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Hi I'm Joel

I grew up in California, graduated from high school in Samoa, graduated from BYU, have six adopted children, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I spent most of my early years growing up in California. My parents were both school teachers and we had a pretty good life. One day, when I was 14, my Dad announced to the family (he had consulted with my Mom) that he was tired of his fairly routine life and was looking for something more exciting to do. Shortly after that, he and Mom had landed teaching jobs with the LDS Church in Western Samoa. I really did not want to go and fought it for a while. Once we got there I continued to feel sorry for myself until I realized that I probably should give it a try. As it turned out, I grew to love the Samoan people, learned their language, leaned to love their food, and had a wonderful time there. I had the opportunity to participate ver successfully in many sports while I was there and learned a lot about who I really was. Without the luxury of television, I learned to enjoy the outdoors and spent most of my time enjoying nature with my friends and family. After graduation from high school, I attended BYU Hawaii and then served a mission to Mexico. My wife and I met at BYU in Provo, Utah after my mission and we ended up moving to Samoa to work for the Church just like my parents did. It was a great homecoming for me and it was there that we adopted our first two children. My family now consists of 6 adopted children and my wife and my kids are my life. And it has been a great life!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons). My parents taught me basic gospel principles from a very young age and always led by example. In particular, they were always giving service to those in need. That example stuck with me and inspired me to always strive to serve others as well. I can not point to a particular moment in time when I received a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel but I know that my testimony has been confirmed to my heart many times over. I always knew that it was true but I have had personal witnesses born to my heart as I have read from the Holy Scriptures, served in Church callings, served those in need, and had many opportunities to share the Gospel with others. The Gospel is such a simple thing. The blessing of knowing that there is a living prophet on the earth to day to guide us and direct us is precious. And the knowledge that I have of the Savior's atoning sacrifice for all mankind gives me great hope for a bright future. I know that the Savior loves me and is mindful of me. I know that he died for me and that through him I can overcome my weaknesses and be an instrument in his hands to influence others for good.

How I live my faith

I live my faith everyday in a variety of ways. The example of service in the Church that my parents set for me has helped me catch the vision of how important it is to serve others. My favorite calling in the Church has always been that of a "home teacher". In the church we are assigned (by inspiration) to serve other families within our congregation by visiting them monthly and helping them in other ways as called upon. It has been my pleasure to serve with each of my four sons over the years as a home teacher to some very special people. And through this experience, I have learned that when you serve others you truly honor your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And another thing I have learned is that when you serve others, and truly give of yourself, your time and your talents, that you are blessed in almost indescribable ways.