Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I think I spotted Johnny Meyer in this one :-)

Letter from Elder Meyer: Exceeded expectations (Q7).

Hello Everyone

Happy New Year to you all, Happy Birthday to Staheli, and Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad.


Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun snowboarding and stuff. I am glad one of us can enjoy the cold weather in some spots of the world. Glad you have enjoyed having work off. I hope no one died because you took a couple days off of being a spy. ha ha

Question 1: What has changed most in regards to the local church leadership on Yap?

Answer: Their understanding of missionary work. Yesterday at church, Pres. Jim said that OUR (as in all of us) goal for 2014 people baptized is 45 on Yap. So they are beginning to understand that it is them who do things. As a whole, the branches are doing better not relying on missionaries for things to. So they are taking their role of leaders even more seriously.

Question 2: Can you share more details about those on the “outer islands.”  Members in particular. Why do they live off the main Yap Island?

Answer: Well, that is their home. That is where most of them were born and raised. They just come here to get stuff because there is more stores here than out there. People come here and get baptized.
Now that they are members, they stay for a while and learn and grow in the church. Then they go back home to their island. They sometimes forget everything they learn. Members just want to go back home. Even though there is no church there.

Question 3: What is your favorite doctrine to teach, and why?

Answer: Restoration. It is different from normal churches. People get interested most of the time about Prophets.

Question 4: What is your favorite commandment to teach about, and why?

Answer:  I like to teach the Word of Wisdom because everyone knows about it here.. that Mormons shouldn’t chew beetlenut,  and then once they start learning about it, it changes what they normally think about us. They still don't really like it, but they understand it better.

Question 5: How many lessons and with member’s present this week?    Answer:  20 lessons and 8 with a member present. Pretty good.

Question 6: We received a package from you in a box.  Is this the one we should NOT open until you return?

Answer: That would be the best. It has a lot of stuff for you guys. If you feel like you need to open you can, you won’t know what is yours though.

Question 7:  Has your mission exceeded your expectations? If so, explain how.

Answer: Yes. I didn't know how much fun it is to serve a mission. It is a ton of work yes, but it is also so much fun. I didn't know it would be this fun. I have seen way more people baptized than I thought I would… so that is pretty great to. And I feel so connected with the people here. I just never felt that with the missionaries in Chico. Maybe it is because I have been on the same island my whole mission.


So does each missionary have an iPad or is it for the companionship? That is still pretty cool. A couple of missionaries here are really really excited about the iPads. They have emailed their friends on missions to see if they have one. Do you know if they are shipping the world wide if so when?

Question 8:  How old are the boys you are watching?   Answer:  One is 17 the other 14.

Question 9:  Tell me about a time this week when you felt the spirit directing you to do something.

Answer: To go see a less active family. I will tell you below. Her son could be baptized soon.

Question 10:  How was church?  How many were there?  What did you do?

Answer: It was great. a really good Sunday. Things just went well with a lot of people there. They were 25ish in the smaller Thool branch. I taught the youth class it, was fun.

Question 11:  Describe a typical lesson - who does what and what do you teach about the most?

Answer: We teach the restoration the most. It is the best lesson. There is no set order for things we just take turns teaching.  We mostly just listen to the spirit. We prepare for the lesson, but we try to follow the spirit. I am not sure if there is a typical lesson. Most of the time they vary because the people are different. If that makes sense.

Question 11: Any packages this week?  What was in them?  Answer: Nope, but maybe today. Have not gotten mail yet.

Question12: We are sending a package this week.  What should we put in it?

Answer: Pistachios. and cheez-its and pop-tarts.  That would be awesome.

Question 12: Tell me about the senior couple - the Strothers?

Answer: They are very musical and are very involved in branch activates. They are full of little games that they do. They had like 12 kids and so they are good at keeping people entertained. They have a wonderful spirit and are really connecting with the people here. It is going really quite well.


So skiing was fun, yeah. That is good. Dad said you guys had fun. Just want to wish you a happy birthday. I hope you get to do something fun.


School is starting here, so i imagine yours starts soon too. I am sure that you enjoyed your break. How is basketball going? Are you leading Chico 2 to victory?

Letter to Everyone

Alright what is new here? Not a whole ton from this week. But man oh man was Sunday good. We have been trying to see a less active with an active member. She has not come to church for a long time. So that is not good, right. Well… we get in contact with her and guess what. She came yesterday. It was super good. I was really surprised that she did. And even better, she has a son who is 7 years old. His birthday is on Feb 4. We are going to work with them to have him baptized on that date. It would be really cool, and what a better way to come back to church than helping your son make covenants with God. Should be pretty motivated. So that is going to be awesome.

We had 2 investigators at church. One named T*resa. She is J*sse's mom. She is really interested right now. We have taught her off and on since I got here, and now she is really interested so that is awesome.  She could be baptized this month is we are able to teach her everything and is able to live the word of wisdom. She is going to be great.

The other was R*lphf*rd. He is great. He is super excited about the church. His mom is a member and his brother, well half-brother is none other than A*gistine. So that is great right. I have been trying to get his mom, L*yan, to come for a while, and she did. So that is great. R*lphf*rd could be baptized this month too. It would be really great.

We have got a couple of great potentials named J*vin and J**qin. They are great. They just need to get to church. They will be great as soon as they come. They are two really good boys. We will see what happens.

Well that is about it.

I love you guys so so much.

You are the best.

Love Elder Meyer

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter from Elder Meyer: Packages finally arrived. Grateful.

Hello Everyone

It was really fun to talk to you guys. [Note: We got to speak with Johnny on the phone Christmas Day). I really enjoyed it. You all sound like you are doing really good. It is hard to believe the New Year is almost here. It seems like yesterday that I left to come here.


I bet there is $193, but I have not seen how many coins there are. Sounds like the new movie was pretty good. Was it like a documentary or something else?

Question 1: You mentioned there have been 4 fires on the island since July 2012.  Why so many and how do they start?

Answer:  I am not sure why there are so many. Seems strange. How they started well, some from kids and others where from people burning there land to clean it and it getting out of hand.

Question 2: How many lessons this week?

Answer:  It was a tough week. Christmas really messed with us this year. We only had 17, but 8 was with a member present, so not terrible.

Question 3: When do the sisters come back to the island?

Answer: They are back now. They came in on the plane Saturday night.

Yap Zone

Question 4: What are you most looking forward to for this coming week?

Answer: Umm… let’s see. I think having a lesson with J*ven and his family. We should be doing that tomorrow.

Question 5: Do you have any personal goals that you are thinking about setting for 2014?

Answer: Keep going strong on my mission, and advance my Yapese.

Question 6: Did you get to do any service this week?

Answer: Yes, we helped clean up the church. It was pretty fun. We were supposed to start at noon, but nobody showed up for a while, but we got it all done.


I was really surprised about that. The phone there is really really old. Not sure if that was the reason though. The cell phone worked alright. It only dropped a couple of times.

Question 7: Today was Melanie's farewell. What do you remember from your farewell?

Answer: Not much really. I just remember everyone saying that I gave a good talk. And one of the young women played the song about the stripling warriors and I believe you were crying.

Question 8: Did you get any packages?  What was in them?

Answer: Yes I got 2 packages. They were great. The scriptures and carving tools. The other was chocolate. Both awesome. I got some pictures of the scripture sets with the people. Everyone loved them they were all so so happy.  The chocolate was great. I am loving every minute of it. How much money did you spend on the chocolate? Because I think that if I bought all of that here it would be close to $250 worth.

Question 9:  How was the Christmas program on Yap?

Answer: It didn't happen. I wanted them to do it so bad, but all of them gave up. I will give it to the branch and maybe they will use next year.

Question 10:  Is there a celebration for New Years on Yap?  If so, what do they do?

Answer: Last year the school made a "float" and drove it around the island. It was just a car decorated with leaves. They drove around and honked their car horns. This year not sure what they will do.

Question 11: How was church yesterday?  Did you attend the Thol branch?  How many were there?  What did you do?

Answer:  Church was good. Yep, I still go to Thol. We had 20 there. It was an alright attendance. Surprisingly all I did was lead the music. The people that are supposed to teach prepared lessons. It was great.

Question 12: How do you cool your apartment down now that you don't have an air conditioner?

Answer: Well, it is really windy at my house, so it is pretty easy, you just open the windows. It cools me down. I still sleep with a blanket. ha ha.

Question 13: Do you hear from any Elders that have gone home from Yap?

Answer: Elder Tueller emailed me. He said that he is going on lots of dates that his brother is setting him up on.

Staheli - It was great to talk to you. I am really glad that your presentation went well. Did it help you advance in the company you are working for?

Reed - School starts again soon. Have fun with that. What is your plan for you last couple of days off?

To Everyone:

Let’s see what is new. The party was pretty fun. No acting though. I was sad about that. Everyone seemed to be having fun with it though. So that was good. We might get a couple new investigators from that day. There were several non-members there. I talked to them, we will see if the parents allow it though. It should be interesting.

We talked with J*** about the temple.  She didn't understand what was going on there and how they are different that chapels. It was a good discussion. She was really interested in them. So that was good. Maybe she will go in 2014. I think she would like to. Most of the active members in the branch are endowed now. I think that is pretty awesome.

Not sure what else there is to say.

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

I am not sure how I can ever thank you for all you do for me and the people I care about here. I am forever in your debt.

Love you
Elder Meyer

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Letter from Elder Meyer: Christmas eve cleaning property (Q2). “Yapese are clean people” (Q5).

Yapese Christmas Tree

Hello Everyone

I am trying to go fast, so we get the times for us to talk to each other on Christmas squared away. Next week, I am not sure what is going on, so I am trying to figure it out now.


Sounds like mom's party was a success. Sounds like you had a lot to do with it. $940 in fast food. That would kill me. When I went to go pick up Elder Mott from Guam, I had some fast food, and my stomach was killing me. I could not imagine eating $940 worth.  [Explanation from Dad: I had an unathorized $940 charge on my personal credit card from a fast food restaurant. Card has been cancelled J  ]

We sent drawing books to the island for the kids to use


Congrats again on the Master’s degree. That is really awesome. Sounds like you had some delicious food at the party. I am sad I missed it all. Did you save any for me? ha ha.

Question 1:  Did you get any packages this week?  What was in them?

Answer: Nope. I am a little worried about the ones you sent. I have not gotten mail today, so maybe they will be here today. I am really hoping the scriptures will be here so I can give them to the people.

Question 2:   What are you doing on Christmas Eve?

Answer: Well, we need to clean the property around the church this year on Christmas eve, but after that, we will have some family home evenings with some people.

Question 3:  What are you doing on Christmas Day?

Answer: Maybe a baptism from Colonia's branch, maybe not, and the Strothers are having a Christmas party for us. So we are going to do that.

Question 4:  Are there any recommendations on how long we talk or when you talk on Christmas?

Answer: Nope. I like what we have done in the past. You guys ask questions, and I will think of some questions for you guys. Besides that you guys can choose it all.

Question 5:  Share one Yapese Christmas tradition that you have observed?

Answer: Christmas lights go up at all the catholic churches, and there is always a Christmas light cross. It would be nice to see a star.  What else… I guess this one is in the states. Everyone is really nice. People from other churches are really nice to us this time of year.  By Yapese law, all the villages have to clean their property before Christmas. Not sure if that is a tradition though. Yapese people are clean people.

Question 6:  Do people carol (sing Christmas songs going house to house) in Yap?

Answer: Nope. We did last year as missionaries, I am not sure if we are going to do it this year.

Question 7:  Have you found any interesting nativity sets on Yap?

Answer: They don't sell any here. I am having someone carve you one that is very Yapish though. I think you will like it.

Staheli - Glad you can be home for Christmas. I am very excited to talk you and here about your presentation.

Reed - Dad says that you guys play ping pong a lot. He says that you will never beat him. Good luck. You better practice because we have a ping pong table here and I have gotten pretty good.

Quote from Elder Meyer, "Me and the moon outside my home"

To Everyone

Let’s see what is new. This was a pretty tough week. We had a lot of lessons, but it was just a hard week. We did do a lot of service this week. It was good, but teaching is so much fun. We helped people clear out an area so they can build a house and we helped in a taro patch and some other stuff. It was pretty good. It took a while though.

We are going to have a Christmas party in the Thool branch, and they would like to act out the nativity scene. Do you think that you could email me a copy of what we say and the songs we sing in the order pretty fast. That would be great. I am going to record the whole thing so I will send it home after. I think it will be pretty fun and pretty great all at the same time. That is about all that is new. I am really excited to talk you guys on Thursday. I can't wait love you all.

Love Elder Meyer

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Letter from Elder Meyer: Fire on the Island! First baby blessing and not so easy to say. View from front door.

Hello Everyone !

Yap Island Stick Dance -- VIDEO

Things are going pretty good. M*ldon and his family are going back to their island in the outer islands. We are going to miss them. They came because they were going to have a baby. The baby is very healthy and guess what? We named and blessed the baby. Guess who was voice? That’s right, me. It was pretty fun. It was a little bit strange too. It was the first time I did that. Now, when I eventually have my own baby, it won’t be the first one that I have named and blessed. I was joking with the parents that I was going to name the baby Meyer Jr. It was pretty funny. They were laughing. The baby's name is Trayden Blake Hashigairig. Yep, you try saying that. It was really hard. Yapese names, no problem, outer island names… really hard.

 Yap Island Fire -- VIDEO

Church was pretty good. We had only 15 people there. We were missing a couple of families because of the temple trip. They flew in really late and were really tired. So hopefully there should be more this week. I taught the youth. It was pretty fun. I really like teaching them. They are a good group. I little bit small, but really good.

As for calling me for Christmas, I will give you a number next week. As for the time, could you please give me a list of times that are best for you and then I will let you know what time is best for me. Like what we did last time. I think that works pretty good. I have no land line now. So I might go to the church and have you call that or maybe just the cell phone. We will see.

Dad’s Questions

Question 1:  Describe your best teaching moment this past week?

Answer: Talking about the priesthood and it was not being understood, then the Spirit just came and it all made sense to him.

Question 2: What service did the missionaries get to render this past week?

Answer: We helped clear a spot for a member to build a house.

Question 3: How many lessons, and with member’s present?   Answer: 20 and 8.

Question 4: Any details you can share about the temple trip that must have happened by now?  Like numbers, were they new members… anything at all would be wonderful.  I pray for them all the time regarding the temple.

Answer:  It was great. I am not sure what the number of people went this time. Some of them were new members like A*gistine, and others were older ones. It was really really good. I talked to some of the people, and they all just said that it was awesome, and they want to go back.

Question 5: What Christ-like attribute do you feel has been most developed over the past 1 ½ years while you’ve been serving this mission?

Answer: Patience and Love.

Question 6: Is Beatlenut still the biggest challenge for people joining, or are there other things too?

Answer: That one, and getting to church, are the hardest here.

Question 7: Are there any unique family traditions that you like from the people on Yap?

Answer: I am not sure. The families here just really like to sit and talk with each other.

Question 8: If you were to see me walking on a path in Yap Island next week what would you do?  Pick your answer from:

a.       Run up and hug me.
b.      Run the other direction because the mission rules encourage that not to happen.
c.       Send your companion ahead to talk with me, but stay a distance.
d.      Something else ________________________________

a.    Run up and hug me.  I would definitely do this. 

Question 9: What put the very biggest smile on your face this past week and what are you looking forward to smiling about this coming week?

Answer: We were teaching with some young men and the used the word sometimes after everything, so then one of them to the other said "do you chew betelnut" and the other one said sometimes, oh, wait, no. It was so funny. I am looking forward to teaching R*lford and his family. They are going to be great.


Sounds like the Christmas party was a blast. We are going to have one on the 28th. I am not sure what the plan for that is.

Question 10: Did you get a package this week?  What was in it?   Answer: I have not gotten the mail yet. So I am not sure.

Question 11: How are things going with the Sisters?

Answer: They are really doing well. They are having lots of member support to help them figure this place out.

Question 12: You said you were the district leader. What area makes up your district?

Answer: Well, all of Yap is our district. We are small, so the District and the Zone are the same thing.

New white shirt... Old white shirt.

Question 13: You moved!  Please send pictures/video of your apartment, inside and out. It would be awesome to see the view out your window!

Answer: It is awesome. I wake up to a beautiful sunrise every morning.
View from front door of new apartment

Question 14:  I never remember you mentioning Gagil. Where is that?  Are there any members in that area?  Where do you go too church?

Answer: It is the same church as Thool. There is only one on this side of the island. If you look on a map Gagil is on the left side under the two islands that are a little bit separated. I covered it the whole time I have lived in Thool, just not very much work happens there. There are a couple members that live there, I am not sure where there house is though.

Question 15: You haven't said much about the new CES couple. Talk a little about them. Do they have a blog?

Answer: Not sure if they have a blog. They are really nice. SIster Strother (wife) calls us here boys. She is super great. They are really good cooks and are a ton of fun. They are really musical too. It is really fun. They want to do a Christmas party for the missionaries. It should be really great.

Question 16: Who are you teaching right now?

Answer: R*lford, J*ven and J*ff. They are all doing pretty well. They didn’t go to church, so they are not doing the best, but they are really interested. T*resa is the mom of a member named J*sse. I have been trying to teach her for a while, and nothing, now she is really interested.

Question 17:  Any baptisms this week?   Answer: Unfortunately, no.

Question 18: What is your plan for p-day?

Answer: I think that we are going to play basketball. It should be really fun.

Staheli - Hear you went skiing. I am sure that was great. Dad said that he went down a black diamond, did you go down too, or were you smarter than that?

Reed - Have fun with basketball. The team is really going to need your help especially if there are only 4 people playing. You need to hold up the Meyer family tradition of winning!!

Grandma - Merry early Christmas. Hope you are doing great. I sure do love you. I think that we might act of the Nativity scene here like we do at your house. It should be fun.

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

Love, Elder Meyer