Bringing in Year 2015 at the Missionary Training Centre

Monday December 29 to Friday January 2: our days are long, full and we head to bed by 10:00 pm New Years Eve.  We make memories with our distict of three couples and two single sisters; 86 senior missionaries in the big group. Learning to “tag” scriptures on our electronic devices, roleplay/teaching is actually fun, great devotionals, abundance of cafeteria food (not gourmet). Today’s Miracle: it is our last day at the MTC.  We meet Elder Okano on a COLD walk between buildings (he will serve a mission in Japan) who is from Abbotsford and are surprised to find we share our dinner-table with Elder Faganello (also heading to Japan) who is from Victoria 3rd ward (the ward our son Cliff & family attend).

MTC photos: 1 of 3 taken since the group of senior missionaries was so big. POOR QUALITY but we are third couple towards the centre on the right side.


Below: our district


MAP of MTC:  Black buildings , 1M – main MTC bldg (cafeteria/chapels), 2M our dormatory (seniors on 3rd floor), 4 M senior classrooms.

We had to go from building to building and we moved rather quickly since the temperatures were COLD.




Are you wondering how we found the seven hour flight from SLC to Honolulu?  The best ever!  Read on….


Elder McCollum in the SLC airport.

Saturday morning January 3rd,  a driver personally takes us from the MTC to the airport.  As we our checking our luggage, we get out our credit card to pay for the three suitcases that we are each taking and ask the cost.  The attendant looks at our missionary badges and says, ” The Church’s missionary travel has booked you as first class flyers; you get to check three bags each for free.” Now Elder and Sister McCollum look at each other in surprise and delight.  Today’s Miracle! We save $180 in baggage fees.  This is our first trip flying first class. We enjoy extra leg room, our choice of two entrees, lots of refreshments and free movies as we fly our way across the Pacific ocean to Hawaii.

ALOHA! Our son Robb greets us in the Honolulu airport baggage department and soon we climb aboard a large van with driver Michael A., BYUH Library Director and find other passengers: daughter-in -law Kimberly and grandsons Samuel (5) and Henry (2) who are waiting for us.  It’s a beautiful drive in the sunshine with views of the sparkling green ocean as we drive to the Northshore of Oahu.  In 45 minutes, we arrive at the home of R, K, S & H in the village of Laie, Oahu where we will stay for the next eighteen months.




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