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.
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, April 7, 2014
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
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.