I am Michael Kasipale.
I was born in Auckland New Zealand.
Life before Islam
I had a normal upbringing in a Samoan family of 4 siblings including myself, my family had moved to Australia permanently in 1998.
I was brought up as a Catholic and went to a Catholic primary and secondary school, while it was a great experience I remember finishing my schooling with more questions than answers about Christianity.
I had everything I needed but I never felt peaceful, just lacking something that I wasn't able to figure out.
My first encounter with a Muslim
I met my first Muslim and his beautiful family when I was still in primary school, they were my neighbours.
Now what stood out to me was this particular answer he said when I asked him how strong is your faith in your God, he answered in Arabic and it wasn't until I took my Shahadah later on down the track that I realised he said the same words to me.
While working I had made friends with two Muslims, Nasser and Ibrahim.
During the months I had been talking to them about Islam out of curiosity since I had been looking into it a year before.
They helped me in understanding the basic concept of islamic beliefs.
When I finally felt I was ready I met with Nasser at a youth centre (since he runs a centre for Muslims with Ibrahim) and there I said my Shahadah.
What do I love about Islam?
What I love and cherish about Islam is how pure it is in terms of worship, lifestyle and spirituality.
How has Islam improved me as person?
Since I converted I have been calm and clairvoyant so to speak, my mental health is amazing, and my physical health has improved.
My family likes my changes.
My family is extremely supportive and happy for my change, at least they think I'm more dependable haha.
As a Samoan Polynesian Muslim what challenges have I faced?
The only challenge I faced thus far, is the pitiful glances and comments I get from the Catholic community I used to be apart of, though it doesn't faze me as much as I think it should (I literally zone out way to much haha).