Monday, June 29, 2015

Ups and Downs - Letter from President Babin

I'm really running out of time here, so I'll have to keep this way short, I'm sorry guys!

This week had a lot of ups and downs, like any week, but there seem to be a lot more of them as I get closer to the end of my mission. I have moments where it'll just hit me for a little bit and I won't really feel like I can do anything, but then the next minute I'll be ready to just go outside and teach everybody I see! It's pretty weird how fast it happens, but thankfully, there are a lot more moments from the second group than from the first. :) I really feel like this last transfer is and is going to be the best of my mission. My goal for these last few weeks is to really be on the right track in everything that I do so that when I come home I'll be able to just keep moving with the upward direction that I have right now. It's really such a blessing to be where I am, with the people I'm with, and to be able to feel myself growing. A lot of the time on our mission, we grow, but we don't really notice it. But through the prayer and study and just hard (often sweaty, it's getting really hot) work, I notice changes is myself more often and see that I'm really doing my part to build the momentum I need to make that transition between the mission and normal life. I'm really looking forward to these three weeks as the best three weeks of my mission.

We'll be getting iPads tomorrow, as well as teaching Milan again, the woman who just had a baby! It's gonna be a good week, for sure.

Thanks so much for the great emails you guys always send! I don't really thank you much for it, but it really is special to get so much from back home. A lot of missionaries don't get nearly as much. I'm sorry that my email this week doesn't correspond to what you guys sent to me. I'll make sure it's better next week! Thanks so much for all that you do. I love you guys so much, talk to you soon!

Elder Bigler

We Received the Following Letter from Adam's Mission President by Email this Week

Parents of Elder Adam Jacob Bigler

   Elder Adam Jacob Bigler will soon
complete his  service as a full time missionary in the France Paris Mission. His
scheduled release date will be 23 Jul 2015.

  At this time we wish to thank
you for your invaluable support of his  mission through your letters and
prayers.  We feel certain you are anticipating a joyous reunion.  Upon his 
return he  should report immediately to his  stake president in order to give an
account of his  mission, receive timely instruction, and receive his  formal

  During his  mission, Elder  Bigler  has served faithfully, has
demonstrated an extraordinary attitude, testimony, and spirit, and developed
qualities which exemplify the very best in the performance of missionary work.
He  has treated the various responsibilities he  assumed here as a sacred
trust.  By his  faith, humility and devotion to duty, often in the face of
adversity, he became an effective teacher and witness of truth.  The great
personal qualities which he  discovered and enhanced during his  mission will be
a source of strength to him  and to all with whom he associates throughout his 

 Elder Bigler  will be remembered with fondness and love by many
friends and members of the Church in France, as well as by his  missionary
companions.  His  life has been enriched by learning the French language, by
living in a foreign culture, and especially by serving others.

 It has been
our privilege to serve with him, observe his  spiritual growth, and enjoy close
association through personal interviews, and his  weekly letters and
accompanying reports.  He  is a fine young man  whom we love and for whom we
wish the very best.


Frédéric Jean

President, France Paris Mission


Monday, June 22, 2015

Praying and Working for Teaching Opportunities

Hey guys!

First things first, Happy Father's Day Dad! I wasn't able to find any time this week to get a letter to you, but I'll try to get something sent eventually. Father's day isn't really a big thing here in France, so it passed without mention for us. But I'm so thankful that I have a Dad like you, and for all that you do for our family. I may not say it that often, but I really love you. I couldn't have asked for a better support system, friend, and counselor. Thanks so much for all you do Dad!

Adam with his Weekly Missionary Planners
And in a More Recognizable Layout

So, this was a pretty good week overall, but I'm gonna just focus on our Saturday because I'm almost out of time and it was a really good day! Here in Rennes, it always seems like Saturday is our biggest and busiest day. And this one was extra good! 

So, things started off in the morning with a lesson with an ami, Omar. It was a little scattered, but we answered a lot of the questions he had about prophets and really tried to show him how important it is to read the Book of Mormon. Immediately after, we had a rendez-vous scheduled with a man we met the week before named Loly. Unfortunately, he had forgotten, but he said he could meet a little later on the other side of town. While we were kind of standing there trying to decide what to do in the meantime, I felt really strongly that I should talk to this woman standing next to us. She turned out to be a non-practicing Muslim, and we were able to teach her a little bit about the restoration right then and there, and should be meeting with her and her boyfriend this week! After we finished that up, we went off to our next rendez-vous, but they didn't show. With a litle bit of the free time we had then, I felt like we should pass by Gildas, one of our old amis. As we walked up to his door, so did he! He welcomed us inside and we taught him briefly. And then as we tried to confirm for the next rendez-vous, they cancelled as well. We started to lose a lot of the momentum we had built earlier in the day, but then Loly called us! He's an awesome guy from the Congo, and we're really looking forward to teaching him. He's Pentecostal, but he's really just looking for truth, and he wants to do whatever it takes to get closer to God. A really kind-hearted man, and sharing the Restoration with him really helped to brighten our day. As we started to get towards the end of the day, we were still short of our goals for that day. We had prayed really hard to be able to accomplish them, because we feel like we need that to help boost our sector. We needed to find one more new ami, so we went out contacting in our neighborhood, and came across this older man who was on his way home from grocery shopping, named Yves. He was really a quiet guy, but super believing, and he accepted a return visit the next day! Right at the end of the night, after we had done everything that we knew how to do, God answered our prayers. As Président Babin says, "Pray like everything depends on God, and work like everything depends on you." We were able to see that principle put into action this week.

Well, I'd better get going. I hope you like the Saint-Malo pictures (we decided to go there again). We had lots of fun, as usual, but didn't get nearly as wet (still a little though). And we used the Bretagne flag as a good prop for some photos. :)

Make it a great week guys, and I'll talk to you soon!
Elder Bigler

Photos - Finally Mostly with Adam in Them, All at Saint-Malo

Name Tag Selfie

Batman on the Beach Larger than a Seashell

Elder Wickern and Elder Bigler

Adam with the Regional Flag of Bretagne (Brittany)

"Flying" the Flag

That splash was a little too close

The Dramatic Missionary Pose

Batman - Always Ready

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week of Emotions

Hey guys!

It's weird to say, but this is the first email of my last transfer of my mission here in France. After this I only have...well, I let you figure out how many I have left. It's coming fast!

I'm honestly starting to get kind of nervous to go home. I'm not really sure why that is, but every time I talk about it, my heart kind of starts to pound, and I get pretty stressed. I guess it's just the idea of such a big change. But I'm really looking forward too it as well, so those feelings come with the same feelings of going to bed Christmas eve, or what I used to feel before I marched out onto the field to perfom a show. It's just a big mixture of emotions that I'm still trying to figure out how to describe.

L'Arc de Triomphe
Elders Kelley, Bigler, and Jenness
This week, I got to feel a lot of other emotions as I said goodbye to Elder Kelley, who's become one of my best friends. I probably didn't tell him enough in our time together, but he really was such an awesome guy to work with, and we had tons of fun together. Before we had to split up, we had just enough time to make it to the Arc de Triomphe and back, and Elder Jenness tagged along, so I got to get this nice selfie with those two awesome guys in front of that big arch. As pretty as it is, while we were standing there, I saw something that caught my eye (and ears) even more...a Lamborghini Huracan driving around the Etoile! It's pretty obvious where my preferences are. :)

After a stereotypically complicated transfer day (I've learned that they never go off without some hitch somewhere...), Elder Wickern and I got right to work. He's a lot different than Elder Kelley, a lot more goofy, but he's really going to be a good companion to finish my mission with. We both have set really good goals to make this a powerful transfer for our missions, and I feel really energized and excited for what we're going to accomplish. I really know that this can be the best transfer of my entire mission. 

Miracle of the week I just wanted to share before I have to go is that we made contact with Milan again! We had set a baptismal date up with her a few weeks ago and then she just disappeared for a while. But we called her a few days ago and she finally answered! She told us that we could come over again and that she had had her baby the week before. He's super cute! We invited her to church in the lesson and she's really excited to come this Sunday. We have another rendez-vous with her tomorrow, and if everything goes well, she could get back on track to be baptized before the end of the transfer! 

Unfortunately, I'm out of time, but just to end I wanted to tell you that I found out we'll be getting iPads, finally, on June 30th, three weeks before I go home! Woohoo! Even though I'll only have it for a little bit, I'm really excited to see how it changes missionary work.

Anyway, I gotta get going! Keep up the good work back home!
Thanks so much,
Elder Bigler

Dropping off Elder Kelley in Paris at Transfers

Adam's Birthday Party - The Package Made It

A Super Hero Themed Party

Elder Hulk and Elder America
Celebrating Adam's Birthday

An Orderly Stocked Missionary Fridge

The Center of Rennes

The Streets of Rennes

The Beautiful Spring Flowers of Rennes

Monday, June 8, 2015

Birthday, Allergies, Transfers, and Endure to the End

Hey guys!

It was a beautiful week here in Rennes weather wise! Unfortunately, that means that the allergies kicked in really hard...even while simultaneously taking a double dose of Zyrtec and using the nose spray stuff I got from one of the Sisters, I was still sneezing enough to have a nice French lady on the bus tap me on the shoulder from behind and offer me a tissue...

Overall, a pretty allergy filled week, especially my birthday. It made it a little hard to enjoy, but it was good anyway. :) We had a rendez-vous with one of our amis with a baptismal date, Mohammed, in the afternoon. We ended up meeting outside in the middle of a whole bunch of trees with the wind blowing through. Basically asking for it... As we taught him about what happens after this life and how God loves us so much that he gives each of us a "kingdom of glory" no matter what, I started to really feel it. The Spirit, yeah, but, in this situation, mostly just the desire to sneeze.  I was sitting in the middle. So, it finally hits me so hard that there's no way I can hold my sneeze in. So, I totally sneeze a whole bunch of snot out like into my hand (I was also out of tissues) and just quickly turn to Elder Kelley to kind of give him that silent "it's your turn to talk while I figure this out" look and he just looks at me and kind of motions to his face to tell me that there's some more on my face... Now, I'm totally aware of this, so I just kind of stare at him until he starts teaching, because I can't turn my face around the other way to talk to Mohammed until I can get all the stuff off my face, and I can't do that until I get it off my, anyway, let's just say that there's a certain bench here in Rennes that will always remember me.

Happy Birthday Photo
And a Chance to Play the Sax Again
Beautiful Spring Birthday in Rennes, France

Afterwards, we headed off to the Dargy family's place, out in Mordelles. They have a saxophone, so, after 2 years, I finally got to play one again! I've lost a lot of my skills... But it was a good evening, with all the fancy French cheeses, and even though I didn't tell them before hand, they brought the dessert tarte out with 21 candles in it, which really just made me feel so loved. :)

Anyway, birthday aside, I'll try to give you guys a little bit of the spiritual side of the week. It was a pretty hard week for Elder Kelley and I work wise, but in the end, going to church is what made the difference for me. Honestly, as a missionary, it's pretty hard sometimes to have a spiritual experience at church because you're worried about so many other things, making sure your amis get to the right classes, that they have someone to sit by, that the recent converts are able to help with the sacrament, that you talk to all the people you need to talk to before then go home so that you can set up a successful week, and even occasionally translating or teaching a lesson or giving a talk with no advance notice. After you've taken care of all of that, if you can calm yourself down a little (and the teachers are well prepared), you can have a really good spiritual experience at church. Here in Rennes, each first Sunday of the month, during Priesthood, we talk about a principle from Preach My Gospel, and this last week it was diligence, something that is going to be really essential for me in my last few weeks as a missionary. The part that really hit me was Moroni 9:6, which I've read before of course, but it hit me really strongly. In my personal study right now, I'm finishing up the Book of Mormon, this time in French, and I just reread those verses again this morning. They're really powerful verses from a father to his son that show the importance of keeping up the good fight until the end. They really helped me to see the importance of this last transfer, and enduring to the end.

So, before I finish, I should probably tell you that Elder Kelley is leaving to Cholet with a tahitian comp, Elder Faura, and that my new comp will be Elder Wickern from Idaho, who's coming here from Cholet, weird enough! So, I'll tell you more about that next week. :)

Make it a great week!
Elder Bigler


Elder Bigler and Elder Kelley
Transfer Day #15 for Adam
One More to Go

The Rennes, France Elders and Sisters

Domino's Pizza Menu
Includes Salmon, Sour Cream and
Goat Cheese

Near the Center of Rennes
Notice the "Crooked" Architecture

New Birthday Blue Suit
The Photogenic Pose
Adam's Birthday Sunset

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Big Hug Around the Knees

Hey guys!

Sounds like you had a super fun and busy week back home in good old AF! Lots of school spirit going on, with all the graduation and stuff. Tyler, I expect a full explanation of how it all was and what it feels like to be graduated and stuff! I don't want to completely miss it all.

As far as my week goes, I don't think I could say it was quite as eventful as yours! A little bit of a slower week for all of us missionaries here in Rennes, probably just due to school being out for the two colleges, and the weather not being the prettiest.

I don't really have much time, so I'll just share this little experience I had quick:

So, as you guys know, it's getting harder and harder for me to keep my drive going and to stay focused as I try to plan for home life while still worrying about the work here. It's a really tricky balance to maintain, and I wouldn't say that I'm very good at it. But I'm working on it. This last Tuesday, we had a lesson set up with this lady named Milan, who had just accepted a baptismal date the week before. She's from Ethiopia, so she speaks English more than French, so we invited this American guy from the ward, Andy, to come teach her with us. As we were getting close to the time for the lesson, she called us and said that she actually wouldn't be able to come and she wouldn't really set another time for us to meet, which almost invariably means that we won't see that person again, and so far, we haven't. So, I was pretty down about that, and then as we proceeded to passby some other amis with Andy, we started to talk a lot about BYU and all that, since he's a student there, and THAT got me even more distracted and unfocused.

So, following this, we had a rendez-vous, and I was not at all in a state of mind to be able to teach or really do anything. I didn't really have many other options than to pray in my heart for God to help me. As I was doing that and as we approached the building in which our ami lives, a mother and her little daughter, maybe about 2 years old, were going in just in front of us. As her mom opened the door, this sweet little girl turned around, looked at us, and started running the 20 feet in between us and her mom, right up to me and just gave me a big hug right around my knees! I was shocked, and a bit uncomfortable, so I just kind of stood there until her mom called her over and they just went inside like nothing had happened. But for me, I knew that God had answered my prayer, that He let me feel His love at a moment where I really needed it. Our Heavenly Father watches over us and answers our prayers.

Adam at the Castle in Fougeres, France
Other than that, I should probably explain those pictures at the castle quickly. We had helped a member move that morning out in the city of Fougeres, and the member driving us home insisted that we stop at the castle there for 15 minutes or so because the missionaries almost never get to see it. So we snapped a few pictures with him and then headed back off to Rennes.

So, I'm out of time, so I'll have to end there! I love you guys so much and hope you have a great first week of Summer break (from school, not from life). Remember, if you've got anything in my room, you've got about 7 weeks to get it out of there, so you better get started! ;)

A bientôt,
Elder Bigler

P.S. Yeah, the lock bridge thing was pretty big news in our mission about six months back, so I've known for a while. :)

Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris
Couples Attach a Lock as a Sign of Their Love
Sections of the Fence are Falling Down
Paris Officials are Removing All Sections for Safety
The Locks of Love

Interior of the Castle at Fougeres
The Elders of Rennes District

Exterior of Castle
"The Home of The Beast"
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