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Cristo300Brasulista #88

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #88
July 13, 2007

Bom dia, Elderes eSisters!  

In this issue:

Historic photos sought for the cornerstone of the Curitiba Temple
Utah Brazilian Festival, August 25th
History of the Church in Brazil
Brazil in Boston
Elder Nance recalls his first city, Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul
Poesia:  Canção do Exílio
Attached:  Report from Mozambique


Estimado amigo Alfred:  Tenho recebido sempre suas mensagens. Obrigado!
Recebí designação da Presidencia de Área para ser o Encarregado do Sub-Comitê de Registros Históricos para a Dedicação do Templo de Curitiba. Assim se você tiver fotos antigas de pioneiros da Igreja no Paraná, ou Santa Catarina, ficaríamos felizes em poder incluí-las na história que estamos escrevendo para colocar na Pedra de Esquina do Templo. Seria importante que as fotos viessem acompanhadas de nomes das pessoas e dos fatos, por exemplo, primeiros batismos da cidade de Apucarana (ano 19......)  Muito grato pela atenção!
Enos de Castro Deus Filho

É excelente idéia estender convite para ex-missionários enviar fotos dos anos 30, 40, 50 e 60 por e-mail ( ou para endereço de minha casa:


Brethren, as you can understand from the message above, this is your opportunity to submit photos of members of the Church in Paraná and Santa Catarina from the early years.  Now may be the time to scan your old photos if you have not already, or mail copies to Elder Enos de Castro Deus Filho in Curitiba.  You should be able to identify at least some of the persons in the photos and comment on the year and any other significant facts.  Please do this in a timely manner. 


The 3rd annual Utah Brazilian Festival will take place on Sat., Aug. 25th at the McKay Events Center at UVSC Stadium from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.  See the photos of last year’s event, attended by some 6,000 people, at to see a lot of smiling Brazilian faces.  You lucky folks who live in Utah get all the good stuff!   

Quiz questions:  How many family history centers would you suppose there are in Brazil today?  How many LDS congregations?  Take a guess.  See below . . . but first, a little history, from the Newsroom, country profile page regarding Brazil, at the Church Web site:

”When Roberto Lippelt and his wife, Augusta, arrived in Brazil from Germany in 1923, Augusta began asking Church headquarters for teaching materials to be sent to her. In response, South American Mission President Reinhold Stoff left Buenos Aires to visit Brazil. He returned in 1928, with missionary elders to teach the German-speaking people in that country. The first converts joined the Church in 1929.

“The first Church-owned meetinghouse in South America was dedicated in Joinville on 25 October 1931. A Brazilian mission was created from the South American Mission in May 1935. Church teaching materials were translated into Portuguese in 1937, and missionaries began teaching in Portuguese a year later.
“Missionary efforts continued in the 1950s, and by 1959, membership was about 3,700. Brazil's first stake was organized in 1966 in São Paulo. Ten years later, Brazil had 10 stakes, and a temple was announced for São Paulo. That temple was dedicated on October 30, 1978 by President Spencer W. Kimball.  On February 2, 1986, Brazil became the third country outside the United States to have 50 stakes. That number doubled to 100 by 1993 with the organization of the São Leopoldo Stake.
“In October of 1993, construction began on Brazil's new Missionary Training Center, the Church's second largest. And, with 23 missions in 1995, Brazil has the largest number of missions outside the United States.  The Church also has a substantial history of involvement in humanitarian efforts in Brazil. ‘Helping Hands,’ a service organization of the Church, was recognized in November 2002 as one of the most important volunteer organizations in Brazil.”  

Quiz Answers: According to the Church’s Web site Newsroom, Country Profile, Brazil, there are today in Brazil 970,903 members, 27 missions, 4 temples, 1,756 congregations and 284 family history centers.  ‘Helping Hands’ is “Mãos Que Ajudam”   You can Google it.


Last week Elder Jim Smith (BSM 61-64) had the privilege of taking 40 missionaries to the Governor’s palace to sing for a ceremony in which the Church donated 1000 wheel chairs to the state of São Paulo.  The choir did very well and the missionaries mingled with the dignitaries afterward and the Area President, Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, was very happy with the whole experience.  (Jim is the former Choir Director at BYUH and he and his wife Linda are serving in the CTM, where he is Executive Secretary to the President and she handles many administrative duties.) (


Thanks for all the news, Alf.  And speaking of patriotism and the Fourth of July, I thought someone in your vast readership would be interested to know that the Massachusetts Boston Mission is looking for a senior missionary couple, at least one of whom speaks Portuguese.  There are tons of Brazilians here, especially from the Estado de Minas Gerais.  Anyone interested in spending some interesting months in this cradle of democracy may contact Mission President Edward England directly at, or 781-455-6874 (home), or 877-441-7904 (toll-free home), or 800-225-1733 (toll-free cell).  We are finishing our wonderful 18-month mission one week from today! Elder Michael (BM 58-61) and Sister Marilyn Norton


Alf’s Disclaimers:  It takes all kinds to serve a mission, or at least it did in 1962, and my friend Elder Larry Nance (BSM 62-64) was one of those kinds.  Apparently he had a fit of nostalgia after reading a note from Elder David Eastman in Brasulista #87 and so he sent Elder Eastman and me his recollection of his first city in the mission, Canoas, RS, which was also my first city shortly after Elder Nance left.  Elder Eastman is today a very refined gentleman and a fine representative of the Church, and always did speak excellent Portuguese.  But I believe it was Elder Eastman who pranked me on my arrival that first day with the prayer, “Please accept #18, Amen,” explaining to me that the missionaries prayed so much that they just numbered their prayers to save time.  A classic greenie prank I suppose.  I was green, but I wasn’t that green.  The other elders mentioned in Elder Nance’s recollections have gone on to great lives of service in the Church.  I am compelled to print Elder Nance’s letter, just to remind us of some of the interesting aspects of missionary life back then.  The meetinghouse he describes in Canoas was an old house where the living room was the chapel and the Elders lived upstairs.  The shower he describes was also my first shower in Brazil.  And I definitely used a mosquito net there and burned coils.  But the descriptions of what was happening to the poor Elders who had to live with Elder Nance are his impressions and are not represented by me to necessarily be valid.  Here are excerpts from his letter:

“Elder (Jerry) Easter was my companion, but Elder (David) Eastman of Canoas was the funniest Elder I ever knew.  I met him the very first day in Canoas after Elder Lima escorted me down to Porto Alegre on my first transfer.  He thought I was crazy, since on the first official day, a train came through at six o'clock a.m. and shook the chapel like a 6.0 earthquake.  The horn was so loud, that I ran through the church for two minutes before I woke up.  We later learned that the ants and termites had eaten the foundation away and the place was later condemned.  I told Elder Eastman that I thought I heard someone say, "Get the hell out of here," but I suppose it was me.  He also thought I was strange when I bought the only mosquito net in town, pink in color.  That got around fast in the mission, but it was a necessity, since they were so big they could carry children away in their beaks!

“The Elders before we got there had used pennies instead of fuses, so the pennies had burned a deep hole in the fuse box.  The shower would only stay warm for a few seconds [because of low water pressure] so you had to turn it off and on to take a shower without freezing or burning.  I had my first experience with 240 volts in my rear when I bent over and touched the faucet.  We would use coffee cans with alcohol to stay warm.  You would sleep in full clothing and still it was cold.  He taught me how to make a surgical rubber slingshot for dog protection, and how to get the frogs out of our outdoors baptismal font. 
Elder Eastman started me on the guitar and taught me my first tune, "The Yellow Rose of Texas," his version.  

My companion, Elder Easter, would throw the cooked spaghetti against the wall to see if it was done. One day he was so proud of catching a queen bee in a bottle.  Little did he know that her hive was looking for her.  Since we didn't have screens in the Canoas chapel house, they all came looking for her inside. It was quite a commotion.  He taught me the correct method of cutting a large cake into four pieces. I laughed so hard because my mother would cut one in 20 pieces. Since the TE's, Traveling Elders, would always raid our frig, we prepared a batch of super- cookies, which caused them to run from place to place for a few days. They would find new missionaries and buy their new and better garments and shirts (Dacron), and sell them at high prices to elders in the frontier regions.  We made up a song, with Elder Eastman's help, for the mission conference in Porto Alegre, [to the tune of a Kingston Trio song, ‘The MTA’] about how they were going to be waiting at heaven’s gate because they didn't pay any tithing on the increase. ‘Oh they'll never return, Oh they'll never return, and their fate is so unsure, Those 40 beans are gonna count against you on that fateful judgment day!"

“Since I didn't speak a word of Portuguese, I used pantomime to entertain the members. They of course liked my playing the organ.  One time Elder Easter and I went to sleep while giving a lesson and the contact had to wake us up.  And we were baptized by a little old lady who threw water on us and pronounced us clean.  I have always wondered what church we joined.  Great memories.  Canoas is where I was nicknamed, Sapiranga, after a Porto Alegre German soccer player who looked like my twin brother.  Everyone wanted my autograph.

“Parabens, Elder Eastman.  Glad to see you are still alive and kicking.  Keep up the good work.  Wish I was there, but have heart disease and diabetes.  I am in Cedar City, UT.  Have six grand kids.  Spent two years in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the Navy, and then a Special Agent for Customs and DEA.   Retired from São Paulo Brazil in 1995.   Got to take my wife, Judy, and my youngest daughter.  It was nice because of the English branch, with four mission presidents and two area presidents in my priesthood class.  I heard from our first baptisms in Canoas, the Hartzein family.  I guess Roberto is doing well in the Church in Porto Alegre.  Write some time!  I still have pictures of us in Canoas on slides!  Elder Larry Nance (”



Mike Hanson (BM 65-67) found love and earlier this year married Maria Aparecida Xavier da Souza and moved from the U.S. to Porto Velho, Rondonia, where life must be roses and poems, because he shares a beautiful classic Brazilian poem with us.  He writes, “Great newsletter, Alf.  I especially enjoyed the poem by Eliza R. Snow.  God Bless America, a land of liberty and justice.  E Salve O Brasil, também terra sagrada.  Recently I ran across a poem that appeared in one of the Liahona issues back in 1966.  I wonder if any of the missionaries remember it?  Regards e um forte abraço, Mike and Aparecida Hanson - Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil (

Canção do Exílio      by Gonçalves Dias (1823-1864)

Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá;
As aves, que aqui gorjeiam,
Não gorjeiam como lá.

Nosso céu tem mais estrelas,
Nossas várzeas tem mais flores,
Nossos bosques tem mais vida,
Nossa vida mais amores.

Em cismar, sozinho, à noite,
Mais prazer encontro eu lá;
Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.

Minha terra tem primores,
Que tais não encontro eu cá;
Em cismar - sozinho, à noite -
Mais prazer encontro eu lá;
Minha terra tem palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.

Não permita Deus que eu morra,
Sem que eu volte para lá;
Sem que desfrute os primores
Que não encontro por cá;
Sem qu'inda aviste as palmeiras,
Onde canta o Sabiá.

Thanks to Frederick G. Williams (BM 60-63), who interpreted this poem into English, I include it here for the many spouses who read the Brasulista.  Fred’s masterful book, Poets of Brazil, A Bilingual Selection, is 431 pages of the great poems of Brazil in both Portuguese and English, with biographical notes about the poets.  It is available at the BYU Bookstore. (

Song of Exile

In my country there are palm trees,
Where the Sabiá sings fair;
And the birds, which here do warble,
Do not warble like those there.

In our skies there are more stars,
In our fields more flowers abound,
In our forests there’s more life,
In our life more love is found.

As I dream, alone, at evening,
Much more joy do I find there;
In my country there are palm trees,
Where the Sabiá sings fair.

In my country there are beauties,
I can’t find here anywhere;
As I dream—alone, at evening—
Much more joy do I find there;
In my country there are palm trees,
Where the Sabiá sings fair.

May God not permit my dying,
Without first returning there;
Without savoring the beauties
I can’t find here anywhere;
Without seeing still the palm trees,
Where the Sabiá sings fair.

(Gonçalves Dias perished while returning from Europe when his ship sunk off the coast of Brazil.)

Até logo,

Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 *  * BSM 62-65

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