Tuesday, August 27

Another Stake in Rome

I had the missionary dream again this week. The one where the Apostles extend the opportunity for male members of the Church to go on additional full-time missions... and I'm there in an instant.

I don't remember everything from the dream (since dreams are often that way), but I know had a companion a couple years younger than me, and it was his second time serving as well. I felt the same thrill of being able to serve, the same feeling of joy in finding ways to share the gospel. The same unbounded love for the people around me. The same closeness to God that I've come to love. I also remember distinctly thinking, "This has got to be a dream..." then looking around me, being overjoyed that it wasn't, and going back to work.

It was interesting to see how much I've changed in the years since my mission. How much more able I am to see people's needs, to remember and apply scriptures, to find ways to lift and bless people in their lives. I felt enormously blessed to be able to take the skills I'd developed as a teacher, writer, performer, and in graduate school and apply them somewhere truly worthwhile. And to share those with my companion and other missionaries.

Needless to say, when I woke up, it was not a joyful experience.

It felt so... so real. I've had that dream enough times that if the Brethren opened a door for it to happen, I'd jump as soon as I could say yes. And maybe someday it will. But something inside my heart tells me that, even if it does happen, the Lord has plans for me... that definitely involve missionary work, just perhaps not with a black badge.

A few days ago the Church announced that there will be a new stake organized in Rome, comprising the current districts of Napoli and Sardegna. That was where I served most of my mission. I was there when we organized the first stake of Rome.

I had another dream while I was in the MTC about Italy. There were three parts. The Pope died... then a temple was built. And then I found myself standing on a rock overlooking the city, singing. The Pope died while I was there. The temple was announced by President Monson. I don't know what the last part means yet. Maybe if I get into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, we'll tour in Rome and sing on that spot. You're set apart as a missionary - a musical missionary - when you join the Choir. Or maybe it's something else far in the future.

I don't know. Maybe this is what I get for spending all day reading and writing about the gospel for work. Even at night it possesses my dreams.

Either way, I'm glad that the work is going forward. I'm glad that God has a place for me. And I'm glad that I can do at least a little bit to help build His Kingdom here on the earth.


  1. I've had that dream a few times as well. When I do, it always feels awesome to be a full-time missionary again.

  2. I've had a few of those recurring dreams where I'm off on a new mission. To be honest, they usually freak me out. (I'm definitely not in the position to be a great missionary right now.) But I haven't had a missionary dream in a while now. Last night I had a weird dream about playing football with Denzel Washington at some kind of celebrity charity thingy. I don't really play football either... so it was weird. I'm always wanting my dreams to tell me my future... but they have only done that a couple times. Maybe I should look out for a call from Denzel?


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