Missionaries serving on Gaua Island, Vanuatu
Missionaries have recently begun serving on the island of Gaua in northern Vanuatu. With only a few thousand inhabitants, Gaua becomes one of the least populated islands in the country to have had an LDS presence established. The number of missionaries assigned to Vanuatu has increased dramatically within the past couple months to as many as 30 at present. A single group meets in Gaua which missionaries report has recently been approved to become an independent branch.
Growth in Sierra Leone
Several new branches and groups have been recently organized in Sierra Leone. Missionaries report that in Kenema three congregations have begun meeting whereas a year ago there was only one branch. Currently assigned to the Bo Sierra Leone District, Kenema is likely to become its own district in the near future. A new branch was created less than a month ago in Freetown (Belliar Park Branch) and a couple new groups also begun meeting in the Freetown area.
Accelerated congregational growth in Venezuela
Over the past year congregational growth has accelerated in Venezuela with new wards and branches often being organized on a monthly basis. Convert retention and member activity rates appear higher than most Latin American nations as membership growth rates remain moderately low notwithstanding increases in new wards and branches.