I am keeping up with my commitment to provide updates concerning Church growth from around the world.
Number of Translations of the Book of Mormon Reaches 106
Within the past month or so, the Church has finished several translations of the Book of Mormon. The new language in which the Book of Mormon was translated (which has never had an official translation before) was Yoruba, a language spoken by around 25 million people in western Nigeria. This is a much needed tool in this part of the world. Yoruba speaking areas of Nigeria have five missin districts organized in them and two stakes (both located in Lagos). Hopefully the Book of Mormon fully translated into Yoruba will be the stimulus to turn some of these districts into stakes soon.
The other language in which the Book of Mormon was translated in was Urdu, the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. Selections of the Book of Mormon were published in 1988 and now the entire Book of Mormon has been translated. Pakistan is home to one mission district and probably less than a 1,000 members. The Church does not publicly publish information about the Church in Pakistan due to the political climate there. The India New Delhi Mission was just organized a couple months ago and administers to Pakistan.
The Book of Mormon in Mongolian has just been released with footnotes in it. The original translation for the book was published in 2001. The Book of Mormon in Igbo, according to the http://www.ldscatalog.org/ site, is listed as a new item (even though it was translated back in 2000). It was probably either retranslated or footnotes were added.
Although not listed on any of the Church's websites, I have found out that the Book of Mormon translation in Serbian is getting close to completion. As for my personal predictions for new translations of the Book of Mormon to come in the next couple years, Iban, Malay, Burmese, Nivacle, Marathi and various African languages seem quite probable.
New City Open for Missionary Work in Albania
I just found out from a returned missionary that the city of Shkoder, Albania just opened for the preaching of the Gospel a couple months ago. There are four missionaries working in the city. Shkoder is the first city to open in the northern portion of the country.
Elder Uchtdorf Comments on Missionary Work in Africa
The Associated Press wrote an article about the growth of the Church and convert retention. The article is informative, not biased and provides interesting information from Elder Uchtdorf, an apostle of the Church, concerning missionary work in Africa. The article quotes him, stating
"Uchtdorf also said that in areas with fast growth potential, the church must grow "slowly and in a natural, healthy way" so that local congregational leaders are well grounded in doctrine. 'In some parts of Africa, we could baptize full villages,' said Uchtdorf, 66. "We could immediately explode our membership. We're going slowly to have sufficient leadership."
This provides much evidence to contradict the statement made by many critics of my faith that all we are trying to do is add members for numbers' sake. Areas of Africa which Elder Uchtdorf is alluding to probable consist for nations like Mozambique, DR of Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. It is very important for new converts to have capable leaders which are firmly grounded in doctrine and testimony in order to produce greater growth for years to come. The url for this article was http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g5oVE-Zihw_HRrBEzf1UbVyDSj6gD8UHMTF00
This is all I have for this update for this past month.