Lyon, France

Monday, December 31, 2012


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!

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!

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!


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!


Elder Kunzler