Friday, May 3, 2013

Signing Off---Thank you for all your prayers and support.

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

Sibling Attack!!!

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

My last great week in Mexico City!!!

It has been an amazing week here in Mexico.  It must have been the quickest week of my life.  We had our zone confrence on Wedensday.  President Valadez had Elder Poston, Elder Anderson and I share our testimonies with the two zones.  It was a cool experience.  I have been in the zone Ermita for 6 months now and I have made lots of friends here.
We went to the temple on Friday, that was super cool.  The Temple here is very unique and it was just an amazing experience to go and feel the spirit and peace that is always there.
We put three baptisimal dates this week.  It was the first lesson for each one of them.  We just came and we said "we are here to baptize you and this is why . . . (restoration of the Gospel) . . . so will you get baptized on this day?" It was pretty cool because they were really cool people that we found.  I will have to stay in contact with Elder Escobedo so I can hear about their baptisms and progression in the church.
Congrats Katie with your board exam and Dal qualifying for state, and Dave being a beast at running ha ha.
I just want to thank everyone for all the support that I have recieved durring these last two years, especially from my parents and my family.  I also want to thank all the people who followed my blog,  I hope you enjoyed reading my letters and that your testimony has been strengthened, I enjoyed writing them!!  It was always a testimony builder for me to look back at my week and see the hand of the Lord in my work.
I want to thank all the awesome people of Mexico City who ever listened to me and let me into their home. The people here are the best!! I want to bare my testimony to all of you that I know that we have a Heavenly Father who cares for us and helps us in our lives.  I know that Jesus Christ died so we can live and suffered for our consolation.  I know that this, The gospel of Jesus Christ (the things we need to do to return to live with God) has been restored to the earth through a prophet of God.  The Book of Mormon is eveidence of that Restoration.  I know that prayers are heard and answered. I wouldnt say these things unless I knew that they where true.  I love you all.
Con todo el amor de mi corazón,
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, April 22, 2013

One more week!!!

It has been an amazing week of work here in Mexico!! I have really enjoyed just working as hard as I can.  The week went by so fast and we saw a ton of miracles.  This week was my last complete work week because this next week we have zone conference and the President said we should also go to the temple this Saturday.  We are pretty stoked about that!!!  I was pretty bold this last week, even more than normal.  It was pretty fun just to go all out.....I contacted a guy in the street and I said, hello, we are representatives of Jesus Christ and we are here to baptize you and your family!  He looked really surprised,  ha ha.  He accepted to have an appointment with us and his whole family on Wednesday and he asked us if we really knew how to baptize people.  It was a great opportunity to bare our testimonies of the Restoration.
We also saw lots of miracles with the investigators.  Maricarmen said that she wanted to be baptized too on the 28 of April, which was awesome!  She says that she feels the gospel filling an emptiness in her heart.  She also prayed and asked God if she should be baptized and she feels a burning desire that she should be.  However, it is a bummer though because we cant do it on the 28 because she has to go out of town next week and wouldn't be here for the confirmation and so we decided to push it back two weeks, but I am just happy that she is happy and going to get baptized.
A less active guy, returned missionary, we visited this week had a super change of heart.  After we visited him he said that he couldn't stop thinking about the things that we had said so the next day he called the bishop and said, "Bishop I need to repent of all my sins."   He met with the bishop and then the next day the bishop sent us a message and said, "could you take 20 books of Mormon to the house of Juan?"  We were confused but we did it.  It was crazy to see the change in him when we took the books to him.  He looked happier, he had shaved, and he wanted to give books to all the people in his work. 
Overall it was a great week, I am excited for this next week,  you guys are awesome,  I will see you soon!  Keep it up Fuell Fam.  You are doing awesome!
Con Muchísimo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, April 15, 2013

Planting Seeds!!!

It has been a great week here in Mexico.  The heat has really picked up,  I might come home looking like a tomato from being so sun burnt.  I cant send pics still because my batteries just died in my camera, I will buy some more for next week.
This week we found some new investigators that were pretty awesome, Maricarmen really is interested in our message.  She was a referral from a member.  We could all really feel the spirit in the lesson.  She has a lot of problems in her family but I know that the gospel will be able to help her with that.
We have also been working a ton with the less active members.  Our first week here when we started sacrament meeting we started with 8 people and this last week we started with more than 50!  That was pretty sweet.  We went with a member named Juan who is less active and he knows a lot of doctrine and stuff about the church but he doesn't know anything about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.  I guess if he did he wouldn`t be less active.  But it just shows how important it is to have that basic foundation in the gospel.
We worked our butts off this week because we knew that if we didn't have an investigator in the church this week we probably wouldn't be able to baptize this month.  As it turned out no one came which was kind of a bummer because we had about 9 people who said they where going to come, but didn't.  I was kind of bummed about that, but then I got a letter from Elder Stauffer.  I started thinking about when I was with him we didn't baptize a ton, but now 6 months later all of the people we were teaching have been baptized and so I am going to work hard so when I leave all the investigators that we have right now can be baptized too.
Everything else has been great.  I am loving just working, being a missionary.  I am glad to hear that you are all doing well.  I will talk to you all next week.
Con Muchìsimo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference was Awesome!!!!

It has been a great week here in Mexico.  I have especially enjoyed listening to the conference talks.  They were very inspiring.  They really got me pumped up to finish strong.  While listening to the conference talks, I felt specific people that I need to help in these last couple of weeks, so I am going to do all I can to help them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!!!! I hope you had a great one, I know you will do awesome on your board exam!  For my birthday my companion and I went to a buffet on Saturday before conference.  It was a breakfast buffet and we ate so much, because it was really good!!! It was American and Mexican breakfast food.
We went on intercambios (exchanges) with the sisters of Del Valle this last week.  It is a really nice area.  With sister missionaries you don't actually split up the companionship.  You just work with them.  It was kind of weird teaching with 4 missionaries, but it was kind of cool too.
We went with the family of Roberto, our investigator that died this last week.  They have become much more receptive since the death of Roberto.  They had a lot of questions for us about the life after this life and what we have to do to be eternal families.  The spirit was super strong, and the wife of Roberto came to general conference.  It was so awesome!! 
This week I really tried to share more experiences that I have had on the mission, my companion too.  When we did this, it really brought the spirit and helped to give the investigators more vision.  We also are working with a couple of part member families who are super cool.  We are finally gaining their trust and so I hope that we will be able to see some more progression now.
That is awesome Dall and Dave about your track meet.  Keep up the good work.  Janaye and Tom too, I am glad to hear you are all doing well.  I love you all
Con Muchísimo amor,
Elder Joe Fuell
P.S.  - Joe forwarded on an itinerary that his mission office had sent him.  He gets home on May 1st.  He said, " I just got this.....It's Crazy!!!!!  I love you guys and I guess I will see you in three weeks!"

Monday, April 1, 2013

Comfort through the atonement

It has been a great week here in Mexico.  It's a bit hotter, but I still have a cold.  There where a lot of things that happened this week; things that are normal and things that were not, but everything was great and we saw a lot of progress in the area.

This week in Mexico is Semana Santa.  They don't just celebrate Easter but celebrate the whole week.  They usually celebrate by reenacting the crucifixtion by crucifying some guy down in Iztapalapa...  Of if they have money they go on vacation.  So just about all of our investigators that we had progressing went out of town.  So we walked a lot this wee too and we did all that we could to find new investigators.  We found six really good investigators this week and I think they will progress really well.

We found a new investigator named Montse.  Her husband is a member (less active). and he has been a member all his life and really doesn't have much of a testimony but he is willing to listen to us.  Montse is super awesome.  She has already read all the Book of Mormon and believes in the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith.  The only thing that is holding her back is her husband but he is really cool and  I think we will be able to help them both.

This week we found an investigator named Roberto.  He was really sick but he looked like he was getting better as we visited him.  He was going to come to Church this week with us but we got a phone call in the morning telling us that he died in his sleep.  That was tough, he was really cool.  His sister is a member and he told her after we left on Friday that he wanted to be baptized.

We went to the viewing Sunday night with the Bishop and the family seems to be doing all right.  I know that he will still be baptized.  His sister is going to take his name to the temple in one year to do the temple work for him.  As for us, we just have to keep moving forward.

I don't think there is any place better to be on Easter than on a mission.  I was just thinking about how two years ago last Easter I gave my farewell talk.  It is crazy about how quick the time goes by.  I am so grateful for our Savior, for his perfect example and his perfect atonement.  It brought a lot of comfort as we testified to the family of Roberto about the resurrection on that special day.  I know that because he lives we can live also.
I love you all, thanks for the letters,  Hope that you have a great week.  Enjoy General Conference...
Con Muchísimo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, March 25, 2013

The work is progressing in the area!!!

it has been a great week here in Mexico.  I am really enjoying my new area.  It has been quite the experience.  My companion Elder Escobedo is from Piedras Negras Cuahila, 30minutes away from where my first compnion was.  He has 20 months in the mission so we are both veterans now.  I like how direct he is,.  We have been very clear with all the memebers that we dont want the area to close again.  The members are so stoked to have missionaries in the ward again. This week we recieved 12 referrals, so I hope we can see some progress from that.  The church we go to is the second oldest church in Mexico, so there are a lot of members in the ward who have been members for three or four generations.  The work is progressing really well with the members.
The lord has really been testing me this week, we walked so much the first two days that the cuts on my feet opened up just like when I was in Ixtla.  I am more sunburnt than when I was in Mirasoles.   I have a cold like when I was in Constitution, and we havent had much to eat like when I was in Ixtla, but now it is all at the same time ha ha.  but it is all good!!!  We just got to keep moving forward and I know that we will have success.  We had two investigators at church that just showed up, that was a huge miracle.    We are going to teach them on Thursday.  We have also found a lot of really prepared people just by circumstance and through the members.  There are many part member families in the ward.
We did a three ward training session with the other people who meet in our church.  I had to teach them about how to invite someone to a family home evening.  It went super well.  Elder Poston, my companion in the MTC was there.  We have hardly seen each other the whole mission but now we are in the same church.  He told me that I have changed a ton durring the mission.  I hadnt really relized it but I am much more comfortable getting up and talking in front of people than I was when I gave the district meetings in the MTC.
I got your package yesterday!!!!  Thanks a ton,  I love you all.  Dall and Dave, I am glad to hear that all is going well in track.  Everything is super great here.  I feel like I am going to continue in the pre med course so you can get me all rergestered up for the classes that my adviser says.  Love you all a ton.
Con muchísimo amor,
Elder Joe Fuell                                               

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Elder Joe Fuell

Elder Joe Fuell