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Brasulista #175

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #175
August 1, 2014

Bom dia, amigos!  Hope this finds you all well

In this issue:

  • Ensign: The Church in Brazil
  • PEF missionaries sought for Portugal and Cape Verde
  • Locating Sister Margy Potter
  • Senior mission calls to serve
  • News item

Ensign: The Church in Brazil

Item:  Hope you all saw the article in the July Ensign entitled “The Church in Brazil: The Future has Finally Arrived,” or in the A Liahona, “A Igreja no Brasil: O Futuro Finalmente Chegou,” written by our alumnus Mark L. Grover (BM 66-68), retired BYU professor of Latin American Studies.  Mark has always been a good source of information for me when it comes to history and culture of Brazil.  The article has some good tidbits of history and mentions some wonderful members.  But did you notice the graph representing the growth of the Church membership in Brazil?  The numbers are represented by “brigadeiros!”--the little Brazilian chocolate covered doce de leite condensado, served on special occasions.  Clever.  Mark’s idea?  (

PEF missionaries sought for Portugal and Cape Verde

Portuguese speaking senior missionaries needed in Europe:
This from Elisabeth Vassel Andersen, wife of Darian Andersen (BSM 62-64). I grew up in São Paulo -  my brother Bruno Vassel, sister Mary E V Hill and mother Mary Elmer Vassel were among the first 1900+ members baptized in Brazil – in the days of President Sorenson and then President Bangerter.  Our sister Mary does genealogy pretty much full-time, after retiring from working at the Church genealogy Library in SLC.  Darian is our Stake Sunday School President.

My brother Bruno Vassel was in the Jordan River Temple Presidency a couple years ago and is currently serving in the Europe Area (42 countries)  with his wife Cari, on special assignment with the Self-Reliance / Perpetual Education Missions.   A couple of days ago they posted in their private family Facebook Group:

“We need three couples IMMEDIATELY to serve as PEF missionaries...2 in Cape Verde and 1 in Lisbon. At least one in each couple will need to speak Portuguese. If you might be interested or know of someone who would be interested…”

They would appreciate having you send out the request to the Brasulista group. Anyone interested could email me and I will put them in touch with Bruno and Cari. Elisabeth Andersen (

Alf: Last week I had the opportunity to visit in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul with three converts that Elder Humberstone and I baptized while we were serving in Cornélio Procópio, Paraná. These were the Batistella sisters, Cirlenedine, Loide, and Rosiclei.  It was very satisfying to visit and find that after 53 years they are still very "firme na Igreja".  You may remember that Sister Cirlenedine Bastella served a mission while we were still here.  She would very much like to make contact with one of her companions, Sister Potter.  She showed me a picture and I recognized that she was married to Todd Anderson who,I believe, is brother to Elder Darian Anderson. Since "Cirlene" doesn't have internet if Sister Potter could use me as contact source, I would appreciate it.  I can be reached here in Porto Alegre by my Magic Jack number (505) 990-2702 or at  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for your help, Elder Anthony

I contacted Sister Elisabeth Andersen while I was inquiring after Sister Margy Potter (BSM 61-62) for one of her former companions, Sister Cirlene Batistella.  Margy and her husband Todd Andersen had served a mission together in São Paulo in recent years.  Todd died immediately after their mission.  Todd’s brother, Darian Andersen, is one of our Brazilian alumni (BSM 62-64).  Here is what I learned:  Darian’s brother Todd Andersen, Margy Potter Andersen’s husband, passed away about 5 years ago – the day after being officially released from their Mission to Brazil where Margy did counseling with missionaries with emotional needs and Todd worked mostly in the Temple in São Paul.   Margy remarried a mutual friend, Ray Clements, whose wife had passed away.  She is now Margy Potter Andersen Clements. Sunday July 20 is their farewell at their Park City ward before heading to the Philippines Area on a full-time mission, also in the emotional counseling area.  “We will serve for 18 months and will (hopefully) learn to speak Tagalog which task we have been working on for a few weeks.” (Margie Potter Andersen Clements


Alf:  thanks for your great information.  We, Robyn and Craig Hall (Brazil North 1969-1971) have been called to serve in the Brazil area office beginning July, 2014.  I will be serving as associate area legal counsel with Robyn's assignment to be given when we get there.  Thought you would like to know.  Craig Hall  (

Dear Alf,  My wife and I are serving as Area Medical Advisors for the Brazil Area in São Paulo.  We will be here until October 2015.  I want to let our many wonderful senior couples serving in Brazil know that we are here to help them with medical issues or questions.   Elder Nelson at our recent mission presidents’ seminar talked about being part of the restoration.  He noted that, “you are in the game.”  We are blessed to be here and be “in the game.”  My e-mail is and my cell phone is 11 99226-9598.  Laird and Gloria Swensen (BM 1964-66)

Jim Muhlestein (BPAS 73-75) of Monticello, UT writes:  Dear Alf:  My wife, Cynthia, and I have been called to serve an 18 month member-leader support mission to Cape Verde. So I am brushing up on some pretty rusty Portuguese language skills and my wife is in a crash course for beginners! We are thrilled and looking forward to this opportunity. We leave July 28. We love to read the Brasulista, but need to change our email to Thanks.  Jim and Cynthia Muhlestein

Brother Gunn, Thought you might be interested to know we recently began serving a 23 month mission in the Georgia Atlanta North mission - Portuguese speaking as MLS missionaries.  The branch here began as an ethnic group less than three years ago with 23 members and has doubled in size each year. There is now a branch with about 100 members and growing. We have four full time Brazilian elders (and now a senior couple). With an estimated 25,000 Portuguese speaking people in the Atlanta area, we have our work cut out for us.  Hope all y'all are having as much fun as we are!  Elder Jim(and Sister Karma) Dixon  BSM 71-73

Dear Alf,  I certainly enjoy the Brasulista--Thanks.  I always look for the names of old companions and friends--and sometimes I find the names of former college students of mine.  Of course I was interested in checking the Brazilian Visa records referred to in Issue #174.  I was not in the Rio de Janeiro collection [not expected, though I served there] nor in the São Paulo collection [Hoped for:  I landed in Santos, and the mission home was in São Paulo].  Since I have been indexing daily for over 14 years, I have kept track of such records available for indexing.  I believe the Rio visas have been completed for the period shown in your newsletter.  However, the São Paulo records are far from completed.  Each week I index from 700-900 of the visas--but I hardly make a dent in the records that have been photocopied.  I encounter LDS missionary records at the rate of one or two per month.

Help!  There must be some of you out there who would be willing and able to assist in this work.  Why not try the indexing?  You need not make it your "senior mission," as I have done--but a few hours weekly would help.
Ralph W. Thompson [BM 55-57]

From Larry Stamps:  Alf, This morning I found another LDS Portuguese listening option. At our home here in Reno we decided to give up cable TV, have put up an antenna for local programs and installed a free (once you by the box) wireless TV internet provider box (Roku).  The Roku has a variety of free and paid internet channel options. In addition to BYUTV (both recorded programs and live streaming) I also just added the Mormon Channel.  One of the various options is to view and listen to Church films, videos, Mormon Messages, previous sessions of General Conference, etc all in Portuguese.  I am always looking for Portuguese opportunities, changes to restore a little of the “gift of tongues” received during the mission.  Watching the Mormon Channel in Portuguese is a new joy for me and I look forward to continuing to enjoy “a lingua de Deus”!

News item:  Brazil misses Pele.  Does not win the World Cup.  Enough said.


Fique firme, forte, fiel e feliz!

Um abraço,

 Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA 253-307-3338  BSM 62-65

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