What a difference 50 years of goodness makes...


Over the last 50 years many lives and situations have been blessed because of the lives of Joe & Isabel Free. They will tell you it is the Lord that has blessed them, and that is true. However, they have lived their lives for others and that results in great blessings because they are doing His work. How appropriate that on this 50th anniversary they find themselves on the other side of the world and equator in South Africa on their 3rd mission.

Help us show them how much of a difference the Lord has helped them make in so many lives. Please click on "add new comment" once or twice or as many times as you want to record memories of a difference you are aware of. (if you don't see "add new comment" please choose "register")

We also need your help to spread the news far and wide so that on the 9th of September it will take all day for them to try to read the impact they have had.

Come back often and read of what others have shared, it might prompt some more memories to share.

Please include who you are and how you came to know them as you share your memories.


ps-Some have asked if they could give something. It is not necessary, but if you feel that you would like to give a gift, beyond your memories, we have set up a fund where you can donate. This fund will be used by Joe & Isabel to "make a difference" in the lives of some wonderful friends in South Africa. Just click on the "donate" button to the right.

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happy wedding anniversary

Hi Dear Elder and Sister Free -

We think of you ... with love ... so very often. We will be forever grateful to you for having gotten us off to such a good start when we arrived in Fukuoka. It seemed an incredibly wonderful coincidence that we were to replace you in the Mission Office. How comforting it was to see the two of you that first morning when we were just beginning to feel so isolated and far from home. There are so many thanks that we can offer for so much kindness during that first week. You taught us how to do what was expected of us. And you "loved us better." You drove us around and showed us where to buy groceries, where to park the car, how to pay to "unpark" the car, where and how to buy gas for the car. Those never having lived in Japan may not recognize the significance of this. After spending what must have been a tedious day for you -- trying to educate us to our responsibilities and still meet your own work deadlines in regard to the ongoing "transfer week," you took us home with you from the office and fed us at your table, assuring us that we really would be all right. Then, sensing our unspoken concerns, you "hooked us up" to your computer and enabled us to send our first email to waiting children and grandchildren. So many times after you left Fukuoka, we "called your name Blessed." We accomplished most of the needed work, but Elder Ward never was able to sling a marshmallow as well as Elder Free. And for months, missionaries out in the field would call and ask for Sister Free. The President's children missed you both terribly. But, despite our short time together in Fukuoka, I doubt anyone missed you more than Elder and Sister Ward.

But time sped by, and soon we were meeting and loving and assisting Elder and Sister Miller, our replacements, settle into the Fukuoka Mission office. Then we were home and soon made a stop in Paragonah, where welcoming embraces and recollections were shared before Elder Free led us in prayer as we parted again. And now you are blessing lives in Africa. How grateful we are that the Lord has blessed you with these 50 years together. You've spent them wisely and with love ... and we are grateful for your example, blessed by your friendship and strengthened by your love. We send our love and prayers for a Happy Anniversary - Dave and Mary Ward

You are my heroes!

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have been watching you for eight years. I have witnessed a legacy that will be told to our future ancestors: the awesome genealogy of Joe and Isabel Free. Since I know how much you both enjoy listening to music especially primary music, I would like to share with you my thoughts about you by quoting children’s songs that remind me of you both.

"Called to Serve…" Across the United States in upper state New York. Over oceans and over seas to Japan and among the monkeys in the trees you serve in South Africa. You even served your community and the church members by working in the church cannery. Can you imagine how many lives you have touched around the world? "We are as the army of Helaman. We have been taught in our youth. And we will be the Lord’s missionaries to bring world his truth..." The gospel is a precious gift that you are willing to share with anybody you come in contact with. You have raised eight beautiful children and taught them the gospel that you cherish deeply in your heart. "Love one Another…" You both have the gift of love that fills the souls of all the many people you have meet through your service. "Choose the Right…" Your strong faith in our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ is amazing. I admire your desire to serve your fellow man in teaching them the gospel as well as centering your life around Jesus Christ. You are such wonderful examples to me and have touched my life many times.

"Love is spoken here…" Whenever I enter your home Mom it is like a heaven on earth. You are an incredible homemaker. Your house is filled with the scent of fresh homemade bread or chocolate chip cookies. I can hear the sweet melodies as you play on your piano or the sound of music or laughter as we gather at Grandma’s house. You are so fun to be around with as well as you are humble, gentle, patient, and kind. I love how you enjoy the simple things in life like putting a puzzle together or sitting in your comfortable blue chair reading a book. I can always feel the Spirit in your lovely home because you have committed to doing activities that please the Lord such as family prayer, family home evening and scripture study. Mom/Grandma is like a beautiful quilt… Mom you keep us cozy and warm. You are a comforter… During some of my times of sorrow and doubt you have uplifted me and helped me see the woman I am or will become. Beautiful patchwork of images fills my mind when I think about the many stories Mom shared about her growing up in Las Vegas and when she dated Dad. Whenever anyone is sick Mom would help take care of him or her and make sure they drink plenty of vitamin C. Over the years Mom has made special quilts and afghans for her children, newly weds, and grandchildren. I cherish my navy blue and white quilt of the Mt.Timpangoes Temple you made for John and me as a wedding present. Likewise, Audrey receives comfort when she snuggles in her baby blanket that you crocheted for her. Thank you for loving me and encouraging me when I struggle with my overwhelming responsibilities of being a wife, mother, homemaker, and college student.

"When ever I Hear the Song of a Bird or look at the blue, blue sky…" I think of Dad when I hear that song. He has an eye of what true beauty is in this wonderful world Jesus Christ created for us. I love how excited he gets when he sees a bird or the smallest little insect like a lady bug. He has a great talent of showing us the beauty of God’s earth without picking up a paintbrush. Dad can paint the most beautiful canvas for us to see by snapping photographs with his camera. I love seeing the world at Dad’s point of view. Dad has taught me to appreciate nature. While living in this crazy world, Dad reminds us the simple beauty of being alive by looking around us and taking a deep breathe of fresh air. "Teach me to walk in the light." There is no doubt that Dad is an amazing teacher. No matter what the subject is he is eager to teach it. Dad loves to learn new things and teaches by his wonderful example. Thank you for influencing me to learn something new in my life everyday and I appreciate your willingness to help me when I struggled in College Algebra. You are the best math tutor! "I am a child of God…" We all are children of God. Like Diana already shared I also love how Dad calls me “Young Mother in Zion.” Thank you, Dad for reminding me that I am special and I am one of many daughters of God.

"Count your many blessings. Name them one by one…" I am certain you have been blessed throughout your lives because of you have served the Lord diligently. You are unselfish and willing to serve others. I believe we are blessed to be apart of your lives. You are my heroes. I am very grateful to be married to your son John and to be your daughter in-law.

I love you Mom and Dad and have a happy 50th Anniversary!

Love, Jen Free

From Audrey Free

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

Audrey said the following: “I am doing great at school. My teacher’s name is Mrs. Hadjo. I love being in first grade. I am learning how to read. I love going camping with you. I like going to the store with you, Grandma. Thank you for my blanket, Grandma! Thank you for walking with me (on a nature hike with the kids) while we were camping, Grandpa. I miss playing at your park by your house. I love you and miss you. I pray for you, Elder Silva, and Elder Free everyday."

Love, Audrey Free


Joe and Isabel have been heroes since I have known them. Joe is my first cousin. Lory and Joy Free are my parents. Joe and Isabel were newly married and a student and spouce at BYU. I know Isabel worked at a block plant or something. Isabel, can you tell us the truth about that? She was a fabulous worker I remember hearing people say. (I was in 5th grade at the time). Grandma Free (Rachel) remarked that Isabel washed the floor by scrubbing it while on her hands and knees. So, after they were married, Joe told Isabel that washing the floor using a mop would be just fine. Grandma said that in a most proud way. She was pleased that Joe exhibited thoughtfulness for his bride. This must have been pretty impressive to me since I have remembered it for lo these 50 years. Joe and Isabel would often come by for a Sunday evening visit. My parents would serve ice cream. If we didn't have ice cream the cupboard was truly bare. It was wonderful to have the fabulous example of love and marriage that Joe and Isabel were to me then and are still.

the grandparents for me

Grandma and Grandpa-
I wanted to let you know just how grateful I am to you on your special day. You must have had the ride of a lifetime getting here. There are so many memories I hold close of you both; homemade raspberry jam, tree house building, cherry orchards, fire place with big pillows, carmel corn, phase ten, nature walks, sling shot school, laurence welk episodes, panaca adventures, licorice, wrasseling (w grandpa ofcourse), popcicles on the red deck, legos all over the
floor and mission letters from all over the world.
Without a doubt, you are the grandparents for me. You put what's important first and let the blessing of the Lord come. That example to me along with all the happiness I see in your lives is what makes me want to follow your great example. I love you
Your Grandson,

Happy Aniversary

Hi, it's Malcolm.
Happy aniversary and I'm happy you are still together serving the lord by doing a mission.

I love you, bye.

Happy 50th!

Dear Elder and Sister Free,
We wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful anniversary. Even though we haven't known you very long compared to many, it doesn't matter. To know you is to love you because of your genuine love for others. You are the salt of the earth and a great example of the love Christ taught us. You are what we want to be in another 25 years. We look forward to seeing Elder Free back in our ward, shaking everyone's hand before church, and Sister Free's sweet, loving smile. You have been a wonderful influence on each member of our family and so many in the ward. Jed is in Mutare, Zimbabwe at this time, realizing just how good things are at home and learning a lot about the gospel and loving the people. He admires their strength in adversity. You probably have similar feelings.

Have a wonderful day!

Bishop and Sister Lister

Amigos do Brasil

Eduardo and Maria Monteiro

Sou amigo de Feliciano e Raquel, sua filha, e estive na sua casa em 1995 junto com Feliciano e estávamos conversando quando você fez daquela conversa um toque espiritual, pediu as pessoas que estavam ali para compartilhar sua escritura predileta. Foi um bom momento que guardo na memória. Recordo de você como um homem fiel, sorridente e amável. Um Grande abraço,

Eduardo e Maria Monteiro

I am Feliciano e Raquel´s friend. I´ve been to your house in 1995 with Feliciano. We were all chating when you asked each person to share their favorite scripture. You made it a spiritual moment. That is a moment that I kept in mind. I remember you as a faithful,smiling kind man.

From Andrew

Hi Grandma and Grandpa Free! How is your mission? That was cool on the picture with the giraffes. Man, I hope that you are having a great mission! I love your apricot tree. Lauren got 2 kittens! Love, Andrew Free

From Adam

I hope you have a nice trip today! I hope you had a great day seeing the giraffes, and the hippos, and the lions. I love you and I like your apricot tree and I like your cereal! Love, Adam Dee Free