Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Potential New Missions in 2015

The Church appears poised to create a significant number of new missions in 2015 due to sustained increases in the number of members serving full-time missions within the past two years. There may not be much of a decline in the number of full-time missionaries once the "double cohort" ends based upon a statement recently made by Elder Russell M. Nelson regarding the impact of the recent age change for missionary service on additional family members deciding to serve missions. With over 88,000 full-time missionaries, the Church would need to operate 540 missions if it were to maintain the historical average of 163 missionaries per mission from 1977 to 2011. This would represent an increase of 134 missions from the current total.


Below is a list of potential new missions that may be created in 2015. Criteria for identifying potential new missions include recent LDS membership, congregational, and organizational (stakes and districts) growth trends, trends in new mission creations within the past decade, population size, and the boundaries of current missions.
  • Argentina Santa Fe
  • Argentina Tucuman
  • Australia Brisbane (2nd mission)
  • Bolivia El Alto
  • Brazil Aracatuba
  • Brazil Jaboatao
  • Brazil Manaus (2nd mission)
  • Brazil Porto Velho
  • Brazil Rio de Janeiro (2nd mission)
  • Brazil Sao Luis
  • Brazil Sorocaba
  • Burundi/Rwanda
  • Cambodia Phnom Penh (2nd mission)
  • Cameroon Yaounde
  • Canada Lethbridge
  • Chile La Serena
  • Chile Temuco
  • Colorado Grand Junction
  • Costa Rica San Jose (2nd mission)
  • Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kananga
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa (2nd mission)
  • Ethiopia Addis Ababa
  • Germany Hamburg
  • Ghana Kumasi (2nd mission)
  • Guadalupe
  • Guyana Georgetown
  • Idaho Falls Idaho
  • India Hyderabad
  • Malawi Lilongwe
  • Mexico Chilpancingo
  • Mexico Juchitan
  • Mexico Tijuana (2nd mission)
  • Mexico Toluca
  • Nigeria Aba
  • Nigeria Ibadan
  • Nigeria Uyo
  • Peru Chimbote
  • Peru Ica
  • Peru Puno
  • Philippines Bacolod (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Cabanatuan
  • Philippines Davao (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Dumaguete
  • Philippines Lucena
  • Philippines Ormoc
  • Philippines Santiago
  • Poland Katowice
  • Portugal Porto
  • Samoa Apia (2nd mission)
  • Slovakia Bratislava
  • Solomon Islands Honiara
  • South Africa Pretoria
  • Spain Alicante
  • Taiwan Kaohsiung
  • Tanzania Dar Es Salaam
  • Tennessee Memphis
  • Texas Austin
  • Texas El Paso
  • Texas Plano
  • Thailand Bangkok (2nd mission)
  • Togo Lome
  • Tonga Nuku'alofa (2nd mission)
  • Turkey Istanbul
  • Uruguay Rivera
  • Zimbabwe Bulawayo

36 comments:

James said...

Matt, I am amazed at the extensive research you do to provide your readers with your wonderful temple site and new mission predictions every year. I did share a link to your temple predictions on my blog, and I got positive feedback from it. Now I want to ask if you would object if I posted a link to this post on my blog. I don't want to go behind your back and do so without your permission, so I thought I'd ask if that would be all right. I'll be interested to see how many of these "potential new missions" actually get created. Keep up the good work with your great predictions!

Pascal said...

Thanks for the list! You beat me to it by a few days, since I was working on my own prediction list but hadn`t been able to verify my brainstorming results with maps of areas I know less about. I don`t really understand Latin America well enough to build my own predictions, but I agree with you on the trend of creating once again a relatively large amount of new Missions there. Same goes for the Philippines.

For all non-Latin American Missions, here`s my "play-by-play" on your predictions:

Australia Brisbane would probably split north-south. In fact, this was my guess for a new Australian Mission two years ago, which I would have taken far above Sydney. It`s still the area with the biggest growth potential in Australia.

Burundi/Rwanda is a wonderful idea. It would most likely rely on a Church planting approach and it would, for the forseeable future, be a small Mission with far less than 250 Missionaries. While I love the idea, I doubt it will happen for another couple of years. What I can see right now is simply more resources allocated to these areas.

Cambodia Phnom Penh could split either direction and I think such a split is likely to happen. Basically a no-brainer.

Cameroon Yaounde has reached the critical membership mass for its own Mission. It would be interesting to see if the number of Missionaries assigned to the Congo Brazzaville Mission is high enough (yet) to allow for such a split to happen, simply based on infrastructural needs of the Mission. Splitting off a new Mission from one that was created just the year before is a tough call. This might be the only reason holding the Church back next year.

Canada Lethbridge is an interesting prediction which I didn`t really have on my radar. From what I hear, the Calgary Mission still has the most baptisms in Canada and is also one of the largest when it comes to assigned Missionary force. I`d say it`s a very valid dark horse.

Colorado Grand Junction has been on my list for a long time. It could cover western Colorado and the Uintah Basin, which would ultimately relieve logistic strains from the Utah and Colorado Missions.

Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro is absolutely necessary, however, for next year at least it might run into the same logistic difficulties as Cameroon. However, with receptivity and the number of congregations much higher, I think Cote d`Ivoire will get its third Mission.

To combine the DRC predictions, I actually believe that the Church will create one new Mission in Kananga. The Church is still struggling a little with staffing the "all-African" Missions and Kinshasa has already seen sufficient administrative relief when the Brazzaville Mission was created this year. Hence, I`d give the second Kinshasa Mission just a little more time.

Ethiopia Addis Abeba has a lot of potential. I believe the Church would be off best if it reached out to the South Sudanese refugees living in the country`s north. This has yet to happen, despite very high receptivity and thousands of them assembling in the name of the Church. The Mission could also cover South Sudan and later open it to Missionary work (the situation there seems to have slightly improved), Djibuti (the Military branch could probably get Missionaries to work among the U.S. citizens there), Eritrea and Somalia (this ain`t happening anytime soon). From Ethiopians I know living abroad, I dare questioning any high level of receptivity to non-traditional Christianity.

Germany could get it`s three-and-a-halfth Mission back. Hamburg or Düsseldorf are both good guesses. I`ll stick with Düsseldorf, simply because there is still tremendous potential to open new, thus far unreached large cities to Missionary work. Also, population density is much higher than in north-west Germany. Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Hannover could make up such a new Mission, leaving Berlin still with Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Neumünster, Neubrandenburg and Oldenburg. Although I agree that Hamburg is certainly an option that`s just as valid.

Pascal said...

Ghana Kumasi North is also a very good candidate. Let me suggest a Mission in Tamale instead to better reach Northern Ghana and eventually Burkina Faso. It might be a good idea for the Church to try reaching this region with a Mission that can adapt to the local culture of this area.

Guadalupe is an interesting guess to say the least. Depending on which other surrounding islands would be covered, it could work. I`m not sure though. I doubt that the need is large enough to justify a Mission there at this time.

Guyana Georgetown could cover the two Guyanas and Suriname. I feel like this would be a very good move by the Church. It would also correlate with a certain willingness by Mission leaders to expand outreach in the West Indies Mission, for which more resources would be needed there.

Idaho Falls seems to be oversaturating Idaho to be quite honest. I would feel like they are served well for years to come.

India Hyderabad is a necessary move, but there are clearly not enough Indian Missionaries serving right now to staff a third Mission. With the visa situation, it`s a very insecure guess and I would doubt that the Church would do it at this time.

Malawi could use its own Mission. It has reached a critical mass of members and has good growth potential. Aside from Ethiopia, it`s probably the country in Africa that needs its own Mission the most.

Nigeria`s predictions are all very valid. Aba has a Temple but no Mission, so eventually I would definitely see this as the most likely candidate, based on the centers of strength paradigm. The lack of native African Missionaries could make it hard for three new Missions to be created at once, even though the country could use it.

Poland Katowice is your prediction that knocked me off my chair. While I love Poland as the country of my ancestors (they are actually from the Katowice area), I`m not sure what could justify this for years. Low receptivity and just over a dozen branches in the entire country, combined with very good traffic infrastructure and small numbers of Missionaries assigned to the Warsaw Mission make a Mission in Katowice highly unlikely, in my opinion. Although I agree, Poland could use a few more Missionaries to plant congregations in unreached cities.

Portugal Porto would serve the goal by the Lisbon Mission to create groups closer to members who live far away from established congregations and thus tend to be less active. It`s a worthwhile cause and the resources are available, wherefore I agree that the Church will create this Mission next year.

Samoa Apia would be wonderful. However, I doubt that Samoa`s population would justify a second Mission. I`m entirely unaware of how staffed the current Mission is, so my prediction might be a bit inaccurate. But for now I have some doubts.

Slovakia Bratislava is, in my opinion, a solid prediction. The Slovak population abroad seems to rank among the most receptive European peoples, and Prague is pretty far away. I`m uncertain if the Church would create this Mission before Bratislava has its own district, even though a Bratislava District probably lies in the forseeable future.

The Solomon Islands need a Mission and they`ll get it.

South Africa Pretoria is also a good guess, although I think a new Mission in South Africa would rather be created in the Cape Town area. Either way, South Africa has proven that, despite increasing secularism and wealth, robust growth on the African continent can be upheld.

Pascal said...

Spain has three large Missions that all have a significant administrative burden attached to them. Alicante is on my list, but my feeling leans more towards Sevilla or a second Mission in Madrid.

Taiwan doesn`t seem to have done much recently to justify its third Mission. My personal feeling is that at the moment, it is well-served with its two Missions.

Tanzania Dar Es Salaam will come eventually, but I doubt that it`s the time yet. I feel like, unfortunately, we`ll have to wait perhaps a couple more years for this to happen. The critical mass of membership is still a little bit away, even though it would be a good move by the Church to relieve the Nairobi Mission and to free up resources there.


Tennessee Memphis is on my list and has been for a while. Growth in this area is robust, the population appears to be more receptive than further south, and significant congregational growth has occurred recently.

Texas is likely to have more Missions organized. I`ll go with "only" Austin and El Paso for now, but more could well be underway.

Thailand will also get its second Mission. The tremendous membership and congregational growth there has not gone unnoticed, and with a certain pressure to open new areas on a regular basis, the original Bangkok Mission is nearing full capacity. I would opt in favor of a Mission up north, such as in Udon.

Togo Lome would be another one of those no-brainers in my opinion, although the Church might wait for another year. However, I feel like creating its own Mission for Togo would be a significant step to increase outreach into other parts of the country.

For Tonga Nuku'alofa, see Samoa.

Turkey has some major challenges preventing it from having its own Mission organized. First and foremost though, the native population (which dominates almost all currently unreached cities) is not very receptive to say the least. For example, I have yet to meet a Turkish member in Germany, even though (depending on how you count) between 5 and 10 percent of the people living in Germany have Turkish roots. I have taught one Christian from Turkey on my own Mission, which also isn`t that much considering there are quite a few Turkish people in Switzerland and he was a member of a tiny Christian minority. At this stage, locating interested foreigners (and locals) appears to be done sufficiently through the Bulgaria Sofia Mission.

Zimbabwe Bulawayo is not on my list yet, but perhaps only becuase I forgot. Looking at the maps of existing units, this seems to be a fairly solid call for me. I still won`t add it yet, but in perhaps two or three years, it is going to be right up there.


Of course, I will provide my own list shortly.

Michael said...

On 26 October 2014, the following ward and branches were created:


Alta Vista Branch (Spanish), in the Fort Collins Colorado Stake.
The stake now has 9 wards and 1 branch:
Harmony Ward
Horsetooth YSA Ward
Nelson Farm Ward
Parkwood Ward
Prairie Ridge Ward
Taft Canyon Ward
Terry Lake Ward
Timberline Ward
Wellington Ward
Alta Vista Branch (Spanish)


Cross Creek Ward, in the Katy Texas Stake.
The stake now has 10 wards and 2 branches:
Bear Creek 1st Ward
Cinco West Ward
Copperfield Ward
Cross Creek Ward
Grand Lakes Ward
Katy 1st Ward
Katy 2nd Ward
Katy Mills Ward
Nottingham Country Ward
Westlake Ward
Sealy 1st Branch
Sealy 2nd Branch (Spanish)


Lutendale 2nd Branch, in the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Ngaliema Stake.
The stake now has 9 wards and 1 branch:
Kimbuala Ward
Kinsuka Ward
Lutendale 1st Ward
Malueka 1st Ward
Malueka 2nd Ward
Mangungu Ward
Mazal Ward
Munganga Ward
Regideso Ward
Lutendale 2nd Branch

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

I predict how we do missions will change in the near future. I think we will have a whole bunch of smaller missions - 500-600 plus - which are run by local leadership.

If we have 500 or so missions it will be hard to find so many mission presidents who can give up 3 years of their career (often in their prime) at a time. I think Mission presidents will soon be all locals who may even continue working and be part time Mission presidents.

For example in the United states we would reduce mission sizes to 6-8 stakes in the western states. Maybe 15-20 stakes in the Mormon corridor. And 3-5 stakes in the Eastern USA.

I think localizing the missions as much as possible would increase productivity.

I expect something like this to happen in the near future.

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

I should also add that I think the church is already testing this with the Salt Lake Central Mission and the Salt lake West Missions.

Pascal said...

That could possibly work in areas where the Church is well-established already. But thinking about the parts of the world where the Church is new or where it has difficulty even staffing its own local leadership positions, I feel like this policy could become an impossible burden. Practically all Mission Presidents within the past century have before served as leaders in their local congregations (mostly Bishops), perhaps 90% or so of them were members of Stake Presidencies, so it is widely established that Mission Presidents need leadership expertise. You can`t find that everywhere in the Church.

Secondly, I feel like part-time Mission Presidents would be an absolute nightmare. For them, for their families, but most of all for the Missionaries. They need to be adequately trained, transfered if necessary, ministered to, taken care of in case of sickness or injury, interviewed, etc. - I would estimate that my Mission President spent 80 hours a week doing this. It`s like two full-time jobs already, and I doubt that there would be much relief if the Mission had been smaller. The Mission President (or his counselors) also interview baptism candidates who have any problems with question 4, which is a lot more of them than one would think, and those can be VERY long interviews. Additionally, Mission Presidents are also responsible for all adult members of districts and direct-report branches. I`ll be quite honest...this is a horrific idea. And in case of the two Salt Lake Missions, it`s a very need-based development (there are much smaller Missions by number of Missionaries).

Iris and Craig said...

I find this story to be interesting:

http://www.nzkanivapacific.co.nz/2014/10/king-sends-pm-stop-prince-atas-christening-mormon-church/?fb_action_ids=10154738493780720&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.VFB7Rzjt7PQ.like#.VFIjN-diiYb

According to a senior missionaries' blogspot who are currently serving there, he is done some serious study and has been really serious about it. Please pray for Prince Ata and his family.

Ryan Searcy said...

With the Phoenix Arizona Temple being dedicated in just a couple of weeks, I have calculated a list of stakes that the temple would serve, all from the Mesa Arizona Temple:

1. Buckeye Arizona Stake
2. Cottonwood Arizona Stake
3. Glendale Arizona North Stake
4. Glendale Arizona Stake
5. Goodyear Arizona Stake
6. Paradise Valley Arizona Stake
7. Peoria Arizona North Stake
8. Peoria Arizona Stake
9. Phoenix Arizona Deer Valley Stake
10. Phoenix Arizona East Stake
11. Phoenix Arizona North Stake
12. Phoenix Arizona Stake
13. Phoenix Arizona West Maricopa Stake
14. Phoenix Arizona YSA Stake
15. Prescott Arizona Stake
16. Prescott Valley Arizona Stake
17. Surprise Arizona North Stake
18. Surprise Arizona Stake
19. Yuma Arizona Stake

These were mapped based on where the stake center is, and whether members of that stake would be able to get to the Mesa or Phoenix temples in the shortest amount of time.

I am in the process of mapping every stake and district by temple district, and formulating which stakes and districts would be served by temples that are now under construction or announced.

Based on current construction status, this is my predicted order of dedication for the temples under construction:

144. Phoenix
145. Payson (might switch with Cordoba)
146. Cordoba
147. Trujillo
148. Indianapolis
149. Tijuana
150. Rome (might switch with Provo City Center)
151. Provo City Center
152. Philadelphia
153. Hartford
154. Sapporo (might switch with Fort Collins)
155. Fort Collins
156. Paris
157. Meridian
158. Fortaleza

Ed Clinch said...

Senor Chile (:}), reporting: Those two places offered as new mission bases make sense in the geographical sense for Chile, but I wonder how effective more missions for the whole country would be. There are now 10 (unlike the Ensign article that mistakenly put 9 this past year). There are very small towns in Chile that have LDS Church access. Although there are hundreds of smaller country farm towns that do not. Some branches have been started in them and now do not exist. But compared to Brazil that has dozens of cities of 40, 50, 60, up to 70 thousand people with no church presence, I would think Brazil will get more new missions soon. Colombia is another place in South America to get some more expansion, I think.

Also, the three Guyanas (Dutch, Suriname), could use some more missionaries, although know there has been some visa and quota issues there.

How about other missions in the South Pacific? More in India would be great. Or even, dare I say...Russia.

BYULAW said...

Matt,

Here is a link that may help with the new ward boundaries for the Herriman Utah South Stake that you can use to update your map for your cumorah site.

http://www.herrimansouthstake.com/presentation.php

Michael Worley said...

When were people originally projecting the # of missionaries to start decreasing? Seems like we still have a year before the wave is mostly home. That said, the secondary MTC in Provo and the larger Mexico City MTC have both been busy

Mike Johnson said...

It was always a mistake to think of the surge as simply a double class.

Many stayed with previous plans.

For the young men, it was often allowing them the option of accelerating several months and not a full year.

More young men went out, but nowhere near a double cohort.

Reducing the gap between high school/seminary and missions means a higher probability of choosing to go.

The young women grew much faster. With the gap reduced from almost 3 years to up to a year from high school graduation, means more will go.

When seminary classes talk about going on missions, both the young men and the young women are thinking about it more, because it is now in both of their close futures.

And younger people are getting caught up in the excitement.

James Anderson said...

There will also be the effect of Seminary and the 'Elevate Learning' matter this year.

In Seminary, you now have to read the scripture book for the year that year is for, this year it is Doctrine and Covenants, and pass a mid-year exam and a final exam, but teachers are doing a lot of things to make that one easier so that more will be encouraged to go for graduation rather than a certificate of completion. You'll see memes and other things on the Seminary Facebook page and other places those might show.

While it's not intended to be a 'pre-MTC', they will go there knowing the Scriptures better, for all Standard Works.

And I've heard that in some countries, you can't just go in and say you're going to be a minister or do ministerial functions, so a Seminary graduation gets a lot more in the door in those places than otherwise. Those contries did that due to the number of scam ministries and other charlatans out there claiming to be ministers when they had anything but on their minds.

Ed Clinch said...

Watching the numbers of missionaries go out in increasing numbers is very encouraging. I have interacted with some younger missionaries this past year;sometimes I wonder if they are more or less effective because of younger ages. It boils down to individuality and companionships, ultimately, not to age. However, I do think that in the end as I have stated before, the missionaries who go serve and then come back and become strong members is perhaps the biggest sign of growth. I know a lot of former missionaries who lapse in the faith, and some of them come back, but I hope that the overall effect of younger elders (and many more sisters) has a better effect on strengthening all involved.

I wonder what countries of the world have the worst attrition for returned missionaries. I can think of a few Chilean missionaries who have since dropped away or have lapsed. But I can think of many more who have remained faithful.
The whole youth movement the last two years is interesting; in a Spanish speaking country the first area is where many new elders and sisters who do not know much Spanish act and feel like they are 8 instead of an adult because of language and cultural barriers. I bet that in some places like Taiwan or Thailand the latent time of maturation and competency is even longer. But it all happens for a reason. We stretch and grow and practice patience and reach new heights. All in the Lord's time.

It would be great to have more stats on RMs. Activity rates, marriage, etc.

Last note about new 2015 missions: how many total new countries to have a mission will there be? 5? 10?

Michael said...

On 2 November 2014, the Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake was created. The boundaries for the Tulsa Stake and the Tulsa East Stake were realigned as follows:

Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake
Bartlesville 1st Ward
Bartlesville 2nd Ward
Bartlesville 3rd Ward
Claremore Ward
Cleveland Ward
Elm Creek Ward
Owasso Ward
Pawhuska Branch
Ranch Creek Ward
Skiatook Branch

Tulsa Oklahoma Stake
Brookhollow Ward
Jenks Ward
Mingo Valley Ward
New Haven Ward
Redbud Valley Branch
Riverside Ward
Sapulpa Ward
Tulsa YSA Branch

Tulsa Oklahoma East Stake
Cedar Ridge Ward
Eufaula Branch
Fair Oaks Ward
Henryetta Ward
Indian Springs Ward
McAlester Ward
Muskogee Ward
Pryor Ward
Tahlequah Ward
Wagoner Branch

Michael said...

I missed one. The Independence Branch is also in the Bartlesville Stake.

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you Michael for posting about the new stake in Oklahoma. It appears some units from the Fort Smith Arkansas Stake are now in the Tulsa Oklahoma East Stake.

Michael said...

Correct, and one ward (Tahlequah) from the Springdale Arkansas stake. The Fort Smith stake is now comprised of the following units:

Alma Ward
Clarksville Ward
Fort Smith Ward
Gore Ward
Greenwood Ward
Sallisaw Ward
Massard Creek Branch
Mena Branch
Poteau Branch
Talihina Branch

Prior to these last two weekends, the stakes in this area were quite large. Rogers had 15 units, Fort Smith 14, Tulsa East 13, Springdale and Tulsa 11 each, etc.

Our 6 stakes have become 9 in two weekends, with the following number of units:

NE OKLAHOMA
Bartlesville 11
Tulsa 8
Tulsa East 10

NW ARKANSAS
Bentonville 7
Fort Smith 10
Rogers 9
Springdale 10

SW MISSOURI
Joplin 9
Monett 7

Tyler Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler Sorensen said...

I will make a bold prediction I believe that like Budapest is a dark horse for a temple it is also a dark horse for a second mission it would split Hungary and it could service parts of western Romania where there is large Hungarian populations yet untouched. I served in Romania and it is 18 hrs or more across the mission from Timisoara to Chisinau in Moldova. Membership is small in Romania around 3,000 but some of the unreached Hungarian speaking cities in Romania of appx.100,000 people. This would also allow Romania Moldova Mission to open up Braila pop appx. 170,000 the largest city in Eastern Europe currently not accessed by missionaries.

Mike Johnson said...

Michael,

Thanks again, for posting.

Given that the two Springfield Missouri stakes played important roles in the creation of two stakes last week and they are part of the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission, I wonder why they aren't counted. Perhaps it should be 8 stakes became 11.

Granted the two Springfield Missouri stakes are in the Kansas City Temple district. If a temple were built in the vicinity of Rogers, AK I would think these two stakes would be in that temple district.

Ed Clinch said...

Tyler, good information about eastern Europe. I did not know that about Braila. I wonder, though, are you counting all the cities of Belarus and Russia that are European as well? Or even Ukraine? Or what about Serbia? Also, there are a few cities of the Caucasus states that might have around 200,000 without LDS missionaries, I don't know. Fascinating question.

Do you know Ned and Claralyn Hill? I share five nieces with their many grandchildren...I have known them since the 1970s. Close family friends, and shared uncle of those of his oldest son. I wonder what Ned will do as a retired BYU professor, young missionary of Germany and former President of Romania mission. He is a great embassador.

Good to hear your input. Keep it up. What is the next biggest town after Braila in Romania? Do any missionaries ever learn Gypsy? Maybe we could have some back and forth to India where their language originates. Does India accept more non-American missionaries more readily, maybe?

James said...

Matt, I haven't heard back from you on whether or not I might be able to share your potential mission predictions on my blog. If you give me permission to do so, I promise that, as with the temple predictions, I will give you full credit. Just let me know one way or the other. You can either e-mail me (with the same e-mail address you used last time) or respond to this comment. Just let me know one way or the other. It's okay if you say no. I just want to know so that if you say yes, I can get busy writing that post. Thanks.

Tyler Sorensen said...

Ed, Yes I know the Hills, they are great people although they weren't my mission president I hear they were well loved by the Romanians.
I am not sure exactly where they draw the line for eastern europe i was just quoted that Braila is the largest city in Eastern Europe not open to missionary work. It is actually part of a bigger metropolitan area with Galati a city open to missionaries with 250,000 pop. it is about 15 km apart.
There are 6 cities above 100,000 in Romania without missionaries and several more on the cusp of 100,000
1 Braila 180,000 (eastern Romania 3-4 less active members)
2 Targu Mures 134,000 (central but large Hungarian pop in the region)
3 Baia Mare 123,000 (western large Hungarian pop.)
4 Buzau 115,000 (central/east
Romania a few members)
5 Botosani (North east Romania)
6 Satu Mare 102,000 (Western Romania large Hungarian population)
Cities Open to Missionaries with large Hungarian Population
Oradea 196,000
Cluj-Napoca 324,000
Arad 159,000
Timisoara 319,000
None of these cities could be serviced by only Hungarian speakers but maybe a compliment of both Romanian and Hungarian speakers. This may be far in the future but a mission could by headquartered out of Hungary, Timisoara or Cluj. Currently Romania has a compliment of 105 Romanian speaking and 11 Russian speaking (servicing Moldova). There are 16 Branches in Romania and around 3,000 members 3 Branches in Moldova and around 400 members.

Pascal said...

Thanks Tyler! This is some really great information about a country I know way too little about. Do you believe in a realistic chance that there could be a stake created in Romania within the next few years? As usual, this would free some Mission resources that could be relocated into opening those unreached/little reached cities. And of course, 116 Missionaries isn`t near capacity for a European Mission.

Tyler Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler Sorensen said...

Pascal yes there will be stake headquartered in Bucharest most likely within the next 1-3 yrs, although its been a possibility for 7-8, just waiting on steady membership numbers. It would include Bucharest, Ploiesti, Galati, Constanta, Alexandria and Pitesti. With Craiova and Brasov as possibles to round out the numbers. I don't know how much a stake would reduce the missionary load though. The ammount of missionaries in each city already is pretty low.

Ed Clinch said...

Another note about the Hills, who I think are public domain as Romania mission presidents 2011-2013, their second son who is my age and lifelong friends of mine served in Munich in the beginning of the 1990s. His best baptism between southern Germany and northern Austria? A Romanian national. I have heard of other Romanian converts in places like France and Switzerland, too. God bless them all.

Great information.

And lastly, about conjecture for next year, 2015. Since 46 (I think) new missions were established last year (2014), maybe only 20 next winter when announced, applied in July or so. Perhaps that is too conservative an estimate. It will be exciting to observe.

Pascal said...

Thanks Tyler! That`s kind of what it looked like on the map on the Cumorah atlas page. Still, I wasn`t sure about how strong the leadership and activity rates are in Romania (although I was able to serve with two excellent and very capable Missionaries from Constanta) so that is encouraging to hear from someone with insights.

Just for further information, there were only two Missions created in 2014 (Cote d`Ivoire Abidjan West and Congo Brazzaville), whereas one Mission was discontinued in Ukraine, surprisingly making 2014 one of the least busy years for newly created and consolidated Missions in recent memory.

My estimate is that anywhere between 10 and 30 new Missions are likely to be created next year.

James said...

Based on information about temples as found on ldschurchtemples.com, these are my predictions for temple order of completion and date:
First, of the three temples undergoing renovation, two will be dedicated in late 2015: Montreal Quebec and Mexico City Mexico. The remaining temple, Suva Fiji, will either be rededicated in late 2015 or early 2016.

Now, of the ones under construction, this is my prediction for completion dates and order:
144. Phoenix Arizona Will be dedicated on November 16, 2014).
145. Cordoba Argentina Temple: Will be dedicated in early 2015.
146. Payson Utah Temple: Will be dedicated in early- or mid-2015.
147. Indianapolis Indiana Temple: Will be dedicated in mid-2015.
148. Trujillo Peru Temple: Will be dedicated in mid-2015.
149. Tijuana Mexico Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2015.
150. Provo City Center Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2015.
151. Rome Italy Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2015.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Will be dedicated in early 2016.
153. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Will be dedicated in mid-2016.
154. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2016.
155. Paris France Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2016.
156. Sapporo Japan Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2016.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Will be dedicated in mid-2017.
158. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Will be dedicated in late 2017. (with all going well. Note that though ground was broken on this temple in 2011, full scale work has yet to begin on this temple.)

Now, if I may be so bold, I would like to give a progress report on the announced temples that haven't had their ground broken. I provide a number for them as well, though the numbers are VERY tentative and will change based on groundbreaking date. This, again, is based on information found at ldschurchtemples.com.
159. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Planning and approval phase; land purchase finalized; groundbreaking
anticipated in late 2014-early 2015.
160. Concepcion Chile Temple: Planning and approval phase; temple and site designs complete; groundbreaking pending.
161. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Planning and approval phase; temple and site designs complete; groundbreaking pending.
162. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Planning and approval phase; initial design plans complete; groundbreaking pending.
163. Arequipa Peru Temple: Planning and approval phase; initial design plans complete; groundbreaking pending.
164. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
165. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
167. Tucson Arizona Temple: Awaiting official site announcement; proposal submitted to Pima County.
168. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
169. Durban South Africa Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Cedar City Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.

Well, what do you think?

John Pack Lambert said...

For what it is worth, the one Area Seventy from the lesser Antilles is from Guadaloupe.

John Pack Lambert said...

At BYU I knew a member of the Church from Turkey who was a convert from Islam. This was back 10 years ago. So there has been some conversion.

Receptivity of immigrant populations and that of populations in the home country often varry.

John Pack Lambert said...

In recent years there have been a lot more mission presidents called either from inside their missions, or from the adjacent regions of their missions. In general, I have a sense that the average age of mission presidents is higher today than it was back in the 1960s. However, with over 300 mission presidents, I have a hard time telling how accurate this impresionistic data is.

On the other hand, we still have mission presidents from Utah almost exclusively here in Michigan. Part of me feels it would be a step in the right direction if they called mission presidents at least from the mid-west.

John Pack Lambert said...

If I have any sense of what the ethno-political situation is in Romania, I doubt there will be a part-Romania, part-Hungary mission aimed at Hungarians. When the Church got a mission in Poland it agreed to have a mission just in Poland because the country demanded it, and it also agreed to never have a German serve as mission president.

One result of the follow the law of the land policy, is that the Church avoids rocking the boat on ethnic issues. This means avoiding cross-national missions in lots of countries, not just because of the logistical nightmare of such, but because of the geo-political problems. Eastern Europe has a century of the various states trying to impose their own ethnic identity all over their boundaries. The Church would enter a mine field if it acted against such policies.