Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #100


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #100

July 1, 2008


Puxa vida! This is the 100th newsletter since we began sending them in December 2001! Thanks to all of you for items contributed and encouragement given. As I get to know you, I become aware of what talented and remarkable people you are. I have the impression that quite a few of you actually read these and that those who do, enjoy them. It is my pleasure to compile them and send them out. Thank you brothers and sisters. Alf


In this issue:

Dedication of the Curitiba Temple

Pictorial tour of Brazil with our missionary group by Greg and Carol Allred

Fruits of the Seeds by Cloyd Gatrell

Elder Kimball and the opening of the Brazil North Mission

Help me find these missionaries

The Curitiba Temple Open House

Brazilians in Florida




The Curitiba Temple

The big news, of course, was the dedication of the Curitiba Temple, well reported in other publications. We are happy for the Saints of that temple district in Paraná and Santa Catarina.


To see a great collection of photographs and even a YouTube tour of the Curitiba Temple, go to President David Beck’s “Brasil Doce Lar” website:   Big thanks to Brother Beck for providing this way for us to share in the joy of the temple dedication.


Greg and Carol Allred matando saudades

Okay, if you want to feel even more saudades do Brasil, come with Greg (BSM 68-70) and Carol Allred on their photo tour with our ex-missionary group last November. Greg did a great job of capturing the fun of this trip. Don’t miss this!! Here is the link:


Also from our group who traveled last November comes this inspiring vignette from Cloyd Gatrell (BSM/BM 67-69) of Harrisburg, PA, which was published in the May 17 Church News:

Missionary moments: Fruits of the seeds

    In November 2007, I visited Brazil for the first time since my 1967-69 mission. As my wife and I traveled, we were able to learn how one person embracing the gospel can change a family and area for generations.
   During our travels we met Florianópolis Stake President Adalton P. Parrela, who told our group of former missionaries and their spouses how the Church had liberated his parents and nine siblings from poverty. President Parrela expressed his love for those who taught his parents, and sincere appreciation to all the missionaries from 40 and 50 years ago who laid the foundation for the growth of the Church in Brazil. "Each one of you," he told our group, "planted similar seeds."
   The next day we attended Church in Curitiba where I saw Antonio Kogiaridis, a man I had helped baptize 40 years ago. When I introduced myself, he told me of the progress that had occurred over the many years. Brother Kogiaridis had served as a bishop four times, had served a mission with his wife to Greece, and was currently serving as a service missionary. An area that once had two branches now has 13 stakes.
   The two toddlers I had known in the Kogiaridis home were married to men who had also been bishops; his son (not yet born during my mission) was also married, and currently serving as a stake president.
   In fast and testimony meeting, Brother Kogiaridis spoke about how much he owed to the missionaries who had introduced his family to the Church. He invited me to the pulpit and put his arm around me as he finished his testimony. He then motioned to me to add mine. The next brother bore testimony of how Brother Kogiaridis had helped him as his bishop and home teacher, and said he was, therefore, grateful to me. Through the rest of the meeting, members I had never met thanked me for bringing the Kogiaridis' into the Church and into their lives.
   While listening to President Parrela in Florianópolis, I had no idea how soon I would personally witness the fruits of seeds I helped plant as a missionary 40 years earlier. — Cloyd Gatrell, Carlisle Ward, Harrisburg Pennsylvania Stake


On May 29th Cloyd and his wife Kathryn returned to Curitiba as guests of the Kogiaridis family, just in time for the temple dedication.


Paulo Itinose is completing his service as president of the Brazil Manaus Mission this June. Thanks in part to him and his missionaries, the groundwork is laid for the Manaus Temple. President David Jayme will assume some of that responsibility now.


Paulo Itinose is completing his service as president of the Brazil Manaus Mission this June. Thanks in part to him and his missionaries, the groundwork is laid for the Manaus Temple. President David Jayme will assume some of that responsibility now.


Info from  Ground was broken for the Manaus Brazil Temple—Brazil's sixth temple—on Friday, June 20, 2008. Elder Charles A. Didier presided over the ceremonial digging, which included inspiring remarks and musical selections. The choice temple site is located on the banks of the mighty Rio Negro in a setting similar to theIdaho Falls Temple, which stands on the Snake River.  Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas.  It is located on the Rio Negro about 11 miles above its confluence with the Amazon River. For the thousands of saints of northern Brazil who currently travel days to reach the Caracas Venezuela Temple or the Recife Brazil Temple, a temple in Manaus is a blessing indeed.

There is also an item on, Newsroom. To see the artist’s rendition, go to


Mission History – Elder Kimball and the opening of the Brazil North Mission

Greg Christofferson (BM 65-67) of Irvine, California shares some fascinating history: “Irmão Alf, Thanks for the great job you are doing with the Brasulista newsletter.


“As I read about all of the missions now in Brazil (there were only two when I served), I cannot help but remember experiences from the latter part of my mission. President Lloyd Hicken called me into his office in September, 1967. He told me that the Brethren were considering closing northern Brazil to missionary work because of problems there relating to leadership issues, mostly due to priesthood restrictions of the time. He said Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then over the South American missions, was coming to Brazil in late November and assigned me to visit the branches in northern Brazil ahead of time and then brief Elder Kimball on the state of affairs in those areas when he came to Recife.


“Due to the expense of air travel in those days, the missionaries of the Brazilian mission serving in the north were a mixture of those who either flew directly from the U.S. to Belem and served the first six months of their missions in northern Brazil and then went on to São Paulo, and those who were sent there the last six months of their missions and given a plane ticket home from Belem when they left São Paulo, to be used when their missions were done. Because of the expense of travel, I was authorized to travel either with or without a companion, depending on the costs--something I highly doubt would be allowed today!


“I had many, many marvelous experiences during this special time when I had the opportunity to visit every city and town where the Church had a branch, which I won't bore you with. We were able to get quite a bit of publicity when Elder Kimball and his wife came to Recife (the first LDS Apostle to visit Recife), including a couple of TV stations that did segments on the evening news.


“During Elder Kimball's visit we discussed what I felt were the two major challenges facing northern Brazil at the time. The first was the lack of local Priesthood leadership which could only be resolved if and when those of African ancestry were able to hold the Priesthood. The second was the tremendous distance between northern Brazil and the mission home in São Paulo and the attendant problems that occasioned.


“I completed my mission about three weeks after Elder Kimball's visit and returned to BYU. A few months later, I received a phone call from Elder Kimball's secretary asking ‘if it would be convenient for me’ to meet Elder Kimball in his office the next day. I assured her it was! During that visit, Elder Kimball told me that the Brethren had decided not only to leave northern Brazil open for missionary work, but to divide the Brazilian mission and form the Brazilian North mission. The public announcement of the change followed a few days later and I have since marveled about his kindness in taking the time from his busy schedule to tell me personally about something with which I had been deeply involved. The Brazilian North mission was organized July 7, 1968, and within a decade President Kimball announced the revelation extending temple and Priesthood blessings to all worthy members of the Church--both decisions have blessed countless lives in northern Brazil.”

Greg Christofferson, Irvine, California (


Help me find these missionaries:

Dear Bro. Gunn, In 1972 my mother received two missionaries in our home. They were the first who left the Book of Mormon to my mother's family. Their names were Elder Lever and Elder Pfeiffer (I don't know if I spelled them right). My family is from Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brasil. I think I was 9 years old when the first missionaries came. I never forgot them. The pastors from the religion my parents had practiced came to argue with the Elders, but the missionaries were calm in the face of it all. But the effect was to drive the missionaries from our home and family at that time.  I pray that one day I can talk with them. My name is Mirian Goncalves Pinheiro Mesquita. I live in West Valley City, Utah. My father, Luis Goncalves Pinheiro; my mother Rosimirian Rigoni Milicio. The missionaries who baptized us (the whole family in 1985) were Matthew Andreessen (not sure about the spelling) and Robert McFarlane. I lost contact with them too. Thanks for your time, Mirian Mesquita (


Anybody with information about Elders Lever, Pfeiffer, Matthew Andreessen or Robert McFarlane, please let me know. (


The Curitiba Temple Open House

On June 14, Elder Shannon P. Flynn (BSPS 77-79) of Gilbert, AZ, wrote:

“Dear Alf, I just wanted to drop a line and tell you a little about our recent trip to Brazil.  One of my former companions, Elder Lawrence Groom, and I, and some of our families, went to Brazil for about ten days in the middle of May.  Lawrence is now a captain on a 747 for Northwest Airlines. We had many significant experiences while we were missionaries there.  We served together in Mauá (a suburb of São Paulo) in May and June of 1978.  We returned to attend church exactly 30 years later. 


“We found the Ward mission leader we knew from those days he is still active and going on splits with the missionaries.  His name is Antonio Milanez and he was baptized in 1973.  We also found one lady we baptized.  As you imagine many tears of joy were shed amongst us.  Several people came up to us and told us of their conversion experience and recounted how a missionary had taught and baptized them in the preceding years.  All kept repeating "Thank you, Thank you."  The bishop's wife told me with a little tone of sadness, "I sure wish the missionaries who baptized me could come and visit."  It was such a powerful experience for us.  We were in this area when the announcement was made relative to Priesthood ordinations.  We attended church in Curitiba the next Sunday and we met Irmão Kogiaridis.  He recounted how a few months previous several bus loads of missionaries had arrived to attend church in the various buildings in the area. 


“We went to the Temple open house.  The building isn't just beautiful, it is stunning.  A tremendous location, it is such a blessing to the city.  The members are so excited and proud. What a tribute to all of the work of members and missionaries over the years.  As we were flying home my wife asked when we get to come back and be missionaries.  As all of the former missionaries know, that country gets in your blood and you are never the same.  I am happy to say that I am an adopted Brazilian. 


“The temple is on a small lot, only about 8 acres, and the building itself is on a small footprint.  The tours were so well guided, keeping the questions for the end.  Nothing was said in the Celestial Room, and the Spirit of the Lord was present in abundance.  We just stood there and wept.  Looking back on it now, we should all have been paying money to have the privilege of being part of the Brazil mission experience.” Shannon P. Flynn (


Brazilians in Florida

Here is a report from President Reynolds, just completing his service in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, where some of our alumni have served senior missions in the past:


“Dear Brother Gunn, Well, it has been three years since you added me to your mailing list.  Thanks for what you do for the LDS Brazilian community. The Fort Lauderdale Mission area has pretty much dropped off the map for missionary work in Portuguese.  The Brazilian members quickly assimilate in South Florida, where they have a choice between Spanish and English wards, and immigration has slowed to a trickle.  Both stakes have closed their Portuguese branches, sending the members to the English or Spanish wards where they live.  It has been a good thing, and they are contributing well in those new settings.  We continue to have a few Portuguese-speaking investigators, but we have enough missionaries from Brazil still that they can teach them. Sister Reynolds and I will complete our mission in Florida on June 30 and return to our home in Orem, Utah.  Thanks again for all you do. Sincerely, Noel Reynolds, President, Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission”



Brazil’s national team came to Seattle and played Canada in a friendly match on May 31st. The Canadians (ranked 62nd) played very well and almost nipped Brazil (ranked 2nd). Finals score: Brazil 3, Canada 2. See YouTube highlights at




Alf Gunn     (BSM 62-65)

Gig Harbor, WA



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