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Brasulista #173

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #173
May 30, 2014
Bom dia irmãos e irmãs!

In this issue:

  • Called to Serve
  • Report of our April 2014 Brazil tour
  • Presidente Edison Pavan: History of the work in Brazil, and a tribute to former missionaries (Portuguese)
  • Remembering the 1964 military takeover
  • Tours

Two upcoming tours planned by Dick Jensen are set forth at the bottom of this newsletter—one to Brazil and one to Italy and the new Rome Temple.

Dear all, Before the next issue of the Brasulista, some mission presidents will be returning home after three years of service.  Congratulations to them!  Others will take their place and we wish them the best.

Thank you for all the positive feedback I get when I put out the Brasulista.  I am pleased to think that I am helping in some way, perhaps by letting folks know about mission opportunities in Brazil, etc.  The Brasulista goes out to wonderful folks, many of whom look forward to serving senior missions.  It is good to see visas again being issued to senior couples called to Brazil.  Of course, many of you have important callings or family responsibilities that preclude full-time missionary service at this time.  I salute you all for your service in the kingdom.  Glad I can share your joy.  Also, see the notes below about the tour we enjoyed in April. Alf

Mary Etta Parkinson (BM 60-62) of Midvale, UT, was in my Gig Harbor ward last Sunday, visiting her daughter.  She has been serving a “Sharing the Gospel Online” church-service mission, managing the resulting 2,000 Facebook pages that are for location identification.  Her newest ward mission—they don’t even have a name for this calling—is utilizing electronic resources to locate members who no longer live in the ward.   Wow! (

Called to Serve

Ken Copa (BSM 66-68) and Heidi, of Pleasant Hill, CA, traveled to the south of Brazil with our tour in 2013.  They are wonderfully capable people and it was a joy to be around them.  Ken writes, “We'd love to go on the next tour, but our mission in Porto Alegre North (Gramado and Canela) starts October 6th!   All your fault!!!   Many Thanks for that amazing tour last year!  Ken and Heidi Copa” (

“Alf, Jeri and I enter the MTC this coming Monday.  We enter the SLC MTC medical training the next Monday and fly to Brazil the next Monday - May 26.  Our visas have arrived, about 10 months after applying for them the first time.  We’ll be in Brazil when you tour Brazil next time.  I don’t know if we would be able to join with you, but it would be fun.  Thank you again for the newsletter. We wouldn’t be going on a mission to Brazil if you hadn’t been doing this.  Dennis Davis"  (BSM 65-67) (

“Dear Alf, Elder Daryl K and Ann Taylor Hobson will be released as welfare missionaries the 22nd of November from the Mozambique Maputo Mission.  Our experience working the majority of our time under the area welfare manager has exceeded expectations in helping care for the poor and the needy as well as contributing to the mission when possible.  So if any couples would like the experience of a lifetime, Mozambique awaits! And it does not have to be a humanitarian/welfare mission, as President Kretly is eager to welcome any and all senior missionaries.   Elder and Sister Hobson”  (

This note comes from my mission colleague Ed Archibald (BSM 63-65):  "Alf, Again, thanks for all that you do with keeping all of us updated on the past and present in Brazil.  As you are aware my wife Karen and I returned from the Campinas Brazil temple mission in January of this year and we had a wonderful time there.  In fact everyday my wife tells me how much she misses Brazil and the wonderful people there.  We have a strong testimony that the Lord helps us wherever we serve.  My wife, Karen had no previous language training and was very nervous going there and learning the Portuguese language.  Even though she struggled with the language she was blessed in the temple and learned all of the temple language by memory and was a great help to the work there.  It brought tears to my eyes the first time that I heard her speak Portuguese at the veil as she helped those faithful Brazilian saints.  Even though she did not understand all that everybody was saying I learned from her that the universal language is love and she demonstrated this everyday as she greeted the people with a BIG smile and an abraço.  Many times I would see her talking to other sisters and they would be laughing as they conversed with each other.  During those times I would go over to find out what they were talking about and Karen would be talking mostly in English and the sisters in Portuguese and they were understanding each other.  My testimony was strengthened as I witnessed promised blessings regarding the gift of the language come to pass as we served the Lord there.  She made some eternal friends while serving away from our family for a year and a half.  We will never regret the decision that we made to serve the Lord.

Life is great back home and we continue to receive many blessings each and every day but we still miss the spirit of the mission field and especially the spirit of the Brazilian saints.  My wife is still amazed how beautiful the country there is.  Um grande abraço, Ed Archibald, Gilbert, AZ" (

And from Ron Broce (BSM 62-64): "Dear Alf, After a long wait for visas, Hallie and I will be joining the crew at the Recife Temple on May 1. This will be our 2nd temple type mission in Brazil. Sounds like old home week for the BSM brethren and spouses.  Quite a change from Porto Alegre in 2006-2007 with no other "gringos" among the temple missionaries and living in a coldwater flat.  Still, we thoroughly enjoyed working with our gaucho brothers and sisters and meeting up with acquaintances still alive from the "old days".  We are happy to be going back into the field.  An extra added attraction for us is the opportunity to serve some of our Cape Verdean brothers and sisters who will come to Recife.  Concerning the golpe of ‘64.  I don't think I realized the full extent of what was going on at the time.  My recollection was that we closed the branch in São Borja prior to Jango's "pulo pelo outro lado do Uruguai," and I was already transferred to Maringá by the time the military took over. Thanks for all you do.  Ron Broce" (BSM 62-64)  (

Report of our April 2014 Tour in Brazil

We had some wonderful experiences on our ‘missionary reunion’ tour of Central Brazil.  Space will not allow much of an account, but here is a summary.  Our group of 31 former missionaries and spouses arrived at Rio de Janeiro and we immediately went to the elegant Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, not far from the beach, at the site where the Rio de Janeiro Temple will be erected, currently in the process of obtaining permits and clearances. We then toured the hills around the city—places I had never seen.

After checking into our hotel, Márcio Teixeira, one of our LDS Brazilian guides (who would be with us throughout the trip), led us on a guided tour of the beautiful Jardim Botânico in the Tijuca Rainforest.

Our hotel was a block from Copacabana Beach, where some of these old missionaries were soon splashing in the surf.  Myself, I found a four-man group right out of the favela playing samba pagode music at a beach café and loved it.

Corcovado-RailwayCorcovado-Railway http://www.riodejaneiroaqui.comThe very next day, the sunny and beautiful Friday of Easter weekend, our group went up the Trem do Corcovado and gathered at the feet of Cristo Redentor and boldly sang the first verse of The Spirit of God, in English and then in Portuguese—“Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!”—which was a thrill for us and seemed to please many of the other tourists crowding the viewpoint.

Holiday crowds were everywhere and the lines were long at the Pão de Açucar cable car, but our LDS guides, Márcio and another LDS member, Randal Roza, had pre-purchased our tickets and after a buffet lunch right there at Praia Vermelha we went to the front of the line and soon were on our way up to see the sights from above.  All in all, a glorious day.

We visited scenic and historic Paraty on our bus ride down the Rio-Santos highway on our way to São Paulo.  Easter Sunday we had church and a great fireside at the Perdizes Stake center, with President Luiz DelGuerso and Sister DelGuerso of the São Paulo West Mission, and a fine bishop, Pedro Silva.  A beautiful stake choir sang for us and a missionary choir too. We shared testimonies.

Thanks to one of our travelers, Sister Catherine Beitler Humphrey, who had served in São Paulo with her mission president husband some years before, we were hosted at the São Paulo Temple by her dear friends, temple president Paulo and Sister Rita Puerta.  President Puerta shared some wonderful stories of faith, blessings, and the story of his father’s life in the Church.  It was a fine reunion for Catherine.  After, we went out to the art colony of Embu das Artes, only 30 minutes away and there had a nice buffet lunch and wandered the many shops and holiday street stands for most of three hours.  It was a hit.  This got us back to the hotel in good time for some rest.

The following day our motor coach took us to the beautiful Campinas Temple where we enjoyed the peace of a session and the love of our brothers and sisters there.

AlfFozAlf Gunn - Foz do IguaçuThere were several times on our tour when our missionaries who had served 30, 40, 50 or more years ago, made connections with members they had known on their missions.  One of our group, Ross Viehweg, was even able to find the home he bought for a Church meetinghouse while serving his mission 1945-1948. 

That night, in Rio Claro, former mission president Edison Pavan and Sister Pavan, released in 2012 after presiding in the Porto Alegre North Mission, hosted us for a fireside in which they honored us all, but particularly expressed their great love for Elder Eric Anderton of our group, who as a young missionary had brought the gospel to Sister Pavan’s family in Rio Claro.

This would repeat itself in Riberão Preto where Elder Anderton was also remembered fondly by persons he had taught and baptized.  We were hosted in another spiritually uplifting fireside arranged by mission president Mauro Brum.  An incredible missionary choir of some 25 voices sang beautifully and President Brum shared experiences of his own family’s conversion and invited all to carry the work forward, members and missionaries.  

Our hotel on the outskirts of Riberão Preto was a new resort that will host the French National team on the run-up to the World Cup games.  The highlight there was a bunch of us doing our own version of water ballet in the outdoor swimming pool.  (You had to be there.)  Oh, and the buffet breakfast.

Cristo-640Next, we flew to Curitiba and attended an early morning session in the busy Curitiba Temple on Saturday, meeting with the saints who gathered there and taking photos under the huge Paraná pines on the temple grounds.  On Sunday we attended church and attended an Institute class under the instruction of brother Rodnei Paz in perfect English, and toured with another marvelous LDS guide, Natanael Greco-Ferlizi of Curitiba.  Both he and Márcio Teixeira would share their conversion stories and bear testimonies—Márcio telling how he was baptized on day five of our tour last year, after spending his teen years in the LDS Church and scouting programs more than 20 years earlier.  

There is so much more to tell, but no space. We flew to Iguaçu, marveled a the falls, rode the crazy Macuco Safari power boats up into the waterfalls, and made it to the planes that night to fly home to normal life, all within a couple days.

I can’t say enough about the wonderful folks who comprised this tour.  We shared many testimonies and missionary stories and we formed many friendships.  (See their names below)

I will say I am amazed that I could spend three weeks in Brazil without meeting any Americans besides our group and the current American missionaries serving, until the end of our tour when we met a Mormon family at the Foz do Iguaçu, wearing their BYU colors.  We met a lot of wonderful Brazilians along the way—so many willing to receive the missionaries.  What a blessing we had to serve missions in Brazil!   Alf


History of the LDS Church in Brazil

The following message, summarizing much of the history of the Church in Brazil, was sent to us by President Edison Pavan, and is meant as an appreciation for the missionaries who served in Brazil.

Olá Alf, bom dia.  Que reunião maravilhosa tivemos ontem aqui em Rio Claro. Que espírito especial sentimos!  Como isso fortaleceu os membros que lá estiveram.  Como foi bom ouvir os testemunhos daqueles valentes pioneiros  missionários que ajudaram no estabelecimento e crescimento da igreja no Brasil.  Quando a primeira missão foi criada no Brasil em 1935 a igreja tinha menos de 200 membros.  Com o término da guerra, a igreja tornou  a enviar  missionários agora  para São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro e Rio Grande do Sul e um pouco mais tarde para Goiás, Amazonas e Pernambuco.

Devido ao esforço missionário e o crescimento da igreja,  a primeira estaca foi criada em 1966 em São Paulo.  Ainda devido ao trabalho missionário, em 1976,  a igreja já  tinha 10 estacas no Brasil, e foi anunciado a construção do primeiro templo, que  foi dedicado em 1978 pelo Presidente Kimball.  Graças ao trabalho missionário, em 1986 o Brasil já tinha 50 estacas.  Em 1993 eram 100 estacas e o início da construção do Centro de Treinamento Missionário.

 Em 1995 o Brasil já tinha 23 missões, o maior número fora dos Estados Unidos.  Agora são 34 missões, e com o anuncio do templo do Rio de Janeiro, o Brasil vai ter 8 templos.  São mais de 1.200.000 membros e mais de 250 estacas e 40 distritos.  Viu como o trabalho missionário no Brasil deu resultado ?

Muito obrigado a cada missionário que dedicou parte de sua vida, servindo no Brasil. Que belo trabalho! Que belo trabalho! Amamos vocês.

Abraços,   Pres. Pavan (Presidente da  Missão Brasil Porto Alegre Norte 2009-2012) (

English Via Google Translate

Hello Alf , good morning . What a wonderful meeting we had yesterday here in Rio Claro . Feel that special spirit ! As it strengthened members who've been there. How good it was to hear the testimonies of those brave pioneers who helped missionaries in the establishment and growth of the church in Brazil . When the first mission was established in Brazil in 1935 the church had less than 200 members . With the end of the war , the church has now sending missionaries to Sao Paulo , Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul and a little later to Goiás and Amazonas, Pernambuco .

Due to missionary efforts and the growth of the church , the first stake was created in 1966 in São Paulo . Yet due to missionary work in 1976, the church had 10 stakes in Brazil , and was announced the construction of the first temple , which was dedicated in 1978 by President Kimball . Thanks to missionary work in 1986 Brazil has had 50 stakes . In 1993 were 100 stakes and began construction of the Missionary Training Center .

 In 1995 Brazil had 23 missions , the largest number outside the United States . Now there are 34 missions , and the announcement of the temple of the Rio de Janeiro , Brazil will have 8 temples . There are more than 1,200,000 members and over 250 stakes and 40 districts . Spots missionary work in Brazil was successful ?

Thank you to each missionary who devoted most of his life , serving in Brazil . What a beautiful job! What a beautiful job! We love you .

hugs Pres. Pavan (Presidente da  Missão Brasil Porto Alegre Norte 2009-2012) (

Remembering the Brazilian golpe of 1964

“My experience with the coup in 1964, by Gerald H. Brown (BM 61-64) of Roy, UT.  I was serving in Teresópolis, West of Rio, and we had a zone conference scheduled the morning of the coup.  We were not aware of the military coup, so we caught a bus for Rio, early that morning.  As we arrived in Rio that morning, we noticed that there were almost no vehicles or people on the streets.  When we arrived, we were directed to go to the home of Gary Neeleman, a counselor in the Mission Presidency (under President Grant Bangerter), who was the national wire service representative in that area.  We spent the night in his house, sleeping on the floor with a few other missionaries, and watched the news channels on TV.  It was a little scary, but we were in no danger at that time.  Gary was the father of David, who has some claim to fame with the airline industry today.  David would have been about four years old at the time, and we probably saw him but didn't pay much attention to him at the time.  All in all, it was a little frightening, but we were able to return to Teresópolis the next day, where our Branch President explained to us what had taken place.” (


Michael LeavittAlf, I am not attempting to hijack this issue of the Brasulista, but the discussion of the revolt of 1964 piqued my curiosity while exposing my ignorance of actual historical events.
Reading about the overthrow of the Brazilian government in 1964, I was taken back to 1987 in my brief stint in Rosario Do Sul and later in Cruz Alta where I was starting to get a firm grasp on the language while trying to broaden my understanding of the history and the culture of the Gauchos. This is an aspect of missionary life that you can completely ignore, if you choose, while seeking out those who are ready for baptism. Prior to my mission I was completely unaware of Brazilian history and I am still relatively ignorant. Gerald Brown's comments in this issue of the Brasulista has caused me to do some research this morning, and I never realized what actually transpired on the bigger level in Brazil. My knowledge of the events of 1964 were previously limited to the myopic accounts shared with me by my native companions and my well intentioned Gaucho friends of Rio Grande do Sul. I was told about the great revolt of 1964. These accounts always came up during the big September 7th Independence Day parades where the Gauchos of Rio Grande Do Sul rode their horses proudly in their traditional attire. The revolt of 1964 was told to me like this...Gaucho1

"In 1964 the Gauchos of the south were quite upset and wanted to break away from the rest of Brazil, so they climbed on their horses and rode into the streets of São Paulo. When they arrived with their guns shooting in the air, the Paulistas looked out their windows and laughed at the spectacle, so the Gauchos turned back around and rode home."

I attempted to use Google to find some historical backing of this perspective, but I can't really find anything to support the tale. I assume that what I heard related to me on several occasions, by several people, was the street level folklore of a region that was not well versed in the larger historical events and set on preserving the proud traditions of the Gaucho. I am certain that I will probably find the account, but it will probably be such a small fragment of the bigger governmental takeover, and that the tale of the Gaucho's revolt is perpetuated to show the extreme cultural differences of the Paulista and the Gaucho. When I read Brother Brown's account above of being all the way north in Rio de Janeiro, both scared and quarantined, during the revolt of the Gaucho just did not make sense. Why would anybody in Rio be scared of a group of Gauchos riding into Sao Paulo? I feel a bit silly sharing and exposing my ignorance, and after searching Google historical links I was embarrassed that I did not know anything about the bigger overthrow of the government.
If any of you have some historical references that can help me better understand the actual events of the Gauchos riding into São Paulo, then please share.
Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - - 801-636-6816 (Porto Alegre 1986-88)

Highlights of Brazil Tour this October

Our travel agent Dick Jensen (BSPS 78-80) has secured airlines flights at an unusually low rate to enable a tour of the absolute highlights of Brazil all in one trip:  Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, and the Amazon River experience at Manaus!  See the Curitiba and Manaus Temples and meet the saints there and in church.  An extra excursion takes travelers on the famous and scenic train ride down the Serra do Mar from Curitiba to Morretes.  See the pictures and read all about it at

Our LDS Brazilian Guides, Márcio Teixeira and Natanael Greco-Ferlizi, bring a world of experience to this tour and assure that every detail is covered. Brazil’s airlines and motor coaches are superb. All in all, this is an e-ticket, bucket list, adventure for folks who love Brazil—her food, her music, and her loving people, especially the Saints you will meet along the way.  If this sounds good to you, see the website and then call Alan McKay and Dick Jensen Tours at 801-917-1131 to work out the details.

April 2015 Cruise Italy, Spain, France & More! April 11-29, 2015

Note:  One fine sister who is a widow would travel and share a stateroom with another sister if someone was interested in joining her for this trip.

A cruise from Miami to Rome, perhaps—only perhaps—to attend the Rome Temple open house (dates not yet announced).  I am pleased to be co-hosting this trip with Dr. Wayne Brickey.  This is 17 days of luxurious cruising, starting from Miami to the Canary Islands, then ports of call in Malaga, Cartagena and Barcelona, Spain; then Nice (Villefranche-sur-Mer), France; then Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; then two days of touring Rome.  If the Temple is not finished we will at least see it.

Besides seminars by Brother Brickey and the ship’s many activities, we former LDS missionaries should be able to have some of our own “reunion” activities.  I expect there will be former missionaries who served in Italy on this tour.  Chances are we will be able hold a church service on the Atlantic, and attend with the saints in Tenerife, and Livorno if our ship can meet the local schedules.

Our travel agent Dick Jensen (BSPS 78-80) does a great job of packaging tours with the flights (from Miami and back to most cities) built-in to the very low price. See the website for more information on the price and options.

Officially, see it all at  then call Dick Jensen at 801-917-1131 for details and arrangements.

Language Retention Tip

Tip:  Have you seen the cover photo of the May Ensign magazine?  Marvelous.  You can double your pleasure and get the A Liahona in Portuguese delivered to your home for $10 per year, to help you keep up your Portuguese language.  Vale a pena!

Um abraço,  Alf Gunn

A list of travelers on the April tour:

Bill and Diane McGuire of Kaysville, UT 801-529-7887
Ron and Lorelei Draper of Delta, UT 435-864-4716
Dan and Maridee Perkins of Idaho Falls, ID 208-534-8233
Eric and Sharon Anderton of Morgan, UT 801-791-0747
Ross and Luna Viehweg of Orem, UT 801-224-2466
Jon and Gloria Hubble of Woodland, CA 530-668-5874
Des and Susan Yarrington of Idaho Falls, ID 208-542-0095
Gerald Kay of Salt Lake City, UT 801-419-2668
Guide:  Marcio Teixeira of Novo Hamburgo, RS
Guide: Natanael Greco-Ferlizi of Curitiba, PR
Alan and Annette Anderson of American Fork, UT 801-756-3564
Grant and Christine Williamson of Herriman, UT 801-509-9605  (not a Brazil missionary)
Leland Moon and Barbara Moon of American Fork, UT 801-756-3916
Catherine Beitler Humphrey of Salt Lake City, UT 909-996-0894
Jack Green and son Byron Green of Arcadia, CA
Jack Coulson Green M 1325 Ramona Road Arcadia CA 626-355-4434
Neal and Marcía Bosshardt of Redmond, UT 435-979-2463 and
Dorrell and Maria Henderson of Draper, UT 801-571-0265
Larry and Cheryl Stamps of Reno NV 775-741-6428
Randal Roza   BSM 66-68
Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA 253-307-3338  BSM 62-65

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