First LDS branch organized in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
The first LDS branch was recently organized in Uvira, DR Congo. The Uvira Branch becomes the first LDS branch ever organized in the entire eastern or northern areas of the country. Beginning in 2008, the Church has begun to organize new branches in previously unreached cities such as Gandajika, Kakanda, Kasumbalesa, Kipushi, Matadi, and Mwene-Ditu but with the exception of Matadi all of these cities are located within a day's drive from a city that already had an LDS congregation. The organization of the new branch in Uvira was made possible by the opening of Burundi to missionary work one year ago and the diligence of local members in the Uvira area to cross the border and frequently attend church services in Bujumbura.
New branches in Malaysia; new ward in Singapore
Three new branches have recently been organized in Malaysia: The Cheras, Kota Kinabalu 2nd, and Masai Branches. The Cheras Branch was organized in Kuala Lampur and the Masai Branch was organized in the Johore Bahru area. A ninth ward in the Singapore Stake was also recently organized. With ongoing congregational growth in the region, Singapore appears to be a likely candidate for a future temple within the next decade especially when districts in Malaysia mature into stakes.
Rapid membership growth in Uganda
Full-time missionaries serving in the Uganda Kampala Mission report that the mission has so far in 2011 baptized over 1,600 converts, breaking previous records for the number of converts baptized in a single year since the mission was organized in 2005. Convert retention appears moderate but particularly high in cities which recently had branches organized (Gulu, Lira, Masaka, Mbale, and Njeru). Several senior missionary couples have recently been assigned to these cities and are providing valuable humanitarian and development work in addition to often working with church administrative affairs in these newly created branches. Some of these congregations have over 150 attending church services on Sundays.
Malawi to be dedicated for missionary work
On the heels of the organization of the new Zambia Lusaka Mission and the creation of several new branches and groups in Malawi, members report that Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve will visit Malawi and offer a formal dedicatory prayer for the nation. Malawi currently pertains to the Zambia Lusaka Mission and LDS congregations operate in Blantyre (4), Lilongwe (3), and Liwonde. With nearly 16 million inhabitants, Malawi appears a very favorable nation to have its first LDS mission organized in the near future.