Lyon, France

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bordeaux, 3

Dearest family and friends,

Well, there goes another transfer.  I swear that the longer one stays on a missionary, the faster the mission flies by.  Its kind of scary actually.

I spent the weekend without Elder Emal.  He received a phone call on thursday afternoon from president, calling him to be his new assistant, so he took off on friday morning to go receive some training and I stayed here with another companionship in our area.  I will be staying here in Lormont, Bordeaux for another transfer!  This morning I received my new companion, Elder Johnson from Kaysville, Utah.  He was a good friend even before the mission, we went to BYU together and got to know each other as we spent some time at President Roneys home in Provo.  We even texted each other the day before entering the MTC, hoping that we would be companions, and then ended up in the same district.  It is going to be a pleasure serving with him.  He is the smilest, hardest working, most obedient missionary on this side of the Mississippi.  The Lord has blessed me so much during my mission with my companions, I feel like he is really trying to form me and to help be more Christlike by sending me extraordinary missionaries as companions.  I'm going to miss Elder Emal a ton, he is a very good friend and there is a reason that he is in Lyon serving next to president.  Every mission needs more missionaries like him and the world needs more men like him.

I am SO happy to stay here in the ward.  I don't know if I've stressed this fact enough in my letters, but this ward is CELESTIAL.  The members here are full of so much Christlike light and love and I feel like I am just here basking in it and learning from their amazing examples.  Elder Johnson and I want to work extra extra hard this transfer in their presence to bring someone unto Christ.  We're going to baptize this transfer!  We have a lot of potential right now, and we just kind of need to tap into it.  Daniel and Rute (the portuguese couple) are progressing well at the moment and they have a ton of potential.  We gave them the Book of Mormon in Portuguese this last week and they accepted it with gratitude and asked us to bear our testimonies of it.  They had already read the pamphlet on the Restoration that we had given them and were ready to dig in.  Alvine's grandmother passed away this last week, so she will be spending a few weeks in Cameroon, Africa to attend her funeral and be with her family.  Marie-Louise has been travelling a ton lately, but we're going to be seeing her this week.  We will be praying and working with the spirit to guide us to God's children who have been prepared for the message of the Restoration of Christ's true church!

This last week, I didn't get to spend a ton of it in Bordeaux.  I travelled and was able to do some exchanges with younger missionaries, which is always a delightful experience.  I was able to travel to the cities of Pau and Bayonne this week, and was able to see some pretty cool things in other areas.  On the way to a district meeting in Bayonne, we met a woman on a bus who told me that she didn't believe in God.  I bore my testimony of prayer and promised her that if she would try praying out, she would be able to feel God's spirit.  I gave her a card with my number on it as she got off the bus.  During the district meeting, I got a call from an unknown number and answered it.  She told me that she was the woman who I talked with on the bus.  She told me that she had followed my recommendation and prayed and that she wanted to confess to me!  I told her that I was not a priest and that we did confess that way in our religion, but I explained to her a little bit more who we are, that we are simply here to draw people closer to Christ.  I told her that there are very kind sister missionaries here in Bayonne who would kindly talk to her and explain more.  She said she wanted to see them that afternoon!  Missionary work is pretty fun stuff.

Elder Kunzler is doing very well!  Thank you so much for your prayers and for your letters.  I love you all so much!  Keep exercising your faith every single day because it is the best way to live and I know that Heavenly Father gives us a ton more happiness if we do it!

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Très Bien

My dearest family and friends,

The Church is true!  I know it better now than I've ever known it before and I'll know it better tomorrow than I knew it today!

I have some pretty awesome miracles to tell you about, but before I get started, I'd just like to tell you a little bit about what I was able to do this morning.  There is a member in another ward in Bordeaux who is a professional opera singer.  Every single day during the week, he goes and rehearses at the great and beautiful Bordeaux Opera House.  That's what he does for a living.  This morning he was so kind and generous to take a few of us missionaries on a backstage guided tour of the opera house.  He let us in through the artists entrance and got us badges for free from the security guards and showed us everything there was to see.  It was huge and beautiful, very detailed.  It reminded me of Phantom of the Opera (except that one is in Paris) except there was no phantom.... or was there???  France is a fun place to serve a mission.  You can take your own little guided tour of the Bordeaux Opera House here:

This week we got to learn from another 70 here in Bordeaux.  At our Zone Conference, Elder Richards, who spoke about the Atonement a few General Conferences ago came to teach us.  He taugh us about teaching clearing, simply, using little words and many questions, so that even a child could understand (like Jesus Christ taught).  It was a great learning experience and amazing to be in the presence of a holy man of God.  He knew the scriptures like the back of his hand.  A missionary would make a comment or ask a question and he would reply, "Paul said that.." or "As Jacob in the Book of Mormon says... "  "If we turn to D and C Section..."  So epic.

After this conference we had an exchange with the Assistants.  Elder Gouttin, a French missionary from Lille, worked in our sector.  That day we had planned on visiting the Soulé family, a wonderful family in the ward that I've grown really close to (Frère Soulé's sister lives in Keizer, OR... 15 minutes from our home).  At the beginning of the visit, he remarked Elder Gouttin's name and said, "Oh, that's strange, I know some Gouttins in western France."  Elder Gouttin responded that he has family in Western France.  Frère Soulé refused to belief that he was even French, he said that he had an American accent (he thinks that I have a French accent when I speak English...)  Eventually, they figured out that Elder Gouttin's great-uncle was the one who taught Frère Soulé with the missionaries and performed his ordonnance of baptism 44 years ago.  It was a miraculous coincidence (not) that brought tears to his eyes that his great-nephew would now be on a mission in Southern France and come across this family which was brought into the church decades ago and is still very active in the gospel!  Tender mercies!  The work in France is amazing and my oh my is it rolling forth.

On Saturday, Elder Emal and I found 3 new investigators.  2 of which are a young couple that comes from Portugal (I was able to use some of my Portuguese skills in the lesson).  They have passed through some difficulties recently, for example, all of their parents have passed away.  But they are very faithful people, with a great love for the Savior and they have a lot of hope that they will see their loved ones again.  We were able to teach them about the simple principle of prayer, pray with them and share spiritual experiences.  That's what I get to do every single day.  Teach simple principles that help people to feel more of God's love and be happy.  It's wonderful.  Their names are Daniel and Rute.

Wonders, well it's the last week of the transfer (already) and we've got some cool things ahead of us.  I will going to Tarbes tonight to do an exchange with a missionary there and then I get to go to the beautiful city of Bayonne on Thursday.  We will be working with the Lord and his angels to help people come closer to Christ!  Yes!  I love you so much family and wish you the most wonderful of summer weeks this week!

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

PS.  Happy Father's Day! I love you so much dad!

Monday, June 10, 2013

La Vie Quotidienne


Sorry about last week, I had very little time because we passed an awesome P-Day on the coasts of Southern France.  It was a beautiful day and we got to spend with a wonderful French couple (part member family... cool missionary opportunity).  They started off by taking us out to the bay and they fed us LIVE oysters (des huitres vivantes).  They tasted like the ocean.  I will include a few photos.  Then we had a picnic on the beach of Arcachon, a charming little French coast town.  We finished the day by mounting the Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune in all of Europe.  It was an abosolutely beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bassin of Arcachon.  France is a pretty cool country.

Well my friends and family, the miracles continue in France.  The last few weeks have been excellent weeks to be engaged in the service of the Lord.  Last Sunday was Stake Conference.  Last time I came to Stake Conference in Bordeaux in November, Elder Andersen of the Twelve and his family spoke.  Bordeaux kept the fire up by bringing in two 70s (powerhouses)  and our dear mission president, President Roney and his wife.  The focus was MISSIONARY WORK.  This stake has SO much desire to share the gospel and they are receiving such inspired guidance from the Lord's servants.  This part of the world is really going to flourish... it is going to require a lot of concentrated efforts on the part of the both the missionaries and the members.

After the conference, we were able to introduce a recent convert, Lilian, from El Salvador and Sarah, our amie, to Elder Limer, a Seventy from Germany.  He was able to give some inspired advice to Sarah, since he had similar obstacles when he converted to the church at 22 in Germany.  He told his conversion story and bore testimony of the Lord being able to lead where he wants us to be, even if our families have rejected our decision.  He lost contact with his family for years after being baptised.  It was quite an incredible experience to be a part of an intimate conversion with one of the Lord's appointed servants and people who are searching for the truth and those who have recently found it.  He patted me on the back for translating for him.  I felt his love for the work.  :)

We have lost most of our investigators of the church.  Sarah moved back to live with her parents to start doing an internship closer to home, making it impossible to continue to teach her.  We'll just have to stay in touch by phone and invite her to keep reading and praying.  Marie-Louise has been in Paris and has been working a ton, so we haven't seen her in a month.  Alvine has been really busy, but she is still reading and progressing slowly (we're certain that she's going to get baptized, but it will just take time).  So we're taking this opportunity that the Lord has given us to work more closely with the leaders of the ward (who are absolutely incredible people) and the members (equally celestial) to try to cultivate new people to teach from this missionary energy which is in the air.  We have also been working more closely with less actives of recently.  The work here in Bordeaux is progressing little by little.

This work is true and the One who is leading is all-wise and all-powerful.  It's cool to get to see His hand in it every single day.

I love you family and wish you a wonderful week!

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

1, with love, from France
2, une tortue!!!
3, des huitres vivantes
4, crouching tiger, flying german
5, into the ocean
6, en tant que quatre



I love you SO much!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Dearest family and friends,

I just wanted to send you an email really fast telling you that I am not dead.

I spent my entire preparation day at Arcachon and the Dune du Pilate (largest dune in Europe).  I ate live oysters for lunch.  I'll send you pictures next week.

I love you and know that we can feel the Spirit more abundantly as we pray more fervently.

I'll tell you a little more about what happened this week next week.

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler