Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #165

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #165
September 21, 2013

Oi, irmãos!

In this issue:

  • Immediate need for a Area Medical Advisor to serve in Brazil.
    Reunions:  Rex-Howells group; Asael T. Sorensen group
    Called to Serve
    The marvelous progress of the Church in Brazil
    Cultural Moment:  Dom Pedro II visits Salt Lake City
    The 2014 Brazil Reunion Tour info



Elder Stan Ellis of the First Quorum of the Seventy and a former mission president in Brazil writes this message for Brasulista readers:

“We need your help.  There is an urgent need in Brazil for an American doctor who speaks Portuguese.  These Area Medical Advisors are worth their weight in gold in helping mission presidents and wives with medical issues, some missionaries directly, all missionaries through training, and many others serving throughout Brazil.

The current Area Medical Advisor is finishing his term of service.  The visa problems are keeping others from going.

So what we need is an American doctor who lives East of Utah (visa problems in consulates other than LA are much less), speaks Portuguese, and is retired or can retire now.  And would be willing, worthy and able to serve in the "bela terra do sul."

If interested, please contact Elder Greg Schwitzer at Headquarters.  His email is   Thanks,  Stan Ellis


Tal Huber (BM 51-53) of Orem, UT, announces the upcoming reunion of the Rex-Howells missionaries, to be held Thursday, October 3 from noon to 3 pm, at the Grant Stake Pavilion, 3401 south 1100 East, Salt Lake City, UT.  Come and bring memories, pictures, memorabilia, and a smile. The Rex-Howells missionaries, who served from 1945 to 1953, have been having reunions for longer than any other of our groups.  Mission presidents were Harold Morgan Rex and Rulon Stanley Howells.  Contact today is Tal Huber at 801-765-0343.


Thursday, October 3, 5 pm to 7 pm, at LDS meetinghouse at 6350 South Rodeo Lane (1550 East), Holladay, UT.  Contact David Richardson 801-262-5988 or Gary Kay 801-277-2307. Lots of visiting and some goodies.  A tradition for decades.


This note comes from Sister Jane Lúcia Magalhães Silva Cabral , who is serving with her husband, President Celso Bueno Cabral (BCuritibaM and BRdeJM 80-83) of the new Brazil Santos Mission: “Hello, Brother Gunn! You are planning a wonderful trip to Brazil! I'm sure you will have fun! You know how it is, "Some people have party; others have work."  We are presiding over the Brazil Santos Mission and we are in need of couples to serve in the mission office.  We have two young Elders there and they are zone leaders too—can you imagine that?  Do you know someone who would like to serve with us in beautiful Santos?  Por favor, não esqueça, se houver casais desejando servir no escritório ou no campo, precisamos muito, há muito trabalho ao abrir uma missão. I know the language can be a challenge for some sisters, but they will be blessed and will learn Portuguese, for sure!  Thank you for the Brasulista and for your help!  Sister Cabral - Missão Brasil Santos - Sempre Fiéis  ( )

Sister Ann Papworth (BSPInterlagosM 07-08), whose late husband Allan served in the BSM 61-64, writes:  “Hey Alf, Just thought I'd let you know that I've been waiting since the first of June and finally received my call--too bad I don't get to go to Brazil again, but will be working at the Family and Church History Headquarters, checking in on Oct 4th. Sounds as if there are a variety of different areas in which one can serve, so on to new and hopefully fulfilling missionary experiences. Met several returned missionaries recently on a trip to the British Isles who had served in Brazil and said they were on your list. You have covered such a lot of ground with all your research. Take care and thanks again for all you do. Ann Papworth ( )

Randy Romrell (BM 64-65) of Salt Lake City, UT, writes: Dear Alf, Thank you for the newsletter!  We enjoy it a great deal. I served my mission in São Paulo state and city from May 1964-1965.  On my last Sunday there I attended the organization of the first stake in South America, in Pinheiros, São Paulo. I understand there are now more than 390 stakes in South America. My wife, Lou Ellen, and I have been called to serve as member and leader support missionaries in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. We enter the Provo MTC on January 27. We couldn’t be more excited! We will also appreciate all the prayers being offered in behalf of those who are called to Brazil, that visas will not be delayed. Randy and Lou Ellen Romrell  (

Ray Wadsworth (BSM 66-67) of Oakley, ID and Alaska, writes:  Hi Alf, Jane and I have received a call to serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. MTC on September 30!  We're excited.  I'm still in Southeast Alaska finishing up the Salmon season, which is almost over.  Maybe Brazil on the next time!  Can't wait, Ray   ( )

Dennis Biggs (BM 66-68) of Mountain View, WY, writes:  Always good to get your emails. Thank you so much for doing what you do. I had always hoped to return to Brazil, but when you told us a couple of months ago about visa problems I had a feeling Brazil was not in the cards for us. My wife Jean and I have received a call to the Chile Osorno Mission. We go into the MTC October 7. Our call is for member and leadership support. We are most excited about our call. John Rappleye is our mission president and he is a former Brazil South missionary. We will see you again in 18 months. Please keep up the good work.
Dennis Biggs  ( )

From Gordon Voorhees (BSM 71-73) of Littleton, CO:  “Hi Alf, Thanks for all your efforts here – I truly enjoy your work.  In early August, I had an interesting experience while visiting SLC.  I visit family there several times each year.  In all those visits, I’ve never stopped by Welfare Square and taken the tour.  As you may know, the tours are guided by sister missionaries from the Temple Square mission.  As luck would have it, one of the two sisters had a Brazilian flag under her name tag.  So of course, I spoke to her in Portuguese and asked the usual question:  Where are you from in Brazil?  To my surprise she was from Ipanema, a suburb of Porto Alegre, which was my first area upon arriving in the BSM in 1971. She knows children (and grandchildren, ugh!) of many of the people I knew 40+ years ago. It brought a tear to my eye to hear her describe the wards and stakes of southern Porto Alegre after all these years. I find it amazing that with the passage of time, the missionaries who served in Brazil still have very tender feelings for those great people. I rarely see this same affection among my friends who served in other places. What a blessing serving in Brazil was and continues to be for us.  Thanks again,  Gordon Voorhees ( )

The marvelous progress of the Church in Brazil

Alf’s note:  Congratulations to all you brothers and sisters who have accepted calls to serve senior missions, and best wishes!  As to progress of the Church in Brazil, as mentioned by Brother Voorhees, I believe we old-timers have a hard time comprehending the marvelous work and wonder that is being accomplished there, unless we have served a senior mission there recently. I don’t know the numbers in all cases, but just think of these things that were not there so many years ago but are there now:  Seminaries and Institutes of Religion; Welfare Services; innovative Self Reliance Centers in 34 areas, many led by native former Brazilian mission presidents or Area Seventies; hundreds of FamilySearch Centers; CMEJ Conferência Multiestacas Especial Para Jovens (think EFY); thousands of Brazilian missionaries serving at any given time; well over 1,000 meetinghouses; and six temples and football stadiums full of members when temples are dedicated.

CULTURAL MOMENT:  Emperor Dom Pedro II visits Salt Lake City

Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil visited Salt Lake City on 22 April 1876 during a tour of the United States and the world.

DomPedroIIDom Pedro II From comments I had heard during a tour of the Lion House, I thought that the elderly President Brigham Young hosted the emperor there.  But I was pleased to receive a note from President Marcus Martins of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission and formerly of the Department of Religion at BYU Hawaii, which set the record straight:

“When Dom Pedro II visited Salt Lake City, he did not meet President Brigham Young.  On that date President Young was at his other home in St. George.  But hearing about the emperor's attendance at the 14th Ward, President John Taylor, at the time president of the Quorum of the Twelve, rushed to the chapel and gave a talk on the first principles of the gospel.”

Dom Pedro’s full name was Pedro de Alcântara Francisco António João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim de Bragança e Bourbon.  He is regarded nostalgically, with good reason, by Brazilian historians as “the greatest Brazilian.” (Of course, not counting Pelé.)

My favorite Church historian/missionary, Ronald A. Young (BSM 61-64) came up with the following information:

22 Apr 1876
The expected visit of Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, was reported as follows in the "Deseret Evening News" of this date:  Dom Pedro -- Yesterday afternoon Mayor Little received the following answer to the dispatch sent by him to the Emperor of Brazil at Omaha, already mentioned in the News -- 

"Laramie, Wyo., April 21.
"To the Mayor, Salt Lake:
"Dom Pedro will go to Salt Lake before going to San Francisco.  He thanks the municipal authorities for their kind invitation, but he wishes to maintain the private character in which he travels.  "ARTHUR MACEDE."

Also the following was received by Superintendent Sharp --

"Cheyenne, 21.
"John Sharp, Supt. U.C.R.R.
"Dom Pedro will pass over your road on Saturday afternoon, and remain till the Sunday afternoon train, when he will be proceeding to San Francisco.  
"E. T. Hazel
"Conductor, Pullman car."

A telegram was also received at the Walker House ordering hotel accommodations for His Majesty and party.

Sunday, 23 Apr 1876

The weather was pleasant in Salt Lake City and the fruit trees starting to bloom.

Meetings were held as usual in the several Wards of Salt Lake City.  Elder John Taylor preached in the 14th Ward at 2 p.m.  The Emperor of Brazil attended the meeting.  Elder Orson Pratt preached in the 7th Ward at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, April 24.

The day was fine and warm in Salt Lake City.  At noon the thermometer registered 70 degrees F in the shade.

Bro. Thomas, custodian of the Temple Block, has in his visitors' registry the autographs of the Emperor of Brazil and his suite.  The Emperor bought a selection of Church Works of Bro. Thomas.  (H.O.J.)

The visit of the Emperor of Brazil was noted as follows in the "Deseret Evening News" of this date:

The Emperor of Brazil --
Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, and suite, arrived in this city on Saturday evening, by the regular train, which reached the depot at 8:20.  A large crowd of eager expectants awaited the arrival of the imperial party.  His Majesty on leaving the Pullman Palace car, stepped into a carriage and was driven to the Theatre, where himself and suite occupied a proscenium box, which was gaily decorated and embellished for the occasion.

After the performance was over the Emperor and party drove to the Walker House, where rooms had been secured by them.  The distinguished gentlemen accompanying the Emperor on his present transcontinental trip are Senhor L. P. De Conto Ferras, Visconde de Bom Retiro, who holds several prominent offices in the Brazilian empire; Dr. Louis Henning, his Majesty's private secretary; Dr. Arthur Teixeira de Macedo, assistant treasurer of the imperial household; and Senhor Pavla.  Mr. J. J. O'Kelly, correspondent of the New York Herald, also travels with the Emperor.

Dom Pedro IIDom Pedro IIYesterday the Emperor and suite visited the principal points of interest in and around the city.  In the early part of the day he went through the Temple Block grounds and examined the New Tabernacle, with which and the grand organ he seemed to be much pleased.  He made many inquiries relative to the religious faith and practice of the Latter-day Saints, and, from the nature of his interrogations and observations, he seemed to have given the history of the Church some attention.  He also purchased a number of Church publications.  He called at Savage's art gallery, where he bought a large quantity of views of various kinds.  

The Emperor is probably about fifty-one years of age, tall and portly and of fine presence and most pleasing address, being exceedingly polite.  His face is adorned with a profuse gray beard, and he dresses very plainly.  He is quite active, so much so as to almost cause him to appear to be restless, keeping almost continually on the move.

He is pre-eminently sociable, being ready and willing to converse on ordinary topics, especially those having a bearing on the country through which he is now traveling, and in conversation manifests a sharp, intelligent and inquiring mind.

Yesterday afternoon his Majesty and party attended religious service at the Fourteenth Ward Assembly Rooms, and listened with marked attention to an instructive discourse from Elder John Taylor.  In order to be in time for the afternoon train the party had, however, to leave the hall a short time before the conclusion of the service.

By the regular afternoon train he left for San Francisco, in which city he expects to remain a few days, after which he purposes returning to New York and rejoining the Empress and other members of the imperial party, when he will visit several of the principal cities of the eastern States and will view the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, after which he purposes proceeding to Europe, being on a tour for pleasure and observation through the leading civilized countries of the globe.  
(Des. News 25:208) (Doc. Hist., 1316)

Ai que saudades de Rio e do Foz do Iguaçu!

IguacuSee Rio de Janeiro and Foz do Iguaçu at warp speed in this video:

Then see them in person on The 2014 Brazil Reunion Tour, at a more leisurely pace.

April 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 soon – prices will increase after special airfare sale ends. And to secure tourist visas.



Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)
Gig Harbor, WA  253-851-1099

“On Faith” article mentions Brazil:


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