Elder & Sister Jeppson (Utah), Jane-Lyn Scotty (Nauru), Sister & Elder McCollum (AB, Canada) squint from the bright morning sun as they face East with the newest flag on the “flag circle” at BYUH flying just above them.  President Tanner presides at the ceremony on December 30, 2015.

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Student Jane-Lyn Scotty from Nauru is so pleased to have her country’s flag a part of the Flag Circle. It was a joyous day for Jane-Lyn, the only member of the LDS church on her 8 mile wide island of Nauru in the South Pacific. After she completes her degree at BYUH, her goal is to return to her home island, to help her people politically and spiritually.  The McCollums are blessed to have become friends with Jane-Lyn.
The Nauru flag is dark blue in color (representing the ocean below and sky above), the white 12-pointed star represents the island which was founded by twelve families and is located just below the equator, represented by a yellow band on the flag.
Have you previously seen Sister McCollum wearing the blue top, as shown in the above “flag” photo?  Yes you have!  Sister McCollum is growing tired of wearing summer outfits

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Never in her life has she previously worn summer clothing for twelve months in a row; yet there are five more months yet to go until she will arrive back on the mainland in summer!   Yes, it seems it is a blessing to live where one can enjoy seasonal clothing and the changing of the seasons.

Sister McCollum has brought several summer outfits with her, but she finds that some tops are NOT Hawaii heat friendly!  There are no clothing shops in Laie and little time to travel and shop in the Honolulu area.  So Sister McCollum just treats her outfits like uniforms and wears them over and over again.

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 There is something to be said for being a guy.  An “Elder” Missionary only has to pick out a tie each morning to go with his white shirt and dress pants for his “missionary uniform”!  So simple… but perhaps boring?!

L to Rt - CAS Staff: Elder & Sister Larsen, Sister Jeppson, Sister & Elder McCollum

F R I D A Y S on BYUH campus, “Aloha Wear” is encouraged for staff, instructors and missionaries.  Elder McCollum is blessed to have several colourful Aloha wear shirts given to him by his friend, B. Easterbrook from Texas (The Easterbrooks – Ontario friends of 40+ years, came to visit family and vacationed on Oahu in 2015.)

Elder & Sister McCollum with our new friend/student Esafe from TongaDSCN1198IMG_2135


Having endured Alberta winters, the Canadian Missionaries are often asked, “Are you missing snow?” Actually Sister McCollum did wish for a blizzard with cold temperatures during the Hawaiian Summer,  from June to September!  Why?  The temperatures were high and humidity just dreadful even for the locals.  Remember…. there is a lack of air-conditioning in most homes and apartments here in Laie!
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Calgary, Alberta Canada 2011                           Laie, Oahu, Hawaii 2016
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Here are photos of the plants outside the kitchen window here in Laie.
Winter is here and once again it is P A R A D I S E ! Elder and Sister McCollum feel blessed to need a top sheet at night when temperatures drop; yet the days are warm and often hot.  In the “winter” months, some students are seen wearing sweatshirts, hoodies or jean jackets.   It’s usually students whose homeland is near the equator like Micronesia, Tonga, Samoa and Tahiti.
Clouds do gather, dropping heavy mists or quick showers.  Tourists say they don’t mind the warm rain since it allows then to enjoy the beauty of rainbows. On the beaches, locals, tourists and students bask in the sun and feel the warm ocean waves.  Vegetation is green, lush and well watered on the North shore with all the rain.  If the sun doesn’t come out, tourists have the option of driving to the usually sunny south side of the island where they bask in the sun on Waikiki Beach and enjoy the busy city of Honolulu along with many other tourists.
The event is broadcast from the BYUH campus, the Cannon Activity Centre (CAC).  Since Elder and Sister McCollum’s ward is at 2pm, the ward members gather to partake of the sacrament, have a closing prayer and then walk across campus to the CAC for the 3pm broadcast. The guest speakers are President (of the quorum of the 12 apostles) Russell M. Nelson and his wife Sister Wendy Nelson.   The BYUH student chorus, lead by director Michael Belnap sings a hymn that truly brings the spirit into the building and sets the tone for the messages shared by President and Sister Nelson.
Everyone, dressed in their Sunday Best leave the Cannon Activity Centre after the very special event.  President Nelson speaks to the BYUH Chorus as students file out.  A choir member that the McCollum’s  know shares that President Nelson said, “…..angels singing with you.”
Robb & Kimberly go for a run; Grandpa, Grandma, Samuel & Henry go for a bike ride to
 the playground which is beside the faculty townhouses and near the temple.
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 Samuel spots a praying mantis insect climbing the playground equipment!
Are you able to spot it too!
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The excursion isn’t complete without a stop at the nearby Temple Visitors Centre with a photo shot in front of the “Christus” statue.
Henry enjoys “home” preschool; this day meeting at Henry’s home with his mommy/McCollum’s daughter in law, Kimberly as she helps three year olds create butterflies.
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Henry & Samuel enjoy time with their Uncle Jared. Elder & Sister McCollum with their son Jared and Crystal.  We enjoy a very full day of fun.
First, check out the big morning waves at Sunset Beach. Next a tour around Temple Hill and BYUH campus with introductions of Jared and Crystal to other senior missionaries and students.
The afternoon is filled with visits to the PCC Villages of Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.  Despite the rain filled day, sights are enjoyed, including a canoe ride and the Canoe Pageant.
pcc villages canoe pageant
Catching a view of the wall decor at Pounders Restaurant (a wave made of drift wood) before Jared and Crystal enjoy dining at Island Buffet.  Then off to the evening show, Ha’the Breath of Life.
A student usher,  Elder & Sister McCollum know very well, seats the four guests in excellent seats.
The evening show is followed by Lunar Legends, a paddle board late evening activity on the PCC lagoon for Jared and Crystal.  Elder & Sister McCollum choose to be the photographers!
Leaving Laie at 5:45 Saturday morning and reaching Pearl Harbour at 7am, Elder and Sister Noel and Elder and Sister McCollum visit a very popular tourist attraction, “World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument”.  The easiest way to obtain the free tickets is to get in line early!
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We take a shuttle boat through the harbour out to the monument built above the sunken ship.
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Enjoyed this tourist sight with our friends, Elder and Sister N.
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A buffet Hawaiian breakfast is served followed by the flag raising ceremony.
The guests gather in the Hawaiian Village meeting house which has a very high roof.  The backdrop flag is a replica of The Hawaiian Crown flag of King Kamehameha III  circa 1833.
The devotional’s theme, “The Quest for Spiritual Knowledge”.  Each of the four speakers expressed their thankfulness to Heavenly Father for being able to receive spiritual and educational knowledge at BYUH.  After the devotional, the students of the village dance a historical hula portraying the history of their ancestors.  The village student workers are grateful for the Hawaiian Village Ohana (family).
The Hawaiian Village workers pose for the cameras.  Elder and Sister K. from Victoria BC visit with CEO of the PCC, Alfred Grace.  President Grace shares his feelings during the devotional, “I am thankful to be engaged in good works that benefit so many students.  I appreciate working in a place where we strive to have the Holy Ghost present.”
Elder and Sister McCollum framed by the Noels and the Keyes.
As the end of the semester draws near, BYUH abounds with great entertainment. The McCollums enjoy a tremendous production, FIDDLER on the ROOF.  It is a finale for BYUH Drama Head Instructor Brother Ferre.  Michael Belnap and his wife Lila are the stars, portraying Tevye and Golde,  a jewish couple who live in the village of Anatevaka, Russia around 1905.  The vocal music and acting is superb.  The cast receive a standing ovation.  It is a memorable evening.
BYUH Dance director Nina Abliz Foster, her own three young children and dance students of BYUH  present a well rehearsed show, DANCE THROUGH LIFE.  Nina’s parents, are here in Laie visiting their daughter and her family. They too perform a dance number on the program.
Instructor Nina Abliz Foster began her dance career at age ten when she left her parent’s home to attend the prestigious People’s Liberation Army Art University in Beijing.  Nina’s parents are Turkish Muslims, the Uyghur who live in China.
To view a very interesting 28:45 minute u-tube video about Nina go to:
Or use a browser and search for:  “Butterly Voyage” www.youtube  (28+ minutes).
It will hold your interest!
SPOUSAL ENGLISH CLASS – Winter Semester 2015-2016 BYUH
Sister McCollum with students, their children & Annie the instructor.
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The student associations put together Teams for various “Olympic” Events.  Here are the Samoan, Tongan, Fijian and students from New Zealand are ready to play “Touch Rugby”.  Certainly a tame game for Elder and Sister McCollum compared to years ago having watched their sons Glen and Jared play this sport!
Senior Missionaries go all out to cheer the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams, all wearing stylish white sunglasses!
 Finale production for BYUH director Craig Ferre.  Tevye, the Dairyman and his wife Golde are played by husband and wife Michael and Lila Belnap.  MB is the director of the BYUH chorus; he is has an amazing singing background so it was a joy to hear him perform instead of just his students!
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2016 NEW YEARS GREETINGS being sent to you from HAWAII
Love, Elder and Sister McCollum


  1. Sharon

    I just spent about half hour writing to you and then my screen froze so I lost it all but I so loved your entries. Sent me on a wonderful journey back in my mind to the emotions felt from Devotionals we attended there and the power of the Spirit as we heard students and staff share their testimonies. There were so many experiences we will forever cherish and I see you have more than a lifetime of experiences there that will warm your souls long after you leave the warmth of the Hawaain shores and return to the homeland of Canada with its chills and blizzards! Thank you for so carefully documenting and sharing your vast array of abundance with us! Mahalo!

  2. Linda Arnold

    I enjoyed learning a bit about Nauru and seeing their flag. I had never even heard of it before. It is nice that you have had so many visitors and so many amazing experiences. I do like the change of seasons too. Brian says he would never miss having snow. We have had a very nice winter. Some snow but really very mild temp.
    Thanks for your updates so many beautiful things. We send our love Linda and Brian

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