Saturday, December 26, 2015

Camilla

For the first time in history, my son Petueli introduced his girlfriend to us.  She is no stranger as I've known her since she was in high school through volleyball.  He's been in love with this girl since "forever" if I may say and to finally, finally see them together nearly brings me to tears.  Years ago before he left on his mission, they dated and since then, no one has ever captured my son's heart but Camilla.  It has always been Camilla from the beginning and I'm afraid, no one else will do for my Leli. 

When he returned from his mission, he attempted hooking up again with her.  There was some set back as  Camilla is a very popular girl.  She has many friends and her life was busy with traveling, work and friends.  I felt his frustration as he backed off but he was willing to wait.  I'll never forget when he said this:  "Camilla is too busy with living her life and her friends but I am a very patient man mother."  Leli has always have that sense of humor that eases even the most crucial situations and circumstances.  He's very focused and confident, willing to work hard for what he needs and what he wants.  I've never seen anyone so full of "patience" as I've watched him wait it out for Camilla.  Almost like a hermit, the monotonousness of his life.  LOL.  I feared he will remain single forever if Camilla didn't come around.

So last night, we finally got to meet her (not my first time though but theirs) at the hospital when visiting my mother-in-law.  It was a shocker because just when we least expected it, he throws a curve ball that almost floored us.  He brings in his girl.  Such a sweet feeling to see how happy and comfortable he is with her.  Camilla is a beautiful girl and they make one dashing couple.  I can honestly say, she is worth the wait for my son.  His face lit up when he's with her and boy, I've never seen him so proud and so content.   Then Grandma Sisilia took over the whole visit.  Just being herself and I love her for it.  So straightforward as she talks about temple marriage, having children and making blankets for their babies.  We laughed and laughed as she went on and on.  It was obvious my son had already warned her about his grandmother. 

Leli is a very private guy.  He likes his privacy and bringing Camilla to meet us means serious business.  I pray she won't break his heart.  I've tried to fix him up with some really nice girls but in vain.  He told me:  "I'm never going to marry someone my mother fixed me up with!"  I reminded him of Abraham and Isaac.  Some of the best marriages in the bible was fixed and arranged by parents.   

His love for Camilla though is not an uncommon love but an enduring love.  Their love story is not new but it is unique in their own way.  A very special love and I am ecstatic that Camilla has finally chosen to come around otherwise my son will be doomed to a lonely life forever without her.  He has been such a great blessing to us and I know he will bring great blessings to his own family one day.  His sister Sisilia though has her doubts.  I already love Camilla because I've known all along that my son loved her for a long long time now and still do and will continue to do so.    

Sunday, December 13, 2015

There Are No Dead Ends with God


In deep gratitude I uttered a pray within my heart as to how things seems to be working out when you least expect it to.  These past few days have been filled with new challenges and trying out new venues.  There was hope and as I was expressing my thank yous to Him, I got a brief impression in my mind of a soft gentle voice reminding me:  "You should already know by now, there are no dead ends with Me".  Just when you thought you've reached the end of your road, another unexpected and unfathomable road opens us.  Just when you thought nothing will ever change, that's when He shows you that "your ways are not my ways" and "let me show you another way, a better way".  When you feel like you've given your all and have done the best you can, He shows you how much further you still can go and how much more you  still can do.  With Him, the possibilities are endless and the "impossible" becomes possible for with God, nothing is impossible. 

Self doubt exist when we put all our trust in our own hands and fail to acknowledge that there's a higher power and that He's there for us.  His hands have always played an incredible role in my life whether I wanted to acknowledge it or not.  It's those moments that I don't acknowledge Him that everything starts falling apart.  This always leads to a rude awakening which assuredly ends with me falling on my knees asking for forgiveness for my stubbornness and pride.  This morning I prayed for many things.  My prayer was answered but not without a lot of work on my part.  When we ask for something from Him, we have to be willing to show how much we want it and then work towards getting it.  If you don't get it, that simply means you're no ready for it or it's not time yet.  Or, it could simply means it wasn't meant to be so try something else. 

"There are no dead ends with Me".  It's as if a flicker of a flame barely giving light and all at once it burst into a burning fire within me.  With God everything is hopeful, positive and bright.  There's a picture frame on top of my Computer desk in my room that quotes:  "You future is as bright as your faith".  When you are hopeful, full of faith and positive, your eyes are opened up to the many blessings that has been coming your way all along and that there are many more yet to come.  To receive more blessings, we have to cheerfully count the ones we already have and make sure we are acknowledging His hands in everything.

Tonight I rejoice in the knowledge that God can make anything possible.  I rejoice in the fact that He is full of grace and mercy.  I marvel at His unconditional love towards me, so undeserving and unworthy.  That He loves me enough to forgive me and continue to lead and guide me.  Tonight I rejoice that there are no dead ends with God.  Our progress is everlasting and Eternal just as He is Everlasting and Eternal. 


Monday, November 23, 2015

My son, Eld. Mahonrai Teancum Toki

Ending our Family Forum last night a call came in and it's a 704 area code.  We were about to say evening prayer so I decided to let it go unanswered and I'll call back after.  Already some foreboding feeling immediately settled in my heart as I am familiar with that North Carolina area code from work.

Sure enough, I called back and it was a Bro. Alexander informing that our son Eld. Toki was involved in a biking accident and was admitted to emergency with a head injury.  He had his helmet on but nonetheless, suffered an injury.  Of course knowing how heavy and compact he is, if he landed on his head then I'm afraid it was fatal.  I think every Missionary mom, in the back of their minds, naturally dread, receiving a call of this nature.  Bro. Alexander informed me that he is in stable condition.  He is alert but there is evident of blood outside his brain.  Luckily, no blood inside his brain but he is in the Neuro-surgeon floor and they are doing the best that they can to monitor and keep him improving.  He is in one of North Carolina's best hospital.

As parents, we are aware of all kinds of risks our children would be facing when they leave home to embark in serving the Lord.  Anything can happen.  We continue to pray endlessly night and day for all our missionaries to be safe.  Even with all our prayers, our children are not immune to danger, risks, accidents and even death.  It is part of life.  They do happen and the only thing that we as a family know best to do, is to fall on our knees in mighty prayer and fasting for our son.  We gathered all our family members and some extended family members and immediately sealed our fasting on his behalf.  Fasting has worked miracles in countless lives of people around me, family and friends.  When we need Heavenly Interventions in our lives, we go without food for 24 hours or however long we want.  So little time in comparison to the answer that will come afterwards.  We weaken our mortal bodies and draw our spirit in prayer begging the Lord for mercy and grace.  Everything is in God's hands now.  My son understands before he left on his mission that anything can happen and have accepted the fact that if he should die or if anything happens to him, he is okay with that.  We do too.

A few nights ago, I dreamt and saw my son Eld. Toki sitting up on his single bed.  He was dressed in white and his bed glowed in whiteness.  So as his whole being.  The only thing that stood out was blood on his chest.  He was just staring at me somehow dazed and I couldn't speak to him.  We just stare at each other.  On the other side of his room was his companion.  Sitting on his bed, same white sleeping clothes but he had no blood stain on his chest.   I woke up, knelt down and said a prayer for my son.  When I received the phone call, all I can think about was the dream I recently had.

It is Missionary Monday to-day.  I wrote my letter last night.  I don't know why I keep checking my email to-day knowing full well my son is in a hospital bed and won't be able to write me.  I live to read his emails every Monday and telling me about his week.  He's not the same boy that left last November.  He has definitely matured spiritually.  Tonight his mission President will call us and give us more detail.  We put all our trust in God that whatever will happen, everything will all work out.

We love our Eld. Toki.  He is an amazing individual.   He loves to sing and he always brings light and sweet melody in our home.  His father's right hand man.  Doing a man's work even when he was just a boy because his father was always sick.  He is so strong and courageous.  He can carry a Refrigerator by himself and in his first area they called him Eld. Refrigerator something.  LOL.  We're so proud of him.  Our Eld. Mahonrai Teancum Toki.  It's a great story of his namesake in the Book of Mormon.  We love and pray for him.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sister Time

Every time I visit my sister's house, she always tells me about her dreams.  I think I've mentioned before in some of my older posts, that she can see our dead relatives.  Especially my mom.  I yearn to see my mom but sadly, for some weird reason she only shows herself to my sister.  So last night, I visited with her and she was telling me a rather funny dream.

She saw that it was Judgement Day and as she was getting ready to pass through the gates of Heaven with her family, a man dressed in white came to them and pointed out a place for them to go.  She saw our mom came and helped her with the kids and the grandchildren and as they were about to leave, the man turned to her husband saying:  "You can not go now.  You're not ready."  My sister was devastated and shocked that her husband can't go with them.  What could he have done to be unworthy to enter Heaven with them?  Whatever sin he committed she said, "I can forgive".  But what had he done?  She was also under the impression that the only one that can save her husband was herself. 

Watching my mom lead her kids and grandchildren away, she turned around and instead of seeing just her husband, she also saw her son oldest son Zack.  Her grief was overwhelming that it woke her up from her dream.  She woke up her husband and explained her dream to him.  The only words that came out of his mouth was:  "See!  I told you I wasn't going to be happy in Heaven.  It's going to be so boring!  There's no football, no TV, no eating etc etc.  All we do is Temple work and work for the dead.  There's no fun in that.  I think I'd rather go to Hell".  As we were cracking up laughing my sister told me she said to him:  "Hell?  Hell where you'll burn forever and you will be running away from Satan who holds a pitchfork to your butt and poke you while you try to run away from him."

My brother-in-law Mo is a character.  He's so funny and one of the sweetest people I know.   It was fun catching up with my sister Lorna Linda.  Our visits are always too short for both of us.  Horror Films and Scary movies are her favorite shows to watch.  I get scared out of my wits when I watch her shows.  It doesn't scare her at all.  This is just one of the many dreams she shares with me when I visit.  I only saw my mother once and she was young and beautiful again.  My sister says the same thing.  Mom is not old at all.  She's young and beautiful.  My sister always reminds me of my mom.  I sure miss my momma.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disciplining

"Mom, you're like a Marshmallow.  She will eat you up for breakfast."  My second daughter said this to me while dropping them off at school.  Between me and my husband, I am the mediator and the peace maker but many times I want to kick myself hard because I can be a pushover when it come to my children and that is not good.  But especially my youngest, she knows she can get away with anything when it comes to me and my husband said that to me this morning. 

We're going through it with our youngest daughter Beverly Shania.  Far left with the Peachy dress.  She's 14 years old and as headstrong and determine as they come.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.  Bev is extremely athletic and smart.  Straight A student and this past few weeks she has given us a run for our money with constant disobedient and disregard to rules that has been specifically given to her.  With the friends she chooses to sloughing school and also loosing her playtime in the school Volleyball team because of that, we had to make ultimatums.

Last Friday we rushed my husband to Emergency.  Monday I let her tryout for the basketball team knowing full well it's against his wishes.  Mainly because I didn't want to break her heart but I did tell her that just because she's trying out doesn't mean her dad will allow her to play which is the biggest mistake I made.  (Marshmallow that I am).  Last night my husband when he was discharged from the hospital and during family prayer, told her she will not be allowed to play basketball and yet she didn't quite grasp what he said.  I saw her this morning getting ready for school and it dawned on me that she's getting ready also for basketball practice.  I asked her:  "Bev, you do remember dad told you last night no more basketball?"  Oh it finally hit her and she started bawling.  Her father sat her down and explained to her the reasons she won't be allowed to play basketball.  She cried and begged and I felt my heart was ripping out of my chest and yet I knew he was right.  She has to face the consequences of her choices.  We've given her so many chances and she stretched it to the max.  Now she still can't see why she can't play.

Every other member of our family voice their opinions at me as they shake their heads with disapproval when they found out I let her tryout.  All of them don't think she deserves to play basketball after what she had put us through but seeing her so sad, crying and begging just breaks my heart.  It was at the tip of my tongue to stand up against my husband's decision.  I could easily do that but his words rang truth in my ears, "We have to be on the same page to make this work".   So many times chaos comes into our family because we're not on the same page.  Many times I do things against his will and it comes back to just bite me in the butt.  I was going to do it again but something told me to back off.  To allow Beverly to see she can't just walk all over us thinking that she can get away with the bad choices she made after all.  It was hard for both of us and on our way to drop them off, she actually said our morning prayer and she cried while she was praying. I prayed that she might soften her heart and do as she's told.  I pray that she won't do anything stupid and I reminded her before she got out of the car.

Disciplining children sometimes hurts me more then them.  I have to trust my husband's decision on this because he is, after all, the head of the family and the Priesthood holder.  I am not always on the right.  Just last night I see all my children's faces in my mind.  Words can not describe how much I love them all.  From my oldest to my youngest.  "Life is not always a walk in the park", we just need to take it one day at a time.   This day too shall pass and I only cross my fingers that my daughter will have the good sense not to do something stupid like how I usually contemplated in my mind when I was a teenager getting angry with my parents for not allowing me to do everything I wanted.  We all want the best of our children.  That's all. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PJ



10.24.2015  
PJ
About two weeks ago we took in a foster.  His name is PJ.  I’ve given up the idea of having fosters mainly because the last two didn’t work out at all for our family.  But PJ, seems to fit right in from the very start.  The first time I met him I prayed for some kind of excuses to come up so we won’t have him come right away.  Anxiety from being foster parents was kicking in and I didn't really want to take him on.  My husband, on the other hand, after reading his profile wanted to help him.

He’s 16 years old.  Have had some run in with drugs and fights and after a few conversation with him, I realized that he has been to one home after another.  I can’t imagine the impact of being thrown into a family of strangers so suddenly.  No talks of who and where his father is, but his mother had abandoned them and is now living in Michigan.  She had gotten into an accident and was disabled so she’s living with her sister because she couldn’t take care of her kids.  Some of the younger kids has already
been adopted.  PJ lived with his 23 year old sister but she no longer wants him to live with her because she can not take care of him.

My heart breaks for PJ and children like him.  What boggles my mind is why the sister refuse to keep him.  I remember a long time ago when I was a young girl, we were swimming in the Ocean as we always do together as a family.  We didn’t have any life saving jackets and never knew about such things.  We learned how to swim by waddling out to the deep and we taught ourselves how to swim.  As the oldest girl I was always very protective of my young brothers and sisters.  This one particular day, the high tide was coming in and we were making our way towards shore when this one suddenly an extremely powerful current came and swept us further into the deeper part of the Ocean.  My little brother Sione Tuita was right by me.  I was way taller then him then and I knew that if I didn’t grab and hang on to him, he’d be swept deeper into the Ocean and will probably drown. 

As young as I was at that time, probably 9 or 10, I’m always one to remain calm and never panics when danger hits.  I grabbed his shirt and lifted him up making sure that his nose was up in the air so that he can breath.  I walked under the sea with my eyes wide open against the current praying that I won’t be swept into a deeper area.  Also making sure I’m heading towards the shore.  All I wanted to do was protect and take care of my little brother and to make sure he can breath.   It felt like I walked forever under the sea with my brother dangling over my head as I held him up with one hand.  It felt like it took an eternity before the current calmed.  I still remember that day as if it was yesterday.  The situation that Pastor Lewis is in, I would never let that happen to any of my siblings.  I will do everything as long as I’m alive to keep them.  I don’t know what grave situation his sister is in.  She lives alone in a 2 bedroom apartment, she has a car, she works, why can’t she allow him to stay with her.  He cried when he first came to the house.  He didn’t want to leave his sister, but what can he do when she doesn’t want him. 

Every time I look at PJ, I can not help but think about the sister.  I can understand the mother being disabled but the sister is able, I would never do that to any of my brothers or sisters.  We’re all adjusting now and I can say that PJ is already part of our family.  He’s willing to help in everything that we do and when we tell him something to do he does it. We enjoy having him part of our family and he doesn't want to leave.  He's a work in progress.  We love PJ. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dandelion Effect and Facebook

While I rejoice in reading good and happy things happen to people on Facebook, every now and then I come across some very unkind and cruel post about others that turns my stomach.  These are people that I know, not on a personal level, but acquaintances and friends nevertheless.

Gossips, rumors and hearsays are like that of Dandelions being blown to the wind.  It can not be gathered back to the stem it was hewed from and by being spiteful and vicious does not do any good to self and to others.  These cruelties are coming from Relief Society Women that claims to love Christ and yet fail to show Christlike love to others.  Women who attends church every Sunday and partake of the Sacrament and yet forget about them once they leave the chapel.  I can't comprehend how hard it is to refrain and discipline tongues and hands from firing words of unkindness, rudeness and crudeness to others.  To think twice and to realize these people are someone's mother, sister, aunt etc etc etc.  And that we are all sisters in Zion.

Anger and Malice are dangerous Vices.  Truths sometimes get exaggerated and stretched.  There's always two or three parts to every story but when vents and squabbles become ugly and brutal, then there should be a rethinking  and readjusting of temper and rage.  Not to allow the savage self to take over and blunder others with words that are painful and hateful.

I love Dandelions.  I love blowing on them and seeing these gentle tufts float up in the air.  They may be weeds but hey are still beautiful and gentle.  We should be so gentle, loving and caring as women.  Be sensitive to others and their different situations.  Don't be judgmental and easily offended.  Be forgiving and understanding.  Live the golden rules.  Like unto Us.  Be more kind.  Be kind. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dear John

During Family Home Evening last night, I spied my two younger daughters Patiola and Mele whispering to each others.  I have a keen eye and ear for secret conversations and I didn't have to second guess because my first hunch is always right.  I just finished reading my missionary's email, when at the corner of my eye I noticed that Pati was showing her sister Mele her email on the phone.  Then I hear this:  "She doesn't know what she's missing out on."  Voices of disappointment and referring to a third person "she".  I didn't need to think to deeply to know they were talking about my son's girlfriend.

After FHE, I got the phone and sure enough her email was still open so I searched and saw his email to his sister.  She wants to be free of him and my heart just broke for him.  He may be engaged in the Lord's work but this had to hurt.  They had a plan and as young as they were, my son was set in his heart for her.  As for Ali, I was once in her shoes and with such a young heart, love fails to permeate through the mist of deep infatuation.  Out of sight and out of mind slowly creeps in and eventually you begin to see it wasn't love after all.  Or may it was love but can not with-stand absence and long-distance.  So I finally understand why she doesn't come around anymore, doesn't reply to our messages as if she just sadly disappears into thin air and that her presence in all our lives was but a sweet dream.  We all loved Ali so much.  She was as kind, sweet and gently as they come.  I know my son feels the sting of her rejection and so I wrote him an email:  

Son... I want to make sure that I am clear on what I'm saying to you Eld. Toki. What part of "I want to be free", coming form Ali don't you understand? Didn't I tell you before you left on your mission that you needed to end all ties with her. You both are so young and have plenty of time ahead so now we've come to this. Concentrate on your mission and let Ali know you understand and let it go. There is no room for this on your mission. People change. You've changed. Nothing stays the same. Trust in the Lord and move forward in the work Eld. Toki. Loose yourself in His service and your blessings will come back 100 times more. No one knows what the future will bring but put God first and the rest will follow. 

We love you Eld. Toki. Forgive me if I sound harsh, but I don't want you to slack off just because you're depressed about Ali. Lay it all behind you and you will see. The Lord will bless you. 

Much love,
Momma

Reading his email, I think he was in denial that he is actually getting a "DEAR JOHN" letter from his girlfriend just like so many other missionaries before him and will after him.  It happens.  He just didn't think it would happen to him and I didn't think it will too.  None of us saw this coming because we all thought the feeling were mutual between them and that she would wait for him.  Life happens but I know my son is strong.  Forward and Onward is what I pray he'll do.  It's just a darn shame that she won't be in our lives because Ali is one of a kind and such a beautiful soul.  

I told gma Peta last night not to text her anymore.  She always text Ali and bid her goodnight or let her know how much we miss and love her.  She's also sad but it's a bitter sweet experience for all of us.  We can not predict what the future brings but at the rate Eld. Toki is going, nothing but good and success awaits him.  I love my son. 



Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Lord Always works in Mysterious Ways

Daily miracles every day and I am learning to be grateful for everything whether little or big.  My son Eld. Toki always urges us to live the Doctrine of the Gospel and Pray always for the things that we want.  He said that you have to be specific when you ask the Lord for things.  You can't expect Him to read your mind.  You've got to come out and say it straight to Him and He will answer our prayers.  What an inspiration he is to us and he continues to tell us to have faith but above all work for the things that we want. Faith and work go hand in hand.

The ways of the Lord are incredible.  He loves all His children.  We all pray for the necessities of our lives and he answers according to our needs.  For months now we have been searching for a house to rent.  The rental that we are in have been put up for sale so we have to find another house.  I have prayed fervently for a place to house our family and I have always been comforted that when the time comes, we will get a place.  The day before yesterday, my husband found a listing from KSL on a house.  He called on it and we arranged to meet for a showing.  When we pulled up into the driveway, we saw that there was a For Sale sign on the yard.  I asked my husband:  "Are you sure this is for rent or for sale".  He said it was up for rent.

We met the sweet owners of this house.  An old couple Ken and Iris.  Talked, gave them our information and the next day they called and said, they have been praying about it and the Lord has told them to rent us the house.  Their intentions was to sell, but it didn't go through and they were shocked when we called for a rental.   A beautiful home and they have no end date on the lease.  We can rent as long as we want.  But what a miracle that is.  They didn't bother to check our credit which we told them is not good but everything else checked out with my work and our rental history from our current landlord.  Lisa Marie.  She's an angel too because with Sione's health and our late payments, she still put in a good words for us.  I was amazed at how unconditional the grace of a loving Heavenly Father is.  That even with our many flaws and terrible failures, He still reaches out to me, to my family and provide for us.  I can't comprehend His grace for it is so overwhelmingly sweet to me.  I am grateful and everything I have, I am indebted to Him.

When one door closes, again and again, another door opens.  There's always a reason for everything that happens and we have seen the Lord's hands in our lives time and time again.  It's fascinating to me and I've learned to be patient and to submissive to His will.  I feel that I've been put through the test of refinery to teach me to be more patient, more kind and to open my eyes and be aware of the needs of others that cross paths with me.  I love His ways.

I have one son in particular that is more like an angel to us.  He watches out for us and takes care of us.  My son Leli.  He can so easily choose to get himself into his own place, but he dwells with us so he can help us being well aware of the condition his father is in.  He provides for his sisters and we all love him so much.  God has been so good to us.  So good and we are forever grateful.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The struggle in real!

If anyone ask me how my new year is starting out, I'd muffled a laugh and say, "It's going but at a very very slow pace".  Reluctant to say, when one part of your life is unsuccessful, the other parts doesn't really count because it still leaves you feeling incomplete and dissatisfied.  Everything in my life is going well except for work  When work doesn't bring in the money that we need to pay our bills and survive, then burdensome and unnecessary worries take over my mind and pretty much sabotage the inner joy and peace one is suppose to have everyday.  Who has time for that? The main purpose of this life is to have JOY.  So every word I jot down here, is miraculously lightening my mood this instant.  This is why I love writing.  I'm sure by the end of this paragraph, I will already be feeling grateful for what I have and more focus on what steps I need to take next.

Blogging has become far and rare in between.  Sarcastically, my computer runs at the same pace with my life, very slow.  So what should take 15 minutes on the computer, may take up to 2 days to complete.  LOL.  I need a new computer and I need a break.  The struggle is real for sure but my faith in God gives me that hope and light at the end of the tunnel.  No matter how dark I feel in certain moments in my life, He pulls me through and assure me , things will turn out okay.  I just need to be more creative in ways to support my family for money is always the issue.  I might as well work for MacDonald instead of working for a law firm. 

I'm hanging on to this work mainly because of my husband's insurance.  At this point, he's got too many medication he needs and if I quit, I don't know what's going to happen but I definitely need a new job.  I am so thankful for my son Petueli.  This guy is just helping us left and right.  Everything he does, he does for his family and  I don't want him to keep helping us.  I want him to find a wife and move on with his own life but that doesn't seem it's going to happen any time soon.  He works 2 jobs and in-between jobs he sleeps, eats and once in every blue moon,  go somewhere.  He said he's content with exactly where his life is right now.   He's doesn't want to go to school and he doesn't have any big dreams he says which I'm pretty sure is an ABOMINATION before God given the talents this guy has.  LOL.  I love my Leli. 

Well, I forgot to mention I just got a second job doing Tongan translation.  That is starting to-day.  I'm excited to see how this job fares.  I applied back in November and just now able to start.  I am looking forward to a successful year this year of 2015.  Funny how when you think things are finally going right, there always will be something to give us a setback.  But that is what life is all about.  Moving forward.  Fighting and overcoming.  Yes we will prevail.