New mission in Nicaragua
Missionaries serving in the Nicaragua Managua Mission report that the mission will be split this summer to create a second mission. The mission has seen tremendous success over the years and continues to show impressive results. Missionaries report that 60% of converts have been retained over the past year, much higher from previous years. Hundreds of baptisms occur monthly and the amount of growth has overwhelmed currently mission leadership for a nation with over 64,000 members, 100 congregations, and high inactivity. Nine stakes and six districts currently function.
Mission to be discontinued in Ohio
Missionaries report that the Ohio Cincinnati Mission will be discontinued and combined with neighboring missions this July. I will provide further analysis and background once more information becomes available including official announcement from the Church.
Additional countries added to the Uganda Kampala Mission
Recently arrived missionaries reported that two additional countries have been added to the jurisdiction of the Uganda Kampala Mission. The mission originally included Uganda and Ethiopia when it was created in 2005 and added Rwanda and Southern Sudan in the past couple years. Djibouti and Eritrea have also join the mission, bringing the total of countries served by the mission to six.
Mission realignment in South Africa
The South Africa Durban and South Africa Johannesburg Missions will be realigned in the next week. The Johannesburg mission will lose the southern portion of Free State Province and Lesotho which will fall under the mission in Durban. This decision was likely done due to the rapid increase in baptisms and missionaries serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, which baptized over 1,700 converts in 2009. The realignment will allow for greater balance of responsibility for the two missions. Lesotho has also seen increasing success in the past year and a third branch may be created in the near future.
Full translation of the Book of Mormon in Laotian nearing completion
A senior missionary couple serving in Laos report that the first full translation of the Book of Mormon in Laotian is nearly complete. Most Laotian speaking members live in the United States in four congregations. A branch does meet in the capital of Vientiane with around 70 active members.
New branches in Botswana
Branches have been created in two cities in Botswana. Mochudi received its first missionaries at the end of last year and had its first branch organized. Kanye has also received its first missionaries and branch. Increased mission activity in Botswana likely contributed to the mission realignment with the South Africa Johannesburg and South Africa Durban Missions.
New stake to be created in Cote d'Ivoire
Missionaries report that in the coming weeks a fourth stake will be organized in the Abidjan area from a division of the Yopougon Cote d'Ivoire Stake which currently has 11 wards. I will provide more information once it becomes available.
Stakes close to splitting in Mexico
The mission president of the Mexico Leon Mission reported that the Leon Mexico Stake may divide to create a second stake in the city this spring. The Celaya Mexico Stake is also very close to dividing as well but is still struggling to meet certain requirements in order for a second stake to be created in the city.