Friday, November 2, 2012

My Sisters Come to Visit!

It was a fun week for me when my sisters came to visit!  It was my pleasure to first take them to the new Gilbert Temple, which is a beautiful edifice.  While its completion is well over a year away, things on the outside are moving forward quickly.

We next drove out to the Goldfield Ghost Town just east of Apache Junction.  The Mammoth Mine was once a very rich gold-producing mine.  Over $4,000,000 worth of ore was taken from the mine, and in the early 1890's that translated into a LOT of money.
Our guide was quite a colorful  guy!  It was interesting to learn facts about the early days of Arizona's mining industry.

Here he stands next to a miner who stayed underground a little too long.  The search for gold was sometimes hazardous to the miner's health!

We took a ride on an old-fashioned train and were told the story of the Lost Dutchman Mine and other mines that were once good money-makers in the area. 

Here my sisters stand in front of a monument to the tenacity of the prospectors of that day.  The West is full of stories of how the search for gold and silver changed the history of the region.  The discovery of gold in California wasn't the only state to be affected by this industry.  Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona also have mining towns where vast fortunes were made.
Meanwhile, back at the Visitors' Center, a treasure of a different kind has arrived.  The missionary department sent us 6 new computers for the call center and our work room!  YEAH!  The sisters will be in heaven.....

Elder Livingston and Elder Beckstrand carefully save all of the important information on the old computers before changing them out for the new models. 

Sister Cottrell enjoys the larger monitor and the faster speed of the new machines.

Thumbs up from Sister Parker, too!  They're excited to be the first sisters to try the new equipment.

Elder Beckstrand boxed up the old monitors and taped them shut.  They will be returned to Salt Lake City.  I felt a little guilty that he had to work a full, long day while I got to take a P-day with my sisters.  It was only a momentary twinge, however.
On Wednesday Elder Beckstrand was our driver when we took a trip to Thatcher and Safford.  We were interested to see the Gila Valley Temple that is located near those communities.

Elder Beckstrand and I posed in front of the Gila Valley Temple before we went inside to do a session.  It is a beautiful temple - inside and out.

Following the session we drove to the location of President Spencer W. Kimball's childhood home in Thatcher.  He lived in this home from the age of 7 until he married Camilla Eyring at the age of 22. 

This plaque told about some of the facts concerning the house and its history.  It is now an Arizona Historical Site, and although it is no longer owned by the Kimball family, it was well maintained. 

                    The lovely lady who owns the house allowed us to go inside for a quick peak.

One of the surprises we experienced in this part of Arizona was seeing the fields of cotton that were nearing harvest all along the highway.  I had no idea they grew cotton in Arizona.

These cotton balls are full and ready to pick. 

The people of the area told us that this is the first year the cotton has been put in these yellow plastic rolls.  There were dozens and dozens of them lining the sides of the fields.  Apparently they plant the cotton at 2 to 3 week intervals so all of the crops don't mature at the same time.  It was interesting to see this industry in what we thought of as a desert state. 
More cotton bales.  What an interesting part of the state.  We enjoyed getting to see this area of Arizona, which is south and east of Mesa.

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