Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #202
February 16, 2017
In this issue:
Finding my Missionary!
The passing of Walter Guedes de Queiroz – comments
Early short-term missions in Brazil – comments
Called to Serve – Eastman’s to Porto Alegre Temple
Returning with Honor – Craig and Christine Wilkins
Need for Assistant Legal Counsel in Brazil
Finding my Missionary!
Every few months I receive a request to find a Brazilian member’s special missionary. It is nice when I have them already located and on my list, but I am not always that successful. Still, when it does work out it is a joy and makes the effort to locate you folks worthwhile.
Tais Ribeiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a young Brazilian sister studying at LDS Business College at Salt Lake City. On 2/8/17 she emailed me:
Hello Alf, I hope this email finds you well. I am pretty sure you don't know who I am. My name is Tais Ribeiro and I am a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I am trying to help my mom to find the missionaries that baptized her and her family in Erechim - Rio Grande do Sul in 1968. I am daughter of Luirde Cruz (Ribeiro) and my grandma's name is Trindade da Cruz. My grandma had 8 kids, Jorge, Luirde, Vanilde, Jose, Antonio, Augusto, João e Nizio. If you can remember these names, you probably know my family. If you have any information about the mission president or the missionaries that baptized my family, will you please let us know? My mom came all the way from Brazil to find them. She has less than two weeks left and any information will be highly appreciated and will help us a BUNCH. Thank you so much, Tais Ribeiro - Returned missionary and the third generation of LDS members in my family.
Hello Tais, Does your mother have any idea of the names of the missionaries? I believe if you can go to her membership record (online?) you may see the name of a person who baptized her and one who confirmed. In 1968 that was often a missionary. You may need to call Church headquarters. I will see what I can learn. What is your mother's date of birth? Unfortunately it takes me 5 days to send an email message to the missionaries on my list and ask them if they remember your family. Thank you. Alf
Tais to Alf: I called the church headquarters already and they said that they don't have this information. Her membership record only says " Baptized by ... the missionaries". It does not have a name, unfortunately. She said their names were Elder Kenes and Elder Orlando. I am not sure about the spelling though. Here is some information about my mother:
Name: Luirde da Cruz Blankenburg
Date of birth: August 03, 1960
She got baptized in Erechim Rio Grande do Sul in the Missão Brasileira do Sul
Missionaries's names: Elder Kenes (Kerns/ Kenison/ Canes?) and Elder Orlando (Orland?)
Date of the baptism : 1968
Here are some other missionaries's names that she can remember: Elder Acolher, Elder Ativer, Elder Stover, Elder Evite, Elder Acotovelam. I'm pretty sure that's spelled wrong. Thank you so much for your help, Tais
2/8/17 - Dear Missionaries, I am forwarding two messages [from Tais Ribeiro] . Did you serve in Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul in 1968? Did you teach the family of Trinidade da Cruz and her 8 children? Do you have info that will help with the request? Do you remember this family? Thank you, Alf Gunn
From Keith Ball (email@example.com):
Alf, I was part of the group that opened Erechim in the middle of 1967, but I was gone early in 1968 before this family was taught. Keith Ball
From Brian Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alf, I was a missionary in Erechim from approximately October 1971 to around February 1972, it was during this time that Erechim branch moved into a newly completed chapel. I remember the family very well and helped them move their home but I never knew who the missionaries were that baptized the family. However, the mission president during 1968 was President Thomas F. Jensen. Either Elder Brent Scott (Zone Leader) or Elder Ralph Pacheco (District Leader) during the time I was there may have more information. I am very happy to hear that the family has remained members of the Church. Please tell them I will pray for them to be successful in finding the Elders who baptized the family. Alf - Thank you for all that you do - I really appreciate it and hope to join with you on one of your tours. Elder Brian Anderson - November 1970 to November 1972 - Brazil South Mission
From Kenneth Bowers (email@example.com) 2/8/16 evening
My name is Kenneth Bowers and I was in Erechim in 1968. I noticed that Tais’ mother was born in 1960 and was baptized when she was 8 in 1968.
Well, it so happened that I baptized a family of four when I served there. The youngest was a little eight year old girl. I think that she was the only eight year old girl baptized that year but I could be wrong. She stated that the Elder's name was Kenes but that is similar to my name, Kenneth. I think I may be the elder she is looking for. There is one way of finding out for sure. The little girl developed a tapeworm and I gave her a pint of my blood to help her out. Ever after, she would cuddle in my lap when we visited. I think I'm the Elder she is looking for. She can contact me at 801-669-4072. I live in Springville Utah and would love to see her sometime if she is indeed the little girl I baptized so long ago. I have often thought about her over the years. I hope it's her.
Forwarded to Tais 2/8/17: “Tais. This may be your mom’s missionary. Alf”
Tais to Kenneth Bowers, cc Alf Gunn 2/9/17
Oh WOOOOOOW! That is YOU!
Yes, my mom needed a blood transfusion and the missionary that baptized her was the one that donated her blood so she could survive! Do you remember the name of your companion in Erechim? Elder Orlando? When would be the best time to call you? Also do you have Facebook? If yes, can she add you? Alf, this is AMAZING! Thank you so much! I would not be able to find him without your help! Maybe you all should do a mission reunion! It would be so fun!
Alf to Ken Bowers:
That eight-year-old girl, Luirde da Cruz, served a mission. So did her daughter, Tais. Oh, and 42 other people from the extended family, I understand.
Ken Bowers to Alf 2/14/17
Alf, my comp during that time was Elder Westover. I know that Luirde would love to meet him. He was the zone leader then. If you could contact him, it would mean the world to her and him. I don't have any idea as to where he is. I met with Luirde and Tais Saturday and it was a glorious reunion. We cried many tears of joy. Imagine meeting each other after 49 years! We also spent the day together today, Monday. I hope you can find Westover so he can discover the love Luirde has for him. She is an angel for sure. You should try to get her to share her story on the Brasulista. It is truly miraculous. Go through Tais her daughter. I know I am blessed to have known Luirde. Ken
Alf to Ken: Elder L. Alan Westover lives in Hamilton, MO, and looks forward to learning about this family. (firstname.lastname@example.org cell 816-583-1049)
Question: Does anyone else remember teaching this family?
To be continued when we hear Luirde’s story. Alf
The Passing of Walter Guedes de Queiroz (continued)
This from President John S. Tanner of BYU Hawaii:
Alfred, Thank you for the news about the passing of Walter Guedes de Queiroz. [Brasulista #101] What a great and good man! I was privileged to know him in São Paulo when I was mission president (2011-14). In fact, he served as my counselor in the mission presidency for a season—until we learned that he couldn’t serve as counselor and as a temple sealer at the same time. He really knew how to motivate members and missionaries. I especially treasure the time we spent together in the car as I drove him to and from training meetings. He told me not only his famous conversion story but also many other stories. He had lived the history of the Church in Brazil and knew everyone. I felt that I was in the presence of a pioneer and a living legend. God bless his memory!
John Tanner (BSM 69-71) (email@example.com)
Trivia question: How many stakes are there in Brazil today?
Early short term missions in Brazil (continued)
This from Elder Larry Wilson (BCentM 69-71) General Authority Seventy: Dear Alf, I love reading the Brasulista and am grateful to you for keeping us in touch with each other and our time of missionary service in Brazil. Reading Gilbert Jennings' account of the short term mission program brought back memories of the only time I had a Brazilian companion on my mission. It was when I had a 16 year old Brazilian young man for a couple of weeks courtesy of the short term mission program. I think we only had one Brazilian full time missionary in the entire mission back then so your chances were not good of serving with someone from within the country. The short term mission program is an excellent example of the kind of innovator we had for a mission president in President Sherman Hibbert. I think of him as the Dan Jones of Brazil. The baptismal trajectory in Brazil changed because of his leadership.
Recently, I had the privilege of doing the ground breaking for the Winnipeg Temple. I was completely surprised by the number of Brazilian immigrants I encountered in that part of Canada. There is a significant and growing group of them. Also, in my responsibilities in the Temple Department, I have the opportunity to follow the progress of the temples that are under construction in Brazil. It's exciting to see what is happening. When I was a young missionary, the idea of a temple seemed like a far off dream. Now we have 6 in operation, Fortaleza under construction, and Rio and Belem progressing through the design and permitting stages. I'm sure the future will bring additional temples for our beloved Brazil. It is rather amazing to see Brazil having grown from one stake when I was there to the 265 stakes they have today. Um milagre moderno! Abracos, Larry Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Alf, I served in the Brazil Central Mission from 1970-1972. In YM June of 1970, my companion, Elder Brian Rabe and I had two short term missionary companions; Miguel Salgado and Migeul Guevara, both from Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. They worked very hard. I have had some contact with brother Salgado in my trips to Brazil. It was a solid program and helped us cover more area and really helped my Portuguese. We were serving in Port União da Vitoria on the border of Paraná and Santa Catarina. Just a note on maintaining your language. I continue to say my personal prayers in Portuguese and read the Book of Mormon side by side with my English Book of Mormon daily. One of the members I baptized while serving in Campinas is now a U. S. Citizen and lives near my family in Henderson, Nevada. She tells me I still sound like a Paulista and so do the many Brazilians I meet occasionally at work or just casually. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to serve. Thanks. David Gibson BCM 70-72 (email@example.com)
Called to Serve
This note from Elder David Eastman (BSM 62-65) of Filer, ID:
Hello, Alf. Teresa and I will be leaving this coming Monday to serve a 2-year mission in the Porto Alegre Temple. It will be exciting to be in our old "stomping grounds", although my memory of PoA is not that sharp. Of course things have changed a good deal since 1962. We did make a brief visit there in 2007 while serving for Public Affairs. If you are down our way, drop in and see us.
Um grande abraço, Dave and Teresa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Eastman’s have previously served as teachers in Jinan China 01-02; as Public Affairs missionaries at the Brazil Area Headquarters 06-08; and a temple mission at the Madrid Spain Temple 11-13. David speaks multiple languages. Sister Eastman is Maria Teresa de Souza Pacheco, originally from Ribeirão Preto, SP.
A young missionary friend of mine in Mozambique mentioned that Elder and Sister Wilkins were traveling home this week at the end of their senior mission. This is Craig (BSM 67-69) and Christine Wilkins of American Fork, UT, who presided over the São Paulo East Mission (06-09); was a Branch and District President at the Provo MTC (10-12); Area Auditor for Brazil (12-14) and recently Seminary and Institute Missionaries in Maputo Mozambique (16-17). I can’t keep up with these folks. “We have loved all of these callings,” they report, “and especially this last one where we are working with the pioneers of the church in Africa. Everyone should have this experience.” (email@example.com)
From the Field – Attorney’s needed
Elder Rex Shumway (BNM 73-75), currently serving as Associate Area Legal Counsel in São Paulo, Brazil, shares the following:
RETIRED ATTORNEYS: Every week in the Senior Missionary Opportunities Bulletin that is updated on-line each month, there is the following notice:
Office of General Counsel
Contact: William F. Atkin, Associate General Counsel
Local: 801-240-6234 Toll Free: 800-453-3860 ext. 2-6234
Associate Area Legal Counsel
Retired attorneys are needed to serve as Associate Area Legal Counsel to assist the Area Legal Counsel with Church legal matters in various countries. Their spouse will have a missionary assignment in the Area Office where the Associate Legal Counsel is assigned.
Current Needs: (omitting the other countries where needs exist.)
• Portuguese-speaking Associate Area Legal Counsel in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Alf, My wife, Diane, and I are at the midpoint of our 18 month mission. Because Brazil has twice as many open legal matters as any other international area of the Church, the Office of General Counsel would like to have at least two Assistant Area Legal Counsels (AALC) assisting the Area Legal Counsel, Douglas McAllister, in the Sâo Paulo Area Office. I will complete my mission the end of October this year, and Elder Randy Wilkinson, the other AALC, will follow in November. So, there is a need for some of you to consider this great opportunity. As AALC's, we are directly involved in the management of all legal matters (through local counsel), including personal injury, construction, property, contract, visa, government relations and religious freedom matters. My wife is very busy as an Ordinance Worker in the Temple, supervises the completion of an extensive monthly Family History report for the entire country, distributes missionary calls each week to the respective Stake Presidents and assists in the review and translation of Brazilian missionary applications before sending them to Salt Lake. I serve one evening a week as a Temple Ordinance Worker and during the first 8 months of our mission I served as a counselor in a branch presidency at the Brazil MTC. We currently have been assigned by the São Paulo West Mission President to serve in a ward that needs help.
If you have ever thought about doing this, please contact me and I can tell you first-hand about this missionary opportunity: email – firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone – 480-897-1218 (this is our Vonage internet phone that is in our apartment, but remember São Paulo is currently 5 hours ahead of Utah): if you have the WhatsApp app on your cell phone – 55 11 97611 3336.
Fique firme, forte, fiel, e feliz!
Um abraço, Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA * 253-307-3338 * email@example.com * BSM 62-65