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 13, 2013

Interesting Week

This week there were a couple of things that really made me excited about the Mienh program in the upcoming weeks. We had heard that there was a group of Mienh people who get together for food and to talk at a local place.  All are welcome, so me and Elder Lassley deiced that we would go and make our presence felt. The room was filled with about 100 Mienh people and they were all talking, which was really loud, but I assure you that as soon as Elder Lassley and I stepped into the room it went dead silent, as they all turned and looked at us. I did the only thing that I could and that was to start talking Mienh to all of them. The room burst into cheers and excitement as they saw a white guy speak their language. One of the people in charge came up and tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around to have a microphone placed in my hand and I was then ushered up to the stage so that I could address the whole group. I was told not to preach, so instead I told them all that we were here to serve them and that we would be back next week. They are now expecting us to sing a song for them.

Cool news, I am now a translator for the state of California in the language of Lao. How did this happen you say? This past week I got a call to go translate, at the state capital, to help one of the Lao members from Stockton to receive their citizenship. He had to take a live test from someone and he needed a translator and they call me. :) It was interesting because we went into the room and they swore us both under oath and then really swore me in good.  Most of the questions on the test were easy but some were hard.  Some of the questions I did not know let alone a Lao guy who does not speak English. He still passed and is now a US citizen :)

Last week he told me about how he is referred to as the “robot missionary” in his ward. This made me laugh, but I have always appreciated Eric’s attitude.  The last thing he wants to do is make the fact that he has a prosthetic leg awkward, instead treats it like a fact of life and can come up with some really funny stories. 

All in all, my missionary in Sacramento is doing well and loves what he is doing.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Biggest, meanest looking, most crazy eyed....

I was out in an apartment complex on my way to an appointment that we had set up, walking along the way, I hear a loud bark, I turned around and I saw the biggest, meanest looking, most crazy eyed, blood thirsty, vicious Chihuahua! And it was coming straight at me. I didn’t think much of it and kept walking when the crazy little thing bit me right on the right leg (I felt it, real leg) that sucker hurt and I got pretty angry at the little rat. I moved toward the rat to punt it over the fence when it ran away and I could not get to it. I thought to myself “gees why did the stupid dog have to bite me and above all why did it have to choose the leg that I would feel!"  

 In a letter from Eric, he told another story that still makes me laugh, here you go:

 I was teaching Relief Society about repentance and the tones in the Mienh language finally got me…So the first step to repentance is to feel a “Godly sorrow”, right?  The word for deep sorrow is “nZauh” which has a mid falling tone.  What did I end up saying, you ask?  Well… instead of saying “First in order to repent we need to feel a deep sorrow”.  I actually said…. “First in order to repent we need to feel our feet.”  Half of the Mienh ladies were deeply confused and the other half were all laughing.  They told me what I said and I quickly corrected it.  That was the first time on my mission that a tone got me… (Probably the first time they laughed about it and told him what he really said).   

When Eric was telling me that he only had 9 more transfers to go, … well I had to figure out when he would be coming home.  I mentioned in my email what date I figured out and he told me to “Stop it right now!”  I know he loves his mission and does not want time to speed up, but I am sure looking forward to the special day in July!!  J