Lyon, France

Monday, August 19, 2013

May the Scar Remind Me of the Crucifiction

Dearest family and friends,

I assume that you have already noticed some of the grotesque pictures that I have attached.  Let your eyes feast.  I lived an experience on my mission this last week that made me LITERALLY more Christlike.

So on Friday morning we went out to a village where our Elder's Quorum President in the Dijon ward lives to go and join in a service project.  We were clearing out some old wood and debris from his front yard, loading it up into a truck and going to the dump to empty it.  I'm not exactly certain what happened, but I was walking over a pile of wood and I think that my foot got stuck and slipped a little, but kept myself from falling.  Next thing I know, I look down and see a hole in my shoe.  At this point, I wasn't super suspicious, I just thought that maybe I had a big sliver that got stuck in my shoe, so I took off my shoe to take it out.  Then I saw that there was also a hole in my sock and I started to get a little bit more suspicious.  I quickly removed my sock, revealing this beautiful peace of art sticking in my foot.  It wasn't very painful and it didn't bleed at all... it was just... WEIRD.

The brethern gave me a priesthood blessing (which our dear Elder's Quorum President was not able to join in on because he was lying on the floor in his living room, extremely pale and freaking out a little bit).  Then I hoped in the car with a wonderful frere who was kind enough to drive me the entire 30 minute drive out to the Dijon emergency room.  He even spent 4 hours in the hospital with my companion while I was seeing the doctors.  So what they did is they numbed me up locally, cut my skin off about an inch along the splinter and then tried to pull it out.  Failure.  The splinter broke.  So he had to cut about another inch of skin off.  And he succeeded at pulling the little tike out.  All of this happened while I was totally conscious, just watching my foot getting dug into. Yes.

After the intern cleaned it up, he wanted to get the surgeon's opinion on it, so there I was on that hospital bed, waiting for a French surgeon to come and look at my foot.  I ended up waiting on that bed with a big bloody hole in my foot for over an hour and a half.  And guess what I thought about?  I thought about Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ literally got stakes (if not the same size as mine, if not bigger) driven through not only one foot, but both and his hands and wrists.  He didn't get a nice anesthesia treatment, he refused the cheap alcohol that was offered him.  He got vinegar when all he asked for was water.  He didn't get the stakes carefully removed from him, instead he got a gash in the side with a spear.  He didn't even have the company of the Spirit and it's warmth and comfort, instead the Father temporally left him so that he could descend below all things.  Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Chosen Son, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Supreme Creator of the Universe.  He descended below all.  It pleased the Lord to bruise him.  His soul was made an offering for sin.  I know that.  I thank him for what he did.  I am grateful that he took it all upon himself so that we don't have to suffer, I am grateful that he died so that we might live and live more abundantly.  I love Him.

I will be alright.  I am grateful for this experience.  I cannot serve the Lord in all the capacities that I would like to because I am confined to my apartment with my foot elevated and an icepack for the whole week.  But I am grateful for this opportunity that I have during my mission to come a little bit closer to my Savior.  I am proud to be able to carry the same scar that he carries :).

The work is going REALLY well in Dijon.  It's relatively easy to find people to teach here, but it's going to be hard being on standby this upcoming week.  We have a new ami named Jules who comes from Cameroon in Africa.  His great grandparents are voodoo sorcerers.  I don't know if I should be revealing this information to you... He came to church and we're going to be able to teach him every single day.  He is really prepared for the restored gospel.

Bruno is doing well, the other missionaries went and played soccer with him this morning.  He is going to have a difficult time giving up smoking, but that is something that Christ can help him with.  He is really coming closer to God and getting into the habit of praying daily.  He also loves the Book of Mormon.

A tender mercy of the Lord took place yesterday when one of my absolute favorite families from Bordeaux took a detour from their vacation trip in Italy to stop by the chapel in Dijon during church and surprise me.  They were the ones to be surprised when they say me stubble over on a cane and shoe them the grotesque picturest that you now have before your eyes.  It was wonderful to see them.

I love you much family!  Don't worry, about me, I'll be just fine.  I have an evaluation on Wednesday at the doctor's and I have nurses who come to dress my wounds every single day and then I have ministering angels (at least I think I do?)  Thank you for your prayers!  I wish you a wonderful end of the summer and a joyful transition into school season!

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

PS.  Every single missionary in the entire mission (over 225) has seen the picture that you now see.  Elder Emal posted it in the weekly email that the Assistants send out every single PDay.  Thank you my dear old companion.

PPS.  I got to see Elder Petek one last time!  He is a travelling assistant and he came and did an exchange with Elder Powell and I this last week.  He finishes his mission in a month, so I probably won't get to see him again, until after the mission.  But it was really great to see him one last time. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Babylone enfin chancelle

Bonjour, mes chers!

I would like to start by apologizing about the last week... I spent my entire P-Day crossing the entire country of France, so as a result I had no time to leave you any words.  But yes, I have safely arrived in the city of Dijon!  I was very surprised when I got this call from president... he said something like "Elder Kunzler, I'm sending you on a little secret mission over to Dijon.  It is is an excellent city with a great ward, but there has just never been much that has gone on there, so I want you to go and baptize." oh and... "and yes, at the same time you will training a new missionary".  New things!  I am really excited about the new sector and the new responsibilities, but as you can imagine it was pretty tough to say goodbye to Bordeaux.  Since I didn't get to write last week, I'll fill you in a little on the miracles that we saw my last week there and then I will introduce you to my new companion and how the work is going here in Dijon.

So last week was epic.  We taught more lessons and found more investigators than we ever had in that sector.  Colette, the amazing woman who came all the way from Libourne is progressing really well and reading.  Ludmila started getting into the habit of praying and reading.  The night after I left, the missionaries did a family home evening with her at the home of some members who originally come from Portugal, so I'm sure that this helped her to feel at home and to be able to create some more relationships with members, which is really important.  The sunday was amazing, it was really hard to say goodbye, but the testimony meeting was very powerful and we all felt the love of the Lord together.  I am really going to miss the members there, they are one huge family of super happy, enthousiastic disciples of Christ.  Those are the kind of people that I like to be around.  I love them much.

And now in Dijon!  So I actually spent most of the week in Lyon, to go and pick up my bleu (greenie in French) on wednesday and then we stayed there until friday afternoon so that my companion could do his legality.  I will be training Elder Powell, who is a huge quaterback from Santa Cruz, California.  Seriously, his pectoralus majors are larger than my head.  He didn't study any French before coming here and then only 6 weeks in the MTC, so he doesn't speak a ton of French, but he's ready to be a great missionary.  He is someone with a great testimony, a great smile and great enthousiasm.  We're going to have a lot of fun together this transfer.  He has the the blessing of living with a Frenchman and a Dutchman at the beginning of his mission, so he's going to learn French quick.

Miracles happen in Dijon! We put in some good work together on Friday evening and the rest of the weekend and found two new investigators.  We kind of had to go to the drawing board (like Elder Petek and I did with our whitewashes together in Toulouse) because the missionaries before us didn't leave a whole ton to work with.  We found a 32 year old Frenchman named Bruno, who is looking for a remission of his sins, and we taught him about the joy of the Atonement.  He said that he wants to be baptized without hesitation at the beginning of next month.  We'll be working with him this transfer, he has already dug into the Book of Mormon and is really enjoying it.  Then we are also teaching Marie-Cecile, who is an older French woman who had already met missionaries a long time ago, but had lost her Book of Mormon and was looking to refind her faith in Jesus Christ.  The message of the Restoration really helps in that area!  Elder Powell and I have been really blessed to be lead to these children of Heavenly Father who were spiritually thirsty and we expect to find many more this week!

Dijon is the Frenchest place that I've been on my mission.  It is the furthest north that you can go in the mission, we're not super far from Switzerland, and it feels incredibly European and preserved.  Bordeaux and Toulouse have been pretty modernized, but Dijon feels like your walking the streets of Enchanted Forest on your way to the little old lady who lived in a shoe.  My companion is still pretty stunned, but we found a cool little American shop that sells Reeses Puffs cereal, so we're going there today to soothe him.

I love the mission!  Thank you for your prayers and for your support!  I know that this work is lead by divine revelation and inspiration and I know that I am supposed to be in Dijon, France with a macho man for a companion to protect me.  I know that the Lord is blessing our efforts and I know that He lives.  I KNOW that He lives. I love you much.

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

PS.  My new camera is broken, so that's why you haven't been getting any pictures recently.  I'll send it back to you soon. Désolé.  If you want to know what my companion looks like, imagine Superman (the one who has bullets bouncing off of his eyeballs) in missionary clothing. Except twice as ripped.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I'm elder l'homel, i'm from france so sorry for my English, but Elder Kunzler ask me to send you a little e-mail, saying that he is now in Dijon, France and he will train a new missionary ! So he is in Lyon with president Roney, that's why he didn't had the chance to use a computer to do his e-mails. Next time will probably be next monday and he will tell you more =)

Best regards,