Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Incredible week of baptisms, No addresses, Church help pays, Eating Taro.

Hello Everyone

This was an amazing week. Five people on Yap were baptized; Four of them in my area. The last package I got was the thanksgiving one.

Questions from Dad:

Question #1: Do the homes in Colonia have actually addresses and street names?

Answer:  No. There are no streets or addresses any where on Yap. Your address is the village and municipality.

Question #2: Does your apartment have a street or address? If so, we might be able to find it on Google Earth from Satellite.

Answer: It doesn’t. It is called Hill Top apartments. That might work.

Question #3: Is Beatle-nut addictive, or just used by choice?

Answer: It turns out the nut itself is in the top five most addictive things in the world. Then you add tobacco, lime, whiskey, it just gets worse.

Question #4: For the 17-18 people that had the opportunity to go too the temple for the 1st time last week how did that work? I understood that the cost to go is quite high? Did a number of people just save up?

Answer: The church will pay for the trip to the temple if you are doing a new ordinance for the first time. So the people contributed what they had, and the church paid for the rest. So, basically, the church paid for everyone to go to the temple. It just goes to show how important the temple ordnances are.

Question #5: Can you share an experience when you might have been a bit scared about something?

Answer: Well, I gave someone the gift of the holy ghost for the first time on Sunday. I was a little scared about that. But once I started, words of what to say just started coming.

Question #6: Can you share an experience when you felt the pure love of Christ towards someone?

Answer: This new guy that we started teaching. His name is D*fan. He has been taught in the past. He came to church. We found out where he lived and went to go see him. As always he was chewing. We talked to him and I really just loved him. I could see him in white ready to be baptized. It was amazing. He is going to be awesome.

Question #7:  Can you share an experience when you discovered something interesting in your personal study?

Answer: I can’t think of anything right now, but there is so much that I am learning from “Jesus the Christ”. I don’t know if you have read it, but it is good. I have heard that it talks a lot about the parables that Christ shares. It might help you in seminary. I also have had a lot of conversations about Priesthood. Christ as always shows the best example. He went all the way to John to be baptized. That is like 70 miles. I have also learned John got the priesthood when he was eight days old and angel came and gave
it to him.

Questions from Mom:

Question #8: Tell me more about the people who went to the temple. How many people on Yap are endowed now? –

Answer: They are mostly from Thool Branch. 18 people just went from this last trip. There were only a couple of kids who went to be sealed. As for the number of people endowed. Not sure, probably around 25 people who are now endowed on Yap. It is amazing. The people came back and they all said that they loved it. They want to go back, but this time stay for a month.

Question #9:  How about baptisms - were there any more?

Answer: Yes, 5 more!!!!!!! I baptized Veronica. It was great.

Question #10: Tell me an experience about someone you are teaching feeling the spirit or gaining a testimony.

Answer: C*rmen (A*g*stine 's wife) She asked us about 7th day worship. We could tell that she was worried about it. We talked a little while about it. She the Spirit was there and He touched her heart. Then worshiping on Sunday was no big deal. That was amazing because she was raised SDA. It was awesome.

Question #11: Who is your companion now? Tell me about him.... where is he
from? How long has he been out?

Answer: Elder Nelson still. He is great he is from Washington. He has been out 22 months. He goes home the end of January. He is a great missionary. He is kind of short. He really likes superman.

Question #12: Tell me about a time when you felt the spirit this week.

Answer: Look at dad’s

Question #12: Tell me anything new.

Answer: Ate some strange Taro plant. That is about it.


Staheli: I sent an envelope home with all the letters I sent to you. It is going to Chico. So mom and dad can give it to you next time they see you.

Reed:   Wow dude. You are going to drive soon. That is awesome. Even more awesome, you are feeling so much better. Our prayers are answered. That is so cool that you are better. Now that you are driving remember not to crash. ha-ha just joking.

Grandma:   I love all of your letters. I just sent one back to you. I am really sorry that it took so long to write back. I love you.

Grandma and Grandpa Meyer: Dad said that you sent a letter. Unfortunately it has not made it here. When I do get it, I will make sure I write you back. I thought that I would just say that I love you guys and have been thinking of you.

To Everyone

Wow this week was great. Four people baptized. C*rmen and M*rr*sha, J*r*me and V*r*nica. And a boy named C*dric for Thool Area.

I was lucky enough to baptized V*r*nica. It was a really nice baptism. The next Sunday, J*m gave the Gift of the Holy Ghost to J*r*me and V*r*nica. He did it in Outer Island so they could understand all that was being said. It was great.

I was lucky to give the Holy Ghost to M*rr*sha. It was a great experience. The best thing about the baptism is that A*g*stine baptized C*rmen and M*rr*sha. It was great. People here don’t like to exercise the Priesthood that often. It took a little convincing on my part, but he did it. It was so amazing to see him exercise the priesthood that he just got. I am so proud of A*g*stine. Baptizing was the first ordinance that he has preformed. Wow, that is awesome. And it was for his wife and daughter.

Well I got to go. I love you all so much.

Elder Meyer

Monday, November 19, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Language, Culture, Great Success

Hello everyone,

Canoe Festival
Canoe Festival


Question #1: Can you share more details about how the language is coming along?  What have you found as the best way to learn it?

Answer: It is coming slowly. Most of the time, when I speak Yapese, people just laugh because I say things funny. Sometimes it is a bigger distraction. But I am going to keep trying to learn. The best thing that is helped so far is reading from the Book of Mormon. A lady in the local branch –small congregation-- used to teach Yapese to the missionaries. She is now teaching us.

We learned the Yapese alphabet. 47 letters in it and 16 of them are vowels.

Question #2: Now that you are in Colonia, are you still walking thru mostly jungle area? Do people live a bit closer together, or still in remote villages?

Answer: It is some of both. There are a lot more people that are closer together, but the whole south of the island is very remote villages.

Fishing Booth Game

Seminary Event

Question #3: Do you get to run into island visitors now that you’re in Colonia?  Do you get to speak with them?

Answer:  I have ran into one tourist couple. They didn't want to talk at all about religion. He knew a lot about Mormons though. We just talked for a little while. He told us to go scuba diving. We told him we can't. That was about it.

Question #4: Do you ever get to hear what is going on in the world?

Answer: The most I hear is a little bit from Elder Garrett on politics, and the five top stories on yahoo’s main page when I email on Mondays.

Question #5: So far, what do you most appreciate about the Yapese culture?

Answer: Just how nice most everyone is. It is really great to just be around such nice people. There are occasionally some mean people who hate us, but most of the time it is fine. It is nothing like the States in that regard.

Question #6: Has it proven helpful to be an Eagle Scout in any way?

Answer: Yeah, I guess. I mean it is just who I am, so I don't know what it would be like to not be an Eagle Scout. Basic heath and safety stuff that I learned has probably helped me.

Setting up Football Tos game

Question #7: How are you feeling, health wise and spiritually?

Answer: Health, pretty good. My stomach hurt a little bit this morning, but I am doing better. Spiritually - I think I might be on a spiritual high. Things are going so great here on Yap. Things are finally starting to move.


Question #8:  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving on Yap?

Answer: Nope, not really. If something happens, it is because of the missionaries.

Question #9:  What would like us to send?

Answer: You know the scripture strings. Elder Ramiterre would like one. He has the quad and the size like mine.

Question #10: Do you have a stock pile of stuff we have sent?

Answer: Yeah. I have a lot of the gold candy and jolly ranchers.

Question #11: What was the strangest thing that happened this week?

Answer: When our investigator, who is deaf, showed up at our apartment. We did our best to set up a time to go see him and then sent him off. It is very hard to teach him.

Question #12: Tell about a time when you felt the Spirit teaching.

Answer: When we are teaching C*rm*n. We just pretty much just share new information about the gospel and share a brief testimony about it. Then A*g*stine (husband) jumps in and starts testifying of it. It is so nice to hear his testimony about the gospel.

Question #13: Do you know about calling home at Christmas yet?

Answer: I know nothing about that. As far as I know, I will call you some day and give you a number to call me back and a time to call. That is about all I know.


So how is my car? ha ha. Just joking. How are you doing? Did you think of a color of lava lava you wanted?


Why did you go and hit your head again. Come on man, you got to stop doing that. I am glad that it is not as bad as last time, but you need to get better.


Well this week has been pretty good. I think that we are going to have 5 people baptized in our area and one in the other. It should be awesome.

This week we found an awesome investigator. His wife is a member and is not very involved in church right now. They randomly showed up to church when we were watching conference last week. It took a while to find them –no addresses in the jungle--, but we did. He is great. His name is D**fan. He has been taught before. We asked him to stop chewing beatle-nut, the first visit we had. He said that he would only chew five the next day… Which is a big cut for him.

Elder Nelson went to Guam for a Zone leader meeting so I have been up in the other area from Sunday to Wednesday.

Let’s see. S*nty is a little 10 year old girl who is being baptized on Saturday. She is so cool. She is smart and she is just amazing. Little kids are my favorite to teach. The just accept what we say and pray about it. There are hardly ever any complications.

This week a bunch of people went to the temple for the first time. So the branches were small. There were, I think, about 17 or 18 people that went. Most of them were all in leadership positions. I am very excited for them.

Love you all so so much

Elder Meyer

Bug in apartment

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Another unique local tradition, Just got General Conference, Lot’s of success, Teaching deaf person

Hey Everyone  
Sounds like you are all having a party and you didn't invite me. That is kind of rude. ha ha… I am just kidding. It sounds like you are all having fun. I was about to ask if you went boating, then I remembered that it is November and probably cold there, so I answered myself. It is the same weather here all the time so I forget what month it is sometimes.

Dad questions

Question #1: Do you have any messages for a Junior/Senior high school student preparing for his/her mission?
Answer: Read and know Preach My Gospel. It is the best thing you can do for preparing. Also go on splits with the missionaries. Finally, I know it is a pain, but memorize scripture masteries. Mostly to know where they are found and what they talk about. Not necessarily word for word.

Question #2: Do you wish you learned to play the piano?
Answer: I guess it would be cool if I knew more about how to play. All the hymns are programmed in the keyboard so it is not necessary.

Question #3: When you are lying down to sleep, and it is perfectly still and quiet, what thoughts cross your mind?
Answer: I think about all of you guys for a while. Most of the time, my thoughts are about what I can do for my investigators and recent converts.

Question #4:  Any other local traditions that you found interesting?
Answer: There is a Canoe Festival happening right now. They do it every year. All I have seen are races of canoes.  
Also interesting, is in the outer island culture. If you are a girl and you are around a male cousin, you cannot walk unless the male is standing. And if he walks by, the girl must sit down.
Fire Dancing at party

Question #5: How is your teaching visits going? 37 of them in one week is huge!!!!
Answer: Pretty good. Last week was a huge amount of lessons. It was great. This week is a bit less. Canoe Festival kind of messed up the last couple of days.


Thank you so much for the sunburn advice. My sunburn is pretty much gone. I really appreciate it.


Hey, sounds like you are doing great. When I first read what you said I thought there was 123,456,789 people at our house. I was a little surprised, and then I figured it out. Hey, I was wondering if you wanted a lava lava? If so, what colors would you like? You can see if Kate wants one too.

Reed man

Dad said you were doing a little bit better. That is good. I just haven't bought a machete yet. I will get one for you for Christmas. So how is school? Are things going well?

To Everyone

Well things are going great here. We lost Elder Richardson –he was transferred, not really lost-- . So now it is me and Elder Nelson in Colonia and Elder Tueller and Elder Ramiterre in Thol.
We finally watched general conference down here. It was really really good.
I was very excited that C*rm*n,   who is A*g*st*ne's wife made it. She has always not been sure about a prophet on the earth and felt it was unbelievable.  Now, after hearing him speak, it is unbelievable in a good way. She should be baptized on the 24th of this month along with her oldest daughter M*rr*sha. I am hoping that A*g*st*ne will be the one to baptize them. It should be pretty good.

Augistine and Family

We are planning on 7 baptisms for this month on Yap. It is going to be fantastic.
We are teaching a little girl named S*nty. She is very smart. We just taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It ended up being and hour and a half lesson, which is a long lesson, even if you are old. It was really quite good.
I forgot to tell you guys, but we are teaching a deaf guy!!!!!!!!!!!! It is really hard. I taught the restoration the first time. I think he understood and is being baptized on the 24th. The only words that I could understand, when he talks, is “got that”. The language is hard, but it is coming along.
Remember while I was in the other area, J*r*m and V*r*nica? Well, they are in our area now. They are going to be baptized this month too. I think that they are actually going to make it this time. Which would be really good. They have been taught for a long time and it never works out. Yeah!!
R*nny, who is A*g*st*ne's friend, still won’t take a baptism date, but we are meeting with him today. I hope that that will change. He is doing really quite well. He is progressing. A*g*st*ne is still the man. I am so proud of that guy. Ann*e, she doing great, we are still trying to meet with her husband. He is kind of shy.

Well that is about all that is new here.  Love you all so so much
Johnny Meyer

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Incredible week… Baptized 3 people, Taught 37 lessons, 7 more baptisms planned for this month.

Click the Speaker button below for audio message.
3:36 minutes 
2012 Sep 08
Teaching, Youth Activity, Temple

Why no letter for 2 weeks

Sorry that I didn't email last week. The Assistant’s to the President were here and they wanted to do stuff all day. I was in that companionship so I went with them. So I never got a chance to email. I am very very very sorry. I will try not to let it happen again. This letter might be short because it has taken a long time to load the page, sorry.

Sounds like things are going well back home. I knew that you would love the iPhone5 and SIRI, it is pretty cool. The message you sent on it was correct. It works pretty well.

Question #1:  Did the 3 baptisms all happen?  
Question #2:  Where did you baptize?
Question #3:  Did you go in the water?

Answer: Yes, there is a baptismal font in the Colonia Chapel and that is where we performed the baptisms.

Question #4: Share a teaching experience
Answer:  See Below

Question #5: Share a time you felt the spirit this week.
Answer:  See Below

Question #6: Do you attend mutual?  [Note: Youth activities] Is it on a weeknight?  What do you do?

Answers: The Garrett’s run mutual activities down here in Colonia, so I do not go. It is normally on a Saturday night. They normally watch a movie or play games. 

Question #7: Did you think of anything else you would like for Christmas?

Answer: Just a basketball and maybe another pair of basketball shorts.

So how is the iPhone5. Pretty cool right?

I am glad that you are feeling a little better dude. 

To Everyone

Well, These past two weeks have been great.

First the Baptisms. There were 2 on Saturday. D*v*ne and A*g*st*ne. I baptized A*g*st*ne. It was amazing. I felt the spirit there so so much.

Then on Wednesday Ann** was baptized. She waited until Wednesday because her husband *dw*n was giving her a hard time about joining our church. She needed to be married before she could be baptized, so she didn't want to get married when they were kinda fighting. But she was married and baptized on Wednesday. It was great!

I am so happy right now. The way that the gospel has changed the lives of the people is amazing. It is great.

We have started to teach C*rm*n.
She is having a hard time with the fact that there is a prophet on the earth again. A*g*st*ne is the man, and tells her the way it is. He is like, there is a prophet and he was called of God. A*g*st*ne is so amazing. We were talking about the Plan of Salvation with her. And A*g*st*ne pretty much just taught the lesson. He is so awesome.

I feel privileged to have baptized him. He received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday. He is going to bless the sacrament next Sunday. He is going to be a great help and strength to the branch. It is great. When A*g*st*ne was teaching C*rm*n, the Spirit was so strong there. Just hearing A*g*st*ne’s testimony made me feel so so good. It was awesome. 

Last week was a great week also. We taught 37 lessons. It was awesome. The Standard of Excellence (how many lessons we are trying to teach in a week) is 20 lessons. We almost doubled it. It was a great week.

We have around 7 baptisms planned for this month. I think a lot of them will go through, too. You remember J*r*m when I was in Thol? Well, he moved down to our new area. He is on a baptismal date. I am excited for him.

R*nny is A*g*st*ne's friend. He is having a hard time with Word of Wisdom. He wants to be baptized, but doesn't want to give up beatlenut. He says that he just wants to make sure he is ready, but he is just holding on to those sins. A*g*st*ne (the Man) is helping him out the best he can. It is pretty cool.

Things are going great. The work is moving faster and faster. I am so happy about that. 

Elder Richardson is leaving the island. He has been here for 20 months. People are sad to see him go. 

Love you guys so much.

Elder Meyer.