Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Out of books (Q5). Typical day for a young person (Q6). Can’t remember the states (Q13).

Hello Everyone

This has been a pretty good week. Well, mostly good.

Making local food... love the Yapese made tie!


Glad work is going well. That would be really funny to have you come to Guam. You would only be about 400 to 500 miles away from me. That would be pretty funny.

Question 1: How readily do the people in Yap accept the commandments when they are taught them?

Answer: It depends on how strong their testimony is. If it is strong, they accept and do their best to live the commandments we teach. If it is still weak, they will struggle with it.

Question 2: Was there anything that happened this week that made you smile?

Answer: It has been raining really hard, so I and my companion have been listening to Christmas music. It looks like Christmas here. And we made a really funny video. It was awesome.

Question 3: Of all the lesson topics you get to teach, which is your favorite and why?

Answer:  The restoration. Because it is what makes this religion, God's restored Church, special, and unique. It helps people understand the need of authority. It is the one thing that most people will not have heard of before. I love it.

Question 4: How many lessons this week were taught and how many with members present?

Answer: We taught 27 lessons this week. It was great. Our member presents drop a little bit. We had 8.

Scripture cover made by Yapese friend.

Question 5: You said you ran out of Book of Mormons to give away… have you gotten replacements?

Answer: Nope. They entire mission is out of Book of Mormons. We have none anywhere. I think it is because of the influx of missionaries.

Question 6: Can you describe a typical day for; say a young person, girl or boy that is under 12 years of age…

Answer: Now, they go to school, if the parents make them. So sometimes they go to school. After school, they may or may not do their homework. The rest of the day would just be playing in the jungle, helping clean the house, helping build a house, helping on any project around. Then, really just entertaining themselves with the jungle.

Playing in the jungle

Question 7: What did you eat and cook for all your meals yesterday?

Answer: Breakfast, I had a boiled egg. Lunch we eat a rice and bacon dish. It was good, but expensive, Bacon is not cheap here. Dinner, I had the raviolis you guys sent me.

Question 8: Have you started to learn the other language on the island?

Answer: I have. I have learned some of the basic words. I don't really know a lot, just the conversation starters.


Sounds like the temple trip was a lot of fun. That is great that you guys are able to go. The scriptures… just order one for Elder Ramiterre. The other missionary has not said anything to me about it.
So just get the small ones for Elder Ramiterre. The name on it should be what I sent a couple weeks ago. I can't remember, and he is not here to ask. I will let you know next week though.

Question 9:  How do you suggest that a youth study Preach My Gospel (PMG)? Read it straight through?  Study a chapter repeatedly and then move on?

Answer: I would read it straight through, or pick a chapter to study each day.  There are also activities inside PMG.

Question 10: We are sending you a box this week - any requests?

Answer: Chips and salsa. That would be great.

Question 11: Tell me about a time you felt the spirit at church yesterday. –

Answer: When we were talking about how we can help the less actives here on Yap. I gave an article to the leaders from the Liahona about it. We discussed it during Priesthood. It was really good.

Question 12: Describe a typical day now that you have been out for over a year.

Answer:  Same thing as always. Wake up, study, study, study. Go out teach teach teach. Go to bed. The only big difference now, is that I am senior companion, so I know the area better, so it is more up to me on who and when we are going to see. I just more run the day’s activities.

Question 13: Tell me one thing that is very different on Yap compared to home.

Answer: Church wise, branches vs. wards…huge differences.  Non church wise… everything is different. I think I am so used to this life, I can't always remember what it is like to live in the states. ha ha.

Question 14: How many different people are you teaching right now?

Answer: We are working with maybe around 11 or 12 investigators. They are all in different places in the gospel.

Question 15:  Now that 23-ish people are attending church in Thool, is there a primary or youth program running?

Answer: The youth program is going a little bit better know. They have a class taught to them, not by me now. So that is good. That is about it though.

Reed - Hope you make the team. That would be pretty awesome. Reed, just keep preparing for your mission. Serving a mission is the best thing in the world. Always be preparing yourself for your mission.

Grandma - I got your letter. I love getting your letters. I wish i was better at writing you back. I love to read what is going on back in Chico from you. You are wonderful. Love ya.

Ocean everywhere you look...

Letter to Everyone:

Well, this was a good week. Not too much happened, just a good week. We were going to have M*ldon be baptized, but he had to be married first. That was all going to happen, then the parents form both sides got involved, and it didn't happen. So we are waiting for things to settle down. The parents wanted to wait a week to have them married. So they can make sure they understand the commitment. I understand why they are concerned. M*ldon is locally married to his wife. They have been locally married for a year.  Hopefully, he will be baptized this week.

We went looking for some less-actives this week. There are 125 members on the Thool list, and only around 20 go to church. So we are always looking for the other ones. Well, we found some. We found a lot. We are starting to have family home evenings over there now. So that is good. I really hope that they are going to start going to church again. It would be really good. I keep running into new people over there. Some are members, some are not. So we are getting some new investigators too. If things go well over there, we could get a lot of baptisms and have a lot of people go to church. It would be great.
Something interesting about this family, is that they are all related to A*gistine. It is funny. They are also related to J*ne who was just baptized. So something good could happen.

That is about it that is going on here. Not too much else is going on.

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


Elder Meyer

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Wonderful & Awful (end of letter). Only one way to get in the ocean (Q1, Q2). More baptisms.

Hello Everyone

This was a wonderful, but awful week all at the same time. But more on that later.

Happy dancer
Harvest rest


Glad that boating was fun, and that you were home this week. Sounds like you are traveling a lot right now.

Question 1:  When you were in the ocean getting ready to perform the baptism on Saturday, what were you feeling?

Answer: Honestly, like I wanted to just jump in and swim around, and I also felt the Spirit, because we were baptizing someone. [Note from Dad: one of the mission rules is that they shouldn't swim.]
Elder Meyer not swimming.

Question 2: When you were finished baptizing her, and walking back to shore, what went across your mind?

Answer: Well, now that the baptism is over, maybe I can jump in now. Ha ha. I am just joking. The Spirit was really strong and I know J*ne felt it.

Ocean baptism

Question 3: What do you most love about the little Thol Branch and why?

Answer: How much it has grown. When I got here, our average was around 9 people a week, and we saw it get down to 5 or less, without any leaders there. Now, the average is 23ish. Very exciting.

Question 4: Have you taught or engaged with any of the visitors to Yap Island?

Answer: Well, visitors don't come where we serve –in Thol up northern part of island. I am up in the jungle away from the city.

Question 5: If you were to pick 2 traits that are common amongst the Yapese people to take home with you, what would they be and why?

Answer: Humility, and caring. For the most part, people are very humble and they care so much about their friends and family. I just think those are good traits to have.

Question 6: Do you need any clothes or anything at all.  Do any members of the branch need something that we could provide?

Answer: Nope, the only thing branch wise is white shirts for the priesthood and I think some got sent from Guam, but I will let you know.

Question 7: Did anything particularly funny happen this week?

Answer: Yes, but later it is funny, but what made this the worst week ever.

Question 8:  How many lessons were you able to teach this week, and how many with members present?

Answer: 25 lessons and 12 of them with a member present.


That is a really really good quote. I really like it. I am sorry about you being hurt, but congrats on getting closer to wake boarding.

Question 9: Now that you have been on Yap for over a year, what is your favorite place to visit that brings the Spirit, besides a church building?

Answer: I really like being near the tower and seeing all of yap from up high. It just reminds me that God created everything.

Question 10: Did you have a baptism this weekend?  Tell us about it.

Answer: We did. It was great. We also had a branch activity the same day. So it was a lot of fun. We just played some games and cleaned the church. It was great. The baptism was in the middle of it all. We started at the church then walked to the ocean and then did the baptism. Then walked back. Ja*e was so so so excited. It was just a wonderful and spiritual experience for her.

Question 11: You send lots of pictures in caves.  Describe the caves to me.
Where are they?  Are there lots of them?  Is caving a favorite pastime of the people?

Answer: Not a whole lot to them. It was an activity for the youth a while ago. They are in the middle of Yap. They are old Japanese caves from when they were mining here on Yap. They were fun to explore.

Question 12:  What is your favorite scripture currently?

Answer: 1 Nephi 3:7. I like it because it is one that will help all my investigators because they all struggle with following the commandments.

Question 13: Share a time when you felt the Spirit this week.

Answer: Well, that is an interesting question for this week. I will share with you below.


Hope you are great. I really miss hearing from you. Hope school and work are going great. I just want to say I love you.


Congrats on the wake boarding that is awesome and good luck with the Basketball.

To Everyone

Alright, so this week started out great… it was wonderful it was absolutely wonderful, nothing unusual, just great. Well, then we went to an appointment to an investigator at a member’s house. There were 5 pastors from the ****** church there. I walked up, and the Spirit was gone, just like that. I don't know if I have ever felt a loss of Spirit so strong in my life. It was sad and scary. Being without the Spirit is not good. They all started yelling at me and saying I am not allowed to ask a question. One pastor says a prayer for the family and in the prayer they ask that this family will not be lead astray by the antichrist standing here. So that was great. I got called an antichrist. It was odd for sure. They keep talking about the Book of Mormon and how it is so wrong, and how we don't need a prophet today. Afterward, all 5 of them come up and try and confuse me, they failed.  They just asked questions about who I represent (well Christ, not Joseph Smith, who they thought I represented). They thought that I didn't believe in the resurrected Christ. In the end I just let them yell at me. They asked about if the Book of Mormon was talked about in the bible. I answered them, “Yes”. They just got mad. I just decided it was no use arguing because contention is not from heaven.

It was crazy. After they left I prayed with the family to invite the Spirit in. It was just crazy. The Spirit was never fully back the rest of the day, but after the baptism the next day, the Spirit was back again. It was just nuts. I recorded in the voice recorder all of this as a little journal entry, so you will have that someday. That is all I want to say, because I don’t want to feel contentious.

Church was great. J*ne was confirmed. I also confirmed her. It was really really a great meeting. We had 28 people there, which is the most since I got to the island. So it is going really good. I didn't have to talk or teach any lessons at church this Sunday. It was a wonderful meeting. The Spirit was there, we had a confirmation and an investigator there. So I could not be more happy.

So that is how it was… the best and worst week ever. Pretty crazy week.

We should have another baptism this week in my area. It should be pretty good. I am excited about it. His name is M*ldon. He is from the outer islands. He is great. I am very excited about him. We have President Jim and/or President Mathew help us teach him. He doesn't speak a lot of English, and the language he speaks is not Yapese. It is hard to teach him, but we have great help from the members.

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

Elder Meyer.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Given out 100s (Q7). All service projects involve a machete (Q8). Killed a pig (Q9). More baptisms… Starting to learn Woleian language.

Elder Meyer in a local shower


Betelnut Tree

Hello Everyone

This has been a pretty good week. Not too much has happened, but just a good week.


Sounds like the boating trip was a lot of fun. I am glad to hear that. That whole arranged marriage thing is pretty interesting. They don't do that here.

Question 1:  Tomorrow in seminary we are talking about “searching the scriptures.”  Since the islanders seem to have time, do they spend some of it studying?  What are the typical study habits of the active members?  Do they understand and know the stories in the scriptures?

Answer: The active members spend some time studying. Most of the time they are studying the stories. It is harder for them to pick out doctrine. But they do a pretty good job. Most people will understand the story pretty well. So it is pretty good.

Question 2: How many lessons did you get to teach this past week, and how many with members present?

Answer: 25 lessons and 10 member present.

Question 3: Have you ever needed to use your consecrated oil?  Is so, could you explain for what?  Do the local members use it from time to time?

Answer: Yes I use it a lot. The same thing that you use it for... Blessing for the sick and afflicted. Most of the time, the members here will call the missionaries for about everything from giving a blessing, to help for a talk on Sunday...

Question 4: We are watching “Best Two Years.”  Do you actually hold companion inventory?  Remember, Elder Johnson asks Elder VanPelt to gentle punch him when he says “flip”.

Answer: Yes, we do hold companionship inventory. I have never had permission to hit my companion from him though J

Question 5: Can you describe a memorable lesson taught recently and why it was so?

Answer: We were teaching J*ne. She is going to be baptized on Saturday. We had the Branch President with us. We had a great discussion about Church, Prayer and Reading. Our branch Pres. is handicapped, so he doesn’t come out with us very much, but there is so much power that comes from the local leaders teaching the people.

Question 6: Have you needed to use your water filter lately?

Answer: Nope... the mission gives us filters; i just use the one I brought when our water is turned off.

Question 7: Are you actually handing out copies of the Book of Mormon?  If so, how many do you think you’ve given away during your mission?

Answer: Yes, we hand out a ton. I have no idea how many I have handed out. Probably in the 100s or so. Actually right now we have none on Yap it is not good. Actually we don't have any in the mission.
We are entirely out!! So, yes we do give out Book of Mormons.

Question 8: Have you been able to do any service lately?

Answer: Yes, we helped clean somebodies yard. You pretty much just use your machete and cut the jungle down. It is pretty fun.


I am glad the activity was still fun. That is pretty dumb about the master’s thing that they won’t let you progress at the rate you want. I know that you will finish as fast as they will let you. You are amazing.

Question 9: What is the funniest thing that happened this week?

Answer: Funniest thing would be help President Jim kill his pig. It was pretty funny.

Question 10: Describe church yesterday - from the time it started, to who was there, the songs, etc.

Answer: Well, we started and there was only like 13 of us. As the sacrament meeting went on, we ended up with 24 people there. It was really great. We had the normal people there. President Mathew and his wife. My two investigators!  Sam and pet and there grandma. Then also there were a couple of the less active people that we have been working with. It was a really good Sunday.

Question 11: Tell me about the huge youth event that 90 youth attended!

Answer: There was 90 people total. There were several adults, but still it was a good activity. We had two baptisms, that was when I baptized J*hnny in the ocean. It was great. We just played games on the beach. It was a lot of fun.

Question 12: Describe what life is like for a sixteen year old boy on Yap.

Answer: Well… now, if they want to or if his parents make them, he will go to school. He will come home and eat and maybe do some homework. But most likely he will go play around the jungle just goofing off or maybe go spear fishing.

Question 13:  What was the hardest thing you did this week?

Answer: I don't know. The hardest thing always is just teaching people in a way to help them the most. That is what makes a mission so hard and so much work. But in the end it is the best thing ever to see someone get baptized and to truly come unto Christ.

Question 14: Have  you gotten sick since you have been there?

Answer: Maybe, like one time. I stay pretty healthy.

Question 15: What is one thing you learned this week?

Answer:  One thing that I have learned recently or relearned is that the Doctrine of Christ is everywhere in the Book of Mormon. I have been reading it and highlighting the Doctrine of Christ. It is everywhere. I am in Ether 2 right now.  i will probably finish tomorrow. But man, it is everywhere. Which is perfect for missionary work.


Hope you are still doing well. I am doing great. Love you!


Good luck on the basketball tryouts. I am sure that you can make the team.

To Everyone

Well, this week was good. We are going to have a baptism on Saturday. So that should be great. J*ne is going to be baptized. We meet with her a couple times a week and she is just so excited to be baptized.
She cannot wait.

We are planning a branch activity; it will be on Saturday as well. So we will have a baptism and an activity it is going to be awesome. We have one other baptism that will happen this month in my area. His name is M*ldon. He is staying with Jim, the District President. He is helping us teach him. M*ldon doesn’t' understand a lot of English, so it is hard to teach him. I don’t speak his language unfortunately, but I think that I am going to start learning it pretty soon. I have my language mastery. Which means I can teach all the lessons in Yapese and have taught them all. So I think that I am going to start really focusing on the other language here on Yap. I think I will start as soon as i finish the Book of Mormon in Yapese. I really don't like not being able to explain things in their own native language, that is why I am going to put Yapese on hold for a little while and get the basics of Woleian. It should be pretty good.

One of the less-actives I am working with is a return missionary. He served in the Marshall Islands. He would like a copy of his patriarchal blessing (not spelled right) I have is name birthday and his record number. How can i get his blessing?

We actually had a PEC in Thol. It was really good. We made a plan to go do home teaching as a group. So we went and did that on Sunday.

Everyone was very excited about it. They all felt really good. We had an appointment to run too and so we left, but they were going to keep going and seeing people. It was awesome. I am so glad that they are getting more involved and doing more. It should have nothing but positive effects here.

The Thol branch is moving so well right now. I don't think that I have ever seen it moving so well. I just hope that it will continue.

Transfers are this week. We find out Tuesday if we are leaving the island and Wednesday if we are not and then what area we are going to.

I really don't want to leave Yap. I love the people here. I just feel like this is where i need to be. Some missionaries want to go see the other islands, but I do not. This is where I want to be. I have a connection with the people here, and I don't want to leave. I am afraid, that if I leave the Thol branch it will start to sloop back down. I have been serving in Thol for 6 months start and 3 when I first got here. I love that area, and I am glad that it is moving.

I love this gospel, I love serving the Lord by serving the people here on Yap. Nothing makes be happier.

I love you guys. You are the best family in the world. Thank you for all you do for me. I pray for each and every one of you. I love you guys so so much. I really do.

Love Elder Meyer

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: An explosion? (Q5). They have a hospital (Q9). Seven more baptisms coming up, two are being taught from the “outer island”. Many more pictures.

Hello Everyone. 

It is September and time is flying really fast.


That is really cool all that happened in the temple. I wish that I could go to the temple. You are so lucky. How did it work in different language?

Question 1:  How is it decided to baptize in the ocean rather than the font?

Answer: It is the person being baptized that gets to choose where it happens. 

Baptism of J*ssica

Question 2:  Harvesting Taro looks like a ton of work. Do you ever cook it and if so, how do you make it?

Answer: I cook when it is given to me uncooked, which is not very often. But, you pretty much just boiling to for a while, until it is cooked. 

Question 3: How many lessons did you get to teach this week. And how many with “members present?”

Answer: We taught 22 lessons and 10 with a member present. Less than last week, but still good. 

Question 4: Out of all the people baptized since you’ve been on the island, is there anyone that is really progressing well and possibly suited for leadership opportunities?

Answer: Well, yes, and no. Ann*e is in a leadership position, but here husband won’t let her go to church. She has got so much potential and also A*gustine. Both Elder Garrett and I think that he could learn to be the next branch president. He is just struggling a little bit right now. I do what I can, but I am not in his area any more. 

Question 5: You mentioned the work on Yap island is about to explode.  Even if it is a just a small explosion.  What do you think is going on to cause the missionary work to progress even better than it has this past year?

Answer: The members are more interested in helping us. That is what has changed. I am teaching about 10 lessons a week with a member present, more than I have my whole mission. That is because members are more excited now. I am not sure what changed their way of thinking, but something did. I don't know if it was us missionaries, or something else. 

Question 6: Do you have a favorite moment from this past week. Perhaps something happy, funny, spiritual?

Answer:  [note: He explained something really funny, but I can’t put it on the blog… if interested, just ask me directly –dad ]  Best spiritual thing would be when we were teaching Jane. She felt the Spirit so strong and broke down and cried when we were teaching her. She told us her story about her mom leaving her and everything, and it was sad. The Spirit was so strong there. She was sharing her testimony and she just started crying. 


Hope everything is going well with you. Did you finish your master’s project yet, and what are you doing for the project? You sent some crazy pictures. Could I get a little bit of an explanation of them, did you guys buy them or did you rent them, and what were they for? Thanks for the pictures.  I love them. Just like you love pictures of me, I love pictures of you and the fam. 

Question 7: Tell me about church yesterday. How many were there?  What unique thing happened?  What did you do at church?

Answer: There was 14 people at church. Johnny was given the priesthood. It was really awesome. S*m, a young man in the branch, gave him the priesthood. He really wanted me to do it, but I convinced them otherwise. 

Question 8: Tell us more about the young men you are watching, whose mom is moving to Lehi, Utah.

Answer: Their names are S*m and P*ter. They are the best young men ever. They go teaching with me, they are always at church, and they are great examples to the people here. They are both wonderful young men. I had you buy scriptures for Sam. He loves them and reads from them all the time. It is great. 

Question 9: Where do women go to have babies?  Is there a hospital?  A doctor or midwife?

Answer: There is a hospital here. The women will normally go there to have their babies. 

Question 10: Tell us about your companion?  How old?  Where is he from exactly?  Is henna lifelong member?

Answer: His name is Elder Waimilla. He is from Suva, Fiji. He is 19 years old. He has been a member his whole life. He is a great Elder. I have loved serving with him. 
Who is Elder Tueller's companion? - Elder Ramiterre.
Who is Elder Hatch's companion? - Elder Baliling. 

Language study as a Zone

Question 11: Tell us a time this week that you received an answer to a prayer.

Answer: Well, I am always praying for revelation for investigators, and now that we are doing a Book of Mormon challenge and looking for scriptures for investigators, I always start with a prayer. And every time I pray for guidance on finding scriptures for investigators, I find many scriptures that help them, For all of my investigators... that is an answer. Also I am always praying that more people will accept the message of the Restoration, and we are teaching so many wonderful people. They just keep coming.

I love you mom. You are so wonderful. Thanks for all you do.

Staheli - How are things in Reno? I don't remember if I told you or not, but yours and Kate's lava lava are finished. I am trying to decide if I should save it until I get home to give to you or if I should send it home in a package. I have not decided. If I send it now, I won’t have anything to give you when I come back. 

Reed - Hope school is going well, school just started here on Yap. What are the classes that you are taking this year? What grade are you in because honestly U can't remember. Hope all is going well.

To Everyone

This was a pretty good week. Things are going well up in this area. Things are going even better in the whole mission. This last month in August as a mission we baptized 116 people. It was amazing. It is so wonderful. 116 people were baptized. I can't believe it. It is so great. Our goal was 100 and we bet it. Our goal for this month is 110 so we should be able to do it.

We have about 7 scheduled here on Yap. We think that we can get  2 up in Thool. So that is going to be awesome. J*ne is the most promising of them all. She is so great. I told you a little bit about her under dads section. She is super great. I am so excited for her. Don't know if I told you guys this, but Elder Garrett found her a year ago and told us to go see her. We looked for her forever and never found her. Well, a year later, she is going to be baptized. She should be baptized and the 14th of September. I cannot wait. It is going to be so awesome.

Best investigator in the world

On Sunday we had 14 people there. It was less than our 22, but a lot better than the 9 that it has been. So it was good. J*hnny got the priesthood. S*m, a priest in the branch, gave him the priesthood. It was so cool. It was the first time that S*m has given the priesthood to someone. It was super cool. S*m was really scared, but he did it. I taught him how to give someone the priesthood and how to ordain someone to an office in that priesthood. It was super fantastic. I loved it.

Church getting started

We got a couple of new investigators. They are from the outer islands. One of their names is M*ldon. He married someone while he was in the outer islands, and she is a member, they came back to yap proper and now we are teaching him. Also M*gnoose. He has been taught a little bit before. He is from the outer islands as well. He just got back to yap proper and would like to learn a little bit more. So both of those could go really well.  We have members helping us with both of them, so it is going to be super awesome.

I love the work here in Yap, it is going so much faster than when I first got here. It is great. I love this people, I love this island, and I love serving the Lord by serving them. It is amazing. 

Stone Money Bank

Living area

Everywhere you look is ocean all around

Moving Stone Money

Providing service building something

That is about it. I love you guys so so much. You are the best family in the world. I love you all.
Love, Elder Meyer

P.S.  Scripture wise, Elder Ramiterre asked if you could buy him some. Then you asked if everyone had a set, and we all do except for Elder Ramiterre and Elder Baliling. He has not said if he wants a set or not, you just asked. Please order some for Elder Ramiterre, when the new ones get in. You are the best.