Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New District in Papua New Guinea

A new district was organized last Wednesday in Papua New Guinea in Madang.  The Madang Lae Papua New Guinea District includes two branches in Madang and one branch in Lae.  The new district becomes the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea to cover such a large geographical area and is the first new district organized within the past decade with as few branches.  The Church has experienced slow growth in this region of the country, but the organization of the new district may indicate that growth has accelerated and additional branches may be organized in the near future although church leadership has not confirmed this assumption.

There are now two stakes and 11 districts in Papua New Guinea.  The Church in Papua New Guinea would greatly benefit from the organization of a second mission to meet the large administrative burden on mission leaders and to spur greater national outreach expansion. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Church Growth Developments in Colombia and Spain

First LDS congregation organized in Maicao, Colombia

The Church organized its first branch in the city of Maicao in northern Colombia.  With nearly 100,000 inhabitants, Maicao was the city with the fourth largest population unreached by the LDS Church prior to the organization of the new branch.  Within the past couple years, the Church established its first branch in neighboring Riohacha; possibly indicating coordinated mission efforts to expand outreach in Colombia's most populous cities that are unreached by the Church.  Both branches pertain to the Santa Marta Colombia District.

Missionaries assigned for the first time to Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain

Mission leadership in the Spain Barcelona Mission report that the first group was organized on the island of Ibiza and that full-time missionaries were permanently assigned.  The core of active membership in the small group consists of Paraguayan Latter-day Saints who relocated to the island but the Church has found a handful of local Spaniards who are members.  With approximately 150,000 inhabitants, Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands and pertains to the Baleares Spain District.  The Church in Spain has renewed outreach expansion efforts within the past year as new branches were recently organized in Vic, Huercal-Overa, and Villagarcia de Arousa.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Missions in 2012 - Predictions

The Church will officially announce any changes to its 340 missions worldwide within the next month.  It appears that there will likely be two new missions organized in 2012 in the following locations based on missionary reports:

  • Angola Luanda
  • Ghana Kumasi
There has been no official announcement of either mission, but the number of missionaries assigned to these two areas has steadily increased within the past six months and it appears that preparations are underway for the creation of new missions in these locations.

Recent Church Growth News - Potential New Stakes in Russia, Cambodia, and Cape Verde in 2012


Missionaries serving in the Russia St Petersburg, Russia Saratov, Russia Yekaterinburg, and Russia Novosibirsk Missions report that districts and branches have recently been consolidated to create branches with more active members and districts with more congregations to prepare for the creation of additional stakes in Russia within the next couple years.  Each district that may become a stake in the near future is displayed below from the LDS International Atlas on cumorah.com.

In St Petersburg, a couple branches were discontinued within and nearby the city but the St Petersburg Russia District was expanded to incorporate additional branches that did not previously pertain to a district such as Gatchina, Kolpino, Petergof, Sestroretsk, and Vyborg.  At present the St Petersburg Russia District has ten branches.

View Wards and Branches in Western Russia in a larger map

In Saratov, a couple branches were closed in the city of Saratov but the district was expanded to include branches in Balakovo, Marks, and Penza.  a district branch was also created to meet the needs of members in isolated areas within the district meeting in groups.  The Saratov Russia District now has nine branches and missionaries report that the district is close to becoming a stake.  

View Wards and Branches in Western Russia in a larger map

In Yekaterinburg, the sole district in the city absorbed a former district in Chelyabinsk and a couple mission branches.  The district now has six branches and may become a stake in the near future.

View Branches in Central and Eastern Russia in a larger map

In Novosibirsk, the sole district in the city has included a couple former mission branches and currently contains six branches.  A stake may be organized from the district in the coming years.

View Branches in Central and Eastern Russia in a larger map

The Church has undergone several cycles of consolidating and splitting districts as area and mission presidencies has opted for creating stakes or splitting districts to expand outreach.  Many active and semi-active members have been lost to inactivity through this process over the past two decades, but the success of the Moscow Russia District attaining stakehood last year and not appearing to exhibit any noticeable setbacks after the consolidation of the two districts in the city may indicate potential success in the establishment of additional stakes in Russia.  The formation of additional stakes may permit the channeling of more mission resources into opening currently unreached cities.  At present, there are over 100 cities in Russia with over 100,000 inhabitants without an LDS congregation operating.


Missionaries serving in the Cambodia Phnom Penh report that mission leadership is striving for both Cambodian (Khmer) districts in Phnom Penh to become stakes this year. The LDS Church in Cambodia currently has the most members of any country in without a stake notwithstanding church membership concentrated in Phnom Penh where 18 branches meet. Members and missionaries have reported that mission leadership has prepared for the two districts in Phnom Penh to become stakes for the past five years and the recent creation of a couple new branches in the Phnom Penh area may indicate improved convert retention and local leadership development.

Below is a map of the districts and branches in the LDS Church in Cambodia

View Branches in Cambodia in a larger map

Cape Verde

Missionaries serving in Cape Verde report that the Praia Cape Verde District is close to becoming a stake and that the first stake in Cape Verde will likely also include the Fogo Cape Verde District. Cape Verde ranks among the top ten countries in the world with the most members without a stake. Low member activity rates have delayed the organization of a stake for years.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

District Discontinued in Brazil

Located in Bahia State, the Jequié Brazil District was discontinued.  The district contained only two branches that operated in the city of Jequié, one of which was closed at the same time as the district (Joaquim Romã).  The district was originally organized in 2004 likely in anticipation of stronger growth in the area which has not occurred.  There are now 242 stakes and 48 districts in Brazil.