Gila Valley, Arizona

Ok I need to get my hair cut. The picture above clearly shows it is too poofy on top.

Meeting New Friends

Last Sunday I went to church at the Stratland Ward, next to the Gilbert Temple, and I didn’t know anyone there. As the meeting started I felt very alone and like an island. I was surrounded by families and couples and people with people and the reality of being alone hit hard.

However after the meeting many friendly people introduced themselves to me and welcomed me. This was the friendliest welcome I’ve had yet on this trip and I was very grateful for it.

Ike Hardy was one of those kind people. He asked if I had dinner plans, which I didn’t, and he invited me to have dinner with his family. Steak, no less! I’m very into steaks right now so it was perfect πŸ™‚

Ike and his wife Michelle were so kind, and I got to meet 3 of their 4 children and a friend who is staying with them while her parents are on a trip. They were interested to hear about Tiffany and I shared with them about last December. How she got so much done and how God blessed her in so many ways that last month.

I left their home feeling full of not just great food, but full of happiness from making new friends. Being invited to a home, being so warmly welcomed, making new friends, and getting a chance to talk about Tiffany was just very satisfying and fulfilling.


I met Janet Taggert today at the Gila Valley temple. She was the first person to walk by as I waited outside the front to ask someone to take my picture. After she took the picture she asked if I wanted to hear a story about her and the temple. I said ‘sure!’.

She said one day as she walked up to the front door of the temple to go in, the door opened automatically just enough for her to step inside, then it shut. She realized that it was the wind that had done it, but she chose to look at it like the temple was just welcoming her inside.

We got talking more and I learned that her husband passed away 10 years ago. He was a radiologist oncologist. She has 16 grandchildren.

Richard Graves who volunteer works at this temple was touched when he heard my story of Tiffany’s death. He came up to me and didn’t say a word, just shook my hand with both his hands and looked me in the eyes with deep compassion then slowly turned and walked away. Sometimes no words conveys more than words could. This was one of those times.

I’m an introvert and meeting new people has always been difficult for me.

One of my favorite recent humorous quotes is, “Introverts of the world unite! Separately. In our own homes.”

I’m finding on this trip a deep enjoyment getting to know people and meeting new friends. Getting out of myself in this way is a good thing and is helping me in the healing process as I learn to have enjoyment in life when so much joy has been taken away.

Being Okay Being Alone

One of my major goals right now is to get myself as healthy as I can, alone. This means in part that I have to come to a full acceptance of being alone and also enjoy my life.

To help move this along last Friday night I went to a movie theatre alone and watched a movie. The next night I went to a play theatre alone and watched a play.Β It all worked out okay. I was uncomfortable only when thinking about myself. I need to do more work on this but I think I’m starting to get it.

Here a selfie (to prove I actually went!) at the Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert, AZ.


Eating Alone

I’m getting really good at eating alone. On my drive to Gila Valley I stopped by Taylor Freeze for lunch. It’s one of those one-of-a-kind local places I like to experience. I’m finding enjoyment in that.


This is a Mushroom Swiss Hamburger they made for me. It was good πŸ™‚


Gila Valley Temple

This temple was built about 5 years ago. Janet was telling me how nice it is to have this temple here. They used to have to drive to Phoenix, almost 3 hours, before it was built. Now it’s just 5 minutes away from her house and she comes here often.

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4 thoughts on “Gila Valley, Arizona

  1. Thanks again for sharing your story. I love the Temple and I just travel to my own Temple and it helped me through the passing to the other side of my husband. I serve as an ordinance worked 2 or 3 times a week and Patron on other days. I find such peace there and feel closer to my husband there. Just continue trusting the Lord and you will come through this trial and be what He wants you to be. God bless you and yours. I love you going to places alone. I am still working on that.

  2. Hey Brother Janis! Brenda and I have had you in our thoughts so much lately. Didn’t have a correct phone # so thought I’d see what turned up on the web. I was really happy to find your post about the temples and hear of your travels. We have thought of you so often and wondered how you have been since the passing of Tiffany. We were hoping you would e-mail or call (281-546-8165) so we could speak with you. Since our release in Dec. we are serving on the Fri. pm shift. If you get a chance come see us there or give us a call. Take care. Mike & Brenda Devereaux.

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