Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #127


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #127

September 9, 2010


Bom dia, queridos Irmãos e Irmãs.


In this issue:

How did you get to Brazil? Can you top this?

Bibles needed for Seminary students in Brazil

Area Auditor/Trainer needed in São Paulo

Called to Serve – various mission calls

Joy of a temple mission at Campinas



How did you get to Brazil?

Prior to about 1958, missionaries to Brazil traveled there by ship, not plane. Things got better when we flew down, but it wasn’t always easy. I was talking to Fred Westergard of Salt Lake City who served in the Brazilian Mission from 1961-1964. After the one-week of training at the Mission Home near Temple Square he and his fellow missionaries flew to Los Angeles, transferred to a flight to Pittsburgh then to New York City where they went to the Brazilian Embassy and obtained their Brazilian visas. Then they took a Lockheed Constellation C-69 propeller aircraft south with stops at the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Belem, Rio and finally São Paulo. After the usual new missionary welcome to Brazil, complete with police station stops, he was assigned to Recife! His C-46 prop plane, vintage WWII with web seating and no food service, puddle-jumped up the coast of Brazil. He was told that when it made its 5th stop he was to get off in Recife. A few months later, when he was handed a transfer out of Recife he faced a three week delay before his 3rd class ticket would get him on a plane, due to Carnaval travelers. An upgrade to 1st class, authorized by the mission president, got him out in a week. My, oh my! File that under “Things ain’t like the good old days, and probably never was.” ( )


Bibles for Brazil Seminary Students

Elder Carlos Litster (BM 59-61) writes: “Oi Irmão, It is hard to believe that six of our 18 months have flown away. So much to do and so little time, but it is enjoyable. As you probably know, we are SEI (CES) Coordinators in São Paulo. We met recently with about 90 other Coordinators from all over Brazil in an area meeting. They expressed their concern that about 50 percent of the Seminary students don’t have Bibles. The Church has a well established Book of Mormon program, so that need is currently being met. With the current rate of exchange, we can purchase a small, quality, indexed Portuguese Bible for just under two dollars. The CES director for Brazil has sent out an email to all of the Seminary & Institute Coordinators to get a more accurate count of the number of Bibles needed. It is cheaper to buy them here and it saves shipping cost.  If someone would like to help with this project, we have a non-profit account set up strictly for Bibles with my daughter, Becki Pond, 844 East 400 South, Kaysville, Utah 84037. Any amount will be helpful and each donation blesses another Brazilian youth. The Bible with the Book of Mormon are great tools in the Seminary Program to help the youth of Brazil learn the principles and doctrines of the Church so that they can be great missionaries, parents and future leaders in Brazil. We are very impressed with the quality of the youth here. A lot of the students are the only member in their family and they walk to Seminary at 5 am. They are dedicated and diligent. Thank you for mentioning this need to the persons on your email list.
Elder & Sister Litster, SEI Coordinators, São Paulo, Brazil,

Vonage Phone:   801-451-6515


What is a LUATT?

From Don Andrew of Provo, UT: “Claudia and I are currently serving our fourth mission in Brazil. I am a graduate of the Brazilian Mission (56-59), and we have been privileged to serve in Belem (as mission president), Recife and São Paulo twice. We are currently serving as area executive secretary with the wonderful brethren of the Brazil Area Presidency. The reason for this e-mail is to make folks aware of a need here. The Area is in dire need of a LUATT couple. What is that? This is what the Church missionary opportunities list says:

“Area Auditor/Trainer: The local unit area auditor/trainer trains stake, district, ward, and branch priesthood leaders in their duties to handle sacred Church funds. Individuals who have served in bishoprics, stake presidencies, or in clerk roles are ideal for this position. Financial, auditing, or accounting experience is desirable, but not required. Church headquarters will train couples for this mission. The spouse may assist with printing reports, recording audits, composing letters, analyzing audit information, and providing training to stake, district, ward, and branch leaders. She may also be asked to assist other Church departments. Currently, a couple is needed in the Brazil (São Paulo) Area.”

Two of our own missions have been as LUATTs, and we loved it. When we left São Paulo in 2008, we found a wonderful Brazilian couple, Elder and Sister Abdo, who took our place as LUATTs. They did a wonderful work. We are currently looking for a couple, whether Brazilian or American, to take up where they left off. 

Anyone that might be interested can call me on our Vonage phone (801) 806-1902 (it's a Utah number) or send me an e-mail at //" target="_blank">, and we would be happy to talk to about the call.   Information can also be found on the Church site under "Serving in the Church - Missionary Opportunities".

Thanks Alf, for all you do. Don and Claudia Andrew (


Called to Serve

Dear Alf, My wife Vickie and I have recently received a call to serve in São Paulo as Perpetual Education Fund Specialists for 23 months beginning in January. It is going to be a pleasure to return to Brazil again. I served as a young missionary in the south mission from 67-69, Vickie and I had the opportunity to preside over the São Paulo East Mission from 2003-2006 and now we are returning again. We love Brazil as you do and we love the saints in Brazil. Once again, thanks for all you do. Jim Urry (BSM 67-69) (


Ron and Pat Cundick of Leeds, UT, who served as Executive Secretary in the Brazil South area for 24 months in 05-06 are heading south again but may have overshot the runway. “Hi Alf. My wife, Pat, and I have accepted an 18 month call to the South America South Area under President Elder Mervyn Arnold. We will be serving as Area welfare and audit specialists, working in the entire Area of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with base in Buenos Aires. We enter the MTC on Sep 13. Guess we'll have to learn a little Spanish! All the best, Ron Cundick (BM 59-61) (

Dr. Richard Call (BSM 65-67) and his wife Sue Ann are going down to Brazil to serve as one of the two medical doctors for all 28 of the Brazilian missions! Like so many others, they are waiting on their visas, but hope to have them soon. Rick served as a missionary in the BSM back in about 65-67. He's a successful rheumatologist in Utah County with offices in Provo, and is part of Healing Hands for Haiti, an NGO that provides a wide range of in-country medical rehabilitation services to needy Haitians. (


I am Brian Blackham and served under President Beck and Hicken in São Paulo in 1964-66.  I had opened the Osasco branch when President Spencer W. Kimball came and organized the first São Paulo Stake, and found myself sitting in all of the instruction meetings because my little branch was in the boundaries of the stake with early leaders Walter Spatt, Hélio de Camargo, etc. My wife Helen and I have served two missions in Portugal, one in 2000 (Portugal Porto) and one in 2005 (Portugal Lisboa);  I was branch president in Covilhã, Vila Real, served in Bragança and in Castelo Branco, was president in Angra do Heroismo. We are currently serving as temple missionaries in the Porto Alegre Temple, Brazil. Just sharing this so others will be encouraged to serve when they can. Um abraço, Elder e Sister Brian e Helen Blackham, St. George, UT and Porto Alegre (


I have learned that Elder Dennis Ike Alldredge (BSM c69-71) of Henderson, NV, and his wife Lavinia are serving a Humanitarian Service Mission out of the Brazil Area office in São Paulo. (


This note from Elder and Sister Black of Bountiful, UT, who have completed their temple mission since writing to me, expresses the joy of the service. “Dear Alf, You are a real detective! Thank you for finding us and requesting news about our mission. Sister Black and I are loving our mission serving in the Campinas Temple. The best part is seeing the fruits of the labor of over 50 years of missionary work in Brazil. We have the privilege of assisting faithful Brazilian saints, who come from great distances, to receive the culminating blessings and ordinances of the restored gospel. As Elder David A. Bednar so beautifully quoted in his April 2009 Conference address: "the divine purpose of gathering the people of God is to build temples so His children can receive the highest ordinances and thereby gain eternal life." Many patrons date back to the time of Presidents Bangerter and Sorenson while others have just completed one year of membership and are coming to the Temple for the first time. All are thrilled with the beauty and the spirit of the temple experience and all have loving stories of their conversion and the wonderful missionaries who taught them the gospel. I have had the joy of renewing acquaintances with people I taught while here as a missionary and meeting their children and grand children. Sister Black has enjoyed learning for herself how wonderful the Brazilian people are, even though the culture and language were beyond her expectations. There are many ways to serve the Lord as couple missionaries, but, this has to be the best and American couples can bring special depth to the temple experience. We will miss Brazil when we return home this July. Elder Stephen R. Black (BM 61-64) and Sister Linda Black (Campinas Temple Mission 09-10) (



That’s most of the latest, folks. Keep the faith.


Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)

Gig Harbor, WA


“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”—Pelé



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