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Cristo300Brasulista #222

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #222
February 10, 2020

Sorry for the delay in publishing this issue.  See some interesting senior missionary opportunities. Don't miss "The Way Things Were" item below which may bring back memories of your own.

"Brasulista" is the name of the original mission letter of the old Brazilian South Mission.  Hence the SUL (south) in the middle of the made-up word.  For years now this newsletter has gone to those who served in many other missions, but the original name stuck.  Just explaining.

Please, when writing to the Brasulista guy, spell Brazil with a z if you are writing in English.  That is the only correct spelling in English.  If you are writing in Portuguese you would spell Brazil with an s of course.  Okay, this is a little fuss of mine.  Indulge me, please.

In this issue:

Seven Temple Tour in Brazil a big success
Serving in Angola where "the opportunities of service are only limited by your imagination"
Current senior missionary needs/opportunities at Brazil Area HQ, listed
Human Rights Education Missionaries at Brazil
Share a missionary story on a Facebook page for Brazilian youth
Passing of JaLayne Garlick Bangerter, wife of Glenn Paulo Bangerter
Called to Serve
Pathways Missionaries can serve from home Virtual Pathways Missionaries - a different opportunity!  Serve from home
The Way Things Were: Dona Elizabeth and the early church at Santo Amaro
Speaking Portuguese in France
Remembering the Mormon Melodaires of 1962
More about Pathways Missionary service

Read this issue at . . . . . a blog provided for us by Michael Leavitt (BPAM 86-88) of Orem, UT.  (

Seven Temple Tour in Brazil a big success

I must mention the wonderful tour of seven temples in Brazil we did last November.  Almost all of our 38 travelers were former senior missionaries in Brazil, including four former-mission-president couples.  Oh, we had a fine group!  The trip was co-hosted and organized much by Adalton and Delgia Parrela of Florianopolis. Visiting the temples and being with the saints of Brazil in church and temples were spiritual highlights.  The mission presidents held reunions in many cities with their former missionaries, now with young families and many church leadership callings.  Of course, we played tourists too.  We only lost one sister to the Amazon-that is, while she was fishing for the giant prehistoric Pirarucú fish (A. arapaima) in a demonstration pool on a low dock, the fighting fish let loose and caused her to lose her balance and fall back off of the dock into the Amazon.  She popped up laughing and was such a good sport about it.

In a note to fellow travelers, one couple wrote, "We would also like to thank each of you for the amazing experience this month! We are still marveling at everything this trip brought to us, and the exceptionally fine people we shared our time and service with for over 2 weeks. In all the traveling we have done worldwide, this trip is a spiritual highlight, in our top 3 vacations ever!" Another couple wrote "Thanks to Alf, the Parrelas, Dick Jensen and our guide Daniel for making this wonderful temple trip happen."  I echo that thanks to all who participated and made it wonderful.


Serving in Angola where "the opportunities of service are only limited by your imagination"

Elder Laird Swensen (BM 64-66) and Sister Gloria Swensen of Salt Lake City wrote from their mission in Angola:  Alf, As you remember we are here because of the note Elder Stan Ellis put in the Brasulista that touched our hearts.  Maybe someone else will be touched. What a great use of technology this newsletter is. Thank you for helping us to serve in Africa.  It has changed our lives.

In a few weeks, we will be returning home after serving in Angola for one year. We will have the opportunity to see the first stake organized in Angola.  Elder Joni Koch from Brazil and Elder Artur Miranda from Angola will be organizing the stake.  I was in São Paulo on May 1, 1966 when Elder Spencer W Kimble organized the first stake in South America.  This will be a major step forward for the growth and development of the Church in Angola.  Any senior couple considering a Portuguese speaking mission could not find a more rewarding experience than here. Luanda is the third largest Portuguese speaking city in the world right after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.  The living conditions are exceptional with air conditioning.  The opportunities of service are only limited by your imagination.  We have served as mission secretary and financial secretary, medical advisor for Angola and Mozambique, Family History consultants including beginning the process of preserving the vital records of the government and Catholic church, oral histories of the pioneers of the Church in Angola, and a wheelchair program partnering with a local NGO.  The Angolan people are open, friendly, and receptive.  It has the feel of Brazil 50 years ago.  The field is white and ready to harvest.  Please feel free to contact us or Presidente Denelson Silva for further information.  Com muito amor,  Elder Laird and Sister Gloria Swensen ( Internet Phone 385-355-0107 (

Current senior missionary needs/opportunities at Brazil Area HQ, listed

 Elder Neale Wooters and his wife of Humble, TX, currently serving at São Paulo as Brazil Area Welfare Specialists, advise "Most couples serve 18-23 months but some serve 12 months. We love serving with other senior couples in the Brazil Area office.  It's a great place for sisters who speak no Portuguese to come and be in a safe environment - many people speak English around the office and of course other senior couples.  It's also a great time to be in Brazil (when isn't?) and we have found São Paulo to be a wonderful place to live.  Here are the current and projected needs of the Area office as I understand them:

  • - Legal - there are two here now and one will leave in April.  8 months ago there were 4 of them and work is falling behind now.
  • - Medical - we have one medical and one mental health doctor - and need a third.  It's a high priority and is being worked, but no one is confirmed yet.
  • - Welfare - Family Services - The couple went home in August and has not been replaced.  Does not need to be filled by someone who has been a Family Services professional
  • - Public Affairs - the couple is to be released in June
  • - Family History - June
  • - In the Fall we have several additional releases - Area Auditor (SEP), Welfare (NOV), Travel (NOV).

Elder Neale Wooters - BSM 70-72   (

Human Rights Education Missionaries in Brazil

Human Rights Education Missionaries Don and Ellen Holsinger, known to many of the Brazilian Mission alumni, continue to serve as Technical Advisors and Advisory Board members with Geneva Office for Human Rights Education (GO-HRE).  They write: Dear fellow Brazilian missionaries,   We are authorized to search for a replacement couple for our dear friends and colleagues, Leonel and Lívia Sá Maia who are completing their two-year assignment in São Paulo. Specifically, the calling is as Human Rights Education missionaries. For more information regarding this new Church program please visit the website In a word, GO-HRE promotes the teaching of the "Colega" lessons to children from 6 to 16. The Church has a special interest, of course, in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which concerns the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief. We are hopeful that the new couple could be in Brazil by middle to late August of this year. The Maias will return for an indefinite period in order to orient the new couple. Ideally, one member of the couple would have teaching experience and both would be Portuguese speaking. Those who have an interest in this assignment should first contact us ( or and we will then explain the procedure for applying as a senior missionary couple. If anyone is interested but would prefer an assignment to Lusophone Africa or elsewhere in the world, please indicate this preference in your reply to us.  Many thanks for your consideration, Don and Ellen Holsinger (

Share a missionary story on a Facebook page for Brazilian youth

 Item:  Would you like to share a mission story to encourage young Brazilians to serve a mission?  Here is a Facebook page for that purpose.  See it here with entries in English and Portuguese:   Explained further:

"Olá irmão Gunn, Sou dono de uma página no facebook com quase 10000 seguidores, que ajuda jovens futuros missionários da igreja e sempre tenho demanda para bons relatos e fotos.  Agradeço se tiver algumas boas histórios suas!!!!  Será que você pode me conseguir alguns antigos missionários que gostariam de contar suas histórios como forma de ajudar os jovens que, não eventualmente, estão com dúvidas sobre ir ou não pra missão? Fico muito grato desde já por sua disposição de ajudar e reunir estes antigos missionários da igreja que, com certeza, já passaram por tanta coisa e tem tanto para contribuir para apoiar aqueles que ainda vão para a missão. Elder França - Missão Brasil Manaus 1996 a 1998 Cell phone and whatsapp contact: +55 21 96423 5147

Passing of JaLayne Garlick Bangerter, wife of Glenn Paulo Bangerter.

Passing of JaLayne Garlick Bangerter, wife of Glenn Paulo Bangerter. JaLayne Garlick Bangerter (1961-2019) passed away unexpectedly on December 23, 2019 at age 58.  From 2015-2018 she and her husband served as Mission President and Wife in the Brazil Salvador South Mission. She deeply loved the people of Salvador Brazil and Bahia and was admired and loved by the over 350 missionaries who she served.

 Passing of Thomas F. Jensen

Since the last newsletter we also noted the passing of Thomas F. Jensen on November 25, 2019 at age 89.  He was President of the Brazilian South Mission, 1967 - 1970, and beloved of his missionaries. He moved the mission headquarters from Curitiba to Porto Alegre during his tenure. His son Dick Jensen is our travel agent friend and was baptized at Curitiba and later served his mission in Brazil.

Called to Serve

 Called to Serve On November 22, 2019, Eric Peterson (BSM 70-72) of San Marcos, TX, reported:  Hi Alf, Just wanted to report that my wife Sarah and I have been called to serve in the Brazil Area Office in Sao Paulo, to serve as Travel Coordinators for 12 months. We finished our first week of training in the Provo MTC last week and are now anxiously waiting for our visas to come through, which should be early next week.  (

Pathways Missionaries can serve from home Virtual Pathways Missionaries - a different opportunity!  Serve from home.

Pathways Missionaries - a different opportunity! Sara and Norm Potter (BSM 65-67) of Kaysville, UT, were on our recent tour of seven temples in Brazil in November.  Writing to their fellow travelers, they shared information about an exciting way to serve:  "We would also like to thank each of you for the amazing experience this month! We are still marveling at everything this trip brought to us, and the exceptionally fine people we shared our time and service with for over two weeks. In all the traveling we have done worldwide, this trip is a spiritual highlight, in our top 3 vacations ever!

We have now started the application process to be Pathway Missionaries in the Brazil Virtual department, which means meeting online weekly with a group of about 20 adult Brazilian students of all ages from all areas of the Brazilian nation. We learned that they need a few more such church service missionaries now, to start in January 2020, but the even bigger need will be in January 2021, as the current set of missionaries will be concluding their 2-year commitment. If you are interested, for either now or later, for this 3-5 hr/week support missionary opportunity to serve our Brazilian brothers and sisters (in English with Portuguese language background being helpful) contact the BYU-Idaho Pathway office in SLC. Elder and Sister Lowry are the overall directors, and Sis. Cheryl Cheek is the Brazil Virtual coordinator. (This is a worldwide program with groups in many countries, but we figure you would be most interested in the Brazil program. ALSO---the virtual program is available to single missionaries, male or female. It is performed from your own computer in your own home).  (

Note:  See more details about Pathways Missions from home at the end of this Brasulista, below.

The Way Things Were: Dona Elizabeth and the early church at Santo Amaro

Item:  The Way Things Were --A story: This came from Clinton Lingren (BM 58-61) of San Diego, CA, after learning of the passing of Llewellin Leigh (BM 56-59) of Springville, UT, in December 2018:  "Elder Llewellin Leigh was a great TSE who helped me immensely. He was very patient with me as he tried to help me learn brief phrases in Portuguese. I doubt there was ever a missionary who found it more difficult to learn those phrases than me.

In the middle of my mission, I was made senior companion and sent to Santo Amaro (SP), and in a couple of weeks, he came to help me. Our living conditions were poor: a dirty pensão where we ate all of our meals was far from our proselyting area. He suggested that we find a new place to live.

We took the bonde toward our work area until Elder Leigh said, "let's get off here." At that stop, Brooklin-Paulista, was a gift shop. We asked if they knew of any room to rent and were directed to the home of Dona Elizabeth Hahman who was and had been a concert pianist since age 13 and lived in a beautiful home, and we moved into an upstairs bedroom in her home. We were definitely led by the Holy Ghost that day, which led to great growth in numbers and in spirituality in the Santo Amaro Branch in the coming months.

At age 13 Dona Elizabeth had become interested in the Church but had been forbidden by her mother who by now was no longer living. The very first Sunday after we moved into her home, she came to Church with us. The next day she asked if she might have permission to go to the church and do some cleaning.  She spent an entire day cleaning, primarily the bathroom that was used by the Elders that lived in the maids' quarters behind the rented house that was our church. The bathroom was also the restroom for members when they were at the church.  She was convinced that Elders had showered for years in that bathroom without ever having cleaned the tub and other fixtures.  When she had finished cleaning, she taught the Elders how to clean the bathroom every time they used it and to keep it clean for the members.

Having accomplished a clean bathroom that was respectable for church members, Dona Elizabeth observed that the bare wall behind the pulpit was not attractive and suggested that a ceiling to floor curtain covering that wall would enhance the chapel and provide a pleasant view while watching the speaker.  I had worked for my father doing some upholstery and furniture refinishing before my mission. Therefore, Elder Groom and I found some beautiful sheer cream-colored fabric that met Dona Elizabeth's specifications. We measured the space and I cut out the material and pinned the pleated gathers for the top, and Dona Elizabeth sewed and hemmed the curtain. When we hung it across the entire wall, ceiling to floor, it was beautiful and provided the atmosphere she desired.

With the front of the chapel improved, Dona Elizabeth observed that the curtains at the windows were old and drab and dirty and needed to be replaced. She also observed that the pulpit was marred and looked terrible.  We bought fabric for the windows and she made curtains and I refinished the pulpit.

What we had accomplished made a huge improvement in the chapel, but it was now apparent that it was in need of paint.  We purchased the needed supplies and invited the members to help us paint but received very poor response. My companion and I then invited our investigators to help and they all came.  We painted the entire inside of the church and then moved to the outside and painted the entire church.  Many of the investigators who painted were baptized.

We often worked from early morning to 11:00 at night and I would find my tired companion asleep on the front step of the church when we were ready to leave. We took time out only to go to scheduled appointments to teach our investigators.  The church looked beautiful and all of our investigators got baptized.  Because we could no longer fit in the chapel we had painted, two months after we completed the church, we moved to another rented home about a block away that was beautiful and was much bigger and could seat almost 100 people in the living room that we used for a chapel.  Our attendance had increased from about 15 to 70.  My companion and I counted as proselyting only the time that we were teaching and the work on the church was counted as branch business.  As a result, we had high baptisms but the lowest proselyting hours in the mission.

Dona Elizabeth, who was primarily responsible for what was accomplished in the Santo Amaro Branch while we were there, came each week and accompanied the singing in church on the pump organ for Sunday School in the morning and Sacrament meeting in the evening. She also tried to inspire the members for more refinement by inviting them to her home for violin and piano concerts put on by her and a professional violinist friend.

The time came when she was ready to be baptized. A Supervising Elder came and interviewed her, and she and he signed her baptismal papers.  That night she had a heart attack and cried out.  We ran to her room and, recognizing what was happening, tried to give her artificial respiration but to no avail.  She died, and we held a funeral for her with branch members in her home and then attended the funeral in the Lutheran Church where she was on their rolls. If my memory serves me correctly, her minister and others of her acquaintances attended our service in her home along with our members.

After my mission, I went to Salt Lake to the Genealogical Department and was able to obtain permission to do her temple work because I had her baptismal papers with her signature. My sister was baptized for her and my mother did her endowment in the Idaho Falls temple.  Clinton Lingren (

Speaking Portuguese in France

Item:  Hi Alf. Your comments about how many Portuguese live in Paris made me chuckle.  In 1975 I was sent to work in Grenoble, France for several years (I was working for Hewlett-Packard Co.).  I hardly spoke a word of French, but I was told that most of the HP employees there spoke English.  On the second Sunday we were there I received a telephone call from the mission president in Geneva.  At that time, Grenoble and most the south of France was part of the Geneva Mission.  He asked me to serve in the district council for the Lyon District.  I told him I couldn't speak French.  How could I possibly accept the call.  He insisted that I would do OK.  So the very next Sunday there was a district conference in Lyon where I was sustained.  It was then that I learned that the mission president had served in Brazil (I don't remember his name anymore.).  He told me that when he heard that I had served in Brazil, he was confident that I could handle the job.

Much to my chagrin, during the conference, he pulled a surprise stunt and asked me to speak.  Someone had to inform me that he had called on me.  So I stood up and bore my testimony using a few French words and the rest in Portuguese.  I was very embarrassed.  As soon as the meeting was over, I discovered why I had been called.  I was surrounded by dozens and dozens of Portuguese members who lived in the Lyon area who were delighted to finally have someone in the district council who would represent them and help them with their needs.  The mission president smiled at me and said, "I told you so."

As it turned out, few of the HP employees spoke much English, so I had to quickly learn French, and had a very rewarding three years implementing the seminary program and serving in district presidencies there and my Portuguese was invaluable when I was in charge of Super Saturdays in Lyon where there were hundreds of young Portuguese members.  In addition, my parents served in the Boston Massachusetts mission and helped many Portuguese members who were delighted to know one of their sons had served in Brazil. Richard Rands (62-65) (

Remembering the Mormon Melodaires of 1962

Church History Library:  A call for recollections of the Mormon Melodaires of 1962. Dear Missionaries, Specialists in the Church History Library/Church Archives wish to formally compile and preserve the history and artifacts of the Mormon Melodaires, the missionary quartet who did concert tours in 1962 of the Brazilian South Mission (under President Finn B. Paulsen), the Brazilian Mission (under President William Grant Bangerter) and the Uruguayan Mission (under President Thomas Fyans) to promote the name and image of the Church and to assist in proselyting. Jim Smith, Ken Nielson and Susan Ridd (surviving spouse of Gordon Ridd) are coordinating the effort. Ken is in poor health and is making this history a high priority.  We welcome any personal memories, journal entries, pictures, notes on how performances affected proselyting and morale of church members in your city/branch and personal knowledge of any convert baptisms stemming from contact with Mormon Melodaires. Please send them by email to: Jim Smith ( 801-669-3102

Um abraço,Alf Gunn * Brazilian South Mission 62-65 Gig Harbor, WA  


Note: Deaths of former missionaries are not generally posted in the Brasulista, as there would be so many of them, with the exception of former mission presidents.

More about Pathways Missionary service

Missionaries Can Help Brazilian Students from Home! This is Jeff Barneck (BNM 73-75). My wife JoLynn and I have been serving as BYU Pathway missionaries in Taylorsville Utah for three years and have just been called to be Area Support Missionaries for the Brazil area for BYU Pathway.

 Pathway Worldwide, a program that works with BYU Idaho, offers students throughout the world an opportunity to gain higher education and get better jobs. In addition to taking classes online, the students form gathering groups that, over time, become like families, supporting and encouraging each other. Each group is headed by church service (part-time) missionaries. Currently, the numbers of students in Brazil who want to be in the Pathway program is exploding, but we don't have enough church missionaries to lead the gatherings. Church service missionaries for PathwayConnect serve from 3 to 5 hours a week, leading a gathering of approximately 20-25 students. They don't teach the students (the online course instructors do that), but they encourage them and love them. They help students who may feel unsure about themselves to gain the confidence that they can succeed. Basically, they are cheerleaders! Missionaries are trained in how to use Zoom, an online program similar to Skype, so they can meet with students online. The gatherings are once a week for 1 to 1 ½ hours, and most of the leading is done by the students. What's Required? Be a Church member with ecclesiastical endorsement Have access to a computer with high-speed Internet Commit to 3-5 hours a week Attend weekly gatherings Desire to serve and a love of people What's Not Required? NO need to move from home NO fixed, inflexible commitment NO need to be married NO release from present calling NO need to learn a new language NO need for a college degree

 If you love the people of Brazil, you are needed! If you have questions, please contact Cheryl Cheek at


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