New branch in Mongolia
A new branch was created in southern Mongolia. The Oyu-Tolgoi Branch reports directly to the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission and serves members who work at the Oyu-Tolgoi Mine which extracts precious gold and copper deposits. Members have met as a group for at least a year or so and are now officially organized as their own branch.
Growth in Likasi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Two new branches were created in Likasi, bringing the total number of branches in the city to six. Missionaries were introduced for the first time just a year and a half ago to this city in the southern DR Congo. In just a couple weeks, Likasi and the eastern half of the DR Congo will become part of the new Democratic Republic of Congo Lubumbashi Mission. Only African missionaries serve in this region, with the exception of some senior missionary couples.
Three new branches for India
Missionaries report that three new branches will be organized in Southern India in the coming month. Additional branches will be organized in Coimbatore, Hyderabad, and Rajahmundry. Two of these branches have already been organized. This brings the total number of congregations to 33 in India. Missionaries also report that the Hyderabad India District is the closest to becoming a stake, which may occur in the next year or two.
Districts consolidate in Moscow, Russia in preparation for future stake
In 2006, the Moscow Russia District reached the standards to qualify to become a stake. However, mission and local leaders decided to divide the district to work towards two stakes being established in the city. It appears that these ambitious have been abandoned for the time being as the districts were combined about a month ago. Missionaries report that the district is functioning just like a stake currently and should officially become a stake very soon.
Rapid growth in Nicaragua
Missionaries in Nicaragua report that the mission has experienced rapid membership growth over the past six months. During the month of May, over 600 converts were baptized, including many family members and potential Priesthood holders. Several areas are setting new records for church attendance, a welcome sign in a nation which has experienced poor convert retention over the past two decades. The mission is preparing to divide in a couple weeks and has also received more missionaries. Growth appears not to be limited to one specific area of the country.
One exciting development has occurred along the Atlantic coast in the city of Puerto Cabezas where last year the branch divided into three new congregations. For the first time, it appears the Church has experienced a breakthrough in working with the Miskito Amerindians. Missionaries report around 40 members are about to submit their mission papers; a significant achievement as only one member has served a mission from this region.