Leimomi Autufuga's Talents are turning into a thriving business of wedding Catering in Sacramento, CA
Story and Photos by Avetonu Nuusila and Staff
Leimomi Autufuga hails from the beautiful Island of Lahaina Hawaii. Married to her best friend for 24 years, who is her biggest fan and supporter her husband Samita Atufuga. He was born in Western Samoa and have resided in Sacramento for over 13 years. They have two beautiful daughters and 1 grandchild the center of their world. Her extraordinary talents and skills have been noticed by various craft magazines notably Kama Aina Magazine popular for show casing spectacular handicrafts from many local talents.
Leimomi has been involved in many community programs which incidentally was where writer met up with her a few years ago where we both worked for love. Leimomi was volunteering for in a youth organization called T.O.F.A. and myself in P.F.I. A valiant supporter for youth and culture Leimomi has dedicated her time in volunteering in various organizations which has enriched her experience in various Polynesian cultures.
Since running her own business she has been having endless outpouring of request for her incredible exquisite designs the best I have ever seen. Today, Leimomi said she is doing her business as a hobby. The constant demands has taken a toll on her family time and has decided to pace her business according to her availability. Leimomi says she thoroughly enjoys her hobby mainly to utilize her god given talents to spread love and happiness to the people but most of all to provide all brides a bling wedding on a poor man's budget.
Leimomi has experienced much joy working with all different cultures making new friends along the way. She however shared an isolated case of an angry Samoan. She stated that she always requires seven percent up front and in this case they refused to pay it. They became angry and wanted her to provide her services for free. Needless to say it was a horrible experience she does not ever want to experience again. But over all her experiences has been an amazing one creating and spreading happiness through her incredible skills and talents.
She tells a little of her business and her contact number can be found at the end of her article. A word of wisdom in light of this incident, please remember that this is a business that requires much time, energy and money to build and to maintain for a family's livelihood. Though it was an isolated case of a Samoan family demanding free service it is prudence to remind all to maintain a civil and respectful atmosphere that we all can enjoy in supporting one another regardless of race and creed. keep in mind when ordering that her already low prices are non negotiable. She however, has different package deals that you can discuss with her. Now an introduction of her experience and and what her work entails.
Aloha & Talofa Lava – My name Is Leimomi Autufuga and I lived in the Sacramento area for over 13 years...Since Planning & Coordinating Weddings since 2002 for Wishful Thinking then moving forward seriously with my business in 2008 … I have been involved with hundreds of wonderful weddings and continue to be passionate, excited, enthused, motivated, up-to-date, and creative. I have planned and coordinated weddings from 50 to 600 guests. Traditional, Contemporary, Hip, Crazy Fun, Outdoors in a field, Inside a Cathedral… I’ve enjoyed them all including in all Polynesian cultuI hold a BA Degree in Business Administration, Associated Degree in Pharmacy and a member of “The Association of Bridal Consultants”.
My Inspiration has come from my Grandfather whom told me when I was a little girl… Since I have been the chosen one with blessed hands“To always honor your talents by doing what you truly love” ….This is my one True Love.. I have been so honored to be a part of so many happy brides. My goal has always been to make sure every bride can have a bling wedding on a poor mans salary…Feel free to browse my assortment of wedding parties for you to reference at www.facebook.com/wishfulthinking4unme.
Obesity a struggle for Samoan woman and her family who needs our help.
By Elizabeth Felise with Preface by Avetonu Nuusila
PREFACE: TO OUR LE MALAE READERS: This moving story of determination and courage of one of our own daughter's plight to rise above her circumstances of battling her demons of abuse and obesity also involves immeasurable emotional and psychological empact in ones life. We applaud her for her courageous efforts to bring it forth to light. We are happy to assist her tell her story as she takes her plea for help to her people and the public . Please note that "Le malae" and "Samoans in Sacramento page" is not responsible for any collection of donation. We are just the hub for where she or any one can tell their story. Please follow the prompts given by the writer of this story regarding where all donations are to go. For more human interest stories we bring to you another inspiring story of a young lady who amidst her many trials of adolescent was able to rise above all odds to own her own business purchase her parents a home becoming the owner of the only Polynesian eatery known in Sacramento. Be sure to also read stories from Samoa and other areas around the globe in our "Le malae "page. Thank you for patronage. Please stay connected for more happening within our Samoan community around the globe.
Dear Families, Friends, Brothers &
Sisters in Christ my Sacramento
Community and everyone whom this
letter will cross path with…
I hope this letter finds each and every one of you in the best of health. Praise God for his mercy and blessings upon our lives.
I'd like to first introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me. My name is Makerita Aiese. I’m a 38 years old Polynesian female who lives in Sacramento California.
I pray that our Heavenly Father gives this letter you an open mind to bear with me and try to understand my reasons for this letter and the intrusion into your lives.
First, I need to tell you little about myself and my story. I’m sure some of you can relate to. I do ask from the bottom of my heart that you please read on with an open mind and a kind heart and know that I’m opening up wounds that aren’t ever shared to another like I’m about to do in this letter and please I implore on you before you read on, please don’t judge me for my past because God has already forgiven me. Please understand that I blame no one for the route I took in my life, and the decisions and choices I’ve made all falls on no one other than MYSELF.
This letter is my answer from God to my prayers to show me the way in my situation and send me help so that I too may help someone else who's going through what I’m going through and what I wish to change for God's glory and to be an Inspiration to other helpless souls and to also be a witness
To portray God in my new journey that I hope you will help me with. So, Yes! My faith, trust, and hope are in youth through Christ who led me to you.
As many of you know, I am an OBESE Samoan female for those of you who don’t know. I grew up loving food. I mean, come on who didn’t. In my younger years I was a fair size considering that I’m Samoan. But I also grew up not knowing what healthy eating was. In my mind set, it was as
long as I ate good and got beyond full I was happy and it’s still that way now. I used to blame my parents but then I thought about it, they didn’t grow up eating healthy either. They were my parents. In their mind set at the time was "as long as our kids are fed and full then we're okay". Well, at least I thought that’s what they were thinking.
I recently found out from my Doctor something that I believe I knew all along but never really did anything about it because of my fear of not wanting to sound stupid or sound as if I was feeling sorry for myself and simply because I was too scared to open up to my parents about my emotional feelings of vulnerability and depression. And for some reason I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to talk about my depression because we believe in God. I kept most of my life to myself hiding behind my fake smile. I guess I kept telling myself “it was wrong to seek help for my depression” it was wrong to talk to a psychiatrist and let bottled up depressed emotions come out, that’s where my OBESITY comes on even more. I’m an emotional eater. My answers to my problems are food, my happiness is in food, my comforter is food, my best friend is food! Sad but true.
I am depressed about a lot of things. In my younger days, I was bullied a lot. I was shy with a very low self esteem didn’t think I was beautiful. I was sexually abused twice when I was young. I was confused about my sexuality having hidden feelings toward females. Yes, those feelings no longer exist. Losing my mom is where all hell broke loose for me. Food wasn’t the only thing that comforted me...I added cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and the “I don’t care attitude”. Then I started having suicidal thoughts. And my story goes on. After my mom’s passing, I felt like I was responsible for keeping my family together. It was a heavy burden that I carried on for so long and I didn’t succeed in even trying. In all my pains I hid behind my fake smile. I kept to myself and I was killing myself inside slowly. My first near death experience only taught me a lesson for a little while. And through all this I kept going back and forth with God. Thanks to my families, friends, loved ones and church families they were the Ones that had me in constant prayers.
Well, that’s what started my story... to end my story I’d like to share my plans and goals.
As time went by, I found myself talking to God more often then I normally did in my entire life. I grew up in church and I believe God exists but do I actually know Him? Yes, I know the basics that He loves me that He sent His son Jesus to die upon the cross to save my sinful soul. I should considering that I was born and raised in Christ I’m sad to say that I don’t.
Recently, I’ve notice God is whispering to my heart here and there as I continue on with my daily devotions devotions and His Willand slowly but surely I’ll be a pro in His Will.
You see folks, God's coming is near andI don’t know about you but from what I hear about hell I sure don’t want to end up there. As I was reading my devotion the other day, I came across a statement saying, "The devil wants you fat!" I was in tears, realizing this statement is so true in my situation.
The devil does nothing but destroy lives. The devil is using my fat against me all the time in making me feel guilty, ashamed, ugly and worthless.
Then it leads me to discouragement to depression to isolation and then the finale EMOTIONAL EATING! Thats the devil's doing.
Now I want to overcome all that. In the bible it says our bodies are the Temple of God. I desperately need your help to-win back God's Temple because it belongs to Him and Him alone. Through my devotional reading, I was reminded by God that I was created in His image. Therefore, I’m unique. There is nobody like me. I’m one of a kind. God thought a lot about me. Every detail of my body, every cell and organ are the results of God's thoughts about me. My personality is His handiwork. God has made an investment in me, giving me gifts and talents to be used for His glory. He has great joy in His heart as He watches over me!
So to conclude my life story letter, I need to win back God's Temple. I want to be used in His Will, in His Kingdom but the devil has made it hard for me with my 531lb baggage tying and slowing me down.
You see folks, I want to sign myself in to a seven months self LOSE-A-THON that I'd like to personally title LOSING FOR CHRIST.
But I can’t afford to pay the whole $2030 for the whole seven months. So that’s why I humbly ask wholeheartedly if you could please help me in any way you can. You can donate a flat rate of whatever amount you wish to help. Or you can donate or sponsor me with a $1 time however many pounds you think I can lose.
Anything would help me in anyway. I know I won’t be able to ever pay any of you back but my prayers is that God blesses you all 10X's fold for what you would be sacrificing for me and my longing for Christ.
I pray that I will inspire, motivate and witness to anyone that is struggling too. I will be keeping you all updated with my journey through face book & instagram and if you have neither I can keep you posted through emails, via telephone, in person or even through the old fashion way postal mail. I will be creating a page on face book so you can follow me there. And yes, God will be watching my every move.
My Scheduled plans as follow:
45 Days Fasting: 01/03/14-02/16/14
Preparation Break: 02/17/14-02/28/14
Losing for Christ Lose-a-thon: 03/01/14-09/30/14
I would love to have any financial helpin by the 28th of February 2014 so I can send in for the entire seven monthsorder.
Please feel free to hit me up on Facebook, Cell phone at (916)706-4144,
Emails at email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write me at 3725 21st Ave. Sac, Ca 95820.
Thank you kindly for taking the time out from your busy lives to read my cry for help. May you all be blessed from our Father above for your kind heart and good deeds.
Much love and respect
to each and every one of you.
Thank you and God bless! OneLove=God's Love
OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.
a touching story of cancer survivor mafini tupa'i.
By Elizabeth Felise
My name is Mafini Numera Tupa'I. I am 38 years old. My husband is Paleali'I Tupa'I we have two children. Isaiah Paleali'I is 13 and Zeryah Mafini Tupa'I is 11. I am from the village of Pava'ia'I, Am. Samoa.
My father is the late Numera Siona from the village of Pava'ia'I, Am. Samoa and my mother is Taulima Fa'ate'I Siona from the village of Fasito'outa, Western Samoa. I have 7 sisters and I am the 4th to the oldest. I was born in American Samoa and raised in San Francisco and Sacramento California . In 1998, I remember I found a small lump the size of a sunflower seed under my left breast. I shared my findings with my doctor and he reassured me that it was nothing more than a milk duct.
In 2008, I was in the process of renewing my relationship with God when I was given devastating, life changing news that I was diagnosed with hertenia breast cancer. At this time Isaiah was 8 and Zeryah was 5.
It was during the same time we had just became homeowners. I was so happy and thankful that God has blessed us with a beautiful home but when I receive the diagnosis I remembered saying to God, please take back the house Heavenly Father, I just want my health back but of course that was not God's plan.
And so my journey began with battling stage 2 hertenia breast cancer. For those who are not aware estrogen is a hormone that every woman produces naturally everyday. Hertenia cancer is the type of cancer that thrives off of estrogen. This is an aggressive type of cancer.
I started chemo and did two sessions. I had to quit chemo because the health insurance I had did not cover my treatments needed.
I went on a detox program then came back and when I got back I went to see the doctor. It was then I was told there was no signs of cancer in my body. After 6 months I became sick and was coughing a lot so I went to see the doctor again .
This time I was told I had pneumonia so I was given antibiotics and sent on my way. 2 weeks had gone by and I was still coughing badly so the doctor gave me a cat scan and this is when I found out that I had cancer and it had metastasized to both my lungs my spine, my hips and my ribs. The doctor then did a lung biopsy and found out after that they collected the wrong tissue for biopsy.
After the cancer metastasized I was at stage 4 which is the highest and last stage of cancer. I had to quit chemo again. Obama passed a law that everyone getting medi-cal automatically gets Part B Medicare so I went straight to Sutter and was under the care of an oncologist for a year.
Towards the end of that year I asked my doctor what were his thoughts on my progress and his response was he didn't know. My Dr had given up on me. During this whole year treatment I wasn't getting any better. I felt like I was dying. I remember being sick 30 days straight in bed.
I then saw a commercial about Cancer Treatment Centers of America so I called and I spoke with a staff member for 2 hours where I sobbed and wept throughout the entire call then I found out I was speaking to a 25-year survivor.
It was then my husband flew us to the cancer treatment Centers of America. Now I was under my husbands company insurance that allowed us to receive treatment from the cancer treatment centers of America. The treatment center was able to prepay my airfare and allow me to pay once I had arrived for treatment. When I finally got to see a doctor at the cancer center, he told me that the oncologist was overdosing me with the medication he prescribed me. If he would have gave me just a little bit more I would have died. That explains why I felt like I was dying because in reality he was poisoning me.
Once I became medicare B eligible the treatment center was no longer able to prepay my airfare but before my insurance changed I was able to travel every 3 weeks to Chicago for a year where I received chemo treatment I needed.
The hotel and accomodations were 5 star rating. The peaceful, stress free environment, amenities and customer service was most impeccable. During our visits at the cancer treatment center food was provided for all patients and their caregivers for the entire stay at the center. There were also activities at no cost to caregivers and the patients such as massages and many other things. I really enjoyed my time at the treatment center. My scans eventually came back clear. Keep in mind it was only for a year of treatment and I'm still alive.
I just give God the glory and praise for His healing upon me.
I am a 5 yr survivor. I feel God has called me to be used as an advocate to reach out to other women especially our Samoan women who might be going through this struggle that I have experienced in my journey of battling cancer.
Our Samoan people need to become more educated about cancer and where to go to seek assistance and treatments. "A mana'omia fo'I le tautala fa'asamoa e mafai lava fo'I. Aua le ma. If you become bitter during any cancer stage you are helping the cancer to spread faster and you will die sooner. I lost alot of good women who I considered sisters and good friends such as Katie, Beverly, Susan and many more. I am a fighter!! My favorite scripture that helped me get through all this is Phillipians 4:13-I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT STRENGTHENS ME.
I am living proof of this!!
Now my days are filled with children volleyball, football and I'm also a part of the poly club at Norwood junior high and the treasurer for my church.
October is breast cancer awareness month. This year will be my 5th year walking for making strides of Sacramento. My first year there was 11 of us. Last year there were 40 of us. This year I expect more. Our goal to raise this year is 2500 dollars. If you would like to join us to walk or to donate you can go to www.makingstridesSacramento.com click on "find teams" then "Fini's family and friends" then click on "donate" or "walk" or both. The walk will be October 20th 2013 at the State Capitol in Sacramento where registration will begin at 8 a.m. And the walk will start at 9 a.m.
I just wanted to share a few important things before I close.
Never lose hope!
You are your own health care advocate, speak up doctors are only doing their job.
Research, research, research. Google, ask questions, talk to those who have been through this.
It is very important for your spouse and or family members to be supportive for someone who is diagnosed with cancer. It really makes a difference.
In closing of this interview I just I want to thank my Heavenly Father and just give him all the Glory and praise for His mercy and blessings upon me with my health breakthrough and healing. I want to thank my mother who is my prayer warrior for interceding in prayer for me always!! Thank you to my 7's, all my family and friends who has offered well wishes and prayers for me and my family and last but not least thank you to my husband and my children for standing by me through these hard times. I am truly blessed with the best!
I would like to leave my contact information if anyone would like to contact me I can be reached at 916-764-5491. You can call or text anytime. You can also email me at email@example.com.