I grew up in Colonia Juárez—one of the Mormon colonies in Northern Mexico. Each morning I had to milk two cows, feed the pigs and chickens, and gather and clean the eggs. On Saturdays I worked in the orchard with my father.
My father owned about 20 to 30 cattle. Every year we gathered them together to brand the calves. Once I was riding with my father on his horse when my father got off to brand a calf that he had roped. I was alone on the horse when it became spooked. I was old enough to ride a horse—about eight or nine years old—that is, until it started bucking.
When the horse took off, it didn’t take very long for me to fall off. My shoelace got caught in the stirrup, and I was dragged behind the horse. I was right between the horse’s hind legs, and I could see its hooves on both sides of me. The longer this went on, the more scared the horse became. He kept bucking and kicking and jumping. I was sure I was going to die.
Finally, my shoelace broke. My pants and shirt were ripped to shreds, but I didn’t have a scratch on me. I wasn’t hurt at all. My dad always called it a real miracle.
This experience strengthened my testimony. I know that my life was preserved by Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that Heavenly Father is my Father. I know that They know me and love me. I know my life was preserved for a purpose and that I need to live the best I can to perform that purpose. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet and that this is Jesus Christ’s Church. I know these things without any doubt.