Through Small & Simple Things

Aiga Vaiaoga, the owner of a thriving floral business in Samoa shares her story, one that leaves the happy message of how blessings come about through diligence and selfless acts of service. The idea for her business was planted in her heart in her early years of marriage. During the years she spent living with her in-laws she said, “My mother-in-law was very in to her plants. This is where I got [the] idea. It was how much she loved that garden, and how much she looked after it. It was like a joy [for her] to come home and see the beautiful garden from the house.” Her husband, like his mother, also enjoyed working in the garden, and went on to graduate with an Associate degree in agriculture, from the University of the South Pacific, in Samoa. “He has been always working on a small farm where there has been tomatoes, corn, peanuts, and other vegetables.”

In the early 1980s, Aiga, along with her husband and five children, returned to Samoa after living in Hawaii, while her husband earned a degree in mechanics at Brigham Young University of Hawaii. From there she gradually began to develop her talent in gardening and creating intricate floral arrangements, although it wasn’t easy. The purchase of gardening materials was very expensive, moreover, with creativity put into action, she sought her planting materials elsewhere. “I remember we didn’t have much money to buy anything. Just enough to buy fares, put food on the table and to buy the necessities that we needed. But I was so in to the plants that we collected cans, whatever we can just to start.” Most of her cans were collected from the garbage heap at a coconut milk canning factory. “When we couldn’t collect enough cans, we started to dig. We made the beds [in the ground] so we could stick the plants in so we could have more plants rooted and then put it in the cans then we had the [planting] bags and started to collect the bags.”

When her plant business began to develop, Aiga had the desire to provide free flower arrangements for the lobby at the LDS temple. “When I had a garden, I wanted to take flowers to the temple. This was in the 80s. So first I got this little gerber garden where I would cut the flowers and make a bouquet and take  them to the temple just because I wanted to do that. They allowed that then. That was what kept me going and I was happy to do that and I went through that eagerness to take flowers to the temple.” The blessings of Aiga’s service soon unfolded when a new temple president was called. “When President Schute came in, he kinda liked what I was doing for the temple, bringing flowers, and he asked me if I could look after the [temple] garden. We got to look after that garden for the old temple.” What began as a simple desire to serve, opened up a door of opportunity. “One of the facility managers came to the temple one day and spotted me on the grounds working and he said ‘Can you come to the office?’ and then he asked me if I wanted to do gardens for the church [at all] the chapels.”

The chance to provide landscaping services for the LDS Church in Samoa enabled her business to grow and allowed her to continue to expand her nursery as well as hire several full time employees. “If there is anything I know for sure, it is that I followed my heart. When I was inspired to do this flower bed and to give it to the temple I didn’t know what it was for, but I did follow my heart and the promise is [found in] that scripture, “I the lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise,” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10). That’s the scripture that gives me encouragement. I did not intend to have a business then as I went along, but when I did this, I knew there was something big for me.”

Lila’s Flora has come a long way and has become very successful. Aiga’s business offers services in, landscape design, floral arrangements, decorations for weddings, conferences, parties and other gatherings. “I can honestly say that the Lord has blessed us abundantly with everything that we have done. Ever since I have had this business I can say that I have paid my tithing first, and I always feel like, not like I feel like if I don’t pay my tithing I won’t be blessed. But I know anyone with a good attitude with sincerity can do anything they put their heart to.” Aiga said. By her side has been her very supportive husband. “My husband said that ‘The first thing that the Lord created is the garden,’ and he always feels that we are doing the best thing. The one thing that the Lord wants, the very first time, was to create a garden and put His children into it to look after that garden. I think that is the one thing that makes him happy and feels like he is doing the right thing looking after the garden.”

“I couldn’t have done this, if I wasn’t committed, dedicated, hard working and have much faith in the Lord,” Aiga responded as the secret recipe to her success. Aiga and her husband recently celebrated forty-one years of marriage. “We’ve been blessed with six wonderful children and thirteen grandchildren,” she said.

Aiga Vaiaoga had a simple desire to serve the Lord. It is often through volunteered service that we are rewarded with favorable circumstances and unexpected blessings which improve our situation beyond what we might have hoped.

{Watch below a short compilation of highlights from Aiga Vaiaoga’s interview. Feel free to share her story using the share buttons below. Subscribe to the blog by entering your email (Instructions in the post How to follow this blog in the home page) to be notified whenever a new post is live, or follow the blog via Facebook page (Sounds of Silent Stories), or Instagram page (soundsofsilentstories). Check out my Youtube channel as well.)}

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2 thoughts on “Through Small & Simple Things

  1. very beautiful humble story. congratulations Aiga. you have gifted hands

  2. Congratulations Aiga and thanks much for sharing this beautiful motivational story of yours which simply leads me to the fact that anybody can do anything only from a simple beginning. Malo lava!

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