Alf Gunn’s Brasulista
Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #107
January 12, 2009
In this issue:
Multi-mission reunion planned
The Church honored in the Brazilian Senate - http://brasildocelar.blogspot.com/
President A. Theodore Tuttle recalled in new book by Mark Grover
News from the field -- The Henry’s in Santa Catarina and Paraná
São Paulo Brags: Statistics about this incredible city
Church statistics in Brazil
Brazil’s new futebol museum
News from the field – The Lamoreaux’s in Texas
Locating pioneer missionaries of Portugal
An expression of love
We will be planning another multi-mission reunion for April General Conference week, like the one we held in 2006 at Bountiful, UT. Our purpose is to reconnect and also to honor our mission presidents and their wives. This will be at Bountiful again.Anyone interested in working on the organizing committee there in Utah, please volunteer by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am hoping we can keep it simple and fun. We expect that there would be afternoon visiting activities, an early evening meeting and break-out sessions for the various mission president groups. Please volunteer now. More information will be sent as details are developed.
Note: The response to the recent survey of who had served as branch and district presidents in Brazil has been overwhelming. Brother Tiago Maia at Church HQ is harvesting the information from over 200 emails. More on that in the next Brasulista. Thank you.
Item: At 70 years in Brazil, The Church is honored in the Brazilian Senate
Here is a YouTube posting of great interest from David Beck, who maintains the excellent website, “Brasil Doce Lar,” reporting on homage paid the Church in Brazil’s national Senate. Don’t miss visiting this site! http://brasildocelar.blogspot.com/
“Alf, I have posted videos of Brazilian Senators speaking about the Church. This should be of interest to all returned missionaries. Please go to http://brasildocelar.blogspot.com/ Thanks for all that you do, David Beck
Item: Elder A. Theodore Tuttle
BYU’s Mark L. Grover (BM 66-68) has written a new book, The Land of Promise and Prophecy, Elder A. Theodore Tuttle in South America, 1960-1965, published by the Religious Studies Center of Brigham Young University, 2008. Excerpts from the back cover:
“On June 28, 1962, fourteen Americans with roots in Utah traveled to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in the heart of the Andes for spiritual renewal and guidance.
. . . These mission presidents and their wives . . . came to rededicate themselves to preaching the gospel. . . . Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Council of Seventy and president of the South American Mission . . . spoke of his tender feelings at seeing the conditions under which the people of South America lived: ‘When we see these people . . . devoid of any hope, and realizing that we are the ones directing the missionaries to wipe this all away, it is a great responsibility that comes to us.’ Elder Tuttle then offered a blessing . . . ‘Oh, Father, give us the vision of Thy work, of what we must do and how we must organize and proceed so that we can do better what Thou hast called us to do. . . .Let not the power of communism take over these governments. We know and recognize the power in the countries over which we preside. Hold it in abeyance. Hedge up the way of those who would do wickedly. Raise up righteous men that they might have power and influence for good, that they might further the work of Thy Church in each of the countries where we should be.’”
For those of us who were in South America at that time, and for those who followed us, all witnesses to the answer to Elder Tuttle’s prayer, this book is a must-read. Of course, it covers the history of the work in all of South America at that time, not just Brazil, but it will remind those of us who were there of things we had long forgotten and open our minds to ‘the rest of the story.’ Shameless plug: Purchase it ($25.95) online at www.byubookstore.com, by phone at 800-253-2578 or at the BYU bookstore and other LDS retailers.
Alf’s note: I can’t help but share some of my favorite memories of Elder Tuttle from the mission days. Elder Tuttle had a great smile. He told us, "You can say just about anything if you smile. You knock on a door and smile and say 'Hello. We're from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.' They say, ‘We're Catholic.' You just smile and say, 'We didn't expect to find ALL Mormons on this block.’”
On one visit to the mission home in Curitiba, Elder Tuttle brought his teenage daughter, Diane. After two years we had almost forgotten what a pretty American girl looked like. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. 'Dang,’ I said to myself, ‘I can’t wait until I get back to the USA and BYU!' Elder David Hoopes, who had been a missionary in Argentina, was President Tuttle’s AP in Montevideo for the last 13 months of his mission. As Forrest Gump would say, “I heard that that young man later married that girl.”
David and Diane presided over the Chile Santiago South Mission from 1998 to 2001 and recently returned from serving as President and Matron of the Caracas Venezuela Temple. That temple also serves the faithful members in Manaus, Brazil, who have typically traveled 40 hours by bus caravan to attend the Caracas Temple. The new temple at Manaus will be a great blessing to the members of the many stakes there.
If any of you have memories of Elder Tuttle, such as I have shared here, please send them to me and let me pass them on to his children.
Item: Elder and Sister Michael Henry write, “Just a note to let you know that things continue to go very well for Sister Henry and me here in the Brazil Florianópolis Mission. We continue to work in the Chapecó Branch most of the time, but my calling as a counselor to the mission president does require us to do some traveling to other branches here in the beautiful west of Santa Catarina and the southwest of Paraná. The rolling hills of the west are absolutely beautiful all year round. The people out here are really friendly and very welcoming to us “Americanos.” Two of our children and their spouses have visited us during the last six months. We even got permission to go to Falls of Iguaçu with our son who served in São Paulo. I believe that is the most impressive view I have ever seen.
“One of the great advantages of staying in one place is to see the people progress in the Gospel to where they are ready to go to the temple. Within the last few months, we have had three couples sealed in the temple and their children sealed to them. This is really a wonderful experience to feel their spirit. One very special experience was a few months ago when we went with two couples to the temple. I recognized Nobou Suzuki in the hallway and had a very nice reunion with him. I then found out that he was going to be the sealer for both of the sealings we were having. It was an absolutely wonderful experience to act as a witness as he talked to and then sealed these two special couples. He provided outstanding advice in a spirit of love and concern that was thrilling. He continues to be the very special person that we knew he would be when my companion, Elder Richard Jones, baptized him 49 years ago. He introduced me to a lot of the temple workers, including the temple president, as one of the missionaries who taught him the Gospel. (I take no credit - it was Elder Jones). He told me about Elder Jones coming to see him when Elder Jones finished his mission in the north of Brazil recently.” Elder Michael Henry (email@example.com) (Elder Richard Jones is firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alf’s note: Brother Nobuo Suzuki, as I recall, was the second president of the first branch in Curitiba, the first having served only a few months. I met him again on a visit to Curitiba in 2006, in a quorum meeting at church. He is a great gentleman.
São Paulo brags
I was impressed to learn that if the state of São Paulo were its own country, it would have the second largest gross domestic product in South America, behind Brazil.
I can’t guarantee their accuracy, but here are some impressive statistics about the CITY of São Paulo, garnered from an email circulating, and translated by yours truly.
Impressive statistics about the city of São Paulo:
São Paulo has already grown so much that it has engulfed some 38 cities on its outskirts, making the population of greater São Paulo around 22 million people, occupying a land size equal to Cuba in square miles.
Based on 2007 statistics . . . .
The population of the city itself is 10,434,252—the third largest city in the world.
The literacy rate is an impressive 95.4% of the population.
The gross industrial output of the city of São Paulo is $76 billion.
The SP metropolitan region has a gross industrial output of $147 billion.
The city has 30 thousand taxis, third largest fleet in Latin America. London has 20 thousand.
More than 5.5 million automobiles operate in the city. The city has more than 5,500 stoplight intersections.
The city’s “Metro” subway has a network of 57.6 kilometers of track on four lines, and carries 2.5 million people every day.
It is the only city in the world that has four Tiffany jewelry stores.
There are more than 70 shopping malls in the city and more than 30 million people shop at the malls each month.
(Note: I have been in a supermarket in Brazil that had 70 check-out stands, and girls on in-line skates to chase down products you forgot to pick up. I heard there is one store with 100 check-out stands.)
The city has more than 5,000 pizza restaurants, making about 40,000 pizzas every hour, some of them among the best in the world.
Approximately 16,000 sushi’s are made every hour in the city.
60% of the millionaires of Brazil live in the city of São Paulo.
In the city, 10 credit or debit card purchases are made every second.
During rush hour, more than 5,700 cars and 1,400 busses travel Avenida Paulista.
The city has more than 205 hospitals—municipal, state, federal and private.
The city has more than 120 theaters and show houses, 71 museums and 11 cultural centers.
São Paulo puts on some 70 thousand entertainment events each year, the most in Latin America.
São Paulo is the 3rd largest Italian city in the world.
São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.
The largest Portuguese population outside of Portugal.
São Paulo is the largest Spanish city outside of Spain.
São Paulo has the 3rd largest Lebanese population outside of Lebanon.
The Congonhas, Campo de Marte and Guarulhos airports see more than 380 takeoffs and landings per day. Guarulhos is the largest airport in Latin America and 39 companies operate there. São Paulo has the largest fleet of private jets (830), passing New York this year, and the largest fleet of private helicopters in the world. (I have sat on top of a SP hotel, in a swimming pool, and watched helicopters landing on buildings over the horizon. Fascinating.) Also the largest fleet of agricultural airplanes in the world.
Also, the most purebred Arabian horses in the Americas, including the USA.
The largest fleet of Porsche Cayennes and Carreras in the Americas.
The city has the largest number of security services in the Americas (and it needs them) which may be why 80 thousand Paulistas maintain a second residence in Europe or the United States.
Alf’s notes: I only served in São Paulo for three days during my mission, while on assignment to that big city out of the mission office in Curitiba. My brother has lived there for some 36 years and I have visited a number of times in the last 16 years, but the big city is still a puzzle to me. I can say that it is not a good place to ride a bicycle around. (For an account of one of my attempts, see the attached newsletter #23.) It can be a good place to be a missionary, as I have gone out with good missionaries there and marveled at their success in talking to people about the Church, which is well known and well respected. Still, many Paulistas live in guarded high-rise condominiums and leave the buildings only by automobile. I suppose that the missionaries must have to rely on members to find and arrange to teach many of those residents. I hope to learn more about this from those who are serving there now.
What about the Church in São Paulo? Well, it’s there, and doing well. Accurate figures for São Paulo city are not easy to come by, so I will just share some current statistics about the Church in all of Brazil.
Current LDS membership in Brazil – 1.1 million
Temples – 5, plus Manaus under construction
Stakes – 223
Districts – 52
Congregations (wards & branches) – over 2,000
Missions – 27
Missionaries (this number varies throughout any year) – 4,200
Family History Centers - 284
You can also find news on the Brazil Area LDS website - www.lds.org.br – Sala da Imprensa. And you can subscribe to A Liahona for $10 per year here in the USA and keep an eye out for information.
Now, from Rio, for you soccer fans, comes this article about Brazil’s new soccer museum: “A pastime became a masses passion” by Alexei Barrionuevo for the LatinAmerican Post
“Walking into Brazil's new soccer museum is like entering a hall filled with busts of Greek gods. Suspended on glass screens some eight feet tall in the darkened chamber are the outlines of a dozen or so of Brazil's soccer legends in action.”
For the complete article: http://www.latinamericanpost.com/index.php?mod=seccion&secc=5&conn=5347
Item: Elder Jay Lamoreaux (BSM 62-64) and his wife JoMarie of Farmington, UT are serving a proselyting mission in the Texas San Antonio Mission at Eagle Pass, TX. He has been a branch president since July. They spent much of a recent 6-lyear period working for the Church in both Argentina and Brazil, so Jay speaks Spanish well, and I know he always spoke excellent Portuguese. “We are loving our time here in the Texas San Antonio Mission,” they write. “We came here to Eagle Pass in October 2007 and will be released on Sept. 2009. It is a wonderful blessing to be able to serve a mission together!” (email@example.com)
Locating the pioneer missionaries of Portugal
Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, in his account of the development of the work in Brazil and Portugal recorded this about the opening of Portugal in 1974: “In the beginning, I took four missionaries: Elders Perisse, Camargo, Topham, and Thompson, two of them Brazilians and two Americans. I had recruited them from the Brazilian missions during my visits to that country. And so we began our missionary work.”
This month I can report that I have located these four: Dale Thompson of Brigham City, UT, who came out of the Brazil SP North Mission; Shane Topham, an attorney at Salt Lake City, who came out of SP South Mission; Wagner Camargo, who was living in the USA but is now living in Curitiba caring for his mother, and had been serving in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission when he went to Lisbon; and Paulo Périssé, from the Brazil SP North Mission, who has been an educator in Salvador, Bahia.
Yukiko Jin Peihopa (BNM 68-70) writes from Las Vegas: “Thank you very much for the Brasulista. I have enjoyed very much all the news I have read thus far. I was baptized in Cornélio Procópio, Paraná, and lived in Curitiba before I came to live in Las Vegas, so I know many of the people mentioned in your newsletters. I was the first sister to arrive in the Brazil North Mission, when the mission was only four months old. My first companion was Sister Jean Sorensen. I am writing to learn the whereabouts of the two missionaries who taught me the Gospel: Elder Thomas A. Scott and Elder Clifton E. Strait. I was baptized on 16 of August 1964. I think the mission president was Finn Paulsen at that time. I would really appreciate sit if could find them. Obrigada. Yukiko Jin Peihopa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(I was able to furnish Sister Peihopa with Elder Scott’s and Elder Strait’s email addresses and phone numbers.)
If any of you would like to know where a former missionary companion or associate is today, please ask me, furnishing as much of their name as you know and where they were from or last known to be. I am glad to furnish what information I have or to attempt to locate that missionary.
I could not publish many expressions such as the following, due to space limitations, but I know that Sister Carolyn Whittier Tyler of Fairhaven, MA, expresses the feelings of many of us, so I share her note:
“Dear Fellow missionaries, As I sit at my computer and read the Brasulistas, I ponder and reflect on our wonderful times together, and I realize this publication is a marvelous arm of the Lord through which I can convey my deep love and appreciation to those with whom I served in the Brazilian South Mission from 1965-1967. Life is long, but in another way - so very short. As President Monson has so frequently emphasized - the importance of saying today to that special friend what tomorrow may be too late to express. I have always kept my mission journal visible in my home and value highly the treasured experiences recorded therein. Your faces, your comments, your testimonies - are wonderful, and, in my mind's eye, you have always been my polar stars. May the Lord bless you and know how highly you are cherished. With much love in Christ, Carolyn Whittier Tyler” (email@example.com)
Tudo de bom! Um abraço,
Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)
Gig Harbor, WA