From Peggy Balmforth: I am sure that you are aware of the article on the Brazilian Saints which appeared in the March, 1997 issue of the Ensign magazine. On page 47 was an article on the first members in Northern Brazil, Milton Soares Jr. and his wife Irene. There was also an article in the Church News of June 21, 1997 on page 11 about them. The book Pioneers in Every Land also has a chapter on them. Their eldest son Iraj was recently sustained to the 4th Quorum of Seventies in April. It is interesting to note that Iraj and Katia Soares' son is currently serving a full-time English speaking mission in the Texas San Antonio Mission. The Soares family have achieved many different firsts in various aspects of Church growth. I hope that you will cover their story in your latest series Worldwide Saints.

In going through some of the many years of correspondence I have found some other possibly interesting tid-bits on a few of the Soares family members. Milton Soares Jr. is currently serving as the High Priest Group Leader and his wife Irene (and this just tickles me no end) after many years of service in various positions, in her senior years (I won't reveal her age as she doesn't begin to look it) is serving as a Primary teacher.

Iraja served as a Building Missionary in Brazil in the Sao Paulo area for a year before being called as the first Brasilian to serve a foreign speaking mission. Portuguese was his native language and he was called to the Chilean Mission (which back then in 1966 was just one mission) where he had a double whammy as he had to learn Spanish to converse with the Chilean people and English to talk with his companions! He learned both remarkably well. He was the first Brasilian to recieve a Patriarchal Blessing. The First Stake created in Northern Brazil was the Recife Stake and Iraj was the first Stake President. His younger brother Mozart is now serving in the Stake Presidency as a councilor. Iraj was a Regional Representative and then was in the first group to be Area Authorities and now is in the first group to be called as Area Authority Seventies. His wife Katia serves at the Stake Relief Society President and also teaches the Gospel Doctrine class in their ward. Their oldest son Yuri is currently serving a foreign speaking mission as an English speaking missionary in the Texas San Antonio Mission.

All in all they are a very remarkable family and an example to others.