Toga's Ramblings

I'm a Samoan girl named Toga. Thanks for that, Dad.

Monday, September 28, 2015

confusion and delay

Simione loves Thomas the Train. In the cartoon there's the conductor of the entire railway and his name is Sir Topham Hat. He's always talking to the trains scolding them because they've caused "confusion and delay"
This past weekend, the start of General Conference began. We had the General Women's session and it was awesome, as usual. :) I had been praying all week for help as I spiritually and mentally prepare for the conference. I've always had the desire to have more children and this past week, my prayers both at home and at the temple have been for more children.
During conference, there was a video shown of  a sister who had not had an opportunity to have her own children, but she was a Mother. She was surrounded with her nieces and nephews and the primary children she taught at church. She taught them, nurtured them, loved them and cared for them just like a mother would.
Of course, when I'm watching this story, I'm thinking "Uh, is this me?! Is this Heavenly Father telling me that I won't have anymore children?" Truth is, I don't know. I don't know if Heavenly Father is going to bless us with more children. Am I causing confusion and delay? Is my lack of faith and knowledge in my Father's plan for me causing the confusion and delay in my "moving on" from thoughts of having more children of my own? I don't know.
What I do know, is that I need to be patient. As much as I know that sometimes Heavenly Father does not answer prayers right away, it doesn't stop me from wanting an answer now. What I do know is that He answers them. Maybe not today or tomorrow or maybe even next week or next month, but He will. He always does. That is my test, I guess. Having faith in my Father in Heaven. Having faith that He will answer my prayers. Maybe that video was not meant for me. As I'm typing "faith", I think of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk; faith, hope, and love.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

tender mercies

Each day I recognize the tender mercies placed upon me by my Father in Heaven. Yesterday was no different. As you know, I made a commitment to attend the temple this week. No matter what. My plan was to go yesterday/last night when Alma got home from work. I was preparing myself all day; spiritually and physically. Alma texted me saying this Saturday the last session would be at 9a because of the Women's broadcast that afternoon and then closed the following Saturday due to conference. I knew we had discussed me attending a Saturday morning session, but I didn't realize he had already mentally prepared for me to attend at that time. I had been preparing myself to attend today (yesterday). I told him I wanted to go tonight and he was obviously okay with it. yes!
I realized during my "preparation" our youth had practice at the chapel for the upcoming 150 year celebration of the church coming to Laie. A practice I wanted to attend to show my support for the girls and for the presidency. It was at the same time as the temple session. I started to re think my temple attendance and almost decided to forgo my session and go to the practice. Almost. I didn't want to but I could once again feel myself making an excuse as to why I couldn't go to the temple. This time it was to magnify my calling, so that's not bad, right? I text the sisters to let them I wasn't going to attend and slowly but surely each one of them except the president and the 2nd counselor backed out. I was feeling pretty bad about myself, but I still wasn't willing to cancel my temple trip. Shortly after, Alice (YW pres) text and said she just received an email from the stk stating practice is cancelled. hallelujah!!!!
Simione woke up from his nap yesterday with a fever :( All day I have been monitoring his fever, hydrating him, and giving meds as needed. He is still eating and acting the same and that is a HUGE PLUS. Alma gave him a blessing before he left to work and instantly my fears were washed away. When it came time for me to leave for my session, Simione's fever was still present, but low. Alma was there taking care of him and so I felt just fine going.
What a wonderful session I had!!!! God lives! He loves us! Jesus Christ is truly our Savior. The love they have for me overwhelms me. My heart is full.
When I think back about my day, I am so grateful for all His tender mercies leading me to His house to do His work and to feel His presence so much more. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves me. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His atonement. I know that families can be together forever if we keep His commandments and keep the covenants we make with Him in His house and each week when we partake of the sacrament. Hallelujah! ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I've got a new attitude...or at least I'm working on it.

I've been struggling with my attitude about living in Hawaii these past few months. Sad to say, but this "paradise" is not really "paradise" to me. All I can see are the negative parts of living out here; HOT, because of the heat, I've got this permanent sweat stache (totes sexy...not), the mosquitos, flies, roaches, ants, gnats, centipedes, millipedes, and any other disgusting, annoying creepy crawling thing, everything is at least 45 min drive away, my family is not here...
That was just my list for ONE day. sheesh! No wonder I am unhappy! My attitude STINKS!
My favorite part of the day is going to bed knowing the day is over. I am basically just living out here and trying to get it over with until February when we get to go home for a visit. That's just my short term goal. My long term goal is basically the same; get each day over with until Alma graduates from college. My attitude is going to be the death of me.
I'm not so sure I want to live out here anymore. I'm definitely not sure I want to live in Hawaii forever. Alma is on a completely different page. He's set. For him, this is it. He has ZERO desire to move back to the mainland. ZERO. Truth is, that makes me nervous and sad. i"m hoping with all my heart one of two things happen: 1. We have more children and my sadness for my son being without friends will dissipate/or he makes friends  OR 2. Heavenly Father sends us back to WA because that's where he wants us to live.  Well really I have way more than 2 things on my "I hope" list, but these 2 will be fine.
After having Simione, I never pictured our lives without my family in WA. I never pictured Simione growing up without his cousins. I miss them. I miss the noise. I miss the laughter. I even miss the tears and the constant fighting. I don't want to live with mom anymore. I want to move back to WA and have out own house and still be able to see the kids everyday.
I was recently called to the YW as the Beehive advisor. Super excited. Last night I went to the volleyball homecoming game at the HS to support a few of our YW that were playing. Kahau and I went together. Alice came after work. I'm really glad I went. Kehau and I have a goal to go to the girls' games whenever and as often as we can to support them. We want to magnify our callings as best we can. I'm really glad we went. I was reminded why people love living in Laie and why those who leave the island always want to come back. The amount of support and school/community spirit these people have is amazing. People young and old wearing KHS shirts chanting and screaming for their team, holding hands and singing with pride their school alma mater. It's insane! I don't even know my own HS alma mater. I asked Alma if they learned the song in choir or if it's specifically taught in a class as school. He says no. They just grew up hearing it and eventually caught on.
Sitting in the hot as heck gym, packed into the bleachers like a can of sardines, drenched in sweat, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe living out here isn't too bad.
That was just last night. Let's see how it goes today. Wish me and my attitude good luck ;)

Monday, September 21, 2015


What a difference today has been! All because I decided to pray in the morning and read my scriptures. I'm also convinced it's because I flat ironed my hair yesterday and I also feel pretty because of it. lol
Son and I went to the Kahuku library this afternoon for about an hour so he can play. It was really nice. He played with the puzzles and blocks while I relaxed and tried to read up on my personal progress book. Sis. Ava asked me to take over the YW personal progress portion since they do not have anyone called for it yet. Why not, right? I'm excited for it. I hope I don't drop the ball. hehe.
Kehau and I, along with Simione will be going to the volleyball game tonight at the high school to support a few of our YW who are playing. We came home early from the library so I can fix dinner before we leave for the game. Supo moa and ulu is what's for dinner. yummy!!!
I"m feeling a big up beat today. Nothing extraordinary has happened, but I feel good. I'm positive it's because of my prayer and scripture reading today. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I not stay the course when I know it works?! smh. Anyhow, I'm on it, I'm going to try my hardest to stay on it this time.
This morning Simione asked me if it was February yet. lol He knows we're going home in Feb for Max's baptism. I don't know who's more excited, him or me. haha. I'm secretly hoping our days at the library will turn into meeting someone son's age and they'll play together and become friends. I guess that's what all moms wish for their kids, right? To have friends. One thing at a time, Toga. It'll happen.
I've gotta get back on my exercising. These days I'm feeling more and more like a busted can of biscuits...mmmm...biscuits. hahaha.
Tomorrow I think we'll go back to the library, but a bit earlier and maybe afterwards make our way to the bike path. We'll see.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

stay the course...

As long as I've been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I am STILL amazed when I attend my church meetings and the lesson or talk is speaking directly to me. I LOVE IT!
Today's sabbath day started off peacefully for me. Sacrament meeting starts at 8a and usually every Sunday we're rushing out the door because we're late. I'm never really satisfied with how I look because I decided sleeping in was more important that waking up early enough to fix the bush on my head. Not today people. Not.
Last night I spent reading my lesson and hanging out with my boys. I gave Simione a shower, he brushed his teeth, we said family prayer and put him to bed. Daddy watched the Kahuku vs. Miliani football game while I continued with my lesson prep. I set my alarm for 5a because I was going to fix my hair today.  lol.  Surprisingly, I woke up 10 mins before my alarm went off! I got up, got myself ready and at 7a I woke my boys up. My morning prep was nice and peaceful. I kept singing the primary song, "Teach Me to Walk in The Light" and "Do You Know Who You Are?".  We made it to church just as Bishop finished announcing the opening song/opening prayer.
It really does make a difference for my day, especially my sabbath day when I prepare the night before. The difference I felt today from all other Sundays is huge!
The sacrament program was nothing short of amazing. I was reminded of what I need to do to remain in "The Light" Thank you YW presidency for strengthening my testimony of my Savior. Thank you for reminding me and encouraging me to stay the course.
I made a commitment today that I will keep the sabbath day holy. I was not perfect. But I got back up and I'm trying again.
During my scripture reading today, I came across Mosiah 5:13, "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?"
I thought to myself, yes! Toga! How can you feel close to the Savior and the Lord, if you aren't serving Him? If you aren't participating in His Gospel?!? I really do LOVE when scriptures set off the lightbulb in my head :)
Here's to me staying the course and strengthen my relationship with my Father in Heaven! xo

Saturday, September 19, 2015

weak foundation

I've been struggling with maintaining my spiritual strength. I was doing so good at one point; daily scripture reading and prayers, keeping the sabbath day holy and making them more spiritually infused, positive thinking. These days, I'm struggling to do all of these things. My family has been doing pretty good with our weekly FHE. I'm happy about that. We do say our nightly family prayers, but my heart and mind struggle to stay at peace and focused on the Spirit. The temple is so close to my home. I can see it from the house. I've gone to the temple 2x's since moving here in April. Everyday I struggle with my attitude towards my son, my husband and living here in Laie.  I even struggle reading anything spiritual. I have to force my eyes and my mind to focus on reading the words. :(
Last night a blog caught my eye on FB titled, What to do if you are feeling separated from God. Or something like that. That's how I've been feeling. I feel distant from God. I know He is here. He is waiting for me to grab His hand. Anyhow, quickly read through the blog to get to the part where the writer speaks directly to the Adults. Of course, the first thing on the writer's list is Go to the temple.
A lightbulb did not go off, but more of a "duh" moment. Toga, take your behind to the temple.
This afternoon two sister missionaries knocked on our door. They were going around the area meeting the families in their ward. I invite these sweet sisters in and we begin with small talk; where are you from, what brought you to HI, blah, blah, blah. I tell the sisters I go the Samoan Ward in Hauula. They looked a bit bummed but were still happy I go to church haha.
Before they leave, they asked if they could share a spiritual thought. I, of course, say yes. Helaman 5:12. I recognize the scripture before they even read it.
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that is is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall"
The sisters ask me what have done or am doing in my personal life to strengthen my "foundation". Instant tears. My foundation is weak. There are cracks in it. It's barely holding me up. I know what I need to do to strengthen my foundation. To fill in the cracks. These are the very things that I have been struggling with lately.
The sisters asked me what I will commit myself to doing this week to help strengthen my foundation...
This week I am committing to attending the temple. No matter what. I will not give in to the adversary. I will reach out and take my Heavenly Father's hand. Thank you for today. Thank you Father for sending these sisters to remind me that you are ALWAYS near.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

baby fever

I want another baby. I want Simione to have a sibling; boy or girl. Doesn't matter. Alma and I have been trying to get pregnant for what seems like forever, without any success...obviously. I'm working on my fitness, hoping that is the only thing holding me from getting pregnant. My heart still sinks a little each month, when the crimson tide rolls in (lol) because it means I am not pregnant...again.
Any changes with my menstrual period, I used to get excited, thinking, hey maybe I'm pregnant, but my gut always tells me different and it's always right. boo!
So I wait. I exercise, eat right, and stock up on pads. My time. Our time, will come. He will bless us again with another child. Simone will have a sibling. Toga and Alma will have another child to raise. We will be okay. How do I know? My whole life is full of proof that my Heavenly Father is mindful of me and answers prayers. How can I NOT know?

friends. How many of us have them?

I wish with all my heart, Simione had someone to play with on a daily basis. My boy loves to play with other kids, but our street has zero kids. Actually, our street has plenty kids but they aren't outside playing. I would randomly see them playing at their front doors when I walk/drive by and I wonder, where the heck did you guys come from? Where have you guys been? Simone would be happy to play with you guys!
Our neighbor across the street has a children and a son his age, but she doesn't let them come outside to play very often because the street is too busy with cars, so they play inside or in their backyard mostly. I don't blame her. I do the same. Our neighbor two houses down also has a son same age as Simione, but they were moving to town and truth is, I haven't seen these ladies and their kids since that ONE day we happen to all be outside playing. My heart skipped a beat, when I saw the kids that day. Alma and I were so excited, he immediately called them over to come see Simione's pet mo'o and then that was it! They played together for the next hour or so. It was nice. Alma, of course, knew the parents, I introduced myself and it was good. Should I have gone over the next day or days and taken Simione to play with them? I feel like I missed the boat for my son. The friendship boat. :(
What's hard is I'm not close to being a social/friend making person. I don't mind being alone. Doing stuff alone. But I'm afraid this type of person I am, has made it increasingly difficult for my own son to make friends. I'm thankful Alma is here. I'm thankful he is NOT like me. In fact, he is the complete opposite. He likes to socialize. He prefers it. I don't. Sometimes I'll be game to going out and socializing, but mostly I prefer to stay home and watch TV. I know, it's lame.
I just had this whole thing pictured in my mind. We would move out to Laie. I would get a calling in church and meet people, Simione would get into headstart and make new friends...blah,blah,blah...
Well, I just got a calling. In fact, it was this past Tuesday I met with the Bishop and I'm getting sustained Sunday. I still don't really know anyone at church. Simone did not qualify for pre school at Laie Elementary (we made too much money last year) and that is the only way he would get accepted. It's a low income program and we cannot afford the other preschool in Hauula, even though he got accepted, and so he has zero friends.
Maybe this is an opportunity for Simione and I to cultivate our relationship? The longer I stay with him, the more I appreciate him and find myself loving him more and more which I did not think it was possible for me to love this boy any more than I already do. He makes my heart smile. Regarding my calling, I just figured the Lord was still prepping me for whatever calling He wanted to give me.
I do have friends, who are my family. They live down the street. They are amazing women and I love hanging out with them. Mostly we just workout together in silence, because none of us can talk/breathe while working out. lol I need to work on my relationship with them. They are the ones I can see myself hanging out with often and learning from and getting close with. Simone will/can make friends whenever he wants. He goes to church. He's still getting used to primary, but he'll get there. As I type this, I am realizing that we are going to be okay. My son is going to be okay. I still can't help but miss my home and my family. Especially the kids. I never had to worry about Simione not having anyone to play with. *sigh* I guess we all have to step out of our comfort zone at some point, right?