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Brasulista #176

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #176
August 12, 2014

Bom dia, amigos!  Hope this finds you all well

In this issue:

  • President C. Elmo Turner to celebrate 90th birthday
  • Elder Gelson and Mírian Pizzirani
  • Carlos Wizard Martins article in the Deseret News, link
  • Big opportunities in PEF Self-Reliance centers in Brazil
  • Finding missionaries for saints—how it goes
  • Called to Serve
  • Ron Dennis’ excellent Portuguese language materials available
  • Old-timer note from Frank Reid

Trek From Portugal To Spain

santiago-camino-portuguese-wayDear missionaries, Early next month your newsletter guy will meet his brother Ronald in Lisbon and for three weeks the two of us will travel together in Portugal and Spain on the Camino de Santiago Portuguese route.  Two years ago Ronald hiked across Spain from France on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.  Next month he will walk again, as he does so well.  I have a knee that doesn’t hike anymore, so I will cover more ground on a mountain bike, which is waiting for me at a bicycle shop in Tomar, Portugal, where we begin our trek northward.  Yes, it will be easier on a bike.  We will see the sights, dine on the cuisine, share hotel lodging with hot showers and beds, meet lots of folks and speak lots of Portuguese and Spanish.  Also will attend church in various cities, and if all goes well a couple days at the Madrid Temple for me.  Legal, não é?

President C. Elmo Turner to celebrate 90th birthday

President Turner, who presided with his wife Lois over the Brazilian South Mission 64-67 and later over the LTM São Paulo, is dearly loved by all who served under his leadership, and none more than me.  His first mission to Brazil was from 1946 to 1949, during which time he found and brought the Brassanini family of Joinville into the Church.  On August 1 his daughter Lisa wrote:  “Alf, Thank you for your dedication in keeping Brazil alive in our memories.  Just a quick note to tell you that dad will be celebrating his 90th birthday on August 26th.  He has always told us he was going to make it to 90 and his will and determination has paid off.  His mind is strong (for a 90 year old) and although his body is in a weakened state, he gets around fairly well with a walker.  With the help of family members and two wonderful day and night caretakers, dad is able to stay at home.  His body is curved with scoliosis, his feet deformed from Charcot's and he has constant pain from Neuropathy in those feet, yet he still remains the same positive, upbeat spiritual giant he has always been.  He quickly captures the hearts of those who care for him in every capacity. We are so blessed to continue having this great man in our lives.  I just wanted to update you.  I appreciate so much the love and loyalty you have shown to our parents throughout the years.  I hope this finds you and your family well. Sincerely,  Lisa Turner Runyon”  (

Those wishing to mail notes of congratulations may mail them to President Turner at 1616 W Cornerstone Way, South Jordan, UT 84095

Elder Gelson and Mírian Pizzirani

Item:  Some years ago I was on my way to Brazil and in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport I saw a very well dressed couple in my boarding area awaiting our flight to Miami.  I approached them and was bold enough to ask, “Where are you folks from?”  They were from Brazil, and so we immediately spoke Portuguese and they inquired where I had learned my Portuguese.  I said, as I always do, that I had been a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.  At that moment I saw the manila envelope in the man’s hand, with the Church logo on it.  Gelson and Mírian Pizzirani were flying home from General Conference at Salt Lake City, where he had just been sustained as an Area Seventy.  We talked until we boarded our flight to Miami and he gave me his business card, which I didn’t even glance at.  At the Miami airport they were again so gracious and even invited me into the VIP lounge of TAM airlines with them as we conversed for some time.  When I excused myself to go to the boarding area I was still unaware that Brother Pizzirani was an executive vice president of TAM airlines, until I discovered that he had upgraded my flight to the very finest more-than-first-class ticket!  I flew that night in a private curtained compartment, sleeping on a seat that became a bed, with slippers on my feet, after dining on cheese and filet mignon!  Oh, what a fine time.  Not my usual coach seat.  Later I would meet their son Thiago in the Seattle Temple when I heard that distinctive last name.  I have followed Gelson Pizziani’s calling to preside over the Brazil Brasilia Mission and now the Recife Temple.

Carlos Wizard Martins article in the Deseret News, link

Historian Mark Grover’s 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” mentions the Pizzirani’s:  “After finishing their mission in Brasília, their plan to settle down at home was interrupted by a short-term call to serve as president of the Brazil Campinas Mission. After a few months rest, they accepted a call in 2013 to be president and matron of the Recife Brazil Temple. One of the missionaries who baptized Brother Pizzirani was recently called with his wife to serve in the Recife Temple, where missionary and convert will serve together.”

The young missionary who baptized 16-year-old Gelson Pizzirani was David Finn Paulsen.  Today David, after a career at Church Headquarters supervising temple construction, serves with his wife Deirdre as temple missionaries in the Recife Temple with the Pizzirani’s.  The Paulsen’s previously presided over the Brazil Curitiba Mission where his father, Finn B. Paulsen, had presided as my first mission president.  Sister Paulsen mentions to me that “adding to the equation is that Mark Grover, the author of the [Ensign] article, baptized Sister Pizzirani when Mírian was 19 years old. Mark Grover's Senior companion was Elder Barry Bartlett.”

Sister Paulsen states, “The Pizzirani's are wonderful examples of wise and dedicated service and we're so grateful to be working with them and to be learning from them.”

My! but this Church raises up some fine saints!

Here’s another:  Today, Wizard language schools are seen everywhere in Brazil.
Read about Wizard’s impressive founder in the Deseret News article about Carlos Wizard Martins.  Google “LDS billionaire, BYU graduate shares success story” by Ben Tullis.





Perpetual Education Fund—Self-Reliance Centers

Elder Clay (BNM 66-68) and Sister Cookie Overson of St. Johns, AZ, write from São Paulo: “We still need you in Brazil! We will be leaving this wonderful country in September and are very happy to know that another couple, Elder Robert [BSM/BCM 67-69] and Sister Susan Hale [of Midvale, UT], have been called to replace us. It is such a blessing to know that our slot will not be empty and that they can carry on here in São Paulo. We know that they will love it here and will always feel loved and needed. Now that makes one American couple who will be serving here in the PEF Self-Reliance Program so we only need 16 more! We realize that many missionaries are needed to serve as member leadership support and temple missionaries and that wherever we serve we are blessed and can be happy, but we do want to recommend this amazing program which is essential to building up Zion in Brazil. The membership is still young but growing incredibly and the principles of self-reliance are being taught in the self-reliance centers. Teaching these principles is a vital part in accelerating the Lord's work and, by participating in this program we truly feel that we have made a difference. The people we work with here are amazing. If you would like to learn more about serving in PEF Self-Reliance in Brazil, you can contact Paulo Araujo, our director and an insightful and dedicated leader, at "" and he will be very happy to talk to you.  (  (

FINDING MISSIONARIES FOR SAINTS—this is how it goes every month or two . . .

Souza: “Caro irmão Alf,  Só para o irmão saber, fui a primeira Diretora do Templo de Curitba, esposa do Jason Garcia Souza.  Desde o término de nosso tempo, trabalho, todas as 5as. feiras, na Secretaria, como voluntária.  Ontem, um missionário do Templo, muito querido, veio pedir-me um favor.  Bem, eu disse a ele, que só o querido irmão Alf, poderia fazer algo, com o seu Brasulista.  Então, o pedido do irmão ADÃO SILVÉRIO é o seguinte:
Ele gostaria muito de encontrar os missionários que os ensinaram  o verdadeiro evangelho. Ele e a esposa  LAURECI MESQUITA SANTOS SILVÉRIO, nos idos de novembro de 1969, na Missão São Paulo Sul.  Era o Presidente da Missão, Pres. Hibbert.  Eles moravam em São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo.  Ele só lembra que um dos missionários chamava-se WILSON e usava óculos de fundo de garrafa, como se diz.  Muito grossos.  Será que seria possível encontrá-los?  Ficamos aqui, no aguardo de suas palavras. Carinhosamente,
Lindamir F.F. Garcia Souza (

Alf Gunn: Dear Elder Wilson, I received the attached message from Sister Lindamir Souza. A brother is seeking an Elder Wilson who wore thick glasses during his mission.  Was that you?  If so, who was your companion?  Did you teach an ADÃO SILVÉRIO and his wife LAURECI MESQUITA SANTOS SILVÉRIO?  You are the only Wilson I have in the right time period and right place. Thanks, Alf Gunn

Elder Wilson:  “Dear Alf, Thanks so much for your message.  I greatly appreciate all of the ways in which you have contributed to the Church in Brazil and to missionaries who served there.  I think I am the Elder Wilson they are looking for.  I began my mission in São Bernardo do Campo in September of 1969 and I wore thick glasses that were often referred to as being like Coke bottle bottoms.  I'll locate a picture to send to them.  Those thick glasses were my trademark!  My mission president was Sherman Hibbert although the mission was known as Brazil Central.  The South Mission included the two southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina while the Central Mission included the states of São Paulo and Paraná.  I spent most of my time there with Elder Wynn Stoddard so he was probably the other companion.  Since I was so new in the mission, my companion probably did most of the teaching.  I would love to re-establish contact with the Silvério family and know more about their conversion and their lives after joining the Church.  Please feel free to share my email address with them.  I can read Portuguese fairly well but don't write so well so I will probably respond to them in English if they can understand it or have someone to translate it.  Thanks again for helping to re-connect people like the Silvérios and me!
Best regards,  Larry Wilson (

Elder Wilson:  “Querida Irma Souza,  Eu também servi em Curitiba durante 1970.  Acho que seu esposo foi o primeiro president da estaca em Curitiba?  É verdade?  Me lembro que ele foi chamado durante meu serviço lá.  O seu esposo estava conhecido como Presidente Jasão, não é?  Eu visitei o escritorio dele como missionário.  Ele foi advogado, não é?  Me lembro que ele foi um lider muito animado, muito inspirado e um dos melhores que eu já tenho conhecido.  I have fond memories of President Jasão.  He was an inspiring leader and one of the finest that I have ever met.  If I remember correctly, he was called as the president of the first stake in Curitiba by then Elder Boyd K. Packer.  I was there on that occasion when he was called, serving as a zone leader in Curitiba.  It was exciting to see him called as the President of the Curitiba Temple several years ago.  I have such fond memories of Curitiba and loved serving there.  While I have never been back to Curitiba, I hope to do so someday and especially to see the beautiful temple there.  Thanks you for the great service rendered by your husband and family to the Church over many years.  Best wishes to you and your family.  
Muitos abraços,  Elder Larry Wilson Temple Department, Salt Lake City, Utah”

Alf Gunn: Cara Irmã Souza,  O companheiro do Elder Larry Wilson foi de certo Wynn Stoddard.  Infelizemente, parece que ele faleceu em 1989.  Um abraço do irmão Alf Gunn

Souza: “Querido irmão Alf,  Estamos na praia de Camboriú, Santa Catarina, desfrutando destes maravilhosos sol e praia ! De vez em quando, precisamos disso para aliviar as tensões do dia a dia.  Que imensa alegria o irmão já proporcionou a mim, nesta manhã, ao abrir o lap top e deparar com os e-mails enviados!   Imagine só, como ficará o irmão ADÃO SILVÉRIO !!!!!! Posso já ver seu rostinho, com aquele sorriso tão bonito!

Só irei ao Templo, na nossa volta, dia 14 deste. Daí, levarei tudo impresso para o irmão. Sei que ele ficará, imensamente, feliz.  Obrigado, querido irmão Alf, por este seu trabalho que digo, não há dinheiro que pague. Só o nosso Deus poderá abencoá-lo, como merece!  Vou também escrever umas linhas ao irmão Larry, agradecendo muito por sua atencão.

Espero que o irmão possa sempre entender tudo o que escrevo em portugues. Desculpe eu só conseguir ler e não falar ou escrever como gostaria, porque daí, levaria tempo demais e estou aflita para que o irmão saiba o quanto sou grata por esta sua ajuda.

Muito, muito obrigada!

Que o Senhor possa sempre abençoar o senhor e sua familia, são os nossos desejos, com todo amor,  Lindamir e Jason”

Alf:  Querida Irmã Souza,  Felizmente, intendo tudo e só tomara que eu pudesse escrever e falar melhor.  É muito meu prazer ajudar a gente quando posível. Aceitem um forte abraço do irmão que muito os estima.  Com amor,  Alf Gunn


Alf, The Brasulista is always a fun thing to see and read.  I only dreamed of doing some of the things that others are doing.  However, on Tuesday the 5th of August Donna and I are going to serve 18 months on the Farmland Reserve Inc/Agro Reservas do Brasil farm near Brasilia.  It is a 70,000 plus acre farm that is operated for profit.  We will serve as learning center directors for the farm, where we will teach English to the farm workers and their families as well as in town and around the area.  Thanks to you who sent out the request for a couple to do this we are now on our way next week, much before we planned on being able or ready to serve.  We are so looking forward to doing this and will be so happy when we are on our way next week.  Dean and Donna Anderson of Murray, UT (BM 66-68) (

Dear Alf,   Elder and Sister Thomas are now serving a member and leadership support mission in the Brazil Curitiba Mission.  We have been here in Bocaiuva do Sul, Paraná, three months and it is a small town of about 11,000 people.  The town has been open about 9 months.  We have a group of about 25 members and twice as many investigators attending Sacrament each week. It will become a branch soon I am sure.  It is great!  The wait for the visas was well worth it.  Elder Thomas served in the Brazil South Mission in 1962 -1965  Never give up!  Elder and Sister Thomas  (

Paul Wheeler (BSM 65-67) retired as Associate Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State University.  He and his wife Diane served a mission as Portuguese-speaking missionaries assigned to a Spanish ward in downtown Toronto, Canada.  Now he writes:  “We had not been planning another mission so soon, but we received a notice in an email about the need for an Area Technology Specialist for Brazil. Out of curiosity we called the number on the announcement. Before we knew it we had an interview with the ICS department in Riverton, Utah followed by a video conference interview with the ICS department in Brazil. We submitted our papers and in the middle of July we got a mission call to be the first Area Technology Specialists in Brazil, reporting in Brazil on Oct 6, 2014. We will be working out of the Area Office in São Paulo, but may be traveling throughout Brazil training Stake Technology Specialists. There are about 300 stakes and districts in Brazil each needing one or more trained technology specialists. We are excited about this new opportunity. Paul and Diane Wheeler” (


Ron Dennis (BM 60-63) of Provo UT, former president of the Brazil Fortaleza Mission and executive secretary at the Brazil MTC (2005-06), reports that he would be delighted to share the materials he has developed for missionaries to learn Brazilian Portuguese. Ron, by the way, is one of those few Americans who speak Portuguese like we wish we could.  The attachment that accompanies this issue of the Brasulista has his Brazilian Portuguese for Missionaries. And the two dvd’s containing 205 short videos that accompany the text can be obtained by contacting him at   And for those of you who have Welsh Mormon ancestry he invites you to visit his website at

Old-timer item from Frank Reid

“I have been enjoying the Brasulista for several years. Thanks for all your efforts. I am older than most people here.  I served in Brazil in 1958-1960 when it was all one mission.  The mission was divided to create the Brazilian South Mission after I was there about a year.  My first branch was Belo Horizonte then Santo Andre, then into the Sao Paulo mission home/office at Rua Itapeva 378 in Paula Vista to recuperate from an appendectomy.  I was made the mission artist and created many of the illustrations needed for our early publishing and training efforts.  Later, I was sent to Araraquara Branch to serve as the branch president.  Nearly a year later I was returned to the mission office where I continued to serve as mission artist but then was called to be over the advertising and publishing.  I helped create several 15-minute radio programs to go to the various stations.  I worked also to preach to many local people even out to Pinheiros which was part of the São Paulo Central branch.  I now am on Facebook a lot and comment often on the Church's Brazil page.  I have relearned much of my Portuguese but also use Google Translate. Currently, I write books and have five on Amazon now.  I have been a Gospel Doctrine teacher for more than thirty years in two cities.  I live near Ogden and would like to hear from any others who may know me from my days in Brazil.   Frank Reid” (

That’s all folks!

Um abraço com fogo nos ossos, 

“Andorinha voou e anunciou
Uma estrela do norte aqui passou
Trazendo alegria, trazendo bonança
E muita esperança pro nosso Brasil
Pra sorrir, pra reflorir... extravasar, cor de anil.”
                        --Lyrics, “Salve Este Mundo, Menino” composed and sung by Zeca Pagodinho


      • "A swallow flew and proclaimed
      • A star from the north has passed here
      • Bringing happiness, bringing abundance,
      • And so much hope for our dear Brazil
      • To make one smile, to make her blossom,
      • Let the blue indigo flow"

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

Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Irmão Alf, você me parece melhor que Sherlock Holmes. Tenho uma missão pra ti. Há muitos anos tenho procurado por um jovem Elder que serviu missão na Missão Brasil Recife como Elder Graham, ele era bem alto e bem magro, cabelos bem lisos com...

Irmão Alf, você me parece melhor que Sherlock Holmes. Tenho uma missão pra ti. Há muitos anos tenho procurado por um jovem Elder que serviu missão na Missão Brasil Recife como Elder Graham, ele era bem alto e bem magro, cabelos bem lisos com corte pra frente como de criança e escuro, seus olhos também eram escuros, acompanhando os cabelos. O presidente de missão creio que era o Gral nos anos aproximadamente 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 creio. Ele trabalhou como companheiro ou apenas no mesmo período com os elderes Whitaker, Proença, Palmer, e acho que Parker também. Seu nome era William Chedwick (não sei se é escrito assim) Graham. Ele quando veio para missão, sairá de Utah, porém seus pais mudaram enquanto ele estava no campo missionário para Nevada, mas sua avó permanecerá em Utah. Se além dele fosse também localizado os outros quatro citados, ficaria muito grata e feliz. Gostaria de saber como todos estão.. Conhecer suas famílias, filhos e talvez alguns sou de João Pessoa mas no momento moro em Recife - Pernambuco - Brasil.
Fico no aguardo de um pronunciamento seu.

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