On Tuesday, March 8, at approximately 9 PM EST, President Verne Ernst of the Roswell GA Stake, called Robert and Becky to inform us that President Hannemann of the Apia Samoa Mission had contacted him. The decision had been made for Elder Erickson to immediately return home for medical treatments due to his ailing foot. This decision came after much consultation with medical personnel and church authorities in Samoa, New Zealand and Salt Lake City. Given the short time left in Elder Erickson’s assignment, he will not return to his full-time missionary duties after treatment and has been issued an honorable medical release.
We were able to speak via phone to Elder Erickson Wednesday evening (EST).
“This is my Mother’s Day call,” Doran said.
Elder Erickson’s spirits are high and his emotions about leaving are mixed – not unlike any returning missionary. He is proud of what the Lord was able to accomplish through him and feels at peace with this decision. As noted in his previous email, “Even if we’ve got plans and goals (and they may be worthy and great) they may not be exactly what Heavenly Father has in mind.”
Elder Erickson doesn’t have a definitive diagnosis at this time – Becky calls it funky foot. Previous bouts of infection have responded (slowly) to treatment, however, the latest recurrence of his boils/blisters/sores/wounds appears to approach a new level of severity and comes only 2.5 weeks after treatment. He is currently in the middle of a round of a new oral antibiotic, foot creams and salt water soaks. Additional treatment will be sought for him upon his arrival.
Elder Erickson is schedule to arrive at the Atlanta airport at midnight Saturday, March 12 via Delta Flight 1228. NOTE: His flight is actually scheduled to arrive at 12:25 AM on Sunday, but too many people can’t figure out if 12 AM is a curfew or lunch time, so to make it easy, his arrival is during the dark time before you go to church on Sunday, not after. Please join us at the airport if your schedule permits.
On behalf of our entire family, please accept a huge “Thank You!” for your prayers, emails, inquiries and words of support for Elder Erickson. We are thrilled with the work Doran has done in Samoa and can’t wait to welcome him home.
Robert and Becky Erickson and Family
P.S. Funky foot photos available on request! :0