(from bottom to top)
1st- Standing in front of the pecan orchards in. Such a beautiful place!
2nd- Blowing out birthday cake, before my birthday, with great friends in Las Cruces. It was her birthday too :-)
3rd- Elder Byrd and I acting cool in our first good rain of the year
4th- Getting drenched and loving it!
Sorry my email is a day late again. Yesterday Elder Byrd and I helped some missionaries get around and go to the doctors to have his stitches taken out so I only had a small amount of time on the computer yesterday to email President miller before we had to take off. It was a great week though and I am excited to tell you about it.
I have discovered that I have become an expert at getting in with people through them feeding us. It makes it harder to stay in shape, and I have to work out extra hard, but people love having us over and cooking for us. I have had some amazing meals throughout my mission, and have been the test subject to some fun ideas, but this last week I had some of the more interesting and good tasting food so far. We are working with a great couple found through tracting a few weeks ago who love having us over as many times as we want so they can cook for us. Before I tell you what they concocted for us I will go ahead and tell you a little background on who they are, because it should make more sense then.
There two people are some of the most unique people I have ever met, and I am sure I will never forget them. The first time we sat down with them we said almost nothing, just sat and listened to their story for almost two hours. The wife is about 20 years younger then the husband and I would say the husband is in his 30s, and they are completely in love and perfect for each other. At first they came across very hippie like with many of their ideas and how self sufficient they are, but then they showed us around. They live in the nicest trailer I have ever seen because they love working on it together and invest heavily into it. Their kitchen floor alone is a couple thousand dollars because it is bacteria resistant and good for joints, and much of their molding is solid oak. They also have one of the best theater rooms I have ever seen! Who knew I would ever be so impressed with a trailer? After looking around they showed us two very hidden compartments in their kitchen and bathroom that hold some really high end guns and ammo, just in case. They do not currently attend a church because their beliefs vary from all the churches they have looked into, which beliefs are very close to Christs doctrine that we teach. They love reading the bible and even compare it page by page to the Hebrew and Greek translation to get a more accurate understanding of it.
Then we walked into their back yard and he showed us all of the chilies (peppers) they are growing and I quickly realized he is the biggest chili enthusiast I have ever encountered. They are growing jalapenos, red hots, habaneros, and even ghost peppers (bhut jolokia) which are probably the hottest in the world, which they intend to have me eat at some point. They are such a funny couple, and I love going over and visiting with them, and almost every time we go over near lunch they have an amazing meal prepared. She loves cooking so much that for the first two years of marriage they never had the same meal twice, and they rarely go out to eat. The twist is that in everything they cook they add some type of chili, which to people outside of New Mexico is probably refereed to as pepper. Our last one was brauts (sp?) with caramelized onion and hebanero sauce with a side of potato salad with habanero and jalapeno powder. They also served us jalapeno poppers with their special blend of chili in the cream cheese. Then of course their chips had home made salsa with a variety of different chilies. After that they brought out mixed fruit with habanero powder sprinkled over it and a little whipped cream on top. Don't judge it before you have tried it :-) Every bit of the meal was incredible tasting!
Wow, I just spent a long time talking about them and their cooking so I will quickly wrap this email up. The ward here is amazing and I love serving in this area, although I still miss Las Cruces at times. We are teaching some amazing people and some of them are very close to entering into Christ's church right now. I just don't see how going back to a 'normal' life could compare, so I will have to be sure to take every member a missionary seriously so I don't completely lose this feeling in 6 months.