Yes,”…the tender mercies of the Lord” 1Nephi 1:20 are certainly present each day of our mission if we but take time to recognize these mini-miracles and thank our Heavenly Father. We know the same is true in each of your lives too, if you but recognize these blessings.
We will share a few of our highlights (& flowers of Hawaii):
Example 1: Sister McCollum, and Sister Bott (one of our mentors on her last day at BYUH campus) are walking to a meeting. A young woman gets near enough to read our missionary tags, “Hey! Sister Bott, I’m Roxanne!” (Sister Bott had corresponded with this troubled and very busy young woman through emails but they had never been able to meet in person.) The Lord blessed these women to meet on Sister Bott’s last day on campus!
Example 2: As we sit down for the weekly campus Devotional held in the Cannon Center on BYUH campus for the student body, faculty and full time missionaries, Sister McCollum introduces herself to her seat-neighbour and shares where we are from. The student, a young woman says, “I’m Raylene L. and I’m from Canada too. My home is in Saskatchewan.” We have been keeping a tabulation of Canadians who are students and missionaries at BYUH and we now have the count at 10. Certainly a tender mercy to sit beside Raylene L with all those in the crowd at Devotional.
Example 3: Elder McCollum sends out weekly study tips to 342+ freshmen students on campus. Elder McC wonders, “Does it do any good?” Yes, it does! This morning Sina from Samoa, a beautiful young moman who is also a return missionary comes into the Center to thank Elder McCollum for the timely study tip she received, “It was just what I needed to hear.” After a brief chat, she shares that her biggest issue is time management of her classes, at least 1.5 hrs of study time per class time, 19 hrs PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) work, sleep, church, playtime etc. Elder McCollum designs an excel spread sheet with her weekly schedule for her to try out.
Example 4: Elder and Sister McCollum attend training for new PCC workers, Volunteers and service missionaries at the PCC. This training goes on every week with the constant turn-over of students and workers from the community. At the training we new find another Canadian: Zoe W from Langley BC. Our prayers continue to find Canadians here at BYUH.
By the way, most of these lovely flowers are NOT native to the Hawaiian Islands but they sure grow well here!
Example 5: Feb 15 – Sister McCollum sits on the outside edge of one of the row of chairs in the room where Relief Society (RS) is held. (BTW, for our “Friends of the Church”, RS is the abbreviation for the women’s organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. RELIEF – “give help and service to those in need”. SOCIETY – “a group with common goals”. The women of the church are members of the Relief Society. The usual order of Sunday church services include 3 sets of meetings: Sacrament Meeting, then Sunday School for adults and youth while children 18 months -12 years attend Primary classes; then women attend RS and men attend Priesthood Meeting.) Back to the miracle….. There is an empty isle seat on the left side of Sister McCollum.
As the prelude music plays, a young Asian woman sits in the empty isle seat. Sister McCollum and this young married woman, Kelsey T make introductions. When Sister McC asks how things are going, Kelsey T explains that she has graduated from BYUH but her husband has a two semesters to go. Kelsey has been interviewed for work as a science lab assistant but is waiting (now over a month) to get a paper signed to begin work in this position. The document needs to be signed by Max C. one of the university’s, Vice Presidents. MAX?! We know him! (M.C. was the VP with whom Elder and Sister McC had a phone interview prior to the mission call to BYUH and who we met upon arrival.) We follow-up and within 4 days, we get an email message that Kelsey has the signed document and will start work. Thank you Lord for letting us help.
Example 6: Saturday Feb 21 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm is our first time to serve at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We are wearing matching “aloha” outfits with our PCC badges as requested. All BYUH senior missionaries take the opportunity to serve 2-4 times a month for 2 hours taking tickets and greeting quests at one of the Laua locations at the PCC. (BTW: tradition has all senior missionary couples who serve together, wear matching aloha costumes.)
Example 6 continued: We arrive at 4:15 pm, a few minutes early at one of the venues, the O’hana Luau. We hear the BYUH student workers and adults that supervise them holding a pre-work devotional and short prayer meeting. Not too many “work-places” have a spiritual start to a work-shift. We wait to receive our assignments, sitting on a bench along side one of the walkways on the beautiful grounds of the PCC. Sister McC sees a Asian couple coming along the path. She approaches them and asks, “Are you Canadians… from Calgary?” YES! Sister McC is certain she recognizes them even though it has been over 25 years. It is wonderful and certainly not just “good luck” for us to meet Sara and Andrus on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Sister McC had been Sara’s VT soon after the family came to Calgary: Sara was from Hong Kong and Andrus from mainland China. Our first day serving at the PCC was a day with another mini-miracle.
Yes we are FOLK, “Friends of the Library – Kahoku“. Kahoku is another small village near Laie. What direction is it from Laie? North, she thinks. Sister McCollum has not as yet acquired her inward compass and cannot tell which way is North or South especially when it is a coudly day but also because the so called northshore of the island is rather like a zig zag, like most coasts. She notes where the sun rises and sets. Another directional issue is that Laie is on a point of land. You can reach the ocean at Temple Beach by walking North from the campus and also walking East, depending on the road you take. Elder McCollum on looking at a map has determined that the Library at Kahoku is north of Laie. Sister McCollum installs a compass on her phone to try to gain a sense of direction.
There is a well used and paved walking/bike path along this Kamehameha (pronounced Ka-me-ha-me-ha) Highway that leads from Laie to Kahoku (pronounced Ka-who-koo). Check out this video clip about Laie that was filmed last year. Watch carefully for a section about the bike path; it actually shows our son Robb and his wife Kimberly biking to the library. (You may have to copy and paste?)
The library in the village is shared by the community and the schools. We joined the FOLK group and helped at a recent Used Book and Bake Sale.
Our First Friends to visit us in Laie! Who will be next?
Taken at Laie Point on Oahu, Hawaii, Jan 2015.
Second Visit of a Friend: February 2015 Taken PCC
Senior Missionaries miss their grandchildren & special events!
February 23, 2014 # 17 grandchild arrived; the 3rd child for our son Andrew and his wife Andrea, Calgary Alberta. Ryder is our 13th grandson. We are so grateful for face-time visits and postings of Facebook.
Not may senior missionaries get to live near grandchildren while they serve a mission.
We not only get to see Samuel (age 5) and Henry (age 2) McCollum but we actually live in the same home with them and their parents!
SENIOR MISSIONARIES GET TO PARTY
As mentioned previously, Elder & Sister McCollum attend and support the 3rd married student ward on the campus of BYUH.
Friday evening finds the senior missionaries at a dance with flower wrist coursages for the ladies and boutonnieres for the fellows! Elder and Sister McCollum participate in a”floor-show” /demonstration of the jive. They keep the beat but only through a 2.5 minute tune!