Wednesday, July 11, 2012

City Opens for Missionary Work in Georgia

Missionaries serving in the Armenia Yerevan Mission report that a second city has opened for missionary work in the country of Georgia.  With slightly more than 100,000 inhabitants and ranked as Georgia's fourth most populous city, Rustavi opened for proselytism last month and young elders and a senior missionary couple were assigned.  Rustavi is located halfway between the capital city Tbilisi and the Azerbaijani border.  The Church assigned the first young proselytizing missionaries in March 2006 and has performed missionary activity only in Tbilisi. Missionaries report that a group has been organized in Rustavi.  It is unclear whether there are any members living in the city.

The opening of a second city in Georgia to missionary work is a significant milestone that may indicate additional prospects to expand missionary activity to additional locations.  The delay of opening a second city to missionary work for six years is concerning and has possibly resulted in missed opportunities to establish the Church in more locations when local populations were more receptive to missionary activity.  Prospects for future growth in Tbilisi and Rustavi appear modest as receptivity continues to decline and no translations of LDS scriptures are available.  One positive development within the past few years is that the Church has translated several basic proselytism materials into Georgian and that the translation of the Book of Mormon into Georgia began within the past year.

3 comments:

The Opinion said...

"The delay of opening a second city to missionary work for six years is concerning and has possibly resulted in missed opportunities to establish the Church in more locations when local populations were more receptive to missionary activity."
This concern would be true if this was the work of a man, but this is the work of the Lord.

Matt said...

Yes, the Church and missionary activity is the work of the Lord. However, progress in expanding outreach into new areas depends not only on the Lord's will but also on us. I believe that this goes back to the principle that Elder Oaks identified as "good, better, and best." Yes, it is good to build up centers of strength, but based on reports from mission presidents, missionaries, and ordinary members, the better or best option is to do both: Build up established units without saturating them with full-time missionaries and opening new areas to proselytism.

alien236 said...

Mr. Opinion, if the Lord was the one deciding mission policies I imagine he could do better than a 30-35% worldwide activity rate. Just saying.