Sunday, March 4, 2018

Stake Conference and Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.  Woke up this morning and I am ashamed to say, contemplating whether I should take my family to church or not.  The snow storm lasted the whole night well into the early morning and it was a good excuse not to attend our Stake Conference.  I thought about the two driveways that needed to be shoveled.  Ours and our amazing neighbor Rita.  Conference starts at 10a.m and it was about 8:15.  So I got up and round the kids up.  All 4 of them and on to work we go. Mele Vasiti and I went to Rita's. Mahonrai, Papi and Beverly remained in our driveway.  We left our driveway at about 9:50am and we were late to Stake Conference.

As I offload momma Peta with her wheelchair.  Mele and Mo wheeled her in.  Papi and I drove in search of parking space.  We went around and found the first available parking outside the church ground and parked.  Papi was being her finicky self.  Wasn't satisfied with her clothes, her hair, her sweater and there was no time for that.  I urged her to leave the van and we hurried inside the chapel.  We sat separately as I had to sit with Momma Peta.  The chapel was already packed and the smaller chapel had to be opened up.  That's where the children sat with their older brother Petueli.  Leli looked so handsome with his white shirt and I thank God for Camilla.  I haven't seen him in a white shirt for a long time.  

Half way into the conference, I decided to come out and check on the kids just in case they're roaming the hallway and I'm sitting inside the church clueless.  As I came out, the Stake Assistant Secretary or Assistant Clerk came and called me by name telling me that I need to move my car.  I thought to myself that I made sure I checked for "NO parking" sign and saw none.  But that wasn't the case.  I came out and the Policeman said that I parked in the neighbor's driveway and they can't leave the house.  Oh my Gosh but I was so embarrassed.  How in the name of all that is holy did I miss that driveway.  I mean. How do you just drive up and drive in someone else's driveway.  The snow was thick and it looks like I was out in a street parking only.  Well I ran to my car and wanted to apologize to the neighbor but there was no one outside and the snow made it impossible for me to go up to their door and apologize.  So I waved at the car that was in the driveway apologetically and went and parked my car and went back to the Conference.  I don't think I can shock myself anymore with the things I do or intent to do.  It's always with good intentions thought by somehow it sometimes end up disastrous.  My children shook their heads in disbelief but Mele just laughed and said to me, "I am not surprised mom".  LOL

It was such an uplifting Conference as it always is.  So many things said that was pure inspiration and I was so glad I took my children and attended.  From the very first speaker Sis. Fie'eiki to the very last speaker Eld. Christensen.  
Sis. Fie'eiki "Find the angels in our lives and thank them for who they are". She talked about life before, during and after her mission.  How her Seminary teacher Sis. Savage had marked her as someone with "lesser testimony" and it offended her because she was always late to seminary and absent.  Sis. Savage assigned her to study about the Atonement and that is how she gained a personal testimony of Christ and the Atonement. 
Bro. J. Warren from Jamaica talked about how his mom was converted to the church.  She went to a friend's baptism to stop him from being baptized and ended up being interested in the church and eventually got baptized.  
Maile Tavake:  Gave an amazing talk about life and how we should be ready and prepare all the time.  She divested the word BUSY: B- Buried U-Under S-Satan's Y-Yoke.  Too busy to pray, ponder, read attend church meetings and the temple.  She asked:  "Where do we go to connect with God?" The world as the world is getting Louder, Brighter and Busier.  
Sis. Christensen:  "We simply can not stay spiritually the same.  It is not good enough.  If we remain the same, we are doomed to fail.  What worked before will not work now.  We need to strengthen our spirituality.  We are being attack on every side.  Satan and his followers are out in full force holding nothing back.  

I'm so glad I made the decision to take my family to Stake Conference.  My kids really thought we were just going to chill at home.  They already know me better.  My Papi didn't have a good day to-day and I pray for her every day.  I'm so worried about her but she has to know that if she wants to succeed in this life, it is in the palm of her hands to do that.  I love her so much and miss her tremendously.  When we came back from Conference, she just wanted to run away by going back to her house in Orem.  She wants to shut herself off from reality and that's not a good thing.  I pray for her so much and I have faith that Papi will eventually come out of this but it will be a long process.  

My son Mo as we conversed in the car today, said to me:  "Sometimes we need to be lost in order to be found again."  This is regarding a statement that I made to him saying:  "Mo, I think you're starting to lose your ways."  I do the best that I can for my children but I can be better.  There's so many things I can do to be a better mother and I need to do those things so I can help my children.  I love them all and even though I pray for an easier life, I know that is depriving them of building their characters through trial and hardships.  There isn't one person in this world that's exempt from trials and hardships.  Not one.

Friday, February 2, 2018

She's Home

Her suitcase lay opened on the floor as she sat staring at it.  My heart hurts so much for her.  She said:  "I just want to burn these clothes".  Pain edged her lovely face and I can honestly say I can feel her pain.  I yearn to give her the world.  To give her comfort and make everything okay.  Reality, however, deals differently with our circumstances.  Pati has been suffering out there on her mission and yesterday morning, she was told to pack her bags as she was going home.
So I unpacked her suitcase for her.  Every clothing I picked up and hung up gutted me.  I was glad I'm doing this for her.  The pain she must going through.  I wept as I embraced her for the first as she cryingly approached us.  The devastation she showed as she kept sobbing and saying:  "I am so sorry Mom".  I kissed her and whispered to her: "You have nothing to be sorry about.  We are so proud of you and you did the best that you can." Her body was weakened with her pain and grief".  It dawned on me that she had no idea this was coming.  Disappointment and anger rose once again in my chest.  "Is there a more gentle way to deal with this?  The blow of that realization was like a dagger to my chest.  My baby hurts so bad and I can't do anything about it.
Every one was full of joy but her quiet disposition speaks louder then any joyful noise for this day.  Now and then her face turns upside down with sadness.  She's beautiful inside and out and I love this daughter so very much.  Every wound in her heart is raw and fresh.  She bleeds with all sorts of emotions ranging from sadness, grief, disappointment, frustrations and betrayal.  I just wanted to take it all upon me.  To take it all away from her and to give her peace. At one turn, she frowns sadly and said to me:  "I just want to be a missionary mom".
Loving family surrounded us all day long.  At about 6:40pm we headed out to the stake center for her to be officially released from her mission.  I sat with her in Pres. Tausinga's office and still her face didn't lit up with joy as my Papi is such a delightful and joyful girl.  Her face was clouded with disappointment still.  Pres. Tausinga asked her a few questions about the places she served and her companions.  About her Mission Presidents and her experiences on her mission.  He then pronounced her release from her mission.  She remained quietly when Pres. Tausinga asked her if she has anything to say.  The words were slow to come but her sadness was apparent.  She uttered:  "I just feel like a failure.  I only had 8 months left as she sobbed".  Pres. Tausinga then went on to comfort her by reassuring her that she had 10 long months to serve her mission.  She had an opportunity to serve and she gave it her all.  I then said to her:  "Papi, you don't have to have a Missionary batch to be a missionary.  Every member is a missionary."  01/01/2018
Time heals all and as the night progress, her cousin Ange came and spend time with her and her sister spend the night on her bed with her.  It was a goodnight and she fell asleep.  The following morning I couldn't stop her from talking about her missionary experiences.  We went to Zumba and she takes a couple round around the church running.  She has developed a love for running on her mission and it seems it'll stick with her.  We'll take it one day at a time. 
We went to the hospital to visit Fusi.  Fusi is pregnant and going through some rough time with her health.  Papi was amazed at the transformation that took place in Fusi and Leveni's family.  She was thrilled for them.  She continues to see how God works miracles in the lives of others and especially those closest to her.  "I can't believe how much Fusi and Leveni has changed for the better.  They look like they are at peace with themselves".  She is happy with the change that she is seeing at home.  I love my daughter.  She's so precious to me. I pray that she will soon come to see the how significant that time that she served for herself especially and also for the people she served out in Lubbock, Texas. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Pure Joy and Raw Honey

I saw her dashing to the mailbox squealing and giggling.  She pulled out a little box and I'm thinking it must be something prime and astounding.  To my surprise, she opened it and it was Raw Honey!  What?  How can Raw Honey make her so happy with intense excitement?  LOL.  I shook my head and another thought clicked.  If simple things such as Raw Honey makes someone happy, what other things would make people happy?  Truly happy.

I thought about the answers and concluded that while some are happy with the simple little things in life, there are others who aren't.  Raw honey just won't cut it.  A symbolic form of the small and simple things in life.

Money, fame and fortune are the goals of many.  There was a time in my life where I thought I'd be happier if I have more money, a bigger house, a nicer car etc etc etc.  I later found out that none of these material things really matters.  What really matters are not things but people.  Family, friends and people in general.  Pure joy comes from serving people, caring for people and loving people.

 One of my dearest friends once told me that every year, they gift their one and only daughter on her birthday, some very exorbitant jewelries.  How nice is that.  My mind scrambled to the very few cheap earrings I  owned, bought directly from Walmart for $9.99  I lack the material things to bestow my children.  What little money we have, we buy the pure necessities and pay our bills.  With any extra, we sometimes afford to go and watch a movie or eat out.  I wondered if jewelries or money will make my children happier?  Perhaps, but that's not what I want my children to base their happiness on.

As a woman and a mother, my joy comes full circle when I see my children work for a living and use their talents and knowledge to build their lives at the same time build others up.  When I see them walk uprightly before God.  When they understand that there is a plan that they need to follow in order to return back home to God.  That everything in this life is being gifted to us by God.  The "Attitude of Gratitude" is what brings me joy and I pray that my children will always receive and give with that Attitude.  The Attitude of Gratitude.  There's no greater joy to me then seeing my children walk in the path of righteousness and to never ever make things more important then people. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I can't sleep as I am sick with worries over my precious Sis. Toki.  I'm usually one that crushes any evidence of worry instantaneously but I find that as of tonight, my defenses are low and I'm almost overwhelmed with it. 
I came home last night to be told that our Bishop Halaeua came over to talk to both of us about our Sis. Toki.  Since I wasn't home, he'll come the next morning at 9am to talk to both of us.  Now what?  She was taken to the ER because she was constipated badly.  She wrote a funny funny email to me about how she's dealing with that "crap" right now.  I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I read her email.  Leave it to Sis. Toki to turn it into something hilarious. 
It's 1:20 a.m. and I'm in-front of my computer frantically trying to figure out what could be the news that our Bishop bears about her.  I'm a mess right now because I'm thinking way ahead.  What if her test results came back and she has cancer or something?  What if it's something else that will have her come home early from her mission?  What could it be?  Why did our Bishop has to wait to talk to both of us, instead of just telling it to my husband?  What if?  What if?  What if?
I can not bear the wait until 9 in the morning.  I'm dying with worry.  I love my Sis. Toki.  I pray that everything will be okay and I need to be hopeful and have faith that everything will be alright.  I always have to be strong and I'm weary of that expectation. 
Many many times in my life I've come face to face with circumstances that makes me worry.  I learned that worrying was such a waste of time and energy and it doesn't help make things any better.  I've always dealt promptly with it and not let it get to me.  Now, I'm just drowning myself in it. 
This evening after Pres. Monson's funeral, I came home and took a nap.  I dreamt and saw Mahonrai came to visit us and he was packing his things to leave back to Arizona.  I cried so hard because I miss him.  I was awaken by my own sobbing and tears.  I haven't had a dream like that for so long now. 
I love my daughter Sis. Toki.  She is the sweetest girl out of all my girls.  So loving, caring and so spiritual.  My heart hurts so much and my mind is in torment.  Morning doesn't come soon enough for me. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Senior Prom: We're NEVER going to wear dresses like these AGAIN!

Senior Prom was this past Saturday.  There was a lot of discussion over my two girls Prom dresses.  I allowed them to both pick their own dresses hoping they would pick to be modest and a little reserved.  Lord knows we've taught them modesty their whole life. Well, once the amazon box was delivered at the door and I looked into my Mele Vasiti's phone, I knew she had order the one dress I didn't want her to order.  I was so disappointed but I held my tongue and allow them to wear what they chose.

Then there was 16 year old Beverly, who is as stubborn as a bed's spring board.  She chose a skin tight body suit  like dress with spaghetti straps.  I was going to get both of them some kind of shawl or something but we just didn't have the budget for it. So, we ended up with them going as they are, skin and all.  My eldest daughter remarked: "This is double standard mom.  How could you let them walk out of the house looking like this?" I thought to myself, boy will I be judged by a lot of people because it is indeed double standard.  That I teach modesty in dress and yet, allows my girls to dress so immodest.  I remembered when my eldest went to her own Senior Prom. Her dress was modest and she had a little jacket to cover her strapless gown but I got the shock of my life when I saw her remove her jacket and took her Sr. Prom picture baring her chest!  I was furious.  So through the years, I loosen the rope I have around my children and give them room , especially the younger girls, to choose.

They admitted to having so much fun at the dance but they also came in and admitted to me that same night, that they'll "never were dresses like these again!"  My heart sang hearing their admissions.  They said they were uncomfortable and self conscious through out the whole dance and they admitted that their dresses were immodest and  inappropriate.  Both of their boyfriends did not agree with their dresses too and when their brother Mahonrai saw their dresses he exlaimed: "Why show so much skin!"  Don't you guys know that "Modest girls are the Hottest".  LOL.

Being a mother brings me so much joy.  My children are my world and they complete me. It's not easy being a mom especially when face with decisions and choices your children make.  It's as if every choice they make defines the type of mother I am. There's a lot of self blame and finger pointing at myself.  But, I also have to realize that I can teach my children all the things that I need to teach them, yet, they are the ones that will have the final saying in the choices that they make.  They can either choose to obey or disobey.

This was Mele's last High School dance.  Bev will have 2 more years and I already know she will make good choices when it comes to Prom Dresses.  These two are a handful. I love them so much.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Life goes on

Can't believe it's Easter already.  Pretty soon April will be done with and then going into May.  March and April has been such busy months for my family.  3 family members left the home.  Hubby to Tonga.  Pati on a mission and Mahonrai to AZ for school.  I miss my family and can't get over how quickly time has gone by.  Yesterday they were all under one roof.  To-day, they are all over the place.  I love my family and words just can't express how much.  I just hope they know how much they mean to me.

April have 3 birth dates.  Mahonrai turns 21, Beverly turned 16 and Leli turned 28.  What a life this is.  Feels like a movie and there's no turning back.  I'm in awe with the mystery of time.  How fast it comes and where it goes.  I guess the only sure moment is the "present".  This is where we actually breath and live.  This "now".  This "moment".  My children were just babies a few years ago.  Now they're all grown up and leaving home.  I long for them and yet I'm consoled with the thought that I did the same things too when I was a young woman.  Left home and start my own path.  I only pray that where ever this life takes them, that they will find joy in the journey and happiness in their own homes.  

This world is swiftly reeling by.  Time is precious and priceless.  Need to always make it count.  Every moment, every second and every hour is a gift.  My two youngest girls are relentless and head strong when it comes to dating.  I guess I shouldn't complain too much about them because I was the same way when I was their age.  The only exception is, I had my head on straight when I dated.  These two seems to go all out.  Got me to drive to Idaho and back in one night.  Got me to be a push-over when it comes to phone time. 

This Easter Day, my cup runneth over with love.  Love of God and Christ as they are the reason why we're all here in this amazing life.  Grateful for the gift of Atonement and the Resurrection.  That we don't have to die in our sins if we repent and that we are all going to live again after Death.  Death is but a path we all have to go through to get to the real thing.  Eternal Life.  That's where all our happy ever afters will be.  Life goes on after death.  What a miracle and a blessing.  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

From the mouth of Babes

You never win when you argue with a toddler.   My 3 year old granddaughter is always up to mischief and you'd think after having 7 children, I'd developed the patience of Job.  I thought I had but now I realize I haven't.  There's a need to though because my granddaughter said to me, while in the heat of arguing back and forth over what we each need to do that,  "You need to be patient.  You need to be patient grandma".  I couldn't believe my ears.  What does a 3 year old know about "being patient" anyway?  I was speechless and my mind was reeling.  I need to change!

Selamafi is 3 going on 30.  She's a burst of energy and as strong as an ox just like her father when he was her age.  Our house comes alive when the two of them are over.  Selamafi and Pitisi.  I'm at awe with the amount of energy they have and it's exhausting just watching the two of them.  They are here and there and everywhere.  Little feet running non stop and little voices squealing with joy as they brighten our home with laughter and life.   Whenever it's quiet and still, I know they are up to something.

That "something" ranges from all of these:
     * wetting the toilet paper in the bathroom sink
     * pouring any lotion they find all over their body
     * smearing food all over the table
     * tearing up important papers into pits and pieces
     * spilling left over peanuts out of the can and spreading it all over the rug
     * throwing all the pillows for my couches on the floor and jumping on it 
The list goes on...

An inevitable conclusion is drawn and that is, I need to be fit to keep up with these two gals.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, I haven't even started my "new year" resolution and it's almost the end of February.  Now, I find that I can't keep putting it off.  My granddaughters need to me to be at my best energy and I need to take care of myself.  Not only physically, but mentally and spiritually.
"You need to be patient", says a lot of things about me and who I have become.  As much as I love life, if I don't take care of myself, I wouldn't be living life to the fullest as we're suppose to.

Being a grandmother is so wonderful.  I love being a mother but I have more fun being a grandmother.  Perhaps it's because I don't have them 24/7.  LOL.  To be honest I'm exhausted when they're over but when they leave, I miss their little faces and the sound of their sweet voices.  The Sunday before this past Sunday, the ever so onary Pitisi had to take my face in her two little soft and gentle hands and shake it.  She was a bit frustrated that I didn't understand what she was trying to say to me.  After a few attempts to tell me, "Mom, the dost."  I thought she said "those".  We were at their aunt Nini's farewell eating over at the other grandparents house and I was sitting by the sliding door with my back to it.  Tisi wa on my lap and she kept pointing to the outside, "The dost, the dost is going to eat me!"  Then she reaches with her little hands to the right side of her neck and open her little mouth to show me white little teeth as she imitates the act of biting.  Like someone is trying to bite her neck. I thought that was weird.  Then I figured it out.  She's actually saying, "ghost".

What the heck?  Who's been scaring this little girl.  I had to open the sliding door and walked with her outside to show her, there is no "ghost" and she doesn't need to be scared.  "See, there's no ghost". She said, "yes, it's over dere"  pointing to the other side of the yard.  "No" I said, :there's nothing there".  Then she points to the other side of the yard where there were logs lying on the ground, "there, the dost is there!"  I took her and showed her, they were only logs and not ghosts.  She seemed to be satisfied so we return to the house.  It was just so funny that she had to emphasize her "dost" by shaking my face with her little hands and acting out the biting with her mouth.

There's so many things I want my grandchildren to be.  I just want the best for them.  The most important of all is that I want them to know that God lives and that He watches over them.  That they are never alone in this world no matter where they are or whatever situation they are in.  That with God, nothing is impossible.  I learn so much about myself by being a grandmother and I have been reminded by my beloved Selamafi that I need to "patient".  I'll never forget it.