Lyon, France

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Que La Terre Soit Dans L'allégresse

Nos cravates de Noel

Dearest family and friends,

I love Christmas.  I love it.  Yes, my favorite part is feeling the Spirit of Christ.  But I also love the lights, the trees, the smells, the stars, the gifts, the food, the family, the decor, the love!  The Christmas spirit is real!  Even French people can't deny it.  I love using that in contacting.  Even though the majority of the people here don't believe in God, they believe in the Spirit of Christmas and it's magic.  I think that it is very closely linked with the Spirit of Christ.

Good things are happening in Nice.  The theme of this transfer, I think, is charity.  The Lord is really trying to help me to understand at this point in my mission that the most important thing that I can do as his ambassador is to love all of his children... unconditionally.  I was actually talking about this with one of our new investigators this week.  How the only way that one can tell if they have this unconditional love is by putting it to the test.  God will sometimes send us trials to see if we will still love Him and have faith in Him.  We have experiences that test our loyalty to and unconditional love for our loved ones.  We are here on earth to learn how to develop charity, the pure love of Christ.  And I am grateful for the experiences that I have this transfer that are helping me to develop this Christlike quality.

We have an investigator named Moise (this is the French rendition of Moses... pretty epic).  He comes from La Martinique in the West Indies.  He is really faithful.  Sometimes he starts speaking and I literally cannot tell if he is really just Moise from La Martinique or the Moses who parted the red sea.  He has lived many experiences in his life that have truly formed his character and he has compelete confidence in God.  He showed up early to our first meeting and had read the chapter about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we had invited him to read.  He came to church yesterday and loved it.  There was actually a pretty huge miracle in that he turns out to be really good friends with a recent convert of two weeks!  Moses plans on being baptized and he will be strong!  Might even lead the House of Israel out of bondage and be their Spritual leader in the desert for 40 years.

Another cool person that we have started teaching is Mina!  Mina is Chinese, but has lived in Nice for over a decade and speaks impecable French with a cute little Chinese accent.  She is also a very faithful person who has recently gained a strong testimony of the principal of forgiveness and it's liberating power.  She is currently going through a divorce and some family difficulties, but she faces these with a smile on her face.  We gave her a Book of Mormon in Chinese yesterday when she came to church with us and by the end of the meetings she had already read the introductory parts and gotten into 1 Nephi.  She even called me in the evening simply to thank us for the amazing experience that she had at church.  Such a good soul.

Wanna hear a pretty cool Christmas miracle?  So while we were waiting for Mina to show to her appointment, we were doing a bit of contacting and we gave a Book of Mormon to a cool young student and when I took his number, I accidentally dialed the wrong number.  Lucky he was right in front of me so he was able to correct it on the spot, and I got his right number.  Then, during the appointment with Mina, the person who I had accidentally called tried to call me back 3 times, left a message and even sent a text, desirous to know who had tried to contact him.  To be polite, I decided to call him and just tell him that I had dialed the wrong number.  He turned out to be this super nice guy who lives up in the north of France.  I explained to him that I was a full time Christian missionary and I asked him if he would be interested in hearing a wonderful Christian message, and he was just like, "Yeah, why not!".  So he will be taught by some missionaries up in the Paris mission.  Hopefully he will be baptized and confirmed and serve God for the rest of his days!  Only time can tell.

Family!  I love you!  I look forward to beholding your beaming faces this Christmas day.  Thank you for the Light of Christ that you radiate.  I know that Christ the Lord was truly born.  I am grateful for this testimony!  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to bare this testimony on a daily basis.  Let us spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear (and serving, loving, giving, cheering, warming the souls of God's children)!  Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words.  I love you much and wish you a JOYEUX NOEL§§§

Avec amour

C'est un Miracle de Noel!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Voici Noel, Avec Ses Chants

Dearest family and friends,

My hands are freezing as I write to you from this computer screen in Grenoble, a French city lost in the middle of the French Alps.  We are here so that my companion, who just served here might finish his legality, which he started just before being transferred.  Its been a nice trip, but I'm really looking forward to being back to Nice, the warmth and the sun.

Did you know that Jesus Christ cried when things went wrong instead of getting frustrated or reacting otherwise?  Just a thought.

This week my companion and I met a Californian.  Her name is Elina and she lives in Nice for half of the year.  She likes to do good things for other people.  She is not that super into religion, but she does it out of good conscious.  For example, when she sells something to someone on eBay, she will stick some little candies into the package before sending it to the auction winner.  We met Elina on a street not to far from our apartment and talked to her for a good half hour.  She started getting emotional at the end of the conversation when she expressed how grateful she was to have made our acquintance.  We told her that she needed to come to our ward Christmas party in order to meet more happy and kind people like us.  She enthousiastically said that she wanted to.  She was so set that she wanted to go to the church beforehand just to make sure that she could find it.  We offered to give her a tour of the chapel and the following afternoon we found ourselves with her in the house of the Lord.

We told briefly and simply about the mission of Jesus Christ.  Then we taught her about the Great Apostasy.  Then we taught her about Joseph Smith, who prayed aloud in the grove.  She felt the Spirit strong and said that she would be baptized when she knows it is true.  When she has a testimony.

God gives us the testimony after la mise à l'épreuve de notre foi (the put into test of our faith).  She did not exercise her faith after this.  She did not show up to the activity nor to church like she said she would.  Actually, after the activity, we saw her on the same street that we met her on.  She was on a brand new pink and purple skateboard.  In the conversation that we had with her on the street, we talked about how there is a void in our soul that we all try to fill.  Some with drugs, some with fornication, some with overeating.  She shared with us that she loves shopping and buying unnecessary things.  I found ironic, then, that we saw on the street at that time.

The void can only truly be filled by the love of God.

I think that I learned an important lesson through this experience. It is that even though we may have extraordinary experiences, like Laman and Lemuel getting rebuked by an angel or the Jews being literally in the presence of the Son of God, it does not guarantee that this will change us.  The change comes, like Alma the Younger said, "after praying and fasting for many days", or in other words, after exercising our faith.  The change comes when we receive a testimony after the trial of our faith, which will push us to continue on our road to conversion.  I do not mean to compare Elina to Laman or the Jews.  She is an excellent soul.  I think that she will except the Restored Gospel someday. At her time and place.  But God is not going to force anything upon her.  She has her free agency, complete and pure.

Missionary work is beautiful.  It is like offering 100 dollars to every single person.  Even if people say "No, thank you", it is still 100 dollars that is going to buy someone either 100 little cheeseburgers, or like 2 video games, or an iPhone if you could find it cheap on eBay.

One of the coolest experiences of this last week was being able to do some Christmas caroling in the hills of Nice with the other missionaries here in Nice!  One of my favorite carols is "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" or "Voici Noel, Avec Ses Chants" in French.  The message is powerful.  I invite all of you to read/sing it this Christmas season.

I testify that God manifested His love for us in sending His Son.  Let us "Hear Him"  this Christmas season!


Avec amour

Elder Kunzler

PS.  The 25th I will be on skype at 4:30 PM Nice time, which equates to 8:30 AM pacific time.  I look forward to seeing all of you!  I will have 30 minutes with mom and 30 minutes for dad.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Buon Natale!

Dearest family and friends,
Do you feel that Christmas spirit?  Can you feel it now?
To me Christmas is a testimony strengthening time of year.  It is a time when the Spirit can be felt be everyone... because they live more closely the teachings of the Savior, even without knowing it.  They are kinder, they give more service, they give more gifts, they spend more time with their family, they sing hymns of praise, etc.  It is definitely the best season to do missionary work.  It falls shortly after the harvest season, but really the harvest season is just beginning!
So I titled this message in Italian in celebration of the city of Nice's italian influence as well as the fact that Elder Smith and I went to Monaco this last week and age a huge Italian meal with a wonderful, joyful and wealthy Italian family!  It was so beautiful in Monaco during Christmas time.  It is already a perfectly clean and high-end place, but the lights and trees added a Christmas charm to the Lamborghinis and palaces.  There will be a big ward Christmas activity this friday and we worked with this family to get some of their friends invited to this activity.  It may or may not be the best Christmas activity of all time: 1.  Because the entire ward is going to be involved in the missionary effort this Christmas and will be inviting their friends and family to enjoy the celebration of the Savior's birth with us! 2.  Because there is a member in our ward who has a voice of gold who will be singing in the concert which will be put on that evening.  Celine Dion.  3.  Because it is Nice.  No pun intended.
This last week was the last week of the transfer.  Elder Smith is GONE!  He went to serve in Bordeaux, which is probably the next best place.  He will love it.  It was truly a pleaser to serve with him.  He is an incredible example to me.  A true disciple of Christ.  We shall be lifelong friends.  My new companion is Elder Behling.  He comes from an obscure island in the South Pacific where the only thing that they can feed on it turantula and fried muskrats.  Just kidding, he is from a small town in Utah.  He is a really great guy and we will have a fun time together this transfer.  He is about halfway through his mission and this is his first time being a Zone Leader, so I'll get to train him a bit in that way.
Our zone is doing really well.  Very young missionaries!  That is easy for me to say, being one of the mission sages now, but is weird in any case being older in age than the majority of sister missionaries!  About half of the newer Elders in the zone are 18 and there will be two new Elders being trained in Toulon and Cannes!  Exciting times.
SO!  Remember Pierre, the 83 year old man who said that he wanted to be a Mormon?  Well he came to church yesterday and he's been reading the Book of Mormon!  Remember Elisette, the Portuguese girl whose sister served a mission?  She was at church... with her brother!  He just got his degree in Medical Science in London and will be moving to Nice in January!  We might be able to teach him when he comes!  Cool things are happening here!

I shall share one Christmas miracle with you.  I was on an exchange and there was not a lot of time before a rendez vous that we had.  We decided to go contacting on a road near our apartment for about 20 minutes before heading to the appointment.  One of the first people we talked to was a woman who got really excited when we told her that we were Mormons (not a normal reaction here).  She explained to us that her brother had stayed with a Mormon family when he had done a study abroad in the United States.  She knew a little bit about the church.  She must have felt the Spirit in the contact because she decided that she wanted to introduce to her family... right then and there!  She even called her 14 year old son on the way to the apartment to till him that she was going to bring friends back.  We didn't have much time, but we got to meet the family and talk to them for a second about who we are and what we do.  They want us back this week.  They said that they would try to come to the ward Christmas activity! Radical.
I love you all family and friends!  Let's remember this Christmas season that the reason that Christmas season is the hap-hap-happiest time of year is because of the Savior of the world.  Maybe he wasn't really born on the 25th of december, year 0, but as we turn our thoughts to him, we feel his Spirit.  He himself said, "and if ye always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you." 3 Nephi 18:11.  So, as we turn our thoughts to his birth, let us also remember his teachings, his meeknes, his love, his obedience, his kindness and especially his Atonement.  He is the Prince of Peace.  I love Him!
Merry Christmas one and all! Joyeux Noel à tous et à toutes!
Avec amour,


Friday, December 6, 2013

Merry Christmas / Joyeux Noel!

Hello dear friends from America!

Merry Christmas!

I love this time to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

I just wanted to shed a bit of Christmas cheer!  I feel like this time of year is the best time to tell your best friends that you love them, even though we ought to do that more often.  So... I love you!

I invite you to spread a little Christmas cheer by seeing loud for all to hear.  Or just by doing something really nice for someone.  Or for several people.

The best thing that we can give back to the Savior after all that he has given us is just to treat others the way that he would treat them.

So let's remember him this Christmas and spread his LIGHT!

Much love, 

Elder Josh Kunzler

Nice, France

Bonjour, mes chers amis de la France!

Joyeux Noel!

J'aime cette saison que nous avons de célébrer la naissance de notre sauveur, Jésus-Christ.

Je voulais juste répandre un peu de joie de Noel!  Je pense que cette saison est idéelle pour dire à ses amis qu'on les aime, même si on doit le dire plus souvent que ça.  Donc... je vous aime!

Je vous invite à répandre un peu de joie de Noel en chantant fort pour que tout le monde l'entende :) ou bien, faites quelque chose de gentil pour quelqu'un. Ou pour plusieures personnes.

La meilleure chose qu'on peut redonner au Sauveur après tout ce qu'il nous a donné, c'est de traiter les autres comme il les traiterait.

Donc, souvenons-nous de lui ce Noel et répandons sa LUMIERE!

Avec amour,


Nice, France

Il leur délia la langue

Dearest family and friends,

There is a quality of Jesus Christ that I would like to address in this letter.  I don't what to call this quality, but I will do my best to describe it.  The quality is that he gets joy and pleasure in helping others in their spiritual progression.  He does nothing for himself, but all that he does is it for others.  In 3 Nephi 26:14, He loosed the tongues of children, so that they did speak great and marvelous things unto their fathers.  Why did he do that?  Because he was unselfish, he rejoiced in seeing others do the things that he could have easily done himself.  He wanted to see others excel, to see others reach their potential, rather than do everything himself.  I love this quality of the Savior, but I feel that it is one that is very difficult to develop as a natural man.

In that spirit, I would like to share some of the amazing things that are happening in our zone here in the French Riviera.

In the city of Saint Raphael, the Elders are teaching a German student named Simonet.  She was found right after Elder Grant and I got off of a train to start an exchange there.  We actually went to the apartment really fast to drop off our bags and then met back up with her to teach her on the beach.  She has been taught twice, received a Book of Mormon in German since then and has the desire to be baptized next after Christmas vacation.  She plans on sharing the gospel with her mother when she goes back to Munich for Christmas.

The other companionship in Saint Raphael is currently teaching a family that will be baptized just before Christmas.  The mother works at the grocery store where the Elders do their grocery shopping.  She knew the church in New Caledonia, where she is from and eventually the Elders invited to share a message with her and she accepted.  She has come to church every week since meeting with them.  She brings her teenage daughter and her daughters friend, who will both be baptized with her.

My companion and I are currently teaching an 83 year old man named Pierre and his wife.  He is a former ambassador and speaks perfect English.  My companion had contacted him last transfer and the second time we contacted him he accepted to have us come to teach him.  The lesson yesterday afternoon went very well.  Him and his wife have a lot of potential.

Early last week our ward had a music activity which turned out to be a huge success.  87 people attended, of which 17 were not members.  To give you an idea of how awesome the members here are, there was a member from Recife Brazil who used to teach a Portuguese family with the Elders about a year ago.  She remembered this family and invited them to the activity.  The son came and brought a friend, got back into contact with the missionaries and we will be going over there this afternoon to teach the entire family!  Other members are setting Christmas goals to share the gospel with friends before Christmas!  Tonight we will be going over to a family's home to share a Christmas message... they invited their neighbors to join and to meet us.  Missionary work runs in this wards veins.

Merry Christmas!  I think that in Spanish that means... MORE CHRIST!  But I'm not sure.  I love you all and I love Christ.  Let us be like Him this Christmas and do super unselfish things!  Let's loose some tongues!

Avec amour,


Joyeux Zanksgeeving!

Dearest family and friends,

In the words of that song on that Christmas CD that mom plays every year, "It's the holiday season, the holiday season, so whoop-dee-doo, a-hippity-hop... blah blah blah blah around the clock!"

I love Christmas in France.  It's kind of weird being in Nice for the holidays because it is not that cold and there are no chestnuts to roast on an open fire.  Maybe palm tree and oranges will work.

So there is something that Moroni is trying to teach us when he says "dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."  So in the spirit of thanksgiving, I will like to say that I am grateful for trials.  But especially I am grateful for the witness that comes after the trial of our faith.  I think that these have been the most joyful parts of my mission, the times when my companion and I realize just how many things had to happen in the perfect time and place in order for the miracle to take place.  Usually it involves a lot joyful yells and hugging.

So get this...  We do a lot of exchanges.  I let for an exchange in Cannes, but I had to leave my companion at the chapel in Nice to go and catch the train because we were supposed to teach a lesson that evening.  Luckily the other companionship of Elders was there and I was able to do a mini-split and get escorted to the gare.  This is going to get complicated.  God works in mysterious ways.  Don't get confused.  Ok, so the missionary who my companion was on the mini-split staying at the lesson with is actually in Saint Raphael, and was only there because they also were on an exchange.  They taught a good lesson, and our investigator actually invited a friend to come, but they weren't able to get this persons information or number or anything at the end of the lesson.  We haven't been able to get ahold of our investigator in a few weeks.  But this last week, after interviews with the mission president, I left to go on an exchange with an Elder in Toulon and we were with the Elders of Saint Raphael in the bus to go to the train station.  WE BARELY CAUGHT THIS BUS.  Literally, I was running in the middle of the street with a suitcase to get the bus drivers attention.  We caught it though.  We needed to catch that bus.  You want to know why?  Because the girl that my companion and the Elder from Saint Raphael contacted was ON IT.  What are the chances????  I never would have recognized her, because I had never seen her before!  But the Elder from Saint Raph was there and together we were able to contact this person and she had TONS of questions.  You could tell that she had reflected a ton after the lesson.  I got her number and we will be teaching her next weekend because she in England for a while.  What are the chances?!  When the Elder I was with and I talked about how many tiny little things needed to fall into place for this miracle to happen, we were freaking out.  We had such a gospel fire on that exchange that we gave out 8 Book of Mormons.

The church is true.  Too many supremely radical things happen in it for it not to be.  No coincidences.  Only tender mercies.  Being is a missionary is the most fun that anyone could ever have.  And the cool thing is that as members of the church, it is not only two years that we get to do it, but for the rest of our LIVES!  and even after that.  Sure it can be scary, but it is the most rewarding thing that heavenly father can offer to us.  Just this last week, my companion and I went to eat at an american style burger joint with a Young Adult in our ward, we gave Book of Mormons to the cook and the two servers, whom she is friends with!  It was a really cool experience, and not at all weird, because we were sincere.  Perfect love casteth out all fear.  L'amour parfait bannit toute crainte!  I testify that the Lord will give us all missionary experiences if we pray for them and seek after them.  The Lord will be your side and his angels will be there to bear you up!

Happy thanksgiving one and all!  Have an excellent week,

Avec amour,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dearest family and friends,

The weeks fly by faster and faster!  I can't believe that I already find myself in front of this computer screen again, reflected the events that took place this last week.

I have had some pretty amazing experiences (as every week of the mission) that I hope to paint to you.

Unfortunately, I left the Lausanne Stake just before their stake conference and entered into the Nice Stake right after theirs, so I did not have the opportunity to be edified in a stake conference this fall.  But this last Saturday was the stake leadership training, to which my companion and I were invented to help train the ward mission leaders of the stake.  It was a really cool opportunity to bring back out some of the inspired messages from the worldwide leadership training, Hastening the Work of Salvation.  It was also a huge pleasure to find once again a good group of the members of the Aix-en-Provence ward, where I started my mission.  Some of my friends from Aix were now pleased to be able to communicate with me after over a year of French learning.  Haha, 'twas joyous.  Most of all it was a pleasure to be able to benefit from the incredible examples of the leaders of this stake.  They are true disciples of our Lord and Savior.  I love the members here.

So I have described it well enough yet through these letters, the Nice ward is one of the best missionary wards in the stake.  To give you a vision, yesterday there was a baby blessing of the first born child of a family that was baptized in May and will get sealed next May.  They met the church through a woman who gave her talk in Sacrament Meeting.  Both her and the family of the baby invited non-member and less-active friends and family to church, making for a total of 13 non members at church!  It was such good missionary work.  My companion and I got to know the sister and brother-in-law of the recent convert mother and they accepted to have us over to teach them this weekend!  Cool finding activity.  Member missionary work is honestly the best!

Another amazing experience actually took place today, when my companion and I went with one of the ward missionaries to the hospital to give a blessing to a less-active woman who had ulcers removed.  She was in terrible pain, and the visit did her a lot of good.  She was a woman who has been through a lot of difficulties since she was baptized about 5 years ago, but she has kept the faith.  She told us that when she was in her lowest of lows and when she had nowhere else to turn, she pulled out her Book of Mormon and it lifted the burdens.  We laughed and cried together and then we gave her the blessing.  She gave me the opportunity to give the blessing and I felt how much love Heavenly Father has for this woman as I said the things that the Spirit inspired me to say.  It was one of the most powerful moments in my mission.  She told us that she was going to start coming back to church again after the holiday season when things are more calm.  It was a cool little rescue mission that the Lord called us on.  Being a missionary is the best thing ever.

I will not have the time to describe some other experiences that we lived this last week, mais elles étaient bonnes.  We are seeing the Asilo family tonight!  This is the Philipino family that we haven't seen since my first day here.  We're really stoked, they're so prepared!  Pray that it goes well.

I love you family and friends and I pray that you find ways to engage yourselves in this amazing work that is being accomplished on the earth today.  I testify that it is being hastened.  There are truly miracles that are happening in this mission, as I am sure are happening in all the others.  I know that the Lord gives us all that we ask with faith.  He won't give us a stone when we want bread or a snake when we ask for fish.  Ask for people to help come unto Christ, and he'll give them to you!  I love you and wish you an excellent week,



PS.  Sorry no pictures, but believe me when I say to you that Nice and the French Riviera are gorgeous.  Went to a town called Menton this week, literally a few kilometers from Italy (you could see the Italian cities just down the coast).  Probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.  The drive on the way back was in the mountains over Monaco.  WHOA§§§

Monday, November 11, 2013

J'appartiens à l'Eglise de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours

Dearest family and friends,

You know the hymn "Did you think to pray?" Hymn number 140 in English.  Well, the translation in French is Prayer is like a lighthouse.

On the waterfront, there is a lighthouse at the end of the city, past downtown Nice and before Monaco and Italy.  In the dark mornings when we run along the Promenade, we run towards the lighted lighthouse.  I like to let this hymn run through my mind in French, "Dès le matin dans ta chambre, frère as-tu prié?"

There is a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that says, "Do your best.  Your very, very best.  Say your prayers and work hard and leave the harvest to the Lord."

This last week Elder Smith and I did not teach a single investigator.  We did not talk to very many people who were interested in hearing the name of Jesus Christ.  But I think that I learned more this week than any other week of my mission.

This is the Lord's work!  I am a missionary for the Lord's true church!  What an amazing calling I have.

There is a woman who lives in the apartment building just in front of ours.  She met the missionaries (the other companionship of Elders here in Nice) about 3 weeks ago.  I had the opportunity to teach her (Sariah) with her two young children, both under 8.  She comes from Portugal and is divorced to the father of the children, who is actually a returned missionary who is still in Portugal.  She is very believing and comes from a Catholic background.  She is not in agreement with many of the Catholic teaches.  When we told her that Joseph Smith went around looking for the true church, she laughed and said that it would have been useless.  Then we shared the First Vision.  She prayed at the end of the lesson to know if it is true.  Her prayer was in Portuguese, but all of us understood the meaning and the magnitude of her prayer.  She prayed sincerely and powerfully to know if the Book of Mormon is true.  No one appeared.  No angel came down to tell her that these things are true, but there didn't need to be one.  There were tears in her eyes when she closed the prayer.  She came to church and met all the Brazilians in our ward (yes, there are a few families from Recife).  She accepted to be baptized at the beginning of December.

God is willing to speak to our hearts and to our minds, but he requires humility.  That is what I have learned.  Humility comes before Faith, Repentance, Baptism, etc.  Humility is the key ingredient.  Finding humble people is tough, though.  So as missionaries it requires humble prayer, humble searching, humble diligence, humble obedience.

I hope that in your efforts to hasten the work of salvation this week, you remember what the Lord said in DandC 12 that no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.  I love the word whatsoever. Its like nevertheless.  Three words packed into one.

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

PS.  Jonah might be interested in knowing that there was a convertible Lamborghini Gallardo, orange and black, new and nice, roaming the streets of nice the other night.  But I wasnt able to take a pic, because my camera is broken!

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Greetings from the French Riviera

Dearest family and friends,

It is still summer in Southern France.

I am doing missionary work in paradise.  So this week went really well.  We are at that time in missionary work where we just have to back to the basics and find people to teach.  I'm not sure why, but it feels like every time I arrive in a new sector, I find myself in this situation.  I love it.  I feel a bit like one of the Elders in the book of Acts, testifying of the Resurrected Savior to every living soul in confused world.

We found a few miracles this week.

There was one evening that my companion and I were discouraged.  We had visited a brother in the Elders Quorum who had fallen away from the church.  He had been heavily influenced by the Jehovahs Witnesses, deny his testimony of the Book of Mormon and dismissed Joseph Smith a prophet of God.  We left with heavy hearts.  None of the people that we were contacting wanted a part of the happiness that we offer in inviting them into the fold of God and to have a knowledge of Gods plan of goodness.  Nothing.  Then, just before retiring to our appartment at the end of the day, we were crossing the street when we saw a woman on the other side who had been following us and who was kind of looking at us interestingly.  When we got to the other side, she cried out, "LES ELDERS!"  ELDERS!  with this huge smile on her face and tons of enthousiasm.  She explained to us that her sister was a Sister missionary!  She explained to us at a lightning fast speed that she came from Portugal, her sister served in Cape Vert, her mother is also a member, the church has brought so much to her family, she looked for a church in Nice when her sister was here visiting but they couldn't find one, she recently went to Holland to attend the baptism service of her brother in law, she has been living in Nice for 7 years and hasn't crossed the missionaries ONCE!!!  She was SO excited.  We have no idea why it had to be at that moment in time and in that place, but the Lord was reaching out to her.  She is going to be coming to the ward activity this weekend and will be visited by the sister missionaries here this week!  SHE WILL BE BAPTIZED!  It was a huge testimony to me that the testimony always comes after the trial of our faith.  The Lord wants to bless us with miracles, but we have to exercise our faith first.  RADICAL!

Another cool experience.  My companion and I were walking on a very busy street (Mark 5:24-34) and we heard a small older French woman say, "Ah, the Mormon missionaries, they will help me carry this."  I don't know how we heard it, it was a very small busy street.  We went over and helped this woman carry her heavy bags to the train station nearby.  She explained to us that when she was 20 years old she nearly got baptized into our church.  This was over 40 years ago.  She had lost contact with the church, been through many trials in her life, including the loss of her son due to a motorcycle accident.  We testified and served.  We helped this woman to feel the love of our Heavenly Father.  We passed the information that she gave us to the sister missionaries in Toulon, where she lives.  Excellent!  The Spirit guides.

Many other wonderful things happened this week that I will not have the time to tell you about.  One of which being teaching a woman who is going to BUILD the kingdom of God on the earth.  She just needs to read the Book of Mormon and feel the Spirit.  Her name is Pascale.

The church is true.  I've never been more convinced.  The members of this ward are celestial. Our ward mission leader is an atomic scientist who works for the UN who is determined to save the world both physically and spiritually.  Our bishop has missionary work instead of blood that runs through his veins.  There are ward missionaries who have read Preach My Gospel more times than I have.  The conditions are right; miracles will follow.  I love this work and I love you.  The Lord loves us really a lot as well.  Really a lot.

Avec amour,


PS.  I get to go to my bleu ville, Aix-en-Provence, for the first time in over a year today. Quelle joie!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Miami, France

Dearest family and friends,

I'm sorry for my lateness.  I'm assuming that you are assuming that I am transfered because I did not write you yesterday.  Let your hearts be comforted, your assumptions are correct.  Elder Powell will be staying in Dijon to receive a new companion, and I have been transfered to the city of Nice.  I will be a Zone Leader again with Elder Smith, who comes from the wild plains of Utah!

Nice is like the Miami or San Diego of France.  This morning, my companion and I took a run on the BEACH.  The beach.  I am currently wearing a short-sleeve white shirt.  I feel luckier than a lucky charm.  A bird that has flown South for winter.

Our sector is pretty epic.  Our ward has the reputation of being one of the best in all of France.  Angelic members.  I've already had the opportunity of meeting a few, and I must say that I am impressed.  There are members that live in Monaco, which is a little kingdom 25 minutes outside of Nice (where the Casino Royale and the Grand Prix Formula Track are).  I will probably be going this week.  We live 4 blocks from the beach.  I feel spoiled.  A great priviledge to call this beautiful city unto repentance.

I really like my new companion, he is just one group younger than me, so we met each other in the MTC, but haven't really seen each other much since.  In the MTC, he gave me a Harry Potter club T-Shirt from his high school.  I shall never forget this gest.  He is a very consecrated missionary with a great personality.  He was trained by Elder Emal, so he has some of his stellar qualities.  We are going to tear it up here.

Last night, we had a pretty cool experience.  Not too long after I rolled in on the train, we had a lesson with a family that we are teaching.  This family is amazing.  They come from Manila, the Phillippines (shout out to Matt) and they are very strong Christians.  The father is good friends with a member of the church, who comes from the same place, and it was him that introduced his friend to the missionaries, just last week.  This was our second lesson with him, and it went really well. He pretty skeptical about the Book of Mormon, because he can not imagine there being more of the word of God, only the Bible.  We answered questions that he had and bore testimony.  He is engaged to reading the Book of Mormon and said that he will be baptized once he knows it is true.  Unfortunately, we were not able to teach the entire family because the wife stayed in the kitchen to prepare a stellar meal, which we feasted upon afterwards.  Our goal is to teach the whole family together next time.  Joy!

The mission is the best.  I can not believe that I am still in France.  I feel like I am in a California where people speak French, but its cool.  The Church is true and Christ lives!  He is going to help Elder Smith and I in our efforts to find, teach and baptize here in NICE (yellow, new, nice).

I love you!

Avec amour,


My dead father, Elder Tulley, crossed him in the gare at Lyon yesterday.  On a plane to the states today.
Dead Elder Emal, on the same plane.  Came and did his last exchange with me in Dijon.  Love that man.
Friends from Dijon before departing

en tout temps, en toutes choses, et dans tous lieux

Bruno baptized by Brother Gimenez

Dearest family and friends,
There is a scripture somewhere in Doctrine and Covenants that says that in ordinances, one can see the power of God.  I was a witness of the power of God this weekend. (Brother) Bruno is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He has been cleansed of his sins and been reborn... without having to go back into his mother's womb.  He will be received the Holy Priesthood of Aaronnext sunday and has an entire life of service and discipleship ahead of him.  Good man.  The poor guy, however, got a pretty gnarly wack to the head in the baptismal font.  He didn't really bend his knees, and there is not a ton of room in our chapel's font, so when the Brother who performed the ordinance lowered to immerge him, his head when straight back into the wall and made a big THUD sound.  Ouch.  Maybe it was meant to make him forget all his past.  Who knows.
We are very happy about Bruno and seeing him come unto Christ gave us an even greater enthousiasm to go out and find more people to help come unto Christ.

Before the purification

We taught an American named James about the Restored Gospel.  He comes from California and came here to study hospitality or hotel management I believe.  He is very Christian and already knows quite a bit about the Mormons because he took a course called "American Cults" at the ultra-protestant university that the he attended.  As you can imagine, the kind of questions that he had mostly came from anti-mormon sources, but it made for a very interesting lesson.  He wanted to know, for example, about the kingdoms of glory, the nature of Heavenly Father, why Joseph Smith tried to escape through the window in Carthage Jail (a question I had never heard before).  We tried to focus on the simple message that through reading, meditating and praying about the Book of Mormon, one can know that God has restored, through the prophet Joseph Smith, truthes about the Plan of Salvation, which includes the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.  James wants to see us again after All Saints holiday.

We are no longer teaching Regis, Flora, Houda, nor Natalia.  I am sure that they will all have another opportunity to accept the Restored Gospel in the future.  I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have had to teach them.
Le temps est très court et le jour déjà baisse.
I love my calling.  I love the Lord.  I love writing e-mails on a French keyboard.  It is the last week of the transfer and I do not know if I will stay in Dijon.  I love it here.  I would not rather be doing anything else, with anyone else, for anyone else.  I testify that it is the Lord who leads this work.  I see his hand in it on a daily basis.  I testify that it is ALWAYS in small and simple ways that he accomplishing his work.  And it doth confound the wise.  We can all get closer to the Lord in small and simple ways in the small choices that we make on a daily basis.  I know that it makes all the difference.  I love you and wish you an excellent week.
Avec amour,
Winter Choco Softies... mmm

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ne persévérerons-nous pas dans une si grande cause?

The pals (Elders Petersen and Smith, whom I lived with d'autrefois)

Dearest family and friends,
L'hiver vous acceuille.
I live as a missionary for baptism services.  They are the times on my mission when I have felt the Spirit the strongest and been able to truly rejoice in the fruit of my labors.  I have no doubts that Bruno's service this saturday will be no exception.  He is so ready.  Yesterday at church, he came up to me after the meetings and asked if everyone who was supposed to be on the program was already informed, etc. Then he said that he had already told everyone.  I think that he asked just so that he could tell me that.  It made me really happy, because he is so enthousiastic about what he is going to do this weekend to change his life forever.  He is going to come unto Christ.  Jesus Christ invites all to come unto.  He said multiple times during his earthly ministry... come, follow me... come unto me all ye that are heavy laden... follow thou me... come and see.  He says it again today.
The Swiss village of Orbe is preached to
I'm sorry that my letter will be short today.
Elder Powell and I had an excellent week that involved:
1 Eating double decker cheeseburgers in Geneva, Switzerland.
2 Mission our train back to France... In order to be able to preach the gospel to a few Lamanites in Switzerland!
3 Teaching a man that said that he wanted to fight me (even brought his brother along) but was then softened by the Spirit and agreed to be baptized next month.
4 Preaching the Gospel in a small Swiss village where everyone knew everyone and they were probably the nicest people on the planet, next to Texans.
Other good things happened as well.  Trust me.
I love you much family and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Lord's vineyard.  The time is short, but it is being enjoyed and used to it's fullest.  I love you much and thank you for your love and your support.  Stay dry and warm et que les éléments ne vous blessent pas :)
Avec amour

Conquering the Holy Cowboy in Geneva Switzerland

Friday, October 11, 2013

lève-toi, prend ton lit et marche!

Dearest family and friends,
I would like to share with you a few miracles that have taken place in this sector this last week.
1.  I told you about Madame Rose and her daughters last week.  Her teenage daughter said a very inspiring closing prayer.  The husband didn't show up to the lesson, because he was held back with some previous engagements.  WELL, at the end of this last week, the sisters here in Dijon were with a member of the ward here, on the way to a lesson or something when a man cried at them and said that he wanted to hear more about Jesus Christ.  The sisters thought that he was mocking them, so they simply tried to ignore him, but the member boldly approached him.  The member walked back to the sisters with a phone number, an address and a rendezvous arranged.  So the sisters showed up to this RDV with the same member.  They were surprised, when they walked in to see that the man was holding an open copy of the Book of Mormon.  They asked how he got it and the man explained that the weekend before two boys in suits had come and taught his wife and daughters!  It was Madame Rose's husband!  When the sisters told me about this, I was flabbergasted!  Hehe.  So we passed this family to the sisters and they will be teaching them from now on!  Cool little miracle.
2.  About a week and a half ago we contacted a man who was walking his cute little daughter home from school.  We told him about a book that we wanted to give him that would change his life and bring him much more peace and happiness in the family.  When we went to this man's home we were received with such a warm welcome.  He had a wife and three beautiful daughters, and they were all immigrants from Kosovo in Eastern Europe.  They are Muslim of origin, but not very practicing.  The middle daughter, who is 14 has a cancer and is currently going through chemotherapy, but is just a smiley and happy little girl, even though she is going through this tough trial.  We taught a bit of our message and left them with the Book of Mormon in Albanian, their native language.  The next time we came and taught them, we found out that it was mostly the 14 year old who had sparked the curiosity and read into the Book of Mormon.  She loved what she read, and it is amazing to me the way that God reaches out to his children.  It is amazing to be a missionary.  There is nothing quite like it.
3.  Bruno is a non-smoker.  He has not touched cigarettes in 10 days today!  We know that it is because of his faith, courage and will that he was able to do it.  He is truly a changed man.  I remember the day that we met him, a little over 2 months ago, Elder Powell and I's first morning in Dijon.  He seemed a little hopeless, unhappy, like he'd been through a lot of difficulties in his life, and he has.  But now he is smiley, funny, spiritual and faith-filled.  He is also one of the most prayerful investigators I've ever taught.  He will be baptized next weekend and he are so proud of him and excited for his future!
4.  A new investigator came to a session of general conference with her son.  She is someone who comes to english class every week and my companion and I have played soccer with her son in the past.  She received a Book of Mormon already from a family that she knows in the ward.  We were so happy to see her show!  She came to the session in which Elder D. Todd Christofferson talked about women and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked about depression.  She has recently separated from the boy's fathers, so I think that she was able to really receive some great council.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Those are just a few of the many miracles and blessings that Elder Powell and I saw this last week.
I love you much my family and I love this work!  Let's do our best to be doers and not only hearers of the word!  Go out and apply the things you heard and felt in general conference.  Pray for missionary opportunities and then act!  I know that this gospel truly is "the penetrating light that pierces through the obscurity of darkness"!
Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

Vous pouvez faire tout ce qui est utile en moi.

Chère famille et mes chers amis,
Une oeuvre merveilleuse est sur le point de se produire parmi les enfants des hommes.
There are good things happening in Dijon, the forelorn village of the east.

Bruno will be baptized on the 19, two weeks after general conference this saturday.  This last week we went over to his apartment with an empty garbage sack and we left his apartment with a garbage sack full of coffee, cigarettes, tobacco cans, lighters, ashtrays, lighter fluid, etc.  Everything.  I have a pretty cool picture of me grinning in the midst of all these poisons.  Bruno is a non-smoker!  We are so proud of him, he has so much courage.  He will be on a special program to turn of the bells that trigger his desire to smoke all this week (a program that includes the use of grapefruit juice and cinnamon mouth wash and prayer).  Friday we will going over to his apartment to celebrate with him his grand feat!  It is not at all easy, but avec Dieu tout est possible!
E.P. and I had a really good week in which REGIS (who we thought we were going to have to drop) CAME TO CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME!  We were so happy to see him in his Sunday best with his Bible and Book of Mormon in had walking into the chapel right on time!  We had seen him once during the week and he said a beautiful prayer, expressed his sincere desire to have a testimony and then promised that he would come to church!  He shined through this week.  He really is started to show forth fruits meet for repentance, which is epic.
We also have 5 new investigators, who are all really solid.
First there is Natalia.  Natalia saw us contacting one evening, and she came and contacted us.  She explained that she had met and been taught by the missionaries in the past when she was studying in Frankfurt, Germany about a year and a half ago.  She is Russian.  She didn't have a number or a way to get ahold of her, so we could only give her a card and she said she would call us back.  Sure enough she called a few days later and we fixed a RDV.  To her RDV she brought her Russian Book of Mormon, which was pretty well marked up.  She also had some old brochures that the missionaries had given to her in the past.  She told us that she had already read the entire Book of Mormon in 5 days... and that she knew it was true!  The only thing keeping her from getting baptized is the fact that her parents are traditional Russian Orthodox and her husband, an American, isn't too into the chruch.  She will be going back to Germany in a couple of weeks to start a new semester, but she will be watching General Conference with us, a pretty cool miracle!

We are also now teaching a wonderful family from the Congo.  They are very strong Christians and such excellent people.  It is a husband, wife and two teenage daughters.  Unfortunately, the husband was not there for the first lesson, but it went really well.  They are very sincere, and we will be meeting with them regularly.  The older teenage daughter said the prayer at the end of our message about the restoration and it was one of the most heartfelt I've ever heard.  Good things.
Blessed, another investigator, came with his entire family to church!  His wife is a less-active member, so it was so good to see the whole family there!  He is planning on getting baptized at the end of next month as well!
So many great things are happening in this sector, sorry I don't have the time to tell you about all of them.  The Lord is really blessing our efforts as we do our best to stay close to him through prayer, follow the Spirit and be obedient and diligent and effective with all the time that he has given to us to serve him with all our energy.  I love this work so much!  I love you family and wish you an excellent week!  Que Dieu vous bénisse :)
Avec amour,