Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #159

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #159
February 27, 2013

Bom dia!  It is an exciting time to be part of the missionary effort! 

In this issue:

  • President Lloyd R. Hicken Brazil Mission Reunion and 95thBirthday Party April 5 (details at bottom)
  • Inspired missionary age announcement results in new missions
  • Called to Serve – Santa Maria, Cuiabá, Curitiba and General Relief Society Board
  • Responses:  Missionaries protected in 1968--were you there?
  • Elder Godoy memories of the Princesa Isabel chapel at Porto Alegre


President Monson’s announcement lowering the age for missionary service is more than a mere policy shift, says Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department.  “As one who was an eyewitness to every step along this way, I can tell you that this was a revelation from heaven.  This is the Lord’s outreach to this generation, and this is the Lord’s own work of hastening His work by calling more servants.”  (Church News article, “Calling More Servants,” by R. Scott Lloyd)
You may all be aware now of the 58 new missions being organized, bringing the total number of missions worldwide to 405.  The seven new missions in Brazil:

  • Brazil Curitiba South
  • Brazil Fortaleza East
  • Brazil Juiz de Fora
  • Brazil Natal
  • Brazil Piracicaba
  • Brazil Santos
  • Brazil São Paulo West

I was interested to see that all of the presidents of these seven new missions appear to be Brazilians.  Read more at
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” –Joseph Smith, Jr., 1842 (History of the Church, 4:540).


Of personal interest to me is the calling of my friend Adalton P. Parrela (BPAM 76-77) to preside over the Brazil Santa Maria Mission.  Adalton and his wife Délgia traveled with us on our tour from Italy to six ports in Brazil in 2010 and Brother Parrela is currently helping Dick Jensen organize the April tour of the south of Brazil for our alumni.  He is a former stake president at Florianôpolis.  They are a lovely couple and full of life.  As President Dieter Uchtdorf told them, they are returning to their roots.
Brother Shannon Flynn (BSPS 77-79) of Gilbert, AZ, writes:  Just a quick note to apprise of a fairly recent calling.  Sister Ana Gaertner DeAgostini was called to serve as a member of the Relief Society General Board in September 2012.  She is married to one of our fellow missionaries Henrique Mariani DeAgostini (BSPS 77-79).  They live in Salt Lake City.  Sister DeAgostini’s parents are Levy and Alice Gaertner.  Many of the older missionaries will remember the Gaertner family from Ponta Grossa.  The Gaertners were some of the first people baptized in that city , back in the '50's and have been such great contributors to the Church ever since.  Her aunt, Veira did many of the translations for the Church in the early days.  Her brother Helcio and his wife are the Mission President of the Brazil Brasilia Mission currently.  Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians know Henrique and Ana, not by sight but by voice.  They headed up conference translation for many years and have acted as voice for dozens and dozens of Church audio-visual presentations.  Many people in Brazil probably never heard President Hinckley's voice but would recognize Henrique's as he translated for President Hinckley hundreds of times.  Sister DeAogostini says she in anxious to travel to Brazil on assignment and counsel with the good sisters there.  Of course, she will need no interpretation as she is one of those rare perfect bilinguals.  What an asset they are and will continue to be.  They are some of those Brazilians that we came to know and love in Brazil and have made such a difference in the lives of those Americans that served in the country and came back forever changed.  Shannon Flynn  ( (
From Gary S. Yearsley (BSM 68-70) of Arimo, ID:  “Dear Alf,  I just want you to know that my wife Wanda and I were reading your email a couple of months ago and ran across a letter from President Keith Reber from the Cuiabá Mission.  We sent an inquiry to President Reber and have since been called to serve in that mission.  It has been 45 years since I served with the wonderful people of Brazil.  We are excited to return!  Thanks for all you have been doing to keep us informed of things pertaining to Brazil.  Without your service, this opportunity might not have happened.  Gary S. Yearsley  (
Bruce (BSM 64-66) and Michelle Thompson of Murray, UT,  are called to the Brazil Curitiba Mission to work primarily in the Brazil Curitiba PEF Service Center as PEF/self reliance missionaries.  They are scheduled to report to the MTC Provo on September 9, 2013.  I became acquainted with these good folks when they traveled from Italy to Brazil on our 2010 cruise tour, and we will see them again on our upcoming Mission Reunion Tour of South Brazil in April.  Parabens!   (

Alf’s note:  The Brasulista is only a newsletter, but I am pleased to know that it encourages senior missionary service, or at least it encourages those who can serve to consider serving in Brazil.


My name is Leonce Arceneaux and I served my mission from December, 1967 to December, 1969.  In early September, 1968, I received a transfer from Maringá to Perdizes where I served for approximately 3 months. My companion was an amazing missionary who was serving as Zone Leader. His name was Elder Jerold Burns. Together we visited all areas of Perdizes and surrounding areas.  I have no way of knowing who the missionaries were that you highlighted in the article, "missionaries protected in 1968--were you there?", but we were there and worked in the area of Rua Petropolis.  Just thought you would be interested to know.  Leonce  Leonce Arceneaux  (
Roger Ross (BM 68-70) of Ridgecrest, CA, recalls, “I could easily have been one of those Elders.  I remember when the Captain was killed.  It was in my working area. The members wanted us to lie low for a few days. We told them the terrorists were after political targets, not us.  I was tracting a few blocks away from where he was killed the day after it happened.  Of course I don’t remember the days before the killing.” (
From Nolan Taylor (BM 68-70) of Layton, UT, writes:  “I was in São Paulo when we heard about the shooting.  The missionaries were advised to be more careful and circumspect.  I don’t remember hearing about the missionaries.” (
From Steven Postma (BM 67-69) of Sandy, UT:  Elder Craig Russell and I worked out of the mission home in Pinheiros. We had the full district tracking in an area of Pinheiros that day so there would have been several pairs of missionaries on the streets.  We had just had 21 people baptized the Sunday before and we were putting more effort into finding new teaching opportunities.  We did work in an area of Pinheiros in the direction of Perdizes but I don't have the street names listed.  I don't recall the area we worked but some of our district could have been there that day.  There was a lot of anti-American sentiment while I served in São Paulo.  One day we were in the Bank of America getting money when the teller told us to exit the back door because a mob was attacking the front entrance.  We left just as the front window was broken out by rocks being thrown.  Luckily no one saw us leave the back way and we missed the mob.   Thanks for your articles.  They are great. Steven Postma (


Today I understand that there are more than 1,150 meetinghouses in Brazil.  In 1964 my companion Elder John Birchall and I helped the full-time construction missionaries, one day a week, as they built the chapel at Princesa Isabel in Porto Alegre.  I won’t ask how many others recall that same experience or other experiences in that building, one of the first LDS chapels in Southern Brazil. 
Mission President Doug Whisenant (BPANM 06-09) was with Elder Carlos Godoy on one occasion waiting for an appointment in the evening at the Princesa Isabel chapel in Porto Alegre.  Brother Whisenant recalls that Elder Godoy said something to this effect:  “The Princesa Isabel chapel is very important to me!  I was a teenager, a type of hippie with long hair, when I agreed to be taught by the missionaries.” At this point, recalls Brother Whisenant, he led me into a classroom.  With great emotion and tears in his eyes, he added “It was here in this room that they taught me the missionary lessons. It was here that I first received a witness of the truth of their message.”  Then, he led me to the baptismal font and added: “And it was here that I was baptized and my life was changed forever.”  , As is often the case, more than his exact words, says Brother Whisenant, I remember the spirit I felt there when he bore his testimony of how those missionaries and their gospel message changed his life.
Today, Elder Carlos Augusto Godoy of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been a counselor in the Brazil Area Presidency since 2009.  Since joining the Church in 1977, Elder Godoy has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Brazil São Paulo South Mission, Young Men president, Elders quorum president, MTC branch president, bishop, high councilor, regional welfare agent, president of the Brazil Belem Mission (97-00), and Area Seventy.  Elder Godoy was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on February 4, 1961. He married Mônica Soares Brandao (who also served in the BSPSM) in March 1984. They are the parents of four children and grandparents of three grandchildren.


President Lloyd R. Hicken Brazil Mission Reunion and 95thBirthday Party.  Friday, April 5th, 3317 South 800 West in Bountiful/North Salt Lake.  Visiting and possibly displays of the History of the Church in Brazil presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 we will have the main meeting, including some Brazilian songs and a talk by President Hicken, with Q&A session and more visiting following.  Plan to attend for all or part. No main dinner provided, just guaraná and birthday cake, and perhaps any finger food that people want to bring!  Small donation requested to help defray expenses.  For more details contact Wayne Hale at 208-251-2050 ( or Wayne Selph at 801-541-6067 (  RSVP would be appreciated.  Atê logo.  Wayne Hale
Um abraço, 
Alf Gunn  (BSM 62-65) - Gig Harbor, WA - - 253-307-3338 

 “Strive to master the language throughout your mission and after you return. The Lord has invested much in you, and He may have uses for your language abilities later in your life.”    -- Preach My Gospel, p. 128.

Forte abraços,

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


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