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Cristo300Brasulista #196

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #196
September 15, 2016

Bom dia, irmãos e irmãs! 

In this issue:

Passing of President Ralph G. Degn
Medical Advisors and other senior missionaries needed in Brazil
Notes from the field
Portuguese speaking Mozambique and Angola missions
Service in Portugal
Photo album of South America and Brazil
It’s Brazil, not Brasil


We were saddened to learn of the passing of Ralph G. Degn (BM 60-63) of Wellsville, UT, on August 27, 2016, of leukemia.  President Degn and his wife MaryAnn presided over the Brazil São Paulo North Mission 93-96, served a Recife PEF mission 05-06, and presided over the Centro de Treinamento Missionário at São Paulo 12-14.  In all their service they have been dearly loved.  Sister Degn may be reached at  
or comments at


NOTE:  There is a critical need for Portuguese speakers to serve senior missions in Mozambique and Angola.  See information about those missions below in this newsletter.  Those interested who would like more information may contact Elder Stan Ellis of the Seventy, of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, at or telephone 713-344-1118 (please be aware of the time difference).


From Laird Swensen (BM 64-66) of Salt Lake City, UT:  Hello Alf,   There is a continuing need for Portuguese speaking physicians to serve as Area Medical Advisors in Brazil.  They seem to be in short supply but are greatly needed to serve for 18 to 23 months in Brazil.  We have served twice in this capacity and would recommend it without reservation.  Elder Gregory Schwitzer is the supervising general authority of Missionary Medical Services.  Those interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact his secretary Kelly Ford by phone at 801-240-5341 or by e-mail at  Or to learn about our experiences as an Area Medical Advisor in Brazil, please feel free to
contact me by phone at 385-259-3271 or by e-mail at  Muito obrigado por tudo que tem feito para Brasil e pela obra do Senhor.  Laird and Gloria Swensen (


This note from President Peter Scholz (BSPS 78-80) of the Brazil Ribeirão Preto Mission:

Alf,  I am sitting in my office in the Ribeirão Preto Mission after three fast weeks here and just finished reading the latest issue of the Brasulista.  In particular, I appreciated the note from Elder Loveless about their experiences working in the mission office in São Paulo.  This description is similar to what our senior couple does for us.  As I have shared with you previously and will continue to, all of the missions in Brazil are in desperate need of senior missionary couples.  We have a couple working in our office but they will be leaving at the end of November.  We have been told to not expect another couple to replace them unless we can recruit someone.  The couple here stays very busy in the office with specific assignments, but they also interact with the missionaries on a daily basis and have had many opportunities to teach investigators and interact with members.  They are invaluable to us and the mission.  It will be very difficult to see them leave.  I am hoping you can include another plea from us (and the other missions in Brazil) for more couples to consider serving a mission here.  We need their help and support, quickly. Um abraco,  President Peter Scholz (BSPS 78-80) Missao Brasil Ribeirão Preto (

More from President Scholz:  “The couple serving here until November are Elder Robert Hawkins (BSM 66-68) and his wife Betty, from Orem, UT.  They are currently serving as the Executive Secretaries here mission headquarters.  As a young missionary Elder Hawkins baptized Mauro Brum, whom we just replaced here in Ribierão Preto.  President Brum presided from 2013-2016.  It was wonderful that Elder and Sister Hawkins had the opportunity to serve under President Brum for 13 months of their mission.  This is an amazing story, especially in how they were able to find each other after 40+ years.”

Alf, Thanks for your many wonderful newsletters. We (Elder & Sister Max Forbush) have been serving in Recife Brazil for the past 14 months and will be released in December of this year. Elder Forbush (BSM 65-67)has been over missionary housing and Sister Forbush is a nurse for the missionaries and helping with teaching and encouraging 144 missionaries who are asked to learn English while on their missions. We are so blessed to work with Elder Kent and Sister Eileen Gale whom we served with in Lisbon Portugal (2011-2012) This mission (Missão Brasil Recife) could surely use another couple when we leave.  President Rory C. Bigelow knows how to use couples effectively in the work here.   Personally our experience here has been very enriching by working with the young missionaries as well as helping with local members in the Recife ward and stake.  We have developed so many wonderful relationships that will be with us through the eternities.  If anyone may be interested, know that you do not need to be a nurse or good with housing.  Come with your own set of skills and abilities.  You will be amazed with wonderful opportunities to contribute.   Should you have questions, please feel free to contact us at   Max and Julie Forbush


Can anyone match this “three generation” story?  

Keith Morgan (BSM 64-66, Brazil Salvador South Mission 12-14) reports:  My older brother, Blaine Morgan, served in the Brazilian Mission under President Bangerter from 59-62. His son served in João Pessoa after him. Now he has a grandson that has received a call to the Brazil Cuiabá Mission and will be reporting to the CTM in December. We're working on keeping the Morgan tradition of missionary service in Brazil alive.  (


From Elder Kim Passey (BSM 72-74) of  Woodland, UT:  Alf,  My wife Carol and I have arrived in Brazil and it has already been four weeks since we entered the MTC. Puxa! It is great to finally return to Brazil since my junior days. We are serving in the Area Office in the Self Reliance program. Last Saturday we rolled out the new program for the Stakes here in São Paulo. If it hasn´t yet, it will be rolled out in the US very soon. We were trained in the MTC about the new program that will now be worldwide. It is a great program. It will be combining the Job Assistance centers into the Self Reliance program and expanding the program to involve the local priesthood more.  We are so grateful for all the work you do in keeping us connected. Had it not been for last October's super reunion, we would not be here now. Elder Aidukaitis´ message was clearly meant for us and we could not deny the power of the message that now is the time to serve the Lord. It is GREAT! Thank you for arranging for him to speak at the reunion. He has been out of the office a great deal of the time, so we have not had the privilege of conversing with him in country.

The work is great and the labors are few, but we will move forward in faith. We look forward to your Brasulista each month.  Until the next time, Elder Kim Passey (

From Elder Layne Hinckley (BM 67-69) of Spokane, WA: Hello Alf,  Last April you helped a member from Curitiba find me as one of the missionaries who taught his family. His name is Jefferson Nascimento. He and his two siblings as well as his mother are still all active. His parents are Manoel (deceased)  and Therezinha Nascimento of Curitiba.  Jefferson also severed a Mission in Northern Brazil being privileged with some 70 baptisms.  Elder Robert Fetzer was  my companion during this time.  Jefferson was only one year old when his parents were baptized.  My wife Lynda and I met with him in Utah.  During that meeting he was able to touch my wife's heart and give her strength to leave the grand kids and go on a senior mission.  We are headed to the South Africa Durban Mission in November.  Maybe we will help teach some people who speak Portuguese there.  Thanks for all you do.  Layne Hinckley  (

Lamar Hansen (BM 60-63) of Centerville, UT, writes:  Just a note to let you know that my wife Elaine and I have received another mission call. We will serve in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission for one year as MLS (member, leader support) or whatever the president wants us to do. Thanks for the last Brasulista #195.  Keep up the good work.  Até Logo,   Lamar Hansen  (

NOTE: Elder and Sister Hansen previously served in the Brazil Maceio Mission 08-10; Church HQ Mission 11-12; Utah St. George Mission at Cove Fort, 12-13.


Alf’s note:  I am tutoring an amazing young man who has a call to the Maputo Mozambique Mission.  Amazing because he is reading Portuguese out loud with quite good pronunciation with just three lessons.  And he is humble enough to keep learning.  So I asked President Joni Koch of that mission about the missionaries who are serving there just now.  

“Estimado irmão Alfred Gunn,  Temos aproximadamente 60 Americanos, 30 Brasileiros, 20 Africanos (Angola, Zâmbia, Mallawi, Uganda, 4 Moçambicanos), 3 Portugueses, e um Inglês.  Um abraço forte e obrigado por manter vivo o Brasulista!!!!  Enviado do meu iPhone”  (

Alf , Your information about church membership in Angola (Brasulista #195) is incorrect. There are more than 5 congregations in Luanda alone (the capital). According to there are 9 congregations in Angola currently.  Loren Spendlove

CORRECTION: Thanks to President Denelson Silva of the Angola Luanda Mission, as of September, 2016 there are two districts and nine branches in the country of Angola.  Missionaries serving there include 15 Americans, 9 Africans, 3 Portuguese and one Brazilian.  (

Alf,  Mais uma informação sobre a igreja em Angola.  O atual presidente da missão Angola (julho 2016) é membro de minha ala Vila Sonia – Estaca São Paulo Brasil, seu nome é Denelson Urbano da Silva que antes disso era presidente de nossa estaca. Ele é natural de Recife – PE. E serviu na Missão Brasil Curitiba.  Sua esposa Regina Silva serviu missão no Rio de Janeiro.   Forte abraço, parabens pelo trabalho.
Cezare Malaspina Jr.  (

My missionary buddy, Elder Michael Dyal (BSM 62-65) of Springville, UT, writes from the Portugal Porto Mission, recalling Apucarana, PR, mentioned in Brasulista #195:  “Alf, I was in Maringá from about April to September, 1963, first with George Michael Anthony (who has served a temple mission with his wife in PA) and then with Larry Seamons.   We had one baptism towards the end of my time there and we baptized a young man in that same swimming pool [at Apucarana].  For years I have wondered where it was and assumed it was outside of Londrina.  So thanks for filling in a blank spot in my memory.  I remember there was a small structure nearby where we changed our clothes before and after the service and it was an overcast sky with no sun the day we performed the baptism. Other than that I have no recollection such as how we got there etc for as you point out it was out in the campo.  You might want to ask for stories from all of us as to unusual places we performed baptisms on our mission.  I have another one that I will not share now, actually two which were interesting and more.

“During my mission from Oct 62 to April 65, I lived on $60 a month for all 30 months.  It was said we would live on $50 to $60 a month.  Never one to sacrifice if I didn't have to, I lived on $60 with my various comps and that included a maid who made our beds, did our wash and usually provided lunch back at the apartment.  I had one outstanding and fun German maid-cook in Ponta Grossa who one day said to us what is that noise in the oven--a thumping sound--as she was baking a cake for us.  She opened the oven door and a mouse fell out onto the floor and quickly expired.  Hilarious.  I don't remember if we ate that cake or if she made another one but we did eat cake later that day!

“Here in Portugal in the north mission (Porto) we labor in the only district in the mission here on the continent (another district on Madeira and three stakes up north).  Our branch has 15-30 people come out every Sunday.  In the last two months over seven people from five different families have been reactivated. Plus we had a young married couple move here from Brazil--she is from here in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, and he is Brazilian.  They loved Brazil but wanted to be where they were needed so asked the Lord for His direction, received it, and followed it back to the town she is from.  They are a huge blessing to our little branch--they came to work and to serve and have jumped right in.  What a blessing.  The district we are in reminds me of Brazil South 50 years ago--it just needs more converted leaders with families who are willing to drop their age-old traditions and become faithful members in the only true Church on earth.  It will get there in the beautiful, green country of good people who love their history and traditions.  Thanks for the memories and memory restored from you newsletter.  Keep them coming.  Elder Michael and Sister Margaret Dyal” (


For those who can’t get away just now to cruise around the bottom of South America and visit various places in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, you may enjoy perusing photos taken by Doug (BSM 67-69) and Janice Schmidt of West Jordan, UT, on our April tour, which they extended to see more of Brazil.  (   They were such good company on that trip.   Just Google: “Doug and Janice travel South America” to see photos organized by location. Click on the places you would like to see.



STYLE NOTE:  When writing to the Brasulista, please spell Brazil with a z when writing in English and Brasil with an s when writing in Portuguese, because that is the correct spelling in those languages.  Thanks.  Your editor  

Fique firme, forte, fiel e feliz, viu!  

Um abraço,  

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

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