HAWAIIAN CULTURE: THE HULA, A LEI & BLUE LIGHT & MORE

Mother’s Day 2015

Sister McCollum got the gift of her choice for Mother’s Day, an early morning walk at the beach. A five minute bike ride takes them to the park at Hukilau.  Early in the morning, the bike ride is a little cool.  (When Elder and Sister McCollum bike on afternoons, the breeze generated from biking is very welcome in the hot afternoon sun!)

Notice the contrasting colors: dry sand, wet sand, surf, sea, sky, and trees in the distance!

Notice the contrasting colors: dry sand, wet sand, surf, sea, sky, and trees in the distance!

Elder and Sister McCollum at 6am.

Elder and Sister McCollum at 6am.

Laie Point off the East in the distance.

Laie Point off the East in the distance.

Elder McCollum is told that if a mother comes to church on “Mother’s Day” and is not wearing a lei, the local women feel very sorry for this sister; it is like she is not loved!  Elder McCollum plans ahead and purchases two lei, one for his wife and one for his daughter-in-law K who is here in Laie. BTW: there is no plural for “lei” in the Hawaiian language

Etiquette regarding the lei:  “Always accept a lei, never refuse.  The proper way to wear a lei is to wear it draped over the shoulders, handing down both in front and in back. It is considered rude to remove a lei from your neck in the presence of the person who gave it to you, so if you must, be discreet.”

The lei may be made from flowers, nuts, seeds, leaves, candy etc.  Sister McCollum’s lei is a orchid, with 3 petals: one petal folded down so it looks almost like a ribbon and the other two petals on either side of the folded petal.

Sister McCollum's lei gift.

Sister McCollum’s lei gift – orchids

K. McCollum with her sons Samuel & Henry: May 10, 2015

K. McCollum & her lei with her sons Samuel & Henry:         May 10, 2015

Samuel wearing his mother's lei.

Samuel wearing his mother’s lei.

BYUH Devotional May 12, 2015

With the start of Summer Semester 2015, weekly devotionals begin again.  Faculty, students, instructors, senior missionaries are asked to wear “Sunday Best” for special guests on Tuesday May 12th.  (Well… BYUH senior missionaries always wear “Sunday Best” while serving on the campus; men wear white shirt/tie but no suit jacket.)  The Executive  Committee of the Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees of BYUH are the guests which include: Two members of the 12 apostles: Apostle Russell M. Nelson, Apostle Dallin H. Oaks; General Relief Society President Linda K. Burton; Member of the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy, Donald L. Hallstrom and Paul V. Johnson, Church Commissioner of Education.  Questions to consider: Doesn’t the Exec. Committee usually meet monthly  in Provo Utah?  Isn’t it unusual for two apostles to travel together?   Yes to both questions. 

L to Rt: Pres. Wheelwright, Apostle Nelson, Apostle Oaks, President Hallstrom

L to Rt Front Row: Pres. Wheelwright, Apostle Nelson, Apostle Oaks, President Hallstrom

Each of the visitors take the podium for a few minutes.  Then Apostle Nelson again takes pulpit and releases President Wheelwright who has served eight years as the president of BYUH.  (Pres. Wheelwright is a graduate of Harvard Business School) Then Elder Nelson calls John S. Tanner from Provo, Utah to serve as President of BYUH.  John and his wife, Susan W. Tanner are seated in the audience and are invited to the stand.  (President Tanner is an English professor at BYU-Provo.) The Tanners are asked to speak for a few minutes. It is exciting to be present for this moment in the history of BYUH.  Amazing to see two apostles here on the campus!  Note: The position of President of BYU Provo, BYU Idaho and BYU Hawaii are NOT positions for which one may apply, but these positions come as a calling through the First Presidency of the Church.

BYUH devotionals are held in the centre named after George Q. Cannon, an early missionary in Laie who assisted in the translation of the Book of Mormon into the Hawaiian Language.  Sister Tanner’s great grandfather is George Q. Cannon!  She served a few years ago as General Young Women’s president.  President Tanner along with his wife his wife,  served as President of the Brazil San Paulo South Mission. (A young Japanese woman in the 3rd married student ward that Elder & Sister McC attend, served a mission in Brazil under President Tanner.  She is very excited that she KNOWS the president of BYUH!)  President Tanner served a mission amongst the Polynesian people of the South Pacific so he will certainly understand the cultural background of the many Polynesian students here at BYUH.

President Tanner said, “I am inspired by the vision that prophets have had for BYU- Hawaii.  I intend to build on that wonderful legacy of aloha and learning and service that exists here to bless the international Church.”

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At the end of the devotional, the audience stands and sing the traditional farewell song, Aloha ‘Oe.  Most non-Hawaiians do not know the first verse, but the audience joins in the last refrain.  It was a tender moment.

NOTE:  President and Sister Wheelwright are recently called to serve later this year as Temple President and Matron of the Boston Massachusetts Temple.

HULA PRESERVATION SOCIETY

Sister McCollum takes a break from the office too attend the afternoon annual meeting of the HPS. Until she saw the announcement of the meeting in the campus bulletin, she did not know such a society existed! The Hula Preservation Society is a non-profit society dedicated to documenting and sharing life stores of the eldest living Hula Masters and their efforts to perpetuate hula and culture.

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This amazing group of Polynesian senior women danced so gracefully and in perfect unity at the opening of the HPS meeting.  They probably started learning as young girls and then performed and worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center which celebrated 50 years in operation in 2013 when it opened its doors.

Attendees at the HPS got to view several old video clips, one from 1977 of a very elderly sister performing an ancient hula.  On the video, the grounds of the PCC looked rather barren with mainly green grass, compared with the lush green vegetation visitors now enjoy!

BALLROOM DANCING

No! Elder and Sister McCollum are not taking up ballroom dancing, but they do get to attend a fabulous presentation given by SUU from the University from Cedar City in southern Utah.  The performers were certainly “athletes” with their quick costume changes and acrobatic dance moves!

Elder & Sister G and Elder & Sister McCollum at the Ballroom Dance Presentation.

Elder & Sister G and
Elder & Sister McCollum at the Ballroom Dance Presentation.

FUN SERVICE

With so many students away from campus during the summer semester and during the seven week break when there are no classes until the Fall Semester begins on August 3rd, the 3rd Married Student Ward  is lacking in “man & woman power”! Sister McCollum “gets” the opportunity to serve for two hours each Sunday in the Nursery with the little ones ages 18 months – 3 years.  The ward has a lot of young families.

Stroller Parking in the hallway just outside the chapel.

Stroller Parking in the hallway just outside       the chapel.

Mela being dropped off at nursery by his mommy.

Mela being dropped off at nursery by his mommy.

The Spousal English Class is running again on Tuesdays/Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm during May.  Sister McCollum cuddles a five month old Japanese baby, while thinking of her own little three month old grand baby Ryder back in Calgary Alberta.

Baby Huko

Baby Huko

Baby Ryder just a few weeks old with his siblings.

Grandson Ryder just a few weeks old with his siblings.

Happy little grandson Ryder

Happy little grandson Ryder

HULA, LEI and “BLUE LIGHT”

YES, almost forgot the BLUE LIGHT.  The Police Department of the County of Honolulu use a unique BLUE DOME LIGHT on the roof of the police cars.  This light is on all the time.  The County of Honolulu covers the entire island of Oahu.  Since the main highway on the North Shore  is quite near their bedroom window (only two homes and the Laie elementary school offices) Elder and Sister McCollum hear the sound and see the action of the BLUE DOME LIGHT police cars.

4 Comments

  1. Ella & Roy GOLIGHTLY

    GREEN WITH ENVY, BUT SO HAPPY FOR THE 2W OF YOU TO HAVE THIS WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE, NO ONE COULD DO IT BETTER, YOU ARE GREAT SERVATS OF THE LORD IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PACE HE CREATED. LOVE READING ABOUT YOUR MISSIOAN Bro AND sis> PRETE, FROM OUR WARD JUST CAME BACK FROM AFRICA, AND DID A WONDERFUL PRESENTATION,FOR OUR FHE GROUP, I WILL TAKE HAWAII THANK YOU VERY MUCH.LOVE TO YOU BOTH, ROY AND ELLA

  2. Jackson and Jill Ellis

    Just want to say hi to you both. We miss you at the temple but see many others are blessed by your being where you are. We are both doing well. Lots of new folks at the temple. All the best to you in your service there.
    Love, Jackson and Jill Ellis

  3. Oonagh Keeler

    A very busy time you are both having and such great adventures and friendships
    Our ward is growing and they have had to add to all of our V T routes. Jack has
    had some setbacks with his health and will be going into hospital Jun 2nd for a
    angioplasty to give him more circulation around his heart. Asking for prayers
    that this proceedure will improve his condition. Love Oonagh

  4. Marlene Whitehead

    Hello Elder & Sister McCollum! I really enjoy hearing about your mission. I have been fortunate to have visited the PCC twice and it along with the rest of Hawaii make up my favorite place of all those I have visited. The love, the flowers, the people, the weather and the surrounding water make it a special place. Lots of love, Marlene

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