Sunday, April 28, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Something crazy is about to happen. Billion moos. Coconut trees in Chico.

Hello Everyone.

I bet you are all wondering why the subject line is the way it is. [Subject line read “Something crazy is about to happen.”  Well, it will have to wait tell the end of the letter. I hope you guys can make it. Let’s see… sounds like you guys are all doing pretty well. That is always nice to hear.

Elder Meyer on the edge of a tiny island

Elder Meyer "Finding" or looking for people to teach.


Sounds like priest vs wild was pretty fun. It doesn't surprise be that you slept with the fire. Ha-ha. I am glad that I wasn't there. I know that I would be freezing. I am trying to get one of the members to catch a giant lizard for me to try. I think it will be pretty good. Oh, you owe me like a billion moos when I get home. Just joking. Elder Hatch said his parents really enjoyed talking to you. You are a wonderful dad. I am so blessed to be your son.

[Note from Dad about the “billion moos”.  When Johnny was little boy, he would only eat rice and watermelon.  I have an awesome cow-moo sound that he loved. So the deal we made was for every new food item he tried, I would “moo” for him.  I did this to help prepare him in-case he served his mission where different foods may be served.”   Who would have guessed?]

Question 1:  In order to ensure you eventually come home from Yap, will I need to plant a field of coconuts, breadfruit, and other island delicacies?

Answer: Absolutely. I am actually trying to figure out a way to send a coconut home so I can plant it. I am not sure how to do so. Would the states allow that? If not, if you could plant some coconut trees that we be fantastic.
On a coconut tree

Question 2: Do you ever use the water filter?

Answer: I have used it a couple of times, when water has been shut off to our house. I will go find a water spout somewhere and get some water and then use the filter. In our apartment there is a filter connected to the sink.

Question 3: Based on one of your last letters, I’m taking some time to really study more about the Atonement… what are the key messages you teach about the Atonement to people you meet?

Answer: Only through Jesus Christ can we return to God. Jesus has been through everything you have and are going through, so he can help you through everything. Christ can help you obey the commandments especially the Word of Wisdom.

Question 4: Were you surprised about conducting Sacrament meeting last week, does that happen a lot?

Answer: A little bit. It doesn’t happen too often. I will normally give a talk or teach a lesson in the Thool branch, but hardly ever will I conduct.


That is a ridiculous schedule. I bet you are very excited for it to be half over. 4am is really quite early. I bet that is not super enjoyable. I forgot that you were working on that [Masters Degree]. Are you almost done? Are you going to be able to get it in the six months block of time like you wanted? You are the best mom in the whole world. I love you!

Question 5: How many missionaries are on Yap now?

Answer: Currently there are 5 missionaries on Yap. We are expecting a new one sometime in May.

Question 6:  How are the missionaries split up and where are they serving?

Answer: Let’s see. I am with Elder Hatch. We are covering the top half of the island (Thol). Elder Tueller, Elder Ramiterre, and Elder Baliling are covering the bottom half of the island (Colonia).

Map of Yap Island and how the missionaries divide the area

Question 7:  Did you get any packages this week? What was in them?

Answer: Actually no packages. There has been no mail to the island for like 2 weeks. Hopefully there should be some stuff next week.

Question 8: Tell one thing you did this week that was unique.

Answer: Okay lets me think. Oh, I got it, but I can't tell you until the end of the letter. It is the crazy thing that is about to happen.

Question 9: Describe where you are living.

Answer: I am living in the same apartment that I was in when I first got to the island. It is in Tomil if you look on google.


Hope all is going pretty well for you. I have got some turtle shell earrings for you. I am not sure how to get them home. You might have to wait for me to actually come home before you get them. I love you so much!! You are a fantastic sister!


That is really cool about the whole priest vs wild. It sounds like you had fun especially once you went over to dad’s warm fire. ha-ha… Dad said that you are having problems with the concussion again. That is too bad. I am really sorry man. I hope that you feel better soon. Love you bro. You are great.

To Everyone

Alright alright… I can feel your guys excitement and you have not even read what I have typed yet. Okay, here is the crazy unique thing that is happening, and about to happen. Okay… One of the ladies that I was teaching when I was in Colonia (Alv*ra) has a brother that lives in Tomil (my area now). She told us to go see him and talk to him. Well, we went over there and talked to his wife because he wasn't there. She talked to us only in Yapese which was really nice because people love to speak in English to us. We asked if we could come back to teach her and her husband. She said we could come and ask. Well, when we were at S*m and P*te"s house, I was talking to them about it and I told them his name. It is St*ven M*ar, by the way. And they said that he is the chief of all of Tomil. I was like, wow. That is pretty cool. So we went back and talked to him about us teaching him and he said that he has been taught a little bit before, but never could stop chewing (beetle-nut). I told him if he would like to learn more we could teach him and his family. He said yes. So now we are going to be teaching the chief of Tomil. How cool and crazy is that? I am pretty excited.

Let’s see, we are still teaching Chr*s and D*rlene. They are our most promising investigators right now. They still have yet to come to church. So we will see what happens. I am very excited for them and their family. President Mathew helps us teach them, which is really nice. I really enjoy have him there to help. We also went to see a less active guy. His name is S*rphine. Aa we were talking, it became clear that he completely forgot about the whole authority being lost after the apostles and it being restored.

Well, that is about all that is new here. Pres Mecham is coming here next week for Zone conference (missionaries only) and District conference( like Stake Conference) It should be really good. I love you guys so so much. You are the best family in the world.

Elder Meyer

Another Yap Island Man House

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Answers how he feels about the people of Yap Island (Q4). Creating an Island-wide testimony book (Q7). Conducted Sacrament meeting (Q8). Reading to an older man. Should he learn Woleian + Yapese?

Hello Everyone. How are you guys doing?

Well, I realized that I hit my ten mark months on like Saturday. I can't believe that I have been gone for that long. It feels like I got here a week ago.


That would be really good for you to win that deal. You could start seeing grandma and grandpa more often. Sounds like you really enjoyed conference. I am excited to watch it someday. I have not heard when I will get it though. Could be a little while.

Question 1: You said you really didn't knock doors in Yap… how exactly; again, do you make contact with people in their homes?

Answer: Well, I just stand outside next to the hut and yell "Hello" and they come out and talk to me or hide in the bushes. Once they see me, if they are Yapese, I say "Rayog ni ngu bow?" Which means " Can we come?" Then they normally let us in.

Pig Intrils Cooked In Blood
Source: Senior CES couple on the Island

Question 2: I’m still listening to one church talk almost every day.  I recently enjoyed a talk about counseling together.  Does the branch have capabilities and/or traditions that allow for good ward councils?

Answer: Well, the “villages” still have meetings, but the church doesn't really seem to function the same way here. You are supposed to have Ward Council and PEC and other meetings, but we don’t really have those here. It is too bad, because I know that really helps missionary work. So, what I do is just talk to the Branch President about people we are seeing.

Question 3: Reed and I will be participating in a challenging campout in the foothills (just clothes on our back and a knife) this coming Fri/Sat… should be fun.  Looking back, do you have a most memorable young men’s experience that you feel was helpful in preparing for a mission?

Answer: I am not sure if there is just one experience. I think that all of them together helped me prepare for my mission. Whether it was a scout camp, merit badges, or a priest leader at encampment… I think that all of the different types of camping and scout activities helped me prepare.

Question 4:  Can you share how you feel about the Yapese people and culture… not just the members, but the entire area?

Answer: Honestly, I absolutely love it. There is nowhere else in the world like it here. I promise. I love the people so so much. Not just the members. The culture is just so so interesting to me. In my patriarchal blessing it says that I will be inspired by languages, cultures and societies. I am definitely finding that to be true. I am not sure if I ever want to leave this people. They are so wonderful. I will at some point in my life live on this island again! Pretty much the only thing that would keep me from raising a family here is the poor education they would get. Besides that, I would raise my family here. I really love the people here. I hope you guys understand what I am saying. I can't really find the words to express how I feel about them.


This week was a little bit longer than the rest of them, but it is no big deal. The restoration is my favorite thing to teach. At the beginning of my mission, I was not very bold about the restoration. But know, I say "the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored" with boldness. I hope you enjoyed teaching it as much as I do. Do the Book of Mormon challenge. Give them things to highlight like Atonement, Doctrine of Christ and Names of the Savior. I have given that exact challenge to many of the less active members. I think it helps. It makes it so much more meaningful. You can pick your own ones to highlight, but I would suggest Atonement as one of them. That is cool about the temple recommends. I think it is a great idea.

Question 5: How is the work in Thol?

Answer: It is slow, but we are starting to make it go faster, I hope and pray.

Question 6: Tell me one funny thing that happened this week.

Answer:  I have started to say ‘heck yeah’ a lot in a really deep voice. . Just when I am talking with people, not during the lessons. And then I get some of the locals to say it. It is so funny to hear them finally try and say it in a deep voice. I love it. It makes me laugh every time. Now a lot of people are saying it now. It is super funny.

Also during our district meeting, some SDA kids came over and said that they had an assignment to find out what other religions believe. They knocked on our door. We talked for a long time answering questions they had, and explaining what we believe. It was really cool.

Question 7: Share a time when you felt the spirit talking to you this week.

Answer: Actually just last night. I was thinking of something that I could do for the people here. The Spirit reminded me of a time back home where every member wrote down their testimony and the ward compiled it and made a book. I feel like that would really help the people here, so I got out of bed and wrote the idea down so I wouldn't forget. I want to do this for the whole island. Get as many testimonies as I can and put a picture of the person next to it, and print and give everyone who wrote their testimony in it a copy. So, here is my question, if I get all the testimonies and pictures, can you print them out and bind them? I have access to a computer and can type out the testimonies and put a picture next to it so it is less work on your end. Just and idea I had.

Question 8:  What did you do in church yesterday - talk, teach, or listen?

Answer: Actually, I conducted sacrament meeting. Our branch president didn't make it to church and the 2nd counselor of the district president was the only other leader there, and he didn't want to conduct. So I conducted and he presided. It was crazy.


The other day I was looking around and there were so many dogs. I couldn't believe it. None of them were even close to as nice and cute as your little puppy Sage is. Then, it just made me think of you. I hope you are doing great. I sure love you and miss you.


Sorry that you ankle is not getting any better. I hope that it will start to get better soon. I have been pretty lucky to not have any bad things happen to me. How is school going for you? Dad said that you guys are going on a Priest vs Wild. That sounds fun, make sure to tell me all about it.

To Everyone

Well, I feel like I have shared pretty much everything that has happened this week with you guys already. We have got a couple new people we are teaching. Th*nfan is his name. He is an older guy. He has been confused his whole life from all of the different churches. We had a pretty good discussion. He can't read because he is so sick, he could hardly talk. I am just going to go over and read with him and talk with him. I think he has been sick for a long time and no one has taken the time to talk with him and help him out. So I want to do so. He may never get baptized, but at least I will help him get closer to Jesus Christ.

We are still teaching Chr*s, we are teaching his wife now too. They have 4 kids. Their youngest daughter is very cute. She is like 3 or 4. Really nice family. D*rlene is the wife. She has been taught many times before. They are doing really good. We had President Mathew teach with us this last time. He was a big help. We talked about the Plan of Salvation. It was great because Pres Mathew just went to the temple. It was fantastic.

Right now I am a little confused about what language I should learn. I am in Thool, where there are a lot of outer islanders. They speak Woleian. I have been learning Yapese. I am really just know beginning to understand Yapese. Things are just beginning to click, but I almost feel as if I should switch to Woleian. I really don't know what to do. I don't what to give up Yapese, but Woleian is a lot easier and no one on the island is learning it. So I am confused.

Well that is about it. I am sending home some audio and SD card of pics today. I hope you guys get it soon. I love you all so so much.  You are the best family in the world

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: More missionaries on Yap, Language translation, Shorter tie? Yapese guy moving to Reno, Almost beat up this week.

Hello Everyone.

I have some very exciting news. We got another missionary. He is from the Philippines. His name is Elder Baliling. He is pretty quiet. He is companions with Elder Ramiterre and Elder Tueller. And check this out. We might be getting another Elder in the middle of this transfer. So sometime before the beginning of May. Wow, we went from three Elders to five in a week. And, we might be going to six. I am super excited about it. I can't wait for there to be six on the island. It is going to be super fantastic.


That is so many missionaries. I think when I left there was only about 52,000 that is almost going to be doubled soon. That is crazy. I am really excited that there are going to be so many missionaries. Sounds like things are going pretty well at home. Encampment was really fun. Make sure there is good food there. haha. Make sure you tell Natalie congrats for me.

Question 1: Do you know how the language translation has worked for General Conference to Yapese?

Answer: Yes, the translators on Yap get general conference a couple of weeks before it is broadcast. They work on the translating. And then send it to Guam. People in charge on Guam go thru everything and put it together. So the people who are translating have already read most of the conference talks.

Question 2: Favorite thing so far about being a trainer?

Answer: Just seeing how excited the new missionary is about everything. It reminds me of how I felt when I first came. Everything they see is new and super cool. Not just how you live, now like me. Also it makes me feel like I have learned a lot of Yapese. The new missionaries come from the Mission Training Center with a great spirit as well.

Question 3:  How would you describe your testimony of Christ now, compared to when you left on your mission?

Answer: Well, it is so much stronger now. I would almost say that before it was like it was just a little kid’s testimony. Now it is so so so much stronger. I just love sharing it too, it is so great.


That whole ant thing on your car is kind of gross. There are a lot of ants in the Colonia apartment. We don't have very many in Thool.

Question 4: Why are you tying your tie shorter and shorter?  I am concerned that either you are growing taller and that is how you have to tie your ties now, or your ties have shrunk! Please explain.

Answer: Umm, I had not noticed that. Umm, I guess I could be getting a little taller. I am not sure. I guess my ties could be shrinking. But most likely I am just tying them shorter. I haven't noticed it though. Sometimes I just tie and go out and don’t really look to see the length. I bet that I am just tying them shorter. Not for any good reason, it just happens.

Question 5: Are you spending all your time in Thool?  How is that going?

Answer: Yes. I am serving up there now. It is going pretty well. It is a lot slower pace than Colonia. I am going to do all I can to make the work go faster. I hope I can do so.

Question 6: Who are you teaching?

Answer: We are teaching Chr*s. He is outer island, and pretty interested. He is going to be a great investigator. He wants to learn more about Christ. We have met with him once so far, and he seemed pretty excited. We are still teaching G**rge. He has disappeared for a little while. We got two new investigators they are both 13 or 14. They want to learn more about our church, it might not happen though because their parents might not be happy about it.

Question 7: Describe a typical non Prep-day at Thool.

Answer: You get up and study for like 4 hours. (Because I am training, extra study time) then we go out. We just try to visit all the people we can. It is the same schedule as in Colonia. The only difference is that there are less people to teach up here. So what we are going to do is focus a lot on the less actives and part member families. That should give us some new investigators and get more people at church. That is a typical day. Going out and teaching. We see less people up in Thool though. That makes me sad, because I love to teach the people.

Question 8: What is different about being a trainer?

Answer: You are responsible for thinking of things to do. The new missionary does not know anyone and does not know where anything is. So it is up to me to find stuff to do. When I was with anyone else, we came up with people to see together.

Staheli - How is it going up there in Reno? Guess what? Someone from here is planning on moving to the states. He is planning on living with his brother who... lives in Reno. His name is Jesse. He is paralyzed from the waist down. He is trying to get some surgeries to fix it. The doctors think it might be possible. He is going to the Philippines for the surgery and then moving to Reno. So you might see a Yapese guy in Reno. Keep your eyes out.

Reed - That is too bad about your foot. I hope it gets better soon. Are you going to school? If so are you just walking on it.

To Everyone

Well, this has been a pretty cool week. We got a new missionary. That is so awesome. I am still really excited. I almost got beat up this week. There was a really drunk guy. He was just super drunk. I actually used to teach him about the gospel. He asked for a ride in the car. I told him I wasn't allowed to. He was mad then walked off. Well, I was trying to see a less active member and he was sitting right next to her. Well, he came over and started yelling at me and stuff, he got really close to me and his fist was closing, my companion and the member where getting really anxious. Then the drunk guys friend saw that he was about to punch me and told him to leave. They both left and it was fine. Not a scratch on me. I was just glad he didn't have a machete. I would have been scared if he had one. I was just chilling there talking to him trying to calm him down. I made an audio journal of this. It is in much more detail. I will send it home soon.

Elder Hatch and I are getting along great. He is a really good guy. My problem now is just making sure I give him opportunity to teach. I really love teaching people and I tend to overpower the lessons. With him being so new, he has just not figured everything out yet. I need to just help him and let him teach. But I am doing my best to help him and give him opportunities to teach. He is doing well though.

Some more exciting news... When I first started my mission there was somewhere around 63 missionaries, well after next transfer we will have around 115. Which is the most amount of missionaries we can have in our mission. pretty cool. Right?

Well, I think that is about all that I have. Nothing else is super new here.

I love you guys so so much. You are the best family in the whole world. I am so grateful for everything that you guys have and are doing for me. I love you all.
Thank you so much for that chili. That was really really good. That dinner kind of stuff is really good. Anything like that you can send is great. You guys rock.

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: “Yap is the place for me”, Knocking doors is strange, I like walking thru the jungle

Hello Everyone. This has been an interesting week for me, but more on that later. Sounds like you had a crazy week too.

In Guam picking up new companion. 


Sounds like your week was crazy. I hope that Reed will be okay. You guys sure have bought a lot of new cars recently. That is pretty crazy. You guys are falling apart without me there. ha ha

Question 1:  Tell us all about your trip to Guam?

Answer: Crazy. There are way too many cars and way too many people. Things are always so so busy and crazy. Yap is the place for me.

Question 2: How did the Easter event go?

Answer: From what I heard it was good. I was still in Guam when it happened.

Question 3: Where is your new companion from? 

Answer: His name is Elder Cody Klingeler Hatch. He is from Idaho Falls. He says that his mom has a Facebook.

Question 4:  When you think about last week, what puts the biggest smile on your face and why?

Answer: Coming back to Yap from Guam. I was really mad that I was leaving Yap. I know it was to pick up a missionary but, Yap is my home. I was not excited to go. But coming back, I literally did have the biggest smile on my face.

Question 5:  If you could travel back in time, anytime, where would you like to visit and why?

Answer: I would go back to the time of Christ. I would want to see the resurrected Christ. We watched Easter Dream for the fireside last night. Ii would want to see the resurrected Christ.

Question 6: Any interesting personal study revelations during scripture study lately?

Answer: Honestly, not really. Since i have been on Guam I really didn't have any time to study. It was sad. Things are just crazy there.


Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun at the Young Women’s thing. That is really cool that you went all funny. You are good at that stuff, then bringing it into your lesson. They will always remember it.

Question 7: Tell me about your new companion?

Answer: Elder Hatch. He is from Idaho Falls. He is 19, and he likes snowboarding and wake boarding. He is excited to be in Yap finally.

Question 8:   Are you in Thool or Colonia?

Answer: Thol

Question 9:   Who are you teaching?

Answer: Right now we have two investigators. Ar*son and G**rge. Ar*son is 14, he is a friend of P*ter. He came to church and we taught him at church during Sunday school. He and P*ter were the only youth there. G**rge is and older man.

Question 10: Tell me about church - how many were there, what did you do, anything interesting.

Answer: 17 people. I taught the Sunday school youth. Nothing really interesting. Just the normally Thool stuff.

Question 11: Did you get the new videos we sent?

Answer: I got the one box of videos. Is there more coming?

Staheli - So your, or my old, car broke… that is no good. I hope you were not driving it when it broke. Are you okay? Dad said you got a new car. Do you like it better?

Reed - you need to stop breaking things. Motorcycle and no ankle. ha ha. I am just joking. I hope that your ankle gets better soon. Keep studying Preach My Gospel.

To Everyone

Alright, so here is last week.

·         Monday… normal prep- day stuff.

·        Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at 1:00 am. I left Yap to go to Guam. Got there around 3:30 and had to wait there for the two sisters who are from Yap going to the Philippines on their mission. I didn't want them to get lost. We were on the same plane. Finally got out of the airport around 4:30 – 5:00 in the morning. Said goodbye the sisters and went to the AP's apartment.

Slept for a couple of hours. Woke up and there were 16 missionaries in that apartment. I didn't notice them at 5 in the morning is was to tired. Talked to some of the Elders that I came in with. It was nice to catch up.

·        Wednesday I worked in the AP's area for a while. Knocking doors is super strange. I don’t like it. I like walking through the jungle. That night I went with an AP and bought some pizza for everyone. The car ran out of gas and we had to push it a block or so to a gas station. It was crazy. I was also very tired because I didn't sleep well that night and the AP’s apartment's air conditioner is not working, so 16 elders made it very hot with nowhere to sleep.

·        Anyways. Elder Hatch finally made it to Guam. His plane was delayed. I got to Guam on Thursday night. Friday he had more training and then I met him. We left for yap Saturday night around 10 pm. Got here  on Yap around 11:30 and the other Elders were not here to pick us up so we waited a while. They finally came. Went to church the next morning. Taught some lessons on Sunday and then went home to catch up on some much needed sleep. Things should be back to normal today though.
From what I have heard of the Easter party went pretty well. Things seemed to go well. A lot of people asked where I was, so that was cool.

There are finally 4 Elders on Yap again. It is so good. I expect the work on Yap to pick up. It may take a little while for things to pick up in Thol, but it will get there.

I love you guys so so much. You really are the best family in the whole world. I am so blessed to be a part of this family and to have the gospel in my live.

Love you all so so much
Love Elder Meyer

Could you please send:

  •  Book Of Mormon audio for Elder Ramiterre. I have it on my ipod, but can't get it off. He would love a copy.
  • Consecrated oil vile. I lost mine somewhere.
  • Mom could you also send the chain links things you did for YW. I lost that too.

Thanks you guys are the best.