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Cristo300Brasulista #193

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #193
March 26, 2016

Bom dia, gente!  Feliz Páscoa!

In this issue:

From telegrams to Skype
Mission Opportunities - Boston!
Mission Opportunities - Mission Headquarters São Paulo!
Human Rights Education Missionaries
From The Ranch -- Farmland Reserve Mission -- Montana


For 2½ years in Brazil in the early 1960’s I never called home.  No missionary did.  One of my companions received a telegram one day telling him to be at the phone company the next day at 1 pm.  There he stood in an indoor phone booth and an incoming call from his parents was connected to him and he spoke with them about some important matter.  A poor citizen in the next booth was shouting into the phone—apparently an in-country call.  2016:  This morning I was at the church greeting Seminary students.  When they were in class I took the iPhone out of my pocket and Skyped a branch president’s wife in Brazil to get his email address and arrange a visit and fireside for next month.  It is a wonderful world out there today.  Read about some interesting mission opportunities below.  – Alf

One of our finest is the first President of the newly dedicated Provo City Center Temple, Allen C. Ostergar (BM 60-63), with his wife Nancy as Matron.  They also presided over the CTM São Paulo 02-05, and presided over the Kentucky Louisville Mission, as well as serving as administrative director of Missionary Training Centers.  He has served as a bishop and stake president.  From other announcements: “He received a master's degree in public administration from Brigham Young University. He is the recipient of the distinguished Alumni Award from BYU-Idaho, and is fluent in Portuguese.  Nancy Ostergar serves as a ward choir president. She served with her husband in Kentucky and Brazil, and has also served as a ward Relief Society president, ward Young Women president and ward Primary president.”  Our best wishes to the Ostergars.

On a sad note, I mention the passing of another notable missionary, Vern Christopherson (BM 61-63), on March 22, of complications following knee surgery. He previously served with his wife Jerry at the CTM São Paulo from 2009-10 and at the Brazil Recife Temple 2012-13.  At his passing, Vern was serving his third full-time senior mission, a live-at-home mission with his wife Jerry in the Utah Orem Mission.  His mission president there reports, “He just moved on to his 4th mission.”  His funeral is set for Monday, March 28, 2016.


Dear Alf,  I am sending this email in the hopes that you might know a senior couple who would like to serve a mission in the Boston, Massachusetts, Portuguese Group. My wife and I have been here since December 2014, and we are rapidly approaching our time to leave at the end of May. Our group was formed in mid-2014 with one family, and we are now on the brink of becoming a branch.

Our group is made up mostly of people from Cape Verde, and the city of Boston (mostly the Dorchester area) has thousands of Cape Verdeans. We are constantly encountering people who were baptized in Cape Verde, moved to Boston and lost contact with the church. Some of them are very happy to find the church, and we are very happy to find them.

Our sacrament meetings are done in Portuguese (although some of our speakers do English and are translated by the missionaries), and our Primary children and young men and young women then piggyback on the English ward's programs for those ages. Sunday school, Relief Society and the Melchizedek priesthood classes are in Portuguese, so there is plenty of opportunity to use our beautiful second language. A lot of the members speak/understand Spanish, and a few are good in English, so if a spouse doesn't know Portuguese or has difficulty learning it, there is still plenty of opportunity to serve. Plus, all the school-age children understand and speak English.

There are plenty of benefits to serving in Boston. There is good access to excellent medical care. History is everywhere (good P-day excursions), and have I mentioned the seafood? We have grown quite fond of lobster rolls!

If you know of anyone, please feel free to have them contact us with questions or I can put them in touch with President Todd Miller of the Massachusetts Boston Mission, who would welcome a Portuguese couple to take our place. There is another Portuguese senior couple serving in Brockton, Massachusetts, about 45 minutes south of Boston.  Thanks, Alf, and I wish you happy travels this year.  Elder Bob Walsh  801.839.8308 (


What is a Self-Reliance Center mission?  Elder Robert Hale and Sister Susan Hale write:  “Our 23-month term in the mission field is coming to an end in late September 2016.  There is an excellent mission call for someone here at the Caxingui Self-Reliance Center, located at the Brazil Area Administration Building in São Paulo.  We basically teach walk-ins the first five of the twelve lessons in "My Search for Employment," train returning missionaries from two São Paulo missions the self-reliance principles during the last two weeks of their missions, and train stake leaders, specialists and facilitators as well as give firesides to stake members as self-reliance begins any of the nineteen stakes and two districts that this center services.  This last duty has phased out remarkably as stakes have become self-reliant themselves -- like it should be.

“Sister Hale attends the São Paulo Temple three times a week doing endowments and in the afternoon prepares certificates for Self-Reliance graduates from the nineteen stakes, and finds time to do FamilySearch indexing in free time.

“With the rumor that Brazil is easing the visa requirements during the upcoming Summer Games period, perhaps it will be easier for a senior couple to select this opportunity and get it.  If you want more details, send me an email at:  I'll be happy to share information.  I look forward to our communications,  Elder Robert M Hale, BSM/BCM, 67-69)


Elder Don Holsinger and his wife Ellen Sorensen Holsinger of Provo write from Europe: “Hi Alf,  Ellen and I are back in Geneva, Switzerland. This time the Church has asked us to start a new missionary program for senior missionary couples called, at least for present, Human Rights Education Missionaries. We are in Geneva presently getting things set up and will return to the U.S. in late May in order to for Ellen to join a prestigious (EQUITAS) HRE training program in Montreal. Then, hopefully with residence permits in hand, we will return to Geneva. We will be looking for couples with unique diplomatic, UN, Foreign Service or human rights backgrounds. Meantime we could use help in Geneva in the creation of an international human rights database, preferably help of young single adults. We will be able to assist with housing.  French language ability is useful but not necessary. We are officially the Kennedy Center's Office for Human Rights Education in Geneva. Please let us hear from you.  Don and Ellen Holsinger (  tel 801-828-8704


“Dear Alf,  Just a note to inform that my wife, Claudia, and I have been called to serve a Farmland Reserve Mission at the Trail Creek Ranch south of Miles City, Montana.  I am amazed at the many different ways we seniors can fulfill our desire to serve in the mission field.  We will be doing the "handyman" tasks around the Ranch so the paid staff can concentrate their efforts on those things that make the Ranch profitable.  Last summer missionaries built a beautiful office building and Claudia and I will be involved in landscaping and beautifying the lawn area this summer.  We will also do some "fixing up" in and around some of the houses where the employees live with their families.  Claudia will be involved with teaching crafts, quilting, etc. with the wives and children.  We will attend Church in a small Branch about 50 miles south of where we will be living.  (Not like here in Orem where the Church is a couple of blocks from our home.)  Lowell Johnson (Brazilian Mission 61-64) (”


From Elder Gaylen Atkinson (BNM 69-71) of Salt Lake City, serving with his wife, Janeal, in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission:   “We attended a stake conference last weekend in Artigas, Uruguay, which is on the border with Quaraí, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Since the stake has both Uruguayan and Brazilian units, half the hymns were in Portuguese and the other half Spanish.  Same for the talks.  It was kind of fun. Elder Gaylen y Hermana Janeal Atkinson  (

Um abraço, Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 *  * BSM 62-65

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