Monday, July 27, 2015

¡Viva Peru!

Hola Familia Y Amigos,

This week was very busy for us. It’s been good to be able to train Elder Ramirez. He is progressing quite nicely, I get along with him perfectly fine.

  Wednesday, we did a fun service project for the Hill that I am always talking about. I brought the whole Zone, and we spent a few hours building a nice staircase out of tires so that the people won’t fall. It touched my heart a bit, because this Hill means a lot to me. We have baptized 3 people there, and practically the whole hill are our Investigators.

We have been able to confirm 2 baptismal dates this week, a young man named Alex, and a lady named Susy, and they are both super awesome and progressing very well. We had a lot of fun experiences teaching this week. 

Tomorrow is Peruvian Independence Day, so every single house has a Peruvian flag, and there have been lots of fun cultural activities going on. On Saturday there was a cultural activity of traditional Peruvian dances and food. I got some cool pictures of Peruvian Traditional Costume. Including a certain gringo from Salt Lake City, Utah in Traditional Peruvian Costume;) 

Saturday was also the baptism of Eli, our old Investigator that we passed on  to the sister missionaries to teach, and she is pretty happy to finally be a member. We have tons of people now that are progressing, and August should be a really good month for us.

On Friday, we had a really fun Family Home Evening. A ton of people came, and we had a spiritual moment and played games. When they thought everything was ending, we brought out the piñata and everybody got super excited! We put lots of random strange things in the piñata, like the pamphlets for tithing, and a random pair of flip flops that was hanging around the house, haha.  Everybody loved it, and they scrambled to get the random stuff that we put inside! 

For P. Day we went to Chili’s, and then watched “Meet the Mormons”, which was a pretty good movie. This week was a great week. 

Sorry for the randomness of this letter by the way! I know with all my heart that this work is real, and I am so happy to be able to share the Gospel with the people of Perù. I love Peru with all my heart! 

¡Viva Peru! 

Con Amor, 
Elder Reschke

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What was the weather like this week?
It’s actually been a lot cooler which is nice.  All the Peruvians are freezing, but I still go around in my short sleeve shirt, and everyone thinks I’m crazy.  

What is your current meal situation like?
Members cook our lunch (big meal of the day), and for dinner it’s usually sandwiches in the room or something easy.  Breakfast we usually eat avocado sandwiches or Quiona which is the traditional Incan dessert.

Miracle of the week?
The Miracle is that Eli, who has been investigating the church for 2 years, was finally baptized.  Never lose faith!

Scripture of the week?
Ether 12:6:
 “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

                                                   Peruvian Independence Day celebration:
                                                                              P. Day:
                                                   Translation:  "I am Peruvian at heart":
                                           Taking a break to eat during the service project:
                                                 Working hard on the service project:
                   For the service project built a staircase of tires so that the people won't fall.
                                     It touched my heart, because this Hill means a lot to me....
                                                      It's where our Investigators live:
                                                                         On the hill:
                                                                    Part of my area:
                                                            Two countries I love:
Granadilla.  "Granadilla is native to south America and has a strong but fragile, orange skin.  The fruit has the shape and size of a plum.  The shell is hard and shiny.  The fruit contains a yellow, jelly-like pulp with a scattering of black edible seeds.  The fruit has a sweet and sour flavor."
                                                                         Papaya tree:
                                                               Family Home Evening:
                                              The piñata at Family Home Evening:
                                                                   The baptism of Eli:
                                                      Peruvian Independence celebration:
                                                      Performers at the celebration:
                                           Peruvians in traditional dress for the celebration:
                                                At the celebration of Independence:

Monday, July 20, 2015

¡Hijo Mio!‏ (My son.)

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 

The big news of the week is..drumroll please...I now have a son in the mission! Which means I get to train a newbie fresh from the MTC. His name is Elder Ramirez, from Chile. AND....he is awesome!! I am so excited to work with him and mold him into the excellent servant of the Lord he is destined to become. We went to work the first day, and had a solid first day. Actually, this whole week was just great. We ended up teaching 39 lessons this week, which I think is a new personal record for me. I think that this first week will be a reflection on the rest of his mission, so I made sure that we worked hard.  We’re gonna work super hard so that I can shape him, but at the same time very loving, so I can help him in times of need.  He has already progressed a lot this week.  He will be a great missionary!

     But, yeah we had a solid first week. We have a bunch of really cool new Investigators, so I am excited to teach them and see how they progress. More to come on them! 

     Moreover, there was a Ward Temple Visit this week, and we managed to get 3 converts to the temple! Ingird, Joselyn, and Manuel our one legged friend. It amazes me that less than two months ago, Manuel didn’t want to have anything to do with us, and now he has gone to the temple to do the work for the dead. What a neat experience that must have been for him! He is super happy with this change that he has seen in his life.

Elder Hilario, my old companion, was just moved to the other area in the Ward, so he is still in the Ward and everything, so it’s almost like he never left. 

But yeah, it's been a busy week, but really full of the Spirit. This week I really increased my testimony of the Book of Mormon. This book of scripture is so marvelous, and it changes lives! I invite every one of you to bring this book into your lives even more, and you will really begin to feel the miracles of our Heavenly Father working everyday in your lives, and the power of the love and atonement of Jesus Christ. It is something marvelous! 

Hope you all have a great week, and thanks for all the support.
 Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder Reschke

P.S. Sorry but I don’t have a picture of my son yet, because today when we were gonna take the picture he got really sick, and we didn’t want to force a smile. So, next week. (I think he is just becoming accustomed to the Peruvian food, because the Chilean food is completely different.)

P.S.S. We saw another cockfight yesterday.   But this time it wasn’t a practice, it was the real thing! Not for sensitive eyes, that’s for sure!

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Miracle of the week?
Miracle of the week was that we were able to get Manuel to the temple in his wheelchair!

Scripture of the week?
Heleman 5:12:
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

Because, everyone needs to build their foundation on the rock of the Savior!

What have you learned from your last companion, Elder Hilario?
From Elder Hilario, I learned to enjoy every moment in the mission, even the difficult moments, and I really learned to think outside the box to find solutions.

                                                       My mad plumbing skills: 
                            Getting our "new" couch back to our room .  3 Soles in a moto, not bad:
                                                                 Our "new" couch:
                     Saying good-bye to Elder Aoki.  He is headed back to the U.S. after two years:

                                    My buddy, Elder Martinez from the Dominican Republic:
                                                       Temple trip for our new converts:
              Temple trip with our new converts.  I asked one of the returned missionaries of the
                        Ward to go to the temple and take pictures to document the temple trip:
                                                         Temple trip for the new converts.
                                                 They were all so happy to be at the temple:

 This is Jose`.  We were just walking down the street and he came up to us, and said he wanted
to study the scriptures with us.  I was like "okay."  So he went running to his house, and brought his bible, and we sat on the curb and studied the scriptures for a bit.  Oh, and he is 6, by the way:
                                                           Scripture study with Jose`:
            Look!  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that some missionary's parents sent from the States!
                                                                    What a nice gift:)
                                                                           Hands up:

Monday, July 13, 2015

12 Investigadores En La Capilla. (12 Investigators in the Chapel.)

Hola Familia Y Amigos!

This week was a solid week for us! It was the last week of the transfer, and today after email they are going to announce changes! It will be interesting to see how things go! 

Well, it really was a solid week. On Monday, we moved into our new room, and lemme just is NICE. It will be kinda funny if I get changed cause it means I only lived in the room for a week, but nevertheless, it is a fancy room. I took our electric shower out of our old room, and used my mad plumbing skills to install it in the new room. A whole roll of electrical tape later, we have a nice hot shower:) The new room is brand new, newly painted and everything, with a kitchen, fancy bathroom, and private balcony. Living the high life, I know. Well, we still lacked a sofa. So, we were walking down the street, and my comp said, "I have a feeling we are gonna find a sofa."  That instant, we saw one outside a house across the street. We went up and I said, "I wanna buy your sofa?"  He was like, "okay how much will you give me?" I thought about it for a sec, and said, "20 soles" (which is ridiculously low) and he was like..."yeah! Take it away now if you want!"  So, now we have a sofa.

      It was a good week of missionary work. We found a family with like ten people, and THEY ALL WANT TO BE BAPTIZED IN AUGUST! They are awesome, and super open, and they like to give food and play games. They are going to make great members of the church. All nine of them came to church with us on Sunday! They even paid for the moto taxi to go down from the hills:) how nice of them. I am excited to teach them and see how they progress.

We also found a cool guy named Franchesco who wants to be baptized on August first, and the parents of Joselyn and Ingrid the recent converts are listening to us too! We are so blessed with these people to teach. 

     Yesterday, Manuel, our one-legged friend, received the priesthood, and he is so so so happy! He is planning on going to the temple with the caravan on Thursday to do confirmations for the dead! Joselyn and Ingrid, who were recently baptized, will also be going to the temple for the first time on Thursday! Yay for them!!!!:)

Well, we are excited to see what the new change brings, and wherever the Lord sends me, I am ready to continue serving him with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

Thanks for everything you guys do, you guys are the best, and have been so supportive these past 11 months. (Today is my eleven month mark in the mission.) Love ya´ll.

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder Reschke.

P.S. Sorry there’s no pictures this week because I left my camera on my desk:(

P.S.S. We met a guy this week that is convinced that the gringo missionaries are spies sent to spy on the Peruvians! (This is not true!)

P.S.S.S. Stay tuned until next week, when I explain how my Comps. thought that the new sofa was haunted.

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Miracle of the week?
That Manuel received the priesthood!

Scripture of the week?
Alma 19:36:
 “And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.” 

It talks about how the work of the Lord amongst the Lamanites began, and it amazed me that I am continuing this work, by serving a mission in Peru!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Buscando Casas (Looking for Homes).

Hola Familia Y Amigos! 

     First things first, I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July.” God Bless America”. And, surprisingly enough, I was able to hear plenty of fireworks this week. But not because of Independence Day, it was every time Perú made a goal in the American Cup Soccer Tournament, haha.

That being said, we have been house hunting this week. Twas a tad bit difficult, because there are so many rooms, but we have many requirements for a room. We looked at so many and met lots of interesting people. One requirement is a private bathroom, and we found one and asked if it was a private bathroom. The landlady, who was a woman, said, "Oh its just sharin a bathroom with me no mas!"..Us: "uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, muchas gracias, we´ll let you know....." .  I have no idea how, but after looking for a gazillion rooms, we finally found one. It took a little negotiating, and I don’t know how we did it, but we escaped with a nice apartment for the same price we are paying now, and it will easily be the most beautiful apartment in the mission, haha.  Photos are on the way, but it is awesome. 

     The other news, is that our recent converts are doing awesome.  This Sunday, every one of the recent converts that we have baptized in this area came to church-all seven of them. They are all so excited, and I know that they are going to have great callings and responsibilities in the church. Manuel, our one-legged friend, somehow got ahold of a suit. He was lookin spiffy, and when we went to visit him a few hours after church he was still in his suit, because he said he just feels good in a suit. He has had the most incredible conversion, I can’t even describe how amazingly he has progressed. 

     By the next time I email you guys, I will be living in my new apartment.

But for now, I just wanted to testify of the marvelous work that I am honored to participate in. Never in my life have I found greater joy than what I have experienced as I share the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Perú. 
I know with every fiber of my being that Jesus Christ lives and loves us, and I know that if we will take one step towards him, he will come running the rest of the way.

 Love you all so much.
 Con Mucho Amor,
 Elder Reschke. 

P.S. For P. Day we watched The Emperor´s New Groove, which was fitting since we are in Perú. Cuzco the llama speaking Spanish is absolutely hilarious. 

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

You often talk about “the jungle”. How far is it from you?
The Jungle is probably like an 8 hour drive in a car so it’s pretty far away.  But, Lima is a melting pot where you will find people from all parts of Peru, so because of that it is a melting pot of cultures as well.  The three Zones are coast, sierra, and jungle.  I live on the coast, the sierra is where all the llamas are, and the jungle is where all the pirañas are.

Weather update?
The weather here is a bit cooler, with this weird misty rain that kind of rolls in from the coast.

Miracle of the week?
Manuel is the happiest we have ever seen him.  He is so so so happy with all the things that have been happening to him, and he has such a great spirit.

Scripture of the week:
Mosiah 2:41:
“And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed an happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell wit God in a state of never-ending happiness.  O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it”.

                                                  The fish here is really good:
 Sign that says "Don't throw garbage here or else you will be stoned by the neighbors."
                                                 We went to "Las Vegas" this week:
                          Bienvenidos Aahhsector Las Vegas (Welcome to District Las Vegas):
                                    A Peruvian house that we passed up in the hills yesterday: