Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #144


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #144
April 15, 2012
Bom dia, irmãos!
Time for just this one more Brasulista—and it is a long one—before I’m off to Brazil on the tour of six temples with some wonderful folks.  Enjoy.
For those living in Brazil . . . firesides  . . . Para quem mora no Brasil, teremos serãos nas cidades de Manaus (dia 17 ou 18 de abril, na capela de R. Monsenhor Coutinho, creio); Recife (dia 22, talvez na capela na Rua João Fernandes Vieira, creio); São Paulo (na tarde de dia 25 na capela ao lado do templo); Curitiba (dia 27); or Porto Alegre (domingo dia 29, na capela na Princesa Isabela, depois da última reunião). Infelizmente, as detalhas não são confirmados.  Sejam convidados.  Aceito text msgs na  

In this issue:
Cruise from Spain to Brazil
Temple mission opportunities in Brazil
Moroni Bing Torgan
New mission presidents called
Basketball missionaries in Fortaleza, 1971
Seeking Belo Horizonte history—did you serve there?
An American boy in Brazil
Who were those missionaries in Gaúcho garb? Identified! (photo attached)
Three more notes about bondes

SHAMELESS PLUG – Missionary cruise from Spain to Brazil
Item: Missionary Cruise and Tour Planned for November 23 to December 11, 2012
Barcelona, Cádiz, Lisbon, Tenerife . . . this is the stuff of dreams!  Salvador da Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Santos . . . Wow!  Read all about it at or Google “Dick Jensen Tours.  PLEASE SIGN UP EARLY FOR THIS TO OBTAIN A BRAZIL VISA.
From Spain and Portugal to Brazil, including a 15-night cruise on the Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas, with seven city tours and LDS church services and firesides on the high seas. Bring your talents and be a part of the events we plan. Base price is $1999 per person, and THIS INCLUDES FLIGHTS TO AND FROM! This is a fraction of the normal price and dollar for dollar is at this time the best bargain in the world of travels and cruises. Dick arranges tours in the ports we visit. Note: Singles, at your request we will seek another single to be a cabin mate. Your tour hosts will be fellow Brazilian missionaries Larry and Cheryl Stamps and Alf Gunn. Complete details are found at or Google “Dick Jensen Tours.”
From President Lennis Knighton (BM 56-59):  As you know, I am now serving with my wife, Peggy, as the President and Matron of the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple. I am writing this note to ask you to extend an invitation to folks to consider serving as temple missionaries in Brazil. We really need couples who can serve daily in the temple, and the Church is not getting many applications from those who can speak or are willing to learn Portuguese to serve in the temples of Brazil.
   Our temple is authorized to have six missionary couples. Right now we have two couples, and the Church has been trying to send us more for almost a year. All of the other temples in Brazil are in need of couples, as well, and the Mission Presidents of the proselyting missions are also asking for couples. So the need is great, and the blessings are even greater for those who are willing to return to Brazil to serve another year or two in this sacred work.
   My great First Counselor, Ulisses Pereira, and his wife, Olivia, have been called to serve as the new Temple President and Matron of the Manaus Brazil Temple. That temple will be dedicated on June 10 of this year, and the Church is trying hard to find three or four couples who can serve there to help in opening that temple. Those who can best help in Manaus or in any of the temples in Brazil will be the couples who have already served as ordinance workers in the USA or in one of the other temples of Brazil. We especially need brothers who have served as sealers and who could be authorized to help with that sacred work here in Brazil.
   Every temple in Brazil has housing or apartments for the missionary couples. They serve in the temple and attend the local wards, helping out as needed with teaching, music, etc.  But they do not do active proselyting work, as do those who serve in the proselyting missions. They need to have sufficient health to come daily to the temple, but the demands are not rigorous. The hours of work in the temple are set according to the needs of the particular temple in which they serve, but temple missionaries also have time for other things in their lives, too. It is a wonderful work with tremendous rewards, and there is no sweeter experience than to help these new converts, young couples, and faithful members have a powerful experience in the House of the Lord.  
   If anyone wishes to communicate with me or one of the other Temple Presidents, we would be happy to hear from them.  Those of us who remember with fondness the wonderful days of our first mission in Brazil, as well as those of us who have returned as Mission Presidents or in some other capacity of Church Service, can attest that serving in one of the Lord's Holy Temples is the best capstone experience of our life in the Church and the ideal way to express our love and gratitude to the Lord for having blessed us to live and serve in Brazil. Thanks again for all you do. And best wishes with this mission reunion again this year.  President Lennis Knighton (
Elder Moroni Bing Torgan (BSPN c75-77), age 55, was sustained as a new Area Seventy at the recent General Conference. He and his wife, Sister Rosa Torgan, have been serving as mission president in the Portugal Lisbon Mission. Raised in Rio Grande do Sul, he was a stake president in Fortaleza where he entered politics from a career he began in the Brazilian Polícia Federal. As a member of the National Chamber of Deputies at Brasilia he was the highest ranking LDS member in politics and earned a reputation as a crime-fighter against drug gangs, weapons smuggling and corruption. As to his given name, his great-grandmother on his mother's side was baptized in 1935 and the family was among the first members of the LDS branches in Brazil in 1938. Read more about Brother Torgan’s incredible career and life at
Our congratulations to those presidents who are completing their service and to those just called to Portuguese-speaking missions:
Mission                                   Current President   New President
Brazil Belem                          Jose C. F. Campos    Jose C. Scisci
Brazil Belo Horizonte           Adilson Parrella        Paschoal F. Fortunato
Brazil Campinas                     R. Marshall Tanner Carlos E. Perrotti
Brazil Cuiaba                        Cleto Oliveira            Keith R. Reber
Brazil Porto Alegre North   Edison Pavan              D. Layne Wright
Brazil Porto Alegre South   Curtis F. Swenson     Palmenio Cunha Castro
Brazil Salvador South          Helton Vecchi           Marcelo Andrezzo
Brazil Sao Paulo East                       Joaquim J. Moreira  Ronald A. Ferrin
Brazil Teresina                      Mario A. Dias            Alvacir Luiz Siedschlag
Portugal Lisbon                    Moroni B. Torgan      Stephen L. Fluckiger
Mozambique Maputo                        Loren Spendlove       Paulo V. Kretly
Presidente Alvacir Luiz Siedschlag and Aurea Fumie Satto Siedschlag are from Nova Prata, RS, near Caixias do Sul, RS.
President Marcelo Andrezo, born in São Paulo city, is from Santa Catarina.
President Paulo Vicente Kretly (BRecifeM c82) President and CEO of FranklinCovey Consulting Brazil, has been serving as a counselor at the CTM São Paulo, and his wife, Sister Adriana Kretley, as a counselor in the Relief Society presidency at the CTM. Both are from São Paulo state.They will preside in the Mozambique Maputo Mission. (Google him to see YouTube interviews.)
President Layne Wright (BSM 68-70) and his wife Marian are from Draper, UT.  His twin brother Lowell Wright (BM 68-70) previously presided over the Russia Moscow Mission (after majoring in Russian), but passed away in 2011 of cancer. Want to go back to Rio Grande do Sul?  Contact him. (
President Ronald Ferrin (BM/BNM 68-70) and Sister Marcia Ferrin of Salt Lake City, UT, were at the recent missions reunion and are looking for missionaries who want to join them in the Brazil São Paulo East Mission. (  
Elder Stephen Lynn Fluckiger (BCentM 71-73) and Dorothy Horlacher Fluckiger (BSoCentM 72-73) of Dallas, TX, will preside in the Portugal Lisbon Mission. He has been serving as an Area Seventy in Texas. He writes, “We received our assignment . . . to Lisbon Portugal! Needless to say we were surprised. We had a good "skype" visit with President and Sister Torgan. The Mission is doing well. Pres. Torgan has really got things going. Portugal has six stakes and four districts, and is looking forward to the future. With land purchased for a temple, there is a focus on "real growth" with missionary and reactivation opportunities. Some of the Brazilian couples who have staffed the office and served in the mission presidency are slated to return to Brazil this year. One works in the office and proselytes in the evening (the office elders are among the highest baptizing in the mission and the couple is a great factor in this). We'd really like to find some former missionaries who served in Brazil or Portugal to help out with the work.” (
Alf’s note:  Lisbon is a place where you can still ride a bonde.  
President Keith Reber (BPASM 72-74) and Sister Stephanie Reber of St. George, UT, were at the recent reunion. They will preside in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. (I bet a lot of you folks don’t even know where that is.) Contact him at
Here is a note from someone who does know where it is, Elder Lamar Woodbury (BSPS 73-74):   “We just got back from the best mission in the entire world, in December. Missão Brasil Cuiabá. The church is relatively new there, and missionary couples are so needed, and welcomed. The people there are so kind and loving; we just hated to leave the new family we had made. Some of the youth called us mom and dad, and the missionaries felt like our sons and grandsons. We shed many tears, and thanked our Heavenly Father, for the privilege we had of serving such a wonderful people that we love so dearly. There are people whose lives you can bless too. We would recommend any couple with a desire to serve, to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities of serving in the Cuiaba, Brasil Mission. Sincerely, Lamar and Brenna Woodbury, St. George, UT. We'd be glad to answer any questions anybody may have. ( or 435-215-8061)  
The new president of the Brazil Salvador South Mission, where a son of his recently served, as described on a Brazilian church site:  Marcelo Andrezzo, 47, e Solange Andrezzo, três filhos, Ala Joinville, Estaca Joinville Brasil. O irmão Andrezzo atualmente serve como membro do sumo conselho da Estaca Joinville e já foi presidente da estaca, conselheiro na presidência da estaca, bispo, conselheiro no bispado e missionário nas missões Rio de Janeiro e Brasília. Exerce a profissão de auditor fiscal. Nascido em São Paulo, é filho de Orlando Ferreira Andrezzo Júnior e Zilda Clarinda Andrezzo.  A Irmã Solange Andrezzo serve como Presidente da Sociedade de Socorro da estaca e já foi conselheira na  presidência da sociedade de socorro da estaca, presidente da sociedade de socorro da ala, conselheira na presidência das moças da estaca, presidente das moças da ala e professora do seminário. Nascida em São Paulo, éfilha de José Nelson Pinto e de Maria das Graças de Oliveira Pinto.
Mission in the Cape Verde Islands
I met Stan (BNM 71-73) and Brenda Benedict of Rexburg, ID, when they served in the Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission 04-06. They are a great couple. They left home again in January for the Cape Verde Praia Mission, presided over by President Roberto Florencio and Eliana Oliveira of Bountiful, UT. Parabens!
Basketball Missionaries
On our last cruise, from Italy to Brazil in 2010, one of the fine members of our tour group was Robert Christenson (BNM 70-72) and his wife LaDawn, who was our organist on board. I received this note from one of his companions:  “Hi Alf, Did your cruise companion, Robert Christenson, tell you about his basketball exploits in Fortaleza? I was there with him as a rather new Elder in 1971. We played a game against a Brazilian club team. Robert had played at BYU and even though the Brazilians were big he really showed them how to play the game. There were four Elders, Robert Hutchings, Joseph Harmon, Elder Christenson and me, Jan Davis. We had to recruit the branch president, an American named Price, to play with us. We were able to get the newspapers to print stories with our photos promoting the game. It worked as a good proselyting tool and many attended the game. Since we had no subs we had to play the entire game, which was difficult since we had not had physical exercise for a long time, outside of walking. Somehow, I don't remember why, we were allowed to spend time every P-day at the Clube Líbano Brasileiro (which has been replaced by high rise apartments and hotels) which had an outdoor basketball court on the beach which was beautiful. So we were able to practice some before the game. If I remember right we beat them pretty badly mainly because Elder Christenson was so good. It was a great experience and got the name of the Church publicized in a city where our church attendance at the one branch was around 30, and where the Church was little-known.”   Jan Davis (BNM 70-72) (
Brother David William Pereira of Belo Horizonte is initiating a project to obtain photos and journal items or histories of the missionary effort in Belo Horizonte. You may write him in English if you wish. His email is  He can send photos of early missionaries there if you wish to request them.  
  He writes:  Irmão Alfredo, O nosso objetivo é resgatar a história e a fé daqueles que foram valentes e perseverantes no estabelecimento da Igreja em Belo Horizonte, que é uma cidade eminentemente católica e um forte reduto das Igrejas tradicionais. O projeto ainda está em fase de elaboração. Temos cerca de 60 fotos de missionários que serviram em Belo Horizonte e que estão disponíveis para envio. Estou a sua disposição. Será uma grande oportunidade para enriquecer o nosso projeto e possibilitar a troca mútua de informações, que serão de muito proveito para todos. Aguardo os e-mails e felicito esta sua incrível iniciativa pela história do mormonismo no Brasil. Nosso e-mail é exatamente isto:  Obrigado !!!
An American boy in Brazil
Craig I. Benson (BNM 70-72) of Arlington, TX 3514 furnished this account when I inquired about his father:   In 1947 my father, Leonard Daniel Benson, went on a mission to Brazil. After his mission, he came home, got married and started building houses. In 1964 my mother and father accepted a construction mission call to Brazil. I was 12 years old in the 6th grade. My father built two chapels. The first was in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul. I learned how to speak Portuguese there. I'm one of five children. My mother was very concerned about our school studies. She took school books to Brazil to help us out with our studies. I still went to a Brazilian school. I only passed math and English. Each day the nun would teach English for 20 minutes. The fourth week she held up an eraser and said rrrrrruber. This is a direct translation of what they call an eraser in Portuguese. I said no, we do not say rrrrrruber. In English we never say rrrrrrr. We only say one r. She thanked me and asked me if I would like to teach English. I'm thinking she wanted to make sure they heard the correct pronunciation for all the words. I told her yes. She gave me the English book to use as a guideline. This helped me learn Portuguese much quicker.
  The second chapel was built is São Paulo in the Bairo Bosque de Saude. São Paulo had an American school where I attended.
  I was in São Paulo in June of 1966 when the first stake was organized by President Spencer W. Kimball. It was in the Bairo Pinheiros, this is where the mission home was. President Kimball said Brazil will have many stakes. Now only the United States has more stakes.
  In 1970 I returned to Brazil for my mission. When my father went to Brazil on his mission there was one mission. When our family went there were two missions, Brazil and Brazil South. When I went on my mission there was three missions, Brazil, Brazil South and Brazil North. Today there are 27 missions in Brazil. I worked in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Petrópolis and João Pessoa. I have lived in more cities in Brazil than here. I loved the time I spent in Brazil, almost five years. I love the Brazilian people. My goal is to someday go back to Brazil for a visit and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle they offer.  Craig l. Benson (
Missionaries in Gaúcho garb
In Brasulista #141 we asked readers to help us identify two Elders dressed in Gaúcho garb in Alegrete, RS (see photo attached again).  Here are a couple of responses.
“Alf - The elder on the right is Elder Dean Ward Holt. He was my 6th companion in Brasil and was from St. George.  We served together in Curitiba III in the latter part of 1965.  He was released in September 1967. We baptized Maria das Dores Menezes on Christmas day 1965.  I don't know the other elder. Jim Steverson” (  
“Alf, I should be able to identify the photo, since I'm in it. That's me, a young Elder Bruce Thompson, on the left, and my companion Elder Holt. Was I really that young and skinny?  It was taken in November or December of 1966 in front of the Alegrete chapel.  I completed my mission in December of 1966 and I think this was Elder Holt's first city.  Bruce Thompson”
Alf’s note:  I have been unable to locate Dean Ward Holt. Anybody know where he is?  He may have been a graduate of Granger High School in 1965 and his Article of Faith card indicated he lived at 58 South 300 West, St. George, UT, at the time of his mission.
I keep looking for missionaries and finding many, but some remain a puzzle to me until someone else finds them for me.
In Brasulistas #136 and 137 we talked all about bondes.  Still, I received a few more comments, which I share here:
Wayne Hale (BM 66-68), Chubbuck, ID, wrote this:   
My first assignment in November ‘66, was in Campinas.  The bondes were a highlight of the area.  The main line that we took ran from downtown to the Bosque, where I think the track circled the block, a small wooded park, to head back down the hill toward the Centro.  Just up the hill from that end-of-line was the new Campinas 2nd Branch chapel (dedicated in early ‘67), near the Castelo. Among my memories of many rides are those of 2, 4 and sometimes even 6 missionaries, in all the dignity of our sacred callings, sprinting down the street to catch up to and jump onto the sometimes rapidly moving bonde, sometimes just to avoid waiting for the next one, or maybe it was the last one of the evening.  I’m sure it did great things for our image among the citizenry, besides amusing the cobrador and the driver.  And it’s truly amazing that nobody got far as I remember from only 45 years ago.  I wish I had time to dig for some pictures, if any still exist. Thanks for the memories, and all this background info.  It’s been fun.  Wayne Hale (
Alf, There is a bonde in Parque Farroupilha in Porto Alegre. The plaque next to the gauges contained the following:  “Bond Electric Trolley, built for Salt Lake City Railway."  My understanding is that the trolleys from Trolley Square in SLC were shipped to Brazil when SLC closed down its trolley operations.  Best regards, Rich Hill (BSM 70-72) (

And finally this sweet note from Sister Lindamir Souza, who was serving as matron of the Curitiba Temple with her husband President Jason Souza when she wrote it:  “Querido irmão Alf, Que pena que o meu tempo é tão curto para tudo o que quero, desejo e preciso fazer. Mas, tenho tido ótimos momentos, lendo o que outros escrevem para vc. Lembrei do Pres. Sam Morrison, do Pres. Cory Bangerter e outros. Os Bangerters, moram em nossos corações desde há muito! Que pessoas queridas todas essas que vieram ao nosso País e têm ótimas lembranças daqui. Fico tão feliz com isso. Nós também já fomos mais de 40 vezes aos Estados Unidos e também amamos nossos irmãos de lá e MUITO!
Eu também, quando era criança, tive a oportunidade de andar nesses bondes. Aliás, passavam em frente de nossa casa. Como era bom e divertido!!!!  Pena que foram substituídos. As crianças de hoje, de nossa Curitiba, não sabem o que foi isso em nossas vidas. Não sei porque as coisas boas têm que ser substituídas. Que bom que vc tem essa paciência de criar este espaço para todos. Que idéia brilhante!  Espero ficar mais tempo, um dia, em frente ao computador e ler tudo o que vem e que nos trazem tantas recordações. Muito obrigada por tudo!  Um grande abraço, com todo carinho,
Lindamir Souza (
That’s it for now.  
Forte abraços,
Alf Gunn
Gig Harbor, WA  253-851-1099





Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location