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Friday, October 08, 2010

Not Coming Home Yet 09/30/2010

Dear Family,
Friday night. We are teaching Moss and Mele Malala in their apartment. Mele is scheduled to be baptized on October 9. During the closing prayer, Mele got up and went into the kitchen. After the prayer, she came out with 2 styrofoam containers filled with chicken wings and rice for us.
On the ride home, Elder Bell and I sat in silence, pondering. It may have been the smell of the chicken wings in the car, but I was filled with a great love for both of them. The feeling that I needed to be there for her baptism was growing in me. When I got in the apartment, the feeling continued to increase. I knelt to pray about it. The feeling remained. Coming into the kitchen, I said to Elder Bell, "Dude, I'm thinking about extending to see Mele's baptism."
I called President Jackson. After telling him about Mele (you always got to begin a conversation with the mission president about some sort of success) I said "So President, what do you think about me extending for 2 weeks to see her baptism?" In a casual tone, he told me to call Mom and Dad and see if it's okay and then call him back. 10 minutes later it was decided that I would stay to see Mele's baptism.
That's what they say about missions, you know. First you hate them. Then you get used to them. Enough time passes and then you depend on them. Institutionalized, is the term for it. Nah, but I'm pretty happy to have 2 more weeks with the people we're working with out here.
All of Monday I spent with the missionaries that were going home. President Jackson did his last interviews with them, and then he and his wife gave us all advice about going home. My favorite line he said was, "You will all be nerds when you get home. You won't know how to act around anyone..."
Tuesday was the worst day. On Monday night I slept over with all the missionaries going home. The airport is in the Santa Clara area, so we arranged for my companion to pick me up there when we would see the other missionaries off. We drove the missionaries to the airport, helping them with their luggage and all that. In the airport, I looked at the departure and arrival flights on the big TV screens. I saw the flight I would have been on. Dang.
But at the end we greeted the 18 new missionaries arrive at the airport, just beginning their missions. Confused, overly shy or extremely talkative, eyes wide open, tripping over their luggage, etc. I love new missionaries.
Anyway, I hope all of you that were planning huge surprise parties for me are able to have the catering, DJs, and firework shows moved back two weeks. Sorry about that.
I hope you all are doing great. I'll see you all soon. October 11 is the date.
Love,
Elder Karlsven

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