Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Amazing video of Yap Island Diving

Yes, the missionaries don't go in the water, but people travel from around the world to visit this little island, to do just that. The diving looks incredible. Here's a video put together from the Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap Island.  I've had a salt water aquarium for nearly 19 years... it has a ways to go before looking as good as the video below. Amazing!  -- posted by Dad.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Opportunities, Plan of Salvation, Bible in Yapese, Old old Yapese, Bed bugs gone

Letter from Elder Meyer:

How are you all doing? This has been a pretty good week. I love all the emails that you guys have sent. I forgot to tell you to thank Sister Lugo for the scripture strings, will you?

I know if you pray for the missionary opportunities they will come. We have a light and knowledge that can help others. It is our responsibility to share it with everyone. We have no idea who is ready to receive it. We just need to be bold and talk to people. Open your mouths. The Lord will tell you what to say when the time comes.

This week has been good. There was a baptism on the island. It was a member of a family that is all members and their kid just turned 8. It was good. We invited a couple of our investigators to go. We really wanted to get J_r_m and his wife there. However, they had some car problems. So he was unable to make it. We are trying very hard with him to come to church as well. Some day he will make it. We have been teaching him the Plan of Salvation again. He is very interested in that.

I think that is what will get him baptized, the temple work that we do. He has had some kids of his die. He is worried about them. The Plan of Salvation helped him feel better about that.

We have also been meeting a lot with J_ss_. He is a member and is paralyzed. He is lonely and I think suffers from depression of some kind. He wants people to talk to. We are taking him teaching with us too. I think it helps him out more than anything else. We are starting to read our Search for Happiness with him. I think it is going to help him a lot. It talks about our church’s basic principles. It will help him sort through all the false stuff he gets from others. We had President Jim come to the small group meeting yesterday. I think it really helped J_ss_ out.

Sister Whitmore - I have not heard of the song you told me about. I have no idea who wrote the song we sing. My parents have a picture of the song that we sing now. I personally haven't told President Mecham about my pre-mission story, but I have heard that it has kind of floated around. Thank you so much for the email. I really appreciate it. It sounds like your family is doing great. Good idea on the iphone too!!

Dad - Sounds like this was a crazy week for you guys. Pray for the missionary opportunities. They will come. There are always people who are ready. We just do not know who is.

Question #1: Are there bibles on the island that are translated into Yapese?

Answer: Yes. There is also an outer island translation of the New Testament

Question #2: You keep mentioning about how many transfers it has been. How long is a transfer?

Answer:  Six (6) weeks is a transfer, this is the first day in my 3rd transfer. 17 transfers in a mission.

Question #3:  Since you’ve never lead music before, what have you done to learn how to do it?

Answer: Nothing really, it is pretty easy. Sometimes I get a little off beat. It is okay because normally everyone is reading the words and not looking at me. ha ha. It was hard the first time, but after a while I got the hang of it. My guess is that Grandma teaching me piano was helpful for me leading music.

Question #4: Do you feel any different about Jesus Christ now; compared to before you left on your mission?

Answer:  Absolutely. He has done so much for us. I don't think I fully understood all that He did. I don't still, but I believe I know more. I believe that I have come much closer to him. He literally is my Savior and Redeemer. ANYTHING through HIM is possible.

Question #5: You mentioned one of the boys needs a white shirt… are there any items that we could send that would be useful to others?

Answer:  He found a white shirt. I can't think of anything, really. If I do, I will let you know for sure.

Question #6: How it the language coming along? We pray for your every day about it.

Answer: Still hard as it will always be. I have been told that my prayers in Yapese can actually be understood by the natives. Which is really good. When I listen to people, I am picking up on much more. I believe it all started when I was reading with the Yapese Book of Mormon. There is so much power that comes from that book.

Question #7: Are there any really older (senior) people in your area?  If so, how does it go when you talk with them?
Answer: Yes. It goes okay. It is hard because they know old old Yapese. They also speak really fast. Sometimes we have a kid translate for us. It is good for me though, it stretches my Yapese and makes me work.

Mom - It sounds like stake conference was really great. I would agree with praying for missionary opportunities. They are everywhere. It sounds like you are learning some good stuff about the savior. He really is our Savior. I bet if you pray for the missionary opportunities that they will come in your class. You might not know when or how, but something will come. About the bed bugs...  I have not had any recent bites. Thank you for sending all the stuff. I sprayed my bed with pyrethrum. I am glad to hear from dad that it is safe to use. I have been sleeping on it all week. Thank you so much for all you do for me.

Staheli- well I just sent another letter to you. I hope this one makes it to you. If not, I don't know what to do.

Reed- why did you just go banging your head on a wall. Just kidding. I hope you are feeling better. I don't remember hearing about this last week. I will definitely keep you in my prayers about that. I know that through your faith that you can be healed. Hope you get well soon. DON'T bang your head in the next 7 days. I don't think you dying would be very good.

Grandma - I just sent a letter to you too. I hope you get it. I love you so much

I am doing great. I love being out here serving the Lord. I love you all so so much

Elder Meyer

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Best experience -- Bed Bugs -- We walk 2 miles in the rain, or sun, or ocean (depending on the tide) to church.

Hello everyone! This week went by really really fast. I can't belive there is only one week left in the transfer.

Dad – About cars… I have not had any problems with traffic
J  The only thing here that gets bad, car wise, is when five slow cars get stuck in a row. It is hard to pass five cars on a curvy  road. Ha ha.

Oh, and about your new garden, Beatlenut might be a little hard to grow in the garden; it would grow much better in the grove. Ha ha. There are many groves of Beatlenut here.

Question #1: Could you describe your very best day, and what made it the best?

Answer: Best experience, how about that? I got two. First is with the boys that we are walking with on Sundays. I will tell you more about them below. Second is also the one of the worst things. It is with Trevor. I believe I told you about him. Well, he finally picked a baptism date. It was January 24th. So far away. The other sad part is that we can not find him again. We are trying very hard though. 

Question #2: Could you describe the most challenging day, and what made it so?

Answer: How about time? Right now the most challenging thing is the language. I don't really know Yapese all that well. It is the hardest language, and I hear that from everyone on Yap. Also, there are a lot of outer islanders that we are teaching. We can't even communicate to them in their native languages. You can never tell how much English they really understand. That is the hardest thing now. 

Question #3: How much time do you spend each day studying the scriptures and are you feeling/learning new things about them that you didn't know before? Any examples?

Answer: Since I am still a new missionary --first 12 weeks you are a new missionary-- we study, each day, 1 hour personal study, 2 hours companion study, and 1 hour language study. Once not a “new missionary” you only have 1 hour companion study. So I study 4 hours every morning.  See below somewhere on what I learned 

Question #4:  While on the island, if you walked into someone from the States, what would you say to them?

Answer: I would say “hi”, I guess. No one from the states ever comes up to my area though. I am not near the tourist area at all. I am on the north side of the island. Everything that people come here to see is in the south side of the island. 

Mom - Umm sometimes there is ice-cream on Yap. It all depends on what the boat brings. There has not been ice cream the last month or two. There was some today. There is no real rhyme or reason on what shows up on the boat.

Youth activity is great. This week we watched a movie that one of the kids brought. There is starting to be more and more people coming. I think it is going very very good. Sunday, wake up, study for 30 min. Go to small group meeting with Jesse. Then go to the Boys house. Some less active/recent converts.

We walk 2 miles in the rain, or sun, or ocean --depending on the tide-- to church. We have all 3 meetings in church. I was asked to teach Sunday School next week. There is only one deacon who passes. One priest who blesses and I lead the music. Funny, yeah.

Then after church, we walk back. Finish up our studies and then go out to teach. Sometimes we skip our studies and teach all day. Just depends on what we have going on.

Yeah it rains a lot. It rains almost everyday. It is just normal to me now. I am doing fine with my clothes and shoes. No worries there. I only wear like 2-3 shirts a week. It makes them stay whiter longer, I was told. So I have not even worn some of my clothes.

Most people on the island have talked to the missionaries at sometime in their life. Most of the time, it is just that they are catholic and that is good enough for them. Some people just use that as an excuse to not talk to us. Most everyone, if not everyone, knows all of us missionaries as Mormons. I get called Mormon a lot. It is kind or funny. 

Staheli - How you doing? I am sure that everything is going well. I am thinking about getting you a pair of turtle shell earrings. Wouldn't that be cool? The only problem is that you are not supposed to have turtle shell in the states. I think I will try to send some in a package. What do you think?

Reed - nice hair cut. It looks good. It is short. I thought you didn't like it short. I bet you love it now. I love my hair short. It is so much cooler. 

Grandma - I just got a letter from you today. I have not finished it yet. Sounds like your garden is doing great. Love you

Well this week we have tried to see J_r_m several times. I guess there was some big preacher from his church from
Hawaii that came. He was there all week. We finally saw him last night. He said that the guy healed him. I am not sure how. I am not sure what he meant. It was a little strange to hear that.

One of the boys, that is a recent convert, the ones we walk with… was asked to speak in church. We helped him prepare a talk. He also just received the priesthood. So he passed the sacrament to. They are getting much more excited about coming to church. It is so good. I am so glad that they are starting to enjoy church. I was having a hard time understanding why we were walking with them. Now it has all paid off. We are building a habit for them, and they are enjoying it.

One of the other brothers asked if he could talk, it was great. He is speaking next Sunday. I am so excited for them. The one that just got the priesthood… didn't have a white shirt and tie. We are still working on the shirt, but I gave him one of my ties. I also taught him how to tie it. It is so great to see them so excited about coming to church and the youth activity. 

What I have learned recently. Well in Mosiah 15 1-3 it talks about how Christ is the Father and the Son. I was very confused because we believe in the Father and the Son as 2 different people. Well, with some more study I found Mosiah 5:4 or Mosiah 5:7 (something like that) and it basically says that after you are baptized you become a Child of Christ. It made so much more sense how Christ is the Father and the Son after that.

Well, I am pretty sure that I have bed bugs. I have many bites in places that bugs could not get if I were awake. So I sprayed my bed with pyrethrum (do you know what kind of chemical it is, dad?) All of the elders on Yap have bed bugs except for Elder Tueller. I am not sure if there was just some huge bed bug break out or something. So I am just super itchy, like all day. It is what ever. As soon as we start teaching, and doing something, I don't notice them as much. 

Love you all so so much. 

This picture is of me and my new scripture cases that I had woven for me. They are awesome. 

Love, Elder Meyer

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Thinking about while walking the island, What people know about Christ, The outer islands, School children.

Hello everyone! I got the package you guys sent me with the scripture ribbons, and the COPE stuff. I loved all of it. I love all the food that you send. It is hard to come across that kind of stuff here. Thank you thank you thank you.

Dad - Well, in the package was a letter about work. It sounds like it should be fun. Good luck getting a sales call here to Yap. The only way that would be remotely possible would be if China did come in and take over the tourism. Ha ha. I am glad to hear that they are not going to do that.

Elder Tueller, I believe had a great birthday. He just got his birthday package today. I guess better late than never. I was sad to hear about his mom. I am praying for them as well.

Question 1: What typically goes through your mind as you are walking around the island?

Answer: Just how lucky I am to be here, and how much God really does love us. Also I am always wondering if someone actually lives down the road we are walking down. You can't always tell if someone is actually going to live down there.

Question 2: How much do people already know about Jesus Christ?

Answer: A lot of people know about Him. There are 13 different churches here on yap. Not very many people know a ton about Him though. Some though, really study the Bible. I guess it is like the states. People know He exists, but don't always know a lot about Him. Then there are people who know a lot about him.

Question 3: Any details about the culture. You keep mentioning “outer island.” Could you describe this more? Do they come to the island for Sunday Church, or have church on outer island? Just trying to get a picture of this “outer island” thing.

Answer: People come to Yap from the outer islands. They live here for a while and will sometimes go back. It takes 2-3 weeks to get from Yap to the last Outer Island and back. They drop people off at the islands and pick up new people and bring them here. There are only Catholic churches on the outer islands. We, as missionaries, are not allowed out there. Our district and branch president are outer island. The outer islands are all the islands between Yap and Chuuck. Yap State owns them all.

Question 4: Would you like us to find a way to send you mom’s special spaghetti sauce?

Answer: That would be amazing. I would love it.

Mom - We spent part of Monday with President Mecham. Then on Tuesday, he came by and we had Companion study with us. Then he left that night.

Your mutuals are a lot more intense than ours. Ours are spiritual thought, maybe some service, and then some games. It is all that can really happen out here. What you did sounds like it was a lot of fun. I am sure the YW loved it. Wow, even when you don't teach seminary you still teach seminary. Ha ha. You are a great teacher. You will do amazing, as always.

Question 5: What are some gospel concepts that your investigators have trouble with?

Answer: Right now the need of a true church. J_r_m doesn't see a need for that. So we are doing restoration again with him soon. Tr_v_r has a hard time acting on faith. Right now, that is the biggest problems I am having with investigators.

Question 6: Do the kids go to school? Until they are how old?

Answer: School just started. Umm... they go until they graduate high school. No age limit, I guess. One kid I talked to said that he was in 5th grade and he was 14 years old. Some actually graduate at age 18 though. It all depends on where they live and how motivated they are to do it.

Staheli - Hey, how is it going? Thought I would say I love you!! How is Sage doing??

Reed - So COPE. I knew that you would love that. It is so much fun. The giants ladder is my favorite. I am sure glad that you enjoyed that. So I hear that you are going to drive soon. That is so sweet!! I am a little glad that I will be in Yap when you start. Ha ha... I am sure that you will do great. Anyways i love you so much.

Grandma- I just need to say that I love you so much

Lets see, this week went by fast. It was Elder Tuellers birthday. That was fun. We threw him a little party. It was great. J_r_m finally got a testimongy of the Book of Mormon. Yeah. We invited him to church. We are going to talk about the Restoration especially the Priesthood. Hopefully he will see the need of a true church then.

The youth activity was so good this week. We had 8 youth there. One of them was a nonmember friend. I talked to him a little bit and he said that he would be willing to meet with us. It is great. This is exactly why we started this thing. We have tried to also find D_v_d and Aug_st_ne. They are not always here. D_v_d is a very drunk man who normally doesn't know who we are. Hopefully he will remember us next time we see him. We have been unable to get a hold of Tr_v_r as well. He has been in Colonia all week.School starts soon so he should come back home soon.

We had a recent convert just turn 12. We ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood. Well, the 1st counselor, Sylvester did. I am trying as hard as I can to get the males to exercise the priesthood as much as they can. It is kind of a goal I have for them. They normally call us to give blessings. I am trying to involve them and help them know what to do and what to say. It is great to see them give blessings and experience that.

Love you all very very much.

Elder Meyer.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Audio #9: Water off and bugs around

55 seconds


Letter from Elder Meyer: The Youth, Finding Success, Translating General Conference to Yapese, Teaching

Hello Everyone!! This week went by really really fast.

Elder Meyer and Elder Tueller on the Island of Yap "Finding" people

Dad - The Children on the island are great. Some are more interested in school than others. Kind of like the states, yeah. Most of the young men in my branch want to serve a mission. I am always excited to hear that. Besides that, I don't think too many have planned that far in advanced. Not very many plan to leave this island.
Wow sounds like your Saturday was a bit on the crazy side. You guys are never really just sitting around. You are always doing something. I am so glad that you are loving seminary. It will be great. I know that you are going to do a great job.
Memorizing 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 is a great idea. We use that a lot when we talk about charity. It is a great chapter.
Seminary –early morning class learning about New Testament-- starts in a couple of weeks over here. I think that Elder Garrett is teaching a class in Colonia and Lili might teach one in Thool. That would be really cool.
Mom - Mutual was pretty good. We had 6 youth there. It was great.
We are getting some less active youth to come. One asked if he could bring a friend. Oh yeah! That is exactly what we wanted; youth to bring friends for us to teach.
Elder Meyer's Name Tag in Yapese

I am very excited about mutual –weekday youth activity--. This week the plan is to help clean up the church a little bit. The youth have a Sunday school class that is taught by Sylvester (1st counselor).
There is no Young Women class, actually not really any YW, well maybe one, or Aaronic Priesthood class. Sometimes they come in with us, sometimes they are just outside. I have thought about teaching an Aaronic Priesthood class, but if we were not at the other one it would get cancelled.
Beautiful sunset. Picture taken by Elder Meyer
Conference with Pres. Mecham was great. He is very enthusiastic. We talked about finding and being bold. It was great. Yes, I got the package with the hard drive. Thank you so so much. I am going to send home a package with a memory card with pictures and voice recordings sometime soon.

Staheli – Well, I sent a letter to you a long time ago. I just got it in the mail. I am not sure why. I sent a letter in the MTC to you with the same address. Did you get that one? Hope you are doing great. Love you tons!!!

Reed - Whets up dude? How was seminary? I hope all is doing well. Love you dude!!

Grandma - Hello grandma. I love your letters very very much. I thought that I would just write you in the email and tell you that I love you so so much. You are the best Grandma ever.
Elder Meyer finds Big Stone Money

Alright so about the memory card reader. Yapese people were being tested on translating General Conference from English to Yapese. They needed a flash drive. So I let them borrow a memory card and my converter as a flash drive. They were using it all day.
A lot of people passed the test. They are translating conference soon. We will get conference 3 weeks after you guys do. That is all. They just need to transfer the test between computers.
Church yesterday was great. One of the young men just turned 12. He was interview for the priesthood. He should be sustained and ordained next week. Then he will get to pass the Sacrament. He wants to serve a mission some day. We walk with him and his brothers every Sunday.
Luckily it didn't rain yesterday that much. We went back to see Aug_st_ne, an investigator / referral.
When we were looking for him, we found his brother D_v_d. We had a lesson with him. Anyways when we went back, D_v_d saw us and invited us in. He didn't, however, remember that we already knew him and taught him once. So we taught that lesson again. It is great; he has been reading the Bible. It is a prime time for us to meet him. We have crossed paths with him several times. I believe it is the Lord telling us to TEACH HIM, even thought he is normally really really drunk.
We are working really hard with J_r_m to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He loves the Bible. We showed him many scriptures about the Bible talking about the Book of Mormon. We then invited him to read 3 Nephi 11. We are going to see him tomorrow. I think if he figures out the Book of Mormon is true we might have a baptism at the end of the month. I am extremely excited about him.
I believe I told you Tr_v_r picked a date to be baptized. Jan 24. He then ran off. Well we have been unable to see him since. We are going to try to find  him again.

I love you all so so much. I keep you all in my prayers. You are the best family in the world.

Elder Meyer