Alf Gunn Badge

Cristo300Brasulista #94

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #94
February 6, 2008

"Those of you sitting here today will not believe the stories you will hear about the growth of the Church in Brazil."  --Elder Spencer W. Kimball, Brazil, c1961

In this issue:

President Hinckley remembered in the São Paulo Temple
Five years of Brasulistas
Curitiba Temple to be dedicated June 1.  
Prophesy Fulfilled
“Brasil Doce Lar” DVD available for purchase
Travel tour opportunities:  Curitiba Temple; China; the Best Darn South America Tour.
Arlen Woodward new President of the MTC São Paulo
Mission opportunity at Recife
Brazilian senior couples being called
Jensen Missionary Reunion announced
Oakes Sisters Reunion announced
Called To Serve
Volunteer sought to index the Brasulistas


Elder John (BM 60-63) and Marcia Dow are back in Mozambique, where they spent the last couple years, now on a short-term humanitarian mission. They share the following:

“Last night we watched President Gordon B. Hinckley's funeral on a broadcast from Salt Lake City. It was a sweet experience to watch the service in English in a room with about 20 missionaries with the Portuguese broadcast downstairs with a near-overflow congregation. It was obvious that there were many tears being shed on white shirts and ties. We were touched that these big, macho men were able to show their tender, humble sides as they bid farewell to the prophet they have loved for most of their young lives. We are already missing President Hinckley--we love him too.” (

Brothers and Sisters,
With you I am experiencing fond memories of our great prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, who passed away on Sunday January 27.  We have been blessed beyond words by this great and humble man.  I share only the following experience as a personal spiritual highlight, from Brasulista #23, recalling events of February 2004 at the rededication session of the renovated São Paulo Temple:

“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). Standby for more, I would say.

“President Hinckley offered the dedicatory prayer in English and then it was read in Portuguese by President Faust. President Hinckley led the members in the Hosanna shout after which a 24-voice choir sang the anthem associated with that shout and we all joined in with The Spirit of God. It is not often you hear singing in a celestial room of a temple, but when this choir sang it was magnificent and loud and triumphant, and when we joined the tears of joy flowed. I was amazed at the sound and the feeling.”


December marked 5 years since the first issue of the Brasulista.  I thank the Lord for the many blessings I have counted since then.  My desire five years ago was to look up the missionaries with whom I had served in the Brazilian South Mission under President’s Finn B. Paulsen and C. Elmo Turner, and the Internet provided ways to accomplish that.  In order to keep our contacts current, I figured we could send an email newsletter every once in a while and see if any of them bounced.  But I started to receive so much input—very positive input--from recipients of the newsletter that it soon grew into a very enjoyable project in itself—a more-than-monthly newsletter.  

I love Brazil, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it for quite a few years during a busy professional life.  Now I was reviewing my own journal letters and enjoying sweet experiences recalled.  What I found was that just about everybody who had served a mission in Brazil had passionate, appreciative, fond memories and a love for the people and especially the Saints of Brazil.  The newsletter now goes out to almost 2,000 who served in the early Brazilian missions before 1975.

During the last 5 years we have had a couple of pretty fine reunions, where we have been able to express our appreciation, in part, to our mission presidents.  We have made many good connections with companions and sometimes with Brazilian members we knew long ago. Some of us have enjoyed some fun tours back to Brazil.  Many have gone on to serve senior missions in these five years, perhaps some encouraged by accounts of others in the newsletters.  If you would like to review past issues, just ask me and I will forward all of them to you as attachments to an email. (*See note at the end of this Brasulista)

One element that makes this project work so well is expressed in the email I received recently from Sister Sonia Gutto Davis, formerly a Paulista, who married Bill Davis, BSM 67-69.  They had lived in Brazil from 1979 to 2004.  I don’t usually post in the Brasulista the all-too-frequent notices I receive of the passing of our missionaries—there are quite a few.  But this note touched me, as it could be written about me and perhaps many of you.  Sister Davis writes, “Alf, I don't know if I have told you or not, but my husband William Frank Davis (1967-1969 - Missão Brasil Sul, under Pres. Jensen and Turner) passed away Nov 9th of pancreatic cancer.  All he wanted when he found out he had cancer three months earlier was to go back to Rio Grande do Sul where he had served, but the doctors wouldn't let us.  ‘Till the very last he talked about going back and talked about how wonderful his mission had been.  He loved the people in the south; he loved Brazil.  Love,  Sonia Gutto Davis” (

In summary, I want to thank all of you not only for your support of this effort, but for the ongoing example of your lives of love and service.  Muito obrigado.  
Your brother,   Alf Gunn


Here is a note from Elder Marvin Pryde (BM/BSM 59-61) of Sacramento, CA:  “Dear Alf,  In 1960 or 61, President Spencer W. Kimball came to Brazil and visited with the missionaries serving at that time.  He made a great prophecy, one that has repeatedly run through my mind.  He prophesied of the great growth of the Church in South America, but especially in Brazil,  The key phrase that I remember is, "Those of you sitting here today will not believe the stories you will hear about the growth of the Church in Brazil."  Boy is that literally true!  I wonder if anyone has a transcript or better notes of that address?  It might increase the understanding of those who don't have a clue what it was like in Brazil before that prophecy.  Thanks again and may God Bless.  Marvin Pryde”  (


Anyone who loves Brazil will be touched by this great DVD, containing the poignant true story of Wayne and Evelyn Beck and their mission to Brazil after WWII.  Evelyn passed away three years ago, but President Beck lives in Bountiful and is seen on this made-for-TV-in-Brazil film.  Get one for yourself, your kids or grandkids who served in Brazil, or the missionary who has got his call to Brazil and his parents.  Proceeds support a very good cause.  President David Beck writes:  

People who want to obtain copies of the Brasil Doce Lar DVD can now get them on the website:  It takes a $15 donation (or more) to the Brasil Doce Lar Foundation.  There are no handling or shipping charges.  All of the proceeds are going to support education initiatives in Brazil.  The DVD includes the following:

  • 1.    Brasil Doce Lar Film – 26 minute film produced by Kaleidoscope Pictures that tells the love story of Wayne and Evelyn Beck with Brazil.  There are three language versions of the film – Portuguese, English and Spanish (all on one DVD).
  • 2.    16 mm archive of films shot by Wayne Beck from 1946 to 1948.
  • 3.    Event at the Museu da Imagem e do Som in Campinas last year.
  • 4.    Interviews
  • 5.    Montage of People and Places in Brazil.


The First Presidency has announced the open house and dedication dates for the Curitiba Brazil Temple as follows:

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE  Saturday, May 10 - Saturday, May 24, 2008, (excluding Sundays and Monday evenings).  The open house will be open to the general public.  All are welcome to attend including children.

CULTURAL CELEBRATION  Saturday, May 31, 2008

DEDICATION  Sunday, June 1, 2008


Dick Jensen of Morris Murdock, whom I call my travel agent, has hosted our last three mission reunion tours, in 05, 06 and 07.  Here is what is in the mill for 2008:

Brazil Curitiba temple dedication tour, May 29 to June 5th including Curitiba, Iguaçu Falls and Rio De Janeiro.  Many have inquired about this.  (Dick and I are not planning to go on this tour, but it will soon be available on the Morris Murdock Travel website, I am told.)  This has not been posted on their website yet, but you can call them.  Just a preview here.

By the way, Dick will be in China at that time, and since some of our folks who have traveled to Brazil with him have asked about a China trip, see
to join Dick on this one, beginning June 2.  Cost is $1799 from Los Angeles—yes, that’s airfare, fine hotels and, well, Chinese food!


If I had a dream trip to South America it would definitely include Machu Picchu, Peru, the lost city of the Incas, discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and by me on my way home from my mission in 1965.  Well, here it is:  The ultimate Brazil Trip will be Nov 4 through the 15th and include Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Joinville, Curitiba, Iguaçu Falls, and for the first time ever Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu.  Count me in.  You?  Again, this info is a preview as it has not been posted on the Morris Murdock Travel Web site yet.


President Arlen W. Woodward (BSM 60-63) and Sister Sally Woodward from North Hollywood, CA, have begun their service as President of the Centro de Treinamento Missionário at São Paulo, and we send our best wishes and congratulations to them.  They previously presided over the Brazil Porto Alegre North Mission from 1997 to 2000.  At the CTM they replace President Wilford and Sister Phyllis Cardon, who have been marvelous, faith-filled leaders and role models for thousands of missionaries.  Personally, I have enjoyed attending church at the CTM on a few Sundays when I was visiting and have the highest regard for Brother and Sister Cardon who have always been warm and personable.  Congratulations to them too.

Sister Sharon and Elder Lin DePaula (BSM 61-62 and CTM SP 03-06) have accepted a call to serve in the New York New York Mission and reported there in their red Honda Odyssey van on January 15. Join them at their beautiful blogspot to follow their adventures:


From Elder Rex H. Brown (BM 57-59) of Meridian, ID, writes from Recife:  “Brother Gunn, Here it is nearly two years since the wife and I answered your notice in the Brasulista concerning the need for a couple in the Brazil Recife Mission office, to which we responded and received a call here.  Sister Brown and I will terminate our mission on or about October 9, 2008. President Woodruff asked that I contact you and ask if you would put out a notice for a couple to take our place in the first week of October. It took us ten months from your notice to reaching Recife so we thought it prudent to put out the word early. The president is desirous to have a couple here sometime between the first of October and the 9th.
Interested couples can contact President Mark Woodruff (BSPS 75-77) via e-mail:  Thanks a million for the service you render.
Your brother, Elder Rex H. Brown” (


Alf’s note:  ‘There are chances to work all around just now, opportunity’s right in our way,’ as the familiar hymn says.  But I know that at Brazil Area Headquarters in São Paulo there is a faithful Brazilian brother, former mission and temple president Oswaldo Silva Camargo, who sits quietly at a desk and makes phone calls to the 200-plus stake presidents in Brazil and asks them to recommend Brazilian couples who can serve senior couple and service missions. This initiative is bearing much fruit.  Brother Camargo’s efforts, combined with the great faith of the Brazilian saints, will impact the missionary work and leadership development in Brazil just as the increased calling of Brazilian young men to full-time missions revolutionized the missionary work in an earlier era.  


Cordell Atkins writes:  “We are planning another great mission reunion for those missionaries and friends of President Thomas F. Jensen.  The reunion will be held on April 4, 2008 in Salt Lake City.  We are planning on some new and enjoyable activities.  Please mark you calendar and reserve this date.  Also there have been some missionaries who have offered to provide a room for a night for those missionaries who could benefit from the generosity of a fellow missionary.  Any who plan to come and need some assistance with lodging please let me know early so we can make the possible arrangements.  There will more announcements as we get closer to April, but we wanted to let you know early in case work/travel arrangements needed to be made.  Call Cordell Atkins 801-278-5861 or email .


Sister Jeannette Oakes has invited all of the Sisters who served with her and President George Oakes in the Brazil North Mission 71-74 to a luncheon reunion at 12 noon on April 3rd at the Oakes residence at 1012 Foxhill Road, North Salt Lake City, UT 84054.  Any Sisters who have not been in contact with Sister Oakes until now are requested to call her at 801-294-4739 or email at .


Dick Silver (BSM 61-63) writes from his home in South Africa:  “Alf:  It was super, reading in the last Brasulista all the notes from those who traveled to Brazil!  Kay & I are once again spending (six months, this time) time at our second home, in South Africa just 120 km from the Mozambican border.  It is now 5-1/2 years since we put in our papers to serve, thinking - we speak Portuguese, wonder where in Brazil we will be called.  In the spring of 2002 we opened the First Presidency letter, and I said to our gathered family: ‘I am not joking... but where is Mozambique?’

“Remember, there are lots of places outside Brazil where Portuguese-speakers are needed, including Cabo Verde, Portugal, Angola, and Mozambique, just for a few.  We are currently called as Temple workers in the Johannesburg Temple, where I believe we are the only ones who speak Portuguese.  We try to be there whenever Saints from Angola or Mozambique come, so we can give them extra help.  Saudades, Dick & Kay Silver BSM 61-63”

Note: The Silver’s U.S. residence is in Frankfort, KY.  They served in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission (in Mozambique), Jun 2002 - May 2004 and the Maputo Mozambique Mission (In Angola, humanitarian) May - Jul 2006.  They can be reached at


Ron and Sheran Burrup write:  “Hi Alf,  Just wanted to let you know we have been called to a mission at the temple in Recife, Brazil and will start at the MTC on April 7, 2008.  We are thrilled to be returning to Brazil.  This will be our second mission together.  We served a welfare mission in Porto Alegre from 2004-2006. Elder Ronald Burrup (BM 65-67) (POA 04-06) and Sister Sheran Burrup (POA 04-06).” (


Bob and Evelyn Owens - “Great Newsletter.  We also have our mission call.  We will enter the Provo MTC for the Brazil Curitiba Mission on December 31, 2007.  We will fly out January 7.  We are very excited too.  Maybe we will see some of you at the Curitiba Temple open house or dedication!  With love,  Bob & Evelyn Owens” (

Congratulations to the Owens’!  This is their third senior couple’s mission. They served in Mozambique from 02 to 03 and São Paulo South from 04 to 05. Bob served in the Brazilian and Brazil South Missions 1957-1960.

Elder Stephen D. (BSM 72-74) and Sister Marianna E. Richardson of Redmond, WA, are called to be a mission president in a Portuguese speaking area, where to be announced.  (

Elder Christopher G. Jackson (BPAM 71-73) and his wife Becky live in the Bountiful Mueller Park Stake. Bountiful, UT.  Chris has been called to be a mission president in a Portuguese speaking mission. (


I recently located Sister Jean Hatch (mission name Donna Jean Simpkins--BM 54-56) at Taylor, AZ.  I mention her because when her husband Max retired in the 90’s they served missions together at Portland, OR, then at Nauvoo, IL, and finally to the Brazil Florianopolis Mission from 2001 to 2002.  Great missionaries like that cannot be ignored.  Jean and Max can be reached through their daughter at


I received an email recently from Ivo Ayres da Silva of Curitiba, the son of a family who had been taught by Elder Ralph Brooks (BSM 60-62) in Lages, inquiring after Elder Brooks.  I gave the info to Ralph who was able to respond in Portuguese.  Ivo wrote back:

“Você está falando português melhor que eu.  Você não sabe o tamanho da alegria que eu estou sentindo. Eu nasci em 20 de maio de 1964 em Curitiba, Paraná.  Sou filho de Ayres Fernandes da Silva e Aurora Urival. Você não tem idéia da benção que você deu para nossa família.  Meu pai Ayres faleceu em 1990, e minha mãe Aurora está se preparando para passar pelo Templo.  Eu já servi como bispo por alguns anos e atualmente sou presidente de ramo em minha cidade.  Minha avó, Percília Caetano Pinto, faleceu em 1980.  Ela foi uma das primeiras a passar pelo Templo de São Paulo.  O Eleotério faleceu em março de 2005.  Muitas pessoas de minha família estão fora da Igreja, mas a grande maioria está firme.  Vou mandar sua foto de quando serviu em Lages.  Grande abraços, Ivo Ayres da Silva”

Ivo even scanned and sent Elder Brooks’ old mission photo, and photos of the family at the Curitiba Temple which is nearing completion.  Ralph sends this to me:

“Alf, Regarding Ivo Ayres da Silva.  As it turned out, I baptized his family on June 3, 1961 while working in Lages, SC.  My companion was Dirceu Domingues.  Ivo was baptized three years later in Curitiba.  Sometimes you wonder if there were any that stayed active.  When he told me that I could not imagine the blessing that was given to his family when they became members of the Church, I wrote him back with an experience I had with his father prior to Ivo’s birth.  We were outside the chapel (which was a rented house) in Lages one Sunday morning waiting and greeting those attending the meeting.  I noticed Ivo’s mother, Aurora Urival, and some children but did not see her husband, Ayres.  She said, “he’s coming shortly.”  We went inside, held our meetings with the 10 people in attendance and about 5 minutes before it ended, her husband entered the chapel.  Afterwards, I greeted him with a hug and told him we missed him.  “Elder, I didn’t have enough money to pay for the bus fare for all my family and still pay my tithing, so I walked to church.  Here is my tithing.”  I am certain that Ivo was pleased to learn of his father’s great faith as a new member of the Church.  Thanks for facilitating this wonderful reunion through your efforts with the Brasulista.  Ralph Brooks, BSM 60-62” (


I would sure appreciate someone with the time and dedication to read through all of the past Brasulistas and create an index of names and stories to which I can refer and which I can make available to readers. I am sometimes asked to share a story that was printed in the newsletter and it takes some searching to find the article.  An index would really help.  After that it would be quite easy to maintain the index.  Any applicants for this prestigious position?

*NOTE: When I twisted Alf's arm to get the Brasulista online, I didn't know that he had asked for help back in February 2008... Pretty cool! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah

Com muito amor,

(Only send me Brazil related items, please.)

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

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location