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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The big Dunk

Eric had a great week this week, here is what happened:

So this was an awesome week in the mission, we had a baptism of a 9 year old boy in a family that we have been working with to get them active again.

We have them coming to church again and we were able to baptism the boy in the family. His name is Ben and he is a total stud. We were talking with him about a week ago and we got to the point to where we were able to dunk him and we asked him." hey Ben, when do you want to be baptized?" He was like "how about this Sunday? haha We said sure why not? So he just had his baptism yesterday and I will get to confirm him in the upcoming week.

Yesterday was just as good of day for a 12 year old kid from a less active family that we have been working with, that has come back in to activity. They asked me if i would confer the priesthood to him :) so yesterday I had a baptism and I also got to confer the priesthood to another boy that we have been working with in the English work. It was such a rewarding day and I'm glad it came. I have been soooo busy the past week, a lot of the days we had to skip lunch and sometimes dinner. Our area is soo close to really taking off. we have been working our butts off. Hopefully we will be dunking people left and right. It is all starting to come around.

What an exciting week for him to see the progress.  In his letter last week he said that he has offically started to learn Meinh.  When he went into the mission home to pick up the nessecary tools to learn the langage they gave him a Meinh dictionary and Bible and told him good luck.  He is still with Elder Cheney who speaks Meinh and will remain companions with him until November.  He said that after 1 week, he could read Meinh, but has a goal to be speaking and understanding at least 50% by next transfer.  The excitement just radiates from his emails and letters, I love it.


Monday, January 14, 2013

A little overwhelmed

In today's email from Eric, he definitely sounded overwhelmed.  Here is the news of his new assignment.

So one thing that I have come to realize is that the lord really loves to push me to me limit. Looking back in the past few years I have been pushed to my limit with the chemo, physically, when I was almost ready to give up. Now that I am on my mission he is pushing me spirituality and I am really finding out my true testimony.  I truly am finding out who I really am as a person. So I have physically and spiritually taken care of and I am now working on them all and they say that a mission is all mental right?!  No need to worry the lord has found a way to push me to my limit. This past week I had my interview with President Lewis.  He talked with me about the usual things and such.  Then he delivered the news how I will be pushed mentally.  It went a lot like this: "Elder Merkley, I have really been impressed with the missionary that you have become in the short amount of time, and the lord is also. I have been praying and fasting for you and the lord has told me that you are to be assigned to labor with the Mienh people. The lord needs you to learn the Mienh language in order to serve the people. In this time you are to continue your studies in the Lao and Thai languages as well.  Are you willing to accept this call?" My heart dropped and I took a deep breath and accepted.   He continued “Elder Merkley the lord needs you to do this for his children and he needs the spiritual gifts that you have, with the Lord’s help you will learn all 3 of the language assignments you have been called to do. I promise you that."

 Just when I thought that things could not get any crazier, they did and now the wave of responsibility on my shoulders to carry out the mienh work. In a matter of seconds, I went from being 1 of 6 in the world to being 1 of 2 in the world. This will be lot to take on.

Just a little back ground on the Mienh people, they are from Laos and spend all of their time up in the mountains farming rice. There is no connection between the Lao and Thai language.   The Mienh people are the equivalent to the American Indian in the US but in Laos. And I have been called to speak this language. The gift of tongues is real.

I could feel his anxiety as I read his email.   While he was in the MTC he was told in to be prepared to be asked to learn Mienh.  Which he thought would be way down the road, if the call was even issued.  So this did not come as a surprise to me, but I have so much confidence in him to learn the language.

Every time I speak to the mission nurse, she tells me that there is something special about Elder Merkley, which of course I love hearing and it brings a smile to my face.  Like I have said in the past, I do not know what Heavenly Father has planned for Eric, but it will be fun to watch…. Even if it is from afar.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Video Message from Eric

Here was a message Daryl recorded from Eric while talking to Eric via Skype:
In his email to day he said this about pday's   I have to admit I was not expecting him to feel this way about his pday's.

"This week has been a bit different from the rest of the time I have been on my mission, with back to back weeks of full day pdays.  You think would it would be nice, but no they are not.  They suck I feel so lazy! But its ok they are like the only 2 full pdays out of the year so it is not too bad. It just is not the same when you are not out working. As I get further into my mission I see pday as more of a burden the a relief haha."

We had the opportunity to see some of our favorite friends on Friday.  The Blogetts and Wrights came down and watched a movie with us.  Here is a picture of our morning.

I think we better watch out for Tim, because...  I think he has noticed girls, much to Steven's disgust.  :) Even though I told Tim that girls had cooties, he was not buying it.  Good thing he can run fast again to get away from them.  :)