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

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