When I was in high school, one of my close friends from my stake, Niva Tuala, told me about this program called SOAR. The summer after my junior year of high school I came to Provo for a week and did an ACT prep course with BYU's Multicultural Student Services. (I loved the experience so much that my mom and I tell everyone we can about it! This summer we got someone from our stake to come!) & Once I got in to BYU, I was even more blessed to get a full tuition scholarship through them. There were conditions of course, like participating in their cultural celebrations. Since Freshman year of undergrad, I've been hooked. It's no longer required for me, but I can't seem to let go.
Dancing in the Lu'au brings me waaaaay back to my days in Long Beach 7th ward surrounded by my big family of loving, caring, and supportive Polynesians. LB7th ward was the village that helped raise me. We would put on Lu'aus every now and then, and dancing here at BYU brings me back to those happy days, especially since because of my busy schedule this year I don't have the time to be a Living Legend (let's not talk about it).
^^The entire section. Right when we were about to take this picture, a special needs girl came up and started talking excitedly to us. We invited her to be in the picture with us.
^^Brittany! So small world. Brittany was born & raised in Bellflower AKA where my family moved to, and her cousins the Suaavas were in the same ward as me growing up. Actually, the Suaavas were the family that dropped my family off at the airport when I was moving to Provo to attend BYU back in 2008.
^^Hna Toleafoa!!! We were MTC roommates. She served in Louisiana and when I was in Lake Charles, I always had this dream that I'd be at the border of my mission and she'd wave to me from the border of hers. :)
^^Right when I captured this moment, my heart started yearning BIG time for my LB7th family. They don't know how much they mean to me!
^^mini Living Legends reunion. I love these people!
^^California born & bred. Brittany, Me, Tianalei!
JoJo, my favorite Tongan at BYU. We've been close friends since freshman year! I hadn't seen her since her farewell at the Poly ward almost 3 years ago! Love her to pieces.
Lu'au solidified in my heart that I MUST visit LB7th when I go home for Christmas this year. 'Tis the season to visit family right?