Missionaries continue to report positive church growth developments in Nicaragua. The Nicaragua Managua North Mission, created this past July, is now at productivity levels equal to that of the original Nicaragua Managua Mission prior to the mission split. The small, remote city of Siuna in north central Nicaragua had its first visit by full-time missionaries in the past month and missionaries have periodically worked in the city since. Last Sunday, over 60 interested individuals attended church, which was the second formal church meeting ever held, and several of these attendees will be baptized in the coming weeks. Missionaries serving in Nicaragua report challenges increasing the number of men at church in many areas, which is an obstacle towards developing greater self-sufficiency and long-term growth.
Missionaries arrive in Burundi
As reported a month ago, the Church set plans to open Burundi to missionary work in September for the first time since the brief period full-time missionaries were assigned to Burundi in the early 1990s. Six young male full-time missionaries and two senior couples arrived safely in the country this past week. Two additional young elders will arrive in the coming week. Self-proclaimed Latter-day Saints number nearly 1,000 in Bujumbura and in remote areas in the northeast. There appears to be fewer than 50 known Latter-day Saints in Burundi. In the coming weeks and months, missionaries will most likely begin working with known members, establish and train local leadership for future branches, and begin teaching and baptizing new converts. Missionary activity will most likely be limited to Bujumbura for the first few months or year until expanding into other areas.
Congregational growth in Brazil
Steady congregational growth has occurred in Ceare and Sao Paulo States in Brazil so far in 2010. Few new stakes appear likely to be created in the near future however in these areas due to recent division of most of the larger stakes. There have been 17 new stakes created in these two states since 2005, few of which have been from districts maturing into stakes. Stakes which may be close to splitting in Ceare and Sao Paulo are listed below.
- Fortaleza Brazil East (9 wards, 2 branches)
- Hortolandia Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
- Sao Jose do Rio Preto (9 wards, 3 branches)
Rapid Growth in Kananga, Democratic Republic of Congo
Isolated in the interior of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kananga is the country's fourth largest city. The Church created its first district in Kananga in 2003. Up until a couple years ago, four branches operated in the city. Currently there are eight branches, with two or three new branches to be created by the end of the year. No full-time missionaries have been assigned to Kananga in the past and local member missionaries have been responsible for teaching and baptizing new members. So far in 2010, over 450 new converts have been baptized in the district, with typically 60 converts baptized a month. In a recent district conference, over 2,200 attended the general session. Many local members are currently serving full-time missions and for the first time, full-time missionaries will be assigned in the coming month. The Church has faced challenges acquiring additional facilities which are large enough to use as meetinghouses. Many branches in the district report up to 200 attending church a week. The district is currently preparing to become a stake in the near future.
Like in many unreached areas of Africa where self-identified Latter-day Saints meet unofficially waiting for the church's arrival, a new group of 200 is meeting in the name of the church in a location some 300 kilometers from Kananga. Mission leaders provided teaching and training to the prospective members, but as of now there appears to be no plans to open a congregation in this remote area.