Monday, July 25, 2016

My Mission in 4 Words.

Dear Familia Y Amigos, 

  The moment has arrived. I have seven days remaining in my beloved Perù. 
I was trying to think about what I would write, but I think I can sum up my 
entire mission in four words:
Gozo, Diligencia, Fe, y Amor. (Joy, Diligence, Faith, and Love). 

Joy.  Before I came here I thought I knew what joy meant.
I was completely wrong. I thought joy came from worldly things. 
I have come to fully realize that true joy comes from serving people you love. 
I have met some extremely poor families, but they were happy because they put the family and the gospel before anything else. 

     I thought poverty meant you didn’t have a microwave or a huge television. 
I have come to realize that poverty is so much more than that. 
There are people in this world that have dirt floors and a tin roof, but they are happy because they are obedient to the principles of the gospel. Words can not even describe the joy I have felt as I have shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with my beloved brothers and sisters here in Lima, Perù. 

Diligence.   I have come to learn that nothing worth having in this life is ever free. The only way we can make ends meet is by hard work, and giving one hundred percent of our efforts in everything we do. 

Faith.  I thought I had a testimony before the mission, but I have come to realize that my testimony was just about as big as a grain of sand compared to the testimony that I have obtained as a servant of the Lord for two years. The thing that has made my faith grow so much here in the mission is seeing the faith of others. 

     I heard a story of a missionary here that had a recent convert who only had ONE HEN, and she sold it so that she could pay for transportation to make it to the temple.

     I know a little elderly lady from southern Perù  that used to be a temple worker. She lives in a small house up in the hills, and can’t walk very well due to her age. She had to take a moto, and two or three different buses just to make it to the temple and back. 

     I have seen true miracles. I have seen the power of fasting. I have seen the power of tithing. I know people who barely have enough to eat, but they pay their tithing because they know that is what the Lord has commanded. 

  During my time here I have truly come to know my Savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. I love our Savior. I know that without him and his great atoning sacrifice, we are nothing. Everything we have, everything we do, and everything we may become is all thanks to our Lord, Jesus Christ. There are millions of people in this world that 
don´t know or realize that, but I have been blessed with the sacred opportunity to make that known to at least a handful of people. 

Love.  I think the best word to describe my two years as a missionary here in the Perù Lima North Mission is Love. I have come to know the meaning of love and charity. 
I love the Peruvian people with all my heart.
But I don’t know which is greater..the love I have for THEM, or the love they have shown to ME.

Love is the thing that causes a Peruvian to take care of a sick American missionary that doesn’t even speak Spanish, but has been throwing up all day. 

Love is the thing that causes a Peruvian family to offer that same missionary a piece of bread with bitter olives (a dinner that doesn’t seem like much, but one must realize that this same family was basically dying of hunger because of their extreme poverty). 

  Word´s cannot describe the love I feel for my Brothers and Sisters here in Perù.  Because of the love I have for them, I have given them the best, most priceless gift I have to offer. A gift that was given to me, the day I was born, a gift that was given to my great grandmother over eighty years ago when she knocked on a Mormon neighbor`s door to ask for a cup of sugar.....The restored gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

  The only thing I can say is that during my time here, I have seen miracles. I have seen countless people change their lives. I know that no challenge is too difficult to overcome when we have the power of Jesus Christ on our side. I know that this is just the beginning. In the years that come, I just know that I will see my converts leave on missions, be sealed in the temple with their families for all time and eternity, teach the gospel to their children, and prepare to be eternal families.

  I am eternally grateful that the Lord sent me here to Perú, and gave me this once in a lifetime opportunity to share the gospel with my beloved Peruvians.
I have made hundreds of new friends in my time here, and four thousand miles cannot separate us. I know I will return to see them all again. 
I have even made friends who have since passed away, but I know that I will see them again also. 

  I finish with the words of the Apostle Paul as he said goodbye to his recent converts….. “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
(Acts 20:24)

  I feel as if I am leaving a piece of my heart in my beloved Perù. 
A piece of me that will never return, and that will forever remain among the dusty streets, the quiet hills, and the humble homes of the people I have had the privilege of teaching over the course of two years. 

  May the Lord forever bless the country of Perù, 
and may the Lord forever bless the Peruvian People.
I love Perù, and I love the people of Perú.
I love the gospel. I love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

With much love, and Viva Perù, 
Elder Jacob Reschke

P.S.  I already sent my final email, but here is another one just to explain about my week.
We had the fantastic opportunity to go to the temple one last time.
It was such a spiritual day.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go one last time here.
The spirit there was so strong.  Other than that, we had a good week of teaching, and also we had a fun Peruvian Independence Day Ward Mission Activity.  
Because Peruvian Independence Day is coming up, everyone has their Peruvian flags out.

Love you all so much,
And I will see you in a week!

Monday, July 18, 2016

What a week!

Hola Familia Y Amigos,

It has been a good week here in the mission. On Monday, we took a trip to Center of Lima, which was pretty fun. We went to a giant store called Polvos Azules, and then we went on a double decker sight seeing bus to go up the Cerro San Cristobal, which has a pretty neat history. It is the hill that the Spanish conquistador, Fransisco Pizarro hiked to put up a big cross when the Spanish were battling it out with the Incas. We were on the upper level of the bus in the open air, and we got some really cool pictures.

     It has been a good week teaching as well. We are working with Yoice still, and we are hoping that everything will turn out well so that he can be baptized on the 30th. We had a good week teaching less actives and recent converts as well. We are working with a certain less active, and I promised him that if he would read his Book of Mormon for 15 minutes each day, then he would be able to overcome problems and difficulties he has been facing. He has been fulfilling his end of the commitment, and has seen great blessings in his life as a result. We are exciting to keep working with him so that he can come back to church. We are currently in the process of looking for new investigators. We were able to find a couple of potentials this week. 

     Today we woke up early to hike up the hill again! It was super cool because we hiked up while it was still dark outside, and we hiked through the fog, passed through the level of fog to the top, and the fog was blocking all the light from the city down below so you could see a ton of stars! It was incredible, and you could see the sun coming over the horizon, and it was the first time I have ever seen the Milky Way in Perú! It was a neat hike.

Well, that is about all that is new. I am preparing my talk that I am going to give on the 31st, and it is going to be sweet because a whole bunch of my friends and converts are going to come from all over to say goodbye. 

That is all that is new here in the Misión Perú Lima Norte. 
Hope you all have a fantastic week. 

Love, Elder Reschke. 

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What is the weather like now?
It’s weird weather.  It’s dusty but humid.  Is that possible?  It is super humid here. You leave a plate of crackers out and in 15 minutes they are just soggy.

Are your shoes holding up?
Oooooh, they are the most worn out shoes you have ever seen!

Are you excited to start running again?
I seriously need to start running, because I think I am kind of out of shape.  The Peruvian people  love us so much, that they give us so much tasty food.

Are you happy to be seeing us all again soon?
Ha ha ha of course I am excited to see you all!

What are your plans for your last day in Peru before returning home?
Well, today we received our instructions for our final day.  At six in the morning, that last day, we will leave the mission office and go to President’s house.  We are going to spend the whole day at his house and eat lunch and have our final interviews. Should be a good day.

What are your plans these next two weeks as a missionary?
I have realized that any person I contact at this point, I won’t see get baptized, so I am just grateful for the opportunity I have to share my testimony with the Peruvian people!

                                                                      City center:

                                                          Our hike early this morning:
                                                    Working hard to the end:
                                                     Last time at city center Lima:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Keep calm and work your tail off.

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 

This was a good week for us here in José Galvez. Happy Fourth of July last week! To celebrate we went to Chili’s to get some Chicken Fried Chicken, and they came out and said that they didn’t have the gravy. So I said, "Well due to the fact that there´s no gravy, you are going to compensate with some free chips and salsa or something aren´t you?" So we got free chips and salsa! And in the end, they gave us gravy too:) 

It was a good week, and our numbers this week were the highest numbers I have had in this area, as far as lessons, new investigators, and references. For that, we are happy. Elder Parra and I did a work visit to the sister missionaries in my District to help them a little bit with their contacting, so that went well.

      We have a little investigator named Yoice, and he is ten years old. He is awesome! He comes to church every week with his shirt and tie and, provided that his parent sign the baptismal permission, he is going to be baptized my last Saturday here.

A few days back we knocked on a door up in the hills, and this little old lady came out. We tried contacting her, but you could tell she didn’t understand Spanish very well. From the way she talked I noticed she had a Quechua accent, so I started talking to her in Quechua, and she seemed so relieved, and just went off talking in Quechua! Haha there are these other three ladies from the provinces and they were just sitting on a wall chatting, and I was talking to them all in Quechua, and they were laughing up a storm that a Gringo from the United States would learn their native language! 

      With my companion, we found a really cool mini-village like place high up in the hills, and we love to work there, because it is quiet, you can hear the birds singing, and it is just a lot more peaceful. 

I have been inviting all my converts and friends to my last sacrament meeting to come say goodbye, and it looks like quite a few of them will be there! I am so excited for that. I just can’t believe I only have three weeks left! It is so crazy, but I am trying to remain calm and work my tail off, so that I can leave it all on the field. Isn’t that what life is all about? Keep calm and work your tail off. Hope everyone has a great week, and I love ya´ll so much! 

Elder Reschke 

P.S.Yesterday I gave a SOLID Gospel Principles class on 
Eternal Families. The Spirit was super strong. 

P.S.S: Today I am going to center of Lima for the LAST TIME!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

No E-mail from you last week. We were sad.  What happened?
Sorry about the e-mail last week.  I had written the majority of the group e-mail, but before I could send it, the entire system froze up!

How was your week?
Everything is good here.  I am happy because we were able to teach 36 lessons this week!  We are working VERY hard so that I can finish strong.

Anything crazy happen this past week?
Well, I am sad because the silver llama tie clip that McKenna sent me fell off my tie and I looked down and it wasn’t on my tie anymore:(
Then a baptism fell through.
AND, we were walking to lunch yesterday, and we said “Oh that’s weird, it’s raining!”  Then we looked down and it was not rain.  It was paint falling from above because they were up there painting. Our shirts and pants and ties were rained on with bright orange paint!  Luckily I was able to rescue my tie.  But I think the shirt was done for.  

I have really put into practice some advise that Ben gave me in the beginning of my mission, that sometimes, when things go wrong you just have to laugh and count your blessings.  If there is one thing I have mastered out here on the mission, it is how to count my blessings.  And so I feel really good!

Are you going to be one of those weird return missionaries when you get home?
Well what do you mean by weird?  Because I have picked up some Peruvian habits.  Among them..eating rice with every meal, jay walking, eating soda crackers, loving salsa music, and using Peruvian slang!  Hahahahaha.

What are 3 things you are looking forward to when you get home in 3 weeks?
  1. Go to the temple with all the family.
  2. Play Monopoly Peru Version.  But do to the fact that not many of you speak Spanish, looks like it will just be me, Dad, Laura, and Esperaza (Spanish Sister in our Ward) playing.
  3. Sit down and show everyone my pictures and tell them all about the two year adventure I had, and have Arroz Con Leche for dessert.  (Hope you don’t get bored because I have a lot of stories to tell you all.)

Hope you aren’t disappointed when you get home, we didn’t redecorate your room or anything like that.
Not at all, I WANT to come home to the same old room!

                                                              My desk in our room:

                                 Working up in the hills.  We absolutely love it up here:

A week late.

Dear Familia Y Amigos,

*(The computers quit working last week at the Internet Cafe, so this is the email from last week, sorry this is a week late.)

I hope you all had a fantastic week. We had a good week. For P. Day, on Thursday, we had the opportunity to meet President Godfrey and his family. He will only be my Mission President for a month, but I am very excited to learn a lot of things from him in the short time we will have together. He is here with his wife and three kids, and it is nice to have them.  President Godfrey is very intelligent, and is going to do a great job. I am grateful to the Godfrey family for the sacrifice they have made to preside over us missionaries for three years.

This week we brought one of our recent converts to the Family History Center to do his Family History, and I took advantage of the opportunity to log into my own account for a few minutes. I found a document written by Grandpa Reschke that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a story called “Pioneer Road”, and talks about the immigration stories of him and Grandma. I especially liked the part about the two young Mormon´s on the mountain top in Italy, praying that God would direct them the promised land. 

Afterwards, we walked out of the chapel, and as I walked down the streets of Lima, Peru, with my companion by my side, I noticed the dusty streets, the bicycle carts selling fresh tropical fruits, the sound of Motos rushing in every direction, and the children running free down the streets, and I was filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude towards my grandparents. Thanks to the fact that they had the courage to take the road less traveled, I have the marvelous opportunity to share the gospel for two years with my beloved brothers and sisters of Perú. Just as my grandfather knelt in prayer on the mountain top in Genoa, Italy nearly sixty four years ago, his grandson has the opportunity to kneel in prayer with his beloved Peruvians, in a dirt floored house with a tin roof, praying that Heavenly Father will direct his children to the path that they need to follow. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic week, and stay tuned til next week. 

Con Amor, 
Elder Reschke 

                        Feeling blessed for the privilege of serving the Peruvian people:
                                                               My Companion and I:
                                                                The country I love:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Short and Sweet.

Hola Padres,

This was a good week for us here in José Galvez.
All is well and we are happy and working hard.

Elder Reschke

*(Note from Mom:  This was the extent of our email today.
We are going with the “No News is Good News” theory.)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Hola Familia! 

This has been a fantastic week here in Lima, Perú. On Monday, we had to say goodbye to my companion, Elder Onofre. On Tuesday, I received a new companion, Elder Cossio from La Paz, Bolivia. He is such a cool guy! We are already really good friends. We get along super well, and he is going to be my last companion of the mission. I am here in Josè Galvez still, in the last transfer of my mission, and I will be finishing up the mission as District Leader still. 

I am super excited to work hard this last month of my mission, and give my all to the Lord. 

We had a really great week actually. The highlight was definitely the baptism of Maria, and she was baptized by her son, Lee, who is our convert that got baptized a month ago. It was such a great experience, and she was so excited to be baptized. 

Afterwards, I had the privilege of baptizing a family of investigators that the Sister Missionaries have been teaching. It was the funniest baptism of my life, because during the baptism, the young single adults were having an international dance festival outside, and the music was really loud. It just so happened that when I was baptizing the sister, the American dance was going on, and Cotton Eyed Joe was playing outside, REALLY LOUD! Hahahaha then when I got out of the font to go change, somebody had taken my backpack with my dry clothes and towel, and taken it outside with them. So there were no dry clothes!! Luckily they reported it to the DJ and we found my backpack so I could change! Other than the fact that they were blasting Cotton Eyed Joe during the baptism, it was a very spiritual night, and we were able to see four people make a covenant with our Heavenly Father.

Moreover, today our beloved President John Erickson finishes his time as Mission President over the Peru Lima North Mission. We had a goodbye meeting on Friday, and we had the privilege of listening to his final testimony, and that of Sister Erickson as well. It was kind of a sad moment, when we took our last picture with Presidente Erickson. He has definitely been a very influential person in my life. At the same time, we are excited to meet the new president, Presidente Godfrey and his family.

We have one baptismal date in the moment, and that is Hermana Doris who is preparing to be baptized on the 9th of July. We have a lot of really cool investigators in the moment, including Jenny, Mariella, Ayda, and Melanie. We are excited to work with them this week so that they can come to church and prepare to be baptized before I peace out. We had some very spiritual experiences with them this week, and we really feel that they will progress quite well.

Last Monday, I received a visit from the Familia V., from Canto Grande. They came all the way from San Juan De Lurigancho to my area to see me. If that isn’t affection, I don´t know what is. I was so happy to share a few moments with them, and to be able to see the four of them once again. We had a little dinner, and they brought me some gifts from Tarapoto, in the Jungle. They are one of the coolest families I have met here, and it was a privilege to be able to see them again.

Well, sorry for such a long email, it was an eventful week. 
I love you all so much, and I hope you all have a fantastic week. 
I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. I love Perù.

Con Mucho Amor Y Cariño, 
Elder Jacob Reschke

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week.

You will be home in 5 weeks!  What foods are you hungry for?
Mom’s home-cooked food…….Sunday roast beef dinner, tamale pie,
chicken with homemade noodles, and that zucchini cut in match sticks with chicken and brown rice.  Ohhh How tasty.  Oh and your lasagna!
Also, Cafe Rio, Wendy’s Frosty’s, Trio's,  REAL MILK (not the bagged stuff I’ve been drinking for two years), chocolate milk of course, and Great Harvest Pumpkin Bread!

My new companion, Elder Cossio from La Paz, Bolivia:
               Saying good-bye to President and Sister Erickson.  It was sad saying good-bye:
                                                                            My area:
                                                       Baptism of Maria by her son:
                           The family I baptized this week that the Sisters have been teaching:
                                                                    Hola from Perú:
                                          Sharing the book I love with the people I love:

                           One last picture of President (and Sister) Erickson that we love:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fechas Bautismales!

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 
     I hope all is well with you guys. This has been a good, but fairly normal week for us here in the mission. The big news of the week, is that changes are today and they announced that my companion has a change. My new companion is going to be a fairly new missionary from Bolivia. I have talked to him once. He seems like a nice guy. We are very excited to be working with all the Investigators in our area.

Maria is doing well. She is preparing to be baptized this Saturday, so she is excited for her baptism. We are also working with Doris, a very kind 63 year old lady we met while knocking on doors. She already knew about the Mormons because her sister is a member. She is very receptive, and has already come to church two times. She is preparing to be baptized on the 2nd of July, so we are excited for that. She really likes to be in the church and make new friends, and she likes to mark up her Book of Mormon and take lots of notes during the lessons. She is going to be a very good member.

      For P. Day last week we had a pretty chill day. We ate lunch at Plaza Norte, and then we just hung out. Today we are going to play soccer! Speaking of soccer, the American Cup is going on, so it’s been a little difficult this week to make appointments. Everyone is busy watching the games! Especially when Perù plays!

      It is so neat to be here and to experience the culture of such a different part of the world. I absolutely love it. Last week at church, I gave a talk, passed the sacrament, AND taught the Gospel Principles class.

      I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. Well, all is fantastic here in Perù, and I am excited to go into power mode my last change here in the field, so that I can leave it all on the field. Hope you all have a great week, and “keep on keepin` on!”

Love you all,
Love Elder Reschke.

P.S. Sorry no pics this week because I think my camera SD card got a virus!