Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reunion 2009

Reunion 2009 is now history.

We have had some remarkable speakers over the years--Kim and Marlene Russell speaking on the Perpetual Education Fund experience, mission presidents who were our contemporaries as missionaries speaking of their recent mission experiences, Sister Julie B. Beck one of our very much younger contemporary missionary sharing Young Women and personal experiences, Elder Wm Grant Bangerter our mission president giving a history of the Church in Brazil and now Gary and Rose Neeleman speaking on their many years of experiences in Brazil dating from our years as missionaries and continuing through their seven years living in Brazil and then visiting every year since, almost 50 years.  As sisters lingered and called later the consensus was that we should have Gary and Rose return and give us more updates on Brazil.

"Brazil is something you experience and absorb--it saturates the senses in ways that can't be forgotten."  A Taste of Brazil, Gary and Rose Neeleman, p. 17.

Rose's words from the first pages of their cookbook, A Taste of Brazil  typify the Neeleman's love for Brazil.  She and Gary renewed many of our memories as they spoke of the rich experiences with Brazil.  Nineteen of their family members hold dual citizenship.  They have hosted 76 Brazilian exchange students in their home. 

Gary's professional career in the news media in Brazil and later more broadly, Latin America and the Caribbean, has given them a view of Brazil that few returned missionaries have.

Currently he serves in the voluntary position of Honorary Brazilian Consul for the state of Utah.  The consul provides Utah locations for Brazilians to renew their visas saving them a trip to Los Angeles.  When Carol Wheeler Brumfield asked him what he did for leisure we were treated to an outline of his new book he is writing, River of Doubt. 

In case you are interested in their son, David's, new airline adventure you can read about it in the August 27th edition of the Economist.

Sister Geri Bangerter shared with us the first copy of her history of their/our mission years and brought us up to date with each of the Bangerter children.  Their posterity of grandchildren (65) and great grandchildren (63) is almost even.  They have six missionaries currently serving including three in Germany and one in Brazil.  More than half of their family missionaries have served in Brazil.  Of particular interest was this photo of the first Relief Society Presidency in Brazil.  June 1963.
Left to right:  Antonetta Lombardi, Geraldine Bangerter, Julietta Ardito, Gerta M. Kerns.

A few of the candid photos from the reunion. 
We didn't have time for a group photo this year before some had to leave for the BYU/Florida State game.

Colleen Sorenson Chipman, daughter of President and Sister Sorenson who preceded the Bangerters and then returned to preside over the Brazil South Mission; Lola Gygi Timmins, Sister Geri Bangerter.

Karla Allred Christensen, Arlene Albach Tolson.

Maureen Daines Hodgen and her mother Sarah Daines.  Sister Daines joins us each year.  At age 98 she is an inspiration.

Verna Sorenson Benson

 Jeanette Royle Monson.

Sue Isenhour Van Wagoner and her son, Dee.

Jackie Gatenby Thomas, Adele Smith and Carol Wheeler Brumfield.

Thelma Black Soares, LeeAnn Bangerter Lorenzon and Glenda Bangerter Apple.

Phyllis Merrill Miller and LeeAnn Bangerter Lorenzon

Our 2010 reunion will be held Saturday, September 18th.
(Our reunions are held the Saturday prior to the General Relief Society Meeting.)

Photos from past reunions.

Speakers, Samuel Morrison and his wife, Marilyn, former mission president in Brazil.  
Back: Lola Gygi Timmins, Geraldine Burningham Olsen, Phyllis Merrell Miller, Maureen Daines Hodgen, Mary Etta Watson Parkinson, Sam Morrison.
Front:  Adelaide Gonzales Andra, Cleonice Carvalho Hermansen, Arlene Albach Tolson, Thelma Black Soares, Beverly Sanders, Marilyn Morrison.

Speaker, Julie Bangerter Beck, then General Young Women Counselor.

1st row:  Karla Allred Christensen, Arlene Albach Tolson, Norma Mills Shiner
2nd row:  Mary Etta Watson Parkinson, Julie Bangerter Beck, Geraldine Hamblin Bangerter, Verna Sorenson Benson, Jeanette Royle Monson, Sarah Daines, Maureen Daines Hodgen
3rd row:  Phyllis Merrell Miller, LeeAnn Bangerter Lorenzon, Carol Wheeler Brumfield, Audrey Olpin Haight, Lola Gygi Timmins, Joy Bodily Gossett, Jackie Gatenby Thomas, Bonnie Bondurant Larsen, Rose Neeleman

Speakers, Elder Wm Grant Bangerter and Sister Geri Bangerter.

1st row:  Carol Wheeler Brumfield, Joy Bodily Gossett, Geraldine Hamblin Bangerter, Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, Lola Gygi Timmins, Jeanette Royle Monson, Alan Monson.
2nd row:  Barbara Crowley, Gary & Rose Neeleman, Arlene Alback Tolsen, Adelaide Gonzalez Andra, Velda Wemack Sharp, Mary Etta Watson Parkinson
3rd row:  Marilyn Stanley Humphreys, Phyllis Merrell Miller, Adele Smith, Glenda Bangerter Apple, Norma Mills Shiner, Audrey Olpin Haight, Lee Ann Bangerter Lorenson, Geraldine Burningham Olsen, Maureen Daines Hodgen, Elinor Moss South, Diane Kowallis Fifield.

We hope to see you next year.

If you were a sister missionary in Brazil prior to 1965 and would like to be added to our mailing list please contact:
Mary Etta Parkinson

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