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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Heard That Will Smith is Mormon 07/19/2010

Dear Family,

I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago how we went up to a bunch of guys getting ready to play softball, taught them a couple parts of the first lesson, and then passed around my planner to get the names and addresses of those who would like a Book of Mormon delivered to them. One of the names that was written was "Will Smith." That one has got to be fake, I thought. But I gave the phone number a call, and was able to set up an appointment with the guy.

We get there and Will greets us at the door. Will is a large African-American with thick dread locks. He lets us into his dimly-lit apartment and we sit down with three of Will's brothers (named Deravante, Dante, and Day-tron).

Possibly the best lesson of my mission. I'm not even kidding. They asked a lot of questions, which is almost always a good thing. We could tell from them explaining back to us what we taught that they were beginning to understand. I felt that this was one of a very few number of lessons I've taught that has truly been led by the Spirit to teach to a person's needs, and not just teach the doctrine. This lesson began to let us know where Will and his brothers were actually coming from, and what they care about, and what they are interested in. It's a lot easier to teach when you begin to really know the people you are teaching.

Later this week, we had our first meeting with a new investigator, Irene. Irene is about 60. She has 3 kids, and she is Hispanic. We brought an older man, Brother Lundstrom, to this appointment. As we began to teach, all was going well and had the same feeling as the lesson with Will. Elder Tobler asked Brother Lundstrom "How has the Gospel blessed your family?"

We then heard a 5 minute lesson about temples, baptisms for the dead, getting "sealed" and a bunch of other stuff that confused Irene. No bueno. But eventually the subject of the lesson turned back to things that actually applied, and Brother Lundstrom redeemed himself by telling us all how he joined the church. Good man.

So yeah, I'm enjoying the teaching. I really wish I could have began the mission having the knowledge and understanding of my purpose as a missionary that I have now. It could have prevented a lot of dumb ideas, wasted time, and frustration at earlier times in the mission. I'm not thinking about going home all the time, but I do keep having recurring dreams where I've been home for 3 to 6 months. Is that normal? In some of these dreams I have a giant afro. I know that's not normal.

Have a great week, everyone. If anyone sees Rob Magleby this week, smack him on the head and then say, "Elder Karlsven says 'Congratulations'." He got engaged and didn't tell me, or even write a letter to me asking for my permission. Lame.

Love,
Elder Karlsven

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