Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 2013 Newsletter

Click here to access our July 2013 newsletter of recent church growth developments and new resources added to


Ed Clinch said...

I noticed that there is newly announced missionary access to a Russian town called Angarsk, with over 200,000 people.
How is LDS proselyting going in Russia? Are there still all those leave-the-country every three month visa issues? Russia has been a difficult place of growth for the church, although I think they now have 2 stakes in the biggest cities.

I remember Alexander Lebed using unflattering terms towards Mormons in the 1990s. He died in a plane crash. Ukraine seems to be a more fertile ground for converts and baptisms. The nationalism in Russia seems to be a factor in its slow progress there. I have known many friends who served in Russia and the Baltic states, and I guess I think of it as a slow growth area like Japan.

Did Russia consolidate some missions before? Any sign those will re-open? I wonder how BYU basketball player Collinsworth did in Siberia? Did he have successes in sharing the faith?

I wonder how LDS membership compares to the other 14 SSRs as far as percentage of citizens that are Latter day Saint.

It is encouraging to see missionaries going to another formidably sized city.

DJ said...

In your case study on the missionary increase, you mention potential new missions in 2014. Could you expand on that in a future post? Where do you think this is most likely? How many?

Also, would appreciate your opinion on whether you think the church is making the best use of the surge. Are we possibly missing an opportunity? I ask because it seems like so much of the missionary growth (both in missionaries per mission and new missions) happened in the U.S.

Racoon said...

Three new cities have been opened recently in Bahia Brazil that haven't been included. They are Mucuri, Buerarema, and Una.

James Crowther said...

@DJ There is some previous case studies:
The second one contains a link to a google map with likely new missions for 2014

John Pack Lambert said...

In reading over the report on expanding missionary work in Brazil, it mentioned that reaching all the unreached cities in Brazil would only require about 1000 missionaries.

This reminded me that currently here in the Detroit Michigan Mission we have about 10 missionaries waiting for visas to go to Brazil.

Mike Johnson said...

I just attended a missionary open house in our ward for a missionary leaving Tuesday eventually to Brazil, but the visa isn't in yet, so he is going to the MTC in Provo. A sister from our ward is currently in the Brazil MTC. The other ward that split from us has a couple of missionaries now in Brazil.

My brother-in-law thought his daughter would be going to Brazil, because the last four from his ward are heading to (or in) Brazil. My niece got her call yesterday and she is going to the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have a friend who is a Brazilian citizen because his mother is from Brazil, so he could have gone on a mission to Brazil with absolutely no need to obtain a visa. He was instead sent on his mission to Idaho.

I know the Church has maintained its mission in Greece by using missionaries from other EU countries who can enter without any visa requirements.

John Pack Lambert said...

I knew someone here in Michigan originally from Ghana who was called to serve in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission, and ended up in the SLC East Mission when it was split. Last I heard he was serving as a missionary in the Swahili Speaking branch in Salt Lake City.

In some cases our best chances of reaching certain countries is by specific-outreach in the US to their nationals abroad. I know this is how we have gotten members in China, and the first president of the mission in India was an Indian national who had joined the Church in California. In fact, baptizing immigrants in from Norway in Norway, Illinois was key to organizing the Church in Scandinavia in the 19th century.

So more outreach in the US and reaching every nation on the globe are not neccesarily in opposition to each other.

John Pack Lambert said...

I noticed on the analysis of the effects of the serge it said this was the first year since 2008 in which no missions were consolidated. However, I am pretty sure that no missions were consolidated in 2012. Also, especially the creation of two new missions in Salt Lake City in 2012 suggests to me they were already building up for the events of October earlier in the year. Although I think Elder Nelson's mentioning of the bishop who said he had no one to teach Elder Nelson's parents is the real impetus to expanded missionary presence in Salt Lake City. Still the SLC East mission has 50 stakes, which is more than the 7 missions in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania combined.

James Anderson said...

The three Brazilian cities are in the southeast part of the state of Bahia.

Mucuri is a smaller, disjointed town on the coast, looks like less than 10,000 total in the areas shown.

Buerarema is on the big national highway, BR-101, that runs up the coast of Brazil, but here it is inland a bit. It is a small town, probably only a few thousand, just south of a city of about 25,000 known as Itabuna.

Don't see hardly anything around what Google Maps shows for Una, although it appears to be on a state highway between BR-101 and the coast. There are several towns north and south of it, and the larger city of about 25,000 known as Teixeira de Freitas, also on BR-101.

They may be shooting for forming an eventual district to service these cities and all that around them in the future with these town openings.

James Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Racoon said...


For further clarification:

Mucuri is a small "satellite" city of Teixeira de Freitas. It actually has nearly 40,000 residents. Out of the three new cities this city is growing the slowest.

Una is a small city just south of a larger city called Ilheus. Very poor. Couple of great families have been baptized there recently.

Buerarema is another small city outside of Itabuna (pop: over 200,000). Itabuna has a stake and several strong wards.

All three cities have groups at this point. Each group has a sister ward in the city closest to it that sends leadership to preside over the meetings each Sunday. Buerarema currently has sisters in it.

Brazil has a unique challenge as it is a massive country with relatively poor infrastructure (roads, access, etc) so movement into cities deeper in the interior will take some time. There are a number of very large cities in Minas Gerais, Bahia, etc that don't have missionaries due to location and travel.

Ed Clinch said...

For many years the "Missionary Guide" was the standard book for missionary effectiveness. Effectiveness was the key word to that book, in my opinion, because that was the key and emphasis of it. The church introduced the Preach my Gospel manual later an is still used today, which seems to emphasize more individual revelation and personal interaction with the Lord.
That said, missionaries are not necessarily sent to where they might be most intuitively effective, like that Brazilian citizen going to Idaho.
Some missionaries are very less effective in some areas or cultures of the world but, we believe, that is still part of the Lord's plan.
Questions of faith and divine imprimatur.
Sort of like our patriarchal blessings and callings and other revealed matters that we accept or reject or ignore. Or embrace.
Very interesting conjecture. But, as faithful LDS, we hold on to sacred issuances like mission calls and other holy mandates and revelations and realize the most effective people are very often not the ones who get the job done.
Think of all the bishops you have known, for example. Or your own performance in your own calls and services.
Food for thought.
And, the Kingdom of God continues.
Thanks to this site for chronicling many of the details. Fascinating data. Keep it up.

James Anderson said...

Thanks for the clarifications on sizes of the cities involved, as it is often hard to tell the sizes of Brazilian cities in terms of populations from maps alone. That's all I had to go on.

The rest of your description makes sense, they are going out from those larger cities to begin building a member base in the smaller ones, so this is all good news regardless of anything else in the region.

James Crowther said...

@John Pack Lambert
Actually 2008 is correct, in 2012 the Russia Moscow West mission was discontinued:

Thomas Lang said...

What information do you have on Kuantan Malaysia opening?
Missionaries were sent there over 15 years ago I believe but they closed the area relatively soon. It is a few hours away from the closest branch. I believe there is an expat who married a local woman who is LDS that lives there.