I always knew that I wanted to live in St. Johns. Growing up I would hear classmates tell me how they couldn’t wait to leave town and do other things. In my mind there wasn’t any other place that I wanted to live. All the good times having bon fires out at section 5, jumping off the dock at Patterson’s Pond, going spotlighting out east, the list could go on and on.
My family first came to St. Johns in the late 1800’s. They were directed to settle this area by Brigham Young. Our family still owns the land that they stayed their first nights here in St. Johns. The examples of my family members have had a positive impact in the way I live my life.
Some of the greatest examples to me are my Grandpa and Grandma Heap. They have always shown me the right way to live my life. In High School I worked for them every day on the ranch after school and on Saturdays. There would be many times that I would get to their house early, before we could set out to work, we always would read scriptures and say prayers. As a teenager this impacted my life tremendously. After my grandmother passed away I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time with my grandpa. In the few months before my mission there were not too many days that we weren’t together. I have never met a more optimistic person in my life. He has always been faithful to the gospel. There are not many things that I would rather do, than spend time with him pushing cattle or riding fence. Even though my Grandmother was not there anymore, we would still read scriptures and say prayers before we went to work.
Late this last fall we were short some cattle on the ranch south of Alpine Arizona. Grandpa Heap called me early in the morning and asked if I would go up and look for the cattle that we were missing. I have never been able to tell my grandfather no. He told me that he knew I would find them. I had my doubts. We had already ridden the ranch several times looking for these cattle and we were not finding any sign. So I loaded up my horse and I set out. On my way up to Alpine, I kept having this feeling, like I wasn’t alone, or that I knew that I had help. It was a strange, but also a comforting feeling. I got to the ranch and I said a little prayer asking for help. I decided to go to Campbell pasture and start there. The roads were slick with mud, snow and ice. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get too far with the pickup and trailer but I felt like I should keep going a little farther. I kept going and I came up on a pickup that was stuck in the mud. I could see a lady and three kids standing near the truck. I stopped and asked if I could help. She told me that her husband and son were hunting they had gotten stuck and left to go look for some elk. I was still hooked up to a trailer, so I carefully drove around the truck and found a spot that I could un-hook the trailer. The husband and son had returned when I got back to their truck. I then pulled their truck out and I asked them to take my number and if they saw any cattle to please call me. I then continued on my way searching for the cattle. About an hour later I got a text telling me that the hunter had seen some cattle. I couldn’t believe it. I found where the hunter had seen the cattle and I was able to get the cattle to the corral, and with some help from my beautiful wife and my Dad we got them back to St. Johns.
Later that evening I was thinking about the day and how blessed I was to have such great examples in my life. I knew that I had help that day. I knew when my Grandpa had said his morning prayers he prayed for me to find the cattle. I also thought about the blessing of being able to live in a great town like St. Johns. A place where I get to do the things that I love. A place where I can raise my children surrounded by a family of faith and dedication to our Savior Jesus Christ!