrition all my life. I come from a long line of MD’s. I am
a return missionary -- no bike, no car; I walked miles every day. My first
companion gained 80 pounds in the field. THERE IS NO KNOWN STANDARD
TO LIVE UP TO. TELL PEOPLE WHERE THE BAR IS -- SO THEY CAN PREPARE AND REACH
IT. There is no COMMUNICATION; DEFINE THE nebulous mysterious BAR which
randomly drops from the sky.
Harvey is a stud RB but the jury is still out on Victor.
I should have stayed home and played basketball. I missed my opportunity to go
I wonder if Ben Olsen ever regretted taking time off from football. After
returning from a two year hiatus he never got his stride back and ended up not
even being a college standout. Steve Young didn't go on a mission but he is a
missionary in many ways because of his accomplishments on the field in the past.
People can serve in many ways and neither way is better than the other.
It sounds like the Unga brothers have a better perspective on what is really
important than most of the fans who write on these message boards. Service is so
much more important than football and I congratulate them on comprehending that.
100 years from now nobody will remember or care about what was done on the
football field, but lives and families will be changed because of missionary
service and that is....THE TRUTH
I've known both of these young men for a while now. Harvey is becoming a fine
young man and Victor is right behind. Best of luck on the mission.
My older brother also played sports and didn't go on a mission. He regrets it
even more now that his own kids are getting to be mission age. He realizes it
is a time he can never get back and wishes he would have gone. Glad
Victor can learn the lesson from his brother.
harveys not married
Just for your information, the church does have weight guidelines that have been
sent to every stake and ward. These guidelines can either be communicated
individually, as needed, or as a whole to the perspective missionaries in a ward
and/or stake. So, settle down, it is something that is a good thing and
something that is taught.Congratulations to Victor and to Harvey for
this mission call. A mission call is a great thing that comes to the entire
family. Well done.Now for the larger question....why did Harvey
only get 10 carries against FSU? Why does he not carry the ball a minimum of 20
per game? Eventhough they were getting blown out, by hitting the
panic button and throwing on every down, only makes it worse. C'mon Anae, give
the ball to Harvey and be patient with the running game.
Re, "Having a companion that can hardly walk down the street isn't fair to the
missionary that is healthy" and similar comments..I agree with you
generally about the health standard for missionaries, but do actually mean that
a *defensive lineman* could "hardly walk down the street"???
I think the requirement for missionaries to be at a reasonable weight is a great
idea and long overdue. Missionaries usually have to ride bicycles. How is a 366
pound guy going to do on a bike? He'd flatten the tires or bend the frame every
time he got on the thing! And how much tracting could he do at 5' 11" 366
pounds? I don't know. He's a football player so maybe he'd hold up ok, but maybe
not.I'm glad to hear he's lost weight. But even 305 is still a lot
for being 5' 11". I hope the Hawaiians don't try to keep him fattened up. They
have some good food and usually lots of it.
Great job Victor.However, Spencer W. Kimball said, "Every young man
should fulfill a mission." Not every slim young man.
As someone whose struggled with weight and has kept it off for 9 months now, the
hardest battle is yet to be fought. Keeping off the weight!!! With the type of
dedication it took to lose those pounds, that same dedication will benefit you
in the field. Keep up the hard work and good luck on your mission.
people on here are so petty... congrats harvey for being a good example for your
little brother. One of my biggest regrets also in my life was not serving a
mission. Glad to see you making a difference for your family. The people who
The only thing I have a problem with is that the church changed his weight
requirements, although Harvey may be right that it was a challenge of Victor's
faith. Harvey has been a great support to Victor in losing the weight and
encouraging him to go on a mission.
The only problem I have with it is that they should have told him the full
amount of weight he needed to lose in the first place, although Harvey is right,
it may have been a test of his brother's faith. What a great support Harvey has
been to Victor in losing his weight and encouraging him to go on a mission.
"Mad Bozo the Clown" Go start your own church and implement all the policies you
Everyone ... CALM DOWN ... Remember, don't revile against the revilers. Bozo is
a self-named reviler. He's entitled to his opinion and doesn't deserve so much
wrath. Calmly point out the health consequences of being
significantly overweight and participating in a strenuous activity. Congratulations Victor. You're choice and efforts are admirable. Have a
Sending a 19-year-old young man away from home to live a rigorous lifestyle
without requiring him to be healthy would be irresponsible.
Having a companion that can hardly walk down the street isn't fair to the
missionary that is healthy.I think this is a good step.I'd also like to see the church require this of all members.Food
at every function has to come to an end!The RS seems to have
cheesecake or dinner every week...
As a missionary, I did not have a bike nor a car - we walked most of the time,
and occasionally took the bus. Young men and women preparing for a mission
need to include moderate physical training, such as walking, as part of their
preparations for a mission.Congratulations to Victor for getting
ready for your mission!
..is this in the sports page? It should be under LDS news.We don't care
who is gone, we care about the next game.JT
is the issue. The Church has paid out thousands of dollars to help overweight
missionaries with their health problems in the mission field. This is a fairly
new standard. I am sure the church will refine it. Yes, women have a standard
also. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a missionary to be in good
health. If he is obese then there is a problem. The amount of weight the Church
is asking missionaries to lose is not unreasonable. However, on the other side
there are young men who decide they can't lose the weight and stay home. That is
I didn't know Harvey was married, thank you for the correction. As far as the vacation comment, regardless of whether or not it was joke,
people really think that. I served in the Pacific islands and I constantly get
eyes rolled at me because 'serving in a so-called tropical paradise can't
possibly be real work'. So I just wanted to mention it.
Unfortunately for Harvey it is too late. His high school years contained some
activities that made him ineligible for a mission, but he's moved past that and
I support him in all that he does. He has focused on the things he can control
now and I applaud him for the efforts he has made in his life. He's a perfect
example of the mission of BYU in effect. Bravo, Harvey!!!
Bozo! The weight restrictions are in place due to the physical rigors of a
mission. You want them out there without any limitations. It's a good thing!
This helps avoid distractions and health problems that should be taken care of
before they leave on their missions. There are always exceptions that can be
made if the missionary is close to the weight guidelines. These guidelines are
based on the missionaries height. Your stats for 1 in 40 at the right number is
not accurate. My experience is 35 out of 40 will need to lose no weight.
You're a little too heated about something you obviously haven't thought
through. The church loses bundles of money and precious service time because of
the health problems that inevitably occur with people who are moderately and
morbidly overweight and obese. It's a health concern and a concern for the
companions who have to deal with missionaries that can't keep up with the
demands of the work. You can capitalize all the words you want and it won't
change common sense. Raising the bar SHOULD include physical fitness. An out of
shape body can only work against a person. And I'm speaking as someone who
served in a very physically demanding mission, but also as a health care
professional. Do you think missionaries just get physicals for fun before they
go? Plus, what you're overlooking is that we are taught to care for our bodies
from a VERY young age in the church. Have you ignored all of the counsel in the
For the Strength of Youth pamphlet regarding our physical health and exercise?
Please think before you go on a tirade like that.
Mad Bozo, I believe it has everything to do with losing enough weight to be
healthy enough for the rigors of missionary work. It has nothing to do with
righteousness or faith or religiosity. In that regard, I would agree that it
needs to be taught - not that you are not worthy if you are significantly
overweight, but that it makes it dangerous for you to serve if you are
significantly overweight, so work hard now to get the weight down.
Mad Bozo the Clown... You are kidding right? weight is an important issue for
these young men and women who are going to serve for so many diffrent reasons.
but besides that health reasons should be priority for them anyways he was 5'11"
350 plus, thats not healthy even for football. He will feel better and be able
to function with out a huge health concern. RELAX..
Confused,Harvey is married. So it is too late for him to go on a
mission, until he is a senior couple. His comment about it being a
vacation is a joke. Mad Bozo,Yes you are a clown. Weight
restrictions aren't about control they are about health. And if an individual is
too heavy for their height but not fat, then they can get an exemption. I don't
think slimming down to a measly 306 at 5'11 is all that skinny. I am 5'10 and
technically obese at 215 because of the BMI index. I also have just under 10%
body fat. So I agree height weight ratios are ridiculous. The church does insure
its missionaries, and the work does need to go forth. So if one is unable to do
the work because of health reasons, then the church and mandate a physical
requirement. And before you freak out about him being an athlete, not all
prospective missionaries are athletes. Settle down a bit and think before you
type. I hear it helps.
Mad Bozo the Clown: You chose your handle well! Since you are not responsible
for these young men in the mission field then let those who are determine the
requirements. Far better to resolve a problem at home than in the mission
Ever had a fat companion? It is miserable.I'm glad to see the
church taking it seriously.Also I'm pretty sure Harvey is now
married and no longer eligible to serve until older in life.
It's not too late Harvey.Football can wait.
I have a very BIG problem with the Church mandating weight restrictions that are
never made known in advance. I've known of another missionary who was sent home
from the MTC due to being 18 pounds overweight. If they are going to evaluate
religiosity on the basis of weight, these guidelines need to be known and taught
to the CTR classes, to the moms who feed them, to the girlfriends. Are there
weight restrictions for women, or just men? And why did he get two letters,
changing the bar, like that? This is a form of control that has nothing to do
with commandments, and everything to do with the image of the church and
convenience. I DON'T LIKE IT. For every Elder who manages to get skinny enough
to score the right numbers, there are probably 40 who do not. How can anyone
meet and unstated standard like that? Who pulls the strings on this? THIS IS A
POLICY (what policy?) THAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. If there are mandatory weight
guidelines, PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW IN CHILDHOOD, not when they are licking the
stamp for their mission papers. They need help, not rejection for their weight.
It's not too late for Harvey to serve a mission, it can still be more meaningful
than all the hype related to football as he refers to it. Football will never
teach a young man the same things that giving every minute of your time to
others for two years will. Oh, and for the record Harvey, serving a
mission for the LDS church is NEVER a vacation, I don't care how beautiful the
place you're serving in is ;) Missionaries don't go to sit on the beach and sip
coconuts. It's work; and it's hard. Good for Victor, he'll never regret doing
what it took to go serve the Lord and the wonderful people of Hawai'i.
Congratulations, Victor--you'll be a great missionary, and we look forward to
seeing you play again when you return.
Those are 2 guys the BYU program can be extremely proud of to have within. Go Cougars!
Nice team work way to stay dedicated to what is important in life.
They sound neat!