Monday, September 29, 2014

Finally Here!

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 
     Finally here in Peru. It is so nice to get out of the CCM and just be free to roam the streets and talk with everyone. It reminds me that there is a world out there! 

     This has probably been the most crazy week of my life, but one of the most amazing. We made it to Peru alright. Ha ha. I told the airport people I would be here for ninety days. That is what you are supposed to do, because then you can worry about the Visa later. Some of the other missionaries said two years, and the airport people were like¨"WHAT??" and then the missionaries look over to me and frantically say "Elder Reschke help what am I going to do?" ha ha but we spent that first night at some random missionaries houses and had a training the next day. The Mission President and his wife are very nice people. Then we got our companions and it was off into the big world.

      My companions name is Elder Martinez from Honduras, and he doesn’t speak English. But we understand each other fine...usually...and he is very nice. I live SMACK in the middle of an area called El Progreso. These are some of the humblest people I have ever seen in my life. Tin roofs with some rooms with no roof at all, bathrooms consisting of toilets out back covered by a thatched wall, and I used the bathroom at one of the houses the other day and there were a bunch of chickens just chilling in the bathroom.

      It is super dusty and there are hundreds of homeless dogs everywhere...they just eat garbage I guess. But you know what? It is amazing because these are the nicest, happiest people you have ever met in you entire life. Direct quote from one man:
 ¨"My house is poor, but my love for you is great."

      We went on splits the other day and I went with the District Leader to an appointment up in the hills. The person wasn’t home but we started talking to her neighbor. Classic Peruvian lady. She lived in a little house with a tin roof and a dirt floor. We started to teach here and she just broke down crying saying that she knows God commanded his angels to send us to her house to come teach her about the Gospel. It was an amazing experience. The people are so open to hearing the gospel, and we found these two GOLDEN investigators named Elsa and Osvely. They are super interested and they listen to everything we say and accept it. We brought them with us to church and they loved it and stayed for all three hours. They agreed to be baptized on October 18th.

      They are always willing to feed you, and the food is fantastic. Lots of chicken and rice and I think I had liver of some sort of animal the other day. Lots of really good homemade fruit drinks. And no there is not a Walmart anywhere near here. They have little tiendas (shops) on every street corner. Which is nice. IN America you have thirty different choices of deodorant but here you have three. 
I have three Pensionistas to help us out. One to do our laundry, one named Hermana Isabel to cook us dinner, and one named Hermana Norma to cook us breakfast. We eat lunch with a different person every day. (I see *Elder Koji Aoki every day at lunch!)

     The little Peruvian kids just roam around the streets and we will stop and play soccer with them. We play soccer with our Zone every Saturday and Monday, and we are preparing for the big tournament. I play defense, and we are ordering Ghana soccer jerseys with our names and numbers on them. 

     If you touch our shower while the water is running you get electrocuted. 
But it’s worth it to have warm water.

     The Spirit I have felt this week was absolutely amazing. We had a baptism of one of our Investigators on Saturday. They asked me to pick the hymns and to speak at his Spanish...I just said a little prayer and crossed my fingers and went for it and it was really good.

     So I guess another part of the job description of missionaries is to organize marriages. We are going to the government building tomorrow to get the papers, and we get to go to the reception:)

      The church building here is actually nicer than most in America, and the soccer field we play on is really nice turf as well.

      The transportation is wild. I think that if somebody wants to drive a bus then they just find a bus and drive it. They cram a ton of people on the busses, and they also have these interesting little vans crammed full of people that just pull up and pick you up. And, for traveling in the hills they have these little things called motos. I don’t know how else to describe it but a three wheeled covered motorcycle. We have taken all three modes of these transportations.

      I don’t have a ton of time so I will talk more next week. Love you all so much, and always remember that Heavenly Father knows and loves you and that the work of Jesus Christ is real. I am so grateful and excited for my opportunity to share this message with the world.
Love Always, 
Elder Reschke 

*Elder Aoki is one of Elder Reschke's friends from our Stake!

                          Elder Reschke is finally in Peru, happy and ready to serve the people there:

                                          Elder Reschke and his companion, Elder Martinez:
                                                         Elder Reschke's area, El Progreso:
                                                         Elder Reschke's apartment:
                                    Elder Aoki on the right side, a friend from our Stake:
                                                                First baptism in the field:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Elder Reschke arrived safely in Peru:

(Elder Reschke arrived late Monday night, September 22, 2014, in Lima Peru.  We received this email from his Mission President today.)

Dear Reschke Family,

We are thrilled to welcome Elder Reschke to the Peru Lima North Mission and look forward to working with him. He will write to you on Monday, his preparation day.

Hermana Erickson

President and Hermana Erickson with Elder Reschke:

                                     New missionaries with President and Hermana Erickson:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Off to Peru. Week 5 at the CCM. (Mexico City MTC)

Hola Amigos Y Familia!

     How goes it? Things are just dandy down here at the CCM. Its crazy how fast people sift through here. You get to be such good friends with a district of people, and then they fly off to San Antonio or wherever and you will probably never see them again! But this was a good week. I really do love Sunday's here. They are so spiritual and awesome. 

     Monday was a way cool day. We got all this authentic Mexican candy, and they decorated the whole comedor with Red White and Green. These people go all out. We had a fiesta that night. They had all these Mexican dancers put on a show for us. Mexican music was going, and they had all these colorful dresses and sombreros and stuff. Their costumes looked like Chevy Chase and Steve Martin in that movie "The Three Amigos" after that, they had a flag ceremony, and they did the "Grita por Independencia" which apparently is like a pretty big deal. They rung this bell, and we all shouted "¡VIVA MÉXICO!" over and over, and then they shot off these big booming fireworks. We then sung the Mexican National Anthem. That night, pretty much everyone in México was having a fiesta. Loud Mexican music, and shooting off fireworks ALL NIGHT. When I woke up at six thirty the next morning I´m pretty sure one of the parties was still going. Oh and in Mexico they put spicy chili powder in their candy! Its pretty good, but definitely different. Neat experience to be here for the Dia De Independencia. 

     We got our travel plans on Tuesday, and I leave the CCM for Perú at eleven A.M. Monday morning. So I only have a few days left. It is going to be such an adventure, I can't wait. I will have some buddies to fly with so that will be good.

     On Tuesday we got to watch a live devotional from Provo that was broadcasted to all the MTC's in the world. I was in the choir and we sung  "Nearer My God to Thee" in spanish before Richard G. Scott spoke. He gave a great talk about how we can pray and receive revelation from the Holy Ghost. It was fantastic. The opening song on the broadcast was "Called to Serve", and on the broadcast that were all singing in English, so we were to. But then our Mission President stood up and put his arms out like, "What are you guys doing!?" So then immediately it changed to Spanish. It was kind of funny. 

    * We had a way good devotional from the CCM director, and he read us this old french poem called "Come To The Edge." Go look it up, because it is pretty good. 

     We still play some pretty intense games of fútbol during gym, and that's always fun. 

     Last night we taught another person via Skype. Her name was Luz, and she was really nice. We talked to her about revelation and blessings she can receive through church attendance. It was a good lesson, but at the last minute we got put on splits so I taught with this kid that is not my companion. We did pretty well though!

     I have been thinking a lot this week about faith. There is a scripture out there that says something like trust in the Lord and lean not upon your own understanding. I never really knew what that second part meant until I realized that we just need to trust in Heavenly Father one hundred percent, and do what he would have us do, not what we would have ourselves do. Faith is such a huge part of having happiness and joy in our lives. My time here has been an adventure, but in a few days I head out on the second leg of this fantastic journey. Hope all is well back home.

Love Always,
Elder Reschke

*Poem from CCM Mission President:

“Come to the edge, he said.
We are afraid, they said.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came to the edge,
He pushed them and they flew.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They came. It pushed them...
And they flew.”

Mexico City CCM:

                                                 Looks like Elder Reschke has the top bunk:
                                                        Elder Reschke's mission badge:
                                                        How they celebrate in Mexico:

                                                                       P. Day again:

                                                           Elder Reschke's District:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hola! Final Kick of the race called CCM. Week 4 at the CCM. (Mexico City MTC)

Hola Everybody! 
How goes it! This will probably be a pretty scattered email because it was a pretty random week. 

First of all, they have been teaching us the Mexican Anthem, because Mexican Independence Day is coming up and we are performing it at the Fiesta. The Fiesta they are going to have is apparently going to be really cool with like real food and Mexican Dancing Lessons. I almost feel like I get to serve two missions: Mexico, and Peru. Our teacher told us that from the fourteenth through the sixteenth of September we shouldn´t plan on getting any sleep at all. Because the entire country will be having fiestas with loud music and fireworks and shooting guns into the air. ALL NIGHT. FOR THREE NIGHTS. He said the fiestas will be over around six a.m. but that's when we wake up so it doesn´t really make a difference. Haha I am pretty excited though!

 FYI the Ice Cream Sandwiches are amazing, and better than Fat Boys because they don't stick to your fingers.

 So I decided the Mexican's absolutely do not care about safety. Nobody wears helmets and they will stack a gazillion people in the back or on top of a truck. Haha.

 It's really fun to see how you guys are getting along back in the ol´ US of A. Oh and thanks for all the letters, because getting a letter is the most amazing feeling in the world. 

We are still playing a lot of Fútbol and Volleyball. I´m pretty much Ronaldo by now. Or at least I think I am until the Latinos come play with us. Then I just feel like a kindergartner playing soccer against Ronaldo. 

But the guys in our Casa are super tight. We were feeling American on Friday Night, so we had a little chill time with ¨cold Rootbeer on a Friday Night, a pair of Jeans that fit just right and the Soundtrack music Oooonnnn¨ (I think Lizzy Andy and maybe McKenna will be the only ones who get that reference.) But P. Day is pretty much like our weekly Christmas, so that's pretty awesome. Oh if you guys could keep me updated on who BYU plays each week and the score of the game that would be pretty sweet. 

On the more spiritual side of things, the lessons are going great. Elder Fullmer and I are getting pretty good at teaching lessons and answering investigators questions in Spanish, so that is cool. Even though we pretty much just teach teachers and other districts, the Spirit is always so strong. Because it's not us thats the teacher, it is the Spirit that is the teacher. 

To be completely honest, this has been one of the hardest but one of the best months of my life at the same time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to dedicate 24/7 of my time to the Lord´s work. I learned this week that the spirit speaks to each of us in a different way. What way does the spirit speak to you guys?
Everytime we all gather as missionaries and sing  "Called to Serve" in Spanish, the Spirit is always way strong. I joined the MTC choir and get to sing at the devotional. Tenor, Like Usual:) and in Español, Like Usual:)

 We saw some pictures of Peru the other day and I can´t even tell you how excited I am to get there. The work of the Lord is real, and there are 80,000 full time missionaries in the world, but that doesn´t mean every one of you cant be a missionary. Go out there tomorrow and find somebody´s life you can change. And like Elder Holland said,  "Astonish Somebody". Because the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Love you all so much, and keep being the amazing support that you are.
 Love Always,
 Elder Reschke

P.S. I won some Movie Tickets Redeemable in Mexico in a package of Cookies. Or at least I think that is what I won, if I translated it right. Too bad I can't go to movies, but if any of you are ever in Mexico, I will leave the tickets under a rock outside the Tienda, and you can swing by the CCM and get them. Good Date Night Maybe?:)

                                                             Elder Reschke selfie:

                                                     Elder Reschke and Elder Osbourne:
                          Elder Reschke and an Elder who looks like Christan (Jake's friend):
                                                  Big slide behind the misisonary housing:

Chillin' on a Friday night with the boys, drinking rootbeer.
(The shoes Elder Reschke is wearing are not shoes he left home with.)

                                                                    Stacks of chairs:
                                                           P. Day volleyball today:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Whoaa, were halfway there, Whoa, livin on a prayer!!‏ Week 3 at the CCM. (Mexico City MTC)

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 
Did you guys like the Bon Jovi-ness of my Subject line?:) Well we are halfway through with our training here at the CCM, and it has been a VERY eventful week. Dont even know where to start. Mexican Doritos are fabulous. Oh and I had the best popsicle of my life the other day. Tortillas are pretty much a way of life now. So Mexican Independence Day is coming up so everything here is decked out with red white and green. They are having us learn the national anthem, because I guess we are going to be performing it later on. The power goes out here quite a bit! We had to get the maintenance dude to come fix our light switch, and our toilet. (Dont ask).

 Still getting up in the mornings to run. The other day there was this creepy fog over the grass and it looked like Chupicabra CENTRAL. Pretty freaky. The guys in the room across from us are pretty tight, and we do abs and core work every night.

On Sunday, we watched an old M.T.C  Devotional that Richard G. Scott gave.
 I think it is safe to say that it was the best talk I have seen in my life.
It was all about prayer, and the Spirit. The Spirit was so strong.
 The video kept playing, and they had the closing song, but then he got up AGAIN and said, I just have one more thing to say. And if an apostle of the Lord says that, then you know its important.
 He went on to talk about how we are missionaries Called of the Lord, and about our calling and things like that. It was way cool, and I have never seen anything like it.

 The Tuesday night Devotional was good. This guy from the Seventy talked about serving with unity with others. We watched a good movie about Christ and another one about this pioneer who pretty much gave the church everything he owned.

 So on Monday, Elder Fullmer and I taught the best lesson of our life. It was to a less active member, aka a CCM teacher. But I´m pretty sure she was crying, and she told us afterwards that ours was the best one of the night, and that she could tell we had the spirit with us. Kinda cool. The language is coming along really well! Last night we taught a TRC investigator. This was a legit investigator, not an actor. Well actually he is an inactive member that agreed to do this. We taught the lesson over skype, which was super weird but cool. He was just chilling at his house as he talked to  us. We told him about how the spirit can guide him in his life and how he can receive revelation through the Book of Mormon. It was a pretty good lesson, and hopefully he takes it to heart.

 I have been thinking a lot about prayer this week and how important it is. Like Richard G. Scott said,
"Pray even when you have no desire to pray....That is when you most need to pray."

Today we went to the Mexico City Temple. We couldn´t go inside because it was closed, but we went around the visitor center which was way nice. The Spirit there was way strong, and we watched a good movie about how families can be "together forever". It is such a pretty temple. If any of you are ever in Mexico City, swing be the temple visitor center, its worth a visit.

The ride there was definitely an adventure. Here is what I saw:  A motorcycle with a mom a dad and a three year old kid wedged in between, some mariachi music, crowds of people waiting on the street corner for a red light and they attack the cars selling stuff and washing windows, a truck that pulled up with a bunch of people on top and they were all waving and yelling HOLA!, a bunch of buses stuffed with people, a very overloaded garbage truck, a taxi with a marijuana leaf sticker, lots of taco and empenada carts some which look like bikes and they just peddle them around, a mime in the middle of the intersection, a guy painted silver that was juggling and eating fire, a guy relieveing himself on the street, a guy flipped us off, and we almost got in a few wrecks because the drivers here are CRAZY! You think Utah drivers are bad. But it was such a great experience to see all the sounds and sights and colors and people and smells. Definitely a neat cultural experience.

 As soon as we got through the gates back into the CCM, you could just feel how peaceful it is here. All the grass is perfectly trimmed, everything is clean and safe, and you can definitely tell that the Lord is paying attention and watching over the thousand missionaries that are here. Oh and apparently this is the biggest M.T.C. in the world, Size Wise, not people wise.

Well thats about all thats new here in Central America. Just remember, Amigos, that the Lord watches over EVERY one of his children and he knows each of us perfectly. He has a glorious plan for us and wants us to succeed. Love you all so much.

 Sending Love To the Shire,
 Elder Reschke

P.S. The WALK signs for the cross walks here are like animated and the little white guy actually walks. Blew my mind.

                       Elder Reschke and his companion Elder Fullmer at the Mexico City Temple:

                                                       Missionaries with their cameras:
                                                        At the Mexico City Temple:
                                       Elder Reschke at the Mexico City Temple on P. Day:
                     Elder Reschke and Elder Fullmer at the Mexico City Temple Visitor's Center:

Not sure who this picture is, AND that is NOT the backpack Elder Reschke left home with:
                                                         Sights around Mexico City:
                                              People on the streets of Mexico City:

Elder Reschke and the colorful houses of Mexico City: