Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #164

Brazil!  Brazil!  The 2014 Brazil Reunion Tour
(See the info at the bottom of page)
Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #164
August 23, 2013

Oi, irmãos!

In this issue:

  • Two new books highlight the lives of Elder Wm. Grant and Geri Bangerter
  • Mission opportunities await in Portugal
  • Medical missionary needs in Brazil
  • Financial support for Hispanic missionaries
  • Called to Serve
  • Fond memories of Ipomeia
  • A poem
  • Announcements:  
  • The 2014 Central Brazil Reunion Tour
  • The 2013 Utah Brazilian Festival, September 7, 2013


TheseThingsIKnowWelcomeToTheTaskIn large part, Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter and his wife Geri were pioneers in the growth of the missionary work and progress of the Church in Brazil.  Elder Bangerter brought to pass the calling of Brazilian young men to full-time missions in numbers never before seen.  From the ranks of “Bangerter missionaries” have come scores of mission presidents.  Now, two new books about their life and history are available through their son Cory Bangerter.  Both are excellent reads!  Cory writes:

  • 1. My mother's biography entitled "Welcome the Task" goes for $15.00 if picked up and $20.00 if mailed.
  • 2.  My father's autobiography entitled "These Things I Know" goes for $20.00 if picked up and $25.00 if mailed.

Please contact me either by mail or email to get a copy.

Cory Bangerter
465 South High Bench Road
Alpine, Utah 84004


President Stephen Fluckiger (BCentM 71-73) of the Portugal Lisboa Mission writes:  “Brother Gunn, I just received “through the grapevine” the Brasulista’s notice about visa waits to Brazil. It seems like a great time to remind your readers about the TREMENDOUS opportunities in Portugal.  Recall that President Monson dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel only in 1975.  In that blessing he prayed, “We are aware, Heavenly Father, that the Portuguese people in Brazil have accepted Thy Gospel.  The stakes of Zion are now established in great number in Brazil, and a temple dedicated to Thy Holy Name will be erected.  Oh Father, these are the same people here.  Wilt Thou look upon them with a kindly spirit, as Thou has favored their descendents and relatives in Brazil.”
  “We see this prayer fulfilled increasingly here in Portugal.  As you know a temple has been announced and . . . finally . . . land has been purchased.  Last year we had 1,315 baptisms.  The field truly is white.  With six stakes and four Districts the leadership is maturing.  After seeing massive migration of members out of the country we are beginning to see growth again. Total Sacrament meeting attendance grew in the first quarter by 3%.  My personal goal is to see 3 stakes prepared in 3 years!  All this in preparation for the temple.  The members here are very excited.  But the need for leadership is tremendous.
  “We have one couple from California serving in the Algarve, another couple from Salt Lake in Santarém, and a third coming from California, to serve in the Açores.  We desperately need a couple for the District on the Island of Madeira and for our office and could use one more couple in each of the Districts, which have the potential to qualify for stakes within three years.  We have seen what a tremendous impact just one couple can have on a District in terms of the growth of the priesthood base.
  “Visa waits for Portugal are modest and the country is BEAUTIFUL. Accommodations are reasonable and lovely.  If anyone is interested we would be happy to send more information about these opportunities (and the gorgeous climate on the Islands!) Our couples are united with us a mission presidency and energized by the rescue work taking place everywhere and the Spirit of unity with the members in the Mission.  We hope that many more of our fellow ex-Brasileiro missionários vão considerar o que O Senhor tem em espera por eles em Portugal!  Faithfully yours, President Stephen L. Fluckiger,  Presidente
Missão Portugal Lisboa, (+351) 91 732 3338 (Pessoal), (+351) 21 762 0830 (Escritório) 
Alf’s note:  After my incredible one-day visit to Lisbon during the 2012 Cruise from Barcelona to Santos I can say my heart longs to see more of Lisbon and more of Portugal.  For one thing, our dear LDS volunteer guide, Sister Sister Elisa Monteiro, took us to the Pastéis de Belém restaurant in the historic Belém district.  Their pastel is not like the Japanese-inspired pastel of Brazil. It is a small custard pie made from a secret recipe perhaps as old as the Jerónimos Monastery of Belém, one block away.  (Google Pastéis de Belém for photos and perhaps a recipe.)  Okay, I should never write while I’m hungry.  Lisbon also has the best bonde ride in Europe— the #28 eléctrico.  But secure your wallet there.   


Disclaimer:  Of course, there are needs for senior missionaries in all missions.  And there is one mission in Portugal and 34 missions in Brazil.   


This from Dr. Joseph Bingham (BCentralM 69-71) of Provo, UT, who has been covering the country of Brazil in a medical capacity:  “My wife and I will be finishing an 18 month mission at the end of September as Area Medical Advisors in Brazil.  It has been a very busy and wonderful experience talking with missionaries and mission Presidents and their wives all over Brazil.  When we leave there will only be a Brazilian doctor as the only AMA for the 34 missions of Brazil.  With guidance from the Brazil Area Presidency, he is trying to recruit more local Brazilian doctors to help either as local resources for missions where they reside or future AMA’s.
  “However, there are needs for American medical personnel.  A member of the Area Presidency told us they want to have at least one North American doctor as an AMA.  The Americans are helpful in coordinating with Salt Lake City, and in working with both English speaking missionaries and mission presidents, as well as the Portuguese speaking ones.  We have been told that the Missionary Department does not have any Portuguese speaking American doctors in line to replace us.  If you have an interest in serving in Brazil this is a great way to serve.  
  “We know visas are a concern right now.  The new Area Mental Health Advisors for Brazil, who are waiting for their visas, have started to serve from the United States by handling phone calls from Brazil at home.  This may be an option for the medical side as well, and may be also an option if someone wanted to serve Brazil medical needs but preferred to stay at home, even if the help was only part time.  If you have an interest, the missionary medical department in Salt Lake City, would probably appreciate hearing from you. Joseph and Barbara Bingham (


Brothers and Sisters,  You may not have thought about it but certain programs available to the young saints overseas, such as the Perpetual Education Fund, General Missionary Funds, etc. are not available to members here in the USA.  This has an impact particularly on Hispanic units and individuals here, some of whom are first or young second generation members.  Our good and faithful Brazilian-American brother, Oswaldo deMoura (Missão de Construção, Jan-Dec 1974 and full time BRdeJ 75-77), describes one such situation where he is called to serve.  Consider contacting him if you think you would like to help:  
“Hi Brother Gunn, As you know I am a Bishop of a Spanish speaking unit here in Odgen Utah. We have now seven missionaries in the field and one already called who will start on September 4. I called three missionaries last year and five this year. Our ward is very poor and none of the parents have any means to support their sons and daughters in their missions. Our Stake is also very poor and here in Utah and our missionaries cannot be helped by the General Missionary Fund. We have to support them with funds from our Stake. I would appreciate if you could send a word out in the look for families that could sponsor our missionaries. If anyone can help us please let them get in contact with me directly.  1287 N Willard Peak Dr Ogden UT, 84404.  Thanks,  Bishop Oswaldo B. deMoura, 1287 N Willard Peak Dr Ogden UT, 84404. 801-879-2264” (


From Elder Dennis Davis (BM 65-67) of Azusa, CA: Hi Alf, Jeri and I have been called to serve in the Cuiabá Mission for 18 months with President and Sister Reber. Our target date to enter the Provo MTC is Monday, October 7th. As we all know, Brazilian visas have been taking very long to be processed and issued. But, we move forward in faith. Two weeks ago, we received a call from the missionary office about Brazilian visas and they are now trying something new - as suggested by the Brazilian Consulate. Instead of applying for a religious missionary visa, we have been requested to apply as a volunteer. We have been told by the Brazilian Consulate that visas should be issued in a very short time with this revision. So, we are hoping this will help.  We are very thankful for the information of the last newsletter and the request to fast and pray for visas. We believe that it is because of the many prayers and fasting that things will begin to open up for us in Brazil. The Lord is still in charge and miracles are happening every day.  Dennis Davis ( 
Elder Larry Goff (BSM 64-66) and his wife Pat of Orem, UT, welcomed our tour group when our cruise ship made port in Cabo Verde in 2010, as they were serving a mission there from 2009-11.  Now they write, “Pat and I have received a mission call to serve in the Ohio Cleveland Mission as records preservation specialists.  We will report to the Provo MTC on October 14th and our training will include an extra week to learn how to photograph old documents.  We are very happy with this call.” ( 
Neldon (BSM 69-71) and Diana Demke of Pueblo, CO, will serve a member and leadership support mission to Cape Verde beginning September 23.  Sister Demke is fluent in Spanish since she served a mission to Mexico.  She writes, “We have a small home on Roatan, off the coast of Honduras, where we do frequent trips and Humanitarian projects.  So I'm hoping that if I learn a bit of Portuguese and then fill in with Spanish it will work!  Neldon's Portuguese isn't that great either but we are excited to serve, the last of our eight kids both were married this summer so we are free to go.” (
Elder Bruce Parker (BSM 64-66) of Rexburg, ID, writes:  “Alf, My wife Sharon and I are presently serving here in Brazil on the Church farm near Brasilia. We received our calls in April 2012 and our mission started in January 2013.  We didn't receive our visas until April, but it seems that they took their time getting to us. We hope that all the wonderful missionaries desiring to come to Brazil never think of changing their minds.  It is wonderful to be here with these good people.  Elder J. Bruce Parker and Sister Sharon Parker”  (  
Note:  The Parkers served a leadership mission in the Portugal Lisbon Mission, 08-09.   
Elder Doug Ficklin (BM 67-69) of Tremonton, UT, writes:  Dear Alf, My wife, Wendi, and I have recently been called to serve in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission office.  We are scheduled to report to the MTC on November 18th.  I was happy to read of your prior employment with the FBI, as I also worked for that agency from 75-79.  I am enjoying reading the newsletter that you send. Best Wishes, Doug Ficklin BM 67-69 ( 
Dennis (BM 62-65) and Alvaretta Thomas of Salem, UT, write:  We have been called to serve in the Brazil Curitiba Mission as member and leadership support missionaries!  It is a 50-year-old DREAM COME TRUE for Dennis, and we couldn't be happier!  No, we did NOT request a mission in Brazil!  What an exciting moment it was when we opened that first big envelope from "downtown SLC."  Our report date is December 2, since it takes so long for visas to come through.  After the emotional roller coaster of scrambling to gather the documents required for our visas, we submitted our papers before the deadline given us.  Now we wait....and wait....and try to keep our spirits.  We recognize this as a trial for our faith and patience, and realize that the Lord knows what is going on, and that all will work out for the best.  We began praying for something positive to help us in this challenge. 
Tom (BSM 72-74) and MarJean Harris of St. George, UT, write:  “Alf, We got our mission call last week to the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. We leave January 27, 2014.  We are very excited, and MarJean is worried about learning Portuguese… Acho que seja melhor aprender estas coisas quando joven, não é?  Hope all is well with you, have fun on the Brazil Reunion Tour – we were on the 2005 version, and it was awesome!  Tom & MarJean Harris” 
From our dear brother President Adalton Parrela, from Florianôpolis, SC, and the new President of the Santa Maria Mission in Rio Grande do Sul:  “Dear Alf:  Thank you very much for the Brasulistas #163. And thank you too for asking people to fast and pray about timely missionary visas. We have now some of them called to our mission on temporary assignments in the USA.  About the growth of the Church here in the area of our mission, maybe people would like to know that we have now six stakes and three districts in the area of our beloved Brazil Santa Maria Mission (west half the Rio Grande do Sul state), including Santa Maria, Uruguaiana, Livramento, Cruz Alta, Alegrete and Santo Angelo Stakes!
  “We have a vision for the blessed area where so many of you served in your youth and where Délgia and I now return to preside over the Mission.  And, please, let people know that the mission song mentioned by Jim Smith is still the official song of the Brazil Santa Maria Mission, being (as far we know) the oldest mission song still being sung in Brazil. And, yes, I still cry each time Délgia and I sing that with our missionaries.
  “One evening we were driving from Santo Angelo to Cruz Alta late in the night and were stopped at a one-way bridge waiting for our turn, and with car lights off we looked to the sky... Oh, my brother, you had to see that! Our missionaries tell us that when they found someone that finds it hard to believe in God they used to bring him outside and look together to the Rio Grande do Sul sky at night and bear their testimonies that, yes, there is a God, because that wonder would never be possible without a God's love and power.
  “Alf, we are so happy here! Please don't forget to mention in a future Brasulista the donation of the 300 pairs of thermal socks to our mission made by our friends of the Brazil South tour of last April. These socks are blessing so many lives of our missionaries here !  Love,  Your brother, Adalton  (Now known as ‘Presidente Parrela’)” 
Alf’s note:  The socks initiative was the brainchild of Cordell (BSM 69-71) and Maude Atkins of Holladay, UT, who were on our tour of the south of Brazil in April. It was in response to the fact that the Santa Maria Mission sees the coldest winters in the south of Brazil (I have a mission photo of myself wearing a scarf) and many Brazilian missionaries come from the north of the country and have never had gloves, scarves, or wool socks, or a hot shower in their life.  
Elder Norm (BSM 65-67) and Sara Potter write:  “Hello all Senior Brazil Nuts, We are beginning our mission (Brazil Area Mental Health Advisor & Assistant) from home (in Kaysville UT) because the couple we are replacing (Darwin and Vicki Stull) is returning to the US this month. We have been gradually sliding into the role, on Skype, phone, and email, and will take over completely this week, thanks to modern technology. "Necessity is the mother of invention."  Our MTC report date is holding at Sep 9, and with this new plan for our missionary service, it will not need to be delayed. We will just get the training there and in SLC, and continue serving from home until further notice. I wish it was that simple for all the waiting couples. Prayers and hugs, from Norm and Sara Potter” ( 
From Kirk (BM/BNM 67-69) and Jan Nielson of Salt Lake City, UT:   Hi Alf, Thanks for the Brasulista once again. We'll certainly join our faith, fasting & prayers for the missionary visas.  After 6 different departure dates for Brazil São Paulo East, since October, 2012, we accepted a new call to the Florida Orlando Mission and reported to the MTC on June 10. We're now servint in a Spanish/Portuguese ward, where everything is conducted in Spanish. We're mostly working in the mission office so far. Jan is medical for the Olando and Jacksonville Missions and I help her and work ing the Orlando Mission office. We live by three Portuguese-speaking elders here, two Brazilians and one visa waiter who just left for Brazil, and we love them! I got to bear my testimony in Portuguese last fast Sunday, and appeared to be understood by most of the Spanish speakers. We've had opportunity to visit with a number of Brazilians at church and at stores, etc.  We're grateful to finally be serving, and still look forward to a later mission to Brazil sometime after 2015. Kirk & Jan ( 


Alf, I served in Ipomeia in 1957, and helped paint the ceiling in the Cultural Hall of the new chapel there. My companion was Elder McLaws. We lived in a hotel owned by members, and only had electricity when the Catholic Priest across the river turned his generator on to use his electric razor, or so it seemed. Our toilet was an outhouse up the hill from the hotel. Our water was from a well inside the hotel. Our transportation was a Land Rover jeep.  Robert L. Rokes (


Um poema:  Erro de português

Quando o português chegou
Debaixo duma bruta chuva
Vestiu o índio
Que pena!
Fosse uma manhã de sol
O índio tinha despido
O português
                  --Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954)

Às suas ordens! 
Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)
Gig Harbor, WA

Brazil!  Brazil!  Brazil!  The 2014 Brazil Reunion Tour

IguacuApril in Rio de Janeiro!  April in São Paulo!  I do love it. The Baixada Santista—the port of Santos, historic São Vicente, the beaches of Praia Grande and Guarujá.  Then to Campinas, Americanas, Rio Claro, Riberão Preto, Curitiba and, yes, the Foz do Iguaçu!  If those names bring saudades, then you served your mission in the heart of Brazil.   

This is the 2014 Central Brazil Reunion Tour, designed for you by popular demand, thanks to our talented travel agent Dick Jensen (Brazil SP South Mission 78-80).

Read all about it and see photos at    Tel. 801-917-1131

Tour dates are April 16 to 30, 2014.  Book early – prices will increase after special airfare sale ends. And to secure tourist visas.


Brazilian Day Utah
Saturday, September 7th

BrazilianFestivalSALT LAKE CITY – With the 9th Annual Utah Brazilian Festival just around the corner, the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City expects another wonderful crowd to grace this great gathering place. The event, which will be held this coming September 7th, will feature the arts, dance, music, traditions, and delicious Brazilian food.

Starting at 1:00 pm with a Samba Parade, the festival will enrich the atmosphere with music from Brazilian bands and special guests. Organized by Viva Brazil Cultural Center, a non-profit organization, the 8th Annual Utah Brazilian Festival is loaded with demonstrations and workshops for all ages including fun children activities. Free Admission. The event this year is sponsored by Tucanos Brazilian Grill, ZAP - Zoo, Arts and Parks, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Internexus, Wells Fargo, Wilner & O'Reilly Law Firm, Joga Futebol LLC, Salt Lake City Corporation and Zions Bank.

PRESS AND BENEFIT DINNER -- September 3rd at Tucanos Grill in SLC. More information at

  • WHAT: 9th Annual Utah Brazilian Festival 2013
  • WHERE: Gallivan Center - 239 South Main Street - Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101
  • WHEN: September 7th 2013 - Saturday - 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • WHO: Peoples of all ages - FREE ADMISSION
  • CONTACT: Matilde Teixeira Wosnjuk  email:
  • Utah Brazilian Festival 2013   Viva Brazil Cultural Center

Note from Alf:    Peru!

peru2Come Tour Peru With Us!48 years ago I visited Cusco and Machu Picchu while traveling home from my mission. I loved it and visited the lost city of the Incas twice during one week. As much as I love Brazil, I would admit that if I had to recommend the single most impressive place in South America to visit, it would be Machu Picchu and the mountain people of Peru.

Dick Jensen has given me the opportunity to return and to host a tour to Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima, and also to the upper Amazon at Iquitos and to Panama.  October 23 to November 1, 2013.  If you too have dreamed of this kind of Peruvian experience, learn more about this trip at

and then come a join me. 

Alf Gunn

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