Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Yap Island has 3 baptisms coming up, Someone has miracle experiences with prayer

Hello Everyone,

Sorry that I didn't get to email on Monday. President Mecham was here are we had a District Conference and a Zone Conference on Monday. It took almost all day and then President Mecham wanted to go teaching with us. We had appointments on Tuesday that we couldn't move so here I am, Wednesday emailing. I hope you guys were not too worried. This could happen from time to time, just so you know.

District Conference on Yap Island : October 2012

Question from Dad:

Question #1:  Would you share your feelings about Jesus Christ?  I’d be interested in hearing what you might say to someone you are teaching.

Answer: If you were talking to someone I would just testify to him that He is our Savior and Redeemer. He came to this earth to atone for our sins. Yours, mine, everyone's.  Jesus Christ loved us so much that he literally died for each of us. He knows what we are going through. He has been through it. We can always rely on Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father to be there for us. They will never, not care about us. Through and only through our Savior Jesus Christ can we become clean from all our sins, and be able to live with our Father in Heaven again.

Question from Elder Meyer:

Will you ask Jeff Hicks who the people are in the first picture? That would be great. I think I know who they are. Also, you can tell him that I would imagine that life is probably about the same. The airport is a lot nicer now that the old one. I have driven on the old one it is pretty short.   [Note: Jeff Hicks, who served as a missionary on Yap Island back in mid 80s wrote Elder Meyer a letter and sent a few pictures of people back then.]

Question from Mom:

Question #2:  Did you get a package from the Woods family? Sister Woods told me that her family sent you a package and letters.

Answer: Yes I did get theirs and yours. Please thank them so much for me. I forgot to write down their address before the box was thrown away, would you please get it for me.

Question #3:  Share a time when you felt the spirit this week

Answer: When A*g*stine shared his testimony with us. He is an investigator that is being baptized on Saturday. I will explain more down lower.

Question #4: Tell about any successes you had in finding this week.

Answer:  Let’s see. We went down a road in Fanif. The first two houses nobody was home, next two houses they didn't want to talk to us. Finally we found a house. S*l*na and L*v*na lived there. We started talking to them. We shared the Restoration with them. They seemed very interested. It was a very good lesson. We are going back on Friday to share about the Plan of Salvation.

Elder's serving Colonia area on Yap Island : Oct 2012

Question #5: Tell me how you study the scriptures - by topic, cover to cover,  Or ??

Answer: Well, it depends on who I am studying for. Right now, if I am studying for me, I am reading Jesus the Christ cover to cover. I want to read all the standard works and the Missionary library at least once on my mission. So I will do that for a little while in the morning. When I am studying for an investigator I will study by topic of what we are going to teach them that day. So I guess I study both ways. Sometime I am going to study about Adam and Eve. I have and interesting question that I am thinking about. I even asked President Mecham about it. Maybe you guys have an answer. Well, all of God's commandments are possible for us to keep. 1 Nephi 3:7, well, how could Adam and Eve keep both of the first two commandments given to them, multiply and replenish the earth and don't eat of the fruit? President Mecham directed me to Alma chapter 12, I believe.

Question #6: How are the youth doing at church?

Answer: They are doing pretty good. There are a lot more youth down in Colonia than Thol. Something that I really hope will happen for them is to have a Sunday school teacher just for the youth and not have them sit in with the adults. That is one of my goals for the ward. Hopefully things are going to start moving because we just got a full district presidency and now the branch president should have a counselor. The youth are great though. There are about 10 active goers to seminary. So that is great. Oh about seminary, Elder Garrett is worried about losing the youth because they are not always very engaged. I told him to email you and dad. I gave him both of your emails. Just so you can think about what to tell him. I told him about RED Read Every Day and a piece of Candy.

Question #7: Tell me something you wish you had done different to prepare for your mission.

Answer: It would be go over all of the scripture masteries and more scriptures to know where different points of the gospel are talked about. I have a hard time remembering where scripture versus are.

Question #8:  At church, what do you do, talk, teach?

Answer: Right now I have not done either of them in this branch. There are a lot more members down here, so I haven't talked yet, Elder Richardson has taught a couple of lessons.


Hey Staheli. How are you doing? How is work going? Just curious about what is going on in your life all the way in Reno.


No machete yet. I will get you one, sometime I promise. I will try and get you one for Christmas. That is cool that you are ahead in history. It sounds like you are doing a little bit better. That is awesome man.


I got your letter. I am not sure what you can send me. I would just talk to my mom. She has always done a good job.

To Everyone

So this Saturday we are going to have 3 people baptized. A*g*stine, D*v*ne and Ann**. We are going to see if you can get S*m (the youth from Thol) to baptize D*v*ne, she is his cousin. Also, to get Arv*n, a member here in Colonia to baptize A*g*stine. They are friends.

Yesterday when we were teaching A*g*stine, he shared a couple of stories about a prayer that he had. First, his family was almost out of water. He told his family that he was going to pray. He did. It started to rain. They once again had water. His kids thought he was amazing. Second, this was a while ago. He was very drunk. All he had to eat and drink in a couple of days was beer. At some point he started to shake. He really thought he was going to die. He started to pray. He asked God to send someone to his house with food. He repented of the things he had done wrong. He ended his prayer. Someone came to his house right after that, and had food. He knew right there and then that he had a Father in heaven that cared about him and wanted him to stay alive. He got very teary eyed. It was an amazing story. I was so glad that he got to have and experience like that. It was so great. I am so excited for him and the others to be baptized on Saturday. A*g*stine has changed so much since the first time I met him. You can tell that he has found Christ and wants to do everything he can to become like Him. He has had a lot of Word of Wisdom problems. As of right now, they are all cleared up. It is so great. 

President Mecham and Elder Richardson gave us some training on Monday. As always, it was great. They talked about finding. And how we can improve our efforts, and that if we have a couple of minutes to just go finding. It was great. President Mecham is very enthusiastic about the work. Nothing on Yap has happened for a long time. Well he now has high hopes for Yap. Things are starting to move here now. It is great.

I told him my Yap Book of Mormon story and asked how he knew to send me here. He said that he has everyone's pictures on the wall and where they are at. He moves them around until it feels right. He said the Spirit just directs him on what to do. He said that if he would have known that I wanted to come to Yap, that he would have probably sent me somewhere else because missionaries don't choose where they serve. So the spirit must have been involved.

Well, I love you all so so much.

Elder Meyer.

A turtle they found

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ElderMeyer: Video, walking to/from Church (not the way we do it)

Click the images below to view video. This isn't the way we typically get to and from Church...

Walking to Church

Walking Home from Church with Kids

A view of Yap Island from a Missionary (Pictures and Audio #12, #13)

Click the Speaker button below for audio message.  Click a picture to enlarge it.
2:59 minutes
Loved package, snacks locked up in store, Love You in Yapese, 

Notice "leaf in hand & single file line." Custom requires it when walking around.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Audio #11: First Vision in Yapese

Click the Speaker button below for audio message.
4:49 minutes

Letter from Elder Meyer: Pretty good week, Using the right words, Hasn’t yet talked to village chief, Bugs are no big deal, Locally married, Two baptisms coming up, Planning for a conference.

Hello Everyone. This has been a pretty good week.

Dad’s Questions

Question #1: Do you still like getting a list of specific questions?

Answer:  Yes it is fun to answer them.

[Note: If you would like to send Elder Meyer a letter or question, email to: johnny@meyer.net]

Question #2: Did you get a chance to send audio or photos?

Answer: I sent them home last week in a package, with a lava-lava, shells, and some other stuff that I got made here.

Elder Meyer shaving the inside of a coconut. Perhaps for lunch?

Question #3: If you could have gone on your mission at age 18, before attending college, would have done that? Wondering if you think attending college, away from home for awhile, is helpful prior to mission.

Answer:  I probably would have left before going to college, personally. Going to college was helpful because it gave me a chance to live by myself, but still be able to call home whenever I wanted or need to. Knowing me though, I would have left before going to college.

Question #4: What things can you say rather easily now in Yapese?

Answer:  I have started to learn more things that I can say in my prayer. I am not saying a memorized prayer anymore. Now that I have a bigger gospel vocabulary I am learning more how to really format a sentence the right way. Hopefully I will get it down soon. There are a lot of little words that mean a lot of different things. I am trying to figure out how and when to use the right one.

Question #5:  In the Colonia Branch, could you describe how your Sunday typically goes? Any leadership meetings other than the 3 hour regular block?

Answer: It is the same in Thool, just with more people. I haven't talked down here in sacrament meeting yet, so that is good. There is PEC in both branches. There is a fireside every Sunday night, and a movie night every Saturday night. Seminary is Mon, Wed, Fri.
Question #6: Do people hold Family Home Evening (FHE) on the island?

Answer: Some families do. We go and help out and do FHEs with different families.

Question #7: Do you ever talk with village leaders or officials?  How does that go?

Answer: I have not ever spoken to the chief of the villages. There are village meetings every once in a while, but we don't go to them and I do not know what they talk about.

Elder Meyer around the Island

Question #8: Could you share something that put a big smile on your face this past week?

Answer: Having investigators come to church.

Question #9:  Is there something that you haven’t received in your packages that would be fun to get?  Curious if you share all the little treats with the people you meet, or mainly just with the missionaries?

Answer: I can't think of anything. I mainly just share with the missionaries. I have shared with other people though.


Wow, so Maddy got baptized. That is really cool.

Question #10:  Did you tell President Mecham about wanting to go to Yap Island?

Answer: Yes, I told him in my weekly letter to him a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back because that website has been down for a while.

Question #11: Does general conference only come in Yapese, or will you hear it in English?

Answer: We get it in both. There are outer islanders who don't speak Yapese, and better understand English so it will be played in English.

Question #12: What is the strangest thing you ate this week?

Answer: Nothing really strange. There are only a couple things on the island that I have tried. Some fruits are really rare, so I don't get any.

Question #13:  How are the bugs and lizards and stuff?

Answer: Everything is good. No more bed bugs. There are always bugs everywhere, but it is no big deal, I am used to it.

Question #14: Tell us what you talked about in church today?

Answer: We talked about faith in Sunday school. Alma 32, I believe with the seed. And in priesthood we talked about being a good father and a good husband.


Hey, I hear you went home. That sounds like it was fun. Dad said that you made cookies to send to me. I am very excited for them. Your baking is a lot better than anything I could every get or make here. Love ya.

Man, I am so bummed about your head. That really stinks. I am glad that it is starting to get a little bit better. I hope you start to get better soon. I am praying for you man.

I just got a letter from you today. I am very excited to read it. I picked it up and then came straight to the place where we email, so I have not been able to read it yet. Love you.

To Everyone

Well, this Sunday was probably the best Sunday ever. We had A*g*stine and two of his daughters, Ann*e and here whole family, that would be a total of 4 people, and D*v*ne come to church.

That was a total of 8 investigators come to church. They all really really liked it to. It was so so amazing to see how the gospel is helping these people out and that I had the privilege of sharing it with them.

We are having a wedding for Ann*e on Saturday. She is only locally married and not lawfully married. She and D*v*ne are getting baptized on the 27th of October. I am so excited about that. They are all doing so so well. It is so great.

We are also having a Halloween party on the 27th. So we are planning and getting ready for that. We are coming up with games that we can play with everyone.

On Saturday we split up with Elder Garrett and went to invite all of the members to the party and also the district conference. The district conference is like a stake conference.

President Mecham is coming to Yap with his wife, and some other leaders from Guam. So we are doing a conference. We are involved in planning for that. We have also taken care of that. I am excited for district conference; I think it will be really good. President Mecham is a great speaker.

I love you all very very much. You are the best family in the world. There are three pictures attached. 1 - me by a tree - 2 - me shaving the inside out of a coconut. 3 an amazing sunset here.

I love you so so so much


Elder Meyer

Monday, October 8, 2012

The picture library: Click photo to see entire library

Click Photo to view library

Letter from Elder Meyer: Email troubles, "All" the stores, Colonia branch, 3 investigators came to church on Sunday

Hello Everyone

It sounds like you are all doing pretty well. Well, except for Reed. I am surprised that it has lasted as long as it has. I was also a little surprised to hear about the age of missionaries to leave earlier.
Found a cave


Question #1:  How come it took 30 minutes to get on the computer last week?

Answer: The internet was very very slow. It would never let me log on to my email.

Question #2:  How is your new area?  What do you most like about it?

Answer: I like Colonia a lot. Not as much as Thool, though. My favorite part is how close I am to all the stores. It is nice to not have to drive 40 minutes to the store.

Ocean View

Question #3:  Is there more teaching, or finding, compared to the Thool area?

Answer: It is about the same teaching. Maybe a little bit more. The people live a lot closer together than Thool.

Question #4:  Curious about a typical day… how does that go?

Answer: The days here are all about the same. We get up, study, then leave and teach. We go and teach the people we have appointments with. We are also doing a lot of less active work to get people more active. We pick up some investigators from that because most are part member families.

Question #5:  I noticed there was a monsoon nearby. Did you get impacted?  Noticed also that the entire island was out of electricity for a time.

Answer: I want to say yes, but I am not sure. It was windy and rainy for a couple of days. I am not sure if that is a monsoon. It was more windy and rainy than normal.

Question #6:  Did you enjoy the spaghetti sauce mom sent?

Answer: Yes, I love it so so much. It is so so so good. Thank you, thank you.
Dinner, lunch, breakfast...


Question #7:  Tell me about your companionship. Are there two or three of you?

Answer: There are three of us. There is Elder Richardson and Elder Nelson and me. Elder Richardson is from Spanish Fork, Utah. He has served on Yap his whole mission. He is on his 14th transfer. He pretty much knows everyone on the island. Elder Nelson is from Washington. He served on Guam for a year and has been here since. He is on his 15th transfer.

We all go around together teaching. Sometimes Elder Garrett takes Elder Richardson to find some less actives and stuff. Normally we are all together though.

Question #8:  How is the language?

Answer: It is coming slowly, I feel. Twice a week we go over to a member’s home and learn from her. She is pretty good at both English and Yapese, so it is good.

Question #9:  Tell about the branch in Colonia - is it the same branch you were attending in Thool?

Answer: There are two different branches. The Thool branch has around 17 active members, the Colonia one has around 30ish active members. It feels a lot bigger than Thool. The branch president does not have any counselors. Just like up in Thool. We need some active priesthood holders.
Aerial View of Colonia, Yap Island

Question #10:    How are things different in Colonia vs Thool?

Answer: Colonia is more commercial. It is where all the stores are. Besides that, not much is different. People still love beatlenut, and have a hard time coming to church.

Staheli - How are you doing? I thought that I would just say that I love you very much. How is work? To be perfectly honest, I can't remember where you work now. Is it with little kids, or did it change?


Reed - man that stinks that you are still out. I can't believe it is taking so long. That is strange. And you like school now. I will keep that in mind when you are back and don't like it again. So did you just sit around all day?


Grandma - I love you so much. Thanks for the money. With the money you sent I bought a hamburger. It was as good as they get out here. Thanks.

To everyone

Well, this has been a pretty good week. At church yesterday we had three investigators come to church!!!! It was so amazing. I was so happy.

D*v*ne, she is 10 years old. She came to church. She has got a couple brothers that are baptized. They brought her. She has been taught pretty much everything. It was great to see her there.

It is so much easier to teach kids. They don't have as many problems as adults. It is great. It is a lot of fun to teach her.

Also A*g*st*ne and his daughter came. We have taught him everything, too. He is doing great. He has a friend that we are teaching to. He didn't come to church but we will keep trying.

We are also teaching a woman named Ann**. She is doing great. She is very interested in Joseph Smith. So we are getting all the stuff we have on him and are letting her read it. She is pretty far in the Book of Mormon, as well. She has a husband who is not sitting down with us, and two little girls. They are a lot of fun. All the little kids here are so great and so funny.

Today we went and saw a lady named R*y. She has been taught everything. She is the only person, in her family, not part of the Church.. We were very bold with here. She knows why we need to go to church and still won’t come. She says she reads from the Book of Mormon, but falls asleep. We talked about the Priesthood and the restoration.. It was a good lesson. She is a very interesting lady. She has read the Book of Mormon all the way through before. I think she just doesn't want to know if it is true. It was an interesting conversation.

Tell Natalie congratulations. That is really cool. I bet they are very excited.
Also about your phones, I heard the iPhone 5 came out, are you guys getting that?

I thought of something I would like for Christmas, a basketball.
Basketball Hoop

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

Elder Meyer

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Transfers, Not much time, Flat tire


Transfer calls were this week. I got transferred down into the other area on Yap. It is Colonia. So far it has been great. I really loved my last area and I am sure that I will feel the same about this area.

I spent the last 30 minutes trying to log on so I will answer the questions that I can.  –not much time--

Dad’s questions
Question #1:    Is there anything you would like for Christmas?

Answer: I don't know

Question #2: We just held Stake Conference, does that happen in Yap?

Answer: I don't think we do. It would be up to the District President though. It is also really hard to get people from Thool –upper part of island-- all the way to Colonia –15 miles away-- for a district conference. 

Question #3: Could you describe what the moms are like on Yap? Do they share equally with husbands about household matters; family, etc… does the Relief Society provide service to the village?  Just overall curious about the sisters on the island and what difference and similarities they may have from the states.

Answer: They are great. The wife normally stays home with the kids, but not always. It all depends on the family. Just like the states. As for Relief Society, in Thool, they clean the church. In Colonia, I am not sure. I have only gone to church once here.

Question #4: What service projects have you been able to provide?

Answer: I have helped put on local roof (coconut leaves) on a building. 

Question #5:  Curious about how many people you might speak with during a typical day… 3 people, 20 people?  Are your conversations almost exclusively about Book of Mormon, Bible, church, or other things, if so what?

Answer: It depends on if they are there or not. If we are finding, or not. We normally try to see around 6-7 people a day. Sometimes they are not there. Normally we always talk about the gospel. I mean, it is our job, so… 

Question #6: When you reflect over this past week, what memory puts the biggest smile on your face?

Answer: Seeing how much we have helped the boys love church.

Question #7: When you reflect over this past week, what memory do you thank Heavenly Father for?

Answer: That I know about his gospel and that I get to teach it to people

Question #8:  When you reflect over this past week, is there something specific that you are praying for?

Answer: J_r_m coming to church. He still didn't come though.

MOM’s questions

Question #9: Tell me about the different people you are teaching.  What do you teach them about?

Answer: Well I am teaching a whole new group of people now. I have not met them all yet. Ann__, an investigator, has been taught all of the lessons. She is reading from the Book Of Mormon, too. Now we just keep reviewing and trying to strengthen her. All the lessons we teach are from Preach My Gospel.

Question #10: How is the youth program?  Are you doing weekday activities with the youth?

Answer: I am no longer in-charge of the youth activity since I transferred. Last week it was going good though. The Garrets run the Youth activity here in Colonia.

Question #11: What happens next week?  We have General Conference - do you watch General Conference or have regular church?

Answer: We have regular church. We get conference in about 3 weeks.

Question #12: Tell me one new thing you tried eating?

Answer: I can't think of anything new. I have pretty much had everything in season right now.

Question #13: Did you send the voice or picture memory card?  We haven't received either one - it would be awesome to have some more pictures and hear your voice again.

Answer:  I think I will send it home today. I have a lava lava, and some other stuff that I will send home to.
Question #14: What would you like for Christmas? Do they celebrate Christmas there?

Answer: I don't know what I want. They celebrate Christmas, just in a different way, I heard. It is just a party from what I heard. Just like all the other holidays are parties.

Question #15: Did you get the packages we sent with bed bug stuff and spaghetti sauce?

Answer: Yes, thank you very much. I have not had any more bug bed bites

Question #16: What does Sister Garrett cook for you on Thursday?

Answer: Yep, she does. She is a pretty good cook to. It is the closest thing we get to a home cooked meal.

Question #17: Just to get a sense of the price of things there, how much did your scripture covers cost? They are very cool!!  Do they stay on while you read, or do you take them out of the cover?

Answer: I had them made by a lady in my branch. The bible cost $10 and the Book of Mormon cost $5. The scriptures slide out of the cases.

Staheli- That stinks about your mail. I just sent another letter a while ago. I hope you get it. Thanks for the email. I am doing great.

Reed- that stinks about your head man. I sure hope that you are doing better.

Out of Time…

Well, I am almost out of time and I need to go pretty soon. I don't have my cord for my camera but I should be able to send home a package today. I am serving with Elder Richardson and Elder Nelson now. They are great Elders. I am really loving it. I have met a couple of the investigators down here. I am very excited to meet more of them and help them out.

We got a flat tire, and so we changed the tire on the car in the rain and dark. It was good though. Someone saw us and helped us out. The other Elders had the back windshield broken by someone. It stinks, but the police and the chief of the village are going to look into it. I think it was some drunk guy, but we are all okay and doing well.

I love you all so much.

Elder Meyer

PS sorry it is so short today but out of time. Love ya.

Basketball hoop.
Source: Senior Missionary Couple on the Island