With the call to serve by January 9, 2017 in the Canada Edmonton Mission, Lloydminister Alberta with the indigenous people,  December became a month for visits and farewells.  Although we did not get to visit with all of our children and grandchildren at Christmas, we had made summer and fall visits to BC, Oregon, Utah and Colorado.

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2 visits to Victoria BC with son Cliff, his wife Deanna, da. Nyah & da. Caesha & her fiancee Kole Anderson.  2 visits with grandson Zach/Vancouver.

IMG_4146  IMG_4149 Oregon July 4th

2 visits to Medford Oregon with daughter Leah, her husband Jason and grandsons: Logan and Rowan.

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Grandson Ethan leaves June 1st for a mission.  Visits in September with son Glen, his wife Danelle and sons: Thayer & Cooper in Ft. Collins CO.

IMG_4270 S&J with R&K R K S & H

Visits in Kaysville Utah with son Robb, his wife Kimberly and sons: Samuel and Henry.


Visit to Calgary LDS Temple with Glenda Nixon (Jeannine's sister)

Visit to Calgary LDS Temple with Glenda Nixon (Jeannine’s sister)

Gathering with Jeannine's siblings: Tom, Sheila, J & Glenda

Gathering with Jeannine’s siblings: Tom, Sheila, Jeannine & Glenda

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Time with our son Jared & his sons: Hunter, Maxwell & Griffin/Okotoks Alberta

Time with our son Jared & his sons: Hunter, Maxwell & Griffin/Okotoks Alberta


Granddaughter Autumn invites her grandparents to enter her castle!

Granddaughter Princess Autumn invites her grandparents to enter her family castle!

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Breakfast

Time for visiting....

Time for visiting with Andrea (daughter in law) & grandchildren….

Ryder, Lincoln and Autumn with their daddy, our son Andrew.

Ryder, Lincoln, Autumn and their daddy, our son Andrew and…

...with our son Brett & his wife Samantha

…with our son Brett & his wife Samantha


Grandpa and Grandma enjoy Mini Golf with: Jared & boys; Brett & Samantha; Andrew, Andrea & children.

Grandpa and Grandma enjoy Mini Golf with:
Jared & boys; Brett & Samantha; Andrew, Andrea & children.


Russell, J, Petrina & Alena Phillips

Russell, Jeannine, Petrina (our “daughter”) & Alena Phillips.


Thanks to our sons: Jared and Andrew, grandson Lincoln and Maxwell (see his green hair at bottom of photo) and young missionary/Elders from Elliston Park Ward/Calgary Bow River Stake, the rental moving truck got loaded despite the -20C daytime high temperatures. Thanks also to Jeannine’s sister, Glenda Nixon for feeding the crew.  After the loading, we enjoyed time with some of our family.

moversmovemove A&A

Our loading crew, the moving truck and our vehicle, and farewell tears with Andrew, Andrea, Lincoln, Autumn and Ryder.


set apart

Sunday evening January 8th, 2017 accompanied by Glenda (J’s sister) we head to the office of President Thompson, Calgary Bow River Stake at the Willow Park Chapel, to be set apart as service missionaries for the Canada Edmonton Mission (CEM).


Considering the LOW temperatures and blizzard-like snow conditions, the 6 hour drive North, then East to Lloydminster, AB went smoothly with Sam driving the rental truck and Jeannine the Dodge Journey.  The temperature was -20C for a daytime high when we got to Lloydminister at 3pm.  We had a crew of four strong warmly dressed angels there to meet us and unload the truck at: Unit 3, 5015 57 Street, Lloydminster, AB. We thanked them with a bucket of fried chicken. Two days later, we had furniture delivered by two missionaries that serve in the Canada Edmonton Mission Office: 2 desks, lamps, table, chairs and a dresser.  We had brought along our mattress/bed frame, kitchen goods, Lazyboy chairs, clothing and personal items.

Our apartment is two levels.  Upper: kitchen/living room with a good size entryway.  Lower: bedroom, storage/sewing room, bathroom and laundry/furnace room.  It is a good apartment and with the two levels, we certainly do not need a stair master exercise machine!  We have not lived in a home with our own refrigerator and kitchen since November 2014.  (Our son Robb & wife Kimberly shared their home with us while we served in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission Jan 2015-June 2016; Glenda, Jeannine’s sister,  shared her home in Calgary from July 2016-Dec 2016 in between the visits with our children in Victoria BC, Medford OR, Kaysville UT and Fort Collins CO.  We are certain R&K and Glenda are glad to have all the space in their frig to themselves.)  It has taken time to get unpacked and settled in, but we are enjoying our Lloydminster “digs”.   Unlike young missionaries, we will not get transferred to a new area nor will we change companions!!

Our apartment is in a small complex of two buildings.  Each building contains 8 – two level apartments, back to back.  We do not have any common hallways, nor do we have anyone living above us or below us, although we can sometimes hear our neighbours using their stairs.  The buildings may need some care on the exterior, but we are happy with the inside of our unit.

With the day time high of -26 C for the next two days after our arrival, we were faced a few issues:  #1 Our door key broke off in the lock (& we had to be rescued by our caretaker).  #2 We found our vehicle unplugged and it would not start but we got a tow truck eventually. #3 One morning we awoke to a COLD apartment as the power had gone out a few hours earlier, but soon after we awoke we heard the furnace start up.  So we’ve been tested.

We discovered a  lovely Christmas light display at the nearby curling rink.  Evening views out our windows often show the vapour of a jet from the nearby Canadian Forces Base (Cold Lake). Our dining/office area is very functional.

L-decor  view  dining rm

sunset IMG_5065 IMG_5066

In this small city, we do enjoy many exceptional prairie scape sunsets.  Our entrance hall and kitchen area are great too.

Rotons lg

Elder Darwin and Sister Andrea Rhoton from Eagar Arizona are the senior missionaries we are currently serving here in Lloydminster until they go home in April 2017.  Another couple will replace the Rhotons in July.  Darwin and Andrea have been so kind and helpful in welcoming us here.  Elder Rhoton was one of the angels that helped move us into our apartment.  The Rhotons and the young sister missionaries live in a new apartment building at the West end of the city, on the outskirts.  We are near city centre so when the weather improves, we have lots of exploring to do on foot.



Pattison Edmonton temple

President Pattison (see above with his wife) asked us to bring young missionary, Sister Lee to Edmonton so she could attend the Edmonton Temple before her departure for home.  We met some old Calgary friends of 30 years earlier at the temple and were able to have President Pattison be a proxy son for some ancestor/family sealings.  Then we enjoyed dinner at a nearby restaurant with the Pattisons; they shared with us the process of their being called to serve in the Canada Edmonton Mission.  We had a sleepover at the Mission Home in Sherwood Park, SE of Edmonton, before heading back home early the next morning.  (The Pattisons are CANADIANS from New Brunswick.)


border 2 border border 3 border 4

There are 4 very TALL orange markers at the intersection of Highway #16 and Highway #17 (which runs parallel with the 4th Meridian/110 degrees West marking the AB/SK border).  This intersection is in the middle of the city, downtown core (such as it is).

We live 2 blocks West of the border on the Alberta side of the city which has a population of 30,000.  Every time we leave our apartment, we enter SK when we drive along #17 highway and cross railway tracks. The LDS Church is just off #17 highway on the Alberta side of the city and South of where we live.

movieNative center

The movie theatre (above), Canada Post with the flag (down the street from the theatre) and the Native Friendship Centre are all in SK as is the hospital. All the local schools are all under the province of Saskatchewan Education System.  Provincial sales tax is not charged by any business in any part of the city.  What about Alberta’s carbon tax?  Apparently all gas stations on either side of the Meridian are charging the same, but we haven’t heard yet what that means.


When we served our mission in Hawaii we had 3 name badges:  #1 LDS Church badges, #2 BYU Hawaii University badges, #3 the Polynesian Cultural Centre Badges (PCC).  We only wore the PCC badges when we served at the PCC; it only had our first name on the badge.  We did not “advertise” the LDS church.

name tags

Here in the CEM (Canada Edmonton Mission), we only wear the LDS Church badges on Sunday or when we attend CEM meetings.  During the week, we wear the FIELDS badge: Foundation for Indigenous Education, Leadership Development and Sustainability, showing that we represent a non-profit organization serving the indigenous people.  We serve, not to convert,  but to assist and serve the First Nations and Metis in this area.


OL decor OL - A Iris J- lanyard

We’ve already had a few meetings out at the Onion Lake Reserve, 40 minutes North of Lloydminster, meeting with the  leadership of the ATOSKASOTAN programs. (Cree name pronounced: Ados-ka-so-tan.  The first “T” is pronounced with a “D” sound.)  This is the employment training and upgrade centre for those over 18 years of age. We’ve met with Irene, Lydia and Iris in their offices. (See sign in middle photo.)  Jeannine was gifted the beaded lanyard, she is wearing in the photo, after the visit Sam and Jeannine had with Iris.


On Wednesday January 25, we had a 10am life-feed from SLC at the LDS church in Lloydminster that allowed the 6 Lloydminster Missionaries to watch and listen to a Missionary broadcast presented by the 7 members of the LDS Church Missionary Committee.  It really was directed to the young missionaries but we appreciated being part of the event.  The missionaries were instructed in how to share the teachings of Christ.  A new program was also presented that allows the missionaries to be flexible with their choices concerning the use of their time each day.  We feel this change will allow the young missionaries to become more responsible for their own time and prepare them for the transition as they return home.

Lloyd missionaries broadcast

Back row: Elder and Sister Rhoton, Elder and Sister McCollum

Front Row: Sister Gambler (Navajo/Utah), Sister Smith (Australia) and we were also joined by two young sister missionaries that serve in Cold Lake Branch of the church.  One young sister took the photo and the sister in the photo to the right is actually Albertan/Canadian from Claresholm AB.  After the broadcast we returned to our apartment to pack for a one night stay in Edmonton.


A “missionary tour” is the term for a district/zone/geographical area within the mission. It was our Mission President’s first Missionary Tour and ours also.  (When we served in the Hawaii Honolulu mission we were never given the opportunity to be part of meetings with the young missionaries because with the concentration of senior missionaries in Laie, we could not all be gone from our service positions at the same time.)

The Rhotons kindly drove us to Edmonton.  We enjoyed a Senior Missionary dinner banquet with the guest speaker, a general authority/priesthood leader Elder Echo Hawk who is actually Native American, Pawnee; he lived on a reservation in Oklahoma as a child.  He shared personal experiences, the conversion of his family to Christ’s gospel and bore his personal testimony of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We were billeted at nearby members home, the Appletons.  Brother Appleton is the grandson of a friend of Jeannine’s parents who lived in the same senior assisted living in Lethbridge AB.  Small LDS world.

ED lego Echohawk mission tour

We stayed in the “Lego” bedroom at the Appletons Home (left photo).  We felt like we were staying in the bedroom of one of our grandsons. The next morning and part of the afternoon, we “sat at the feet and learned” from our mission president, Sister Pattison and Elder and Sister Echo Hawk.  We got to share photo-time with the Echo Hawks.  The luncheon was excellent, a Latino menu enjoyed by everyone.  Then we headed East out of the city for the drive back to Lloydminister with our new friends, Elder and Sister Rhoton.


Friday February 3rd, we took a 2 hour each way drive with the Rhotons out to The Battlefords.  Explanation:  There is a town called North Battleford, Saskatchewan on the North side of the highway; there is also another part of the town, south across a small valley, hence The Battlefords.

From The Battlefords, we drove south for 30 minutes to the Red Pheasant Reserve.  The Rhotons visit there at least once a week.  This day, we all worked in the library re-shelving books that needed sorting.  The school staff were so friendly and we visited with them while we shared a prepared lunch.

RP bannock

This dear native lady prepared soup and bannock for the staff and volunteers.

snare RP RP rabbit RP gun care

Is this in your local school curriculum? Red Pheasant students learn: how to make a snare, catch a rabbit and learn the rules of gun safety.  After the school visit and before the long drive back to Lloydminster, the Rhotons took us to their favourite museum in North Battleford.


Sam gallery Sapp teepee

Women gathering roots.

Women gathering roots.

1431107771making+bannock+for+the+family_web 1456251600Sapp_AtThePowWow_Web allen-sapp-saskatchewan-just-finished-filling-the-barrel

Allen Sapp (January 2, 1928 – December 28, 2015) was a Canadian Cree painter, who resided in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. His paintings tell a personal story, and many feature images of his grandmother (usually in red) who raised him, and reflect the love he had for her. Sapp was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve, south of North Battleford. His mother died from tuberculosis in his adolescence.  As a child he was often ill and spent long hours in bed. His grandmother nurtured him and encouraged his love of drawing, teaching him in the Cree ways.

He attended the Red Pheasant school, but was often mocked and teased by the other children and teachers because of his desire to draw. After his grandmother died, he then moved to North Battleford to try to make a living as an artist, selling paintings door to door. Dr. Allan Gonor recognized Sapp’s talent and encouraged him to paint what he knew — life on the reserve. His work became known across North America.

SAPP was made an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his portrayals of Native peoples and of life on the reserve”. He was awarded the SK Order of Merit.He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and received the Governor General’s Award for English language children’s illustration for the book, The Song Within My Heart. He died in his sleep on December 28, 2015.


The Rhotons invited us to visit Paradise!  Honestly, there is a small town near the AB/SK border named Paradise Hill.  The school goes from elementary to high school.  Several families from the Branch of the church live out there, including two LDS Korean Families that run a grocery store and a restaurant.  We are excited to visit there again when we have time to try out the restaurant and see the town without all the snow.

elevator Paradise

SUNDAY MEETINGS – LLOYDMINSTER BRANCH of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Here are Elder McCollum, Sister McCollum (wearing our Sunday badges) and President Paul Kristensen.

SJ & Kris..

Sunday Feb 5, 2017 the Edmonton Bonnie Doon Stake Presidency visited the Lloydminster Branch: President Robert Mendenhall, 1st Couns. President Paul Kristensen, 2nd Couns. President D. Laurie.  The Lloydminster Branch Presidency was released and new men were called to serve.

We were excited to see Paul Kristensen after about 30 years! He grew up in Calgary; his mother Barb currently attends Elliston Park Ward (the ward we attended before leaving for this mission.)   Also, President Mendenhall as a child lived with his family in Lethbridge AB and attended a ward with Jeannine’s parents.  Pres. Mendenhall’s older brother was a friend of Jeannine’s brother Tom. It is a small LDS world!

This sister remembered us from years ago in Calgary. She attend Seminary with our daughter Leah.

This sister remembered us from years ago in Calgary. She attend Seminary with our daughter Leah.

NOTE:  Did you know that unlike young missionaries, Senior Missionaries are allowed to leave their mission and travel at their own expense to make short visits for important family events?  Watch for our next Blog entry to see where and why we flew out of Edmonton to visit with family.


  1. Glenda Nixon

    Wow how time flies! Had an interview with the bishop last night and he was asking about you guys and how things were going. Your plaque is up in the hall so now it is official …. you are now missionaries from our ward. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Kay Ridley

    Thanks for the up date on your comings and goings. Thanks for all the pictures it was fun to see all your children and grandchildren . Looks and sounds like you will love your mission. We are in Ontario baby sitting Kathy’s kids,so we were able to visit our missionary branch once again. We loved our mission and the people we served. God bless you both for all the service you have given and are still giving, you are a great example to us all.

    Love Kay and Danny

  3. Alpha Harper

    Thank you for connect with us I am glad to see the old home town. I am doing well in School , making sure that I follow the schedule and keep on track with the studies one week of school left before finals.

  4. Sharon Hara

    Wow! It is so exciting to read all about your preparations and journey toward serving your Edmonton mission! Quite a contrast, especially temperature wise from your Hawaii mission! It must take you 1/2 a year just to say good-bye to all your kids! Lol! What a lovely family to preside over!

    I forgot to let you know some sad news in our Ward. Brother Bob Newman suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago while helping his friend Carol from Aldergrove move. He had a heart attack, fell and hit his head and they could not get him back though they worked on him at the site and hospital. He had just told me 2 weeks to the day, at home evening he was worried Delmar was sick and would likely go soon. And he added…when I go I just want to go quick and be gone. He sure got his wish but took us all by surprise. We have been concerned about Delmar, Gerstner’s who were both ill and ended up eventually sharing a room together at the hospital…what a blessing for them, Sheila Gaspar and Dale Bleau so his passing first was a big shock. We have just got his place cleaned up and Sandy Richards who has to move will reside there.

    And the great news is we realized last Monday at FHE that Linda F. and Lyle S are dating! Warm friendship happening! And Jovy has become acquainted with an amazing RM who is from the Philippines, served a mission in Hawaii, attended BYU Hawaii, was one of the actors at the PCC,lived in Hawaii for 8 years, has a computer technology degree I think and is presently teaching in Thailand. He happened to go as a member with the missionaries to visit an investigator there who was studying the gospel. This investigator wrote to Jovy when she saw Jovy’s picture of herself outside the Langley temple and asked her if she belonged to the LDS church. Jovy replied to her friend from the past… yes I am! When she found out her friend was studying with the missionaries she told her to listen to them! And the rest of the story unfolded as her friend encouraged this amazing dedicated member who was looking for a wife to write to her dear friend Jovy who was looking for a husband. Jovy said to her…, you are also looking for a husband… why did you tell him about me… she replied… you are older… I have more time…. you need a husband first! Well it has been amazing watching this unfold and he has been a strong influence to encourage Jovy’s growth in the church. She will meet him in April! So in spite of some challenges over here we also see sunshine peeking out amongst the clouds.

    We miss you and you powerful influence for good! ❤️

  5. Bob and Darlene Noel

    so good to hear about your exciting experiences with family and missionaries. You two are amazing and will do a wonderful service for the people in your mission area. Thanks for the blog because it really brings back so many memories of working with you in Hawaii. We are going home three weeks early so that we can attend three graduations of granddaughters and a baptism of a grandson. Over the years we have missed a lot of family events while serving. As we are getting older we figured we have missed enough. If we would have remained in Hawaii those three weeks we would have missed the graduations and baptism. Thus we opted for an early release. They have changed the semester system again so now fall begins in Sept. and runs thru Dec. and the next semester starts in Jan. They will have a nine week summer term starting in June and then they will have about 9 weeks off. They are trying to get on schedule with other institutions which will make for better opportunities for transferring and also new enrollments. Everything else is still running about the same. We may have about a dozen more missionaries than we had when you left in our total numbers. The number of non-LDS will drop to about 30 or 40 once we drop the athletic program at the end of next semester. If you ever want to know more just give us a call. We will keep the same number even when we go home at the end of May.

  6. R. Everth Vidal

    Hi elder and sister McCollum,
    It is great to learn all this from you.
    We are grateful for your service.
    Your commitment to serve the Lord is a great example to all of us here in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
    May the Lord continue pouring great blessings upon you.
    Warmest regards.
    Bishop Vidal and family

  7. Ted Gabbitas

    It sure doesn’t look like Hawai’i and your sure not doing the same things.

    I think it’s wonderful the diversity that you are experiencing on your missions.

    We miss you but this keeps us abreast of the wonderful things you are doing.

    We are just doing the normal things: Working in various callings in our Ward and Stake, Working in the LA Temple one day a week, Ted is also trying to make a little in the Stock Market to subsidize our retirement.

    Aloha Nui Loa, Ted & Sandy Gabbitas

  8. Brenda B. Jeppson

    It’s fun to read all about your adventures and friends in the great land of Canada! It makes us want to be out there in the mission field again!

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