Sunday, July 15, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Walking in the woods...(First full week on Yap Island)

Hello Everyone, I am glad to hear that everything is going good at home. Dad, I am so glad that you loved teaching institute. I bet you did a great job. Mom I am sure glad that the book of Mormon reading thing was such a great success. It cost 4 dollars an hour to email here. Then a dollar every 15 minutes after that. So we only stay for about an hour. The money in my drawer is paid for in tithing if you could just put it in the bank that would be great. 

Let’s see the food... I have tried bread fruit, tapioca, bananas, taro, coconut, and pineapple. I think that is it. 

The breadfruit is like a potato. If you fry it, it is good. The tapioca is kind of like breadfruit. The taro is well I guess the closest thing is a potato to. They don't taste much alike and none are really like a potato, but it is the closest thing. They are all pretty good. The bananas and pineapple are pretty good as well. I have not had any mangos yet because that season just ended. We don't really ever eat with members. They do not have enough food to really invite people over. We have gotten the fruit from them though. 

My language is kind of coming along. Brother Whitmore said that there was no conjugation. Well in Yapese there is. There are six personal pronouns in English and 11 in yaps. They all sound almost exactly the same. It is pretty hard to do that. Then there are two different ways to talk in the future and like two different ways to talk in the past. It is pretty much really hard. The way you pronounce things is really hard to. When people speak Yapese, they normally have beetle nut in their mouth so it is even harder to understand them. My companion is responsible for teaching me. He has only been out 6 months. The last transfer he was on Guam. So his Yapese is a little rusty. He is doing a great job. One thing that makes Yapese so hard to learn is because people also speak English and they like to speak English to us because we are American. If you teach them in English, most people don't really understand what you are saying though. One less active person we talk to is named Lilli. She speaks both languages. When we get help from her so doesn't always know the answer. That is really frustrating. There are many rules in the language. People don't really know what they are they just know how to and not to say things.

We were going finding (tracking) through the woods. We crossed several log bridges. I am going to try and send a picture of it. While we were doing that it started pouring rain. It was crazy and kind of slippery. We didn't ever find anyone down that path. You can never tell if some live down those stone paths or not. The stone paths are really cool to. I have a couple pictures that I will try to send. It is fun to walk down them. We have found a couple of people down them. Most have not wanted to talk to us. When they really don't want to talk to us, they run inside the woods so we can't see them. It is kind of funny actually. 

Our water has been turned off, for whatever reason, since Saturday afternoon ish. I am hoping it will be on when we get home tonight, but we will see. It has not been very fun to be without water, let me tell you that. There is a faucet (hose) that has water coming out of it by the road. I go and get some water over there to drink. I then purify it with my WATER Purifier. Good thing I bought that.

Jim is the district president kind of like the stake president. He is from the outer islands. He is huge, and totally awesome. He is a great guy. Most everyone in that village is super super nice to us. They are always asking us if we need help. The branch president lives right next to him. He is great too. I’m really gaining that love for the people here. They are normally really nice to us. It is great. We don't have very many investigators right now. We are mostly trying to focus on the less active members to strengthen the branch. There was only like 8 people there on Sunday in the branch. And only five in the small group meeting (at Jesse's house). We did get him some more cups too. Once we get the branch stronger, we are going to focus more on new investigators. It is hard to get people to come to church because it is in a low cast area. Cast are similar to classes (rich poor middle). Except everyone is poor. What happened was people were getting stone money. Then the Japanese (I think) made them stop getting it the cast system stopped changing. If you had stone money, you were high, if not, low. The value of Stone money is not based on the size it, it's based on if people died or not while getting it.

Crazy thing happened. We were looking for a less active member in a village. We while we were there, a lady asked if she could talk to us. We did. She is a member of the branch down in Colonia. (I am in Thol.) She has missed church the last three weeks and was not reading and praying. We talked to her for a while and she said that she would start reading and praying. She also committed to go to church next Sunday. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.

Well there is an address here. I don't know what it is. Neither does my comp. The zone leader should have it somewhere. I will talk to him and see if I can get it to you next week.

I love you all so so much. I love to hear what is going on over there. I love you all so much and pray for you all too.

Elder Meyer

Zone and District: left to right
Bottom:  Elder Nelson, Elder Richards
Top:  Elder Rameterry, me, Elder Tueller, Elder and Sister Garret (senior couple)

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