JOEL - A person who has been set apart as a missionary has agreed to give 100% of his time and talents to serving on the mission. His life is dedicated to God for those two years and cannot be distracted by anything else. The missionary is allowed to write and receive letters every week. This, along with the two phone calls each year, provides ample contact with his family. He will only be gone for two years and the time goes by fast.
We do believe having an eternal family is very important; but what is more important is that before you can have an eternal family, you must first obtain the gospel and be baptized into the Kingdom of God. For that to happen we need dedicated missionaries who are willing to give up their normal lives and their families for a short time and teach the gospel without distractions.
The death of a family member is a very tragic and difficult thing to deal with. But it is more important for a missionary to stay on their mission and save souls rather than take the time and distraction of attending a funeral. It would also be a very costly thing for a missionary to have to fly half way around the world to spend a few days at home and then fly back. Over a hundred years of experience with this in the church has shown that it is best for the missionary to not go home for funerals. On rare occasions there are exceptions to this rule. Those are handled on a case by case basis.