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Cristo300Brasulista #219

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #219
June 25, 2019

Bom dia! Hoping this finds you all well.

In this issue:

Super reunion a big success - thanks to all
ICYMI the Fortaleza Temple dedicated - links to Church News articles
Brazil needs two retired attorneys
Finding missionaries for members
Help me find these missionaries
Brazil needs two retired attorneys
Meeting pioneer members from Angola
Missionary opportunities in Piracicaba
Brazil dropping tourist visa requirement

Super reunion a big success - thanks to all

Reunion Report On April 4, thanks to some wonderful people, we held a great "super reunion'' of many mission presidencies mostly before 1985 in Orem, UT.  We estimated attendance at about 350.  During the afternoon we visited and feasted on delicious feijoada completa-including about a dozen huge kettles of it prepared by Brazilian sisters living in Utah County.  Believe me, the talented cooks of Brazil have made it to Utah and they are the Relief Society!  Also, our mission reunion fund let us enjoy catered salgados and doces and cases and cases of Guaraná Antartica.  The only thing that we ran out of was Solo plastic cups, and we stared with lots of them.  Organizer Leuri Zibetti did a fabulous job of everything-working tirelessly-and her husband Stevan Davis provided music and master of ceremonies duties during the afternoon. Thanks to those who set up the night before and pitched in throughout the day.

Many people attended our evening meeting in the chapel before we broke up for mission sessions.  A highlight for me was the prelude organ music of Marcos Toniolo (BRdJM 75-77) and the incomparable James Welch (BSM 70-72).  My goodness, it was marvelous!  We all joined in singing hymns in Portuguese led by conductor Jim Smith (BSM 61-64).

President Lloyd Hicken, now 101, shared his testimony and we were pleased to hear from Elder Stan Ellis, Emeritus Seventy. I can't tell you all of the great pioneer missionaries and a few of our former mission presidents who attended.  It was a joy and honor to see them.  So many of our alumni have gone on to serve senior missions or serve in other ways in the kingdom. Of course our attendees only represented the thousands of missionaries who have served in Brazil, Americans and Brazilians and others, and who love the saints of Brazil. Thanks to all who pitched in to make the reunion a success.

And thanks to those who got me tickets to sessions of General Conference, where I met many wonderful Brazilian leaders.  Special thanks to Larissa Menezes, granddaughter of Teodozia Blanski who Elder Doug Marker and I taught at Apucarana in 1964.  Larissa knows the family of President Eyring well and we sat with his family for the Saturday afternoon session.  See her picture with Elder Ulisses Soares and this humble old missionary.

Elder-Soares-Alf-Larissa-Menezes-02Elder Soares, Alf Gunn, & Larissa Menezes

ICYMI the Fortaleza Temple dedicated – links to Church News articles

ICYMI  In case you missed it . . . articles from the Church News, June 9 and June 15 following the dedication on June 2 of the Fortaleza Temple, the 7th in Brazil. This interesting history of the Church in Fortaleza

The dedicatory prayer offered by Elder Ulisses Soares, translated into English.

Another article following the dedication

Finding missionaries for members

Note:  These opportunities to find missionaries for Brazilian saints happen more often than I can publish in theBrasulista.  I share this one to give an idea of a typical request. While you may not know of such a connection from your mission efforts, remember "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." Today there are 1,294,616 members in Brazil, 273 stakes, 2,111 congregations, 35 missionsand 7 temples. Puxa!

Help me find these missionaries

"Brother Gunn, My name is Doris Delvaux Torkildson. I am originally from Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil and I grew up attending the church building located at Avenida Princesa Isabel, 300. My grandparents were Nelson and Jany Delvaux, baptized around 1959/1960. I was wondering if this name sounds familiar to you or to anyone that is part of your wonderful website. If possible I would like to locate any of the missionaries that took part in converting my family and tell him a big thank you! The gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my life more than words can describe. Four out of the five of my grandparents' kids have served a mission and many of the grandkids as well, myself included.  If you can help me in any possible way I would appreciate. Thank you so much,  Doris Delvaux Torkildson    (

"Here is a picture of my grandparents with the missionaries that baptized them. Hope it helps.



Note:  We were able to identify Elder Donald L. White (BM/BSM 59-62) of Mesquite, AZ ( and his senior companion, Elder Ronald J. Dent (BM/BSM 58-61) of Boise, ID, as the missionaries in the baptismal photo. Other missionaries were involved in teaching and fellowshipping this family.

"Brother Gunn, Thank you so much for helping me find the missionaries who baptized my family. They both called me today. Elder White and Elder Dent. It was wonderful to be able to talk to them and express my gratitude. What  happened today wouldn't be possible without you!!! My family and I are deeply grateful for you and your efforts. Please know that my feeling of gratitude towards you goes beyond words. Doris Delvaux Torkildson  801-669-1610"

ps.  Elder Dent mentioned he wrote you an email telling the story of my grandparents. Can you please forward me this email?

This from Elder Dent:  Dear Brother Gunn, Forgive the delay in responding.  The first time I met Nelson Delvaux and his wife Elder Larry Dye and I stopped at his camera shop under a bridge and gave him business. Elder Dye was transferred and I was made senior companion with Elder Richey. (In the photo Elder Ben Alan Richey is at my left, I believe and the branch president is next to him.)  Elder Richey and I visited the camera shop again and I asked Brother Delvaux if we could come to his home and teach him about our church.  He agreed and we taught him and his wife, Jany. Sister Delvaux said, "We can't be baptized we are not married."  I contacted the district president who then contacted the mission president and I was given permission to marry them, after the legal requirements were met.

The next time I met Nelson was when I was 32 and called as a new bishop, the first time.  Brother Delvaux was also called as bishop and in that time bishops were sent to general conference in Salt Lake City. It was quite a thrill to see him once more. Then about ten years ago I received a letter from one of Nelson's sons.  In the letter he said that his father had served as bishop five times and had been responsible for bringing hundreds of people into the church.  He said that he and most of his brothers had served missions and that all of Brother and Sister Delvaux's children and grand children were active in the church.

At your request I will tell of the missions my wife and I have been blessed to serve.  The first was in 1999 to the Florianopolis Mission where we served as proselyting leadership family history missionaries. The next mission was in the Recife Brazil where I served under President Steurer in the North Area Mission as his executive secretary and my wife Thelma and I also served in the temple. At this time in 2004 I was called as a sealer in the temple. The final mission was in São Paulo where I was mental Health adviser over Brazil. During that mission we also served in the São Paulo Missionary Training Center and in the temple.  Ronald Joseph Dent (

Item:  Help Find These Missionaries

Can anyone give me the real names for "Elder Canas and Elder Prophet" in 1983 in Guarulhos, SP?  See this note.  "Dear Brother Gunn,  We met Sister Lourilene Garcia (Lourilene Candido de Menezes) at a stake conference here in São Paulo.  She would very much like to connect with the missionaries that taught and baptized her.  She sent this information:  Fyi batizada no dia 3 de janeiro de 1983 em Guarulhos pelo Elder Canas e o Elder Prophet.  Her email address is  Will you please share this with the people in your mailing list to see if anyone can help her.   Thanks so much for what you do.  It's a wonderful service.  Quito obrigado.  Abraços,  Elder Dennis Barney (serving in São Paulo).  (

This note from Elder Ron Talbot (BSM  61-63)  Hi Alf,  Sorry that I have not been in contact with you after my email was hacked and I had to set up a new address. Then my wife Linda developed cancer and I cared for her for three years before she died in 2015.  I remarried in 2017 to a wonderful lady, Susan Hamby, and I moved to Chandler, AZ so she could be close to her grandchildren.  We have received a mission call to serve a short term mission in the new Fortaleza Temple to serve with President Paulo and Zuleika Grahl in training new sealers and temple recorders.  We are excited to be able to have this privilege to serve the Brazilian Saints once again after having served in the São Paulo Temple in 05-06.  This past summer, Eric Gessel and I had a great reunion with the Paulo Grahl family in Cedar City as they were there to bless a great granddaughter.  This was the first time that Eric and I had been together since we baptized the Grahl family in Bage' in 1961.  We will arrive in Fortaleza May 30, 2019 and will be there when your tour group arrives in November.  I look forward to seeing you and many other of the old missionaries.  Abraços,  Ron Talbot  (

Brazil needs two retired attorneys

Brazil Needs Two Retired Attorneys Charles Carlston, Area Legal Counsel for Brazil, confirms this immediate need. "There is a current and immediate need for an 'Associate Area Legal Counsel (AALC)' in the Brazil Area Office.  We provide legal support to 35 missions in Brazil. The area of specialty in your USA law practice is not critical.  Two current AALCs practiced in family law, one in workman´s comp. and one in mergers and acquisitions.  Housing is a 10-minute walk from the office and the temple.  Our ward Sacrament and Relief Society meetings are interpreted into English by ward members who speak good English (through earphones) for the wives who don´t speak Portuguese.  So, your wife won´t be lost if she doesn´t speak any Portuguese.  For more information contact me at 801-615-6150 (between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm Utah time Mondays through Fridays and 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturdays). Elder Charles Bradford Carlston, Area Legal Counsel

Meeting pioneer members from Angola

Item:  If you live in Maine you know that many Angolans are immigrating to that state, and some have made it here to Washington where I meet them in the course of my interpreting work.  I was thrilled a few months ago to meet Marinela Leroy and her two pre-teen daughters, when she recognized my Liahona magazine and declared she was LDS too.  I was in the presence of a Mormon pioneer!  A member of the Church for 10 years from Angola!  She and her husband Josipe were married in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple and have three children. And I finally met her husband, Josip Leroy, who joined the Church 19 years ago in that country-before any missionaries arrived.  I had seen his Facebook page and identified him as a "super Mormon"-or I should say fine member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I asked him to share his story and here it is in a nutshell.

MbenzaAngolan pioneer Vuamina Tchaka Mbenza

"Boa tarde irmão Alfredo, Daqui é o irmão Josip Leroy de Angola. Espero que esteja á passar um bom dia. Escrevo para lhe fornecer um breve relato de como foi a organização da igreja em Angola.  A igreja foi organizada pelo irmão Vuamina Tchaka Mbenza, o mesmo conheceu a igreja em França, quando frequentava a sua pós graduação na língua francesa, foi abordado pelos missionários, foi baptizado e daí para frente foi partilhando o evangelho com todos á sua volta.  Não havia missionários em Angola, o irmão Vuamina ensinava-nos que cada membro da igreja era um missionário e por essa razão deveríamos ensinar uns aos outros.

"Os primeiros missionários Angolanos foram:  May Bukaka Bernardo, José Da Silva, José Armando, Tânia Leroy (Josip's sister), Engrácia Z. F. Baptista, and Josip Leroy (my acquaintance at SeaTac, Washington).

"Destes apenas os primeiros três serviram missão fora de Angola.  May Bernardo e José Da Silva serviram em Moçambique.  José Armando serviu em Portugal.  Os três últimos permaneceram como missionários do ramo.

NsumboAngolans Vuamina e sua esposa irmã Nvindo Nsumbo"O irmão Vuamina ensinou-nos a cultura do evangelho de Jesus Cristo, ajudando-nos á deixar muitos dos nossos hábitos e costumes que não se armonizavam com os princípios do evangelho.

"19 anos depois, só imensamente grato pelo excelente exemplo de fé e retidão do irmão Vuamina Tchaka Mbenza, pois sei que se não me tivesse ensinado o evangelho eu não séria o que sou hoje. Provavelmente teria perdido á vida.  Lembro-me do momento em que fui baleado no peito, fiquei em coma por 7 dias, durante esse período eu orava mesmo estando em coma (segundo relatos da minha mãe) á mesmo não saiu do hospital durante os 7 dias que estive em coma.  Sei que essa é a única igreja verdadeira sob a face dá terra.  O poder do sacerdócio é real.  Cordialmente,  Josip Leroy   (Joseph Leroy Leroy)

I shared this information and photos with the young students in my Sunday School class on a recent Sunday, so that they might understand the international nature of the Church.  Then I learned that on that very Sunday Vuamina Tchaka Mbenza was sustained as the first patriarch in Angola.

Note: Brother Leroy's shooting attack in Angola was political rather than merely criminal. The Leroy's have moved from the Seattle Area to Tennessee this month.

Missionary opportunities in Piracicaba

Dear Alf,  We love getting your messages!  As Sister Bangerter and I wind down our service here in the Brazil Piracicaba Mission, we reflect upon how wonderful it has been to have had two missionary couples serving with us - Richard and Sheyla Wager, and David and Kathryn Pierce. The Wagers have done a fantastic job backstopping our office staff, while the Pierces have worked tirelessly to improve our missionary housing! They will be missed!

We would love to have one or two more couples to help the new mission president and wife, President and Sister Bruno Barros, who will be arriving at the end of June. This couple could help in the office and assist with housing, or do either one or the other. There is great flexibility to match the needs and capabilities of the couple. Piracicaba is a beautiful city in the interior of São Paulo, it was rated the #1 city in the state of São Paulo, and #2 in all of Brazil in terms of sanitation, security, clean water, education, arts, health, and sustainability! As a smaller city of 350,000, it makes a perfect place to serve a mission. We have loved it here! The Piracicaba Mission has 8 stakes and one district, with plenty of member support locally should that be necessary. Besides being a great place to live, the region hosts an incredible scenic beauty, along with other attractions as well. We are only a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the Campinas Temple, where a couple could visit when desired. Please post this information in your next newsletter! Interested couples can reach out directly to me on my USA cell phone, 1-801-376-9339. Thecouple housing is a beautiful, comfortable apartment only a couple of blocks from the Mission Home. Come and enjoy Paradise in Brazil while serving the Lord!  Thanks so much!  Howard and Lissa Bangerter Brazil Piracicaba Mission

Brazil dropping tourist visa requirement

Did you hear this? Brazil is dropping its (tourist) visa requirement for U.S. citizens Beginning June 17, 2019, U.S. citizens will no longer need a visa to get into Brazil according to Brazil Tourism as announced on March 18.  Read the hype at

That's all for now, folks!  Aquele forte abraço,   Alf Gunn * Brazilian South Mission 62-65 Gig Harbor, WA


"Imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we."   --Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


Brazil LDS Temple Tour – October 29 to November 15, 2019

Bem vindos!  Welcome! Welcome to a tour of all of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil!  This tour is for all of you missionaries who served in Brazil over the years. Come share sacred experiences with the faithful saints of Brazil, and tour historic districts of modern Brazil.  We are “matando saudades”!

See it at

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