Monday, November 24, 2014

Baptism and Talent Show!

Hola Muchachos!

Hope all is well with you guys. It’s really weird that it’s all cold and stuff back still feels like summer here! Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving. Here they go straight from Halloween to Navidad! 

Ah let’s see, it was kind of a crazy week! Unfortunately a bunch of our appointments fell through, but some other fun stuff happened. The highlight of which was definitely the Baptism of Hermano Augusto, the dad and husband of Osvely and Elsa who we baptized last month. He is super excited to be a member, and he is really going to strengthen the Ward. 

We had a multi Zone Conference with Presidente Erickson, which was really good. He is 
SOOOO knowledgable about the gospel, it’s incredible. 

So, funny story...the church has this really big wall surrounding it with a gate that’s locked. Well, the other night at about eight, we were walking past the church and this Hobo Dude had wandered in earlier in the day when the gate was open, but somehow he got locked in! So he was pounding on the door yelling. So we called up the High Priest Group leader and we´re like...”UM we don’t know how but there is this hobo guy locked in the church, you should probably come let him out!” Haha, random story of the day. 

Saturday night we had a talent show to attract investigators. We had a TON of people there, and it was a lot of fun. The Ward Members all participated, and sung “Corazon Serrano” and stuff like that. Then the YM/YW did this Peruvian Dance and they were all decked out in their traditional Peruvian costume and was really neat!

So teaching our Pensionista how to make pancakes was probably like the best decision we ever made. It’s like one of her favorite things to make now...fine by me!

Last P-Day, we had a giant water balloon fight behind the church, and it was a blast. Then we ordered this really good pizza, Inca Kola, and watched the Disney Movie "Rio." It was a fun day! 
     I think my favorite part of the mission is seeing the lives of the people we baptize change. For example, Alex, the baptism we had my first week here, got a shirt and tie to wear to church, and yesterday he blessed the Sacrament for the first time! 

We had a meeting with the J... Family, and gave them CTR rings. Hermano Augusto put the CTR ring on Elsa´s finger and said, "I promise to take you to the temple and we are going to be sealed to each other." Definitely the most adorable thing we saw all week. But, really they are so happy to be members. And, also, they are SOOO excited about family history work. They are so happy that they can do the temple work for their ancestors, parents, siblings, etc.

But really whenever I see things like this, I sit back, content, and think,"Man, this is the mission, and this is what happens when you go and preach the gospel for two years." Yeah it's frustrating when appointments fall through and things like that, but when I feel the Spirit of a family that is just so happy to know they can be an eternal family, every hard day we have is so worth it. And, the only way any of this is going to happen, is if we wake up every day, strap on our messenger bags, lace up the shoes, and walk miles and miles in Lima Peru. But, in all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because the Mission life is amazing. 

I know this gospel is true with every fiber of my being. Hope you all have a good week, and since Thanksgiving is coming up,  think of all the things you are grateful for. I know I will. 

Con Amor, 
Elder Reschke
P.S. Cultural Note: They have these sketchy vans called convees for public transportation. They just pull up, and they don’t mind if you hop in the front seat right next to the driver. They drive really fast, and weave in and out of traffic like none other. You have to hop in really fast too, because they will take off before the door shuts...if they decide to close the door!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Can you tell me about your meals?

It’s usually Hna Norma that cooks our meals, but if she is not there for some reason somebody else in the family whips something up for us.  We ask for fried rice a lot. This week we are going to teach her to make french toast!

What are your favorite meals?
Favorite meals are probably:
 Lomo Soltado (marinated strips of beef steak, with onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients, served with fried potato slices and rice). 
 Papa Rellena (potato dough into which a filling made of chopped beef and onions, whole olives, hard boiled eggs, cumin and other spices are stuffed. Once prepared, it is deep fried).
Papa Huancayina (Peruvian potatoes with spicy cream sauce).

Least favorite meals? 
Meh, I don’t really know cause it’s all pretty good.

What is your apartment like?

The apartment is actually really’s on the corner of the building and we have a door that leads out to a nice little balcony just for us. I think we are probably one of the only rooms in the mission with a couch...we have two. A nice little family of cockroaches lives in the bathroom, but we will get rid of them soon. We don’t have a hot water heater, just an electric shower head that shocks you but it’s worth it to have hot water. We have a mini fridge but no other kitchen item. So if we had the desire to cook something we would just go two houses down the street to the Atencio's (Pensionista). 

Do you make your bed each day?

I need to do better at making my bed. 

What is your District like?
There are about twenty missionaries in the District.  About half Gringo and half Latino. But EVERYTHING is in Spanish. Except President is making the Latino's learn English so sometimes they have to pray in English.

Where do yo email us from? 
We email you from this little place that is just like a computer lab basically, it’s a couple of miles from our house.  We email with the whole Zone, and we have a little more than an hour to email.  
We pay 1.4 soles for internet use, so like fifty cents.

Baptism of Hermano Augusto:
                                                                 Newly baptized family:
                                                         Newly baptized family:
                                                                District service project:
                                           Elder Reschke and Elder Aoki working on a service project:
                                                   Having fun at the service project:
                                                     Elder Martinez and Elder Reschke working:
                                                                   P. Day water fight:

                                                               Bananas just picked:

Banana trees:
                                                 Pancakes for breakfast with Elder Aoki:
                                                                Elder Reschke and Hna  Norma:
                                                      Lunch with a family and the Elders:


Monday, November 17, 2014


 ¡Hola Familia Y Amigos!

Hope all is well with you guys! Things are great down here, but for some reason this was a relatively uneventful week. Oh well I suppose some weeks are like that.

I was super sick for some reason last Monday, so that was no fun. But Hermana Norma gave me some plant drink that is supposed to heal an upset stomach, and it worked like magic! So guess what my first real meal was after being throw-up sick for a day? A whole bunch of no name chicken parts! Not exactly sure what they were, but they were all connected, and I think one of them was a heart and I have no idea what the others were. Probably pancreas or something....but anyway that was exciting.

I have officially experienced two earthquakes in Peru! Pretty strange. One of them was strong enough to clatter the windows a little bit, and then EVERY SINGLE DOG in Lima just went CRAZY! Haha.

So, to get to lunch the other day we had to hike up like a gazillion stairs. It was incredible, and I will send a picture! 

Everyone´s gearing up for Christmas already, and eating lots of Panetón, which is basically, like spiced fruit cake. Super popular around Christmas time.  I'ts getting colder and colder in Utah and hotter and hotter here!  But yeah that’s about all that is new down here in Carabayllo.

On the more spiritual side of things, I found a really cool scripture in my personal study time this morning. Alma 5:48. Look it up!:) It talks all about the Savior, and I thought it was really neat. One thing I noticed this week is that I think my knowledge of the scriptures is really starting to increase, so that’s exciting. We did a work split Friday night, and I went with the Zone Leader from Chile. Turns out he knows Matt Cowden because Matt served his mission in this Elder´s home Ward. Small world! 

But, we met this guy that I think just wanted to bible bash. He turned to me, and said, "alright, tell me what you guys believe" and the gift of tongues totally kicked in, and I basically told him all about the Joseph Smith story. It was really neat, and I have no idea if he is going to act on what we told him, but at least we planted some seeds in his heart and perhaps he will listen to the missionaries five or ten years down the road. 

We had a giant Family Home Evening with the whole Ward and watched the “Together Forever” video from the 1980s. That was fun. 

We are gearing up for the baptism of Hermano Augusto this Saturday. Teaching him has been absolutely amazing, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone more ready for baptism than he is! The Church is true, and I know that with all my heart. I am honored to be a part of the work of the Lord. Thank you so much for your prayers, and I hope you all have a good week.

Con Amor,
 Elder Reschke 

P.S. Elder Martinez and I are planning a photo shoot for our Christmas card:) If you have any ideas for the background of our picture, just pass the voice this way!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Did you get the Turtle Cookies I sent you?

 So I got the package this week. Thank you SOOO much. The Turtle Cookies were absolutely fresh, and for some reason tasted even better than I remember them ever tasting, and I have always loved them!  They were great. I gave one to Elder Aoki, he took half a bite, and then said "OH MY GOODNESS THESE ARE HEAVENLY" and wrapped up the other half to save for later. I warned him that it’s a secret recipe but he insists on soliciting you! Haha he loves them.

You are heading into Summer in Peru.  What is the weather like?

It usually gets pretty hot in the day! And we hike straight up the sides of these HUGE piles of dirt and mountainside. It’s definetly a challenge that I never expected! But I love it, it’s so much fun, but exhausting! And it usually cools off quite nicely for the evening. The weather in the evening is quite pleasant. 

How are your shoes holding up?

 My shoes get POUNDED on a daily basis, but they are Eccos so they are holding up perfectly. Oh and remember that Little People guy that sold us the shoes at Dillards? We should have listened to him about the shoe shining. A sponge doesn’t do a whole lot against all the dust and grime. So I bought a can of black shoe cream and a brush. That’s what everyone down here does, and it works a lot better!

What is the milk like in Peru?

Most of the milk comes in bags. It’s pasteurized like a gazillion times so they don’t refrigerate it really. They also don’t refrigerate eggs or yogurt. But, this bakery on the corner sells chocolate milk in a bag that’s not bad!

Is there Fast Food there?

 In Plaza Norte (the mall) which is kind of by the mission office they have KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, etc. In Metro fifteen minutes away from us they have Pizza Hut and a mini McDonald’s that sells ice cream. In our area there are a TON of street venders that sell all sorts of fun food. We basically trust all of them except some certain things. There are a ton of Pollos ala Brasa (grilled chicken) restaurants, and a ton of Chifa restaurants which is like Chinese food with a Peruvian fling. 

What are the clothes like that the Peruvians wear?

They wear colorful clothes, but the older people wear them more often. The mom’s have these colorful wraps that they use to carry their kids like a backpack. The older ladies wear the Peruvian black hats. And for some reason all the old people know Quechua

What is the country side like?

The mountains and hills are pretty barren, but our area is apparently more green than other areas. Banana, lime, papaya, trees, and some pretty flowers too. 

                                                   The foot path along the cerros (hills):

                                  Jake loves hiking through the hills and teaching people there:
                                                                      Peruvian flag:
                                                        Up in the hills above the city:
                                               Jake loves going up in the hills to teach:
                                         Six flights of stairs to climb for a lunch appointment:
                                                  Ward Family Home Evening:
                                       Food picture of the week: Straight from home,
                         Mom's homemade turtle cookies which arrived this week in Peru via Vanessa:

Monday, November 10, 2014

First change just flew by!

Hola Familia Y Amigos:

Well, things are just dandy down here in Peru. We had the first change, but I am staying in this area. It just flew by! And, I also completed three months of my mission which is super weird! We got two brand new Elders in our district, so it's been fun to talk to them. 

Strange food of the week: chicken brains and chicken heart. Yeah it was just floating in my soup, and I scooped it up with my spoon, and was like WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! It looked just like a human brain, only a lot smaller:) 

So that ugly dog that I sent a picture of, lives in the hardware store of an Investigator, so we´re like buddies now. Once you get over the fact that he has no hair and a tail like a rat, he´s actually kinda cute....ish.

I have been expanding my vocabulary in Quechua. Apparently that language was here long before Spanish, and it’s apparently like the language of the Incas. 

The other day we went to Luciano´s (grandson of our Pensionista HNA Norma) fifth birthday party. It was fun! We had cake, and got little party bags. Unfortunately, we had to leave before the Piñata! haha. Oh and last Monday as a Zone we ate at this really cool restaurant called Rustica. It is like one of those Hard Rock Cafe type restaurants that's kind of like a landmark. I had a frozen Limeade and some BBQ ribs and fries. It was a heavenly meal. They brought it out on this cool platter that had live burning coals underneath to keep it warm. 

We have been doing a ton of work in the hills (cerros). So we hike all over every day. But the work is going just great. We got a bunch of new Investigators that seem really interested, so we have been teaching some solid lessons to them. This week was a pretty spiritual week. Every week I am getting better and better at expressing what I want to say in Spanish! 

We are getting really excited about the baptism of Hermano Augusto, father of Osvely. The date is coming up rapidly! He is such an amazing guy, and he knows with all of his heart that the church is true. It will be good to strengthen the Ward with new members that have testimonies like he does! 

I am making some serious progress in the Book of Mormon. I started it when I got to Peru, and I am in Mosiah 20 ish. So that’s pretty good right? I love the opportunity I have to read the scriptures so much out here in the mission field. Every time I open The Book of Mormon, I just know with every fiber of my being that this book is true, and it really is the Word of God! 

Hope all is well with you guys, and keep me updated with any big news.

Con Amor, 
Elder Reschke

P.S. Family, I have a Christmas package with some Peruvian swag coming your way, so get excited!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

How far do you walk in a day?
We probably walk 4 plus miles every day. 

Has it rained since you got to Peru?
It kinda just got so misty one day that it was practically rain, but not really. It doesn’t rain, it just gets misty.
                                                             Luciano's birthday party:

                                                          New investigators?
                                                                 Frozen lemonade:

Ribs at Rustica:

                                                    Soup with interesting ingredients:
                          Elder Reschke was lucky to get the chicken heart in his bowl of soup:
                                                            And the chicken brain too:
                                                              District lunch on P. Day:

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I Saw a Llama!"

Imanalla Alliyanchu!
That is Quechua for "Hello, how are you?"

I can have a conversation in Quechua now so I guess you could say I’m tri-lingual now:) haha. 

This was a good week, the highlight of which was finally seeing a llama. It was just by the side of the road with it's owner, so we took a picture with it. And, we are not in touristy part of Lima, so this was a legit Peruvian llama. 

We had to go to the center of Lima two days in a row to do immigration stuff to be legal in Peru.  They took pictures, fingerprints, and looked at my teeth. But, that part of Lima is WAY nice, with fancy cars like Audi's and big fancy houses. We all got a smile on our faces when we saw the American Embassy:) That took most of the day, so it took a big chunk out of the work. 

 We had a lunch of the Selva (JUNGLE) the other day with a member, and I ate this teeny tiny little orange pepper and ten seconds later thought I was going to die! It was HOT! 

So I didn’t even know fleece pants existed, until I came to Peru, but EVERYONE wears them down here! 

 We went to the Metro and found some maple syrup, so we cooked an American pancake breakfast for the Pensionista´s family. They had never had pancakes before, that was their first time, but they liked them! 

Nobody has a clothes dryer down here, everyone just hangs the clothes up to dry. I am learning more and more Spanish everyday, and the language is coming along quite nicely. BUT, sometimes I just have to nod my head and pretend like I know what they are saying. 

We are teaching the family members of Osvely Y Elsa, and they all seem to be super interested. Yesterday at church I think we had a total of nine people from that family, so that was way cool! 

I think my main spiritual experience this week was realizing how amazing The Book of Mormon truly is. Before my mission I totally took it for granted, because it was so easy to get a copy. But, when we give a copy to a family, they cherish it and respect it so much because that is their only copy, but more importantly, it is the word of God, and a huge blessing in our lives. I´ll just sit and read and read and read sometimes, because there are so many neat things. I think we all just kind of breeze through it sometimes because we have to, but if we focus on the words and try to apply the stories to our lives, we can better receive the blessings of The Book of Mormon. 

One other thing, is that when we ask someone to pray for the first time, their prayers are SO sincere. I think that I am going to try to make my prayers more sincere. I KNOW that Heavenly Father is always listening to and answering our prayers no matter what. 

Love you all so much, and thank you for being such positive examples in my life.

Elder Reschke. 

*P.S. That means see you later in Quechua

P.S.S. Halloween is way bigger in the U.S., but some of the kids still trick or treated. They just went to the tiendas though, because there are like five tiendas on every street. There was like a gazzillion little Spanish speaking Spidermans roaming the streets on Friday Night!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Do you like the area you are in?

 In all honesty, when we went to the center of the city the other day I thought  “I would NOT want to serve my mission here.” I got a little homesick for good old Carabayllo. It is so much more humble circumstances where I live but I wouldn’t have it any other way, because with all the Ward Members and everyone, it just feels  like family. My area is so awesome!  I love it.

What is an interesting experience you had this week?

We carried this huge bundle of firewood or something to this house way high up on the mountain. It was WAY TIRING! But, it was a good contact. 

How far are you from the mission office?

In Utah traffic , fifteen to twenty minutes. In Lima Traffic forty or forty five minutes by Bus/Convee, or thirty minutes by Taxi.

                                                             First llama sighting:
                        This is the building where Jake lives.  His apartment is on the second floor:
                                               Cooking pancakes for a Peruvian family:
                                                                  The foursome:
                                                             Ready for the day:

"*Causa is the name of this food. It was right after our fast, so it tasted SO good. They eat these interesting sour olives down here called aceituna. My taste buds are starting to adjust."

 *Peruvian causa, from the Quechen. Bright yellow potatoes are blended with oil, lime juice and, most importantly, Peru’s ají amarillo (pepper chilis)and then layered with a variety of fillings like tuna or trout, shredded chicken or shellfish, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled eggs, beets, and corn in countless combinations. Basically, a causa offers anything you could want of summer rolled into a peppery potato mash.
                                                                       Dinner time:
                                                                Peruvian poncho:
                   The hairless street dogs of Peru. A man wanted Jake to pet this dog, but he declined:
                                                         The hill houses:

                                           The crunchy corn snack Jake loves "Canchita":