S&J 2017 Christmas

Lloydminster Comprehensive High School: FIELDS volunteers feel very blessed to begin offering a Reading Program in the Lloydminster Public High School to First Nation Students.  Sam and Jeannine were introduced to this Reading Program (from Kaysville, Utah) by their son Robb; we studied and then prepared Power Point Lessons for FIELDS volunteers to easily teach First Nation students who struggle with reading.  The lessons are presented during I-Time Study periods Tuesdays and Fridays by FIELDS volunteers: Elder and Sister Kunkel and young Sisters: Hacking and Baxter.  Sam and Jeannine study and prepare lessons to keep ahead of the upcoming classes.  It is a great program; we’ve never taught reading so we are learning so much.


DECK THE HALLS: Meanwhile the City of Lloydminster prepares for the Christmas Season.  The Senior Missionaries enjoy taking a Light Tour on Monday Evening.

Lights 1 Lights 2

Lights 4  Lights 3

DECKING-OUT OUR MISSIONARY APARTMENT: Elder and Sister McCollum decorate their “home”.

Nativity Wall Hangings brighten the walls.

Nativity wall hangings brighten the walls.

Jeannine added this nativity print to their Christmas collection.

This 2017 Christmas Season, Jeannine added this nativity print to their Christmas Nativity collection.

Alphabetical Countdown to Christmas - Scriptural Names of Our Saviour.

A-Z: Alphabetical Christmas Countdown: Scriptural Names of Our Saviour.

We looked out our window and what did we see?  Indeed, a “Jack” rabbit decorating our yard!  Mr. Christmas Rabbit stayed in a snow-bank burrow just looking at us for quite some time.

Rabbit 2 RAbbit 1


Vegas Reservation: Saskatchewan Art Council Production

Saskatchewan Art Council Production: VEGAS VACATION – a REZ Christmas Story

Sam and Jeannine join students from the college and local high schools.

Sam and Jeannine join students from the college and local high schools.

The stage.

The stage and….


the props.

STORY-LINE: 3 generations of First Nation women use their “band money” to take a Christmas Vacation in Las Vegas.  Despite their cultural, religious and age differences, the women enjoy their time together while sharing their feelings and beliefs about Christmas.  Great entertainment.

A Nativity Scene decorates the Hallway at Lakeland College.

We were pleased to see a  Nativity Scene decorating the Hallway at Lakeland College.

FIELDS ( Foundation for Indigenous Education, Leadership Development & Sustainability) – SERVICE CONTINUES:

Inspite of all the pre-Christmas activities, we manage to continue our regular service opportunities.  At the Upgrading Classroom at Onion Lake, we present 14 participants with FIRST FLIGHT  Certificates earned by attending an 8 session challenge program and completing the Challenge Activity sheets.

Upgrading Class pose for photo with their Certificates.

Some of the Upgrading Class pose for a photo with their Certificates.

Sylvia (above in the blue jacket) has a brother who custom builds hand drums.  One of Jeannine’s Christmas gifts to Sam is the gift of a drum!

Sam with drum

The Kihew Cree Immersion School goes all out with Christmas Decorations in the gym & hallways.

Upgrade 1 Upgrade 2

There are 4 other trees down the long hallway!

There are 4 other trees down the long hallway!


#1 Lloydminster LDS Church Branch Christmas Brunch

#2 View broadcast of First Presidency Christmas Message and enjoy hearing the Tabernacle Choir.

#3 Serve dinner to the young LDS missionaries Elders Vernon and Roberts just before missionary transfer day.

#4 Jeannine’s brother, Tom gets special recognition for being our first family member to make it up north to visit Elder and Sister McCollum! We enjoy dinner together, Tom’s overnight visit and the next morning introduce Tom to the other FIELDS volunteers at LCHS. Then we enjoy a brunch together before Tom is on his way. (Tom presented at Agricultural meetings at Lakeland College, Vermilion.)

#5 Attend Vermilion LDS Church Branch Christmas Dinner with Elder & Sister Kunkel.

Senior missionary couple: Elder & Sister Kunkel

Senior missionary couple: Elder & Sister Kunkel

Vermilion LDS Church Branch Christmas Dinner

Vermilion LDS Church Branch Christmas Dinner – S&J to left in photo.

Meet Ty A. who attends Lakeland College, Vermilion, the nephew of brother-in-law Ron.

Enjoy meeting Ty A. who attends Lakeland College, Vermilion, the nephew of brother-in-law Ron.

Even a young adult visits with Santa at the party.

Even a young adult visits with Santa at the Vermilion party.

#6 Young Adult Christmas Activity at LDS Church

#7 Dinner Invite for Senior Missionaries with Choi Family – Paradise Hill SK

#8 Visit to Henry Hudy (newly baptized member of the church) & his wife June Hudy

#9 Spend Saturday Baking Christmas Goodies for Gift Giving.

#10 Our Primary Class act out the story of the birth of Jesus, including the visit of the Wisemen.

Wisemen: Carter, Adrian and Gavin

Wisemen: Carter, Adrian and Gavin

#11 Deliver Gifts of Christmas Baking at Lakeland College, Lloydminster Comprehensive High School, Onion Lake Cree Nation: Upgrading Classroom, Eagleview Comprehensive High School and Atoskasotan Employment Centre.

#12   Regular Service at ECHS – Eagleview Comprehensive High School

EVHS sign

"First Flight" Presentation with grade 12 students

“First Flight” Presentation: Sam and Jeannine with some of the grade 12 students

Fund Raiser Project

Fund Raiser Project

We asked these two sisters at ECHS why they were selling raffle “tickets” for this BIG BEAR.  We saw other students paying $15 to receive one card of a deck of cards for a 1/52 chance to take the bear home for Christmas. When we asked what was the fund raising cause, they replied, “We are raising money so our brother can attend a hockey tournament in Calgary.”

This reminded us of days when we served our mission in Laie, Ohau, Hawaii.  We’d see a neighbourhood family selling $15 lunch plates so they could help a family member buy a plane ticket to a wedding on the mainland!


3 grade twelve students wearing their newly designed Graduation 2018 T-shirt which celebrates a historic sports event at ECHS.

Version 2


Once again, Elder and Sister McCollum take advantage of the Senior Missionary option/blessing of time away from Missionary responsibilities for a Family Event.  (Note: Schools where FIELDS volunteers serve, have classes end Dec 20 and do not begin again until January 8th.) When S&J hear a blanket of snow arrived in southern Alberta, Elder and Sister McCollum decide to depart a day early, Dec 19th for Calgary.  Late afternoon, they leave ECHS, head back to Lloydminster, pack up and leave for Calgary.

Heading south on the country highways, we are blessed to have clear roads until we are 30 minutes East of Calgary on #1 Trans-Canada Highway.  We find deep snow on the city roads and Jeannine’s sister Glenda is waiting up for us!

Mountain Skyline

Mountain Skyline – yes it was good to see the outline of the Rocky Mountains once again!


#1 Time at the Temple

Sam, Jeannine & Glenda attend a session at the Calgary LDS Temple.

Sam, Jeannine & Glenda (our photographer) attend a session at the Calgary LDS Temple.

Christmas 2016 Card that we've used to record our 2017 temple visits.

Remember  us sharing this Christmas 2016 Card that we’ve used to record our 2017 temple visits. December 22, visit to the Calgary Temple.

#2 Time in Okotoks AB with Family

Jared and Crystall

Jared and Crystall

Okotoks Christmas Lights

Okotoks Christmas Lights

S&J with grandson Hunter

S&J with grandson Hunter

Grandpa with grandson Maxwell

Grandpa with grandson Maxwell

Grandson Griffin

Grandson Griffin

Grandpa checking out virtual reality headset.

Grandpa checking out virtual reality headset.

Okotoks VR 2Okotoks VR

#3  Birthday Time – Sam’s 73rd, December 21st.

A trip on the Polar Express with grandchildren: Lincoln, Autumn & Ryder, and their parents Andrew and Andrea.  Having fun and making Christmas memories.

Dec 21 1  Dec 21 2

Dec 21 3 Dec 21 4

Dec 21 5 Dec 21 6

Dec 21 7 Dec 21 8

#4 Family Gathering Time in Calgary.   Meeting our First Great-Grandson Rohnan Anderson and more 73rd Birthday Celebrating for Sam.

Rohnan  Dec 23 1

Rohnan is the Reason for Celebrating the Season in Calgary!  Our first great-grandson’s parents, granddaughter Caesha and her husband Kole, left from Vancouver, drove across mountainous winter roads to arrive in Calgary on December 23rd. Nearby McCollum Family gathered together for a wonderful evening at the home of our son Andrew & his wife Andrea in SW Calgary.

Dec 23 8

Rohnan and great-uncle Jared.

Rohnan and great-uncle Jared.

Rohnan with great-uncle Brett and Samantha.

Rohnan with great-uncle Brett and Samantha.

Rohnan with great-uncle Andrew.

Rohnan with great-uncle Andrew.

Fun with cousins!

Dec 23 3 Dec 23 2

Dec 23 6

#5  Christmas Eve is all about Family Time:  Church service in Ellison Park Ward. Dinner with Jeannine’s niece Allison, her family & friends. Followed by time at Andrew and Andrea’s home for stories, acting out the Nativity and bedtime hugs with grandchildren before “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads”.

#6 Christmas Day: Yes, Christmas began with a family celebrating the birth of a baby.  We too are thankful for Jesus and Christmas. We get to share on-line time with family despite the many miles and an ocean that separate us.

S&J's family gather together for a Goggle on-line Chat.

S&J’s family gather together for a Goggle on-line Chat. Here is Robb in Utah with grandson Samuel (rather blurred). Our daughter Leah & family/ Oregon were on the road to a Christmas dinner; they joined in by cell phone through Robb’s connection.

...and Brett - Calgary

Brett / Calgary

Dec 25 all

Left to right:  Brett / Calgary; Cliff, Deanna & Nyah / Cambridge UK; Andrew & Andrea / Calgary; Jared & sons / Okotoks AB.


Grandson, Zach/ Vancouver BC.           S&J/ visiting in Calgary AB

Focusing on Andrew & Andrea

Andrew & Andrea/Calgary AB

We are grateful for technology!!

Glen & family/ Colorado were not on-line. They were waiting for a phone call from missionary Elder Ethan McCollum

Glen & family/ Colorado were not on-line as they were waiting for a phone call from their missionary son/brother Elder Ethan McCollum.


Grandson Elder Ethan McCollum - Florida Tallahassee Mission

Grandson Elder Ethan McCollum (2nd from right side) – Florida Tallahassee Mission

Baptism of Grandson, Samuel who shares a Dec. 21st birthdate with his Grandpa Sam . L toR: Robb, Samuel, Henry and Kimberly

Kaysville Utah: Dec 23, 2017 Baptism of Grandson, Samuel who shares a Dec. 21st birthdate with his Grandpa Sam .
L toR: our son Robb, grandson Samuel, grandson Henry and law Kimberly – Kaysville, Utah.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018: We will end this entry of our CEM Blog with a favourite Christmas Photo taken in Lethbridge AB. (Christmas Train passing through the city.)

Also, here is a youtube address we received from our son, Cliff, so we could view the New Years 2018 Fireworks in London, UK.

Lethbridge bridge

FYI: On Dec 31st the wind chill temperature in Lethbridge was -50 Celsius (-58F). Here in Lloydminster, our low thus far was  -34 Celsius (-29.2 F).  YIPES!! What a way to bring in the New Year.


  1. Elsie and John

    GREETINGS! Thank you for sharing your life, your ministry, your family, with us. You are faithful servants of our precious Savior. Blessings to you and yours for the coming year!!~~~2018. With love!

  2. Glenda Nixon

    So wonderful that you had a break from your service and had lots of special family time in Calgary. Always glad to see you and spend time with you. Happy New Year!!!

  3. Kay Ridley

    Thanks for sharing your mission with us. I am so happy you are enjoying your time in the mission field. It’s fun to see pictures of your children grandchildren and great grandchildren. We know the Kunkels who are serving in Vermilion. Sister come call went to school with my sister Donna . Love you nativity Prints, and thank you for the fireworks in London they were beautiful . You get to go to Calvary Temple more often than we do. We have been busy with our callings in the temple and also in the word, we are both doing well. Cindy and her two children are living with us right now Ian comes on the weekends sometimes and sometimes we take them to Calgary. We just had four days alone since the end of June was quite nice .we love the gospel, our family and Jesus Christ. We too had a wonderful Christmas five out of 7 children came down for a few days with all the grandchildren lots of noise but that’s the fun. Love you both keep up the good work .

  4. Sheila Wright

    Another busy month on your mission. It was great to spend part of Christmas Day at Glenda’s. As we celebrated the birth of our Saviour and enjoyred each other’s company, including Darilyn and her kids, Jaden, Karla and Carson. Ron and I also thankful to stay over and drive back to Vauxhall Dec 26th. It was cold but not too bad of roads.
    Thankful you are safely home in your mission apartment for New Year 2018!

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