Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gila Valley Temple...

Last weekend we had the chance to go down to Thatcher to see the new Gila Valley Temple.  It's was so fun to drive past it as we were coming into town!  It's so neat that the place that I grew up in is finally getting their own temple.  There are so many good people in that valley--so many faithful saints that have been traveling 3 hours to go to the Mesa temple forever.  It will be so great for them to have their own temple!
Funny story...I grew up in Pima, where my dad moved where he got his first teaching job.  We lived in Pima from when I was 3 years old, until I moved to Thatcher (5 miles away) when I was 13.  You have to understand the politics of living in a small town.  Pima and Thatcher have been rivals forever.  There is some real animosity between the schools, the students, and even sometimes the parents.  It is no surprise that each town thought that their town was going to get the temple.  People in Pima (which was settled first...) have been saying they would have a temple there for more than 100 years.  People in Thatcher were sure they would have the temple built in their town since it is bigger, and has more people in the stake.  When they announced the temple, they called it the "Gila Valley" temple, thus giving no clue as to where the temple would actually be built.  In the middle of these two towns is a little town (about a mile across or less) called Central.  They have one ward in Central, but there was also a huge church softball complex where I remember spending countless summers playing and watching church softball games.  They decided to build the temple there, in a nice "Central" location...LITERALLY!  I mentioned to Todd how the people in Pima and Thatcher would be upset about this, and he told me I was crazy.  "They won't care where the temple is built."  he said.  "You obviously don't know how small towns work..."  I said.  So when we were down for the weekend, we were talking about this Central location to my friend and her husband.  He is the YM president in their ward, and he told us, "I told my young men, you have to look at the statue of Moroni on the temple--it is pointing toward Thatcher--and turning it's back on those sinners in Pima."  I just looked at Todd and cracked up--(told you so).  Then when we got back to the house I was telling my dad what my friend had said about the statue of Moroni, and he told us, "Well, you know what the people in Pima are saying--Look at the statue Moroni on the temple--he is pointing his trump toward those sinners in Thatcher--and calling them to repentance."  Oh the joys of living in a small town!  I can't say I miss that part of it--but I'm sure they'll work things out--and maybe with the temple there, the rivalry will be put to rest somewhat--although I doubt it will spread to the football field, or the basketball court!
 The open house was so great, I saw so many people who helped to shape my life--from YW leaders, to teachers, and of course, my family.  I am so happy for them!  It was neat to take the kids through the temple, and explain each room to them.  What a great opportunity!  If you have a chance...GO!  It was so fun to see all of the growth that has taken place in the Gila Valley over the years, I hardly recognize it anymore!  We went back to Grandma's house and shared our thoughts and feelings about the experience.  My favorite was Josh, who said (with a big grin), "I liked the hot tub room!"  And Cole, who didn't realize that we had walked out of the temple and into the church building, and said, "I didn't know the temple had a basketball court!"  Most of the girls LOVED the bride's room, which was absolutely beautiful with tiara style lights!  The chandelier in the Celestial Room is just stunning, I have never seen one like it before.  There was a painting that the church had commissioned of a place we've been to called Ash Creek, and when it was finished, President Monson loved it so much that he ended up putting the original painting in his office, and having a copy made for the temple!  Another fun fact, the murals painted in the endowment room were painted in the winter time, by a painter in Colorado, but when he came back to Thatcher before the open house he drove through the same area and noticed that wild flowers had bloomed everywhere in the desert this spring, and it was so beautiful and colorful that he decided he had to add it to the mural.  The flowers were added just the week before the temple open house began. The town is all excited that President Monson, and President Eyring will both be there for the cultural celebration, and dedication.  It is such an exciting time there, and it is just in the air!  All in all, it was such a great, testimony building experience, and I'm glad we went!  I am SO grateful for the temple, and what it means in my life!  Here are some pictures I took:
As a footnote:  Here's a story my Dad shared about his experience working at the Temple open house that I wanted to remember:

May 15, 2010

On the last day of the Gila Valley Temple Open House, I was in the chapel to cover a medical shift as my responsibility was to secure volunteers for medical coverage throughout the days and hours the public was touring the Temple site. Minding my own business, I was approached by a lady who was looking for someone to be a Tour Guide during an extremely busy period. Not knowing what I was doing, I followed her and was placed with another Tour Guide, Sharon Buckley. Sharon did the talking and I brought up the rear following the group through the Temple.

On the second tour Sharon lead, I was approached by an older lady coming out of the Celestial Room. She said her husband was named Hank and I was Hank. She said he had died on Friday and she wanted to thank me for being her Tour Guide through the Temple as I was the Hank that was taking her through the Temple in Proxy for her deceased husband named Hank. I asked her name and she said June Devoe? June told me Hank and her had been married for forty years and they were Sealed for Eternity just two years ago. Her daughter told me that Hank had been bed ridden and June didn’t think she would be able to leave him to tour the Gila Valley Temple, but he died making it possible. She also thanked me for being there in proxy for June’s Hank and she felt that Hank was there through me.


Hank Metzger

1 comment:

Yvette said...

I think that part about Pima and Thatcher is hilarious! Some people in Mark's family would be spitting fire if they read this. So I think I will be keeping it to myself:)It is a really beautiful temple though. We get to see it next weekend. I'm so excited!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...