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Cristo300Brasulista #220


Brasulista
Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #220
September 5, 2019


Quote of the Day, from the Newsroom:  "There are exciting things ahead," said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he wraps up his Latin American ministry in Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America. "This work is moving forward at an accelerated pace. I can just hardly wait to bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring."  (at Brasilia, 8/30/19)

In this issue:

Ground broken for the Belém Temple
Fruits of the labor - Walter Queiroz family
Passing of Sister Virginia Johnson, mission mother
Elder Mark Woodruff serving with President Nelson
Big needs and opportunities at Area Headquarters, São Paulo
Utah Brazilian Festival September 14!
Remembering Luanda, Angola
Overcoming obstacles at a Porto Alegre chapel build, 1961
Mission opportunity, Portuguese, in Georgia, USA
Serving in Salt Lake City
Matando saudades in Campina Grande, Paraíba


Ground broken for the Belém Temple

On Saturday August 17, 2019, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, president of the Brazil Area, presided at the groundbreaking.  Hurrah, hurrah for Israel!


Fruits of the labor - Walter Queiroz family

Sister Claudia Queiroz, wife of Walter Queiroz, Jr., was writing to Elder David E. Richardson (BM 53-56) in March as they tried to connect for a Brazilian Mission reunion.   Here is part of her message:  "I heard your name a few times. I tried to find you for a special celebration of his 50th anniversary of  the baptism in 2007.  My father-in-law [Walter Queiroz] remembered you very well and mentioned to us that the meeting when he met you and you helped him with the questions inside of him about his own religion.  I want to thank you for your mission in Brazil. You saved generations! Because of your mission, my grand babies who live in Lehi are members of the church. My sons are also strong in the gospel. My husband is an incredible man and he served as a mission president as well. He also served as a counselor in the SP Temple. We have been so blessed because of you, Elder Call, and Elder Davey. I'm sure other missionaries were also involved. I'm so grateful for the chance to say thank you and to tell you how we feel about you and the other missionaries. Nothing can ever pay what you have done for our family. When you baptize one person, many times that means baptizing generations, and that is the case with this baptism. Please keep me informed about the reunions."   Claudia Queiroz (sisterqueiroz@gmail.com)

Brother David Richardson wrote her back, "Yes, absolutely, you are invited to our reunions, held every 6 months, in the future.  My companion at the time, Elder Roger Call of Salt Lake, now deceased, and I were probably the first LDS missionaries your father-in-law met in Brazil.  I first met Walter after our presentation at the Methodist/Protestant college in São Paulo."  David E. Richardson (davidrichardson62@hotmail.com)

Sister Queiroz and her husband Walter Queiroz, Jr. presided over the Brazil Florianopolis Mission 2008-2011.


Passing of Sister Virginia Johnson, mission mother

Elder Craig Johnson (BSM 71-73) shares this:  "My mother, Virginia Johnson, who served with my dad, Hal Johnson as he presided over the Brazil North Mission from 1968-1971, then returned to serve as matron of the São Paulo Temple when he presided there from 1984-1987, passed away this past Friday, August 2.  She was exactly 2 months short of her 95th birthday.  Dad has been gone since December of 2004.  Her funeral [was] Friday, August 9 in Idaho Falls.  Here's a link to her obituary: https://www.woodfuneralhome.com/notices/Virginia-Johnson Thanks for all you do.  Lenora and I have sweet memories of our Southern Brazil temple tour with you in May of 2018.  Craig Johnson  (creekjohnson2002@yahoo.com)


Elder Mark Woodruff serving with President Nelson

Item:  I just noticed that since 2018 Mark B. Woodruff (BSPS 75-77) has been serving as the Executive Secretary to President Russell M. Nelson.  Don't look for his picture anywhere.  I have personally known two personal secretaries (as they were called) to Church presidents and never, or extremely rarely, seen them appear in any published picture of the presidents they served. Oh, what an interesting calling.  Brother Woodruff is former President of the Brazil Recife Mission 05-08, and has been Director of the Missionary Department and in 2014 was Assistant to the Commissioner of Church Education.  (mbwoodruff@gmail.com)


Big needs in Brazil

Big needs in Brazil Elder Tedd Call (BCentM 78-80) of Bankersfield, CA, writes from São Paulo:  Thanks for your newsletter! Our Area Office has been in it quite often this year. We have 5 couples leaving during the next 30 days! There is a need for legal counsels, an ITC couple & a travel couple. There will be a need for an Area Auditor on Sept. 1, 2020, when we will be returning home.  Thanks again! Abraços, Tedd Call, Area Auditor-Brazil (tcallenterprises@aol.com)


Mission Opportunity at Area Headquarters, São Paulo

My wife and I return home in soon. The Area office here in São Paulo needs a couple to continue the work here. We are Family Services Specialist Missionaries counseling and strengthening return missionaries, families, marriages, persons with addictions, and offering welfare help.  We also have been assigned to help a Ward or help in the Centro de Treinamento Missionário. It is an awesome experience.  Non-Portuguese speakers have wonderful opportunities also such as working in the Temple next door. Um abraço,  Elder Roger Ketcheson (rketch22@churchofjesuschrist.org)

The Church website estimates cost of $2375 per couple monthly expenses for this mission assignment.  For info: 801-240-1058.  seniormission@ldschurch.org


Utah Brazilian Festival September 14!

Hi Alfred, how are you?  This is Matilde Wosnjuk, your favorite Brazilian friend in Utah!!!  I am just stopping by to say hi. Also save the date for the Utah Brazilian Festival this year. Can you believe we are celebrating 15 years this year?  The event will be held on Saturday, September 14 from 1 to 7 pm at the University Place Mall in Orem.  I hope you can make it this year!  Stay in touch,  Sincerely,  Matilde Teixeira Wosnjuk Utah Brazilian Festival 2019 Viva Brazil Cultural Center  801-427-0607

www.UtahBrazilianFestival.com

 


Remembering Luanda, Angola

Hi Alf,  I am Richard Armstrong (BSM 68-70). I very much appreciate your including a summary of the Church in Angola by Josip Leroy [Brasulista #219]. I worked under contract for an oil company for seven months in 2001, when there was only one branch of the Church in all Angola. The country was undergoing civil war at the time, yet things were relatively safe in Luanda, the capital city, where the only branch met. We met in a rented house in the section of town called Terra Nova, which house had neither electricity nor running water or flushing toilets. What a major sacrifice it was for many members to attend church. Some took at least four buses to and from the meeting; only a couple of the members, including President Mbenza, a French teacher, had cars. (I had a driver provided by the company, so it wasn't a major sacrifice for me.)

I knew all those pioneer members mentioned by Irmão Leroy. I served as the branch mission leader. There was so much demand for Livros de Mórmon; we couldn't keep up with all the teaching opportunities. I remember all baptisms were done in the ocean, sometimes in very polluted water.  I have fond memories of how Sister Mbenza taught the members to sing the hymns, without a keyboard or accompaniment of recorded music, yet how those members sang the hymns with real intent. I used my fluency in Portuguese to serve as the liaison between the Church area presidency in Johannesburg and the branch leaders. I did a lot of interpreting, including for a branch semiannual conference in which a couple of general authorities were present. I was partially instrumental in helping those three missionaries, May Bernardo, José Armando, and José Da Silva, receive their mission calls. I knew Josip Leroy well, and still keep in touch with him occasionally.

I once interviewed President and Sister Mbenza, in Portuguese, to give an account of their conversions and of their pioneering efforts to raise up a branch of the church in Luanda. I recorded it on four cassette tapes, and turned it over to the Church History Department when I returned to Utah after my assignment ended, to do the translation. I don't know if they ever did complete the translation. It was difficult even for me to translate into English, and I was the interviewer (very slow and tedious, difficult to understand all the words and connotations of the colloquial speech), but the story is fascinating.

Another person who could add a great deal to the unfolding of the church in Angola is Robert Boman, another missionary who served in Brazil, and who relocated his family of six children to Luanda for a couple of years beginning in 2002. He worked for Chevron-Texaco, and became my good friend. His family contributed much to the early development of the church in Angola.

I am so thrilled to learn that Vuamina Mbenza became the first ordained patriarch and that Isidro Baptista, who had served as his first branch counselor, a faithful man who had served a mission in Portugal (I am not sure if I am right), and who married a faithful young lady from Luanda, was appointed to be the first stake president in Angola (he now serves in this capacity). It is thrilling that there are numerous wards and branches throughout other major cities of Angola, which had been unsafe to visit back when the civil war was raging.

Again, thanks for sharing news of church and saints growth and development in Angola. By the way, because of renewing my Portuguese language skills while working in Angola in 2001, and then again serving in the family history library at Temple Square (doing research in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian speaking countries), I am able to still use Portuguese to communicate with native speakers fairly effectively.  Richard Armstrong (richfarm@msn.com) of Forissant, MO.

 


Overcoming obstacles at a Porto Alegre chapel build, 1961

Alf - Another Porto Alegre chapel building story.  This would have been late 1961 probably, so it is a different chapel.  I got a request from the labor missionaries because there was an electrical problem.  The reinforced concrete shell was all erected, and there was a 2 inch conduit cast in, going from a main breaker box to a sub-panel.  Problem: there were I think four 90-degree bends in the conduit, so there was no changing it.  They had got three large stranded copper cables pulled as far as the second bend and it jammed.  The run was dry: no pulling lubricant!  I guessed we could help if we got some lubrication in place.  The best I could think of was to make a slurry of detergent powder.  We then sucked that up in a bicycle pump and squeezed that into the conduit.  The pulling was a steel wire, which I had them wrap around a 2x4, and several Elders GENTLY but firmly pulled.  Miracle! It came on thru.  Elder Dick Silver, BSM 1961-63 - now serving in the Clear Springs Branch (Portuguese) in the Atlanta Georgia North Mission until May 2020 with my best sweetheart, Sister Kay Silver.  (rcsilver19@gmail.com)

 


Mission opportunity, Portuguese, in Georgia, USA

Missionary opportunity, Portuguese, in Georgia, USA Alf - current news in Clear Springs Branch, Marietta, Georgia. From Elder Dick Silver (BSM 61-63).  We have passed the halfway mark in our time here. There is a large community of Brazilians in Marietta. The Elders are maintaining a series of English classes, meeting two evenings a week. Those classes are a major source of contact for people with the Church, and a number of the class members have been baptized. Many work in limited jobs like cleaning houses, painting, landscaping, however, their progress as Church members is unlimited. I was privileged to ordain one brother an Elder. The Clear Springs Branch has one night a month, the third Thursday, where the Branch completely fills a Portuguese temple session, first sealing, then endowments.  This past Saturday, about 20 Branch members came to the Atlanta Temple in support of the Da Paz family, mom, dad and son, who were baptized a month ago.  The dad was baptized on behalf of five deceased persons. Then he, a priest, did the same for his wife and son, plus another half-dozen Branch members. The Atlanta Temple is well-staffed: there are 700-plus workers called here. We can go as walk-ins any time and do work there.  We have been joined here by another couple, Elder Dan & Sister Diane Erickson.They served first in Cabo Verde. We will complete our times here in May and June 2020 respectively. So, an advance alert for those who would like to serve as a couple here in the best language there is, and not have to leave the USA. Our remaining months will pass quickly. Start thinking and planning now!  Elder Dick & Sister Kay Silver  (rcsilver19@gmail.com)


Serving in Salt Lake City

Elder Clifford (BSM 72-74) and Sister Pamela Rice of Spanish Fork,UT, write: Alf, Thank you for your inspiring publication.  I relish the opportunity to read it when it arrives. I served in the Brazil South Mission and was hoping to return to Brazil some day as a senior missionary.  We have been serving in Utah as full-time senior missionaries for 16 months and were called to extend for a year, so my desire to serve down south will have to wait upon the Lord.  Your newsletter shows a consistent need so hopefully that will be true in a few years.  Muito obrigado,  Elder and Sister Rice  (mindgrowz@yahoo.com)

Note:  I am sure there are many others currently serving on the home front with a love in their heart for Brazil.


Matando saudades in Campina Grande, Paraíba

Matando saudades in Campina Grande, Paraíba This from Gary W Gneiting (BM 63-64):  On January 16th of this year (2019) my wife and I went back to Brazil to visit our two Brazilian exchange students that lived with us here in Idaho.  They were Anselmo Lima and Rafael Cesar.  Anselmo lives in the city of Porto Ferreira and Rafael lives in Jundiai, both in the state of São Paulo.  It was wonderful to see them again with their wives and children.  Rafael is a grandson of a couple we baptized in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, back in the summer of 1966.  This was the Paulo and Gioconda Machado family.  They had five children and I believe that only two were old enough to be baptized.  Their oldest daughter was Regina and the second daughter was Angela.  Regina married Wilson Gomez and Angela married Yatyr Cesar.  Regina and Wilson have both passed away and Angela and her husband presently serve in the Recife Temple as first counselor and assistant matron.  Rafael is their son.  While in Brazil we were able to visit with Angela and Yatyr along with her mother Gioconda, who is now eighty -six years old, and with Angela's younger sister Paulina.

One of my objectives of going on this trip was to go up north and visit the city of Campina Grande, Paraíba.  In October of 1966 President Hicken sent me to Campina Grande to be the first branch president.  My new companion was Leonard Phister.   I believe that Elders Timothy McKeon and Nolan Mackay were already there and Elder Lawrence Nielson replaced Nolan Mackay who was ready to return home.  They had opened the city that year for missionary work.  President Hicken authorized me to rent a building to hold church services and to have a pulpit, benches and a sacrament table built.  On November 6, 1966 we held out first official meeting of the church in Campina Grande.  Before that we met in the Elder's apartment.  At that first meeting we had seven or eight members and about twenty investigators.

My return to Campina Grande was particularly delightful.  They now have two stakes.  My contact in Campina Grande was Von Brauner Sousa.  He serves in a stake presidency in Campina Grande and is an avid history buff of the Church in that city.   We met him on Sunday, January 27th 2019 at a beautiful ward building.  After our two-hour block of meetings I met a lady (Margalei) who said that she was the daughter of one of the original members of Campina Grande.  She was the daughter of Joaquin and Guiomar de Sa.  I had a picture with me (when she was about three years old) that I took at a branch party back in October of 1966.  It showed her (at about three years old) and her mother, father and brother, Ricardo.   We both shed a few tears as we contemplated when our paths crossed so many years ago.  She and her husband are both active in the church.  Von Brauner fed us a wonderful meal and showed us where we used to live and the place of the original meeting house.  He also took us out of town where there was a small pond named "Granja Shang Gri La". This is where the first baptisms were held.  Looking back at those years and seeing the progress of the church since that time, brings a great nostalgic feeling of joy in knowing that you assisted in the bringing forth of the gospel to that "bela terra do sul".  Gary W Gneiting (gary.gneiting@gmail.com)


Editorial:  A returned missionary friend, now approaching an age to consider senior service, asked me recently what he could do to recall and improve the Portuguese he once spoke.  My first recommendation was to subscribe to the Liahona (Portuguese) and read some articles out loud "to get the tongue working again."  I did that some years ago when preparing to visit my brother who lives in Brazil.  I don't think that picking up the old yellow text book would have kept my interest.  On returning to Brazil I was amazed and pleased to find that the Lord who had helped me learn the language the first time had helped me again.


Well, folks, that is quite enough for now.  Here's hoping you can still bounce out of bed each morning looking forward to what the day will bring!

Aquele forte abraço,  Alf Gunn * Brazilian South Mission 62-65 Gig Harbor, WA   alf.gunn@gmail.com

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