Cooperation between the BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball team and local members of the San Diego California Stake – where the team traveled for the national championship tournament – began Nov. 26 when the Seasiders presented a special fireside.
Unable to access practice time at Point Loma Nazarene College, the team made arrangements to use the stake's facilities before and during the tournament – from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2.Before leaving Honolulu, BYU-Hawaii coach Wilfred Navalta, a former bishop of the BYU-Hawaii 4th Ward, talked to the team about a theme for the trip and the tournament. In all aspects of the trip, Coach Navalta wanted the team to ask themselves, "What would Christ do?"
To set the tone of the fireside, the Seasiders and the coaching staff sang "Because I have Been Given Much," a musical medley of Primary songs (in both English and Hawaiian) and the Hawaiian song, "Kanaka Waivai." After the musical selections, each team member and coach took two minutes to express their feelings about the things for which they were grateful. They also presented each member in the congregation a small Hawaiian gift. Pres. Cory Volper, second counselor in the San Diego Stake presidency, conducted the meeting.
Coach Navalta spoke on the importance of the Spirit and the special feelings that were present. "There are more important things than winning championships. The feeling you feel tonight is the Spirit telling you the things you heard are true," he said. "The Spirit is much more important than anything you can earn on the athletic court. That's because the Spirit is eternal and testifies of Christ."
Merrie Havens and her family, who are members of the San Diego 6th Ward, expressed appreciation for the fireside.
"I thought it was an excellent fireside; the girls really set a spiritual tone," Sister Havens said. "Everyone in the chapel was really touched by the words that were said."