Alf Gunn BadgeBrasulista #162

Newsletter of the early LDS Brazilian missions, #162

May 17, 2013

Bom dia, gente!  Enjoy this issue.  Vale a pena! -Alf

In this issue:

The Mission Reunion Tour of the South of Brazil – a brief report
Language “oops!”
The Padre and the Sisters in Araraquara, 1960
Instead of being stoned, “oranged”
“Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul”
Finding Sister Andrade’s missionaries
Returning to Brazil with a UN project
A Mother’s Day poem:  “Ser Mãe” by Coelho Neto

Keith-and-Sharon-Evans-at-FozKeith and Sharon Evans at FozAsk me if our Mission Reunion Tour of the South of Brazil was wonderful.  Oh, yes!  Our Brazilian guide in Porto Alegre, Márcio Teixeira, age 42, met us there and with us as we traveled to Gramado, Canela and Novo Petropolis, RS, where we met his LDS cousin, André Teixeira, a returned missionary with an MBA from BYU. Márcio had attended the LDS Church in Novo Hamburgo as a young man and many of his relatives there are members. He had not been permitted to join when he was young, and life took him away from the Church, but not far. As he went with us to the Porto Alegre Temple and to church on Sunday, he was prepared to be baptized, with the encouragement of two busloads of returned missionaries.  So on our last evening in the Gaúcho capital, our fireside with Mission President Layne Wright of the Porto Alegre North Mission became a baptismal service for this fine man.  The baptism was performed by his cousin André, who had been like a brother to him in their youth.  So for a tour or former missionaries, it doesn’t get much better than that!

It didn’t hurt that two members of our group of 71 travelers were Adalton and Délgia Parrela, who will preside over the Brazil Santa Maria Mission beginning in July.  What fun we had with them!

Elder David (BSM 61-63) and Sister Ann Egbert of Jerome, ID, were finishing a senior mission in Canela, RS, and brought 12 members of their family down to join them there and to continue on the tour. They were a fun bunch, believe me!B2013-David-and-Ann-Egbert-at-FozDavid and Ann Egbert at Foz

Elder Keith (BSM 64-66) and Sister Linda Morgan of Tempe, AZ, who are currently serving a senior mission at Porto Seguro, BA, and were given leave enough to join the last half of our tour.

Well, there is just too much to report.  Highlights for most folks were firesides in Gramado, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Joinville—oh, I must tell you about that one!—and Curitiba.  And sessions at the temples at Porto Alegre and Curitiba.  Buffets and rodizios and churrascarias everywhere!  A number of our former missionaries had unforgettable experiences meeting families they had taught long ago, and now learning of the years of service of faithful members.  The fruits of the labor are immeasurable.

How many of you, by raise of hands, served in Joinville, and attended church in the first chapel dedicated in South America (October 25, 1931)?  The last speaker in our fireside, held on the very site of that building, was a wonderful young stake president, Marcos A. Ramos, who showed us PowerPoint slide photos of the original chapel with its front porch like a house, the modified chapel where I served in 1963, and the remodeled one in which we were holding our fireside.  Then he showed—to us and to the members of Joinville with us that evening, for the first time--an architect’s rendition of the new large meetinghouse to be built there.  He had just signed the papers for the new building the day B2013-Adalton-and-Delgia-ParrelaAdalton and Delgia Parrelabefore our fireside.  No date is set to begin construction, but it will come to pass.

At Foz do Iguaçu city we attended an area conference on Sunday, broadcast from Salt Lake City and conducted by Elder Stan Ellis of the Seventy (BM 66-68), who spoke in beautiful Portuguese.  (He formerly presided over the BSPN Mission 99-02.)  I love that brother.  And Elder Richard G. Scott of the Twelve spoke in Portuguese to the saints of south Brazil too in that broadcast.

There were a lot of memories shared among our group of old timers during our two weeks together.  But Rio Grand do Sul is even greener than you remember.  Florianópolis is even sunnier than you recall and has beautiful beaches.  Curitiba is more fascinating that you remember.  The rock formations of Vila Velha are much bigger than you recall, and the Foz do Iguaçu are more glorious than you remember.  But one kind brother said this: “I didn’t come to see the sights.  I came to feel what I felt back then, and the firesides did it for me.”  

A big thanks to our travel agent Dick Jensen who planned this trip and was with us, Adalton Parrela who helped plan great dining and lodging experiences, and good guide services. Also, to President and Sister Wright of the Porto Alegre North Mission and President and Sister Derek Cordon of the Curitiba Mission, our hosts and fireside speakers, who gave of their time to be with and inspire us.


Language Oops!

In Portuguese, as you know, there are two ways to say excuse me:  “Desculpe!” when you are asking pardon, as it were.  And “Com licença,” when you are asking “may I please?”—for example when you are asking to squeeze by someone in a group.  In our group of travelers on the South Tour was my good former companion Sheldon Nelson, who recalled riding bicycles in Joinville in 1963, when the streets were full of bicycles.  (Not any more, by the way.)  One day he and his companion were riding down a hill with the local citizens, when the young woman on a bike in front of him had to hit the brakes.  Elder Nelson’s bike ran right into the back of her bike and the two of them fell down; she onto her back and he onto, well, her front.  He was so flustered that the first words out of his mouth were not “Desculpe!!”  No, unfortunately, they were, “Com licença!!” 

Concerning being stoned - not quite!

  • This from Sister Lola Deanne Washburn Schnebly (BM 58-60) of Snowflake, AZ:

“I was working in Araraquara and one evening during the week when my companion and I arrived at the church all of the members were in a very excited state and talking so fast and loud that I could not understand them.  I took one of the teenagers aside and asked him to calm down and tell me what was going on.  Well, it seems our friendly Padre (who we knew well) had been on the radio that evening on the hour of "Ave Maria" and told all of the people to get the four Americans – two Elders and two Sisters - out of town dead or alive.  I knew that the last Sisters to work in that town, several years earlier, had been stoned (One of them was Sebastiana Guine).  One of the Elders was a Brazilian and was upset at being called an American.  That night we went home and spent a good bit of it on our knees. The next morning I made the decision to go out in our district as usual.  My companion questioned my decision but, I held firm.  That morning we got into almost every home we "clapped" at.  Some were fearful for us and told us to go home!  At lunch time as we were returning to our district, who should we see coming towards us but our friendly Padre surrounded by a bunch of high school age girls.  I looked at my companion, smiled, and said "You take the right and I'll take the left, when we get even with him we'll both say Boa Tarde!"  At that point my companion gave me a look that said she thought that I had completely taken leave of my senses!  Well, as we spoke to him he bowed his head and said nothing and did nothing but just kept walking!  In front of all those girls he did nothing! That evening on the hour of "Ave Maria," he repeated his plea to get the two men out of town but, never again did he mention us.  I do not credit this to my orneriness but to Heavenly Father’s help.  Now, step forward 30 years to 1990.  My son was serving in São Paulo Sul.  When it was time for him to come home I was able to return to Brazil and we spent two wonderful weeks visiting his friends and mine.  I was able to return to Araraquara.  We stayed with Elizabeth Cesar and her husband and two teenage sons.  What a fantastic privilege that was! She was one of the teenagers when I had worked there, and one that I dearly loved and cared for.  We spent the night and the next morning with her.  The next morning she took us on a walking tour.  The field that had been designated as a chapel lot when I was there now housed a lovely chapel.  Inside she took us to the Relief Society room and I realized she was the Relief Society President.  I looked across the street and asked what had happened to the big Catholic Church.  Elizabeth giggled and said that they built a new one and pointed to a large domed building.  Then she laughed and said "The Padre is still here and he still remembers you!" 

  I recalled that as my companion and I were being transferred out of Araraquara we had seen the Padre ahead of us and tried hard to catch him to tell him "Tchau," but he fled into the church and we couldn't find him.  My companion at that time was Teresinha Guine.  Oh well!  Such was life then!   

Sister Lola Deanne Washburn Schnebly (

ps - Yes I am married to the oldest brother of the Elder Melvyn James Schnebly who was in Brazil at the same time I was (1958-1960), and for any who do not know - he has passed away.  Sister Audrey Olpin was my sweet companion at the time this occurred, and yes I know that she too has passed away.

Instead of being stoned, “oranged”

Alf, I really enjoy the Brasulista as it brings back many saudades.  My experience was in Uruguiana, RS, my first city and my senior companion was Bill Bennett.  As we were walking home, some kids in a house near ours who had been throwing oranges at each other, started throwing them at us.  As a pitcher, and having finished a year of baseball at BYU prior to my mission, I couldn't resist the challenge.  I picked up one of the oranges thrown at me, and, winding up, smoked a fastball back at them...through the gate, just missing the head of one of the boys, and tailing in right through the window of the front door!  My first reaction: "Bah, let's get out of here!"  Then, realizing I was a representative of the Lord, I walked up to the front door to take my punishment from the father.  When I got there, he was laughing and said, to the effect, he'd never seen anything like it, and don't worry about the window!  Almost all brasileiros were kind to me.  Great people!  Robert Northrup (BSM 74-75) Henderson, NV (


Okay for any who served in the south of Brazil and who recognize these words . . . 

“Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul
Do que as noites do Rio Grande do Sul.”

. . . and especially for my friend Adalton Parrela who is called to be the new president of the Brazil Santa Maria Mission, I present the missionaries of the Brazil Santa Maria Mission singing their mission song in ‘samba pagode’ style.  It’s not just a bunch of gringos any more!  Click on “Show more” below the screen to read the lyrics they use.

Published on Mar 12, 2013

Da esquerda para direita:
Elder Rodrigues (manaus), Elder Freires, Elder M. Costa.
Da Direita para a esquerda fundos:
Elder C. Christensen, Elder Carlos, Elder Buchanan.


Do coração do Sul
Ao Rio Uruguai
Com saudades lembramos os pampas sem fim
Sob o céu deste Sul do Brasil.

{ Refrão }
Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul
Do que as noites do Rio Grande do Sul.
Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul
Do que as noites do Rio Grande do Sul.

Se ouve ao longe o vozear do multirão
A gauchada toda canta uma canção.
Desce a garoa como um véu no coração,
Todos se apressam a tomar seu chimarrão.

Eis que a grande obra já começou.
Fé, esperença, caridade e amor
Fazem-nos prontos para a ceifa de Deus,
E salvação trazer aos escholidos seus.

{ Refrão }
Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul
Do que as noites do Rio Grande do Sul.
Não há, não há noite mais azul, azul
Do que as noites do Rio Grande do Sul.

Nós soldados do Senhor
Batalhamos sem cessar
Reunindo o rebanho do Salvador
E a luz ao gaúcho levar.

Santa Maria,
amada Missão,
Nos ensina a alcançar exaltação


“Hello brother Gunn!  My name is Sister Andrade and I am missionary here in Salt Lake City. I had the opportunity to talk to someone that knows you. We were talking about keep in touch with missionaries and I told him that my mom is a convert for over 20 years and never got to tell the missionaries that baptized her the blessings that came from their work. Now, 4 of 5 kids have served a mission and my sister is soon to become a missionary. This guy, I can’t remember his name, said that you send a missionary newsletter or maybe keep a record of missionaries. I was wondering if by any chance you would have a way for my mom to get in contact with the following missionaries:

Elder Kenneth Kurt Anderson from Canada. Served in Northeastern Brazil from 1979 to 1982 and Elder Steven Kyle Kingsbury from Salt Lake City. Served in Northeastern Brazil from 1981 to 1983.  Please let me know! This would such great news if we got a way to get a hold of them!  Thanks!

Dear Sister Andrade.  At this time I have not located or heard before of these Elders.  But in the morning I fly to Brazil for a month.  Please re-send your request on or about May 15 and I will try to locate them.  Vale a pena!  Veja só--voces!  Um abraço do irmão,  Alf Gunn   ps.  Okay, try this, who I believe will be Elder Anderson:  he goes by Kurt.  Email him!   4 mill Pond Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812 email:     (cc: Kurt Anderson)

“Dear Brother Gunn, Wow, This has got to the be one of the best emails I've ever received.  I'll reach out to Sister Andrade and have her pass along my contact information to her mom.  I served in the Recife mission from 1980-82 and coincedently have a son serving right now in Manaus.  Thanks for passing this along!  Kurt Anderson”

Note from Alf:  This kind of thing happens quite often now.  I need to find Elder Kingsbury when I get back to the USA.


This from Ronald D. Morse (BM 59-62)

Alf, First, thanks for your efforts to keep us "old timer" Brazilian missionaries reminded of our missionary service in Brazil. Keep those Brasulistas coming!  About the history of the church in Brasilia being collected by Ludmilla Galvão I have sent her some information.

I was privileged to serve five months as the first president of the Brasilia Branch (Nov 61 through Mar 62).  Also, after I finished my education at Utah State University and Michigan State University, I was privileged to spend two years in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, from 1971 to 1973 with several other faculty members and our families from Southern Illinois University as part of a UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) project at the University of Santa Maria. I was the only person in the group who spoke Portuguese. I served in the Branch Presidency of the Santa Maria Branch the entire two years. I believe Santa Maria is now one of the 27-plus missions in Brazil. The growth of the Church in Brazil is truly remarkable.  Again, thanks for all you do with the Brasulista. Best regards, Ron Morse, Vegetable Crops Research, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (

FOR MOTHER’S DAY - From Cleonice Hermansen

Estimado Alf, Acho linda essa poesia e pensei que talvez seus leitores que sabem português possam gostar tambem.  Pode ser publicada em maio em honra do dia das mães.

Coelho Neto, 1920

Ser mãe é desdobrar fibra por fibra
o coração! Ser mãe é ter no alheio
lábio que suga, o pedestal do seio,
onde a vida, onde o amor, cantando, vibra.

Ser mãe é ser um anjo que se libra
sobre um berço dormindo! É ser anseio,
é ser temeridade, é ser receio,
é ser força que os males equilibra!

Todo o bem que a mãe goza é bem do filho,
espelho em que se mira afortunada,
Luz que lhe põe nos olhos novo brilho!

Ser mãe é andar chorando num sorriso!
Ser mãe é ter um mundo e não ter nada!
Ser mãe é padecer num paraíso!

Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all.   Amor e felicidade!

Alf Gunn (BSM 62-65) - (at Guarujá, SP) - Gig Harbor, WA -


Note from Alf:    Peru!

peru2Come Tour Peru With Us!48 years ago I visited Cusco and Machu Picchu while traveling home from my mission. I loved it and visited the lost city of the Incas twice during one week. As much as I love Brazil, I would admit that if I had to recommend the single most impressive place in South America to visit, it would be Machu Picchu and the mountain people of Peru.

Dick Jensen has given me the opportunity to return and to host a tour to Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima, and also to the upper Amazon at Iquitos and to Panama.  October 23 to November 1, 2013.  If you too have dreamed of this kind of Peruvian experience, learn more about this trip at

and then come a join me. 

Alf Gunn

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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Elder Curtis Broadbenrt

    Greetings from Nauvoo. We have a Braziileiro cpuple, Sergio and Glaucia Munhoz serving here, They are from Sao Paulo and were called to this mission. They had a stake president who you have met - Aldo Francesconi. We have two elders who have been waiting several months for visas to go to Brazil, where they were called. Elder Gary Gneiting served in Brazil North in 1963-1964. Elder Jennings and wife are headed to Porto Alegre. He has been to brazil at least twice working on church buildings. The Church shrinks this world greatly. We are having a great time here, but do enjoy the news from Brazil. Thanks. E & S Broadbent

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  • Guest - Richard Jukes

    Great web site. The stories give me saudades de voltar outra vez. We haven't been back for several years.
    Keep up the great work.

    ----Richard Jukes, Brazilian Misison, 1965-67, President Beck and President Hicken.
    Served in Rio (Tijuca), Sao Paulo (Vila Mariana & Santo Amaro) and in Vitoria (Espirito Santo)

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  • Guest - jrobertoviveiros

    Ao escutar essa linda cancao ... as SAUDADES aumentaram ... foi em Santa Maria que tive o comeco de minha Missao ... os bons momentos voltaram em minha mente ... e pude pelo menos re-ver tudo o que la aconteceu ... e so de pensar que o progresso que tem sido feito e simplesmente deslumbrante ... nosso pequeno Ramo era humilde ... e agora esta totalmente Florecido ... Sim lagrimas cairam, mas nao de tristeza, e sim de grande Alegria. Nao ha mesmo noites mais azul ...! Elder J.Roberto Viveiros

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  • Guest - Dean Packham

    Nice new format. (President Ramos was the Bishop of our ward in Joinville when he was called as Stake President. We love him!)

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