Monday, October 27, 2014

The Work is Great!

Hola Familia Y Amigos!
This was a really good week. The highlight was definitely my first baptism, but I will talk more about that in a second. First, let me give you the list of the strange foods I have tried so far! Here goes: chicken feet, chicken liver, cow liver, horse (I think), fermented potato soup that’s supposed to be really good for fending off colds, but personally I would rather have a cold than choke that stuff down, and last but not least, Guinea Pig!

So they don’t really have cross walks here, you kinda just have to go for it. I have had some close calls with a couple motos, and I have already accepted the fact that I am going to get hit at one point in the next two years. They are so tiny though, the only thing that would hurt is my pride.

I am kind of becoming a tight wad with money, because things are so cheap down here. One Sol is about thirty cents, and so if I see something that is five soles it's like two dollars but I say, "NO way that’s a ripoff!"

I realized this week that there are a lot of things in the U.S. that I took for granted, like soft serve ice cream machines for example. We found one the other day and got so excited! My new favorite snack is Canchita, which is basically roasted popcorn kernels that never popped into popcorn. Everyone has it and its amazing. I still want to send a picture of all the whole chickens and pig heads hanging up in the marketplace, but if I take out my camera there somebody will snatch it up and take off.

Last night the sky was pretty clear and we could actually see the ocean off in the distance! That was pretty neat.

On the more spiritual side of things, the baptism this week was fantastic. I baptized Osvely, and Elder Martinez baptized her mom. The Spirit was way strong. I had the opportunity to confirm her the next day in Sacrament Meeting, which was probably the most out of my comfort zone I have ever been, but with the gift of tongues, it went just great. They are so happy to be members of the church, and now we are teaching her sister and dad and last night we set up a baptismal date for them. They absolutely know it is true and are excited to be baptized. 

Last night we were looking for an address up in the hills and I noticed some people who needed a bunch of couches and chairs moved up the hill. We ran up and carried their couches up this steep dirt hill and brought them into their house for them. They were really grateful and sat us down and gave us some wantons and Inka Kola. They then listened intently as we taught them about the Plan of Salvation. They are way interested and want to learn more, so we set up another appointment. Just goes to show that a little service goes a long way, and that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Joseph Smith said that the message of the restored gospel will travel the entire earth until it has sounded in every ear of every land. It is so neat to see that prophecy being fulfilled, and I am honored to be a part of it. The work of the Lord is so real, and I can feel each and every one of your prayers strengthening me every day. Love you all so much.

Elder Reschke 

P.S. My new favorite band is called Corazon Serrano. When they had the elections, one of the candidates brought Corazon Serrano to our area and had a free concert in the streets. All of Peru loves Corazon Serrano, so of course they voted for that guy and he won the election!

Questions Elder Reschke answered today:

 What are some of the things you eat each day?
Lunch we eat with a different member or investigator every day. Always they have some kind of noodle soup with random chicken parts floating in it, and then they bring out either papas rellenas, or chicken and potatoes, and always a TON of rice. The Relief Society President likes to cook fish for us, and they usually have spicy sauce homemade, or homemade huancayina sauce. They eat a TON of carbs here like rice and potatoes.

Breakfast is usually an egg sandwich with this juice she just puts bagged milk in the blender with bananas and blends it up. IT’S WAY GOOD!

You said that you love the fruit there.  What kind of fruit do you eat?
Maracuya is my favorite, but also mangos, sugarcane, mandarin oranges, avocados, REALLY good watermelon, and they sell super cheap pineapple on the street that I want to try. I think my favorite food of all time here is Arroz con Leche. And Hermana Norma makes really good arroz con leche

What is the laundry situation?
The Pensionistas wash my clothes and iron them which is pretty sweet. While other missionaries are cooking and doing laundry on P. Days we are out exploring and having fun because the Pensionistas take care of all that.

Have you seen a llama?
The llamas of Peru are in the south of Peru by Machu Picchu but I think I will probably see one when we visit the center of Lima sometime!

Do you get to run at all?
We get to run about three times a week or so! I am definitely the one who initiates it. Nobody in Peru runs for fun except for me, I have decided. I haven’t seen anyone else running.  The fútbol is always so fun.  Somehow I made it onto the Latino Team so that was a blast! 

What is your testimony like? 
My testimony is getting stronger and stronger every day! I need to write it out someday. I have amazing spiritual experiences every day down here, it’s so neat! It really is so amazing having Elder Aoki here to help me out! And, the Peruvians really are amazing people. They are all so nice. They are teaching me Quechua! 
                                                            Osvley's baptism:

                                                         Baptism of Elsa and Osvely:
                                  Eder Reschke, Osvely, Elsa, and Elder Martinez at baptism:
                                                            Elsa and Osvely's baptism:
             Elder Reschke can always find chocolate milk!  It might be in a bag, in Peru,
                                                                but it IS chocolate milk:
                                                                     In town:
                                                        Up in the hills of Elder Reschke's area:
                                                     Overlooking the city of Lima:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hola from Peru!

Hola Everyone! 

I´m gonna go ahead and apologize right now that my emails are so random and scattered! haha. Another busy awesome week in Peru. My one month mark in Peru is today! 

I ate chicken feet this week! It kinda had the consistency of human fingers, with SHARP little toenails. Also ate a mystery meat which we are 87% sure was horse. I think the market is one of my favorite parts of Peru. Because everyday these farm trucks just show up full of lettuce or bananas or whatever, and live chickens that they just slaughter on the spot and hang the whole chicken from a hook, and pigs heads and stuff like that! It is pretty crazy. But the fruit here is good!

Last week we went to Plaza Norte which is a big nice mall kind of like Fashion Place. They have this one hallway just full of Peruvian stuff for sale! I´ll start taking orders now, and fill up my suitcase before I come home in 2 years. I bought this really nice knitted alpaca sweater with llamas on it for like ten American dollars.

There are hundreds of homeless dogs out on the streets that just eat garbage. I carry a rock with me everywhere I go to fend them off, but the other day we stole Elder Aoki´s Dog Dazer. Best. Thing. Ever. 

Half of my área is nice and flat, but the other half is steep dirt hills that we hike up. Dad you would like it here because we get to hike just about every day! haha. The motos are a good mode of transportation but funny because they are so small but people trick them out and add big mud flaps, big stereo systems, and funky blue lights. I´ll send a picture of a moto, and you are never going to believe that we fit six people in there!

I think I’ve eaten just about every ítem from the Peruvian cookbook, except Ceviche which the people love but missionaries are not allowed to eat. Arroz con leche is my favorite. Basically rice and sweetened condensed milk with cloves and nutmeg. It is the best!

The work of the Lord is going absolutely fantastically. Is that a word? Anyway, we have so many people to teach that we can’t even keep up with them all. The lessons are awesome, and so spiritual. People are so open to our message and want to hear more. The baptism of our awesome investigators, Elsa and Osvely is this week, and we are way excited. We have actually started teaching their sister and dad who are way interested, and they brought their cousin and little niece to church on Sunday. So the whole family is interested, and progressing very rapidly. 

When I first got my call I thought it would be hard teaching lessons in Spanish, but now it just seems natural. I don’t even think in English sometimes anymore. I understand that we as missionaries don’t know all the answers. But, I just let the Spirit be the teacher, and bear testimony, and you can’t go wrong with that. I really love the opportunity that we have to study the Góspel so much everyday, I am learning so much. 

I heard a quote from President Uchtdorf that said  "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."  I just know that the Lord everyday is strengthening me, and I can feel all of your prayers every day. Thank you so much!

Much Love, 
Elder Reschke

P.S. When Elder Cristopherson gave his talk did he actually say “BUENOS DIAS” in the beginning, or was that just a translation?:)

                                                  Elder Reschke's new sweater made from alpaca:
                                               The mode of transportation for missionaries:
                                                        Elder Reschhke and Elder Koji Aoki:
                                                               Chicken Foot Soup:
                                                                The market in Peru:
                                                                     Sunset in Peru:
                                                        Elder Reschke and Elder Aoki:
                                                      Halloween package from home:

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Viva Peru"

Hola Familia Y Amigos!
Como Estan?

Glad to hear all is well back home. This was a pretty good week! Monday was the World Cup! Our whole Zone got customized Ghana Jersey's with our names, number, mission logo, Zone name, and flag of our home country. They were pretty sweet looking. Every missionary in the mission made the trek to the world cup field, and GUESS WHAT!? We lost. It was really sad. BUT, I’m convinced that the game was fixed! Because the only goals in the game were penalty shots against us, so I think the refs just favored the other team. But it's okay, we will redeem ourselves.

I´m becoming Lima Street Smart. For example, you don’t ask how much something is, you just give them the amount it usually is. Because if a Gringo asks how much something is, they will raise the price. Also, if you need to make a bigger purchase like shoes, you hide and let a native buy them for you, because if a Gringo goes to the cash register with a pair of shoes, they will charge you more. 

I am sending a picture of the tortoise I held. His name is Samye. I am also sending a picture of the monkey I held, his name was Marten. 

I saw a banana tree the other day! That was pretty weird. 

I was walking through the market with Elder Aoki and someone pointed and said, “look! Un Chino, Y un Gringo!” Haha, and this little kid in a school pointed at me and yelled, “hey look a gringo!!! Haha it’s pretty funny. 

There are tons of Chinese food and chicken places here. I´m learning Quechua, the native Peruvian language. I can count to five, and say “what is your name, where are you from, thank you, and see you tomorrow!” My companion also gave me a copy of The Book of Mormon in Quechua. Its kind of like a mix of Japanese, Spanish, and German. It's really strange! 

Church is awesome. The chapel is really really nice. We bring investigators to church with us every week, and it’s always nerve racking because you have to make sure they are having a good time, and understanding everything. But it’s awesome, I love it. 

Conference was good, and I could understand more of it than I expected! We also brought investigators to conference. The words of the prophet are so powerful! That was definitely the highlight of the week. 

The missionary work is going well. I am a lot more involved in the lessons now because I can actually speak Spanish now. The people are amazing, and we are getting really excited for the baptism coming up in two weeks. It’s cool, because these Investigators I have taught all the way through. The Spirit is always so strong when we teach them. But there is one thing that makes a mission extra tough. It’s that you feel the same feelings as each one of the investigators. You love them like your family, which is good, but also bad. When they are happy you are happy, when they are sad you are sad. When they are having relationship problems or lost their job, you feel sad for them. I just know that when I get transferred I am going to miss the people in this area so much. 

This week, I kept thinking about how each one of us is a Child of God. He knows each and every one of us perfectly, and when we are sad he is sad. When we are happy he is happy. It's a simple thought, but very powerful. The work of the Lord is so amazing!

 Love you all so much,
 Love, Elder Reschke

P.S. Street vendor churros are amazing. Also street vendor sugar cane is really good. Especially for your teeth. Jk. But they have this really good fruit I have never had before my mission called Maracuya. It makes the best juice!

Ready for the "World Cup" soccer game:
                                                                  Zone soccer team:
                                                               Working with other missionaries:
                                                               On the streets of Lima:
                                                                    Samye the tortoise:
                                                               Marten the monkey:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Guinea Pig!

Hola Famila Y Amigos. 

     How goes everything? We get to email on Saturday this week because Monday is the Mundial. AKA WORLD CUP! Mission President thinks that our team is one of the favorites:) haha.

      But I have officially tried Inka Kola, and it is pretty good. We had Chinese food on P. Day, so that was yummy. Elder Aoki and his companion eat lunch with us everyday. 

     They have these hustling and bustling market places on some of the streets, which are just madness. People all over just selling stuff. I got a Peruvian team jersey for 13 Soles, which is about as much as a hamburger back in the U.S. They sell name brand stuff that isn’t really that brand. For example, they will get a no name pair of cleats and just slap the Nike logo on and sell them as Nike’s. 

     We went to this Ward party, and they had food and stuff so that was fun. We also went to a birthday party and had some really good cake.

      I am finally getting accustomed to life in Peru, and it is SO different than the U.S. But the people are awesome. I tried this stuff yesterday called Tokosh, that is basically potato soup. 

     Wednesday we convinced an Investigator to make Cui for us, which is Guinea Pig! We had it for dinner last night. It was right. Kinda tasted like a mix of chicken and pork, except there wasn’t a ton of meat on it. When I got to the little tiny ribs I was reminded that I am eating guinea pig, ha ha! The sad part is, I held him on Wednesday, LIVE. Actually I think I held his amigo. The lady had a whole family of Cui. And it is a whole lot harder to eat your food when you have given it a name! 

     We taught our awesome investigators last night, and they are getting really pumped for their baptism date. It is cool because they are the first people getting baptized that I have taught all the way through. They gave us dinner too, after we had the Cui with the other lady. We went to the Pensionistas house, and whatdya know, more dinner. So I had three dinners last night. But that's okay cause the food is good! 

     I am teaching some of the little Peruvian kids American phrases, like "Laters" and "Sick". Ha ha. They are so intrigued with my blue eyes, and my ability to speak English. 

     We went on splits, and I spent the night with Elder Aoki’s companion. Its pretty cool cause people will just give us free food and ice cream from the little tiendas. We went to a house and the people had a pet monkey! 

     So anyway, life is good here in Peru. The Spirit is so strong when we teach our Investigators. We went to church with the ones that have a baptism date, and they were super impressed with it and stayed all three hours. It is so amazing just being able to look these people in the eyes and bear testimony to them. I am reminded that each and every one of them is a Child of God, and I am soo happy to have the opportunity to share a message about Eternal Families with them.

      And I just know the Lord has been preparing their hearts to hear our message. I am so happy and grateful to be here in Peru and Serve the Lord.   This really will be the Best Two Years.

With Much Love, 
Elder Reschke 

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Do you like playing soccer?
Ha ha, yeah soccer is way fun. I have gotten a lot better at soccer ever since the first time we played in the CCM. But, the Latinos are amazing. Even older ward members come and play with us. They are all so good because down here, Soccer is Life. They have been playing ever since they could walk.

Is it city or country there?   
It’s interesting because its like kinda city, with traffic and garbage, but like only near the roads. As soon as you get away from the roads and go into to residential areas it kinda turns into village. Also the higher you go up into the hills the more poor and village like it gets. But its nice because there are little stores on every corner. There is tons of little dirt and cement soccer fields but whenever we play as a zone which is twice a week, we pay to use this really nice field that has nice artificial turf and a bathroom and stuff. 

What is the landscape like?
There are trees and stuff, like some funky looking tropical trees. But,
 most of them are covered in dust, and there is not a lot of grass or vegetation. The mountains are brown and dusty   But it definitely looks like National Geographic!

What is your companion like?
Companion is great. He is really spiritual. Been out 8 months.

Are you enjoying life and having fun?
Definitely taking time for fun. Soccer is always fun, and we go to Ward parties and birthday parties and stuff. The food rocks. Even just walking through the busy marketplace and seeing all the pig heads and WHOLE chickens hanging there is fun. And the Pensionistas family is way nice. We talk to them a lot while we eat.

What is the weather like?
It gets a tad chilly at night, but usually not enough for a coat. Sometimes in the mornings it is super misty and cloudy and steamy. But in the afternoons, it gets hotter and sunnier.

Are you getting our letters? Do you need anything?
I haven’t gotten any mail yet, so we will just keep waiting! Haha, there was one thing I needed but I cant remember what it was. I will email you if I remember.

How is the language coming?
The language is coming along. I can speak it pretty well, but a lot of times I have trouble understanding people when they speak. I will have to give it time.

Chinese food on P. Day:
                                                               The famous Inka Kola:
                                                                       Eating again:
                                                                   Guinea Pig alive:
                                                                Guinea Pig for dinner:
                                                                      Mural in Peru:
                                                                 Birthday celebration: