The closest I've gotten to graduate from BYU-Hawaii...

Look..Disney even got a pair of slippers for that's a nice Lei...can you spot it?

Good News. Bad News.

I don't check my mail for a week and here's what I get:

From the Office of the Registrar...


Dear Su Min: (It's Su! get it right!)

This letter is to inform you that we are unable to finalize your graduation for June 2005 as you have the following deficiency:

5 additional creditds for you Associate degree
If you are taking this course(s) at another institution please have the transcripts sent to our office as soon as you have completed the course. In order to be eligible for the next graduation date, August 11, 2005, you will need to have this course(s) completed by August 1, 2005. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 293-3744.
August 1, 2005?!!!!! they send me a letter half way through summer term to tell me I need to take a class before summer ends?!!! What the crap?!! Yeah, someone please call 293-3744 for me...if I were to call, I think only swear words will come out..not that I know that many swear words...sigh..
So yeah, why can't I stay angry for longer than 10 seconds?
Next, from the Office of the Vice President for Academics (phew...that was a looooong name!)
...Open letter...hmm some sort of a certificate...
Su Min Chong
Congratulations for achieving the distinction of being named
to the University Dean's List for:
Spring 2005
May you continue to have a successful academic experience at BYU-Hawaii.
Signature of
Vice President for Academics
The University Honor Roll is composed of students whose grade point average is in the top 5% of
those who completed at least 15 credit hours during the semester or 6 in a term.
Wow...nice gift from the school before I leave for BYU Provo...those 9 credits I took last Spring was worth it...=)
Yup, the bitter sweet story of my life at BYU-Hawaii...
...30 more days...
...and counting down!

To our friends in America

As I pack my bags preparing to leave for home at the start of the July 4th weekend, my heart and mind is full of feelings and thoughts which I like to share with you.

As long as I can remember when I was a young boy, I loved to read and re-read the only set of encyclopedia my parents could afford which had a series of books entitled, 'The Child's World.' I loved to read the stories in there of Johnny Appleseed, the man who planted apple trees in the wild frontier of America. There was also Tom Sawyer. Then I read of great leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington,Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D.Roosevelt....... about the faces carved in Mount Rushmore. Little did I know then that I was reading all about America.

When I was old enough to travel on my own, I back-packed to England and Europe to see the world. Then I furthered my education in Australia. By the time I was and adult at 21, my impression of America was that it was a frightening place to live and I don't think I would ever go there. Americans seem to always do things different and I was not used to that.

Little did I know that my life would somehow become entwined with America. In my first visit with my wife to Las Vegas for a computer convention in Dec 1983 and later to the mountains of Utah for our marriage in the Salt Lake temple, it was the beginning of a marvelous experience in America. I would find myself coming back over and over again for various reasons. First it was for a Church purpose. Then it was for business opportunities. Later it was the call of the wild frontier, re-living my images of Johnny Appleseed perhaps as I explored the mountains, the deserts and the great waters found in this land. Last but not least, it is to be with my friends in America!

America is now like my second or third home, counting Singapore which I frequent often, the home of my wife. I now feel very comfortable here. A definite reason is due to all the friendships that I have made with American families over the years, spanning over the three countries! They have become a big big part of my life and that of my family. You Americans have much to celebrate about on July 4th, the freedom you enjoy and the blessings of the God in whom you trust. Thank you for continuing to enrich my life with your friendship, filling me with the thoughts of my youth. Be assured that I will try to visit you often as time may permit as I simply enjoy it when I am with you to renew our friendship. May God continue to Bless America!

Photos of friends I was able to take on my recent trip

A belated Father's day celebration with the Ormonds where I'm glad to be a welcome frequent house guest in their home in South Jordan over the past 2 years

Cevin as Prof. Einstein in a Quixtar expo by the Team Builders with equally qualified wife Carol!

My banker and good friend Bill Talbot and his grandson Alex in Orem

Ralph Cannon who served as a couple missionary in 1982 is now over 90 and is seen with an old friend Julie. Both of them have lost their spouses and find companionship with each other. I told Br Cannon that she makes a nice wife and he told her I said so!!!

Carol Walker, the founder of a Financial Freedom company with our common friends Vince and Sandy Gordacan

This is Matthew Davis with his wife Katie and children outside their home in Lehi. Matt was called to serve a mission in Malaysia after growing up as a child with his parents, who lived in Malaysia for over 10 years! The photo was taken infront of their RV camper trailer which is pulled by their huge(in Malaysian context) Explorer SUV

This is Dave and Mariane Hatch with their baby in the kitchen of their new home in Lindon. They lived in Kuala Lumpur for a year in 1996 and he works closely with Stephen R. Covey.

It was nice to meet up with Kevin Castle with his wife Jenn, children and in-laws Gayle and Cory Bangerter for a Monday family home evening in their Alpine home!

I went with Kevin to see the farm of Jenn's grandpa in Alpine to reminisce a winter in 1996 where my daughter Fei and I were brought there by Paulo, the brother of Cory Bangerter

The following events are in Provo

On every trip, I would look for Bro. Redd, who served before in Ipoh branch as a couple missionary, to go to the temple with me. We picked the Provo Temple this time. He was the first branch president after we created a branch there in Jan 1982. He turns 90 in December

Su Min our 2nd daughter has been accepted to BYU Provo in Fall (Aug) and she will be staying at the Heritage Halls on campus.

We met our former mission president of Singapore Joseph Boone who is now a counsellor at the MTC in Provo. We were treated a nice lunch at the cafeteria that feeds hundreds of missionaries at a time!

Merlin Weekes on the right at the Tahitian Noni office

Here is Paul Hao, formerly from China and now a resident of Provo working with a fast growing company focused on genealogy.

Here's the reason why all the Singaporeans were gathered in Provo, Marcus Khong and his bride Rebacca

Hey that's Danny Yeo and Susan with their daughter.

Beryl Khong and daughter at the end of the table visiting Provo for the marriage of her son Marcus Khong to Rebacca. Richard Ang on the left with James Teh and his wife on the right

This is John and Melanie Rajlkannu. John is the son of Sis. Pongodi of Singapore

Jon Lim and Doreen with their children staying with the Teh family in Provo

Helen Reson with her daughters and soon son-in-law

Daughter of our Area Seventy and Patriach in Singapore Rachel Tan with her friend