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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Our family wishes your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!! There is so much to be grateful for to even begin to list. Most importantly we have been so grateful for a year of continued strengthening of our not only our physical bodies, but also our family ties and faith.  This was our first Thanksgiving with Eric in the mission field and we surely missed him.  Daryl and Eric usually keeps everyone entertained with their bantering and without Eric, Daryl was like a lost ship.  Good thing we had Macklyn to entertain us. 

I finally got my email for the week yesterday and here are a few stories that Eric shared with me…

Don’t worry I am not starving!  Thanksgiving should be interesting with all of the Lao people, as of right now I have to go to 4 thanksgivings today in a 7 hour period!  :(  They are all Lao so it’s more like 10 thanksgivings!  I don’t know how I am going to do it but it should be interesting.. . . . . pray for me!
A funny story:    Lao people are very up front.  I showed my leg to a Lao lady for the first time (she is 74) and the first thing that she did was grab onto it pulling on it in all different directions!   haha The thing was my leg was still attached to me!!   But that’s how Lao people are, haha, man they are awesome.

Eric and his companion are starting to help the Lao members work on their family histories, but where there are very little records, this task could become challenging.  The interesting thing is, this will be a HUGE learning experience for Eric, because he has not been exposed to any family history work in our home.  I know I am slacking, but he will see firsthand the many different blessing that will come from connecting the families together with these people he has grown to love.  I am pretty excited for him, then maybe he can show me when he gets home.  J

The best part of his email was that he said that as he sat down with a family on Wednesday night for their Thanksgiving dinner (like our family here in Elk Ridge Utah), this is what he said:

Don’t worry as you were having Thanksgiving, I was too.  We were at thanksgiving with a family last night on Wednesday night and it was good and it felt like home, but not quite the same thing for sure, I will never take family gatherings for granted again, but I am not home sick sorry :).

I am so glad he is not home sick, I know he is busy and doing well.  That is all I can ask for.
Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 12, 2012

So much to catch up on.

I have received great letters this past week and emails, so I will try to catch you up on the life of Elder Eric.  Here are a couple of stories in his words:


Things have been getting pretty interesting with the whole election thing and we are always asked what we think about it. One night we just left an appointment and we were walking down the street and this guy jumped out of his car and ran up to us.  He asked us if we were missionaries, I looked at my tag and said “duh”! JK I said “yeah”.  He then asked me if I was going to vote for Romney?  After he said that I knew that this was going to get interesting. Especially when I noticed that his breath stunk of alcohol. I told him that as missionaries we have no political opinion and that we do not share what we think. He then said I didn’t ask you that,… who are you voting for? I repeated my first response. He then got so upset at me because I would not giving him the answer that he was looking for.  He then went on to talk and preach to us about everything under the sun, that we live under a rock and that we need to be us and that we are floating through space, literally everything under the sun. During this time I just thought “oh my this is not going to end”.  He preached to us for 45 minutes on the side of the road! We told him that we needed to go and he still would not leave. I happened to glace down and I saw that he had a camera and he was recording the whole time! I asked him what the camera was for and he got really awkward and finally left.  THANK YOU!! So if you see me on YouTube you now know why.  haha

This week in the mission was a little slow, but I did have one cool experience that was a bit different.  We went to go teach a family that is less active with hopes to get them back to the church.  We got to the house and knocked and all of the lights were off, which meant that they of course ditch on the appointment.  We knocked once again and this old Lao guy opened the door that happened to be blind, which explains all of the lights being off.  We started to talk to him and he invited us to come in and talk more with him.  The lights remained off for the whole time that we were teaching him. It was definitely  a different experience, but hey we got a return appointment with him I guess it doesn't matter whether or not the light are on because the light of Christ will always shine on :) it was so cool because as he was talking with me, he asked me if I was Lao. I told him “no I am white” and he was surprised! He thought I was Lao!!!   How sweet is that!!   He said that I sounded Lao!  haha I think that he is just being nice but still it made me feel good.

Another cool thing is that I got my adult Lao name which is “Sombat” which means everything good of treasure of great worth, gees these Lao people just know me so well!   haha :)

We heard the very sad news about the Blodgett’s little angel who was called home.  My heart truly broke for them.  I did tell Eric about their story and he said that he thinks of Steven all the time and feels for their heartache at this time.  Please keep them in your prayers at this time of grief and Steven; I still believe that your family is pretty darn lucky to still have you here!  You are a winner and we have felt honored to have known you!  Keep up being such a great example to everyone around you! And as Sonja says, “Please hold your loved ones a little tighter tonight”