Church History
“Here the Mormons Will Not Find Me”

“‘Here the Mormons Will Not Find Me,’” Global Histories: Brazil (2018)

“‘Here the Mormons Will Not Find Me,’” Global Histories: Brazil

“Here the Mormons Will Not Find Me”

Lippelt Family

Auguste and Robert Lippelt and their children, circa 1930.

In 1918 Auguste Lippelt and her children were baptized in Bremen, Germany. Auguste’s husband, Robert, was antagonistic toward their new faith. In 1923 the Lippelts immigrated to South America in search of greater economic opportunity. Learning that the Church was not yet established in Brazil, Robert moved his family to Ipoméia. “Here the Mormons will not find me,” he reasoned.

Auguste, undeterred by Robert’s disapproval, preached to her neighbors and wrote to Church leaders outside Brazil requesting that missionaries come to Brazil. Reinhold Stoof, president of the South American Mission, soon assigned missionaries to Brazil and later visited the family. In 1928 missionaries came to Joinville, where many German immigrants had settled. Several converts were soon baptized, and a branch was organized. In 1930 missionaries finally came to Ipoméia to visit the Lippelts.

Years after Auguste’s death, Robert suffered a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. He was cared for by his daughter Georgine, who intentionally left Church literature where he could find it. Robert read several tracts and eventually the Book of Mormon.

“I want to go where my wife is,” Robert announced one day. “I want to be baptized.” He began meeting with the missionaries. Some worried that his paralysis might make it dangerous to be baptized. “I am sure that through the infinite kindness of the Lord,” he assured them, “I shall walk out of the water completely healed.” On the day of his baptism, Robert was carried to the Rio do Peixe and was baptized. As he emerged, his paralysis was cured, and he was able to walk from the river unassisted. Robert remained faithful to the Church for the rest of his life.