Saturday, September 28, 2013

City Boy Gone Country

For most of my life, I lived in the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix. I lived close to my family, attended school with the same group of friends, graduated from a large high school, and attended college and the police academy. Never once did I think I would move to St. Johns, Arizona. Heck, I did not even know where it was, until my family decided that it was time to relocate after retirement. Before my father and stepmother could relocate, I did. I beat them up the mountain by almost two years. I remember arriving in St. Johns and immediately noticing that there were no stoplights. I drove through town. It was a quick trip. I drove through it again to make sure that I did not miss anything. My grandparents came up to help me look for a place to live after I was hired by the Sheriff’s Office. I could not find a place to live, so I found myself living in a camp trailer for almost two years in Moon Meadows. Needless to say, I will only sleep or stay in a camp trailer for a few days at most from this point forward.

Being the new person in town, I was the talk of the town. I quickly made friends. I learned about small towns, where high school sports are one of the most important events in town. I thought I was happy and content as a bachelor, but then I found a firefighter/EMT that caught my eye, Raven. She played hard to get and tried to hide in the fire station. Had it not been for a friend of Raven’s opening that door, we might not have dated. We went on a date. For whatever reason, we did not date again for a long period of time. After a death investigation, Raven asked me to lunch again. The rest is history. We eventually married. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would marry. By this time, I thought I had known all of the big families in St. Johns; however, I quickly learned that Raven was related to half of the town. I have to say that it is nice having a large extended family and living in a small town, where everyone is willing to help each other, something that is not very common in Phoenix.

After we married, I decided to start my investigation into a church that I had heard about while living in St. Johns, the Mormon church. I remember sneaking over to Paul and Suzanne’s to take the missionary lessons while Raven was at work. Finally, in a moment of truth, I asked Raven what she thought about me taking the lessons. She was excited about it and started attending with me at Paul and Suzanne’s. I reached the date of my baptism. I remember telling the missionaries to make sure that the baptismal font was warm and that the coveralls better not be see-through. Needless to say, the water was ice cold. The Relief Society room was packed with people who cared about me and Raven. Never did I think that I would join a church. However, I knew that it was right.

After my baptism, Raven and I have started to attend church on a regular basis. Time was not wasted; the first calling to serve came and then the second. Raven and I have grown so much. Now we prepare for the next chapter of our lives as we eagerly await our first child. We continue down the path. I have received the Priesthood. I have had the privilege to be a part of several blessings. The feelings are profound. I don’t even know how to describe the feelings appropriately. As we continue our journey, I know that families are eternal. I look forward to the future here in this town. There is not a minute that goes by that I am not grateful for moving from the sprawling desert valley of Phoenix to St. Johns.

Written By Lance Spivey


  1. I am glad you moved to SJ! You are a great friend of our family & an example to us. You & Raven are the type of people that make living here a blessing.

  2. I'm so glad you moved here too! You probably don't know, but my son, Cade, always looked up to you for your kindness and friendship when he was just a young high school kid. Your example (as well as Raven's) has been a wonderful blessing to those around you.

  3. Lance, I do not know you, but I grew up in St. Johns. I so enjoyed reading your uplifting post describing the changes that have taken place in your life. May God bless you and Raven as you continue to progress, and congratulations on the new baby. What a privilege parenthood is! Lindy (Udall) Funaki