Lyon, France

Monday, October 29, 2012


Write Elder Kunzler a letter or two!

Elder Kunzler
Les Missionnaires
2 Rue Corneille
Toulouse, 31100
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!


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!

Elder Kunzler

Saying goodbye to great friends from Aix:


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.

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.

Elder Kunzler


Wow, you guys are great!

Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 4:36 AM


Thank you all for sending a huge tsunami-sized wave of love in my direction this morning.  I don't know if you guys planned it that way or what, but you left me in tears with all your wonderful words and warm hearts.  Thanks for that!

This week has been a little bit different than all of the other weeks in my mission.  It was also one of the most forming.  I learned things this week that I'm going to be applying for the rest of the my mission and probably for the rest of my life.  One, namely: time management.  Elder Tulley and I really evaluated our efforts, what's been working, what hasn't and we redirected our focus.
The photo is me getting bitten on the elbow by a ravinous wolf.  Enjoy!

We've been doing some more pool cleaning.  Those investigators who aren't progressing and whose intentions are not there at this point, we have left alone for the time being and we decided to spend our time seeking out those who have been prepared by ANGELS.  We had some really cool successes.  We've been praying a lot to be able to find this people and to recognize them and we have filled up our agendas this week with rendezvous's for those whom we have given Book of Mormons and have real intent!  It's kind of funny, in missionary work you see a pattern in which you have times where you are teaching lots of lessons, and then times when you are doing lots of finding.  This last week, we taught less lessons than we ever have, but we also set more rendezvous's with strangers than ever before.

I have many miracles which I could share with you this week, but I will relate with a few chosen ones.  Remember Pilar?  She is the older lady from Spain, who had a baptism date, but backed out because of fears and doubts?  Well, we've helped address some of her doubts and alleve some of her fears, and she is on the right course again.  She doesn't have a date set yet, but we have set a goal to set one this week with her.  The miracle lesson with her was one with the bishop.  It was about perseverance and endurance (with hints of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and how that helps).  I told her about my marathon experience and shared one of my favorite Paul scriptures with her and the bishop bore testimony of the Holy Ghost.  The Spirit was there bearing testimony.  You can tell when Pilar is feeling the Holy Ghost because she kind of quiets down a little bit and talks more nicely :)  (she's really old and likes to talk a lot about n'importe quoi)  At the end, when we invited her to pray, she said like a 10 minute long prayer, asking for guidance and courage.  We have so much faith in her and such high hopes for this week!

In other news, Ling Liu is progressing gloriously (as always)  her baptism date is now the 12th, so that she doesn't have to wait a week to get confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost.  She is super excited (as are we) to hear the words of the prophets, and to apply them to her personal life just before making her glorious covenant with the Lord.  She is so golden.  She will be going to China, just a few days after her baptism for about a month.  She already has plans to share the gospel and to spread the good word!

Happy October and full moon (it's a Chinese holiday*).  Enjoy the harvest season over in the states and know that the harvest is going well over here in France. ;)


Elder Kunzler

C'est la vie! (La vie de la missionnaire!)

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 4:33 AM
Bonne semaine par la part des missionnaires de Aix-en-Provence,

SO, I don't know if I've already told you all this (I actually think that I tell you this every single time that I write)... but I got called to the best Ville in France right off the batt.  I don't know how the rest of my mission will be able to top this place.  The ward here is incredible, there are many who are open to hearing the message, and it is incredibly beautiful here.  All is well on the Elder Kunzler front!

I'd like to tell you about a couple of experiences that we have had in the last week.  Last time I told you that we were spending a lot of our time finding... looking for people to teach and to add to our pool of investigators.  One thing you should know about France is that the missionary work here is different than in any other place in the world.  The way that we find people is unique... the way that we work is unique... and thus the way that our mission president guides this work is unique.  His vision is to strengthen the wards and stakes, to get the members to fall in love with the missionaries, to establish complete trust there, and then to let miracles happen.  And we're starting to see miracles.  As we heed to the counsel of our mission president, the Lord is putting those who have been prepared in our way.  I'd like to tell you all about a few of the experiences that Elder Tulley and I have had on this front.

So Elder Tulley and I were walking home from a failed appointment in the dead center of Aix.  Although we were a little bit disappointed, we didn't get discouraged and we kept those ol' faithful smiles on our faces.  We were walking down the road and saw a kind looking lady holding pushing a stroller with her youngsters.  We started to talk to her, to try to understand her and then to share with her the good news.  She was very much interested.  Had some great, deep questions.  We set up a Rendez-vous for the next day at the church.  The next day at the church, 11o clock came by and we waited and waited.  11:30.  Nothing.  Then a wonderful family, with whom, I have had the wonderful opportunity of getting to know (they fed me my first French crepes!)  came by to do some church cleaning.  We decided to stay and help them out.  And what do you know, as we served the members of our ward that morning, the woman (Celine) came!  And it was perfect timing.  I know that it was all according to the Lord's time table.  We were able to give her a tour and the member family helped us to explain and testify!  And now, she has a excellent feel for what this church is like and is we keep our fingers crossed for her future experiences with us.

Another quick little miracle on the member front.  There is a single mother in our ward from South America with two children. She is probably one of the funniest, most sincere and kind people I have ever met.  We've been trying to meet with her ever since I've arrived here, but for one reason or another, we've never been able to make it click.  We were able to see her this week, and boy oh boy was the timing just right.  We visited, left an inspired spiritual thought and shared her testimony.  She's been having a hard time with her son, who's about 16 or so and has stopped coming to church.  Right after we said the closing prayer, her son came in the room and we got talking.  We found that he plays the guitar and that he and I have the same taste of music.  He grabbed his guitar and we sang some Arctic Monkeys songs together.  After all this, the mother made a comment to me that I might be the miracle that she had been praying for.  She wants to be the tool through whom the Lord helps to reactivate one of his sheep.  I'm going to do my best to do the will of the Lord, and I'll keep you updated.

Look all worthy experiences, this week also has had it's trials.  Nicolas hasn't been to church since I've been here and we haven't been able to get in contact with him in the last couple of days.  Some of our investigators have stopped progressing.  Elder Tulley doesn't know how to make omelets.  But we're doing all that we can for these people becuase we love them!  We know that coming unto Christ will bring rest to their souls, light to life and joy.  We're trying to bring that love of Christ to them so that can have a taste of it and then want it all the time.  Agency is a huge part of missionary work and it's taking a lot of patience and prayer.  Faith works miracles and we know it!  I'll tell you about more miracles next week... I promise!  I love you all and love hearing from you.  A la prochaine.


Elder Kunzler

PS. Congratulations Tyler and Mickayla!  May your engagement and marriage be filled with joy!
Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 3:51 AM

Bonjour from France, one and all.  This week was full of very new and very wonderful experiences and I am anxious to dig into the MEAT!

First, I'd like to start off by telling that the baptism of Pilar did not take place.  She had a few doubts (just like we warned her would happen) and she asked if we could change the date until AFTER she has found a new place to live.  She is discontented in her current habitat.  So we've been working with the members here to see if they could help us to help her find a place to live and they pulled through (just like they always do).  She will be going to visit a few places this week and we'll be helping her to come unto Christ in the meanwhile.  It's difficult for us missionaries because we saw her so excited and so ready for her baptism... and then just a few days later, the stresses of life and the workings of the devil have caused her to procrastinate the day of her repentance!  We have so much hope for her though.

In other news, Ling Liu, the madame from China is progressing INCREDIBLY.  Her baptism will be in two weeks (the weekend of General Conference... speaking of which, when we told her that the prophet would be speaking on the day of her baptism she lit up like a dolphin!)  She is so attentive and she answers ALL of the questions that she comes up with for herself.  She is incredibly faithful.  She is very, very well-educated and a very deep thinker, but she does let her intellect interfere with her heart, but she lets them go together.  She loves to talk about the Plan of Salvation.  It is incredible to see someone who.. before.. had no understanding of Jesus Christ is and what he did, testify to us, humbly of her faith in Christ.  What is more, she is an incredible missionary.  She has been telling ALL of her friends, Far and Wide about her decision to be baptised, emphasizing the name of the Church.  She told us that she was going to send the in Chinese to her friends back in China.  Also, I'd like to relate a little story of something incredible that happened this weekend.  We made a secret little plan with her to help her parents (who currently live with her) feel the Spirit.  We told her that we wanted to watch our Jesus Christ film in Chinese. So at the end of our rendez-vous she grabbed her parents and we all watched Finding Faith in Christ together.  Afterwards, she told them a little more, answered their questions and she said that her step-mom felt the Spirit and her father was very interested!  Then they came to church with her yesterday, even though they don't speak French!  Luckily we have a few Chinese people in our ward who translated and fellowshipped them.  We might be teaching her parents with them, but it probably won't be until after the baptism.  I might have to learn a little Mandarin!  Radical!

We had some really cool experiences with prayer this week that I'd like to share.  We had the opportunity to visit a wealthy, well-educated man out in the beautiful Provence country.  This man had ordered a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet, which we delivered to him a few weeks ago.  We came back to discuss how it went and try to help him feel the Spirit (he was mostly just doing this because he was academically interested.)  This very smart gentleman had read over half of the Book of Mormon and told us that whoever wrote the book must have had a great understanding of the Bible, etc. etc.  We testified that it wasn't one man who wrote it, but several prophets who were inspired of God to receive his universal doctrines and laws.  He wanted to talk about fasting.  He was having a tough time feeling the Spirit.  We had an incredible member there who bore a powerful testimony.  Then we taught him about prayer.  He had told us that he believed "en hasard", or chance, randomness, chaos, etc and that he wasn't really interested in explaining the world any other way.  We kept testifying of prayer.  At the end, I asked him to say a prayer.  No.  I invite because I know what's going to happen when you pray. (When you humble yourself before the God who created you.... I didn't say this part, but it would have been epic if I had)  He did pray and it was really cool.  He felt the Spirit and we hope to see him again soon... It's hard because he lives kinda far.  He'll probably have finished the BoM  by the revoir, without us even having to exhort him to.  Hah.

Leon also had a cool experience with prayer, which I don't have time to tell you about now, but perhaps in two years.  Remember Leon? The student from China.  He said he came here looking for something, wanting to change his life.  He said that he wants to baptized when he knows it's the right time.  He's establishing his relationship with his Heavenly Father and augmenting his faith.  It's beautiful to see.

I love you family and friends.  It's been starting to rain here and it reminds me a bit of the overcastedness and rainedness of Oregon and all of the memories of the that part of the world.  They sure are fond!  I love you with all my heart.

Elder Kunzler

PS.  I forgot my camera today, but there's a picture of me getting bitten on the elbow by a dog while posing in front of tower.  I'll send it when the time is right.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 5:53 AM

The first week of TRANSFER 2!  The first transfer went by so fast that I'm afraid that the whole mission thing might be like this and that it'll go by before I can even really get a good footing!  Every single day of the mission has been so full of incredible experiences and learning opportunities that I sometimes I wish time moved just a tad bit slower, so that I could suck the morrow out of every single experience.  Having extraordinary experience after extraordinary experience, with no time to reflect really makes you think this way.
Un petit livre du poetry.  This is at the ward activity in the family history room.  We had some glorious artifacts.

This week was a week of weeks.  We had an extraordinary experience working with the ward here.  So we had been planning an activity here in Aix for quite some time.  It was spawned as project: "Porte Ouverte et Kermesse"  and what it really evolved into was miracle day.  It was really just an open house that we had been advertising for a couple of weeks.  We went out on the street, sang with members of the ward, handed out pamphlets and spread information.  We handed out about 800 pamphlets.  We told all of our amis to come (both companionships).  The ward did an excellent job organizing it.  We had banners inside the church that had church history/doctrine/information.  Each classroom was like a little booth.  There was a family history/priesthood/relief society/restoration station.  There were cakes and a Karmesse, or carnival, for the kids.  It was really a lot of fun.  And we some miracles with it.  I have time to tell you three quickies.

So, first.  We were singing in centre ville on Saturday morning, with a big banner and big smiles and handing out cool little pamphlets to anyone who cared to take one.  At one point a mother and her daughter (about 15) walked up and just started OBSERVING us singing.  One of the other missionaries went up and started talking to her.  He had a great conversation and found that:  she was from Portugal, had been taught by the missionaries there, had been preparing to be baptized, moved to France, lost contact with the church, had been living in  Aix for some years.  Her daughter, the night before, was supposed to return to Portugal to commence her studies there.  That night, she decided she was going to stay in Aix with her mother,  didn't know why, but just felt like it was the right thing to do.  Next day she sees us singing.  She comes to the open house.  Afterwards, she expresses to us how THIS WAS IT.  The reason why the daughter had decided to stay.  She said she felt like she was ready to start her new life NOW.  She came to church yesterday, felt and recognized the Spirit and is now preparing for baptism.
Haha they should put this on the cover of the Liahona or something.

Next one's a quicky, then for the grand finale.  So once upon a time, there was a man who found a Book of Mormon in a train station and began to read it.  Then he lost it.  Then he met the missionaries on the street and came to an open house activity that the ward in Aix-en-Provence was holding.  Felt the warmth and kinship of the ward and put a face to a feeling.  He will also now be taught by the missionaries.  (This was the Zone Leaders.)

But the most miraculous of all happened with Elder Tulley and I!  So, last week we started teaching a woman from Shanghai, China who had been taking the lessons from missionaries a few years before, but was dropped because she was too busy.  She is incredible, this woman.  Her name Len Liu and she lives with her parents (who only speak Mandarin) and daughter (about 4/5 years old).  She had great desires to learn our religion and to change, but many questions and many doubts.  She is very smart and has many incredibly deeply thought questions: mostly about justice and mercy, repentance and forgivenness.  She wanted to bit of more than she could chew!  It was really good teaching her and answering her questions, but every time we answered one concern, it would just come to another and it felt like we weren't making ANY progress with her.  So we decided that the we were going to do EVERYTHING to get her to the activity with her daughter and to feel the love of the members.  SHE CAME.  She brought her daughter AND her parents.  In our follow-up Rendez-vous with her yesterday, it was completely different.  She had realized that her doubts had been causing her to keep on hitting a brick wall, but when she felt the warmth and love of the ward; saw their discipleship and their Christianity, it all started to make sense to her.  As we taught her and helped her to make connections, it was incredible to see the Spirit working through us and changing her thoughts and desires.  She now wants to be baptized and we are working for October the 6th, general conference weekend!  She is an incredible woman who has already changed my mission and continues to help me to try be more Christlike.  She has already been living the way that God has asked us to, just without the knowledge.  She's inspiring.
A cool lookin' French cathedral (where they don't have the fullness)

So all else is good on the Southern France front!  Pilar will be baptized this Saturday and I'll try to send you pictures and such next week.

I love you and pray for your safety and well-being.  Keep doing what is right, just, good, benevolent, thrifty, clean and reverent!

Enormous amounts of l'amour,
Elder Kunzler

Le Champ Blanchit Deja Pour La Moisson

Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 4:38 AM
Family and friends,
Another week has walked it's path and yet a new is on it's toes.

I desire to express to you the incredible power of the Holy Ghost in this work.  Us, the missionaries, truly do nothing, we just obey what the Lord has asked of us and work in our weakness and God gives us the greatest reward... the ability to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ change lives (1 Corinthians 9).

So, I want to recount to you a few incredible and life-changing experiences that I have had with the Spirit just in the last few days.  So remember how I told you how we would be teaching a student from China, who came to church for the first time EVER last week.  He had next to NO religious background whatsoever and even less so of a knowledge of any Christian knowledge.  So I had the opportunity to teach him with the man who introduced him to our church.  It was a very basic lesson on our relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  It took nearly an hour and half because he has so many questions and wants to know so much!  The Spirit was in the room for every moment of the lesson, especially when we watched a film about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ the Savior.  He had a firm understanding of how sacred the topics we shared with him were.  It was pretty funny, after we showed him the film, he asked if it was OK to make documentary films on things as sacred as the Son of God.  We had to explain to him that the film was to teach us and to help us to feel the Spirit, but that, YES, it was sacred.  At the end, we taught him about prayer and invited him to say the closing prayer.  It was the first time I've ever heard someone say their first prayer aloud.  Quite an incredible experience.  Then, just yesterday he was at church again, which he LOVES.  It was super funny, in Gospel Principles class we were talking about how the family and how if it is founded on the principles of the Gospel it can be strengthened against the evils of the world.  At one point in the lesson, he got up in front of the entire class and told all about his family.  He said that even though he didn't know anything about Jesus before, in China, his family was super important to him and they tried their best to live good lives.  He's a rock star.  We'll be teaching him more this week, you'll be updated.

Geotta!  I want to tell you about Geotta.  She is from the country of Romania and speaks very little French.  We met her through her friend, who was taking the missionary lessons, but stopped progressing.  Geotta is a very pleasant, pleasant person.  She does so much good for her family, but lives a difficult life.  Her husband is in and out of the hospital, so he can't work.  She works throughout the week to support herself, husband, children and grand-children.  It has been quite difficult to see her just because she is SO busy with all.  But she loves the missionaries and the gospel.  This week we saw for the first time in a while.  Althought there is the language barrier, we have seen miracles with her and the Spirit.  She read ALL of the Pamphlets that we gave her in Romanian, and understood it all.  When we teach her, we have our pamphet in French and hers in Romanian and we follow along with her and STUDY.  She understands it all and eats it up.  She loves Joseph Smith and the message of the Restoration, but she still hasn't received a spiritual confirmation, so she won't commit to baptism.  She knows that the gospel has the power to change her life, she just needs to start having deep, personal, spiritual experiences on her own.  We are helping her along!  It is so much fun to watch her progress.

So Elder Tulley and I will be resting her for another 6 weeks together!   We're really excited because we have so many great things coming up... all the students are back and this week, we'll be teaching some who we've already met.  Pilar is getting ready for her baptism.  Nicolas is back in Aix and we get to see him this week!  Should be an excellent transfer.

Thanks so much for all the prayers and all the love.  I have a family incroyable.  Have a magical, marvellous and magnificent week and we'll catch up soon.


Elder Kunzler

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whoa!~~~ Miracles!

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Dearest family and friends,

I have SO many miracles that I wish to unlay to you at this time!  The work here is incredible and God is truly gathering in his sheep, building his Zion!

So I first want to tell you about the unreal experience that I had on Thursday.  It was my first Zone Conference.  For those of you who don't know what a Zone Conference is, it's where the mission president and his wife come to visit all the missionaries that are within the stake to hold a day of rejuvenation and training.  We had the lucky opportunity of being able to hear from a Seventy, Elder Texiera and his wife.  Elder Texiera is from Portugal and speaks beautiful Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, and probably every other language known to man since the Tower of Babel.  It incredible to hear a man speak with so much power, authority and conviction on the topic which he knows so well: missionary work.  He gave us some new tips, made some powerful promises and taught with power.  At the beginning I got to shake his hand, he pronounced Kunzler perfectly and said I have a beutiful German name.  What a compliment!  Haha.  The best part was at the end, when President allowed me to go and meet with him.  President Roney is like a father.  It was incredible to pray and hold a one-on-one conversation with one of the Lord's leaders in his work.  He told me to tell you... ROFL... that you've brought up a sharp tool in the Lord's hands (I didn't want to, but he made me promise).  He made me some incredible promises and we had a very sacred conversation which will always stay with me.  At one point he said...."Most people don't have this opportunity, but I want you to have the opportunity to ask any question to a general authority of the Lord."  It was ultra cool.  We talked about the eternities and beyond.  I have a firm testimony that the men who God is calling to direct his work have the keys to speak in his name.  Very powerful stuff.

So, in other news... we had an incredible miracle this week.  The night of the zone conference, we were on spiritual FIRE.  We went to the home of a recent convert and it just happened (NOT CHANCE) that one of long-time amis was there.  Her name is Pilar and she has been investigating the church for almost a year.  She started when her friend, (Irma) started.  Irma is a recent convert with an excellent testimony.  Pilar has a great testimony, she knows its all true, and she comes to church every week, but she won't be baptized because she can't commit to pay tithing.  So, after diner, we started by sharing a spiritual thought on the topic of MIRACLES.  The Spirit was really strong. Everyone in the room started sharing experiences in which they have seen the hand of the Lord.  Then the attention moved to Pilar.  She bore an incredible testimony of all that she knew to be true.  Elder Tulley invited her to be baptized.  She said no.  She started talking about all of her concerns, financially, material, etc.  We did our best to help her understand the laws of obedience and blessing, etc.  The Spirit was still there, and we could see it working in her, but she was afraid.  I looked her in the eyes and said, "Pilar, I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I have the power and authority to make sacred promises to you.  I promise you that if you will you get on your knees and pray right now, asking the Lord if you ought to be baptized, you will get an answer here and now."  I had never heard her pray before, but this prayer was the most sincere and moving prayers that I've ever heard.  The Spirit inspired and touched every word that escaped her lips.  She began by sharing her desire to come unto Christ, the Spirit then moved her to ask for an answer, then the Spirit asked her to pray for courage and strength.  When she ended, there were tears in the eyes of everyone in the room.  She'll be getting baptized next Saturday!

So our ami pool is filling up.  I want to share an experience that I had yesterday.  It is a testimony to me that the Lord puts those whom he has prepared into our hands.  There is an American, from Orem, UT who joined our ward a few weeks ago because he is studying international business here at the university in Aix.  This week he brought some friends from school to church.  They were from China and had NEVER gone to church before.  Any kind of church.  They didn't know anything about Christ (other than that he died for sins) and they didn't know who God was.   I had the opportunity to translate for one of them (thanks to the wonderful gift of tongues).  His name is Lion.  He is a lion.  I did my best to explain what was going on, throughout the meetings and to teach him, very basically about Christ, scripture, God, etc.  At the end, he told me that he felt like he was at home.  I helped him realize that it was the Spirit confirming to him that all that he was learning was the truth.  He committed himself to reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, etc.  We look forward to teaching him more this week.

I love being a part of this work!  Thanks for all the prayers and the support.  I love you all with my heart and soul.


Elder Kunzler

P.S.  There's a snake in my boot!

Gotham's White Knight and Lamanite

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 2:52 AM

Bonjour from Provence, one and all!

I want to start out this e-mail by just telling you how inspired of a man our mission president, President Ronney is.  I get the opportunity to be in the first group received by him.  This means that he is kind of using us as guinea pigs in training us to be the missionaries that he wants to use to change the mission.  I also get to see how the changes that this man has made are bringing miracles in the work.  He is pushing us to be more amiable, more obedient, more productive, effective and Christlike missionaries than ever.  And those who are nearing the ends of their missions are seeing how his inspired direction is changing the mission and moving the work forward, even in new directions.  I'm so grateful to be under the head of such an inspired man.

So this week Elder Tulley have been focusing our efforts on finding.  When I got to Aix, our pool of investigators was pretty shallow, and there wasn't a whole lot of progression.  We've decided to go get the hose and start filling up that pool, while at the same time using that rake, pool-cleaner thing to scrap out any muck and to get our pool looking shiny and gold.  We had a successful week in finding.  I want to tell you a bit about someone who we're going to start teaching... LAURA!  Laura is remarkable.  The first time I met her, she was walking with a stroller with her three young children.  She just had this glorious smile on her face.  We stopped and talked to her a little bit, complimenting her family and getting to know her.  So she was a potential investigator of the Zone Leaders here, they had set up Rendez-vous, but she had a hard time following up with them and they never really got anything together.  Then we met her.  She had had a great experience talking to the other missionaries, but she didn't really know much about what we do.  We told her a tad about our church and then the Book of Mormon.  Her daughter was actually the one who prompted this discussion.  She saw that I had the book in my hands and asked what it was.  I told her and then showed her some of the pictures at the front.  She asked if Moroni was God.  Haha.  Laura became really interested after we testified of its promise.  She said that she would take it and read it with her daughters and give us a call if she wanted to learn more.  Then we didn't hear anything for about a week.  We saw her again at almost the EXACT same spot and talked with her again.  She had READ!  She had lots of questions and sincerely wanted to know (specifically about how it applied to her and her life) we were a little pressed on time, so we set up a Rendez-vous and we'll be teaching her this week!  We're really excited to get to know and to help this beautiful family.  Her daughter even invited us to her upcoming birthday party... YES!

We've had a few other miracles in our finding efforts.  When we walking from an appointment, an injured African man called us over from a nearby bench.  Elder Tulley recognized him as someone they had met last transfer.  He yelled us over and looked at me and asked, "What's the news from the Bible?"  He may or may not have been joking, but I think I said something like "the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ!"  He was a potential ami with the last companionship, but he got injured in his job working for bank security and they lost contact with the missionaries.  But now he's prepared for the gospel and we'll be teaching him this week.

We'll also be trying to meet with some sincere truth-seekers who we have come into contact with just on the street!  That is my FAVORITE thing about being a missionary in Aix.  Standing in the center of this beautiful city with 3 other excellent missionaries and talking to people about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can improve the quality of their lives, how the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and how we have marvelous truths that have been brought to the earth through a prophet of God!  Speaking of which, I want to leave a quick shout-out to Chen... I hope that your lavender journeyings have brought you peace.... continue onward!

We didn't get to see a whole lot of Nicolas this last week, becuase he was out of town (he's been having some difficulties with the family... keep him in your prayers). But we will be holding a fellowshipping FHE with him at a wonderful family here in the ward.  Have I already told you all how glorious the ward here is... a big extended family who edify each other and show their love (not just by kissing each other on both cheeks).  I love being in their presence.  They're such a great help to us missionaries here.  They give us great support.  It's just a little tough because less than half of the ward actually lives here in Aix... but they do all they can for us!  And they give us glorious sweets. I don't think I've ever eaten more chocolate, grapes, breads and cheeses than I have consumed in the last 3 weeks.  I also don't think I've ever had better chocolate, grapes, breads and cheeses than I've had in the last three weeks.  Viva la France!

I love you, all!  Have a wonderfully summery week... you've only got a couple more!  Thank you for all of support and for all your love. It makes the days that much more wonderful.  I know that this work is the work of the Savior, because if it wasn't, I wouldn't be so happy all the time!  Keep your smiles (3 Nephi 19:25) and stay close to the Lord.

Elder Kunzler

P.S. I guess no pictures this week... The attach file thingy isn't wanting to work on this comp... Desole

P.S.S. James, what's yer e-mail? I have things to tell you...