Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #119


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #119

November 29, 2009


Bom dia, pessoal!


In this issue:

Portuguese verbs

New temple presidents off to Brazil

A poem, thanks to Frederick G. Williams

Reports from the field

Part-time mission opportunities at Church Archives

Brasulista index produced by Elder Ronald Young



My friend and brother W. Glen Weeks (BSM 64-67) of Taylorsville, UT, is preparing to go on our trip to Brazil in January (his third tour) and writes, “Probably the most useful item I found for preparing for a Brazil trip is the little gray shirt pocket size book of irregular Portuguese verbs issued by the mission home for our language study.  I still have mine, and bring it with me for reading on the plane, etc.” (


Glen sure knows how to have fun!


I referred him to my not-so-pocket-sized site: which is a faithful verb resource to me when I need it.


To help me in some work I am doing nowadays, I am studying Spanish, and a real brain teaser in that language is this site:


One more tip: I use this site to translate words from Portuguese to English, as well as Spanish:


I remember a time in 1963 in Joinville when I was with Elder Milt Hammond, one of the four of us serving in that city. He spoke well and was always studying the language. One day he was reading and he looked up and began to wonder aloud about a new “ar” verb he had come upon: “besmear”—he repeated it two or three times, trying to remember what it meant. We looked at what he was reading and told him not to worry, he was reading English.


New Temple Presidents

After some visa delays, the following good brothers and sisters have received their visas and will leave home to preside over temples in Brazil beginning this year:


Peggy and Lennis M. Knighton (BM 56-59) of Pleasant Grove, UT, will preside over the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple. He has been a professor at BYU in the Institute of Public Management, and the Knightons previously presided over the Rio de Janeiro Mission from 87-90. Elder Knighton began his first mission in the first branch in Porto Alegre, the only branch in Rio Grande do Sul state at that time. He returns to that state where there are now 23 stakes, eight districts and three missions. Three sons and two daughters have served missions in Brazil and another son in Portugal. By good fortune, in 1998 on arriving in Porto Alegre to pick up a son at the completion of his mission, the Knightons were able to attend the groundbreaking for the Porto Alegre Temple, with their son singing in a choir there. (


Sherri and Stanley D. Neeleman (BSM 63) of Salt Lake City will preside at the beautiful São Paulo Brazil Temple. They previously presided over the São Paulo South Mission from 90-93. Brother Neeleman has practiced law at Denver and Salt Lake City and recently retired from the BYU Law School faculty to fulfill this call. (


Carol and Frederick Granger Williams (BM 60-63) of Orem will preside at the Recife Brazil Temple. They previously presided over the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission from 91-93. He is the Gerrit de Jong, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies at BYU and has published incredibly beautiful bilingual anthologies of the poetry of Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal in which the works appear in the original language and then in English, with biographies of each poet. (


Here is a short poem from Brother Frederick G. Williams’ book, “Poets of Brazil, A Bilingual Selection.” This poem is by Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954), who I find to be a bit of a humorist in the sense that Mark Twain was a humorist.


Erro de português


Quando o português chegou

Debaixo duma bruta chuva

Vestiu o índio

Que pena!

Fosse uma manhã de sol

O índio tinha despido

O português


The Portuguese Error


When the Portuguese arrived

Under a drenching rain

He dressed the Indian

What a shame!

Had it been a sun-filled morning

The Indian would have undressed

The Portuguese


What are they doing now?

Here is an update from Craig Earnshaw (BSM 73-75) of Park City, UT, former president of the Porto Alegre South Mission (03-06): “Colleen and I are volunteer professors at BYU-Hawaii. We arrived in July and will be here for a year. I am teaching Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Missionary Preparation in the Religion Department. Colleen is teaching piano for non-majors in the Music School. We also volunteer at the Polynesian Cultural Center; Colleen works in the Mission Settlement doing crafts; we take dinner tickets one or two nights a week and this month we are helping with the Haunted Lagoon (which has been a huge hit here on Oahu). We are advisors to the Mongolian Club (I guess there are not enough Brazilians for a Brazilian Club). We are assigned to a Singles ward where we serve as mentors to the Elders Quorum and Relief Society presidencies and Colleen serves in the Stake Relief Society presidency. We love living here and working with this amazingly diverse group of students (there are 74 countries represented), all of which are preparing to go back to their home countries where they will be leaders in the Church and help build the kingdom. Craig Earnshaw (


Rodizio in Shanghai

Dear Alf, Thanks once again for your efforts in producing the Brasulista. Hallie and I are also in China with the BYU China Teacher's Program. We are teaching English at Tongji University here in Shanghai for the 2009-2010 school year. Other Brazil alums serving in China this year are Brian West (BM 62-65) and Robbin Henderson (BSM 63-65). We're having a great time as "lifestyle" missionaries (for want of a better term). We belong to a strong expat branch here also. I met the owner of a local Brazilian restaurant (a not-so-bad rodizio in the midst of all things Chinese) who hails from Chapeco, SC. We have no rule that says we cannot talk about the church to non-Chinese citizens. Maybe we can do some fellowshipping after all. Um forte abraço, Ron Broce (BSM 62-64) (


From Africa, Elder Bruce Cox and Sister Linda Cox write:

“With October coming to a close, we find ourselves trying hard to meet all our obligations before our return home in early December. The Lord’s work here in Mozambique is a joyous one, full of tender mercies, and wonderful memories.”

Elder and Sister Cox at Maputo Mozambique Mission (


(See the attached Brasulista #20 to read about Elder Cox. He and Sister Cox have now served many missions, after all eight of their children completed missions.)


Serving at the Church Archives

Elder Ronald Young (BSM 61-64) is currently serving a part-time church service mission at the new Archives Building in Salt Lake City. He explains “We served two Ukraine Kiev missions 1996-2000 – we returned from the first & tried to recruit couples; none volunteered, so we returned.” Then, in 2001 “I started here when my wife set herself up to serve a “Garden Aide Mission.” I wondered what to do while waiting in town for her, and wandered over to the Archives.” He started at the Archives in 2001, then they interrupted it for a CES Mission in New Zealand (03-04) and then to New York (05-07). Now back in the Archives, he writes: “Dear Alf, The archivist that I am working with here on my part-time church service mission envisions a greater load coming as we attempt to gather journals, documents and conduct interviews with past missionaries to Brazil and their mission presidents.  We thought that maybe you could run a line or two in the Brasulista about this need for more help. This is in the form of part-time or full-time missionary couples. It also could be a single person, for we have one Spanish man, and he is about age 90.  Also myself – my wife serves in a different zone.  It could be that people have a fear of it, due to not knowing how nice it is.  If you live within driving distance of the Church offices, you can live at home and be part-time – from 4 hours to 32 hours a week.  You can be full-time if that suits you better.  There is also a possibility of being an at-home missionary (via the internet), but that’s not in full swing yet. At this time, we are doing an interview, or collecting a set of papers, each day I am “on duty”. That’s three a week, with only 2000 to go. And you get to meet famous people: I hosted emeritus general authority, Athos Amorim & his wife, for a tour of our new Archives Building. Alf, I guess every mission is asking for couples. Didn’t think we would, but my archivist sees the need. And yes, there is plenty of room for more missionaries in the new Archives Building – many cubicles are empty. We could use help. We have one couple in Brazil, but could use more there, also. Portuguese is helpful, as always. But everybody, even those of Brazilian roots, speaks English. If you go meet people, English serves the purpose; if you transcribe oral histories, sometimes they are in Portuguese.” (


Alf’s note: I am very thankful to Elder Young for undertaking and accomplishing the incredible task of creating an index for the first 117 issues of Brasulista, which is now being cataloged at Church Archives. The index alone is 66 pages long! This index is very helpful to me personally. Um forte abraço for my good brother Ron Young.


Até logo, irmãos.


Alf Gunn

Gig Harbor, WA






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