Our hearts connect us by the love we share for one another. Some fellowshipped into our sisterhood by friendship & others by blood. Whatever life puts us through, we do our best to stick together. We are determined through it all to uplift one another. Side by Side we can not and WILL NOT FAIL OR FALL. Through it all we vow to rescue one another. By the love that binds us we are knitted tightly together. These are the women I call My Extraordinary Sisters!
If your a sister going through this or know of someone who might be, please share this msg..
Learning to Cope with Infertility
By Carolynn R. Spencer
How personal revelation, insight from the scriptures, and the prophetic word have sustained us.
I sat in the temple seeking peace, but there it was again: the first commandment given to Adam and Eve, and to all of us, to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). I wanted nothing more than to obey this commandment. I had a firm testimony that “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Why, then, could I not get pregnant? My husband, Tim, and I had been married in the temple and felt ready in every way to welcome a child into our family, but even with the most advanced medical intervention, our hopes remained unfulfilled and our prayers seemed to remain unanswered as the years passed by.
The career I had begun without much thought upon graduation from college moved forward, and at a certain point I realized that from the world’s standpoint I had achieved success: a beautiful home, a flourishing career, a comfortable lifestyle. I thought how ironic it was that those things didn’t matter much to me; my dreams all centered on raising an eternal family—which, in my mind, included children. Although my close friends and family knew of my anguish, others in my ward and extended family didn’t. It was awkward to respond to questions regarding when we would start our family and devastating to hear hurtful comments regarding our selfishness in putting our careers before having children. Others tried to compensate; unfortunately, that wasn’t always helpful either.
I learned to dread few days as much as I did Mother’s Day. On many other days, I cringed when I listened to women complain about their pregnancies or their children or the responsibilities of mothering. Didn’t they realize how blessed they were? Didn’t they realize that others longed to be in their shoes? Month after month, and then year after year, Tim and I rode waves of hope, only to feel them come crashing down when our dreams failed to materialize.
I tried not to give in to despair. I accepted invitations to baby showers for friends or loved ones and rejoiced in their happiness and good fortune. Despite being told by a doctor after surgery that it was impossible for me to have a child, I never gave up; my patriarchal blessing was too specific about the children who would one day be “born” to me. However, in my darkest moments of sorrow, I couldn’t help but wonder why babies seemed to come easily to some women and not to others.
I wondered if Heavenly Father felt I was in some way unworthy or undeserving. Could He not entrust me with one of His children? Was His love for me somehow less than for my sisters and friends who were blessed to become mothers? I began to search the scriptures and soon found others, beloved daughters of God, who had shared my pain.
Lessons from Women in the Scriptures
From Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who “was barren; she had no child” (Genesis 11:30), I learned that miracles do happen, that nothing is “too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18:14), and that the Lord’s timing is critical. I learned that even when we think the time has completely passed for a miracle to occur in our lives, it still can: “For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:2).
From Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, I learned I needed to keep trusting in the words of my patriarchal blessing, recognizing that blessings aren’t always fulfilled in mortality or in the ways we expect. I learned that if my prayers weren’t answered right away, I still needed to keep praying. I could also ask loved ones to pray with and for me. Rebekah had been blessed that she would “be … the mother of thousands of millions” (Genesis 24:60). Despite this blessing, she too had no children until “Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:21).
From Elkanah’s wives, Hannah and Peninnah, I learned some unexpected lessons (1 Samuel 1:1–21). I instantly empathized with Hannah because of her childlessness, but I soon realized she wasn’t the only one suffering. I was moved by Hannah’s pain in her barrenness, Elkanah’s pain in Hannah’s unhappiness, and Peninnah’s pain in her loneliness, which despite her many children must have been great as she understood she was less loved by her husband than was Hannah. From Hannah and Peninnah, I understood that we each have trials and challenges; we each have secret sorrows and pain. Was Hannah’s pain in her barrenness greater than Peninnah’s pain in her loneliness? I didn’t know. I couldn’t say. But I suddenly realized that I wouldn’t trade trials with Peninnah. For me, it was a revelation.
I learned from Hannah’s despair that it makes no sense to let gratitude for the blessings we do have be crowded out by sorrow over the one thing we lack. I wondered if Hannah recognized how blessed she was in her marriage, despite her childlessness. Her husband, Elkanah, wondered the same: “Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8).
No matter what religion you are or if you rather not have a religion at all. Changes happen because that's life and at least to me, change is that force of endless forward or backward motion that moves dependant on the choices we make.. I've been looking alot at how I've been converted to the restored gospel and what Christ means to me.. Which my common answer has always been, he means the world to me. However like I've blogged countless times before, my actions often prove the opposite due to my weaknesses.
So I remembered a talk given by Elder Bednar "The Powers of Heaven" Click here for the Talk As he testified about his father being a non-member for years. Elder Bednar shared his constant asking his father "Why won't he get baptized?" When everyone assumed by his actions that his father was a member.
Then his father finally asked "Why should I join the church that testifies to be this & that but leaders still on a weekly basis have to beg the men to fullfill their calls & covenants, what makes the men of your church any different from me or other men who aren't members to have me want to join?"
Elder Bednar went on to say it wasn't fair of his father to judge the men for their weakness. But for Elder Bednar he knew his father made a great point & because of his father Elder Bednar has always tried to live up to his covenants. Noting that we, both men & women of the church should be different & seen differently by others. Whether by members or not of the church in order to set the example that we are true believers of Christ. Especially because of the standards we've agreed to live by should & do make us different. But this doesn't mean they make us better than anyone by any means..NO!
So that talk along with the following video has kept me thinking about change. Yes it's hard & goes against our will when it requires a lot of work. But like they say, anything worth having never came easy but in the end was always worth it. Eternal life is worth the effort.. However, we have to stop waiting for something tragic or miraclous to happan on the road to Damacus til we decide to change the tide.. The possiblities are as deep as the ocean... How deep will you allow yourself to get converted before
your tide change takes you backwards rather than forward?
Like I said in my last post about updating our "Sister Blog" I've been slacking. But until I get replies back to those of you I've contacted. I've decided to use my experiences as "intermission postings" til we learn more about all of you. So with that said enjoy!
A few things that have been weighing on my mind has been organizing my daily duties. I've felt out of order moreso when I've comitted to a calling for the church. Then when I've just been complacent & pretty much lazy. Which makes sense to me because when we're on the Lord's errand, it's then that Satan does everything in his power to break us down. Either through our own temptations & weaknesses or through other people we encounter.
Like the scriptures state "There must be opposition *test* in all things." How else would we know the difference between sorrow & joy? When would we make time for praying? If we didn't hit rockbottom here & there through life. And when we choose to give up, blame others or decide not to even try to overcome this opposition, I'm talking about its then that we allow Satan to win.
I am not or nor will I ever be a spotless saint on my own. But through the merits & sacrifice of Christ & his atonement. I am wash clean & my garmets are then cleansed from my sins. And bring that up because there are many of you that have lost your faith. In yourself, your spouses, siblings, childrens and even parents. I know because I myself have been there once or twice myself. Discouragement sets in, anger grows & hope is lost. But this is how I work on my faith & is my hope that it helps you to rebuild & regain what little faith you've lost.
I pray.. I talk to God about what hurts me, angers me & if it's really bad I often say something like this during those intimate conversations. "Heavenly Father I really want to slap so & so because they did this & that please take these ugly feelings away & let me forgive them the way you would." And even though that's an extreme example. The point is I talk to him because I know he's the only one that can save me from myself. I know that he recognizes that I'm a sinner but it's not the sinner that he hates it's the sin he can not accept.. There is a big difference.. You sin YOUR NOT unacceptable to him! ITS YO' disobedient actions that are UNACCEPTABLE..
I listen.. I listen for his direction, I listen for when he says "Ova calm down, Ova say your sorry, Ova it's going to be alright. I listen & do my part to first accept his counsel happily. Trusting that he knows better then me. And I keep listening until I'm convinced that I believe what he's saying is true.. Then finally to regain the faith that I've lost due to my selfishness.
I act..No not like MADEA off of "Madea goes to Jail" or Queen Latifiah off of "Set it Off" though I've been known to set some mess off..lol But what I'm saying is I act on what God was telling me to listen too. And I just do what takes me out of my comfort zone. Not because I want to all of the time. But because I believe when he says, "It's required for us to forgive all his children but as for him he is no respector of persons and he will forgive who he will forgive." And the principal of forgiveness asks a lot from any of us. But that's why it goes back to prayer & having faith God will walk with you every step of the way. Of making uncontrollable wrongs into tomorrows "rights" & move on.. And if I could give you all any gift today. It would be that you move on & allow yourself to be free from your self-inflicted problems so you could grow into the Faithful Daughter of God intended you to be.
Pray,Listen and Act & I know you will gain the faith you need to take care of yourselves & families. You can't do it alone! So don't even try it.. Love you all!
Aloha my sistahs! It's been a long time since we've spotlighted any of our sisters. So don't worry! The postings will become more regular. At least that's what I'm hoping.. Well summer is quickly approaching & everyone is getting into their "Healthy" mode of thinking. Working on getting their body right. In order to rock their hot outfits & wow some people. I've been having discussions with different sisters of ours about this topic. And something that I've thought about really seriously & hope each of you always remember is the following.
Feed your mind & spirit & your body will follow.. Meaning it's nice to get healthy to look great. But if you don't get to the core of why you may be overweight. Your efforts in losing weight & keeping the weight off will only be temporary. That's why I feel you have to get to the heart of the matter & fix inside yourselves before you can improve your outward appearance.
Meaning feeding your thoughts with "Yes I'm beautiful!" "Yes I'm worthy of constant happiness not just spurts of it!" "Yes I'm doing this because I want too!" Not because you have to prove your not a overweight beast or to catch that guys eye to date. Beauty Is What Beauty Does. So if your shallow on the inside your outward appearance will follow. But if your true to your pure God given beauty within, you will shine no matter what size waist line or pounds off of a weight scale..It's about getting healthy for YOU!! no one else.. With that said here's our motivational tape & enjoy your journey to becoming your strongest,best most beautiful self. I love each and everyone of you! Keep on keeping on my sistahs!
This next sister of mine was my best friend during our elementary days & into our family show moments while becoming young ladies. We first met when she came down to Cali for our lil sister Leta Fauolo's 1st birthday. We clicked instantly & in meeting her all I kept thinking was "Dang she's so beautiful, jealous of her long hair & big laugh." You could say my sister Tina Mapu is the Polynesian verison of Julia Roberts. I love her & am so proud of all that she's accomplish & will accomplish. I'm about to get kicked off the public lib. computer. So I'll have a beautiful picture up in a few days or my next log-on.. Love you tina!
My Name is Christine Ko'i Mapu bka Tina. I was born and raised in SLC, Utah but now reside in Las Vegas, NV. Growing up I was the only girl so I loved being with my girl cousins any chance I got. They were my only friends haha I mean I had friends from school and stuff but I never played with them or slept at their homes like I did with my cousins/sisters. Every opportunity I had to spend with them was priceless and always so much fun, even if we were just cleaning the house lol.
I love to dance, always have and still do. Polynesian, Hip Hop, Line, you name it if I could learn it, I'd do it. I can't even remember a time in my life that I wasn't dancing or that I didn't like it. Polynesian dancing wasn't an inspiration, its in my blood, my family traveled across the country and Canada performing so naturally as I got older I danced. I was a natural, it was never really difficult for me, lucky for me. I like to say "I was born to dance" haha.
I can honestly say I was a "Good Girl". Growing up. I did everything right throughout my high school/youth years with exception of the everyday homework lacking or chores lectures. So of course I received my young women medallion, never cut class, received my patriarchal blessing at 16 and graduated from high school early. I picked up a job my last semester while I waited to walk in June then took a Lil break before heading off to college. My future was a given, which would be serving a mission then marriage in the temple followed by children. I mean that is the LDS girls ultimate dream right? Haha As life changed and my plans were altered I took a turn in a different direction and the work and dating scene became more interesting. By the time I turned 21 life was literally "a party". The dating had gotten more serious to the point where I thought more towards marriage but knowing that my life had turned a total opposite from my youth, it wouldn't be a temple marriage. The club/bar scene became all too familiar. At that point I was living life, but I knew it wasn't the right one. What I truly wanted, I couldn't have at the time. My relationship ended, work was just a job. I hadnt finished college and felt a little lost. I had found myself at a dead end and somewhat alone but never stopped attending church every Sunday, possibly to keep up my "GOOD GIRL" image lol. Through church association I met some friends who inspired me to be better, to do better, and from then I found myself praying again I had given up my perfect life plans of serving a mission earlier on and It wasn't until I made a decision to receive my endowments and go through the temple, that I felt a strong impression to consider going on a mission again. With frequent visits to the temple and friends and family that encouraged me, i found myself in the Bishops office talking about reasons of why I may not be able to go. Clearly we as members know that no matter what, the Lords work moves forward, and it did! All the reasons of why I thought I may not had been able to go weren't valid and my application process began. It did take a little patience and perseverance but Im finally living the GOOD life. Ive been blessed immensely. God has proved me wrong and has found me worthy to do the His work. I received my call to serve in the Jackson, Mississippi Mission and I report to the MTC February 1, 2012. This is the best gift Ive ever received but I couldn't have done it without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the reason WHY I AM!
A mind is a terrible asset to waste when not educated! So get some :) I would like to introduce more of my Mapu Side & thank leeann for her insights. Esp about the marriage life for us singles and being of a pioneer spirit for our children to follow. I love Lee's thoughts because it proves that when women cultivate a sense of purpose we truly do become our best selves in remembing the "Pay it Forward" motto. Enjoy my sistahs I sure did perfect lee :) P.S I'm not a byu fan neither hahahaha Utes Baby! jp lee
My name is LeeAnn Tu'uaipea Volavola. My maiden name is Mapu. I'm the daughter of Jackson & Cussana Mapu. My husbands name is Ratu Kalivati Tutudua Volavola but you can just call him Kali. lol. He is from Fiji and grew up in the village of Navua. We got married on Jan. 8, 2011 and have a son Kalivati Jackson Volavola (KJ) who was born on Nov. 10, 2011. (pretty mormon of us to be married and have a kid in the same year huh? LOL) jk. but i have loved married life because i have never progressed so much in my life til this year. It really is a life i suggest to all. :) its not all good though there are struggles and definite ups and downs but it is amazing! you have a partner for life... no make that ETERNITY! =) starting our marriage in the House of the Lord has definitely blessed us.
I even mentioned in my first blog about marriage that life is crazy but when you have someone willing to be with you throughout it well crazy doesn't seem to bad :). Motherhood you ask? BEST CALLING IN THE WORLD! you never really understand the meaning of love until you become a mother. seriously. and i don't mean just for my son. i mean my love has grown almost to the point where i don't know how my heart can hold it all in. but it does. through motherhood i've learned more about my Heavenly Fathers love for us because He gave HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON that we all would return to Him & being a mother you want nothing but the best for your child.
Through the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, screaming and crying. . . one smile will melt your heart. seriously, you are done once that baby arrives. hehe. can i point out that one reason i believe that Heavenly FAther wants us to get married before having children is that when you're married you learn how to not think of yourself but you have to think of you and your spouse. and this totally prepares you somewhat for being parents because it really is just not about you but for providing for your child. =) but of course that is my opinion. lol
Why did you decide to go to college? To be quite honest in high school i had no plans for going to college. I actually just wanted to go to San Francisco and find a job. (I've always had a weird love for that place. NINERS BABY! hehe) So anyways i only went to college because i was offered a full ride athletic scholarship for vball from BYU Hawaii. Which I was totally surprised because I wasn't very good. lol. Well if you ask me it was one of those mysterious ways that the Lord works because I did not want to go to BYUH. But I did & it became one of thee greatest blessings I have received. Another thing that helped me were the people in my life. My junior year like I mentioned my social work teacher noticed my slip in attendance, schoolwork and overall attitude. I mean of course she's a social worker right? lol. Anyways she pulled me in her office and went out of her way to help me with what i was dealing with. I will never forget her kindness in going out of her way to help me. Because of that little talk i have a degree in my backpocket. ;) & my motivation for any achievement would be my 2 gramas. Who had stressed education to me all the time and my parents who supported me through my entire education endeavors.
What did you do to keep personal problems from affecting your studying and attending? I think I explained it above. But I always thought of the many sacrifices my parents and their parents had made for their posterity to gain a better life, which means an education. And since I had such a blessed opportunity in terms of my free schooling due to the atheltic scholarship. I knew I had to take advantage of it. "Where much is given much is required" I have been given much and gaining an education would be like a payback for my parents. A way of thanking them. Why did i decide to go back to school with having a family now? Good question. I'm asking myself that right now. lol. jk. Although i know it will be a little stressful I KNOW its the best thing for my family. Because after finishing I will be able to have more job opportunities available for me when i need to work. Even though I'd love to stay at home and raise my son. The price of living in Hawaii doesn't really allow me to. Plus teacher hours are great when you have a family because you'll be at school when they are and then done when they are as well. What do you want women young and old to learn about pursuing an education?I'm sure we have all heard that saying "Knowledge is Power. But i like the saying KNOWLEDGE IS POTENTIAL. You can gain all the knowledge in the world but if you don't do anything with that knowledge than really what is it for? i support the pursuing of education because that is how we can become our best selves. We cannot be perfect. But we can become our best self through education in all things!!! and there is no end to learning!! You can learn from anybody and anything. :)How did you keep from giving up when things got tough?I heard a term i'm sure we all heard before.. "fake it, til you make it" well for some time this is what I did. My junior year I wanted to quit vball and school. It just didn't interest me anymore. But I just thought k I'm almost done. Jus fake a smile and go through it all one day at a time. The "fake smile" slowly but surely became a "real one" Due to the positive attitude that comes with wearing a smile (no matter fake or real). Soon O became a die hard optimist. Stocking up on positive quotes and stories from the internet and putting them all over my wall in my room! So I'd say one thing was ATTITUDE accompanied with a smile :)
How fun is this ladies! We've got our second sister interview to share. Losa Mapu my relative on my dad's side & I'm so humbled she'd agree to this assignment. I don't always have the best questions and my titles are more for attention seeking. So you all will click and read these entries.. Don't get irritz if the title doesn't match the content. But then that could be twisted into don't judge a book by it's cover. Especially if the content inside can be a priceless gift. If you'd just open it up, receive the encourgement, apply it & than teach others. Anyway here's Losa & HAVE A SUPER MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone I love you!
I'm Losa Mapu and I'm single.. and not ready to mingle:) My favorite pastime would be baking and cleaning. I know, I'm weird but I love the feeling of having a clean and ORGANIZED house. I go crazy when there's paper everywhere, shoes thrown aside, messy clothes, or things not lined up nicely! Yes, I'm a clean freak:/ It's a blessing and a curse all in one. LOL.
How do you make your choices of when to keep a job and when to let go?
I was offered a job after my internship at the Sheraton Waikiki. I was really excited and wanted to accept but after thinking about it I had to decline because the work schedule wasn't practical for me. Hours were late, the bus (my mode of transportation to town) doesn't operate that late, which was my primary reason for not accepting. I wanted to work somewhere close to home and not a far commute time. I was commuting a hour and a half to and from my internship everyday. It was physically and emotionally draining. I got really sick within the first week of my internship and couldn't work for a week and a half. Although I enjoyed my internship at the hotel it would be hard for me to work so far. Even though the Waikiki environment is so different from the Laie/LDS/country feeling I think it was good for me to explore the environment outside of what I'm used to. Not everywhere is like Laie and not everyone is LDS so a lot of things you do as a member is questioned or talked about but I think those experiences helps you to gain a stronger testimony. If you find yourself in a environment that is outside of what you believe and you begin to slip then maybe it's time to reevaluate what you really value, your job or your testimony.
Once, you've made the choice, how do you know it's the right one?
I think once you've made your decision and everything works out and becomes that much easier then it's the right decision. For myself, the decision I made to not work in town is something I still think about today. It's not the best decision that I've made but it's already been decided and I can't change it so I have to play the cards I dealt myself. I try not to think too much of the 'what if's or 'what could have been' and just try to make the best of what I have now.
I don't think there's a right or wrong choice, just a better choice and even though I may not have chosen the best choice I can always start again and make a better choice. I can testify that fear and fear of failure will only get in the way of success and that fear only comes from your own insecurities so be confident in yourself and your abilities. Don't let doubt and fear run your life. You run your own life♥