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Cristo300Brasulista #189

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #189
December 10, 2015

Feliz Natal e Próspero Ano Novo!

This issue marks 13 years of Brasulistas. Puxa!  Like the fellow who entered his mule in the Kentucky Derby.  Figured he wouldn’t win, but the association would do him good.  My association with all of you has been a joy.  Thanks.

In this issue:

  • Things we learned in Brazil
    Some serve in Laie, HI
    YouTube video of Elder Luis Martins singing in Sertanejo style
    Missionary opportunities in mission offices in Brazil
    Helping Hispanic young men to serve missions
    Ponta Grossa item
    Recipe: Caldo Verde, the national soup of Portugal
  • Trips


From Ralph W. Thompson (BM 55-57) of Rexburg, ID and a long-time extraction missionary with Family Search Indexing three to four hours per day:  “Dear Alf, During my time in Brazil, the cruzeiro fluctuated widely.  I recall my disappointment on cashing a postal money order--it brought only the "official" rate of 12 cruzeiros to the dollar, while anywhere but the post office the rate was 75.  For CR$ 1,000 we had meals for a month from the pensão.  For 1,500, we had room and board.  In Belo Horizonte two college students persuaded me to sell two fluorescent blue ties (with flamingo, etc.) for Cr500 apiece.

Just outside Ipomeia, on the estrada para Videira, I met João Silveira de Almeida.  He lived in a bare-board house with no glass in the windows and flooring one could see through.  He insisted I take the only chair in the house as I gave a discussion.  His wife and two little girls huddled in the corner.  After I told about Joseph Smith, Sr. Silveira went to the only other furniture in the room, a trunk.  From the trunk he took an old tobacco can, with money in it.  It was obvious that his wife had not been aware of the money.  Sr. Silveira insisted that I take the money as his tithing.  He explained that he worked for a farmer, hoeing corn, for Cr2 per day. (Expert stonecutters in the area might earn up to Cr10 per day.)  I hesitated to take his money, he was so poor.  His clothing was neat and clean, though even his patches had patches. But he insisted and explained:  He had been to many churches in the area, paying his tithing into the collection plate.  Invariably, he was told at each church that if that was all he could give, he was no longer welcome.  He had long hoped to find a church that would accept his tithing and him.  Sr. Silveira sought baptism, but was ineligible because his first wife had left him.  Because there was no divorce in Brazil, he could not legally marry the second "wife" with whom he was living.  Sr. Silveira came regularly to church.  He continued to pay his tithing.  As we were then building the Ipomeia chapel, he came often to aid in the work.  From him I learned a lesson in tithing that has helped shape my life.  Ralph W. Thompson (

Capela-IpomeiaCapela de Ipoméia

Craig-EarnshawCraig EarnshawElder Craig Earnshaw (BPAM 73-75) presided over the Porto Alegre South mission from 2003-2006.  He writes from Laie, HI:  “Alf,  Just an update.  Colleen and I are serving as Church Service Missionaries at BYU-Hawaii. This is our second time at BYUH, as we were here 2009-10 also. I am teaching Entrepreneurship in the Business School and Colleen is working at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We are also teaching the Missionary Prep in one of the YSA Stakes on campus and are ordinance workers in the Laie Temple. Between BYUH, the PCC and the Temple there are over 40 missionary couples in this area. We are blessed to have John Tanner (former Mission President in São Paulo 2011-14) and his wife Susan (former General Young Women's President) as the new president of BYUH. And we have a few students from Brazil, enough to keep our Portuguese up-to-date.  Craig Earnshaw (

Note:  At President John Tanner’s instalation ceremony at BYU Hawaii, the organist was his former missionary companion, James Welch, of Palo Alto, California.  See their names together at the bottom of the page under Hymn 138, “Bless Our Fast, We Pray.”


Brother Luis Antonio Martins (BSPS 81-82), a Curitibano, now living in Windermere, FL, composed a song in the Sertanejo style—Brazilian country music—to pay tribute to his parents on their 60th anniversary recently.  Brother Martins is a talented fellow and has also composed and produced many songs and video clips in support of his brother’s English language courses throughout Brazil.  Particularly for any of you who may know this LDS family, I share his song, in Portuguese with English subtitles.  Your Portuguese lesson for the day.

Caro Alfred,  Tudo bem com você?  Estive em Utah na semana passada para participar da festa de 60 anos de casamento de meus pais. Surpreendi meus pais com esta canção sertaneja que compus para homenagea-los. A canção conta um pouco da história de minha família. Repasso para você e todos os  ex-missionário que aprenderam apreciar as canções sertanejas brasileiras.  Receba uma forte abraço.  Luis Martins (

Watch it at



This note is rather informative about the kind of missions available in modern Brazil today, particularly in the 34 mission offices in the major cities. Elder Lynn (BM 66-68) and Sister Judi Rowe of Salt Lake City are looking ahead to the time next September when they will finish their service in Brasilia, as they share information about the practical matters of an office mission:

“We have the perfect opportunity for anyone that would like to serve a senior couple mission in Brazil, in the mission office of the Brazil Brasilia Mission, probably as the financial secretary and the supply secretary. The situation is nothing less than ideal.  The office is 12 minutes from your apartment on the third floor of a six-story building with a beautiful view of a park.  The gardens include orchids growing on trees with manicured bushes and three levels of security.  Within a mile radius there is a beautiful shopping mall, a Walmart and Sam's Club.  A car is not provided but you live on many bus routes and if you are over 60, you ride free at the front of the bus. Rental cars are available.  The apartment has two bedrooms and a beautifully tiled bath with a shower.  An additional room and bath are available for the maid’s quarters which we use for storage.  Air conditioning in the living room is adequate to cool the entire apartment.  The living room/dining room has a table for six and two couches. We purchased a TV which hooks to the existing limited cable. The fully equipped kitchen has new appliances and a new clothes washer.  As for church, the Asa Sul ward is probably the warmest and most welcoming ward we have ever attended.  There are a few people that speak English and all programs of the church are available and operating.  You work with missionaries in the office, where about 40% speak English and are so helpful.  You will serve with President and Sister Lundgren from Washington until July of 2017. They are great to work with and powerful leaders. We enjoy this opportunity to serve the Lord in a spot that offers beauty, great weather and people that love the Lord.  Anybody interested or who have any questions, please contact Elder and Sister Rowe at or  Or web-based phone with their home phone number at 801-942-3105.   Elder Lynn Rowe (

Congratulations to my own sister and her husband, Gaye and Dick Beeson of Orem, UT, completing their 2-year service in the Utah Provo Mission as full-time Member and Leader Support Missionaries, then as the first office missionaries of the new Utah Orem Mission.  They previously served in the Belo Horizonte Leste Mission in 2000 to 2001.  Yes, we all speak Portuguese now.  Parabens!  (


Missionaries called from the USA and Canada are not eligible for some of the assistance that some abroad may receive.  This includes Perpetual Education Fund monies and, apparently, Missionary Department financial assistance.  I hear from some good folks that this impacts the Hispanic membership in the USA.  The following note puts a face, or at least a name, on that challenge.  Some of you are serving in inner city missions in Utah and may have more insights into this.  If any would like to give some direct financial assistance, contact Brother deMoura at his email to see how it may be done.

Brother Oswaldo deMoura, one of our Brazilian brothers, sends the following appeal for financial assistance to young Hispanic missionaries in his ward:  “Hi Alf, The Ogden Mount Lewis 9th Ward (Spanish) is in need of support for their missionaries. As you may know missionaries called here in Utah cannot receive help from the missionary department. This ward is the largest and strongest ward in the Ogden Mount Lewis Stake. They have the largest number of youth in that stake, and their parents can barely get by, most making minimum wages. Right now they have one youth called to serve in the Las Vegas Mission checking into the MTC December 30th. He is an Eagle Scout, 4 year seminary student, great young man. His brother came back from his mission a few months back.  There are two more missionaries getting ready to go. In the last four years they've sent 17 missionaries, five of them are serving right now.  If you could forward this message to our friends I'd appreciate. Thanks for your help in the past, and all you do for my country and all returned missionaries that served there.  Oswaldo  (


A quick note:  Anyone interested in purchasing a newly renovated condo near the LDS church in downtown Ponta Grossa, Paraná, owned by the pioneer member Samway’s family, contact their daughter Abilenn Hansen of Salt Lake City at 801-931-9363 or, who can furnish all info and photos.


In the Enseada Ward in Guarujá, Brazil, where I attend church when I visit my brother there, the chapel is much smaller than here in Gig Harbor, with tile floor, plastic chairs, and a simple stand with two rows of seats behind the podium.  If the doors behind the keyboard organist are open, a little breeze cools the chapel.  Their attendance is probably one-fifth of my home ward attendance, if that.  I have dusted the metal frames of those plastic seats before a meeting with a brother I recognized as the stake patriarch bending down to do the same.  I love these humble saints.

And I love Bishop Christiano Pereira, who is a big pleasant man and who always smiles as he makes all feel welcome at church.  At the beginning of a fast and testimony meeting I attended there last year he invited the members to bear testimonies, saying it could be done in one minute, or two at the most.  As he finished, ten people came forward and filled the second row on the stand and so began the parade of members bearing testimonies, with others taking their place on the stand as they vacated.  All but two bore testimonies in less than two minutes.  The two took less than four minutes.

My brother tells me that at the end of a recent testimony meeting Bishop Pereira was pleased to announce that 30 members had taken the opportunity to bear testimony.  My goodness, that must have been half the congregation!  Can you imagine?  Things I learn in Brazil.


It is raining in Gig Harbor.  Pois é.  I’m hunkerin’ down over a bowl of Caldo Verde, the green soup of Portugal.  I fell in love with this dish during my hike and bike trip in Portugal last year, including when I saw the dona of the albergue cut the kale from her own garden and we dined around her dining room table.  It is simple and delicious.  The recipe below is from, loosely adapted from a recipe by John Villa.


“Considered by many to be Portugal’s national dish, caldo verde is found everywhere—in the dining rooms of Lisbon’s most luxurious hotels to the humblest of country homes. It’s a versatile dish: Serve it as a one-course meal at lunch or as a light supper in the evening. What’s crucial when preparing it is that the kale is cut into extremely fine slices; that’s what creates the soup’s distinctive character.” –John Villa

Caldo Verde Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces linguiça (Portuguese sausage) sliced into 1/4-inch coins
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced; don’t be afraid to go for a third or fourth. The Portuguese love their garlic
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups cold water, or half chicken stock or canned chicken broth, and half water
1 pound kale, thick middle stem removed, and leaves cut into very, very fine julienne (think whisker-thin)  
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, although the Portuguese are fond of white pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the linguiça slices and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage to a plate. Try to let the sausage drain well into the pot; its fat will flavor the soup.
2. Dump the onions into the pot. Sauté, adding enough salt to bring out their sweetness, until they’re translucent and very soft. Sprinkle in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
3. Plonk in the potatoes, cover everything with the water, or the chicken stock-water combo, and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat so the soup gently simmers. Cook until the potatoes are almost done, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. When the caldo verde is cool enough to handle, purée it using a wand blender. Here’s where you have to make a decision: Tradition states that one slice and only one slice of linguiça is added to each bowl. Chef Villa likes to add half the sausage slices to the pot before puréeing. It’s your choice.
5. Add the greens to the soup, bring everything back to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with more salt, if needed, and pepper.
6. Ladle the caldo verde into bowls and garnish with the remaining slices of linguiça. (But trust David, cooling the soup overnight in the fridge and reheating it the next day will do wonders for its flavor.)

Alf’s note:  Fine-chop the julienned kale to shorten the pieces or they will hang off the spoon when dining.  You can make a quickie version using powdered potato mix, since the potatoes end up disappearing into the soup when mashed or puréed anyway.  But don’t tell Portugal that I said so.   Bom apetite! 

Um abraço, Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-851-1099 *  * BSM 62-65


Cyclists:  Ride the Courage Classic Bike Tour with me August 6-8, 2016, a fundraiser for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital of Tacoma, WA.  Most of us LDS just ride Saturday and Monday and we go to church in beautiful Leavenworth, WA on Sunday.  (Some ride day 1 and 2 route on day 1.  Not me.)  Beautiful mountain country.   Good company and a good cause. I can arrange for pre-ride lodging.   (


In April it’s Brazil!  “Brazil Tour Special – April 15-27, 2016.”  See all the details at


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