Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #192
March 12, 2016
Bom dia, gente!
“Strive to master the language throughout your mission and after you return. The Lord has invested much in you, and He may have uses for your language abilities later in your life.” -- Preach My Gospel, p. 128.
In this issue:
See it again: “Brasil, Doce Lar” on YouTube
The Stoof Prophecy
Called to Serve – new mission presidents
Senior missionaries needed in Brazil
A mission from home – Indexing using your Portuguese
Portugal needs senior couples
Remembering the Congonhas plane crash of 1994 with news clip
"BRASIL, DOCE LAR" ON YOUTUBE
For any who have never seen the great film, “Brasil, Doce Lar,” or who would like to see it again, it is available at YouTube sites in English and Portuguese. It is about the love that missionary couple Wayne and Evelyn Beck developed for Brazil and its people. Much was filmed in Rio and Teresópolis – with lovely photography! This 26-minute film is a must-see, especially for couples called to Brazil as senior missionaries.
In English, Google “YouTube Brazil Doce Lar” or this link:
THE STOOF PROPHECY
An historic prophecy - From BYU’s Mark Grover (BM 66-68) now serving a mission at the Campinas Temple with his wife Ivelisse, comes the following historical note which will appear in the preface of a forthcoming book on the history of the Church in Maceio. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Stoof Prophecy - In December of 1927, President Reinhold Stoof, president of the newly organized South American Mission visited São Paulo, Joinville, and other cities in eastern Santa Catarina. He held fireside meetings in Joinville that were so well attended that he determined Brazil, particularly Joinville, was a place where the LDS Church could grow. Missionaries arrived in September of the following year and the Church began the long and at times slow process of establishing the Kingdom of God in this part of South America. It started in the south moving from Santa Catarina into the larger cities of Porto Alegre, Curitiba, and São Paulo
During one of his visits to Joinville in 1932, President Reinhold Stoof, brought a black and red membership book to list all the members of the Church. Elder Emil Schindler, the first missionary to Brazil, questioned the need for a book that could record 2,000 names of members. Joinville had less than 100 at the time. Elder Schindler laughed out loud at President Stoof’s optimism for the Church in Brazil. Peter Loscher, one of the missionaries, described what happened, I can still see President Stoof looking straight into his eyes and pointing his finger at him and saying, “Brother Schindler, you might laugh about it now, but you will live long enough to see that not only one of these books, but ten of these books with 2,000 names will be needed here in Brazil.” 
Elder Emil Schlinder passed away in December of 1967. The total number of members in Brazil at the time was 27,775. One wonders what President Stoof knew as he had inspiration about the potential of the Church. Did he see a church with over a million members established in every state and all average size cities in Brazil? Did he even know about cities in the Northeast such as Maceió, Recife, João Pessoa, Salvador, Natal, and Fortaleza? Did he see beyond 2016, to see the Church continue to grow and become important in the Church in general and especially in the country of Brazil? Whether he did or not we are privileged to see the fulfillment of his prophecy many times beyond what he told Elder Schindler.
Oral Interview of J. Peter Loscher, 1968, Porto Alegre, Brazil by Gregory A. Prince. Copy in possession of the author.
CALLED TO SERVE - NEW MISSION PRESIDENTS
Alf, Thank you for your continued efforts in producing the Brasulista newsletter. I enjoy reading them. My wife Laura and I (BSPS 78-80) have been called to preside over the Brazil Ribeirão Preto Mission starting July 1, 2016. We are excited for the opportunity and are fully engaged in the preparations and studies for the calling. We are both praying for the gift of tongues as my wife learns the language and I as struggle to re-learn it. We understand that there is only one senior couple serving in the Ribeirão Preto mission which is probably a similar situation to many of the other missions in the country. The wonderful couple that is there now will complete their mission in November 2016. In my conversations with the Missionary Department, I understand that there is a substantial shortage of couples available to serve in Brazil and also other countries, and they currently do not have another senior couple called or assigned to the Ribeirão Preto Mission. May I make another plea to the many readers of the Brasulista for them to consider serving a senior couples mission. We would love to have another couple join us in Ribeirão Preto as soon as possible. All the best, Peter Scholz, Ashburn, VA (email@example.com)
Rex Cluff reports: “My stake president, B. Corey Cuvelier (BSPS 88-90) and his wife Wendi were called to preside over the Curitiba South Mission where he served a generation ago. Another ward member, Jon Hubble (BCentM 69-71) and his wife Gloria, were called to be temple workers in the Campinas Brazil Temple. It was a good month for the Woodland California Stake this past January.”
Per the Church News, Douglas Keith Hart (BPAM 87-89) and Cherilyn Christensen Hart of Herriman, UT, are called to preside over the Brazil Curitiba Mission, succeeding Anderson M. Monteiro. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From Bill Halterman (BM 67-70) andhis wife Becky of Prescott, AZ: Alf, We are called to the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake City. As you may know, the entire mission is just 6 blocks and includes more than 15 zones. After a two week orientation we will receive our assignments, so at this point we don't really know what we will be doing. It could be Church history research, family history research or teaching, working in one of two libraries or even the museum. We are excited to get started. Thanks for your interest, and all the time you spend with the newsletter. Bill Halterman (email@example.com)
SERVING A MISSION FROM HOME - INDEXING USING YOUR PORTUGESE
Here is a note from Doyle Farnsworth (BCentM 68-70) of Boise, ID: “Alf, There is a growing need for Portuguese indexers! The Pernambuco batches are very easy to do. Let's put our language abilities to good use and join in the work! The Lord has given us the skills - let's not squander them away! Doyle Farnsworth” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Doyle, How?
“Alf, If one is already an indexer for the church, he logs into the indexing program and downloads a Pernambuco batch to work on. If one has not indexed before, he will need to download the indexing program onto his computer and get an LDS username and password if he doesn't have one. All of this is done on familysearch.org by clicking on the indexing link. Also, video trainings are there to learn how to index. I would love to teach anyone how to get started in a one on one meeting over the computer. That's my calling right now. I'm serving a family search mission. I could also help with the Italian and Spanish records. The Church drastically needs our RMs to help our foreign speaking members find their family names to take to the temples. Less than 5% of available records are in a foreign language. This is one of the truly important things we can do with our language talents. This is why Elijah returned to restore the keys! This is the message that Moroni repeated to Joseph 3 times that night. And it is SO rewarding! Thanks for your help, Doyle” (email@example.com) (208-322-3934, c208-371-3695)
PORTUGAL NEEDS SENIOR COUPLES
Elder Gordon Robinson (BSM 61-64), my valiant former companion, sends this message of invitation from beautiful Porto, Portugal: We would like to share one of the best-kept secrets in the wide world of missions. Lynette (Sister Robinson) and I were recently called to serve in the Portugal Porto Mission. It all began when our neighbor from Brazil, asked if we had any thoughts about serving a mission. She told us there were opportunities to serve in the newly re-opened Portugal Porto Mission and senior couples were greatly needed. We had thought about serving a mission but it was always in the distant future. That night, after hearing more about the flexibilitys Senior couples have in their service and in being able to serve from 6-23 months, we decided it could be a reality for us now! After completing our pre-mission requirements and submitting our papers, we were thrilled to be called to Porto. Our calling is for one year as MLS missionaries (Member & Leader Support).
In 2014 we had visited Portugal as tourists, and we stayed over another weekend to attend church in Porto. We were so impressed by the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people that we knew at that time we wanted to come back some day.
Our mission began in November, 2015. The Porto mission was re-opened in July 2015, with mission boundaries extending along the Atlantic Ocean from just north of Lisbon to the Spanish borders on the north and the east. There are currently 134 missionaries (Elders and Sisters) and three senior couples. Missionaries serving here are from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, the U.K., Italy, São Tomé, and the United States, as well as Portugal.
Portugal is a region of beautiful geography and landmarks with its many castles, rich in culture and history. There are several stakes in the Porto Mission in the Porto, Viseu, and Coimbra areas. The currency is the Euro and the exchange rate is much more favorable than it has been previously. The climate is mild and very much like southern California with December, January, and February being the rainy months. There are orange and citrus trees everywhere and Portugal rarely experiences a freeze. The highway system is marvelous - in many ways, better than the highway system in the USA.
The church in Portugal is in urgent need of senior missionary couples. Many of the Portuguese members are first generation in the Church. Experience provided by senior couples is invaluable for the training and learning leadership skills for these members. In addition, one of our assignments has been to help set up a medical network to have these services available in all cities where Elders and Sisters reside. We also have had the opportunity to visit these cities and help upgrade the living conditions in the missionary apartments. It’s a rewarding experience to see these young people at work and always a privilege to be able to go on visits with them to see investigators and members.
We really enjoy working with President Manoel Amorim. From Brazil, now residing in the USA, he is very capable and a dedicated Mission President. His sweet wife, Sister Marcia Amorim, is delightful and so kind and caring. If you are a returned Brazilian missionary and have ever thought about serving a senior mission please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to answer any questions and share our experience with you.
Regardless of your Portuguese skills we can assure you this will an experience you will cherish for the rest of your life. Based on our experience we know that you are needed here and warm and rewarding spiritual experiences await you. As we have, you too will fall in love with Portugal and the warm and caring people.
With warm regards, Elder & Sister Robinson (Gordon & Lynette) (Gordonr4@gmail.com)
Alf’s note: I loved my 20 days there as a bicycle tourist. Clean. Beautiful. Great food. I have attended church in Portugal and concur with all Gordon says above. The small branches need the experience senior couples can bring, and they could use more than a few.
REMEBERING THE CONGONHAS PLANE CRASH OF 1994
James R. Allen (BM 62-64) sent me these two notes in 2011 and I don’t think I ever included them in a Brasulista. Since then Jim and his wife have served a senior CES mission in Belo Horizonte. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
October 31, 1996
After some touring with our two newly released missionary children, Amy and Billy, we were staying in São Paulo in the condo of Billy's past mission president, Martins Silva. My wife Shirlyn was ironing a white shirt near the window overlooking the end of the runway of the Congonhas Airport. The apartment was on the ninth floor of the building. I was reading on the couch near the window. Shirlyn heard an increasing plane engine noise and looked up exclaiming loudly; "Jim, that plane is too low and coming right towards us." As I looked up in alarm, the airliner banked sharply to our left, exposing the entire undercarriage to our view, then slipped down into the neighborhood two blocks in front of us. The street it hit on was immediately on fire with the fuel running down the gutters and burning cars parked on the street. There were no survivors and one source said eight people on the ground were also killed. A news report later said that the last transmission from the pilot was; “I’m going to save the school.” There was an elementary school right below us where the plane would have crashed had he not banked to his right!.
President Silva, Billy and I went down the elevator and ran to see if we could help. Sister Silva had gone on an errand so Shirlyn and Amy (who of course spoke Portuguese) stayed in the apartment in case the Stake President or Bishop might call regarding any Ward members that might have been living in the affected area. We found little left of the plane and no victims to help, so we began directing the emergency vehicles to the site in the tangled streets. I had my camera near at hand so I have included one of the pictures taken maybe a minute after the crash. Being a private pilot, I was able to observe that the landing gear had been retracted and the flaps appeared to be deployed for takeoff. I never saw or heard of the cause of the crash. Needless to say, we will never forget that tragedy, especially since we flew out of that airport that night!
Alf’s note: See the incredible news coverage of the crash, apparently the result of a rare mechanical malfunction in the right engine at takeoff, with a loss of 99 lives. See it at
Now “a more intriguing spiritual event” from the journal of Elder Allen:
The first companion I had as his “senior” companion was Elder John Michael Stewart of California. He was a convert of about 4 years when he came to the mission. After his baptism, he became involved in searching out his family records and had compiled four books of remembrance, one of which he brought with him. He showed me that book and inspired my subsequent efforts in our own family in later years. A few weeks into our companionship, he asked if we could visit the Genealogical Society in downtown São Paulo on our off day. We were amazed at the wonderful displays and books collected in that beautiful place and spent some time touring the facility on one of the top floors of a downtown building. We obtained the name and address of the President of the organization and discovered that he lived just a few blocks from our apartment in Santana! Salvador de Moya was his name and needless to say we visited his house the next day, May 22, 1963. He recognized us as representatives of the Church and respectfully invited us in.
On the wall of the entryway was hung a family tree with the names of his direct family line shown in detail back five generations! He was so appreciative of our visit, saying that the Mormon Church was the best organization preserving the past history of families! He was an older man and seemed quite frail to us, but he accepted the lessons as if he already knew the truth. We were not able to baptize him as his doctor did not want him to have that stress at the time because he had cancer. He later contributed to the genealogical class at the branch and helped some of the new members start their research, all at no cost to them. He showed us his garage which was filled floor to ceiling with shelves of records that he had not had time to organize. We purchased some books which he had written regarding genealogical work in Brazil to send to the Church in Salt Lake.
Late in my mission in 1964, I was in the mission office and overheard Brother Fudge from Salt Lake talking with President Beck about microfilming Brazilian family records. I told them about our experience and gave them the name and address of Salvador de Moya. President Beck told me later that they had discovered that he was in the hospital and seriously ill. They went to the hospital and met with him and he was very glad to see them! The Church had these legal forms that would allow microfilming of records with the caveat that the organization would get a copy also. Sr. de Moya was still the acting head of the Society and signed all of the required paperwork. He passed away shortly thereafter.
I have always wondered what happened after that. Has any of his family done work for all the names he had researched? Have any of them been baptized? What happened to all those records in his garage? What about Elder Stewart? Abraço, James R. Allen (email@example.com)
For now, I am soon off to Brazil on tours, with a daughter and son-in-law joining me for the adventure in mid April.
Um abraço, Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 * firstname.lastname@example.org * BSM 62-65