Missionaries serving in the Solomon Islands report that missionary activity recently commenced in the western Solomon Islands for the first time. Missionaries and church leaders visited Gizo, the third most populous urban location in the country, where they met 40 members and investigators and performed the first convert baptisms. Mission leaders report that a group has been or will soon be organized in Gizo.
The establishment of an LDS presence in Gizo has occurred on the heels of the organization of a group and an independent branch on Malaita, which was the first location off the main island of Guadalcanal to receive LDS outreach. Prospects appear highly favorable for continued outreach and, with the organization of the new Vanuatu Port Vila Mission this summer, more mission resources may be allocated to the Solomon Islands in the near future.
At present, the Solomon Islands are one of the least reached nations in Oceania and also one of the most populous. There were fewer than 500 Latter-day Saints nationwide at the end of 2011 but over 600,000 people living in the Solomon Islands.