Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #131


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #131

January 2, 2011


Happy New Year!


In this issue:

New DVDs of Joseph Smith movie and other materials

Santa speaks Portuguese

A beautiful experience at the Campinas Temple

Senior couples needed in Brazil and elsewhere

Who were the first missionaries in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais?

Senior couples serving at Family History World Wide Support

Brazilian Mission lapel pins available for purchase


Administrative: Past issues of the Brasulista, by email, are available on request. Today the Brasulista is sent by email to approximately 2,400 former missionaries and Brazilian members.


Have you seen this?

I am very excited to have in my possession a new set of four DVDs entitled “Doctrine & Covenants and Church History, Visual Resource DVDs,” which includes my favorite movie of all times, Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration, the movie which has been showing in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building since December 2005, now on DVD for the first time. For someone who lives 862 miles from Temple Square, this is huge!

The DVD set contains a treasure of videos, interactive charts, quotations from latter-day prophets and apostles, paintings, and learning activities. The videos also include Legacy, The Mountain of the Lord and Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story.

Incredibly, this set is available for only $4.50 (in English, Spanish and Portuguese) from Church Distribution Services online at or by calling 1-800-537-5971, with free shipping around the world! I ordered enough for my children and some of the folks I home teach.

This was announced on page 78 of the December 2011 Ensign.

Is this a great church, or what!


This reminds me of a former mission president in Brazil, Claudio R. M. Costa, now of the Presidency of the Seventy, who told me that when he arrived at the headquarters of the Brazil Manaus Mission he assigned some of his assistants to go to every church in that city and get every bit of printed materials that the church provides for its members and bring it back. This took some months. They put it all—from all the churches—on a table. On another table they put all of the materials that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides for its members. The piles on the two tables were equal. “And the LDS materials cost a lot less,” he said. His point: The Church has more interest in its members learning the gospel than any other church. “The Church is the kingdom of God in the earth,” he testified.    


Santa speaks Portuguese

This note is from my friend Lee Radebaugh (BSM 63-66), former President of Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission 2000-2003 and a BYU professor in the Marriott School of Management: “We have lots of Brazilians in the MBA program, and I just played the role of Santa for the international students and their families a few weeks ago. You should have seen the Brazilian kids eyes light up when I got them up on my lap and started talking Portuguese. It was really cute. Take care, and I hope we see you soon. Lee H. Radebaugh” (


This nice Christmas note came from beloved former mission president George Oakes, currently serving with his wife Jeanette as President of the Campinas Brazil Temple:

“Dear Family and Friends, Last night and today we spent the Christmas festivities with the Norberto Lopes Family in São Paulo, one and a half hours to travel from Campinas. The highway is four lanes and you can go 120 Kilometers per hour without getting a ticket. All traffic is monitored by cameras and if you exceed the speed limit you run the risk of getting a ticket. The countryside is forested with many colors of green and tall eucalyptus trees.

“They celebrate Christmas just as we do, including Santa Claus. We had good food and lots of presents for the children and just as here, some loved it and a few of the children were frightened by Santa Claus.

“In the past couple of weeks the work of the temple has gone on with large numbers on Saturday and a few Caravans during the week. On our last really big day, as a 12-year-old young lady was leaving the temple I put my arm around her shoulder and told her I loved her and that I hoped she had a wonderful five day stay with us. Her bus was leaving within the hour and it would be an 18-hour bus ride home. She looked up at me with the most brilliant smile in the purity of her young age and said she adored every minute. I thanked her for coming and asked her to come again. She said she would not miss a trip and would come every time that her Stake had a chance to come. As she started out the door, she turned and handed me a Bonbon (Brazilian candy) which she had purchased in the cafeteria just before she planned to leave the temple. I said that I did not want to take her only candy that she had purchased to eat on her trip home. She said that she insisted that I take it. The love that she had in her eyes for me as the Temple President far exceeded any love that I could muster. Her purity, joy and the love she has for the Savior was indescribable. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to convey love to others and have them give back even greater love. The Brazilian people are amazing. We wish all a Merry Christmas and hope that we all have a wonderful New Year filled with the Lord's love and his guidance. We truly wish that his will is done in our lives. Sincerely, George and Jeannette Oakes” (


Alf’s note: One blessing and objective of the Brasulista is to encourage senior missionary service among many who have a love of Brazil in their hearts. I am aware that there are 27 missions in Brazil (plus a couple in Portugal, one a Cape Verde Islands and one in Mozambique and Angola where Portuguese is spoken), and I would be surprised if there are not needs—big needs—in each mission for senior couple service. But senior missionaries—single sisters or married couples--with language or other skills can certainly express an interest in serving in a certain mission, or country, and can express an interest in the type of mission, such as proselyting and leadership training, temple mission, CES, employment, welfare, office work, music training, etc. At least that is my understanding. That said, here is an appeal from one mission, which I share together with my translation.


“Prezado amigo Alf, Gostaria de lhe pedir ajuda para enviar um pedido a todos os seus contatos para conseguirmos casais missionários que desejem servir em nossa missão – a Missão Brasil Salvador Sul. Hoje não temos nenhum casal missionário em nossa missão, e precisamos de casais para realizarem trabalho de liderança e fortalecimento dos membros, visitando menos inativos, assumindo posições nas organizações, treinando líderes locais, etc. Trabalharão em áreas como Porto Seguro (onde nasceu o Brasil), Coroa Vermelha (região de índios Pataxós) e Teixeira de Freitas (extremo sul da Bahia). Queremos um templo do Salvador em Salvador. Precisamos da ajuda de casais missionários poderosos para alcançarmos esse objetivo, estabelecendo a Igreja nesta região do Brasil. O custo mensal por casal em nossa missão é de R$800. Um abraço e Feliz 2011! Helton C. P. Vecchi, Presidente,

Missão Brasil Salvador Sul

PS-1. Apesar de que geralmente os casais sejam chamados para servir na missão que os recrutou, esses casais devem estar dispostos a aceitar a designação do Quorum dos Doze, que pode enviá-los para outras áreas do mundo.

PS-2. Precisamos correr, pois o lead time com os vistos está demorado. Se encontrarmos alguém hoje, provavelmente vai demorar uns 6 meses até que obtenham os vistos e cheguem ao Brasil.


“Dear Alf, I would like to ask you help in sending a request to all your contacts so that we might find missionary couples who would like to serve in our mission—the Brazil Salvador South Mission. Today we don’t have even one missionary couple in our mission, and we need couples to bring about the leadership training and strengthening of members, visiting of less actives, filling positions in organizations, and training local leaders, etc. They will work in areas such as Porto Seguro (where Brazil was born), Coroa Vermelha (land of the Patoxós Indians) and Teixeira de Freitas (in the extreme south of Bahia state). We desire a temple at Salvador. We need the help of strong missionary couples to reach this goal of establishing the Church in this region of Brazil. The monthly cost for a missionary couple working in this region of Brazil is about $500.00 USD. Um abraço and Happy 2011!

Helton C. P. Vecchi, President, Brazil Salvador South Mission” (

ps Although missionary couples are often called to the mission which recruited them, these couples should be ready to accept assignments from the Quorum of the Twelve which can be to other areas of the world.

pss We need to act quickly because the “lead time” it takes to obtain Brazil visas is very delayed. If we found someone today, it would probably be another six months until they obtain their visas and arrive in Brazil.


Church Service Mission from home opportunity

Elder Ellis (BM 61-64) and Sister Paula Rail of Fontana, CA, who recently served a mission in Connecticut, share information about a mission they are serving from their home: “We have had a very eventful year and the Lord continues to watch over us and help us when we need it. He has blessed us in ways we could never have foreseen. We have been able to travel to Brazil to visit where Ellis served his mission. We were able to meet many wonderful people and make new friendships.

“We also have been called to serve a FamilySearch service mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as missionaries for the Family History World Wide Support, which provides support by phone, email, or mail to patrons who have problems with any of the FamilySearch products or services including websites, indexing programs, New FamilySearch, etc. Single persons can fill this kind of mission, and language skills are appreciated. We are specially assigned to the Historical Records team which oversees the website where the church is putting actual collections and images of records online in order to research one’s family. We have been able to associate with members of our team from Australia, all over the U.S. and England. We help with this 30 hours per week. Together with our temple service and ward callings, it keeps us very busy. The nice thing is that if we need to travel we can still fulfill our mission responsibilities as long as we have internet access and some type of phone. Ellis and Paula Rail” (


I found information about this mission-from-home opportunity at this site:

Currently the message there says this:

“Serving from their homes, missionaries answer questions about family history programs, products and software. This is an exciting opportunity for members with family history and technical experience to meet the needs of patrons across the world. Individuals and/or couples find joy in 15 hours each week and a minimum twelve month commitment. For International areas (outside U.S. and Canada) please copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser. Use this address to view a world map. Click on your geographic area of the map to find local phone numbers for information and assistance.

Skills:Missionaries should have a good knowledge of personal computers, with instant messaging and e-mail communication experience. They should have strong problem-solving skills and will use support tools and procedures to answer patron questions. They should also have experience with family history software and products (new FamilySearch, Internet Indexing, etc.).“

Alf’s request:   Does anyone have knowledge of the first missionaries to visit Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, reportedly in 1939 and returning after WWII? I received this request:


Estimado Irmão Gunn, Quem lhe escreve é o irmão Paulo Oliveira, de Juiz de For a, MG, Brasil. Tive a oportunidade de lhe conhecer pessoalmente em Orem (minha filha , genro e neta são membros da mesma Ala de sua irmã, Gaye Beeson). Por sua orientação e ajuda participei da reunião de ex-missionários de 1947 a 1953 em outubro passado, na expectativa de descobrir se alguém tinha informações sobre os primeiros missionários a visitarem Juiz de Fora, já que tinha ouvido falar que missionários estiveram lá para conecer a cidade em 1939 e depois em 1949 (voltaram depois da guerra), mas o Ramo somente foi aberto em 1956. Se o Sr. tiver alguma informação peço-lhe , por favor, me enviar. Aproveito para agradecer-lhe pelos e-mails do Brasulista (acho formidável) e desejar-lhe e à sua família um abençoado Novo Ano. Abraços, Paulo

ps Fui chamado para servir como segundo conselheiro no Templo de Campinas, a partir de novembro passado. Fico á disposição se precisar de qualquer coisa daqui. (

Brazilian Missions lapel pins

In case you were not previously aware, you may order “Brazilian Missions” lapel pins in support of the reunion fund of the early Brazilian missions. (See photo attached)

These beautiful pins feature the iconic Cristo Redentor statue of Rio de Janeiro—Brazil’s most recognizable landmark—with the gold plates of the Book of Mormon. It says “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Brazilian Missions” so represents ALL of the missions in Brazil. We sell them for $5 per pin, and the money goes to a fund for future reunions and some expenses related to the Brasulista. Put one on each of your suits. Order multiple pins, by mailing me a note with your name, address and a check for payment.


If you know of any other persons—even younger missionaries who served in Brazil—who would like to order these, please furnish my name and address to them. Thanks.


Alfred Gunn

3720 26th Avenue Court NW

Gig Harbor, WA 98335


Até logo, irmãos,   Alf


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