Monday, November 15, 2010

We're not in Kansas anymore

Yeah, I'd say this was a bit of culture shock......













Doctors, companion and basketball

video

Welcome to MEXICO CITY!











Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And now it's official

October 20, 2010
Elder Joshua Haskell - Medical return
Brother and Sister Haskell,

Sorry for the bad news.  Pres. Hicken and the missionary department have decided that the best course of action would be to have Josh come home and receive treatment here.  They are certain he would recover much more quickly here and would receive much better care.
Here is Josh's flight info.  I need to visit with Josh and release him tomorrow night if possible.  I will be at my office in the stake center at 9:00 pm.  If you are delayed, just call my cell phone  and let me know what time you will be able to arrive.
I will let Bishop Gauchay know and we will work together to make certain Josh receive all the care and treatment he needs to recover and return to the mission field.  Be sure to call Dr. Gardner and set up an appointment with him as soon as you can.
Our prayers are with you and Josh.
Pres. Shaw

Trip to the airport......

We will be picking up Joshua from the airport on Thursday.  He is not able to get adequate health care for his back problems there in Mexico City.  He is anxious to get back to Mexico ASAP!  We will be visiting his doctor Friday and see how things go.   He is feeling a bit frustrated so please keep him in your prayers.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

No shower, No toilet, no problem?

 Sent: Mon, October 18, 2010 3:01:01 PM
 

WOW mexico is insannnnneeee! i have more experiences in this one week in mexico then my whole stay in the MTC!  

But first, the important details, i have messed my back up again..... i find out tomorrow if and when President is sending me home..... Yep.. im being serious..

i cant walk for more than 30 min without my lower back flaring/swelling up and pinching the nerves. and when i sit down or go to sleep my leg has pins and needles and falls asleep! Its really painfull.. so i told president about all this and just asked him what i should do, but there is no medical care here for backs and hes calling my doctor(gardner) today and i should know tomorrow what the plan is.. oh and guess what.. i got bronchitis my first day here. the doctor at the temple grounds told me i have bronchitis and that i need 5 shots!!!! in my BUTT!!!! iv already had 4.. tonight is my last one.. its insane here, you have no idea.. but i also love it here! 

the thing is... i couldve given up in thew MTC but i didnt.. i couldve given up when i had surgery... but i didnt because  i want to be here!  but my back is MESSED up and isnt strong enough for 10 plus hours a day of walking.  I seriously dont know what else im supposed to do. I'll just keep having faith. 

Anyway.....I only have a few minutes but let me tell you about mexico city! 
OH my.... crazy!!  One might even say...INSANE! 

Flying over Mexico City, o my gosh it is so huge!! Bigger than you could ever imagine. It was so much more legit than google earth haha!!   Mom, just wait til u see what my area looks like, you´ll be worried! 
i dont even feel comfortable taking pics in my front street !!!  where we are is pretty ghetto.   lol  And  when we talk with people i can sometimes understand them and talk back... but for the most part i just nod my head and say si si...lol 

My first car ride in Mexico was loco loco loco!! The traffic here is like "the fast and the furious" only in a van!  People also just go through red lights if no one is coming on the other side.  Driving here is the craziest thing!! People just go what ever speed they want including the missionaries haha. 
There are also a ton of dogs in the street. We counted one day and it was 90 something different dogs in the same little area.
My companions name is Elder Cruz.  He is from..... Tijuana Mexico.  Wana hear something funny?  He only knows one word in English.....SHARTED. hahaha!
Our shower doesnt work.  Our toilet doesnt work.   we have a bucket with a cord from a socket that heats the water then we pour water on our head for a shower. 

We brought a entire family to church on sunday.   it was good but i couldnt understand alot. haa haa  I really love it.  I am so nervous for the phone call with president tonight.

I love you all so much!!  write me!   
Keep us in your prayers.  -- elder haskell

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our last phone call from the USA

At 8:10am this morning, the phone rang.  We knew Josh would be calling so while he talked to me, Brian got Jordan and Jared up.  We all sat on the bed, around the phone and then got Lindsey to conference in on her cell phone from school. 
Our Elder Haskell was so excited to be at the airport and finally on his way!  He talked to each of us individually and for just a moment it was like he was back home with us, laughing and getting sports updates from the boys.  He told us a few funny stories about the MTC and his companions. 

And then, he gave his brothers some advice.  Things like reading the scriptures and saying your prayers.   He talked about how much he loves the Book of Mormon.  He told Jordan and Jared how much he loved being able to be a missionary.  He told Lindsey how proud he is to have her as his sister and  how much he loved her. 

Before he signed off, Joshua told us how excited he is to get to bring such an incredible message to the people of Mexico City.  Then he bore his testimony to us, and it was something I will treasure always.  Unless you have sent a son on a mission, you just wont quite know how amazing it is to see such a transformation in just 3 months.  It's quite something to watch your boy becoming a man. 




Fathers and Sons




Thursday, October 7, 2010

WOW!!!! its finally here!

October 7, 2010
My last email from the MTC!

MOM MOM MOM!  I'm really gonna miss you!
I cant believe I leave this next Monday!  WOW!!!! its finally here! I'm super ready though!

i know I'm not good at Spanish yet but i know the lord will help me as long as i give it 100%
I'm so proud of Lindsey and her schooling! On the dean's list twice!  Shes gonna make a great wife, mother and woman someday.  She's the best! Can you tell her to  aim high in everything she does because she deserves the best!!!

And tell her i noticed some "posing pics" of her in the album haha, il show some good candidates of missionaries and see what i can do hahaha. maybe get her a pen pall... :p
  
I'm so grateful for the Lord, for allowing me to be here, and be healthy.  Mom and Dad, I am very blessed to  have a mom and dad that raised me and have helped me get me to where i am now!
I'm so glad i waited until now to serve because i know I'm supposed to go to Mexico! i cant wait to go through all the crazy things Mexico City has to offer! Dont worry mom, I've been cautioned not to tell you any scary stuff until i get back home....haha!!  
PLEASE PLEASE let the boys stay home from school Monday morning!!!!!
I really wanna talk to both of them on the phone when I call.   It'll be anywhere from 8-10am so please answer any calls during that time.

I  LOVE YOU all with all my heart! I hope and pray daily that everyone in the family stays safe and happy. 
And can i just say how much i love the book of Mormon now too!!  Its AMAZING and there are so many legit stories in it!

There is no way Joseph Smith could have ever made any of it up.   Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God that restored the gospel back to the earth! It's so cool to have such a strong testimony of these things!! I love it  because it feels so right. And i know how much it will bless me in my life.
I wanna challenge you and the family to see if you can read the whole Book of Mormon before i get home. I'm reading it now and will be done in a couple of weeks!
Gotta go, but tell everyone how much i love them! and please BE HOME when i call on Monday!


Love ya!
E. Haskell

Quotes sent by Elder Haskell this week

 
"Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain."
Gordon B. Hinckley
 
 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
 
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
-- Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech
 
 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Leaving for Mexico City on Monday!

We found out today that Josh will be leaving for Mexico City from  the Salt Lake airport on Monday, October 11, 2010.  He will be traveling with 3 other Missionaries and to say they are all relieved to finally be going is an understatement!

How To Get a Girl For Mormon Guys

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Faith


"Brethren of the priesthood, the task is ours. Let us remember and never forget, however, that such an undertaking is not insurmountable. Miracles are everywhere to be seen when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes. We are on the Lord's errand. We are entitled to the Lord's help. But we must try."
"Anxiously Engaged," Ensign, Nov. 2004, 59

"...It was intimidating but so awesome"

As related by Elder Steven Juker:


Elder haskell had some back problems and got to call his mom to figure out financial stuff and he heard about it from her too and she lives here. But with his back probloems he went out to a dr to get an mri and see whats up and was gone like all day. he got back and was like i have good news and bad news. good news is i brought back taco bell and pulls out a big bag of tacos it was awesome but the bad news was really bad they said he reinjured his back cause he had surgery before he came but they said it was hurt again and needed surgeory and he was prolly going home this was yesterday. he talked to branch pres he said yeah proabably best cause he needs to heal. So we decided to fast today for him and also we gave him a blessing last night. It was really awesome cause he asked me too give it. It was intimidating but so awesome to give a blessing with 8 other missionaries the spirit was so strong.

Elder Steven Juker

So this morning he had meetings to find out when he was going home and stuff while we were at the temple. After temple were walking back and see him and elder solheim sitting where missionaries wait to leave. I was so bummed. We asked what was going to happen and he said he was getting all the paperwork filled out and stuff cause he had to like talk to an apostle before he left and stuff - crazy. so while he was waiting on that he got a call to the front desk and they said the main surgeon called and said that the other surgeon and doctor had both misread the mri. the stuff pinching wasnt his bulging disc it was scar tissue from his last suregry so he just needs a cortazone shot and he’ll be able to still go to mexico and not have to go home! how amazing is that! So were all pumped right now cause were not losing another elder.

"Awesome Spiritual Experience" as told by Elder Peacock

While working on this blog, I came across an entry from an Elder serving and sharing a room with Josh. I wanted to share what this wonderful Elder posted on his blog.
the following is at
http://elderjpeacock.blogspot.com/ in case you want to read it there.
----------------------------------------
Now to the week.
Wow!!! There was the most awesome spiritual experience today.
So Elder Haskell hurt his back the other day, which worried everyone because he had surgery on it before he came, and had his original mission call delayed. He was in a lot of pain. He got it checked out by a doctor yesterday to see what was going on, and in the MRI it didn't look good. The doctor told him that he was going to need surgery and would have to go home from his mission for a couple more months for rehab. He told us when he got back and we were all devastated, and he was in tears. He is such a great Elder and part of our family.
So Elder Haskell spoke to President Cameron about it last night and he said he would be going home today. Last night the whole district gave Elder Haskell a priesthood blessing. And most of the zone decided to fast for him today and we wrote his name down for the prayer in the temple. He was in meetings all this morning with people, trying to get everything done so he can go home and get his back better. After the temple this morning, Elder Haskell and his companion were waiting for us out front of the MTC. Elder Haskell told us that a back surgeon at the hospital had looked at the MRI since yesterday, and called the MTC to tell them that his back would not require surgery after all. It turns out that scar tissue is really the only trouble and he will get a cortisone shot tomorrow which should fix it. He is allowed to stay here at the MTC and leave for Mexico on time!!
We were all so sure he was going home, but we put our faith in the Lord. And through the power of faith, priesthood blessings, prayer, and fasting Elder Haskell gets to continue in this great work. I know that this all happened by the hand of God and our prayers were answered. SO amazing what God can do in your life if you have faith.




From another Elders perspective

We have added a few links to blogs about Elders now serving with Josh. You cant pass up reading blogs that have these sentences:

".........OK, so here’s what happened. Every floor has a room that for whatever reason is used to store pillows. For obvious reasons, these rooms are ALWAYS locked. One morning after service, Elder Haskell somehow got into this room, and it was one of the best things to ever happen to the floor." -Elder Peacock

"........tuesday we had elder hinckley speak. he’s in the 70 hes awesome looks and sounds a lot like his father. His talk was really good and at the end he had a Q & A thing it was nice as well. Elder Haskell (from our distrtict) asked a question about how to get his aunt to get back to church cause just before he went on his mission she said she wanted to and shes been inactive for years. I appreciated that Q and got a lot from it."
-Elder Juker

"........I like my comp more now he doesn't seem as weird anymore. The other Elders in my room are Elder Haskell and Elder Solheim. They are from Orem and Mesa Arizona. They are really chill, I like them, our room is probably the funnest in the District. Which helps take a little stress out after a long day of studying." - Elder Beanz

".....Elder haskell had some back problems and got to call his mom." -Elder Juker

" ......I am now with Elder Solheim! Since Elder Haskell hurt his back they have been missing a lot of class and they were already struggling a lot with Spanish before his back problem." -Elder Beanz

".........4 days ago Elder Haskell in our room, woke up and his back was hurting so bad he could hardly walk." -Elder Beanz

"........We were all so sure he was going home, but we put our faith in the Lord. And through the power of faith, priesthood blessings, prayer, and fasting Elder Haskell gets to continue in this great work. I know that this all happened by the hand of God and our prayers were answered. SO amazing what God can do in your life if you have faith." -Elder Peacock



".......The doctor told him that he was going to need surgery and would have to go home from his mission for a couple more months for rehab. He told us when he got back and we were all devastated, and he was in tears. He is such a great Elder and part of our family. So, Elder Haskell spoke to President Cameron about it last night and he said he would be going home today." -Elder Peacock

".........so we sat in a circle and said what we liked and thought was charitable about each other, it was a really good exp. sounds kinda corny at first but it was good. one comment elder haskell made was he liked how my packages became district packages cause i always share everything with everyone." -Elder Juker





Thursday, September 30, 2010

This weeks email from Elder Haskell

Elder Haskell and his mom 6-2010

We look forward to Thursdays every week because it is Elder Haskell's P-Day, which means Thursday is the day we get an email from Josh! It has become a fun thing for us, as his family, to be together and read how he is doing at the MTC. We all enjoy Thursdays very much. Today is Thursday, and this Thursday has been a bit different.

As I sat down to begin a quick letter to our Elder Haskell, I was in a hurry because we use dearelder.com to stay in touch and they need all the letters in by noon to get it to the elder that same day. This was about 9 minutes before noon so I was in a hurry. I was also feeling guilty because this week I haven't sent as many letters as usual. In fact, I havent sent a single one.

I would like to blame how I was feeling on cold medication, or the fever. All of a sudden, I shift into MOM mode. I was moving all the tissues and cold medicine out of the way to hurry and get a letter sent off. I can only imagine how depressing his week would be if he didnt get a letter from his mom. Eight minutes left.....


It was at this very moment that my lovely daughter Lindsey poked her head in and said, "Josh just emailed me!! He's so awesome! Oh, and he said to tell you he only had 40 seconds left so he isn't writing you but he loves you."

I just stared at the door as she bounced down the hall happy as can be. I had to smile. After typing a quick and short email to my dear son, I grapped my box of tissues.

Guilt is gone. Very happy sister. Father thinks its no big deal. Brothers think its funny. Mom....is going back to bed. Whole family looking forward to next Thursday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How cool is it to have a big brother?!

Yesterday Lindsey and I drove over to the MTC to drop off a new suitcase for Josh. I still have no idea what he did to the original one, we just got a call saying it was ripped and could we pick up the old one and drop off a replacement. So off we went.
On the way there we stopped and picked up some photos Lindsey had printed for Josh and we put them in a small album for him to take with him to Mexico.
Over the next hour or so, I got to hear about how much Lindsey likes Josh. We all know they love each other, but LIKE? That's something quite different. Maybe it's the age or maybe it's because he has been gone. Whatever the reason was on this day, it was actually quite touching to listen as Lindsey laughed and talked about her big brother and how she misses him.
Then I got back home and was getting out the pictures we got in the mail from Josh, when I came across this one of Randy McBride. Now THIS GUY is a good brother.
(if you have strong feelings regarding rules and not bending them at all...stop reading now)
This is Randy and Josh at the MTC in Josh's room.
He works at the MTC and we ask if he would deliver the infamous package we sent to Josh. He did and Josh was really happy. It was only a few days ago that I found out that it is against the rules for any packages to not go through the official US mail system. Also, it is "frowned upon" for anyone working there to do the same. I felt really bad and a bit guilty. I only feel a bit better knowing that we are in good company when it comes to our package delivering request.......
Let's just say that Randy had only one other customer in his side business of delivery boy. Over the past weeks, we have found that Randy is also...a good brother. Willing to help out a sister in need of getting, what we can only assume are vital items and important information from his lovely sister to our favorite Elder.
So, we wanted to give a big THANK YOU! For being a great brother/delivery guy/ MTC employee! If anyone at the MTC ever gives you a hard time, we recommend hiding out in the pillow room!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wheel'n and Deal'n MTC Style



I know that missionaries have a fixation on ties. Some missionaries actually burn their ties at the six month mark. Others trade ties in the MTC with other missionaries.


If you think about it their ties can represent their personalities. Most of their suits are pretty uniform being blue, black, grey, and occasionally brown. But their ties vary from designer to just plain ugly.
Their ties are an expression of their different tastes and preferences.



They get busy getting the ugliest tie for the best deal.

Why ugly or strange? Who knows?


All I know is, the last time we spoke on the phone about his back pain, he was more concerned with asking me if I knew what "Paisley" was. Why? Because it is the new "ugly" that is in hot demand.
It's nice to know that with all the letters and pictures we receive from our Elder Haskell, and as much as we have seen him already growing spiritually, He is still our boy that is also making giant towers out of cans, fighting evil with light sabers, pretending to fly while balancing on an ironing board and, of course becoming The World's Greatest TIE dealer!
Oh yes, I am one VERY proud mother.



"This [divine authority] must be our great and singular message to the world. We do not offer it with boasting. We testify in humility but with gravity and absolute sincerity. We invite all, the whole earth, to listen to this account [the first vision] and take measure of its truth. God bless us as those who believe in His divine manifestations and help us to extend knowledge of these great and marvelous occurrences to all who will listen. To these we say in a spirit of love, bring with you all that you have of good and truth which you have received from whatever source, and come and let us see if we may add to it. This invitation I extend to men and women everywhere with my solemn testimony that this work is true, for I know the truth of it by the power of the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Monday, September 27, 2010

THE SODA CAN TOWER

Along with the "Pillow Room" we heard about how Elder Haskell and his companion had saved all the soda cans and made a huge tower.
They thought it was just about the coolest thing ever!

The PILLOW ROOM

When I read about Elder Haskell and the infamous pillow room, I thought it was basically a closet with shelves that held all the pillows. So, when I got the pictures yesterday I couldn't believe it! It's like the ball pit at McDonald's but for elders! No wonder they thought it was cool!

Awesome.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten weeks at the MTC!

HOLA familia!

So, guess what? We STILL don't have our visa stuff yet and we were supposed to leave on Monday!! We don't have a classroom anymore, or a teacher, or a schedule.. its kinda wierd, we just make our own schedule now lol.. i love it here... but i need to go to Mexico already haha.

Not much has been happening here except for tie trading and waiting for visa stuff and OH, the basketball gym is now open!! finally! lol..


I cant believe I'm on my 10th week here. its flying by now but iv been told it goes by even faster in the field. i just cant wait to teach real people, and be in Mexico with REAL situations... ya know what i mean. you can only have so much "training" until you just need to dive into it.

Its weird to see all the elders leave too. Now, there are only 4 of us! All the other elders got re-assigned to California, st George, and salt lake city until their Mexico visa's come in. We were lucky to have the first part of our visa, which is hard to get. I'm glad i didn't get temporarily re-assigned.

Hey, by the way, i think when i get to Mexico I'm just gonna stick to emailing once a week and not worry about letters. Maybe a letter or package every couple months but its like a 3 week wait for packages and letters.

THANKS! THANKS! THANKS! for the money and hopefully the luggage tonight! seriously thanks so much! :) i miss you guys SO much! I'm sending you a Mexico shirt and some pictures of the pillow room and our TOWER OF CANS! haha. You should get it by Monday .

I gotta go do my laundry now but thanks for everything!

oh and dad, thanks for talking on the phone i miss you alot :) keep it up! your in my prayers!

Love ya fam!

-Elder Haskell

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

She wants the news? She can't handle the news!

Remember when Bambi's friend Thumper was told
"if you cant say anything nice, don't say anything at all"?
Well, our new saying for mom is
"If you cant handle googling the news in Mexico City,
don't google news at all".


That is all.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Departure to Mexico delayed

We received a call today from Elder Haskell. His departure date for Mexico may be delayed by a few days. They haven't yet received final clearance from the Mexican government. He was hoping to leave this Wednesday but it may be up to a week later. He can call us as soon as he knows and then from the airport just before leaving.
Maybe in our case, they want to be sure Elder Haskell's mom knows he is no longer just a 10 minute drive away!
While talking to the MTC we found out that Elder Haskell has the flu. He isn't sick very often so when he does get sick he tends to stress out a bit (okay, alot). He really, REALLY, hates being sick.
So, being sick, on top of not leaving on time, on top of being super anxious to get to Mexico, and all this after a few weeks of major stress levels due to health issues with his back, leaves us as his family with only one option......



We who know and love him, officially request that in your prayers tonight, you pray for the missionaries and those in charge at the MTC, who come in contact with Elder Haskell, that they will not be overwhelmed by our:

Blond-headed, stressed-out, flu-infected, kind-a Spanish speaking, Mexico bound, excited-to-get-going, mission-loving, means-well-but-can-drive-ya-nuts impatient son.

We love him dearly and know that after these past 7 weeks at the MTC, all those working with him, most likely deserve extra credit in heaven.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Email from Elder Haskell

HOLA

From: Joshua Timothy Haskell
To: brihaskell
----------------------------------------------------------------

Sooooo heres the latest.. out of the 10 elders in my district, 4 of us(including me) are waiting for the Mexico Consulate in Salt lake to call us up there to sign our name and then we can leave... but i have no idea when that will be and its taking them forever to get us up there and we only have until next monday.. so i guess we are waiting here at the MTC until that happens... which is going to be interesting because after monday we dont have a teacher or classroom... so its gonna get interesting in the next couple days haha.. oh and as for the the other 6 elders in my district. they didnt get the first step of their visa's like me so they are getting temporarily re-assigned to the states until their visa's come through. talk about headache!!

And about that 100 dollars, i think elyse is sending me a package this friday or saturday so maybe you can slip it in there with her package. just an idea.. i just hope i can leave soon.. this place is awesome but im ready to leave lol.

i heard about that earthquake in NZ! i hope everyone is ok!! and i hope lindsey is doing good. tell her i said i miss her and love her. and when it comes to dating guys.. its not about the quantity its about the quality. she deserves the best!

I MISS YOU ALL SOOO MUCH! i seriously miss you all alot... can i please get some pics of harley too! i have NONE of him haha! and i was telling everyone about him cuz they all have pics of their dogs so yeah, send it with elyse if u can!

oh and when im in mexico i have no idea what the best way of contact will be, but im guessing Email will be. the one im sending mail from to you today. thanks for your dearelders and stories. i really love getting them.. :) And you ended your last letter with you saying u had to do laundry, but guess what, i have to go do that now too. and im getting a haircut today! :)

Love you alot!

-Elder Haskell

Monday, September 13, 2010

Home away from Home








I have been checking out a few blogs from missionaries that are now serving in the exact area Elder Haskell will be serving in. I wanted to get an idea of where he will be living and I sure got a good glimpse!

Dirt roads flooded by all the rain, cows and sheep walking down the middle of the road, a cement home that looks like it will fall at any time, elders at a members home being ask to kill the rabbit for dinner and a very humble missionary apartment give me a bit of an idea of what is in store. How great would it be if every young man got to experience two years of service to another culture?! How different would the world be......

I have to say, thanks to years of living in New Zealand, Josh has seen all sorts of ways people live! He has seen many, many times that some of the greatest families have come from the most humble of homes. But then again, that's no big news. Christ was born in a stable.