APRIL 2016 – The Countdown has begun!


Elder and Sister McCollum find they are repeating BYUH activities of their previous mission year.  In April 2015 they attended the two nights of BYUH CULTURAL NIGHT.

What is CULTURAL NIGHT?  The many BYUH student associations present eight minute long dance/music presentations.  With so much enthusiasm for this event, created by the sheer number of student clubs and country associations that want to prepare and present, the actual Cultural Night is held two evenings to make room for all participants.

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Old Photos of Samoan Association presentation – BYUH 2015 Cultural Night

Now April 2016, as Volunteer Advisors for the Samoan Student Association, Elder and Sister McCollum find they are very  involved in the preparation and practices for Cultural Night 2016.  Elder McCollum shows his support by attending the Samoan practices: Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 9:30pm to approx. 11 pm, outdoors on campus on the north side courtyard of the Canon Activity Centre.  (see photo below) The only way Elder McCollum is able to have the energy to attend the practices and still get up at 6am the next morning, is to have a long nap at home before heading out to the practice! (Thanks also go out to their son and his wife for the use of their car to get Elder McCollum to and from  the practices in a timely manner late at night.)


Measurements have been taken and the matching costumes for the event have been ordered; they are being made in Samoa.  (Apparently the seamstresses in Laie are all busy with preparations for the upcoming May Day celebrations in the Elementary School and nearby High school.)

At the most recent count, there will be 140 members of the Samoan cast.  Elder and Sister McCollum will act as support to the large group, be dressed in costumes and stand at the back of the stage when the Samoans present.  BTW, as you can see from the above picture, the Samoans ‘adopt’ mainlanders who want to share in this cultural experience.

NOTE: 2016 Cultural Night will be presented Friday May 27 & Saturday May 28th from 9:30 – 11:30pm.  Yes, it does start very late in the evening.  WHY? Many BYUH students work at the PCC, and they are not available until after the PCC Night Show closes (Ha’ Breath of Life) at 9pm.

The Samoan Association will present the final number on the program Friday May 27th, the first evening of Cultural Night.  It will be the very last BYUH event for Elder and Sister McCollum to “fit-in” just before they fly out of Honolulu on Saturday morning May 28th.

Elder and Sister McCollum must leave 3 hours after the event ends in order to arrive at the airport in Honolulu at 4:25 am. (Now travelers leaving Honolulu even for domestic flights are recommended to arrive 2 hours before departure for the pre-flight check-in.) It is doubtful there will be any sleeping that night/morning!  Perhaps, just as well; Elder and McCollum may then be able to sleep their way across the Pacific to the mainland!

SAMOAN SOCIAL – WET & WILD Friday April 29th

You would think the Samoans would be too tired for fun with all the dance practices.  Certainly not! The association plans a Friday night activity on campus at the Flag Circle, a windy evening. The breeze does not stop the fun. The photos are self explanatory.

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Water fun is followed by food and a dance.  Elder and Sister McCollum manage to stay until 11pm.


Sunday May 1st marks the last Sunday Testimony Meeting in the Third Married student ward.   Elder and Sister McCollum attend this ward each Sunday since arriving in Laie.  Below are photos taken May 1st.


Leotas (Laina & Dallin) from Australia


Gomez (Jose & Eva) from Costa Rica and Austria


Gatoloai (Bae & Lau) from Germany & NZ


A new couple just moved into ward – from Brazil


Elder McCollum & Elder Gabbitus with Peter from mainland China.Brother Peter Chan (here for 2 semesters) returns home to China at the end of the Spring Semester.  He is a district leader for the Church of Jesus Christ in China; he is here taking leadership and English courses. He talks on the phone each day with his wife who is home in China.


Sister Ooysten with Elder and Sister McCollum



Elder and Sister McCollum are given leis by the Samoan students who greet at the gate. Guests begin arriving at the Samoan village at the PCC at 8am and are served a big breakfast: scrambled eggs, rice, sausage, pork, tara root, breadfruit (tastes almost like potatoes) and fresh fruits.

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Senior Missionaries visit and enjoy the breakfast.

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Village workers/students and guests begin to make their way to the Chief’s house.

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The Samoan Village workers and the two students who represent the King and Queen gather in front of the Chief’s House for the flag ceremony.

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The national anthems are sung as each of the flags are raised: US, Western Samoan, and American Samoa.

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Samoan students and guests gather for the annual Islands of Samoa Devotional.  The theme is    “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”  There are awards, talks and music.  The BYUH Samoan Student Association’s Choir sing a hymn in Samoan with amazing harmony…just wonderful. These young people have beautiful voices that blend together so well, filling the Chief’s house with the Holy Spirit!

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The Hall is decorated with fresh flower arrangements and the pillars are covered with freshly woven palm leaves.

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Samoan students and local Samoans gather with the village workers for a photo. The Samoan Village staff have matching outfits of yellow and black with a Samoan print design.  One of the speakers says, “We look like bumble bees!”


Elder and Sister McCollum attended this annual event in 2015.  Now in 2016, the theme is Music of America.  Grandson Samuel is in the kindergarten section.  This is a huge community event and is held in the morning at the Polynesian Cultural Centre – Pacific Pavilion.

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The crowd is assembled and anxious for the program to being.  Sister McCollum, Robb, Kimberly and Henry are ready to cheer on Samuel and his kindergarten group.


The royal court of the islands are introduced.


The kindergarten children’s theme is the Wild Wild West.  Since Elder McCollum had meetings at BYUH, he later views the video of grandson Samuel‘s part while Sister McCollum heads to campus after watching Samuel.


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Elder and Sister McCollum with Lita.     Surprise flower delivery to CAS.

The McCollums met Lita from New Zealand in her first semester at BYUH.  She occasionally drops by to visit and they enjoy seeing her on Campus.  Sister McCollum receives a floral bouquet on the Friday afternoon before Mother’s Day weekend.  There is no flower shop in Laie so she finds it amazing that she receives this lovely surprise!

Busy, busy time as the days begin to fly by. There will be just one more post before the mission in this Hawaiian Paradise ends!



  1. Sharon Hara

    So heartwarming to see all the activities and feel the Spirit of Laie as I do so. Talk is already going around that you will be returning home from your mission soon! It seems as though you just left on the one hand and yet on the other hand is seems like forever! So many people you nurtured and loved here have missed you and your powerful influence for good!

  2. Jason Berry

    What a wonderful opportunity you have had to come to know the people of Hawaii and the students of BYU-Hawaii. So many amazing memories. We look forward to seeing you on return and listening to your adventures. Safe travels.

  3. Carole Rozell

    You are still as beautiful as ever, Sister McCollum. Such a handsome couple. What a wonderful work you are doing there.
    Love Carole R.

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