Monday, February 23, 2015

Exchanges in Metz, Teaching in Luxembourg

Hey guys!

It's getting harder and harder to think of things to write in these letters lately. I've said to Elder Jenness a few times, there aren't many things that a person can experience in our mission that I still haven't experienced. That doesn't mean it's not fun anymore, but it sure does make writing interesting letters a challenge...

Tuesday this last week we were able to see Rigal again, but we only had enough time to teach about Faith. Later on that day, a member whose wife was gone to visit her family invited us over to have some pizza he ordered. That was awesome!

Metz, France

Adam in Metz, France
Wednesday we were in Metz on exchanges, which were great! I was with Elder Empey this time, the new guy in our district, and we did a lot of work but eventually were able to get let in at the end of the night! A really nice young guy let us talk to him about the Restoration and he agreed to have us stop by again another time! They were pretty excited about that.

Thursday was a pretty slow one, but we made it fun anyway. Président Babin gave us a call in the evening with a referral from a member of the seventy for us to contact! Still working on getting ahold of him, we'll keep you posted...

Friday we had lunch with the Marichal family and got to see the progress that's been made on their attic that they're finishing (the one that we helped with a month or so back. They're such a kind family, and they do so much for us and the ward.

Saturday happened really quick. We had to take lunch at 11 because we weren't coming back to our apartment until the end of the day. First off, we headed out to Wecker where Rigal lives to teach about Repentance, Baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As usual, everything went great with him! Afterwards, we had a lesson that fell through, so we just contacted around for a little bit until we had to catch our bus to the Du family's place. We've been working a lot with them lately, and we had been fasting all day so that our lesson that night would be well received and so that we could help them see themselves how their Heavenly Father sees them. To make a long story short, it didn't go at all how we had expected it to, but in the end, it really ended up being a great night for us all and they're making lots of progress.

Church was, as usual here in Lux, pretty crazy. Afterwards we had Ward Council, which took up a lot of time, but was really productive for us. Once we finally made it back home, we had just enough time to visit a few people before our dinner with the Turner's. Matthew has tons of crazy mission stories and we always have a great time there with them. 

Overall, kind of a normal week with nothing too crazy. I'll try to get more pictures this week, and I'll make sure to talk about Elder Jenness a little next week. He's a great guy and we do lots of work together. it's been a great blessing being with him so far.

Anyway, congrats Tyler on the Eagle Project and the 18th birthday! That's all a pretty big deal.

Kevin, good luck with tryouts! Leave it all out there!

Brian, I miss you too, you're gonna have to share all of your knowledge bowl knowledge with me when I get home. Keep up the good work!

Sorry I didn't quite have time to email you guys all back, I'll try to do better next week!

Make it a great week!
Elder Bigler


Matte Black Bentley

Post Office of Luxembourg

"Delicious" Moldy Cheese Adam Ate this Week

Monday, February 16, 2015

Where Did Winter Go? and Evolving Ties

Hey y'all,

Elder Bigler and Elder Jenness at Notre Dame, Paris
It's been another pretty good week here in the France Paris Mission! As you can tell from the pictures, we had the opportunity to go to Paris this week for Zone Conference, and we had a little bit of time to explore while we were waiting for our interviews. It was a lot warmer in Paris than here in Lux, but the last few days it's warmed up quite a bit and all the snow is gone. A lot of people are saying that winter is already over, but I'm from Utah and I know to never let my guard down...

The weeks seem to be going by really quickly lately. That probably has something to do with how much time I've spent here, and a little to do with how busy we are too. It feels like we always have something else that we need to do.

Interior of Notre Dame, Paris
Rose Stained Glass Windows

Interior of Notre Dame, Paris
Elder Jenness and I are currently working on living up to this phrase that Elder Lattin shared with us, "don't live in the shadow of your potential", something I feel like we can all work on. As missionaries, we have the opportunity to feel the Spirit more than at any other point in our lives (up to this point at least) and it's up to us to do our best to reach this level. We're doing our very best to take where we're at and bring to closer to where God would have us be. Personally, I've fixed myself a list of goals about Diligence and Humility to help me put off the natural man and become closer to Christ. Already, in the last couple weeks, I can feel change within myself. I'm more focused on the Savoir and what He did for me. I think more about helping those around me and less about "life after the mission". I find myself wanting to study the scriptures instead of sleeping. The simple fact to try to live better has made a lot of difference these last couple weeks. I'd like to encourage you guys back home to try to do the same thing. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask for his help to identify areas where you can improve and how, and then commit to do that. He will take where you are and bring you even higher. 

The Evolution of Ties
L to R - Getting Skinnier as the Mission Progresses
Unfortunately, I'm running out of time, so I'm gonna have to cut it short this week. I'll try to give a little better explanation another time for you guys. I love you all and hope you have a good week!

Elder Bigler

P.S. Happy Birthday Tyler!!!

Additional Photos 

Elder Bigler and the Seine River, Paris

Elder Bigler and another Bentley

Rainbow over Luxembourg

Luxembourg Fire Station
All Mercedes Trucks

Monday, February 9, 2015

2 Letters - Last Week and This Week

This is my email from last week that I guess you didn't get...


February 2, 2015

Hey Everybody it's Family Night!

(Like the song Mom always used to sing. I've been wanting to put that as my opening line for a couple months now...)

Well, first things first, it looks like I'll be staying here in Luxembourg for one more transfer! That'll make 4 here, 6 weeks longer than any of my previous villes. It's something that I really consider to be a great blessing for me. I've loved my time here in Luxembourg, and I really don't feel ready to leave yet, although that's what I expected based on my history in the mission. But I really feel like these last 6 weeks will be a huge blessing. I feel like I can do so much more for this ward, and I plan to do as much as I possibly can during the time I have left.

Overall though, this week was wonderful! I totally forgot to tell you about our trip to the American Cemetery last P-day, which was really cool! As you can see, it's a pretty big place. The closest bus stop is about a mile away from there, and there are really only backwoods-type roads to walk on to get there, so Elder Jenness and I made the nice trip through a few inches of really wet snow (slush, basically) to get there. It was a really cool place, and a really peaceful one, especially with the snow. You can't really see it from the pictures, but it was kind of a foggy day as well, and you could see the fog slowly drifting across the array of crosses, which, combined with the snow, gave it an almost ghostly but sacred feeling. It was really a magical place, and worth the cold feet.

As our week went on, we were really able to see some amazing things. Rigal, our ami who came from that one brief contact a few weeks ago, was able to clearly explain the Plan of Salvation to us after reading the pamphlet, something that most missionaries will tell you is a pretty impressive feat, and we were able to give him a baptismal date! He's really excited to learn more about the gospel, and he's really picking things up quickly.

Later on, we had another lesson with a part member family that we're teaching. We had decided to share the Restoration video with them and talk about how each of us gained our own personal knowledge of Joseph Smith. While the wife is still not baptized, she knows that it's true, and loves the Gospel. As we finished the video we started to talk about prayer and how much that can help us and lead to blessings from our Heavenly Father. I felt prompted to ask her specifically how she had seen God answer her prayers in her life. She gave a pretty general answer, but it was clear that she was thinking of something specific in her life, so I asked again. She started to cry and told us of how prayer had helped her mother in such a way that she, the wife, has always known that there is a God. At the point the Spirit was so strong and both of us, Elder Jenness and I, started to tell them how much we love them and how much we want them to be able to receive the blessing of being an eternal family. Like you said Dad, the simple fact of telling those that we were teaching that we love them helped open them up enough to agree to come to church, a commitment that they kept yesterday. It was the first time in months that the husband has come, and the first time in many more months that they've come together. We were able to feel so much of the Spirit being poured out upon us. It's just such a great blessing.

Overall, it was a wonderful week, and I'm glad it wasn't my last. It's such a beautiful time to be here with all the snow we've been getting, and I look forward to what's ahead.

Until next week,
Elder Bigler

P.S. I'll try to get more pictures with my face in them this week...


February 9, 2015

Hey guys!

I hope that you finally got the email from last week, I'm not quite sure why it didn't get sent...if not, let me know and I can try to send it again.

Well, since last week, we got a lot of good things done here! I'm really enjoying (what I kind of consider) my extra time here in Luxembourg. I really consider it a blessing and an opportunity to really dig in and do a little more for the people here. We started doing just that this week on Monday evening, right after I finished writing to you guys.

We had an awesome evening with Ramiro and Rosa at a Spanish-speaking member family's house, and he ended up bearing his testimony about how much better of a person he has become since he started meeting with us. The next evening we did the same thing with another ami named Arash and this time at the Gilstrap's home. And then this Saturday we were able to have Diana and Du Wei with us at the Turner's home, where we played UNO extreme, and just had a good time together. They've now come to church together, as a family, twice in a row, which is a big deal for them, and Diana herself has come 4 times in a row! They're really making some big steps forward.

Other than that, we had quite a few things set up that fell through. It was a weird second half of the week where we felt kind of out of control with our schedule just changing every time we blinked. But we were able to work things out, and we had a couple really good lessons with Rigal. We felt prompted to teach him the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity in one visit, which is really quite a lot for a person to digest all at once, but we did it anyway. :) As we sat down at his place for our lesson, he offered us, of all things considering the lesson we were about to give, a beer. What a nice lead into the lesson that was!

Teaching these commandments, although usually one of the more "difficult" lessons, one could say, considering how much potential there is for a negative effect, is always one of the most spiritual for me. I feel like a lot missionaries might disagree, but for me, these commandments are such wonderful opportunities for us to choose to be happy, to decide to overcome our natural man and make ourselves who God wants us to be. I guess, to me, it's the practical and immediate usage of these principles that makes them powerful. 

I don't really remember specifically what words were said, but I remember the feeling between us and him, the Spirit that was there with us as we resolved his concerns and testified to him of the blessings of living these laws. In the end, he accepted to do it, and I believe that that only came because of the Spirit that was with us and the love that we have for him.

I feel like I say it all the time, but I really love Luxembourg and all of the people that I have the opportunity to serve here. I miss you guys a lot, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. Have a good week and keep up the good work with all those crazy projects! :)

Elder Bigler


This Week's Photos with Adam's Captions 

Just a giant red deer thing we found near the church

The view of Longwy, France that we visited this week. It's kind of a sad place...

The seal of longwy, taken in the gare (train station)

The Tahi family who moved back to Tahiti this week


Just a sign we found pointing out how close it really is....
Translated - "The Last Days" (of a sale)

A fountain in the middle of town on a really cold day

Monday, February 2, 2015

Server Down - Transferred??

Adam's email letter for this week never arrived.  From the Mother Buzz on Facebook, it appears there may have been some type of server issue. There were a number of comments from family members wondering where their weekly letter were.  Some were delayed a short time, others for a few hours. In the case of Adam's letter, we received this brief description of the photos he sent us on February 2, 2015. We often get a quick comment or answer to a question and then later we get the "official" weekly letter.  After this description, for today - Nothing.

We did learn from Facebook and Adam's first companion, Elder David Evans, that Adam is still in Luxembourg. We also heard from the Oates Family from Utah who is living in Luxembourg (and who brought us our Christmas surprise from Adam).  Sister Oates confirmed that Adam is still there - and being well fed by the members.

We are grateful for the magic of today's technology that, although there may be occasional Server Issues, there are still great people out there to provide an informational work-around to get us the information we were looking for.

Below are the photos and explanation email exchange with Adam and his Mom. And also the exchange from Sister Oates.

From: Adam Bigler
Sent: Mon, Feb 2, 2015 8:27 am

explaining pictures:

The cemetery, i realized I forgot to tell you about after I had already finished, is the national American cemetery of Luxembourg. It's not the same one as Elder Mosley had pictures of, it was just Elder Jenness and I that went there last Monday (January 26). It has over 5,000 soldiers' graves, all Americans, including General Patton, as you could see in the picture. It's a really cool place, that is probably equally pretty in the snow as it is in the summer.'s not gonna be super psyched about the photos this week, I'm not in very many...I'll try to do better, but I just never think about it. I prefer taking the pictures myself, and I don't really feel like my face adds much to the photos...

But anyway, this week's photos are, roughly in order, our district photo for the transfer, taken in the nursery room of the luxembourg chapel. Then we went to lunch at café belair as a district and got big burgers.

We found a patisserie that sells nutella éclairs, which are delicious.

Crossed paths with a Nissan GT-R, so snapped a photo. :)

And then the Kusselings (from Nogent) showed up at church in Lux this weekend!

To: Adam Bigler 
From: Mom
Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 7:52 AM

It's ok, I don't really want to see you anyway......
Dude! - New goal for yourself - once a day, let someone else hold your camera.

From: Adam Bigler

I'll try...


On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 7:12 AM
To: Oates Family in Luxembourg


It's Adam's mom/Elder Bigler's mom. :)  I am so glad to know that Adam has nice people in his area who watch out for him and invite him to their homes.  He just loves it there!  He was afraid he would get transferred this week.  We heard from a former missionary, who got an email from Adam, that Adam did not get transferred.  We did not get our email from him on Monday.  Apparently there was an issue with the server or something and lots of missionary families didn't get their "letters" until the next day.  We are still waiting.....and waiting....

If you happen to see him or talk to him will you let him know that his family did not get his email and that we are going a little crazy wondering if he is really still in Luxembourg or wandering around somewhere in France??  Maybe he could get back on a computer for just long enough to push the send button again.  Also if you talk to him soon, tell him his family says "hello".

Cindy Bigler

On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 1:01 PM
From: The Oates Family in Luxembourg

Hi Cindy, 

Good to hear from you! 

Elder Bigler and his companion came over for dinner last Saturday and told us he was relieved to not be transferred this week. We are glad not to see him go, as well. We've really grown attached!

I also spoke to him today after getting your email and he said to reassure you that he didn't get transferred and that he can't resend the email until Monday. He says he's sorry but at least you'll get two in one day. (I told him that's not what a mom wants to hear... ha ha). 

I know this probably isn't great news. But he's keeping warm, well-fed, and happy. 

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you!