Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #89
August 9, 2007
Olá, pessoal! Bom dia! Tudo bom com vocês?
In this issue:
Contacts in Brazil
Called to Serve
The Perpetual Education Fund
Special: Recalling the Bangerter home on Rua Dr. Rui Batista Pereira
Attached: Changes in Portuguese language orthography
CONTACTS IN BRAZIL
Administrative: Your newsletter man is in touch with some good members of the Church in certain cities in Brazil, people whose families have been in the Church many years, and who help me inquire about other members there from earlier years. However, I would like to be in touch with more members and in more cities. If you have contacts with whom you communicate, and you have their email addresses, would you be so kind as to share those with me so that I can establish contacts in more cities? Ideally these contacts will read English and enjoy receiving the Brasulista, as many of my Brazilian contacts do. I am also able to write to them in Portuguese when I make inquiries.
CALLED TO SERVE
Sister Sharon Larson Anderson (BSM 61-62) of Sebastopol, CA, and her husband Courtenay Anderson are serving a service mission as vehicle coordinators in the California Santa Rosa Mission since last September. Parabéns! (email@example.com)
Sister Doral Olsen (BSM 60-62) of Ivins, UT, is currently serving in the New York New York South Mission. She previously served in the Texas McAllen Mission from 04-05. Outro parabéns! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By the way, as of this writing there are 5,320 senior missionaries currently serving missions in the Church. This includes 468 senior sisters and 2,426 couples!
I received a nice email in very good Portuguese from Elder James Emerson Granger (BM 63-65) and Sister Barbara Taylor Granger, who are called to be coordinators of the Perpetual Education Fund at Brazil Area Headquarters in São Paulo. Barbara had lived in Brazil as a girl with her parents who supervised chapel construction in the early 60’s. She met Jim at BYU after his mission and they later returned to Brazil and worked there until just before the São Paulo Temple was dedicated in 1978. So they are matando saudades with this long-awaited return and mission opportunity with the PEF. Parabéns! (email@example.com)
PERPETUAL IMMIGRATION FUND
Speaking of the Perpetual Education Fund, let me share a personal story. Six years ago, I was visiting the Centro de Treinamento Missionário in São Paulo on the Sunday morning of a General Conference weekend. For some reason the CTM found it had only received the Portuguese language video of the previous night’s session. I was asked to simul-translate a broadcast of the Saturday night session for the new American Elders sitting near me who did not yet understand enough Portuguese. I was doing a terrible job of it, translating from Portuguese to English, when President Hinckley announced the Perpetual Education Fund! I got so excited I stopped and said to the Elders, "Do you know what this means?! Do you know what this means to these Brazilian missionaries!!?" who were there in the auditorium with us. I understood immediately and was very excited and thankful. Afterwards, in the lunchroom, one of the Brazilian brothers, probably a former mission president who was a BP at the CTM, I don't recall who, came to our table very excited and said the same thing. We were excited and humbled to recognize the Lord was inspiring a prophet to implement this program which will bless the Saints of Brazil and elsewhere forever.
RECALLING ELDER FAUST'S HOME
The Grangers will be based at the mission home office of the Brazil São Paulo North Mission, Rua Dr. Rui Batista Pereira, 165, Jardim Caxingui, 05517-080, São Paulo - SP- Brazil, near the temple. This got me to recalling my visit to this mission office a couple years ago, and remembering that it was formerly the residence of Elder James Faust from 1976 to 77 and afterwards of Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter and his family. So I wrote to some of the Bangerter boys to see if my memory was correct. I got some very interesting replies, which I share here. Don’t miss this!
Lane Bangerter recalls that President and Sister Kimball stayed there for a week at the time of the Temple dedication, as did Elder Mark E. Peterson on another occasion for three weeks. There were many great family home evenings held there, which included Temple President Finn B. Paulsen and Sarah. Mission presidents met there in conferences.
Howard Bangerter recalls that “Elder Rex D. Pinegar and wife stayed in that home on a brief visit. One afternoon, Layne and I were cruising for something to do, and saw Elder Pinegar sitting on the bed as if bored (his wife was out with Sister Bangerter somewhere). Layne tapped on the window and asked if he was interested in a game of ping pong (the table was set up in the detached room that had previously been used as the CTM). Elder Pinegar jumped up and was out in a flash. Neither Layne nor I will ever forget having our clocks cleaned in ping pong by Elder Pinegar in that former CTM!
Paulo Bangerter shares the following: The home was within walking distance to the São Paulo Temple. During the summer months, while school wasn’t in session, from July through September 1977, my brother Layne and I were employed at the rate of 25 cents an hour to work on the temple. We shoveled dirt and did other labor with the Brazilian workers, most of whom were from Bahia. We were paid in cash like all of the other workers, once a week, by Brother Jensen and his staff who supervised the construction. We would walk to and from work and go home for lunch.
Dad had the area office in the home, but moved it across the street (Francisco Morato) from the Temple, to the Morumbi apartments. He had two full time missionaries that were his assistants. Although he wasn’t a mission president he was their mission president – and he supervised their efforts. They had been struggling in their labors and didn’t have much success, but Dad carefully worked with them to reach out to the Branch Mission leader of the Vila Sonia Branch which had about 30 members and met in the same old house as the Pinheiros Ward. This was before the Stake Center next to the Temple was completed. The Vila Sonia Branch Mission Leader was a faithful brother who began to introduce the missionaries to his neighbors. A baptism happened and then another. Layne and I went out with these missionaries two to four times a week. (Elders Duffles, Hatch, Dumke, and Arndt and Elder Sanders came after I left). We taught on one street and half the people on the street joined the church. The newly baptized members would introduce us to their neighbors and relatives and the work exploded. The Vila Sonia Branch grew to over 200 members and was made a ward. Dad’s assistants, who worked in the office all day with him and proselyted only in the evenings, began to have 10-15 baptisms a month. One month after I left, they had over 30 baptisms. It was miraculous. I understand that today Vila Sonia has a Stake or two in the area that was once that little branch.
The home was a constant stream of visitors to Brazil from Church Headquarters and was in a sense the nerve center for the Church in Brazil. Temple management meetings, Brazil Presiding Bishop Office meetings, Mission President seminars and other church leadership meetings took place in that home, formally and informally. I lived there from July 1997 to January 1998 at which time I left on my mission (São Paulo South, then Portugal, where I was companions for three days with my brother Howard who returned from Portugal and went to live in that home). Rex Pinegar’s brother Lynn, was our mission president in Portugal.
The visitors who slept in our home during the time I was there included Marvin J. Ashton and his wife. He was very proud of her and very talkative to Layne and me. Also, Elder Franklin D. Richards and his wife. He was contacting new investigators constantly. Also Elder Dean Larson and finally Mark E. Peterson. Elder Peterson came in early February 1998 for several weeks. Dad had felt impressed to start an MTC in Brazil. He received permission from church headquarters and the second week of February 1978 missionaries came to the first MTC outside of Utah. Elder Peterson was there for that new beginning. My father had me translate for Elder Peterson in the meetings. Elder Peterson slept in my sister’s room and would get up early and type on an old typewriter. He was writing a book about Moses or Abraham. He was very warm and happy and would chat with us as we prepared for the day or as we gathered for family prayer or relaxed at night. He even sang with us at the piano (my sister Peggy was a great piano player and we sang with her a lot). He enjoyed our Family Home Evenings and fit into the family “woodwork” like a grandfather.
There was no real MTC at the time. The Elders met at the newly finished Stake Center next to the Temple but there was no place for the missionaries to sleep for the brief 4-day orientation, so that first group slept in the maids quarters of the House on Batista Pereira and in the room where we played ping pong. It was really an extra “covered” and enclosed garage at that time, but had a nice marble floor etc.. and missionaries were comfortable there in bunk beds. I remember putting up the bunk beds and taking the plastic off the new mattresses. It was a busy 4 days, with missionaries in the back, Elder Peterson in the house and just the regular traffic of the family.
For the next group of missionaries, an apartment was set up in the Morumbi apartments across the street from the Temple that the missionaries could sleep in, but three elders still came to the Batista Pereira residence to sleep in the maids’ quarters. I was in the second group of missionaries to go through the new Brazilian MTC. The night before I left on my mission my father ordained me an Elder with Elder Mark E. Peterson assisting and then Elder Peterson set me apart for my mission. Those were happy days and the residence was a real home, busy, and full of life. With us there lived my sisters Peggy and Duella, my Brother Layne and later, after I left – my brother Howard. We also had a foster sister Sonia Wosenjuck – who was the life of the parties.
It wasn’t many weeks until the MTC was moved away from that area and consequently from our home. It was set up in the old mission home on Rua Itapeva, near Avenida Paulista. Most of the missionaries in 1978 and after went to the Rua Itapeva MTC. There were 4 missions at that time. The mission presidents while I was there were Saul Oliveira (São Paulo North), Roger Beitler (São Paulo South), Heilo Camargo (Rio) and Jação Garcia da Sousa (Porto Alegre) – we got to know all of these men and their families well as we had frequent interaction with them in our home. Paulo
And from Howard: Pres. Bangerter had an office there, just off the front door, where he did work and interviews when he was at home. It was to that office that Elder Bruce R. McConkie called to announce to Brazil the Revelation on Priesthood of June 1978. I answered the phone that day, and called Dad to the phone when I was told that Elder McConkie was trying to reach him. Dad's response to the news: "Oh Bruce, That's earthshaking!" He immediately called the family together and told us what had happened. His visit with the Regional Representatives happened later in the day, and before the night was over just about every member of the Church in Brazil knew of the revelation. Thanks for the memories! Howard
Item: Some of you are experts on the Portuguese language. Most of us are not. But for anyone who is interested, attached is an article furnished to us by alert reader Don Gibson (BSM 68-70) about some changes in the way Portuguese will be written as of January 2008, tending towards standardization among the various countries where the language is written.
Com saudades do Brasil,
Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 * firstname.lastname@example.org * BSM 62-65