Monday, June 26, 2017

June 25th

Hey Mom!
Haha sounds like you guys had a good time at girl's camp! I'm glad you made it through another one, even though you're tired. Hopefully there will be some chill time for you at some point this summer!
Haha that's awesome that Noah's doing well with basketball. Good thing he's finally started shooting haha, I was worried he was gonna spend his whole senior year breaking people's ankles for nothing haha. Caleb's getting big too, it's weird to think that he's already playing competitive ball. He's about as old as I was when we first moved to Cali. It's been a while I guess haha.
That's sweet you met another RM from Poland! We are a rare sort, but there's a good few of us now. There have been a ton of missionaries coming through Warsaw lately vacationing, so we've gotten to meet a bunch of people. Two weeks ago a guy came through with his wife, he had served 20 years ago. Then an old friend, Elder Jones visited last week (also with his wife). He went home at the same time as Elder Park. It's fun to see all these missionaries. All they ever want to talk about anymore is me going home though haha. And I'll make sure I keep my Polish haha! I've set a goal to pick Spanish back up though. The plan is to be able to read Harry Potter in English, Polish, and Spanish within a year of finishing the mission haha. We'll see how it goes.
We had a pretty sweet week. Ever since visiting with the Tureks on Monday, Elder Kriser and I have been making their German potato pancakes haha. Basically they taste a lot like hash browns, but hey, hash browns are sweet. 
We had a meeting with one of the recent converts last week. He was baptized on Christmas Eve, I think you guys remember that one. Anyways, he had his first talk in sacrament meeting yesterday, and he was way nervous haha. We went over to his place for the first time, and it was awesome! Haha he's got all these cool souvenirs from the States from all the times he's traveled, and we got to check the place out. He made us crepes, another bonus, and then we buckled down on his talk. I told him that if he was really nervous on Sunday, that he should open up with a joke to lighten the mood, and he did it! Haha the tradition will live on after I leave in Poland. It was a great talk, we were very proud haha.
Another pretty cool set up, we met a girl from Texas last week who's working in Poland as a nanny. She's a really cool girl, and she's looking for her help in learning Polish. We set up for last week, and it went pretty well. Later we met her friend. Apparently there's a bunch of Americans here trying to learn Polish, but all the classes are pretty lame. We're hoping to be able to meet a bunch of new people and see if we can help out with the Polish class.
Our English class last week was pretty bumping, too. We had a bunch of young students. The lesson went pretty well, and then at the end we taught them the song Hallelujah, and then sang the Penatonix arrangement for them haha. It was sweet, and I'm pretty dang sure they're all gonna come back for more heh.
We had another really cool meeting with an investigator. Since he's started getting serious about studying the Church, he says that things in his life are just opening up. He was able to quit smoking cold turkey with almost no problems. He's getting over alcohol, and recently stopped swearing as well. It's been really cool to see the small steps he's made add up. It reminded me of a talk from Conference, where the missionaries started meeting with a beach bum. After their first meeting, he shaved his beard and cleaned up, just because he felt it was the right thing to do. Then he cleaned his place, stopped drinking, and step by step got his life together and became pretty successful. Obviously our story wasn't nearly as drastic of a change, but it's cool to see people change their lives, no matter how small the changes are. When we're trying to do what's right, God will show us the next step to take, or the next thing to do. 
We changed the time we play sports on Saturdays to later in the day so we could meet more people, and it worked! We played a group of 8 old guys in basketball last week haha! It was really fun, and some of them were pretty good. It's fun to put some handles on every once in a while, and see what they'll do. There are some good shooters in Poland, and plenty of athletes, but no one can dribble. We can dance around these guys when they play defense. I'll have to film a game one of these days, it's fun stuff.
You were right, transfers are next week! Weird enough, I don't actually know for sure yet where I'm going. We were supposed to finish up the transfer board last week, but things got busy and we weren't able to do it. I think I'll be staying, but we'll see. I guess you'll all find out when everybody else does next week!
We've got culture night tonight with the district. It'll be bowling! Then for the rest of the week we've got transfers and meetings! It'll be fun!
Have an awesome week Mom! I love you!
Elder Haskett

June 19th

Hey Mom!
Haha I can imagine that the prep for Girl's Camp has been crazy as ever! I hope that you guys have at least been able to enjoy the beginning of summer a little bit! Either way, I know you're gonna have fun at camp, you always do!
I took a look at the schedule, it looks pretty good, but honestly I have no idea what good actually looks like haha! Thanks for getting it all done! And thanks for looking into the housing thing, let me know what happens there!
I'm working on the pictures thing haha. Lately we've been emailing at the chapel, and the connection here is so slow it takes about a half hour for a picture to load. Once we get to the office again, I'll have some good stuff to send to you. A few videos too haha.
Our week was pretty sweet! I guess the first thing was MLC, which went well. We talked a lot about the Elder Andersen meeting again, and then really talked a lot about baptism. Found a ton of scriptures in the Book of Mormon that I've been able to use in teaching, which was pretty cool. One of my favorites was Moroni 6, which talks about the requirements for baptism, but then a lot about what happens after, too. I've been using that one a lot with members lately. One of the other things we talked about is that as missionaries there's often a separation between baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, when there shouldn't be. I guess it's easy to catch yourself doing that, because baptism is the hardest part, but most of the blessings come from the Holy Ghost. It's the Spirit that gives us a remission of sins, and we know that we're doing the right thing worthily when we have the accompaniment of the Holy Ghost. Baptism is a symbol of willingness to follow Christ, and it's necessary, but the ordinance mostly prepares us for the blessings that come after.
Right after MLC we went to Łódź for an exchange! If you're wondering about pronunciation, it's wooj. Haha pretty easy. We spent the day there with the elders. First thing in the morning we did a service project raking about an acre of land and clearing rocks. Then after Elder Blackwell and I taught a lesson. The lesson was good, and the guy is preparing to be baptized, which was awesome, but the coolest thing was the member that helped us teach. She's an older lady, in her 80s. She's a WWII concentration camp survivor. While she was there, she told us her story. She lost her whole family in the camp, and then again lost her husband and children in an accident later, but the whole time has remained faithful. She talked about how she's confident she'll see them again because they're sealed for time and all eternity. She's had a lot of powerful spiritual experiences because of her faith, and she bore a powerful testimony about the importance of keeping the commandments and going to the temple.
I had another exchange right after that with Elder Mandla! It was crazy, he hit his year mark this week! Haha my son is all grown up. Sure did make me feel old here though haha. We had a good time, and we were able to catch up a bit and talk about how things have been since we served together.
Our investigator that was supposed to move really did move this week. It was pretty sad. He'll be living in Berlin, trying to get something going there. We're in touch with the missionaries there, and we're praying that everything works out for him in the end. He's had a tough life, I think it's about time he gets a break. We'll see, it's in God's hands!
I'm excited for this week! We're starting off right, Sister Turek is gonna teach us how to make some German food! We're excited haha! 
I hope you have an awesome week at Girl's Camp! It'll be a blast!
Love you Mom!
Elder Haskett

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 11th

Last week was honestly super awesome! Everything started out with our PDay with the DeMordaunts haha. That was way fun, they took us to the Jewish History Museum and then the Jewish Cemetary. Really cool place, it's honestly crazy though to think about all the stuff that happened here during World War II. Poland has been through a lot. The DeMordaunts were super nice though, and we had a blast.
Piano Guys on Tuesday! It was awesome haha! We took an investigator and Bart, and then President and Sister Turek brought a family that they're close friends with. We had a great time. The concert was super fun. They're so good live haha! The one that plays the piano, Jon Schmidt played a song from underneath the piano, it was insane haha.
We had so many meetings this week! It was super cool. Things got kinda interesting with our investigator with the baptismal date. We'd been fasting for him to find a job, and instead, he got offered a free plane ticket to fly to Denmark to start a new life there on Thursday. We prayed about it, gave him a blessing, and came to the conclusion that it was the right choice. That was hard. I filled out a referral to the other missionaries there, and then we bought him lunch before he was supposed to leave. The next morning, he said that he felt something was holding him here, so he didn't get on the plane. We're interested to see what God has in store for him here. 
Tuesday night we had probably the most powerful lesson I've ever been on with a guy named Janek. He's the writer that I had an interview with. We told you about how he had a spiritual experience on the Elder Andersen meeting. He had us over at his place, and then we just kinda talked about how things are going in his life right now. He's a deeply religious guy, but lately, things have been going badly for him. He fell back into smoking and drinking after quitting. He stopped praying, and now feels a scary, dark power whenever he tries to. We talked and talked and talked about the Book of Mormon, about life, about God, and it was honestly incredible how powerfully we felt the Spirit. We were coming close to the end of the meeting, and I asked him to take a minute to think about what he could do to overcome his fears. He sat quietly for a while and then started to cry. We waited for a bit, and then he said that he could stop thinking about wanting to see Christ again. He said that for the first time in a long time, he felt His presence in his life again. I asked if we could kneel and pray, and then asked if he would say it. He was still afraid, but we told him that he could take however he wants, and wait until the Spirit helped him to pray. We waited a while, and he started crying again. Then he said the most sincere prayer I've ever heard, and stood up and said that he knows, without a doubt, that God loves him again. It was intense. We're gonna have another meeting tomorrow in the chapel.
On Saturday we got challenged by a group of people to play basketball. That was a bad call. I was wearing flip flops (we were planning on playing some sand volleyball), and we still demolished them. I'm not sure if the hoops were low or if my desire to protect my pride was just really strong, but I was dunking in my sandals. Bart threw me an alley-oop and everything (let's talk about missionary-convert connection though). Later we had to switch up the teams cause it was just bad haha. There was one girl playing with them, and she was definitely the best player they had. She plays for Warsaw University. Next time we play, she's gonna have her whole team come for a rematch haha! It was sweet though, they all want to meet us again, and the one girl actually wants to learn about the church! Sports rule!
We're talking about the upcoming transfer with President now. It looks like I'm gonna be staying as AP in Warsaw for now, but we'll see. I really hope I get to stay here till the end, but a break from the leadership stuff would be kinda nice to end the mission on fire. We'll see what happens!
I've got a request! Last week I had a dream that I went to Disneyland in a suit, and that made me realize that we're not gonna get to go to Disneyland before BYU! So I was wondering, would it be possible to go straight from the airport to Disneyland, ride a ride, and get a corndog before going home? We could make the dream a reality? It could make for a pretty classic picture haha.
Haha things are going great for us right now, we're loving the work. I hope you guys have an awesome week, that everyone feels better soon, and that Girl's Camp will be a success! Love you Mom!
Elder Haskett

Monday, June 5, 2017

The crew


June 4th

Hey Mom!
Haha I can't believe it's June either, summer is already here! It's so nice though haha, we were getting pretty tired of the cold. Pres wants us to try studying outside the apartment, and one of the best options is in the parks. Not so fun when it's freezing haha!
The Lip Sync was a success! Haha nice work, it sounds like you kinda put the team on your back this year! I expect videos at some point. I'm hoping that the snowman costume was more fun than all the preparation haha. Either way, feel better soon! Have Noah go and get your Diet Coke today haha!
It was way fun to see the DeMordaunts yesterday! They were awesome haha, super fun, chill family, and made sure to get pictures for all the moms, and they brought some Kraft Mac n Cheese and Reeses. What more could you want? They're actually gonna be hooking it up again today, they're taking Elder Kriser and I to the Jewish History Museum and then out for lunch. Haha we're super excited, they're awesome!
Our week was pretty sweet. We were able to have a good bit of meetings with a lot of investigators. It's pretty crazy how busy we've been lately, it's almost hard to keep track of everyone. But it's been great, and our lessons have been sweet. We're working with one guy, trying to help him get a job. He's just a really humble dude, but he's had a lot of problems with work ever since he moved to Poland. This week we got the members involved, and they just took over! It's sweet, they just took him right in. Taking fellowshipping to the max haha.
Going back to what I said earlier about studying outside, basically the idea is to be seen by as many people as possible, as often as possible. We're working on getting our name out there, and we're specifically focusing on young people. Lately we've spent a ton of time on the Warsaw University campus. It's been pretty sweet, we've been talking to a ton of people that are just chill. Usually when we're out doing regular finding, we stop people on the street, and they want you to get to the point really quick. Lately we've basically just been chatting with people, and they get to know us and the Church, but we also get to know them. It's weird, cause most of them are about my age, and if we weren't missionaries, we could honestly be hanging out with some of these people. Just last week there was this girl playing the ukulele on the street and we sat down and talked for a while. Since she was playing the uke, it got a ton of people's attention, and we talked to a bunch of people that came over to listen. Same thing happened on Saturday, a guy was singing in front of the uni, and we just handed out flyers for our English class. A lot of people stuck around for a while, and we were able to have some cool conversations (plus we basically got a free concert, the guy was good haha).
Speaking of concerts, we are in for a treat this week! The Piano Guys are gonna be in Warsaw tomorrow, and Elder Kriser got us VIP tickets through family connections. President Turek is gonna be there too, and we even got to invite some investigators. It's honestly awesome, I can't believe we got so lucky! We're going to a concert with our Mission President!
This week Elder Kriser and I got started on a thing called the Bring Sally Up pushup challenge. We're doing it twice a day. It's pretty brutal, you should have the boys try it haha!
That's pretty much all I got this week, love you Mom! Once again, feel better soon!
Elder Haskett