Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're in Utah!

So, now that we're a state away, I thought this would be a good time to join the blog world. It's quite an amazing story that brought us here, but one that I would never want to relive.

Anyone in the construction industry will tell you that there is a natural slump in work every year from the end of October till mid-February. The holiday season is probably the main factor. After four years of being in the business, we had the foresight to plan ahead with a budget and savings. In November of last year, Jason took on a partner who brought in concrete and painting in addition to Jason's stucco, landscape, and general contracting. We changed the company name to Denham-Jagger Construction. Jason and Dean split up the work: Jason ran the crews and checked the job sights while Dean bid upcoming jobs and took care of the books. With our fifth year in business coming up, we thought 2008 looked promising. Nothing prepared us, however, for the slow down in real estate. Add to that the immigration issues in Arizona, and work has almost come to a complete stand-still.

When we weren't awarded any work by the end of February, Jason started looking for a temporary part-time job around Casa Grande. By March, he was submitting resumes for full-time positions. Come June, Jason had submitted 800+ resumes and still no job (not to mention nearly $20 million in unawarded bids); we were feeling rather desperate. Another sickening blow came when 3 companies we had already done work for - and still owed us money -notified us that they were filing for bankruptcy.

Around this time, a friend of ours called Jason up and offered him employment in Utah. He wanted to start a new company there, and hire Jason as general contractor. After a priesthood blessing from his dad, Jason scheduled an interview for the following week. Jason's brother, Spencer, happened to be moving to Utah that same weekend, and offered Jason a ride. So, Saturday morning, bright and early, we met at my in-law's to see Jason and Spencer off. Um, to describe my feelings at this point: sick, hopeful, anxious, sick, desperate, and, yes, sick! Did I mention the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach? I watched Jason step into Spencer's truck with our last $100 in our pocket - to help pay for gas, hotel, and food - thinking, what are we going to do? Jason needs a way back to Arizona. By Monday, Jacob will need diapers, and I haven't been grocery shopping in almost four weeks! I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. I asked my father-in-law for a blessing, and was comforted. Then the miracles started pouring...

Jason arrived for his interview. Since we've been around the block two or three times at starting a company, we know that profit doesn't come right away. So, he opted to find a job and work the general contracting business on the side until the profit started rolling. Our friend provided Jason with a couple numbers: one to a stucco company; the other to a landscaping company. Jason gave them both a call, and was offered a job with the stucco company over the phone to start as soon as we were able to move to Utah. He then scheduled an interivew with the landscaping company for two weeks ahead. Our friend also paid for Jason's flight home Tuesday night.

We found renters for our house in Arizona within the week.

Upon preparing to move, Jason reserved a 12x6-foot trailor. (We gave most of our furniture away to his cousin, since she would be getting married in August. Our dining table, hutch, dresser and night stands (family heirlooms), entertainment center, piano, fake plants, and more. Our $8 DI couch finally found its way to a dumpster. The piano was hard to let go; but it is extremely old, and it would have been ruined had we moved it so far a distance. Jason's cousin is a wonderful pianist, so it's heartwarming to know that the piano has found a good home. So, after getting rid of all that stuff, we thought, Sure, we can fit everything else into a 12x6-foot trailor. (Until we started, our whole years' supply would have filled the trailor!)

So, when Jason went to pick up the trailor, it had already been rented out. A disgruntled customer had come in the day before and demanded it; so of course, he got it. The rental company offered us a 17-foot truck for the same price of the trailor. (We're talking a $600 savings, folks!) When we loaded everything into that truck, you couldn't have slipped anything larger than a centimeter between our stuff and the door!

We packed our house in 1 week!

We left a couple of days before Jason's scheduled interview with the landscaping company, spent one night in a hotel on the way up, and another night in a hotel once we arrived in Utah. Between gas and the $50/night hotels, we were out of money the day Jason interviewed ... which meant we needed to find a house, so that we would have a place to sleep that night.

Jason went to the interview while I waited in the truck with the kids. Two hours later, Jason comes walking out of the building. The company wasn't hiring. However, due to his credentials, they wanted him to start on Saturday. Since it was Thursday, he asked if he could start Monday, so that we could move into our house over the weekend. (The house we still hadn't found!)

That afternoon we started driving around the Eagle Mountain area. When Jason had come up a week before, he had stayed at Spencer's friend's house, and really liked the area. So, prior to our move, we had looked on craigslist for rental homes in the area and had narrowed it down to three. We figured, from what was listed, we would be able to drive around and see a lot of rental signs up and pretty much choose a house we wanted. During our search, we recieved a phone call from Spencer. His friend - whose house he and Jason had stayed in the week before - would be moving to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, and was willing to rent his house to us. Since he and his wife were away on vacation, we could move in that night. We could stay there rent-free until they could pack up their stuff. We moved all our stuff into their garage that afternoon.

We were given a job and a house all in the same day!

Our understanding has deepened in the Lord's promise: "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:7). Looking back, this is quite an amazing story. In the middle of it, we really didn't have time to think about what we were doing; we just knew we were putting one foot in front of the other. Now that all is said and done, we feel truly blessed.


Jayson & Sara said...

WOW! That's all I've got. There aren't words. That is crazy! But I'm so grateful to have you so close. I have tried to email you several times, but your old email doesn't work. Please email me! Jayson and I are coming home for New Years I'm really hoping you guys'll be there so we can FINALLY see you! Last time was at my wedding!

Crystal said...

Wow, you guys. I can't believe that story and at the same time, it teaches the same truths that we have learned from our experiences over the past year and a half. Hopefully the tough ride is over for you guys. Thanks for telling me about the blog. It's good to re-connect with old friends. Crystal Lilly

Lara said...

You weren't kidding when you said the blessings started pouring! When doors are opening like that, there is just no doubt you are where the Lord wants you to be.
You certainly endured a trial of faith, and now you are enjoying the blessings because you were so faithful.

Thanks for the blog link! I'll add you to my blogroll. Come visit mine, too!

Mariley Johnson said...

How did you know that I was just wondering what you were up to?
We are so glad that everything has worked out for you.

Lacey said...

The other day Audrey mentioned to me that you guys had moved to Utah!! I couldn't believe it! I'm glad I found your blog!

You and your little family have had some serious trials with work. I hope things look up and work out in Utah!

Love and miss ya!

Glad you joined the blogging careful, it's addicting!

Cuddlydoll said...

Oh my goodness! What a story! It takes great faith to recieve such blessings. I hope all continues to go well for you! We'll keep in touch!



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