Lyon, France

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Si Bien Dans Ce Beau Jardin

American food in France!
Dearest family and friends,

I feel really happy.  Last night I re-read a talk given by Elder Scott in October General Conference.  At the end of the talk he suggests that building a spritually fortified life requires being service-centered.  May I also suggest that an incredibly happy life must be a service-centered life.

For he that will love life, and see good days...let him eschew evil and do good.  Let him seek peace and ensue it.  1 Peter 3:10-11

The mission is the best opportunity to eschew (and even combat) evil and do good.  To seek peace and ensue it.  And then to breath it. This week I we had some excellent teaching opportunities.

Last week on a rainy day in Nice, my companion contacted a woman.  Later on when we taught this woman, she told us that the reason that she stopped to listen to my companion was because of his smile, which had a powerful effect on her.  We shared the message of the Book of Mormon with her, which is a message of peace and happiness.  The Spirit can be strongly present when we testify of these truthes.  The woman, named Cecilia, accepted to see us more often.

Kisky accepted the Law of Tithing and the Law of Chastity.  He understood pretty well these are really huge Laws full of blessings.  We are running out of things to teach him.  He has started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning.  He has no doubt that it is true.  Yet, he still claims that he has not yet received an answer.  I think he has.  This week we are going to be inviting him to exercise his faith in either asking for a different shift on Saturday nights or seeking a new job that will allow him to come to church on sunday.  We are also planning
on inviting him to accept a new baptismal date.  We hope that his faith is sufficiently large to make the leap.

Bros in some Roman Ruins
George is progressing.  He was pretty sick this last week so we weren't able to see him as often as we would have liked, but he is reading and praying.  We got to cover the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him and he is pretty engaged to be baptized.  He understands quite well the committment that it is and wants his life to be in order before he makes this commitment.  The Word of Wisdom will help him to prepare.

We have a number of other investigators that we were able to have radical teaching experiences with this last week, but time does not permit me to tell them to you on this occasion.

Know that miracles happen according to faith!  Miracles are even happening in France because members and missionaries are exercising faith!  This morning I found out that the sisters just got set up with an investigator, a friend of a member, to whom the member had given the film "Finding Faith in Christ".  Although this person, who had never really understood why Christ was significant, or never had any faith in him, cried during the film.  The reason why, they could not explain.

I love you all and wish you a happy week!

Avec amour,


The same little bridge that Gandolf fell off of... YOU SHALL NOT PASS

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vous Respirez La Paix

Dearest friends and family,

Missionary work is radical.  In the same sense that the Lord made the raw meat in the wilderness sweet to the taste of Lehi and his family, the Lord makes spaghetti sweet for his missionaries.  After nearly 2 years of doing the exact same thing week after week, I only get more satisfaction in doing it.

Once on my mission, someone that I contacted said something very interesting.  He said, "Even if no one listens to you, the world mocks you, your message is rejected, don't be discouraged, everything that you do serves at something greater than you.  You BREATH peace."

This week most of our miracles were accomplished because of the faith of members.  For example, remember Yannick, the super cool business professor, smart, funny, good-looking.  We taught him again with his former student, our Elders Quorum President.  The rendez-vous was a testimony to me that the Spirit truly can change our hearts.  He, and he only, can teach us truth.  At the start of the rdv, Yannick had evidently read some anti-mormon material on the net between the two visits.  He came in with the attitude that he knew Joseph Smith was a fraud, that he had the whole system figured out and that he was going to teach us something.  We were patient.  We listened to him.  We let him speak.  There was no conviction behind his words, he was just confused and spitting out the things ideas that he gathered.  We showed the Joseph Smith film, in which there is a quote staying "I do not blame anyone for not believing me, if I had not lived what I lived, I would not believe it myself".  The member who was with us bore a sincere testimony of the Book of Mormon.  We shared our testimonies as well.  Little by little the spirit worked on the heartstrings of his heart as he understood the things that we were telling him.  By the end of the rdv he was completely recommitted to relying on God, the source of all truth, praying and reading the Book of Mormon.  That evening we got a text from him that said, "I read, I prayed, I was very tired, I didn't feel the warmth in my heart, but I do not dispair, I am going to redouble my prayers and finish by getting an answer.  It is beautiful to believe in God and to have faith."  Later on the week he said, "I've been praying, but I haven't heard anything yet, but I love it.  I've also been watching videos of the Church of Jesus Christ done by the great bishop in Salt Lake (  :)  )"  He then asked for another chapter to read in the Book of Mormon.  I know that he will receive his answer in the Lord's time and in his manner.  Faith, real intention and sincerity are the only requirements.

Last night, we were with a wonderful recent convert who is preparing for a mission.  We were supposed to teach Leo, but he had fallen sick and could not see us.  The member we were with received the inspiration that we needed to go and visit someone who Elder Smith and I had taught with him nearly 3 months ago.  This was someone who called me after our first lesson with her and told me that she was no longer interested and asked if she could give me back the Book of Mormon.  I told her to keep onto it, that it was our gift.  Despite the circumstances, we followed the member's inspiration and went to this woman's appartment.  I told her on doorbell call phone that we were in the neighborhood, we'd thought of her and that we'd like to share a short message with her.  We were very surprised when she let us in.  Her attitude towards opposed that of the last time I had spoken to her.  She was very warm and she offered something to drink.  She was happy to start our message with a prayer.  She listened very opening to the things that we had to say.  At the end of our message she said the closing prayer.  A very sincere prayer thanking God for sending us to her that evening.  She had commited to read a passage that we left her from the Book of Mormon.  She also invited us to come back over this weekend.  I am grateful that we decided to follow this member's spiritual prompting.

I'm starting to recognize and appreciate the lengths that our Heavenly Father went to to make this mortal journey, based on how we choose to use it, an incredibly enriching, delightful and happy experience.  Life is wonderful.  I testify of the love our Heavenly Father.  He loves us.  Even when we don't deserve it, he loves us.  The light, strength and power that comes from this love is amazing.  He manifested his love by sending his beloved son, Jesus to us.  He showed us how to love.  He breathed peace.  He did the greatest act of love for imaginable (or rather unimaginable). For these truths I am grateful.  Let this love guide us to obedience in our daily life!

I love you.

Avec amour,

Elder Kunzler

Monday, February 10, 2014

Croître, Remplir La Terre

Dearest family and friends,

So I've heard from several of you that there are some serious snow storms in Oregon in winter and a pretty snowy winter in Utah.  I am pleased to announced that I have yet to see a flake of snow this winter.  Not a lick.  Last week it was pretty rainy, but yesterday the sunshined bright!

This last week had it's highs and it's lows, like every week in missionary work.  It's nice to finally be off of crutches and to give everything to the work.  We saw some pretty cool fruit this week, as we now have two new investigators who have committed to baptism!  The first was Leondro, which turned out to be a pretty miraculous experience.  I was on an exchange and we had already taught 3 lessons that day and were wondering what we ought to do with the few hours that we had at the end of the day.  I called Elder Behling, who was in Cannes to ask him what he thought we ought to do and proposed a few names of people that we hadn't seen in a while, one of which being Leondro, who we hadn't seen in nearly a month.  We decided to pass by his apartment and sure enough, he was there!  He is 18 years old and it turns out that he is actually at a point in his life where he is needing to make some huge decisions to determine his future.  We talked to him a bit about the gospel, being an anchor in life and he accepted to prepare for baptism!  I would have never thought to pass this person or that he might be at a time in his life when he humble and searching, so I'm glad that my companion is really in tune with the spirit! :)

The next was George, who we have been teaching for a few weeks now.  George is from Madagascar and has had some strong spiritual experiences in his life that have helped to know his Savior Jesus Christ.  This week we got to have dinner with him in the home of a Malagash family in our ward.  He really profited from the Spirit that was felt in their home.  We spent some time singing hymns together with the piano, and he loved to wonderful spirit that this invited.  He understands the sacred nature of baptism and does not think that he is worthy to make this covenant with God, but we have been helping him to see that the Atonement of the Savior can have a real and immediate effect on him if he is willing to lean on Christ.  He accepted to prepared himself to be baptized and confirmed (on my birthday!)

Kisky is still progressing really well, but it is hard because we aren't able to see him as often as we would like.  He works often and can rarely make it to church.  We had a lesson with him that was probably the best so far.  Something that he has been struggling with lately is understanding the difference of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We were able to, certainly through the Spirit, help it click and him to understand the difference.  He really loves the lessons, probably more than anyone else I've ever taught on my mission.  I think it is because he loves to feast upon the words of Christ.  He will make an extraordinary member.  He told us that one day he is going to know the Book of Mormon even better than us... good luck :)

Many other incredible experiences this week that I will not have the time to recount to you.  Administering to the sick, teaching the gospel, etc.  Every day of the mission is so jammed-packed of killer experiences!  I look forward to being able to telling you them all!  I love my mission because I am very happy.  The promises of the Lord are great for those who work diligently in his vineyards and I can testify that these blessings and promises are real!  And they are not only accessible to the full-time missionary, but to every worthy member for the rest of his life!  I encourage to follow Elder Ballard's council and pray for missionary opportunities this week and then ACT on the promptings you will receive!  God speed the right!

I love you

Avec amour,


Monday, February 3, 2014

Je Te Rendrai Fort

Dearest family and friends,

I am healed!  I am no longer on crutches, limping from place to place like a dog on three legs!  I am free!  It feels good.  There is still a tiny little scab on the top of the foot, which should disappear this week.  I think that it is finally over... unless there still rests a tiny piece of wood in the foot, only time can tell.

This week was excellent.  It was rainy in Nice, but being an Oregon boy who is used to that kind of weather 9 months out of the year, I did my best not to complain.  One of the biggest miracles of this last week was that Kisky finally came to church!  We have been teaching him twice a week for about a month consecutively, and this I think will be a turning point for him.  He was starting to plateau in his progression and I think that it was just the right time that he come.  He even brought a friend, another brother from the Congo, who seemed to really enjoy himself, we'll be seeing if we can't start to teach him as well.  :)

The thing about Kisky is that he needs a testimony from the Holy Ghost of the divinity of the Book of Mormon.  Once he recieves this conviction, everything else will fall into place.  He is very intelligent, very critical and very open.  But what he needs is to really tell himself that at this point, he "lacks wisdom" and that he must "ask of God".  This humility will lead to an answer.  The heavens closed and stopped revealing truths to mankind at the start of the Great Apostasy because men thought they had all they answers, everything that God would ever give them, and thus they stopped asking for more.  Joseph Smith was visited by God and Jesus Christ once he turned to them asking a simple, but very important question.  It is the same principle with Kisky, he needs to come before God, humbly, without a preconceived answer already in mind and ask God with sincerity, real intention and faith.  Then wait and see what happens.  We hope he will do so, and we are continuing to encourage him.

Remember Mina?  She is great and not forgetten.  She just finalized her divorce last week and is currently going through some emotional and physical trials that have hindered her from being able to meet with us in the recent past.  But she has stayed diligent in her reading of the Book of Mormon and we hope to meet with her soon.

Remember Stella?  The mysterious German woman?  We finally got back in contact with us.  She did not forget us, she moved and now lives just a little distance outside of Nice.  She hopes to meet with us again, before she returns to Germany and the end of the month.  She also has continued faithful in her prayers and reading of the Book of Mormon.

Remember Richard?  I think it was only last week that I told you about him.  He was the catalyst for a now strong latter-day saint in meeting the church and missionaries.  We will be meeting with him this evening and I will keep you updated on how he progresses.  Speaking of which, Edwyn, the man who Richard introduced to the missionaries a few years ago, is currently hospitalized.  This last week, I had the opportunity to give him a priesthood blessing, and his room companion, who observed this whole process silently, began asking us questions afterwards.  Edwyn had told him a bit about the church and eventually the man told us that once he got out of the hospital, he would be interested in coming to church with him and seeing how that goes.  It was a testimony to me that we can do missionary work in any circumstance that life puts us in.  A witness of God in all times and in all places. ;)

All in all, the church is true!  Jesus Christ leads this church through divine revelation, the rock which Christ promised to Peter he would found it upon.  There are still many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God that are yet to be revealed!  Isn't that exciting!  A church in which asking questions is encouraged!  Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you.  Let us all ask for missionary opportunities this week and then walk into the door that will be opened up to us!

Avec amour,