In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
Don't you think there are just way too many tenses in the English language? You have the past tense, the perfect past, the present tense and more other tenses that I think I will ever use. Be that as it may, tenses are part and parcel of the English language therefore it is vital that a learner of the language properly understands the different tenses and their usage.
As a start, when do I use the simple past tense?
The simple past tense should be used for describing things that happened in the past.
For example, yesterday I attended my friend's wedding reception. So for verbs that we want to use to describe what happened at the reception should be used with the past tense.
I had Nasi Minyak at the wedding.
The Nasi Minyak was delicious.
Simple is it not? For things that happened in the past, we should use the past tense.
Allah knows best.