Friday, August 7, 2009

Soybeans and Missions

The Lord blessed the Aurora Branch soybean fields for welfare and building fund assessments. He was also generous when money was needed to send Jimmie Greer on a mission.

James T. Greer prided himself on having “clean” fields, not a weed in sight. His grandchildren, Tom, Erek, and Ginger Erekson, caught up with him one day in 1952 while he was cultivating his soybeans.

Here’s the story of that very field, as Jim Greer recalled it: “When Jimmie went on his mission, I’d just got out of that hospital. [He had a heart attack in 1951.] I didn’t have no money, no nothing, and an $800 hospital bill.

“I had a little Avery tractor and a one-bottom plow. I rented 11 acres [in the spring of 1952]. I was 11 days putting that out, cultivating it, and raising beans. While I first started cultivating, the mail carrier, who lived across the street, come over and says, ‘Partner, I don’t know you from anybody else, but you might just as well be out fishing or hunting.’ He says, ‘This ground’s wore out. You’ll not make your salt to put on your bread.' I says, ‘I’ve got a son on a mission, and I expect this to help keep him out.’

That fall I got over there, and the bean crop was harvested and gone. I went up to the place where I had it registered, and they said, ‘Well, a fellow come in with a big red truck, and combined your beans.’ I didn’t know about it, but I figured it was old Bill Vaughn. I goes to Bill’s place, and his wife says, ‘He’s gone to Oswego with your beans. If you go down there, you can catch him.’

“I went down and walked in. Old Bill turned around and says, ‘Here’s the fellow.’ He said, ‘We just put down 11 acres of beans.’ I said, ‘How much did I make?’ It was $958 and some off cents—that for 11 days of work.

“I took that check (which was after the combining cost was out) over to that mail carrier and handed it to him. He called his wife out and said, ‘I want you to look at this check.’ He says, ‘We’ve said many a time that you planned on those beans helping to pay for your son’s mission. We’ve never seen such beans in our lives as there were in that field.’ I didn’t either. They was just as thick with beans all the way up and down.

“When Jimmie was released, I rented that field again. We didn’t break even. It didn’t make nothing. Now the good Lord was just in it for one year, and turned me down on another year.” (From The Story of Jim and Myrtle Greer: Family and Church, pp. 74-75)

Jimmie (James H.) Greer sent this photo to his sister, Louise Erekson, from the Texas-Louisiana Mission in 1952.

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