Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #126


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #126

August 31, 2010


Bom dia, queridos Irmãos e Irmãs.


In this issue:

Visa waits impacting Brazil and Latin America

Fruits of the Labor—Elders Zaugg and Hansen’s excellent adventure

Passing of former mission presidents and family members: Wayne A. Milward, Ida Sorensen, and Philip Ray Brown.

Called to Serve—Elders Bill Hepworth, Lamar Woodbury, Steve Postma, Jim Smith, Richard Scadden and Larry Goff

Seeking history of the early Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Branch

Mark Grover article about Helvécio Martin

76 signed up for missionary alumni cruise from Italy to Brazil


Just What, Not Why – Visa Waits

We have become aware that for various reasons not fully clear to us at this time many missionaries are currently in visa wait status, including many who are called to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and some to other Latin American missions. As I write this, about 80 to 100 are temporarily assigned to U.S. missions while waiting, having been trained in their mission languages at the Provo MTC rather than at the CTM São Paulo or others. It seems likely to me that this may impact the number of calls that will be extended to American’s to serve in the countries impacted.


Brothers and Sisters, let’s join our prayers with those of others that hearts be softened and doors be opened that the work may continue to go forth in areas where there have been restrictions or delays.


Fruits of the Labor – mission president

In 1965, in little Maringá, Paraná, Mark Zaugg (BSM 64-66) and his companion Ed Hansen (65-67) taught and baptized Pedro and Leardina Ribeiro. For the last 15 years Mark has been in touch with their son Itamar and his wife Lorilei, now living in Eureka, CA, and they have become good friends. Another son, Isaias, who was about 1½ years old when his parents were baptized, has served as stake president in Belo Horizonte and most recently in Londrina. Pedro and Leardina, still alive, have been active in the church for all these years. This last June the Ribeiro children, including Itamar and Lorilei and their children and Isaias and his wife Soni, gathered at Mark’s back yard in Bountiful for a big barbecue before Isaias Ribeiro was set apart as the new president of the Brazil Santa Maria Mission and received training at the Missionary Training Center. Brother Ed Hansen and his wife Cindy were there too, to enjoy the fruits of labor of 45 years ago. Many acquaintances were made and experiences shared.


Mark writes: “The Ribeiro family, plus a couple of other families that joined the church in Maringá, including Soni's family, were instrumental in the establishment and growth of the church in Cuiabá and Várzea Grande, Mato Grosso, where the church has grown from 3-4 families to one or two stakes and many wards. They were pioneers in those cities long before the missionaries were sent there. It's a great story, one of which I am humbled to have been a part of as an instrument in the Lord's hands in starting that story. Leardina had certainly been prepared in so many ways by the Lord to receive the gospel and has been fertile ground for it to grow in her and send seeds all over Brazil. Their three sons served missions in Brazil and the seeds they planted and harvested continue to expand. The growth is exponential. What a blessing! Regards, Mark” (


Our sympathies and best wishes to families of these persons who presided over missions and whose passing we note:


Wayne A. Millward of Idaho (BSM 56-59) who had presided over the Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission from 91-94, passed away on June 27, 2020 after a short but hard struggle with cancer. His wife, Sister Ruth Millward, says he loved following the growth of the Church in Brazil. (


As many are aware, Sister Ida Lorene Mason Sorensen, wife of the late Asael T. Sorensen, passed away on July 27, 2010. She accompanied President Sorensen when he presided over the Brazilian Mission from 1953 to 1958, then when he returned to be the first president of the new Brazilian South mission from 1959 to 1961.


Philip Ray Brown (BM 56-59) of Sandy, UT, who presided over the Portugal Porto Mission from 90-93 and served in the Missionary Department, died on August 22, 2010 after a long battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his wife Antonette. Google Philip Ray Brown to find an obit.


Called to Serve

An evening at the Provo MTC recently gave me the opportunity to meet Elder Bill and Sister Bonnie Hepworth of Rupert, ID, waiting for visas before reporting to a Curitiba Temple mission. The Hepworth’s previously served together in the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission 07-08 and Bill served in the BM from 65-66. (


Also, Elder Lamar (BSPS 73-75) and Sister Brenna Woodbury of St. George, UT, a delightful couple, who will serve in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission in Mato Grosso as CES missionaries. ( )


As a bonus I met Elder Larry and Sister Sandra Dille, serving their first mission to Brazil, who will be medical missionaries at the CTM São Paulo. ( From what I hear, medical missionaries are constantly needed and appreciated in the Brazil Area Office and at the CTM SP.


Elder Steve Postma (BM 67-69) of Sandy, UT wrote: “My wife Kathy and I have been called to serve in the Washington DC North mission beginning July 5, 2010. We will be serving in the inner city for 18 months. We didn’t go south but we did go east. Steve Postma” The Postma’s have also recently served an Inner City Mission in Salt Lake City. The latest from them: “We are having a wonderful mission experience working in the trenches with the elders. It is rewarding to see people accept the challenge to change their lives and accept baptism. The new lesson approach of teaching people not lessons is working wonderfully. We teach what we already know to be true and can bear testimony to.  It is wonderful.” (


Elder Jim (BSM 61-63) and Linda Smith have been called on an 18-month CES mission, to the University of Texas at Austin Institute of Religion in Austin, Texas, and will be there soon. (Jim was a member of the Mormon Melodaires missionary singing quartet during his first mission and Jim and Linda recently served at the CTM São Paulo where he was executive secretary. Many of us still see him on BYU TV as choir director of the BYU Hawaii choirs and choral groups during his professional career.) “We are very excited to be returning to Austin after more than 35 years. Jim got his doctorate at the University of Texas and so we lived there from 1970-1975. Three of our children were born there. We love it there!  Jim's patriarchal blessing that states that he will go on a mission to the land of his forefathers.  Brazil was not that land and so we always felt that the genealogical work that we have done in Germany was our mission to the land of his forefathers and that is partially true we are sure. But Jim's German ancestors came to Texas and the Austin area including Fredericksburg in 1846 and settled there. After we received our call we realized that this mission is definitely to the land of his forefathers and he has many distant relatives in the area. So we are delighted with this new opportunity to serve the Lord. Jim will be teaching an Institute choir and we will teach a class in Family History in the fall as well. We will also assist with the Friday luncheon/forum for the students and will work with the three single wards in Austin.”


Elder Richard (BM 66-68) and Marie Scadden of Kaysville, UT, have accepted a mission call to serve in the Brazil Area Perpetual Education Fund office in São Paulo, Brazil as  Perpetual Education Specialists for 18 months, reporting to the Provo, MTC on November 29, 2010. “We were on the Brazil trip last January, 2010, and are very excited to be able to serve in the same areas we had the chance to see on our tour.” ( Congratulations to the Scaddens!


What do Senior Couples do on missions?

In a letter to his former mission president, C. Elmo Turner, Elder Larry Goff (BSM 64-66) of Orem, UT, wrote: “My wife Pat and I are currently serving in Cape Verde as the welfare couple in the country. There are about ten islands in Cape Verde. We are on the island of São Vicente, in the city of Mindelo. All this is located about 400 miles off the west coast of West Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Naturally the language is Portuguese, and I had to get my rusty Portuguese out and brush up on it. Pat learned a little at the MTC before we left last September and is still trying to understand what is going on here. We are involved with the Outreach program for young single adults, age 18 to 30. We meet two nights a week at the chapel with them. Wednesday evening is Family Home Evening night where we try to have a religious message delivered to the youth. On Fridays we meet and have an activity night. Last Friday we celebrated birthdays for all who had them during the past quarter of the year.  We played games and then had cake and waffles.  Other weeks we have movies, debates, talk about Pioneers, service projects etc.

“We are also involved with the Perpetual Education Fund helping the local institute leader. This also includes the employment specialist calling which we will oversee.  Then there are the humanitarian projects we are working on such as supplying school kits to needy children in the town, helping at the local prison by teaching sewing to the women prisoners, helping paint a local school, helping the Neo-Natal doctor who came over to teach the local doctors, set-up a clean water project and then supervise it etc. Needless to say, we are keeping busy and loving it. Elder and Sister Larry Goff” (

Seeking history of Santa Maria, RS, Branch

Elder João Alberto Licht Teixeira is looking for information about the early Santa Maria Branch, including, stories, journal entries, names of missionaries and companions, photos, and memories of members. He writes, “Querido Elder Gunn, Eu sou diretor do CHF da Estaca de Santa Maria e estou fazendo a história do ramo desde o seu comecinho, porisso gostaria muito que você pudesse me ajudar com esses dados para que eu possa entrar em contato com eles, para obter suas histórias, fotos, endereços, telefones, o que fazem atualmente e, quem sabe, até mesmo marcar visitas à nossa amada Estaca. Gostaria muito de receber e-mails e correspondências deles, fotos, jornais, companheiros, pessoas que batizaram, cargos atuais, fotos de suas famílias, cidades que trabalharam e suas transferências, histórias interessantes dos P days e fora deles. Desde já agradeço muitíssimo ao irmão pela sua ajuda. Um grande e fraterno abraço,

Elder João Alberto Licht Teixeira

MSN e E-Mail:


The Summer issue of the Journal of Mormon History, now sold out at BYU Bookstore, contains a great article by Mark Grover (BM 66-68) of BYU about the life of Helvécio Martins, the first black general authority. It is an excellent article about a man who Grover knew personally and had the opportunity to interview and from whom Grover obtained personal history notes. The article also discusses the history and nature of race relations in Brazil, contrasting it with the U.S. experience. I recommend the article to you if you can find it, for example at a library. I will let you know when the article is digitized.


I had read of Brother Martins’ great faith and faithfulness in the Church during the pre-1978 era, and became an admirer from afar. Then I had the privilege of meeting Elder and Sister Martins at the rededication of the SP Temple in 2004 and was able to send him an issue or two of the Brasulista. He replied with a gracious and kind note of appreciation. I was very saddened when he passed away the next year. His son Marcus Martins of BYU Hawaii partakes of his father’s graciousness and testimony and his writings are available online. (


I met with Brother Grover recently in his BYU office in the Harold B. Lee Library. He would like to get any information from historical journals, photos, etc. relating to the Church and its members in Brazil from the period of our missionary service. I will send more on this later, but please consider what information you may have that may be of historic value. (Reach Mark at


Item: At last count, 76 persons are signed on to the “Italy, Spain, Morocco and Brazil—Old to New World Cruise” for our Brazilian missionary alumni, scheduled to begin in mid-November. For any interested, information is available at Dick Jensen and Alan McKay Tours, 127 E 24th Street #4, Ogden, Utah 84401, 801-917-1131 and may be seen at   Marcia and I are looking forward to this trip and being in the company of so many of you.


Irmãos, um abraço—


Alf Gunn

Gig Harbor, WA




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