Serving the community at work and home, BYU–Hawaii alumnus Joshua Garcia was not always the man he wanted to be but changed while living in Hawaii to become the father, husband and friend he said he is meant to be. Joshua Garcia is dependable and has a talent for seeing people for who they can become, said his friends and family.
Heilala Garcia, a senior from Kahuku majoring in hospitality and tourism management, described him as always looking at the potential of others instead of their downfalls. “He doesn’t look at who people are, but who they can become.
“He sees the good in everybody. Regardless of what they have done, or where they are from or what their situation is, he recognizes the good in them, and I think that’s definitely a gift he has.”
Joshua Garcia said his parents and grandparents influenced him because there was always love and welcoming in the home.
“They valued family and would sacrifice on a regular basis for us to be happy ... One of the ways they sacrificed for us was through their work ethic. They taught me to work hard to provide opportunities for those we love.”
Joshua Garcia is a hardworking and dependable husband, said his wife. “Josh is very consistent. I think that his greatest ability is that you can always count on him. He will be the first and the last person [at an event]. He will be there every day without a doubt, on time and ready to go.”
When he was in junior high, Joshua Garcia said his parents divorced, and he slowly stopped doing the things that brought the Spirit into his life. “Before I knew it, I was living with a lot of darkness. Poor choices and failure to see the eternal picture had put me into a position where I did not value the blessings of good parents and a loving wife.”
Because of this, in 2011, Joshua and Heilala Garcia had considered getting a divorce. “Our family was falling apart,” he said. However, things began to change after he started working at the Polynesian Cultural Center. He said he felt as though he was finally able to help his family.
Additionally at church, a new Sunday School teacher began to help Joshua Garcia remember the truths he had forgotten, he explained.
“I realized that ... Christ wasn’t looking down at me. He came down to my level, looked me in the eye, told me that everything was going to be okay and helped me get up.” Joshua Garcia said he wanted to be happy, and he wanted happiness for his family.
I realized that ... Christ wasn’t looking down at me. He came down to my level, looked me in the eye, told me that everything was going to be okay and helped me get up.
One day, he chose to ride his bike on an alternate route as he went to work. He said he had an impression that told him very quietly, but firmly, “Go there.”
He passed the temple, and through the BYU–Hawaii campus, he said, “I felt the voice [say] that if I went to the temple and school, I would be connected – connected to God, connected to abundance. I decided from there that I would talk to the bishop and work on getting my life in order.”
Joshua Garcia said he did not believe that families could be forever because his parents were divorced. He did not think people could have second chances, but he said his opinion changed while being in Hawaii.
Blessings of Laie
“Laie is a sacred and holy place. Because of this, I was changing. I started believing in the promises, one by one. I started reading the scriptures more,” said Joshua Garcia. As he read the scriptures and General Conference talks, he said he “felt stronger and stronger spiritually each day.”
In time, he and his wife went to the temple. He shared, “I felt that it was the Savior who had come to receive me. It was such a beautiful experience. Soon after that, Heilala and I were sealed to our three beautiful babies.”
As they reach 12 years of marriage, he said he is grateful for his wife and the support she has been to him. “I am grateful that the Plan of Salvation allows us to be imperfect... I can experience joy on a regular basis, and I now have a deep knowledge that keeps growing as I learn and grow closer to Christ.”
His life did not magically become easier because of his new relationship with Christ, explained Joshua Garcia. However, because of his new relationship with Christ, he said he no longer had to live “with the guilt, pain and sorrow from the past. I did not have to be me. I was free, and I was reborn.”
Joshua Garcia said working at PCC helped change his life. “I had a college degree. I had years of managing a business and directing teams. I have worked in multiple fields with training and talent development. But I came in and restarted at PCC by cleaning the Gateway building.” Joshua Garcia is now the manager of the Gateway building.
Oketi Te’ekiu, a junior from Tonga majoring in mathematics, said, “Uncle Josh is a godly man. I am not saying that he is perfect, but I recognize that he is always seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit before he makes decisions or does something.” She believes this makes his heart full of gratitude, love and mercy.
His leadership has touched the heart of many of his employees. Gabriela Gomez, a BYUH graduate from Guatemala, described Joshua Garcia as someone who helps others to become leaders.“He is the type of boss who trusts his employees and allows them to grow. He is patient, respectful and loving with everyone.
“Working with him has been a blessing. He leads, teaches and inspires with the Spirit. He cares about each one of his employees and believes in their potential. I’m thankful to be part of his Gateway team.”
He leads, teaches and inspires with the Spirit. He cares about each one of his employees and believes in their potential.
Another way Joshua Garcia serves the community is through his non-profit called “Remembering Colors.” With his wife, Heilala Garcia, they hope to connect people with their past, as well as their future, by encouraging family history work, cultural pride and acceptance of all cultures.
Joshua Garcia said he learned valuable lessons about preserving and portraying cultures, arts, crafts, foods and dances of ancestors through working at the PCC. “This is the way we connect with our ancestors. This is family history. I truly believe that the greatest cause we can be involved in is the gathering of scattered Israel.”
The “Remembering Colors” website features children’s books Joshua Garcia has written. These books have the purpose of bringing families and people together by expressing the differences in cultures and learning about others.
The first book he wrote, titled “The Kalo Plant,” is based on a girl who moves to a new place and is bullied. She learns a story about the kalo plant through her uncle. Joshua Garcia learned about the kalo plant from Uncle Sione Feinga, who [is a farmer] at the Church’s Kapaka Farm. He taught him the parts of the plant and their meanings.
Because kalo can be found in Tonga, Hawaii and the Philippines, “The Kalo Plant” teaches children they are all united through one common plant. Heilala Garcia said, “Even though we are all different people from different places, we all came from the same family, and we should love people no matter what.”
To learn more about his two other children’s books that are published, go to the “Remembering Colors” website: www.remembercolors.com.