Alf Gunn Badge

Cristo300Brasulista #90

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #90
August 23, 2007

Bom dia, irmãos!  

In this issue:

President Faust remembered
Utah Brazilian Festival next Saturday
Callings and connections
Sister Rail at the MTC Provo

Attached:  President Faust’s account of his mission to Brazil.   
Attached:  Photo of Elder Helio da Rocha Camargo with President and Sister Bertasso (BSPN Msn), and grandson Elder Camargo, November 2006. (Furnished by Doug Holt)


We are saddened by the passing of President James E. Faust (BM 39-42) of the First Presidency and our most distinguished alumni.  We send our love and condolences to his family members and colleagues.  

At the rededication of the São Paulo Temple in 2004 President Hinckley invited many leaders to speak, and when he introduced President Faust he quipped that the Brazilian saints are well represented in the First Presidency, saying President Faust served his mission in Brazil “and hasn’t stopped talking about it since then. He is always saying we need new temples in Brazil,” said President Hinckley, and “perhaps we could use a couple more” (or some such statement).

Sister Dierdre Paulsen who served with her husband David at Curitiba when he presided there (98-01), sends us a Portuguese translation of President Faust’s account of his service in Curitiba before WWII, which she had translated and sent to her missionaries.  See the attachment.  The account in English is the 4th chapter in the book, “In the Strength of the Lord: The Life and Teachings of James E. Faust.”

Utah Brazilian Festival
Wish I was in Utah for this.  Tony e Matilde Wosnjuk (Vos-Nilk) are helping produce this wonderful event.  They write: “We are getting ready of the 3rd Annual Utah Brazilian Festival August 25th at the McKay Events Center in Orem.  Come and enjoy it.  Muito obrigado por tudoUm grande abraço.”


Brother Kip Buckner of Orem, UT, recognized the family of Allesandra Myrrha (parents Newton and Maria Coelho of Belo Horizonte) from a note in Brasulista #86—and was able to contact Sister Myrrha by email.  Sister Myrrha and her husband are presiding over the Brazil Santa Maria Mission now, but before entering the MTC Provo for Mission President’s Seminar they were able to get together with Brother Buckner, who had baptized her family when she was only five.  Sister Myrrha writes,  “Querido Alf, Agora estou na missão Santa Maria, amando estar entre os missionários e amando nossa área e tudo o que nela há.  Nosso encontro com Kip Buckner, o missionário que batizou meus pais, justo um dia antes de entrarmos no MTC foi emocionante.  Nenhuma experiência espiritualpoderia sermaisinspiradora: vernaminha própriavida a diferençaque otrabalhodessehomem fezdepois dequase 40anos... agora eumesmaprestes arealizar omesmotipo detrabalho...Foi fantástico! Muitoobrigadaporproporcionarisso. Abraços, Alessandra Myrrha.”


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!  This Brasulista is about some of them.  To all of them, on behalf of all of us, I send big congratulations!


Congrats to Bruce and Sharon Parker of Idaho who are called to the Portugal Lisbon Mission.  (  

Elder Terry (BNM 67-69) and Sister Teena Morley are serving in the city of Iguape on the coast south of Santos, part of the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos, where they have been since March 2006, to return next month.  Congratulations to them!  

Also, Sister Doral Olson (BSM 60-62) is serving in the New York New York South Mission.  She writes:  “We are assigned as proselyting missionaries.  I am here with a friend of many years.  We work in Astoria and Woodside Wards here in Queens.  We would have liked a foreign mission but health issues kept us in the States.  However, Queens NY is one of the most diverse cultural areas in the world.  The missionaries here speak English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese--both Mandarin and Cantonese--and American Sign Language.  The Woodside Ward is Spanish speaking with 10-20 Brazilian members.  As a matter of fact we are going to the home of one of them this evening and having rice and beans.  In many ways we feel we are on a foreign mission.  Living here in Queens is a very different experience.  We work with the new members and the less active and try and get them going on genealogy and preparing to go to the temple.  It has been interesting learning research for Puerto Rico, Columbia, Dominican Republic and Trinidad.  When we were in Laredo, TX, on our previous mission, we got quite good with Mexican research, but these other countries are completely new to us.  We spend one day a week working in the Family History Center, and conduct ward workshops on one night a week.  We find the people loving, and the Gospel to be true here as it was in Texas and Brazil.  What a wonderful work to be involved in.  Doral Olson


As a Media Relations representative for my stake, I get to write articles for our great weekly newspaper, the Peninsula Gateway.  They have published 40 or more of these.  I am attaching an article about John (BM 60-63) and Marcia Dow who are serving in Africa. They may be reached at and you can see many of their photos at  See the attached.

Elder Paul G. Ross (BSM 64-66) of St. Matthews, SC, writes:  Hi, Alf.  Jeanne and I have received calls to serve in the Mozambique Maputo Mission.  We are excited about the work in Africa and the opportunity to learn a new dialect of Portuguese.  No matter what we experience in Mozambique, we have already been amazed at how the Lord is promoting this work.  The string of problems standing in our way seemed insurmountable.  Over a 2-year period they just went away in a most miraculous manner.  (


Alf, Tani and I are currently at the home of President and Sister Asconavieta of the Brazil Fortaleza mission.  I am in Brazil recruiting students for the MBA program at BYU, and the work is moving fast here.  In their first two years of the mission, 9,000 people have joined the church, including over 600 last month alone.  Imagine!  The retention is also going well, thanks to the joint efforts of the missionaries and members, especially the CES.  What miracles.  I hope all is going well with you.  Lee Radebaugh (BSM 64-66, BPAS 00-03)


Elder Rex (BM 57-59) and Sister Charlene Brown, of Meridian, ID, are currently serving in the Brazil Recife Mission.  She sends this report to friends and family: On Tuesday, 150 Missionaries plus guests met at our new chapel to hear the Area Presidency member, President Penha and his wife speak to them.  It was an overwhelming feeling to look over the audience from the organ and see these young men and women, clean inside and out.  I was asked to play the music for the meeting and President Woodruff asked the missionaries to listen to the prelude music.  You could have heard a pin drop—after years of playing and being so nervous, this would have nerved me up, but not that day.  For the next 15 minutes, I played the music of the restoration.  Pres. & Sister Woodruff spoke, Sister Penha and then Elder Penha.  Part way through Elder Penha’s presentation, he asked Elder Brown, Elder Swenson, Elder Horn and Elder King who, at one time were young buck missionaries here in Brazil, to come to the podium.  They were asked to take a few minutes and tell what their vision was for Brazil when they served here.  Elder Brown, the oldest, the most seasoned missionary, talked last.  He was overcome with emotion.  He said that regardless of what his vision was he could never have imagined what he sees here now. When he served here, there were two native missionaries and now 65% are native.   When he arrived here, there were only 1,800 members in all of Brazil in one mission.  Now, there are almost a million members and 28 missions.  Looking over the audience, 80% of these young native missionaries were black.  As a young missionary, they were not to teach the black people.  In 1972, Pres. Kimball, received the revelation that gave all men, regardless of color, the opportunity to hold the priesthood, which is the authority to act in the name of God and perform the various priesthood ordinances which need to be performed  for mankind to return to live with him again.  Now, soon six temples will dot Brazil.  Last week, when we attended, the temple, there we sat with every imaginable race of people.  The Lord does love all of his children and is making it possible that they are united as families for the eternities.  Elder Penha had the missionaries raise their hands if they had only one or no parents who were members.  Probably 70% of the Brazilians raised their hands.  What an act of commitment!

Elder Penha asked the wives to come and stand next to their husbands.  He wanted to show them that even as older members, we still have an unlimited desire to serve the Lord.  And, that we do!  Love,  Elder & Sister Brown  (


President Andrew Day and Sister Lorraine Day presided over the São Paulo North Mission 87-90 and will travel with our group of some 76 to Brazil in November.  He will also attend the be the São Paulo Ferreira ward on Sunday, November 4th before our group gets there, for those members who would like to meet with him.


Sister Paula Rail and her husband, Elder Ellis Rail (BM 61-64) of Fontana, CA, are heading for a mission office assignment in the Connecticut Hartford Mission, and have been advised by the mission president that they will be working with a newly created Spanish branch when their office responsibilities permit.  Sister Rail shares this MTC experience:  “The MTC is wonderful.  Everyone should experience the MTC once in their life.  Everyone has been great and they treat the seniors so well.  We have had so much information given to us that my brain was about to explode.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we taught the 3 lessons--one each day to a volunteer who role played a non-member and then a new member.  It was a wonderful experience to see Ellis teach with the spirit in such a loving manner and to work together in teaching this individual.  We have learned to use The Book of Mormon to help families come back into the church again.  Preach My Gospel is a wonderful book and we were told that it was created in the Spirit World and given to us to further God's Kingdom here.  The instructors we have had have been superior.  They have a group of trainers and schedulers just for the Seniors.  We don't have to wait in line for meals and they cater to our every need.  We can leave the MTC if needed outside of our training times.  I am still working at Spanish.  I was able to bear my testimony last night in a devotional we had for language training missionaries.  It was very scary and hard, but I did it.  I have a wonderful trainer from Argentina.  He is great and takes it nice and slow.  So now you all have to plan to go on a Senior Mission.  It is the best thing we have ever done.  One thing we got to do is work in the call center. When the church puts an ad on TV or the pass along cards with a telephone number on it they call the MTC no matter where it is in the U.S. until 9:30 p.m. and then Salt Lake does the evening.  I got to answer two calls one from Everett, Washington and one from Arizona.  They wanted the DVD Faith in Christ.  They both loved Jesus Christ so much they wanted to know more and wanted to attend our church so I was able to tell them the church building they lived near.  That was really fun.  They could have kept me in there all day and I would have been just as happy as could be. We have couples going to Germany, Poland, Russia, Guam; Juneau, Alaska; North Carolina, North Dakota, Arizona; Pennsylvania, Tonga, Brazil, Australia, Temple Square, Chile, Florida, West Virginia, another couple to Hartford, CT, Africa, and other places I can not recall.  Most of them are CES.  This is the week for CES training, some of us Mission Offices, Proselyting, Family History Records Preservation, Perpetual Fund, and Security Office in Salt Lake . It has been a fun week getting to know this great Elders and Sisters.  Several are leaving Monday and then CES and Office will remain for one more week of training.  We will be working on the computers learning Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point.  I have always wanted to learn Excel and Power Point so that will be fun.  That was pretty much our week.  Sunday meetings were awesome!  My eyes have been full of tears all day.  We started with attending Sacrament Meeting in the International Branch.  There were 34 countries represented and 26 languages and they were learning English.  Then we attended a Mission Conference, auxiliary training by the Primary and Young Women board members, dinner, Departure Devotional, Fireside, and a video of Elder Uchtdorf when he came here a year ago and now it is 10:00 p.m.  The spirit is amazing.  I haven't felt the spirit this strong in a long time.  I can't even begin to share what we learned today except use the Book of Mormon in Home Teaching, Visiting Teaching.  Read a chapter with your families and they will feel the spirit.  Those of you in leadership use Preach My Gospel there is such wonderful material.  We love you, Ellis and Paula Rail”  (


“Alf, When I was in São Paulo last November I visited Elder Helio da Rocha Camargo.  He gave me a photocopy of a hand sketched drawing of “Elder Tolman – 30-5-59”    I would like to make sure that Elder gets this drawing by pioneer leader Helio Camargo.  I don’t know how to find this elder.  Can you help me find him so I can mail him this drawing of him? Thanks, Doug Holt, Safford, AZ.”  (

Brother Holt served in the Brazil North Mission (69-71) and presided over the Portugal Lisbon Mission (90-91).  He is a consummate missionary.  I was able to help him find Elder Tolman.  He writes:

“Thanks. The Richard Tolman I was looking for was the one you gave me, and I have sent him the very unique drawing of him done in 1959 by Helio da Rocha Camargo.  In case you are interested, here is a photo of Elder Camargo from last November, with President and Sister Bertasso, and their Elder Camargo, grandson of "Camargao". Thanks Doug”  (see the attached photo)

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

"When people of goodwill labor cooperatively in an honest and dedicated way, there is no end to what they can accomplish."  --Gordon B. Hinckley                                                       

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