Sunday, October 27, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Sent the wrong conference tape (Q1). Taking a tradition with him (Q5). Twenty (20) more people going to the temple!!

Elder Meyer and another "Yap Island Man House"

Hello Everyone

Things went well this week. We are in the start of a new transfer. It will be good.


Improving on how to be a better missionary is an awesome idea. That is really cool. I am glad that you want to do that. If you want, or have not yet, study PMG. It helps everyone with missionary work. I love you dad.

Question 1: What brought you the most joy this past week and why?

Answer: Declaring that we were going to listen to the voice of the prophet this Saturday and Sunday. But we got the wrong videos, so we are going to watch it this Saturday and Sunday. Because it is a lot of fun to say we have a prophet, but more fun to say you can hear him tomorrow!

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

Answer: We taught 22 and 5 with a member present. It has gone down a lot. I am not happy about it.

Question 3: If we wanted to do something nice for the branch, say for Christmas… what would be of most value/worth to them?

Answer: I want to gather everyone's testimonies and make a book and give it to them.

Question 4: How do you plan on getting Reed a machete?  Transporting on the plane may not work so well?

Answer: I have been told that if you put it in your check in, no worries. So I will try that.

Question 5: Is there a tradition you’ve picked up from Yap that you may incorporate into your own family traditions?

Answer: I am sure there is. I am not sure what though. The way people live here, is the way I live. I have been living like this for so long it is just a part of me. I think I will always act the way they  act with their friends and family. Make my home a place where anyone can come and eat and be safe. No matter who it is.

Question 6: You’ve shared pictures of Taro farming by hand. Does anyone have tractor or other equipment to use?

Answer: No way. That would not work at all. There is so much mud the tractor would get stuck. And the paths to the taro patch are way too small to get a tractor there. You don't really need a tractor either.

Question 7: I wonder if anyone on the island has a HAM radio?  If so, I wonder what frequency they use?

Answer: I believe that there are some here. They use them to talk to the people on the outer islands. I am not sure on the frequency.

Question 8: Have you gotten conference yet?    Answer: Not yet.

Question 9: Do you think there is any chance of a Boy Scout troop ever starting on the island?

Answer: There was one a many years ago. I white couple, not missionaries, ran it. It was great. I want to come back and to that.

He calls this a "fun spot".

Question 10:  I hear often people say that a 2 year mission is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. Do you feel that way?

Answer: Yes. It is the hardest, but the most rewarding.


I think it is so funny that you get to go and take those babies. It really makes me laugh. Thanks for the info on the baby. He is almost a year old now. He was born with a twin, but the twin was born still. So they can't really do anything do help the baby? Love you.

Question 11:  What is your favorite part of church on Sunday?

Answer: That I didn't have to talk or teach a lesson.

Question 12: President Mecham posted a picture of the Garrett's bearing their testimony for the last time.  When do they leave?  Is there another senior couple coming to the island?

Answer: Nov 30. Yes, the new couple is on island now. So we have 2 couples for a while. They are from New Zealand. Their names are Strother.

Question 13:   I loved the pictures you send last week - the little girl on your lap and the little boy with your name tag stuck to his chest.  Can you tell me about those kids?

Answer: The 2 kids are the brother and sister of this baby. They are a wonderful family. They are planning to go to the temple this year. Those 2 kids are probably the funniest kids on the island. I love them so so much.

Question 14:  Tell me a time this week when you felt the spirit.

Answer: We were teaching some new people. All in Yapese and this one lady kept asking why I believe certain things like prophets today, the Book of Mormon, etc. I got to share my testimony so many different times in her language about so many different things. It was awesome.

Question 15: Tell about something funny that happened this week.

Answer: We were just walking on a path, and the path is really muddy and slippery. Both I and Elder Waimila just kept sliding around. We almost fell like ten times. It was really funny.

Question 16:  What are you doing to help the ward council function better?

Answer: Encourage them to meet. Help them know that they are in charge, not us.

Question 17:   Have you tried any new foods?   Answer: Yes, raw clams. It was pretty good.

He calls them "pretty good."  Huge change from when he was a boy and just ate rice and watermelon.

Staheli - Just wanted to say that I was thinking about you and that I love you so so much. You are such a wonderful sister. I am so blessed to have you as my sister. Love Ya.

Reed - Keep up the good work with the basketball. I know that you can make the team. Love ya dude.

To Everyone

Alright. So we got a little bit of the news for transfers this week. Guess what? I am training.... again! I am headed to Guam on Tuesday to go get the new missionary. I am not sure where I will be serving. It could be anywhere. I have no idea what his name is. But it should be good. This will be the second missionary I train. I am not sure why I am training again. Most of the time President Mecham has younger missionaries train. We have several younger missionaries on yap who could train, not sure why he picked me. But what I am called to do, I will do. I am not that excited about having to go to Guam. It is not my favorite spot in the world. Last time I went, I had to push the APs car two blocks because it ran out of gas. So that was fun. Hopefully this time will be better.

We had 19 people at church yesterday. It was pretty good. We could have been higher, but people just decide not to go random weeks. It is strange. Elder Garrett is teaching a temple prep class up in Thol after church. We stay and help out with that. It is fun to see people excited about the temple. I know how much the temple means to me and I like to share that with others. We should have around 20 people going to the temple this year. It is great.

We found a lot of good people next to the chapel. None of them came this Sunday, but we will go and try them again. Some of them seemed really interested. It just takes a while for them to get over the fear of joining the Mormons. We sometimes have a difficult reputation here because of all the priest from the other churches. They spread so many false things about us. It is an on-going problem. We just keep moving forward though. If it is a person the Lord has prepared for us, then they will overcome.

You guys are awesome. I love you so so so much. You are truly the best family in the entire universe. I am so blessed to have you guys.

Love Elder Meyer

D. L. Yaiuglig (girl)
Yaiuglig (boy)
I will get some more names as soon as possible. For now, that is all that I have. You guys are awesome.

So could you guys send me a couple white shirts? All of mine are pretty not white. Thanks

You guys are the best you really are. Love you all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: It all makes sense now (Q1). If he could go back(Q2). Shy days long gone (Q3).

Hello Everyone -

Things are going great. President Mecham has been here and he brings such a wonderful spirit with him.


Sounds like you had an exciting week. There seems to be a lot of changes to the wards over there. That is really crazy. I am really glad that you are enjoying teaching seminary. Teaching people is so much fun.

Question 1:  If we were able to see you today, what do you think would be the most notable change in yourself?

Answer:  I have no idea. I am not sure how I am changing, or how i was before I left. The changes are just a part of me, and I am not sure what life was before the different changes. I guess it would be just how excited I am about this gospel. I don't think I every understood it like I do now. It all makes sense now, and it exciting.

Question 2: If you had a chance to go back in time and learn the piano, would you and why?

Answer: Yes. I would, i wish that I had been more diligent in learning the piano. Music is such a big part of bring the spirit in during meetings, and I could play the piano in the Colonia branch, but in Thool the piano is no good. But I can feel a difference between a cd playing and a person playing.

Question 3: What has changed most in your teaching practices today, compared to when you first got to the island?

Answer: How bold I am in my teaching. At first I was shy, now I am not.

Question 4: How many lessons did you get to teach this week? And how many with member’s present. Was there an especially memorable teaching moment?

Answer:  23 lessons and 6 member presents. We were teaching a family. The wife has been struggling ever since the ***** of God people went and talked to her. It is the same time I was called an anti-christ. We prepared a good lesson on burdens and trials, and how they help us. It was a great lesson. She is doing a lot better now, and I know now, that she still believes.

Question 5: You often speak about going into the jungle and villages to find people.  What makes it so hard to find someone since the island is relatively small?

Answer: Well, everyone is spread out, and sometimes you walk down a path, and no one lives there, other times there are a lot of people there, even when you find people, you still have to find the people the Lord has been preparing.   So… you sort through a lot of stuff.

Question 6: You often speak about how much you love the people and the culture. I know that missionaries love their areas because of the service they get to render. And when you serve someone, you end up loving them.  Is it more than that?

Answer:  I feel like it is. I feel like I have a special connection with the people here. I am not sure how, my guess would be that I already had a love 4 years before I was able to go here.  [ Note: Missionaries do not pick –or even ask-- where they serve in the world. They get assigned by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  When Johnny was 15 years old, he fell in love with the Yapese copy of the Book of Mormon and had been telling family/friends that is where he would love to go.   To Yap Island. ]

Question 7: If you could pick any topic to teach on during a Stake Conference, what would it be if you had the chance to decide?  And why?

Answer:  Member missionary work, and how it is supposed to work. Suggestions on how to make it work and helping the member’s really understand what their role is as a member missionary. I don't think I understood when I was home. I would want this because people get baptized through members. If I didn't understand it when I was home, I bet most people don't understand. Perhaps return missionaries, and they could have forgotten. When people go fishing here they go to where the birds are because that is where the fish are. Well, for missionary work, we(missionaries-fishermen) go to the the member’s (birds) to baptize people (fish).


Tell Melanie congrats for me. She is going to love serving the Lord. Sounds like this youth thing was awesome. Grandma wrote a letter and said it was going to happen. I got it yesterday. Sounds like you and dad really enjoyed it though.

Question 8: Do you wear any shoes besides Crocs?  What do the other missionaries wear?  How about the Yapese?  Are your Croc's holding up?

Answer:   Only crocs. Most of the missionaries wear crocs. The Yapese wear sandals. They are flip flops.

Question 9: Tell me about church.  How many people were there - what did you do?

Answer: We had 27people!!!!!!! It was great. I taught the youth Sunday school class.

Question 10: Are you using the Philippine's  Temple pictures we sent?  If so, give an example.

Answer:  Yes. We talk and teach about the temple. I show a picture. I give them one if they want. Also to all those planning on going to the temple this year, I have given a picture to them.

Question 11: I think President Mecham is visiting Yap - what is different about your days when he visits?  Did he give you any specific counsel?

Answer:  We just have meetings with him all day Monday. Then Tuesday is p-day, and then he leaves that night. Advice this time was to work with the branch council meetings… that we don't have yet, and talk about how to help our investigators. So we are going to start encouraging the branch council meetings.

Question 12:  Is there any news in the mission?  How many missionaries are serving in the Micronesia Mission now?  How many when you went out?

Answer: Phonepi has 1,900 and is going to petition for a stake. If they get a stake, we could get a temple. In August we baptized 116 people as a mission. President Mecham wrote President Monson on his b-day, President Monson wrote back. It was awesome.

Question 13: Have you ridden in a boat since you have been on Yap?   Answer: No

Question 14: Do people ride bicycles on Yap? Skateboards?   Answer:  Some people ride bikes, but not very many.

Question 15: Of all the lesson topics you teach - which is your favorite to teach and why?

Answer:  The restoration. Because it is different than what people already know.

Question 16: Do you give a lot of priesthood blessings - or is that a rare occasion?

Answer:  I give a lot of blessings. People call us when they need a blessing.

Staheli - Hope all is still going well. Got a letter from grandma and she said that you came to Chico for a while and that you all had a great time. That is really fun. Love ya

Reed - Glad the b-ball is going well. I bet you make the team. Good job on almost dunking. That is awesome.

Grandma - I love your letters they always make me smile. You are the best.

Bro Fogleman - It is so great to hear from you. Sounds like you are having a lot of fun, and a lot of things are about to changes.

Q1:  What is your favorite thing about the Island?
A1:  The people. They are what make Yap amazing.

Q2:  What do you miss the most from the States?
A2:  My mom’s cooking.

Q3: Are your companion's mostly native or are they from other areas?
A3: They are all from other spots in the world, America, Fiji, and the Philippines

Q4: Has your mission seen a large influx of Sister Missionaries like other missions around the World has?
A4: Yes. It has seen a large influx of sisters and elders.

I can’t remember who asked this, but in the mission when I started, there was about 60ish missionaries, sometimes 55ish up to 65ish. That was the highest. Now we are at 109 and next week up to 110. So there is a large increase in missionaries.

A couple questions from Elder Meyer:

1.     There are several families who are preparing for the temple, and wanted to know how a baby flies on a plane. So how does that work.

2.     Second mom this is for you. It is a hard one. The wife who is struggling that I talked about has a young child. It was born with a huge disorder sickness thing. The head is really small and deformed. It is called microcephaly. What do you know? What can they parents do to help the baby?

3.     Also could you send some exercise bands? Thanks.

To Everyone

Well let’s see. Things have been great. Church was amazing. We had 27 people there. J*hnny, a recent convert, gave a talk. It was his first one. He did a great job.  M*ldon, another recent convert passed the sacrament. It was amazing. Down in Colonia, A*gistine was put in as young men’s president. He told me that the branch president called him three times to put him in. He always said no. Well, we talked with A*gistine about it for a long time. I talked about callings, service, and the youth program. It was a fun lesson. He said that if the branch pres asked again that he would say yes. So, I went and talked with him he wasn't that eager. I shared what happened…  in the end, A*gistine was called again, accepted and was put in on Sunday. It was great.

Sorry it is a short letter, I am trying to send pictures also, but it is not working so I am sending this so you get this email…

Love you all you are the best

Elder Meyer

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: New Video. Super informative letter. Standards (Q1). Outer island language (Q3). Brain kicking out English (Q4).

Hello Everyone.

[ Note: Here is a video showing 2 of Elder Meyer's friends racing up a tree to harvest coconuts. We're going to need to plant some here in Chico...  --Dad ]


I am glad that you have enjoyed conference. I am glad work is going so well; that is really good. I still don't fully understand what you are doing. I know you keep telling me, but i have just got so much stuff going in my brain, it is hard to keep it all straight.

Question 1:  General Conference speakers talked about how important it is to stay committed to supporting moral standards in our community. Even if the world is trending another way.  Do you find it difficult, or rather easy for Yapese members of the Church to live God’s standards… or are they looked down upon or prejudiced against because of such standards?

Answer: Some of them are harder and some are easier. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is more of an accepted standard because the Catholic Church has been here for so long. The dress standard is frowned upon here, and so is the Standard of keeping our body healthy and strong; namely because of betelnut.

Question 2: Have you ever taught someone about Jesus Christ that didn't know anything about Him?  If so, what are your key messages?

Answer:  I haven't taught someone that knows nothing about Christ, just someone who knows little. What I focus on is what He has done for us. His Atonement for us, and why he did it… and what He requires of us to do to partake fully of the Atonement.

Question 3: How are things progressing with that “other outer island” language?

Answer:  Well, it is very very hard. I have been told that this language is easy, but I am having a hard time with it. My brain is structured in Yapese, it doesn’t accept this new language. In fact, my brain is kicking out English a little bit. I find myself talking to myself in Yapese often. I am trying though. This 2nd new language is close to Chuuckese. . Chuuckese is the easiest language in the mission. I am going to keep trying, but I am having a hard time.

Question 4: If one of the Elders were to get hurt, say a broken bone… what exactly would happen and how would you go about getting care? Do you know if anything like that has happened before?

Answer: Well, he would go to the hospital here on Yap first. If they could not take care of it, he would fly to Guam on the next flight. He would stay there until it was all good, then come back. Elder Mafi, broke his ankle here. He left right before I got here. He went to Guam for a while and came back.

Question 5: We gain knowledge a bit at a time… is there something you've learned recently that you are grateful to have learned?

Answer: I have studied a little bit about adversity, and burdens that we are given. There is a lady in the branch having a hard time with this. We are going to talk to her tonight. What I have learned is that God gives us challenges in our life for a couple of reasons, one to "test" our faith. To see if we are truly committed to Him, or not. Second, to help us learn. The challenges we are given teach us something. We may not understand what we are learning until it is over, but we learn something from every problem. And as always to help us increase or faith in Him.

Question 6: Do you know of anyone on the island that may be considered very wealthy?

Answer: No one here would be considered wealthy by the standards in the states. By the standards here, yes people are wealthier than others. The guy who owns the church’s’ property is wealthy.

Elder Meyer and a bunch of stone money, and a community house in the back ground.

Question 7: Besides growing local food and fishing, what jobs do the members of the Church have?

Answer: One works on the Education board, several members teach school, some fix computers like Aug*stine, some work at the stores here.

Question 8: Dance is such a predominant part of the Yapese culture, have you learned anything about what the dances generally mean? Could you teach someone from the states how to do a Yapese dance?

Answer: I understand so little about the dances and what they mean. I have seen many of dances; I know what some of them mean. Each dance is very unique. They all tell stories about the culture here and the legends here. The problem is, the words in the dances are so old, that the most people on the island do not understand them. Very few people actually know what is going on in the dances.

Question 9: When you look back over this prior week, was there anything that happened that put a huge smile on your face?

Answer: M*ldon getting the priesthood. It was great.

Question 10:  How many lessons did you get to teach this past week, and how many with members present?

Answer: This was a tough week. We had 20 lessons and 6 with a member present.  Elder Garrett wants me to thank you for making me accountable to you for what I am teaching here.


Those are great quotes for the 1st presidency; I really love them, thank you. I told Elder Ramiterre about the scriptures, he is so excited.

Question 11:   Please tell me about the people that you are currently teaching.

Answer:  J*ven is a young boy that we just found. He is really interested, but he is not sure how his parents will react. He said that he really wants to learn more. We taught him the restoration, and he seemed to like it. He gave us the name of one of his friends to go and teach, so he liked most of what we shared. Another young boy his name is Br*ndon, we taught him in the past, he has never been interested before, now, his girlfriend is about to be baptized. He is more interested now. He wants to learn more.  There is a girl named Abb*. She is form the Philippines. She is interested in the gospel, but she is not sure how her parents will react. I have talked with the mom, she seemed okay with us teaching Abb*, but didn't want us to teach her.

Question 12: Tell me about your companion.  I know he is from the Philippines and doesn't cook much.  What else?

Answer: My companion is from Fiji. I have also had a companion from the Philippines though. He is a great guy. He is very excited about the gospel.  And he enjoys sharing it with others. He is a little shy. He says, he doesn't know English very well. He is really funny, and connects with the people here.

Question 13: When you go and teach a lesson - tell my how it typically goes.

Answer: That is a very broad question. It really depends on the person. Sometimes they are more accepting, sometimes not. It really depends on the person. If it goes well, the Spirit is there and it is great, if not, they just listen, and don't pay attention.

Question 14: What would you like for Christmas?

Answer: I have no idea. I have not thought about that at all, I will start thinking.

Question 15: Chips and Salsa are on the way.  Anything else you crave?

Answer: Jell-O or brownies or cheese-its.

Staheli - It was so great to hear from you. I love to hear how you are doing. I really am enjoying my time here on Yap. I have learned so much, and I love to share the restored Gospel with the people here. It brings me so much joy. Thanks for the email. I really do love hearing from you.

Reed - How is it going? Did you make the team? I am very curious.

Hazard marked...

To Everyone

Well, time is about out, so I will go fast. I took a long time answering your questions today. They were really good questions. Let’s see what is new. President Mecham will be flying in on Saturday. To that should be good. It is raining really hard here right now. They road to my house is super muddy. It is so hard to get in and out. In fact right now, there is a bus stuck in the road and the wheels are completely covered in mud. It is crazy. I never know if I am going to make it out from my house to go and teach people. It makes things pretty crazy. We are still seeing a lot of people. We are working with so many less actives right now. It is good. We are seeing several of them getting excited about the gospel again. It makes me so happy to see people progress in the gospel. I love it.

Could you send me a copy of the “Book of Mormon Movie” and the “Other Side of Heaven”. I have got people asking for those.

Thanks you guys are the best.
I love you guys so so much. You are truly the best family ever.

I love you all

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Another baptism. Stake maybe forming on Phonpei

Star Apple

Hello Everyone.

This was a pretty good week. M*ldon Was baptized. It was great. I loved it. It made me so happy to have him baptized

Sound like FHE is going to be a lot more fun at grandmas. I am so excited to go to the temple again and see the new presentation. Thanks for emailing Augustine. And yes, I do use the GPS on my camera.

Question 1: Is there anything that went even better than you had hoped for this week?

Answer: Yes M*ldon was baptized. I didn't think it was going too happened. I hoped it would.

Question 2: You mentioned that people would do just about anything for their family.  Do the members easily share the gospel message with family, or are they a bit reserved?

Answer: They are reserved about that.

Question 3: Any plans for translating General Conference.  It’s happening, live, next week.

Answer: I have not heard a thing about it. So I don’t know.

Question 4: When the Yapese people build a new home or structure, do they do it by themselves, or gather in villages to build it?  I’m curious if they work often together, or more like in the States where we are independent in doing our own stuff.

Answer: It is mostly independent. His family that lives around him will help, but it is not a village work.

Question 5: How important is music on the island?

Answer: Everyone listens to music on the island.

Question 6: How many lessons were you able to teach this week, and how many with members present?

Answer: 25 lessons and 10 with a member present.

Question 7: When you look back over this past week, could you describe the most unique person or experience you met/had?

Answer: I guess it would be connected to M*ldon's baptism. He needed to be formally married, and the mom of his “wife” was not going for it. We went and talked to her. She is the District President’s sister; and the sister-in-law of the branch president. Everything had to be translated though. She is an interesting lady. After we talked to her, she was fine with the wedding. So it happened and M*ldon was baptized.

Question 8: You talked about how teaching the commandments is one of the key things you teach.  What’s the generally most difficult commandments for people to keep on the island?

Answer: The Word of Wisdom, because of all the betelnut.

Question 9: Are you hearing other news about the other islands in the mission?  I understand that the work is picking up pretty fast?

Answer:  Phonpei is becoming a stake very very soon. That is about it. That is the biggest news.


Sounds like Staheli and you guys had a lot of fun.

Question 10: I check the weather in Yap frequently.  It looks like it is raining and really warm.  In the low 90's - is that right?

Answer: Yes. I think we have had a couple of small Typhoon.

Question 11: Does Yap have a goal for lessons taught each week?

Answer: Yes it is a mission standard to teach at least 20 lessons a week.

Question 12:   What do you count as a lesson? Is it just visiting someone, or actually teaching a lesson?

Answer: You must teach a gospel principle and have a prayer. You cannot just go and chat to people and count that as a lesson.

Question 13: How many people were at church today?  What did you do?

Answer: 20 poeple came. Well, I gave a talk, and helped teach Sunday school. We also confirmed the new convert that was baptized on Saturday.

Question 14: How do people get to church if they live farther away?

Answer: They don't for the most part. Sometimes someone will pick them up. Sometimes a taxi. Most of the time, they don't go.

Question 15: What is your favorite treat on Yap?

Answer: Local cinnamon rolls are pretty good.
Yap Cinnamon Roles

Question 16: Conference is next weekend - do you get to hear any of it next weekend?

Answer: Nope. Maybe in a month or two.

Staheli - I hear you went back to Chico for a while. Mom and dad said that you guys had a lot of fun and made a lot of Jelly. That is really cool. I hope you had a lot of fun.

Reed - Did you make the basketball team, or have they not picked yet?

Grandma - I hear the Family home evenings just got a lot bigger at your house. I am sure that you are going to enjoy that.

To Everyone

This was a pretty good week. I was so happy to have M*ldon baptized. It was a really good service. The next day, he was supposed to be confirmed. I got to church, and the person who gives him a ride was in Colonia. I was very scared. I walk inside and M*ldon is nowhere to be seen. I was so sad. Then I go into the office, and there he is. I was so happy to have him there. I was so scared when I didn't see him there at first. It was a really good Sunday. I had all of our recent converts from Thool there, and a new convert confirmed. It was really awesome.

We have baptized all of the most promising people we are teaching. I really hope we find some new promising people soon. The Thool area is really doing well, and I don't want it to fade away. We are doing everything we can to keep it moving. It is a difficult task.

The members are still pretty excited about Home Teaching. So that is good. That will help
the branch out so so much. We just need to find some more people to teach, that will progress to baptism. It is a difficult task, but we are doing or best.

We are working with a lot of less actives right now. One of them is named D*frad (family name). The mom was baptized in 1994. A really long time ago. She has several kids, one of who is A*gistine. There are a lot of less actives that live there. The Mom said that she has been praying and praying, but doesn’t think that she received and answer. Then we showed up. She thought we were the answer. She is right. Some of them went to church yesterday, so that is really good. There are a lot of non-members there as well. Hopefully we will see some good stuff happen there. I think we could.

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

Love Elder Meyer