Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Mission in the Philippines

Missionaries report that a new mission will be created in the Philippines. The Philippines Bacolod Mission will divide to create a mission that will only serve the islands of Panay and Guimaras. Missionary work has just recently taken off on Guimaras with many reported dependent branches and groups. Missionaries have not reported the name of the new mission, but I imagine that it will be called the Philippines Ilolio Mission. Several of the districts currently in the Philippines Bacolod Mission are close to becoming stakes. Baptisms have increased in recent years, but not to pre-2000 levels. Congregational growth continues to be weak, but this may be due to higher standards for new congregations to be created and more dependent branches and groups in order to establish greater local leadership.

To recap, the following missions will be created this July:

  • Democratic Republic of Congo II (Lubumbashi? exact location not yet known)
  • Mexico Mexico City Northeast
  • Mexico Villahermosa
  • Nicaragua Managua (II)
  • Philippines (Ilolio? exact location not yet known)
  • Utah St George
The following missions will be discontinued this July:
  • Germany Hamburg
  • Italy Catania
  • Korea Seoul West
  • Ohio Cincinnati
  • Spain Bilbao
  • Switzerland Zurich
There may be as 10 more mission that get discontinued according to a report I received from a senior missionary couple. However with reports coming in from missionaries it appears that the massive changes in missions this summer are more than a consolidation and increasing outreach is being prepared for many areas which have had a Church presence for decades or just a few years.

9 comments:

Tom said...

Although the anti-mormons have tried to put a negative spin on this and make it look like a "bad thing" to discontinue so many missions, they spoke before realising that new ones were to replace the discontinued ones.

This mission reshuffle is an excellent idea in my opinion. Cutting down on excessive missionary resources areas that weren't producing results, and then increasing the focus on areas with high growth rates. Excellent plan to maxmise efficency, baptism numbers and church growth.

I believe that the areas cut down on shouldn't be effected too much, as because growth isn't high in the first place, reduced missionary numbers in those areas should have little problem keeping growth at the level that it has been at (as excessive numbers in areas with little growth, was having little effect).

Can we start supressing 1990's growth levels once again? I am interested in seeing how many baptisms there were in 2009, for sure.

Brian said...

Has the closing of the Dublin Ireland mission (consolidated with the Edinburgh Scotland mission) been confirmed by anyone?

Michael said...

Guatemal Quetz-- mission is being split. My source isn't official, so I've been hesitant to pass it on, but it is.

Spencer said...

This is very interesting to see so many mission realignments after several years of minimal changes. I was in the Cuernavaca area when the Mexico City South mission was split and I became a part of the new Cuernavaca mission in '07. With 5 missions in Mexico City, do you have any estimates on how many missionaries actually serve in the city boundaries Matt?

rfelsted said...

Matt, thanks for your diligent reporting of all this development going on in the missions of the Church. We'd have to wait till July or August to get this kind of information from the Church News.

In your previous post you mentioned over 3,000 baptisms in the Mexico City East Mission for '09, and in that and other posts you have reported other baptism totals for various missions for 2009.

Could you please let us know what numbers you've heard of so far for which missions? We can then extrapolate these numbers to get an educated guess of the total number of convert baptisms that will be reported in the April Conference for 2009.

Of course it's a shame that there are fewer missionaries these days (due mainly to demographic changes in recent decades), but it's my belief that baptisms will still go up because of reallocation of missionaries throughout the world.

Spencer said...

rfelsted -

I agree! The Mexico City South mission had over 5000 baptisms in 2006 before being split,and after the split the 2 missions had a little over 6000 in 2008. This tactical move will be a great help in allocating our resources to areas that can optimize results.

rfelsted said...

To: Spencer,

Just curious where you found your information on those baptism totals for 2006 and 2008. Is that information available anywhere online or did you get those figures from a private source? If there is a public source for these statistics please let me know.

Spencer said...

I served my mission there. I only know those because I was there in 2006 and 2007 and then received a letter from my mission president informing me of the 2008 numbers. I wish there was a place where we could find these numbers by mission, but I don't think they are publicized.

rfelsted said...

Spencer, thanks a lot. I read your first post over and figured that's how you knew.