Kia Ora Sisters of all Nations! My Name is Rachael Fata (nee Haerewa). Just to introduce myself and to give a little bit of my background: I am first and foremost a Wife to a Loving, Hardworking and strong Priesthood Holder, a Mother to a vivacious, energetic and beautiful little boy and of course a Daughter, Sister, Aunty, Cousin, Neice, etc etc to a very large family – that’s not limited to blood relatives either! I am 5th Generation LDS on my mother’s side and 2nd Generation LDS on my father’s side. I love how the Gospel in its simplest form teaches us to change and be adaptable to any situation – with this knowledge I know that I have the ability to tackle challenges face on and know that whether I succeed or fail, Heavenly Father still loves and trusts me to fulfil my role here on earth. I have seen Gods hand bless my life and the lives of others as I make my way through this journey.
As I was pondering what to share with you wonderful people, the spirit strongly impressed upon my heart to share my journey of marrying “My Love”. My aim and hope of sharing my experiences are to help strengthen ones testimony in the tender mercies which our Heavenly Father so freely offers to ALL his children no matter what background they are from and to have a firm resolve in following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
I was taught from a very young age to Keep the Commandments, follow the Prophets counsel and to give service freely. My entire childhood I remember the many Sundays travelling around the stake with mum and dad as they fulfilled their responsibilities as Stake Relief Society Presidents, Stake Young Women’s Presidents, High Council Members, Stake Presidency callings to name a few – they were always very diligent in making sure that they served to the best of their abilities with what little we had – and if that meant taking us with them, then so be it. Growing up I remember always having what we needed, we never ever went without – although we didn’t have the flashiest clothes, or the latest gadgets, my parents worked long hours to make sure we had what we needed. I love and respect my parents for their faithful examples. I also learnt from a young age that when one is born into privilege, with that comes certain responsibilities and obligations – as I matured and grew in the gospel, my parents lovingly sheltered us, in the best way they knew how from the outside world – my ideals and paradigms were very gospel orientated, which directed my views and outlooks solely towards attaining the goals of a Good Education, Solid Career & Eternal Marriage and to achieve them in that order (I’m a very determined person and nothing was going to deviate my course).
Please don’t get me wrong – there have been many ups and downs towards attaining these goals. As I set the platform for the rest of my story, I pray that there will be no misconceptions against my loved ones, because they did the best job raising me with the knowledge that they had, with this in mind – too every down in my life there has been twice as many ups.
So, from my introduction hopefully you have been able to establish that I am from a very staunch Latter-day Saint upbringing, As well as Gospel teachings my parents were adamant that we get a good education – I had mild dyslexia as a child, so, I was never the best in school, I was always the student that did “just” enough to scrap through, I was…you can say…mediocre in my learning and excellent in my “efforts” lol. Fast forwarding a number of years – in a nutshell, I graduated my senior year at Church College, moved to my cousins in Sydney, lived the single life in the city of bright lights and after a year I moved home to start my degree in Exercise & Sports Science. After a year of studies I had a strong desire to serve a mission – So, true to form…I did. I returned home honourably after 18months of service in the Australia Brisbane Mission and a week after finishing I moved back to Brisbane and worked for another 2 years prior to returning home to finish my degree that I started before my mission – shux back-n-forth, back-n-forth I know – you would’ve thought I was made of money at this point – not really lol!
Anyway – full-time study during the day and full-time working at nights was pretty much my life for the next two years until I completed my degree. During my studying and work hours I met new people – people I didn’t like and people I liked a lot – my (not then) husband was part of the group that I DIDN’T like….huh? You say….don’t worry the feeling was mutual at this time…however, The Lord works in mysterious ways. He & I worked at Foodstuffs Coldstorage, He was a selector (labourer) & I was the computer girl (Data Entry)…he was the loud Samoan on the pump trucks & I was the stuck up Maori girl in the computer room. It wasn’t until I was introduced to him outside of work at his Muay Thai Gym that I saw a very very different side to him. I’d like to think at this time he saw a very different side to me hahaha. So, for a number of months he was my Personal Trainer from which our friendship and mutual respect for each other grew.
Thee Beautiful Rachael with her awesome husband at Graduation Ceremony
My husband’s background – he was born and raised in Mangere, South Auckland, at the tender age of 10yrs he found his father dead in the lounge from a Heart Attack and within months he witnessed his mother slowly die from Breast Cancer, prior to her dying the family took her to Samoa, where her body now rests. After being bounced from relative to relative, being involved with the King Cobras, alcohol, drugs & coming in and out of Juvenile detention – the decision was made that he would stay with his Uncle in Mt Roskill who was a Prestigious Minister in the PIC church. He had suffered the loss of his parents, being taken away from his siblings & the turmoil that comes with no stable home – there was nothing that really fazed him now that he was grown – you could say when he met me he was somewhat hardened to life’s goodness.
Reeling forward – we dated for four years – the first couple of years we were the best of friends, joint at the hip, two peas in a pod…as mentioned earlier with every up there was a down – the first couple of years opened my eyes to a very ugly side of those closest to me – My parents didn’t acknowledge him, they didn’t even speak to him when they were in the same room – this happened on a number of occasions, they often said I was too good for him, they questioned my morality & virtue, they questioned my judgements and tried everything to push him away. Their words “we only want the best for you” and in the same breathe “we have spoken to another guys family who we think would be better suited for you”. WHAAAAT THE HECK!!! No way!! Anyway, the following two years I coped a whole lot of flack from people that have known me since I was knee high – our Bishop at the time encouraged Civil Marriage to protect my virtue – I refused solidly and said “No, Bishop! Ive told Eddie, Temple or nothing” – which made me more determined to stay with him and see where our journey would take us. At this time of confusion and bitterness, I found solace in my best friends that I lived with & my siblings, they were my greatest support and all the confidence I needed at a very pivotal time in my life. They kept me strong & kept me solidly grounded in the gospel. However, What The Doubters didn’t know was that I had prayed & fasted and received my own revelation that he would be the one to kneel over the alter with me, this came to me in a dream and I held this close to my heart and trusted my every prompting from the Holy Ghost that amidst the darkness there will be light.
And, Yes…in The Lords time there was “Light”…Eddie on his own accord chose to get baptised, and against all odds, a year later we were married and sealed in the Hamilton, New Zealand Temple. In others eyes he may not have been what they wanted for me, but, in Heavenly Fathers eyes, he was exactly what I needed. We have now been married for 4years, I am a qualified Teacher, my husband runs a successful Muay Thai Gym, we have a beautiful little boy, we are now “LIVING” and making “OUR” dreams become a reality.
Powerhouse Couple – The Fata’s
I testify that Heavenly Fathers tender mercies are offered freely to ALL his children no matter what background they are from, the spirit led two VERY different souls from VERY different backgrounds together. His journey to me, and my journey to him we have now discovered was definitely meant to BE. As mentioned earlier, I needed him, just as much as he needed me – I truly know that If we have a firm resolve in following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, He will only guide our path to TRUE happiness irrespective of who, or what the odds are. May Heavenly Fathers blessings and tender mercies be upon you all.