Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letter from Elder Meyer: Teaching 6 new now, 12 days of Christmas Yapese style, Local dance, How to handle challenges

Hello Everyone.

Well, I have got some crazy news. I have been here for over six months. A quarter of my mission is gone. It is weird to think about that. What makes me feel better is that Elder Nelson is going home in January. That means he is really old and I am young still.

People we are teaching right now are progressing. M*rtha, Sh*nty, Andr*w, T*mmy, L*sa, and D*fan. They are all getting baptized on Christmas day. M*rtha is awesome. She is in Alma in reading the Book of Mormon. It is super cool. I wish everyone on the island had the desire to read as much as she does. I really like teaching her right now because she doesn't speak much English. So it pushes us to try and use our Yapese. which is not very much. But just in case, we have her sister who is a member there. She does a lot of translating for us.

Sh*nty and Andr*w are doing awesome. They are both ready. Actually all of our investigators that are to be baptized on Christmas are ready to be baptized. One that we have been teaching for a while is R*nny. He is A*gustine’s friend. We have been trying hard to help him, but he is not quite ready to give up certain things. I really hope he will make it someday. We are just doing our best to help him see that he is ready and that he can give up betel nut.

Christmas party was fun. Elder Nelson and I made up a new way to sing the 12 days of Christmas and taught it to the people
1 big stone money
2 coconuts
3 dried fish
4 flower lies
5 big fat pigs
6 hula lessons
7 squids a swimming
8 ukuleles
9 lava lavas
10 cans of soda
11 missionaries
12 televisions

It was fun. I enjoyed it. Besides that it was just a big gathering of people and the nativity skit. It was pretty nice.

We were also invited to a local dance. It was pretty cool. It was fun to watch them dance. I knew some of the people in the dance. Well, I am thinking about sending home pictures of it, but you know that ladies don't wear shirts here, especially at the dances. So I haven't decided if I will or not. If I do, you might need to shield some eyes.


Question #1:  How is the language coming along?

Answer: My Yapese I feel like it is getting better and better, but when I listen to people speak Yapese, I am reminded that I do not understand much. It is hard because people only talk to us in English. But we are all trying. I can say a good portion of the first lesson in Yapese. But there is not as much power when I teach like that and people laugh at me when I speak Yapese.

Question #2:  I’m a bit surprised about the number of baptisms? 

Answer:  I am not sure what is happening. The best idea I have is the members. The members in Colonia. 

Sounds like India was cool. I didn't know people were that poor. The monthly average income I think is about $70. Not very much, especially if you consider how expensive things are. I really love your car. It is awesome.

Question #3: You don’t write much about the challenges…

Answer: To be honest Dad, I don't feel like I have that many problems. The Lord has and is blessing us here. And I guess when there is a problem. I don't like to dwell on it. If there is something I can change, I do. If it is not something I can’t change, I adapt and move on and keep working. That is what works. I don't worry about myself. I am out of the picture. It is the others that are important.


Question #4:  When do we talk to you on Christmas?  Phone or Skype?

Answer:  I will give you a call or email you sometime this week or next week with a time and a number to call me at. Probably phone

Question #5: How is your sunburn? Have you considered draining it?

Answer: Sunburn is long gone. I did drain it though.

Question #6:  How do the people come dressed to church?

Answer: Well, it depends. Right now, most of the men are coming in a white shirt and tie. The women are coming in the nicest clothes they have. Some just were there local skirts or lava lavas and a t shirt. That is about all of the people have sometimes. They are pretty good about trying to look nice

Question #7: What do you do in church? Talk?  Teach?

Answer:  Well, I gave a talk on Sunday on patience. It was a last minute talk. I got a call Sunday morning and was asked to talk in about a half and hour for 20 minutes in sacrament. It was fine though. I have taught primary before and other Elders have taught priesthood before. But normally we don't have to do anything. Which is good because it means the branch is functioning fairly well.

Question #8: What are you doing Christmas Eve?

Answer: Probably just a family home evening with some families in the Branch

Question #9: What about Christmas dinner?

Answer: Not sure. Probably just make something our selves. The Garret’s will cook us something on district meeting days which are Thursday.

Question #10: How is Yapese coming?

Answer: It is coming slowly. I have talked to people here whose Yapese is their second language and English is their first. It takes them about two or three years to master it. So maybe by the time I go home I will  be good at it.

Question #11: How do the people celebrate Christmas?

Answer: They don't, really. Maybe a party. I will let you know after Christmas

Question #12: What do the people give each other for Christmas?

Answer: Not sure if the give anything

Question #13: Tell about a time you felt the Spirit this week?

Answer: At the District Christmas party we acted out the nativity skit. That was good. The Spirit was there. I was a wise man. It reminded me of home too.

Question #14: Have you learned new doctrine?

Answer: Not really. I am just more familiar with the stuff we teach a lot. Before, if you were a member of the church and married someone in the church, you had to wait a year after you were married to go to the temple, even if you have both been members your whole life. Well, now you don't have to. That is cool I thought. Not really doctrine though.


Merry Christmas. Just a little early. What is your plan for Christmas. Are you going home?


That is awesome about your grades. School semester is almost over too. That is super cool. Are you going to convince mom and dad to take you skiing? I wish I could go to. You are just going to have to do a back flip for me on skis. ha ha


Hey, did you get my letter back to you? I am not sure what mail actually makes it home to you guys or not. Anyways. Love you and merry Christmas.

That is about all that is new here.

I love you all so so much
Love Elder Meyer

Question - do you think that A*gistine scriptures are close to Yap yet. I would like to give them to him on Christmas.
Also, did you ask Sister Lugo to make scripture strings for Elder Ramiterre? His are the same size as mine, just in a quad.

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