HAPPY 2018 TO YOU: New Years Day 2018 all eight missionaries serving in the Lloydminster & area gathered together at the McCollum missionary apartment to enjoy a feast and friendship.
JANUARY 9, 2017 – JANUARY 9, 2018: It is the one year anniversary of our service in the Canada Edmonton Mission. Senior Missionaries may choose to serve 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or 23 months. We choose 18 months. Senior missionaries may also choose their departure/leaving date, within 30 days of the “end of their mission” date. It looks like we will depart June 9th. Plans are in place to give some family service, post-op assistance to Jeannine’s sister, and a booking to tend three grandchildren!
PRESIDENT/PROPHET THOMAS S. MONSON PASSES President Monson, the 16th President of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, died January 2nd at his home in SLC surrounded by his family. He was 90 years old. Thomas Monson was called as an apostle in the quorum of the twelve in 1963 when he was 36 years of age. Being the senior member of the 12 apostles, he became prophet in 2008 at age 81 with the passing of President/Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. In 2009, Thomas Monson was ranked first in a list of 80 most powerful octogenarians in America and “the only person on the list to rule over millions of people as a prophet of God” according to the article by Slate.com. Members mourn his passing; family and friends must certainly be thankful he has gone to join his dear wife Frances who predeceased him in 2013. The funeral to celebrate his life and service was shown around the world in a historic live broadcast on Friday January 12th, 2018. We were blessed to watch on-line.
NEW PRESIDENT/PROPHET of the CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of LATTER-DAY SAINTS – PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON
Our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ have planned for an orderly pattern to follow, with the passing of the President/prophet of Christ’s Latter-Day Church here on the Earth. The senior apostle (not by age but from the date of ordination to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) becomes the leader, president and prophet of the Church. 93 year old President Nelson is now God’s prophet here on Earth. Russell M. Nelson was ordained an apostle April 1984; he has served for over 32 years in various responsibilities as an apostle.
In his professional life, Russell M. Nelson was a world-renown heart surgeon. Russell M Nelson and his deceased wife Dantzel raised a family of nine daughters and one son.
TRAINING of FIELDS VOLUNTEERS in IDAHO for FIRST FLIGHT CHALLENGE PROGRAM: S & J enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate the eight challenges in the FIRST FLIGHT (FF) program using the on-line program Zoom.us. FIELDS volunteers in Idaho will begin presenting the program using the Power Point presentation and work sheets that S&J created from the original material written by Howard Reiner, a Native American Educator. The Native American students who will receive this program are from grade six to grade twelve in Reservation Schools of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes near Pocotello, Idaho.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Students in SK and Lloydminster AB returned to school January 8th. S&J were glad to be back in the library at Eagleview Comprehensive High School at Onion Lake Cree Nation discussing First Flight with grade twelve students on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. When presenting FF, Sam wears a beaded Eagle medallion that was handmade by a friend, a First Nation woman, Pam who works in the Atoskasotan Employment Office at Onion Lake Cree Nation.
This a photo of the coloured sheets that we use for printing the pages for the First Flight Challenge Action Sheets.
SERVICE WITH THE LATTER-DAY SAINT YOUNG ADULTS – LLOYDMINSTER: We had a Monday Evening games night with the YA and presented a lesson on, “Living a Balanced Life”. We shared with them the First Nation Circle of Life/Sacred Circle/Medicine Wheel to encourage them to emphasize all aspects of their life.
On Sunday Evening January 14th, a world wide on-line broadcast was held for Young Adults with speaker, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife Harriet. It was most enjoyable! Sister Uchtdorf shared incidents from her youth and their young adult years in Germany with several photos. Elder Uchtdorf talked of “The Adventure of Mortality.”
Using the example of the late 19th-century painting style known as neo-impressionism, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf compared life to one of these paintings. “Closer up, these dots appear unconnected and random,” he said. “But when you take in the entire painting, you can see how the dots blend into colors and how the colors eventually form shapes that reveal a beautiful pattern.” “Heavenly answers—eternal answers—are priceless,” he said. “Receiving these answers often requires sacrifice, work, and patience. These answers are worth the wait.”
SERVICE – LLOYDMINSTER LDS BRANCH: Elder and Sister McCollum moved ahead in Primary (the Church Sunday classes for children ages 18 months to 11 years). Previously we taught the 4-5 year olds. Now we are teaching the seven year olds. 2018 is an important year for these children as they learn and prepare for baptism, when they turn 8. As their Primary teachers we accept this teaching responsibility, along with their parents.
Scripture references regarding Baptism: Doctrine & Covenants Section 20: verse 71 “No one can be received into the church…unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.” Verse 72 “Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent.” Verse 73 “The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” Verse 74 “Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.”
Doctrine & Covenants 68: 25 “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.”
You may ask, why eight years of age? Don’t some Christian churches baptize infants? Here is the scriptural answer: Doctrine and Covenants 29:47 “Wherefore, they (children) cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me.” No information is to be found in the Bible as to any special age for confirmation, but it is clear that it followed close after baptism.
From latter-day revelation we learn that baptism and confirmation can be administered when a person reaches the age of eight years. Confirmation includes more than conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. To confirm means to “make more sure.” The ordinance of confirmation completes the ceremonial process of becoming a member of the Church, and as such, it is complementary to water baptism.
WINTERY WONDERLAND: With three days of very heavy cloud cover came lots of hoar frost decorating all the trees, bushes and fences with a thick layer of heavenly white crystals. We had a beautiful view out of our apartment window. Then the fence by the school ground and the decorated long row of trees were spectacular.
UNEXPECTED SIGHTING: As FIELDS volunteers travelled back to the city from the reservation, our driver, Sam spotted a herd of nine whitetail deer. Sam pulled over for a photo shoot. The deer pricked up their ears and gazed as us while we looked in wonderment at them too. It was a frosty afternoon.
OUTDOOR CULTURAL DAY CAMP – CREE IMMERSION SCHOOL – GRADE ONE: First Nations, Elder Leonard Fox invited FIELDS volunteers to visit and see the cultural lessons taught to the little grade one Cree Immersion students. We weren’t sure how to find the outdoor camp at Onion Lake Cree Nation, but the principal of the Kihew school acted as pilot and we followed her truck. Breakfast included bannock, bacon and boiled eggs. While the women teachers, Jeannine and Brenda (from FIELDS) helped prepare the lunch, the men took the children for a cultural experience.
LAKELAND COLLEGE – OFFICIAL OPENING OF INDIGENOUS LOUNGE: S&J viewed the smudging ceremony to create ‘cleansing smoke’ to purify and begin the dedication of a room at LLC to be set-aside as an indigenous sanctuary. There were a few short speeches, a leather cutting ceremony and an honour song performed by Wade Whitestone and Kuna Gadwa, First Nation students that attend LLC.
FIELDS volunteers are very pleased with the opportunity to now find First Nation students using this area at noon and between classes. It give us the opportunity to visit with them and offer assistance.
OTO (Oil Field Truck Operator Program) at LLC: Early in 2017, Sam and Jeannine worked with First Nation students as they reviewed and studied to write exams for their Class 1 Truck Operators License and Air Brake Endorsement. Now FIELDS volunteers Ralph and Brenda Kunkel are enjoying this opportunity to get to know students and help them prepare to enter the OTO program.
FAMILY MATTERS: Some grandchildren are have been busy filling out applications for university for Fall 2018. Another grandson is beginning with the process of applying to serve a two year church mission. We are pleased to hear of our grandchildren growing and spreading “their wings”.
WORKING VACATION: Our only daughter, Leah had 2 weeks of work meetings in Budapest, Hungary and her husband Jason Berry travelled along with her. They got to enjoy touring around on evenings. They were also able to spend a weekend in Vienna, Austria.
END OF MONTH: January 29-31, Our service in the schools is slow with the end of the month, some schools having end of the semester exams and those with a break before the start of the new semester. We are glad to have appointments at the Lakeland college to review Time Management Calendars we’ve prepared for First Nation students.
Young Missionaries Sisters Shoemaker and Fox are being transferred and heading to Edmonton. Their missionary apartment will be closed up. We will help them load their car and bid them farewell!
Ground Hog Day coming up. Oh, my! It would be a MIRACLE to only have 6 weeks of winter left for us here in the Canada Edmonton Mission, Lloydminster. Certainly there are other “needed” miracles. We can endure!!