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Cristo300Brasulista #226


Brasulista
Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #226
August 29, 2020


Bom dia!


In this issue:

  • Paulo Bangerter on senior service in Brazil today and vision for the future
    Updates on Elders Elder Hélio da Rocha Camargo and Athos Amorím
    Observations of one who returned to Brazil as a construction manager
    Remembering Brazil Area President Harold Hillam
    Book of Mormon Central resources to be translated into Portuguese
    Givaldo do Nascimento celebrates 50 years of membership in Santos
    Worn out pants

How about that recent snow in the south of Brazil! For fun, google “imagem boneco de neve no Brasil” Engraçado.


Paulo Bangerter on senior service in Brazil today and vision for the future

Item: Paulo Bangerter sends this report of the work in Brazil at the present time. I believe he shares the vision that his father, Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, had of the work in Brazil, who almost gave his life in bringing about the calling of Brazilian young men to full-time missions in an era when local leaders had not yet caught that vision. Here is Paulo’s message for us today:

“Dear Alf. I have wanted to reach out and thank you many times for your efforts in keeping the Brasulista alive. It is a link to the past and a window to the future infused with love for the Work and the spirit of the Lord.

“My wife Jalayne and I returned from our mission assignment in the Salvador South Bahia Mission in July of 2018. It was a remarkable 3 years. We miss it. The church grew while we were there and continues to grow. When I was a young missionary in 1978 there were no members in Bahia. How thrilled we were when in the October 2018 conference they announced a new temple would be built in Salvador. We wept with joy. Members in the area had to take bus caravans of over 30 hours from many places to get to either São Paulo or Recife.

“My wife Jalayne - who you met once or twice at reunions with my father - passed away suddenly two days before Christmas last year. We have been married 39 years so it has been a big blow to me. But it was a real treat for me and for her during our three years to learn all about why Brazil really is uma terra de promissão - and it was delightful to watch her learn Portuguese and when she prayed in that language or any other you could FEEL the love of the Lord and the power of the spirit.

"We love Brazil and the possibilities of missionary work there. My young mission was to Portugal - we love Portugal too. We had dreams of going to Lisbon to serve in the temple there and then to go back and serve in the temple in Bahia. Dreams are sweet.

“My dad liked to say ... there are only two kinds of missionaries - those that served in Brazil and those that wish they did! (We later added Portugal to that when dad was called to open Portugal in 1974. )

“In our recent míssion in the Salvador South Mission we worked with over 350 missionaries. Covered an area larger than Germany and saw many miracles. They continue today in the lives of the missionaries and members. We are grateful that technology allows for a more convenient way of staying in touch. There are still two cities in our mission boundaries that have over 100,000 people but no missionaries or members. There are perhaps ten cities of over 50k within the mission boundaries that have no missionaries or members. It is still on the frontier of the gospel! There is much work to be done and more missionaries are needed.

“Even with a good strong base the church still needs more maturity in Brazil. There are over 75,000 youth of mission age but only about 5,000 serving. If we could get 7,000 serving they could open up 5 more missions and all of these cities!!!

“If couples could come they could get the 7000 out serving. The influence of mature missionary couples has not been fully felt in Brazil. I think it is because there has not yet been a generation with many couples of missionary age. Few Brazilians served as Missionaries prior to 1977.

“Since 1977 thousands upon thousands have gone. Only now are the first wave of RMs reaching retirement age. In the next decade these RMs and their wives will be retiring and MANY will be able to serve and the numbers will be increasingly larger. But today there are not enough couples available to have even ONE couple constantly in each of the 36 missions in Brazil.
“When we arrived in Salvador in 2015 there were no senior couples serving in our mission for over a year! We eventually got one Brazilian couple from Paraná. They were amazing. Wherever they served more people went to the temple - more youth served missions and more baptisms took place. Sacrament attendance more than doubled and life was breathed into the branches. Imagine if every mission in Brazil had two or three couples! Or five or six! Not merely office staff but people out ministering in the wards and branches. I tell you it will carry Brazil through another great surge as the church approaches its centennial in Brazil a stronger and more stable growth will happen.

“Obrigado irmão por seu grande amor e exemplo. Um forte abraço.

Seu irmão. Paulo Bangerter” (paulo.bangerter@gmail.com)


Updates on Elders Elder Hélio da Rocha Camargo and Athos Amorím

Item: In the last Brasulista I wrote of the passing of Sister Nair Camargo as if her husband Elder Hélio da Rocha Camargo had predeceased her. Not so. Thanks to Brother Jairo Mazzagardi, former member of the Brazil Area Presidency, we get this report: “Caro Alfred, Apenas uma correção importante! Hélio da Rocha Camargo e eu tenho visitado 2 ou 3 vezes ao ano e o visitei em 24 de janeiro de 2020 pouco antes dele completar 94 anos. E liguei para ele em abril quando da morte da irmã Nair. Ele está bem lúcido , e ainda se lembra dos nomes dos seus missionários e de toda liderança antiga e pergunta de pessoas por nome , e se lembra de datas. Quando estive lá a última vez ele estava pintando um quadro da foto de seu avô. Bem parabéns pelo Brasulista que sempre nos traz informações e lembranças de nossos valentes missionários pioneiros no Brasil. Abraços, Jairo Mazzagardi (mazzagardij@churchofjesuschrist.org)

We also get an update on Elder Athos Amorím, “Athos Amorím que é pai do Manoel e do Paulo Amorím serviu como presidente da missão Fortaleza 1990 a 1993 serviu como Autoridade Geral e depois como Presidente do Templo de São Paulo a esposa dele Maria Alice esta muito bom os dois filhos serviram como presidente de missão em Portugal. Em junho Elder Athos Amorím completou 88 anos.”

Read more about these Brazilian pioneer members by Googling Elder Athos Amorím or Elder Hélio R. Camargo and seeing the Church biographical notes.


Observations of one who returned to Brazil as a construction manager

More regarding the Camargo’s as early pioneers in Brazil, from Dan Fish (BM 64-67) of Dayton, OH, one of our missionaries who returned to Brazil to do an amazing work:

“Last month’s issue was of special interest to me as it informed me of the death of Sister Nair Camargo. I remembered her soft voice welcoming me to the branch (which was to become a ward in a few months). Her husband spoke with such conviction and was very articulate in his speech. I was honored to participate in the baptism of three families while laboring in Bosque and Jardim da Saude. The experiences there have lasted a life time and sustained me in my service. I watched four young men (W. Gomes, H. Klein, P Puerta and D Talanskas) advance in the Priesthood and become great leaders of the Church in Brazil through Bishop Camargo. Most of these young men would divide up with us Elders in the evenings to expand our reach to more investigators. Helio gave me and my companion several referrals all of whom were baptized.

“I got to know Fernando and Marcia Camargo as they were teenagers in the Ward. The chapel was in construction and we worked alongside the construction missionaries each Monday. I was in this branch/ward for the seven months of January July 1966 and was then transferred to Santana and Casa Verde. I was there for the dedication of the Chapel and the organization of the 1st Stake in South America.

“I returned to Brazil as an area construction manager in 1977-1978 and again in 1981-1982 as the area physical facilities manager. The church growth had exploded and there were over a hundred chapels in planning or in construction during this later period. I again connected with Jason and worked with him and Helio. They both were on the Area Council representing various regions of the country. My heart still swells when I think back on so many events and experiences that took place with so many members. Aldo Francesconi was another great leader from a nearby branch, he was one of my regional construction managers in Recife and had a tremendous impact on the growth (1981) in that area.

“My only son was born there in1978 and my last daughter in 1982. My third daughter served her mission in Belo in 1997-98 and her husband Clark Pew also served in Belo Mission. Brazil is in our blood. Dan Fish" (wamrkdfsh@gmail.com)


Remembering Brazil Area President Harold Hillam

Alf’s note: Regarding the four young men in Bishop Camargo’s ward mentioned by Brother Fish, here is some information I believe is accurate if incomplete:

Wilson Gomes served his youth mission in the Andean Mission and he and his wife Regina presided over the Brazil João Pessoa Mission 98-01. He died in January 2016. His brother Henrique Gomes Jr. presided over the Brazil Maceió Mission.

Harry Klein and his wife Maria presided over the Brazil Recife Mission 79-82

Paulo R. Puerta and his wife Rita presided over the Brazil Recife Mission 82-85

Danilo Talanskas and his wife Marina presided the Santo Amaro Stake, over the Rio de Janeiro Mission 81-84, and he served as a Regional Representative.


Book of Mormon Central resources to be translated into Portuguese

David Mills (BM 66-68) of Boise, ID, shares some interesting conversations:

Several years ago [the late https://bookofmormoncentral.org/) a not-for-profit public charity whose mission is to help people everywhere build enduring faith in Jesus Christ by making the Book of Mormon accessible, comprehensible, and defensible. If you haven’t already looked at the many offerings of BoMC, you will want to check out their website. You’ll probably get hooked immediately on their many videos and articles.

"Here’s where things may be of even more interest to readers of the Brasulista. BoMC has already translated much of what they offer into Spanish. They now want to translate into Portuguese. They have a volunteer team of Brazilians working on the translation and are currently translating (using Portuguese sub-titles) some of the many offerings of BoMC, “Come, Follow Me Insights” and a few of the 570 KnoWhys. Check out these links to a few KnoWhys and one week of “Come Follow Me Insights.”

KnoWhy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RyIL8sGCYI

KnoWhy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRp6XVgevY4

Come Follow Me Insights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euDvp_adgzU&t=192s

“To translate into Portuguese what has been translated into Spanish, BoMC needs to hire people to work on the translation full time. In order to hire people, they need to raise money through contributions. Dale Bradford (Brazil São Paulo North 1974-76 and President of the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission 2005-08) is heading up the effort to translate into Portuguese. If you have any desire to help in any way or to contribute or have questions, contact Dale at bradfordbrazil@gmail.com or call him at 513 260-1501. Contributions of any amount are welcomed. It is exciting to know that more resources about the Book of Mormon will soon be available to the many Portuguese-speaking members of the Church. Um abraço, Jim Welch” (james@welch.net)


Givaldo do Nascimento celebrates 50 years of membership in Santos

Alf’s note: Stake President Givaldo do Nascimento of Santos became one of my personal heroes when I heard him speak to missionaries at the MTC São Paulo in 2004—telling of his conversion at age 15 and bearing a sweet and powerful testimony. Over the years since then this wonderful brother has met our cruise ships twice when they arrived at Santos on Sundays and taken our travelers to church. I told his story in Brasulista #24, but repeat it here and then share his testimony today as he is celebrating 50 years since his baptism. I love this brother. His testimony is my testimony too.

At the CTM one Sunday in February (2004), we listened to a marvelous devotional fireside talk by Givaldo do Nascimento, President of the Santos Stake, who was born in 1955 and joined the Church at age 15. From my notes, here is his talk. He was from a very poor family of 11 children from the slums of Santos, and one night he walked past the LDS meetinghouse on his way home from the Presbyterian Church, and saw a friend inside. He went in and never returned to his previous church. He loved the gospel and this Church, and was taught and baptized. He learned he was unable to pass or bless the sacrament because of the “matter of lineage,” as he says, at that time. Never mind; he loved the Church and knew it was true. So he would arrive at 6:50 am every Sunday, open all the classrooms and set them up with chairs, chalk, erasers, and clean all the pews. Finally, the bishop gave him the key to the building, saying he arrived before the bishopric each week anyway. The only mission Brother Nascimento could hope to serve was a construction mission, and when he reached the age to do so he was told that unfortunately the Church was discontinuing construction missions. He decided to serve his own mission, by speaking to friends. He brought 24 persons into the Church.

He was a young married man with a one year-old son when the Declaration on the Priesthood was announced. From then on his goal in life was that his son would one day serve a full-time mission, which he later did in fulfillment of President Nascimento’s dream. [This son and his wife were at the devotional, with their young child.] Following the revelation regarding the priesthood Brother Nascimento received many phone calls from missionaries with whom he had served in Santos, who called to express their joy. The bishop called him in, interviewed him immediately and ordained him a priest. The next meeting he was called and ordained an elder. Then a high priest, and called to serve on the stake high council. Six years later he was called as a bishop. [I believe it was the second time he was called to be bishop that . . . ] But he may hold the record for the shortest term as a bishop. One week later, at stake conference, President Kent Jolley called him to be the new stake president. “My wife cried a lot—we never expected it.” One week later he had to release himself as bishop and he called the recently released stake president to be the bishop.

When he had married his wife, she a returned missionary, they had nothing—no stove, no fridge, no table or chairs—just one sofa bed. Their table was cardboard on the floor; their stove was a milk can with alcohol. They had purchased a stove but were unable to make the payments so it was repossessed, with their only pan in it!

He had no job. He promised the Lord he would read the scriptures 30 minutes daily, would pray, fast weekly, and attend the temple weekly and always pay his tithing. Two days later he took an insurance course, where he was invited by a classmate to go to work where she worked. He says, I wasn’t worthy, but the Lord knew I would do my part, so he fronted me the blessing. His new co-workers bought him a stove and a set of pans. He saved his money and bought an ugly VW, and surprised his wife by opening the door of the car on the street. It was sufficient, he says.

“The Church changed my life and my heart,” he says. “I knew I could make something of myself with the Lord’s help. The Lord has opened many doors. Without the gospel we reach nothing of worth. It is truly a safe port.” President Nascimento has had a very successful insurance business for years now, and five children plus one adopted child, which he counts as great blessings. Now the Lord blesses him with a new car every year. “Our trials,” he says, “are our blessings, and we need to recognize them as such. We ought to conquer step-by-step,” he counseled the missionaries. “Make your lives an eternal quest for learning. Read the scriptures. We have the gospel, prophets, and apostles. The Lord is with us. This should be our goal—nothing will stop us. After 18 or 24 months you will count your blessings and not want to go home. Show the Lord that His sacrifice was not in vain. Show your parents you are valiant. The Church is true. I love you missionaries,” he told them.

“Dia 23 de julho passado completei 50 anos de batismo na igreja, fui o pioneiro da família e hoje tenho 06 filhos sendo 02 homens e 04 mulheres e 03 deles ex missionários. Entre filhos e irmãos que batizei na igreja e que hoje estão firmes no evangelho somos 37 Suds. Fui abençoado pelo Senhor de poder servir em muitos chamados dentro da igreja entre eles bispo por duas vezes e presidente de estaca por 10 anos e diretor regional de Assuntos Públicos para área da Missão Santos (Área compreendida entre as divisas do Rio de Janeiro e Paraná) por 10 anos acabei de ser desobrigado, pois o diretor regional de assuntos Públicos só pode servir por 05 anos e eu já estava com 10 anos servindo, sou muito grato pelas oportunidades que o Senhor me deu pra desenvolver os meus dons e talentos servindo os seus filhos e a comunidade até o momento. Acabei de me aposentar como corretor de seguros, mas continuo trabalhando por mais algum tempo pra continuar ajudando os filhos que estão desempregados por causa da pandemia do Coronavírus. Conheci a igreja com 15 anos de idade e hoje estou com 65 anos de idade. Na igreja conheci o verdadeiro sentido da vida e adquiri uma visão da veracidade do evangelho e de tudo que o Senhor tem reservado pra nós se vivermos de uma maneira digna, vivendo os mandamentos e seguindo os principios cristãos que nos levara de volta a mansão celestial. Tenho me esforçado pra viver o evangelho, seguir os conselhos das autoridades gerais e locais e servir com bastante diligência nos chamados da igreja. Estou aprendendo ainda muita coisa na igreja; me sinto ainda um servo inútil que precisa melhorar e muito para agradecer a Deus pelas bençãos recebidas dele em toda minha vida e estarei sempre pronto para servi-lo onde ele desejar. Agradeço muito por ter conhecido lideres maravilhosos na igreja que me ajudaram e me ensinaram as verdades do evangelho e a maneira de servir ao Senhor. Tenho uma esposa maravilhosa, excelente mãe, maravilhosa avó e grande companheira que sempre me apoiou nos meus chamados. Resumindo sou um homem feliz. Um grande abraço. Givaldo do Nascimento” (givaldoseguros@globo.com)


Worn out pants 

Regarding “Does this remind you of something? Worn-out pants” in Brasulista #225. Ross Gedeborg (BSCentM 71-73) shares this: “In 1972 I was serving in Santos. I had the same problem due to bicycle wear on the seat of my pants. This was my best suit, so I took the pants to a tailor and asked him if he could do "invisible reweaving." He assured me that he could. When I picked up the pants, he had put a piece of cloth on the inside, over the area, and ran rows of machine stitching back and forth. There was nothing "Invisible" about it, and it was as stiff as a piece of cardboard. So we went shopping for new pants. The ones the store clerk showed us had no pockets at all. I asked where you would keep your keys and wallet, and he said, "In one of these." It looked like a clutch purse. I bought the pants anyway, but not the purse. We asked him about the gospel and ended up baptizing him. God does work in strange and mysterious ways. (rl@gedeb.org)


Thanks to all for sharing. There is more to come. Look for the next Brasulista in the near future. Stay safe and well and bloom where you are planted.

Aquele forte abraço, Alf Gunn BSM 62-65 Gig Harbor, WA alf.gunn@gmail.com 253-307-3338

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