Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #97
May 2, 2008
Bom dia, pessoal!
In this issue:
Bondes on YouTube and saudades de Rio Grande do Sul
Report on the Bangerter Reunion
New Book: “The Collected Works of William Grant Bangerter”
Report on the Hicken Reunion
Called to Serve - Lamar and Elaine Hansen
Elder Greg Jones returns from Brazil. Elder Ralph Brooks to take his place.
Pioneer missionary recalls pre-war mission
From the Field: Elder Michael Henry in Santa Catarina
President Finn B. Paulsen recalled
Finding Missionaries for Members
BONDES ON YOU TUBE
I was telling my 6-year-old grandson about being a missionary, and how we rode streetcars, called bondes, in Brazil. I Googled ‘Bonde de Santa Teresa’ and came up with a great old YouTube film entitled “Rio Antigo – Bonde de Santa Teresa – Bondinhos” from about 1960. For the fun of it, see this yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzqdo95-i9w
Then click on all the other YouTube clips that refer to that bonde. Like “Santa Tereza – Rio/Eduardo Mezzonato” (2007). It is in Rio. Ah, quem me dera eu pudesse ir!
See the history of bondes in Porto Alegre, with photos, at http://www.tramz.com/br/pa/pap.html
SAUDADES DE RIO GRANDE DO SUL
James Welch (BSM 70-72) shares this 3-minute YouTube tour of Rio Grande do Sul produced by a Porto Alegre TV station: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1q85HvE81M&feature=email
Gaúcho missionaries will recognize the music as "Gauchinha Bem-Querer" by Tito Madi:
Rio Grande do Sul
Vou-me embora sem amor
Vou-me embora do Rio Grande
Vou tão só com a minha dor
Levarei a lembrança comigo
De um amor que de olhares nasceu
De um amor que depressa floriu
E tão cedo morreu
Rio Grande do Sul
Eu um dia voltarei
Pra rever o meu Guaíba
Pra rever meu bem-querer
E depois se ela ainda quiser
Só nós dois a sonhar e a sorrir
Rio Grande do Sul
Vou chorar ao partir
General Conference was wonderful, as you know if you saw it, and it was a joy for your newsletter guy from Washington State to actually be in the Conference Center, together with my 15-year-old grandson, Michael, on his first visit to Utah. We stood in Priesthood Session with 21,000 of our brethren and sang “Ye Elders of Israel” and learned marvelous things about President Monson. On Sunday we basked in the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and continued to experience the powerful testimonies of the Lord’s servants. And the Conference Center is a good place to meet Brazilian saints too. I had a great time.
REPORT ON THE WM. GRANT BENGERTER REUNION
I must report a little on the Bangerter Reunion at Alpine, UT, which Michael and I crashed on Friday night of General Conference. The Bangerter Missionaries (1958-1963) are a pretty impressive group, about half of them having served as mission presidents or senior missionaries themselves, and they come to their reunion in white shirt, tie, and very nice suits, so I was glad I had put on my Sunday best. This group has been having reunions every six months or so for decades, which is a wonderful tradition. Elder and Sister Bangerter came early. Everybody visited for an hour and polished off some pasteis and guaraná before the program began in the cultural hall. There was quite a nice group of Bangerter sons and daughters there, along with a passel of grandkids who all seemed to be teens or returned missionaries. Some granddaughters sang beautifully for us.
I won’t go into all that was done and said, but will mention a few highlights, to my view anyway. One was Sister Julie Bangerter Beck sharing her responsibilities as General Relief Society President. I must disclose here that I am one of her biggest fans, so was pleased to be there for that. Her calling will take her to Brazil in May. Did you know that when she speaks as part of the stake conference broadcasts to areas where they speak Portuguese or Spanish, she gives her talks in those languages?
Her mother, Geri Bangerter, prompted her to “tell how your parents found out about your calling.”
Sister Beck said that she had been called, but was told not to tell anyone, so she and her husband Ramon took mom and dad to General Conference as usual and Ramon sat with them in the audience as usual, Sister Beck being on the stand as one of the counselors in the YW General Presidency. When sustainings were being presented it was announced that Sister Beck was released as a counselor in the YW Presidency, and Sister Bangerter immediately was somewhat upset and turned to Ramon and said, “Did you know about this?!” He replied, “Just listen, Mother.” Then when Sister Beck was presented as the new Relief Society General President, Sister Bangerter was again caught off guard, and turned to Ramon and asked, “Did she know about this???”
I think Sister Bangerter likes to know what is going on. Anyway, at the reunion, she had asked her children to dance the samba for old times sake, and “no matter how old you get, you still have to obey your mother” so they invited a brother to come to the piano and play a samba number and they handed out some percussion instruments to those in the front row and invited all to dance along where they were, and then said, “come up and join us.” Like I said, this is a pretty staid group, but apparently not much for samba so they just sat there. Well I got up and joined the family as they played the instruments and we danced around in a little circle in what we thought was the samba, and frankly had a good time.
As to reunions in general, I would say, “More samba and less talks.”
But we heard some very good talks. President Wilford Cardon, recently returned from presiding at the MTC São Paulo told of life-lessons learned from President Bangerter as a young man and paid a very nice tribute.
We enjoyed hearing Sister and Elder Bangerter speak, expressing their life-long love of Brazil and the Saints there. President Bangerter spoke with power and testimony.
These wonderful Bangerter missionaries think that they had the all-time greatest mission president, and I am sure not going to argue against that. If I don’t get banned from the group for dancing the samba with the RS President and her siblings I don’t want to say anything that would get me in trouble with them.
HOT OFF THE PRESS: I have in my hands a copy of a new book, hot off the press the very day of the reunion, entitled: “The Collected Works of William Grant Bangerter, Speeches and Presentations Made as a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It is a beautifully bound, 616-page paperback book, with great talks and writings, and I am so glad that I picked one up at the reunion. It is full of faith and power. I am loving reading it and learning so much. Really, it is an inspiring must-read for all of us who served back in that era and all who love Brazil. One chapter is “Follow the Prophet,” which Elder Bangerter previously allowed us to publish in the Brasulista in 2006, which is the remarkable history of the work in Brazil (and beginnings in Portugal) during the Church presidency of President Spencer W. Kimball. Don’t miss this book! For copies contact son Howard K. Bangerter at TragedyandTriumph@gmail.com, telephone 801-756-2255, address 10542 N 4720 W, Highland, UT 84003. They were selling for $15 at the reunion, but will probably be more with shipping, etc.
Administrative item: At the request of a Brazilian brother, I am trying to identify and locate an “Elder Penn” who served in the SP South Mission area in about 1976. Anybody know the first name and any other info about this Elder Penn? Help me. Thanks. Alf
REPORT ON THE HICKEN REUNION
Sister Marilyn Hartog Porter (BM 67-69) of Clearfield, UT reports on the Hicken Reunion: “Dear Alf, Last Friday was a great occasion for me and many other "Hicken missionaries." We attended the 90th birthday celebration for President Hicken. I haven't been to a reunion for about 25 years. I kept looking for the young elders I knew, but they'd all sent their dads to represent them. (I hate to admit that I, too, have aged as much or more than most of them.)
The organizers of the reunion did a terrific job. Wonderful tributes were paid to our president by some of his missionaries and also by his son, Rob. We heard some stories about him that we hadn't heard before. He and Sister Hicken each spoke, and then we heard a report about the Brazilian temples by David Paulsen who works for the Church temple department and supervises the temple buildings in Brazil. After that, Elder Stanley Ellis, who is in the Brazil Area Presidency, updated us about the Church in Brazil. And of course, visiting over birthday cake and guaraná capped the evening. The best line of the night was by President Hicken when he said, "In 5 years, if I've still got all my marbles, let's do this again."
I'm sure I express the feelings of all the Hicken missionaries when I say that I am a better person for having had him as my mission president. And I'll always remember the special times we sisters spent in Sister Hicken's office on P-days. Thanks for this newsletter! Tchau! Sister Marilyn Hartog Porter (BM 67-69)” (email@example.com)
CALLED TO SERVE
Lamar Hansen (BSM 60-63) has every copy of our Brasulista ever published. When he and Elaine put in their papers for a mission they stated they “would serve where called, but, if there were a preference for consideration, we would like Brazil” and their stake president told them that senior couples "almost" get to go where they have a preference.” Here’s the news:
“Dear Alf, It took awhile, but finally it came! At 6:15 AM this morning, we received a call from our post office in Centerville, Utah. Frank, our mail carrier, called to let us know that there was a letter for us from the Church Office. He said he would deliver it on normal delivery later in the day or we could go get it now if we wanted to. Elaine said yes we'll be right there! So at 6:30 AM, I drove down to pick up the letter. I returned home and Elaine said we couldn't open it until we called our two daughters to come over. So they got their children off to school and came over at 8:30. We opened the letter..... Elder and Sister Hansen, you are called to serve in the Brazil Maceio Mission!! What a blessing that will be for us! We Googled it and saw the city and pinpointed the mission home! We did the weather - It's a little hot and a little humid down there!!!! We are just a little excited! We enter the MTC in Provo on Monday, July 7. Tchau, Lamar and Elaine” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ELDER GREG JONES RETURNS
Item: On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 Élder Greg Jones, Especialista de Bem-Estar da Área Brasil, A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias, wrote to his associates in Brazil: “Estamos terminando nossa missão e logo voltaremos a nosso país, para conhecer de novo nossos 17 netos. Foi um grande prazer conhecer a todos vocês e desfrutar de tantas experiências boas em sua companhia. Teremos muitas saudades (na verdade, já temos) de vocês e do Brasil, que tanto amamos. Felicidade e alegria no serviço do Senhor.“ Monti and Greg Jones, Providence, UT (JonesGW@ldschurch.org)
Note: Elder and Sister Jones, acting on behalf of this great Church, distributed about 3700 wheelchairs and were involved in several local projects (Braille typewriters, industrial-strength laundry for a hospital, surgery room gowns, fetal heart monitor, portable EKG, etc.) and half a dozen emergency relief projects. Congratulations to them on their success and release.
ELDER BROOKS TAKES HIS PLACE
Called to Serve - From Elder Ralph Brooks (BSM 60-62): “We received our call today. We are called to serve in the Brazil São Paulo North Mission. Specifically, as an Area Welfare Specialist with my wife Reva as the Assistant. Obviously, we do not have a clue as to the responsibilities, but are very anxious to serve. We enter the MTC-Provo on July 7th.” (email@example.com)
PIONEER MISSIONARY RECALLS PRE-WAR MISSION
Item: Old Timer writes to youngsters
This note comes from Elder LeGrand Forsyth, who served in the Brazilian Mission from 1940 to 1943: “Dear brother Gunn. You ‘old timers’ talking about Brazil in the 1970s--Holy Smokes, you don't really know what an old timer is! When I was in Brazil the Church owned ONE building, period. It was the little church in Joinville where all the meetings were in German, and few of the members spoke Portuguese, even though the mission was about ten years old. Jim Faust was my district president for awhile when I worked in São Paulo. Grant Bangerter was also in the mission. I lived in the same city with him, Alpine, Utah when he was president of Jordon River temple.
“When I was in Brazil our mission included all of Brazil. When I left in 1943 we had less than 1000 members in all of Brazil and most of them were in the south and of German extraction. One member I knew of lived in a little town in the highlands above Porto Alegre and he could see the lights of the city. He spoke only German, was 40 years old, born in Brazil and never ONCE had visited the city of Porto Alegre, some twenty miles away. I was there when a German U-boat sank a Brazilian freighter. The city of Porto Alegre rioted all night and about tore the city apart if a city business had anything like a German or Italian name on it. When I left in ‘43 after 30 months, Jim Faust was already gone. In 30 months I baptized 3 persons which was about the average of one baptism, per missionary per year. I was one of the six elders that baptized Alfredo Vaz and five others, the very first members in Campinas. I was companion to Ray Crane when I first got to Brazil and four of us opened the first work in Riberão Preto. There were about 12 or so branches in Brazil and none north of Belo Horizonte. There were about 1000 members in total, and tracting was a drag. Eight hours a day in the hot sun and NO religious discussions, just people wanting to learn English. I love the language and still read the B of M almost every day in Portuguese, so I understand the language completely except to the cuss words and teenage inventions such as we have here, I guess. It's been a long time but I still love Brazil. It seems like about one half to one third of the young people around here went to Brazil. Missionary labors then in Spain, Portugal, Italy and even Mozmbique was a never-to-be dream. The answers we got when out tracting were ‘Eu sou Catolica, paes eran Catolicas, e eu vou ficar Catolica por o resto da minha vida.’ We even discussed drowning the Brazilians and doing their baptisms for the dead. Not seriously of course. I am 89 years old and expect to live to 100, but will always keep up on my Portuguese. So viva Brasil!! Love, LeGrand Forsyth, the Montana kid, 1940 to 43. Before there was an MTC in Provo.“ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FROM THE FIELD - ELDER MICHAEL HENRY IN SANTA CATARINA
Elder Michael R. Henry (BM 59-62) from Corning, CA, writes: “We are having an absolutely wonderful experience serving here in the western part of Santa Catarina. President Dansie asked us to come here because it is still a developing district and is a 12-hour bus ride from Florianópolis. It gives him a presence in the furthest district, and provides an opportunity to work with the leaders as well as our standard work with new members, less active members, and also investigators. We have a wide variety of responsibility which makes the work very interesting. We love the work and feel that the Lord has really blessed us. We have seen some really good things happen and hope to see a lot more. We have a 23-month assignment, so we still have more than 13 months to see more growth. We have had four men ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood (3 last Sunday) who were baptized since we got here and with whom we have worked. We have some families attending that were totally inactive and we are seeing some persons baptized (most of whom come from those previously inactive families). The people here are very warm and welcoming. They love having a "casal missionário" here and we love to work with them.
“I hope to be able to meet with my old companion, President Arlan Woodward, now president of the CTM, sometime before we go home. Thank you for your wonderful work with the "Brasulista." Elder Michael R. Henry” (email@example.com)
PRESIDENT FINN B. PAULSEN REMEBERED
In response to a request I made for information regarding President Finn Paulsen’s presidency, this is from Elder Ralph Brooks (BSM 60-62): “I had the opportunity to be a Traveling Supervising Elder working with and around Elders Bradford, Muirhead III, Rothlisberger, Palmer, Gallagher, Brinkerhoff, Woodward and Maashoff. At one of the TSE meetings, after an excellent meal, in fact one of the best I ever had in Brazil (we had whipped potatoes, gravy, milk, thick meat, tossed salad, fresh rolls and apple pudding), we had an evening meeting and a talent show. We had several skits and one on how TSE's
traded everything with the Elders. President Paulsen played a game with a large stapler and a small stapler. The idea was to pass them around, in opposite directions. One was a dog, the other a cat. However, he was the only one that knew which was which and the fun began. It showed a different side of President Paulsen.
“He was such a great leader, and had so much compassion for his missionaries. He always told us how much he loved his dear wife, Sister Paulsen. In our evening meeting, he gave instructions, told us how important our calling was and to never let down. He told us that we all have to be tried. In the last three weeks, he said he had sent 3 people home due to sickness, one due to death, and the previous week, Sister Paulsen's father had passed away. The President said something that has stuck with me ever since. He told us that if we ever in our lives have the opportunity to have our parents or in-laws come live at your house, let them. They need your help and company. He promised us all that if we did this, we would be blessed all the days of our lives here upon the earth. It was at this time that he expressed thankfulness to the Lord for the most wonderful partner that the Lord had given him. "I can never thank my Heavenly Father enough for all the blessings He has given me."
“On July 5, 1962, I was downstairs in the M.O. filling some requisition when President Paulsen approached me and said he wanted to talk to me. I went with him to his office where we visited for a few minutes, then he said, "Well Elder, we want to call you as Second Counselor of the mission to take President Maashoff's place. Is there any reason why you can't accept the call and work wholeheartedly?" Working with President Paulsen for the next four months gave me much training and direction that I have relied on for the remaining years that I have served in the Church. For that, I can not thank him enough for his tutoring. He was truly a great leader and mentor and I feel fortunate to have served in the Brazilian South Mission under his direction. Ralph M. Brooks, BSM 60-62.” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FINDING MISSIONARIES FOR MEMBERS
Item: Finding Missionaries for Members – One of the nice things about being in touch with so many of you is helping members find ‘their missionaries.” This is fun, and happens every month or two:
I met Brother Paulo Alencar at General Conference. He resides in West Jordan, UT now. He was a judge or commissioner in Brasilia and came to SLC about 5 years ago for treatment of a son who almost drowned. When we met and talked at General Conference he said he would like to find the missionaries who taught his family when he was just a boy.
“Dear Brother Alencar, You were looking for the Elder who baptized your family in Brasilia in about 1965, Barrie Campbell, and perhaps an Elder Waite too. Here is what I have, which I am hoping is the correct information. You also mentioned Elder Fish as recalled by your family.
Campbell, Barrie Carvel and Cathy BM/BNM 66-69 Poughkeepsie, NY email@example.com 845-473-6736 28 Birch Hill Dr, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Waite, Alan Leo and Christine BM/BNM 66-68 Weiser, ID firstname.lastname@example.org 208-549-0003 c550-1069 w414-3881 841 County Road 70, Weiser, ID 83672
Fish, Mark Daniel and Nancy Shill 64-67 Lindon, UT email@example.com 801-796-5186 c836-7517 w234-6800 99 E 640 N, Lindon, 84042 After marrying he and Nancy served a three year mission in Columbia and Brazil, first as a building mission then as Area Supervisors. Then in Hong Kong where Dan was called as an Area Physical Facilities Manager by the presiding Bishops Office of the Church. After, they were back in Brazil in the early 80’s.
To Elders Campbell, Waite and Fish:
Brethren, Paulo B. Alencar was a boy when his family was baptized at Brasilia. His parents were Valdeci A. de Alencar and Nestor B. Vasconcelos. Were you in Brasilia in 1965?
From Elder Campbell:
“Hello Paulo, Yes, Elder Waite and I were the missionaries who taught your family. It is so good to hear from you. Como está sua família...seu pai e sua mãe? Tem uma irmã, não é? Como está ela? E tambem sua esposa e filhos? Tudo bem?
“Eu serví como guia na lingua portuguesa na Abertura do Templo de Manhattan. Lembro-me dum pouco de português, mas não é como era quando fiz a missão.
“Minha esposa é Presidente da Sociedade de Socorro da estaca, e sua secretaria vem de Niteroi. Eu falo com ela em português de vez em quando. Atualmente, minha esposa está em Salt Lake assistindo a Conferencia e visitando nossos filhos e uma neta. Eu vou lhe chamar por telefone mais tarde hoje!! Um abraço! (Elder) Barrie Campbell.”
Irmão Gunn, Jamais imaginei que aquele convite para a sessão geral do Sacerdócio da última conferência fosse trazer tantas benção! A primeira grande benção foi ter tido o privilégio de conhecer o senhor...suas disposição para ajudar, boa vontade, preocupação, e diligência por cumprir o prometido. Minha gratidão por sua ajuda será eterna e devo também estender ä minha a gratidão de minha mãe e família. Ha muitos anos (40) estavamos procurando os missionários que nos ensinaram e batizaram. Alegria indiscritível que sentimos quando nos falamos pela primeira vez pelo telefone...gostaria que o senhor estivesse presente para dividir esse momento sublime que só foi possível por causa de suas ações. Seu nome agora faz parte de nossos diários e história da família e nos sentimos honrados por isso! Que Deus abençoe sempre sua família e o senhor será sempre nossa oração e desejo. Seja sempre bem-vindo á nossa casa. Até breve! e muitissimo obrigado. Paulo B. Alentar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 * email@example.com * BSM 62-65