After we came home from Zone Conference in Cebu, we went with the Toledo District President to a meeting in Aloguinsan. There was an Independence Day procession and numerous street activities in Toledo. It took us nearly 15 minutes to move through traffic from one street to the next.
As we drove back from Aloguinsan, the District President sat watching the traffic for a few minutes, then started a conversation.
Elder Hall, you drive very fast.
Well, sometimes maybe.
Elder Hall, how old were you when you learned to drive?
Well, I started driving a farm tractor when I was six years old?
Oh, so it was it your tractor?
Yes, it was my dad’s tractor.
So why did you drive? Did your dad let you drive just for the experience?
No, he needed my help. My father had a farm and a dairy and there was a lot of work to do.
But you were only six years old?
Elder Hall passed several vehicles before he answered.
Yes, I was six years old. My next older brother was five years older than me. None of my other older brothers were living at home then.
In our country there is a very short window of time between the time when the weather has warmed enough that the ground can be worked, and before the ground is too dry to plant. If the ground is too dry, the seed can’t sprout and we lose the crop.
So my father showed me how to operate the tractor and I worked up one of the fields.
The District President thought a moment. He works at the Carmen Copper mines and knows about big equipment.
Elder Hall, how big were you then? Were you big enough to reach the foot controls?
It was a relatively small tractor, but I had to stand up to reach the pedals. I stood between the seat and the steering wheel. I could hold onto the wheel and use one foot for the clutch. If I needed the brake I needed to use both feet.
So when did you learn to drive a pickup.?
When I was ten years old, I started driving the pickup and truck.
Didn’t you have to show a license to drive?
I just drove around the farm.
So it was alright if you just drove inside your farm?
Yes. At that time in Idaho, I was able to get a drivers’ license when I was fourteen. Then I could drive on the roads.
So …you have been driving for a very long time. It is good that you have a lot of experience driving.
I thought maybe the president looked a bit relieved to know that Elder Hall had a lot of driving experience.