I have to admit I am psyched about the creation of the Wisconsin Appleton Mission. This will mark the first time Wisconsin has ever had two missions. My father was baptized in Appleton and his Dad was the branch president there. At that time the branch extended close to 100 miles in every direction. There are now two stakes that have most of their wards within what was the boundaries of the Appleton Branch in the early late 1950s/early 1960s. This also will bring the Great Lakes stakes back up to the number of missions that existed a decade ago. By the Great Lakes states I mean Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. In these states we were down 3 missions from our peak at the start of 2013. I hope we get one other new mission this year, but I think it unlikely.
What about Paraguay?
In talking to my son on Christmas, who is serving in the Indianapolis, IN mission, he said the mission will have 400 convert baptisms this year, which is better than in years past. I live in the Las Vegas West mission and we had the missionaries over for dinner last night. They said the mission will have 650 convert baptisms this year. I wonder how other missions are doing? It would be interesting to get a list of the baptisms per mission. I know the church creates a list but does not share it in public. I support this policy because it is not just a number we need to support each convert who joins the church.
The Germany Frankfurt Mission is at 140ish, and the Alpine German-Speaking Mission at around 120. The Bangkok Thailand Mission was shooting for 2,000 and they are really close last time I checked with one of my friends there. Quite a few Missions are reporting increases, some of which are very significant. I wouldn`t be surprised to see a total of somewhere around 330,000 to 350,000 this year.
Missionaries in the Montana Billings Mission are reporting about 600 convert baptisms for the year. Our ward had a goal of 12 baptisms, and we had 11.
Incidentally, there is a push to qualify the Missoula Montana Stake to split in the next few years, and local rumor speaks of a future temple site being recently acquired in nearby Frenchtown.
How far is Frenchtown (MT) from the temple in Spokane, Washington? Cool news.The DC South Mission was below expectations with maybe 200-300 baptized. I believe the year before (2013) was better. Most of the stakes (in Northern Virginia) get many new move-in members every year, but then again quite a few move out. The overall growth is good for Church growth but there are some setbacks with all the new jobs, lots of money and busy lifestyles. Then again, moving and change help some people join new faiths...If an American mission baptizes 500 people then it is decent, based on anecdotal evidence of mine, but I think Utah missions do the best and maybe double or triple that? I bet Washington state is above average.The Indianapolis Mission is usually below average from what I know.My Chile Concepcion Mission probably baptized 4000 my first year there (1990). Retention was very low. Some Chilean missions baptized much more in calendar years. I wonder if more were baptized in the 1980s or the 1990s. The 2000s slowed down, so I imagine the 10 Chilean missions baptize a bit more like US missions now, but on the higher side...1,000? So many part member and less-actives to work with.Nice about Wisconsin. I guess that new mission should cover some of Minnesota. I blogged years ago about sports, mostly, and a Wisconsin buddy became a lot more aware of BYU. Hopefully sports connections, despite some hard feelings in losses and fights, help the LDS faith move closer to the people. It helps me feel closer to the faith to see BYU athletes try... and fail. Like all of us, only with bigger expectations on living standards.Happy 2015.
Conversions are good, but there are also reactiovations. At other times the work of ward members supported by missionaries might bring into fuller activity people. Over the last two years my ward has seen multiple baptisms connected with the reactivation of the spouse. So although these count as one, at times they are more like two more active members. So pure numbers are not everything. At least in my ward, it seems like missionary work is picking up. We tentatively have two baptisms scheduled for January. Not earth-shattering, but I think there was at least one year in the past when we went 6 months with that many baptisms.
I suspect that we will see the benifits of the surge this year in more convert baptisms and more real growth. Hopefully 2015 will see lots of recent converts going to the temple to get there endowments for the first time, and hopefully 2014 has seen many recent converts go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. My ward seems to do well at that. They have at times asked recent converts to take classes on family history work. Even back in 2000 when I was in the MTC we were told getting recent converts to the temple to do baptisms was a high priority. However on my mission I did not see much actual evidence of people trying to achieve that. In my ward I see a lot of work on that.
I am guessing that the Appleton Mission will have the Appleton, Green Bay and Wausau stakes in Wisconsin. The Green Bay stake has 3 units in Michigan, 6 in Wisconsin, and 2 that trenscend the border. It also has a Spanish Branch that in theory goes across the state line, but my guess is most members are in Wisconsin. 4 of the 5 units even partly in Michigan are branches. In Wisconsin there are 4 wards and 2 branches. So I would guess most of the members are in Wisconsin. They might move some of the stakes in the Minnesota Mission that stretch into Wisconsin into the new Wisconsin missions. The Minnesota Mission has 8 stakes. I could see them moving what mission the Duluth Stake is in. That is the stake in Minnesota that goes the furthest East, and only the North Branch Ward is anywhere close to the Twin Cities. The Oakdale Stake goes deep into Wisconsin, but also well into the Twin Cities Area, so I don't see it getting moved. The Rochester Minnesota Stake might be moved to the Milwaukie Mission. Alternately they might move the Rockford Illinois Stake from Chicago West, the Buffaloo Grove Stake from the Chicago Mission or the Davenport Stake from the Iowa Des Moines Mission. I only see the Buffaloo Grove change happening if the Chicago Mission lines are realigned. Currently Chicago Mission has 4 stakes, while Chicago West has 5. I would guess Chicago Mission has more people in its boundaries though. Des Moines Mission has 6 stakes. Another possibility might be to give the Travese City District in Michigan to the new Appleton Mission. This might be the first step to creating more localized out-reach in the eastern parto of Michgian's UP. However, most of the Travese City District is actually in the lower peninsula, so I am not sure that would make logistic sense.
Hi J.P.L.Our stake in California is more strongly emphasizing the program to have new members make it to the temple for temple baptisms and family history work. It seems to be effective here.
I live in the Salt Lake Central Mission and the misionaries in our branch said the mission will be discontinued in July.
I served my mission in Missoula 25 years ago and I am happy to see the church grow there. I think you could split the Missoula Stake today if you were to include the Polson ward from the Kalispell stake and the Lolo ward from the Stevensville stake in the mix. Missoula is about 200 miles from Spokane. I could see a Missoula temple district including the 2 stakes in Missoula, Kaslispell, Stevensville the 2 stakes in Great Falls, Helena and Butte. The Great Falls stakes currently go to the Cardston temple and the Helena and Butte Stakes go to the Billings temple even though Butte is closer to Rexburg than Billings.
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