Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #111
April 1, 2009
In this issue:
Notes from Alf
Elder and Sister Cox in Mozambique (see the attached)
Brother Judd goes to The Masters and memories of Brazil
Called to Serve – Ben Stowell
Blooming Where Planted – Richard Mitchell
News from the Field – Sheldon Nelson and Brad Hobbs
The Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial Project
Dear Elders and Sisters,
I am sorry to say that I am unable to attend the super reunion that has been so ably organized by our reunion committee. I am deployed out of state on a job and can’t leave to attend the reunion or General Conference in person. Knowing that I would not be able to attend, due to work and family matters, I asked some good people to form a reunion committee. Boy, did they do a great job!
I want to express my gratitude and high regard for the committee members and all who have worked with them. Key members of the committee from the beginning have included super organizers Denis Hawkins and Alan Hill of Bountiful, with special thanks to Stake President Jaime Dester for use of the stake center. David Beck put together the wonderful program and many activities. Sisters Cleonice Hermansen and Lola Timmins have coordinated the Brazilian food at the reunion! Carlos Litster and Kim Russell helped coordinated a number of things.
If you attend the reunion and would like to share your impressions in a short note for the next Brasulista, please email me. Thanks.
Reminiscing: I have my own flat-top copier and fax machine in my home office, which is a marvelous tool to my thinking. When I go to Kinko’s as I do occasionally to copy, collate and staple a program or whatever I can’t help but remember that in my lifetime I have made programs for church by hardening gelatin in a shallow pan, typing a blue ditto master, laying it on the gelatin and then getting as many paper copies as I could before it faded into the gel. I bet a lot of you did this too in Brazil. I spoke with Brother Keith Young (BM 53-55) of American Fork recently and mentioned this and he said he did that all the time in the mission. Elder Young designed the Ipomeia meetinghouse in Santa Catarina. He says there is at least one in Utah with the same design. I told him that the Ipomeia building was remodeled in recent years, but I believe it maintained the same design. Brother Alceu Arndt who has been in charge of Church construction in Brazil could tell us more about that.
Brother Young and his wife served a senior couple mission in the Recife South Mission in 1994-95.
A couple years ago the number of LDS Church buildings in Brazil passed the 1,000 number count. Buildings are air-conditioned nowadays. I am pretty sure they aren’t using many gelatin pan copiers any more.
Item: This good news caught me by surprise: “In a letter to congregations of Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the forthcoming Latter-day Saint edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish.” (Newsroom, lds.com 30 March 2009)
Elder and Sister Cox in Mozambique
Every week or two I get an incredible newsletter from Elder Bruce and Sister Linda Cox serving in Africa. I am trying to include their latest letter as an attachment to this Brasulista, just to give you a small idea of what they do and accomplish, and to encourage you to serve a Portuguese-speaking mission in Mozambique and Angola.
Bruce was in the BM from 57-60, and he and Sister Cox sent all eight of their children on missions (I met them in Porto Alegre picking up their last one, a daughter) before leaving the kids behind and serving their own missions in Rio (03-04) Mozambique (06-07) and now there again (08-09). These are some of my heroes. Are they having fun? See the attached.
Golf and Brazil
Judd West (BSM 64-66) of Ogden, UT, writes: “Hi Alf...great newsletters! Keep them coming. I am one of those who live close to the reunion site but I have a conflict every year with the April conference and Brazilian Mission Reunions. I have the great pleasure of serving as a 'Gallery Guard' for the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA, and the practice rounds always start the day after the Sunday session of General Conference. I usually fly out on the Friday or Saturday before and catch either the Priesthood session or one of the Sunday sessions at the local stake center. I would love to attend this year, with all the festivities and food, but won't be able.
“The cruise next Jan 2010 sounds terrific...we are seeing if it will work for me and my wife, Linda. We went back to Brasil in 1986 (20 years after my return) and visited 3 of the 4 cities where I served...Santa Maria, Livramento and Porto Alegre. Wonderful! I was amazed how much the church had grown in just 20 years! The branches were wards...the districts were stakes...and there were 10-15 missions. The branch president in Livramento, Guillermo Radtke, (age 23 when I was there), was now the Stake President. He had 3 sons who had returned from serving missions to Brasil and had become a very successful and prosperous business owner, all of which he recognized as blessings from the Lord as a member of His church who was just trying to fulfill his callings and teach his children to live the gospel. Later, we had the privilege of having him stay in our home 2 or 3 times when he came to SLC for stake presidents training during general conference weeks. It was a thrill to have our children experience the results of missionary work in Brasil.
“I am sending you some money for a Brasil Missions pin. Thank you for putting it together. It looks great! Best wishes and muitos abracos grandes!"
Judd West BSM 1964-66
Called to Serve
Alfred, Just a quick note to let you know that my wife Linda and I have been called to a CES mission in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. I served in the Brazilian South Mission under Pres Turner and Pres Jensen; 1966 -1969. Ben Stowell, Holladay, UT (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blooming Where Planted
I met Elder Richard A. Mitchell (BSM 60-63) when he was serving as Stake President of the Federal Way Washington Stake for 10 years after being a Counselor and Executive Secretary for 15 years before that. He writes, “After my release, my wife and I were preparing for a full-time mission in one year, fully anticipating going to Brazil. Then I had a serious heart attack, which changed our plans dramatically. We served as Housing Coordinators almost four years as part-time Church-Service Missionaries in the Washington Seattle Mission. Upon being released from that mission, we were immediately called to be Part-time Church-Service Missionary Coordinators for Western Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. We are responsible for 46 stakes and have 214 part-time Church-Service Missionaries currently serving under our jurisdiction. If, for whatever reason, a person cannot serve a full-time mission, a part-time, Church-Service Mission is always a great option. You serve while living at home, from 8-32 hours per week, preferably as couples, but brothers or sisters can serve alone. We are truly blessed in this mission calling.”
News From The Field
My old companion Elder Sheldon Nelson of Provo has found a better companion and writes from North Carolina: “Hi Alf, Cheryl and I are reveling in one of our dreams that allows us to serve together as missionaries. We are LDS Employment Center Specialists in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission. President Brad R. Hobbs, our Mission President, is also served his mission in Brazil(BSM 69-71). He will return to Twin Falls, Idaho at the end of June when his assignment is completed.
“Our MTC experience was glorious as you would expect. There were 77 senior missionaries in our group assigned all over the word to various assignments in welfare, humanitarian service, proselyting, mission office staff, family history and public relations. The first week of training was Preach My Gospel which has to be one of the greatest missionary tools ever produced. The second week we received intense training for our special callings. We had another week of training in Atlanta, GA from where we are supervised.
“As you have undoubtedly read, North Carolina and particularly this area has been severely affected by the upheaval in the banking and mortgage industry. In some counties there is 20%+ unemployment and in Charlotte it is about 12 percent. Members who have listened to the wise council of the Church to prepare for such times are weathering the storm. Others who have been less wise are having radical life style changes and a big wake up call. Thank the Lord of the inspired Welfare program which helps both the wise and the foolish to become more self reliant.
“We service 15 Stakes and 115 wards in all of North Carolina. Our services include teaching a 2 day Career Workshop which is so powerful that I recommend all members of the Church take advantage of. Had I know about it during my 34 years at BYU I would have required every student to complete the course before graduation. In addition we have work shops in self employment and professional networking groups.
“I fear the LDS Employment Resource Centers are the best kept secret in the Church. They service both members and non members. So far more non-members than members are taking advantage of our free services. We hope to train more Ward and Stake leaders to better utilize these services. Even though we are only two here at this center, we have a great desire to serve and the Lord and He has provided the inspired program and the essential tools to assist those in need. Some of the information that we use is on providentliving.org. which is freely available to all. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. Elder and Sister Nelson, LDS Employment Resource Center, Charlotte, NC 28205
Email: email@example.com www.ldsjobs.org
Dear Alfred Gunn,
I just read your article in the Peninsula Gateway* concerning Julie Beck and your acquaintance with her as a little girl in São Paulo. I also knew her then and later since my family was living in Montevideo, headquarters for the South American missions, over which my father presided.
We now live just west of the Becks in Lehi and I agree with your assessment of Julie's capacity to lead the RS organization worldwide.
Several years ago, at the death of a missionary from our ward, along with three other missionaries from Utah, I was impressed to organize a Missionary Memorial horseback ride, in honor of those who gave their lives in the service of the Master. That outreach has now expanded into what we call the Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial project and we are now ready to publish the first of what I envision to be several volumes of stories of missionaries--young and older--who suffered trauma or death as a result of accident or illness while in the mission field.
If this is something you would like to feature in an upcoming column, I would be happy to provide additional information for you, but I suspect there are families in your area whose loved ones received a "transfer" to another realm of service during their mission on earth and who could be featured in a localized article for your readers.
Attached is some background information on this initiative should you find you could use it in some way. (See the attached)
We are also creating a monument and wall in Alpine (just down the street from Julie Beck's) that will memorialize the contributions of all who have paid the ultimate price for their convictions.
Sincerely, David M Tuttle, Coordinator, Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial Project
801 318-1888 (cell) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
That’s all folks! Happy Reunion and a joyful General Conference.
Gig Harbor, WA