Monday, September 23, 2013

Temples and missions

The week and weekend were challenging for different reasons but I feel like we were blessed tremendously in spiritual things that allowed us to refocus and concentrate on the things that matter most - our faith and our family.

The challenges are trivial - All of our football teams lost. Chase's Lehi varsity football team lost a 37-34 heart-breaker at home to Pleasant Grove. Chase and teammates did so well and surprised us all. Despite the loss we feel like there are some great things that can happen if this team continues to work hard. Mica did well too but his team really fell apart in a way that we have never seen before. We are hoping that this week works out better for them. Kenyon and Quinn had a tough time too and to top it all off we had to sit through another terrible BYU-Utah game. But football games, even with the many life lessons that sports teaches us, they are still games. We win some, we lose some.

What gives us the greatest joy is seeing the joy that emanates from the people we love most and this weekend we saw that light magnified as we participated in some very memorable and emotional events.

First, we spent Saturday morning with Seti's sister Annette at the Jordan River temple where she was able to grow closer to our Father in Heaven. It was such an amazing experience to be there to support Annette in one of the most important milestones in her life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Second. we had the opportunity to listen to our nephew Elder Wilson Matua bear his personal witness of the gospel Jesus Christ as he prepares to leave this week on his mission to Auckland, New Zealand where he will speak the language of his forefathers - Samoan. There were moments when we felt so close to our own son while listening to Wilson speak. We miss Kingston dearly but seeing the smile on Wilson's face really confirmed for us again that Kingston is in the right place and time in his life. We are so blessed to have these young men whom we love so much out there serving the Lord in such a critical time of their young lives. It is a blessing and such a wonderful example for us.

Being with our immediate and extended family always brings us closer to each other and to our Father in Heaven. As our boys continue to grow and as they begin to leave our home, these moments become more and more special and important. We look forward to more opportunities like this in the future and pray that we will always be an eternal, loving family.

Most of our Matua clan at Wilson's Mission Farewell

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eagle honors and more

A Returned Missionary Visit
Seti, Dillon and the boys
Last week we had the awesome opportunity to spend time with our nephew Dillon Filiaga who recently returned home from his mission to Kobe, Japan. He is slowly adjusting to 'post-mission life' and is considering attending either BYU or Utah State but is in the application process at this time. We have been so humbled by his faith and listening to him map out his future has been a real treat. Having him with us this week has filled a void for us in Elder Matua's absence. Dillon has been such a great example to our sons as well as all of Seti's nephews in the Matua clan. We wish Dillon all the best and we will continue to support him in his future endeavors.

Another Eagle Scout
Seti, Eddie and the boys
Dillon, Elder Baker Pritchard, Elder Ean Filiaga and Elder Kingston Matua have been joined in the fraternity of Eagle Scouts by their cousin Wilson Matua this evening. It was a tearful and special occasion for us to join our cousins in West Jordan to honor Wilson as he earned his Eagle Scout rank. In another week, Wilson will also join another very special fraternity when he pins his mission badge to his lapel and enters the Provo Missionary Training Center as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will be the sixth missionary from the Matua family to serve a mission joining the aforementioned and their oldest cousin Iona Pritchard who started the mission legacy for their grandparents Lauina and Mautoatasi Matua.

So far, all of the Matua grandsons have, are currently or will be serving in the Pacific. Dillon in Japan, Baker and Kingston in Hawaii, Ean in Samoa and Wilson in Auckland, New Zealand. What an incredible blessing for all of us.

More football news
Chase and Mica scored victories last week as Lehi beat Westlake in the Sophomore, JV and Varsity levels. Kenyon had a bye this week but Quinn scored his first touchdown of the season and his team had their first victory after two disappointing losses in previous weeks. Our football adventures continue this week at home against powerhouse Pleasant Grove. Special thanks to our cheering section this week - grandma Karen, grandpa Matt and our die-hard cheerleader auntie Alisha.

20 Years and counting
We hit another great milestone in our marriage - 20 years of wonderful wedded bliss. We can't believe that we have survived all of the ups and downs, twists and turns but our Heavenly Father has given us the strength, lifted us up when we were down and blessed us with the fortitude to face 20 more years and eternity together. Thank you all for your love and support. We could not have done it without you all and thank you to our sons for putting up with our insanity over the years. Here's to 20 more!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Here comes the rain

As a family we are still learning to adapt to being 'one man down' in our house. It is amazing how one person can make such an impact on your life and as parents, being without one child leaves such a gap in the natural order of our household that we can't help but ask absentmindedly from time to time, "Where's Kingston?"

We look forward to Monday's now because we know it's Elder Matua's P-Day in Hawaii and the only day that he can send us an email. This presents problems when you're sitting in front of your computer at six a.m. hoping to see an email from him but knowing full well that he probably won't get to a computer until ten a.m. - Hawaii Time! Patience is not a virtue in our house. As of the posting of this update we have not received an email from him but we are hoping that we will receive word from him by days end.

We did however, receive a letter from President Warner telling us about Elder Matua's arrival in Hawaii. It's a blessing to know that he is serving under a humble man who loves our son.

Friday Night Lights
Last Friday Chase and his Lehi HS football team played a great game against Pineview HS from St. George. In their previous game against Dixie HS (also in St. George) they were sluggish and looked absolutely terrible. So we are of course a little skeptical as we took our seats Friday night. At first it looked a bit ominous but Lehi fought hard and came from behind to win. We are very proud of Chase and how he has really committed himself to being positive about his experience and doing everything within his control to be a better player as well as being a better teammate. He is rising to the occasion.

Sunday Lessons
The theme for Sunday's services were consistent throughout all three meetings - Attitude and being positive. We heard exceptional talks from the Rogers family about how our attitude affects not just the way we live our lives but how our attitude also affects those around us. It was another great reminder of what we have read in this month's Ensign as well. There has been an emphasis on these exact principles in our home because we have noticed over the years the affect that our speech, language, tone and a negative attitude has adversely affected our home and our relationships. We're trying to be and do better.

In our Sunday School class, the theme this month for Come Follow Me is 'The Commandments'. Yesterday we asked the youth how they would respond if their peers asked them about gospel standards and how they would answer if they were asked about the gospel. It was a very insightful lesson about how perception and reality about the church is so different for today's youth compared to what we faced when we were young. The world has changed! In our Deacon's quorum the same lesson was expanded to help our young men treat all men with dignity and that by doing so, an invitation for others to come unto Christ would be better accepted if we exemplify Christ-like attitudes and attributes.

It's a new week with new challenges - we hope to face them head on with a spring in our step, a light heart and a big smile. Have a wonderful week and be safe!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back at it

Its been nearly three years since we updated the blog and obviously so much has happened during that time. We realized after looking through Matua Mania that the lack of posts directly corresponds with the time that Seti started his personal blog. It has definitely been a roller coaster ride for us and the light at the end of the tunnel seems elusive but that's okay because that's the way we do things in the Matua household - on the run.

To wrap up what has happened since our last post on Matua Mania (January 2011) - Jen went back to work at Skywest as a Flight Attendant after stints in Portland, Minneapolis and LAX she is now based in Salt Lake City (whew!). 

After a lay-off and a great time at as an Assistant Manager for their Technical Support crew, Seti is back at OptumInsight (formerly Ingenix) as a Business Analyst. He works from home most of the time which helps when Jen is out of town and the boys are in need of a little 'encouragement' to fulfill their responsibilities. 

Elder Kingston Matua is now serving in the Hawaii-Honolulu mission. You can read weekly updates from his mission experience on another blog dedicated to the first of many Elders to come from our family. Before leaving on his mission Kingston graduated from Seminary and High School earlier this year, won a national championship in rugby and was accepted to BYU.

Chase was also a member of that national championship rugby team playing alongside his older brother. He has been working hard to earn cash for his own mission and has renewed his love for football. Chase is a senior this year and will graduate next spring and hopes to follow Kingston into the mission field within a year. Chase continues to excel in his academics and spent his Summer break with a group of his friends in Hawaii.

Mica has surprised us with his artistic abilities, his hard work ethic and his athleticism. On the other hand, his sense of humor and the quiet way that he goes about life remains the same. Mica is now a Sophomore in high school and is on the Sophomore football team at Lehi HS. He has grown ... a lot!

Kenyon and Quinn are still Jen's babies although Kenyon has been acting like an old soul since he was born. Both are playing football at the moment but can't wait until the rugby season resumes. Quinn is our lone elementary student where he is a favorite with his teachers and Kenyon is in the 8th Grade and is still a natural leader.

A lot has happened; a lot more will happen and we hope to update you consistently on our progress. The holiday season is just around the corner so there will be more to do and more to report in the coming months. Our family prays for all you, our wonderful family and friends. Thank you so much for your love and support over the years. We are truly blessed.