Monday, December 29, 2014

Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Hola Familia Y Amigos!

Hope you all had a good Christmas. It was fun to talk to some of you! It was a good Christmas down here in Perú. So, on Christmas Eve we had a big Mission-wide Fiesta. We had a BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, chips, drinks, etc, and then a big dodgeball tournament. Later we had a talent show, and our Zone did a missionary version of the song YMCA. haha. After that we watched “Remember the Titans”. It was a way fun day! Presidente Erickson and his wife distributed gift bags with..drumroll please..a SNICKERS candy bar!!! It was probably one of the best things that happened to me that day.

So in Perú, Christmas Eve is kind of like New Year’s Eve. Everyone stays up all night, and they have a turkey dinner at like 11:30 p.m. so the A_____’s knocked on our door at 11:30 P.M. and brought us our midnight turkey dinner.  Then, at midnight, the entire country exploded with fireworks. More fireworks than I have ever seen in my life. There was absolutely no thought of sleeping through this because it was so loud, so we just sat on the balcony of our room to watch the show. 

But, Christmas Eve was actually really spiritual for me just because I was so happy to be here in Perú serving the Lord. I had a good little night just reading in the Bible about the birth of Christ, and the impression came to me that really, THIS is what Christmas is all about. I know I say that a lot, but it is so true. Jesus Christ is so real, and there are so many people that don’t know that. It is my work to share that message with them! 

Christmas was really good...we woke up and opened our Christmas packages, and then visited a bunch of people to wish them Feliz Navidad. We had a good turkey, chicken and rice lunch with Hermana Vega, and then I got to SKYPE the family which was a blast!! Good to see you all and hear your voices again! It was a really neat day.

We are getting really excited about the missionary work, because for some reason this week we had a huge surge of people to teach!! We met this really cool guy who has tons of really great questions. We had three Investigators come to church this week which is the most we have had in a while . 

So that’s all that’s new here in Perú. I hope you all have a good New Year’s! Something I’m doing this year is writing down all my SPIRITUAL New Year´s Resolutions. With a new year coming, it’s a new fresh time to kind of re-vamp our relation with the Gospel.

 Con Amor,
 Elder Reschke

P.S. Apparently New Year’s Eve here has even MORE fireworks than Christmas Eve did. I´m in for an adventure. Hopefully, a stray rocket does not shoot into our room or something!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What did you do after we SKYPED on Christmas?
That night Elder Quille called his family, so I just hung out and ate my "Muddy Buddies", read Jesus the Christ” and talked with the A_____’s.

Did you like your Christmas gifts we sent?
The gifts were absolutely fantastic. Thank-you so much.  I am excited to use the stuff.  I take the pedometer with me in my pack!

What is the weather like now?
It’s summer.  It is actually pretty dry and dusty. It kind of reminds me of Southern Utah or something. Or, maybe like Cairo, Egypt because of all the dust and sand.  It will get more humid in the Winter.  Sometimes it’s a bit humid in the morning now.  I think Fall will start in March.

Does it ever rain?
We did have a couple of drops one day.  Sometimes in the morning it is really misty and kind of feels like rain.

What are you doing for P. Day today?
We are having a BBQ with the Zone, and we are going to have another water balloon fight to cool off. If they get burgers, they have to be careful not to get the horse meat ones.  The thing is....we don’t exactly know which ones are horse meat and which aren’t. It’s an interesting situation.

Tell me about your new companion.
I really like Elder Quille. His style of teaching is really fantastic.  He is 23, and I think he has six siblings.  Member most of his life, but still a convert.

What is your goal for the week?
I am excited to work this week because we are going to contact a TON of people.  Our goal is 105.  Cross your fingers!

                                        The whole District with matching Christmas ties:

                                          Christmas Eve BBQ Fiesta with the entire mission:
                                          Elder Reschke and Elder Aoki on Christmas Eve:
                           The highlight of Jake's day; a Snicker bar from the Mission President:
                                         Elder Crespo (from Chicago) and Elder Reschke:
                           Elder Crespo, Elder Reschke, Elder Quille on the bus, Christmas Eve:
                                  Christmas party with the mission.  Elder Reschke, Elder Aoki:
On the bus to the Christmas Eve Fiesta:
                                    Christmas Day lunch.  Turkey, chicken, rice, fries, salad:
                                                                      In the kitchen:
                                                                        Out working:
                                            Walking down the dusty, dry, sandy road:
                                     The pictures/letters Jake opened each day of December:
                                                        Christmas tree in the Elder's room:
                                                   Knocking on "random" doors:
                                                  A door right along the side of the road:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navdad!

Feliz Navidad Familia!

Can´t wait to talk to some of you guys on Christmas. So the big news this week was I got a new companion...Elder Quille from Peru. He is a way cool guy and I really like his style of teaching. We had a good first week. There are things to learn from each companion so that is cool. 

For service we pretty much moved the entire Sahara Desert from the street onto someone’s roof. The service we do here is pretty intense. 

We had a good week going around and sharing the “HE IS THE GIFT” video, which is really good and you should all check it out.

We planned a really cool Ward Christmas Activity, sung Christmas songs, played games, watched the movie of the Savior’s birth, and then had hot chocolate and panetón. Panetón is super popular here. Its kind of like fruit cake, but pretty tasty. It tastes like all know that taste...the Christmas taste that you just can’t really describe.

Last night we had a good Family Home Evening with the A_____’s, and watched part of the Christmas Devotional and ate Panetón and hot chocolate.  

We are getting pretty excited for Christmas.  Hermana Vega is cooking our Christmas Lunch, and I think we are having turkey. On Christmas Eve all the missionaries are going to have a big party together which is fun. For New Year’s, Hermana Vega is going to kill one of her roosters, and she already said she would give me the honor. So next week I get to kill a rooster with my bare hands.

On the more spiritual side of things, I think this Christmas Season has been one of the most special in my life. I am not thinking about myself this Christmas, but just thinking about the Savior and the glorious message of his Gospel. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this message with others, and there is nowhere on earth I would rather be this Christmas Season than right here in Perú. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so true, and if we can all remember that this week, we are going to have the most marvelous Christmas of our lives.  Love you all, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas..or Feliz Navidad!
Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder Reschke

P.S. The missionary work here is just dandy. Our investigators are pretty interested in our message. I know that the Holy Ghost will tell us all the things that we need to say to them to bring them this message of the Restored Gospel .

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What are some of the Christmas Traditions in Peru you saw this week?
Paneton is the biggest food custom here.  It just tastes like Christmas.  People have these giant Nativities.  So, they make a little mound of boxes in their living room and cover it up with crumpled green paper, and have all these animals and stuff.  I think some of them even have llamas which is fitting.

How is it with Summer there?
Since we are so close to the equator, the sun is way closer and so it feels stronger, and it’s pretty hot.  But sometimes it gets a tad bit chilly at night.  Air conditioning is non existent.  They don’t have hollow walls like we do in the USA.  It’s just bricks or cement.  But the church, the A________’s, and our room all have fans.  

Can you tell more about the Peruvian Street Dogs?
I decided that Peru is the Humane Society’s worst nightmare. There are so many dogs.  When there is one homeless dog in Utah, they make a billboard for it and a TV commercial to try to influence somebody to bring it into their loving home.  The dogs here fend for themselves.  They eat garbage, diapers, plastic bags, and drink out of puddles.

What have you learned this Christmas?
Man, this Christmas Season has been such an eye opening experience to me.  Nobody has Christmas presents.  And when Christmas comes, they only give presents to the little kids.  People search through the garbage in the streets just to find old bottles to recycle and scrape up a few soles to live off of for that week.  BUT I know that it is not material possessions that bring happiness. It is the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But, for this moment, there is no other place in this planet I would rather be for Christmas, than Lima Peru!

                                                       Anticucho ( grilled cow heart) and fries:

                                                                     P. Day lunch:
                                                               Frozen lemonade:
                                                                       Cute little kids:
                                                               Elders with a family:
                                                      Christmas Family Home Evening:
                                                                Christmas in Peru:
                                                                   Street contacting:
                               Elder Reschke and Elder Wilson who is from Panguitch, Utah:
                                                                   Peruvian Nativity:
                                                        Elder Aoki and Elder Reschke:
                               At the Ward Christmas Party eating hot chocolate and Paneton:
                                                             Fish and beans and rice:
                                                      Up in the hills:

                                                  Houses on the hill:
                                                                   Christmas Paneton:
                                                                       More Paneton:
                                 New companion, Elder Quille who is from Arequippa, Peru:

Monday, December 15, 2014


 Hola Familia Y Amigos!

Hope you all had a great week. This was a good week down here in Perú. For P. Day we made tacos as a Zone and watched “Dispicable Me” and “Monsters University”. It was a fun day.

We did a way cool Service Opportunity up in the hills...moved a bunch of rocks and dirt, and picked and shoveled our way into the hill to get more dirt and rocks to make a wall. 

So the drivers of the Convees just hang out of the window waving these signs of where the Convee is going, and I want to collect a sign from every one of my areas. I got talking to someone who worked in the Convee, and they gave me my first sign! haha. 

Saturday we played fútbol as a Zone which was fun, and our investigator came! After that, Elder Aoki and I cooked french toast and scrambled eggs at the A______’s house. It was a good breakfast:) 
Christmas is coming up! It’s a pretty big deal here. Lot’s of Panetón which is kind of like fruitcake. They still drink hot chocolate, even though it’s the middle of summer, and they still decorate with Christmas trees and garlands. It will be fun to Skype on Christmas! 

On the more spiritual side of things, we taught Jhordan about The Book of Mormon this week. He was pretty excited because he heard a story from the Incas about a white God that came in a white cloak and is supposed to come again, and I just happened to have  the picture of Christ coming to the Americas in my hand. I pointed to Christ, and all of the sudden, for him it was just like "OH IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!" We think he will progress really well. 

We also had a reference from the bishop that we taught last night and he seems pretty interested in the church. We are excited to teach him more. The Church is doing this huge initiative for Christmas and the missionaries are showing this video called “él es la dádiva” (“He is the Gift”).  Not sure what they call it in English, but youtube it, because its only two minutes long but muy bonita. It reminds us all that the best Christmas present we could ever receive is Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I hope you can all remember that this week, I know I will. 

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder Reschke

P.S. I would love more than anything to get a pic of a Peruvian dog wearing a Santa hat, but if I risk trying that, I might lose my arm!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Are you having fun opening your letters each day?
(We sent him letters and pictures to open each day of December.)
The letters are super fun every day.  The Aspen one (annoying dog over our back fence) made me laugh, and the picture of Tess today is adorable!

What are you studying in your personal study time?
I started The Book of Mormon my first day in Peru, and I am about halfway through Helaman.  I think I’m becoming a Book of Mormon Addict, which I suppose is a good thing.  I was studying the other day in Ezekiel about the stick of Ephraim, which is pretty interesting stuff.

Are you brushing and flossing your teeth well?
I am brushing and flossing better than I ever have before, because I do NOT want to visit one of the dentist offices down here.

What is the drinking water situation there?
I don’t need my water filter stuff because every month, they deliver jugs of water to our apartment, and every member has boiled water.  I drink lots of water.  Lots of Inca Kola also.

What is Christmas looking like in Peru?
People have Christmas lights but they are those really bright purple or neon lights that blink really fast.  Lot’s of the families have Christmas trees, and the A_________’s have a BIG one with really nice decorations.  It’s amazing because their home is very humble, but they are strong in the Gospel so there is just a really good feeling and Spirit in their home.

Is there any Christmas music around?
With the exception of the Christmas hymns which we sing at church and Zone meetings, and in our apartment, I haven’t heard any Christmas music at all.  But Christmas is a pretty big deal here and everyone celebrates it!  There are going to be big fireworks apparently, and everybody eats dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve.  An investigator gave us a WHOLE PACKAGE of Paneton yesterday so that was pretty sweet.

                                                       Really yummy cupcake dessert:

                              A rooster head.  The rooster lived on the roof of an investigator and
                                   she slaughtered it in front of us and I took a Selfie with it's head.
                                        Peruvian dog.  It wouldn't face me and smile
                                             at the camera so this is the best I could do:
                                       District Service Project.  Digging up rocks for a wall:
                                                                      Service Project:
                                       Elder Martines and Elder Reschke at the service project:
                                       Elder Aoki and Elder Reschke at the Service Project.
                                 (Note they both have Cottonwood High School tee-shirts on!):
                                                    Elder Martinez and Elder Reschke:

                                                            Working in the hills:
                                                                          Our area:
                                                                        French toast:
                                                   Eating breakfast with Elder Aoki:
                                         Hermano Solano.  He was the thirtieth missionary
                                         to ever serve in Peru.  He is teaching me Quechua:
                                                       Hermano Solano with the Elders:
                             Elder Reschke, Lucia (Hermana Norma's daughter), Elder Martinez
                                                                       Serving in Peru: