Monday, September 28, 2015

Guinea Pig Sharks.

Hola Familia Y Amigos,

  This was a fantastic week for us.   Last P. Day was fun. We went back to the Chacra( the farm) and the family made authentic Peruvian Pachamanca A La Tierra. Remember? That is when they put the pork and the chicken in the ground with all the veggies and bury it and cook it. There was a little twist this time...they put bananas in the hole as well. Probably the best cooked bananas I have had. It was cool because they did it legit and covered the whole thing with real banana leaves before burying it. It was a tasty Pachamanca, and we had a fun afternoon exploring the dried river bed.

  Wednesday, we had a good service project, and went to Manuel’s house and cleaned out the spare room and painted and prepared his tiendita (little store) so that he can be more self sufficient. He is super excited for his store. We were able to teach Angelito, a cool 12 year old kid, who has been coming to church for a really long time, and is going to get baptized.

    Saturday, we had the task of creating an invention to heat up the water of the baptismal font. There were two explosions, flames, and we melted a good extension cord. We weren’t able heat up the whole font, however, gracias to our creative minds, 8 meters of iron wire, and a whole lot of electrical tape, we managed to heat up a whole bucket of water:)

     We are super happy, because our converts Ingrid and Joselyn have finished reading the Book of Mormon, and now they have two Ward callings each. I don’t know if it is possible to be more converted than that! They also started watching every General Conference, beginning in 1994, when Ingrid was born. How cool is that? 

Today I am in charge of planning P. Day, so we are doing a Beach Day.  It was my idea to do a Beach Day.  Because we can’t go to the beach, we are going to bring the beach to us. You can’t enter without sandals, and we are going to do Limbo, beach volleyball, “*Escape from the Shark”, tropical smoothies, and watch a Disney movie about a tropical beach,  and we bought a flower lei for every person. Should be a fun time. 

Please pray for all of the people we are teaching, so that they can truly become converted unto the Lord. 

Love you all so much, and I am so grateful for all the amazing experiences that I am having. The time passes too rapidly, but I am enjoying and making the most of each and every moment. Have a great week.

Sending love to The Shire, 
Elder Reschke. 

*P.S. Our game "Escape from the Shark" means we bought a Cuy (guinea pig) for five bucks and made it a shark costume, and we are going to make  a circle and let it loose and the first person it "attacks" has to leave the game. Should be a fun time. 

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

Why are you in charge of P. Day?
I thought it would be fun to do something other than the normal P. Day so they put me in charge of planning an AWESOME P. Day of the whole Zone.
The Beach Day was my idea because I wanted to do something memorable.

Did you hear the news of Elder Richard G. Scott passing away?
Yes I heard about Elder Scott.  Sad!  He was awesome.

What is the season you are going into.  Do the leaves fall off the trees there?
It’s Spring, and the leaves here never fall off the trees.

What is the miracle of the week?
Miracle of the week is that we were able to put up Manuel’s 
tinenda (little store).

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."

                                                    There are parts of Peru that are green:
                                                Preparing the Peruvian Pachamanca:
                        The Pachamanca cooking with corn, bananas and banana leaves on top:
                               Pachamanca all wrapped up in banana leaves with spices on top:
                                                   Uncovering the Pachamanca:
                                                         The Pachamanca was very tasty:
                                                        So much good food, ready to eat:
                                                        Beautiful Peruvian countryside:
                                                          Pachamanca ready to eat:
                                                      Green countryside of Peru:
                                       My first peanut butter and jelly sandwich in over a year:
                                                Our homemade electric water heater:
                      Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and rice dish; traditionally, it is flavored with
                        cilantro, chili pepper and orange juice. It's fruity and spicy):  So good:
 Papa a la Huancaina (boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, creamy sauce) one of my favorites:
                                                         The Guinea Pig Shark:
                                        Peruvian tie with the BYU logo. How cool is that?

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Baptism and a Fun Restaurant:

Hola Familia Y Amigos!

This was a good week for us here in Lima. For P. Day last week we went to the center of Lima to the Plaza De Armas. We all split up to go eat lunch. The rest of the missionaries went to go eat in McDonalds. Elder Ramirez, Elder Condori, and I were headed to go find some pizza, but then this dude jumped out of nowhere and said, "Come follow me to this really cool restaurant!" So we followed him, and he took us in one of the old buildings to the fourth floor and there was this awesome private balcony restaurant with a panoramic view of the Plaza De Armas and the Catederal de Lima. We had a tasty lunch of Lomo Saltado (popular traditional Peruvian dish, a stir fry that typically combines marinated strips of beef steak with onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients, served with fried potato slices and rice), with a fancy Avocado salad and fresh passion fruit juice. It was super tasty and WAY better than McDonalds. Afterwards I bought my Peruvian Chuyo (hat), a case for my Panpipes, and a Nativity Scene to send home. It was a solid P. Day. 

     This was a good week for us. We had a bunch of fun contacts. One guy had a dramatic story of the Great Earthquake of 1970.  We taught a solid lesson of the Plan of Salvation to the Familia O____, and we also had some good experiences preparing our Investigators Marcos and Mia for their baptisms

     Saturday was the baptism of Marcos. It was a very spiritual experience for us, and very rewarding. We met Marcos our first week together, and have been teaching him ever since. He needed about two months to receive his answer, but finally received it and was baptized on Saturday. We are super excited for him, and I know he will have a great conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. One more soul is one step closer to eternal happiness. And I am absolutely honored for the opportunity to share this gospel of Jesus Christ, something that is so dear in my heart.

 Love you all so much, and have a fantastic week!

     Today for P. Day we are heading back to the farm, and the family is going to make Pachamanca A La Tierra  (typical dish of Peru, prepared by cooking in the heat of stones, meat and vegetables that are seasoned), that meat that they cook in the ground. It should be super tasty. I am going to stay away from the hammock this time. I don’t want to have to sew my pants again.

Much Love,
 Elder Reschke. 

P.S. The Church is True!

P.S.S. A family in my area is bringing in from the jungle turtle eggs, suri (live worms) and possibly monkey to eat. Should be a feast. 

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What is your scripture of the week?
The story in Acts where Philip and the eunuch are in a carriage and  the eunuch sees water and wants to be baptized, and Phillip knows that he believes in Jesus Christ, so they stop the carriage, and he gets baptized
(Acts 8:36-39)

What is the miracle of the week?
The miracle is that Marcos finally entered the waters of Baptism!

You mention the panpipes, tell me about them?
It’s a typical Peruvian instrument.  (Google it.) I think it’s my new favorite instrument.  Down here it’s called a Zampoña.  The music is super cool, and I think am getting better at it.  I can play a few hymns! 

Do you ever get a chance to play the piano?
Yes, there is a piano in the chapel!
                                      Elder Reschke and Elder Ramirez at the city center:

                                              Elder Condori, Elder Reschke, Elder Ramirez:
                                                               Old buildings in the city:
                                                                   center of Lima:
                                                     P. Day lunch in the center of Lima:
                            On the balcony of the restaurant drinking fresh passion fruit juice:
                                          Fancy avocado salad with tomato and cucumber:
                                                                      Lomo Saltado:
                                         Elder Condori, Elder Reschke, Elder Ramirez:
                                             The restaurant we ate at on P. Day last week:
                                         Elder Condori, Elder Ramirez, and Elder Reschke:
City center of Lima:
                                                                City center of Lima:
                          Elder Reschke and Elder Ramirez with their Peruvian Chuyo's (hats):
                                                  Peruvian dog of the week:
                                                                    Baptism of Marcos:
                                                           Marcos at his baptism:
                                                                 Snacks in Peru:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mis Primeros Plantanos Fritos (My First Fried Plantains.)

Hola Querido Familia Y Amigos, 

This was a good week for us here in Año Nuevo. For P. Day last week, we had a fun time at Plaza Norte, and ate lunch at Chili’s. 

I bought an electric burner (which is like the scariest thing in the world when plugged in), a frying pan, and a spatula, and a pot to cook stuff in the room. Now we can do eggs, and fried bananas for breakfast:) Wow,  sometimes I feel like I’m turning into a Peruvian. (That’s a good thing.)

We taught a really powerful lesson to Marcos. We decided that we have been teaching him long enough, and it’s time to focus on baptism. We taught him a way cool lesson, and he accepted the baptismal invitation for Saturday, the 19th of September. We also taught a good lesson to Mia, and she accepted the baptismal invitation for the same day. We are super excited for them, because they are progressing really well.

Nothing overly exciting happened this week, but it was a pretty chill week of teaching the Investigators, and we are excited for their baptism coming up. 

So we visited Manuel this week, and he was super super sick. His sickness is kind of taking a toll, so we gave him a blessing, and he felt so much peace after. He really has so much faith, and trusts so much that our Heavenly Father will watch out for him. Please keep him in your prayers everybody! 

Thanks for everything you guys do, and I love you all so much.  Stay tuned for the next episode of "The Adventures of the Gringo in Peru.”

Much Love,
Elder Reschke

P.S. Cultural Note of the week:   Motos, which are the little three wheeled motorcycle things are pretty much a way of life now. They are only found in Peru and India. I think it would be fun to buy one some day after my mission and ship it to Salt Lake! I could even Cougar it out and carry people around the BYU campus:)

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What was the miracle of the week?
The miracle is that Manuel was able to find peace.

What was the scripture of the week?
Alma 31:5:  “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.”

Do you have any pictures on the walls in your apartment?
Yes, we have two pictures of Christ and one of the temple.

What are you doing for your P. Day today?
We are heading off to Centro de Lima to the historical districts and museums.  Should be fun.

How is your Spanish?
It’s getting better and better. I can now pretty much say anything I want and understand everything.  But I don’t want to stop there.  I want to become an EXPERT of Spanish, so I practice every day.

You have been in Peru for over a year now, how do you feel about Peru?
Is that even a question?  I’m starting to kind of feel like a Peruvian that’s for sure.  I can just about count to a hundred in Quechua now, and people say I  speak Quechua well; it’s the language of the Incas!  
Peru is always going to have a special place in my heart.  I love the Peruvian people with all my heart, and they are some of my best friends.  I am so glad to share the Gospel with them. 

                                                                          Up in the hills:
                                                               The homes we visit:
                                                             Looking over the city:
                                                               A path up in the hills:
                                           My first fried bananas!  They were quite tasty:

                               Our apartment.  It is on the second floor and we even have a balcony:
                                                      The hallway in our apartment:
                   Our bedroom.  Ha ha. I can't kneel by my bed for prayers, so I have to kneel on top of it:
                                                                    Our apartment "closet":
                                                         Bathroom in our apartment:
                                                                    Record keeping:
                                         The garbage truck that passes by every Thursday:
                           Note from Elder Reschke's Mom: Not sure what this says.
                                I will have to ask Elder Reschke in my next email.
                                             Anyone who knows Spanish want to tell us?
               This medal is a Guiness World Record Medal for the "World's Fastest Hair Styler."
                            Yes she lives in Peru, and yes she gives us lunch every Sunday:

Monday, September 7, 2015

New skills.

Hola Familia Y Amigos,

This was a good week for us here in Año Nuevo, Comas. After crazy last week, this week was pretty chill.

So Wednesday we did a cool Service Project. We went to help out our converts Arturo and Christina that we baptized in April. We brought sheets of tin to repair their tin roof, and we also constructed a big overhang thing to have shade outside their house. I instantly had flashbacks to my treehouse building days, hahaha. So now, I guess you could say I’m an expert on skills that I may need to use back in the United fixing electrical showers and constructing tin roofs. 

It’s been a good week with the Investigators. Mia is preparing for her baptism, and Marina as well. We met a cool girl named Carolina who was a reference from a RM in the Ward, and she accepted the baptismal date in the first lesson, which is exciting. We are also working with Marcos, who has been progressing really nicely. He is progressing very nicely, and today we are going to attack the baptismal date with him. 

 Anyways, its been a pretty chill week. I hope all is well, and thank you for all the prayers. We have been seeing miracles here in the area, so I know that all these prayers are helping a ton. 

Love you all so much,
 Elder Reschke. 

P.S.  Cultue note:  This week I tried Tocosh. (Tocosh is a traditional Quechua food prepared from fermented potato pulp.  It has a strong odor and flavor.  It can be used as a natural antibiotic because penicillin is produced during the fermentation process.  Medicinally it is used for the common cold.  The Incas believed it was a gift from God for preservation of the body.)  It’s this famous Peruvian dish, but you have to have a stomach of steel to eat it.  Ummm… kinda have to plug your nose and eat it like they eat things on Fear Factor.  But, yeah it’s like natural medicine.  Seems like something Mom would like.  It was funny because my companion and I were just about to leave, and they said they had already served tocosh inside.  So I was like, yeah, yeah let’s go eat tocosh.  And Elder Ramirez did not have a choice.   

Questions Elder Reschke answered this week:

What is the weather like now?
The weather is getting hot again.  And so winter in Peru is not really winter.  It’s really just an eternal summer!

How is the training going for Elder Ramirez?
Elder Ramirez is progressing very well.  He finishes his training after this change.

                                              Service Project constructing a new tin roof:
                                                          Our construction skills:
                                                              The kitchen in our room:
                        The bread we bought with like 60 American cents, not bad, huh?
                                       With my Peruvian friends Arturo and Christina who were
                                                                   baptized in April: