Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #87
June 24, 2007
Congratulations to both the new mission presidents who begin service in July, and to the great presidents who are completing their three-year missions! Well done, brothers and sisters. We love you. Keep in touch.
In this issue:
Reaction to the Manaus Temple announcement
Patriotic Organ Concerts by James Welch
Two new stakes for Curitiba
Portuguese speaking couple sought
Called to serve
News: Brazil to be one Area
Mission opportunities at Fortaleza, Ceará
Utah Brazilian Festival at UVSC on August 25!
Mãos Que Ajudam
Pioneer Day Exclusive: Eliza Snow’s tribute to the Stars and Stripes
REACTION TO THE MANAUS TEMPLE ANNOUNCEMENT
Brother Leo de Menezes of Philadelphia, PA, where I met him a couple years ago, served his mission in Porto Alegre (91-93). He writes: “Bro Gunn, I'm thrilled! It's really a wonderful blessing to have a temple in the heart of the Amazon Jungle. I'm from Manaus and I know the sacrifices my friends make to attend the temple. This is very exciting! I would like to inform you that Manaus actually has seven stakes the last one was formed just a few months ago. The new stake in Manaus just went to the Caracas temple a few weeks ago! They spent two days crossing the Amazon Jungle to get to Venezuela, which is better than the six-day trip to São Paulo. I think that temple will be the first built on the Amazon Jungle. Bom, até logo! Leo de Menezes” (email@example.com)
Note: Actually, the new Manaus Brazil Ponta Negra Stake was created on May 6, 2007, by a division of the Manaus Brazil Rio Negro Stake and is the eighth stake in Manaus, per Elder Stan Ellis (BM 66-68) of the Area Presidency. It’s hard for me to keep up!
PATRIOTIC ORGAN CONCERTS
Our own James Welch (BSM 70-72) renowned concert organist from Palo Alto, CA, will perform three free concerts in Utah, including at the Mormon Tabernacle in honor of the 4th of July. There will be lots of patriotic music!
Here’s the info: July 1, 7:30 p.m., "Of Patriots and Pioneers: American Music for July", James Welch, Organ, Barbara Cramer, Soprano, Holladay 27th LDS Ward, 5400 Holladay Blvd., Holladay
Two concerts, July 4, noon and 2 p.m., The Mormon Tabernacle, Temple Square
TWO NEW STAKES IN CURITIBA
President David Webster of the Brazil Curitiba Mission shares some exciting information: “Dear Alf, Thank you so much for your newsletter. It has been so wonderful to participate in the history of the Church in Brazil. Soon there will be two more stakes of Zion in Curitiba! One will be the Jardim do Sol stake in the southern part of the city and the other is the Pinhais stake in the east end of Curitiba. The temple is progressing nicely and is an inspiration to all who see it. The Lord is truly blessing his children in this part of his vineyard. We are constantly reminded in all of this that we are standing on the shoulders of giants who labored and planted so that we could harvest. We will receive a new couple (or rather the mission will since we will be home by then) in July! Neither of them speak Portuguese and we continue to marvel at how blessed we are to have these senior couples called to serve here. The need is great. Next year brings the dedication of the Temple with all its attendant activity (open houses, temple work, etc.), the formation of even more new stakes, wards and branches; and an ever increasing need for experienced couples - whether they speak Portuguese or not - it seems to matter little since literally everyone here wants to learn English. Sister Webster and I return in July and are already feeling the tug on our heartstrings. The word saudades has no adequate equivalent in English - because you need to have been here to experience fully the feeling. Now is the time to enlist in this marvelous army. Just as soon as we can, Sister Webster and I will be back - the Lord takes much better care of our children and grandchildren than we do! Thanks again for including us in your circulation - please keep the Brasulista coming! Um Abraco, Presidente Webster, Brasil Curitiba Mission” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITY FOR PORTUGUESE SPEAKING COUPLE
This note comes from a wonderful missionary, Elder V. David Eastman (BSM 62-65) of Florianópolis, who I met on the second day of my mission and with whom I visited in Area Headquarters at São Paulo last year, where he and Teresa are serving in public affairs: “Alf, Our Public Affairs Department will be needing a new missionary couple some time in February or March of 2008, when we leave. The department is looking for a dynamic couple, both of whom speak Portuguese. Public Affairs requires that the couple do lots of training in Portuguese as well as some translation from Portuguese to English. If there is a senior couple similar to us (one spouse Brazilian and one spouse American), that would be ideal. They could contact us at email@example.com but need to understand that there is never any guarantee that a mission call will come or that it will be for the place requested. We really have no authority to call anyone, but we can always drop a word to those who have that authority. Um abraço apertado, Élder V. David Eastman” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CALLED TO SERVE
Max J. Merrell (BM 58-60) and wife Pam of Kennewick, WA, are called to the North Carolina Raleigh Mission, reporting in July 2007. Parabens! (email@example.com)
“Alf, We certainly enjoy the news we receive regarding Brazil. We were so motivated that we sent in our papers to serve in the Temple in Recife. We visited with the recorded in the Recife Temple and the people in Salt Lake City Mission Department. We were warned that we don't always get what we request. My wife and I received our mission call to the Santiago Chile Temple Mission. We are thrilled with our call and are anxious to serve in Chile. After we thought about it, we could tell that what the Lord wanted us to do was better than what we wanted to do.” Jim (BM 61-63) and Annette Marshall, Tigard, OR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Greetings from Elder & Sister Horne from Recife, Brazil - We put our papers in last fall and the Lord send us where we are needed. Elder Horne received a call as the Local Unit Area Auditor Trainer (LUATT) and Sister Horne was called as the Assistant Auditor for the North Brazil Area. This is a huge area geographically. It covers 19 states from the state of Pernambuco to the state of Amazonas -East to West and the state of Roraima to the state of Minas Gerais- North to South. We reside in Recife where you have a choice of about 50 different kinds of fruits. Our responsibility is to train 76 Stakes, 20 districts, and 11 missions on the importance of the auditing process of the Church and record the audit results in a church-wide software program. The audit work of the Church has two main purposes: (1) to protect the priesthood brethren of the Church and (2) to protect the sacred funds of the Church.
”The Church is strong in Northern Brazil and is growing very fast. We have the opportunity to meet many of the great brethren of the priesthood and train them in church finances. On occasion we get sad stories where a brother was tempted and looses his membership. We feel the most important purpose of our calling is to prevent this from happening. Most of the parents in Northern Brazil are struggling to make a good living for their family. For the most part they are a humble, faithful and kind people. This has been a growing experience for both of us since Elder Horne never had the opportunity to serve as a clerk of any kind in the church (nor Sister Horne for obvious reasons). In addition, Elder Horne did not keep his language up since his mission (BSM 1961 to 1964 President Paulsen) and Sister Horne spoke no Portuguese. We think the Lord puts us in circumstances sometimes where we have to be totally dependent on Him. This has been that kind of a mission for us. The Lord provided some help to us through the couples that were already here (Elder Laird and Sister Gloria Swensen, Medical Mission; Elder Bruce and Sister Roxanna King, PEF mission; Elder Bill and Sister Bev Lambert, Humanitarian & Welfare Mission; Elder Don and Sister Claudia Andrew whom we replaced, President Mark and Sister Peg Woodruff, President Recife Mission and President Stanley and Sister Kathryn Ellis, member of the Brazil North Area Presidency) [All first names furnished by Alf Gunn from alumni rolls].
“For those who have not already got this news Brazil, beginning in August 2007, will be one area only and will no longer have a South Area or a North Area. The new Presidency for the Brazil Area will be the following: President Charles A. Didier, President Ulisses Soares*, 1st Counselor, and President Stanley G. Ellis, 2nd Counselor. The new Area Presidency will have one big beautiful country to administrate. Their office will be located in São Paulo.
”I have a favor to ask of those who may read this epistle: please let me know if any of my old companions are out there because I have not been able to locate my mission records for some time. Please drop me a line. My memory is not a good record.
“Our mission is a great experience and we send a big ABRAÇO to our fellow and sister Brazilian friends. Thanks to Brother Alfred Gunn for keeping us all connected.
Elder Doug and Sister Margie Horne (BSM 61-64) (email@example.com)”
My pleasure, Doug. Hope some of your companions will send you an email note.
EMPLOYMENT CENTER OPPORTUNITY IN FORTALEZA, CEARÁ
Here is more info from Recife about opportunities in the northeast, from Elder Bill Lambert (BSM 62-64): “We are serving a 23 month mission as the "area welfare agent and welfare specialists" for the Brazil North Area and we go home in November. On July 1st the Brazil North Area will be discontinued and all area offices will be in São Paulo. The senior missionary couples assigned to Recife have been told to continue working from here until their missions are over or they replace couples in similar assignments in São Paulo. In our case we have been told that a local Brazilian couple will replace us and remain here in Recife as service missionaries. There is an urgent need for a senior couple to work at the employment center in Fortaleza, if you know anyone looking for a fun assignment in a great location. There are ten stakes in Fortaleza. The director of the Fortaleza SRE (employment center) is Fernando Souza (who got his MBA from BYU under Elder/Professor Warner Woodworth). He is a super guy who speaks English. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org or Skype souzafs2 or www.sre.org.br. Tel/FAX 011-55-(85) 4006-6400. Fortaleza has great weather, the best beaches in Brazil and it’s a day’s drive to the temple in Recife. I saw where they just called a senior couple to work at the SRE in Porto Alegre. They might also be looking for help at the SRE in Curitiba. Anyone who is interested should contact Ageo Levi Minharo, the welfare director in São Paulo, email@example.com or 011-55-(11) 8420-3628. Ageo also is a BYU grad who worked for Intel Corp and lived in the states for fifteen years and speaks perfect English. He is the new area manager of all welfare activities in Brazil. Um abraço, Elder Lambert” (LambertWF@ldschurch.org)
Brazil in Utah: The Utah Brazilian Festival will take place on Sat., Aug. 25th at the McKay Events Center at UVSC Stadium from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. See the photos of last year’s event at http://www.utahbrazilianfestival.com/default.htm to see a lot of smiling Brazilian faces. It was attended by some 6,000 people last year. Calendar this activity. More about it in a future Brasulista.
PIONEER DAY ITEM
Brazil’s São Paulo State, with a population much larger than Utah’s, recognizes July 24th each year as ‘Dia dos Mormons’, perhaps out of gratitude for charitable service rendered by church members throughout that country.
MÃOS QUE AJUDAM
Here is an excerpt from the Church’s Mãos Que Ajudam web site: “Brasil - 01 de maio de 2006. Sessenta mil voluntários doam cerca de 150 mil peças de roupas e lençóis a mais de 200 hospitais. Sessenta mil voluntários em ação, mais de 200 hospitais beneficiados em 150 cidades de todos os estados brasileiros. Assim, os voluntários do Programa Mãos que Ajudam, membros e amigos de A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias, empenhados na finalização do projeto denominado “Mãos que Ajudam aos hospitais públicos”, comemoraram o feriado do Dia do Trabalho, 1º de maio.” (Google Mãos Que Ajudam for more facts.)
Okay, this next item has nothing to do with Brazil, but is an article I wrote for the 4th of July religion column for our local weekly newspaper, to which the LDS Church is a regular contributor. I include it here to share a poem written by Eliza R. Snow that I have not seen published anywhere during my lifetime. I hope you will find occasion to share it.
A PIONEER'S TRIBUTE TO STARS AND STRIPES
July is special to me. First for Independence Day with its patriotic hymns, and second as the month when members of my church celebrate Pioneer Day, July 24—the date Brigham Young and the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 160 years ago. It’s quite the state holiday in Utah, but only given slight recognition in places like Gig Harbor, usually by a picnic and songs of pioneer courage.
Poetess Eliza R. Snow was the “First Lady” of the Mormon Pioneers—if only one among many outstanding women. A person of unusual refinement, Eliza was among the Latter-day Saints who were mobbed out of Missouri under the governor’s Extermination Order of 1838, and later mobbed out of Illinois where they had taken refuge and built up a city rivaling Chicago at the time—Nauvoo, Illinois.
Recently Marcia and I visited Nauvoo, the City of Joseph on the Mississippi, today a rather pastoral historic restoration of its former prosperous self. We viewed the Nauvoo Temple, rebuilt in its white stone beauty in 2002. Originally erected as a testament to a frontier people’s faith in God, it had been destroyed by fire after the Saints were driven out in 1846. We drove the 26 miles that the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum rode by horseback in June 1844, to visit the stone jail at Carthage, Illinois, where they surrendered under false promise of the governor’s protection. We saw the room, the bullet hole still in the door, where Joseph and Hyrum were martyred by a mob, for their testimony of the Living Christ.
The history of the religious persecution of the Mormons in the 1800’s is little known today by students of American history, even by our own members, partly because we don’t nurture victimization. Rather, we declare that this country is choice above all others, and that its Constitution is a heaven-blest document produced by men raised up by God, that there might be a land of freedom of religion, where Christ could restore His church and kingdom to the earth. Those are blessings we count with special appreciation on the 4th of July.
Eliza Snow walked away from a comfortable Nauvoo home, down Parley Street to cross the Mississippi and walk out of America, burying her parents in Iowa, and driving an ox team on to the Salt Lake Valley. She penned the following words, suggested by the raising of the flag soon after the pioneers arrived there in 1847, upon what was then Mexican soil:
“I love that flag. When in my childish glee—
A prattling girl upon my grandsire’s knee—
I heard him tell strange tales with valor rife,
How that same flag was bought with blood and life.
And his tall form seemed taller when he said,
‘Child, for that flag thy grandsire fought and bled.’
My young heart felt that every scar he wore,
Caused him to prize that banner more and more.
I caught the fire and as in years I grew,
I loved the flag; I love my country too.
There came a time that I remember well—
Beneath the Stars and Stripes we could not dwell!
We had to flee; but in our hasty flight
We grasped the flag with more than mortal might;
And vowed, although our foes should us bereave
Of all things else, the flag we would not leave.
We took the flag; and journeying to the West,
We wore its motto graven on each breast.”
Eliza R. Snow was the second president of the female Relief Society, with millions of members today in service to others, sharing her pioneer spirit.
(Poem published in Liahona, The Elders’ Journal, April 24, 1911, copy in the writer’s possession.)
You heard it here first. Happy 4th of July and Pioneer Day, brothers and sisters. Aquele forte abraço,
Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 * firstname.lastname@example.org * BSM 62-65
*Press release when he was called to the Seventy in April 2005: “Elder Ulisses Soares, 46, has been teaching Sunday School since completing his service as a mission president. He studied accounting and economics at PUC, a university in Brazil where he also earned an MBA. Elder Soares has been employed by the Church in a number of accounting and managerial positions in Brazil and the United States. He has served the Church as a stake president, regional welfare agent, stake high councilor, stake executive secretary, bishop’s counselor, elders quorum president, ward Young Men president and full-time missionary. He and his wife, Rosana Soares, have three children.”