Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #214
August 14, 2018
“Alô gente! Tudo bem, tudo legal!” **
As usual, my job is just to pass on wonderful notes from great folks like you. Sorry this is a little delayed. We had a great tour of Portugal and the Costa Brava of Spain last month.
In this issue:
Counting blessings in Arizona
Mission opportunities in Cape Verde, Boston, Atlanta.
Riberão Preto in 1947
Note on Fortaleza
Faithful Saints in Brazil – link to Deseret News article
Quote of the month: “Brazil has been, and always will be, one of the true tender mercies of the Lord in my life.” --Daniel W. Jones
Counting blessings in Arizona
This note from Elder Daniel W. Jones (BCentM 71-73) of Woodlands, TX:
Brother Gunn: I have appreciated all of the Brasulistas over the years, but never felt compelled to share anything previously. However, one thing I have come to know is that the Lord is involved in the details of our lives at a level that we would never expect, or understand.
For the last five-plus years, I have had the opportunity to serve as an Area Seventy in the North American Southwest Area. I have been richly blessed, and have seen the Lord's hand in numerous ways. However, on my penultimate assignment to preside at the Mesa Arizona Clearview Stake Conference on June 9-10, I had an experience that can only be explained as The Lord letting me, and a good sister know, that He was in charge.
That assignment had been on my schedule for more than six months when I arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and was picked up by the stake president. We spent a wonderful afternoon together, visiting and blessing members and then we went to the stake center. At the conclusion of our Saturday afternoon session, the stake Relief Society had prepared a dinner for the stake presidency and their wives along with some single sisters in the stake. I took the opportunity to personally visit with each single sister. I asked them their name, and had them tell me a little bit about themselves. One sister, who was older, told me her name was Sister Alvis. I asked her if she knew a "Steve Alvis" who served his mission in Brazil from 1971-73. She said that Steve Alvis was her husband and that he had passed away rather suddenly, three days earlier. I told her that Steve and I had served together our entire missions, from the Mission Home in Salt Lake City, to the LTM (Language Training Mission) in Provo, that we had flown to Brazil next to each other, had served in the same mission, and that we had flown home together at the conclusion of our missions. I told her that I had lost contact with him and asked if she would share with me me what he had done in his "post mission" life. She was so grateful that I was able to share some of my missionary stories about "Elder Alvis", and she felt that my being there was no coincidence (which I certainly agreed with).
Brazil has been, and always will be, one of the true tender mercies of the Lord in my life, and I stand in awe that the Lord presented me with the opportunity to meet the good widow of a unique missionary friend and brother in such a situation where we both blessed by being at a stake conference not knowing anything about each other or that we would be able to share testimony of the Lord's love for His children. Daniel W. Jones (email@example.com)
Mission opportunities in Cape Verde, Atlanta, and Boston
This from the Sister Dani Garrett of Charlotte, NC: Alf, we love getting the Brasulista! Elder Paul Garrett, a former Brazilian missionary (BNCM 72-74), and I work in the Area Office in Germany right now and have been asked to pass along the plea for another Portuguese-speaking couple for a Humanitarian mission to Cape Verde. Humanitarian Senior Missionary couple needed in Cape Verde. Portuguese-speaking. At least one should speak the language—Portuguese. The senior couple will live in the capital city of Praia on the largest island. They live two blocks from the mission home and work in Praia and on three other islands to the south. There is a stake in this area with 10 units/ wards, branches, groups. The baptism rate is high there. The people of Cape Verde are a happy and kind people. You will see the light of the gospel in their faces!
UPDATE: 8/13/18 "We just received word this morning that we have a couple assigned to Cape Verde!! But we are still needing couples to serve in Brazil. And this is just for Welfare assignments, we are needing couples in other assignment as well. Thanks for your help with this. Elder and Sister Walton" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Portuguese-speaking mission in Georgia, USA
Brother Todd Baker (BSPS 82-84) of Alpharetta, GA, writes, “Brother Gunn, I was recently put in as the new branch president of the Clear Springs Portuguese branch in the Atlanta, Georgia area. It is a branch that serves five stakes in the region, is self-functioning, and has dedicated Portuguese-speaking proselyting missionaries. We currently have the Blackhams, a senior missionary couple, doing a tremendous work helping the members. They return home in September and will leave a significant void. Although many may have never thought they could serve a Portuguese-speaking mission close to home, this opportunity exists in the beautiful Atlanta area. If you could post this in your newsletter, anyone interested can contact me any questions and I will refer you to the mission home. My email is email@example.com. Abraço, Todd Baker
Note: Brian (BM 64-66) and Helen Blackham of St. George, UT, mentioned above, have previously served senior missions in Porto, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; The Azores; and the Porto Alegre Temple. Puxa!
Elder Blackham adds this note: I feel there is a wonderful service opportunity here for a dedicated couple, which would be needed, appreciated, and rewarded spiritually. The need is in mid-September, as Todd Baker mentioned. Should you feel prompted to inquire about this, the mission president is President Marsh - firstname.lastname@example.org, 770-715-0501. Our contact is Elder Brian and Sister Helen Blackham - email@example.com, 435-619-9133. Liga-me e vou explicar quais são as e as bênçãos. Um forte abraço, Elder Blackham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How about Boston, USA
This note from A. Charles Clark (BM 63-65) of Noblesville, IN: Alf, always appreciate your great work. Please know that the Massachusetts Boston Mission has a new mission president. Pres. Fotios Mavromatis and wife, Virginia, began their service July 1st. Perhaps you know the family of this Curitiba native. The missionaries tell me he is the first Brazilian to serve as president of a mission in the United States, or North America for that matter. I don't know how to confirm that, but perhaps you do. My wife and I have been serving as Member and Leader Support missionaries in the Boston 4th Branch (Portuguese-speaking), Boston Massachusetts Stake. Most of our service is among the immigrant population from Cape Verde islands, with a few from Angola, Portugal and Brazil also in the branch. What a great pleasure it is to again serve the Lord "na lingua portuguêsa!!" Our 12 month service ends in November and has been a tremendous opportunity and blessing to "matar saudades do Brasil um pouco!!" Com muita gratidão, A. Charles Clark (email@example.com)
Riberão Preto in 1947
This note comes from Brother Sanford “Sandy” Walker BM 47-49 of Farmington, UT. Brother Walker presided over the Porto Alegre North mission from 94-97. He responds to a recent Brasulista mentioning Riberão Preto, SP. “Dear Alf, I have appreciated and enjoyed these messages from you for many years, but have been reluctant to respond because I believed you were overwhelmed with emails. But now I feel I must respond. In 1947, Grant Tucker from Cedar City and I were sent to Riberão Preto to open or re-open it. We are not sure but what some Elders had been sent there before the war. When we arrived there were no members and no sign of anything LDS. My first Christmas in Brazil was in Riberão Preto and the only reference to Christmas was when we heard Bing Crosby on someone’s radio singing "White Christmas". That was it. That was Christmas 1947. I was transferred to Novo Hamburgo in January 1948. What has happened in and to Riberão Preto since I left for Novo Hamburgo can only be described as a modern miracle. When I arrived in Brazil in 1947 there were about 750 members in 19 small branches. The rest is history that you know. Thanks for the opportunity to share. Continued good luck to you. Sandy Walker 1947-49 and 2004-07 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note on Fortaleza
Dear Alf, Thank you for your tireless efforts in keeping so many of us up to date on happenings with the missionary work in Brazil. I was thrilled with this last issue with news about the growth of the Church in Fortaleza and in particular the Cintra family and their great service to the Church. I remember serving there when we only had a branch with two missionaries serving in the state of Ceará. Brother Cintra was the branch president and I have fond memories of his family. I was surprised to see a picture of myself in the documents provided by George Cintra. I was privileged to be a small part in something that has grown beyond what we could imagine at the time. What a faithful family. Thanks, Bob Chesworth (BNM 73-75) (email@example.com)
Note: The Church News of July 29, 2018, shows President Glauber Ferreira Cintra, 51, and wife Fabiana Nanya Brizzante, as the President of the new Fortaleza Brazil Dunas Stake formed June 10, 2018.
ICYMI: Deseret News article about the faithful Brazilian Saints:
That’s all folks! Um abraço, Alf Gunn * Brazilian South Mission 62-65 Gig Harbor, WA
O Bom Sofredor
** “Alô gente! ” Lyrics of “O Bom Sofredor” by the late singer/composer Bezerra da Silva, reflecting the positive perseverance of the Brazilian favela dweller. Your Portuguese lesson for today . . . read the lyrics and listen to this "partido alto” music at your own risk . . .