“My Mother’s Mission,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 54–55
In 1962, after completing high school in Samoa, I enrolled at the Church College of Hawaii. During my second year there, my mother passed away. (My father had died when I was a little girl.) I was very close to my mother and totally dependent upon her for guidance as well as for financial support. I had always faithfully heeded her counsel because she was always so wise and right.
When word came that she had died, I went to my Heavenly Father in tears and demanded to know why he had done this terrible thing to me. Why had he taken away the only person that I loved and lived for? Sorrow turned to bitterness and anger, and I told my Heavenly Father I would stay away from the Church until I got over this feeling. I felt alone, so alone that many times I wanted to die.
My feelings didn’t stop me, however, from following one of the precious teachings my mother had instilled in me. She had stressed to her children the importance of fasting and prayer. Even after I left home she kept reminding me of this great teaching in her letters, and her letters were many. Because of this, I got on my knees and said my prayers night and morning, and practiced faithfully the law of the fast.
But I did not attend Church meetings. I stayed in the dormitory on Sundays and slept all day or watched television. Because my mother had taught me to keep the standards of the Church, I had no desire to go out and do anything that would have displeased her, but deep in my heart I knew she would not have approved of my Sunday activities. Nevertheless, this went on for six months.
Then one Sunday night I had an experience that showed me the reality of missionary work on the other side of the veil. I dreamed—something I don’t often do—and in my dream I saw my dear mother standing before a group of people with a lesson manual in her hands. She was teaching them the gospel. The dream was so real I sat up in bed and wanted to run to my mother, but upon opening my eyes I found myself all alone in my room; no one else was there.
Something prompted me to reach inside the second drawer of my dresser, where I picked up one of my mother’s letters. I turned on the light, and for some reason started reading on the second page of this letter. I soon came to a part where my mother stated that she had been called to go on a mission. She said she would gladly do anything for the Church and the Lord, and she expected to leave in April the following year. Her letter was written near the end of 1963.
As I read this part of the letter, a light suddenly burst into my mind and gradually filled my bosom and my heart. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my mother left this life to fulfill her mission on the other side. You see, my mother passed away on April 2, 1964, the exact time she had expected to leave for her mission.
Holding the letter in my hands, I fell on my knees before my Heavenly Father, and, sobbing uncontrollably, I thanked him for the light he had given me and asked his forgiveness for my foolishness. I promised him that from then on I would do his will in all things and seek to serve him all my days.
It was the turning point in my life.