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Hi I'm Von

I'm a husband, a father of 7 children, a grandfather of 11. I've lived in Hawaii, Virginia, California, Utah, NY and Tonga.

About Me

My wife and I have been married for 41 years. We have been blessed with seven wonderful children and our lives are enriched by 11 amazing grandchildren. We've loved everywhere we've lived and loved those we've met and now treasure as friends. We love meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and exploring...close to home and across the world. We enjoy hiking, camping, and riding dirt bikes in the mountains with family and friends. All types of sports have been a life-long passion. Quiet time for reading, pondering, and praying is a treasured part of each day.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up in a strong LDS family with a Mormon pioneer heritage, I was taught from my earliest days who we are, why we are here on earth, and what we have in store for us in the life to come, if we follow with all our hearts, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believed what I was taught. As a 14 year-old, I read a book about Joseph Smith. I had been taught he was a prophet and had seen God. It hit me I was then the same age Joseph had been when he read from James 1:5-6 in the Bible that "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering..." I had been taught Joseph decided to "ask of God" what he should do and where he could find the truth and in response to his humble prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph. As I read these words, I was struck by the realization that I had never actually asked God to know the truth for myself. I had always just accepted what I had been taught. I found myself hungering for my own experience, for my own understanding. I stood up from the couch where I had been reading, walked past my Mother, who was fixing dinner, and into the bedroom I shared with my three older brothers. I knelt down by my bed and offered up a simple, but heart-felt prayer to God to know for myself the truth. I asked if He, God the Father, had actually appeared to Joseph Smith with His Son, Jesus Christ. I asked if what I had been taught growing up was really true. The response came ... sweet, peaceful, warm ... almost as though arms encircled me, accompanied by thoughts, almost a voice in my mind, with a calm reassurance that God knows me, loves me and cares for me and that "Yes, Joseph was a prophet" and that what I had been taught at the knee of my Mother was in fact true. From that day to this I've had that blessed experience and testimony confirmed and reconfirmed to my heart and to my mind countless times.

How I live my faith

Growing up with my three older brothers and my Mother, in my Grandmother's home, we were taught to be energetically involved in doing good, serving others and blessing the lives of as many people as we could. This has led to a life-time filled with wonderful experiences. As a 19 year-old, I experienced 2 1/2 years as a missionary in the South Pacific Islands of Tonga, where I developed a love for the Tongan people and all the people of the Pacific. It has been a joy to serve in the Boy Scouts of America, while taking special young men on hikes and camp-outs, and trying to help them grow and develop into leaders in their homes, their families, and their communities. How richly my life and the lives of my family have been blessed as opportunities to serve in the Church have come...teaching in Sunday School, working with the youth in a variety of ways, being assigned to "watch over" special families who have unique and very real needs and challenges, serving for 13 years at the world famous Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii where we were surrounded by some of the choicest people on earth and hosted guests from all over the world, all while the PCC provided opportunities for students from over 70 countries to get a college education who otherwise would never have had the chance. Now I am blessed to preside over the California Irvine Mission, where 200 missionaries from around the world come to share their belief in Jesus Christ and the hope the Savior offers us all. Life has been filled with touching, enriching, rewarding, and truly inspiring experiences and the thread weaving them all together is my faith in Jesus Christ and my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.