The thing about lighting a white gas stove is that "a brief soccer-ball sized flame is normal," as one manufacturer puts it. As I see it, a brief soccer-ball size flame is never completely normal.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes completely necessary and here's why: The gas your stove burns has to be vaporized to burn correctly. The stove does this by heating the gas once it reaches the burner. So you need heat to start the stove, and you don't get any heat until the stove is started.
Priming, also called preheating or a soccer-sized ball of flame, is the solution. You burn some gas in a container built into the stove, and the flame vaporizes the gas near the nozzle. When the priming fire dies down, you light the stove and dinner is on its way.
But let's go through it a bit more slowly before we start lighting the stove. Most white gas stoves today have a separate fuel bottle that is connected to the burner by short gas line. A pump pressurizes the fuel bottle, forcing gas through the line and into the burner where vaporization takes place. The pressure in the fuel bottle is still pushing and the now vaporized gas goes through a nozzle and is ignited. (On older style stoves, the fuel tank is right under or next to the burner, and the heat creates pressure in the tank and vaporizes the gas at the same time.)