Lyon, France

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