Lehi and started on my mission south. This was the last time that we saw father Thomas Karren, born on the Isle of Mann, 1 May 1810. He died the 4 April 1876, a worthy and faithful Latter-day Saint. My family accompanied me south on this mission.
I and Brother Burnham got out some wagon timber and a log for lumber. Wednesday, worked at wagons and prepared log for sawing. Brother Burnham and Titchen sawed and in the afternoon he went to hunt for turkey and found a number, but we did not get any. Got a load of timber. Saturday, Thomas and I got load of cedar and I sent him home while I walked through a piece of heavy woodland to see if I could get a turkey for New Years. I got about two miles from home and it commenced to snow. It became dark and I started for home. When I had traveled about far enough to reach home, I found that I was lost. I fired my gun, but to no use as I could not be heard. I wandered for three hours in this terrible storm without making any advance toward home. I called on the Lord for help. I also prayed that he might bring comfort to my distressed family. I arose and again started to walk. In a few moments I ascended a hill and found my way. I saw the lights or large fires from this hill that had been made to guide me to my home. In a short time I reached my crying children and distressed wife who were once more comforted because I was saved from perishing in the cold storm which raged most of the night. I had no matches therefore it was more perilsome.
Thanks to the Lord for He has once more manifested His power to save me from wandering afar to where no help could have been rendered me. I should have to have gone eighteen miles to have found any person, had I missed our camp at San Lorenzo. And more likely would have gone off into an extensive and dense forest near by.
It was 8:00 P.M. when I reached our cabin. Grief and joy was the order of the night. I found Francisco and five other Navajos waiting to see me and much pleasure was manifested in beholding my return. I spent some two hours conversing with them through an interpreter who spoke Spanish. They slept in our house. Sunday morning I had a long talk with them. Brothers Burnham and Titchen went with them to Savoia valley--a distance of fifteen miles--where these Indians wished us to build houses. When the weather gets warm they wish to get baptized. Held meeting and the day passed pleasantly. New Year’s Eve. This year has been one of great experience and great changes, has taken place. It is wonderful to all who reflect and can see the hand of our God in behalf of His people Israel. New Year’s Eve, I read several revelations and wrote in my journal and now say farewell to the past year and may I approach nearer to my Heavenly Father and do much good in the years to come.
Monday, January 1, 1877
Brother Maughn, Mr. Mason and I started to look at Matelanies Ranch--fifty-five miles west. One of the nights, while traveling, I dreamed I saw Brother Brigham and had a pleasant talk with him and took hold of his arm and told him that I had not taken hold to hinder him, but to assist him over some rough places. He smiled pleasantly. At Matelanies Ranch, found some good springs and considerable improvements have been made, nine rooms where families could live, two reservoirs and several acres of land had been cultivated. The place pleased me. I felt that there could be homes made for many of our people.
We returned to Zuni and turned in for the night. It was my birthday (January 4) and I was much cheered by the reception I received from the Zuni Indians. We saw them dance and enjoyed ourselves first rate. My age is fifty-one.
We arose at 3:00 A.M. Got breakfast and left for Fish Springs where we arrived at 8:00 A.M. Got a sheep of Lamelona, some corn for our horses and arrived home at 6:00 P.M.
Worked making a window frame and some work for the Spanish neighbors for which I got some corn and a squash.
We held meeting in William’s house. Brothers Burnham, Titchen, McAllister, and Maughn and all were present. We had a good meeting. Monday at noon, twelve Indians came to see us. Held a council with us and we decided to start to Savoia valley. We gave them supper and breakfast and they left on Tuesday. William and Thomas started with several of these Indians. I worked at wagons and making arrangements to go to Savoia.
Wednesday, we started for this beautiful valley. I drove the wagon to a point of rock just above the trail that goes to Nutrus and although Brother Titchen had been here before he now had a testimony that this was the place to put our house. Thursday, the 11th, I arose, and having determined the north and south line the night before, squared a house with two rooms: 15 x 10 feet and 15 x 15 inside measurements and laid the foundation for both of these buildings. Brothers Burnham and Titchen brought the timber. Left the boys and returned to San Lorenzo that night--a distance of twelve miles by the trail. Sunday, we had meeting at Brother Maughn’s. Monday, returned to Savoia with Brother Burnham. We had about four inches of snow. Found Brother Titchen rather poorly. Tuesday all hands commenced in ernest to finish up the small room. Tuesday, the 17th, Brother Burnham started to Wingate with our letters and returned with mail for everybody