I grew a bushy beard at 20 so everyone would stop bugging me about going on a
mission. When they did I made my own decision to go. Was the best thing i did up
to that point in my life. It changed my life. Meeting my wife at BYU
was the first awesome result of that choice. Been a great 33 years since then. I
credit it all to the beard!Never grew it back but maybe someday. It
would surely be gray new.
Great article Vai, welcome back Rich and.....Go Utes!
I truly wish more BYU/Utah fans could be in this same place. Great article.
I'm also glad you're back. Great story. DN, please keep publishing
Glad you are back. I have missed your articles.
Bryan Rowleys Highlight tape is worth watching! He is an amazing player!Go Utes!Vai, You are a stud! Great story!We
need more BYU fans to move out there in the Mission field!That would
@ common twit - Salt Lake City, UT - "Thanks Vai for the story. I am a less
than active mormon. Stories like this make me want to be better. I get
"looks" when I go to church. I have a long beard and I don't have a
white shirt that fits me. And I abhor ties. I am also the guy that wants to help
others and shows up at service projects whenever possible. I just wish I could
feel welcome in the chapel.I am not trying to make anybody feel sorry for
me. I am fine with these things. I am just pointing out that sometimes we do get
offended. I believe that some try to make us all fit a certain mold. I am glad
that there are some sane, compassionate LDS people out there like Vai and Tommy
Monsen."Sir - Try to ignore any stares you might
receive. I've been active in the church all my life (over 4 decades) and
am glad to see 'new' faces in the congregation. Sometimes our (active
members) words just don't come out right. A smile and a grateful attitude
go a long way for BOTH of us.See ya!
I lived a "wayward" life for a good 20 years as well. I'm glad
I'm back. Welcome home Rich!
I too want to say "welcome back" Vai. As I read this story of the return
of a lost lamb missing the church, I thought of how much I have missed your
stories, which usually cause my "allergies" to act up. Stories that
touch the soul always lift us up. I love stories of the unconquerable spirit of
mankind, of redemption and return, and of the love that so many have for friends
and strangers alike. Please, please keep them coming, especially those about
"me", another soul who was loved into the church by a neighbor who
overlooked the outward, and even caused me to see the inward me. -A former lost
lamb; a non BYU grad, but huge fan. Go COUGS!!!!
Can I come over, too, Vai?
Vai- Great article. Rich has been a great friend for 45+ years, since South
High School years. This has been a great year for him and your influence has
been very special to him. He is an awesome guy and we are so glad his sweet
mom's fervent wish for him has come true.Go Cougars! (Sorry Rich)
RE: Commontwit, forget the looks, try a West side LDS ward. We've got
beards, open collars, bolo ties. It is important you come and worship. As to Vai's stories, I wondered if he had died. Thanks for
publishing what he writes, he's good to read.
Love these stories! I too was a "wanderer" for about 20 years. Pres. S
next time you're in Vineland Ward, please tell Doris M. I said HI! lol
Vai, where you been? I've missed your articles. I thought, perhaps, you had
been reprimanded by DN editorial staff! :o) Great article, as all of yours are.
Look forward to the next one. Great story.
Vai,Thanks for the story and you look great in BLUE!
Thanks Vai for the story. I am a less than active mormon. Stories like this make
me want to be better. I get "looks" when I go to church. I have a long
beard and I don't have a white shirt that fits me. And I abhor ties. I am
also the guy that wants to help others and shows up at service projects whenever
possible. I just wish I could feel welcome in the chapel.I am not trying
to make anybody feel sorry for me. I am fine with these things. I am just
pointing out that sometimes we do get offended. I believe that some try to make
us all fit a certain mold. I am glad that there are some sane, compassionate LDS
people out there like Vai and Tommy Monsen.
Ha Ha! Bested the Ute. I was out of the Church for only 38 years. ;) Another
wonderful and reaffirming story from Vai.
Great article Bro Sikahema. The security guard (non-member) in the office
building where I'm located grew up in SLC graduated from West High and is a
red-blooded Ute and ravenous sports fan. I visit with him nearly everyday and
you'll never guess what we always talk about. Go Cougars!!
Great article Vai !
Thanks for the story, Vai. You're a good writer! I think each of us has one
or more redemption stories - definitely humbling for all of us!
"I allowed people to offend me". Truer words never spoken, and
applies far beyond LDS Church related issues. I loved the conference talk of
Bednar several years ago; "You have to choose to take offense". I read
it a couple of times a year as an attitude self-check because it lays it all
bare - it's not what happens or is said to you, action is up to you.
Beat Utah !
I want to go eat at your house.
I'm a third generation Ute, but some of my favorite children are Y grads!
None of my kids made it to the U - they fell in with the wrong crowd
in CA. We don't decorate the house or fly flags, we just try to be
objective and enjoy the games of both schools. We're so
ecumenical that we even root for USU, so we can't wait to see the USC game
and watch our neighbors get nervous. Then we root for the grads of all the Utah
schools to do well in the pros - especially those from SUU playing for the
Chargers. It should be a fun weekend. Remember it's only
football and life goes on after Sports Center gives way to SNL!
Sports is for fun. A win means your team won the game. Not much else. Who wins
the battles of life matter. Vai and Lee have things in perspective.I
do keep hearing two stories about people who aren't LDS living in Utah. 1)
I was shunned. 2) I was inundated with gospel requests. Tough to have both
stories. There's a third: 3) My neighbors were great neighbors. I went to
some of their events. They went to some of mine. Love it here. My neighbor who
said that was a VP with Stouffers and they had great sorrow when Stouffers
transferred them. Carpe Diem.
I think plenty of BYU fans are like Vai...we love our Cougars but also love our
neighbors. I think the message boards create more bitterness than just about
anything else, because people can be anonymously rude to each other. Vai is a great example. Great story.
I hate Vai stories for some reason I always have to wipe my eyes while reading
them- allergies I suppose
There is nothing like a Vai Sikahema column to brighten my day! THANKS! GO
This Ute regular season ticket holder ALWAYS loves your columns. Vai, thanks for
sharing with us. Keep up the great work! Utes by 7.
Great story! As a BYU fan, I couldn't agree more with "Mormon Ute".
Some of my best friends are Ute fans and we've always had a great time
together. Sad to see some fans from both sides bring bitterness into such a
great rivalry. I am most happy for Via's neighbor and glad he has found
that joy and peace again! When you have hope in what's important, it's
easy to call each other "brothers" regardless of any differences.
Great story!As I type this, NFL network is showing this thing on
Andy Reid and you can see his G's hanging out of his shorts. Vai and Reid,
two classy Y guys!Go Utes!
Vai,You have a gift for writing! Wonderful story. I will also be
watching the game tomorrow night with dear friends; some wearing blue and some,
red. GO COUGARS!
I wish there were more Vai articles in the DN. Great guy. Great article.
Vai,Thanks for the great story!! I wish more Y fans were more like
you and I wish more Ute fans were like the ones you have at your rivalry game
party every year. You're a great example of keeping the gospel separate
from football and not letting football get in the way of friendship.
You've made my day.