It seems Winter 2017 has certainly lived up to the “rumours” around the world concerning Canadian Winters.  What happened to global warming, we’d like to know! There is something to be said for hibernation!  Sam and Jeannine have not spent an entire winter on the prairies since 2011 so it has been an adjustment especially since our last two winters were spent in Hawaii.  Perhaps winter blues have been keeping this blog from being assembled and posted?  Not really.  Just lots to do.  We continue to make First Nation friends as we work with them, mainly at Onion Lake and Lakeland College in Lloydminster.

Daily we are thankful for opportunities given to us that allow us to recognize and  follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  At one of our planning meetings, after some discussion, we felt impressed to revamp some of our student presentations to make them First Nations “friendly”.  Sam was inspired to find his leather sacred circle as taught to him years ago by Robert M. from the Salish First Nation on Vancouver Island.  The Sacred Circle or Circle of Life is a tool to measure if one’s life is in balance: spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally.  As we began using this “tool” to introduce Time Management, the First Nation students visualize and understand the need for managing their life’s activities.

.Sacred Circle 4

This blog also includes FYI (For your Information)  Items re:  #16 Highway Trans-Canada Highway; The North Saskatchewan River; Treaty Six;  Correct Spelling of Towns; Family Missionaries

Edmonton Temple

Thursday February 9th, we head West on the the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway #16.   

FYI: #16 is a major interprovincial highway in Western Canada stretching from Winnipeg to off the coast of BC  via Saskatoon and Edmonton. It stretches across the four western provinces : BC, AB, SK & MB. It is part of the Trans-Canada Highway system and the larger National System, but should not be confused with the more southerly, originally-designated #1 Trans-Canada Highway (opened 1962). This portion of the highway was officially opened in 1970 and beginning in 1990, the green and white Trans-Canada logo was used to designate the roadway.

The highway is named for the Yellowhead Pass, the route chosen to cross the Rocky Mountains. The pass, and the highway are named after a Metis fur trader and explorer named Pierre Bostonais. He had yellow streaks in his hair, and was nicknamed “Tete Jaune”(Yellowhead). Almost the entire length of the highway is numbered as 16, except for the section in Manitoba that is concurrent with Trans-Canada Highway 1.

We  visit the Edmonton LDS temple and stay that night in a motel near the YEG (Edmonton International Airport).  We fly out the next day to YYJ (Victoria BC) and are picked up by our oldest son, Cliff.  Lots of excitement since the next day is the wedding day for our granddaughter Caesha, our first grandchild to be married. It is a blessing to be able to take off a few days from our missionary service to attend a happy family event, a privilege of Senior Missionaries.

Saturday February 11th: Here are a few photo memories.

Caesha alone  W DCC  W S&J

W hair:flowers W view W shut eyes W NCKZ  Reception  W SCJ dinner

Caesha and Kole Anderson. The newly weds with Caesha’s siblings: Nyah and Zach. The reception room at Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC.  Grandpa and Grandma McCollum with Mrs. Caesha Anderson.


Monday March 13 we are back in Alberta and on the road to Onion Lake Reserve, SK (approx 40 minutes North of Lloydminster.) The travel time of course depends on how many big trucks and how much farm equipment travel on the highway.  We cross over the mighty North Saskatchewan River (NSR), much wider than the Bow River that flows through Calgary.

FYI: The NSR begins at the edge of the Saskatchewan Glacier in the Columbia Icefield,  flows along the Icefield Parkway and eventually heads North towards the city of Edmonton.  When the river heads East, it takes a course North of Lloydminster and continues heading East out of Alberta toward The Battlefords, SK. In SK it joins the South SK River, flowing East towards Manitoba, and eventually emptying into Lake Winnipeg. This shallow lake drains into the Nelson River when runs into the Hudson Bay.  This watershed area was know historically as Rupert’s Land when the Hudson Bay Company received its charter in 1670.   Enough history…. since we are almost at the Reserve!

OL bridge 2 OL bridge

Here you see the hood of our vehicle as we near the bridge to cross over towards the Onion Lake Reserve.

CL 3

These black oil tanks “litter” the farm landscape all around Lloydminster and look like oversized pop cans. The stubby storage tanks contain heavy oil that has been pumped from the ground and is waiting to be trucked away to the big Husky Oil upgrader plant in Lloydminster. Farmers are paid by the oil company to lease a part of their land; farmers may complain about oil trucks tearing up their roads and fields, but apparently having a well or two on their property helps bring in some income. The tanks are not a pretty sight  but they are money in the bank for the farmers and for Husky Oil who owns the well.

OL river 1 OL river 2

In February the mighty NSR  looks like a huge glacier, as as we look West and East.  When we arrive at the intersection of Onion Lake, we turn right and soon find Chief Taylor School.

CT sign CT outside

Today we visit the Computer Lab booked by Iris from “ATOSKASOTAN”, Cree for the OL Adult Education Employment Program.  We will work with a group of young adult students who are in a work experience program, preparing to look for jobs.  Sam and Jeannine share a Key Accomplishment Resume Presentation and assist the students with filling out a resume worksheet.  (Out on the reserve we are Sam and Jeannine, wearing our FIELDS badges.)

CT resume class CT resume 2

While the students and Sam work, Jeannine checks out the  hallways.  (It is a day-off for the elementary school students.)

CT banner shoes  CT hallway

Out-door footgear is removed.  Hallways are sparkling clean.

CT mural  CT mural 2

Wall mural caption, “As long as the sun shines, grass grows and rivers flow….”

CT display 2 CT display 1  Chief Joe

Display cases contain First Nation ceremonial keepsakes and a portrait of the school’s name sake: Chief Joe Taylor  signed Treaty 6. The framed copies of the Treaty 6 documents are displayed in the school hallway at the Khew Waciston School at Onion Lake, where we work together with the Upgrade students.

upgrade treaty 6

FYI: Chief Taylor signed Treaty 6 in 1876 along with other Cree and Assiniboine First Nations chiefs at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River areas along with the representatives of Queen Victoria.  At that time, the buffalo were disappearing at an alarming rate; the chiefs realized that if they did not sign a treaty with the crown they and their people might starve. A second major reason for the signing the treaty was that smallpox had recently been introduced by settlers and had spread through their lands, killing many of the Cree who had no immunity to this new disease.  According to the European version of history and terms of Treaty, the First Nations people gave up their title to the land in exchange for provisions from the government. The First Nations understanding was radically different from the British version due to the nature of oral histories and translations. (For example there is no concept of “land ownership” in the Cree language). As we know, the controversy over the exact terms as they were understood at the time of the Treaty signings continues today.

CT bear  CT painting 1

A big black bear in the Hall!          Beautiful art of First Nation artist, Simone McLeod.

MISSIONARY DISTRICT MEETING: One cold day, we drive the young sister missionaries, Smith and Gambler from Lloydminster up to Cold Lake, Alberta to their monthly meeting with another set of young sister missionaries  that serve in a ward of the LDS Church at Cherry Grove, near the city of Cold Lake.  It is our first time in this area of Alberta. As we head North, we notice the scenery starts to change with bare branched groves of deciduous trees; then fir trees begin to dot the forests.  Without leaves for identification we cannot be sure of the variety but we think possibly they are Balsam Poplar.  We’ll check it out when spring arrives.

CL 4

CL bridge 2 CL bridge

We make our way West, and then turn North to cross on a yellow metal bridge over the North Saskatchewan River for the two hour drive from Lloydminster to Cold Lake/Cherry Grove. After the meeting and eating our packed lunch at the church in Cherry Grove, we drive into the city of Cold Lake.  Today we wear our LDS Missionary badges since we are not serving but playing!  Left: Here is Sister McCollum with Cold Lake in the background.  Right: Elder McCollum, Sister Gambler (from the Navajo Nation/Arizona) and Sister Smith (from Australia); in the distance, see the ice fishing huts out on the lake.  We did not have time to see Air Force Base that is located in the area.


CL marina  CL totem

Left: The Cold Lake Marina sleeping for the winter. Right: Totems decorate the entrance to the park. Why West Coast Totems in Cold Lake?  We will revisit Cold Lake in the summer.  Come join us!

ONION LAKE – Giving Service in the Upgrade Classroom with adult students and their instructor Jacqueline, second on the left side & housed in the Khew Waciston School for students ages 4-8 years of age; the language spoken and taught in the school is CREE.

upgrade  upgrade 17th

Students at work.  FIELDS Volunteers: Jeannine, Ella (from Arizona) and Leeta (also from Arizona but Navajo First Nation) with Jacqueline Bruce – upgrade instructor.

Upgrade 1  Upgrade 2

Front Entrance to Khew Waciston School; murals on exterior of the school.

Cree school 1 Cree School 2

Cree School 3 Cree school 4

There is a day care beside the CREE school; some upgrade students take their young children to this facility.  NOTE the sign, made just for Sam – an Elder/Missionary, he is elderly and for those needing handicapped parking!  ELDERS at FIRST NATION Schools teach about the vision of life that is contained in First Nation philosophies and handed down in ceremonies and traditional teachings. At Onion Lake, they are hired/paid to assume the role.

OUR YOUNGEST GRANDSON TURNS TWO  – February 23, 2017: Sam and Jeannine’s youngest grandchild, Ryder Dawson McCollum turns two years old. (Parents: Andrew and Andrea, living in Calgary AB). Happy Birthday Ryder. (Sam and Jeannine were serving a mission at BYUH Hawaii when baby Ryder was born.)

Version 2 Ryder B&W

Big brother Lincoln reads to his little brother, Ryder.

Ryder & L

LAKELAND COLLEGE – Lloydminster Campus:  This college was established over 100 years ago in Vermilion, as an agricultural college.  Now its main campus is in Lloydminster AB with the secondary campus in Vermilion.

FYI: (Note the spelling for Vermilion has only one “L” while the spelling for Lloydminster has only one “I”, NOT ….”minister”.

Lakeland  LC wall alumni Citizens

When visitors enter the college, they find the Alumni Wall of Distinction. There is another wall entitled, “Distinguised Citizens”. The College awards honorary credentials to citizens who have made significant contributions to the community and achieved provincial, national and/or international recognition.

LC Stelmach   alumni 2

Here are two plagues. Remember Ed Stelmach, a past premier of the province of Alberta?  Do you recognize the name Jean Pare?  She became well known in Western Canada for her series of cookbooks, “Company’s Coming”.  JP began by running a catering business, with the first job in 1963 for the 50th anniversary celebration for 1000 guests at Vermilion Agricultural College, which grew into Lakeland College.

LAKELAND COLLEGE OPEN HOUSE: Jeannine and Sam attend this event to learn about the one year, HOOT (Heavy Oil Operator Technician) program and  two year, HOPE (Heavy Oil and Power Engineer) program.  To enter HOOT a student requires:  a high school diploma with a minimum 50% in English 30-1 or 30-2; Math 30-1 or 65% in Math 30-2; one of Physics 20 is preferred to Chemistry 20 or 65% in Science 20. If they need to improve or earn their Physics 20 they can do this while in the first year HOOT program but Physics 20 is needed to enter the 2nd year HOPE program.  Here are some of the photos of the tour of the working Heavy Oil Steam Lab where students get practical experience.


TUTORING for OTO CLASS at Lakeland College: We tutor 1 hour, M-F for 2.5 weeks in the OTO (Oilfield Truck driver Operators) program. All 11 students, men and 3 women ages 20 – 35,  are First Nation; some live in the city  and some drive in each day from Onion Lake.  We help them study and prepare to take their Saskatchewan Professional Driver Class 1 learners permit and their “A” Endorsement for Air Brakes. At the end of the 2.5 weeks, we feel like we are ready to go take our Class 1 learners permit too! We are invited to attend the upcoming graduation for the OTO class, March 29th. We will take some photos.

SAMPLE REVIEW for Professional Driver Class 1:


  1. It is recommended a driver should stop for a rest every?: Four hours; Two hours; 8 Hours; 45 Minutes
  2. Upon approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights activated, drivers are obligated to? Drive parallel to the left-hand side of the roadway, as close to the edge as circumstance permit; OR Stop the vehicle in the roadway until the emergency vehicle has passed; OR Disregard the vehicle and continue on their way; OR Drive parallel to the right-hand side of the roadway, as close to the edge as circumstances permit.                                                                                Did  you get the Answers correct?  (1. two hr.; 2. drive parallel to the rt-side of the roadway, as close to the edge as circumstances permit.)

HOG Resumes:  We help the students in the Heavy Oil and Gas course prepare resumes.  This course allows them to upgrade  so they can try to get into the HOOT program, but if they aren’t able to have the grades needed to move forward, they will need resumes to get into the work force.

FAMILY MISSIONARIES     FYI: grandson Elder Ethan McCollum serving in the Tallahassee Mission and currently living in DeFuniak Florida.  Note: white arrow – Elder Ethan McCollum.


Elder Schmaltz

FYI: We also have “grandson” Kirkland Schmaltz-Phillips serving in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission. Here is Elder Kirkland Schmaltz in front of Boston LDS Temple.

L L O Y D M I N S T E R  

We continue to note interesting and curious landmarks in the city.  On #17, or 50th Avenue as we drive to our apartment, we pass this “quaint” little house that is always decorated for each holiday/season.  In January we noticed  Christmas decorations replaced to celebrate Valentines Day; then it was “wearing” the green for St. Patrick’s Day.  We will show you the Easter Season decorations next blog.

Lloyd Mar 17

Look at the alleyway parking lot of our 8-plex apartment building.  It certainly looks like we should be driving a pick-up vehicle to live in this location! Note the curious illuminated STOP sign.  Apparently this “lighted” stop sign is to remind drivers to take extra precaution and time at the stop at dangerous intersections.  Also, your picture will be taken if you do not STOP. We have found a few of these around the city.

.Lloyd trucks                    Lloyd stop

Here is a rather unusual front yard decoration: a John Deere Tractor.


Lloydminster SERVUS Sports & Fitness Centre/Lloydminster

An elevated indoor track runs above the basketball and volleyball courts.  Use of the track is FREE to senior citizens. A great place for a walk on cold icy mornings.

Servus 2 (1) Servus


SCI front S SCI door 2 SCI door 1

We feel the best part of this science centre, is the art gallery of 3 rooms of oil paintings by Berthold Von Imhoff (Born 1868 in Germany – Died 1939 Saskatchewan).  He left Germany, went to USA and eventually settled in 1914 near St. Walburg SK when he wanted a secluded place to live the simple life and paint.  Teachers from one-room schools would take their students to his studio for field trips. Imhoff generously painted the walls of many prairie churches for little compensation.  In the summer, the gallery at his home in St. Walburg is open, now a historical site; we will take a drive there when the grass turns green.

FYI: It was only during the 19th century that manufacturers began to produce a stable range of oil paints in metal tubes.  Previously artists made their own paints fresh each day.  When Imhoff was an art student he would prepare his own paints.

artist fa Artist mo  chief 4 chief 2

Portraits of his father and his mother.  He also painted portraits of First Native Chiefs: Chief Thunderchild, Poundmaker….

Chief  still life Christ 2 Christ 1

Imhoff also painted still-lifes.  His version of The Crucifixion and The Last Supper are amazing and HUGE murals as you can see with Sam standing in front.

Another display at the Centre is the FUCHS Wildlife Exhibit.  It represents 70 years of hunting, trapping and taxidermy by Nicolus Fuchs.  It is NOT a natural science display but rather a culmination of the lifetime of work of NF.  When he shot his first deer, got it mounted he was dissatisfied with the taxidermy so began a life-long career in taxidermy.

The Fuch Home and photos of Nicolus and his amazing wife, because I cannot imagine sharing my home with all these creatures.

Sci Funch home Sci Func

SCIWolf   skunks Polar bear

RAbbits                                                   Artic fox

This looks like a scene from a Beatrix Potter story book.                          Arctic fox.

Sam display 1 Sam display 2

We enjoyed Canada’s Traveling Exhibit – 150 Anniversary: Canada Day 1 produced by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax.  Have you seen it in your city?  Also look at this interesting advertisement.  I assume that this Land Advertising brought my Grandmother Collett, her parents and siblings from Idaho to Alberta, and also my Grandfather Niels Jensen from Utah to Alberta circa 1903.

Canada 1       Canada land

Husky Oil has a large visual Heavy Oil Exhibit exhibit especially geared to children

SCI oil 1  SCI blue SCI oil red green

In fact, Husky Oil dominates this city.  Below is a photo of their main office building.  There are Husky Refiners right on the West edge of the city and a Upgrader Facility just East of the city.

Huskey bldg

“Sky Dance” sculpture outside the museum symbolizes a passageway linking the past, present and future.  The cloud shapes are reference to Saskatchewan’s living skies, a reflection of the spirit and energy of the province.

SCI out sculpt

For a small city, it is an amazing museum.  


Sister Leeta Gambler, a Navajo Native American, prepares homemade tacos especially for her companion who is returning to her home in Australia. The celebration was held in Elder and Sister Rhoton’s apartment, Lloydminster.

Taco 2 Taco 3 Taco 4

Taco 1

On the same day, the “traveling-sisters” came to visit the young missionary sisters.  Since the Canada Edmonton Mission is large in area, a set of traveling sisters drive around to direct and teach all the young sister missionaries in the Canada Edmonton Mission. The sister on the left is from Sweden.

DINNER INVITATIONS: We’ve already had our 3rd dinner invite since we’ve been living in the Lloydminster LDS Branch of the church.  The Rhotons and McCollums enjoy a Korean Dinner out at Paradise Hill, SK with the CHOI family: Peter, Miran and their daughter Dong-Guen.  (They have two older children away attending university). Two high school age boys from Korean board/live with the family, as they study and learn English.  The Choi family run a local restaurant with Miran Choi’s sister & her husband. Miran teaches early morning seminary in the Korean language to five students.  She told me that she has taught seminary for 10 years, ever since her oldest child (now at university) was 14 years of age.

Korean 2 Korean 1

(Below) FAREWELL DINNER: Darwin and Andrea Rhoton treated us, the young sister missionaries and a few friends to a meal at a restaurant as a farewell celebration for young Sister Miriam Smith who ended her time serving in the Canada Edmonton Mission to return home to Australia, second on my left.  Tony, seated to Sam’s right, is a newly baptized member in the Lloydminster Branch.

Farewell dinner

Lots more to tell but this surely is BLOG OVERLOAD for our readers!  #3 Edition will follow in April.



  1. Ladene Jensen

    I so enjoyed reading of your experiences and seeing the pictures. Spring will probably be beautiful and very welcome. It must be very rewarding to be able to immerse yourselves with another rich culture. I appreciate being included in your list of blog recipients. Caesha was a beautiful bride. Also appreciated the news of Cliff and his wifes move to the U”K”. What an adventure that will be!
    Life goes on here much the same day to day. The snow has melted here and the temperature is above freezing. I love my new home and can see staying here until I either die here (Fielding laughs when I say that) or move into a more care facility. I hope either is awhile in the future. Love you and look forward to your next blog. Ladene

  2. Sheila W

    I really enjoyed this and the pictures. lots of different countries of people you have mer. Ron hopes to look at it soon. Love, Sheila

  3. K Carlson

    So interesting. We’re Canadian and still learning and appreciating the First Nation insights. The work you do and the educational programs are so valuable! UPDATE: We’re the new Surrey Stake Self-Reliance specialists here and Regional full time missionaries are officially introducing this initiative. Our calling will dove-tail with our new Church Service Missionary assignment in the Regional Employment Office. We’re keeping busy as we also enjoy serving as Temple Workers for two shifts on Tuesdays. Terry is keeping up his pace with indexing and I love Family History! Miss having you in the office (I serve there Tuesday evenings.)
    No matter where we all are, service brings great joy. So happy to hear of your continued dedication and we love the pictures. Thank you.

  4. Margaret

    Thanks for the update. Very interesting.

    Looking forward to seeing you two in July.

    Love Margaret

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