Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Biggest surprise about the mission (Q9). Unique cultural matter, the aunts have a lot of say about a new baby. Many new pictures.


Sounds like the snow (whatever that is) was a lot of fun. I am glad that you guys had fun.

Question 1:  We went skiing in Boreal yesterday, have you ever been even remotely cold on the island?

Answer: Yes. I have been. When it is raining and then the wind picks up it is super cold. All of the other missionaries laugh at me, but I am completely adjusted to the weather. SO… wind and rain = cold.

Question 2: What’s the funniest thing that has happened with your new companion this past week?

Answer: Nothing really that funny. In my opinion the funniest thing is how hot he is all the time. It just makes me laugh. We'll teach a lesson, and then after he goes, “man it is hot.”

Question 3: Number of lessons and members present?

Answer: 20 and 7. Not the worst, but not the best either.

Question 4: When you teach the youth group, seems like most Sundays… what material do you use as a guide?  Is there a lesson manual you follow or just use the scriptures?

Answer: For the most part, I just use the scriptures. I open to a good story in the Book Of Mormon. My goal is to get them more involved in the scriptures. So I try to pick really interesting stories and verses and bring it to life for them.

Question 5: Did something happen this past week that you were most grateful for?

Answer: We got permission to baptize Cl*nton. So that was awesome.

Question 6: Thanksgiving is coming up, do they celebrate same on the island?

Answer: Not really, it is mostly the church that will do a thanksgiving party. No one else really does anything.

Question 7: Who on the island (besides yourself) has changed the most because of your mission, and explain please.

Answer: I think A*gustine and his family. A*gistine was a heavy drinking, etc… using man. His wife was constantly praying that he would change. Now, he is preparing to go to the temple. How wonderful is that. I hope that I have impacted the youth as well. I put a lot of time into helping them and trying to help them understand the gospel more.

Question 8: How impactful is General Conference to those on the island who have viewed it?

Answer: To the ones that listened carefully. It is super powerful to them. It impacts them for a while, but just like most people in the states, it "wears off" I guess you could say. People get really excited about things, then it disappears for a while.

Question 9: Before you went on your mission, you had sort of an idea of what is might be like. What is the biggest surprise about a mission?

Answer: The amount of work it is, and how exhausted you are at the end of the day. Also, I figured I would love the people, but I did not know that I would love them as much as I do, and in the way that I do. I have no words for the amount of love I have for these people. In fact just writing that makes me tear up a little.


Still not sure what this "snow" thing is, but I am glad that it was fun ha ha. Year ski passes. That is awesome. You guys better go a lot. We didn't go very many times when I was home. Mom, I know that you would do just wonderful on all the parts of your Masters. To be honest, I was not worried at all.

Question 10: When you count discussions, if there are five people there, does that count for five discussions or one?

Answer: Just 1. You taught one thing to 5 people. It is just one lesson. That is a challenge in the mission… counting numbers right.

Question 11: When Elder Thueller goes home, will you be the most senior Elder on Yap?

Answer: Yes and no. I will be the most senior on Island of Yap, or been on the island the longest, but Elder Ramiterre will have been out longer on his mission than me.

Question 12: Did you get any package this week?  Answer:  Nope.

Question 13: Did the regular shipments of food and supplies get delayed because of the typhoon?

Answer:  Well, a boat just got here today. I think it was supposed to be here last week, but I am not sure. If it was delayed, not too bad of a delay.

Question 14: Tell me something that made you laugh this week.

Answer: Cl*nton and F*ona. They are two investigators. They are just really funny. They love to play with my camera and take lots of pictures. So it is funny to watch them. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, kids are good with technology. I don't have to show the kids how to use my camera, they just know.

Question 15: Tell about a lesson you taught that you felt the spirit.

Answer: We were teaching Cl*nton and F*ona.  Elder Melder’s recent convert was there. We were talking about the word of wisdom. I asked him to share his testimony. It was awesome. It was simple, but beautiful. The spirit was there.

Question 16:  Tell about church. Do you go to Thool and Colonia?  What did you do?  How many were there?

Answer: I still go to Thool (smaller group in the northern part of the island). I will be up at least until the end of December. I gave a talk this week. The person who was supposed to speak didn't want to, so I was asked about 3 minutes before we started. It is a normal thing in the Thool branch. We only had about 18 there. It was not a good week for attendance.

Question 17: So you still have the Christmas stuff I sent last year?  Do you want any other Christmas decorations?

Answer: I still have the stuff from last year. More lights I think would be fun. Thanks.

Staheli - So I here you went skiing. That must have been fun. Are you still a skier, or did you make the jump to snowboarding. One missionary here is a huge skier and another is a snowboarder. It is funny to hear them debate about which is better.

Reed - How was the snow. You are snowboarding now right? So just a funny question. I cannot remember what grade you are in. It is making me crazy to. I think you are a junior this year, but I can't remember for sure.

Grandma - Just wanted to say that I love you and are thinking about you. You are the best grandma ever.

To everyone

Well… let’s see about this week. Not to much more to say about this week. It was a pretty normal week. We found a new guy next to our house. His name is R*llin. He is pretty cool. I cannot tell how interested he really is. I think he is, but then his friends showed up and he kind of shut down a little bit. So I am not sure how that will all work. We will see how it goes. We watched the Book of Mormon movie with a member and his family this week. They loved it. He asked when the next one was coming out. He thought it was really great. I think it is going to float around that village and maybe something good will come from it. I hope something does. I am using that Book of Mormon dvd to help people find out how awesome the book really is. It seems to be working right now. It is pretty awesome. I think it will help a lot of people with bring the book to life.

Unfortunately we have had a family drop out of the temple trip. It is really sad. They just had a baby, and the baby will be 1 month when the trip happens. Well, in Yapese cultural, the father (of the baby)’s sisters has control of the baby, the name, where they live, and who raises the baby. Well the sisters of the father has decided that the baby is too little to go the Philippines. So they cannot go. It is really sad. I really wanted them to go. I hope they are able to go next time to the temple for the next trip next year.

You guys are the best. I love you all so so much. I really do.

You asked if there was something that you could get for some friends that I have here. Well, do you think that you could send some carving tools. It would be for a young man, who is not culturally allowed to live with his family right now. And really misses them.

Also a bunch of people love to draw here. Could you send a couple art kits for some of the kids.

Oh could you send another SD card for my camera. I just sent one home, but I almost filled up the other three, and will be without one here in a little bit. Thanks.

You guys are the best i can't say that enough. I love you all so so so so much

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Typhoon just took out banana and coconut trees. Ship biscuits (Q15). Finding J*ne. Darkest night ever. More baptisms.

Hello Everyone.

Crazy Week… where to start? Well, I guess with the questions.


Well, that is crazy. I think that I agree with your seminary students. That would be a pretty nice welcome home gift, and it would encourage me about coming home and not pushing to stay forever. Ha ha. I am not sure how you get all the cool stuff. You have every missionary convinced that you are a spy. It is quite funny. It makes me laugh. A temple… someday in Chico. That would be great.

Question 1: We have all been so very concerned regarding the typhoon. Somewhere around a few thousand people were killed in the Philippines from it.  I wrote a note on my Facebook page expressing a little concern about you.  President Mecham wrote me a note directly saying all was well.  He is a wonderful communicator and must be a spectacular Mission President.  So what happened in regards to the Typhoon?

Answer:  In Yap, not a ton. It generally missed us. It went south of us. So we are fine. President Mecham is a wonderful Mission President.

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

Answer: 21 and 9 with a member present.

Question 3: What do the members get by way of instruction in preparation for the upcoming grand temple visit?

Answer: They go through the temple class like in the states and passports stuff get sorted, and how much they can contribute, interviews are challenging because President Mecham needs to interview them.

Question 4: Were you able to find J*ne?  I’ve been praying for her.

Answer: Yes. I was able to find her. It is quite a story.  I’ll tell you later.

Question 5: If you send a package for Christmas, we promise not to open it until you say it is ok.  Speaking of packages… what can we send to your friends on the island for Christmas?  We’re open to pretty much anything you suggest.

Answer: Things I send home I don't want you to open till I get home. Is that okay? Things you can send. Let me think of what some members need that would be fun for Christmas.

Question 6: Is there anything that happened this past week that helped your faith in Christ grow even stronger?

Answer: Finding Jane. She has had me worried.

Question 7: What do you enjoy most about training again?

Answer: Watching the new missionary adjust to things here and seeing them grow through Christ.

Question 8: Have you ever considered the possibility of a third branch on the island somewhere?

Answer: Right now, no. In the future, yes. The island used to have 3 or 4 small group meetings. Now we have one. All the leaders on Yap left. So that is when Yap's missionary work fell. It is starting to come back up though.


Congrats on almost finishing your masters. That is awesome. Your interview thing will be fine. You will not have any problem. Don't even worry about it. Sounds like a temple in Chico could happen someday. That would be really awesome. Don’t push too hard until we get one in Micronesia please. We are going to push hard really soon.

Question 9: What effects did the typhoon have on Yap?

Answer: Nothing to bad. Just fallen down banana trees, and some coconut trees. It was not too bad here.

Question 10: Was anyone hurt?

Answer: As far as i know no one was hurt. So that is all good.

Question 11: How did you prepare for the typhoon?

Answer: Us, nothing. We have a cement house, so no big deal. We went and helped members. Tie down houses and cut banana tees down so they don't blow over.

Question 12: How much damage was done on Yap because of the typhoon?

Answer: Down on the southern end, not a ton, but a lot at the same time. It was the roughest there. Some power lines were down and trees were in the road. Coral from the ocean was up on the road. I mean there was 20 foot was crashing down there. But even with that the damage was not too bad.

Question 13: Tell me one miracle that happened this week

Answer: Finding J*ne. More later.

Question 14: Describe church yesterday - how many were there?  What did you do?

Answer: Church was good. We had 24 people in the small northern branch, Thool.  3 investigators. It was really good. I taught the Youth Sunday school class again. So it was fun. It was pretty good Sunday. I really enjoyed it.

Question 15: Any other unique things happen at church (like you conducting, using cookies for sacrament bread)?

Answer: Jim the Facilities Manager for the church here, just changed the lock on the door, and I am now the only one with a key, so I was a little behind because we were running the small group meeting and everyone was outside waiting for me. And this week for sacrament we use ship biscuits.

Question 16: Did you do any service this week?

Answer: Just helping people getting ready for the typhoon.

Staheli - How are you doing? What is the weather like right now in Reno? Anything exciting happening right now?

Reed - Sorry, I think dad should give me the car when I get back. It sounds like I have the support from his seminary class too. Ha ha.

Grandma - Hope you are doing good grandma. I got one of your letters. Thank you so much. I am sorry that I am not good at righting you back. Please forgive me. Things are going great here on Yap. I love this people so so much. There is an old lady here. Her name is Fransica. She is the grandma of two boys that are great. She reminds me of you. She and you are both supper faithful and have wonderful, powerful testimonies. I love you so much.

To Everyone… find J*ne

Well, I am close to time, so here it goes. Finding J*ne was crazy. [Note: J*ne is someone they baptized earlier.]  She’s been missing and we’ve been trying to find her on this island for a long time. Got some info on where she lives. Went there and no one was there. I was really sad. I have been praying to find her and that she would be alright and not hurt. Well, as we were leaving this spot, I felt impressed to walk up the road a bit. We did and there she was. She was with her husband (not very nice) and the mother in law. J*ne pretended not to know who we were, but I did talk to her. She gave me the look of "you don't know me, okay" so I went with it. Started talking to everyone and she seemed okay. She was not bruised at all, which made me relieved. We are going to go and try to teach the husband and her. I think we are going to approach it like she has not been baptized already.  His behavior changes rapidly. So we will see how it all plays out. I was so happy to find her and see that she is still ok.

The Typhoon

When the typhoon was on its way we went to all the member’s houses. We went and checked up on them and see if the needed help. Well, at one house we cut down a ton of trees. Namely banana trees to save them from the typhoon. It was raining super hard and the wind was really strong. I think we saved the trees though. We cut them down so the wind does not blow them over and hurt the people. If they are cut they will grow back. We helped some other members tie down their house with rope. To keep the wind form taking the tin roofs away. So that was good.

After that we went home and waited. We lost power for almost a day. So not too long. It was really dark that night. I have never seen anything that dark before. It was crazy. It was like standing in a sealed room with no light. It was nuts. The next morning, things were alright. Some trees had fallen over in the road, so we went and cleaned that stuff up. We were pretty lucky that nothing really bad happened to us here. The Lord was protecting us, no doubt. The typhoon did hit an outer Island of Palau really hard. They had to evacuate the island. I believe Elder Ramiterre's family, from the Philippians, is okay.


Cl*nton and F*ona. They are cousins. They are super great. We have taught them several times. They should be baptized on the 28th.  Thanksgiving day. It should be really great. They are both super kids. Cl*nton is 12 and F*ona is 9. They are really fun to teach. I have really enjoyed them and will continue to enjoy teaching them.

Cl*nton and F*ona live right next to Jim and Mathew and Sylvester, so they have a lot of member support, so that is good. They came to church and really enjoyed it. We talked about the ten commandments and how we don't worship idols.

Well, I think that is it.

I love you all so so so much. You are great.

You are the best family in the world

Love Elder Meyer

I love you all. I just love saying that. You are the best family ever.


Elder Meyer

Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter from Elder Meyer: Week before Typhoon. Finding miracle (Q5). Just wants “white” shirts for Christmas (Q13). Two new babies born.

Hello Everyone

This week [note:  this letter is from 2 weeks ago, prior to the Typhoon] was pretty good. Nothing new really happened, but a good week.

Question 1: Can you describe how the start of home teaching is going?

Answer: Well, it is dying again, but it started enough so members talked about it, and I said that anytime they want to go, give us a call. Then we just started talking and we made a plan to do it after church, so we did it, and it went great.

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

Answer: 19 lessons and 8 with a member present.

Question 3:   Is there anything about your personality, that has changed the most since you been on Yap Island?

Answer: I don't know. I am sure a ton has changed. I am way more outgoing, I know that much.

Question 4: Is there also visiting teaching on the island or that just getting started?

Answer:  That is not really happening right now at all.

Question 5: Can you describe a moment this past week when you are certain you felt the guidance of the Holy Ghost?

Answer: We were walking in a village, and a little girl that knows me said, “bye Meyer”, and I said bye and kept walking. Then Elder Mott stopped and started taking pictures, I just felt like I should go talk to her. I go over there, teach a mini lesson, and get 2 new investigators. We go back on Saturday, that two grows to 4 and one of them is named Cl*nton. He is super excited about this, and wants to be baptized, that was all because of the Holy Ghost, no doubt.

Question 6: Does tithing work any different on the island, than it does here in the states? For example, do people pay in-kind rather than $ ?

Answer: Nope it is the same. They pay with money, it is just a lot less.

Question 7: Do you know if most of the Missionaries serving on Yap paid for their own mission or obtained $ some other way?

Answer: 2 are by the ward back home, 3 are by family helping out, and me.

Question 8: Is there something that happened this week and put a big smile on your face?

Answer: Teaching Cl*nton. It was really hard, because I don't speak his language, and the other people there didn't know a lot of English, so we just taught basic basic, which is hard, but good. And they all really liked it. It was really fun.
Another Stone Money Bank

Sounds like you are going to be busy at Christmas. That was a really fun party. I am sad to miss it. I do remember that. Congrats on your masters. You are almost done. I know that you could do it. I had no doubt. Elder Mott's parents are just a little new with technology. Elder Mott said that if you guys would talk to them, they would love to her.

Question 9:   Do you like me to address you as Elder Meyer or Johnny?

Answer: It doesn't matter. I am good with both. Both of them make me happy.

Question 10:  Did you get a package this week? What was in it?

Answer: I got the ones with the chips and salsa, and the one with the brownies and pop rocks and cheese-its. You guys are the best ever. I love them.

Question 11:  How many people were at the Thool Branch church this week?  What did you do?

Answer: 23. It was good day. I taught the youth Sunday school.

Question 12:  Tell me all anything about Elder Mott?

Answer: He is awesome. He is great. He reminds me a little Shaun Fogleman. So we are having a lot of fun.

Question 13: What do you want us to send you for Christmas?

Answer: Maybe some white shirts. That would be good. Mine are pretty not white. I will think this week and let you know.

Question 14:  Tell me the funniest thing that happened this week.

Answer: Elder Mott being hot. He is hot all the time, and it is super funny. I am completely adjusted to the weather and he is totally not, and it is so funny how hot he is all the time, and how much he sweats.

Question 15:  Tell me a time when you felt the Spirit this week.

Answer: When we were teaching Cl*nton. It was such a basic way to teach the restoration, but the Spirit was there. It was really a good lesson, they understood. It was really good.

Question 16:  How are the people you taught and baptized doing?

Answer: Of the very recent ones. 2 are great. J*ne is not. Her x husband came and picked her up and we can't find her. A*guistine and his family are going to the temple this year, so they are doing great again.

Staheli - Hope you are great. I hope work and school are going well still. Things are about the same here on Yap. I am training a new missionary. It is really fun. Anyways, love ya.

Reed - I hope your sprained ankle gets better. On the bright side, you can play church ball and dominate everyone.

Letter to Everyone

Well, not too much other stuff has happened. I feel like I told you guys about the good stuff. I am super excited about Cl*nton. He is going to be awesome. We had a pretty good group at church. So that was good. We had 23. It was a drop from last week, but there was 2 babies born this past week. One on Oct 31st and one on Nov 1st. So that was pretty exciting. We have two brand new babies in the branch. That is pretty fun. Both are very excited about having a new baby.

We are still planning for a group to go to the temple. We are working with the members on that. It is all really exciting.

We went out looking for J*ne. We had no luck. I am really worried about her. Her husband just came and picked her up. I have not seen her in a couple of weeks. She is so great, and was so excited about this gospel, but now she is gone. We are going to keep looking for her, but I am just worried about her. M*ldon is great. He is one of the people who just had a baby. He is pretty excited. This is first baby that they have had. They are both really excited. J*hnny is still doing great. He loves this gospel, and loves going to church. He is super great. Once he was baptized, I was worried he would drop off, but he is doing fantastic. We are seeing more and more changes here.

After this next trip to the temple, better things are sure to come. It is all very exciting.

Well that is about it. Sorry it is short, but I am almost out of time.

I love you all so so much. You are the best family ever.

Love Elder Meyer

·         Question, if I send home some packages, would you not open them. There is stuff for you guys, that I don't want you to see.

·         Also did you guys send Ramiterre's scriptures. Because I don't have them yet.

·         Also a couple of members are asking if you could send a copy of the Book of Mormon Movie. Could you do that.

You guys are super great. I love you all so so so much.

You are the best family ever.