Monday, February 25, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Good news about teaching, Family History is challenging

Mogethin (hello),
I have got some good news about teaching here. yeah!!!  [See below note to everyone]


Wow, more chickens. I didn't ever think that that would happen. Sounds like things are going pretty well back home. I really love the idea about temples. They are such a wonderful place. I really miss going to the temple. And I would have turned to a Popsicle in 6 below

Question #1:  How has your testimony of the actual ordinance of baptism by immersion, grown?
Answer: Teaching it has helped it to grow. Then, to see someone you taught get baptize… It is amazing. Also, learning about Christ’s baptism helped. I never really realized it before, but Christ walked 70 miles to go to John to be baptized by someone with authority and by immersion. That is like walking up and down Yap like 5 times.

Question #2: Have you ever seen someone tied to a man house?
Answer: Personally no. They do it though.

Question #3: Do the Yapese keep records that can be used for family history?
Answer: The Catholic priest has records of everything. They don't give them out if you are a Mormon though. So it gets a little tricky. Most grand kids don't even know their grandparents names. They just know them by grandma and grandpa.

Question #4: How close do you work with the Garrett's (Senior Church Education System Couple on the Island)?
Answer: Very very closely. In fact, I was just over there today. He had computer problems again. I help them out a lot. Missionary side of things... I go out with Elder Garrett pretty often, especially now because there are only 3 of us. When we go with Elder Garrett there is "4" of us.

Question #5: Do you ever feel that Grandpa Jack (or anyone else) is nearby?
Answer: I think so, yeah. I am sure I've received help before, and it could have easily been Grandpa Jack.


You sound very very busy. Don't get too busy though. You still need to have fun. Okay? That is awesome that there are Sister Missionaries. Do you think you could send some missionaries to Micronesia Guam please? We could use some. I think there is only 63 missionaries here right now

Question #6: Have you gotten any packages? What was in them?
Answer: Nothing this last week. I have not gotten mail today though. So maybe.

Question #7: Tell about some service you did this week?
Answer: We were planning on doing some service, but it all fell through
[Note: The Senior couple posted the following pictures where the Church distributed clothes]

Question #8: Share a moment of inspiration
Answer: At church there was someone there and I didn't know what to say. Then I just started talking… the words came.

Question #9: What do you need?
Answer: Nothing, I am doing good.

Question #10: Do you use the videos in teaching?  If so, how?
Answer: Yes. We just find a video we want to share. We bring it and a portable. And play it with our lesson. We talk about it after. It is really good.

Staheli - I am so glad to hear from you. That is cool that you are still working with those kids. That is awesome. The fam has said that you are pretty good at skiing. That is cool. You are probably better at skiing than I am at snowboarding. ha ha.

Reed - Nice job on the B- ball. I really miss playing. That is cool that you got dad to play a video game. He never does that. I knew that Portal 2 was a good game.

To Everyone

Well, we have got about 5 new investigators. It is really really awesome. All of them are from members. Which is even better. I think that they will all be baptized at some time. Probably sooner than letter.
There is M*cheal and Al*vra. This is L*nda's mom and brother. It think that it is going to be awesome. There is also 3 from Sh*nty. Their names are D*rlynn, Ay**n, and Al*son. We have only had 1 lesson with D*rlynn. She is planning on being baptized on March 16. It should be really really good.
Oh, there is Als*n T*ning M*yo. She is a friend/ co-worker of a member. She has come to church two times already. We are meeting with her soon.

I am very excited. The work here is starting to pick up again. Things are going to move fast. I think that we are going to have a nice group like with A*gistine and that group. It should be great.

Well that is about it for today. I love you guys so so much

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: A very different meal, Kids respect adults, Games they play, Another baptism

Hello Everyone, Mangil e blayal… “good evening for you guys”,

Dad - If you ever do make it to Yap, I will be sure not to blow your cover <kidding>…  Your secret is safe with me. Sounds like you guys are enjoying the motorcycles again. That is good. How did you guys get to go so far? That is awesome. 

Question 1: What is different about your testimony today, than say a year ago?
Answer: I think it is so much stronger now. It is a much deeper testimony than before. I feel like I had a pretty good understanding of the gospel, but now I realize that it wasn't as good as I thought it was. 

Question 2: Are there any fun traditional island games that you've learned about?
Answer: I don't know about traditional, but there are some fun games. One is where you tie a handkerchief to the top of a tree. Then everyone tries to climb and grab it. Another one is where you have a machete and a piece of vine, you hold your machete up and swing the vine at it. A piece of vine gets cut off and flies at a person.

Question 3: Have you had any really difficult days?
Answer: I am sure I have. I really don't focus on them though. I remember that this is not my time, that it is the Lord’s, and I move on. 

Question 4: Do the youth generally respect their parents? Grandparents?
Answer: Yes. If you don't, you could have some serious consequences. Like be tied to a man house. 

Question 5: It looks like you’ve lost weight… are you needing us to send food. We can make almost anything work.
Answer: Really, it looks like I lost weight? I don't think I have. How much did I weigh before? I think now I am like 140.

Mom - Thank you for the pictures, that is really nice. I love them. It looks like the snow is white. That is cold. I miss it a little bit, and then I remember I get cold at like 70 degrees. Then I don't miss it as much. 

Question 6: How do you say mom on Yapese?
Answer: It is spelled Nina. It is pronounced knee-nuh

Question 7: What was in the last package you've received from us?
Answer: I got a lot of DVDs. Thank you very much. We are going through all of them. Elder Garrett took some to use at his weekly fireside. So they are being put to good use. Kammagar (thank you). I also got the scripture strings and a bunch of pop tarts. Thank you so so much. They are all great. 

Question 8: What was the most interesting thing that happened this week?
Answer: A couple of things… first the baptism. I will talk about that down below. Also I tried something pretty interesting that you guys will all get a kick out of, but it will have to wait to the end. 

Question 9: Describe a typical prep-day.
Answer: Well, I got a haircut today. But normally we get up, and do the normal morning stuff, then we go shopping and buy all the food we need for the week. After that we will email. That is a good part of the day. Then, hopefully the mail is done being sorted so we go and check the mail to see if we got anything. Then after that, we do whatever we want to. Oh, we wash our clothes too. Goes throughout the whole day. Sometimes we go out and explore, sometimes we stay in and play cards. Sometimes we play with the balls you sent. We climb towers, you know, whatever sounds fun. 

Question 10: What sounds really good that we could send you?
Answer: more Gatorade. Really, any snack stuff is really good. I love all the snacks. You can buy some stuff here, but it is expensive. A bag of chips is $5. It is crazy.

Question 11: Tell us about the baptisms.
Answer: S*phia was baptized. I will tell you below.

Question 12: Tell us who you are teaching? 
Answer: Our teaching pool is kind of small right now. But we have a couple of new investigators. L*nda's brother, M*chael and T*nin mayo. I think that both of those people will go somewhere. 

Staheli - How are things going? I hope all is well. In the picture you look like a pro skier. 

Reed - Hey man. You look good in your snowboarding stuff. How are you doing man?

To Everyone

This has been a pretty good week. We had a baptism on Friday. It was for a lady named S*phia. She lives in the Thool area. It was really good though. I gave a talk on Baptism. Elder Ramiterre baptized her. It was the first person he has baptized on his mission. Not counting the child of record baptism that he did. She was an awesome investigator. The pamphlets we give out to people, there is questions and scriptures at the end. She would actually answer all the questions. It was really really nice. On Sunday all of us went up to the Thool Branch. S*phia was confirmed by Elder Tueller. It was really nice.

All three of us gave a talk on Sunday because the 1st counselor who was supposed to assign them wasn’t able to do it. So we were all asked to talk about 5 minutes right before sacrament got started. It was alright though. We made it work. In the Thool Branch there were only 11 of us, including the missionaries. It was a pretty small meeting. In the Thool Branch, P*ter (S*m's little brother) turned 14. So he needed to be ordained a Teacher. He wanted me to do that. So I did. It was really cool. He can now prepare the sacrament. It is pretty exciting. 

Alright, I know you have been waiting for the next strange thing that I got to eat. It is a little bit crazy are you ready? Well it is pig's blood. Yep… yum. It was actually quite good. It is some meat cooked in pig’s blood. It is really quite surprisingly good. You are all laughing now, I know. It is really not bad though. It tastes better than the bat. 

Alright, I got to go.

I love you all so so much.
Love, Elder Meyer

[Dad's note: The reason we are still laughing at Elder Meyer eating pig's blood, is that for years, at home, all he would eat is rice and watermelon. We wondered what would happen if he was to serve a mission where other foods were likely to cross his palate.]

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Mission extended, Another baptism, 2 missionaries on the island, CTR helps stop chewing, Conference translation team.

Hello Everybody

Well some crazy stuff has happened over here on Yap, but I will not get into that right now.   We had a Tsunami warning. I had no idea. People here freak out a little bit because of the last typhoon that we had. Nobody was worried about this one though.

First I will answer the questions. 

I bet your internet speed is faster than the average internet speed here on Yap. Ha ha. Sounds like stake conference was pretty good. Congrats on the $100M. Elder Garrett has told us about all the new missionary stuff. There has been a huge increase of missionaries turning in the application. That is really cool. I miss the temple so so much. That trip was really quite amazing. I wish I could go to the temple now. You are just going to need to go for me.

Question #1:  Did you get all the videos that we sent?  If so, have you been able to use them?
Answer: I have not gotten them yet. I haven't gotten the mail today though. It could be there. I am very excited for them.

Question #2: Do you still feel like a "new" missionary, or are you in the groove of things?
Answer: Well, I don't fell like a new missionary very much anymore. I have been out like almost 8 months or something like that. But there has not been a new missionary on Yap since me. So I am still the youngest missionary on Yap. I am in the groove of things and have been for a while. Just the youngest missionary here.

Question #3: How many missionaries are serving on the island now?  Who are they?
Answer: Currently 2. We will have three once Elder Tueller gets back from Guam for his meeting. Me, Elder Tueller, and Elder Ramiterre.

Question #4: How are the 15+ or so recent converts doing?
Answer: Most are doing pretty good. We have one that is chewing again. We are looking for him. But Yap is an easy place to disappear.

Question #5:   Have you witnessed any miracles lately?
Answer: Yeah, I think so. Jar*me, has been very sick and hasn’t been to church. We gave him a blessing, and he made it to church yesterday. Yeah!   Many have had the stomach flu, I think. We just gave them all blessings. That one entire village was sick last week. It is all good now, though.

That is a really an old class, and a lot of men in it. That is pretty interesting. How exciting about the baptism. I know how excited I am about the baptisms here.

Question #6: Who are you teaching?
Answer: L*nda, L*o, T*rence, and S*phie.

Question #7: Do you having meetings with the recent converts?
Answer: We try and see our recent converts about once a week. Technically the ward missionaries are supposed to handle that, but we do it because we have none.

Question #8: How many people are now coming to church on Sunday?
Answer: In Thol there are 13, and in Colonia, the capital city, around 46.

Question #9: Tell me something you need?
Answer: Well Elder Ramiterre's shoes have a hole in them. So I said that you could send him a pair of crocks. Can you? He is a size 6 1/2 in men’s shoes. He also would love the scripture strings you sent to me. He has a quad my size.

Question #10: Tell me the most useful thing you got for Christmas?
Answer: I think the CTR (Choose the Right) rings and magazines. I have been giving those to people. The really like them. The rings are helping people stop chewing. They wear the ring, and when they start to make a chew, they see the ring and stop. It is helpful.

Question #11: Can you tell a difference in the seasons - or are they all the same?
Answer: What are seasons? This is a new word to me. No, I am just joking. There are no seasons here. It rains, and is hot, and there is sun. All year around.

Question #12: What have you learned this week?
Answer: In Jesus the Christ, there is so much you can learn from it. I am not sure if I have ever realized how voluntary the whole atonement was. It really was his (Christ’s) choice to volunteer.

Staheli - Hey How are you doing? How many Kids are you over now? Could you send me a recent picture of yourself? That would be fun. The last image I have of you is getting out of the car when I was heading to Utah. I would love a different picture of you. You are awesome by the way. Did you and Kate think of two other colors for your lava lava. I need four for each of you.

Reed - Sounds like you are having fun snowboarding. That is really awesome. Don't hurt your self on those black diamonds. ha-ha.  Also, the reason we have a mission nurse is so we don't die. We are supposed to call them if we are hurt and stuff.

To everyone:

Well, alright... so there are only three missionaries here now. And 1 went to Guam for zone council. So that left two of us for the whole island.

We needed to go up to Thol to meet a new investigator on Sunday. Well, we got up there and nobody was there. We got a call from the Branch President and his counselor, and they are both sick, so they were not going to make it. So we sat there until 10:30 and decided that nobody was going to come and so we were going to leave and go to the Colonia branch. Then, the District President showed up, so we started sacrament meeting. Then our investigator showed up. So we had a short sacrament and went on with the rest of church.

Then, after church, we had to go too three different places to give the sacrament to people. Then two places to give a blessing too. That took a really long time. It was good though.

I still feel healthy right now. I felt prompted to say in the blessing for Branch President that he would be able to make it next Sunday. He has missed the last two. So we will see if he will. I think he will make it.

Besides that, not too much is new. We have to cover the entire island. That means a lot of driving from the top to the bottom. It is crazy, but we will make it work. I can already tell that the work here is going to slow down. We went from around 45 lessons on Yap per week to about 20. And the less you teach the less you baptize. So it should be interesting.

Well the baptism on Saturday was really good. Arv*n, L*nda's husband, baptized and confirmed her. It was really good. We had L*nda's mom at the baptism. It was really nice. L*nda is going to be a big help to the branch, so will all the other recent converts if they would get a calling. That is a challenge with the 16 recent converts, as only one of them has a calling right now.

Anyways… Things are going well with S*phie. She is a really good investigator. Elder Tueller and Elder Ramiterre were teaching her and then we all got put together to cover the entire island. She is going to be baptized on Friday. I am really excited. S*pie asks good questions, and is keeping all of her commitments. It is really really nice.

A*gistine, C*rmen, R*nny and Ann**, I think are going to help the General Conference translation team. It should be pretty good. They are going to help translate all of the general conference talks.

That is about it for Yap. Not much has happened. The work is slow, but I am going to push it to try and make it faster. I love you guys so so so much. You are the best family in the whole world. I love you.

Oh here is some news. My mission has been extended 2 weeks. I guess there was some mix up in the MTC, so now this transfer is extended two weeks, so now we will cover the whole island for 8 weeks, instead of 6. So that pushed all of the transfers back 2 weeks. So now we all go home two weeks later. I am okay with it though.

Elder Meyer

Monday, February 4, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Normal week

Hey Everyone

Not too much is new for me this week either. Things are pretty much the same.

Dad - So you are not a international spy. I am sad to hear that actually. Ha ha. I will have to let the elders know. Sounds like you guys had some fun. Skiing sounds really fun right now. It is pretty hot here. Although I am positive that I would turn into a Popsicle if I went in the snow now. Around 70 degrees is a little bit cold for me know. Crazy right? I hope you guys are doing enough skiing for me!

Question 1: For those 15+ that recently were baptized, did they already have a good understanding of Christ? I’m curious what foundational knowledge they had prior to being taught the fullness of the gospel.

Answer: Some of them do. Most of them say that they were Catholic, usually because their parents were. Others, like C*rmen, was very very active in the SDA church. So she already understood a lot. It really depends on the person. I would say that most everyone, if not everyone, has at least heard of Christ.

Question 2: Any more plans for people to travel to the temple?

Answer: Not yet. Elder Garrett is going to plan one more before he leaves at the end of the year. Most of my recent converts will go on that if all goes as planned.

Question 3: I know the island is small, but have you seen anything new or interesting recently that you haven’t seen already?

Answer: No not really. I have pretty much seen everything cool on yap. There is one more place that I am trying to go to. It is Rumung. It is the most northern island and even Yapese people are not allowed to go there if not from Rumung. I am trying to get someone from there to take us. That will be cool.

Question 4: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from President Mecham to date?

Answer: The more you teach, the more you baptize.

Mom - Oh man 28. That would be so so cold. I am glad that I am not home where it is that cold. It is so much warmer here on yap.

Question 5:  Did you get any packages - what was in it?

Answer: The one with all the Christmas cards from people in the ward. It was really nice, thank you.

Question 6: Do the youth ever sing in sacrament meeting?

Answer: Nope, the missionaries sang at district conference one time. And they all clapped afterwards.

Question 7: What is your favorite thing to do on Yap?

Answer: Baptize people.

Question 8: Describe an interaction you had with the youth this week.

Answer: Went to Seminary. There are about 10 people who are normally there from 12 - 19 years old. Some times we just go there and help out.

Question 9: You never described the ocean baptism - can you talk about it a little? Did you go in the water?

Answer: I was not able to go into water then. It was really high tide, so they were close enough to the shore were we could still see for witnesses. It was in a really nice spot. We had the talks about baptism and Holy Ghost in the koeyaang. C*rmen gave a talk. She did a really good job. It started raining just a little bit right towards the end of the baptism. But besides that, it was a really nice day. There was a rainbow there too.

Question 10: Who are you teaching?

Answer: L*nda. She is supposed to be baptized on Saturday. She is doing really good. We just need to meet with her more often. She also needs to be legally married before she can be baptized. So we are going to work on that as well. We are also teaching L*o. He doesn't care about God right now. He said that he would be baptized if he knew the Book of Mormon was true, so that is good.

Question 11: What teaching aids would be beneficial to you?

Answer: I think that those videos will be great.

Staheli - I have got a question for you, Staheli. For your lava lava, I need 2 more colors. They will just be little stripes.  It will not be the main colors.  And also for K*te. I am wearing the wolf pack shirt right now actually. Thank you for it.

Reed - How are things going? School is back. How is that? Hope everything is going well.

To Everyone

Well that is pretty much it that has happened. Sorry it is not very long this week. Nothing new has happened. We are still looking for new people to teach.

Love you all so so much. You are the best family in the world.

Elder Meyer

The amount of planners Elder Nelson has vs what Elder Meyer still has left.