Stake discontinued in Australia
For the first time in LDS Church history in Australia, a stake was discontinued. The Sydney Australia Parramatta Stake was consolidated into several neighboring stakes in the Sydney area. The number of congregations in many Australian stakes is much lower than other nations, which jeopardizes the continued operation of some stakes if large numbers of members move away and few new converts are baptized and retained. Overall Australia has experienced moderate membership growth rates among industrialized nations but has experienced stagnant congregational growth. For more information about the Church in Australia, please refer to an article written by me and David Stewart at cumorah.com.
Approximately a dozen new branches to be organized in Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2011
Full-time missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission that plans are being finalized to organize approximately a dozen new branches in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Church has experienced little congregational growth in both nations between the mid-1990s and 2009 notwithstanding LDS membership grew rapidly. Missionaries also report that a future stake may soon be organized from one of the Monrovia districts.
New wards in Nairobi, Kenya
For the first time since the organization of the Nairobi Kenya Stake in 2001, the Church has organized new wards in Nairobi, Kenya. The Mountain View Ward (formerly the Westlands Branch) and the Kayole Ward were organized. There are now seven wards and two branches in the stake. LDS mission outreach remains severely limited in Nairobi as nine congregations provide outreach to a population of over three million. Prospects appear favorable for the opening of additional congregations in Nairobi and the formation of districts for the dozens of mission branches in the coming years.
New branch established in remote area of Mozambique
One of the most remote LDS congregations in Africa, the Luaha Branch was officially organized from the Luaha Group and becomes the 19th LDS branch in Mozambique. Latter-day Saints have lived in Luaha for several years and have demonstrated a strong degree of responsibility and desire regarding the gospel. For more information about the Church in Luaha, please refer to an article posted on the Church's South Africa website at www.lds.co.za.
Administrative branches discontinued for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo
Following the organization of the Pristina and Sarajevo Branches, the Church has discontinued the administrative branches for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Administrative branches continue to operate in Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Falkland Islands.
District discontinued in Spain
Comprising three branches stretched over a large geographical area, the Valladolid Spain District was discontinued. The Valladolid Branch now pertains to the Leon Spain District whereas the Salamanca and Segovia Branches are now mission branches under the Spain Madrid Mission.
Mormon Channel interview with former Nicaragua Managua Mission president
The Mormon Channel's Into All the World program conducted a phone interview with President Fraatz, the former mission president of the Nicaragua Managua Mission who served from 2007-2010. Former President Fraatz reported that church attendance among many LDS wards in the Managua area had increased dramatically in recent months, with several wards now reporting over 200 active members. Fraatz predicted that three to five new stakes would be organized in the new future due to strong growth and higher convert retention. The interview can be found on the right-hand side of this blog and is interview number 51.