Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #139


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #139
November 1, 2011


Bom dia, Élderes e Sisters!  

Next month marks ten years of the Brasulista. The first issue, two e-mail pages long, was sent to less than 60 missionaries of the Brazilian South Mission as we began the effort to locate all who had served in that mission in the early 1960’s. Today it goes to more than 2,000 from many missions. I appreciate the association and correspondence that this newsletter has afforded me with you fine brothers and sisters who have served in Brazil and continued to serve throughout your lives. Thanks to all who keep in touch with news of Brazil and the mission work. And thanks for your encouragement.

In this issue:

  • Big Mission Reunion planned for next April
  • President C. Elmo Turner and Sister Lois Turner keeping spirits high
  • How much does a mission cost? Read the answers here.
  • “Lengthen Your Leadership Stride” book, FREE, online, in three languages

Calendar this: Early Missions Reunion, 2012

Dear Elders and Sisters, I am pleased to announce that we will hold an early Brazilian missions reunion on the Friday before General Conference in April 2012. So calendar the date and plan to attend!

I am reluctant to use the term “super reunion,” but it will be one where all missionaries who served in whatever mission in Brazil before 1985 are invited, as well as their mission presidents and Brazilians who are associated with us. We hold one of these super reunions every three years or so, hoping not to interfere with other mission reunions. When we get together we typically have a general meeting and then breakout sessions with the individual mission president groups. In past reunions we also have had some real Brazilian food, wonderful meals kindly prepared by Brazilian members, augmented by potluck items from area attendees. We have had some impressive speakers and music and lots of good visiting time, usually starting in the early afternoon. Once again we have secured the large Bountiful Central Stake center in Bountiful. More information will follow.

For now, I am making a call for volunteers from the Salt Lake City area who will serve on a reunion committee to help with planning and implementing. It would be nice to have representatives from various missions. Brother Denis Hawkins (BSM 64-66) of Bountiful has consented to head the committee, and Alan Hill (BSM 67-69) of Bountiful will be his right-hand-man. These good brothers have done this twice before and are great to work with. So please call Denis Hawkins at 801-296-0400 to offer your help.


President C. Elmo Turner and Sister Lois Turner keeping spirits high

Sister Betty (Norris) Brassanini (BSM 63-65), who has served with her husband Pedro Brassanini (BM 55-66) as he presided over the Brazil Porto Alegre Mission and the Porto Alegre Temple, writes of a visit with our beloved mission president, C. Elmo Turner (BM 46-49 and BSM 64-67):  “Hi Alf: My husband and I visited with President Elmo Turner in September, and what a delightful visit it was. He and Lois live close to the Jordan temple in Salt Lake and their daughter Jill lives with them. They are getting along in years, but still have that zest for life. Some of you may know the influence that President Turner has on our family's life. When he was a young missionary in Brazil he baptized my husband and his family. Later he was my mission president. Later . . . he and Sister Turner returned to Brazil as president of the MTC and our son Michael went on his mission at that time thus continuing our legacy with this great couple. So during our visit last month with them, we did a lot of wonderful reminiscing. Sister Turner is so sweet and President Turner has that same marvelous smile, infectious laugh and positive outlook.
  “On a previous visit with them President Turner took us into his garage to show us his ‘modern transportation.’  It was a souped-up wheel chair. He's got a name for it, but I forgot. I guess that shows my age . . . Anyway, he insisted I take a spin in it and so I did, around and around the garage. I think I'll get me one! In good weather he uses it to go to the grocery store, bank, etc. I am sure they would love to hear from some of their former missionaries.” Peter and Betty (Norris) Brassanini  (

Note: I second what Sister Brassanini says about our beloved mission president and mission mother. They have always treated me like a son. President Turner says they enjoy hearing from their missionaries. Their phone number is 801-254-3306. E-mail is or ask me for a mailing address if you wish. Alf 


How much does a mission cost?

I made the following nquiry of some American missionary couples currently serving in Brazil, regarding the cost of a mission: “I have a great former mission associate who is a temple worker where they live and he and his wife—she recently retired as a school teacher—are very interested in serving a mission, in Brazil if possible. They are people of modest means and have saved for a senior couple’s mission. He was told that a mission in Brazil can be very expensive. Can you give me a realistic idea of what a couple would be paying per month if they served where you are and lived in whatever housing is available? Or served in a mission office there and lived in typical housing?  Or served in outlying cities, if you know? Thank you for any insights. Um abraço, Alf Gunn”

  Dear Alf. Your question has several answers.  First if he is able to serve in a temple, his living expenses would be very moderate and very comfortable. Porto Alegre will soon have their alojamento completed and all the other temples have facilities for missionaries. I would guess his total monthly expense would be less than $1000/month. He will almost spend more money getting ready (medical, clothes, preparations) to leave for a mission than he will spend on his mission.
  On our previous mission of member support we probably spent between $1200 and $1500/month, but that was in the interior and prices are cheaper there. That amount includes all the furniture that we had to purchase.
  Also the new senior mission rules are designed to limit the expenses of seniors to about $1400 for rent and utilities if I am correct. All other expenses are in addition.
  Summing up, a temple mission is very affordable and very comfortable if our experience is typical.  President Bill Hepworth, 2nd Counselor, Curitiba Temple (
  From another couple, serving a Church Education Mission in Mato Grosso: We pay about $1,700-$1,900 (U.S. dollars) a month. That does not include internet & phone (I think are about $150 U.S.), or insurances (we have our own). Some places are more expensive, and many less expensive. Temple missions are very inexpensive and the housing is excellent. One couple said they spent $1000 a month (total), one couple said they spent $500 a month, (total). We found the price listed on the Church website for ours was way under the actual cost. Others have told us that theirs was about right. Our mission is new, and there are lots of variables. It's worth every penny, because the blessings from heaven flow. We are so grateful to be here! More info: CES provides us with a car and gas. We have two stakes in Cuiabá, 12 units with about 30 different classes. We try to visit a seminary class Tuesday to Friday and Institute on Saturday nights. We drive about 1 to 2 hours per visit and have to wait in traffic a lot, the twin cities have about 1 million people and most of the Seminary classes are in the evening and unless we leave really early ,we hit rush hour. We do have 3 early morning seminary classes and have no problem with traffic that early hour. We have training for all the teachers in one stake each month alternating stakes and try to attend all the activities of the Stakes and wards we can. The CES folks gave us a credit card to use for the maintenance and gas and any cost for seminary or Institute materials or activities.
  It really has been a wonderful opportunity for us and we feel like we have been a help. For us it has been the best mission we could have ever dreamed of. Hope this helps. We still don't know if there is anyone going to replace us or not. Thanks for all you're doing Alf to encourage others.  You’re a blessing too!   Elder Lamar Woodbury (
  Sister Jeanette Oakes, matron of the Campinas Temple, writes: Hi Alf, I checked with the American couple that we have serving here as Temple Missionaries. They spend from $600.00 to $800.00 per month. This includes rent here in the temple apartments, food, and misc. They do not have a car and get rides with people to church, etc. The Brazilian couples serving mostly all have cars as they drive from their home towns here to their assignment. Cars cost too much to buy (like three times more that they are in the US).     We bought a car for our three year mission in the area office. We bought it from the church pool and then sold it when we left for more than what we paid for it. Gas is running about $6.00 per gallon. Nossa!!!! We have a car on the current assignment as they are provided to the Mission and Temple Presidents. Costs of living and rent in São Paulo I am sure are much more than here in Campinas. Thanks for the great work you do in keeping all of us informed as ex-Brazilian missionaries. Jeannette N. Oakes (
  This note comes from President Fred Williams of the Recife Temple: Hi Alf, The missionaries called to serve in the Recife Temple spend about $400-$700 a month.  We provide housing that is R$275 a month (about $150). The major expense is for food, transportation and other lesser expenses. We have supermarkets within walking distance, but to get to the church, the missionaries who don't have cars take a taxi. The big problem facing couples who want to serve in Brazil is the wait to get a visa. We have two American couples who have been called, but who still do not have their visas. One was supposed to have arrived July 8th, and here we are in October.  All best, Fred Williams (

From Marcia Guaycuru Moody, “Hi! I would like to know how to subscribe to your mailings. This morning I had a phone call from Terry Clemmer, the missionary who baptized me more than 40 years ago in Brazil, and he sent me a copy of the mailing. It was awesome seeing the names of some people I knew when I was a new convert in my teens. I'd appreciate the information. Also, my husband, Lee Moody, also served in Brazil with Pres. Bangerter and also Pres. Beck. We would love to find a way of getting in touch with all the missionaries that we both knew back then. In reading the letter from Elder Cardon (Brasulista #138), my husband was moved to tears. He remembers Elder Cardon and even though they were never companions they worked together one day. Elder Cardon told him that each day he should look for something positive about his companion, and that piece of wisdom helped him a lot in his mission and the rest of his life. I guess it helped me as well, since Lee looks for something positive about me every day, even when I nag him or do some other irritating thing. Thanks for printing that letter.  Marcia Guaycuru Moody, Enoch, UT”


“Lengthen Your Leadership Stride” book FREE online, from Bruno Vassel III

Dear Brother Gunn, My 2 sisters (Mary Hill and Elisabeth Andersen) and I, all converts while living in Santo Amaro, São Paulo in the 1950s, so appreciate the Brasulista and all the wonderful news it provides to those of us with ties to Brazil and the LDS Church. Thank you for your continuing amazing efforts to keep it going!  I have a request to make of you.

Would it be possible for you to announce in the Brasulista something about my FREE e-book in Portuguese, written to help members with their Church leadership needs? If there is any way that you could help me to let our Brazilian members know about the availability of the book, I would be most grateful.  I was hoping that many of your readers could hear about the book and contact their Brazilian friends, telling them of its availability online.

You can see the book at  It is now available online in Portuguese, English and Spanish.  Members can download it...or a portion of it...and/or use it as they would like to, to help themselves and others with their Church leadership needs and challenges.
A little background: I originally wrote the book in 1983, while living in New Jersey and working in NYC.  It was copyrighted then and I had Horizon Publishers publish it in English.  We sold a few thousand copies in the USA.
A dear friend, Sheldon living in Utah County...(a young missionary years ago and later Mission President in Campinas, Brazil) contacted me while he was serving as Mission President and said that he desperately needed my book in Portuguese, as he had many wards/branches and stakes/districts throughout his mission where even basic leadership skills were in short supply. (He had gotten a copy in of my book in English before his mission.)  I was very please to help him.  Sheldon contacted Jose Vieira Neto, (now living in SLC) then living Brazil, who had translated the book, "The House of The Lord," into Portuguese and Brother Neto was willing then to translate my book.  I paid for the translation and for several thousand copies of the book to be printed in Brazil.  President Murphy helped with the logistics of all this work and then distributed (at no cost to the members) the book to his leaders throughout his mission.  He said it helped many of them.
Some years later when my son, Bruno Vassel IV was serving as a young missionary in Recife, Brazil, I had business to conduct in Recife and in João Pessoa, and I received permission from my son's Mission President (President Moreira) to visit with my son and actually work with him and his companion for a couple of days.  It was glorious!  Anticipating that trip, I had a couple of hundred copies more of of my book printed in Portuguese and we distributed them to a few local leaders while I was visiting in Recife.  I again saw the continuing need for this basic leadership training to be provided to the members.
A few years ago, while my wife and I served two missions with Hispanic members, I again saw this same need.  At that time I had my book translated into Spanish and then give a few thousand copies of it to those with whom we worked.  
And now: With the advent of the Internet, and with my son and my now having an Internet-based business, my dream has been to put my book English, Portuguese and that it is readily accessible to anyone wishing to read it or use...and for that was important to me.
We have just finished our website with the book in all three languages.  I fine-tuned the English version so that it fits today's Church structure and positions. I then have had Brother Neto go through the Portuguese version of the book, using the updated English version, and he update the book in Portuguese.  And the Spanish version has also recently been updates.
As you will see on the website, I took a portion of the original comments made about the purpose of the book and have included that on the website. (It will soon also shown in Portuguese and Spanish.)  

It says;
"This book shows LDS men and women how to be successful in their Church callings by using clearly explained, proven skills and techniques, plus the Spirit. It is written to help both life-long members and recent converts.

Originally written in English and published by Horizon Publishers, Lengthen Your Leadership Stride is now also available here in Portuguese and Spanish. Readers are welcome to copy portions of this book for their personal use or for teaching other LDS members these sound leadership principles."

Obrigado! Thank you for your help with this matter. Warm regards,
Bruno Vassel III  South Jordan, Utah
801-253-6839. or  

Six Temple Tour of Brazil—April 18-30, 2012
Go online to find Dick Jensen and Alan McKay Tours ( to read all about this trip, or call Dick at 801-917-1131.

Forte abraços,

Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)
Gig Harbor, WA


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