A Prayer and a Dream
I went to bed last night, troubled by what seems to be the beginning of arthritis. My efforts at supplementation have yielded no benefit, and I asked God, "Can I get rid of this? What can I do?"
This morning I dreamt I was at a social function in FL. I met a person I knew and liked but have long lost track of. We were catching up and I was relating a little about my mission. I related roughly the following to her:
I went on a mission to Idaho. There are a lot of small towns in Idaho, like I've learned there are pretty much anywhere. My first area was a set of very small towns headquartered in Arco, but by no means was it the smallest. Lava Hot Springs probably fit that bill.
I am an up-tight person by nature. The first missionary companion I was assigned with was very laid back. We got into a few fights. Once he lit bottle rockets underneath the bathroom door while I was in the tub (there was no shower) and I was not able to escape quickly. Not cool. I got him back for that and retuned in-kind several days later. We got in fights over how to clean (he had a particular way of doing so) over cooking food and several other things. I annoyed him pretty good with my book-trained way of how things ought to be done. I found that while our personalities contrasted, I grew to love him. He was probably one of the most genuine people I've ever met. What you saw was what you got, and he would do anything for anybody. I loved that first area, we developed a great way of working together teaching people what we understood about Christ and baptizing. The last month was kind of miraculous in that regard. He continued to make me uncomfortable from time to time, pushing me beyond my comfort zones. He loved to sing, and somehow got me to sing a duet with him at baptismal services. I loved the Lost River Valley, and if circumstances were different, I might live there.
I was transferred to a new area and the rest of my experiences largely became a shock which reflected back to me my own personality. I was highly uncomfortable and my health suffered from time to time. If I thought I was up-tight, my mission president was me cranked up to 100. He was an unwitting mirror teacher. He managed missionaries by continually inventing new ways of putting people in a mental straight-jacket. Some of my companions were his greatest agents against me, "helping" me "in the name of God and righteousness." Some of them I despise to this day, despite repeated attempts to forgive.
I actually resolved my issues with my mission president near the very end. My form of rebelling was to occasionally wear a pair of green Doc Martens. I wore these to zone conference once or twice and he later nick-named me Mr. Green Shoes. He didn't like it, but surprisingly, neither did he make an issue out of it. Maybe he saw my heart was in the right place, I don't know, but him enduring my little rebellion was the first thing that began to endear me to him and help me to forgive the abuse, all of which, and the worst of which, I haven't detailed here. I made a request of him in my last few months which I thought he would never grant, but to my surprise, he did.
I saw a good Indian movie a few years ago called Queen. An betrothed Indian girl flees her wedding and her known life and experiences life outside of India. She meets a prostitute and eventually becomes great friends with her. I think they both saw in each other something the other lacked.
Later in the dream, I met others there who I knew and loved. M. V. specifically.
As I was relating my experiences, I was learning what a large aspect of their purpose in my life. I remembered the more current phraseology of the church "obedience with exactness". I also looked on other parts of my life and realized a lot was being mirrored both early and late.
I woke up and remembered my prayer. I remembered one of the major effects of arthritis was stiffness.