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Cristo300Brasulista #191

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #191
February 6, 2016

In this issue:

  • Elder Ellis:  Senior couples for Portuguese Africa
  • Visa waits improving
  • Temple mission needs in Brazil
  • A visit with President C. Elmo Turner
  • The greatest generation:  Jay Byron Hunt
  • New mission presidents and mission calls
  • Those darn missionary hats (Part II)


From Elder Stan Ellis: Dear Alf,  Please share with our fellow alumni of missionary service in Brazil the urgent need we have for couples to serve in Angola and Mozambique.  It is fun to serve in Portuguese on the African continent!  Maybe even those who have already served a senior mission in Brazil are ready for a new experience.

1)  The first priority is for a couple to serve in Angola.  It is a newer and smaller mission, but we are approaching our first stake in that country.  We have just completed the purchase of property for the first Church-built meeting house in the country.  This is an historic time for the Church there.

The first mission president, our own Danny Merrill, will finish in July, and a Brazilian MP will take over, President Denelson Silva from Sao Paulo.  We really need a couple to serve with him in that office.

2)  As you know, our Brazilian mission president in Mozambique is Joni Koch.  He took the reins from Paulo Kretly last July and is continuing the work of miracles there.  We need more senior couples for that mission.  Many of you know Elder and Sister Enos de Castro Deus who have served so well in Beira and will be finishing soon.  One of our own, Thomas Kimball, is currently serving in the office in Maputo, and another, Stanley Petersen, is a Welfare Services missionary for Mozambique.  We need MLS and S&I couples, and could use more.

Thank you for spreading the word.
Elder Stan Ellis
Africa Southeast Area Presidency


I have heard from reliable sources that Brazil visas are opening up.  As of two months ago, only one missionary had not yet been able to get in.  Also, Eileen and Kent Gale, who are going to work in the office in the Brazil Recife Mission, received their visas after only 5 weeks!  This is the time for North Americans to serve in Brazil.  No longer do they have to wait nine months for a visa as in recent years.  “And,” says my source, “they are needed!”    


Elder Alan Craig writes from the Curitiba Temple:  “To follow up on the recent plea for someone to fill a slot in Gramado (a very pretty place to work), let me put in a plea for folks to come work in the temples.  All three missionary couples here in Curitiba are scheduled to go home by November and there is only one couple in the pipeline.  I had a conversation with the recorder here who said that Campinas is short 10 couples.  Costs in Curitiba went up this year for Brazilians, but stayed the same for Americans.  They actually pay less than the $450 we pay, but it is more than many retired couples can afford.  We live in a nice apartment with air conditioning, Internet access and cable TV.  People would need to start quickly to be here by November, but the need is clearly great.  Feel free to contact me with any questions –  For ideas about what it is like here, I blog at  Elder Alan Craig – BSM 1967”


A visit with President C. Elmo Turner (Pres BSM 64-67, Pres MTC SP 89-92)  
Skip Holland (BSM 66-68) of Lafayette, CO, writes:  “I had the privilege to visit with President Turner for two hours on Monday January 18th.  He has good care but is suffering from pain at his advanced age. He still speaks and understands Portuguese well and has many fond memories of his missionaries and the dear members from the Brazilian South Mission. I will return to visit him later this month. Please share his love and well wishes.  Thank you, Skip Holland” (


The following was posted on the Brasulista website on January 18 by Anita Hunt Hickey:

“I am one of the 7 children of Jay Byron Hunt and Roberta Elizabeth MacKnight Hunt. My granddaughter was doing a web search for her great grandfather and found your site. Thank you for your efforts in honoring the great accomplishments of all the missionaries from Brazil who also served their country in WWII. After the war broke out, from our understanding and from my recollections from the recounting by my mother and father, the missionaries who were in Southern Brazil, in the German speaking areas, were moved to Portuguese speaking areas of Brazil. My father was sent to São Paulo where he met my mother, Roberta Elizabeth MacKnight, who was a 3rd generation member of the American colony in Brazil situated in Americana and Santa Bárbara d'Oeste. She was teaching in a girls school in São Paulo and was a newly baptized member of the Church when my father met her. He wrote and proposed to her after he returned from his mission. Never having kissed nor held hands with my father, she traveled to the U.S. to meet his mother and then travel to South Dakota, where he was in the Army, and where they were married. He left in a few months for Germany. By the time he left she was three months pregnant with my oldest sister. When my father returned from Germany, she was 10 months old. After he returned from the war, he finished his PhD in Political Science at the University of Utah. During the process, they had two more children and my mother finished her master's in French and assisted with translation of the Doctrine and Covenants into Portuguese. She was always teaching the gospel to others through example and words and many of her friends and family from Brazil were baptized due to her love of the gospel. My father went on to become a professor at BYU, a special agent in the FBI and a professor at NAU in Flagstaff among many other accomplishments. My mother taught languages in secondary school, and in the later years of their working years they both worked with the government to serve the Havasu and Hopi Indian tribes. Their lives were lived in devotion to the gospel, their family, their country and their fellow men. I cherish their legacy of devotion to God and their fellow men, hard work, persistence and selflessness.”


Howard K. Bangerter and his wife Lissa are called to preside over the Brazil Piracicaba Mission beginning in July 2016.  He was a young dependent when his parents, William Grant and Geri Bangerter presided in the Brazilian Mission and as a Regional Representative in Brazil (1958-1963) and the first mission president in Lisbon Portugal.  Howard served his first mission in Portugal 1977-1979 and his wife, whose mother was a Brazilian from São Paulo also served in Portugal during those same years.  (

More information on new mission presidents to follow in subsequent Brasulistas. 


Elder Martell Menlove (BCentralM 71-73) of Logan, UT, is currently serving as Executive Secretary in the Europe East Area, Moscow, Russia, with his wife Ronda Rudd Menlove.   (


“Alf,  Thank you for all of your efforts in keeping us up to date on the Brazilian missionaries, we sure enjoy reading the Brasulista. My wife Barbara and I have been called to serve in the Lisbon Portugal Mission office for 23 months and report to the MTC on April 18th. We are really looking forward to this opportunity and excited to serve. We have been serving in the Bountiful Temple for the past 8 years and just got released from a special assignment there in July. Sincerely Bob and Barbara Hoffman BSM 64-66” (

Elder Randell (BM 69-71) and Cheryl Wilkinson of Tustin, CA, are on their way back to Brazil for their second mission service as Legal and Medical missionaries at Brazil Area Headquarters. (

Elder Kent Gale (BNM 68-70) and his wife Eileen of Draper, UT, are excited to be going to Recife to serve in the office of the Brazil Recife Mission.  The Gales previously served together in the Portugal Lisbon Mission 2010-2011.  ( and


Not as funny as Elder Allen's tale (Brasulista #190) but here is mine: Ponta Grossa 1955:  I wore a dark grey felt hat with a wide black band.  A young boy passing by asked, "What's the matter rapaz ?  Somebody die?” I began to to understand the morbid symbolism of a wide black band when I saw my first Brazilian funeral, there in Ponta Grossa. The mourners (some paid, I am sure), marching down the street and wailing loudly, all wore something black. For a period after the funeral, family and friends wore around their upper arms black bands that exactly matched the band on my hat. Ipanema 1956:  A member who made hats took pity on me and exchanged my old felt hat for a nice straw hat with a wide brim. I no longer had that funereal look. Would I have been bald anyway, if I had not worn a hat for 30 months? Ralph W. Thompson (BM 55-57) (

From John Rappleye of Washington, UT (BSM 69-71 and President of the Chile Osorno Mission 2011-14):  “While I was tracting with my companion in the Brazil South Mission in 1970, we came across a family that had been visited by the missionaries some years prior.  They let us in and began to reminisce with fond memories of those previous visits.  He told us that one Elder spoke Portuguese very well but the other could hardly speak at all.  "All he ever did was say a prayer" On one occasion, as the discussion began, the older companion asked if it was okay to start with prayer.  After receiving permission he asked the younger companion to say it.  The junior companion bowed his head as usual, with his hat on his lap but only silence followed.  They looked up to see the young missionary groping around in the hat on his lap.  Only then did they learn that the young missionary had had a prayer written in Portuguese taped inside his hat that he could bow his head and read.  But the prayer had fallen out and the missionary was left . . . without a prayer.  Best Regards   John Rappleye” (

David Richardson (BM 53-56) spent three years on his mission—the normal 2 ½ plus 6 months extension at the request of mission president Asael T. Sorensen, in the days before there was language training.  He shares this: “I frequently lost my hat, so I instead of asking over and over again, "Where is my hat?" I came up with a poem which I quoted the rest of my mission:  "Quem comeu meu chapeau?"   At least I got a laugh out of it even if no one could tell me where my hat was.  Also, we used a trick with our hats as suggested by a teacher in the Mission Home in Salt Lake before we left for Brazil by boat.  The teacher said we should stand at the door and say, ‘Good afternoon.  I am Elder Richardson, and this is my companion, Elder Anderson. We are ministers of the gospel, and we have a thought about God to leave with you. May we come in?’ As you spoke the words "May we come in? (‘Podemos entrar?’) you were supposed to sweep off your hat and step forward. It worked. People would automatically step back and let you in. They probably stepped back to get out of the way, but you were supposed to take it as an invitation to enter the house. And it came to pass that thus did our lowly hats become a powerful missionary tool.”  (

From Alan Lemke (BSM 60-63) of Silver Spring, MD:  “I arrived in Brazil in August 1960 and was taken by my first companion, Mike Henry, to the hat store. Wearing a black hat especially in the hot climate was not fun and we often carried our hats in our hands instead of on our heads. There was a missionary conference a few months later in Porto Alegre where President Sorensen announced that the missionary department had dropped the requirement to wear hats but we were strongly encouraged to continue wearing hats to be easily identified as Mormon missionaries. At the end of the conference, we all went to a bridge overlooking an eight lane main street, took off our hats and on the count of three tossed our hats into the air. I've often wondered what those pedestrians down below thought of the rain of hats coming down on them. We never wore hats again.”  (    

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


"The kingdom of God is a winner. Isn't it great to be part of a winner? Don't you love a winner? I do. Some say it matters not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. Don't you believe it. It makes a lot of difference whether you win or not. We came to this earth to win, and we will win if we stick with the Lord, because the Lord is not going to lose. He can't lose. The kingdom is a winner, and when we do it his way, we will win with him."   
     -- Elder Hartman Rector of the Seventy, General Conference, April 1974

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