From A Single Scone

Fa’apupula Latu, from Savai’i, an island in Samoa has perfected the principle of ‘work.’ Growing up in a very humble home, her parents instilled in her the desire to work hard. “My parents were very poor people; they were always scolding us. They didn’t want me to waste time hanging out with my age group. They wanted me to do chores, and always work. They believed we should only rest at night,” Fa’apupula said. After her brother and only sibling left for New Zealand, Fa’apupula stayed behind to take care of her parents. She attended primary school and went as far as level five. “After level five I went to Apia to look for a job to take care of my parents because they were very poor, and within the three months I worked, I only made forty five tala a week.” Despite the small of amount of income she was making, Fa’apupula was able to pick up a new skill from the family that she had been staying with in Upolu. “That was where I learned how to cook food using flour,” Fa’apupula explained. After a year of working in Upolu, she returned to Savai’i, where she met and married Peivi, at the age of twenty.

Life was challenging for the couple. With two children and her parents to care for, Fa’apupula and her husband worked to earn whatever they could to put food on the table. “I started farming…I had to have a horse with coconuts everyday to buy a pound of mutton to feed my parents, while my husband went fishing because that was his skill.” With the selling of coconuts they were also able to afford a can of fish. One small can of fish was what she used to feed her children and her parents. “My mother would always put aside one fish from their can of sardines, then put that fish in water and would boil it with taro and laupele for my eldest son for the next day. That was how we lived with my parents and my two children. When we had three children, it was the same lifestyle. When we got money from selling coconuts, we would buy one can of fish, flour, sugar, and kerosene and the children continued to be fed on one can of sardines,” Fa’apupula described. Overtime, Fa’apupula and her husband struggled to make ends meet. “I used old sheets to make napkins. When it rained I would wash and squeezed them thoroughly, folded them and put under the mattress, and if there was a charcoal iron, I would then iron them,” Fa’apupula described.

Fa’apupula, at length, decided that she was going to give her baking skills a try, in an effort to support her family. “I know how to cook using flour. There was one old lady who was a friend of my parents. She had a small business, and so I went and borrowed [bought on credit] shortening and five pounds of flour and sugar. I thought, ‘I’m going to try the scone and see,’” she said. After making a batch of scones, she caught the bus to the elementary school at Fusi to sell her scones to the students. “Right then, I felt this is where my children would be blessed. My box of scones was all sold and I was happy because I was making money.” After several rounds of scone sales, Fa’apupula saved enough money to buy the ingredients without having to purchase them on credit. Through her savings from the scone sales and her husband’s retirement savings, they were able to open a little shop in 1988. “This shop put our seven children through school and sent them to University. This same shop helped us send our children to New Zealand to obtain a better future. This same shop took care of my father and mother, and they were able to eat corned beef, one of the most popular foods in Samoa. We had a very poor beginning, out of this shop came our two homes,” she described the blessings of her hard work.

Fa’apupula ascribes the birth and success of her business to a single scone. “All these things  sprouted from the scone. We would wake up at four in the morning to grate the coconut for the scones.” She has now successfully established her own convenience store in Savai’i, a bakery, along with a catering business which specializes in birthday cakes, wedding cakes and pies, “all of which started from the scone.” She also continues to raise cattle and runs a plantation with her husband. Fa’apupula also attributes her success to paying an honest tithe. “We prayerfully worked our hands to the bone and calling upon the Lord, and topped it off by paying tithing to the Lord. That is my testimony of the truthfulness of the love of the Lord. Up to now, we joyfully reap prosperity put in our hands by the Lord,” she said. Her children have now been blessed with many opportunities in New Zealand. Fa’apupula and her husband do not expect anything from them because they continue to work and are completely self-sufficient.

The principles of work and sacrifice can be learned from Fa’apupula Latu’s story. She teaches us that each of us have been blessed with talents and skills and it is important to be creative and constantly think of ways we can improve our current situation. If we strive to develop these talents, the Lord will enhance our capabilities and in due time we will reap the rewards of our hard work and diligence.

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3 thoughts on “From A Single Scone

  1. Omg, I love this lady! I served in moesavili , saasaai and saipippi as a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , that’s where I met her . She is amazing in every way 🙂 our missionary house is right next to her house. Absolutely a hard working lady 🙂

  2. awesome story … success is measured not by what we have or where we at but how we got THERE ! thank you for the inspiration …

  3. She is a very kind mother I knw her very well love you Faapupula Peivi Nanai.

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