Alf Gunn’s Brasulista
Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #105
December 6, 2008
In this issue:
Saints to fast and pray for flood victims in Santa Catarina (See attachment)
More new stakes in Brazil
Passing of Marion Howells Schreiner
Called to Serve
Church honored for 50 years in Londrina, Paraná (See Brasulista blog)
In November there were major floods and landslides in Brazil, the worst in the Vale do Itajaí in Santa Catarina state. I understand that 80% of the city of Itajaí was underwater. See the attached. More information is below.
I am sending this to you now because the Area Presidency members at São Paulo, concerned for the welfare of brothers and sisters in that area, have invited members to include the people of Santa Catarina in our fasting and prayers on this upcoming fast Sunday as a way to help those impacted by this event.
They report that “Church leaders and local members have worked together to alleviate the suffering of the people in the affected communities. The Church has sent food, water, clothing, cleaning products/material, and other products. The fast and welfare funds of the Church have been used to this end.” (See Brasulista blog, http://brasulista-portal.blogspot.com/)
Obviously, we here in the U.S. can contribute through fast offerings, and beyond that, should there be a desire to make generous offerings, this can be noted on the tithes and offerings slip under “Humanitarian Aid.”
From my own Googling, quoting news sources: “As of November 26, 2008, at least 86 people had died in southeastern Brazil as a result of flooding and landslides brought about by a period of heavy rain, reported CNN. The hardest hit area was the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Most of the flood-inducing rain fell between November 20 and November 23, 2008, although the stage was set for flooding by significant rainfall in the region over the previous two months.” (Reuters)
December 3, 2008: “The death toll caused by flooding that has devastated several towns in Santa Catarina state has reached 117, the state's Civil Defense said Wednesday. Most of the deaths were caused by mud slides, and at least 32 people remain missing, according to the Civil Defense. More than 42,000 people have managed to return to their homes as flood waters receded in several towns. About 27,000 others were forced to seek shelter with relatives or friends and about 8,000 were accommodated in churches, schools and gyms. People across Brazil have donated 12 million reais (4.8 million U.S. dollars) for disaster relief in the area. The money will be used to buy food and build houses for the dislocated.” (China View)
To see photos and film:
Google “Enchente em Itajai” and select Flickr to see many photos of the flooding. I understand that 80% of the city of Itajaí was flooded.
Also, look for YouTube items entitled ”Enchente em Blumenau - 2008 - queda de casa no meio da rua Hermann Huscher” (25 seconds), which is dramatic; “Chuvas destroem Santa Catarina” which is a newscast, and “Enchente em Santa Catarina 2008” a 2.5 minute review of flooding in Joinville, Navegantes, Brusque, Itajaí, and the seaside resort city of Balneário Camboriú.
Item: Meanwhile, the work goes on in Brazil.
We anticipate that after this coming weekend there will be 223 stakes in Brazil, with the formation of five new ones, and 52 districts. The Canoas Stake was divided to form the Canoas North Stake last week. Canoas was my first city of assignment in 1962. Our branch met in the living room of a house.
We send our love, blessings and forte abraços to the wonderful members and leaders whose efforts have brought about such marked progress in that land.
Passing of Marian Howells Schreiner, 1933-2008
Val Carter (BM 51-54) of Morgan, UT, and others brought this to my attention: “Perhaps you are not aware of President Howells' daughter Marian's tragic death. She was at the Howells/Rex reunion on the 2nd of Oct. and left the next day for St. George to watch her daughter run in the marathon there. On her way back to Salt Lake City she was involved in an automobile accident that took her life. Marion accompanied her father and mother when he presided over the Brazilian Mission in mid-30s and again in the late 40s. She was a true Brasileira and loved Brazil and her people. We will miss her. Val Carter” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Brother Carter presided over the Montana Billings Msn 76-79 and the CTM SP in 94-95 and 99.)
Called to Serve
Charlotte and Steve (BSM 64-66) Nebeker, of St. George, who also served a CES mission in Belo Horizonte in 03-04, will serve an 18-month CES mission to Mozambique Africa, entering the Mission Training Center in Provo Utah on 23 Feb 2009. Parabens! (email@example.com)
Brian Rabe (BrCentralMsn 69-71) of Houston, TX, reports that according to an expat friend with work contacts in Luanda “Four missionaries from the Maputo Mozambique Mission have started to work in Luanda. The Church has bought a new property for a meeting house. The outsized branch (over 300 members) has been split into two branches.” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since we talk about missions, I should mention that John Hyde Brown (BSM 70-72) and his wife Diana of North Salt Lake both sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which is very much a mission of love. (email@example.com)
Also, that Elder Robert R. Steuer (BM 64-66) and Sister Margaret Steuer are now presiding over the Ogden Temple, as previously announced in the Church News. They presided over the Brazil São Paulo North Mission from 84-87 and as a member of the Second Quorum of Seventy presided over the Brazil North Area 01-05. (SteuerRR@ldschurch.org) Blessings and best wishes to them.
Item of historical note: President Finn B. Paulsen and Sister Sarah Broadbent Paulsen presided over the Brazilian South Mission (61-64) just 20 years after his first mission to Brazil and following a successful career as a contractor in the construction industry in Utah. During that mission time their family was admired as an example to missionaries and members of what a gospel-centered LDS family should be. He returned in 1968 as a Region Representative in Brazil and South Africa, serving until 1976. Again they returned to Brazil as the first President of the São Paulo Temple from 1978 until he died in August of 1979. Nineteen years later, Sister Sarah Paulsen, still maintaining her Portuguese language skills and hosting many Brazilian saints in her home, would marry President Lynn A. Sorensen who had presided over the BSM in the early 70’s, himself a widower, and they would preside over the newly dedicated Porto Alegre Temple for three years. Sister Paulsen Sorensen passed away on September 1, 2004. I believe she was the only woman in the Church to be temple matron of two temples.
In 1998 son David Paulsen returned with his wife Deirdre to preside over the Brazil Curitiba Mission in the same city in which his father had presided.
Now one of the Paulsen daughters, Shauna, is serving a senior couple mission, but not in Brazil. “Dear Alf,” she writes, I thought I would let you know there is one more former Brazilian "missionary" out in the field. My husband Michael Robbins and I are serving in the Czech Republic, Prague Mission. You would think someone with a little Portuguese would be called where it helped. But it definitely hasn't helped with the Czech. We have been called to open an Institute Outreach Center here and fortunately many of the young people speak English. The priesthood brethren are very supportive and the young people are wonderful. As happens all over the world they have to give up so much of the "world" and often family to join the Church. They are so strong! It's a great experience. Sestra Shauna and Starsi Michael Robbins ” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The members are Christians, and seek to do well.”
The City of Londrina, PR, had a ceremony recently recognizing 50 years of Church presence and service in that city, and presented the Gold and Green Commendation to Elder Homero Amato, representing the Church. To see photos of this event, go to my blog: http://brasulista-portal.blogspot.com/
Here is the report from Nei Garcia of Assuntos Públicos Brasil:
“Londrina, Paraná: Sessão Solene homenageia os 50 anos da Igreja na cidade
“Uma sessão solene, realizada no dia 14 de novembro, homenageou a Igreja de Jesus Cristo em Londrina. A honraria – Comenda Ouro Verde - deu-se em comemoração os 50 anos da Igreja na cidade. Para o vereador Gláudio de Lima, um dos autores da homenagem, a Igreja de Jesus Cristo tem tido papel importante na comunidade, em toda a região: “Os membros são cristãos que procuram fazer o bem. Os missionários pregam o evangelho e ajudam a fortalecer famílas. A Igreja também realiza muitos projetos na cidade, os Mãos que Ajudam”, enfatizou.
“A celebração aconteceu no plenário da Câmara Municipal e contou com a presença do Élder Homero Amato, Setenta de Área, que representou a Presidência da Área Brasil, do presidente Isaias Ribeiro, Estaca Londrina e presidente Walmir Tsukuda, Estaca Londrina Tiradentes, Presidente e Sister Leal, Missão Londrina Brasil, além de vereadores e mais de mais de 250 membros e amigos da Igreja.
“Em seu pronunciamento, o vereador Gláudio Lima ressaltou a missão do Profeta Joseph Smith, o valor do trabalho missionário e o programa Mãos que Ajudam. Já Élder Amato, enfatizou a força da Igreja como participante da comunidade e lembrou a missão da Igreja de Jesus Cristo. Logo após, recebeu das mãos de vereadores a medalha e a honraria – Comenda Ouro Verde. Durante a homenagem, um vídeo que relatou as ações realizadas pela Igreja na cidade mostrou a força voluntária dos membros. Projetos como: limpeza de praças, reforma de escolas, confecção de roupas hospitalares, doação de cadeiras de rodas entre outras emocionaram os presentes.
“Um momento marcante da celebração deu-se quando um grupo de missionários apresentaram algumas músicas inspiradoras e compartilharam uma mensagem de paz. Os presentes puderam sentir o bom espírito deixado pelos missionários e a boa música. A vereadora Maria Angela Santini, vice-presidente da Mesa Executiva da Câmara Municipal de Londrina, que presidiu a sessão, comentou ao final: “A Igreja merece a comenda. São 50 anos de história de valor na cidade. Vocês fazem um trabalho maravilhoso”. Élder Amato entregou a cada vereador presente literatura da Igreja e o DVD – Mundo Feliz. “Que noite histórica para a Igreja. Estou feliz. Essa homenagem é de cada membro”, finalizou Élder Amato.”
Feliz Natal e um Próspero Ano Novo!
Gig Harbor, WA