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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A soldiers return home

I have never witnessed a military dignified transfer before, but it will be safe to say that it has changed my life and view on things.  As we go on with our dailies lives we forget that there is a war going on and men and women are targeted to be killed.  Some escape death, but come home seriously injured where their lives have been changed forever and we still go on with our lives.  I have always appreciated their service, but my appreciation has changed to a more deeper and humbling respect for the sacrifices that have been made in our behalf, so we may go to dinner with our friends and family and catch a movie to escape reality.  Cody Towse was worried that his sacrifices would go unnoticed.  We proved to him yesterday that we do care and we honor him.  We grieve with his family and will miss him deeply.  Thank you Cody. And Thank you to all the many other service men and women who are fighting for not only our freedoms, but also of those around the world who have and are suffering at the hands of evil. 



Monday, May 27, 2013

New from Sacramento

With everything that has been going on with Cody, I have failed to update you on Eric.  Last week he had a really cool email I would like to share.

Oh gees so where do I even begin?! This past week was a really good week in the work, we were able to see a lot of success with 8 member present lessons which really helped a lot of our investigators progress. We were also able to find a few people who make me really excited to teach and get to know them and help them receive the gospel.

We had a very special experience with a lady this past week. We told her to be ready to break down the walls between her and the Savior. Only then will we truly receive the blessing that he wants to give to us. We have really been trying to help her get a true solid answer that the church was true and that she had to be baptized. We meet with her and this is the story that she told us. “ I knelt down just before bed just like I always to, I said a pray to ask God if the church was true and to ask for help in revealing an answer. I ended my prayer and went to bed. As I was sleeping I had a dream that a man of great brightness came and appeared to me with very white hair and beard. The glory of this man was amazing that I cannot explain it. He told me that the church that I was learning about, was His church and that I need to enter into that church. He then showed me two young men in white shirts and ties next to him, they were elders. He then said the words" THESE ARE MY DISCIPLES LISTEN TO THEM".  She knew that the message was from God and that she had to listen to it. I think it was Jesus Christ :)

Eric was made District leader, which generally does not happen to the foreign speaking missionaries in Sacramento.  He has enjoyed learning more about leadership and working with the Mission President. 

This is what he said this week about the Mienh members. 

 All of the Mienh members love me. Ha ha They were all really impressed with how good my Mienh is already and say that I have a lot of potential in the language.  Whatever that means haha we will see what will happen :)


Calvin is the little guy that taught Eric how to pray.  Eric just loves this little guy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A fallen soldiers return home

Cody Towse is our friend, neighbor and an American Hero.  Cody was killed in action in Afghanistan last week.  He will arrive back to Utah on Wednesday at noon at the Provo airport.  There will be an honorable transfer ceremony and a military procession from the airport to his home in Elk Ridge Utah.  The procession will go through Main Street in Spanish fork, Salem and up Elk Ridge Drive.  If you are free and want to honor Cody and his sacrifice, please line the streets with your flags to welcome our fallen soldier home. 

The Funeral will be held at Salem Hills High school on Saturday June 1st at 11:00 am.  The closed casket viewing will be on Friday evening May 31 from 6 – 9 pm at 234 S Shayda Circle Elk Ridge Utah.

In lieu of flowers, The Towse family would ask donations be made to the PFC Cody Towse Memorial Scholarship Fund at any Wells Fargo bank branch.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memorial Day

Memorial Day will have a whole new meaning in our home.  For the 3rd time since Eric has left on his mission, we will need to inform him, that yet another friend of his is no longer with us.  Our neighbor Cody Towse was serving in Afghanistan and was involved in a deadly incident and is presumed dead.  While the Towse family awaits confirmation, our hearts and prayers go out to them.  I have always appreciated all the many tears, sweat and blood that has been shed in behalf of our nation.  But I have never been this close to the tears.

This is PFC Cody Towse

This is the Towse's home as the man from the military was leaving.  It is hard to see him, but this scene strikes fear in any family member that has members of their family serving in the military.

Cody, you will not be forgotten.  We honor you and your friends that have given their all.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mothers day

Any missionary mom will tell you that they literally wait by the phone for that special phone call on mother's day, well I was no different.  We had a great visit with Eric.  Our experiment with facetimeing with Tonya and Clint while skypeing with Eric did not work well.  So Tonya ended up listening in during our conversation via speaker phone. She did join in the conversation, but was limited.  Here was Eric's testimony in Meihn and Laotian.
It still amazes me that he can say and understand these 2 languages.  I am sure proud of him.
He is doing well and can not believe that he is coming up on his 1 year mark....I can!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Update from Sacramento

Eric gets pretty excited about packages.... especially from girls!!  :)

I have thought about making up my own stories to these pictures, but it may embarrass him, so.....Well he does deserve to be embarrassed...... Nah!

When people ask me how he is doing, all I can say is he is loving his mission!!  These pictures back up what I have been saying... He is just Happy, healthy, and high on life!

I am looking forward to my call on Sunday.  We are going to try something.  While we are skyping with Eric, we will be face timing with Tonya and Clint so they can be a part of the call.  So it should be interesting.  But I can not wait.

In his last email, he added this insight and I was impressed and loved it, so I wanted to share it.

I had an amazing spiritual moment this week.  When I was doing my studies I came across a scripture that really struck me deep to my core, it is in the book of Mormon,  1 Nephi 21 verse 16. It is when the lord is talking and he states “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands".  Never have I ever read a scripture that has hit me like that one did. It brought great reflection upon my relationship that I am able to have with my Savior, because of His personal atonement.  Not just for me but for all people. I feel now that I truly understand my purpose as a missionary and that is to help people know and strengthen their relationship with the Savior.


How grateful I am for that relationship, and the opportunity to build others.