Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #103


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #103

October 1, 2008


Something new: See the Brasulista Blog at for photos relating to items in the Brasulista. Please do not post comments there. Communicate by sending me emails. Thanks. Alf


In this issue:

Finding your companions

Asael T. Sorensen reunion set for Oct 2.

Other mission reunions

BNM Oakes Reunion planned for April 2009

Wm Grant Bangerter note to his missionaries

Update on the Porto Alegre South Mission

News from the field: Toronto, São Paulo and Governador Valadares

Reprint: Elder Rands and Elder Haslam visit the Foz do Iguaçu, 1965



An email service problem causes this issue to come a couple weeks late. It’s fixed now.


Yes, I am learning to post photos to a blog, and hope to get better at it. I would request that you do not post messages or photos to the blog but just email them to me. I will get better at this. See


“Whatever happened to Elder Fulano?”

Just a reminder that you may inquire about any of your old companions or associates from the mission days by sending me an email asking about them. ( I will send you back whatever info I have on them.


Also, this helps me discover persons who should be on my list that I haven’t known about previously. So always give me their most complete name, to your knowledge, and where they were from or last known to be so I can try to locate them if not already located.


I suppose that you know that the Church does not maintain lists of everybody who served in a mission, so we have to build our own lists. I maintain two lists. One is missionaries who served in the Brazilian South Mission or Porto Alegre Mission before 1975. The other is “all others”—The Brazilian Mission, Brazil Central, Brazil North, Brazil São Paulo South, etc, mostly before 1975 or 1980.


Sisters, if you know married names of your companions, please share that info with me too, so I can be sure they are listed and located. Thanks much.




Our next semi-annual BRAZILIAN MISSION REUNION, ASAEL T. SORENSEN GROUP, which has been held every six months for over 50 years, will be held THURSDAY, October 2, 2008, 7:00-10:00 p.m. in Gary Kay’s chapel at 6350 So. Rodeo Lane (about 1550 East).   Sister Ida Sorensen will be in attendance along with some of her children which will likely include Ellen, Jean, Kristine, and Colleen.

The next reunion after this October reunion will be held in April 2009, same time, same place, on the Friday evening just before the April General Conference.  Our October reunions are held on Thursdays, instead of Fridays, so that our mission presidents can attend our reunion before their own reunions on Friday.  Also Thursdays usually avoid conflicting with BYU and Utah football games held on Fridays. If questions, call Dick Knudson, 801-998-8028, 801-278-7889. Dick will be substituting for our president, Gary Kay, who will be on a cruise with his wife Joan during our October reunion. Thanks, Dave Richardson (801-262-5988) (, committee member, along with Betty Hall (801-968-2778).  Ida Sorensen (801-272-5464).


Brazil North Reunion (Oakes 71-74) planned for April 2009

Sister Kristine Sorensen Prestwich Gehret, who served under President George and Jeannette Oakes (Brazil North Mission 71-74), would like to invite all missionaries who also served with the Oakes to attend a missionary reunion next April 2009. More information regarding the time and place will be forthcoming, but she would appreciate an indication from any who are interested in coming to this reunion so that she can better prepare for the event. It will be great to see as many as possible to renew acquaintances and matar saudades do Brasil.  She doesn't know where most of you are so it would be helpful to receive any information as to your whereabouts in addition to doing some networking on some of you that have been unreachable. Please send her an email at or call 801-310-6239 or 928-537-7803.


Also, Sister Jeannette Oakes requests you please send your updated information—name, address, phones, etc. to her at or mail to 1012 Foxhill Road, North Salt Lake, UT 84054 or call 801-294-4739. The Oakes look forward to more reunions now that they have moved to Utah from California.


OTHER REUNIONS, from the Deseret News

See for more details

Brazilian Mission, Rex and Howells 1945-1953 Oct 2 Noon to 4 pm at the Grant Stake Pavilion, 3401 S. 1100 East, SLC, UT Lloyd Stevens 801-266-1962.


Brazil Porto Alegre Mission, Lynn A. Sorensen 1973-1976 Oct 3, 6-9 pm. See Kevin Hague 801-254-1589


Brazil Sao Paulo Mission, Hibbert/Hicken 1966-1972, Oct 3, 7-9 pm, Sandy, UT see Richard SWager 801-377-6906.


Bangerter Missionaries Notes

Carlos Litster reports: “There will be no Bangerter Missionary Reunion in October, 2008. In April we had a great reunion at the chapel in Alpine, near President Bangerter's home. There were about 130 in attendance. We got to see, visit with, and watch performances of many of the Bangerter children and grandchildren--one of the advantages of having the reunion in Alpine. This is a testament to the love and devotion the missionaries have for President and Sister Bangerter.”


A note from President Wm. Grant Bangerter:

“We wish to send a special greeting to all of our former missionaries by email to convey our close and enduring feelings which continue to hold our relationship in fondest endearment.

“On the 8th of June this year, at my birthday party at my home, we were honored by the visit of more than 100 of you. That event and other contacts continue to deepen our love and fond memories of what has become a lifetime of choice associations.

“None of us can fully understand the miraculous result of our experience in

Brazil but we continue to feel the miraculous magnitude of what has taken place. We send our love and feelings of companionship at this season with prayers for you all.

“P.S. We stand in amazement to enjoy our 64 grandchildren and 50 great- grandchildren. We can hardly realize this fantastic ballooning in the size of our family.”


For (Bangerter group) Missionary Reunion Information or to give us information, such as a new email address for a missionary, please contact:

               Carlos Litster 801-451-2093

               Fred Westergard 801-583-4405


Update on the Porto Alegre South Mission

Lee Radebaugh (BSM 64-66), of Provo, former President of the POA South Mission (00-03) writes: “Alf: I just visited with a newly returned missionary from the Porto Alegre South Mission, and he said the work is going great there. They currently have about 160 missionaries, and about 2/3 of them are Brazilian. They hope to baptize 1,400 this year. Since I was there, the Porto Alegre South Mission picked up the Bagé Stake from the Santa Maria Mission and the Moinhos de Vento Stake from the POA North Mission in exchange for the Santa Cruz District. The mission branches that were largely opened by President Camargo are now part of the Moinhos de Vento Stake where they have strong priesthood leadership. Thanks for your updates. Lee Radebaugh (


News from the field

Elder David Adams (BrCentralMsn 71-73) of Blackfoot, ID, writes: “Brother Gunn. When Dorine and I received our call to serve in the Toronto Canada East Mission she said, "Ha, ha, you have to learn French!" I was surprised that I was not going to use the Portuguese I had retained but was more than happy to serve where the Lord wanted. Lucky for me he who laughs first doesn't always laugh last. We are serving in a Spanish/Portuguese speaking ward in Toronto. We are working every day with Brazilians who have come here to Toronto for many reasons. They come here sometimes to learn English and we send them back members of the Lord's Church. We have 2 full-time Portuguese Elders and one who works in the Spanish work but comes back as soon as we get the two Brazilian Elders who arrive in 2 weeks. We will have one more coming in about a month who will be working in the Spanish work. We now have two Sunday school classes and a priesthood meeting all in Portuguese. We hope to have a relief society in Portuguese soon. We also have a Portuguese choir that the Bishop is using quite often. Our goal is a Branch before we have to go home in a year.


“We are working with teaching and activation of members both Spanish and Portuguese. Sister Adams is working diligently to learn Portuguese. At Relief Society two weeks ago she heard her name called but because it is conducted in Spanish she wasn't sure of what she was to do. The Secretary whispered to her, "Pray in Spanish!" She stood and gave the prayer in Portuguese. When she said amen everyone didn't say amen, they said “Oooooo!” No one knew she could do it. My wife bears witness that the Lord will help you learn a new language even at 39 plus a few! We are loving our mission. We hope our next mission will be to Brazil but will be happy to go wherever the Lord calls us. I know I am a younger return missionary from Brazil but I love receiving all the news of Brazil. Our love for all seniors who are serving. Elder and Sister Adams Toronto Canada East Mission (


More from the Field – Public Affairs

When Elder Dean and Sister Ieda Packham, on their mission in São Paulo, read about Elder and Sister Henry serving in Santa Catarina (Brasulista #102) they felt some saudades for that part of Brazil. Elder Packham (BSM 64-66) writes to the Henrys:

“Oi! Foi bom saber que temos um casal missionário cuidando da nossa terra prometida de Santa Catarina. Sister Packham e eu estamos servindo uma missão de tempo integral aquí em São Paulo (Brasil Área--Assuntos Públicos). Temos também, um apartamento em Joinville, e uma casinha na Praia do Tabuleiro em Barra Velha (Estaca Vale do Itajaí). Estamos com muitos saudades. Como seria bom se pudessemos estar de voltar para lá--apesar de estarmos gostando muito da missão e os trabalhos que estamos fazendo aquí.

“Our big project right now (after seven months of preparations) is the Helping Hands for Public School Repairs (Mãos que Ajudam a Reformar Escolas Públicas) which is on September 6th. (The national holiday falls on Sunday this year....)  There will be over 350 schools being helped by more than 90,000 volunteers--members, PTA's, students, friends of the church.  It is a wonderful way to "go about doing good" and opens many doors for further missionary work. The Church is really "saindo da obscuridade." We hope you'll be able to get in on the action somewhere--hopefully there in Chapecó.

“We also are part of a branch presidency at the CTM. There we have the opportunity each Sunday to meet with the new American Elders/Sisters, do interviews, teach Sunday school or PH or RS or speak in Sacrament Meeting. Sister Packham is especially encouraging to them as they adjust to their new language and culture for nine weeks. We usually have about 200 missionaries, with about 30% native Brazilians. What a strong force for good they are!

“In May, we were able to spend a month in Curitiba, helping with the temple open house, celebrations, and dedication ceremonies.  And we've been to 15 of the major cities of Brazil giving training to the Multi-stake Public Affairs Councils.  Next year we hope to be able to visit with many, if not all, of the other stakes and districts in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Paraná for more personal training and motivation. Parabens!  Continuem firmes no trabalho, né?”

Elder Dean Packham e Sister Ieda Marleni John Packham (

See Elder and Sister Packham at


Elder Ed Hansen (BSM 65-67) and his wife Cyndy, of Kaysville, UT, are serving a Church Education System Mission in Governador Valadares, MG, Brazil, since March 2008. Ed shared some choice experiences recently:

“Dear Alf, This has been quite a week for me, to go to the Seminary Coordinators and Institute directors meeting near Campinas and to come in contact with someone that my companions and I were involved with when their family joined the church during my first mission. I was aware that Isaias Ribeiro had been living in Belo Horizonte prior to our coming on our mission. I had talked to Mark Zaugg and he heard that he was living there.

“The story behind their family is the following:  We received a referral from our zone leader who was visiting our city, Maringá, PR. We were on a city bus and he asked the golden questions to Irmão Ribeiro, Isaias' father. He gave the referral to Elder Zaugg. I was a fairly new missionary at the time. We went tracting one rainy night shortly thereafter. After tracting in their neighborhood, we made our first visit. I remember that there was a small family with three small children, one being an infant that had been having medical treatment. Isaias was a year old at the time. The family was baptized in only a few weeks. Isaias' father had a job that required him to work on Sundays at a gas station. I remember that after just a few weeks, he was offered a job that didn't require work on Sunday.  I remember Irmã Ribeiro bearing her testimony, during her first testimony meeting, that the gospel was something that she had known, but had forgotten. They have stayed firm in the gospel all these years, their children, all six of them are active and have been through the temple and have held many callings in the Church. Isaias told me that their parents fulfilled a temple mission in Recife about five years ago. Elder Zaugg has kept in closer contact with them over the years than I have and has probably better insights as to their history.

“Isaias and I visited here one night and I found out that he lived in Belo for some 15 years and was a coordinator with CES and started the program out here in Valadares and this region. He was a Stake President in Belo for quite awhile and now is in Londrina as the Institute director where he has been the last 4 years.  He is also the Stake President in Londrina. We hope to visit them after our mission on the way to Foz do Iguaçu. Isaias told me that Maringá has changed a lot and that there is a stake there now, where when I was there in late 1965 we met above a fish market, and I remember that the odor was strong on most Sundays.”

Abracos, Elder Ed Hansen (


Stevem J. Clark (BM 60-62) of Sedalia, CO, was sought by the Maia family of Vitoria who remembered him. I had him listed as being from São Luis, Maranhão. Later he shared with me how he was raised in Brazil:

“I was called as a local missionary at age 18 and did not go through temple for my endowment until returned to USA to attend BYU. This used to create humorous situations on first nights with new companion when they thought I had removed my garments. I grew up in South America (Columbia, Peru and Brazil). My dad was in the oil business. Grant Bangerter was my mission president. He visited our home in São Luis (northern Brazil) where we first me and I received a mission call shortly after he returned to his office in São Paulo.

“My dad's name was James (Jim) Richard Clark. He worked for Petrobras, the state oil monopoly, and pretty much ran oil exploration first in the Amazon basin and eventually for all Brazil. When in the north he was an official branch president for our branch of one family that met in our living room. Once there was an inactive member family in Belem that would join us occasionally, but until moving to Rio we were never blessed with other active member families living nearby. There are 6 children but my oldest brother never lived in Brazil with us, so the branch was 2 adults and 5 kids. The mission president would have elders stop by on their way home to check in on us and interview us for baptism or priesthood advancement. Petty cool.

“When moving to Rio Dad served in the Jardin Botanico Branch.

Dad died at age 94; he lived a very adventurous and full life.” (


The following is a reprint from an early Brasulista.


From Elder Richard Dee Rands (62-65) of Mountain View, CA, who confesses the following:   “In January of 1965, Elder Don Haslam and I were granted permission to visit Foz do Iguaçu prior to our departure from the mission. After spending several days seeing everything there was to see, we began to get antsy for something adventurous. Since we were nearing the time to head home, and we both had girl friends waiting for us, we were very uncomfortable hanging around the hotel loaded with honeymooning couples. Remember, Iguaçu is to South America what Niagara is to the U.S.
“One evening we were chatting with the bartender in the hotel's cafe and we asked him if there was something else exciting we could do. He looked us up and down, smiled slyly, and told us to meet out front of the hotel about 6am in the morning. Getting up early wasn't hard for two veteran Brazilian South missionaries, so we were soon off riding through the mato with a newlywed couple. No one would tell us what great adventure was ahead.
“Shortly we arrived at a riverbank where a small Brazilian man was standing next to a rowboat. We were urged to get in and this man quickly rowed us out into the middle of the river. As the current caught us, we realized that we were on the river headed over the falls. The oarsman steered the boat to a rocky outcrop right at the edge of the cataracts at the section known as the Throat of the Devil. We scrambled out of the boat and stood awestruck on a small patch of rock not more than 10 feet square. I cannot ever remember experiencing anything so momentous as having that much water thundering down around us. The gorge below was so huge that the rainbow in the mist formed a complete circle. After we had our fill of such an incredible experience, we climbed back into that little rowboat and that little Brazilian rowed like the dickens to get us far enough away from the edge and the current that we could relax. The photo shows Elder Haslam and the honeymooning couple in the boat with the little rocky outcrop immediately behind.

(See Elder Rand’s photo at

“Some years later, we heard that they had fitted the boat with a small outboard motor, but eventually had to stop the surreptitious tours to the edge of the Throat of the Devil because two employees of the hotel had gone out fishing and lost power. They were never found. Richard Rands” (


Elder Donald G. Haslam (BSM 62-65) lives in Upland, CA and has lived an otherwise sane life. (


Thanks for everything, brothers and sisters. Keep in touch, viu?




Alf Gunn

Gig Harbor, WA



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