Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 Newsletter

We have posted our March edition of our monthly newsletter for detailing recent church growth and missionary developments and recently posted resources on our website. Click here to access the newsletter.


Ray said...

Excellent case studies! The information on wards was very interesting. Also, very good to see stakes created in two nations (Albania and Micronesia) which have never had stakes in the past. Thanks very much!

Mike Johnson said...

The Cheyenne Meadows Ward, Colorado Springs Colorado Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Academy Ward
Broadmoor Ward
Canon City 1st Ward
Canon City 2nd Ward
Cheyenne Meadows Ward
Mountain Shadows Ward
Palmer Park Ward
Woodland Park Ward
Melissa Branch (Spanish)

Ed Clinch said...

Santiago de Chile is an interesting case, as is the rest of the country. Having spent close to 3 years of my life there (Chile) and a lot of time trying to understand the culture, our church progress, and other phenomena associated with it (much of it personally applicable to me, I have a few thoughts to ruminate on. I did some research of church stake growth there for a graduate paper back in 2001-2002. I did some comparisons to Brazil with it.

I spent most of my time in the 8th and 9th regions, south of Santiago, but through visits and close friendships to the capital, which is a huge influence on the rest of the nation, I have put together a few pet theories.

Like in many parts of the world, including the US, many investigators have become smitten with the gospel and the missionaries, and joined. Thousands did this after one Sunday of attendance, while others did it after multiple visits. Either way, many dis-activate for a number of reasons, many of them cultural to Chile, and others typical the world over.

The rate of baptisms has slowed down considerably since 2000 or so, while the overall growth rate is still increasing; membership maturing with fourth and fifth generation priesthood leadership and strong traditions in the faith.

But there is a lot of less active "dead" weight, and some of the Chilean perception is that "gringos" often come from far away, baptize, and never care to return or follow up with them. And in many cases, this has occurred. Although, I have met Chileans who have also baptized a lot and seem to not follow up on their investigators as well. One former missionary in Chile told me that in 1980, one Chilean mission (Concepcion covered at least a 1/3 of the country then) baptized 5,000 people in one month! I have seen Santiago mission reports where they baptize many hundreds or over a thousand in a month, as well as Vina del Mar next door. The retention was nearly impossible to sustain.

At least since 2000, with the "fused" stakes and wards, the LDS are finally getting their feet under the programs and systems that have been, one could say, hyper emotive or manic for so long. Like a brief romance, as I have compared it to in the past. Now, I hope, the marriage and serious commitment will last.

I also really look forward to the Conce temple going in, very close to old friends of mine.

Viva Chile.

But, between say, 1960 and 2000

Ed Clinch said...

Whoops, sorry. This last part was supposed to be added earlier, more or less saying:

"But, between say, 1960 and 2000, baptisms occurred at a hard to sustain rate."

It was faith promoting to many, but perhaps erred in many ways.

Isawan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isawan said...

Thailand Mission also broke its own record again for the numbers of baptisms in a single month. 212 people were baptized within the month of March.

Mike Johnson said...

The Towne Meadows Ward, Mesa Arizona Boulder Creek Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 11 wards in the stake:

Boulder Creek Ward
Eastridge Ward
Hawes Ward
Highland Groves Ward
Highland Ranch Ward
Highland Ward
Meadows Ward
Monterey Ward
Redfield Ward
Sossaman Ward
Towne Meadows Ward

TempleRick said...

Great news for Thailand! Is the Bangkok Thailand North District closer to qualifying as a stake?

MLewis82 said...

A couple of the Case Study links appear dead (including the one on Kyrgyzstan).

Isawan said...


Yes, they plan to have Bangkok North District become stake within this year.

I personally think it will be in June, because we will have a combined stake/district conference (Bangkok Stake and Bangkok North District). They will probably announce some boundaries change and establish a new stake then.

BYULAW said...

Speaking of Thailand, I know around 2004 there was somewhere around 100 or so Cambodian speaking immigrants that were baptized in the Bangkok area. Supposedly they set up a Cambodian speaking group/branch at that time. Does anyone know if that still exists? I know they baptized a lot of people in a very short amount of time, which generally doesn't bode well for retention unless there is good infrastructure in place. Thanks

Mike Johnson said...

The Mintal 2nd Ward, Davao Philippines Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 12 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Bajada Ward
Calinan Ward
Davao 1st Ward
Davao 2nd Ward
Maa 1st Ward
Maa 2nd Ward
Matina 1st Ward
Matina 2nd Ward
Mintal 1st Ward
Mintal 2nd Ward
Toril 1st Ward
Toril 2nd Ward
Ladian Branch
Tamugan Branch

The Marquelia Branch, México Cuernavaca Mission, was created on 30 March. There are now 3 independent branches in the mission:

Pinotepa México District
Altamirano Branch
Huetamo Branch
Marquelia Branch593

Isawan said...


There used to be a Cambodian-speaking group which was part of the international ward. But not anymore since many of them moved to other countries. Though there are some Cambodians who attend the Thai-speaking units throughout the stake.

As for retention, it's been pretty decent so far. I'm not sure about other units but in my ward, since the surge started last year in November, there are about 50+ people who got baptized, and about 40 of them still active as of right now.

I'm sure it's the same everywhere else cause at the Stake priesthood conference last Sunday, leaders reported that 4 meetinghouses couldn't handle the influx of people at the sacrament meeting.

There are about 120-140 people attend sacrament meeting (with 15-20 being investigators) in most of the units east of Bangkok Stake.

Adam said...

Great news about Davao. That means in the Davao area there are 20 wards and 3 branches, you'd think they'd be splitting into a third stake soon. I'll message my trainer who is from the area and see if he thinks it might split in the near future or if they are still lacking in priesthood.

Mike Johnson said...

The José Walter 4th Ward, Fortaleza Brazil South Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 7 wards in the stake:

José Walter 1st Ward
José Walter 2nd Ward
José Walter 3rd Ward
José Walter 4th Ward
Montenegro Ward
Pantanal Ward
Planalto Airton Sena Ward

The Pheasant Pointe 7th Ward, Lehi Utah Pheasant Pointe Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 10 wards in the stake:

Lehi 38th Ward (Spanish)
Pheasant Pointe 1st Ward
Pheasant Pointe 2nd Ward
Pheasant Pointe 3rd Ward
Pheasant Pointe 4th Ward
Pheasant Pointe 5th Ward
Pheasant Pointe 6th Ward
Pheasant Pointe 7th Ward
Traverse Mountain 3rd Ward
Traverse Mountain 11th Ward

Mike Johnson said...

The Davao Philippines Buhangin Stake has 8 wards and 2 branches:

Agdao Central Ward
Buhangin 1st Ward
Buhangin 2nd Ward
Buhangin 3rd Ward
Bunawan Ward
Sasa 1st Ward
Sasa 2nd Ward
Tibungco Ward
Babak Branch
Indangan Branch

James Anderson said...

Looks like someone screwed up in spelling the name of one ward in that Fortaleza Brazil stake.

'Airton Sena' should be 'Ayrton Senna'. He's a prominent figure in Brazil, many towns have a neighborhood, road, or highway named after him. Much like Santos Dumont, the Fortaleza Temple will be on the road named for him there.

Adam said...

Apparently the Davao stake presidents have it as a goal for this year. Here is a quote from one of the high councilmen (translated):

"Our goal is that this year we'll be able to create a new stake. There are a lot of requirements to create a stake. Aside from the 5 wards, we need the faith of the members, and of course number of tithe paying Melchizedek because that's a major factor."

So maybe the next year or two it'll be able to split, but they are certainly moving in the right direction.

Grant Emery said...

Isn't there usually a temples prediction post sometime before conference? I know there has been the off comment, but anything more comprehensive this time around? There will be a map where people post guesses at my house (my singles ward will be over), and it's a good way to include non-members in a fun way (it also helps them stay past waffles into the announcements). ... and I'd like to be right ...

Mike Johnson said...

The Hill Farms Ward, Kaysville Utah Stake, was created on 23 March. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Angel Park Ward
Flint Meadows Ward
Havenwood Ward
Hill Farms Ward
Mountain Shadows Ward
Mountain Vistas Ward
Pheasant Brook Ward
Webster Meadows Ward
Willow Brook Ward

The Chaves Branch, Porto Portugal Stake, was created on 30 March. There are now 4 wards and 5 branches in the stake:

Porto 1st Ward
Porto 2nd Ward
Vila Nova de Gaia 1st Ward
Vila Nova de Gaia 2nd Ward
Bragança Branch
Chaves Branch
Mirandela Branch
São João da Madeira Branch
Vila Real Branch

John Pack Lambert said...

Are they likely to split the mission in Thailand soon? With about 60 million people within the mission boundaries, that is much higher than the average number of people in a mission in the US (about 10 times as much).