Patience seems to be one of the virtues that we must learn in this life one way or another. If we do not begin to learn patience when we are young and growing up the Lord will teach us patience in his way. We need patience in work, patience in play, patience in planting, patience in harvesting, patience in suffering, patience in every phase of the Lord's work in the church. We need patience in perfecting ourselves, we need patience in doing missionary work. We need patience in working in the Temple for the dead and the living. Especially we need patience in our family relationships.

In my childhood as I remember, everything that we did in learning something new required patience and concentration. Mother taught us to make beaded belts. She bought us bright colored tiny beads and patterns and designs to get us started until we could develop our own designs. She gave us a chance to help her tie quilts and even quilt with a needle and thread. I see now that it taught us not only patience but also gave us the satisfaction of doing something creative and beautiful.

In our play we learned to be skillful in spinning Tops and shooting Marbles. Baleros really required patience to learn to be good at the Balero. Jump the rope and Mexican Hop Scotch required agility and patience to learn to do them well.

One of my first jobs on the farm was to drive old Molly, a big Percheron Mare, when they were digging the big well. The well was being dug with pick and shovel and the dirt and gravel was being hauled out in a big fifty gallon bucket. The bucket was tied to a long cable that was run through a well greased pulley. The Pulley was hooked to a chain tied to a big cross bean on a very solid frame at the top of the well. The cable was extended out and hooked to the single tree that was hooked to old Molly's tug chains on her harness. When the bucket was full the men down in the well would shout, "Sube" (take it up) . I would be waiting astride Old Molly and would speak to her and she would pull up the bucket carefully to the top then back up a little to let them swing the heavy bucket out to be emptied outside of the well. Then I would slowly back Old Molly back and back letting the bucket slowly down the well to be filled again. I realized the great responsibility that I had in protecting the life of the men down in the well.

Day after day we worked as the well got deeper and deeper until the water was so plentiful that we could not work any more. Molly was a big patient Percheron Mare. She was a light bay in color and was sleek and fat and in good condition. She had a colt that we left in the corral at the ranch house so he would not bother his mother. At noon when the men would come up to eat their lunch we all sat in the shade of the walnut trees to enjoy our lunches. I loved to trade sandwiches for tasty Burritos and they liked the change of eating sandwiches. I Always carried a big cup in my lunch kit and would go milk Old Molly and fill my cup with warm sweet Mare's Milk. I really enjoyed that good milk with my lunch. I think I developed patience from the example of that wonderful patient old Mare.

When I worked on the farm I remember one job that especially tried my patience and taught me to control my feelings. I was put on the Hay Baler to tie the wires. This Baler was pulled by horses but was powered by a gasoline engine. The Baler was fed from each side with Pitch Forks. A long arm would push the hay down into the Bailer and a big square plunger would compress the hay into long bale chute. There was a iron seat on each side of that chute for the us to sit on to tie the wires. A special chuck with three slots on each side for the wires to go through was dropped into the chute at certain intervals to determine the length of the bale. Our job was to poke the wires through the slots and tie them around each bale as they were being pushed out We sat right close to where the hay was being forked into the Baler and as the hay was being crushed and pushed the dust was almost unbearable but we had no time to do anything but poke the wires and get them tied in time. Amid the noise of the Engine and the clanking Baler and the itchy hay dust we sat in the heat of the sun and could not even use our hands to scare away the little knats that hummed in our ears and eyes. My nose would get so dry from the heat and dust that it would begin to bleed. All I could do was wipe it with my dusty shirt sleeve smearing it all across my face. The Baler could not be stopped for such a small matter as a little nose bleed. I could hardly wait until noon when the horses were given a rest and we could run to the River and dive into the cool water and wash off the irritating dust, dirt and blood. I learned to tolerate the noise, the itchy dust the heat of the sun and the humming of the knats and the little biting flies and do my job with efficient fast moving hands. I felt the satisfaction of seeing the hay racks stacked high with pretty even Bales of bright green hay going off to the barn or the Rail Road car. I was only about 9 or 10 years old but I felt that I was doing a man's work. I was taking the place of a man on that seat of the Baler. Compared with the wire tying on the Baler some of the other farm work seemed fun to me.

Many times I was given old Trigger to ride to work on the farm. Trigger was Dan Taylor's horse. He was at times hard to catch when he was loose in the field. When I got to work I would take off the bridle and turn Trigger loose to eat. When I was finished for the day I would come to get old trigger to travel home on. I didn't have a saddle so I always road bareback. When I would come to catch Trigger in the big field to ride him home he usually had other ideas. When I would approach him with the bridle behind my back he would break into a run and run down to the other end of the field. I would turn and walk down again to where he was waiting and he would run again. Soon he would trot away then slow to a walk keeping his left eye on me as he walked along a little distance ahead of me. Since he was watching me with his left eye he would gradually turn in a circle to the left. The circle soon began to get smaller and smaller until he was actually following me at a slow walk. I then would turn around and put the bridle reigns around his neck and put the bridle on him with out him even resisting. I then would swing up on him and we would go on home. I learned this patient way to catch him because I had no other recourse. I knew he would not let me corner him so all I could do was patiently follow him until the circle got so small that he was coming to me instead of me chasing him. We would repeat this process day after day and Trigger didn't seem to catch on to my patient trick. However he never would let me just walk up to him in the field so I had to resort to patience.

I remember when we used to plant corn with a plow that had been made into a hook with a funnel and long tube that extended from about waist high Between the plow handles down under the back of the hook. This hook was pulled by a big work Horse and buried the corn about six inches down in the soft moist earth. When I planted I carried a bucket of Corn Seed hanging from a strap that went around my neck. My job was to drop two or three Kernals of Seed Corn into the funnel every step I took. I soon got the rhythm and my fingers became very agile and I was able to drop the Corn Seed into the funnel with precision at a fast walk of the horse that pulled the hook plow. I was barefooted and many times there were Bull Head Slivers along the way but I had to just brush them out and not miss one drop of Seed. If I missed a drop of the Corn no corn would come up in that space and it would be wasted.

I determined to Glean some wheat during wheat harvest and sell it so I could buy me some shoes at the Farnsworth and Romney Saddle shop.

Wheat Harvest came along and I asked Uncle Harvey Taylor to let me glean wheat so that I could buy me some Shop Shoes to work in. He laughed and said that he would thrash the wheat for me when I got a big enough pile. I remember that I could find really good wheat laying down where one of the wheels of the Header had to go along mashing down the wheat because the big Sickle Bar extended between two wheels so one had to be in the standing uncut wheat as it went along cutting the wheat.

I also found some good wheat on the corners where the big Header would leave a piece uncut on each corner of the field. I finally had a big stack that I thought would give me plenty of wheat for the shoes. I carried it to the Thrasher and just before stopping the Thrasher Uncle Harvey motioned to the men to fork my wheat into the noisy Thrasher. I watched while the straw was blown out of the long tube of the big Thrasher into the big straw pile. Finally the beautiful golden wheat began to come out into the Media (The half Hectroliter measuring box.) I watched hoping that it would fill up but it only got a little over half full. They dumped it into my flour sack and I had just a little over a half sack of wheat. I Threw it over my shoulder and climbed onto the Wheat Wagon that was leaving to go to the mill with a full load of wheat. I tied the top of my sack and went to sit with the driver of the wagon up in front of the wagon. I really enjoyed sitting in the soft wheat and letting my legs hang over the front of the wagon where I could watch the big sweating horses pulling the heavy wagon. It took us about two hours to get to the mill in Dublan. When we got there we pulled into the long line of wagons waiting their turn to unload at the receiving bin. I could see Dad standing on the mill porch watching the men unloading the wheat out of the wagons with the big Two Handed Scoops.

I took my heavy sack of wheat and carried it to the mill porch and proudly put it on the scales. Dad smiled and weighed it up. I remember it weighed 32 kilos. Dad wrote down the weight on a little piece of paper and went into the office and punched it on his paper nail with all of the rest of the wheat weights that had come in that day.

Dad asked me what I wanted, money or Flour and I told him that I wanted the money to buy me some Shop Shoes. He swiveled around in his big office chair and opened the safe and gave me 16.00 Pesos and told me that he was paying me top price for my wheat. I picked up my money feeling rich because I had more than enough money to buy the shoes that I wanted. I went home and had a good bath to wash off the itchy wheat dust and then mother gave me a good supper of bread and milk with sugar on it. I went to bed that night tired but very satisfied with what I had accomplished.

The next day I went up to the shop to buy my shoes. I went in and told Brother Alvin Coon that I wanted to buy the best pair of Shop Shoes that he had. He looked at my bare feet and judged the size and said that I would have to wait a little while for the Shoemaker to finish the pair that he was working on because they were just my size. I went over to see the shoes that he was making and they were just what I wanted. They were made of green leather, the color of the leather as it came out of the tannery. I didn't want brown ones or black ones because the die came off on your feet and got them all brown or black. Especially if you got them wet the die would come out and color your feet. These that I wanted had a soft leather tongue that was sewed on each side clear to the top to keep out the dirt. They also had shiny rivets on each side to reinforce the sewing. The soles and heels were of good thick cow hide and would really last.

While the shoemaker was finishing my shoes I went over to watch the man who was making a big collar for the harnesses of the Work Horses. The special Horse hide leather had been sewed up to form the collar and the man was filling it with straw. I watched as he twisted a little rope of straw and bent it over his packing bar. The bar was about five feet high standing on a good solid base. He would hold the straw over the bar and slip the partially filled collar over the bar then holding the bar with one hand and the collar with the other he would tamp the straw into the collar by pounding the bar on the big heavy tree stump that was placed into the floor at floor level for that purpose. He would pound down hard one two three packing the straw tightly into the leather collar giving it the perfect shape that it needed to fit the horse. I was amazed at the patience and time that it took to stuff that collar. He would pound that straw into that collar hour after hour. I watched for about two hours and he had not even completed one side of the collar. It probably took days to make one collar but when it was done it would be beautiful and would last many years giving good service. The sizes of the collars ran in inches from about size 15 to 28 and each horse had to be fitted for his own collar which would probably last his life time. I suddenly realized that to make anything worthwhile it took lots of patience and hard work but it was certainly worth it.

Finally my shoes were done and I tried them on. They fit perfectly and felt smooth and cool on my feet. I went into the store and paid for them and Prici Tarin wrapped them up for me. When I got home I asked mother for some socks. She admired the shoes and gave me a pair of new socks that Dad had brought from El Paso. After proudly wearing my shoes for a month or two my feet got soft and tender so when I tried to go barefooted I had to get them tough all over again.

As I remember some of the experiences of my boyhood days I realize now that my wonderful practical parents were teaching me not only the value of work but also they were gradually teaching me patience in doing a good job. It takes patience and work to accomplish something worthwhile.

Of course anything can be carried to the extreme like the story I heard a very long time ago. A young man was going along a road, in china, one day when he came upon an old Chinese woman. She was patiently rubbing a Crow Bar on a big rock by the side of the road. The young man was curious and stopped to watch for a few moments. Finally he could stand it no longer and asked, "Mother what are you doing"? She answered in a soft weary voice, "I am making a needle". Patience should be guided by Wisdom..

I guess you will have to have patience to read all of this epistle but I needed to record these little stories of my boyhood days.