Monday, August 27, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: The stuff inside, may meet everyone on the island, burnt down a “man house” door, tried bat

I love all the letters I got. I have not gotten the package yet.
Dad - Wow. I can't believe that many people are reading the blog. That is so cool. I am really happy to hear that it is going so great. Thanks for sending the COPE games. I really think it will be fun for the youth here. I will try to send the chip home next week or the week after. Seminary soon, I bet you are excited. Elder Tueller just told me you added his dad on Facebook.
Mom - Mangos are out of season right now. The pineapple is really quite good. I really enjoy that. Here we drink coconut juice. That is the stuff inside. Coconut milk is the stuff that you squeeze out of the meat. You normally cook with that stuff.
Umm... People will give us breadfruit, some taro, coconuts and bananas. Sometimes pineapples. It just depends on what they have. We never really eat with the members though. There are some tee shirts I am going to get some sometime. I’m glad that you are teaching. I know how much you love doing that. Don't be nervous about school. You will do great. I know it.
Staheli - Hey. i am glad you like the audio. My Yapese is slowly getting better. It is really hard. I am starting to pick up on more and more words.
I have not met everyone on the island. I have only been in one area so far. There are two areas. There are a little over 5,000 people on the island, I think. I am sure at some point I will know, or at least meet just about everyone.
               One elder, Elder Richardson, has been here 13 transfers. He knows almost everyone. Wow I can't believe you upgraded to an MacBook Pro. Apple is amazing. I love to hear from you. Love you much.
Reed - Seminary soon. Wow. I can't believe it. Did you like your first week at school? Are you walking to In-motion fitness? I can't believe you are already in school. That is crazy. Love you
Grandma - I love your letters. Thanks for the ten dollars, it is great. I bought a hamburger today, it was very tasty. I am so glad your garden is going so well. I am going to write a letter soon that will answer your questions. I love to hear from you. I am so grateful, to hear from you. You are the best grandma. I love you so much.
Well, this week has been a little crazy. It started out with Tr_v_r. He was in a lot of trouble because he burnt down a man house door. (Not a good thing at all. You can get in a lot of trouble.) We went to teach him. He said he only has a few minutes. We started talking and he said that he will get baptized. He said he picked a date. All good right? His date, January 24, 2013. Then he said he has to go. We are going to see him tomorrow to see if we can bring the date in a little closer.
Man House

Then we took Jesse with us teaching. It is a big job to do that. He is paralyzed from waist down. So anywhere we wanted to take him we would need to carry. Elder Tueller normally did that. It was a very hot day that day too. Most people we went to go see were not there or couldn't talk then. But it was good for Jesse. He is a great guy. He is doing his best to stay positive.
Alv_n_ and his wife B_rt_ . They moved to Guam for education for their kids. Two great invesitigators gone. We don't even know really where the are staying in Guam to get the elders over there.
J_r_m is only chewing 8 betel nuts a day. We encouraged him to cut it back some. He said he would. I know he can do it.
Then President Mecham [leader of the missionaries in the entire area of Micronesia] came to Yap. He is here Sunday to Tuesday. We had training today. It was about finding people and opening our mouth. I am going to try and do much better on that. Also it was to be bold. Like Alma and Amulek [link]. That is something that we are going to try and do more. President Mecham is a great leader. I am so lucky to have him as my Mission President. He also talked about being obedient.
I am always trying to do my best on that. My whole mission, I have the goal to be exactly obedient.
Sorry no pictures today. My adapter is being used to help with translating general conference from English to Yap. They are training and testing people this week.
I will try and send home pictures next time. When I get the hard drive, I will send the memory card home.
I forgot last week that I tried bat. It was alright. Not my favorite. I also tried a breadfruit thing, coconut syrup drink (like Kool-Aid), and salted macro (fish). All were pretty good. I couldn't eat that all day though.
Youth Conference -  It was great. Umm… we mostly played games. It was a lot of fun. There was about 15 youth participating. There was a short testimony meeting at the end. Some of the youth shared their testimony. I didn't understand most of it because it was in fast Yapese or outer island. Umm, we played a couple of COPE games. Like the untangle everyone into a circle one. Some other missionaries have done COPE. I don't think it is quite the same thing as ours though. The youth are great. I wish more of them would stay on island, and stay active though. That is the whole purpose for the youth activities and COPE games.

Love you all so so much. You are the best family ever.
Love Elder Meyer

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pictures: Can a missionary really have this much fun?

The senior missionary couple on the island shared photos and comments from a recent youth gathering. The missionaries have been visiting many of the younger members who haven't been to church in a while. It's been some time since they had a youth activity. They had a short devotional and then off to the beach. Twenty (20) youth attended, half haven't been to church in while and others are friends.

I (dad Meyer) was impressed to see several C.O.P.E. (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) games. Elder Meyer, when he was in our Chico. California area church's young men's program, was very eager to learn and participate in the C.O.P.E. program. Now they are using some of the activities to strengthen the youth on this wonderful little island of Yap.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Finding people, Geckos, Starting mutual, Many languages, Success.

Hello everyone. How is it going?

I got the Yapese-English Dictionary Package on Thursday. I love the dictionary so so much! It is perfect. I use it a lot. I love all the snack foods that came in your last package. You can't buy that stuff over here. When they do have some of that stuff, it is very expensive.

Today I forgot money for food in Thool, so I took out money from my personal account so we don't have to drive all the way back up there (just in case you get a notification about it).

Dad - I did take a lot of time answering questions last week. They were good questions though. I am excited about seminary. I don't know if you know this, but in the paper scriptures in Bible Dictionary there is a gospel in harmony section. It might be useful to you if you are teaching them in harmony.
Yeah not fair that you got a new air conditioner in your office J We have one to, though. I am sure it doesn’t work quite as good as yours.
I am actually pretty much used to the humidity here. Only when it is super humid, is it a bit bad. Normally all good though.
The whole Apple thing, SWEET. Specially because Staheli has a MacBook, not a MacBook Pro. Did she get one?
Your question about how we go about finding people and once we find them, are they open to a lesson –
Answer:  Sometimes they tell us they are really busy. But they are just sitting there doing nothing. So we will tell them about the Restoration. Most of the time, they are receptive. We also teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ first. It all depends on what the spirit tell us to do. Nope, there is no table. Normally we teach under a hut. (coyeng, not sure how to spell it, it is a hang out spot)
Sometimes we just sit on the ground. You asked about the teaching environment. Well, it is basically just the jungle… haha. Umm they normally listen.
Staheli - how is your new computer? I bet it is pretty sweet. I hope all is well. Do you start school soon? I love you so much.
Reed - School awe man. School is starting soon here. It is weird to think that I am not going to go though. I have heard a little about the teacher you asked about. I hear she is pretty good. The rest of the schedule sounds good. I am glad no Chemistry…it would be really hard.
Yeah and those geckos have extremely sharp claws. They can kill people. I will probably just take pictures. Ha ha. Love you dude.

Grandma - How are you doing? I love getting your letters. They are a lot of fun. I thought I would just say that I love you so so much.

Oh the profile. I started one in the MTC. I don't know if you knew that. I think I did everything except a picture. Sorry I forgot to tell you last week. I ran out of time.  Also could you just send me a list of Low COPE games, and the rules?
We are starting up mutual [weekday youth activity] and want some team building games. That would be great.

All right, this week was good. I tried a passion fruit. It was pretty good. It is like a persimmon (orange goopy thing) except it is yellowish green.  I liked it. It was a little sour, but not bad.

We found a couple new investigators. They are a little family. I am very excited about them. We have met with them once. But they are going to be great. Also met with J----- and A-----. We picked up a new person there, his name is K------. It is great. I think that they are going to eventually get baptized. J----- has had a Baptism date in past but always leaves the island. When we were teaching them, he said that he has a hard time reading Old English (Book Of Mormon). I asked him if he could read Chuckese. (He is from outer island next to Chuuck) He said that he can.
So we gave away 4 Chuckese Book of Mormons.
Man, there are so many different languages here on Yap, it is crazy. I really think that it is going to help them understand and love the book. I only wish I would have thought about that earlier. I know that only could have come from the Spirit though.
We have taught them the Word of Wisdom. It is the biggest problem over here. They have been living it for 3 days. Wow!! I sure hope they can keep going. Today would be day 4.
We had a PEC [local church congregation leadership meeting] this last week. There was President Jim and President Mattew, Elder Tueller, Elder Garret and me. Most of it was about us missionaries and who we are teaching. Then the rest was about the temple trip they are planning November 18th. They are planning on going. Man, I wish I could go. I know that they will love it. I know I sure miss going. You guys are so lucky to be so close to the temple. I hope that you are cherishing that.

There is a Less Active named L---. She is supposed to be the Seminary teacher here in a little bit. We have been trying to get her to come to church since I got here. Actually, we have been trying to meet with her. She disappears some times. She likes to meet with us though. Well, she came. Yeahh!!!! It was great. Her son is baptized and he came to.
You live with your parents or your parents live with you forever. Family is huge over here. Most people in a village are related to each other. But she came, I was so excited. She will be a great seminary teacher.

[NOTE: The rest of the email was suddenly cut off and lost…]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Audio #3: Is there an easier way to learn this rare language?

Please click here to listen to Elder Meyer's audio file describing the unique language of Yapese. Only around 6,500 people in the world speak it today.   Audio clip is just over 6 minutes...
6:31 minutes

Monday, August 13, 2012

Audio #2: Super nice people, how they measure

Please click here to listen to Elder Meyer's audio file about a Youth Conference, how nice the people are, and a little unique way they show measurements. 
5:24 minutes

Audio #1: Testimony in Yapese and English

Please click here to listen to Elder Meyer's audio file. Sharing his testimony in Yapese and English.
4:03 minutes

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Teaching lessons, 17 on Sunday, Spelling doesn't matter

Hello everyone!!!

I can't believe that it has already been one transfer. It has gone by so so fast. There are only 17 transfers on a mission. That means, I only have 16 left. Wow. I can't believe that.

Elder Meyer

Mom - I just love that chain link thing. I think it is so cool. I sure hope that the Young Women all liked it.

Question:  Have you taught a discussion?

Answer: Yes. We are supposed to teach 20 lessons a week. That is the mission goal per companionship. It is a little tricky to get that many here on Yap, However, we are doing our best to reach it. This week we taught 15 lessons. It was great!! I love teaching the gospel. The Preach My Gospel (PMG) manual is a huge help. It explains things very simply and clear. I am doing my best to become a PMG missionary.

Question:  Have you gotten a package?  We have sent 3. The first was sent to the mission home in Guam, with just food. The second has an iPod, and the third has the Yapese-English dictionary.  The second and third were sent to the P.O. Box on Yap. Which have you gotten?

Answer:  I got the first one a while ago. The second one, I think I got it last week. The 3rd one, not yet. We have not gotten the mail today, so maybe today. I love the speakers and iPod. It really helps bring the spirit in the small group meeting on Sunday with Jesse.

Question:  Do you have an indoor stove?

Answer:  Yes we do. We have a pretty nice apartment. It is one of the nicest places on the island.

Question:  Have you sent the digital voice chip home?

Answer:  Yes I sent it home that week on my Monday. I have no idea when it will get there however.

Question:  Tell me about church

Answer:  Church is true no matter where you are. Ummm, in the Branch, we have all three meetings.  Normally sometime priesthood is cancelled because not very many people are there. Sometimes it is us and President Mathew only. Umm. I really miss having so many people at church. It is really weird to only have 17ish people there each Sunday. Also we give talks about every other-ish Sunday, with like ten minutes to prepare. That was quite a change.

I hope you guys have fun up with Staheli. Mom, are you going to be able to get all of your Keynotes on the iPad? Ha ha, I am sure you will be fine. I think I trained you well. Love ya tons.

something about Nativity

Dad - Nice intro Dad.  

Fal’e misii Elder Meyer,
[Good afternoon, Elder Meyer,]

Keu w rogom boch?  I falfalaen’ guy ga qurngin falfalaen’ ma gadaag liyoer ko booy biidiq. Wo ai ni, paapaaq.
[How are you? It is a joy to see you so happy and enjoying the privilege of serving others. Love, Dad.]

Most of it was spelled right. Well, spelling doesn’t really matter here. I am doing great. What did you use to translate it? I am glad seminary is starting soon and so glad on how excited you are to teach it. I am sure it will be a great experience. Getting ready to teach, makes you learn a lot more.

Question:   Have you heard about the Island people experiencing Dengue Fever?  There have been several Yap State medical alerts about it. Basically, it is being spread my mosquitoes.  Hopefully you are using tons of bug spray?

Answer:  I have heard of Dengue Fever. It was big here a while ago. I have not heard of it being a problem recently. I am using a little bit of bug spray. I don't use a ton. I normally don't get bit until the night. Then I put some on. ha ha.

Question:   I would love to hear details about your Sunday church experiences.
Answer:  Church, it is great. It is small, but good. It is kinda confusing because it is in three languages, sometimes. English, Yapese, and outer island. It is hard. It is set up the same here as back home. Just a lot smaller. It is still fun. It is a lot hotter however during church. I can always feel the spirit even if I don't understand what is being said.

Question:   Have you been able to teach during the week?  If so, how does that work and go?
Answer:  I have been teaching. It is great, I love to teach. It normally goes pretty well. It works just like normal, I guess. You start with a prayer and then lesson. Then end in prayer. I really love to teach the gospel… it is fun to help people.

Question:   Do you ever see tourist and talk with them?
Answer:  I have not seen many tourist. I am in Thool and most tourist will not go up there. Most tourist stay down in Colonia.

Question:   What has surprised you most about your mission?
Answer:  Umm... That so many people want to talk to you in English and not Yapese. Also, it is more civilized than I thought. Yap is a rich island well as rich as they can be. The US has a lot of influence over here from the war. There are more buildings than I thought. Also Yapese is a hard language to learn. Hardest in the mission.

Question:   How is the language coming along?  How do you learn it?
Answer:  I learn it from Elder Tueller. The best resource I have is the Book Of Mormon, Other languages have more resources, but not Yap

Sounds like everything is going great at home

Stone Money Bank

In a lesson we were teaching to a family. It was going great. Then two of them went and got baptized in a different church, it was not good. We are doing our best to talk to them and help them find the truth. We are working hard to help them. I am almost out of time so but I love you all so so much.
If you could send me:
·         A pre earth picture for my plan of salvation
·         a 6" ruler
·         Scripture strings. I only have two in my set. I guess there is some that can be glued in
·         3 bags that I can put my clean cloths/socks in. Like my dirty clothes bag that collapses.
·         A folder. The kind you put reports in. The side clamps down. Basically, so I don't need holes in the page.
·         A hard drive that I can move my pictures to and then send home the card

LOVE you all so much
Elder Meyer

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kind letter from Senior Couple serving on the island w/ Elder Meyer

Brother Meyer, Yes you are right! We do serve with your son and what a good, sweet Elder he is.

We are so grateful to have another set of Elders here on island to help. We are still trying to adjust and find the youth for seminary and institute ourselves. We have only been out since June. We have the 5 Elders over here for Zone Presidency meeting every Thursday and then we feed them lunch/dinner after that. In fact yesterday I was able to give 3 of the Elders hair cuts (I used to be a stylist years back) so its fun to help them out.

This is considered a hard mission, we depend on the Elders alot who have been on island awhile to tell us where to find the people because, as you can see, lots of jungle no address or street signs. But we are all loving the Lord's work and hope to make progress.

Thanks for bringing up such a nice young man willing to do the Lord's work. Write us anytime.

Elder Meyer is doing just what he is supposed to, be proud of him.

Elder & Sister Garrett

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Q&A, Typical day, 15 youth, old man/woman

Hello everyone. I love your letters. It sounds like you are all doing great.

Answers in response to questions from Sister Jenny Smith:

Q: Are all of the houses built up like the one in the photo? 
A: Pretty much. The local houses are all like that. My apartment is like an apartment in the states, just not as nice. Really, not as nice.

Q: Is that because the Island floods?  If not, why? 
A: I am not sure why they are like that. The island doesn’t flood. It rains a lot. I guess it is just to be off the ground.

Q: What do most people do for work? 
A: Most people don't work. They mostly eat what they grow. There is not really one job here. Most people just do random stuff. Filling for gov, schools, etc. Taxi. Just little stuff like that.

Q: Does Elder Meyer say the sacrament prayer in Yapese or English? 
A: We say them in English. In my branch there are a lot of outer islanders that do not speak Yapese. So we don't say them in Yapese.

Q: I am assuming that the Island has a branch and that in order to have a district activity you would have to include other islands.  Is this correct?  If so, how do the people travel between the islands?  Boat?  Does it take a long time? 
A: Nope, there are 2 branches that make up a district. We just had a district activity for the youth. There was around 16ish people there. The other islands are really far away by boat… to the closest island, we take several days.

Q: Finally, where do people shop for clothing?  I'm assuming they don't have a local Walmart...  ha ha. 
A: There are markets with clothes in them. Also they make lava lavas.

Dad - I got the package on Thursday of last week. I believe that was the #2 or #3 package. That is so cool that grandma Meyer has shared all of this with other family.

Sounds like the temple trip you went on was cool. You are so lucky to be able to go to the temple whenever you want. You have no idea how much I miss going to the temple. I have not gone for only like 5 or 6 weeks, but it feels like forever.

I have only had one fish. It was great!! I have no idea what kind it was though. There are so many dogs here as well. Actually, there might be more here than where Ivan (Elder Bowles) is at?  I am completely serious. They are everywhere.

I am so excited for you to teach seminary. Elder and Sister Garret (Yap Senior Missionary Couple) are trying to start it up here. We are doing our best to help. I was reading in Mosiah 3:15 and it talks about types and shadows. I thought of you when I read that. Did you know it talked about them?

Mosiah 3:15 reads, “And many signs, and wonders, and types and shadows showed he unto them. Concerning his coming; and also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his (Jesus Christ) coming; and yet they hardened their hearts, and understood not the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood.

Mom - I got the package, it was awesome. I am so excited about everything in there. There is a post office here. Elder Richardson (Zone Leader) gets the mail. Mail comes in on Mondays and Wednesdays. We are here in Colonia on Mon and Thursday, so that is when I get mail. You don't know when stuff gets here, you just go and check.

Laundry... Well surprisingly the Elders in Colonia have a washer and dryer. They are pretty older and nasty looking, but that is where we do laundry. There are laundry mats here, but it is free at the other elders spot.

No other foods yet. Jesse (member) got a bat and is going to let us try it sometime. I will let you know how that goes.

Typical day.... wake up get ready. Study til 12:00 lunch 12:30. After that, go teaching. Each day is different. Sometimes we go finding for new investigators. For that we just walk around a village and talk to people. Other days we have appointments. I guess that is as typical as it gets.

Most people will always talk to us. I have only been yelled at a couple of times.

Sounds like dinner and the pedicure was fun. I have not heard a thing from Kyle. Are his papers in? I will try to write him sometime. I don't have is address. Could you get it for me?

I am laughing at the fact that dad is going to get up for seminary and you get to sleep in. I am going to send home the memory card of voices recordings today. There are a couple of recordings that I am using for my language study. I am speaking Yapese in them. If you could not delete those and send it back that would be great.

Um, no I don't need money. There is a bank here and I can pull cash out of my account if I need some. I would not send cash ever! It is almost always stolen. I can't remember if Elder Tueller knows the Staheli line. I will ask again.

Staheli - How’s it going? I thought that I would just write and say that I love you so much. I hope all is well. If there is something I can do for you in Yap, let me know.

Reed - how was camp? I will get a machete sometime. I have one for the church in the car, but I will get one before I leave for sure.

This week was a pretty tough week. Most of our appointments the whole week fell through. Even the ones that always are there were gone. It was terrible. I did not like it at all.

It rained here so much this last week. (Might rain around 17 inches this month, average for Seattle all year is around 36 inches.) I was surprised. I felt like it never stopped. I also got a Yap license. The place where you get it is slow, just like the DMV in the states ha ha.

One thing that was pretty exciting was we got a list of 15 youth in the Thol branch. 15!!!!!!!! Elder Garret wants us to find them for seminary (religion classes for the youth). We are going to do that. We are also trying to start up mutual (weekday activity for youth) in Thol. We are going to invite the 15 less active youth to that. Hopefully it helps them stay more active in Church. I was so surprised to hear about 15 youth. I had no idea there was that many. There are normally only 2 on Sunday.
In the Yapese culture, calling a older gentleman or woman an old man or old woman, is not offensive. So you hear that sometimes. It is kind of funny, especially when and old man calls and old woman, “old woman”.

We were teaching Trevor, an investigator. I really had no idea what I was going to say. I know the topic, but it kind of changed course. I was just sitting there and I opened my scriptures, just flipped them open. It worked out perfectly. I read a verse from that page that went along perfectly and I really think it helped him. The Lord really does give you what you need to say the hour you need it. --There is a scripture that talks about that--  It was amazing. The lesson was great. I know it helped him. I want all of our lessons to go that well.

This week was fast Sunday (day set aside for fasting and prayer). Some people bore their testimony in Yapese. I understood a little bit of it. It was great! Part of my fast was for my language skills to increase. I was able to bear my testimony in Yapese. Sam one of the young men, gave me a huge thumbs up. I guess it went pretty well. I felt really good about it. Sam also turned 16. He was ordained a priest. Elder Tueller did that and I participated. It was great.

I love going to church. Even though it is a small branch, the spirit is just the same as back home. The church is true no matter where you are in the world. I know that!! As I have been reading the Book Of Mormon, I know it is true. I am running out of time so I got to go. Love you all much.

Elder Meyer