On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE Homecoming

I can not even begin to explain how wonderful it has been to have Eric home and to learn of his experiences.  Here are a few pictures of the big event of the YEAR!


As much as these 3 young men wanted to stall their trip down the escalators, we spotted them and they had no choice but to come down. 




The cool thing is these 3 missionaries entered into the MTC together, flew to Sacramento together and came home together!

We were very humbled to have our fabulous friends and family come and spend the day with us.  (Aunt Lois and Uncle Blaine)

These two were so happy to see each other again.  They have many fun stories of their many adventures since they were in elementary school.  (Jace Spencer)

It was a great day and I was so proud of Eric and the job he did on his talk in sacrament, not to mention the hard work on his mission.  He has been working hard to get a job, register for school, apply for scholarships, start his work out regimen again and help mom out at the theater.  (Oh yeah and also going on many dates, but who cares about that?)
We spent this past weekend in Sacramento and met many of the wonderful people he had the opportunity to work with.  They are such a loving people who took such good care of Eric while he was there, that I will be forever grateful.
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Big Count Down

This kid of mine, is FINALLY coming home!!  I can not explain how excited I am to see him again!
He will land in SL on July 22.  The really cool thing is, he entered the MTC with 2 other young men and went through the language lessons together, then flew to Sacramento together.  They will all walk off the plane together on their journey home.  What an incredible journey they have been on together and I am sure they will remain great friends through life. 
I truly look forward to where the road will lead these young men, more particularly Eric... Of Course. They have their whole life ahead of them.  I know Eric is very anxious to get his schooling lined up.
The first thing on his agenda is "Get a phone!"  .. Okay, first he needs to hug me!  :)

His mission report will be on July 27 at 11:00am at our chapel:
LDS Chapel/ Elk Ridge 3rd Ward
259 E Alpine Dr.
Elk Ridge UT 84651

If you can make it, we would love to have you join us!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

So Excited

Sometimes it feels like my whole life centers around July 22 at 1:08pm.  I can not tell you how excited I am for Eric to come home.  He has completed another round of scans, where the word must have been good, because there was no "word".  They wanted him to wait 3 hours to visit with a doctor about the results of his scans, and he told them "no way, call me if there is a problem." 
He feels great.  He looks Great.  Proof was our conversation with him on Mother's Day.


And yes they get a few precious moments to relax and enjoy life.

Life is great and the blessings of these missionaries touch, not only our family, but also families around the world because of the faith of these young men and women.

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's Offical

I have received the official word... Eric will fly home on Tuesday July 22!!  He will land at 1:08 pm, not to be to technical.  His Sacrament meeting will be on July 27 at 11:00.  Please mark your calendars.  We would love to have you come spend the afternoon with us.
Having said that, I need to chill on the excitement and allow him to finish his mission focused.... But still he gets to come home!!!!  I am so excited.  Have I mentioned that I have missed him?

He sent a few pictures this week in his email that I thought I would share with you.  As you can tell he looks great.  He will have his 6 months scans on May 1st, and we do not expect anything but good news.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Service

Today in Eric's email, he told this story.  After hearing the talks from General Conference about service, it just reconfirmed the importance of a kind "outreach" was to even complete strangers.  Here is his story:


This past week we had such a cool experience out in the hood.   We were walking down the street in Greensboro which is the hood even by Stockton standards. We were contacting Asian people when we came across a black man in his garage. We asked if he needed any help with anything and he said that he had it all under control. I asked one more time if he needed any help.

 Another man popped his head out and said "you really want to help?" I replied "of course".  He expressed a concern for our clothes that he did not want to get them dirty. I told me that I have plenty where these clothes came from because this is all that I wear.

 He then explained that he was moving and that no one was there to help him, I looked at the man next to him and he said that the only way he would help was if he paid the man. We told him that we would be happy to help after the appointment that we had in a couple of minutes. When I told him that we would come back, he did not believe me at all!

I told him that we would, we drove away in our car and I was sure that we were going to knock this guy’s socks off. I got on the phone to call the elders within the District.  You could imagine the guys look on his face when 8 white people showed up to help him move :)

We help the man moved out and into his new place in just about an hour. A job that would have taken hours to do by his self was done in just under the hour. This man’s name is Joey and he expressed his deep gratitude for our service to him to the point that he was in tears. He went on to explain that a couple of months ago he was homeless and that no one was there to help him out. But in the time of deep need the Mormons were there to help him out. He asked if he could give us a donation and I said that a handshake will do. And if he would allow our friends to come over would also be appreciated (elder missionaries). He said that the Mormons will always be welcomed by him. The spirit of service was strong, what was hard for one person was made light by the outreach of strangers. IT was a very special moment on my mission.

 

 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Extension?


Eric has been teasing me for some time about extending his mission past July.  I had mapped out the transfers, which gave me an idea of when he will be release, being July 17.   The mission president first told him he would fly home on July 20th, which Eric questioned that date because it is a Sunday.  The mission home came back and said that he will fly home on the 22nd. .  I have questioned him a couple of times at the accuracy and he now is calling this date a "mini extension". 

 I have not received the official word from the church, but we are going to assume he was granted his "mini extension". 

Regardless, I have a date!!!  I am so excited for Eric to come home.  He is still not ready to leave the people he has come to love, but.....

We have been working on his schooling.  It has fallen on my shoulders.  I am not going to lie, it has been challenging, because there are questions only Eric could answer.  So it took some to time to complete.  We are still working on the financial aid end of his schooling, but it looks like we are narrowing down the focus.

At this point he will be home Tuesday July 22 and his homecoming talk will be the 27th.  Please save the date and I will update the blog as soon as I get the official word.

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Asian Conference


 Eric had been preparing for an Asian conference with all the Missionaries serving the Asian people in Sacramento.  He had the opportunity to participate in and was able to learn more about the Asian Culture.  Here is a picture from that conference with all the Asian Elders and also a picture taken on his Preparation day. 

I am still waiting for information as to Eric’s release date.  He was given a date, but it did not make sense, so they are looking closer into his release date.  I am sure you will hear a celebration going on at our home, when I do receive the information..  I truly miss this kid and I am counting the days.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Listening

I received this letter from Eric and loved his story.  I was sharing the story with some friends when they requested a copy of the story because they wanted to share it with someone else.  So I figured I would share with you also.  I have to say that I love the stories and experiences he has had on his mission and to see the growth in him has made my heart proud.  Here you go:


So this morning I had a really cool experience.  I had just sat down to study and started to read the book of Mormon, I had a stupor of thought.  I then thought of one of our members who have been really struggling with health issues.  He is bed ridden and recently fell, which put him in the hospital where they performed surgery to put bolts in his hip.  With many tubes and IV’s over a week, he developed pneumonia.  He is now in a rest home recovering. 

As I sat in my study time I could not stop thinking of him and I heard a voice in my head saying “Go see him” I thought “No, this is study time.”  Then I heard “Now, go see him, Now!”  After hearing that I told my companion, Elder Haws that we need to go see him now.  With a confused face he said “Ok” and we went to the care center.  We arrived at the center and got to his room where he was grateful that we came and requested a blessing.  I offered him the blessing where the spirit was felt. 

After the blessing he explained that he was requesting the Elders, but no one understood because he only speaks Lao.  I then understood that the voice was the Spirit directing us to truly do the Lords work.  He needed the blessing then and we were able to give it because we followed the promptings of the Spirit.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Joy in Simple Things

Eric sent this email a couple of weeks ago, and I am sorry to say, that I have been slacking.  But it is defiantly worth posting... I sure loved it.  I will update the more current emails from him also... Stay tuned.



Hello there :)

So the mission is one that you really have to find joy in the simple sometimes.  Today we were shopping in Walmart and we were in the market for some jelly, to make some tasty sandwiches. The lord really blessed us :) why you may say, because Elder Hosman and I got the last Raspberry all natural jelly in the Store!! People were looking at us weird when we got excited and gave one another high fives over jelly :)

SO…. I have a great Ghetto story by popular demand haha.  Elder Hosman and I were out going to see a Mien member. We walked up to the door and have it a solid 5 knocks as usual. When out of nowhere, we heard pop pop pop pop pop pop!! We turned around to see a dark Blue Grand am Speed past as they put 8 bullets into a Ford Expedition. Nobody was hurt in the shooting but Elder Hosman and I were eyes witness to the whole thing. A man comes out of the house that was the place of the shooting and he was covered with tattoos from head to toe by the looks of it. It was very obvious that we were just in between an act of gang violence. Right away the man with all the tattoos called some of his "homies" and said " I know who it was and we got to get them *&%&*%@. The part that was really sad that after he got off the phone, 2 little girls came out of the house crying and needed some attention. The man called for a woman in the house to grab the kids and to take them somewhere else. They got out of the area and the cops showed up an hour later, the reason being that no one got killed so it was not high on the list of priorities. We had to give our statement to the police and we moved on our way knocking on a couple of doors. Haha :) oh the life in the Ghetto 

WELL I hope that no one is being shot at, it is a scary experience. I love you and appreciate you. Much love Elder Merkley

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Merry Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year

Our family would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 
We had a great time speaking with Eric on Christmas.  We actually got pretty "High Tech" and plugged the I pad into the TV, so he was on the "Big Screen".  and we were all able to sit on the couch and talk to him.  He was able to see and hear us all, so it was so much fun and I have to admit when you bring our family together, it gets a little crazy.

 
This is what he said in his email today:

Happy New Year!!!

This past week was such a great week here in the work. We saw a member in a family of ours be baptized this past weekend, her name is Karnyah. Her grandma and great grandma would come to church but this baptism of Karynah has really boosted up their testimonies and really helped them feel the spirit. After we worked with them and a lot of support from the members of the ward and love from the Savior they are completely active and fully receiving the blessings of the gospel. I am so grateful to be a part of the baptism and to see one more child of God enter into the fold. I am so grateful for the Blessing that I have seen with the Lao and the Meinh people. They have taught me so much over the past year and I know that there is nothing that I can do in order to pay them back or help them understand how much I care and love them all. One of the most important things that I feel like I have learned is that we all often live below our privileges within the gospel. No matter what it may be or how often we stay below that mark, we have so much more that is available  to us if we would truly open our heart and come unto Christ and allow him to shape our hearts. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his love, and at times when I want to get up and run, he blesses me enough to walk.

 

Much love Elder Merkley
 
In just a short 6 1/2 months left till he gets to come home!!  I say short, because I am trying to be positive.  I am so proud of him and love to see the spiritual growth he has had in his life that I know he will finish his mission out strong.  He keeps telling me he is going to extend his time in Sacramento and I had told him that I will drive that 10 hours and 34 minutes to grab him by his ears and drag him home... So we will see what Heavenly Father has in store for him.