Quote of King Benjamin: Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:17  “….I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

King Benjamin's last address to his people.

King Benjamin’s last address to his people.

Yes, Elder and Sister McCollum appreciate the opportunity of giving service to the students, faculty and staff of BYUH; they know through this service they are serving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.

“Real Heat”

After investigation, it seems there is a calculation and term used by media and weather  here in Hawaii, for humidex (the TERM used in Canada) or heat index (the TERM used in mainland USA).  Here in Hawaii the terminology is “REAL HEAT”. Example: At 86F and the humidity 98%, Laie residents feel as though it is 107F. YES, VERY MUGGY.   The problem really is that there are  not “down” days where the thermometer drops.

Perhaps, the term, Real Heat is easier to understand for all the foreign visitors that come to the Hawaiian Islands!


Elder and Sister McCollum join their friends Elder and Sister Graham and Sister Woods on a tour of the town of Haleiwa on the North Shore.  When the McCollum’s see this brochure(see below), it reminds them of another town, Sidney by the Sea on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  Other than the Honolulu Harbour, this is the first marina that the McCollum’s have seen since they came to the island of Oahu.  Perhaps this is due to the many coral reefs that surround the island, making it difficult to find a safe harbour.

Brochure of Walking Tour of Haleieva

Brochure of Walking Tour of Haleieva

A guide takes the five Senior Missionaries on a waking tour through the streets of Hale-(home)-Iwa (frigate bird).  This town was established in the early 1900’s; some of the old buildings are still in use; many have been replaced by businesses: McDonalds, Starbucks etc.  There is a new strip mall built in the style of the early 1900 buildings that really adds to the charm and commerce of the town.

Senior Missionaries with their tour guide. Background: the harbour

Senior Missionaries with their tour guide.
Background: the harbour (photo courtesy of Elder Graham)

NOTE: Our new good friends, Elder and Sister Graham, have left the Hawaii Honolulu mission.  They returned to the mainland to visit family and in the fall they will attend Temple Presidency Training.  Then in November they fly to Ghana to begin serving for three years as Accra, Ghana Temple Mission President and Matron.

Accra, Ghana Temple

Accra, Ghana Temple where Elder & Sister Graham will serve

SHAVE ICE in HAWAII (not Shaved Ice!)

The most popular "Shave Ice" shop in Hawaii

The most popular “Shave Ice” shop in Hawaii

Why is this shave ice chain so popular?  Apparently this business has a BIG advertising campaign in Japan aimed at Japanese who visit Hawaii.  As mentioned before, the term, “Shave Ice” uses pigeon English.  Yes, Elder McCollum waits in line to be served a lime flavoured Shave Ice with a scoop of ice-cream at the bottom which he shares with Sister McCollum.  NOTE: When ordering a Shave Ice, always ask for it to be served in a “dish” (not the paper cone) because it starts to leak before you are finished!  ALWAYS share with a friend, or you get brain freeze!

Courtyard beside  shop.

Courtyard beside Matsumoto’s Shave Ice shop.

The Service at the PCC continues = Free Dinner


Email reminding Elder and Sister McCollum of their service opportunity at the PCC.

All the senior missionaries serving at Brigham Young University Hawaii (BYUH) and/or at the Polynesian Cultural Centre (PCC) in Laie, volunteer at the PCC by being ticket takers/greeters at the Restaurants and Luau Venues. It’s an opportunity to see many students  that work at the venues and greet and visit with many guests. Summer brings many visitors to Hawaii; the three Luau locations at the PCC operate along with the usual  “Prime Dining” and “The Island Buffet” restaurants.

Staff from the PCC kitchens recently spoke at Senior Missionary Family Home Evening. The executive chef of the PCC shared his thoughts about coming to work at the PCC.  He exclaims,”When I saw the PCC kitchen for the first time, I thought I was entering an aircraft hanger!”

Elder and Sister McCollum serve at the Aloha Luau and again enjoy the program at the Aloha Luau as they control the back entrance. Following their service they head to the Prime Dining Restaurant as most of the paying guests finish eating and leave.  The Senior Missionaries gather, visit and enjoy the buffet.

Prime Dining at the PCC. Elder McCollum taking photo.

Prime Dining at the PCC. Sister McCollum with Elder & Sister Nielson & Gabbitus.  Elder McCollum is taking the photo.

The Food? Meat and fish eaters appreciate the menu.  “Non-meat eaters”, like Sister McCollum, grow tired of the choices despite a wide selection of carbohydrate dishes:  mashed & roasted potatoes, spaghetti, white and brown rice, noodles…. However, there is a fresh lettuce salad bar and always fresh pineapple and papyua.  Wondering what cooked vegetables are served?  NONE!  Why?  Vegetables are not part of the traditional Polynesian diet.

Beautiful Murals decorate the upper walls of this dining area.

Beautiful Murals decorate the upper walls of this dining area.

Elder McCollum will try to remember to take photos of the many murals that decorate the upper walls of this beautiful facility which houses “Prime Dining” and the “Island Buffet” restaurants. The tickets for these meals are certainly less pricey than eating at the Luaus, but only the Luau Venues have a program with Polynesian entertainment.  BUT,  the Luau programs are just a short sample of the excellent evening production, “Ha’ Breath of Life”.

If you are not familiar with the PCC, check out the web site:

Or read about the PCC on wikipedia. NOTE: some of the information is outdated. Example: at the present time there is not a Marquesas Islands village since at the present time there have not been enough students from these islands to staff a village


Young Missionary Companions

Young Missionary Companions

As some of you may be aware, when “younger” LDS missionaries serve their missions, they change companions several times during their 18 months of service (for young women 19+) and 24 month missions (for young men 18+).  Of course this does not happen with senior missionaries.  Senior single women who serve missions do not usually have another senior sister missionary as a companion.  Here in Laie several of the single senior sister missionaries do share a home together where they live.

Senior Missionary Companions

Senior Missionary Companions

For the senior missionary couples, if they have just recently retired, the husband and wife may suddenly find themselves together 24 hours a day …. everyday.  They may not have had this experience or been accustomed to this situation in their married life what with university studies, work, raising children, church callings, service in their community etc. etc.

Not only are senior missionary couples adjusting to their a 24 hr.a day companion, they may also realize that this person they loved and married many years ago seems to suddenly have turned into an “OLD MAN” or “OLD WOMAN”.  How did this happen?  They  discover the handsome guy or cute gal they fell in love with… has changed considerably.  (On August 29th, the McCollum’s will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary.) The person they love and cherish now has many aches, pains, grey hair and other aging issues!

On considering this state of affairs, Sister McCollum comes across this greeting card while waiting in line at the post office.  She buys it for her missionary companion.

Front of Card Sister McCollum gave to her companion.

Front of the card Sister McCollum gave to her companion.

Back of Card

Inside of card for Elder McCollum

Just a perfect sentiment!  Don’t you agree?

While reading the July 2015 Ensign (LDS church monthly magazine) Sister McCollum notices a special spiritual quote (page 15 upper right corner) that goes along with her feelings.

Quote of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (2nd Counsellor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, from General Conference October 2009):

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely.                                                            Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly.                                                                              Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses ….             Regardless of our current state, there is hope for us.   No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.              _____

Sister McCollum prays that her mission companion continues to endure serving with her!  She briefly mentions Elder Uchtdorf’s quote to Elder McCollum.

The next morning upon arriving in the Centre for Academic Success, Elder McCollum says, “I’ll be back in a few  minutes.”  He goes to the nearby Academic Media Centre in the Library and brings back a gift for his wife and missionary companion.

A photo of a lake in the Rocky Mountains with Elder Uchtdorf's quote printed in the foreground.

A poster/photo of a lake in the Rocky Mountains                                                                              with Elder Uchtdorf’s quote printed in the foreground.

**Please note, many of the photos on this blog are taken with a cell phone so the quality is less than perfect. Add to this, the unsteady hands of the senior who is operating the “camera”, the photos may be less than desirable.  The photos will give you a “rough” idea of what’s happening!



There is much to do in preparation for BYUH New Student Orientation: preparing  academic handouts and a power point presentation that will introduce CAS and the senior missionaries who serve in the Centre to the freshmen BYUH students for Fall 2015 semester. CAS lets the students know that academic help is available.

Sister McCollum receives a list of 25 CHALLENGE STUDENTS that are her responsibility to welcome to BYUH and encourage them to take advantage of the services that CAS offers.  BYUH allows approximately 20+ challenge students each semester from the USA and/or its’ territories.  These students do not have the required GPA (Grade Point Average) to gain admittance but with recommendation from their bishops and stake presidents, they are given one semester to show they can earn a 2.5+ GPA.

On going over the challenge student list, she notices that a set of twins (boy and a girl) from Honolulu.  This reminds her of a Samoan student named Pearl that Elder and Sister McCollum meet at one of the Samoan club activities.

When Sister McCollum exclaims, “Pearl, I like your name.  Why did your parents choose  such a name?”  Pearl explains that she has a twin brother.  Her parents chose for her twin brother’s name, “Price“.   It takes a few  moments for this name combination to “sink-in”.  Pearl and Price….

When the twin babies were born, the parents (recent converts to the LDS church) turn to the scriptures to choose a name for their twin infants.  They use the name of the title of one of the four “standard works” of LDS Scriptures: The Pearl of Great Price.  Hence, Pearl and Price.  How unique!

 Standard Works - LDS Scriptures

Standard Works – LDS Scriptures

The scriptures used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are the revelations given to them by Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and/or the Holy Ghost.and writings of God’s prophets about the people and experiences of their time.

The Pearl of Great Price: is a selection from the revelations, translations and narrations of Joseph Smith – first prophet, seer and revelatory to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

The following scripture explains the meaning of the title of this book of scriptures:                  Matthew 13: 45-46,  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”


Map of PCC

Map of PCC

August 1st, Elder and Sister McCollum attend the Aotearoa Village (New Zealand Maori) devotional.  Aotearoa has become the Maori name for New Zealand. The event begins with a flag raising and singing of their national anthem.

Sign on fence of village

Sign on fence of village

Family, friends, members of the community and senior missionaries are invited to attend the event presented by the students and workers at this PCC village.

Since the 1990s it has been the custom to sing New Zealand’s national anthem, “God Defend New Zealand“, in both Māori and English, exposing the term Aotearoa to a wider audience.

Flag of New Zealand

Flag of New Zealand

The attendees remove their shoes as they enter the whare runanga or Maori meeting house on the grounds of the PCC for the devotional.

Meeting house.

Meeting house.

A tekoteko carving or man-like figure is seen at the roof peak of the building.  This gable figure represents the tribe’s common ancestor whose mana or protective power is over the entire marae or courtyard. Traditional Maori carvings do not represent human forms realistically: they believe they should not tamper with the same form possessed by the gods. Thus, human figures in their carvings are highly stylized art forms.

Ty Panels

Tukutuku Panels decorate the walls of the meeting house.

Tukutuku panels, which have been crafted by women, are placed on the walls of the meeting house between the ancestral poupou panels. Each panel’s design signifies a certain tribal historical event or legend. Thus, the tukutuku itself is a way of preserving tribal lore and helping transmit it to the next generation. The set of six panels at the end of the PCC Maori’s meeting house tells the story of the original Maori migration to New Zealand. These panels are woven from the dried leaves of the kiakia vine which is found abundantly in New Zealand.

Opening Hymn in the devotional

Opening Hymn in the devotional

President Grace - CEO of the PCC

President Grace – CEO of the PCC

After the devotional, Elder and Sister McCollum visit with a Maori student, Tivarn Tipoki who works part-time in the village. A few weeks ago, Tavern was married in the Auckland New Zealand temple.  The McCollums and Tivarn and his wife Stacey, are members of 3rd ward.

Elder & Sister McCollum Newly weds: Tivarn &

Elder & Sister McCollum
Newly weds: Tivarn & Stacey

As we leave the village, guests are given a scripture  gift written in Maori from the Book of Mormon: the theme of the devotional, “Fulfilling the prophetic destiny of the PCC.”

Gift from Aotearoa Village Devotional

Gift from Aotearoa Village Devotional

Scriptural Theme for the Devotional

Scriptural Theme for the Devotional: Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi Chapter 9: verses 5-6


  1. Linda Arnold

    Love your stories and photos! Have a wonderful 48th Anniversary.
    You are in our prayers and thoughts and we send our Love.
    Brian and Linda Arnold

  2. Marlene Whitehead

    I really enjoy your stories of your mission experience and am happy that you are enjoying your mission and all the opportunities for service. Lots of love!

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