Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #155


Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #155
January 10, 2013

In this issue:
Senior missionaries sought for new initiative in Brazil
Elder Ulisses Soares called to the Presidency of the Seventy
Tender mercies in Brazil
Elder Engstrom serves at Brazil Area Office
Things looking up in the favelas
How long was your mission?
Early member pioneers in São Paulo: Helio da Rocha Camargo and Oswaldo da Silva Camargo


The following message from Elder Clay Overson (BNM 66-68) has been approved by the Perpetual Education Fund department at Church Headquarters for inclusion in the Brasulista:

“Dear Brother Gunn, I am Elder Clay Overson and my wife and I are working at the church offices in Salt Lake in the Perpetual Education Fund department while waiting for visas to go to São Paulo and work in PEF.  There is a new program rolling out this year which will combine the PEF and Employment Resource Centers into one unit to be called Self Reliance Centers.  This expanded role will assist members of the Church to succeed in their own self-reliant path, either through education (with or without a PEF loan), employment (including apprenticeships), or through self-employment.  This new initiative is under the direction of the First Presidency and is being led by Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy.  This will be a great step forward in helping members throughout the world to improve their lives.  The program calls for one senior couple in each mission to help administer the program and oversee a self reliance center.  As you know there are 27 missions in Brazil and very few senior missionaries.  It has been taking at least six months to get visas to Brazil and so there is a long lead time.  The Church really needs a lot of support from senior couples to allow this program to move forward as time is short and much needs to be done.  Any who would consider serving missions in these positions may express an interest by calling or emailing Brother Toby Pingree at 1-800-240-0557 ( or Brother Tom Rueckert, Director of Operations and Control – Perpetual Education Fund, at 1-801-240-7537 ( at the church offices in Salt Lake City.  May the lord bless you in your desire to serve.  Muito obrigado, Elder Overson”

From President Keith Reber (BPASM 72-74), of St. George, UT, currently presiding in the  Brasil Cuiabá Mission:  
“As you all know mission presidents go to bed at night praying for some couple missionaries in their mission.  The Cuiabá mission presently has no couple senior missionaries and we are in need of at least one couple who could work in the office.  There is a boat load of office duties to choose from.  Just to mention a few: finances, scheduling, weekly reports, conference planning and organizing, care of missionaries apartments, news letters, and much more. One’s position could be tailored to fit with one’s skill set. The office sits in a large office building and is a new office with air conditioning.  An apartment building that would house the couple is two blocks away and the church building is one block from the mission office.  There are great shopping and eating facilities all within three blocks of the office.  It would be a very easy mission in regards to getting around and taking care of personal needs without transportation challenges. Sister Reber or I would always be happy to answer any questions that persons might have in regards to serving in the office.   Grande abraço para todos,   President Reber, Brasil Cuiabá Mission” (

News item:  Elder Ulisses Soares called to the Presidency of the Seventy
The Church News has reported that Elder Ulisses Soares of the First Quorum of the Seventy begins service in the Presidency of the Seventy this month. Elder Ulisses Soares has served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since April 2, 2005. He has served as a counselor and President of the Brazil South Area and has been serving as a counselor in the Africa Southeast Area. Elder Soares received a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and economics from the School of Economic Science-PUC in 1985. Later, he received an MBA from INPG. His professional career has included being an accountant and auditor for a multinational corporation in Brazil, and as the director of temporal affairs in the Church area office in São Paulo, Brazil. At the time of his call to be a General Authority, he was on a training assignment for Physical Facilities/Welfare Services for the Church in Salt Lake City. During his many years of Church activity, he has been a full-time missionary in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission, elders quorum president, bishop’s counselor, high councilor, stake executive secretary, regional welfare agent, stake president, and president of the Portugal Porto Mission (2000-2003). Ulisses Soares was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on October 2, 1958. He married Rosana Fernandes in 1982. They are the parents of three children.


This note comes from Elder John W. Buckles (BM 65-66) of Cedar Hills, UT:  
  “In Nov, 2008, Gail and I returned from 2 years as Area Public Affairs missionaries for the Europe Area under President Robert Oaks. We were based in London.  Our mission was marvelous and we had the privilege to work with and assist several of the Brethren, write articles for Church News, travel through 18 countries, manage the Church’s UK websites  and coordinate Helping Hands throughout Europe. We can’t wait to go back out again, perhaps next time to Brazil!  
  “In August, 2001, we traveled for a month throughout Brazil, finishing in São Paulo and being asked to speak at the Santana Ward, where I had served when it was a branch, at their ward conference. My companions and I had baptized seven complete families while there so it was a true tender mercy for me to experience that day. I was amazed how quickly my Portuguese came back during the trip and had no difficulty speaking for about 12 minutes. While in our downtown hotel, I went up to the accounting office to borrow a computer to check emails after hours. The hotel accountant was still there and was on the phone talking with his sister. I could hear references to “bispo”, so I casually asked him if things were okay. He was shocked I spoke Portuguese and inquired why, so I explained I had been an LDS missionary 35 years earlier. He had been inactive for about 20 years and would not let me leave without giving him a priesthood blessing. Another tender mercy.  Almost every day we enjoyed a wonderful spiritual experience like that.
  “Currently we are Public Affairs service missionaries up at SLC offices working from home here in Cedar Hills.  
  “ps. From “In 1966, on a split with Elder James Sullenger in São Paulo we tracted out subsequently baptized the family of Elder Ulisses Soares, who was seven years old at the time, including his mother and father his two older brothers.  Um abraço, Elder Buckles” (

Item:  Elder Chris Engstrom (BSM 66-68) and his wife Louise, of St. George, UT, are currently serving a mission at São Paulo where he is assigned as Brazil Area Executive Secretary and Sister Engstrom serves as an officiator in the São Paulo Temple. On Sundays they both work with missionaries at the São Paulo Missionary Training Center.   (

From the Internet

Here is an interesting item about impressive economic progress in the favelas of Rio, from Bloomberg’s Businessweek:  “In Brazil's Favelas, a Middle Class Arises”     One quote: “Today, Rio’s favelas have an economy worth 13 billion reais ($6.1 billion), according to the Data Popular study.”
Item: How long was your mission? How many months? Things have changed or varied over the years.  Here is a flashback from Dan Rostrom (BSPS 81-83) of Vernal, UT:
  “We spent ten or twelve weeks in the MTC, then six weeks in the Los Angeles Mission waiting for visas.  Many missionaries around that time had their missions changed to Portugal because of the delays in getting visas to Brazil, so we felt fortunate to go to the mission that we had actually been called to.  The 18 month missions were introduced while we were out and there was a six month period in which the elders were given the choice to serve 18 or 24 months or anywhere in between.  My group was the last to fall within the six month window and we all opted to serve the full two years, so that by the time we went home we had been out six months longer than anyone else in the mission. The terms of all missions after us were reduced to 18 months, no negotiating allowed!  Thanks for the newsletters!”  (

Irmao Antonio Camargo shares the following historic note:
  “Bom Dia Alf,  Quem sabe esteja acrescentando alguma informação sobre estes dois lideres brasileiros:
  “Helio da Rocha Camargo, batizado junho 1957, foi presidente de ramo, conselheiro da presidencia do Distrito de São Paulo, conselheiro da presidencia da Missão Brasileira, bispo quando a estaca São Paulo foi organizada em 1966, presidente da Estaca São Paulo Leste, representante regional, presidente de missão, conselheiro da Presidencia de Area, presidente de Area, presidente do Templo de São Paulo.
  “Oswaldo da Silva Camargo, batizado em agosto 1967, bispo na estaca São Paulo, presidente de estaca São Paulo Perdizes, conselheiro da Presidencia do Templo de São Paulo, presidente do Templo de São Paulo, coordenador de missionarios de serviço de tempo parcial.  Abraço,  Ir. Antonio Camargo”

Happy New Year, compadres! 
Um abraço,
Alf Gunn
Gig Harbor, WA
“When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you are older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.”
         —Casey Stengel



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