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Cristo300Brasulista #199

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #199
December 2, 2016

Feliz Natal!

In this issue:

Passing of Roger W. Call
Brazil LDS facts and figures
Portugal as a place to serve a senior mission
From the Field – a young missionary becomes “the wedding planner”
Not Brazil – China today
Orlando Kelm’s new book about doing business in Brazil


We were saddened by the unexpected passing of Roger W. Call (BM 55-58) of Salt Lake City, former President of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission 84-87, who died on 20 Nov 2016 at age 81. His former missionary companion, Dave Richardson, shares this mission history:  “Shortly after Roger arrived in Brazil, President Asael T. Sorensen gave Roger and me the daunting challenge of presenting the first three missionary lessons to a large Protestant College classroom in São Paulo filled with active and prospective Protestant ministers.  President Sorensen had been invited to speak before the Methodist College class, but he was tied up with Pres. Henry D. Moyle who was on a tour of the Brazil Mission.  At the college, Roger wrote the points on the blackboard while I gave the lessons.  The question and answer session after was especially exciting to say the least.  Having served a stake mission as a priest before Brazil helped me.  Attendees included three Methodist ministers, Helio Camargo, Walter Queiros, and Saul Messias.  Roger and I followed up with the six discussions to Helio and Walter and their wives, but they were baptized after I returned home after serving three years in the mission.  Harold Hillam baptized Helio and Sheldon Murphy baptized Helio’s wife Nair.  Helio, Walter, and Saul became bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents, temple presidents, and Helio became the first Brazilian General Authority.  Roger and I had a fabulous time working together as missionary companions.  We were the same tall height.  One time when we rounded a street corner, a typically short Brazilian lady jumped back and yelled in surprise, “What giants!” (in Portuguese).  Abraços, Dave Richardson


 As soon as I publish this information, someone will point out to me that it is out of date.   But I have no pride, nor shame, so here it is . . .

Brazil LDS Statistics (2016)
Church Membership: 1,326,738
Missions: 34
Temples: 6
Congregations: 2,038
Family History Centers: 341

My own observation:  All the presidents and their counselors of the new and reorganized Brazil stake, as announced in the latest Church News, were born after I finished my mission in Brazil.  Just saying.


Alf,  This is Elder Gale Roberts (BSM 64-66 of Shoshone, ID), and my wife and I are currently serving in the Portugal Lisbon mission and will be coming home in January. We currently have four couples serving in the mission (one of which is in the office) but we and one other couple will be returning home by March and that will leave only two couples where they could really use six. I am asking once again for couples to consider requesting to serve in Portugal. It is beautiful and the people are wonderful. We are loved by the missionaries and members alike. It has been a great blessing in our lives and I would recommend it to anyone looking to serve where Portuguese is spoken. Um Abraço, Elder e Sister Roberts  (   ps Thanks so much for the Brasulista.

Alf’s note:  All I can add to that is that the Portuguese pastéis de nata (custard pies) are to die for; Portugal’s olives can’t be beat; I had the best octopus dinner ever there; if you still speak Portuguese you will be understood as a Brazilian; and mission president Victor Tavares is from Curitiba and is a great mission president.


Alf, My husband Cliff Clive and I will be taking our daughter to Brazil in December for almost 2 weeks so that she can introduce us to the people she grew to love while on her mission in 2014-15. She arrived home from her mission one year ago, and since then we have heard much about how her mission impacted her life. As with many missionaries, the highlight of Sister Clive's mission in Londrina, Paraná came at the very end, when she was able to help convert five couples to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Since none of those five couples were married (a common situation), it became necessary to get them all married before they could be baptized!  Sister Clive became known as the mission "wedding planner" because of her success in getting so many ward members to collaborate together on throwing a memorable wedding celebration -- then another, and another, and another, until finally five couples had been married!  Now a year later, it is almost time for the first couple to be sealed in the temple. A large bus has been rented and will be going to Curitiba for the sealing next weekend. Before our arrival in her mission area, however, Cliff and I would like to take Caitlin on a one-day tour of São Paulo, her birthplace, so that she can see places (school, meetinghouse, hospital and two homes) that were familiar to us when we lived there 25 years ago.  Of course, we remember your brother Ronald and his wife Marlene with fondness!  Do you have contact information for Ronald and Marlene so that we might get in touch?  Thank you very much!  April and Cliff Clive, Philadelphia, PA (  


Alf’s note:  Most of my travels with Dick Jensen Tours take me to Brazil, one way or another.  But I need to mention our recent tour to mainland China, because it was so unique and interesting.  Our group of 20 included 9 of us who were former missionaries in Brazil.  What made this tour rather unique and definitely unforgettable was the tour of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the mountains of China, where few American (or Brazilian) tourists seem to have ventured before us.  These are the “Avatar” Mountains—for those who have seen the movie with the striking rock pillar formations.  We were there!  And a ride up the “road of 99 bends” (Google it and Zhangjiajie for video and photos) was a wild mouse bus ride up a cliff sided canyon with a courageous woman bus driver. Then, if you can imagine this, 12 escalator rides averaging 72 yards long, inside Tianmen Mountain, to reach the plateau on top and a foggy hike on cliff-side walkways.  Some of our travelers walked the 999 steps up the staircase to the Gate of Heaven instead of taking the first 8 escalators.  Many Chinese go to this place on vacation, so we waited in a very long line to catch the longest cable car ride in the world back down to the city of Zhangjiajie.  The next day we walked the new glass bridge across a grand canyon in the mountains area.  The next four days and nights were sailing up the Yangtze River with lovely excursions each day, and church on the ship on Sunday.  On talent night, we sang “Popcorn Popping” and I think we were a hit.  Finally, Chongqing, Tian and Beijing, with very interesting sights each day.  I mention all of this in case you travel to China you won’t miss the mountain country which was for me a highlight.  Be aware that this tour includes much walking and stair climbing, and is not for the mobility limited. Lessons learned?  This is new China. People are trying to buy 1000 cars a day in Beijing, but elderly “stick men” still carry loads on their shoulders.  The people treated us well.  The food was great.  I am thankful to be an American.

Our Brazilian alumni on this trip were:

Kirk and Melanie Roney from Holladay, UT
Ken and Heidi Copa from Pleasant Hill, CA, recently returned from a senior mission in Rio Grande do Sul
Ed and Marie Mecham from Ketchikan, AK
Craig and Kathy Mann from Livermore, CA
Gordon and Wileen Henderson from Mesa, AZ
Larry and Rita Labrum from Heber City, UT
My former missionary companion Chris Allen from Boise, ID.

All great company! 


GeorgetownOrlando Kelm (BSPN 77-79) ( who has a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics and teaches in the Business Department at the University of Texas, Austin, has co-authored a new book aimed at the business community entitled “The 7 Keys to Communicating in Brazil: An Intercultural Approach.”  I think this merits sharing a review and the interesting table of contents, especially for those of you who are in the business or academic world.  "Kelm and Victor's fascinating examination of intercultural communication in Brazil is insightful and a pleasure to read. More than fifty-five photographs and numerous figures add depth to the book. The real-world examples are invaluable in providing understanding and context. I highly recommend this book."—Courtland Bovee, Chairman of the Board, Neurogenesis Learning Systems

Table of Contents

1. Brazilian Language: That's a Lot of Portuguese!
2. Brazilian Environment: What a Huge Country!
3. Brazilian Social Organization: Let's Work on it Together
4. Brazilian Contexting: I'll Call You, Really I Will
5. Brazilian Authority Conception: Show Me Some of that Jeitinho
6. Brazilian Nonverbal Communication: One Kiss Or Two?
7. Brazilian Temporal Conception: Come On Over When You Can
8. Case Study: Sitting Secure In Latin America, Brazilian Style

Authors: Orlando R. Kelm and David A. Victor, Press: Georgetown University Press, Price: $29.95, URL:



Finally, I don’t think I have shared this bit of fun with Brazilian Portuguese before.  When speaking a number, such as a telephone number, a Brazilian will often substitute the word “meia” for “six” because “seis” sounds like “três” and could be misunderstood.  Not all Portuguese-speaking countries use the same trick.  Thanks to Portuguese Professor Paulo Jorge for the scenario below that plays with the different meanings of the work “meia” – a polysemy, or word with many meanings or senses.

Meia, Meia, Meia, Meia ou Meia?

A polissemia . . . representa um recurso linguístico recorrente em várias línguas e demonstra a elasticidade que uma palavra ou expressão pode conter em sua semântica alimentada por seus usuários.

No texto [em baixo] trazemos uma história que brinca com os sentidos da palavra “meia”, segundo usuários brasileiro e africano.  Ótima leitura!

Na recepção dum salão de convenções, em Fortaleza…

– Por favor, gostaria de fazer minha inscrição para o Congresso.
– Pelo seu sotaque vejo que o senhor não é brasileiro. O senhor é de onde?
– Sou de Maputo, Moçambique.
– Da África, né?
– Sim, sim, da África.
– Aqui está cheio de africanos, vindos de toda parte do mundo. O mundo está cheio de africanos.
– É verdade. Mas se pensar bem, veremos que todos somos africanos, pois a África é o berço antropológico da humanidade…
– Pronto, tem uma palestra agora na sala meia oito.
– Desculpe, qual sala?
– Meia oito.
– Podes escrever?
– Não sabe o que é meia oito? Sessenta e oito, assim, veja: 68.
– Ah, entendi, “meia” é “seis”.
– Isso mesmo, meia é seis. Mas não vá embora, só mais uma informação: A organização do Congresso está cobrando uma pequena taxa para quem quiser ficar com o material: DVD, apostilas, etc., gostaria de encomendar?
– Quanto tenho que pagar?
– Dez reais. Mas estrangeiros e estudantes pagam “meia”.
– Huummm! que bom. Ai está: “seis” reais.
– Não, o senhor paga meia. Só cinco, entende?
– Pago meia? Só cinco? “Meia” é “cinco”?
– Isso, meia é cinco.
– Tá bom, “meia” é “cinco”.
– Cuidado para não se atrasar, a palestra começa às nove e meia.
– Então já começou há quinze minutos, são nove e vinte.
– Não, ainda faltam dez minutos. Como falei, só começa às nove e meia.
– Pensei que fosse as 9h05, pois “meia” não é “cinco”? Você pode escrever aqui a hora que começa?
– Nove e meia, assim, veja: 9h30
– Ah, entendi, “meia” é “meia”.
– Isso, mesmo, nove e trinta. Mais uma coisa senhor, tenho aqui um fôlder de um hotel que está fazendo um preço especial para os congressistas, o senhor já está hospedado?
– Sim, já estou na casa de um amigo.
– Em que bairro?
– No Trinta Bocas.
– Trinta bocas? Não existe esse bairro em Fortaleza, não seria no Seis Bocas?
– Isso mesmo, no bairro “Meia” Boca.
– Não é meia boca, é um bairro nobre.
– Então deve ser “cinco” bocas.
– Não, Seis Bocas, entende, Seis Bocas. Chamam assim porque há um encontro de seis ruas, por isso seis bocas. Entendeu?
– Acabou?
– Não. Senhor é proibido entrar no evento de sandálias. Coloque uma meia e um sapato…

O africano enfartou…

Author:  Paulo Jorge, Professor de Língua Portuguesa, Gramática e Redação. Especialista em Mídias na Educação e em Novas Abordagens em Gramática e Texto.

Note:  A James Welch (BSM 70-72 of Palo Alto, CA) organ recital on December 30 at noon, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.  Catch it if you can. 

That’s quite enough for now.

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

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