Lyon, France

Monday, December 31, 2012

JOYEUX NOEL!!!!!

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Joyeux Noel!  Que la terre soit dans l'allégresse!  Le Christ est né et il vit toujours!

Merry Christmas loved ones!  I'm excited to talk to you TODAY!  I'll be skyping you around 5:00PM Toulouse time (which I think is about 8AM Oregon time).  We will have an hour, we can split it up how we like, but I was thinking like 45 minutes with Mom and my brothers and then 15 minutes with Dad, Manita and Tanner.  Dad, I still don't have your Skype address, so if you could send that to me ASAP, that would be amazing!

This week passed well here in Toulouse.  It was a very international week.  Tuesday I worked with Elder James from Manchester, England.  Wednesday I worked with Elder Rae from Paisley, Scotland.  Thursday I worked with Elder Vira from Vanuatu (actually, he's a historical missionary... the first Vanuatuan to ever serve in a European mission!)  Then Friday I worked with the Assistant who comes from Stratford-upon-Avon, England.  Saturday and Sunday I was with my wonderful companion from Taiwan.  I feel very cultured at the end of the season.



Many of our amis and nearly all of the students were out of town this week, so we didn't teach a whole lot of lessons, but what we do this week was spread Christmas cheer.  We did this by visiting members and by talking to everyone we met about the mission of Jesus Christ.  He truly came into the world, the only Son of God, to do something incredible for all of humanity.  He set a perfect example for all of us and then, out of perfect love for his brothers and sisters, he gave his life so that we might life and be happy.  He gave us a gift that could never be paid back.  No matter how many chocolate oranges, peppermint canes, or pistachios we offered him.  No matter how much myrrh, frankensense, and gold we give to him.  He is truly our Savior and our Redeemer.  The one hope for this world with changing values and standards.  And he lives!  May we always remember it!

The highlight of this week by far was last night when our little ward put together a little nativity play.  Complete with King Herod yelling in French  and young shepherds dancing around a fire.  I documented the whole thing on my camera, I'll send you a couple of pictures.  Members who are rejetted by their families because of their beliefs gathered together to celebrate the true meaning of what much of the world has forgotten to be the day of our Savior's birth!  It was a joy.

Well, I'll see you guys in a few hours!  Know that I give you all of my love at this season!  Peace on earth and goodwill towards men is my earnest wish!

L'amour,  
Elder Kunzler

More Photos










Monday, December 17, 2012

The Happiest Time of The YEAR!

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 3:51 AM
Dearest friends and family,

Sebatien and Utile are baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!  What a glorious day that was. On Saturday, it was so incredible to be there with them, all dressed in white and surrounded by all the incredible members who helped them so much in their conversions.  Sebastien, a former atheist from a very anti-religious family could not stop smiling and at the end, he told me quite frankly that it was one of the happiest days of his life.  It was such an atmosphere of love and joy!  Utile was crying was when she walked out in white and cried after the ordonance, when musical numbers were given and the two were welcomed into the ward.  It was a day none of us will ever forget.  I am so grateful that the members here are so, so loving, so warm and so joyful to those who are taking their first steps in coming unto Christ.  Elder Petek and I got to go back to the Concorde ward yesterday and visit all of the incredible members there who we missed so much, since Elder Petek was performing the musical number and I was confirming Utile.  It was so good to feel their Spirit again... we love our new ward and our new area, but Elder Petek will never forget the short time we spent on the other side of the river with these people.

Utile and Sebastian

From left to right... Moi, Bishop Aubin, Utile, Sebastian, Frere Nguyan Van (his father-in-law), and Elder Petek!


It is a season of rejoicing and newness!  This is the time when we celebrate Christ's birth and then the newness of a new year just afterwards (if the world doesn't end on friday).  It is also the best time to find people who are being prepared by angels to receive the message of Christ's restored gospel.  The students in Toulouse (25% of the population) are finishing their studies, and going into a few weeks of vacation.  There is less stress in the air and a lot more joy!  We're having an easy time finding those who are really prepared.  They're not hiding under any rocks, they're coming out and singing in the crisp wintery air.  Elder Petek and I have been trying to add to this joy in the best way, by reminding people of the true meaning of Christmas. When we talk to people on the streets, we've been asking people what they think the true meaning Christmas is.  We've gotten some great responses:  family time, joy, parties, happiness and some less than great:  money, commercialization, etc.  But the best of all: a day to celebrate the birth and life of Christ!

Our friends... Elsa and David

Iris, Elsa and David are progressing wonderfully.  Elsa and David came to the baptism and asked some excellent questions and they are even the more excited for their own baptism.  We are now teaching another Chinese student, named Zho.  She is here as a business student, very intelligent, very funny, and very humble.  She wants to change her life and is very willing to follow Jesus Christ.  Another friend who we are now teaching is Benjamin, a student of politics from Sicily.  He loves Americans, Mitt Romney and Mormons.  Haha, in our first meeting with us, he told us that he was practically already a Mormon, just not yet baptized and all that.  He has great desire and we'll be working hard to teach him the secret of what makes our message so great... Jesus Christ.  A week of miracles indeed!  And they are bound to continue!

Know that I love you all and wish you a very merry Christmas!



L'amour,
Elder Kunzler

Monday, December 10, 2012

The White-Wash... Pt. 2

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Dearest Family,

It's the holiday season, the holiday season, so whoop-dee-doo, a hippety-hop...  Santa's coming at 12 o' clock!  Hopefully you've been good, because he's been watching you in his magic ball made out of snow!

There is the Christmas spirit is here in Toulouse (or rather, as much of the Christmas spirit as France can muster).  Lit trees, light posts covered in lights, Capitole square has a market with lots of Christmas goodies, mimes are even wearing santa hats to spread the cheer, the local accordionists have replaced their normally melancholic reperatoire with songs of Christmas!  It is a sight to behold!  Elder Petek and I add to these festivities by walking the streets of Toulouse and sharing the glorious message of the significance of Noel with those with ears to hear and eyes to see!

This last week has been one full of changes.  First of all, we changed appartments, then we changed amis, then we changed wards.  We didn't get left with a whole lot from the companionship that we replaced, so we spent a lot of time out on the streets, looking for the elect... those whom the Lord and his angels have been preparing for us to recieve.  We had some really good finds... people who we will be seeing this week and teaching more about the incredible message of the Restoration (isn't it an amazing time of year to learn this message for the first time?)  There is Jeremie... A man from New Calidonia, who knew about Joseph Smith and the amazing things that he was able to accomplish and had a desire to learn more.  There is Benjamin... A student from Sicily who learned about Mitt Romney (kind of idolizes him a tad) and wants to learn more about them Mormons.  There is Hang Kai... A student from China (who we'll be seeing in a few hours) who wants to learn more of Christ.  And others!  A white-wash is very nice because you feel very fresh and very much at liberty.  Elder Petek and I are doubly enjoying our extra time together.  We are very good of friends and have the same vision of the kind of work we want to do want we want to accomplish this transfer.  I'm excited that you all will get to meet him on Christmas!

So Sebastian and Utile will be baptized on Saturday, at the same service!  It will be an incredible occasion.  I promise to send you pictures and such.  Elsa and David are progressing, but they aren't quite ready to be baptized.  We refixed a new date for them on the 5th of January, by which date we hope to have them truly ready.  Oh, and remember Iris, the miracle girl who was converted to Christianity in China, but who was almost impossible for us to see because of the all of the oppostion?  Well, she wanted to meet with us again, despite her pastor who forbidded it, and now she will be meeting with us on a regular basis. (We might even spend some Christmas time with her.)  There are miracles happening in this land which has been concectrated to the work of the Lord in these days!  It's such an incredible opportunity to be able to be here at this time.

I love you all!  Good luck to those who will be taking finals at this season!  I pray for you, and wish you the best.  Joyeuse Noel!

L'amour,

Elder Kunzler

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Addresses


So here is the address to my new apartement on the other side of the river:

Elder Kunzler
Les Missionnaires
6 Rue Briançon, Apt. 554
F-31200 Toulouse

Here is the address to the institute building... it might be better to send mail to this address because if I get transfered, it would be able to get to me a lot faster:

Elder Kunzler
4 Rue Alaric II
Compans Caffarelli
F-31000 Toulouse

The Healer of our Souls

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Dearest Family and Friends,

I have some good news and I have some very sad news.  Which would you like to hear first?  I suppose that I will let out the first let out the goodies.  Transfer calls were this last friday and the very, very good news is that I will be staying with Elder Petek in Toulouse at least until the middle of January (that means that you get to meet him on Christmas, dear family!)  But that the sad news is that there are actually be switching wards... together.  There are two wards in Toulouse, one with a lot of families, (Concorde, the one that I've been in for the last 6 weeks) and the other with all of the students (Capitole, the one in which I will spend the next 6 weeks of my mission).  The reason for this is that one of our responsibilites as ZLs here is to watch over the missionary work with the students and the institute center here in Toulouse.  And since the most part of the students are in Capitole, the stake president requested that we be moved to the other ward.  This is sad for many reasons, because we will no longer be able to teach Utile and Sebastian (who I will update you on in a sec) and we also had to say goodbye to the wonderful members from this incredible ward.  We didn't get to know this ward super, super well, because we were only actually able to go to church a few times this last transfer (because of Elder Anderson, stake conference, etc.) but luckily we will still be in the city and be able to see them often at church and activities.   Elder Petek and I are delighted that we're staying together here in Toulouse because we have so many wonderful things going for us.  We'll be moving to the other appartment on the other side of the La Garonne (the river that runs through Toulouse) this evening.  We will be living with a couple of new Elders (one from New Jersey and one from Scotland) and there will be A LOT of new changes in our Zone.  The mission is becoming very, very young.  A good friend of mine from even before the mission, Elder Frandsen just left our zone and will be a ZL in Lyon, friends from my district in the MTC are already training new missionaries and becoming senior companions.  It's incredible to see the mission change so fast!  Because of the explosion in missionary work that is happening in the church right now, it is expected that our mission will nearly double in the next year.  We are preparing for that in every way.  No unhallowed hand!

Like I said, we will sadly be leaving Utile and Sebastian in the hands of two new missionaries.  Elder Petek will be white-washing again, but we get to keep all of our Chinese friends, but sadly saying goodbye to all others.  I guess I should update you on them both...  they're both doing super, super well.  Sadly, Utile was not baptized this last weekend because of comlications in family oppostion, but she plans on being baptized as soon as possible.  She has a firm testimony and strong faith, and will be baptized once her father returns to Africa.

Sebastian is amazing.  I don't know if I've stressed this enough.  He's had a COMPLETE change of heart.  His atheist family's hearts were softened enough that they accepted his decision and his mother and little brother will even attend.  He says that every morning he wakes up and the first thought that comes to his head is his future baptism.  Him and his wife plan on being sealed in the Madrid, Spain temple for time and all eternity next year.  He will be baptized by his father-in-law, who contributed a ton to his conversion.  We are SO stoked!  (In other news, we ate dinner at his house on friday and he fed us escargot... the first time I'd eaten it on my mission... I ate 5 snails and I must say... they are very tasty.)

Well, I apologize, but I'm going to have to cut this letter a little short this week because we have to go the train station and recieve some missionaries as it is transfer day.  But happy december and expect a wonderful french little package here in the next few weeks.  Joyeuse Fetes!

L'amour,

Elder Kunzler

Monday, November 26, 2012

Joyeuse Fete!

 Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Friends and family!  We speak once again.  I believe that this last week was the fastest past week in my entire mission.  I hope that you enjoyed your festivities for the wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving.  Our Zone through together a huge thanksgiving feast.  We ate every morceau (French word) of the food that we ate.  Elder Petek and I made two giant (GIANT) turkey breasts (you can't find a full turkey here unless you go to a farm) and candied yams (they turned out way good, actually) and we also had... stuffing, rolls, potatoes, GINGER ALE, and other joys.  It was a wonderful feast full of much gratitude.

Elder Petek and I are seeing some cool miracles in the joyeuse ville de Toulouse.  We will be having a baptism this Saturday... Utile, a very intelligent student of international commerce from Germany (but originally from the African country of Burundi) has embraced Christ's restored gospel.  We actually just met with her a few hours ago and she is made of Gold.  She comes from a Christian background, loves Christ, always loved his gospel, but never really found a church that she felt at home in.  She tried our Catholicism, Protestant branches, but when she came to our ward here in Toulouse, met some members and saw the light of Christ in them, she felt out home.  She gained her testimony of the Book of Mormon when Elder Petek and I gave her Mosiah 18 to read and pray about.  She read it on the subway one day and got the impression that she needed to be baptized.  She has changed quite a bit since when we first met her.  She is one of the happiest people who I have EVER met.  She loves to laugh, sing, dance and tease.  Very full of life and very ready for the next stage of her's.

Our dear friend Sebastian received his spiritual confirmation this week.  It was actually quite miraculous.  He comes from a part-member family (his father-in-law is in the bishopric), but at the background, he was atheist... he comes from a family that is actually quite anti-religious.  His heart has really been softened however.  The first time Elder Petek and I met with him, we were impressed with how much doctrinal knowledge he had and how much he loved the Plan of Salvation. We committed him to be baptized the 15th next month, he was hestitant to accept at first, but he said that he'd reflect and think about it.  On morning this last week, he was putting a DVD in for his young son and reflecting the plan of salvation, and the thought came to his mind, "All I really want is to be able to be with my family for eternity."  Then the next thought that came was, "I need to be baptized on the 15th."  When he told us this, he told us that he knew that it was because he had done what us missionaries, and Alma (in chapter 32) asked us... to continue feeding the seed with diligence and patience.  He got his spiritual confirmation!  We are so happy for him, he has really changed a lot since when we first met him... taking notes at church, participating in gospel principles class, etc.  Christ changes people!  He was a little bit scared to tell his mom about his decision, but we prayed a lot and her heart was softened when they talked, she accepted his decision and will even attend the baptism!  Miracles!

Elsa and David are progressing very well.  They accepted the Word of Wisdom, which is a very great sign of faith in Chinese investigators (tea and alcohol are a huge part of Chinese culture... it is drunk at family events and parties, to show respect to hosts and to your elders).  They are keeping the Law of Chastity  (they are the cutest, most innocent Chinese couple you'll ever meet).  They are really growing in their faith.  In our lessons, David always wants to say the opening prayer and he always says, "God, please illuminate the path before me"  then he sits and listens attentively to what we have to say. Elsa is amazing.  She is very honest, sincere, and asks the greatest questions.  There is no doubt in my mind that they will be great tools in the Lord's hands when the field opens in China.

Speaking of which, we are finding incredible Chinese people to teach (this has been a focus in our companionship, because my incredible collegue speaks their language beautifully) and I have begun learning the language of Mandarin Chinese.  It is a very difficult one, but fun to speak... and I can almost pray in it!  The gift of tongues!

Well, that's all I've got time for this week, my loved ones.  I love you and think of your examples often.  I love the Lord also and am eternally grateful that he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and to set at liberyty them that are bruised.

L'amour,

Elder Kunzler

PS.  I'm really bad at taking pictures.  I'll try to be better at that this week.  Toulouse is BEAUTIFUL.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I am Thankful for the Truth!

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I would like to start this little e-mail by expressing my gratitude to my dear family, whom I love with every fiber of my soul and being, and also to all my dear friends who might be out there at this moment in time.  I thank you for your love and for your prayers.

So I don't know if I've stressed this enough in my last few e-mails, but the last few weeks have been FULL of miracles, EVERY single day.  Elder Petek and I don't really know what happened.  The first few weeks of our white-wash were tough, we weren't teaching many lessons, we didn't have amis who were super engaged and we had a hard time finding.  We just kept on going.  We had our vision of the kind of people who we wanted to find and teach, those who were really ready to recieve the message of the restored gospel and to come unto Christ.  We wanted to find the Lord's elect, those who were going to basically come to us. And we found them.  This last week was incredible. First I'll give you a little update on our progressing amis and then I'll tell you a miracle or two.

So remember Jhonny from last week?  Well he's getting baptized next month.  We engaged him on Saturday and he accepted the 22nd of December.  Unfortunately he lives in the boundaries of the other ward in Toulouse, so we won't be able to teach him anymore because we had to pass him to another companionship, but he is so GOLDEN.  He was very ready to hear the truth

Utile is progressing really well toward's her baptism, NEXT SATURDAY!  Wow, it's so soon.  But she is so ready.  We ate dinner at a wonderful member's house with her and the member told her that she was baptized in three weeks after meeting the missionaries.  After this, Utile told me afterwards that she feels like she is ready to be baptized now, but the 1st will work.  She was already living the gospel, she just needed to hear about it.  And know she knows it and my is she happy.

Elsa and David are AMAZING.  Absolutely incredible.  Their faith astounds me.  The faith of these Chinese who learn of the message of the restoration is astounding.  It just makes me incredibly excited and anxious for the opening of the field in China.  They are doing so well.  Elsa came across some things on the internet about Mormons (there is plenty of that in France) but her faith was not shaken one bit.  She came straight to us and asked some questions about the early church, etc., we explained and her testimony grows even stronger.

Elza (the French Catholic Convert)  has a date now!  She is progressing well, reading and praying!  She really wants to know if it's true.

Jacques is struggling.  He didn't come to church yesterday and he forgets everything that we teach him right after we leave (because of his memory problem).  We're trying some cool little tricks with him to try to help him progress and increase his knowledge and testimony.  He has such great desire!

The truth will always prevail.  I want to tell you about Iris.  Iris is very special.  She comes from China, where she was converted to Christianity.  A few Americans started a protestant church there a few years ago and her family were some of the first converts.  Then she moved to Toulouse to study law.  And then God put her in our path. And Satan did EVERYTHING he could to stop her from receiving the truth.  So we met Iris just outside of a metro stop on Thursday, she said that when she first met us, she was afraid because of all of the misconceptions which were running through her head (polygamy and 14-year-old boy in dark woods).  But she stopped and talked to us because of our "Christian smiles".  We talked to her for a minute or two, sharing just a bit of what we were all about.  Then out of NOWHERE came a drunk man who started screaming blasphemies and lies, scaring the poor girl away.  But we refused to let it end there.  We ran after her and finished our conversation, planning on meeting each other again the next day.  The next day we got a text from her saying that she could not meet with us today because she talked to her pastor, who told her not to.  We called her immediately and reasoned with her a little.  She said that she PROMISED that she wouldn't meet with us that day, but she didn't say anything about any other day, so we set up a RDZ with her for Sunday.  She came! And she had read a bunch of stuff about us on the internet (some of it not so great).  But she was ready to listen to what we had to say and to hear our side of the story.  She felt kind of rebellious and kept asking questions about our "2nd Bible".  So we sat there, and for about an hour we related to her the truth and it answered all of her questions.  She said that she was looking for the truth and that sometimes she felt like Joseph Smith.  She bore her testimony of how she already knows that God will answer all questions and lead a sincere-seeker to the truth.  She was very pleased to meet us.  And she'll be seeing us again.  IT WAS A MIRACLE!  Miracle.  God always wins.  We were bold and not give up the fight on her and we refuse to in the future.

Also, that same night we met a Christian student from Africa who told us in our first RDZ that it was true, that it is only logical that God would give us more of his word and that she would accept baptism.  God is putting them in our hands!

I love this work.  I love you all as well!  Have an excellent week and an excellent thanksgiving.  They don't have pumpkin pie and marshmallow candied yams here, so eat some extra for me!  

L'amour,

Elder Kunzler

Monday, November 12, 2012

The wicked that fight against Zion will surely be smitten at last!


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Dear friends and family,
We'll sing of his goodness and mercy!

Well the last 7 days of my life have changed my life forever.  I hope that I can communicate to you the things that I learned in a manner that you can feel the spirit of my week.

I've had at least one train ride every single day for the last week.  We've had very little time to work in our sector... but my, oh, my have we seen miracles.  Tuesday we were in Lyon on an exchange with the assistants.  Thursday I went to Montauban (a very charming little Catholic town not far from Toulouse) on an exchange with Elder Frandsen (from my group, knew him before the mission!)  Then on Saturday night we left for Bordeaux for our incredible experiences with the apostle which took place yesterday.
Montauban

Yesterday was amazing.  We got to go to the stake conference for the Bordeaux stake.  It was the 20th anniversary for the formation of the stake, so they brought in Elder Anderson, who was mission president there at the time of the formation of the stake.  Elder Forin (the British seventy who shared the story about scorpions last general conference).  Oh, glory what a stake conference it was.  Elder Forin talked about ACTION.  He said that when we leave very spiritual conferences ON FIRE, determined to blow a trumpet and cry repentance to the corners of the earth, this fire usually doesn't last past the next Tuesday.  He talked how it's nice to have great spiritual experiences and to think about things you can do to improve the quality of your service to the Lord and your personal discipleship, but in the end it all comes down to ACTING.  It was really powerful.  Elder Anderson spoke about Miracles.  He talked about some of the miracles that took place while he was at the head of the missionary efforts in France at his time and what we can do to ensure that miracles continue.  He gave a lot of love and assurance to these incredible French saints who really love him.  He spoke entirely in French and didn't even use many notes!

Happy late Halloween!
After the conference addressed to the entire stake, we had another mini-conference with these general authorities.  We had half of the missionaries in our mission gathered together into a chapel and we were taught by the hand of some of the men who in the closest communion of the Lord on the earth and who speak FOR HIM.  It was an incredible spiritual experience.  Elder Farin taught us all how to help our investigators to recognize the Spirit, the peace of God which passeth all understanding.  Elder Anderson helped to look at our missions from a temporal and even eternal perspective.  He had invited missionaries who had served under him 20 years ago and he had them tell us things that they wish they would have known back in the day, or just reflections on how their missions have effected their lives.  He was trying to help us to avoid short-sightedness and to see that the mission is never about you, but the Savior, and as you learn that you will be happy and find incredible success.  The rest of the meeting he talked about the Savior.  He is an incredible, incredible, who radiated love and light.  He had a great sense of humor and was very full of life.  We all got to shake his hand and some of us (including me) got to sing for him.  Very radical experience that's gonna stick with me for a long time afterwards.  It really changed the way I see my mission and even my life.

So what happened in the work this week? Well we only got to work here in Toulouse 3 days this week, but we sure saw some miracles.  We taught the message of the Restoration to another person who was very, very ready to hear it.  His name is Jhonny (and no, I didn't misspell that) and he comes from Guyan, a little French-speaking county above Brazil.  Elder Petek met him just outside the institute building when I was in Montauban.  He's had a Christian background, but just couldn't find any church where he felt like he had all of the truth... he even investigated the Islam religion a little bit.  But luckily he was on his search when we found him.  We taught him on Saturday morning and my, oh, my was he receptive to the Spirit.  He recognized us as servants of the Lord and was very attentive to our message. At the end the lesson, he offered a beautiful and humble prayer in which he asked to know of the truth.  After the prayer, we were all in tears the SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG.  He accepted to be baptized after he's done a little more investigation.

Goodness, I have more miracles that I'd love to share, but no time.  Utile is progressing very well.  We didn't get a chance to see Elsa and David this week, but David came to institute and they're doing well.  Jacques (I don't know if I've talked much about him yet)  now has a baptism date!  A miracle for another day.

I love you all!  Know that I know that Jesus is the Christ and the head of his work being done on the earth today.

L'amour,
Elder Kunzler
France is full of very strange statues!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Miracles

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Hello my dear family and my dear friends,

We have had a week full of many very spiritual experiences here in Toulouse.  I'm super excited to share with you a word or two from my recent past!

So I can't wait to tell you guys about her, so I'm going to start with Leila.  Elder Petek and I "white-washed" Toulouse, which just means that both of came into this sector from different parts of the mission.  We inherited some of the old amis that the previous companionship was seeing, but we found that most of them were not really progressing and even hesitant to see us.  So we had a LOT of time to go out, start fresh, pray and search for those whom the Lord and his angels have prepared here in the wonderful city of Toulouse.  This week we saw some miracles in our efforts.  We found Leila on Halloween night.  Leila comes from Malaysia, her father is from Morocco (Muslim background) and her mother from Spain (Catholic background).  She was raised mostly in a catholic home, but she was always confused about who God was and who she should worship.  She studies art here in Toulouse and speaks French, Spanish, and English.  When we met her on the street, she really opened up to us and was honest about how she has always been intrigued with the passion of Romantic art and especially Christian art.  She was touched with our testimony of the Savior on the street and agreed to meet with us.  We saw her two days later and we ran into her on the street on the way to the RDZ! It gave us a chance to get to know her before the lesson.  This lesson was the most spiritual lesson of my mission.  Every single thing that was said, every point that was covered was directed and magnified by the spirit.  We shared the beautiful message of the Restoration and after I shared Moroni's Promise with her, I asked her how she felt.  She said that she felt like she wanted to cry.  We just sat there in silence for a few moments and let the Spirit continue to work with her.  Eventually she started to cry and said that she felt like she was coming home after a long journey.  The Spirit was ultra strong and she expressed to us that she wanted to change and that if this was true, it would mean the world to here.  I am so, so happy that God loves us so much that he has given us so so much.  Through Jesus Christ our natures can be changed and we are so excited to help this incredible person who the Lord and his angels have prepared to come unto Christ and to receive all of the blessings that God has for her!

Some other way cool things happen this week.  Just a couple days ago I met, in Captiole square (look it up on google, way cool and there are always weird mimes and child-kidnappers with music boxes) a student from Guadalopa who had been taking the missionay lessons back in her country, but stopped when she moved her to study law.  She was in the square with her father, who was just there for the week.  I asked her if she would be interested in taking them back up and in attending church. She said yes!  She'll be at church this Sunday, but we will not...  BECAUSE AN APOSTLE OF THE LORD WILL BE HERE!  Yes, this weekend Elder Neil A. Anderson will be in Bordeaux speaking to all the missionaries on the western half of the mission!  And my awesome companion speaks Chinese, so we get to sneak into the Stake Conference, which he will speaking at, so that he can translate for some Chinese friends of the church.  Radical!  I'll tell you all about it.

Utile is progressing really, really well.  We fixed a date of baptism with her for the 1st of December and she feels good about it.  Yesterday at church, twas fast and testimony meeting and she was really touched by all of the testimonies that were shared and the love that the members showed to her.  She told me that at 8o clock every morning she says a special prayer for us, the missionaries.  That really touched me.  She is very, very faithful and was very ready to receive the restored gospel.  By the way, the ward here is AMAZING!  Really wonderful.  And they love the missionaries and missionary work.  We are treated so, so well here.  Invited to dinner with a wonderful family this friday who will be feeding us duck chest and other Toulousian dishes (Toulousians are known for their strange and delicious cooking).

Since my companion speaks Chinese with a heavenly tongue, we have been receiving all of the Chinese amis from other companionships here in Toulouse to teach them in their native tongue.  We received a wonderful little Chinese couple who have an incredible desire to learn and to receive more of the Spirit, which they have already felt.  Their French names are Elza and David and I'll have to tell you more about them next week!

May your fall days be merry!  It's chilly and rainy here in Toulouse and I'm going to buy a warm coat here this afternoon after we go to a CHINESE BUFFET.  Fararara rah rah rah rah.  I love you all and wish you a joyful week!

L'amour,
Elder Kunzler

Monday, October 29, 2012

NEW ADDRESS

Write Elder Kunzler a letter or two!

Elder Kunzler
Les Missionnaires
2 Rue Corneille
Toulouse, 31100
France
Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 4:44 AM
Chers Famille et Amis,

My mission is very different than it was a week ago!  But I am still loving every minute of it.  I had to say goodbye to an old collegue and an old ward and an old city, which was quite sad, but now everything feels so fresh and EXCITING!  I'm loving my new life her in Toulouse.

Things are quite different here... it's not in Provence anymore...  Toulouse is very cold, very, very large and very beautiful.  There is a river that runs through it and it has an epic downtown, central area called Capitole.  There are two wards here and lots of missionaries!  There are 12 missionaries just in the city!  I actually live in a 4-man appartement now with great, great missionaries.  Elder Smith from Canada and Elder Bonnett from St George... It's a lot of fun that we have.  Elder Petek, my new companion, is INCREDIBLE.  I love this man already with all of my heart.  He is half-Taiwanese and half-American, spent the first 15 years of his life in Taiwan, then his family moved to Utah where he finished high school and went to college. He is the best piano player I have ever met.  He has been out for about a year and actually served in Toulouse at the beginning of his mission, this time of year last year.  He is so humble, has such an incredible desire to work hard and serve the Lord, and is an incredible leader.  Elder Petek is one disciple of Christ who has truly consecrated himself to the Lord and is full of the charity that only belongs to those who are true disciples.  I really look up to him.

He is actually a Chinese missionary!  Meaning that on his call it said that he would serve in France using the language of Mandarin Chinese.  So that means that our focuses this transfer are going to be on finding, teaching and baptizing those whom the Lord has prepared from the land of China who currently live in Toulouse, France. And boy, oh, boy are there lots of them!  I'm going to learn Mandarin Chinese!  Haha.  Maybe.  But another cool role that our companionship has here in Toulouse is to watch over the Institute and Young Adult center in Toulouse.  Toulouse is one of the most populous cities in France and the 2nd biggest university city, next to Paris.  A quarter of the population here are students. Youths!  And there are many young adults here who are SUPER COOL!  I'm so, so, so happy that we have this responsiblity because I love working with the young adults in France, they have a gospel fire that is unstoppable and will rage and burn until it has lit the heart of every soul, young and old.

We are teaching some wonderful people.  We still haven't met the most part of our investigators, being that both of us are new, but those who we have met are amazing.  Utile is our highest priority at this time.  She is the one who was progressing the most at the time of the departure of the other companionship and we have gotten to teach her once.  She is so spiritual, very Christian, and has already received a testimony of the Word of Wisdom, which is glorious.  We'll be working with her to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  We are also teaching a youngster who lives in a village out in the Pyrenees (the mountain range outside of Toulouse... INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS... google it if you find a sec).  This boy is 7 and getting ready for baptism, so we be teaching him (and his part-member family) once a week.  I'm driving, by the way, which I think is pretty cool.  We have a really nice Chevrolet car and my companion doesn't know how to drive stick.  Muahaha.  Driving in France is fun.

I love my new area, I love the members who I've met, I love my new companion, I love our new amis.  I'm happy.  This week should be a good one.  We are flying out to Lyon this afternoon for a Zone Leader Council there tomorrow, then we will have exchanges with District Leaders later on in the week!  Our zone is excellent, excellent.

Well, I would like to wish you the happiest of weeks!  Happy Halloween!  Stay warm and cozy!  Know that I love you all avec tout mon coeur!

L'amour,

Elder Kunzler

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Toulouse, One's Life (To Lose One's LIFE!)

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 3:36 AM
Bonjour, ma famille, mes amis, et mes voisins!

Elder Tulley and I have had one of the most spiritual weeks of our lives this last week... but sadly it was our last week together.  Elder Tulley will stay here in Aix, but is being moved to the Zone Leader companionship, and I got transferred to Toulouse to be a Zone Leader with an Elder Petek from Taiwan.  Elder Petek and I will be white-washing, which means that we're both being transferred over there from other parts of the mission.  I will be taking a train here in a few hours, leaving my home and ward family here in Aix.  It's been super tough to say good-bye to all of our wonderful amis and especially because we don't know into whose hands they'll be falling, as the companionship that will replace us will also be white-washing.  AH!  IT WAS SO HARD!
Elder Petek and I upon my arrival in Toulouse!

One of the most miraculous days of my life happened on Thursday this last week.  I wish to tell you about it.  So.  I'll start by saying that we had a day that was full of activities, full of faces to see and things to teach.  Then all of a sudden things just started to fall apart.  First, we had a rendez-vous with a no-show, second, Pierre (one of our golden amis) told us he couldn't see us today, because he was too busy.  No one was on the streets because it was cold and rainy.  In our meeting with the ward mission leader, he was grumpy and decided not to help us that day.  Things just were'nt going our way.  But we decided to not to get discouraged.  We prayed a lot for the Lord to tell us to know where to go and what to do.  So that night, Elder Tulley recieved revelation that we needed to see someone who I had never met, someone who he met and talked with briefly, before I even got here.  We WENT.  We rang the sonnette and waited.  A kind woman named Tani (half Pakistani, half German) answered and told us to come in.  We were very surprised by her kindness and her hospitality.  We got to know her a little bit, we found that she had a Christian and a Muslim background, because her parents were from different nationalities.  She was very open with us and very receptive.  We taught her a brief Restoration lesson and fixed to come over the next day and teach her again.  When we came back, we found out that she had prayed between our visits and felt the Spirit strongly.  She opened up and told us that life had been difficult of late and that (before we met her) she had decided to turn towards God. She had prayed to know where to go and what to do.  Then we rang the sonnette.  That was why she had answered, let us in and been so kind and receptive.  She didn't see it at all as coincidence, but as an answer to prayer that we had met.  She came to church yesterday, is reading the Book of Mormon, and WILL be baptized into Christ's church.  I'm so sad that I have to leave this wonderful woman who has been prepared by the Lord.  Elder Tulley and I realized that if we had decided to become discouraged and turn away from God on the day when everything was going against us, God never would have placed one of his children who he has prepared into our hands.  I am so grateful that he allows us to see miracles when we turn towards Him.

In other news, Pierre is progressing super well.  It was super sad to leave him.  He always called me his brother in Christ and we had a cool handshake.  I have no doubt that he will get baptized and that our reunion will be a joyous one.  Our visit with him this week was deep and spiritual.  He had some profound concerns and questions about why Nephi was taught the doctrine of Christ 600 years before his coming, why Jacob knew his name, while prophets in the Old Testament didn't, etc.  He has a firm Catholic background and a great knowledge, but we were able to answer all of his questions by following the Spirit.  Cool stuff.  He is progressing very fast and has a great desire to receive a spiritual confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true.

Yesterday was SAD!  Probably the toughest thing about being a mish.  Saying goodbye to all your friends and family.  One family that I got really close to while I was here had us over last night and we had a pizza and crepe feast and laughed a lot. Then it made me more sad.  Then one of their sons played a song that I really like from the movie Amelie for me. And that made me even more sad.  I will always remember the wonderful people who I have met here, all the things that they've taught me and all the incredible experiences that I've had here in Aix.  But  I am ultra excited for Toulouse and the wonders that await!

I love you one and all!  Happy harvest season...  eat lots of doughnuts and pumpkin seeds for me.  You're always in my heart!

L'amour,
Elder Kunzler

Saying goodbye to great friends from Aix:




Nihao!

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 5:17 AM
It was a very Asiatique Week!

This week contained one experience which I am never going to forget and which I'd like to share a little bit with you... the baptism and confirmation of Ling Liu!

I have never known someone who was more prepared, ready and EXCITED to be baptized.  Before we were to baptize her this weekend, we had to teach her quite a few commandments.  We were worried that, without any religious or Christian background, she wouldn't understand or accept some of these commandments.  We expressed to her that we really wanted her to understand and be completely committed to living all of these commandments before she got baptized, even if it meant pushing back the date of her baptism.  She completely rejected the idea of waiting and with each commandment that we taught her, she immediately embraced them, even sometimes before she understood the importance of them.  It was kind of funny actually.  When we taught her the Law of the Fast, she started explaining to us exactly what her fast sunday schedule would be like and how she was going to begin and break her fast.  She had no problems with any of the commandments and is already living ALL of them.  She was already living most of them before, just without the knowledge that she was doing so.
The Baptism of Ling!

Her baptism was really a special occasion.  My companion had the honor of performing the ordonance (haha, she left it up to God to choose... we played a little Chinese game that is pretty much equivelant to flipping a coin).  When she bore her testimony after the baptism, she talked about how she nervous about going into the water, because she's afraid of it and can't swim.  But when she entered into the warm font, those feelings immediately left her and she felt the Spirit.  She said that she felt very clean and was very excited about starting her new life as a disciple of Christ.  It was really touching.  She is very sincere, very honest and very in tune with the Spirit already.  And she's a great story teller.  I had the opportunity of confirming her a member of the church and giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She was very, very excited for this gift and for the blessings that it brings.  She is going to be using it.  She left today for Shanghai, and we won't be able to see her for a good month, but we'll be in contact with her over the phone and we're going to start teaching her again, as a new convert, upon her return. ( hopefully I am still here... transfers are this next week!)
Giant French Apples that Taste Like OREGON! (Vauvenargues)

In other news, with our Asian amis, we had a great lesson with our friend Leon.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation!  He ate it up.  He is still reflecting on whether or not to be baptized at THIS moment in time.  He knows it's all true, but he doesn't know if he wants to make such a big committment until he's solid and knows he can endure to the end.   We love his sincere desire, his willingness to change, his humility and his sense of humor.  In the closing prayer he said, "Thank you for Kunzler and Tulley who teach me your plan of rescuing."

I want to tell you about Suyan and Sally and Pierre, but I'm out of time!  Keep them in your prayers!

Thank you for your prayers.... they make all the difference in the world.  I love you, my family and friends and wish you a happy and joy-filled week!  Happy harvest season! Go to a pumpkin patch and do the corn maze for me.

L'amour,
Elder Kunzler
The Distance (atop Saint Victoirre)

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Oh, wow.  I'll have all the world know that I am an emotional wreck as I write this letter... so if I don't make any sense whatsoever... that might be why.

So, when Prophet announced his glorious revelation from the Lord the transmition froze right after he said that the age of missionary boys would be changed to worthy 18 year olds.  And so did we...  I was with my companion and Elder Caldwell and Elder Fitch and we just sat there.... not even realizing the momentum of what he had just said.  Then I was like... "WAIT... WHAT??" and we started embracing and screaming and celebrating.  But from that moment on... I have been wondering wondering wondering what James's decision would be.  Then when I read his letter just a few minutes ago I was overcome with emotion. I love you James!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!  I'm sooo sooo soooo excited for you.  Thank you for answering the call of the prophet.  I know that he is inspired of God and that you ARE ready for this.

Man this week was FULL of miracles.  The biggest miracle I've seen on my mission in fact.  I'm going to have to recount to you the story in its entire.  So it all started as Elder Tulley and I were walked down the road from the Institute Building looking for people to share a glorious message with.  We had just finished talking to someone who mocked us BUT we were not discouraged.  We saw a couple carrying boxes out of their car.  We ran up and asked if we could help.  They were bewildered... and accepted.  They were moving their daughter's belongings into her new dorm room.  Apparently they had asked the landlord if anyone could help them... but there was NO ONE.  We came.  We did.  And throughout the whole experienced they were really shocked that two young boys (in strange clothing) were willing to give a helping hand.  When we started talking to them about our church and our mission, and they were quite interested.  The father works for IBM, which apparently was founded by a Mormon and they knew Romney.  They told us that their daughter was searching... so we left of Book of Mormon in her appartment.  They insisted on buying us a drink to thank us.  INSISTED.  So, that night we told them more about our church over milkshakes.... because of the word of wisdom and all.  It went really well, but they live in the north and were only there for the day, so we gave her the site to look up the missionaries in Lille.  THEN WE LEFT.  TWO DAYS later.  Elder Tulley and I are on exchanges and Elder Tulley meets a girl on the street with her friend.  They start talking and eventually the girl says, I think that you met my parents the other day and left a Book in my appartement... and that's only the beginning.  I still haven't met her, but we met with her friend on friday... his name is Pierre and he said that he would be baptized once he knows that the Book of Mormon is true.  A bright student of history with a great desire to find truth!  We will be meeting with Edmee (the daughter) soon.

In other news...  We met and taught two students... one from Ukraine and the other from China.  They both excepted to be baptized once they know of the truth as well.  The only secret we can claim is PRAYER.  This is the Lord's work and the prayer of faith unlocks the windows of heaven.  I loved that that was such a great focus during all of general conference because it is really what all in the church and what all in the world need to hear.  Pray, pray, pray.  Then pray some more.

Ling Liu will be baptized this friday!  It was a lot of fun teaching her the 10 commandments because she didn't know them before.  She said that she would stop using the Lord's name in vain and sactify her Sundays.  She is already much living the gospel, we just gotta kinda tell that God has commanded us to do certain things, and she already knows why.  Completely gave up coffee and tea THAT SECOND.

What else?  We climbed a mountain this morning.  The Saint Victoire!  It was really pretty.  On the bus there was a boy who said he wanted to take us to his village to show as a secret way up the mountain (like Golem taking us to Mordor).  We accepted.  He gave us a tour of his village called Vauvenargues.  There is a beautiful castle there where Picasso habited and is buried.  I'll have to send you guys pictures next time.  Then he showed us the passage that was secret.  It was a great afternoon in Southern France.

I am loving my mission.  I love you and thank you for your prayers.  Listen to general conference again and again!  I didn't get to listen to the last session, but repetition helps us to know and understand the messages better!  I am so grateful that we receive the will of the Lord for our day from inspired/inspiring men called to his work.  I am glad to be called to his work and to do my tiny little part.

L'amour,
Elder Kunzler

PS. JAMES AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!