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Cristo300Brasulista #227

Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #227
September 21, 2020

Odds and ends today, folks. Enjoy.

In this issue:

  • Hélio da Rocha Camargo notes
    Video: “Today is the Day” filmed in Rio and Carlos “Wizard” Martins
    Who were the artists who did the paintings and sculptures? Answered.
    The ripple effect of a baptism
    James Crawley recalled as his widow toured Brazil

Hélio da Rocha Camargo notes

Bom dia irmão, Só queria comentar o que David Mills disse a respeito do Hélio da Rocha Camargo. Ele foi Bispo da Ala II Bosque e não da Ala V Pinheiros. Sei disse porque éramos da mesma estaca e ele nos casou. Naquela época foi crida a primeira Estaca da América do Sul , Estaca São Paulo Brasil e ele foi chamado como Bispo e alguns anos depois a Estaca dividiu e o Irmão Camargo foi chamado como Presidente da nova Estaca. Espero ter ajudado. Rita C Puerta (

Former mission president James Urry reminds me that Paulo Puerta, who with his wife Rita, presided over the Brazil Recife Mission as mentioned in Brasulista #226, “also served as the president of the Brazil MTC and later as an Area Seventy.” He was one of the boys recalled in Bishop Camargo’s ward.

Honestly, folks, I can’t keep up with all of the giants of the church in Brazil. But I’m glad they have been raised up.

Video: “Today is the Day” filmed in Rio and Carlos “Wizard” Martins

Item: The following video is a repeat from 2015, but I stumbled upon it again and was carried away to Rio again—not where I served my mission, but where I have visited many times since as a tourist in the company of former missionaries. See the video link below.

Dear Alfred, My name is Luis Martins (of Orlando, FL) and I have been receiving your newsletters ever since you started sending them out. I greatly appreciate receiving them.
I have been wanting to send you a link to a song about Rio that I have co-written and produced, but unfortunately never got to do it until now. I think that every missionary that has served in Brazil would enjoy listening to it. I served in São Paulo South in 1981 - 1982 under Presidents Cardon and Hawkins. When it came time to record the song I went after one of my best missionary friends, Elder Brian Merrill, to see if he would be interested in recording it for me. He gracefully and gladly accepted the invitation. I am glad he did.

The song was produced to be used as an ESL teaching tool for the Wizard language school in Brazil. My brother Carlos had asked me to produce a song that would be somewhat similar to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Well, here is Brian Merrill singing “Today Is The Day”. Enjoy it! Luis Martins Orlando FL (

Alf’s note: Brother Carlos “Wizard” Martins established the Wizard Language schools in Brazil that taught over 2 million students in the largest network of language schools in the world. The business was acquired in 2013 by a British education and publishing company, Pearson Education, in the largest acquisition ever in Brazil in the education industry. Brother Martins has parlayed the proceeds into some 20 other start-ups in Brazil including bringing Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC to that country.


Who were the artists who did the paintings and sculptures? Answered.

Item: I was seeking the names of the artists whose paintings and sculptures were popular among the Brazilian South Mission missionaries in the ‘60s.

Brother Keith Morgan (BSM 64-66) of Tempe, AZ, shares this:

I am one of those individuals who is fortunate enough to have a butterfly tray hanging on the wall along with an inlaid wood scene, 3 wooden carvings (the gaucho, a sitting beggar and a standing beggar) and 3 paintings and some 33 LP records including Nilo Amaro e Os Anjos Cantam, Antonio Carlos Jobim and the Mormon Melodaires. I acquired the paintings when I was in my first city of Joinville. The first branch in which Elder Alan Yorgason and I served was in Joinville--he with Elder Jan Cutler and I with Elder John Birchall. That only lasted a very short time and they were promoted and assigned to other cities. Elder Carvel Brown became Elder Yorgason's companion and Elder Roger Seaman became my companion. Elders Brown and Yorgason had the first convert baptism in over a year in Joinville on 10/30/64 of a man in the military named Rodolpho Ritter. Elder Seaman and I had the 2nd baptism in the branch and that was the painter you're looking for--Eugenio Colin. Colin had been taught by numerous elders and he finally entered the waters of baptism on 2/21/65. About a month later, Elder Yorgason and I were both transferred out of Joinville and I doubt that Brother Colin was ever very active after that. At the time, however, it was a very "big deal" as a first baptism for my companion and I as well as the branch and we probably relished him as a "big catch." I was grateful to finally "get on the board" with a baptism after constantly reading in the mission newsletter about others in my group having multiple baptisms.

Sorry, that I can't tell you who did the wood carvings but I'm sure glad I had them along with many other momentos. I'm amazed that I was able to carry all of that stuff home.
Hope that helps. Keith Morgan (

Regarding my inquiry about who were the Curitiba artists—painter and sculptor—who created works that missionaries bought to remind them of Brazil.
I learned that it was E. Colin who did spatula paintings and Irmão Gusso, the woodcarver.

Apparently mission President Finn B. Paulsen learned of Altivir Gusso and commissioned a wood carving replica of the handcart pioneer statue on Temple Square. As a boy, President Paulsen had been the model for the boy pushing the handcart. Soon missionaries were requesting works by Gusso. Then Elders Richard William Davis and Dale Foote received a missionary referral from President Paulsen to teach Gusso.

The “Best Baptism of My Whole Mission” by Dale Foote (BSM 62-65) of Phoenix, AZ.

Altivir Gusso had owned a bar before, but sold it because he thought it was not good for the family. He was very family oriented. He learned to paint and do wood sculpture. The man is a wood sculptor or woodcarver, and his products are the best in the whole city of Curitiba. In fact, firms in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro buy his products, which are made in a little one room shop behind his house.

Elder Davis recalls that it was difficult to mark teaching visits with Gusso because he was working from 6 am until 10 pm making woodcarvings for the missionaries who were getting ready to go home.

They taught the family. Elder Foote recalls, “The family was ready for baptism except the dad, who wanted to learn as much about the church as he could! He said,”It’s like a soldier, you have to be fully trained before you go to war.” Elder Davis replied, “Yes, but you do join the army before you are fully trained.” He said, “Ok, let’s be baptized and continue training.”

May 19, 1963: “This Sunday we baptized a family of four. Altivir and his wife Delourdes and their children Gerson and Juarez. He is really sharp, and his two boys and his wife are equally sharp.” Dale Foote ( )

Ray Taylor(BSM 65-67) of Lindon, UT now poses this question for the Southies . . .

“Now A question for you: what was the name of the hotel in Curitiba where the missionaries were put up for a night or two upon arrival, prior to being assigned and shipped out to their first city?” (

Alf: I don't know. That first night for me I was on a bus heading two states to the south to Canoas, RS. At a midnight rest stop restroom I stood on two foot pads to pee into a hole in the floor and thought, "Toto, we’re not in Bellingham anymore!"

The ripple effect of a baptism

Thank you, Alf, for your continuing devotion to this true 'labor of love' that is the Brasulista e-letter! I truly loved and appreciated, in this edition, the video from Sis. Myrrha that you included in the letter. Though I do not know this family, personally, I served in our querido país brasileiro shortly after this family entered the waters of baptism a half-century ago. It truly is incredible the manner in which so many individuals and families are blessed via a "ripple effect" after an individual or a couple accept the message of the Restored Gospel of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and embark upon the covenant path for the remainder of their mortal days. I rejoice in the fact that many whom I taught as a full-time missionary and loved into the Church have, in turn, blessed great numbers of their posterity as has happened in the lives of this wonderful family. Blessings! Howard Fish BNM 73-75 (

James Crawley recalled as his widow toured Brazil

Dear Alf. You probably don't remember me but I was on one of your tours to Brazil and you were called back to your home and couldn't continue with the tour. It was a fabulous experience for me to see the places where my husband, James Crawley, served his mission. He was there in the early years of 1950. When I was in Curitiba there were three members who remembered Elder Crawley. That was amazing to me. When he returned to the USA, he continued school at the U of U. We met in 1953 and were married in 1955. He graduated in 1957 and we moved to CA where he worked for Rocketdyne. We had three girls and in 1961 he began school at BYU in the first MBA program. He graduated at the top of the class in 1963 and we moved back to CA for him to continue working for Rocketdyne. Jim loved the Brazilian people and I KNOW that he shouted for joy when the priesthood announcement was made. He had died in 1973 from cancer which was caused by his exposure to radiation at work. By then we had six children and he had served in all of the priesthood leadership positions in the ward and some in the stake and had just recently been released as the bishop of the ward because of his illness. Jim was a great example of what missions do for people. He was very determined to be successful and has passed the need for education to all of his children. We have a wonderful family and now have 82 grand and great grandchildren. I know he is watching over us and that his concern for Brazil and the people there has never ceased. He wanted to return and had he lived we would have served a mission together. I did serve a mission in Australia after retiring from working at BYU for 21+ years. Brother Moon was his first companion in Curitiba and I had the opportunity to work with him in the Mt. Timpanogos temple for a number of years. It was because he asked me (in the temple one evening) if I was going to the dedication of the Curitiba Temple that I found out about your tour. What a great blessing that was to me to have the opportunity to go to Brazil. That was one of Jim's goals - to take me to Brazil. Thanks, Alf, for helping me to make Jim's dream come true. I appreciate the Brasulista and read it every time it comes. Thanks. Barbara Crawley (

Note: For $10 a year you can get the Liahona in Portuguese. Your almost free Portuguese lesson each month.

That’s all folks!

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


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