Saturday, August 24, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: No Kiss when Married a hug instead (Q3). Question 15 is one of my favorite.

Hello Everyone. 

It was great to hear from you. I Love getting your letters. I think that I will send home some pictures and audio this week. 


There is a really good chapter in the Book of Mormon about Charity. It is in Moroni 7. I really like that chapter. That is really cool that so many youth finished the book. I bet the party and the play war was a lot of fun.
Question 1: When there was that fire on the island, did anyone lose a home? 

Answer: No one lost a home, as far as i know. I know it was very close to a couple people’s home. 

Question 2: How many lessons did you get to teach this week? Was there a favorite one and why?

Answer: We taught 23. My favorite one, I don't know… this was a pretty good week. It could be the one with J*hnny. We had a really good discussion about a couple different things. Tithing, Baptism, Confirmation, Priesthood. It was really good. 

Question 3:   Share again with how people get “married” on the island?  It had something to do with a casual thing like just holding hands? If so, then do people stay “married” or do they change often?

Answer: Okay, when they get locally married they just give their spouses parents a shell. It is called shell money. Then that is it. If they get legally married, in the ceremony they are just holding hands with the President Jim, or someone else, marries them. When they are married, instead of a kiss, it is just a hug. If they are locally married, they get unmarried and married a lot. If it is legal marriage, people don't get unmarried as often. 

Question 4:   Do you ever get to hear things from other missionaries on the other islands? If so, any interesting to share?

Answer: Some things circle around the mission. One thing was my story about going to Yap. That one has made it all around the mission. The most exciting thing going on in the mission would be on Pohnpei. They are going to have a stake very very soon. 

Question 5: If there was anything you could change about the first year of your mission, what would that be and why?

Answer: My style of teaching. Before, I taught how I was trained. Teach the lesson. It was never made super super personal. I am now trying to make them even more personal than before. Help investigators feel more, recognize more. 

Question 6: Do people on the island play any instruments?

Answer: A lot of people play the guitar or the ukulele. 

Question 8: Is there anyone on the island that you have grown to really care about? Someone, or family that you will never forget?

Answer: Yes, there are several. First would be A*gustine and his family. I will never ever forget them. Also, M*rtina, S*m, P*ter, and F*napin. They are a family in the Thool Branch. I have become very close to them. They are planning to move to the states. M*rtina is moving the 28th of this month. Her two sons, S*m and P*ter, will move to the states the same time that I go home next July. As for Grandma F*napin, she is just a wonderful old Yapese lady who has a wonderful testimony of the gospel

Question 9: As you’ve been studying/reading the Book of Mormon in Yapese, are you learning anything different than when you read it in English?

Answer: Well, I have a harder time picking out specific doctrine in Yapese, but when I am reading it in Yapese, it is interesting to see how many people someone is talking to. Like when Nephi is talking to Laman and Lemuel. It is very obvious because in Yapese, there is different words for 1 person, 2 people, or 3+ people. 

Question 10: We are eager to hear about who you are teaching. Is there anything they might need that we can get for you.

Answer: Not right now, but there is one person, who could really go somewhere big. I will tell you about him below. His name is V*ncent. If/when he gets baptized, i would like a scripture set for him. 

Question 11: We are watching the movie “Other Side of Heaven.” Remember when Elder Grohberg uses the term “outhouse” instead of “missionary.”  Have you ever done something like that?

Answer: I don’t like that I have done anything quite like that. I have most certainly said words very funny and have them just laugh at me. But I don't think that I have switched a word like that. 


Congrats on the masters. I know that you will do great on the project! Then you are done. That is great. Yes, on Chuuk a new island just opened up. They are very excited about it. It has not been opened for a very long time. They are all very excited about it. 

Question 12: Describe church yesterday. How many where there?  What you did. Anything unusual or different?

Answer: There was 22 people there. It was very good. We had one investigator there as well. I taught the youth Sunday school class. It was good. I do that almost every week. 

Question 13: When does school start on Yap?

Answer: Well, it depends on when the teachers decide to show up. It should start the beginning of September. 

Question 14: What are you doing on P-day today?

Answer: Well, I am not sure. We will go climb through the jungle or something. 

Question 15: What is your favorite Yap meal that you cook?

Answer: Well, there is not really a Yap meal, it is just islander meal. Really the classic is spam and rice, but I can cook breadfruit, or taro. They are both good, but spam and rice take the cake. 

[note from Dad… never in a billion years would I have imagined Johnny saying these words in sequence, “spam and rice take the cake.” ]

Question 16: Describe a time in the last week when you saw a tender mercy in your life or someone else's.

Answer: Um... I think that it would have to be about V*ncient. We were talking to him and we asked if there is anything we can help him with, he said to preach him the gospel. I will talk about him below. 

Question 17: You seem to count by transfers. How long is a transfer?  How many transfers have you been there?

Answer: A transfer is 6 weeks long. I am on transfer number 10. 

Question 18:  Is it rainy there right now?

Answer: No, not this very second. It could start raining any second though. 

Question 19: Describe a time when you felt the spirit this week?

Answer: Just when i have been teaching. As I teach now, I focus more on the spirit. So I feel it so much more now. They spirit is definitely helping the work here.


Hope all is going well still. Things here on Yap are sure going well. Did you ever get published?


Wow, that stinks dude. I know how much you love school. 


How are you doing? How is your garden going? I love getting your letters. They always make be happy. 

To Everyone

Well, the Assistant's to the President came. It was really good. We found a lot of new investigators. I have never had so much success finding in my whole life. We found so many potential investigators. I am so excited about them. One guy, his name is V*ncent. He has no relationship with God. He has been in jail and feels like religion has been pushed on him. We are going to go see him this week. We asked if he needed help, he said to teach him more. He set aside 3 hours to teach him. We are going to go see him this week. He is going to be really great.

We spent a good chunk of the day in one village. We just walked around teaching people. We found several less actives that we are working with now. It was really good. I started talking to this guy. This was a really good week. We have so much potential in the area. My goal for this area is to stop the thinking that it is a slow area. 

Sorry this is a little short, but I need to go.

I love you guys so so much you are the best family in the world. 

Just a one quick thing. I made the mistake of letting a member borrow my camera. She is leaving to the states and wanted to take pictures of the island. Well, I got the camera back and it broke. Do you think that you guys could send another? If you can, could it be waterproof. My camera got wet all the time with me and I don’t want to break another one. You guys are the best ever. 

Also Elder Ramiterre has asked if you guys could order some scriptures for him and send them to me. He said that he would pay for them, but he is from the Philippines and has very little money, so I don't want to take money for him. Do you think that you can order some for him? He would like his name on the front, if you could. K. Ramiterre is what he wants on the front. He said that if you could, he would like the color black and them to be the small set. Smaller than the ones that you bought for me when I left. Also, for them to be separate. The triple and the Holy bible separate. If you guys can do that that would be great.

Thanks a ton

Love you all so so much
Love Elder Meyer

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

All Audio Files Posted to Date

Someone asked how to get a quick list of all the audio files that have been made public.  Here they are:

Letter from Elder Meyer: Earned the Yapese language Mastery. New companion is from Fiji (Q7).

Letter to Everyone

Guess what… I got my language mastery. It is sweet. I got a cool certificate. It is awesome. Tueller got his too. We are the first language masters on Yap in like 4 years. 

Well, this week was good. We had only 9 people at church yesterday. But our branch president made it, so it was great. J*hnny, our investigator came. He is going to be baptized on Aug 24, during the youth camp. It should be great. I am so excited about it. I can't wait for him to be baptized. He is a great guy.

We got a new investigator when we were teaching J*ohnny. It is his sister. Their parents are pretty strict.
C*rding is doing well. We gave him a blessing last week and he is all better now. So that is good. President Mecham gave us a Book of Mormon challenge to read it by the end of the transfer or September 12 ish. We are supposed to highlight things related to the Atonement, Doctrine of Christ, Gathering of Israel, and Scriptures for our investigators. I am really enjoying this challenge. I am finding a lot of good stuff for my investigators. It is great. I am in 2 Nephi chapter 13. It should be really good. I need to read about 8 chapters a day to finish by the end of the transfer. On top of reading the Book of Mormon in Yapese, 3 chapters a day to finish that one by October 24. It is good and I love that book, i will be glad when I finish the challenges though. 

We had a baptism, it was a child of record… it was pretty good. 


It is so true that we are not the ones to teach people. We are only there to bring the spirit so that way He can teach. 

Question 1: Out of all the lessons/visits this past week, which was your favorite and why?

Answer: The one where we taught J*hnny. It was great. He is really excited about the gospel and we picked up a new investigator over there. It is his sister. 

Question 2: You often mention just how happy and humble the people are on Yap.  Why do you think they are that way?

Answer: Well, they don't really have a whole lot and the know it. It just makes them humble. 

Question 3:  What did you like most about serving with Elder Hatch?

Answer: He really was a good cook. He was also a good teacher. 

Question 4: Have you tried any new food items lately?

Answer: Banana flower. It is pretty good. Elder Ramiterre made it for me. It was great. I guess it is supposed to be really healthy for you. 

Question 5: What put the biggest smile on your face this past week?

Answer: Umm. J*hnny, my investigator is going to be baptized on the 24th. He came to church on Sunday which made me smile. 


I will pray that you will finish your Masters. I know you can do it. 10 hours in a day is a lot. I know that it can be done. 

Question 6: Do you do anything in the water?  Can you go on a boat?

Answer: We can, but we need to have President Mecham's permission. I just go and put my feet in the water

Question 7: How is your new companion?  Tell what you know about him.

Answer: He is really good. He is from Fiji. He is a good Elder. He doesn't really know how to cook, so I do most of that. He has a really good testimony. 

Question 8:  Is it unusual to be in Thool so long?

Answer: Well, not really. I have been there the longest of the missionaries on Yap for a long time. At the end of this transfer I will have spent 8 ½ months up there. 

Question 9: Tell me something unique that happened at church today.

Answer: My branch president showed up. He has not been there in a couple of weeks. There were 9 people there and we had an investigator. 

Question 10: It seems like people on the island are anxious to move off the island. Is that true?

Answer: Well, for the lower cast people yes. For the higher cast people, it is not as big of a deal. 

Question 11: How has your day to day activities changed with a different companion?

Answer: I cook more. Besides that,, not a whole lot. It is the same area and things go about the same. 

Staheli - Hope you are doing well. School is starting for Reed. Are you starting soon?

Reed - have fun it school. I know how much you like that. That is cool that you went riding. President Brown is a really really good rider. He has been riding for a long time. 

Well that is about it. Not a whole lot has changed. 
I love you guys so so much. You are the best family every.

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Tender mercy = Transferred, not (Q7). What’s unique about Yap Island (Q10).

Pretending to sleep in a Yap Island Man House

Roof of a Man House


That is one of my favorite lines from my Patriarchal Blessing. [Dad’s comment: A line in his patriarchal blessing, which was received when Johnny was 12 years old, reads, “You will enjoy travel and will be inspired by cultures, languages and societies.”]  Yes, time is moving very fast here on Yap. It is moving way too fast for me. That is really cool that Brain and Lindsey are so close now. That is great. I can't wait to go home and go to the temple again. That is cool about the changes. 

Question 1:  When is the last time you got a specific answer to one of your prayers?

Answer: Not too long ago. I was talking with my companion about one of our investigators and we wanted to read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with them. As always, we ask for guidance to help the investigators, and we opened our Book of Mormon’s and found a good section to read with him. 

Question 2: Will you ever be able to teach someone in one of the outer islands?  If not, how come that doesn’t happen?

Answer: As of right now, we can't go out there. There are not any plans to go out there right now, unfortunately. The reason being,., is there is not enough communication from the outer islands to Yap and Guam. No internet, and no phones. Once those are there, we could be out there very soon. Also, there are only 2,000 people in all of the outer islands. Ulithi only has 700 people and it is one of the biggest islands

Question 3: Did you have a favorite moment from this past week while you were out “finding”?

Answer: Yeah. We were teaching a lady and she was not interested, but you are finding, so you can't expect a lot. Anyways... I was trying to offer her a Book of Mormon, and she didn’t accept it. She said that she did not have time to read. I said, you may have some time in the month to read just a little bit. She said that she didn’t. I asked her if we could help with something so she would have time. She said no. It was all really funny, because people here have nothing but time. 

Question 4: Do you have a formal exercise program that you do each morning? 

Answer: There are a couple floating around the mission, like insanity or P90X, I do those sometimes. Sometimes I just do my one thing. 

Question 5: Do you have a favorite section in Preach My Gospel?  If so, which one and why?

Answer: Probably Chapter 4. I like it because it talks a lot about the Spirit and the role of the Spirit as we teach. Also Chapter 5 is really good. It talks about the Book of Mormon.


Yeah, Poison Tree is really just an islander thing. I don't think it is in places that are not jungly. I knew that you would get the job at Butte College. I had no doubt. Your masters will come just like the job. You are great. I think that is really great that you guys are doing the Book of Mormon challenge. 

Question 6: It seems like the kids are very fond of you. Can you tell me about your interactions with the kids?

Answer: Ummm… they just like to come and play. They just like being with me. I am not sure what to say. I really like the little kids. It provides a good way to visit with the parents. If they are a little bit older we will play with them, for a little while, and then work in the gospel. 

Question 7: Tell me about a tender mercy from this week.

Answer: Ummm… I didn't get transferred off of Yap. Transfer calls come in Wednesday and I wasn't told to leave, so that was great. I really do consider that a tender mercy from the Lord. I really love serving the people of Yap. Nothing makes me happier. Every transfer I just pray that I will stay on Yap.

Question 8: How are your allergies?

Answer: Doing well. The medicine you sent works great. I will only have them for another month or so and then they will be gone again.

Question 9: It seems like the attendance in Thool is pretty up and down. Why do you think that is?  Are there any trends?

Answer:  I am not sure why it does change so much. I have tried to figure out a trend, but I can't. One week, everyone decides not to come, the next they all come.

Question 10: What do you think that we would find the most unique about Yap?

Answer: I am not sure. It is a pretty unique island. There is the largest currency in the world (stone money), people don't wear shirts, the language(yapese), the other language (outer island), the casts system, the rule of the chiefs, the way land is kept by people, I have been told that the scuba diving is the best in the world.  This is just an amazing island.

Question 11: Have you read the entire Book of Mormon since you have been gone?

Answer: Yes, several times. I have read most of the Yapese Book of Mormon too. We started as a Zone to finish in October, so I started over in reading that. That is where I spend extra time. 

Staheli - How are things going with work? I hope all is going well. I love and miss you. 

Reed - Mom said that you finished the Book of Mormon. Congrats man. That is good. Have fun with school. I know how much you love it. You can't complain too much, at least you are getting a good education, unlike people here. Good luck on the basketball team try outs. 

To Everyone

Well, transfers came and I got a new companion. His name is Elder Waimila. He is from Fiji. He is a really good Elder. I’m excited to serve with him. Although I got a new companion, I am still in the same Area. After this transfer I will have spent 9 months up in Thool.  (Note from Dad, there are two areas on Yap, Thool is the northern and more remote part of the mission) That is a pretty long time. It is good though. I love the people in Thool.
Church was good. We had 22 people there. I was very excited about it. I taught the Youth Sunday school class. We had an investigator there and so I taught one of the lessons he needed. It was great to have an investigator there again.

We watched the General missionary broadcasts. I missed most of it because I was teaching the youth, but from what I saw, it was great. I think it will really help the members to do more. That is what it was about. Because, as was said in the film, it is really the members that do missionary work. And that the members should be helping the missionaries so much that we don't have time to go finding. Wouldn't that be nice. But that is okay. As long as someone took just a little bit, and is now willing to be a little bit more bold, It will be great.

That is something that I have learned while I have been serving here. Members are what makes missionary work happen. I didn't understand my opportunity as a member back home, but now I understand. Members have such an important role.

Things are still going well with our investigators. Chr*s and D*rlene are back on our radar. They were off for a while because they were always "busy", but I think things are starting to look up again. We got a new investigator, his name is J*hnny. He is a friend of S*m. He is great. He came to church. I am so excited to teach him. He has a baptism date for the 24th of this month. It so happens to be the same date as the Youth Camp that we are having. It could be really really great. I am so excited about it. The youth camp will be like the one last year. It should be really fun. As always, the missionaries are helping move things along to make it happen. But it is good. 

Well that is about it. I love you guys so so much. You are amazing and wonderful. You are the best family every. 
I love you all so so much

Elder Meyer

Monday, August 5, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Problem with pants thanks to poison tree (Q2/end). Eternal Families (Q4). Massive, yet delicious crab (Q12). What’s in a Yap garden (Q14). Gopher free (Q16).

Hello Everyone.

Man, time sure is moving fast. My transfer nine just ended and now I am started transfer ten. Time is sure going really fast.


That would be pretty crazy if we were related to the Garretts. That would really make me laugh. The only thing that makes me unsure of that would be his family is pioneer stock.

Question 1: Are you still teaching about 20 lessons a week?  What is the highest number you ever taught?

Answer: Yes. We normally get around 20. The most we have ever taught in a week was in the 30s. I want to say 39. The reason being, we were in a tri-panionship, and then the APs came. So there was about 2 companionships working in our area. Then, because we were all separated, we triple booked ourselves that entire week, so we each took a member with us and taught lessons. It was a really good week. 

Question 2: Do you need new pants?  Noticed that your pants were maybe cut?  Seemed ¾ length?  Was that intentional?

Answer: Oh yeah. I forgot about that. I will tell you at the end. 

Elder Meyer gets "Poison Tree"

Question 3: When you reflect over this past week, what puts the biggest smile on your face?

Answer: Um... probably M*rtina. She was really not very involved for a while, now she is coming every week. We have worked really close with her since we have been on the island, and now she is moving to the states. Just the stories that she tells us, and how happy she is now, makes me smile.

Question 4: Do you get to teach about eternal families?  If so, what do you normally teach?

Answer: Yes. We teach about the temple and that through the Priesthood, inside the temple, families can be sealed for ever and ever. That God designed for us to live with our families forever. Thru ordinances in the temple, we can do that. 

Question 5: Is there anyone on the island that you know of, that does family history research?

Answer: When the last group went to the temple, they all did a little bit to take with them. I think our District President is planning another trip for him and his family the end of this year. I think he is doing some family history. 

Question 6: When you left on your mission, you had $400 cash in hand… other than the monthly allotment; do you ever need additional money for anything?

Answer: Nope, not really. I am pretty conservative with my money. I don't spend a whole lot of it. 

Question 8: Do you have a favorite day of the week?  If so, what day and why?

Answer: Favorite day. umm... Mondays are good because we get to hear from my family. Sundays are great as well. Church is normally a pretty fun thing here. It is just so different than the states. It is just crazy. 


Love the picture. It is a really good one. I am really glad that grandma loves the necklace. I wasn't sure if she would like it or not. But I am really glad she did.

Question 9: How is the chief's family?

Answer: They are doing alright. As of right now, we can't baptize the children because he feels they are too young to make a decision.

Question 10:  What are you studying in your personal scripture study or companion scripture study right now?

Answer: Personal is for investigators most of the time, if not all the time. When I am just studying for me, I am studying from the Yapese Book of Mormon. Companion study is all about the investors and their needs. 

Question 11: What did President Mecham instruct you to do specific for Yap when he visited?

Answer: Find, Teach, Baptize and retain. Specific for Yap, I think would just have been to help those that are less active. What Yap also needs, in my opinion, is leadership training, and I am not sure how to do that. 

YAP Mission

Training and practicing teaching

Training and practicing teaching

Very yummy

Question 12: Describe the most unusual thing you've eaten in a while.

Answer: It would have to be a mangrove crab. They are the biggest crab I have ever seen. They are massive.

Staheli - Just wondering if you would like a necklace like the one I gave to grandma. Do you like that kind of jewelry? 

Reed - I am glad the motorcycle is working again. That sounds like a lot of fun. I know a great spot where you could ride them here, but you are half way across the world. So never mind. 

Carol - Hope you are doing great. You have some good questions. 

Question 13: What is Copra?

Answer:  Copra is and old coconut that is used for making coconut oil and coconut milk and to help start fires. It has a lot of meet inside of the shell. You cannot get a fresh coconut in the states; all you can get is copra. 

Question 14: What do they plant in their gardens?

Answer: Bananas, taro, tapioca, land taro, pineapple, some people grow cucumbers, tomatoes, and corn. 

Question 15: How fertile is their soil there?

Answer: Well, it depends where you are on the island. Most of it is pretty good stuff. 

Question 16: A big question is, do they have gophers there?

Answer: I have never seen gophers here. I am pretty sure that there are not any. I have never heard anyone complain about them, either. 

To Everyone

Well. Okay here is why my pants were rolled up. They were just rolled up, not cut off. I forgot to tell you last week, but I got something called poison tree. It is kind of like the poison oak/ivy in the states. But it is all gone now. It is just really really itchy. My pants were rolled up because the poison tree would make my leg leak yellow stuff, and so I just rolled my pants up. I went to see some locals about it and they have been preparing local medicine to put on it. It works really good. They have all different types of local medicine. I would have gone to the hospital for it, but I know what they do for poison tree, they just give you hydrocortisone cream, which mom sent me with. So, I used that and local medicine. It has cleared up quite well. I will send a picture of what it used to look like. Sorry I forgot to tell you. Don't need to freak out or anything because it is all gone now.

Let’s see what else is new. Ummm C*rding is still scheduled to be baptized the end of August. Oh, those four people that we got as referrals that we thought would be baptized soon, are not as interested as I was lead on to believe. We are going to keep working with them of course, but not as excited as I once was. We were able to do some more service this week. We went and helped someone make coconut oil. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. They gave us some of the coconut oil once it was finished too. It was really great. 

Well that is about it.  I love you guys. You are the best family in the world. 

Could you please send some biggish pictures of the Manilla Philippines temple that we can give to people to help motivate them to go? That would be great.

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

Thool Branch