Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #102
August 28, 2008
Bom dia, pessoal!
In this issue:
Pres. Lynn Sorensen Mission Reunion Oct 3 – Send photos by Sept 15
Report from the field: Elder and Sister Henry in Santa Catarina
Senior Couples needed in Mozambique
Insights into service in Mozambique
MISSION REUNION: We would like to remind all involved of a missionary reunion for Pres. Lynn A. Sorensen (BSM 73-76) to be held on Friday, October 3, 2008, 6 pm, at the Little Cottonwood 16th Ward (his chapel next to his home) 6350 S. Rodeo Lane (about 1500 east) SLC, Utah. Please send your favorite experience with Pres. Sorensen that we can compile into a gift for him as well as any photos. Please RSVP, if possible, to help us plan for food.
Photos: Sister Carla Fuzari Jacobs of Aurora, CO, invites Sorensen missionaries to send mission photos from the 1974 to 1976 era—photos of missionaries, companions, baptisms, President Sorensen, etc.--to her for compilation into a CD/DVD to be shown at the reunion and as a gift to President Sorensen. These can be sent digitally by email to her email address: Carlas121@aol.com.
Or they can be mailed to her home address at:
23785 East Glasgow Place,
Aurora, CO 80016.
If mailed, be sure to put your name on the back of the pictures and send her your return address so she can send them back. Deadline for these is September 15. She will do the compilation when she returns from a trip. Her phone is 720-272-2757, but may not be active while she is traveling.
For any more information concerning the reunion, contact Elder Bill Shurtleff @ 801-479-7266, or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here is a note from Elder Michael R. Henry, (BSM 59-62) who is serving in the western interior of beautiful Santa Catarina State with his wife Francie. It gives us a pretty good idea of what a Senior Couples mission is like in Brazil today.
“Irmão Alfred: Muito obrigado por tudo que está fazendo para os ex-missionários da Missão Brasileira do Sul. Our work here in the Florianópolis Mission is wonderful. I am loving it just as much as I did the first time. Don’t tell any of my ex-companions this, but I have a better companion this time and I’ll have her for the whole 23 months. Que bom!
“Our work has been concentrated on the new members, less active members, and with leadership development. We have also had some work with non-members and have had the joy of baptizing some people after they have received a testimony from the Holy Ghost of the truthfulness of the message of the Gospel. I love teaching the people, both members or non-members. It gives such great joy. It is really fun to see my wife reaching the point where she can also communicate freely and she helps a lot with the teaching. The people really love her and she opens lots of doors for us. We are also helping some new member families prepare for the temple. We have two families who just passed one year of membership with whom we have worked and are now teaching the temple prep lessons. They both plan on being sealed as families on the 13th of September. We also have three other families that are preparing and will be ready hopefully by December and another one in March. This is a step that I never got to experience as a missionary and that brings tremendous joy as you see the happiness these people are finding. We are also working with other new members as they continue to learn the principles of the Gospel.
“This work is really needed and I encourage all of our ex-missionaries to consider coming and joining in this great work. In leadership activities, I have been asked to serve as a secretary to the district president as well as working on the high council with an assignment to the Chapecó branch which gives me the chance to work directly with both the district and branch presidents to help them with church government. We are also teaching the temple prep classes and I am asked to do training almost every 5th Sunday and other times in the branch and in the district priesthood meetings. The people in these developing areas are very anxious to have guidance from those who have had experience in Church leadership.
“I was just called to serve as a counselor to the new Mission President. This will be a great experience and hopefully I can help him by representing him here in the west of Santa Catarina. Our new president is Walter G. Queiroz Jr. His father is well known here as a past president of the Porto Alegre Mission and then later of the Porto Alegre Temple. He is remembered by many as one of the three ministers (he was Methodist) who all joined the Church together in São Paulo and became tremendous forces in the early development of the Church in Brasil. The elder Queiroz and his wife are now joining their son to serve as “casal missionários” in President Queiroz’s mission. He is already helping train and is a wonderful addition to the mission, as is his son President Queiroz.
“Thanks again for all you are doing. It is a great service. Keep encouraging the senior missionaries. They are really needed. Elder Michael R. Henry, (BSM 59-62)”
Serving in Africa
We have had some wonderful reports from our alumni who have served in Mozambique and Angola. Now comes this from President and Sister Packard of the Mozambique Maputo Mission:
“By the way, Elder & Sister Henry’s son, Jared is one of our missionaries (and a new district leader) here in Mozambique.”
“A Proclamation regarding Missionary Couples”
“We need missionary couples! I guess about every mission president in the world and every mission has the same need, but we even more so in Mozambique, Africa. There are just not enough couples to go around to all the missions of the world. In the Mozambique Maputo Mission we are now down two couples from our normal compliment and between now and the end of the year we are facing the real possibility of being down four couples if we don't find some marvelous and willing saints somewhere in the world who are ready to serve. A mission is one of the greatest experiences for a senior couple in all your life. We can promise great blessings to you and your family because it is the Lord who makes the same promise to you.
“Missionary couples perform vital services in the missionary work of the Lord's church. No, they are not always out knocking on doors like the elders. In fact, they rarely are. But the services they perform are many and varied and greatly needed to move forward the work. In our mission we need two mission couples to operate the mission office effectively. We have only had one for the entire two years we have been here. That has required young elders to serve in the office rather than where they serve best – in finding, teaching and baptizing. Other couples do great work in helping to provide shadow leadership in an area where our Church leadership is young and usually inexperienced. People with any Church leadership & teaching experience (which is about everyone where the Church is well-established) can be great missionary couples. People with music skills, or family history experience are also marvelous contributors to building the Lord's kingdom in distant lands.
“Yes, Mozambique is a Portuguese-speaking country and having Portuguese language skill is nice, but it is not a necessity. Spanish speaking capacity will be almost as effective. And even those with neither of these languages can still provide a great service. Heck, even someone with a good southern Utah or Arizona Gila Valley accent can do just fine. There are an increasing number of the people of Mozambique with English language skills, and there is ample opportunity to learn a little Portuguese while serving for 18 months.
“Our immediate couple needs are as follows:
“Two office couples - Office experience with computer, bookkeeping or accounting and organizational skills is helpful. One of these couples must have some Portuguese or Spanish language experience (at least one member of the couple). The other couple would be fine with English only.
“One Seminary & Institute National Director couple - Portuguese or Spanish language capacity will be very helpful. We will soon start the Perpetual Education Fund program here and it is so needed - but we need this couple to make it work! What a great and fun assignment this will be.
“One other leadership support/proselyting couple - English, Portuguese or
Spanish will be fine.
“Can you come to Mozambique and serve with us here if you wish to? We can almost guarantee it, the Brethren tell us. The Apostles who serve on the Missionary Committee certainly reserve the right to receive inspiration for your call, but they have told us that where we can find willing couples to serve and you desire to serve in Mozambique, and if a mission president and stake president concur on that recommendation, then in almost all circumstances that is to where your call will be.
“Now, we give you one little challenge. Well, maybe it isn't "little." But it is the same challenge Cindy (Sister Packard) received the first time someone suggested she needed to come to Africa where she was needed several years ago but she felt her life was too busy. The challenge - pray about it. Take a moment, really, and just pray about whether this is the time to make such a commitment and sacrifice to the Lord in your life. And like Joseph, pray with real intent. We will pray for you as well. Great and wonderful blessings await you - and your family!
With all our love, Blair & Cindy Packard, President & Companion, Mozambique Maputo Mission (email@example.com)
PS: We will respond to any questions anyone may have about the mission (which is doing great) or about Mozambique (which is a wonderful place to serve).
Item: The following is a reprint of an item dated in about November 2003, so the info is about 5 years old, but it gives some insights into work in Portuguese-speaking Mozambique from Robert T. & Evelyn W. Owens (BM 57-60) at North Logan, UT. (When the BSM was formed in 1959, Elder Owens was a counselor to the first president, Asael T. Sorensen.) The Owens’ returned from a mission in Mozambique in 2003 and had just received another mission call:
“Dear Friends and Family, We are thrilled to announce that our new mission call has arrived! We will be serving for 18 months in the Brazil São Paulo East Mission reporting 12 January 2004 at the Provo Senior Missionary Training Center. No specific assignment has been given to us as yet. President Urry will be guided to assign us where he feels we are most needed! Of course, we will be using the Portuguese language in Brazil, but it is a little different from what we became accustomed to hearing in Mozambique. It seems we will have to wait for a later opportunity if we are ever privileged to see those 2000 dear Saints in Mozambique again!
“There in Beira they have finally broken ground on the prepared site to start building the first chapel and they expect that an independent Mozambique/Angola mission will likely be organized in 2004 with an infusion of more missionaries. Then they can open up more cities and organize new branches and districts in them.
“When I left Brazil from my first mission there in 1957-60 they had only 2000 members in the entire country in two missions. Now, 44 years later, they number over 800,000 members in 27 missions with 4 functioning temples. May the Lord bless them in Mozambique to be humble and obedient enough that they may grow as firmly and enjoy his richest blessings until we meet again!
“We understand that the area of our new assignment will take us from the humble cement- block cottages and the bamboo and thatch huts in Mozambique to an almost endless horizon of skyscrapers and industrial productivity in the 2nd largest city in the world! Our new mission is on that strip of land between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, south of Belo Horizonte and north of Santos and Santo Andre that is home to some 50 million people. They produce 80% of Brazil’s GNP, which is 40% of all South America’s GNP. There are 18 million people who call São Paulo their home. I pray that we can find that kind of receptivity among them that thrilled us among the poor in Mozambique. I find it interesting that we are told we can live for $450 per month in our new mission, but it cost us about $1500 per month in Mozambique. There the electricity and water supply were frequently unreliable, if available, but in Brazil we expect it to be pretty consistent. When the Savior comes, I hope he finds us all humbly and diligently involved in a righteous cause wherever we are called to serve! With all our love, Bob and Evelyn Owens (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Reprinted from 2003)
Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65)
Gig Harbor, WA