|Waiting for his plane to come in.|
|Elder Joe Fuell and another Elder returning from Mexico City|
|Joe giving his mom the first hug|
|Joe hugging his Dad|
Well I'm sure most of you have seen these pictures. I wanted to conclude Joe's blog with a few words. The homecoming is a sweet miracle in itself and Joe is starting the transition from missionary to returned missionary. Our home is bustling with excitement still!!! It's been fabulous.
Over the last two years we have seen Joe's letters posted on this blog, sometimes with pictures and sometimes without. We have felt his love for the people of Mexico as he served them and taught them about the Restored gospel. Many have come to the knowledge of his message as he gave of his time, even two years, and were baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Having served a mission, I was so proud of Joe the day he decided to go on a mission. I was sad the day he left, not because he was serving a mission, but because I would truly miss him. At that time, I was reminded of the story of Abraham and Issac, when Abraham was asked by the Lord to sacrifice Issac, his son. It was an offering that the Lord had expected from Abraham (Genesis 22 3-19). Luckily Abraham didn't have to sacrifice Issac but it was representation of the Father sacrificing his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Brenda and I felt the same as Abraham in some ways (Not the killing part). Our son, our first born boy, was going away for two years and only be able to email us and call on Mother's day and Christmas. Family vacations were without Joe. The balance of the home felt a little off. Family prayers always included, "please keep Joe safe and watch over him and his companion." Stories of Joe were always recounted with "Do you remember when Joe did....." and current stories were about him teaching the gospel.
I look back at those two years with more understanding now then I did then. I felt the sacrifice was ours, but it wasn't.. It was Joe's sacrifice. I am even more proud of the way he conducted himself as a missionary and the offering he laid upon the alter. He gave his whole heart, time, and talents to the people of Mexico. His offering for the mission is now complete. He has developed into a great man.
Of the things that Joe has said on his blog, and even in his last letter, he conveyed his testimony of missionary work and of the Restored Gospel. After talking with Brenda, we have decided to echo his testimony in that we know that God lives and answers prayers. We know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the face of the earth. We know there is a living prophet who guides us and directs us. We know that we are not perfect and that we learn to be better each day and that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can return to live with Heavenly Father. We know that the priesthood of God is on the earth and can seal families together for eternity. We know that Joesph Smith was an instrument to bring forth the gospel in these latter days and that he was a prophet. We know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We believe the bible is the word of God. We love the gospel and like Joe, love to share what we know. If you really want to know like we know, get a copy of the Book of Mormon, read it and then pray and ask Heavenly Father if the things you read are true. There is a promise in the book that if you do those things, you will know for yourself.
Thank you all for following Joe and his adventures in Mexico. Thank you for being our friends and family. We love you all very much!!!!
Con muchisimo Amor,
Louie and Brenda Fuell